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Ted Cruz picks Carly Fiorina as his running mate

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Donald Trump gives a foreign policy address while rival Ted Cruz selects Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

  • Ted Cruz picks former California tech executive Carly Fiorina as his running mate.
  • How Donald Trump’s delegate lead stacks up after his sweep of Tuesday’s primaries.
  • Bernie Sanders suggests he’s shifting his focus to influence the Democratic platform.
  • Trump thinks illegal immigration is at a record high. He’s wrong.

Trump receives a boost from famed Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight

Bobby Knight knows something about winning, having secured three national championships during his nearly three decades as head basketball coach at Indiana University.

As the presidential primaries head to the Hoosier State, Knight is urging voters to get behind the man who has been on a winning streak of his own: Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

“There has never been a presidential candidate prepared to the length that this man is,” Knight told Trump supporters at a rally in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

Knight, who is known for his volatile coaching style (see chair-tossing incident), said that Trump would, among other things, help bolster the military and create jobs.

Trump is on a roll, having amassed decisive wins in a host of mid-Atlantic states this week.

A victory Tuesday in Indiana would increase the chances that he will win the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are looking to force a contested Republican convention in Cleveland in July.

An average of several polls from Indiana show Trump with a 6-percentage-point lead.

Known for his brash style, Trump has expressed the urge to punch a protester and verbally attacked family members of his rivals. Critics say his behavior hardly befits a president.

In response to the criticism, Knight offered his assessment: “They talk about [Trump] isn’t presidential. I don’t know what the hell that means.”

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Toms Shoes’ new election collection lets you vote with your feet

L.A.-based Toms Shoes is throwing a political party of sorts and it kicks off today with the launch of an election-themed collection of footwear (and a canvas tote) emblazoned with red, white and blue symbols of the two major political parties — a donkey for the Democrats and an elephant for the Republicans.

Toms’ election collection, which ranges from $39 to $119, includes party-specific versions of traditional Toms’ silhouettes including a slip-on alpargata, a lace-up sneaker, a brogue and a flip-flop. The opposing parties come together as dangling charms on a pair of strappy wedges (illustrating, perhaps, that unity across the aisle is possible even if it’s just inches out of the gutter).

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Bernie Sanders to lay off hundreds of staffers

Bernie Sanders may be planning a big push in California, but he will be doing it with a smaller campaign. The Vermont senator is about to lay off hundreds of employees.

The Sanders campaign said in a statement that the layoffs are taking place in states where elections have already happened, as the struggling campaign refocuses its long-shot bid against Hillary Clinton. The move comes after Sanders lost four of the five Eastern primaries Tuesday, allowing Clinton to build an almost insurmountable delegate lead over him.

“We no longer require many of the loyal and dedicated state and national support staffers who helped us in places like New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and other states where the nominating contests have been completed,” said a statement from the campaign.

The campaign did not give a precise number of people who would be let go. But Sanders said in an interview with the New York Times that “it will be hundreds.”

Much of the staff that remains will be out West. “California will have the most staff,” Sanders said in the newspaper interview. “Symbolically and in terms of delegates, if we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should.”

3:29 p.m.: This post was updated to include statement from the Sanders campaign.

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Carly Fiorina sings, talks the future of America with Ted Cruz at her side

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Barbara Boxer on Carly Fiorina’s re-emergence: ‘It’s like a bad dream’

Sen. Barbara Boxer.
(Los Angeles Times)

At least one Californian isn’t too thrilled by Ted Cruz’s tapping Carly Fiorina to be his vice presidential running mate: Fiorina’s former rival, Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Fiorina unsuccessfully challenged Boxer in 2010, and based on the senator’s remarks to reporters Wednesday, the rivalry hasn’t subsided six years later.

Boxer dubbed a Cruz-Fiorina ticket “mean and meaner.”

“He wants to ship immigrants out of America, and she’s already shipped jobs out of America,” Boxer said. “They’re the perfect duo.

“I predict this Fiorina merger will be just as successful as her last one at HP,” she added, a jab at the rocky merger with Compaq that Fiorina oversaw as chief of Hewlett-Packard.

Boxer dismissed the idea that Fiorina would boost Cruz’s prospects in California.

“The people of California rejected Carly Fiorina in a year that was a very tough year for Democrats,” said Boxer, calling Fiorina “a very mean opponent.”

“The bottom line is they rejected her,” Boxer said. “Now she’s coming back again. It’s like a bad dream.”

But Boxer did see an upside to Fiorina’s resurgence in the headlines: “It only keeps reminding people that I beat her by a million votes, and I love that.”

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Spot analysis of Carly Fiorina as VP pick

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Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina 2016 is official

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Ted Cruz turns to Carly Fiorina to help his sagging campaign

Seeking to regain political momentum, Sen. Ted Cruz will name Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate Wednesday, campaign sources said.

He is expected to make the announcement at 4 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. Pacific) in Indianapolis as he barnstorms Indiana in what could be his last stand against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

With Fiorina, Cruz hopes to make a direct appeal to female voters who have been alienated by Trump as well as those who appreciated her sharp performance during her own run for the White House.

The Texas senator endured deep losses this week with Trump’s sweep of the mid-Atlantic state primaries, and he is banking on a win in the Hoosier state to propel him into the final contests. The biggest delegate cache will be in California, where Fiorina once had a presence as the GOP’s nominee for Senate in 2010.

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Ted Cruz chooses California’s Carly Fiorina as running mate

Fiorina, who ended her own presidential bid after a poor showing in Iowa, has been campaigning for Cruz across the country.

She has been a fierce critic of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO lost a bid to unseat California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010.

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Donald Trump to kick off California campaign Thursday in Orange County

(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Donald Trump, who hopes California’s June 7 primary will make him the Republican presidential nominee, will kick off his campaign in the state Thursday with a rally in Costa Mesa.

Trump’s event in Orange County, a once-formidable Republican stronghold where the party’s dominance has eroded in recent years, comes a day before his appearance at the state GOP convention outside San Francisco.

California’s 172 delegates are the biggest prize in the race for the GOP nomination, and the state’s primary comes on the last day of balloting.

Even after Trump’s landslide wins Tuesday in five East Coast primaries, he is likely to need a strong finish in California to win the 1,237 delegates required to clinch the nomination without a messy floor fight at the national convention in July.

Trump’s Costa Mesa rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Though California’s primary is nearly six weeks away, more than two-thirds of the voters are expected to cast ballots by mail, so the campaign is already underway.

Military and overseas voters have started voting over the last few weeks. County election authorities are to start providing mail ballots to most voters on May 9.

Polls show Trump has an early lead in California over his two rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

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Don’t expect much deep foreign-policy exploration in Donald Trump’s speech

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Ted Cruz promises ‘major announcement’ as running-mate rumors swirl

Ted Cruz is promising to make a “major announcement” in the Hoosier State this afternoon as speculation swirls over a possible vice presidential pick.

Cruz’s team has been vetting potential running mates, including Carly Fiorina. The California businesswoman and former GOP presidential race rival has been a Cruz campaign surrogate since she endorsed him last month.

Cruz was swamped by Donald Trump in the five East Coast states that voted Tuesday, and is so far behind in delegates that he cannot win the GOP presidential nomination without a floor fight at the Republican National Convention in July.

Picking a running mate so early -- it’s usually done at the convention or a few days before -- might draw energy to his flagging campaign. He has been barnstorming Indiana, the next primary, as a last-ditch battle to stop Trump from rolling to the nomination.

The state’s Republican governor, Mike Pence, recently met separately with Cruz and Trump.

Pence was once thought to be a potential GOP running mate. His backing would be valued before Indiana voters go to the polls next Tuesday.

But he has yet to make an endorsement. Trump told CNN on Wednesday morning that he doubts the governor will do so.

Cruz promised his announcement during an early morning stop with his wife, Heidi, at Sisters Pancake House in Indianapolis.

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Trump says he plans to use Sanders’ playbook against Clinton

Heading into a likely general election battle, Donald Trump plans to draw from Bernie Sanders’ playbook against Hillary Clinton, he said Wednesday, including Sanders’ comments about Clinton using bad judgment.

“When he said ‘bad judgment,’ I said ‘sound bite,’” Trump said on MSNBC.

The GOP front-runner said he also still thinks the investigations into Clinton’s use of private email will weaken her credibility.

Trump added he thinks the Democratic Party doesn’t deserve Sanders and that he should run as an independent, an idea the Sanders campaign already rejected.

Such a bid would likely benefit Trump in a match-up against Clinton by siphoning votes from her.

“Bernie has been very effective but been treated very badly by the Democrats and Democratic Party,” Trump said.

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National and California anti-Trump groups join forces in advance of state’s June 7 primary

A national group that is trying to stop Donald Trump from winning the GOP nomination is combining forces with a California anti-Trump group on a seven-figure effort expected to start in early May in the state.

“As everyone knows, California is the big enchilada that can make or break this for either side,” said Katie Packer, the founder of the Our Principles PAC, which has spent $16 million on anti-Trump efforts in a handful of states, including Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. “If you’re a political operative and you’re not doing work in California, it can be a scary place because it’s so massive. It’s like a mini country. So having seasoned people who know the state so well and already have a really solid plan, we can partner with [them] and have them be the boots on the ground.”

Packer’s group is joining forces with Victory California, a group founded by three veteran GOP operatives in Sacramento.

“It’s the right thing to do for the donors so there isn’t any type of competing or confusing effort,” said Rob Stutzman, one of the founders of the California group. “It was clear the donor community wanted to engage in a single unified effort.”

The move also allows both groups to avoid duplicating research and messaging in the lead-up to California’s June 7 primary.

Packer and Stutzman said they expect the effort to be targeted at denying Trump delegates in the state’s congressional districts, and to be timed to when voters start receiving mail ballots in the second week of May.

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Trump may have swept Tuesday’s primaries, but the boost in his delegate count is what matters

By any measure, Donald Trump scored an impressive set of victories Tuesday, but no metric is more important than how he boosted his delegate haul.

Trump won all five primaries easily — in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island — and built upon his already-commanding delegate lead in the process.

In Delaware, Connecticut, and Maryland, with a combined 82 delegates up for grabs, Trump ran the table, scooping up all of them.

In Pennsylvania, Trump won 17 statewide delegates. He also performed well among the 54 delegates who were directly elected in each congressional district. They are not bound to a candidate for the national convention, but many communicated in advance where their allegiances lie. The Trump team issued a slate of preferred delegates, and 31 of those handpicked by the campaign were leading in the vote count.

Only in Rhode Island did Trump’s competitors show signs of life. Ohio Gov. John Kasich won five delegates there and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz picked up three. Trump was the overall winner with 10 delegates, and one delegate has not yet been allocated.

Overall, Trump won 109 delegates on the night, according to the Associated Press, and now has 954 delegates in total. He needs 283 more to clinch the nomination, meaning he’ll need to win around two-thirds of the remaining 422 delegates to win outright and avoid a contested convention.

Neither Cruz nor Kasich, who have 562 and 153 delegates respectively, are mathematically able to win the nomination through primaries at this point. Their only hope is blocking Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates before the primaries end on June 7 and then try their luck at an open convention in Cleveland this summer.

Tuesday night also brought good news to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton on the delegate front. Clinton, who won Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Maryland, added 204 pledged delegates to her column. Sanders, who won Rhode Island, picked up an additional 146 delegates overall.

The results help solidify Clinton’s delegate lead over Sanders, which now stands as 2,151 delegates to 1,338. Those totals include super delegates, a group of party leaders and elected officials who can side with the candidate of their choosing.

ALSO:

How the delegate process really works

The Times delegate tracker

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DNC chair: Trump ‘upside down’ when it comes to women

Donald Trump fails to understand that women represent a “decisive” demographic in elections, said the Democratic National Committee chair on Wednesday.

As Trump starts targeting Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, he risks losing female voters because he degrades Clinton, said DNC Chair and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida.

“Every single day when Donald Trump opens his mouth, he does more to alienate women,” she said on CNN.

Trump’s approach to women is “completely upside down,” she added.

After he swept Tuesday’s GOP primaries, Trump reiterated his claim that Clinton plays the “woman card.”

Clinton’s response: “Deal me in.”

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Clinton wins 4 pivotal Eastern primaries to Sanders’ 1 -- but he’s not calling it quits

Hillary Clinton built an all but insurmountable delegate lead over Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, with victories in four out of five Eastern states, leaving the Vermont senator with little choice but to focus on influencing the Democratic Party’s agenda rather than winning its presidential nomination.

The results marked a pivot point in the bitterly fought Democratic contest. After showing remarkable resilience, Sanders signaled that he no longer sees his fight for the nomination as winnable.

Clinton, the former secretary of State, handily won the Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware. Sanders won Rhode Island.

Clinton’s sizable delegate haul made it almost impossible for Sanders to catch up, even with voting on June 7 in the biggest prize, California. Polls show he faces an uphill race there as well.

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Donald Trump says illegal immigration is at a record high. He’s wrong

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump consistently portrays illegal immigration as a mounting crisis warranting drastic measures.

“Just look at the record number of people right now that are pouring across the borders of this country,” Trump said to reporters Tuesday night at a party celebrating his victory in five more Republican primary states.

But Trump’s claims of record levels of illegal immigration don’t match the facts.

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Loyola Marymount’s ‘Trump’ wall sparks strong feelings on campus

Diana Delgado Cornejo, now 21 and about to graduate from Loyola Marymount University, says her father delivered the shocking news to her about 10 years ago.

The family had no papers.

“We were in the car, and I started crying,” she said. “I’d heard about all the scary illegals and I thought, ‘Oh no. I can’t be one of them.’ I remember curling up under the bed and trying not to breathe.”

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With five-state sweep, Trump closes in on winning nomination without a convention fight

Donald Trump stacked up five more wins Tuesday, sweeping the East Coast primaries in a decisive showing that moved him significantly closer to capturing the Republican presidential nomination and avoiding a bruising fight at the party’s convention this summer.

Trump’s victories — in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — were by commanding margins, giving him the overwhelming majority of 172 delegates at stake.

Speaking in New York City, at the gilded office and condominium tower that bears his name, Trump declared the fight for the GOP nomination ended — “I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely” — and said his rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, should immediately stand aside.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over,” he said.

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