Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Hilary Clinton won endorsements Saturday from the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s biggest and most influential newspaper. The endorsements came only nine days away from the first nominating contest in Iowa, and proved to be big developments for both Rubio, who has been running third behind rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in Iowa, and Clinton, who has been recently struggling to maintain her lead over Bernie Sanders.
Meanwhile, New York billionaire and former reality TV star Trump confidently dismissed concerns on Saturday that he is losing his front-runner position in Sioux Center, Iowa.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” he said.
Cruz, Trump’s greatest rival, responded to Trump at an event in Ankeny, where he picked up the endorsement of conservative firebrand Glenn Beck.
“Listen, I will let Donald speak for himself. I can say I have no intention of shooting anybody in this campaign,” Cruz said.
Beck also slammed Trump on his rhetoric.
“There is one thing to have a healthy ego, there is another to give a man who believes those kind of things, who has a habit of anyone who stands in his way of destruction,” Beck said. “To give that man the full power and scope of the office of the presidency is something we will grow to regret.”
Despite Trump’s often times problematic rhetoric, he has proven to be a difficult target for criticism from his rivals because not all of his supporters are conservatives and most are only interested in his projection of strength, and not his views on a particular issue. In fact, Trump appears to be doing quite well, pulling in 40.6 percent support of Republican voters nationally in the latest Reuters-Ipsos tracking poll. Similarly, a CNN/ORC poll has Trump up in Iowa with 37 percent to 26 percent for Cruz, who has led in some other Iowa polls.