tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN February 18, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PST
happening now in the news room, the hottest four letter word on gop trail? liar. >> whenever anyone points to their actual record, they start screaming liar, liar, liar. >> you say something that isn't true and you say it over and over again and you know it's not true, there's no other word for it. >> that's round one. tonight, run round of the republican town hall. also the democrats in a dead heat in the nevada desert
fighting for the minority vote. can clinton keep nevada in her column or can sanders sway the silver state. plus, get on with it. straight talk from sandra day o'connor over the open seat battle. let's talk live in the "cnn newsroom." good morning. i'm carol costello. the republican primary in south carolina two days away, and the candidates are sprinting to the finish line in round one of the cnn's town hall with us, anderson cooper, the candidates made their closing arguments selling themselves, jabbing at one another and condemning the nasty tone that infuses the race. >> i said hooee's been lying because if you say something that's not true over and over again and you know it's not true, there's no other word for it. >> both trump and rubio are following a pattern that
whenever anyone points to their actual record to what they've said, to what they've voted on or done, they start screaming liar, liar yarks liar. it is the oddest thing. i can't think of any previous presidential election -- >> i think the american people are smart enough to be able to understand bluster and rhetoric versus truth. >> tonight round two of the cnn town hall meetings. john kasich, jeb bush, and trump, will field questions directly from the voters. also barbara bush, the former first lady hoping to bolster the sagging campaign of her son, jeb. let's begin our coverage with athena jones. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. there was some fire last night, some attacks. we heard, as you played, some of the repetition of the claims that one or another candidate is a liar. we also saw some moments from
the personal side of some of the candidates like marco rubio talking act whether he experienced racism growing up. and perhaps one of the most interesting things that senator rubio said was when he made note of the fact that he had just been endorsed by an indian american, governor nikki haley of south carolina. he also has been endorsed by a black republican, tim scott, a senator from south carolina, and that the three of them would be campaigning together. it was in line with the argument that he's making about his candidacy being one about the future of the republican party. and that mention of diversity was in line with that argument. we also heard from ted cruz talking about the fact that he is a u.s. citizen and eligible to run for president. take a listen to that. >> i was a citizen by birth by virtue of my mother's citizenship. it was a act of being born that
made me a u.s. citizen. the question is clear. there will be some who try to work political mischief on this, but as a legal matter, it's done. >> he's talking about donald trump who has threatened to file a lawsuit challenge cruz's ability to run. there were some lighter moments amid the attacks. we got to hear that carson likes classical music and playing pool. and cruz likes to try to sing to his wife. the event covered all sorts of ground last night. tonight, as you mentioned, we'll be looking to hear from donald trump, john kasich, and jeb bush. barbara bush joining on the campaign trail later today and tonight. she's trying to help her son do well here in this key state. a state that's been very good to bushes in the past. this is a contest that could really be a make or break moment for the campaign. >> athena jones reporting live
from south carolina. >> cruz enjoying a major perk of last night's forum. he could reel against trump without trump reeling back. we'll expect that to change tonight in the town hall meetings. we are joined now from greenville, south carolina with the trump side of the story. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the cruz campaign, of course, watching very closely what donald trump does next. and what he'll say at tonight ee east cnn town hall. we've seen cruz in the last 24 hours go on the offense on this issue, saying over this threat of lawsuit, go ahead, sue me. really issuing a big dare to donald trump. and the cruz campaign is pushing this issue really forcefully because they think it works for them. not only are we spending the last day, really, talking about in the terms of this lawsuit, donald trump's record on abortion, but also they think that this reveals something about donald trump's authenticity, his character, his
honesty, and they're happy with the contrast that draws with ted cruz. that's why we've seen ted cruz, like last night at the cnn town hall, lay into donald trump over this. here's what he had to say. >> i don't think anyone is surprised that donald is threatening to sue people. he's done that most of his adult life. but this letter really was -- i practiced law 20 years, and this letter really pressed the bounds of the most frivolous and ridiculous letters i've seen. most of the word on the ad are his own words, and his argument in the letter is running his own words was defamation. it is, quite literally, the most ridiculous theory. telling the voters what his actual record is is deceitful and lying. >> reporter: we saw ted cruz last night celebrate a new nbc poll which showed him inching ahead slielghtly ahead of donal trump. he said i am the new national
front runner, but there is a new poll out this morning from cbs which shows an entirely different landscape. that shows trump nationally ahead 35% to cruz at 18%. well behind him there, nationally. really shows the state of the play, and that poll is more consistent with other polls we're seeing which still points to donald trump being the national front runner. >> that is true. reporting live from greenville, this morning. let's talk about this. a trump supporter is here along with an editor of the daily beast -- >> good morning. >> kailee, donald trump participates in tonight's town hall. will he go on the attack against cruz in. >> i think we'll expect to see him address the question. last night ted cruz said truth matters. but then he went onto
mischaracterize donald trump's record as he's done on planned parenthood and the second amendment and same-sex marriage. he is saying patently false things about trump's record. he says trump does not want to defund planned parenthood. >> false. he calls it an abortion factory saying they treat baby parts like automobile parts. that's false. we will expect to see donald trump address that and see him be good and engaging with voters. voters like him. we'll also see that personal side of donald trump. >> one caveat, there's no evidence that planned parenthood trades baby parts like auto parts. i want to make that clear. >> appreciate that clarification. >> some truth in journalism, right? >> facts, you know. >> facts. >> so, john, why does trump feel the need to attack cruz so fiercely when in most polls he leads cruz by double digits? >> well, i think trump embodies the idea that in politics as in
sports, the best defense is a good offense. that's worked for him well, and cruz is the guy if second place. he's been closing the gap in some states. now that their bromance broke up a few months ago, this is really vicious. it's personal. the cease and desist letters are a little ridiculous, but there's something absurd about them both calling each other liar. they both have a tenuous relationship with the truth at times. >> i want to talk about rubio for a second. nikki haley took the stage with him today. how much was nikki haley's endorsement help marco rubio? >> what's interesting is that nikki haley decided to wait three days before the vote to endorse. last time she endorsed romney a month ahead of time. she is one of the most popular governors in america right now. certainly one of the most popular republican governors. well over 55% of the state
approves of her coming off of her really daft handling in the wake of the horrible shootings and taking down the con fred rat flag. this matters to rubio. and this broke against jeb bush. jeb bush was hoping for that endorsement. it helps consolidate rubio as this third place candidate in south carolina. when you look at last night's town hall, you have cruz and rubio, both vying for second in south carolina. but a really different approach between them. cruz was clearly going after values voters and south carolina and the sec primary participants. rubio's message while still tenable to those voters was really more geared toward the general electorate. he spoke about broader themes and unifying themes. he didn't hit social issues like cruz. he didn't hit some of the really important issues that -- and sort of dog whistle issues that conservatives need to hear. and so what marco is doing is
this is -- puts wind in his sails. it gives a new face to the party and it sort of gives him momentum going into beyond the sec primary in the south. >> let's talk about these influential political types in south carolina. kailee, why didn't tim scott or nikki haley get behind donald trump. >> here's the thing. they want a mainstream sort of establishment guy. they want someone who has held political office. oftentimes we see people with political pedigree want people with political pedigree -- >> but nikki haley is tea party backed. she was endorsed by sarah palin. >> she's a conservative woman, but she is still a political figure. a lot of people in politics have a problem with donald trump's rogue approach, saying it like it is, not the polished politician. he says what's on his heart and gets into the heart of american voters with that. nikki --
>> hold on here. before we wrap them up a little bit too much in the american flag. she is tea party but not troll party. that's the difference. the endorsement of tim scott and ma nikki haley hearts. the republicans have a more diverse field of statewide elected than the democrats. in south carolina has one of the most diverse statewide elected slates in the country. the fact that haley and rubio and scott are standing together sends a message about the future of the republican party. trump has a lot of support, but it's not a great shock that the next generation of republican politicians don't look at him and see this guy is appealing to the future as much as the reaction to the past. >> there's a reason ben carson and trump have been rejected from the get go. they don't fit the political -- >> to both of you, this is an
outsider's year. there are people who feel disenfranchised by the system, and the republican party, whoever it is, has to get the trump voters. there are personny sanders people who want an outsider and want somebody to represent a voice they feel has gone unrepresented. republicans are going to have to figure out a way to do. >> i have to leave it there. thank you to all of you. still to come in the news room, as the battle intensifies to fill scalia's chair, we know who won't be filling one at his funeral. that would be president obama. pet moments are beautiful,
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switch to liberty mutual and you could save up to $509 call today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. president obama will visit cuba next month. he tweeted the news about the trip last hour. it's been 90 years since a sitting u.s. president visited the island nation. the obama administration reopened ties with them, and the president will make his way to cuba soon. one place the president will not be is at justice antonin
scalia's funeral service. the white house says mr. obama will, instead, pay his respects on friday. this is partisan tensions intensify to fill the seat. here's where the senate stands right now. all 46 democratic senators say mr. obama should nominate a successor. of the 54 republican senators, 29 say the senate should in the confirm the nominee, whoever it is. with me now is chris freights, and manu raju. let's start with manu. give us the latest reaction to president obama not attending the funeral. >> reporter: you're hearing a fair amount of criticism from the republican side, but a lot of democrats puzzled. they are questioning why give republicans more fodder as we head into the battle. the white house press secretary
was asked about it and he gave us a little bit of a sense of what the president was going to do this weekend. >> i don't have a sense of what the president's plans are for saturday. the president, obviously, believes it's important for the institution of the presidency to pay his respects to somebody who dedicated three decades of his life to the institution of the supreme court. it will be an important moment. we'll have some more details for you at about the president's plans for friday and saturday. >> reporter: now, after the funeral arrangements and funeral concluded for justice slcalia, we'll head into the fight. what we've learned over the last several days is it looks increasingly unlikely that the republicans will do anything in the sthaenate, even confirmatio hearings.
we're hearing republicans who asay this nominee is not going to be confirmed, so why go through the process and why give a nominee a chance to talk and build momentum behind their case, to potentially shine when the national spotlight is on them? they think it's better. a lot of republicans think it's better the not move forward at all, top it in its tracks immediately. republicans will gather next week in the senate for the first time since justice scalia's death and talk about their strategy. right now it sounds increasingly unlikely there will be confirmation hearings. >> thank you, manu. >> chris, we're hearing about this from sandra day o'connor. what's her take? >> the retired justice was appointed by ronald reagan, the republican president back in the 1980s. she's saying the senate should move forward, the president should get a nomination and they should move the nomination forward. it's to important the wait.
she was asked by a local phoenix tv station about it. here's what she had to say. >> i don't agree. i think we need somebody there now to do the job, and let's get on with it. >> so there you have justice oh connor weighing in. in that's unlikely to sway as we heard manu talk about, many republican senators. senator rubio and cruz are running for president. they believe the next president should get that choice, unsurprisingly. that lines up well with what mitch mcconnell said after the passing. he believes the next president should get this. republicans pointing to polls starting to come out showing that americans are split on this. there's a split among those who believe that they should get a vote this year or that we should wait until the next president. not surprisingly, republicans favor waiting until the next president. democrats favor giving this president his shot. and independents are also split.
republicans as manu pointed out, don't feel there's a lot to gain. the white house will say it's the constitutional responsibility of the senate to pick this up and do confirmation hearings and have a vote. republicans don't feel the same way. they say we just have to advise and convensent. if we don't do anything, we're not consenting. thank you. coming up next, women serving in combat. it's important in south carolina. up next i sit with two female marines who have very different views. >> there were instances in which i took enemy fire and i had to provide fire. >> it follows suit with other destructive things that this administration has done with the military, and weakening it.
a dead heat in nevada has hillary clinton clings to a one point lead over bernie sanders. now with the vote days away, clinton is on the ground in nevada hoping to rally her supporters at an event in las vegas. joe johns has more for you. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. a quick pivot for hillary clinton. she started out here in chicago last night. did some fundraisers here. then flew down to las vegas where she met with members of the culinary worker's union. this is important. the culinary workers union is the largest and most powerful
union in nevada. they have thousands of people. the concern is will they get out to caucus. she is trying to make sure they'll caucus for her. so far the culinary workers union has not endorsed anyone in the primaries. mrs. clinton's campaign also putting out a new ad, and this is an ad reaching out to latino voters that shows a little girl telling hillary clinton that she got a deportation letter, at least that her parents did, and hillary clinton's response. listen. >> i feel really
strongly that you're being very brave. and you have to be brave for them too. because they want you to be happy. they want you to be successful. they don't want you to worry too much. let me do the worrying. i'll do all the worrying. is that a deal? >> reporter: bernie sanders, by the way, is also jumping around the country. started out in washington d.c. today meeting with some civil rights leaders including al
sharpton and the head of the national urban league. sanders is headed onto las vegas later today. he's expected too much town hall there as well as a rally. and he will be facing off in that town hall with hillary clinton. back to you, carol. >> reporting live for us this morning, thank you joe. good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. we're just two days away from the republican primary in south carolina.
and the candidates are scrambling to lock down votes. in the first round of town halls, the candidates sold themselves, jabbed each other and talked about a strong military in south carolina. a state steeped in military tradition. the elephant in the room? whether opening combat roles to women will weaken the u.s. military. here's senator rubio's take. >> i don't believe the military is a place where we should lower
standards to meet another goal. i believe that -- i'm open to people in both genders serving in combat so long as they can meet the minimum requirements necessary for the job. and we can't weaken the standards in order to accommodate somebody in the job. lives are on the line. and national security is on the line. by the way, there are plenty of men that can't meet those standards either. >> i had a chance to speak with two female marines. both served in iraq. i asked them what they thought. >> all jobs in the u.s. military are open to women. that means combat. and it could mean the draft. and like most decisions involving the military, it's become political. even a focus at the primary debates. >> and the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat -- i think it's wrong. it is immoral. and if i am president, we ain't doing it. >> the fact is 300,000 women
have already served in iraq and afghanistan. 9,000 of them have earned army combat action badges. meaning they engaged the enemy. this is a former marine. >> you served in iraq. >> i was a gunner on convoy security patrols. >> this was at a time when all combat roles were not open to women. >> correct. >> was it noncombat? >> not at all. there were instances in which i took enemy fire and i had to provide fire. >> with a machine gun? >> yes. >> while she thinks women are more than capable of hand to hand combat, their membership in a historic boy's club isn't easy. >> did your male counterparts worry that you were up there providing cover for them? >> i was ridiculed. i was accused of sexual favors in order to get the position, but when it actually came time for me to perform in that duty, and i met or exceeded their
expectations, that's when the discrimination fell away. >> so what kind of things would you fellow troops call you? >> they called me slut, bitch, p[ bleep ]. >> what would have helped or ease the situation for you? >> having more women. >> more women is the pentagon's goal. when reason it's opened all combat roles to women, even the elite special forces. it's a move jude'den, a former marine herself says will weaken the military. >> it follows suit with other destructive things that this administration has done with the military. and weakening it. i think that it's also part of a -- the political agenda that is feminist-leaning to increase their representation of females to 25%. there's a quota. they can't fill that quota without having a double standard
or lowering standards. >> pentagon officials have testified no target percentages have been set. >> women in the military tend to be injured more than twice as much. where we're going to be asking a lot more of them physically for the combat standards, those injuries are bound to skyrocket, and that alone is adding weakness. >> she says there are other important roles for women to fulfill that don't involve combat. >> you can make a policy to use liez your best military women without removing the choice of active duty women. it opens up the question of the draft for women sfwlchlt. >> -- >> that's a big concern for all women. if you open all combat roles, what if there's a draft? >> i think women should be in the selected service program even if we're not open to combat. if you are expecting that the government, that the country will support you in your time of
need, there does need to be a reciprocal willingness on the part of all american citizens, regardless of gender. >> unlike his rival, ted cruz who says it's immoral for women to fight, donald trump says he would let women into combat. >> i guess the answer is yes because they're really into it. and some of them are really, really good. >> contrasting view points that could tip the scales in a military state like south carolina where 75% of all female army recruits are trained. >> special thanks for taking the time. let's more about this with spider marks. i'm also joined by colonel cedric lleyton. welcome to both of you. >> thanks, carol. >> general marks, you heard what they said, her fellow marines called her names when she was manning the machine gun. does that surprise you? >> it doesn't surprise me, but i
think this discussion is one that we need to address. but the decision has been made, carol. my view all along has been, and it's based on personal experience. i have served in gender-mixed units my entire career. i have to tell you, the women in those organizations are phenomenal, and they did their part magnificently. i think this discussion has been had. i think we'll continue to have it. but the decision has been made, and we should be open. there also is a requirement that leadership at all levels get actively engaged so you stamp out behavior like that. you treat everyone equally. if you can do your job, then you're not worried about standards. if congress gets involved and they start to legislate, and they establish quotas, now we have a problem. standards will be dropped. that's where i step in and say we can't do it. >> the pentagon assures me that there are no quotas. they just want to attract more
women to the service, and colonel lleyton, they want to open all the combat roles to women who assure women joining the military that there's equality within the ranks. that doesn't mean every woman is going to fight hand to hand combat. that's where many people misunderstand. >> that's right, carol. and i think the big reason here is there are a lot of support fun functions in the military already. all the things military people do are technically support functions. they're the tail part of the tooth to tail ratio. even in the broader armed forces, there are even less people who are actually on point in real combat positions on the front lines. and that also makes a difference. plus the other part of it is the draft, quite frankly, hasn't really been used since vietnam. there are a lot of discussions here that may not be, quite frankly, in line with reality.
>> something else that i run across all the time, general marks is that the army is lowering standards and that's why these female rangers pass the test. there's no evidence that they lowered standards at all. why do these things persist? >> i think that's old school talk. this is nonsense. these young ladies that made it through ranger school are phenomenal. they met the standards that i met. that everybody else, and they probably exceeded the standards that i had to meet 40 plus years ago. this is a phenomenal group of young women that have chosen to join our military. the door has been opened up for them. the opportunity exists. and we need to stay out of the business of establishing quotas. it will -- the women in uniform will meet the standards or they won't. and those organizationals will be great doing their jobs. as cedric kaeindicated, there's number of folks in the support
elements. but those that have to do the door kicking and the hand to hand combat and the heavy lifting, the long marches, the physical engagement, there will be a select few that will make it in and perform well provided leadership stays involved to ensure that everything remains equal. >> and a word about these three women who went through army ranger school, colonel. they're very roloathed to talk the media. they didn't expect such a backlash. i find that sad. >> i do too. and like general marks mentioned, it's about the leadership. leadership matters at every level of command. it's particularly important at the unit level. it's important for unit leaders on up to really set the tone and set the standards for the people under their command. and that means that that kind of behavior won't be tolerated. if they're competent, they should be accepted and that would be the end of the discussion.
>> all right. thank you so much. >> can i jump in quickly? you made the comment about it being sad they didn't comment? i'm proud of the fact that they're humble yuoung ladies an it's more about the organization. i understand your point, but i think it speaks highly of them and the culture. >> and i should add the male counterparts support them and have spoken about them in a positive way. that's great. thanks to both of you. still to come, a roadside bomb kills six turkish soldiers hours after the country launches air strikes in northern iraq. le. ... a whole new way to keep skin looking younger longer ... ... starting tonight. part of the new absolutely ageless collection from aveeno®
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a gruesome day in turkey. six turkish soldiers were killed in an attack. the attack believed to have been carried out by a native syrian. we are following the sorry. arwa, tell us more. >> reporter: everything is really intertwained at this stage. you have the attack that took place behind us here just down the road that cost at least 28 lives of both military personnel and civilians. this, the turkish government was saying is carried out by a syrian national who crossed over inside syria territory held by a group called the pyd who then crossed over into turkey, linked up with members of the separatists, the pkk, the group responsible for the bombing that killed the six soldiers you were
talking about, and then those two groups carried out this attack. turkey considers both of these entities to be kterrorist organizations. the united states does not. the ybg, the ypg is america's strongest ally inside syria. they're getting the most support from the united states and the u.s. led coalition. we asked the turkish prime minister exactly how this was going to impact turkey/u.s. relations. >> the relations with america and turkey are so important. you cannot deny it, but i really wonder at this corner, 28 turkish citizens killed, and how many more should be killed by them together that our american friends should believe pyd is a
terrorist organization? >> reporter: we also asked if the turks would find themselves in a position where they would ask the united states to choose between them, turkey, or these various kurdish fighting forces. the bottom line is yes, the u.s. is going to have to make a decision about who to ally itself with. all of this, itself, as we've been reporting is not only going to be potentially impacting turkey but the battle field in syria as well. one that's dragged on for too long and cost too many lives. >> all right. arwa damon reporting live. still to come, is the handshake between president obama and senator marco -- you see it there? is that real or is it another dirty trick in an increasingly nasty campaign for president? we'll talk about that next. diabetes, steady is exciting.
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obama's hand. it's on a website called the real rubio record, a cruz campaign site intended to paint rubio as, quote, republican obama. we are more on this. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. the rubio campaign is urgently trying to get the message out about this website. they look at this photo and they say according to senior advisory, rubio doesn't own that suit or tie or that watch. this is a fake photoing to circulated an a website paid for my cruz's campaign. this is not a new thing in politics. just about every party committee does it. what the rubio campaign is seeing is an opening to continue to attack cruz on deception and dishonesty. a theme for the campaign since saturday east debate. rick tyler told our colleague
that he didn't believe that the campaign would use any fake photos and then quickly tried to spin it himself saying the rubio campaign is using smears and lies and said this is pathetic this late in the campaign to be doing this. as you know and we've seen, this battle between those campaigns and trump coming in and calling cruz a liar is only heating up as the race gets closer to when voters get to go to the polls. this is not going away any time soon. i think you're going to hear a lot from the rubio campaign on this going forward. >> although it may seem silly that we're talking about a picture of him handshaking with the president of the united states. we must go back to chris christie who hugged president obama when he came to the state of new jersey to offer help to the state, and he never recovered from the image. >> somebody seemed to bring up the hug, and he said over and over during his campaign in new hampshire before he drop ped ou,
that he didn't hug him. it was just a bad photo. another kind of interesting element to the photo of rubio allegedly shaking president obama's hand, it's a left-handed handshake. that's not the norm. the rubio campaign wants to push back on this website. it's a detailed attack on all of marco rubio's positions paid for by the cruz campaign. this fits into the narrative of the attacks the cruz campaign has been leveling and they're going to try to exploit this over the next few days. >> phil, thank you so much. still to come, the saga of a lost wallet sparks lots of laughter in new york city. you'll want to see this story next. arthritis pain, so you don't have to stop. tylenol® 8hr arthritis pain has two layers of pain relief. the first is fast. the second lasts all day. we give you your day back. what you do with it is up to you. tylenol®. at safelite,oh nonow how busy your life can be.
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jackpot. they have opted for the lump sum payment. that means they take home $327 million. they didn't tell their families until last week. there they are holding that big check. congratulations. >> that finders keepers stuff only applies partially to the next story. a man who lost his wallet got some of the contents back along with a priceless letter that has new yorkers in stitches. >> reporter: he went to a concert in brooklyn and when riley got home, he realized, uh-oh, lost my wallet. >> i have that classic freakout moment. >> but the really freaky part happened later. >> this envelope shows up. dear riley, i found your wallet and your driver's license.
here's your important stuff. >> reporter: that's the good news even though he already replaced the license and credit cards. >> the bad news. i kept the cash because i needed paid. >> the metro card because the fair is $2.75 now and the wallet because it's cool. >> reporter: has the handmade leather wallet. he posted it on social media saying thanks, i think. >> reporter: the next thing you know it'sing with read aloud on national tv. >> enjoy the rest of your day. to dols, anonymous. >> reporter: what? who talks like a teenager? >> the ironic thing is we could have been good friends. both like wilko, same taste in wallets. >> reporter: it's such a little thing. a little selfish, a little selfless. >> kind of charming, the honesty. >> we have this pot smoking
modern day robin hood out there. >> reporter: sending a letter with a charlie brown stamp. maybe that's a clue. maybe charlie brown did it. >> good grief. >> reporter: cnn, new york. >> oh, my. thank you so much for joining me today. at this hour with berman and bolduan starts now. >> hello, everyone. kate is off. it is time to buckle in and lawyer up. we are in the midst of one of the most jam packed 24 hours of south carolina primary in the history of south carolina primaries. what you're looking at there is a hall where any moment now donald trump will take the stage. who will he threaten to sue today? moments ago, marco rubio took the stage with his new best