On the campaign trail: Leading into March

When The Yellow Jacket last reported on the campaign trail it was in anticipation of “Super Tuesday,” the largest primary voting day in the election cycle. Since then, a lot has happened that has changed the outlook of the entire race. On Super Tuesday, Republican front runner Donald Trump paved his way towards serious contention for the Republican nomination. With convincing wins in 8 of the 11 Republican primary states on Super Tuesday, GOP top officials found themselves scrambling for relief.

Prominent conservative and former Republican candidate Mitt Romney came out and disavowed Donald Trump, stating, “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects of a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.” He also urged Trump to release his tax statements, which sparked a public Twitter feud that dominated the media cycle.

Trump’s main contesters, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, engaged in what is believed to have been the most contentious battle with him yet in the debate following the voting. The debate proved to be advantageous for Rubio, who performed very well according to polls. However, the debate led to the question of why it took Rubio until he was almost down and out to be the aggressor and viciously attack Trump. In a debate that at times mirrored a shouting match, both Cruz and Rubio formed a pact to attack Trump on his alliance with Democrats, his lack of transparency with his tax information, and his questionable conservative values.

In the weeks following the debate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson dropped out of the race, and then quickly pledged his allegiance to Trump. In his interaction with the media during the announcement, he eluded to the fact that he had been promised a cabinet position should Trump become the victor in the general election.

Trump dominated the news cycle again afterwards because of the violence taking place at his campaign rallies. There have been numerous rallies in which protestors and rally attendees have gotten into physical altercations, as well as rallies where there have been scuffles between protestors and campaign officials. In the most recent display of aggression, at his last rally Trump was rushed by a man who was detained before reaching the podium. The alleged protestor claimed that he was never going after Trump to harm him, but rather wanted to knock down the podium as a sign of disrespect, and to assure the American people that “Trump cannot bully us anymore.” When asked if he intends on inciting violence through his rhetoric, Trump denied it vehemently.

Current President Barack Obama made a comment in response to the recent events on the campaign trail by saying, “I’m not the only one in this room who’s more than a little dismayed about what’s been happening on the campaign trail recently.”

He continued by saying that “vulgar and divisive language” was damaging America’s reputation abroad and leading to violence at Trump’s rallies. Trump blamed some of the violence that occurs at his rallies on placement from the Bernie Sanders campaign, and he threatened to place some of his supporters at Sanders rallies in retaliation. In response, Democratic candidate Sanders said, “I don’t think our supporters are inciting. What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has, in fact, in many ways, encouraged violence.”

On the Democratic side of things, just when the race between Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looked to be turning in Clinton’s favor, Sanders netted a huge win in the state of Michigan after a CNN sponsored debate was held in Flint. The town hall was geared towards the water pollution problem that currently faces the residents of Flint. The topic of race was brought up often as well, considering that the city has a large African-American population. The campaign trail is heating up on both sides with “Super Tuesday II” approaching and the upcoming votes of 5 states, which will include the all-important states of Ohio and Florida. Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been pushing hard in his home state, as it is effectively his last hope in derailing Trump on account of the delegates on the line. The months leading up to the conventions are passing, and the stakes are continuing to get higher.

-Sean Ryan ’18, Junior Politics/Opinions Editor

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