A daily look at how the presidential candidates of both parties are trying to win the “First in the South” primary
Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is in Hilton Head Thursday morning, speaking to a South Carolina Chamber of Commerce gathering.
Rubio opened his state campaign headquarters in Columbia on Wednesday, speaking to a few hundred supporters gathered at the new office on the edge of downtown Columbia.
The Florida senator laid out his usual stump speech about strengthening America’s role in the world and cutting back regulations. But he also took on what he called an “out-of-touch” Washington. “We are now plagued with a political process in Washington that is totally out of touch with what your life is really like,” “Trust me. I work there. I see it every day. They are completely out of touch, both parties, with what it is like for a working family to try to make ends meet.”
Specifically, Rubio said elites in Washington are hurting business and family finances through artificially-low interest rates and lack of action on student loan debt. “They’re completely out of touch with what it’s like to try and survive in small business, where every week they hit you with a new regulation, a new mandate, a new rule… completely out of touch,” he said to applause. “And it’s worse than just being out-of-touch. They have no sense of urgency, as if we have forever to solve these problems.”
Recent polling have shown Rubio cracking double-digit support and placing third among likely Republican voters in South Carolina, but still far behind current frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson. The Florida senator will speak at the Westin Hotel at 10 a.m. Thursday.
— Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore will talk about constitutional law during an appearance at the University of South Carolina on Thursday. Gilmore has made only a handful of appearances in South Carolina during the 2016 presidential cycle. The former governor does not even register in most polls, but is hoping to raise his profile with a series of appearances.
The event begins at noon in USC’s student senate chambers.
— Ohio Governor John Kasich urged pragmatism over principled stands during a West Columbia town hall on Wednesday. Kasich portrayed himself as a candidate who was able to get balanced budgets during his time in Congress and as governor of a “swing state.” Kasich is struggling to gain traction in South Carolina, where polls have never shown him outside the margin of error.
He hoped his debate performance in Milwaukee on Tuesday night would raise his profile among voters. ““I was like a truth-teller,” he told the crowd, per the Charleston Post & Courier. “There are some things I have to say and I was very pleased. I was in the second debate and people didn’t even know I was there… so showing up is important.”