“Campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination took a nasty turn on Wednesday with billionaire businessman Donald Trump accusing rival Ted Cruz of fraud as the field of candidates narrowed ahead of next week’s New Hampshire primary.
Rand Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky with a libertarian philosophy, pulled out of the Republican race. Conservative Rick Santorum also exited the race on Wednesday and endorsed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
Both Paul and Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, did poorly in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, which were won by Cruz, with Trump and Rubio finishing second and third. The caucuses were the first of the state-by-state nominating contests ahead of the Nov. 8 election to replace Democratic President Barack Obama.
Trump, a real estate mogul and former reality TV star, went on Twitter on Wednesday to accuse the conservative U.S. senator from Texas of stealing his victory in Iowa. Cruz’s team hit back by telling Trump to seek help for addiction to the social media site.
The two men are going head-to-head for voters in New Hampshire, where Cruz’s evangelical Christian credentials will not likely be as helpful as they were in Iowa. Opinion polls show Trump with a roughly 20-point lead in New Hampshire before next Tuesday’s primary.”