Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton faced off Sunday night in Flint, Michigan, for their first of two debates this week. Just two days before the state’s primary, they faced off over the federal government’s response to the city’s water crisis, the auto-bailout, and Wall Street ties. The debate highlighted the strong efforts Sanders is making to broaden his appeal to minority communities, but Clinton’s likely insurmountable delegate lead proves that effort is too little, too late. In what may be the single most painful issue for Sanders in the state and nearby Ohio, which votes next week, Sanders was challenged over his vote against the funds used to save car manufacturers. A new radio ad from Clinton’s campaign claims she is the only Democratic candidate who backed the auto bailout.
This weekend’s primaries and caucuses only served to further muddle the GOP field. Ted Cruz was the big winner on Saturday, and Marco Rubio overwhelmingly won Puerto Rico, picking up the territory’s entire delegate slate. But Rubio underperformed in the conservative states that voted Saturday, though aides argue the map grows more favorable in the coming weeks. And Donald Trump was the real loser, picking up only ~30% of the delegates awarded this weekend, as Cruz pulled within striking distance and Rubio found some new life. The results slowed the “Trump Train” just as it was gaining steam after Super Tuesday, meaning his march to the nomination may extend all the way to the convention floor.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94. TIME Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs remembers the end of a White House love story.
Trump’s business and personal positions are coming under intensifying scrutiny as he moves closer to the nomination and as a web of GOP groups devote millions to taking him on. Trump reversed his position on torture and killing the families of terrorists Friday after being challenged that the plans violated international and U.S. law, and one of his ongoing construction projects is financed by overseas investors looking for visas. Trump also found himself the butt of bipartisan jokes at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington Saturday.
The word Bernie Sanders can’t say anymore. Why Democrats were debating the 1990s. And Rubio’s campaign is on the ropes.
Here are your must-reads:
Remembering Nancy Reagan: The End of a White House Love Story
TIME Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs remembers the former First Lady
Trump Reverses His Stance on Torture
GOP front-runner had faced criticism from military and legal experts after his comments [Wall Street Journal]
Bernie Sanders’ Long History With Alternative Medicine
Past statements link cancer to social pressures, abstinence, TIME’s Sam Frizell reports
Underdogs Pick Up Wins in Divided Results Saturday
A muddled weekend extends the race [TIME]
Why Democrats Were Debating the 1990s
Trade legacy at forefront of Michigan campaign [TIME]
Trump Tower Funded by Rich Chinese Who Invest Cash for Visas
Business record under scrutiny [Bloomberg]
Bad Strategy, Poorly Run Campaign Are Killing Marco Rubio’s Chances
A campaign on the ropes [Washington Post]
“I hate to say the word YUGE.” — Bernie Sanders during the Democratic debate
“They’re chopping, chopping, chopping, and we’re worried about waterboarding. I just think—I think our priorities are mixed up.” — Donald Trump on ISIS and torture on CBS’ Face the Nation
Bits and Bites
To Friend and Foe Alike, It’s ‘Mr. Trump’ [Boston Globe]
Rubio Turns to National Security in Crucial Campaign Stretch [BloombergView]
What’s Worse Than Getting Shot by Aaron Burr? Not Having Seen ‘Hamilton’ [Wall Street Journal]
Sanders Touts Unusual Endorsement [Politico]