Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz took turns fielding questions at a Greenville, SC, town hall event Wednesday night, hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper. It will be Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Donald Trump's turn on Thursday night. Some highlights from CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and the Greenville News:
- Ben Carson weighed in on the Antonin Scalia debate, saying that if he were in President Obama's shoes, he would probably nominate a Supreme Court replacement. "I probably would take the opportunity to nominate someone," he said. "Doesn't necessarily mean that person will be acted on or confirmed." The retired neurosurgeon, who quipped that he has probably taken more 2am phone calls than any other candidate, also addressed the issue of a "backdoor" that would let the FBI access the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. He said that there may be good reason for "people not to trust the government, but we're gonna have to get over that, because today we're faced with incredible threats." The Guardian reports that Donald Trump, appearing at a town hall event on MSNBC, took a harder line, saying it is "disgraceful" that Apple isn't helping and the company should be forced to assist investigators.
- Asked whether he had experienced racism, Marco Rubio recalled being 7 years old during the Mariel boatlift in 1980 and hearing his Cuban-American parents taunted with shouts of "Why don't you go back on your boat?" When the conversation turned to music, he said his favorite genre was electronic dance music, though when Cooper asked if he had ever been to a rave, he denied it, saying, "It's a Republican primary, Anderson!"
- Like Rubio, Ted Cruz said he was angered by reports that Obama is going to visit Cuba. He attacked both Rubio and Trump for claiming he had lied, saying they did so to deflect attention from their own records. "Marco followed the same strategy as Donald. He just screamed 'liar, liar, liar,'" Cruz said. "Truth matters." In a lighter moment, he sang a few bars of "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and "My Darling Heidi-Tine," which he said he sings to his wife when he calls.
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