A Gentler, Softer Donald Trump as New Attention Focuses on Violence at Rallies

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as rival Ted Cruz (R) looks on at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTSAA0T

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as rival Ted Cruz (R) looks on at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTSAA0T

A fairly sedate debate last night for the Republicans especially in contrast to previous debates.

Donald Trump saw challenges over his temperament, violence at his rallies and his extreme position on Islam, but the other candidates mostly left him alone after Rubio and others’ attacks on Trump appeared to have backfired in the past few months.

Some analysts say Rubio won the debate, but many are asking if It’s too little too late for Mister Rubio.

Patrick O'Connor, Beth Reinhard and Rebecca Ballhaus write today in the Wall Street Journal:

"On the brink of five big primaries that could end or extend the Republican presidential race, the four remaining contenders for the party's nomination adopted a more civil tone Thursday night in what could be the final debate for two of them.

Front-runner Donald Trump attempted to take on a more presidential posture as he refrained from attacking his rivals or taking the bait when they went after him. His three challengers emphasized how they part ways with him, but without the biting personal rhetoric that broke out in the past few weeks.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, desperate to jump-start his campaign, repeatedly took exception with Mr. Trump, for his comments about Muslims hating Americans, his pledge to remain "neutral" in the continuing showdown between the Israelis and Palestinians and his position on the emerging detente between the U.S. and Cuba.

The more cautious tone at Thursday's debate underscored the high stakes facing each of the candidates. Mr. Rubio, in particular, has seen his support erode after a string of personal attacks on Mr. Trump.

The 12th GOP debate sets the stage for judgment day next Tuesday for Mr. Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in their respective home states. Both need to win on their home turf to stay in the race."

Trump dismissed the chances of Rubio and Kasich suggesting it was two man race with Ted Cruz. He said the Republican party needed to get over their opposition to him, and embrace him.

Two new polls out today from Florida. Both show Donald Trump with a double digit lead over Marco Rubio in Rubio’s home state. Both show Trump with a lead over Rubio of 19 points!

Ben Carson is set to endorse Donald Trump today.

1130EST -- Sen Rubio holds a foreign policy event. Temple Beth El, West Palm Beach, FL. LIVE via LiveU

1300EST -- Donald Trump holds a rally. Peabody Opera House, St. Louis, MO. LIVE

There is growing concern over violence at Donald Trump rallies. A reporter accuses Trump’s campaign manager of violently grabbing her and throwing her to the ground. In another incident, a protester was sucker punched by a rally attendee, and threatened with murder. Last night, Trump said he didn’t condone it, but one of his surrogates said yesterday protesters got what was coming to them.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Donald Trump frequently donates property development rights in order to claim huge tax breaks.

1200EST -- Sen Sanders holds a rally. Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC. LIVE via LiveU

Clinton was on Rachel Maddow last night.. good sound to mine including Hillary saying she was “appalled” by the violence at the Donald Trump rallies.

Huge scandal at the Wounded Warriors charity. The CEO and COO were fired by the board of directors after an audit discovered extravagant spending at the organization on travel, booze and entertainment. Whistleblowers complained for years that about half the charities’ earning were going to overhead instead of veterans.

Severe weather continues to pummel Louisiana. They’ve had record rainfall, and there is growing concerns some levees could be overflowed.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved plans to open all combat positions to women.

A top ally of Vladimir Putin who was found dead in his hotel room in Washington in November died of blunt force trauma according to a medical examiner’s report. Russia had said he died of a heart attack.

It’s the fifth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that killed 18,000. It also set off a nuclear disaster at Fukushima. A cleanup of the former nuclear reactors will take 40 years.

President Obama had a full state dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House last night. Today President Obama will be attending South by Southwest.

Politicians, former heads of state and celebrities gathering in Simi Valley, California today at 2pm for the funeral of former first lady Nancy Reagan.  Shepard Smith will anchor special coverage this afternoon.

For more news, follow me on Twitter:@ClintPHenderson

Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.