Donald Trump shows flashes of new discipline as his revamped team takes control
The first sign that Donald Trump realized his capture of the Republican presidential nomination was in danger was his hiring of Washington veteran Paul J. Manafort three weeks ago to whip his campaign into shape.
Trump’s celebration after winning Tuesday’s New York primary suggests that Manafort’s presence might be making a difference.
Trump, the New York billionaire whose gushers of insults on Twitter have defied every rule of political etiquette, did not entirely suppress his trademark bravado.
“We’re going to end at a very high level and get a lot more delegates than anybody projected even in their wildest imagination,” Trump told supporters gathered around an escalator in the lobby of Trump Tower, ignoring the distinct possibility that he won’t win enough to even secure the nomination.
But Trump showed discipline in sticking to his message, stressing plans to save American jobs, build up the military and stop illegal immigration.
“Illegal immigrants are taken care of in many cases better than our vets,” he said. “That’s not going to happen anymore.”
Looking ahead to contests in coming weeks in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Maryland and Rhode Island, Trump vowed to preserve jobs in regions beset by hard times. “They’re in big trouble,” he said of residents of those states.
But Trump also took on Republicans who have helped chief rival Ted Cruz rack up delegates in meetings of party insiders willing to disregard popular support in their states for Trump.
“The people aren’t going to stand for it,” said Trump, who has warned that riots could break out at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July if he is denied the nomination despite winning more votes than any opponent.
Trump laid ground – just as he has at nearly all of his public events over the last week – for challenging the legitimacy of any delegate vote to nominate Cruz at the convention in spite of Trump’s all-but-inevitable finish with a bigger share of the popular vote.
“It’s a crooked system,” he said, a remarkable denunciation of the GOP coming from the front-runner for its White House nomination. “It’s a system that’s rigged, and we’re going to go back to the old way. It’s called you vote and you win.”
Trump’s hiring of Manafort and other seasoned campaign operatives came after a string of delegate losses to Cruz at GOP gatherings in Colorado, Wyoming and other states where Trump’s team was poorly organized.
“Nobody can take an election away with the way they’re doing it in the Republican Party,” Trump said.
But Trump can, in fact, still lose the nomination, and that’s why Manafort and the other new advisors are steering him into a more disciplined and traditional campaign, even if it causes internal upheaval, like the resignation this week of Trump’s field director.
“My team has been amazing,” he said. “And, you know, it’s actually a team of unity. It’s evolving, but people don’t understand that.”
Donald Trump won New York but lost his home turf -- Manhattan
Donald Trump corralled a strong victory in New York on Tuesday but lost the place he calls home: Manhattan.
In New York County – better known as the borough of Manhattan – Ohio Gov. John Kasich outpaced Trump, 45% to 42%.
It’s the only county in New York state that, based on nearly complete results, Trump lost.
Trump lives in a penthouse atop Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan; he delivered his victory speech there Tuesday. Born in Queens (he dominated Queens County), Trump often boasts that it was Manhattan that made him a billionaire in the real estate industry.
Trump is set to nab a majority of the 95 delegates up for grabs in the state, but in some congressional districts – such as those in Manhattan – Kasich, along with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are on track to keep him below 50% and will probably pick up delegates.
Bernie Sanders says he needs ‘a day off,’ but isn’t quitting the race
Bernie Sanders flew home to Vermont after losing by double digits to Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s New York primary, telling reporters that he needs to “take a day off” after many weeks on the road so he can get “recharged.”
But he insisted that his return home was not a signal that he was quitting the Democratic race, despite a growing number of calls by some Clinton supporters that he do so.
“No,” Sanders said, when asked if he was dropping out. “We think we have a message that is resonating around this country. We have a path toward victory.”
Sanders said his campaign believed it could win some of the five states up for grabs in next Tuesday’s primaries, adding that he plans to focus his efforts in Pennsylvania, where he said his campaign had “a really strong grass-roots movement.”
“We look forward to winning a number of those states,” he said.
Sanders also emphasized his concern about New York’s closed primary system, saying it was a travesty that some 3 million voters were ineligible to vote in Tuesday’s election because they are not registered with the GOP or Democratic Party.
“People should have the right to participate in the primary,” he said.
Pennsylvania and all but one of the other states voting next week also have closed primaries.
While his rival gave a victory speech in a packed Manhattan ballroom, Sanders spoke for just a few minutes while a strong wind mussed his hair. He sounded relieved to be home.
“I have not been here for a number of weeks,” he said. “I missed Vermont.”
In a fundraising pitch emailed out by his campaign Tuesday night, Sanders acknowledged the obstacles to his campaign, but said that put him and his supporters in good company.
“Every great movement in American history faced many of the same obstacles and eventually won because of a simple, timeless human truth: when people come together, when they stand together even through adversity, they win,” the message said.
‘Victory is in sight,’ a jubilant Hillary Clinton says
Hillary Clinton came closer than ever to declaring outright victory in the Democratic primary after routing Bernie Sanders in New York on Tuesday night.
“The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch, and victory is in sight,” she said to a cheering crowd at a hotel near Times Square.
Clinton also made an explicit appeal to people who voted for Sanders and remain skeptical of her liberal credentials.
“To all the people who supported Sen. Sanders, I believe that there’s much more that unites us than divides us,” she said.
In a reference to her criticisms of Sanders, Clinton said candidates need to present voters with clearer policy proposals.
“Under the bright lights of New York, we have seen that it’s not enough to diagnose problems,” she said. “You have to explain how you actually solve them.”
Clinton lingered on the issue of gun violence, recognizing the daughter of the elementary school principal killed in the Newtown massacre in 2012.
The woman’s daughter, she said, “has turned her sorrow into a strategy and her mourning into a movement.”
Clinton has dedicated two upcoming campaign events to the topic, in Philadelphia and in Hartford, Conn.
New York’s Republicans aren’t too worried about immigration
Donald Trump may have swept New York’s GOP primary, but Republican voters appeared to have less interest in his signature issue: immigration.
Fewer than 1 in 10 surveyed identified immigration as the most important issue facing the country this election year.
New York Republicans do back Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., as do other GOP voters polled in primary states. Nearly 7 in 10 support the idea of the ban, according to exit polls.
But otherwise, 6 in 10 said, immigrants here illegally should be given a chance to achieve legal status.
Among Trump voters in New York, views were mixed. More than half said immigrants should have the opportunity to apply for legal status, but 7 in 10 said they should be deported.
But so few expressed interest in immigration as an issue it barely registered in the exit polls.
Hillary Clinton thanks New Yorkers and suggests that she has the Democratic nomination sewn up
Once again, Clinton does well among women and minorities, while Sanders wins youth vote
Democratic voters cast ballots largely along demographic lines in Tuesday’s New York primary, according to exit polls.
As she has in previous elections in diverse states, Hillary Clinton bested Bernie Sanders thanks in part to her support among nonwhite and female voters, exit polls show.
Sanders trounced Clinton among young voters, winning roughly 3 out of 4 voters younger than 29.
Clinton won about two-thirds of minority votes Tuesday. That’s a significant lead in a state where roughly 40% of voters are nonwhite. Her success among minority voters bodes well for her chances in California’s primary in June. Clinton won about 6 in 10 Latino votes in New York, according to exit polls.
Exit polls showed Clinton winning about 6 in 10 female voters as well.
Reinforcing what has been a dominant theme this election year, Sanders won younger voters by a landslide. He won more than 80% of voters younger than 24, according to exit polls.
Was Ted Cruz’s very bad night in New York a blip or the new normal?
New Yorkers really, truly did not like Ted Cruz – perhaps a punishing result of his riff against “New York values,” or a deep sign of trouble ahead in the mid-Atlantic states that vote next week.
Four in 10 New York Republicans said they would not vote for the Texas Republican if he was the party’s nominee, according to exit polls. Six in 10 said they were “concerned” or “scared” by what he would do in the White House.
Donald Trump swept almost every category of voter – by age, gender, education, income, according to the polls.
And even though Ohio Gov. John Kasich performed better than Cruz, his support was not overly convincing.
About 2 in 5 Kasich voters said their vote was mainly against his opponents.
As Trump continues his march to the Republican nomination, it’s far from a decisive moment for the GOP.
If no Republican clinches the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination, exit polling shows more than two-thirds of New York Republicans want the top candidate to win.
That’s the kind of support Trump may need most.
Donald Trump focuses on jobs in victory speech and tries to dismiss primary race as all but over
Hillary Clinton wins New York Democratic primary
Hillary Clinton has won New York’s Democratic primary, delivering a blow to rival Bernie Sanders’ efforts to cut into her lead in delegates in the race for the party’s nomination for president.
Clinton had long been favored to win the contest, thanks to voters’ familiarity with her as a former U.S. senator for the state and its large contingent of minority voters, who have propelled her to victory several times in the primary season.
Ted Cruz moves ahead to Pennsylvania, where he says he wants to unite Republicans
Is Ted Cruz saying goodbye to his dour mood?
It sure sounded like it Tuesday. The Texas senator spoke for about 10 minutes – just before polls closed in New York, where he lost soundly to Donald Trump.
Cruz gave the speech at the National Constitution Center in downtown Philadelphia, the biggest city in the biggest state in the next round of primaries, on April 26.
It was anything but a typical concession speech. There was no concession, for one. There was also no party – just a small group of supporters in chairs. There were no televisions with results. No food. And very little talk about New York’s primary or Trump, beyond a brief reference to “a politician winning his home state tonight.”
Instead, Cruz gave a soaring speech invoking John F. Kennedy, the moon landing, the dawn of computers and other American achievements, while promising to make good on the best of President Obama’s rhetoric.
“Not ‘Yes we can’ ... but ‘Yes, we will,’” he said, from the same building where Obama gave his notable speech on race in the 2008 campaign. “We will restore our spirit. We will free our minds and imagination. We will create a new and better world.”
He spoke of himself in the same company with Bernie Sanders, asserting that their support from ideological opposites demonstrates their shared outsider appeal. He talked about generational change and the chance for Americans to fulfill their destiny, once Washington gets out of the way.
“We will restore our rightful place in the world,” he said.
The speech appeared geared toward consolidating support from Republicans in the anyone-but-Trump group and shedding Cruz’s reputation as an ideologically divisive candidate.
“We must unite the Republican Party because doing so is the first step toward uniting all Americans,” Cruz said.
Donald Trump wins New York GOP primary
Donald Trump has won the Republican primary in New York, a state that offers a sizable chunk of delegates – 95 – toward the front-runner’s goal of scooping up the 1,237 needed to secure the GOP nomination.
But rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich are looking to results from the state’s congressional districts, where they hope to take advantage of party rules and pick off individual delegates to prevent Trump from reaching the majority he’s aiming for.
Which party likes a rough-and-tumble primary? Hint: It’s not the GOP
Democrats, it turns out, see the benefits of the raucous primary season; Republicans, not so much.
That’s the view from New York, where more than 2 in 3 Democrats in exit polls said the primary campaign was energizing their party.
The intensifying battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has given voice to the party’s left flank and drawn in millennials. Though it remains to be seen how much of that enthusiasm translates into votes in the general election, fewer than 1 in 3 New York Democrats surveyed worry the showdown has divided the party.
Among Republicans, however, the sentiment was essentially reversed.
Almost 3 in 5 Republican voters questioned in New York said the rough race led by Donald Trump was dividing the party, which is increasingly bracing for a disrupted convention.
Polling over the weekend showed the trouble ahead for the GOP.
If no candidate secures the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, as appears possible in this unusually long competitive primary process, multiple ballots could ensue -- potentially leading to a showdown.
And that doesn’t sit well with most Republicans. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 62% said the candidate with the most delegates should get the nomination, even if he doesn’t seize a majority of votes.
But that’s not the way the rules work.
Bernie Sanders slams New York’s closed primary
Bernie Sanders criticized New York’s closed primary, decrying the fact that 27% of New Yorkers were ineligible to vote in Tuesday’s primary election because they are not registered with either major party.
“That’s wrong,” Sanders told a crowd at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. “I would hope that in future primary elections in New York state, the officials there make some fundamental changes about how they do business.”
More than 3 million New York voters are registered outside of the Democratic and Republican parties, keeping them from casting votes in the state’s closed primary. Some Sanders supporters who are not Democrats have agitated for the right to vote in the primary in recent weeks as he and opponent Hillary Clinton have engaged in an increasingly contentious election.
The Vermont senator’s comments, which came hours before polls closed in New York, could be interpreted as a lowering of expectations for his chances there. But Sanders said that was not the case.
“We’re going to do just fine tonight in New York,” he said.
Follow along with New York primary results
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If you’re on the Internet, look here.
Why John Kasich’s campaign sees second place as a win in New York
Gov. John Kasich has not won a contest since he nabbed a victory back on March 15 in his home state of Ohio.
But no need to worry, insists his campaign; a second-place finish in New York’s Republican primary is essentially a win, aides argued.
“We’re going to finish second in New York and we’re going to come out of the state with delegates,” John Weaver, a senior advisor to Kasich, said Tuesday before results were announced. “That’s going to be a blow to [Ted] Cruz ... and it’s going to be indicative of other states to come.”
An average of several polls from New York showed Kasich in second behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump and outpacing Cruz, who secured a big win in Wisconsin on April 5.
For Kasich and Cruz, the race at this point is as much about winning as about picking up enough delegates to keep Trump from getting the 1,237 he needs to secure the nomination.
In New York, 81 delegates are doled out proportionally by congressional districts. Another 14 at-large delegates go to the winner if he garners 50% of the vote.
Kasich hopes to pick off support primarily in the suburbs north of New York City.
Weaver said with Northeast states like Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut set to hold contests next week, his candidate will be in a strong position to gain momentum because of a GOP electorate that is much more moderate.
About 1 in 5 Republican voters in New York consider themselves “very conservative,” according to exit polls.
Kasich, who will not host any election night events, spoke at a town hall in Annapolis, Md., on Tuesday, where he touted his bipartisan work in Ohio and in Congress.
Cruz skips New York party and opts for a speech in Philadelphia instead
Back home in New York, Trump has a chance to right his struggling campaign
After a rough two weeks, the New York primary offered Donald Trump a badly needed chance Tuesday to reset his presidential campaign and regain the upper hand in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.
There was little doubt Trump would carry his home state, where the real estate mogul is literally a household name: “Trump,” in giant letters and various forms, adorns some of Manhattan’s most exclusive addresses.
Rather, the key question was the size of his victory and whether he would win at least 50% of the statewide vote and a majority in each of New York’s 27 congressional districts. Anything short would mean divvying up the state’s 95 delegates, the fourth-biggest total any primary or caucus has to offer.
The allocation was more than a matter of vanity or political perceptions. The GOP contest has become a hand-to-hand battle for delegates to the party’s July convention in Cleveland, where they will ultimately choose the nominee to carry the party standard into the fall campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
New York Democrats trust Bernie Sanders, but think Hillary Clinton can win
New York Democrats trust Bernie Sanders.
But they think Hillary Clinton has the best chance to beat Donald Trump in a general election matchup this fall, according to exit polls.
A whopping 4 of 5 Democratic voters in New York find Sanders, the Brooklyn-born Vermont senator, honest and trustworthy, according to the polls, conducted for the Associated Press and the broadcast networks.
But almost 2 in 3 think Clinton is the one who can beat Trump.
Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are divided over how they view their parties’ raucous primary season.
More than two-thirds of Democrats say the primary campaigns have energized their party, while almost as many Republicans that think it has divided the GOP.
After often-bitter exchanges between Clinton and Sanders, New York voters get their say
After weeks of escalating hostility in New York between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, which included the presidential candidates charging each other with incompetence, lying and even lawbreaking, voters in what could prove to be a pivotal primary are having their say.
It is an election in which New York has lived up to its reputation for political brawling. Two candidates who, through much of the race, worked to sidestep the personal insults and bitter attacks that have dominated the Republican contest, showed little restraint in the Empire State. The stakes had become too high to risk taking the high road.
The Democratic front-runner, Clinton, who maintains a commanding lead in delegates, grew increasingly anxious as voting approached in the state she represented as a U.S. senator for eight years. Vermont Sen. Sanders racked up wins in smaller states that came before, amassing victories in seven of the last eight that voted.
No love for Wall Street, even in New York
Poor Wall Street.
More than half of the Republican voters in New York think Wall Street hurts the American economy, according to exit polls.
And that’s the good news.
Among Democrats, almost two-thirds of New York voters said Wall Street hurts more than helps, per a CNN analysis.
New York Republicans are more moderate than GOP voters in other primary states, exit polls show
New York’s Republican voters are more moderate than those who have voted elsewhere this primary season, and most say the campaign is dividing the party, according to exit polling Tuesday.
About 1 in 5 Republican voters in New York consider themselves “very conservative,” while Democrats are more staunchly loyal partisans, the polls found.
GOP front-runner Donald Trump is expected to do well in his home state, and about two-thirds of Empire State Republicans surveyed prefer a candidate from outside the party, compared with about one-third who wanted one with experience.
New York is a pivot point in the nominating contest because of the big cache of GOP delegates at stake, 95, but also as a test of candidate strength outside the South and Midwest.
The polling, conducted for a consortium of the Associated Press and the television networks, found the New York Republican electorate is more moderate than in the other primary states polled, where about 35% identified as “very conservative.”
Among New York Republicans, nearly 6 in 10 said the primary season is dividing the party, while about a third said the campaigns are energizing it.
The cold, hard math of GOP delegate fight makes a big New York win crucial for Donald Trump
By Donald Trump’s count, a win of at least 70 of the 95 delegates at stake in Tuesday’s New York primary would amount to “a really great night.”
Regardless of the final delegate count, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination said he just wants a majority of the votes in his home state.
“If I got 50 percent, that would be a great tribute,” Trump told WABC radio in New York.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has taken advantage of Trump’s weak field operations in recent weeks, defeating the New York billionaire in obscure but important delegate contests at party gatherings in Colorado, Wyoming and other states.
For Trump, who has shaken up his campaign’s high command in recent days, those losses have increased the importance of winning New York – and winning it big. Trump’s field director, Stuart Jolly, resigned this week as Trump sought to professionalize his delegate wrangling under former Washington lobbyist Paul J. Manafort.
“When you bring other people in, I could see some people, their feelings get a little bit hurt,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday. “And I don’t know most of these people – the field people. But frankly, we’re at a position where we’d like to see if we can close it out. I think we’re going to get to the number.”
“The number” is 1,237: That’s how many delegates Trump must win by the time the primaries end in California and other states on June 7 to avoid a nasty floor fight in July at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Trump now leads with 756 delegates, followed by Cruz with 559, former candidate Marco Rubio with 171, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 144, according to the Associated Press.
To get to 1,237, Trump must win 61% of the remaining delegates – not impossible, but very challenging.
But if Trump wins, say, 85 delegates in New York – polls suggest that’s doable – he would then need just 57% of the remaining delegates to reach 1,237, according to NBC.
Given the complexities of delegate allocations in each state, Trump still would have just a tiny margin for error in the final seven weeks of the primaries.
New York primary draws legal scrutiny amid reports of voting problems
A legal effort that could have opened New York’s Democratic primary to voters who are not registered as party members was unsuccessful as residents cast their ballots Tuesday.
The lawsuit alleged that some Democratic voters were improperly removed from the voting rolls and would be unable to participate in the primary.
“They’ve been voting in Democratic primaries for many years, and somehow found themselves in the unfortunate circumstance of getting purged from the rolls,” said Shyla Nelson, a spokeswoman for Election Justice USA, an activist group that worked on the lawsuit.
Given the potential scope of the problem, Nelson said, they asked for a “Hail Mary” to address an “emergency situation.”
“In the spirit of the scope and magnitude of the problem, we approached with the request to open the primary,” she said.
However, a judge declined to grant the request Tuesday, instead calling for a hearing at a later date.
Meanwhile, officials at the state attorney general’s office fielded a larger-than-usual number of complaints about problems voting. Many people believed they were registered but were told they were not when they went to vote.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement that he’s heard of “numerous errors” with people missing from lists of registered voters.
“The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed,” he said.
Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, sunglasses on, votes in New York
Donald Trump flubs mention of 9/11, instead invoking ‘7-Eleven’
Donald Trump recently cut a check for $100,000 to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and speaks often about having lost friends in the terrorist attacks.
So on Monday night in Buffalo, N.Y., it was odd to many when the billionaire businessman invoked a convenience store chain and not the date of the tragic events.
“I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down,” Trump, the strong favorite to win Tuesday’s New York Republican presidential primary, said. “And I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.”
Trump, who went on to talk about “New York values,” which rival Sen. Ted Cruz has assailed, did not correct his gaffe during the stump speech. A request for comment from Trump’s campaign was not immediately returned.
Polls have Trump outpacing Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich by double-digits in Tuesday’s primary in his home state of New York. Ninety-five delegates are up for grabs in the GOP primary.
Of course tea drinkers might disagree
Obama: The presidential race is ‘the tip of a broader iceberg of dysfunction’
As President Obama sets off abroad to visit key international allies, he appears to be girding for another round of questions from foreign leaders about the unfolding race to succeed him.
In an interview with Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday on “CBS This Morning,” Obama said his own longstanding confidence in America’s capacity to “own the 21st century” is tempered somewhat by what he called a “dysfunctional” political system.
“The single most important question I’m asked these days from other world leaders is, ‘What’s going on with your elections?’” he said. “The current presidential election just is the tip of a broader iceberg of dysfunction that we’ve seen.”
Rose also asked Obama about advice he might have for his successor, whether a Republican or Democrat.
“One of the things that I’ve learned is that the big breakthroughs are typically the result of just a lot of grunt work,” he said. “What is important is making sure that you’ve got an organization that has integrity, that is clear about its mission, that is doing things the right way and not taking shortcuts. That you’re not thinking in terms of short-term politics or PR, but you’re in for the long haul, and when you do that, then ultimately, you’re gonna get the good outcome.”
Obama was to depart Tuesday for Saudi Arabia, where he’ll meet with King Salman and other Persian Gulf leaders. He’s to head to the Britain on Thursday for a trip that includes a lunch Friday with Queen Elizabeth II, who turns 90 this week. His final scheduled stop is Germany, where he’ll tour an international trade show with Chancellor Angela Merkel and deliver an address on U.S. foreign policy.
On primary day voter voices from New York’s Greenwich Village
Manhattan voters relish their chance to cast key ballots in presidential primaries
New Yorkers are accustomed to voting in presidential primaries that come long after the two major parties have already chosen their nominees.
This year is different, though, with the Democratic and Republican races still hotly contested.
“We’re thrilled,” said Manhattanite Millie Margiotta, 86, who has lived in her Midtown East neighborhood for 45 years. Like many others who voted at a local school, Margiotta cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton.
“I just want Hillary to win,” she said. “That’s all I want.”
A number of voters said they thought Clinton had the most experience. Others said they doubted that Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination, could deliver on his more ambitious liberal proposals.
“I am for free college education,” said Bilgé Erdem, 50, a dentist. “Where is he going to get the money?”
That issue is precisely why Susan Butler Plum, 70, who runs a legal foundation, voted for Sanders.
Asked where the money would come from, she said, “Maybe we should take it away from other things that aren’t sustainable for the future. We can reduce our military budget.”
Everyone Plum knows is voting for Sanders, she said.
“I do not know a single Hillary voter,” she said.
Not everyone walked to the polling place. One man arrived in a chauffeured Tesla, and the driver waited at the curb while his passenger voted inside.
Bernie Nader? Clinton team invokes a Democratic bogeyman
In the pantheon of Democratic villainy, a special place is reserved for Ralph Nader.
Many blame the consumer-advocate-turned-quixotic-presidential-hopeful for costing Al Gore the White House in 2000 by siphoning votes with his Green Party candidacy, causing a tied election decided by the Supreme Court after weeks of legal and political agony. The result was President George W. Bush.
So it was no casual reference when Joel Benenson, a top strategist for Hillary Clinton, played what might be called the Nader Card in an interview Tuesday on CNN.
Confident that Clinton will defeat Bernie Sanders and win the Democratic nomination, her team has increasingly pressed Vermont’s senator to still his harsh rhetoric and make nice, even if he insists on campaigning all the way to the party’s summer convention.
“Is Sen. Sanders going to stop attacks that hurt Democrats that we need up and down the ticket?” Benenson said as New Yorkers streamed to the polls.
“Is he going to try to support the party that is in favor of protecting voting rights, women’s rights, or turn himself into someone who will do what he said he wasn’t going do,” Benenson continued, “and be a Ralph Nader and try to destroy the party when it comes to defeating Republicans in November?”
In a Los Angeles Times interview in early 2015, when he was still weighing a run for president and his bid seemed an epic long shot, Sanders was asked whether he would purposely seek to undermine Clinton, or assume the Nader role and help put a Republican in the White House.
“I will not play the role of spoiler,” he replied.
He also said he wouldn’t wage a negative campaign — never had — and wouldn’t run against Clinton, per se. “I run on the most important issues facing America.”
Of course, much has changed. Not only Sanders’ regard for Clinton, which seems to have fallen precipitously, but the enormous success of his candidacy. He has posed a far stiffer challenge than even his campaign team expected early on, drawing massive crowds and shifting the terms of the Democratic contest heavily in his leftward direction.
In that way he’s already far surpassed Nader — who, as it were, is no Clinton fan.
Donald Trump: 9/11 report excerpt will reveal Saudi Arabia’s ‘profound’ role in the attacks
Donald Trump weighed in Tuesday on the reemerging debate over 28 pages of redactions in the 9/11 commission report and said he thinks the excerpt will show that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia played a significant role in the terrorist attacks.
“We attacked Iraq and frankly by attacking Iraq — they were not the ones that knocked down the World Trade Center,” he said on “Fox and Friends.”
Candidates in both parties, members of Congress and President Obama are engaged in an intensifying debate over whether to release the classified pages, in part because of proposed legislation over whether to allow 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia for any possible role in the attacks. While Obama said he plans to wait on his decision until the director of national intelligence finishes a review of the information, lawmakers are pressuring him to declassify it.
Trump said the U.S. needed to release the papers a long time ago.
“It’s going to be very profound having to do with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s role on the World Trade Center and the attack,” he said.
The bipartisan commission’s published report said, “We have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” The redacted 28 pages are said to detail possible Saudi involvement, perhaps by lower-level officials, rather than any sanctioned government act.
Watch the Clintons get ready to cast their votes in the New York primary
Why young voters are flocking to Sanders, and older ones to Clinton
At Bernie Sanders’ rally in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, thousands of supporters, most of them young, gathered Sunday for what seemed more like a concert than a campaign stop. On Monday, Hillary Clinton brought her supporters together in a midtown Manhattan hotel where there was one distinct difference besides the absence of a band named Grizzly Bear: the age of many of those in attendance.
As the two Democrats seek their party’s presidential nomination, Sanders’ appeal is greatest to the young, particularly young men. Clinton’s support is strongest among older voters, both men and women. It has been true through the primary states so far, it’s true in polls leading up to Tuesday’s contest in New York, and it’s true in polls of California, where the 2016 primary season will reach its climactic conclusion on June 7.
Angelica Collado, a Queens College student, was among the sea of Sanders supporters and curious Brooklynites who showed up at the park Sunday, like so many have before at other mass rallies for the Vermont senator. She likes Sanders for his support of free college tuition for state universities and colleges, she said.
“I really like his point of view,” said Collado, 25. “And I think he’ll continue what Obama has really started.”
Can Donald Trump top 50%? Five things to watch in the New York primary
New Yorkers are accustomed to being at the center of the universe, though typically not during presidential primaries. Such contests are usually settled by the time they arrive in this famously combative arena.
Not this year.
Empire State voters will have a New York-size influence over a pair of races dominated by a familiar cast of characters. They include a real estate magnate whose colorful personal life and business exploits have landed him on the cover of their tabloid newspapers for years; the state’s former U.S. senator; and an ex-Brooklynite whose resilience confirms that even decades in pastoral Vermont don’t erase a New Yorker’s street-fighting instincts.
Here are five things to watch in Tuesday’s New York primary.