Trump, Rubio likely targets in eighth Republican presidential debate – Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump (R) talks to Senator Marco Rubio during a break in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane  . SAP is the sponsor of this content. It was independently created by Reuters' editorial staff and funded in part by SAP, which otherwise has no role in this coverage.

Donald Trump and Marco Rubio could be top targets for rivals’ fire on Saturday when seven Republican White House hopefuls take the stage in New Hampshire for their eighth debate, just days before the state’s high-stakes primary.

Billionaire Trump held a wide lead in polls in New Hampshire, with U.S. Senator Rubio of Florida second in a rapid rise ahead of Tuesday’s primary, part of the series of contests to pick the nominee for the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Trump and Rubio have taken flak from competitors as candidates launched an all-out offensive across New Hampshire.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush attacked Trump for using profane language and brought out his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who accused Trump of misogyny over his criticisms of a Fox News anchor.

Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also went after Rubio. All three are vying for the favor of establishment Republicans in New Hampshire.

Christie on Friday released videos mocking Rubio for appearing scripted on the campaign trail. And Bush, a former mentor to Rubio, unveiled an ad showing Rick Santorum, who left the race this week and endorsed Rubio, apparently struggling to name any of the senator’s accomplishments.

Rubio finished third in Iowa on Monday, behind U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Trump. On Friday, Rubio won the endorsement of another ex-candidate, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

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