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    Mar 03, 2016

    Clinton and Trump start to trade barbs


    MORE victories look set for United States billionaire Donald Trump and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton come Saturday, following their triumphs in a slew of presidential primaries on Tuesday, which brought them closer to being nominated by their parties to contend for the White House.

    Following their sound defeats of rivals on Super Tuesday, Republican candidate Trump and Mrs Clinton, from the Democratic camp, have signalled that their focus is beginning to shift to the general election, Agence France-Presse reported.

    In victory remarks, she attacked Mr Trump's pledge to "make America great again".

    "America never stopped being great," she said to loud cheers from her supporters in Miami.

    "It's clear tonight that the stakes in this election have never been higher, and the rhetoric we're hearing on the other side has never been lower," she added.

    Meanwhile, Mr Trump painted Mrs Clinton as a Washington insider, who he said could not address a furious electorate's desire for change.

    "She's been there for so long. I mean, if she hasn't straightened it out by now, she's not going to straighten it out in the next four years," he said.

    A recent poll found that Mrs Clinton would easily defeat Mr Trump if the general election - set for Nov 8 - were held now.

    But few are likely to underestimate the 69-year-old Mr Trump after his primary rout.

    University of New Orleans's Edward Chervenak was quoted as saying, by the state's WDSU television: "Hillary Clinton has the distinct advantage in Louisiana, just like she does in the rest of the southern states.

    "And given the momentum that Donald Trump has, it makes sense that he would be projected to be the winner here," added the political scientist.

    Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton also enjoy comfortable leads in Kansas, according to a new poll conducted in the state, reported the Kansas City Star.

    Besides Kansas, Mr Trump is likely to also dominate in Maine and Kentucky on Saturday, and the same goes for Mrs Clinton in Nebraska.

    Mr Trump weathered a barrage of attacks from fellow Republicans to win in seven of 11 states on Super Tuesday.

    His victories were widespread, from Alabama and Georgia in the deep south to Massachusetts in the north-east.

    While Mr Trump's rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz struggled to make the case that they can still win, the maverick candidate tried to defuse an intra-party feud that may be the only serious obstacle remaining on his path to the nomination.

    He offered an olive branch to establishment Republican leaders, making the case that he can unify and grow the party.

    Ms Clinton also racked up seven wins out of 11, trouncing rival Bernie Sanders across six southern US states and winning big among African-American voters.

    Super Tuesday was the most pivotal day of the US presidential primary season so far, with half the Republican delegates and a third of Democratic delegates needed to win the nominations up for grabs.