Candidates Prepare for First GOP Debate of 2016

Candidates Prepare for First GOP Debate of 2016

Republican presidential candidates are preparing for Thursday’s debate in South Carolina.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, rallied voters in Dorchester County this week ahead of the debate.

"If we defend the Judeo-Christian values that built America, if we come together as We the People, then we will bring back, we will restore that last best hope for mankind, that shining city on the hill that is the United States of America," Cruz said.

Also this week, Cruz announced the endorsement of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, who said Cruz is the “man for the job.”

“My qualifications for president of the United States are rather narrow. Is he or she godly? Does he or she love us? Can he or she do the job and finally, would they kill a duck and put him in a pot and make him a good duck gumbo,” Robertson said.

Last week, Cruz toured through Iowa, hoping to clinch the roughly 70,000 evangelical voters in the state. Bob Vander Plaats, the president and CEO of Family Leader in Iowa, has said he endorses Cruz.

"When it comes to evangelical Christians, I can tell you we are working very, very hard to energize and motivate and awaken the body of Christ," Cruz said in Iowa.

Cruz is riding that momentum into Thursday’s debate. He polls just under Donald Trump. Also appearing in the debate is Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., did not poll high enough to appear in Thursday’s prime-time debate.

Publication date: January 14, 2016