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Donald Trump’s campaign manager won’t be prosecuted on battery charge

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Bernie Sanders is hosting a big rally Wednesday night in New York.

  • A Florida prosecutor has decided not to pursue a formal charge against Donald Trump’s campaign manager
  • Trump and Megyn Kelly met but haven’t agreed to an interview
  • In front of thousands, Sanders says he’s got a tough fight in New York
  • Ted Cruz’s daughters want to invite Taylor Swift to the White House

Who knew? Ted Cruz is an ‘incredible listener’

Heidi Cruz divulged several family stories about her husband Wednesday -- their love-at-first-sight courtship and even how he bought 100 cans of soup after their honeymoon.

But one comment stood out.

“Ted is an incredible listener,” said Heidi, stopping herself to repeat what she surely knew bore repeating: “Ted Cruz is an incredible listener.”

Ted Cruz is known for many qualities, but listening is not one of them. In fact, filibustering often appears to be his standard way of conversing.

Heidi, though, a Harvard-educated investment advisor and former White House aide, said that at home, it’s different.

The couple’s young daughters, she said, say that away from the stage, “Mom does all the talking and Dad listens.”

And those cans of soup he bought for his dinner? She returned them.

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Ted Cruz’s daughters want to invite Taylor Swift to the White House

If Ted Cruz becomes president, his young daughters already know who they want as their first guest at the White House: Taylor Swift.

Not that Caroline, who turns 8 on Thursday, and Catherine, 5, would fess up to it during the family’s CNN town hall -- each pushed the other to spill the beans.

“The girls would love to have their first guest be Taylor Swift,” offered their mom, Heidi Cruz.

Favorite songs?

“I like all of the songs,” said Caroline, before quickly offering her top three: “Bad Blood,” “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams.”

The senator noted that the kids got karaoke machines for Christmas.

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Ted Cruz and those ‘New York values’

Ted Cruz just can’t quit “New York values.”

During a CNN town hall with his family Wednesday night, a New York voter asked Cruz about using that phrase to dismiss the place, which holds its primary next week.

Cruz took the long way around the question, but ultimately landed where he started -- doubling down on the comment that has caused him some political grief.

“What I’m talking about are the liberal Democrats,” he said, applauding the police officers who turned their back on Mayor Bill de Blasio at a funeral for a slain officer last year.

Cruz praised New Yorkers as the “best and brightest” with a can-do attitude, but skipped whether he preferred living in the Northeast (where he attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School) or his home state of Texas.

“I am a Cuban-Irish-Italian Texan,” he said, “which is an odd mix, to be sure.”

Later, he got a save from his wife, Heidi, and daughters, particularly Caroline, 7.

“She told me today her favorite state is New York,” Heidi Cruz said.

Host Anderson Cooper asked why.

“I like going to the American Girl doll store,” she answered.

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Without independent votes, Bernie Sanders calls himself the underdog in New York

If you hadn’t paid attention to the Democratic race for president and were unfamiliar with its combatants, the scene Wednesday night might have surprised you: a massive, adoring crowd of more than 20,000, yet a candidate lamenting the uphill battle he faced.

“This is a tough race for us,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said at the foot of Washington Square Arch at a major rally ahead of Tuesday’s New York primary, the Empire State Building gleaming in blue and green behind him.

Yes, despite the “yuge” crowds Sanders is drawing around the state, polls show that rival Hillary Clinton has a strong advantage in New York’s nominating contest.

Sanders offered a reason for that, beyond Clinton’s obvious history as the state’s senator: voter registration deadlines in a closed-primary system.

“We have a system here in New York where independents can’t get involved in the Democratic primary, where young people who have not previously registered and want to register today can’t do it,” Sanders said to a chorus of boos.

Still, Sanders predicted a “surprise for the establishment.”

“I think that if we have a large voter turnout on Tuesday, we are going to win this thing,” he said as he closed his more than hourlong speech on a chilly spring evening.

His speech largely stuck to the familiar themes that have carried him this far. But nearly a year into his campaign, he expressed his conviction that Americans were coming around to his way of thinking.

“What they are concluding is that establishment politics and establishment economics are not going to address those crises,” he said. “What they are concluding is we cannot take seriously candidates who receive millions of dollars from the most powerful and greedy interests in America who then go forward and say we’re going to stand up to those special interests. Nobody believes that.”

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No Trump interview yet for Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, but they’re talking

Donald Trump spent an hour in a one-on-one meeting Wednesday with his Fox News nemesis, Megyn Kelly, who is seeking a prime-time interview with the front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Kelly had hoped to announce on her program “The Kelly File” that Trump would be a guest on her May 23 prime-time special.

But no agreement was reached on the appearance.

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A fan feels the Bern in Washington Square Park in New York

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Prosecutors in Florida won’t pursue charge against Donald Trump’s campaign manager

Video released by Jupiter, Fla., police shows an encounter between a reporter and Donald Trump’s campaign manager, who has been charged with battery.

Prosecutors in Florida will not file a formal battery charge against Donald Trump’s campaign manager, who was accused of grabbing a reporter’s arm in Florida last month, according to a person familiar with the case.

The campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, 42, was charged with battery after police in Jupiter, Fla., reviewed a video that shows him grabbing the arm of former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields as Trump walks through a crowd at the Trump National Golf Club.

Palm Beach County State Atty. Dave Aronberg was scheduled to announce the decision Thursday afternoon, according to Politico, which first reported the development. The prosecutor’s decision was confirmed by a person who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Aronberg’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday evening.

Before police released the video, Lewandowski insisted he had never met Fields and that her entire story was false. “You are totally delusional,” Lewandowski said to Fields on Twitter a few days after the encounter. “I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.”

Yet eyewitnesses, including a Washington Post reporter, said they saw Lewandowski grab Fields’ arm, and Fields tweeted a picture of bruises on her forearm. A police report said the act constituted an unwelcome touching, one of the standards of the misdemeanor battery charge in Florida.

Trump has stood by his campaign manager, whom he has called a victim.

“I told him, ‘You should never settle this case; you should go all the way.’ I think they’ve really hurt a very good person and I know it would be very easy for me to discard people. I don’t discard people,” Trump said of Lewandowski shortly after the charges were filed.

Fields has resigned from her reporting position at Breitbart, citing a lack of support.

A request for comment from Trump’s campaign was not immediately returned.

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Snapshot from the trail: Donald Trump rally in Pittsburgh

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Hillary Clinton headed to Los Angeles to campaign

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As Clinton and Sanders prepare for debate, New York polls are very stable

The Rev. Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton.
(Justin Lane / European Pressphoto Agency)

As Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders prepare for a potentially high-stakes debate in Brooklyn on Thursday, polling in advance of the New York primary has shown remarkable stability.

Nine nonpartisan polling organizations have released surveys in New York since the start of the month. They show Clinton’s support ranging from 50% to 56% and Sanders’ from 37% to 43%, with a relative handful of voters still undecided.

On average, the polls show Clinton leading Sanders by about 12 percentage points in the state.

Sanders’ backers have estimated that he needs to get about 54% of the vote in New York to be on track to win more delegates through primaries and caucuses than Clinton does. If he succeeds in doing that, which would require big victories not only in New York, but also in most of the remaining contests, they say he would be in strong position to win over Democratic party leaders and elected officials, the so-called superdelegates who automatically get a vote at the party’s nominating convention.

But if, instead, Clinton wins roughly that percentage, she would net enough new delegates to wipe out the progress Sanders made by winning in Wisconsin and Wyoming earlier this month.

So far, the polls roughly agree that Clinton holds a small advantage among white voters in New York, but about a 2-1 lead among blacks and a sizable edge among Latinos. As in other states, Sanders leads among younger voters, but Clinton runs strongly among older ones.

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Trump to address California Republicans

(Associated Press)

GOP front-runner Donald Trump will speak at the California Republican Party convention at the end of the month, state party officials announced Wednesday.

He joins Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who will also address hundreds of the party’s most committed activists at the three-day gathering in Burlingame.

“California, like much of the rest of the nation, has struggled to regain its full economic success,” Trump said in a statement. “A Trump administration is going to be a pro-jobs, pro-economy, and pro-entrepreneur administration. I look forward to being with the great people of California and sharing my vision to Make America Great Again.”

Trump will speak at a luncheon on April 29.

The news comes one day after the businessman-turned-reality-television-star announced that he had hired a California state director, and underscores the importance of the state’s June 7 primary in selecting the GOP nominee.

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Mark Zuckerberg takes jab at Donald Trump’s calls to build a border wall

(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, is wading into the presidential race with veiled jabs at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump over his views on immigration.

Speaking at a conference of Facebook employees this week, Zuckerberg decried the type of perceived demagoguery promoted by Trump, but did not reference the fellow billionaire by name.

“I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others,’” Zuckerberg said in apparent reference to Trump, whose immigration policy includes a proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “For blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, reducing trade, and in some cases around the world, even cutting access to the Internet.”

Zuckerberg has donated to President Obama in each of the last two presidential elections. He’s also donated to Republicans, including former House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). So far in the 2016 election, Zuckerberg has not offered support to any candidate.

A Trump spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, slammed Zuckerberg as failing to live up to his own ideals.

“Self-righteousness isn’t very proactive,” she said on CNBC on Wednesday. “I’ll take Mark Zuckerberg seriously when he gives up all of his private security, moves out of his posh neighborhood and comes to live in a modest neighborhood near a border town.”

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Some prominent Republicans plan to steer clear of the party’s convention this summer

The GOP convention in Cleveland will have its share of cajoling and tensions and perhaps even dissolve into unrest, as Donald Trump has suggested -- all of which has some high-profile Republicans likely to skip out.

As the party reckons with the prospect of choosing Trump, whose caustic comments about women and immigrants have turned off wide swaths of general-election voters, as its presidential nominee, some Republican senators who face competitive reelection bids intend to separate themselves.

“I’m up for reelection,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C), told CNN in explaining his plans to skip the convention. “I’m more valuable outside of Cleveland than inside of Cleveland.”

Burr is being challenged by Deborah Ross, a former member of the North Carolina Legislature, who also oversaw the state’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter for nearly a decade.

Another Republican senator, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, has also told local reporters that she is unlikely to attend the July convention. Like Burr, Ayotte is looking to stave off a competitive challenge, from New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who ended his candidacy in February after failing to gather any momentum in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, was curt when asked by CNN if he would attend.

“No,” he said.

Trump and rivals Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio appear to be headed for a contested convention in Cleveland if Trump, the billionaire businessman, falters in securing the necessary 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. Cruz and Kasich have both vowed to stay in the race rather than clear the way for Trump.

All of the campaigns have hired experts with experience in how to maneuver contested conventions.

Last week, Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, assured worried Republicans that the convention will be “phenomenal” and safe.

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Hillary Clinton hits Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for ‘ugly currents’ in presidential race

Hillary Clinton scorned Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for proposals that she said contributed to “ugly currents” bursting forth in the 2016 campaign, as she pledged Wednesday to push for a broad series of initiatives meant to improve the lives of minority Americans.

Speaking at a Manhattan convention of the National Action Network, an activist organization founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Clinton was unsparing in her criticism of the two leaders in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

“America’s long struggle with racism is far from finished, and we are seeing that in this election,” she said. “The front-runner for the Republican nomination was asked in a national television interview to disavow David Duke and white supremacists supporting his campaign; he played coy. This is the same Donald Trump who led the insidious birther movement to delegitimize President Obama.

“He has called Mexican immigrants rapist and murderers. He wants to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., and the list goes on. Not to be outdone, Ted Cruz would treat Muslim Americans like criminals and religiously profile their neighborhoods. So ugly currents at work just below the surface of our politics have burst into the open, and everyone sees this bigotry for what it is.”

Both Trump and the Texas senator have defended their proposals as necessary to secure the country against terrorism and crime.

Clinton outlined proposals she has made on housing, education, income, gun violence and transportation that she said were meant to lift African Americans economically and otherwise.

“These are not only problems of economic inequality; they are also problems of racial inequality,” she said. “It’s time we face up to the reality of systemic racism in all its forms.”

She cited the dilapidated school district in Detroit, whose classrooms feature roaches and mold, and, closer to home, the Polo Grounds Towers in New York, where she said one resident fought daily to eradicate roaches and vermin.

“No one should have to live like that in America,” Clinton said. “Every child and every family deserves clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and a safe and healthy place to live. It is a justice issue, it is a civil rights issue and [if I am] president, it will be a national priority for us.”

In advance of Tuesday’s New York primary, Clinton enjoys strong support from African Americans and other minority voters, and has worked in recent days to ensure that those voters follow through on election day. Although there have been stumbles — Clinton’s involvement in a racially inflected skit with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bill Clinton’s shouting match with Black Lives Matters protesters — polls show her winning at least 6 in 10 black voters.

Clinton mentioned her Democratic primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, only in passing. Discussing the spate of gun violence that has claimed the lives of many African Americans, she drew a distinction between her past support for gun restrictions and Sanders’ vote for a measure that protected gun manufacturers and sellers.

“My opponent … and I don’t see this the same way, but I see this as a national emergency,” Clinton said. “I will do everything I can to take on the gun lobby, to try to save lives.”

Clinton also did not mention the 1994 crime bill, supported by both Clintons, which is blamed by many African Americans for inordinate prosecutions and imprisonment of young black men.

Sanders will speak to the convention Thursday.

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Making politics palatable again

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Sanders shows support for Verizon picketers

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Nevada’s Sandoval isn’t on the Trump bandwagon

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has become the latest high-profile Republican to join the I’m-just-mild-about-Donald club, saying he may not support the New York real estate mogul should he emerge as the GOP nominee.

“It’s a day-by-day thing,” Sandoval told Nevada political pundit Jon Ralston, ascribing his concerns to “some of the things [Trump] has said lately.”

Sandoval has never been a Trump fan.

Last year, he told the Las Vegas Sun he would not back Trump’s bid for the nomination. “I think there are better qualified individuals,” the governor said at the time.

He supported Florida Gov. Marco Rubio in February’s Nevada caucus.

However, shunning the party’s nominee is a whole other order of dissent, especially coming from Sandoval, a former federal judge who has brought the deliberate temperament of the bench to the governor’s office.

On paper, Sandoval offers much that would commend him for the role of vice president on the GOP ticket.

The first Latino governor in Nevada history, he’s twice won the top job in the swing state -- the last time by a landslide. But his position on a number of issues, including support for higher taxes and legal abortion, have made him political poison to conservatives.

His recent statements would seem to ensure that Trump, should he emerge as the nominee, will look elsewhere for a No. 2.

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Bernie Sanders lands his first Senate endorsement

Bernie Sanders picked up his first endorsement from a Senate colleague on Wednesday, Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Merkley was drawn to Sanders’ views on income inequality and desires to aid the working class and younger Americans, he wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times announcing his support for Sanders ahead of Oregon’s primary at the end of April.

“Our economy, both by accident and design, has become rigged to make a fortunate few very well off while leaving most Americans struggling to keep up,” Merkley wrote.

Though Sanders’ rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, has a “remarkable record,” Sanders shows more fight on wage, climate change and trade deals that protect workers, Merkley added.

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RNC chairman to Trump: ‘Give us all a break’

Donald Trump again slammed the GOP establishment for stacking the rules against him, but the head of the Republican Party wanted none of it.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told Trump to “give us all a break” after Trump complained about the delegate selection process during a CNN town hall interview Tuesday night.

In the interview, host Anderson Cooper pointed out that Trump recently called the Colorado and Louisiana delegate distribution process “rigged,” “disgusting,” “dirty” and “crooked.” The businessman won the popular vote in Louisiana but split the delegates with rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. In Colorado, the state Republican Party nixed a nominating contest this year, and Cruz won the state’s delegates at the party’s Colorado convention over the weekend.

“I know the rules very well, but I know that it’s stacked against me by the establishment,” Trump said on CNN.

Trump also argued that the RNC decided to alter the process because party leaders felt threatened by his success early in the campaign.

“You know why [the RNC] changed the rules?” he explained. “Because they saw how I was doing, and they didn’t like it.”

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New study bolsters Kasich’s argument that he’s electable in November

As he makes his case for why the Republican convention should make him the party’s nominee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich repeatedly argues that he, alone of the three remaining GOP candidates, can beat Hillary Clinton in a general election.

That argument hasn’t gotten much traction with GOP primary voters, but a new polling project provides him with additional evidence, which the Kasich campaign quickly touted in a fundraising appeal to supporters.

The polling and media firm Morning Consult took results from 44,000 survey interviews and combined it with demographic and voting data on the 50 states to map what the November election might look like. The analysis shows, at least at this point, that Clinton would defeat either Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz, but that Kasich would have a strong shot at beating her.

Of course, general election polls taken this early in the year are nowhere close to definitive. Recent history includes several candidates who were winners in the spring and losers in November.

Moreover, the polls show more than enough undecided voters to swing many key states. That’s particularly an issue with Kasich, who remains pretty much unknown to a large share of voters.

But the analysis does provide a baseline for expectations, and it conveys a couple of significant messages.

One is the power of partisanship: Despite Trump’s extremely negative image with much of the public and Cruz’s very conservative positions on issues, either one would fare about as well as the more moderate and popular Mitt Romney did in the election four years ago.

In a Clinton-Cruz or Clinton-Trump election, the Republican would be favored to win the same solidly GOP states that Romney won, Clinton would be favored in the states Obama won. The list of contested states would be about the same as four years ago, the polling indicated, and enough of them are close at this point that the election outcome is not a slam dunk.

The other message is that Kasich, if he could find a way to gain the GOP nomination, would have a strong shot at winning because of his strength in his home state, Ohio, and other states in the mid-Atlantic and northern Midwest, particularly Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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Shocker: New York tabloids still have influence in presidential race

George Arzt has been around New York media long enough to know the presidential candidates were in for pain when they hit his city. Even he, however, a New York Post alumnus who went on to handle media for the late Mayor Ed Koch, has been astounded to see so many candidates resemble deer caught by headlights.

“Candidates come here, and they are thinking, ‘I just said this one little thing as an aside to a reporter and now it is a blaring headline. I don’t know how this happened,’” Arzt said. “They don’t understand this is a world unto itself. It’s nothing like the media in the rest of the country.”

The breakout stars emerging in the first competitive presidential primary in New York in decades have been not the candidates themselves, but the tabloids which pound them.

For more than a week, the front-page headlines of the New York Daily News and its competitor, the New York Post, have driven the media narrative in the run-up to next Tuesday’s primary with screaming messages like “TAKE THE F U TRAIN” (directed at Sen. Ted Cruz) and “BEST EX I EVER HAD” (flanking a photo of Donald and Ivana Trump).

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Hillary Clinton wants a new office to coordinate immigrant services

Hillary Clinton plans to propose a new federal office to help immigrants and refugees settle in the United States, according to a campaign aide.

The proposal, intended to streamline programs at the local and national level, is scheduled to be unveiled Wednesday as she receives an endorsement from the New York State Immigrant Action Fund.

The new office would implement recommendations made by an Obama administration task force and would ensure “a dedicated place in the White House where integration services are studied and coordinated across the government.”

Clinton has been battling Bernie Sanders ahead of New York’s primary Tuesday, with both candidates portraying themselves as more friendly to immigrants.

On Tuesday, the Sanders campaign criticized Clinton for not supporting New York driver licenses for immigrants who are in the country illegally while she was a U.S. senator from the state.

Clinton is backing the licenses in this campaign, and she’s blasted Sanders for not voting for immigration changes that included a path to citizenship in 2007. Sanders has said the proposal at the time lacked sufficient protections for guest workers.

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Donald Trump donates $100,000 to Sept. 11 museum, invokes ‘New York values’

(Brett Carlsen / Getty Images)

Donald Trump made a $100,000 donation to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan -- and used the opportunity to make a veiled jab at political rival Ted Cruz.

A spokeswoman for the museum confirmed Monday that Trump made the monetary gift, but didn’t provide additional details.

The Republican presidential candidate posted a photo on his official Twitter account over the weekend showing him and his wife, Melania, touring the museum.

“A great honor to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum with my wife,” Trump wrote, using the hashtag #NewYorkValues.

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Three candidates vie for bragging rights: Who’s the real New Yorker?

Yes, there are all those delegates at stake in the April 19 New York presidential primaries.

But for three of the five candidates, there’s even more on the line: bragging rights.

They either were born in New York (Bernie Sanders) or live in the state (Hillary Clinton) or both (Donald Trump).

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