Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wins presidential nominating contests in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois, and congratulates Sen. Marco Rubio on campaign, saying, ''he's got a great future.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Trump won a crucial nominating contest in Florida on Tuesday, dealing a fatal blow to rival Marco Rubio, but lost in Ohio to that state's governor John Kasich, setting the stage for a long contested race. Trump had been aiming for a sweep of all five states, including North Carolina, Missouri and Illinois, that would have dealt another setback to establishment Republicans who fear his rowdy campaign will lead the party to defeat in November. "We had a fantastic evening, I would have never thought this could have happened," Trump said of his three major wins on Super Tuesday. He went on to congratulate Florida Senator Marco Rubio for running a strong campaign. "I want to congratulate Marco Rubio on running a really tough campaign. He's tough, he's smart, and he's got a great future," Trump said. Now, Trump's closest challenger nationally is U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, 45, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party. The Trump loss in Ohio gives new hope to Republicans battling to deny the brash New Yorker the nomination and block him from capturing the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination at the party's July convention. Trump has vowed to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, impose protectionist trade policies and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. He is on a glide path to being his party's candidate in November, which seemed inconceivable only last year.