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Rubio defends second place finish in Nevada

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 01:46

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says Republicans should take a ''deep breath'' and not worry about Trump's decisive win in Nevada. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is defending his second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses to real estate mogul Donald Trump. "The people, in every state that's voted, the overwhelming majority, including last night, 55% of the people did not vote for Donald Trump. It's just divided up among four other people and that's helping him right now," Rubio said. Trump inched closer to the U.S. Republican presidential nomination after easily outdistancing his rivals in the Nevada caucuses Tuesday, giving him his third win in four early nominating contests. Rubio was in second place, with Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, coming in third. Trump's decisive win is likely to further frustrate Republican establishment figures who, less than a month ago, were hoping that the outspoken billionaire's insurgent candidacy was stalled after he lost the opening nominating contest in Iowa to Cruz. But since then, Trump has tallied wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and now Nevada, with a suite of southern states ahead on March 1, so-called Super Tuesday. "The vast overwhelming majority of Republicans do not want Donald Trump to be our nominee...As long as there are four people running dividing up the non-Trump vote you're going to get results like what you saw last night...so the sooner we can get this race narrowed down, I think the easier it's going to be to stop Donald Trump and defeat him," Rubio said. Polls suggest Trump will do well in many of those Super Tuesday states, placing further pressure on Cruz, Rubio, and Ohio Governor John Kasich, another presidential candidate who was not a factor in Nevada, to come up with counter-measures quickly. In the run-up to Nevada, most of Trump's rivals left him alone, preferring to tussle with each other in a bid to be the last surviving challenger to the front-runner. Not long after Trump's win was certified in Nevada, Cruz's campaign released a statement criticizing Rubio for not winning the state, but did not mention Trump at all. Rubio, who has emerged as the Republican establishment's favorite to derail Trump's progress, can take some solace in finishing second. But that also has to be viewed as somewhat of a setback considering that he had frequently campaigned in Nevada, having lived there for years as a child. A Cuban-American, he had attempted to rally the support of the state's large Latino population. Rubio had also benefitted from the departure Saturday of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, from the race. That brought an influx of new funds, a bevy of endorsements, and a wealth of media attention. But none of it was enough to overtake Trump.

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Rubio defends second place finish in Nevada

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 01:46