Tensions build as National Conventions draw closer

The presidential campaign is intensifying as candidates prepare for the Republican National Convention, beginning July 18, and the Democratic Convention, which will commence July 25.

Only three Republican candidates — Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich — remain since Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his campaign March 15 after a loss in his home state.

Wisconsin held a GOP Town Hall Tuesday in anticipation of the state’s primary election April 5. Many of the questions asked, however, seemed to focus on the recent Twitter feud between Trump and Cruz.

Last week, the two candidates took to Twitter after an ad endorsing Cruz surfaced with a photo of Trump’s wife. The Republican frontrunner retaliated by saying he would “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, and posted an unflattering photo of her.

Cruz denied being involved with the original ad and said that politicians should respect one another enough to not attack their families. He also claimed a National Enquirer article that said he had been unfaithful to his wife was sourced by one of Donald Trump’s political advisors.

Kasich seems to want to avoid all the drama. During Tuesday’s Town Hall, he said, “I can say all kinds of things to get people stirred up, but leaders don’t do that.”

All three major candidates said Tuesday that they were unsure if they would be able to endorse the Republican candidate, regardless of who it is.

Meanwhile, after Sen. Bernie Sanders won five of the six primaries and caucuses held last week, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is feeling the pressure. However, after Sanders called for a debate in New York prior to the state’s April 19 election, Joel Benenson, an aide for Clinton’s campaign, said the debate would not happen unless Sanders changed his tone.

Benenson said that Sanders said at the beginning of the election season that he would never run negative advertisements, but has been airing ads aimed against Clinton.

“Let’s see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we’ll talk about debates,” Benenson said.

Sanders’ campaign has seen new momentum after winning five states last week. An incident at a Portland rally kept Sanders in the spotlight after his victory.

A small bird landed on his podium Saturday, interrupting his speech and earning a standing ovation from the crowd. Sanders reacted on stage by saying the bird was a dove in disguise, and called for world peace. The incident led to the trending hashtag #BirdieSanders.

Hillary Clinton took to Wisconsin Tuesday, speaking on gun violence to rally support before the primary election next week. She likened gun violence to a disease and said that Americans must come together to tackle the issue.

While Sanders held rallies with crowds of thousands, Clinton hopes her intimate conversations with the people of Wisconsin will win her the state.

Dustin Fox
Staff Reporter

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