The Latest: Cruz channels inner-Trump, vows to win ‘so much’

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to supporters at Green County Community Center, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Jefferson, Iowa. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary and Nevada Democratic caucuses (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

Ted Cruz is channeling his inner Donald Trump as he looks for votes ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina’s presidential primary.

The Texas senator told several hundred supporters Friday in Myrtle Beach that in a Cruz administration, there would “be winning so much, we’ll get tired of winning.”

He didn’t specifically name his rival, but the reference was clear as it’s a phrase repeatedly used by the billionaire businessman.

Cruz also took a shot at Trump’s campaign motto, featured on hats, T-shirts and bumper stickers. The senator said “it’s easy to say, ‘Let’s Make America Great Again.'” But, he asked, “Do you understand what made America great in the first place?”

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Web Extra: News 8 Political Analyst & Quinnipiac Political Science Professor Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean sorts out another interesting week on the campaign trail.

11:10 a.m.

John Kasich is promising South Carolina voters he’ll “keep hanging in there” regardless of the results in the state’s Saturday Republican primary.

Kasich’s comments were in response to a voter at a Columbia town hall Friday who told Kasich not to drop out of the race after Saturday’s contest. The voter pleaded with the candidate to “not quit on us; we need you more than you need us.”

Kasich said he thinks he’ll beat expectations Saturday, joking that they aren’t that high anyway.

He said expectations say he’ll be able to fit all of his votes “in a Volkswagon,” adding, “clearly we’re gonna do better than that — we may be able to put them in a van.”

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11:00 a.m.

Jeb Bush is warmly embracing his legacy in South Carolina, where he is among three generations of his famous Republican family campaigning in the state.

Bush’s 91-year-old mother, who attended college prep school in Charleston, is with her son, the second to run for president. Mrs. Bush, whose husband is also a former president, says of her second son: “He’s steady, he’s honest. He is modest. He is kind and he is good.”

The former Florida governor’s wife Columba and younger son Jeb Bush Jr. are also with him, as are his younger brothers, Neal and Marvin Bush.

While some voters feel reluctance toward a potential third Bush presidency, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top Bush backer, says there is no such thing as dynasty in America.

“The only way you can become president is if your fellow citizens vote for you,” he said.

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10:55 a.m.

South Carolina’s highest ranking Democrat is endorsing Hillary Clinton, smoothing over a rift from eight years ago.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn’s endorsement came as a surprise since he has said he wouldn’t back a candidate based on orders from the Democratic National Committee.

Clyburn has said that those regulations caused him some sleepless nights in 2008, when he’d hoped to support then-Sen. Barack Obama’s historic run, but stayed neutral. Bill Clinton didn’t think Clyburn was neutral enough and the congressman wrote in his biography that the former president called and swore at him at 2:15 a.m. one morning.

The two eventually patched their rift, leading Clyburn to historically black Allen University in Columbia on Friday to make his endorsement.

Clyburn was first voted to the U.S. House in 1992 and is the assistant Democratic leader.

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10:15 a.m.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has landed himself in a tight spot in South Carolina when confronted with the politics of sports.

Rubio told a crowd of University of South Carolina sports fans Friday that he would be conflicted on Saturday, when the state’s Gamecocks play the University of Florida Gators.

University of South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin spoke at a Friday rally in Columbia, talking up his similarities with the presidential hopeful, including his Cuban heritage.

After a fan shouted, “Go Gamecocks!” Martin suggested that Rubio follow “your heart and the voters of South Carolina.” Rubio has a total of five stops on his statewide fly-around South Carolina ahead of its GOP primary on Saturday.

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10:10 a.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is jokingly proposing Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for a top diplomatic post.

“Imagine just for a moment: Phil Robertson, ambassador to the United Nations,” the Texas senator said at a Friday morning rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “How much would you pay to see the Russian ambassador’s face when Phil says: ‘What is wrong with you people?”

Cruz is campaigning Friday with the bearded reality television star on the eve of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary. Robertson is a cult hero among social conservatives for his unvarnished critiques of modern, secular society.

Speaking ahead of Cruz, Robertson urged voters to “rise up as the sons and daughters of God” and put “a staunch, Bible-belieiving, Jesus-loving, Godly man” in the White House.

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