On Cruz and Carson Nashville campaign stops

Excerpt from The Tennessean report on campaigning in Nashville Friday by Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Ben Carson:

Cruz continued his attacks on Trump, saying the real estate mogul’s positions on certain issues were similar to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton while Carson defended his decision to stay in the race, despite his low totals in states that have already voted.

…During a morning town hall at Rocketown, a downtown venue that has hosted several GOP presidential candidates, Cruz fielded questions from Fox News personality Sean Hannity on a variety of subjects including immigration and federal bureaucracy.

But the central point throughout the hour-long event was was Trump. Cruz said Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate provided voters real clarity between Trump and Cruz.

When Hannity asked Cruz whether he thought other candidates in the race should consider dropping out if no one beyond Trump or Cruz win a state during Super Tuesday, the Republican pointed out that no one ever won the presidential nomination who hasn’t won one of the first three states participating in the election.

After being informed by Hannity midway through the interview that former presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey had endorsed Trump, Cruz dismissed the news saying it was ultimately up to the voters to decide between the candidates.

…”If you want to beat Donald, stand with me,” he urged.

Later in the day, Cruz continued his attacks on Trump when he appeared at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in a forum hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.

…During the event at the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention, Carson criticized evangelicals who did not vote in the 2012 election, while also weighing in on the open Supreme Court seat after the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Carson, who had separate appearances in Belle Meade and Williamson County on Friday, warned that if Clinton became president she could make as many as four selections for the high court, adding, “America as we know it is gone.”

When asked why he remains in the race, despite his slumping performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, Carson said, “As long as I continue to receive support from the people I will continue to fight for them.”