Rubio-Cruz to Go 'Brass Knuckles' for Tuesday's GOP debate Click to Tweet

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The intensifying feud between GOP presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will be at the center of Tuesday’s Republican debate in Las Vegas.

The two senators occupy the top tier of the GOP race with Donald Trump, and have increasingly battled for leverage.

Rubio, who spent part of his childhood in Las Vegas, will enjoy a home field advantage at the Venetian.

The Florida Republican is rising in the polls, and has emerged as the top establishment pick for the GOP nomination.

Cruz is also moving up in polls, and has his hopes set on winning the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1.

Terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., have shifted the national discourse to national security, a strong issue for the hawkish Rubio.He’s been focused in recent weeks on attacking Cruz, who has been doing his best to send a message to conservatives that Rubio is too centrist to be trusted.

 Cruz, a college debate champion, has been testing attack lines in interviews over the past weeks, portraying Rubio as a big government neo-conservative who wants to topple every Middle Eastern dictator within range. Rubio, for his part, is attacking Cruz for being feckless on national security due to his support for legislation weakening the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.

Veteran GOP strategist Charlie Black, who is neutral in the 2016 primaries, said Rubio will be ready for Cruz on Tuesday night given his rounds in Senate debates with skeptics of U.S. interventionism…

Source: Rubio-Cruz feud takes center stage at GOP debate | TheHill