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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

South Carolina will likely decide who wins the Jeb Bush-Marco Rubio rivalry



ANDERSON, S.C. — The dueling campaign events across South Carolina said it all.

In Anderson on Thursday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the 44-year-old son of Cuban immigrants hopped on stage amid piercing cheers, alongside Nikki Haley, South Carolina's Indian-American governor, and Tim Scott, the state's African-American senator. These are the faces of tomorrow's Republican Party, and the energy in the packed hotel ballroom telegraphed optimism and excitement.

In Summerville a day earlier — 15 minutes after news broke that Haley would endorse Rubio — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush listened impatiently as voters offered tips for how he should handle Donald Trump and urged him to be more exciting, more like Marco Rubio.

"It appears that you do get knocked off-center like anybody would because of the insults to you and your family," a man told Bush. The candidate shot back, "I'm the only guy going after the guy who I believe is hijacking the party!"

Today, the state that set off the Civil War is likely once and for all to decide the Shakespearean rivalry that has variously simmered and boiled over the past 12 months: Jeb or Marco? Experience or potential?

Full story here.

[Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2016 12:56pm]


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