Indiana primary: Cruz’s exit hands Trump the nomination and Sanders’ win keeps his campaign alive
Ted Cruz suspends his candidacy, allowing Donald Trump to claim the mantle of presumptive Republican nominee.
Trump’s ascension to presumptive nominee has Elizabeth Warren ready to fight
A brief history of California’s futile try for relevance
Bernie Sanders: ‘There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump’
In a strongly worded statement following his victory in Indiana’s Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders vowed to fight on “until the last vote is cast” and pushed rival Hillary Clinton to agree to a time and place for an additional debate.
“The Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over,” Sanders said in a statement. “They’re wrong. Maybe it’s over for the insiders and the party establishment, but the voters in Indiana had a different idea.”
“We are in this campaign to win, and we’re going to fight until the last vote is cast,” Sanders said.
Echoing statements he made earlier in the night at a rally in Kentucky, which holds its Democratic primary later this month, Sanders also took aim at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump, someone who must never become president of this country,” he said.
Sanders acknowleged that he was trailing Clinton by hundreds of pledged delegates. But he said he was comfortable as an underdog.
“We understand that we have an uphill climb to victory, but we have been fighting uphill from the first day of this campaign,” Sanders said.
“The voters in the remaining contests deserve a chance to compare my record and Hillary Clinton’s record on creating jobs, raising the minimum wage, war and peace, the need for healthcare for all, breaking up big banks, combating climate change, and other critical issues.”
Donald Trump is ‘too divisive’ and ‘too big of a risk,’ Hillary Clinton campaign says
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman criticized Donald Trump as unprepared to be president shortly after the New York businessman’s decisive victory in Indiana left him poised to secure the Republican nomination.
“Our next president will need to do two things: keep our nation safe in a dangerous world and help working families get ahead here at home,” John Podesta said in a statement. “Donald Trump is not prepared to do either.”
Podesta said Trump is “too divisive and lacks the temperament to lead our nation and the free world.”
The statement is another preview of how Clinton plans to face off with Trump in a general election. Although she lost Indiana to Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, she’s still on track to win the Democratic nomination.
“With so much at stake, Donald Trump is simply too big of a risk,” Podesta said.
“While Donald Trump seeks to bully and divide Americans, Hillary Clinton will unite us to create an economy that works for everyone.”
Donald Trump shows restraint as Cruz bows out and clears path to GOP nomination
Donald Trump was uncharacteristically subdued as he assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday night and sought to unite his party to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.
Surrounded by family members in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, the iconoclastic New York developer called vanquished rival Ted Cruz “one hell of a competitor.”
“He is a tough, smart guy, and he has got an amazing future,” Trump said of the former opponent he branded “Lyin’ Ted.” Trump called him “one hell of a competitor.”
Trump spoke just moments after Cruz dropped out of the race following a landslide defeat in the Indiana primary.
Looking ahead to the November election, Trump told supporters: “We’re going after Hillary Clinton.”
“She will not be a great president,” he said. “She will not be a good president. She will be a poor president. She doesn’t understand trade.”
Trump made clear that he sees former President Bill Clinton as a fair target, blaming him for the decline of manufacturing in New York, Pennsylvania and other states where Trump has campaigned in recent weeks.
Trump’s remarks suggested he expects white blue-collar voters to remain the pillar of his candidacy in a race against the former first lady and secretary of State.
“Her husband signed perhaps, in the history of the world, the single worst trade deal ever done,” Trump said.
“It’s called NAFTA, and I was witness to the carnage over the last six weeks especially,” he added, referring to his meeting voters while campaigning in several states.
Trump, who needs to win more primaries over the next month to get enough delegates to formally clinch the nomination, said he would campaign ahead of upcoming GOP contests in Nebraska and West Virginia.
He cast himself as a champion of coal miners and portrayed Clinton as an enemy of their industry.
“She was talking about she wants the mines closed and she will never let them work again,” Trump said.
“We’re going to get those miners back to work,” he added.
As the bruising primary season draws to a close, Trump also said he wanted “to bring unity to the Republican Party.”
“It’s so much easier if we have it,” he said.
California anti-Trump movement hangs on
A disappointing night for Cruz supporters ends with patriotic display
The competitive California primary that wasn’t
Sorry, California. It wasn’t meant to be.
After a long history as a state where national politicians only raise money, California seemed poised this year to be a place where voters, not just campaign donations, would play a key role in the presidential primaries.
Even though the state’s residents wouldn’t go to the polls until June 7, the battles within the Democratic and Republican parties seemed unpredictable and intractable enough just one month ago that California might help crown a presidential nominee. The state awards more delegates than any other, making it the pot of gold near the end of the primary rainbow.
But then Hillary Clinton started to sew up the Democratic nomination, cementing her path to victory with a commanding win in New York last month. Even though Sen. Bernie Sanders has pledged to fight until the party’s convention in July, he wouldn’t be able to win enough delegates for the nomination even with a landslide in California.
But California politicos could still salivate over the prospect of a no-holds-barred slugfest among Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, the three remaining Republican candidates. At one point during the Wisconsin primary, Trump even seemed to be stumbling on his march toward the nomination, giving an opening to Cruz, his closest challenger.
Maybe California would still matter after all, political observers thought. Since delegates are awarded based on congressional district, the state braced for the prospect of Republican candidates barnstorming from San Diego to Eureka. Some Republican consultants hoped California was where they could make their last stand against Trump.
That dream died on Tuesday night in Indiana. After suffering a crushing defeat, Cruz dropped out of the race. Although Kasich is staying in the race for now, he’s so far behind it appears Trump has a clear path to winning enough delegates to secure the Republican nomination before the party’s convention in July.
“We were so close to being relevant,” said Mike Madrid, a California Republican consultant. He had been compiling a trove of data on the influence that different ethnic groups could have in the primary, a showcase for the power of the state’s diversity, but now he expects little interest now.
“It’s a bit deflating,” he said.
Bernie Sanders takes aim at Donald Trump
Bernie Sanders finished speaking too early Wednesday night to celebrate his victory in Indiana with his backers.
But excitement about the positive vote returns rippled through the crowd in Louisville, Ky., just across the Ohio River from Indiana. At one point, celebrating supporters interrupted Sanders with cheers.
While Sanders refrained from commenting directly on the results, he said his success in 18 primaries and caucuses shows that his campaign’s ideas and style are resonating with the core of the Democratic Party.
“The ideas that we are fighting for are the ideas of the future of America and the ideas of the future of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said. “What we have shown the world is that we can run a powerful and winning campaign without relying on special interests.”
“We are not going to elect a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, who insults Muslims, who insults veterans, who insults women, who insults African Americans,” Sanders said. “Our strength is in our diversity.
“The American people understand that supporting each other always trumps selfishness,” he said. “At the end of the day, love always trumps hatred.”
Even with his Indiana victory, Sanders still trails Clinton by hundreds of total delegates. Still, his win is a shot in the arm, and will help buoy him going in to a round of upcoming primary elections, including in West Virginia, Kentucky and the June 7 primary in California.
Donald Trump focuses on general election
Trump ties Cruz’s father to JFK assassination. His source? The National Enquirer
Conspiracy theories and baseless charges are nothing new for Donald Trump.
His latest claim -- made hours before he won the Republican presidential primary in Indiana and Ted Cruz dropped out of the race -- is that Ted Cruz’s father had something to do with the assassination of President Kennedy.
Trump cited unsubstantiated allegations in a National Enquirer article last month tying the Texas senator’s father, Rafael Cruz, to Lee Harvey Oswald.
The supermarket tabloid quoted “top D.C. insiders” as saying Rafael Cruz was photographed with Oswald in New Orleans three months before the 1963 assassination.
“What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death — before the shooting?” Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s horrible.”
Bernie Sanders wins Indiana Democratic primary, injecting viability into his slumping campaign
Bernie Sanders has won the Indiana Democratic presidential primary, giving his flagging campaign crucial new momentum to keep fighting front-runner Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
Sanders, the Vermont senator, still trails Clinton by hundreds of total delegates and would need to win the remaining contests, including California’s, by large margins to overtake Clinton.
Cruz supporter: Republican voters are losing ‘a great, great man’
The cries from Ted Cruz’s supporters as he announced he was leaving the presidential race sounded genuinely anguished.
“We are suspending our campaign,” Cruz told the crowd, prompting a round of groans.
And while Cruz vowed to continue the “fight for liberty,” many of his supporters in attendance at his downtown Indianapolis primary-night party appeared dejected as the senator wrapped up his remarks.
Vicky Vaughn, a social worker from Indianapolis, said she was stunned by the announcement.
“Perhaps the people have spoken,” said Vaughn, 63. “But they’re losing a great, great man.”
Beside her, grim-faced, stood Glenna Cheesman, also a social worker from Vigo County, in the state’s western flank.
Earlier, when Cruz’s loss in Indiana was projected but Cruz hadn’t yet suspended his camapign, Cheesman said she was dismayed at the thought of a general election matchup between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
“They say pick the lesser of two evils,” said Cheesman, 41. “But why pick evil at all?”
Republican Party leader expects Donald Trump will be the nominee
Instead of preparing for a contested convention, the chairman of the Republican National Committee says the party should rally around Donald Trump.
The statement comes shortly after Ted Cruz dropped out and despite John Kasich’s insistence on continuing his campaign even though he’s far behind in the race.
Kasich will stick around
Ted Cruz drops out of the Republican primary — and never mentions Trump
Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday after being trounced by Donald Trump in must-win Indiana.
“We left it all on the field in Indiana; we gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path,” Cruz said in Indianapolis, flanked by his family, including his wife, Heidi, and two young daughters.
“With a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign,” he said.
The tone was clear even before he spoke as aides confirmed the message that was to come.
Carly Fiorina, his potential vice presidential running mate, introduced Cruz as a “great man.”
“This is a man who favors subststance over sloganeering, who favors respect over insults,” she said in a nod toward Trump.
Cruz’s own speech was a stately address with the unusal addition of teleprompters. He thanked his volunteers.
And he gave no mention of supporting Trump.
Ted Cruz: The path to victory is gone
Ted Cruz drops out, ceding race to Donald Trump
Ted Cruz drops out of presidential race, handing GOP nomination to Donald Trump
Ted Cruz said today that he will end his long-fought campaign for president, effectively ending the possibility of a contested GOP convention and ceding the 2016 Republican nomination to Donald Trump.
Cruz campaigned for a year on a platform of holding fast to conservative values, but in the end, Cruz -- like the other GOP presidential aspirants -- was overshadowed by the billionaire Trump, who used a similar game plan to far greater effect.
John Kasich won’t stop running until someone gets 1,237 delegates
Ohio Gov. John Kasich fell short of victory -- again -- on Tuesday night, but aides insisted his campaign will move ahead.
“Tonight’s results are not going to alter Gov. Kasich’s campaign plans,” John Weaver, a senior advisor to Kasich, said in an email blast to supporters shortly after Indiana was called for Donald Trump but before Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the race.
“Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention.”
Kasich cannot mathematically secure the nomination. He trails Trump by more than 800 pleged delegates and has an even narrower path than Cruz did.
How bad is it for Kasich?
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign in mid-March, has 171 delegates compared with Kasich’s 153.
John Weaver, a senior aide to Kasich, insisted Tuesday that his candiate will push forward, despite RNC chairman Reince Priebus declaing Trump the presumptive nominee.
“CA here we come,” referring to California’s June 7 primary.
Exit polls show Indiana Democrats split between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
It could be a long night for the Democratic candidates as exit polls show a tight race in Indiana between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Sanders maintained his typical wide margins among young and white voters, and he had a narrow edge among women as well.
Clinton appeared to win voters aged 50 or older, split voters between the ages of 40 and 49, and lose among younger demographics.
Exit polls also showed Sanders winning with married men, unmarried men and unmarried women. He split the votes of married women with Clinton.
Three out of four Democratic primary voters were white, according to the exit polls, and about 6 in 10 backed Sanders. Fewer than 2 in 10 were black, and 3 in 4 sided with Clinton, typical of her stronger support among black voters.
Follow the results here.
Donald Trump assumes the mantle of presumptive nominee
Bernie Sanders sticks to his stump speech in front of big crowd in Kentucky
Exit polls: Ted Cruz wins Indiana’s most conservative, religious and youngest voters — and not much else
Ted Cruz longed for a head-to-head matchup with Donald Trump and got it in Indiana, but the result cracked open the Texas senator’s narrow voter appeal, according to Republican primary exit polls.
Trump swept almost every category of voter, as he has in most other primary states surveyed, showing the limits of Cruz’s conservative and social-issues message, according to exit polls conducted for the television networks and the Associated Press.
Bright spots for Cruz were limited: He won more than half of the “very conservative” voters and almost two-thirds of those who attend religious services more than once a week.
Cruz also won the youngest voters, the 17- to 24-year-olds, and almost half of those with post-graduate degrees.
But those voter categories are slim compared with Trump’s sweep across the other age, education and income levels, leaving Cruz with a narrow swath of backers. Trump even won evangelicals, once a core Cruz constituency.
Perhaps most challenging for the Republican Party now is to shift to a general election message that aligns with Trump supporters. Trump did not win the ideological purists, but rather those who identify as “somewhat conservative” or “moderate.”
Donald Trump’s immediate reaction to winning Indiana: Doubling down on attacking Ted Cruz
Former Ronald Reagan aide joins pro-Donald Trump super PAC
And so it begins.
A pro-Donald Trump super PAC picked up longtime Republican strategist Ed Rollins as a senior advisor as the billionaire Trump appears increasingly poised to become the GOP nominee.
Adding Rollins, who led Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection, injects a dose of establishment expertise to the PAC that is being run by longtime tea party-aligned strategists.
“With Trump truly becoming inevitable tonight, we thought now was a great time to officially enlist Ed’s help,” said Great America PAC’s Jesse Benton, a former top aide to Kentucky Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, the majority leader.
“We are all really excited.”
The PAC, which has become known for its pro-Trump TV ads, includes top tea party leader Amy Kremer and California strategist Eric Beach.
Donald Trump wins Indiana Republican primary, delivering a potential knockout blow to Ted Cruz
Donald Trump won Indiana’s Republican presidential primary, dealing a major blow to rival Ted Cruz’s effort to blunt the front-runner’s momentum.
The victory boosts Trump’s argument that he is the GOP’s presumptive nominee, and it leaves the Texas senator facing difficult questions about whether to continue campaigning.
No love for Trump among Cruz backers in Indianapolis
A more heated campaign? No big deal, Democratic voters say in Indiana
When it comes to the Democratic face-off between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, there is little question that the two sharpened their attacks on each other in the last month.
Sanders accused Clinton of being “unqualified” for the presidency because of her Wall Street ties and her vote for the war in Iraq, and Clinton continued to hammer the Vermont senator for his reluctance to back some gun-control measures.
But while the heated exchanges got tongues wagging in cable news green rooms, Democrats who cast ballots in Indiana’s primary on Tuesday didn’t seem to mind, according to preliminary exit polls.
About one quarter said Clinton has unfairly attacked Sanders, and even fewer said Sanders has been too rough on Clinton, according to the exit polls, conducted for a consortium of the Associated Press and the television networks.
It probably didn’t hurt that, no matter what Clinton and Sanders said about each other, it paled in comparison to the mud-slinging on the Republican side. For example, as voting began on Tuesday, Donald Trump promoted an unsubstantiated tabloid story that Ted Cruz’s father knew President Kennedy’s assassin.
Cruz responded by calling Trump “amoral,” a “pathological liar” and a “serial philanderer.”
Last chance? A desperate Ted Cruz looks to derail Donald Trump in Indiana
As Donald Trump sails closer to the Republican presidential nomination, Ted Cruz has made the moves of a candidate who sees his hopes rapidly fading.
He formed a shaky non-compete alliance with rival John Kasich, who stood aside in Tuesday’s Indiana primary to boost Cruz’s chances. He named his prospective vice presidential running mate, former business executive Carly Fiorina, forging ahead on an announcement usually left until the primary fight is over.
Follow along: Live results from Indiana’s primaries
In Indiana, Bernie Sanders fights to stay a force in the race
Sen. Bernie Sanders is looking to Indiana to provide a jolt to his faltering presidential campaign as the insurgent fights to keep his agenda at the center of a race he is now almost certain to lose.
Indiana, the lone state that votes Tuesday, will prove a crucial test of the continued potency of his fight as the Vermonter seeks to maintain his political revolution as a force with which front-runner Hillary Clinton will need to wrestle.
As voters streamed into polling stations on Tuesday, the race here was widely considered a tossup. There were only a handful of polls taken in Indiana, and their findings did not show either candidate surging ahead.
It’s not over yet, Jane Sanders says as she details hopes for Democratic Party platform
Jane Sanders said her husband, Bernie Sanders, has no intention of dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination before the party’s convention in July.
She made the comments to MSNBC as Indiana voters cast ballots on Tuesday, and Hillary Clinton said the Vermont senator has “every right to finish this primary season.”
At this point in the race, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Sanders to win the nomination. But Jane Sanders emphasized her husband’s impact on the primary, including strong support among independent voters and his ability to energize Democrats with an ambitious liberal message.
“This is not a time for those voices to go silent,” she said.
She also shared a wish list of items that Sanders would like to see incorporated into the Democratic Party platform, including a minimum wage of $15 per hour and a ban on a method of oil and gas extraction called fracking.
Exit polls: Immigration not a top issue for Indiana Republicans
Here’s an interesting exit poll finding from Indiana: Immigration lagged behind the economy, government spending and terrorism as the top issue for Hoosier State Republican voters.
In the manufacturing state, Donald Trump’s signature promise -- to build a “beautiful wall” to keep out immigrants -- did not appear to resonate as much as his continued pounding of job losses overseas.
Jobs and the economy were the top concern of 39% of GOP voters questioned, followed by government spending, 28%, and terrorism, 18%, according to a CNN analysis of exit polling conducted for the networks and the Associated Press.
Immigration was most important to 11%.
Republicans can only hope that immigration fades as an issue elswhere. The heated topic tangles the GOP, especially in California and other Western states, as the party tries to become more inclusive toward minorities.
Beyond Trump: Down-ballot Indiana GOP Senate primary gives establishment the edge
Donald Trump may be poised for a big win in Indiana, but down-ballot it’s the establishment Republican pick for Senate who appears to have the edge.
Todd Young, the third-term congressman from Trump-heavy southern Indiana, is polling ahead of Marlin Stutzman, the conservative-backed congressman from the north.
Young is backed by groups alinged with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while Stutzman has the support of top conservatives including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Tuesday’s GOP primary in Indiana offers a cautionary tale for those betting on a Trump nomination to hand control of the Senate to Democrats in the fall.
Republican strategists have been working hard to make sure establishment-preferred candidates survive primary battles like this one.
None want a repeat of what happened four years ago in Indiana when tea party newcomer Richard Mourdock defeated veteran GOP Sen. Richard Lugar in a surprise upset, only to lose to the Democrat in November after saying pregnancy from rape was what “God intended.”
Young’s campaign in Indiana tapped into Trump’s popularity, but also with voters who prefer Ted Cruz in this year of the outsider candidate.
The outcome Tuesday could become a roadmap for down-ballot GOP candidates this fall.
John Kasich is still campaigning, but not on primary nights
Where is John Kasich?
Last week he traversed California and Oregon, campaigning ahead of those states’ primaries in coming weeks, even though he has long been mathematically eliminated from winning the Republican presidential nomination.
But when it comes to rallying the faithful in prime time on primary nights, Kasich is no Donald Trump, who covets television cameras. Instead, the Ohio governor, who has won only his home state way back on March 15, is a no-show.
Hours before polls closed in New York on April 19, Kasich was in Maryland holding a town hall. He did not appear in public that night, even as he placed second to Trump. And last week, he held no events as Trump sailed to victory in five Eastern states.
Tuesday appears to be more of the same.
Kasich, who trails Trump by more than 800 pleged delegates, has nothing planned. (He’s scheduled to speak with reporters outside Washington on Wednesday.)
Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also mathematically eliminated from winning the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination, hold out hope that they can keep front-runner Trump from winning a majority of delegates and force a contested convention in July. Yet as Trump continues to win, the chances of that have become much more slim.
“I know it’s tough,” a defiant Kasich told reporters last week at the California GOP convention of his chances to win the nomination. “So what.”
Voter voices: A house divided in Indiana
Walking out of a county municipal building on a drizzly Tuesday morning, Dorothy Wolfe wasn’t exactly ecstatic about the vote she had just cast in the Republican presidential primary.
“I wanted Kasich, but I think he’s a dead horse, so I went with Cruz,” said Wolfe, adding that she wasn’t thrilled about it. Nor was she happy about the truce between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in which Kasich essentially ceded the state to help the anti-Donald Trump vote consolidate behind Cruz.
Wolfe said she was drawn to Kasich’s “calm demeanor.”
“It’s more presidential.
“I don’t think Trump is presidential at all,” she added. “And Cruz is kind of a loudmouth.”
Standing beside her, her husband, Jack, stifled a chuckle. He had voted for Trump.
“It’s nice to have a politician who says what he thinks rather than what is always politically correct,” said Jack, a retired clergyman with the United Methodist Church.
His wife nodded in agreement: “That’s a good point.”
“He would not be the first president to be rude and crude,” Jack continued.
The couple live in Noblesville, a suburb north of Indianapolis. Their county, Hamilton, is reliably Republican.
So is Dorothy, although she’s not looking forward to a potential matchup between Trump, her party’s front-runner, and Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate.
Such a matchup struck her as “creepy,” she said. “They’re both not quite honest.”
She said she’d probably vote for Trump in that scenario, because of her inclination toward Republicans, but it’d be a begrudging vote.
“It’s just a mess this year,” she said.
But she was amused with the discovery that she and her husband had cast opposing votes.
“So we canceled each other out,” she said. “We’ve been married almost 42 years. I wonder how long we’ve been doing that.”
Donald Trump accused of spreading tabloid smear after trying to tie Ted Cruz’s father to JFK assassination
Donald Trump sought Tuesday to link the father of Ted Cruz to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, saying Rafael Cruz spent time with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before he shot the president in 1963.
“What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death — before the shooting?” Trump said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “It’s horrible.”
Trump, who has a history of spreading unsubstantiated allegations, was referring to an April 20 National Enquirer article quoting “top D.C. insiders” saying that Cuban-born Rafael Cruz was photographed with Oswald in New Orleans three months before the assassination.
Campaigning in Indiana, Texas Sen. Cruz said Trump was a pathological liar spreading a false story printed by a tabloid run by a friend of the New York developer who lets him use it to smear adversaries.
“I guess I should go ahead and admit -- yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard,” Cruz told reporters.
The elder Cruz is a pastor who often campaigns for his son at evangelical churches.
Trump, in an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” made his remarks after Fox played a video clip of Rafael Cruz saying that voters in Tuesday’s Indiana GOP presidential primary should cast their ballots “according to the word of God.” He said that meant they should vote for his son, because the alternative would bring the “destruction of America.”
Ted Cruz lobs searing attack at Donald Trump, calls him ‘amoral’ and a ‘pathological liar’
Tell us how you really feel, Ted.
Sen. Ted Cruz pulled no punches in telling reporters Tuesday what he thinks about Donald Trump, leveling multiple broadsides against the GOP front-runner’s character.
Cruz’s remarks — on the day of the pivotal Indiana primary — were prompted by Trump, in an interview earlier in the day, bringing up a National Enquirer story that purported to link Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of John F. Kennedy.
“This is nuts,” Cruz said while visiting a restaurant in Evansville. “This is not a reasonable position. This is just kooky.”
After Cruz dismissed the Enquirer as “tabloid trash,” he then took aim at Trump himself.
“This man is a pathological liar,” Cruz said. “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”
And the jabs kept coming.
Cruz called Trump “a narcissist at a level that I don’t think this country has ever seen. ... Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald.”
Not only that, Cruz said, Trump is “utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him.”
Cruz’s riff took on the feel of an armchair psychologist, chalking up Trump’s outsized personality and at times outrageous statements about women to insecurity.
“Donald is terrified by strong women; he lashes out at them,” Cruz said.
For good measure, Cruz also called Trump a “serial philanderer.”
“And he boasts about it ... describes his battle with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam,” Cruz added.
Trump, in a statement, dismissed Cruz as “desperate.”
“It is no surprise he has resorted to his usual tactics of over-the-top rhetoric that nobody believes,” Trump said. “Over the last week, I have watched Lyin’ Ted become more and more unhinged as he is unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing, in all cases by landslides, the last six primary elections — in fact, coming in last place in all but one of them.”
Trump added: “Today’s ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president.”
Outtakes from the Hoosier State: Relishing Indiana’s role ahead of Tuesday’s primary
Hillary Clinton voter in Indianapolis: ‘I’m ready to have everybody come together’
Voters in north Indianapolis explain how they cast their ballots in Indiana’s presidential primary Tuesday:
Hillary Clinton faces tough questions in West Virginia coal country
Hillary Clinton apologized to an unemployed West Virginia coal worker on Monday after he and other workers confronted her about her plan to put them “out of business” in favor of alternative energy sources.
“I don’t know how to explain it other than what I said was totally out of context for what I meant because I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time,” Clinton tried to explain to the man, identified by the Associated Press as registered Republican Bo Copley.
He pressed her on why she had disparaged the coal industry two months ago during a CNN town hall but now was promoting herself as a friend to those in the region.
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country,” Clinton said at the town hall in March. “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?”
Clinton said Monday that her words didn’t come out right and that she meant to say if the government doesn’t help miners, they will continue to lose their jobs, like Copley did.
Clinton added that she knew she would need to fight for support in West Virginia but traveled to the state to show residents she will help them no matter how they vote.
Sorry, Trump, Cruz and Kasich: These high-profile Republicans are just not that into you
When New York held its recent presidential primary, Rep. Peter T. King was quite specific about his sentiments: He cast his ballot for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, but that didn’t mean he was endorsing his candidacy.
“If I thought that John Kasich had a viable chance, I’d come out and endorse him,” the Republican lawmaker said on MSNBC, in effect tossing a bouquet of wilted flowers at the struggling White House hopeful.
If Kasich felt chastened, or confused, he was not alone. That odd linguistic formulation has been heard throughout this fraught election season, introducing a new dodge into the lexicon of tortured political locution.
Five things to watch for in the Indiana primary
Boisterous campaign rallies. Political ads every commercial break. Presidential candidates schmoozing with voters over pancakes.
In recent days, Indiana, which holds its primary Tuesday, has begun to look a lot like Iowa, the first-in-the-nation nominating state that has outsize influence in deciding each party’s presidential nominee.
Indiana’s primary, which falls late in the schedule, rarely matters. But with multiple candidates still fighting for both the Democratic and Republican nominations, Indiana is more consequential than usual in deciding who advances to the general election this fall.
Here are a few things to watch for.