Outspoken frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz shared the spoils in Super Saturday’s voting contests to find a US Republican presidential candidate.
Cruz believes his twin victories in Kansas and Maine show his strength, not only as the main challenger to Trump but also as the man to take on the Democrats.
“Republicans are coming together,” he said.
“They are uniting behind our campaign – the 65 percent of Republicans who recognise Donald Trump is not the best candidate to go head to head with Hillary Clinton.”
But try telling that to the billionaire businessman.
Celebrating his wins in Louisiana and Kentucky, Trump says he relishes a showdown with Cruz for the nomination – urging third placed Marco Rubio to bin his bid.
“I think Marco, Marco Rubio, had a very, very bad night and personally I call for him to drop out of the race,” Trump said.
Senator Rubio, however, campaigning in Puerto Rico, is far from ready to throw in the towel.
Considered the main hope of the Republican establishment, Rubio is confident that he can win his home state of Florida this month – a test many see as make or break time for his White House ambitions.
The Republican race has been marked by a growing wave of attacks on Trump from the party’s establishment amid his calls to build a wall on the border with Mexico, round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and temporarily bar all Muslims from entering the United States.
The Republican establishment has not been much happier with Cruz, who has run as an outsider and has alienated many in Washington where he is bent on shaking things up.