The Latest: Clinton goes for chicken and milkshakes

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The Latest on the race for president in the window between the Republican and Democratic debates and the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary on Tuesday: (all times local):

7 p.m.

Hillary Clinton made a pre-Super Bowl stop at a popular Manchester, New Hampshire, restaurant frequented by presidential candidates.

Clinton dropped by the Puritan Backroom Sunday where she ordered a bucket of chicken tenders and four milkshakes and posed for photographs with customers who ordered ice cream and picked up takeout food before kickoff.

Co-owner Chris Pappas, a Democratic official, says 14 presidential candidates have stopped by the restaurant this campaign cycle and it was Hillary Clinton’s third visit to the Puritan.

Clinton faces Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

___

6:20 p.m.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump appeared a little off his game Sunday, holding a rally that many in the audience decided to leave early.

Trump’s rally at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, fell flat with many of the students and undecided voters in the crowd.

Forty-five minutes into his speech, a steady stream of attendees were seen leaving as Trump railed against U.S. trade policy.

Devin-Jean McCormack is an independent voter and graduate student torn between Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders. She called Trump’s speech scattered. Her mother, Louise McCormack, agreed, but the professor at the college says she is leaning toward voting for Trump.

The billionaire businessman began his day with a stop at a Manchester restaurant. He spent less than five minutes greeting diners before sitting down for his own breakfast.

___

5:55 p.m.

Jeb Bush is trashing Donald Trump as "not a serious conservative" and bashing rival Republicans for not taking the fight to the bombastic billionaire businessman.

Bush said at a town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, Sunday that Trump is not a serious conservative or serious leader.

He asked why none of the other Republicans are taking him on and then said "I’m taking him on, brother" while taking questions from the audience.

The overflowing town hall crowd roared with approval.

Bush earlier called Trump a "loser."

Trump tweeted on Saturday that Bush’s campaign is a "total disaster" and mocked him for bringing his mom in to take a slap at him.

He is the Republican front-runner heading into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

___

5:40 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich got into a brief, heated exchange with a voter over Planned Parenthood funding during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.

Kasich said Sunday in Concord that federal funding for Planned Parenthood is never going to happen with a Republican-controlled Congress. That wasn’t a satisfying answer for a female voter who asked Kasich whether he’d support funding for the organization if it were part of a balanced budget.

The woman charged Kasich with avoiding her question after he said he’s a strong supporter of women’s health.

Kasich got slightly testy and asked the woman if she thought he was avoiding the answers because she thought he was "mechanical."

He then gave the woman a more direct answer. He told her "we’re not gonna fund it."

___

5:30 p.m.

The former Florida GOP chairman and a longtime Jeb Bush supporter says questions about Marco Rubio’s accomplishments have turned around Bush’s struggling campaign.

Al Cardenas said in an interview while campaigning with Bush in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Sunday that the attacks on Rubio’s lack of accomplishments as a freshman senator are not going to go away. He says that Rubio’s scripted lines are no longer going to work.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rattled Rubio in Saturday night’s GOP debate when he slammed the Florida senator as a scripted, inexperienced politician from a do-nothing Senate.

Bush has also hammered Rubio as a backbencher in Congress and a gifted speaker with no leadership record.

Cardenas says that the last 72 hours have been a dramatic turnaround for Bush’s campaign and that he’s in the hunt.

___

5 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is accusing rival Bernie Sanders of using deceptive campaign tactics.

Her campaign is pointing to a report in a New Hampshire paper that says Sanders used the images of pastors and veterans in his campaign fliers without permission.

Communications director Jen Palmieri says the Sanders campaign "has shifted from insulting and dismissing people who don’t support him to falsely claiming their support."

Sanders’ campaign didn’t immediately return a request seeking comment.

Rev. Stephen Silver, of Lebanon, told The Valley News (bit.ly/1QP6Q5f) that a photo of him with his 9-year-old son taken at a Veterans Day event was used on a mailer. He says he explained to his congregation that he was not taking a public stance on any candidate.

The Clinton campaign has also highlighted ads where Sanders touted newspaper endorsements he did not receive.

___

4:40 p.m.

Some politicians run from polarizing endorsements. Ted Cruz seeks them out.

The Texas senator’s strength in the 2016 Republican presidential primary is drawn, at least in part, from the backing of high-profile figures from his party’s far-right fringe.

They are people who may be popular among the passionate conservatives who usually decide primary contests, but could turn off the swing voters and independents who typically decide general elections.

Cruz’s national co-chairman, Iowa Rep. Steve King, is a leading voice on immigration. He has compared those who cross the border illegally to drug mules and livestock.

Cruz has also embraced endorsements from an evangelical leader who described Hitler as a hunter of Jews sent by God, and B-list entertainers like the anti-gay patriarch of the Louisiana duck hunting family featured on the popular cable show "Duck Dynasty."

___

4 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to tout his strong debate performance and takedown of Marco Rubio.

Christie returned to an Exeter pub on Sunday that he visited early on in his campaign and again argued that Rubio isn’t ready to face Hillary Clinton in a general election or be president.

He says that when the lights are bright and hot, "we don’t melt, we shine." He says that’s what he’s going to do in November when he beats Clinton.

Christie says that he was underestimated during both of his gubernatorial campaigns. He says it’s annoying, but he’s used to it. He says that his opponents who were on the debate state Saturday night don’t underestimate him anymore.

__

3:15 p.m.

Republican Ted Cruz says it’s dangerous and immoral to force women into combat roles in the military.

The Texas senator on Sunday lashed out at his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination who signaled support during Saturday’s debate for including women if a draft is reinstated. He made the comments during a campaign appearance in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Cruz says that including women in a hypothetical military draft is "nuts" and a dangerous example of political correctness. He says forcing women into "close combat" ”is wrong, is immoral and, if I’m president, we ain’t doing it."

Cruz has two young daughters, who, he says "are capable of doing anything in their heart’s desire."

He says "the idea that their government would forcibly put them in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all."

___

This item has been corrected to show that Cruz said 220-pound psychopath, rather than 200-pound.

___

2:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is "immoral," and Congress should approve $200 million in emergency aid for the city grappling with lead-contaminated water.

The Democratic presidential candidate is visiting a Flint church on Sunday and tells the crowd she will not forget about them or their children.

Clinton is making a "personal commitment" to help Flint and says she is angry and heartsick about what happened. She says, "repairing trust is as important as repairing pipes."

Flint is under a state of emergency because the water supply is contaminated with lead from old pipes.

Clinton and Bernie Sanders will debate each other in Flint on March 6, two days before Michigan’s primary.

___

12:15 p.m.

Jeb Bush has called in the Bush family troops, but he says he didn’t make a mistake by keeping them at a distance for so long in his presidential campaign.

The Republican candidate’s mother — former first lady Barbara Bush — has been campaigning in New Hampshire. His brother, former President George W. Bush, plans to campaign in South Carolina ahead of the GOP primary on Feb. 20.

A super political actions committee that supports Jeb Bush is airing an ad that features his brother.

The former Florida governor says that when he started his White House run, it was important to first explain to voters his experience and ideas.

The candidate tells "Fox News Sunday" that "I’m a Bush, and I’ve never tried to disown that."

He says he thinks the timing of his family’s involvement in campaigning "is appropriate."

___

11:55 a.m.

Ted Cruz is opening up about how religion has transformed his life.

The Republican presidential candidate tells members of a New Hampshire congregation that his family’s religious devotion is due largely to his father’s conversion to Christianity decades ago.

The Texas senator says his father was a drunk who abandoned Cruz and his mother when Cruz was a toddler.

Then Rafael Cruz met a pastor who challenged him to stop resisting Christianity.

Ted Cruz tells worshippers at the First Assembly of God in Auburn, New Hampshire, that his father "literally fell to his knees and gave his life to Jesus."

Rafael soon returned to his family and raised Cruz as a devout Christian.

___

11 a.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says "he felt justified" with his takedown of rival Marco Rubio in the latest GOP presidential debate.

Christie is looking ahead to the general election, and he thinks Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

On Sunday Christie was using Rubio’s debate performance to speculate about how the Florida senator would fare in a debate against Clinton.

The New Jersey governor puts it this way during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday": Do Republicans want someone who can "absolutely answer" Clinton’s "every parry" or "someone who will crumble in front" of the former secretary of state?

Christie and Rubio, along with Jeb Bush and John Kasich, are jockeying to become the preferred alternative to outsiders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the GOP race.

Rubio seems best positioned to seize that spot after his third-place finish in Iowa. But Christie says Rubio’s isn’t ready for the presidency. The New Jersey governor is seizing on Rubio’s repetitious characterization of Barack Obama’s presidency when Christie repeatedly challenged Rubio’s executive experience: "There it is, the memorized 25-second speech. There it is everybody," Christie said at one point in the debate.

___

9:55 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she knows she’s behind going into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and doesn’t know if she can win.

But she tells CNN’s "State of the Union" that she’s "a different person than I was back in 08." That year she won the New Hampshire primary but lost the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Once president, Obama named Clinton his secretary of state. She suggests that experience helped her understand people’s anxieties.

She says that in 2016, people are concerned that the economy and the government "aren’t working for them…and that’s causing a lot of the anger and frustration."

She says she gets that, adding, "I feel it."

___

9:50 a.m.

Don’t like the Pacific Rim trade deal that President Barack Obama supports?

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders don’t either, but Trump says only he would be able to "do something about it."

Trump says Sunday on CNN that, "Bernie can’t do anything about it, because it’s not his thing."

The billionaire developer did not specify what he would do to weaken or cancel the sweeping Trans Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and 11 other nations.

The oddball competition across party lines in New Hampshire is for the state’s largest bloc of registered voters — those whose party affiliations are undeclared.

New Hampshire voters go to the polls for the nation’s first primary on Tuesday.

___

9:45 a.m.

Don’t expect a one-term pledge from Donald Trump.

The Republican presidential candidate says there are "certain advantages" to such a declaration, but it’s not for him.

Trump says if he was "lucky enough to win" the White House and "if we’re doing a great job, then we’ll keep going."

And if things aren’t going so well?

In that case, Trump tells NBC’s "Meet the Press," ”we have automatic termination. It’s called, the voters will terminate" — the public version of a Trump signature line, "You’re fired."

But, the billionaire businessman adds, "That won’t happen."

___

9 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is detouring from New Hampshire to Flint, Michigan, on Sunday for a quick visit.

Aides say she was invited by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, and that Clinton plans a town hall meeting with Flint residents before returning to New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday.

Clinton has pointed to the crisis of lead-poisoned water in Flint as an example of racial and economic injustice. That’s an issue that resonates among Democrats, particularly African-American voters.

The Democratic presidential candidate said in Thursday’s debate that the federal government needs to hold Michigan responsible for the situation in Flint, while finding ways to remedy the "terrible burden" that people in Flint are facing, such as helping to pay for health care costs.

Leave a Reply