Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump -- CNN
"In the short term, Christie's move put a halt to Rubio's victory lap after his stunning prosecution of Trump's character, background and business career in Thursday night's GOP debate, the most effective takedown of the billionaire so far in this campaign.
"In the longer term, Christie's support equips Trump with a powerful and outspoken surrogate who can match the former reality star's tart tongue and, like him, can inflame a media narrative critical of his opponents.
"Trump accompanied his rollout of Christie with a stream of invective against Rubio, reflecting the raised stakes ahead of Super Tuesday and the scorched-earth duel now raging between them.
"As the campaign headed further toward the gutter, Trump branded Rubio a 'low life,' 'a nasty little guy,' a 'basket case' and 'a choker' who sweated so much he had to put makeup on with a trowel."
[photo courtesy of AP]
Dem Campaign Chief on Trump: Damage Has Been Done -- TheHill
"Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), says Trump's success on the presidential trail can only help down-ballot Democrats at the polls in November — regardless of whether the real estate mogul wins the Republican nomination.
"'Donald Trump has shifted the entire rhetoric with Republicans to the extreme right, and now Republicans are having to deal with that,' Luján told The Hill on Friday. 'Whether Donald Trump becomes the eventual nominee or not, the damage has been done.'"
[photo courtesy of Getty Images]
Trump University's Checkered Past Haunting Candidate -- New York Times
"The now-defunct Trump University, the subject of one of Marco Rubio's attacks on Donald J. Trump at the Republican presidential debate on Thursday night, was not a real university at all but a series of seminars held in hotels across the country that promised to share Mr. Trump's real estate investing acumen with students. It is still embroiled in lawsuits accusing it of misrepresentation.
"Those who ultimately bought premium packages paid as much as $35,000 for the privilege of additional training, called mentorships and apprenticeships."
[photo courtesy of Thos Robinson/Getty Images]
Anti-Trump Onslaught Begins -- TheHill
"Senior-level people in conservative organizations across Washington are firing with both barrels in an attempt to stop Trump’s march to the GOP presidential nomination, multiple sources tell The Hill.
"One conservative nonprofit is launching a multimillion-dollar campaign of raw attack ads against the front-running candidate ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday contests.
"The group, American Future Fund, is buying ads that feature people who claim to be victims of 'fraud' it says is perpetrated by one of the real estate mogul's business ventures, Trump University.
"The ad campaign is among several anti-Trump attacks announced over the past 24 hours, as mainstream Republicans make a desperate attempt to stop his rise."
Is Trump Unstoppable? -- TheHill
"To clinch the nomination, Trump still needs two big things to happen.
"First, he needs to win at least eight of the 10 primary states on March 1, including Georgia, Virginia, Minnesota and Alabama. If he does this, he will cement a giant delegate lead....Trump's remaining risk, at that point, would be if either Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) or Cruz are able to get him into a one-on-one race. That's a risk that should not be underestimated.
Polls show a two-way contest could be competitive....Second, Trump then needs to win at least five of the eight state primaries between March 5 and March 15, particularly Florida, Michigan, Illinois and North Carolina. He'd also need to win some of the caucuses during that period to show depth and reach. This means Trump can afford to lose the Ohio primary to favorite son Kasich, plus two other states. It also means Trump has to slay Rubio in his home state of Florida."
[photo courtesy of Getty Images]