Democracy Now! - 2/26/16

On today's episode of Democracy Now! 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio went on the offensive against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump during a spirited debate last night in Houston, Texas. It was the final showdown for the five remaining Republican candidates before Super Tuesday, when about a dozen states will hold contests to choose a nominee. The debate came just days after business mogul Donald Trump won the Nevada caucuses in his third consecutive victory. With former Florida Governor Jeb Bush no longer on stage, the five remaining candidates were Trump, Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Much of the debate focused on immigration. We play highlights from the fiery debate and get reaction. "You look at the two Hispanic candidates for president who are trying to out-Trump Trump. … Given their own immigration history in this country, where is compassion? Where is empathy? Where is a sense of humanity when it comes to talking about this issue?" says Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, founder and editor of #EmergingUS and founder of Define American. Vargas is also critical of the job moderators and reporters have done covering immigration in the 2016 election. "I just don’t understand … when it comes to an issue like immigration, which has been central to this campaign, why a lot of journalists don’t know the facts and don’t call out the candidates for not knowing the facts."

Democracy Now! co-host Juan González reports Congress held two hearings on the Puerto Rican debt crisis Thursday after House Speaker Paul Ryan set a March 31 deadline to pass a bill that addresses the issue. Democrats and Republicans are divided on what action to take. Democrats have proposed a "super-bankruptcy" that would allow the U.S. territory to settle its debts with creditors under a restructuring deal. Republicans want a control board if it provides financial assistance, as has happened in places like Detroit. But González notes Puerto Rico has objected to such control since it is a self-governing territory.

During Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said Trump University is a "fake school" where students who paid up to $50,000 were promised they would meet Trump, but instead "got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout." Many of the students are now suing. Rubio urged viewers to google "Trump University." We get details from The Intercept’s Lee Fang, who reports Trump could be forced away from the campaign trail to testify in the case. He says mostly low-income students had enrolled in Trump University. "It shows Trump’s contempt for working-class people that he would scam people in this way," Fang notes. He also discusses his recent piece, "Marco Rubio, Following Donor Dollars, Frequently Veers from Limited-Government Dogma."

Democracy Now!

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