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Carson plan to skip debate signals end of candidacy

Published Mar. 2, 2016

Carson's plan to skip debate signals end of candidacy

Ben Carson, the only Republican to have once threatened the lead of Donald Trump in national polls, said Wednesday that he saw no path forward and would skip the debate tonight in his hometown of Detroit, signaling an end to his candidacy after paltry performances in the nominating contests. Stopping short of suspending his campaign, Carson said he would provide more details in a speech Friday, but after his dismal showing in the Super Tuesday states, his campaign is effectively over. "I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening's Super Tuesday primary results," Carson said in a statement. "However, this grass roots movement on behalf of 'We the People' will continue. … Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people."

Trump to be at debate

Even though his sometime nemesis, Megyn Kelly, will be one of the moderators, Trump will participate in tonight's debate sponsored by the Fox News channel, his spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirms. That's a departure from Trump's brawl with the network ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January when he demanded that Kelly be ousted from the lineup because she, he said, had been unfair to him. Trump skipped the debate to hold his own event a few miles away. Tonight's debate at the Fox Theater begins at 9 p.m. It will be shown on Fox News channel or you can stream it live at foxnews.com/live-coverage/fox-news-gop-debate.

Romney to speak out

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, is expected to speak out about this year's Republican presidential race at 11:30 this morning at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Romney has been critical of front-runner Trump on Twitter in recent weeks and has yet to endorse any of the candidates.

Anti-Trump PAC grows

Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu has joined an outside group that is rushing to raise millions of dollars to stop Trump from becoming the Republican nominee. Sununu and Meg Whitman, the chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, are among the Republican leaders now with Our Principles. Tim Miller, who was an adviser and spokesman for Jeb Bush's campaign, also has joined the super PAC, which is led by Katie Packer, a former aide to Romney. The PAC had limited fundraising success in earlier weeks, drawing almost all of its funding from the billionaire Ricketts family. The group has spent about $1.5 million on paid television and radio media.

Sanders touts wins

Pointing to wins in Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma, Bernie Sanders said his campaign had an "extraordinary night" in the Super Tuesday contests. And in his home state of Vermont, Sanders said, "it was a close race. We only won by 72 points." The Democratic presidential candidate says he read Wednesday morning that pundits are calling the nomination for Hillary Clinton. Sanders says, "that means we're probably going to win in a landslide." Clinton won at least 490 delegates on Super Tuesday, giving her a commanding lead in the race for the Democratic nomination. Sanders picked up of at least 323 delegates on Tuesday.

Call for Christie to quit

Six New Jersey newspapers say Gov. Chris Christie should resign over his endorsement of Trump. They add that if Christie refuses to quit, New Jersey citizens should initiate a recall effort. The papers, all owned by the Gannett Company Inc., on Wednesday ran brutal editorials saying they are fed up with everything from Christie's famous sarcasm to "his long neglect of the state to pursue his own selfish agenda." They add that they are "disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him." Christie quit his own presidential campaign after disappointing finishes in early state contests and abruptly endorsed Trump.

Times wires