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Bernie Sanders dumps lawsuit against Democratic National Committee

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Californians protested Donald Trump as the Republican candidates arrive for the state’s convention. Follow our live coverage.

  • Bernie Sanders drops lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee
  • Ted Cruz gets a boost ahead of the Indiana primary Tuesday
  • Republicans focus on the grand prize: California
  • Trump asks, what’s the point in acting presidential?

Kasich concedes path to GOP presidential nomination is ‘a steep climb’

Ohio Gov. John Kasich presented himself Friday as the sole candidate in the GOP presidential race with an optimistic vision for how to fix the nation, drawing a sharp contrast with GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“We don’t want to divide, we don’t want to polarize, we want to be the party of hope,” Kasich told a couple hundred supporters at the California Republican Party’s convention. “Not hope from pie in the sky, unrealistic dreams, but a party that will remember it is the people — the people, who can make a difference.”

Kasich spoke hours after Trump addressed the convention. Kasich did not mention Trump by name, but clearly alluded to him.

“I’ve chosen in this campaign not to live on the dark side of human nature,” Kasich said. “I know people are angry, I know they’re anxious. I know they have doubts.”

Leaders have two options — to prey upon that fear or acknowledge the problems while also seeking solutions, Kasich said.

“I’m worried about a divided, polarized country and it does not have to be that way,” he said. “We can solve these problems and bring people together and give them hope again.”

Kasich described his upbringing and his experience as a former congressman and as the current Ohio governor. He praised traditional GOP ideals — limited government, greater power in the states, reducing the nation’s debt. But he also spoke sympathetically about the need to care for the mentally ill, the drug addicted and others who are in need.

It’s a message that has failed to resonate in the presidential campaign, with Kasich winning only one state to date — his home state of Ohio. He badly trails Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in votes and delegates, and is counting on a contested convention where he emerges as the consensus choice to take on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Speaking to reporters before the speech, Kasich acknowledged that “it’s a steep climb.”

“I didn’t fall off the turnip truck on the way to California,” he said. “I know it’s tough. So what. I’ve been in tough fights before and I’m just going to keep on moving forward because I think it’s critical this country has a choice.”

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Kasich insists Trump will lose in the fall

Speaking to a scrum of reporters Friday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich expanded on his claim that Donald Trump would not be successful in a general election matchup against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by issuing a warning about the potential down-ballot effect a Trump nomination could have in California.

“If he were to be picked, he will get crushed in the fall,” Kasich said. “And there’s a couple of districts here that would probably be gone with him.”

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Decker: In Donald Trump’s immigration focus, will California Republicans be collateral damage?

Donald Trump‘s emphasis on illegal immigration has propelled his presidential campaign to the threshold of winning the Republican nomination, but it risks huge collateral damage to a California state party that has worked to distance itself from the immigration wars of two decades ago.

Trump emphatically defended, in a Thursday night speech in Orange County, his proposals to deport those in the country illegally and build a wall to keep others out. His opponents clashed in the streets with police in an eerie reminder of the mass protests in 1994 that greeted the campaign surrounding Proposition 187, the measure to bar state services for immigrants here without papers.

Although the proposition passed, the backlash toward those who supported it has been a leading cause of a precipitous decline in the number of Republicans registered in California.

In September, desperate to reverse the slide, the state party changed its platform to omit wording that said allowing such immigrants to stay in the country “undermines respect for the law,” and to add that Republicans “hold diverse views” on the subject. That move came six months after the party’s first formal embrace of the California chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP voters.

The intent was to remake the party’s image before it lost all political heft, if in steps small enough to keep it in tune with the views of the GOP base. But the campaigns being waged by Trump and the second-place Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have sent illegal immigration roaring back into view.

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Donald Trump urges California GOP to unite behind him amid raging protests

Undeterred by protesters who nearly blocked his way into a California Republican convention, Donald Trump called on the party Friday to unite behind him even as he lashed out at what he portrayed as its corrupt system for picking presidential nominees.

Police in riot gear were unable to stop egg-tossing demonstrators who broke through street barricades and rushed to the entrance of the convention hotel near San Francisco International Airport, forcing Trump’s motorcade to pull over on the shoulder of the 101 Freeway.

Surrounded by Secret Service agents, the New York developer hopped a concrete barrier and entered the hotel through a back door.

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She’s headed back to the West Coast

Hillary Clinton has made a handful of trips to Southern California in recent months and she’s heading back next week.

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Bernie Sanders drops lawsuit against DNC

The campaign of Bernie Sanders has dropped a lawsuit it filed in December against the Democratic National Committee, after the national party cut off its access to crucial voter data.

The move came Friday as the DNC released its independent investigation of the breach, which confirmed much of what was already known about the event. During the breach, Sanders staffers accessed proprietary voter data owned by the campaign of front-runner Hillary Clinton. They conducted 25 searches over an hour.

The Sanders campaign fired those four staffers when the breach was first revealed. But the incident boiled over into a lawsuit after the DNC temporarily suspended the Sanders campaign’s access to the entire database – including its own files – while investigating. The short suspension blocked Sanders at a crucial time in the race from accessing data key to fundraising and voter targeting.

Yet even before access was restored, the suspension became a fundraising tool itself. In a solicitation to supporters, the Sanders campaign charged the DNC had shutoff its access to the files to tilt the scales against the Vermont senator. Sanders supporters responded with a surge of cash, sending $1 million of donations in that day.

On Friday, Sanders’ campaign said it was withdrawing its breach of contract lawsuit now that the investigation accused the campaign of no wrongdoing beyond the limited searches conducted by the four fired staffers.

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Workers wonder whether Bernie Sanders’ fight for them will really help them compete

Union steelworker Doug Fuller came here for a rally to protest plans to close a Carrier Corp. plant and move jobs to Mexico. But Fuller has his own troubles: His plant in Granite City, Ill., has been temporarily shut down by U.S. Steel because of a bad market, idling more than 2,000 workers.

“It’s coming back, is what they’re saying,” said Fuller, 58, the doubt showing in his voice.

He and hundreds of other union workers gathered at the statehouse steps Friday to hear from union leaders and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has tried to win over labor’s rank-and-file with his attacks on trade deals and calls to return a bigger share of income to workers.

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Intense protests as Donald Trump tours California

Protesters break through a crowd-control barrier outside of the California Republican Party’s convention in Burlingame, Calif., where Donald J. Trump was to speak.

The Los Angeles Times has wall-to-wall coverage of the California GOP convention.

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Donald Trump’s confident pitch to California’s GOP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump warmed up a packed house at the California Republican Party convention by telling the audience that his victory in the race for the GOP nomination is inevitable.

“In the history of Republican primaries, I’ve gotten the most votes,” Trump told the crowd. “And we haven’t even hit the big states yet.”

Trump ripped into GOP rivale Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for selecting prior presidential contender and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina as his running mate earlier this week. Trump said it was an act of desperation.

“He picked Carly. And I like Carly. But when she left, she had no votes,” Trump said.

“It’s coming to an end. I think it’s coming to an end very soon,” Trump said. “There has to be unity in the party.”

But if there’s no unity among Republicans, Trump said he will still win.

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Trump hits Ted Cruz for ‘lyin’’

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In California, a Trump supporter among a sea of protesters

The protests outside the site where Donald Trump is scheduled to speak this afternoon grew tense as a Trump supporter walked through the crowd trying to get to the hotel. He was immediately surrounded by protesters, who pulled off his red “Make America Great Again” cap.

The crowd tussled with Chris Conway, 51, calling him a racist and kicking him. At least one protester punched him in the face. He shoved the protesters back before Burlingame, Calif., police officers moved in, using batons to shove protesters out of the way to surround Conway.

Officers threw Conway over a metal barricade into landscaping on the edge of the Hyatt property to get him to safety.

The mortgage broker from Burlingame said he was not hurt.

“I’m a tough guy, it doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I didn’t go down.”

He said he knew that he would attract attention walking through the protesters but wasn’t going to let them change his behavior.

“I’m just a citizen wanting to hear Trump speak and I can’t get through. This isn’t Chicago. I for one am not going to allow that,” Conway said. “Just looking at this hat causes them to react that way.”

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Snapshot from Burlingame where protesters gather ahead of Trump visit

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Protesters greet Donald Trump in Burlingame

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Donald Trump heads to Northern California for state GOP convention

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence backs Ted Cruz

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who had been courted by Donald Trump, endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday ahead of his state’s presidential primary on Tuesday.

Pence announced his endorsement during a local talk radio show on Friday, calling Cruz a “principled conservative.”

“I’m pleased to support him,” said Pence, lauding the Texas senator’s call to, among other things, repeal Obamacare as well as his opposition to abortion.

Pence, serving in his first term, was lobbied by Trump and met with the billionaire businessman on a handful of occasions. He said he respects and likes Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the third remaining candidate vying for the nomination.

In the Hoosier State, Trump, who was endorsed by former Indiana University baskeball coach Bobby Knight, holds a slight advantage over Cruz based on an average of several statewide polls.

Cruz, who was trounced by Trump this week in five East Coast primaries, hopes to gather some momentum and win the 57 delegates in Indiana’s winner-take-all primary. This week, in a rare move at this point in the campaign, he announced Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

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John Kasich: My wife agrees; I should keep going

John Kasich said he asked his wife this week whether he should he keep running for president. And she said that despite his slim odds, voters “need a choice.”

“I’ve decided to keep going,” Kasich said at a town hall in Oregon on Thursday. “And there are going to be people who are going to criticize me for that.”

The Ohio governor explained why he continues to campaign despite losing state after state and said it comes down to the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer. If Republican front-runner Donald Trump fails to win enough delegates to secure the nomination beforehand, Kasich doesn’t think Trump will survive multiple ballots at the convention.

As for what he plans to do if he loses, Kasich said he won’t consider being vice president but will simply return to Ohio to finish his governorship.

“If this doesn’t work out, I’m gonna be governor of Ohio for two years,” he said. “Then I intend to probably get into the press and harass politicians.”

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How do Republicans view their own party? Not as positively as they used to

Ask Republicans how they view their own party and the answer might be bleak.

A new survey released this week by the Pew Research Center found that though 68% of Republicans polled view their party positively, that’s down from 79% last fall.

And Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, whose caustic comments about women and immigrants have alienated broad swaths of the public, is perhaps the most likely source of the heartburn felt by Republicans about their own party.

The survey from Pew, which polled more than 2,000 adults of all political leanings this month, found that unfavorable opinions of the GOP reached their highest point since 1992. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of the Republican Party, while 62% said they have an unfavorable view. By contrast, in a similar survey in October, before Trump began amassing primary wins, 37% said they viewed the GOP favorably and 58% unfavorably.

“These numbers are absolutely devastating,” said Ryan Call, a former Colorado GOP chairman.

“The party of [Abraham Lincoln] that fought for civil rights and individual opportunity ... has become so angry, strident and intolerant,” he said.

Trump, who is on course to face Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election this fall, has rankled Democrats and Republicans alike. Massive protests ensued on Thursday following the candidate’s rally in Costa Mesa.

Though Trump and Clinton face widespread unpopularity, Trump has sparked the most backlash. A recent Suffolk University/USA Today poll found that 61% of respondents nationally had an unfavorable opinion of the real estate magnate -- more than any candidate on either side of the presidential race.

“Many Republicans are still in shock, chagrined at the perceived hostile takeover of their party by Donald Trump,” said Call, an attorney in the Denver area who still works closely with Republicans in Colorado.

“Republicans could be looking at a rout in November as bad or worse than the Goldwater election of 1964,” he warned, referring to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater’s loss that year to President Lyndon B. Johnson by nearly 20 percentage points.

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Bobby Knight: Ted Cruz isn’t prepared to do much at all

Dear Ted Cruz: Only incompetent people refer to a basketball hoop as a “ring.” Sincerely, Coach Bobby Knight.

Knight, the Hall of Fame college basketball coach who won three NCAA championships at Indiana University, endorsed Cruz’s GOP rival Donald Trump ahead of Tuesday’s primaries in the state. In a taped interview that aired Friday, he used Cruz’s mistaken characterization of a hoop as a ring to dismiss the Texas senator’s ability to do anything at all.

“A guy that would come into this state and think that we played with rings instead of baskets is not a guy that’s very well-prepared to do a whole hell of a lot,” Knight said in a joint interview with Trump on Fox News.

Knight said he offered his support to Trump, calling him “the best person to lead America back where we all want to be led.”

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Trump begins California campaign with raw performance in O.C.; protesters take to the streets

Donald Trump put his roughest edges on display Thursday night in Costa Mesa as he opened his California primary campaign with a raw performance highlighting his hardline views on illegal immigration and torture while trashing an array of rivals.

The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination surrounded himself onstage with people carrying banners with photos of family members killed by immigrants in the country illegally.

More than 8,000 supporters erupted in a thunder of cheers as Trump vowed to make Mexico pay for a wall along its border with the United States to keep such criminals from harming Americans.

“We’re going to stop drugs from coming in,” Trump told them. “The drugs are poisoning our youth and a lot of other people.”

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