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US presidential candidates tone down attacks on rivals as Iowa caucuses loom

Published 01/02/2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa (AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa (AP)

US presidential candidates vying for their party nominations are toning down attacks against their rivals opting instead for messages of reflection on the morning of the country's Iowa caucuses.

Speaking to US broadcaster NBC, billionaire Donald Trump declined to predict the outcome of the caucuses, noting that fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "a talented guy".

And on ABC's Good Morning America, Mr Trump admitted: "You have to be a little bit nervous."

Florida Senator Marco Rubio also praised the drive of rival Mr Cruz, who he has repeatedly clashed with on a range of issues, saying he "has a very strong ground game".

Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton praised her campaign staff and said that rival Senator Bernie Sanders has run the campaign he wants to run, noting simply, "we have differences".

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said she has no regrets having endorsed Mr Trump for president over Mr Cruz, who she endorsed during his run for a seat in the US Senate.

Ms Palin said her support "added some momentum" to Mr Cruz's campaign and as the senator from Texas, he has gone on to fight for the American people.

"I want to keep him in the Senate and I want Donald Trump to be our president," she said.

Ms Palin also defended comments she made at one of Mr Trump's rallies when she blamed her son's behaviour on President Barack Obama for not doing more to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ms Palin insisted that the US needs a new president who she says will not "kowtow, allow the enemy to be poking at us".

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