Republican presidential race erupts into four-way battle

South Carolina Governor Haley and U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rubio react on stage during a campaign event in ChapinBy Steve Holland and Emily Flitter CHARLESTON, S.C./SUMTER, S.C. (Reuters) – The Republican race for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination erupted into a four-candidate crossfire on Wednesday over who has the proper experience and is the most conservative, days before South Carolina voters put their stamp on the campaign. In TV interviews and campaign events, front-runner Donald Trump threatened to sue Senator Ted Cruz of Texas over a negative TV ad, while Senator Marco Rubio of Florida accused Cruz of lying about his record, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush questioned Rubio’s experience to serve as president. Amid the squabbling, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley endorsed Rubio as the Republicans’ best hope for winning the White House, a boost to Rubio and a blow to Bush, who had lobbied hard for her to pick him.

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