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Jan 31, 2016 11:38 PM

Spectator at Cruz rally shouts out 'Ted Cruz looks so weird'

The Associated Press

DES MOINSIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) The Latest on the 2016 race for president on the final weekend of campaigning before Monday's leadoff Iowa caucuses (all local times):


10:15 p.m.

Ted Cruz's rally on the night before the Iowa caucuses got off to an odd start with someone yelling, "He looks so weird!" as the Texas senator took the stage.

The man, who appeared to be ill, was escorted out of the state fairground building Sunday night as he continued yelling: "Ted Cruz looks so weird!"

Cruz tried to laugh off the disruption, saying it appeared the bars had let out early. As the man continued yelling, Cruz asked, "Is that Trump back there?"

The rally attracted hundreds of people as Cruz was ending a day across Iowa that also included campaign stops in Iowa City and Davenport as he makes his closing argument to voters ahead of Monday's caucuses.


8:30 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump is known for his raucous rallies, filled with rowdy protesters and screaming fans.

But the billionaire businessman struck a much more staid tone as he campaigned across western Iowa Sunday on the final day before the state's kickoff caucuses.

Trump ended the evening sitting on a Sioux City theater stage, where he was interviewed for the third time in two days by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.

The evangelical leader endorsed Trump last week and has been campaigning with the billionaire businessman as he works to win over Christian voters from rival Ted Cruz.


8:20 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says at Grand View University that the country has reached a "pivotal moment" and many understand it is "too late for establishment politics and establishment economics."

He is holding his final Iowa rally before Monday's caucuses, drawing 1,700 people to a Des Moines college gym.

Sanders urged supporters to band together to "tell the billionaire class they cannot have it all."

He is crediting Iowa for helping elect then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency eight years ago. He says the nation can pursue policies like paid family and medical leave, free college tuition and a transformed energy system to combat climate change.


7:50 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ended Sunday with a simple message to his backers.

"We have to win in Iowa," he says.

Trump told an audience in Sioux City Sunday evening that he's been encouraged to temper expectations, but just can't bring himself to do it.

"People say, 'Donald, just 'do well' in Iowa.' I say. 'I can't do that. I really want to win.'"

"Now maybe it won't work that way," he adds, "but if we do we're going to run the table, folks, and we're going to make this country so great. You're going to have victories all over the place."

Monday's kickoff caucuses will provide the first test of Trump's unorthodox campaign's organizing might.


5:50 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is telling a group of volunteers and organizers packed into one of his field offices in Marshalltown, Iowa, that he'll need every bit of support to win Monday's caucuses.

The Vermont senator says that "everybody agrees this is a toss-up caucus."

He predicts that if voter turnout is high they will win, but "on the other hand if there is a low voter turnout we'll probably lose."

He said the goal is to "do everything that we possibly can to bring out our friends, our family, our coworkers to create the largest voter turnout that we possibly can."

He says the campaign isn't just about his policy positions like making the wealthy pay a fairer share in taxes, demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage, pay equity for women and better trade policies, but also "it is about revitalizing American democracy - that's what you're doing here. This is the political revolution!"


4:25 p.m.

Jeb Bush is showing no sign of going down quietly on the eve of Iowa's leadoff caucuses, despite falling behind in the polls.

The former Florida governor says Marco Rubio supporters should "stop whining" about attack ads from his allies.

Bush spoke to The Associated Press Sunday afternoon after a campaign appearance in Hiawatha, Iowa.

He says the Rubio attacks are "minor league baseball" compared to what Democrats will do to the Republican presidential nominee during the general election.

"If you can't handle that, then how you gonna deal with a unified Democratic Party that will go out to try to destroy you? And be president of the United States?" Bush told the AP. "This is a tough job. This isn't beanbag. Everybody's gotta get a grip."

Bush continued: "You don't think that the Republican nominee is gonna get the bark scraped off him by the Clinton machine? This is minor league baseball, man."


3:45 p.m.

Donald Trump's closing pitch to Iowa caucus-goers has been a family affair.

The GOP candidate's rarely-heard-from wife Melania joined her husband at an afternoon rally after a visit to a local church.

She says her husband will be, "unbelievable. The best deal-maker, the best master negotiator."

Trump was also joined by his pregnant daughter Ivanka and her developer husband.

Trump said doctors advised Ivanka not to make the trip and joked about her potentially giving birth here.

"Wouldn't it be great if she had the baby in Iowa?" he asked the crowd.


3:40 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is urging his supporters to help him make history and send a message to those who back establishment politics.

Kicking off his final day of campaigning in Waterloo, Sanders says the nation will be looking at whether Iowa is prepared to move the nation away from establishment politics and economics. He says Monday night could be a "very historic night for this country. We can make history."

The self-described "democratic socialist" said the country would not make progress unless voters had the "courage" to confront challenges head-on.

"If you sweep the problems under the rug they ain't going to get better," he said.

Sanders is pushing back against arguments by Clinton and her supporters that she would be the most electable Democrat to take on Republicans in the fall. The Vermont senator says the "excitement and the energy is with our campaign" and it will help the party drive a large voter turnout in the fall.


3:15 p.m.

Hundreds of people packed a fairground building in Iowa City to hear Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and a host of celebrity backers the day before the Iowa caucuses.

Cruz says on Sunday that the stakes are too high for Iowa voters to make the wrong choice. He says "we can't get fooled again."

Cruz and his wife, Heidi, were joined by Cruz's father, Rafael, and by "Duck Dynasty" reality TV star Phil Robertson, conservative commentator Glenn Beck and Iowa Rep. Steve King.

Robertson says the country is mired in "depravity" and "perversion," but Cruz can turn it around because he trusts God and James Madison, the architect of the Constitution. Robertson says "That trumps Trump."

Cruz supporter Carlene Murphy, of Kalona, Iowa, says she thinks the caucuses will be tight, but that Cruz will prevail. She came to see him in Iowa City.

Murphy says, "I think we're going to pull through."


2:44 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is criticizing a mailer rival Ted Cruz's campaign sent to voters that Iowa's secretary of state says misrepresents the law.

Trump claims at a rally in Council Bluffs that Cruz is under investigation over a "voting violation" notice his campaign sent to caucus goers.

Trump says, "You're not allowed to do it and they're investigating him now."

"It is so dishonest. It is so dishonest," he adds.

In a statement released Saturday, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says the mailers misrepresent Iowa election law and adds, "Accusing citizens of Iowa of a 'voting violation' based on Iowa caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act."

But Pate made no mention of an investigation.

Cruz told reporters in Sioux City on Saturday that the mailing is "routine."


2:26 p.m.

Rubio is making an all-out appeal Sunday to about 450 pragmatic Republicans during his last question-and-answer session of the Iowa campaign.

Rubio tells the audience at the University of Northern Iowa, "It's not just about who you like the most. It's about who gives us the best chance of winning."

Groups supporting Cruz or Rubio are trading attack ads on the two senators' records on issues, especially on immigration.

And although Rubio has critiqued Cruz for voting to cut military spending, he adds, "This is not just about making a point, it's about making a difference. This election has to be about the future."


1:50 p.m.

Leaders of a super PAC backing John Kasich are accusing a super PAC backing Marco Rubio of involvement in an attack ad put up by a political group that doesn't reveal its donors.

The American Future Fund recently spent more than $1 million on a New Hampshire commercial calling Kasich "an Obama Republican." As a nonprofit, that group does not have to disclose its donors.

American Future Fund and Conservative Solutions PAC, a super PAC backing Rubio, share an ad producer, Outlaw Media, which on its website bills itself as a "boutique" firm.

New Day for America cites this and a separate secret-money group that has helped Rubio as clues that the rival candidate's backers are behind the American Future Fund ad. Last year, a nonprofit called Conservative Solutions Project spent $11.6 million on commercials boosting Rubio.

Connie Wehrkamp, a spokeswoman for New Day America, says: "It's going to be difficult for Rubio's team to keep a straight face denying they are behind the shady dark money attacks."

A spokesman for Conservative Solutions PAC says his group has nothing to do with the American Future Fund ad - and has not hesitated to contrast with other candidates in ads, meaning it would have little incentive to turn to another group to do so.

The leader of American Future Fund also has said no candidate allies approached him about making the ad.


1:45 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says if elected president he'll push Congress to freeze every federal regulation not dealing with health and safety for a full year.

Campaigning at an Elks Lodge in Salem, New Hampshire, Kasich says cutting regulations that kill small businesses would be a priority of his first 100 days. He says after sending Congress a bill to freeze regulations, he'd start a review of "every regulation in the country."

Kasich has made reducing the size of government central to his campaign. A clock showing the growing national debt is standard at his town hall events, and he often cites his work to balance the federal budget when he was in Congress during the 1990s.

Kasich is the only candidate in New Hampshire on Sunday as his rivals campaign in Iowa. He does not plan to return to Iowa for Monday's caucuses. He'll host three events in New Hampshire instead.


1:40 p.m.

The Democratic National Committee says it's reached an agreement in principal to have the party sanction and manage more debates during the presidential primary schedule, including a debate in New Hampshire next week.

The DNC says it wants to give Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley time to focus on Monday's Iowa caucuses and would finalize details on Tuesday morning.

The statement comes after the Clinton and Sanders' campaigns traded testy statements about plans for Thursday's debate in New Hampshire and three more during the spring.

Clinton trails Sanders in New Hampshire and wants next week's debate to help her connect with undecided voters before the state's primary on Feb. 9.

Sanders hopes to extend his run deep into the spring and adding three more forums might help him accomplish that goal.


1:35 p.m.

Marco Rubio says watch for the boots.

Marco Rubio says the lofty-heeled boots he caught ribbing about early this month may make a return, if he does well on caucus night.

At the start of a campaign event in Cedar Falls, Rubio joked with people in the front row of the University of Northern Iowa auditorium about sneaking a peak at his footwear.

Did he have them on?

"No, I don't," he says, adding they're only for "really, really, really, really special occasions.

So if Rubio does well in Monday night's caucuses, look out for them.

"They may come back. If I look 6-foot-4 on TV, it's because I'm wearing boots."


1:30 p.m.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will make appearances on behalf of two candidates before the state's caucuses on Monday.

Branstad says he'll introduce New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at an event Sunday night and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at an event Monday. He says they are the people who asked and who fit his schedule.

The popular six-term Republican has not endorsed a candidate, though he drew headlines recently for encouraging Iowans to support candidates other than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz opposes the federal renewable fuel standard, which requires a minimum amount of petroleum additives such as corn-based ethanol.

Branstad says the Bush and Christie events are just to show "appreciation for what they've done for me."


12:30 p.m.

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump is looking to close the deal with Iowa's evangelical Christian voters on the last day before they caucus.

Trump attended services at the First Christian Orchard Campus, a nondenominational church in Council Bluffs.

He, his wife, Melania, and two staffers took communion when it was passed. But Trump, momentarily confused, mistook the silver plates circulated around the auditorium and dug several bills out of his pocket.

"I thought it was for offering," he said with a laugh to his staff.

He contributed several minutes later when the offering plates were passed.

As Trump was leaving, one of the church pastors put his hand on Trump's shoulder and offered a prayer, "That Jesus would guide his decisions and that only Christ could guide his decisions," the pastor later said.

Trump gladly accepted, bowing his head.

"Thank you, I need that," he said.


12:10 p.m.

The chief super PAC helping Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio raised more than $30 million last year, half of it in the last six months.

Conservative Solutions PAC shared its fundraising numbers ahead of a required filing Sunday with federal regulators.

Billionaire New York investor Paul Singer gave $2.5 million, making him one of Rubio's most generous supporters. In October, Singer wrote a letter to his friends encouraging them to back Rubio in the primary contests. Chicago-based investor Ken Griffin also gave $2.5 million shortly after announcing his support for Rubio in December.

Other seven-figure contributors include Florida auto dealer and longtime Rubio booster Norman Braman, financier Cliff Asness of New York and roofing company executive David Humphreys of Missouri.

Conservative Solutions PAC began the year with about $14 million left to spend.


11:44 a.m.

On a day when presidential candidates report their fundraising totals for 2015 to federal regulators, Democratic contender Bernie Sanders is going a step further. His campaign says it raised more than $20 million this month.

That means his pace is picking up. Earlier, his campaign said it raised $33 million over the last three months of 2015, compared to $37 million for Hillary Clinton's campaign in the same time period.

Clinton's campaign did not immediately respond to a question about its January fundraising.


11:20 a.m.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is upbeat entering the final stretch of his Iowa campaign, while trying to stay realistic about the outcome of Monday's contest.

During an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," Rubio built expectations for rival Sen. Ted Cruz as "clearly the front-runner," while trying to trim his own prospects the day before the caucuses.

A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll of likely Republican caucus goers published Saturday showed Cruz trailing billionaire Donald Trump and Rubio in solid third.

Rubio is wrapping up a nine-day blitz of Iowa on Sunday with events in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Davenport.

Rubio tells CBS: "The crowds are growing. The people signing up are growing. Our campaign structure feels good about it...We'll have a strong showing on Monday night."


10:30 a. m.

Even at church, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz can't escape politics.

The Texas senator attended services Sunday morning at Lutheran Church of Hope outside Des Moines. The sermon by pastor Mike Housholder called on politicians to treat their opponents with love, not attack ads.

Housholder preached that speaking the truth with love is a better way to treat others. He says if you can't do that, don't speak.

Cruz attended the service with his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was also there but did not sit by Cruz.

Housholder said after the service he wrote the sermon before he found out the Texas senator would attend and did not tailor it to him.

Cruz greeted parishioners, shook hands and took pictures before departing for his first campaign stop of the day in Iowa City.


10:20 a.m.

Even the candidate who says he's the best, the smartest and the highest-energy in the Republican field is leaving nothing to chance a day out from the Iowa caucuses.

Attendees at Donald Trump's event in Dubuque Saturday night awakened to an email from his Iowa political director, Chuck Laudner, personally thanking them for coming.

And urging them to caucus.

"It is extremely important that you get out there and VOTE for Mr. Trump," Laudner wrote. Not sure where? Laudner includes a special tool "to make this process as easy, and fun, as possible" the "Republican Iowa Caucus Finder."

Click the link and enter a home address and the finder will "tell you the correct place to show up on caucus night so that you can help elect Donald Trump!"


8:59 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says the hubbub over whether she had secret emails on her server is "very much like Benghazi," a politically motivated scandal that's likely not as serious as Republicans suggest.

Clinton told ABC's "This Week" that "it's pretty clear" that Republicans are "grasping at straws" in their response to the latest release of emails from Clinton's private home server. The State Department announced it's withholding some of those emails because the information they contain is too highly classified. The former secretary of state says she's been told some of that email correspondence included a public newspaper article. Clinton insists she never sent or received information on her personal email account that was classified at the time. She repeated her call for the emails' release.

As secretary of state, Clinton presided over a key piece of the government's response to the deadly 2012 assaults on a diplomatic compound and CIA quarters in Benghazi, Libya. The attacks killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and quickly became a political rallying cry for Republicans.


8:40 a.m.

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump says "many" senators will endorse his candidacy, "very soon."

Trump tells on ABC's "This Week" that members of the Senate will choose him over their own colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz, who is also Trump's top rival in Iowa. Trump did not offer any senators' names.

Trump says Cruz is "a nasty guy" and a "liar," particularly about whether Trump essentially supports President Barack Obama's signature national health care program. Trump says he would replace that law and make other deals that would accomplish his public policy goals.

Cruz says the nation doesn't need a deal-maker, it needs a "fighter" for conservative causes.


8:30 a.m.

Bernie Sanders says he's ready to turn the political world upside down in Iowa.

The Democratic presidential candidate says that if his supporters turn out in large numbers for Monday night's caucuses, "I think you're going to look at one of the biggest political upsets in the modern history of our country."

The Vermont senator is in a tight race with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sanders tells CNN's "State of the Union" that his campaign has gotten lots of people involved in politics who hadn't been before. He mentions the working class as well as young people who no longer "want to sit back" but want to help direct their country's future.


7:45 a.m.

Donald Trump isn't shy about boasting, but the Republican presidential front-runner says he also has a humble side.

Here's what he tells CBS' " Face the Nation" in an interview: "We're all the same. I mean, we're all going to the same place, probably one of two places, you know? But we're all the same. And I do have, actually, much more humility than a lot of people would think."

Asked about hiding that side, the billionaire businessman says, "I'd rather not play my cards. I want to be unpredictable."

One thing he's not lacking is confidence. In the interview, he said "none of the other guys will win."


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