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Local political expert says presidential campaigns going "downhi - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Local political expert says presidential campaigns going "downhill fast"

Gibbs Knotts, Professor of Political Science at CofC (Source: Live 5) Gibbs Knotts, Professor of Political Science at CofC (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The presidential race appears to be turning nasty following several campaign rallies over the weekend.

Republican candidate Marco Rubio went on the attack against front runner Donald Trump at a Sunday night rally in Virginia.

At one point he tried to spin Trump’s comment about his own issues with sweating by saying Trump, “Doesn't sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan he uses,” said Rubio, eliciting laughter from the audience. “Donald is not gonna make America great, he's gonna make America orange."

That wasn't the only thing he said though.

Governor Haley endorsed the first term Senator this month before comments like these started popping up.

With this campaign season in full swing, one political expert feels these candidates have thrown the playbook out the window.

Rubio’s comments made headlines across the country overnight.

"It's definitely not a good thing,” said Professor of Political Science at the College of Charleston, Gibbs Knotts, Ph.D. “We have really serious issues. Really the Presidential campaigns are meant to have the candidates talk about the issues, and now it has really gone downhill quickly."

Trump's orange appearance wasn't the only physical comment Rubio made about the billionaire.

"I don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5'2",” Rubio said. “Have you seen his hands? You know what they say about men with small hands -- you can't trust them, you can't trust them, you can't trust them."

"I think it's very childish,” said Ron Willey. “I think this is turning into a game. I think this whole thing needs to be more important."

"I think for Rubio mainly, and then Cruz, to a lesser extent, are really trying to go after him with some unconventional stuff,” Knotts said. “[They’re] thinking if we attack him on this tenth grade humor type of stuff then that will be something to make the news and maybe get Trump off his game."

Governor Haley has shared her opinion about Trump's remarks since the beginning.

She has called his behavior, "unacceptable".

Now some are wondering how she will hold Rubio accountable.

"I think she's probably going to say something to the effect of, look when you have a bully... labeling Trump with that bully label, sometimes you just have to punch back," Knotts said.

Meanwhile, some people think this type of ‘unconventional’ campaign by Trump, works.

"I think it's necessary,” said Robert Parera, who is not a Trump fan, but agrees with this method. “I think by doing that he's holding politicians accountable for their true actions by calling them out on things. It's important, I think we need to see what they're really like."

An email was sent to the Governor's office for comment about Rubio's statements.

It was not immediately returned.

The Governor was campaigning with the Senator in Georgia Monday ahead of Super Tuesday.

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