Donald Trump Wins Again In South Carolina

The Republican real estate mogul posted his second victory in the primary on Saturday

Feb 20, 2016 at 7:31 PM ET

The Donald won again. South Carolina primary voters chose Donald Trump on Saturday in the third voting contest of the 2016 election.

Jeb Bush, once considered the man to beat, suspended his campaign, after yet another disappointing showing. The former Florida governor raised over $160 million for the race, but got less than 3 percent of the vote in Iowa. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are vying for second place.

“It’s tough, it’s nasty, it’s mean, it’s vicious,” Trump said about the race in his upbeat, meandering victory speech. “It’s beautiful. When you win it’s beautiful.” He also hit on many of his campaign’s favorite themes, turning his immigration policy into a call and response, asking the crowd who’d pay for his border wall. “Mexico!” they chanted.

Trump secured 32.5 percent of the vote, winning in all but two counties.

South Carolina has a reputation for nasty, in-the-mud political brawling, and this contest didn’t disappoint. In the days leading up to the vote, Donald Trump threatened fellow presidential hopeful Ted Cruz with a lawsuit over a political ad—and traded barbs with Pope Francis over border security issues.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio didn’t stay above the fray. Cruz’s campaign included an obviously photoshopped image of rival Marco Rubio shaking hands with President Obama on an attack website. While Rubio’s team immediately dismissed the photo as a phony and called Cruz a liar once again, Cruz’s camp tore into Rubio over his supposed “liberal record as well as his campaign’s tactics.

“And let’s not let Rubio’s dirty campaign tactics get a free pass here—Rubio is having his supporters crash opponent events and tape literature inside women’s bathroom stalls, and his campaign is running intentionally misleading statewide robocalls. Again, Rubio will do anything to distract away from his liberal record,” said Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler on Thursday, according to Time.

Ahead of Saturday’s primary, Rubio’s team wasted no time in going after Cruz, alleging that the Texas Senator may engage in further impropriety ahead of the contest.

“We will not allow Ted Cruz to do to Marco in South Carolina what he did to Ben Carson in Iowa,” Rubio communications director Alex Conant said Friday,according to AFP, in reference to Cruz’s team misinforming voters in Iowa and telling them that Carson had dropped out of the race. “We fear the worst dirty tricks are yet to come.”