John Kasich drops out of race, saying he learned from Americans but never naming Trump


Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee as Ted Cruz and John Kasich drop out of the presidential race.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell supports Donald Trump (sort of)

I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching that nomination. Republicans are committed to preventing what would be a third term of Barack Obama and restoring economic and national security after eight years of a Democrat in the White House. As the presumptive nominee, he now has the opportunity and the obligation to unite our party around our goals.

— Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the majority leader


Bushes to Trump: Low energy? We’ll give you NO energy!

Blood, it seems, is thicker than party loyalty.

Donald Trump was merciless in his attacks on rival Jeb Bush, tagging the former Florida governor as “low energy” and hectoring him each time they shared a debate stage.

In the Bush family, where there is no greater virtue than faith to one’s own, the taunting did not go unnoticed.

On Wednesday the Texas Tribune reported the two Presidents Bush have ruled out endorsing Trump, the presumptive nominee of their lifelong political party.

“At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics,” said Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the nation’s 41st president.

Similarly, George W. Bush “does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign,” his aide, Freddy Ford, told the publication.

Jeb Bush tried and failed to become the third family member to win the White House, quitting the contest in February.

In making their sentiments (subtly) known, the two former presidents were more forthright -- or at least less confusing- - than many in the party, who insisted their vote for Trump should not be construed as an endorsement. The verbal loop-de-loop has become all the rage this election season.

No word on what former First Lady Barbara Bush intends to do. But with a nickname of “The Enforcer,” it’s not hard to guess what direction she is leaning.


Hillary Clinton says she’ll be a Golden State warrior

Even as she increasingly turns to the general election fight against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday to campaign “up and down the Golden State” ahead of the California primary next month.

Speaking at a reception in Washington for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Clinton made no overt mention of the now presumptive Republican nominee, nor of her persistent rival in the Democratic race, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But she promised to run a campaign of “unity” and “inclusivity” and to have an open door to the Asian American community as president.

“Each and every one of you has ideas, has expertise and experience that I hope you will put to work first in the campaign, but most importantly on behalf of our country,” she said.

“I want us to have everybody feeling like they are a part of breaking down those barriers, building those ladders of opportunity. Our best years are ahead of us, my friends.”

The Asian American vote is an increasingly potent bloc in American politics, one Clinton hopes to lock down in a general election campaign where she will highlight the nation’s diversity as one of its greatest strengths.

“I know how important the Asian American, Pacific Islander community is here,” Clinton said. “I also know how important it is that we understand what is going on in Asia,” she added, in an apparent swipe at Trump’s lack of foreign policy credentials.

Californians were well represented at the reception where Clinton spoke, including Reps. Judy Chu of Monterey Park, Ami Bera of Elk Grove and Mark Takano of Riverside.

“I’m on my way to California,” Clinton said. “We’re going to be campaigning up and down the Golden State. So please. There is a place for you in this campaign. I want you to be involved. I want your ideas.”


In L.A., Bill Clinton lobs indirect jab at Donald Trump over Muslim ban

Former President Bill Clinton, on a swing through Southern California on Wednesday, took an indirect jab at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, assailing his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“Hillary, more than any other candidate in either party, has vociferously opposed this consistent effort to demonize Muslim Americans,” Clinton said of his wife, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Trump has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in the wake of the San Bernardino attack in December that killed 14.

The former president, speaking to a couple dozen supporters seated inside an the intimate ballroom of a Koreatown hotel, said the attack also could not have been prevented by building a border wall, another of Trump’s polarizing policy pledges.

Clinton noted Islamic State’s use of social media to recruit followers; one of the San Bernardino attackers, Tashfeen Malik, declared her allegiance to the extremist group just before being gunned down in a shootout with police.

“You could build a wall across the border with Canada; we could erect vast sea walls,” said Clinton, who campaigned in San Diego earlier Wednesday. “The next president could send the Navy to the Gulf Coast area.… You still can’t keep the social media out.”

In his roughly 25-minute remarks, Clinton did not mention Trump or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s Democratic rival, by name. He did note that this election cycle had been “unusual.”

Sanders, who won Indiana’s primary on Tuesday, trails Hillary Clinton by more than 300 pledged delegates. Still, Sanders has insisted he will remain in the race through California’s June 7 primary.


Kasich announces end to his campaign


Republicans at a crossroads: Embrace Donald Trump as nominee or keep fighting him

Republicans awoke Wednesday to Donald Trump as their presumed presidential nominee with an uncomfortable mix of resignation, resistance and flickers of acceptance that leaves the GOP in a new state of turmoil.

Party leaders pleaded for GOP unity. Governors and prominent party strategists piled on a show of support for the likely nominee. So did some tea party activists.

But the detractors were just as determined in their continued search for an alternative. Talk of third-party candidates continued to float. Big-money campaign backers, including the Koch brothers and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, have yet to announce support, and strategists noted that 2012 nominee Mitt Romney has been particularly quiet.

That left the GOP in a worrisome state after an otherwise decisive Indiana primary Tuesday as the already long and divisive nominating process heads to an uncertain conclusion.

“The final stage is acceptance, which I think a lot of people will get to after Indiana,” said Josh Holmes, a Republican strategist unaligned with any candidate.

But, he added: “I don’t think we’re going to see a seismic shift in people supporting Trump.”

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Analysis: GOP voters wanted an outsider who would fix the economy, and Trump fit their bill

The Republican race for president will go on through the mighty contests of early June, but it ended Tuesday. Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president because of two imperatives that GOP voters clung to all through the primary season.

They were desperately concerned about the economy. And they wanted an outsider to fix it.

All the other things — Trump’s disdainful and insulting treatment of varied voter groups, his huge levels of unpopularity, his last-minute attack against Ted Cruz’s father, alleging, with no evidence, a tie to a presidential assassination — was just background noise to Republican voters unleashing a communal scream at establishment politics.

California’s June primary, which was to be the first momentous Republican presidential balloting here in half a century, may serve to get Trump officially over the line of 1,237 delegates he needs for the nomination. But at this point, that is not much more than a formality.

Trump’s victory in Indiana was just as sweeping as his five northeastern victories last week and his giant New York win two weeks ago, delivering a sense that GOP voters have decided that they would not brook any more delays in awarding him the nomination.

Cruz got the message and dropped out of the race Tuesday night, saying that his chance of winning the nomination “has been foreclosed.” The last official Trump opponent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, planned to dropped out of the race Wednesday, according to a senior advisor.

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Put this one on repeat: Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump is a ‘loose cannon’

Get ready to hear the phrase “loose cannon” a lot over the next few months.

That’s how Hillary Clinton repeatedly described Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, during an interview on CNN on Wednesday.

“We can’t take a risk on a loose cannon like Donald Trump,” said Clinton, who remains on track to be the Democratic nominee.

At one point, she criticized Trump for saying women should be punished for having illegal abortions. When Anderson Cooper reminded Clinton that Trump walked back those comments, she brushed that aside by saying, “Well, he’s a loose cannon.”

And for good measure, she added, “He is a loose cannon, and loose cannons tend to misfire.”

Clinton said she’s prepared for what could be a bruising and nasty campaign against Trump. Asked about the possibility that Trump will target her marriage to former President Bill Clinton, she laughed and said, “Well, he’s not the first!”

Trump, Clinton said, “is a classic case of a blustering, bullying guy,” and his Republican rivals didn’t understand how to handle his attacks.

“They were dumbfounded,” she said. “They didn’t know how to deal with him.”


Some Republicans burn voter registration cards, leave GOP after Trump’s win in Indiana

After Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday night, several Republicans burned their voter registration cards and left the GOP. Many who tweeted videos, photos and statements against the party were members of the conservative media and political strategists.

Before sources confirmed that Ohio Gov. John Kasich would drop out of the race Wednesday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted Tuesday night that Donald Trump was the presumptive nominee.

To officially clinch the nomination, Donald Trump now needs 190 more delegates to reach the necessary 1,237. The next Republican primaries occur on May 10 in Nebraska and West Virginia.


Donald Trump says he’ll raise money for Republicans. He’s not so sure about himself

Facing a costly six-month general-election campaign, Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to start raising money for the Republican Party and said he would soon decide whether to do the same for himself.

The New York developer, who has spent months accusing rivals of trading government favors for donations, risks tarnishing his image as an outsider if he starts accepting big campaign contributions.

In television interviews the morning after his Indiana primary victory cleared his path to the GOP presidential nomination, Trump indicated he might not have enough liquid assets to finance what could be a $1-billion campaign against his presumed Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Do I want to sell a couple buildings and self-fund?” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I don’t know that I want to do that necessarily. But I really won’t be asking for myself. I’ll be asking money for the party, and really it’s something that we’re going to start on right away.”

He said he would decide how to finance his own campaign within the next week or so.

With chief rival Ted Cruz dropping out of the race Tuesday and Ohio Gov. John Kasich expected to follow suit Wednesday, Trump was subdued on his first morning as presumptive nominee.

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John Kasich wanted to be the adult in the room, but there weren’t many in the room with him

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who tried to position himself as the adult in the room of presidential contenders, will drop out Wednesday afternoon, according to a senior advisor, becoming the final casualty in Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party.

Trump became the presumptive nominee after his big win in the Indiana primary Tuesday night and the subsequent withdrawal of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

But Kasich’s exit eliminates the 16th and final hurdle to Trump’s coronation as the party’s new standard-bearer.

Kasich’s chances of gaining the nomination never really materialized. Many politicos had joked that he was the only candidate who had managed to come in fourth in a two-man race. Trump, Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – who dropped out more than six weeks ago – all have more delegates than Kasich. His only primary victory came in his home state of Ohio.

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Nevada Democrats feel their oats: ‘Dear Dangerous Donald’


The money race begins: A pro-Trump super PAC gears up for a big role as GOP donors stay away

A pro-Donald Trump super PAC will play a key role in providing resources needed to fund the billionaire’s presidential bid, a top advisor said Wednesday.

“Usually, a super PAC is the frosting on the cake. My sense is we’re going to be part of the cake” itself, said Ed Rollins, the newly tapped advisor to Great America PAC, said on a conference call with supporters.

“He’s going to need help,” Rollins said of Trump. “The Democratic world is going to raise an enormous sum of money.”

Trump has impressed voters in part by largely resisting campaign cash that many believe has undue influence over politicians.

But the real estate mogul is unlikely to dip into his own pocket for what promises to be a grueling and costly general election campaign.

Moreover, big-money GOP donors, including the industrialist Koch brothers and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, have so far remained on the sidelines.

“We can help him,” said Rollins, who was joined on the call by Trump backer and former candidate Ben Carson.

Bringing Rollins to the upstart PAC has injected gravitas to the effort. The veteran campaign guru ran Richard Nixon’s California campaign in 1972 and Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984.

He acknowledged that he, too, was initially “a cynic” about Trump’s candidacy.

But has been impressed by the candidate’s ability to clear the robust GOP field.

Rollins assured backers on the call, the first of weekly updates for Trump supporters, that money would be spent wisely.

He said the PAC would particularly try to narrow Trump’s gap with female voters by targeting their security concerns and portraying Trump as stronger than Clinton in fighting terrorism.

On a personal note, Rollins said his age made this a likely last campaign stop in a long career: “This is my last hurrah.”


John Kasich to end his campaign, leaving Donald Trump as sole Republican in race

John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign Wednesday, according to an advisor, becoming the last Republican candidate to exit and leave Donald Trump on a glidepath to the GOP nomination.

Kasich, the Ohio governor, had pledged to continue campaigning as a Trump alternative who could deny the billionaire needed delegates.

But on Wednesday, he canceled a news conference in Washington and planned an announcement for later in the day in Columbus, Ohio, to drop out.


Trump’s only remaining competitor in the GOP race fuels speculation he’ll drop out


Elizabeth Warren vows to fight Trump’s ‘toxic stew of hatred’

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren excoriated Donald Trump after he assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee, accusing him of racism, sexism and xenophobia and warning that she will fight to bar him from ever entering the White House as president.

“What happens next will test the character for all of us -- Republican, Democrat, and independent,” Warren wrote on Facebook. “It will determine whether we move forward as one nation or splinter at the hands of one man’s narcissism and divisiveness.”

After Trump won the Indiana GOP primary on Tuesday, his main Republican rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, ended his campaign. That left Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee, an inevitability Democrats and some Republicans refuse to accept.

“I’m going to fight my heart out to make sure Donald Trump’s toxic stew of hatred and insecurity never reaches the White House,” Warren wrote.


Donald Trump says he’d rather not work with Republicans who disparaged him

Donald Trump is confident he can unite the GOP as its presumptive presidential nominee, but any Republicans who don’t get behind him can disappear for eight years, he said Wednesday..

“I’m confident that I can unite much of it; some of it I don’t want,” Trump said of the Republican Party on NBC’s “Today.” “... There were statements made about me. … Those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we serve two terms.”

Trump rival Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ended his presidential bid after suffering a decisive loss in Indiana’s primary on Tuesday, all but handing the business mogul the nomination. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called for the Party to unite behind Trump after Cruz’s exit. Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains in the race but is far behind in the delegate count.

Saying Cruz surprised him by ending his campaign, Trump indicated he plans to talk with the senator at a later date. The two maintained a better relationship earlier in the campaign, he said, and he’d like to work with Cruz.

“I would certainly expect to be talking to Ted,” he said.


After Indiana win and Cruz’s exit from race, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee

Surrounded by family members, Donald Trump addresses supporters and the media in New York after his win in the Indiana primary on Tuesday.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Donald Trump stormed to victory in the Indiana primary Tuesday, chasing Ted Cruz from the race and virtually locking down the Republican presidential nomination despite the strong misgivings of many in the party who fear a November rout.

“It’s over,” GOP strategist Curt Anderson said even before Cruz formally ended his campaign. “Done. Finished.”

Cruz acknowledged as much less than two hours after Indiana polls closed, as Trump seized a big lead he never relinquished.

Joined onstage by his family at a vintage railway station in downtown Indianapolis, with many of his top aides in the crowd, a downcast Cruz announced that he would not fight the inevitable.

“We left it all on the field in Indiana; we gave it everything we’ve got — but the voters chose another path,” Cruz said. “With a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

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Sanders wins Indiana, keeping his movement alive

Sen. Bernie Sanders remains on track to lose the Democratic presidential nomination race, but he nonetheless managed to keep his agenda at the center of it with a victory in Indiana over the front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

The lone state that voted Tuesday was a test of the continued potency of Sanders’ fight as the Vermonter sought to maintain his political revolution as a force with which Clinton will need to wrestle.

The win in Indiana will help with that effort.

“I sense a great deal of momentum,” Sanders told reporters in Indiana after the results were in.

“We understand -- and I do not deny it for one second -- that we have an uphill battle in front of us,” he said. But there is a “path to victory, although it is a narrow path.”

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