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A daily look at what the 2016 presidential candidates are doing and saying as Michigan’s March 8 primary approaches

Republicans

Jeb Bush

“I think it’s OK to get my guidance as a Catholic from the pope. But certainly not economic policy or environmental policy.”

— Jeb Bush, saying to reporters in Columbia he doesn’t question Donald Trump’s Christianity nor anyone else’s.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson is making a last-minute play for votes in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary by mocking a recent meeting between Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders and outspoken liberal minister Al Sharpton.

In a new Carson radio ad, an announcer calls Sanders “another liberal politician pandering to an African-American just to get votes” and asks what Sharpton has “done to ease the plight of African-Americans.”

Ted Cruz

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is trying to make the race for president about who will appoint conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices.

He says to the Greenville County Republican Womens Club on Thursday that Donald Trump can’t be trusted to appoint conservatives and doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief.

John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich isn’t expecting a “Kumbaya” moment of peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine.

Speaking to a crowd in Clemson, South Carolina, Kasich says protecting Israel must be the first priority of the United States and that there must be realistic goals about what is achievable in terms of peace.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio says that Vatican City has a right to control its borders and so does the United States.

Rubio previously favored a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, but now says border security — including expanding the Mexican border wall — is the priority.

Democrats

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina thanks to a 3-to-1 advantage among African-American voters, according to a Bloomberg Politics poll that shows the Democrats' fourth nominating contest still can be a Clinton firewall to blunt her rival'smomentum. But the survey also carries warning signs for Clinton about where the loyalties of white Southern Democrats lie.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders is meeting with civil rights leaders in Washington, vowing to help black Americans escape poverty, protect voting rights and support any nomination President Barack Obama nominates to the Supreme Court.

Sanders says it’s “incomprehensible” that Senate Republicans are refusing to honor Obama’s right to nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia.

From Detroit News wire services.

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