A daily look at how the presidential candidates of both parties are trying to win the “First in the South” primary.
Both Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio made short campaign trips in South Carolina this weekend — with the only stop for each coming on a college campus.
Trump visited the University of South Carolina’s Aiken campus on Saturday, speaking to a full house at the school convocation center. The GOP frontrunner avoided personally attacking his rivals for the most part during the town hall event, but did continue defending his proposed temporary ban on Muslim travel into and out of the United States.
“We don’t want what happened in Paris and what happens here,” he told the audience. “We don’t want it. And we have to get our country under control.”
Trump appeared at a legal town hall hosted by the Conservative Leadership Project and moderate by state Attorney General Alan Wilson. The real estate mogul said, if victorious next year, he would nominate “strong” conservatives who are “great legal scholars” for the U.S. Supreme Court. He criticized Chief John Roberts as disappointing due to his ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile Rubio stumped at Furman University, a private institution north of Greenville. Rubio continued his usual message of making the federal government smaller and more efficient.
“We’ve come to a point now in this country where anytime something comes up, well, what are we (in the government) going to do about it?” he said. “A lot of issues are supposed to be solved at the state and local level, not the federal level.”
In the speech to roughly 300 people, Rubio tried to portray himself as more electable than other GOP frontrunners. He also said he did not see Trump’s Muslim travel ban as “a serious proposal” and thought Trump had only made the controversial statements “largely to get back into the news.”
The most recent Winthrop University poll released last week found Trump had support from 24 percent of all likely GOP voters in South Carolina, compared with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s 16 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s 14 percent, and Rubio’s 11 percent. None of the other candidates cracked double-digits.