Hillary Clinton wins Puerto Rico primary as she closes in on nomination


Hillary Clinton campaigns in Northern California while Bernie Sanders appears at another celebrity concert, this time in San Diego.

  • Clinton’s win in Puerto Rico puts her on the verge of clinching the Democratic nomination
  • Clinton accuses Trump of “bizarre rants” and “outright lies”
  • Bill Clinton returns to the South L.A. black church he visited shortly after the 1992 riots
  • Both Sanders and Clinton tout their support for immigration reform

Hillary Clinton wins Puerto Rico primary

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary Sunday in Puerto Rico, according to the Associated Press, putting her on the verge of effectively locking up the Democratic presidential nomination.

There are 60 delegates up for grabs in Puerto Rico, and Clinton is on track to win a majority. She needs just 60 to reach the 2,383 required for the nomination, and will probably cross that threshold after another round of primaries on Tuesday.

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Fighting the high volume at Hillary Clinton’s rally in Sacramento


A big crowd awaits, and greets, Bernie Sanders in Lynwood


Bill Clinton shouted down by Bernie Sanders supporters in Boyle Heights

A small but noisy group of Bernie Sanders supporters heckled Bill Clinton repeatedly at a campaign stop in Boyle Heights on Sunday afternoon, at times drowning out the former president.

There was no violence, but the shouting suggested fissures will remain after California, New Jersey and four other states hold primaries on Tuesday that are expected to give Hillary Clinton enough delegates to in effect lock up the Democratic nomination.

“Your wife is a war criminal! Your wife is for fracking!” one protester screamed while sticking his middle finger in the air.

“Bernie beats Trump in all the polls!” about a dozen Sanders backers chanted. “Bernie has the energy!”

Many of the two hundred or so Clinton supporters, who had gathered in Mariachi Plaza, chanted back, “Hillary!”

When the disruptions grew too loud to ignore, the former president adressed the protesters directly.

“They say everybody who disagrees with them is a part of some nefarious establishment,” he said. “Well it’s a pretty big establishment.”

Clinton enumerated the diverse groups that have endorsed his wife’s candicacy, including the Human Rights Campaign, the United Farm Workers union and the League of Conservation Voters.

“The reason that all these groups have supported Hillary is they believe she will get more done,” he said.

Clinton said Sanders supporters should show respect to other candidates, as his wife has.

“We don’t want to have a shouting match,” he said. “She has bent over backwards to be positive in this campaign.”

Protesters have shadowed the Clintons for months as her battle with Sanders has grown more heated. She has won more states, more votes and more delegates.

At a Hillary Clinton event in Riverside recently, a few of her supporters nearly came to blows with several dozen Sanders backers, and half a dozen protesters were ejected after disrupting the rally.

In unincorperated East Los Angeles last month, hundreds of protesters took to the streets outside one of Clinton’s rallies.

The pro-Sanders protests are nowhere near the scale of the demonstrations that have been aimed at Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, in recent weeks.

But they highlight the divisions in the Democratic Party even as party leaders seek unity.

One Sanders backer, union organizer Fernando Ramirez, said he protested the Boyle Heights event because he believes Clinton and the Democratic Party are ignoring independent voters who feel excluded by the two-party systen.

“They’re not really listening to the new generation,” he said. “We believe in Bernie because he’s critical of the establishment.”

If Clinton wins the nomination, Ramirez sai,d he will not vote for her in the general election.

“I can’t,” he said. “I’ll vote Green Party.”


Waiting for results in Puerto Rico’s Democratic primary


For a crowd in East L.A., a little bit of Clinton magic

He’s one of only four living former U.S. presidents and easily one of the most recognizable men in the world, but in the 2016 campaign, Bill Clinton has gotten used to being part of the supporting cast.

The assignment Sunday: Get out the vote in the minority neighborhoods of Southern California, territory where his wife, Hillary Clinton, needs to run up the score if she is to prevail in Tuesday’s California primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The morning started with stops in heavily African American neighborhoods of South Los Angeles. The afternoon brought the former president, accompanied by basketball legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, to East L.A.

This was retail politics at its most basic: a podium, the back of a white 4x4 pickup truck, which pulled up outside a Boys & Girls Club just a block from Cesar Chavez Avenue; a wooden stool; a hand-held microphone; a crowd of a couple of hundred in a space that could easily have held twice as many.

Clinton is an older, thinner and more worn version of the man who barnstormed through this neighborhood on his own behalf a generation ago. His voice, always prone to wearing down after days of speeches, now has an old man’s thinness.

But the mannerisms have not changed -- the bite on the lower lip as he prepares to make a point, the way he leans in to embrace his listeners. Nor have the metaphors:

“We’ve got to make a decision,” he tells the crowd. “Are we going to build a future with walls or with bridges?” The reference to Donald Trump’s wall is there, but so is the “bridge to the 21st century” that provided the imagery for his acceptance speech when Democrats nominated him for a second term in the White House in 1996.

“All I can tell you is this,” he adds, “I have two great qualifications” for recommending his wife; then he proceeds to rattle off three, starting with “I had the job once.”

“She’s the only one who has consistently gotten things done,” he says -- the closest he comes in his remarks to even a veiled mention of Sanders.

Quickly, though, he returns to a theme directed more at Trump and the general election to come.

“Since I left the White House, I’ve worked all over the world,” he says. “Wherever people respect each other” and embrace diversity, “good things happen.” Where they don’t, “good things are not happening.”

“Choose diversity over division,” he exhorts the audience.

And then, barely 15 minutes after he started, the former president finishes his speech and starts working the rope line, shaking hands, posing for selfies.

In a lifetime of politics, Bill Clinton has repeated this same drill tens of thousands of times: speak, shake hands, move on. And, yet, however frequent the repetition, for each crowd, the experience is new.

As the audience disperses, a small boy grabs a cellphone from his father. Quickly, he calls a friend.

“That was awesome,” he proclaims.

[For the record, 3:59 p.m.: A previous version of this post said there were three living former U.S. presidents. There are four.]


Another candidate jumps on the Golden State Warriors bandwagon: Hillary Clinton

It’s NBA playoff season and the local team’s in the finals -- so what better metaphor than the Golden State Warriors while campaigning in an Oakland church?

“The Golden State Warriors are doing pretty well,” Hillary Clinton said, drawing approving murmurs from the crowd at Greater St. Paul Baptist Church on Sunday morning.

She declared the NBA finals “exciting” and said the team offered “some lessons.”

They included: Make a game plan. Set goals. Work together. Know where you fit in the team, and that everyone has different strengths.

“Even the stars get injured,” she said, referring to the knee sprain that sidelined Warriors star Steph Curry early in the playoffs. “People pull together.”

Surprise, the Warriors did. They also won last week’s Game 1 of the Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 2 is Sunday night.

Invoking the Warriors is not an unusual campaign ploy; Clinton’s competitor Bernie Sanders showed up at a playoff game last week and has since worn a Warriors cap on the campaign trail.

Clinton also reminded her audience in the African American church of a personal connection she has to the area. She worked in Oakland for a law firm in the summer of 1971.

She recounted the tale of wandering around the area with her husband-to-be, Bill Clinton. “We kind of got acquainted… I have a lot of good memories of where we started, right here, right here.”

As she does almost every Sunday, Clinton implored the churchgoers to cast votes. She pledged to work as a “partner” with Oakland if she is elected president.

Her request had a particular urgency Sunday, two days before the California primary on the last big voting day before the fall election. New Jersey and four other states also hold primaries on Tuesday.

“So of course I hope all of you go out and vote, and I would be honored and humbled to receive your support,” Clinton said. “After the votes are counted, that’s when the real work starts.”


Bill Clinton rallies African American voters over breakfast and at church

Bill Clinton spent Sunday morning in a place he’s always been comfortable: a black church.

The former president and husband of the Democratic presidential front-runner was warmly welcomed at First African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest black churches in South Los Angeles.

Clinton has a long relationship with the house of worship, which is nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood. It was his first stop when he visited Los Angeles as a presidential candidate shortly after the 1992 riots.

On Sunday, dozens of blue Hillary Clinton campaign signs adorned a grassy traffic circle directly outside its doors.

The service began with several rousing songs and the broadcast of a short video that implored congregants to vote in Tuesday’s California primary.

Hillary Clinton is locked in a close race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in California and her campaign is pushing for a major turnout of African American voters, who have supported her strongly in other states.

Pastor J. Edgar Boyd raised the issue from the pulpit, evoking the long struggle for African American voting rights as he encouraged congregants to go to the polls, and to get their children to vote.

The pastor praised Bill Clinton’s two terms in the White House as an era of economic prosperity.

“I cannot think of a better person to be the chief consultant of the next commander in chief,” he said.

Clinton, who was accompanied by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), then took to the pulpit. He talked up his wife’s commitment to improving the lives of children and to social justice.

He spent several minutes attacking Donald Trump and the GOP candidate’s “make America great again” campaign slogan.

“That’s a code slogan for, ‘We’re going to make it great the way it was 40 or 50 years ago,” Clinton said.

“Well it wasn’t so great for a lot of people 40 or 50 years ago,” Clinton said, drawing applause from the pews.

“Do you really want walls or would you rather have bridges?” Clinton asked. “This whole election is about do you want the future or the past?”

Americans “can’t recover a past that’s not coming back, and we shouldn’t shut the door when we live in the most diverse, fascinating interesting place in the world,” he said.

Clinton also took on complaints that he and his wife are part of the “political establishment.” He did not name Sanders, who has served in Congress for 25 years and is the most prominent author of that arguement.

“Folks, I am the last president who ever lived on a farm without indoor plumbing,” Clinton said to laughter.

“This is not an establishment campaign,” he said. “This is an inclusion campaign.”

Clinton said if his wife is elected, she will focus on lifting up communities like South L.A., which has long struggled economically.

“America should be coming back here to take you along,” he said.

“I hope you’ll be there for her,” he implored, before stepping off stage.


Clinton and Trump spar from a distance - on Sunday talk shows

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump jabbed at one another in separate TV appearances Sunday as she accused him of “bizarre rants” and “outright lies,” and described him as “temperamentally unfit” for the White House.

Trump, in turn, said Clinton’s use of a private computer server as secretary of State was a “criminal situation” and if elected president, he will instruct the Attorney General to look into it.

“She’s guilty as hell,” Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “She’s also guilty of stupidity.”

They sparred aggressively from a safe distance, speaking in separate pre-taped interviews on Sunday talk shows to score points before Tuesday’s primaries in delegate-rich California and other states.

Clinton largely focused her fire on Trump and the fall campaign rather than on her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders. Although the California race remains tight, Clinton is widely expected to win enough delegates on Tuesday to claim the nomination.

The Democratic front runner condemned Trump’s “very vicious public attack” against the federal judge who is overseeing a lawsuit that claims students were defrauded by Trump University.

Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, has said U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born in Indiana, cannot be impartial because his parents are from Mexico—and Trump has pledged to build a wall on the southern border to block illegal immigration.

“Judge Curiel is as American as I am and certainly as American as Donald Trump is,” Clinton countered on ABC’s “This Week.”

Trump repeated his complaints about the San Diego-based judge, ignoring prominent Republicans who say attacks on the judge’s Mexican heritage are inappropriate.

Trump said Curiel had shown “bias” and treated him in a “very hostile manner” and that his side should have won a summary judgment in the case years ago.

Curiel recently approved the release of documents in the case that suggest the now-defunct for-profit real estate school exploited poor and elderly students.

Clinton, speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” was asked if she accepted a State Department Inspector General’s report that concluded she had violated department rules by relying on a personal email account while she served as secretary of State during President Obama’s first term.

She reiterated her long-standing answer that she had made a mistake and if she had to do it over again, she wouldn’t have used a private email account. She also repeated her assertion that at the time, the rules weren’t clear.

The FBI is investigating the emails to determine if classified information was compromised. Clinton has not been charged with a crime, and no evidence suggests a grand jury has been convened to consider potential charges.

Clinton was asked about Trump’s statement that he would have the U.S. Attorney General examine her practice since, in his words, “everybody knows she’s guilty.”

“Typical Trumpism,” Clinton said. “What Trump is doing is trying to divert attention from the very serious fraud charges against Trump University.”

Clinton said the FBI has not asked to interview her about the emails although agents have met with several of her senior aides. She said she would like be interviewed soon and “get this matter…behind us.”

Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” about violence at several Trump campaign events, Trump blamed “paid agitators” and “thugs” who burn U.S. flags.

But Clinton said Trump had created an environment in which it seemed acceptable for a major presidential candidate to incite violence at his rallies, and people opposed to his campaign him were responding in kind.

“It should all stop,” she said.

Sanders appeared on “State of the Union” and challenged the family-run Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of large foreign contributions, including from Saudi Arabia, while she was secretary of State.

Sanders said he had a problem with the foundation accepting money from countries that lack democratic rights and civil liberties and don’t respect women’s rights or gay rights.

Talking about the California primary, Sanders said if working people and young people turned out and turnout is large “we have a chance to win big.”



Hillary Clinton sweeps Virgin Islands caucuses

Hillary Clinton scored a sweeping win in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday, picking up all seven pledged delegates at stake as she inched tantalizingly close to the Democratic nomination.

She is now just 60 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to advance to the November general election.

The party said Clinton won 84.2% of the vote, and Bernie Sanders earned 12.2%. Under Democratic National Committee rules, a candidate must win at least 15% of the vote to be eligible to receive delegates.

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What message will California send to the Democratic Party on Tuesday?

Barring a miracle, Bernie Sanders still isn’t going to win the Democratic nomination – even if he wins the California primary. But that doesn’t mean Tuesday’s election is meaningless. The result in California will play a big part in determining how long Sanders stays in the race and remains a thorn in Hillary Clinton’s side.

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that Sanders faces a pitiless, insuperable obstacle: arithmetic. Clinton holds a big lead in “pledged delegates” chosen in primaries and caucuses. To overtake her, Sanders needs to score at least 75% in the remaining eight contests – and that’s not going to happen.

That brings us to Sanders’ Plan B: superdelegates.

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How Obama will campaign for a philosophy, not just a candidate

President Obama is likely to play a more active role in the race to succeed him than any outgoing president in the modern era. But in addition to campaigning for fellow Democrats, he’s also aiming to ensure a lasting footprint for his governing philosophy.

In the summer and fall, Obama will preach the virtues of compromise, incrementalism and debate rooted in truth as paths to lasting progress, aides say. Already this spring, Obama has offered a glimpse of the message that will be central to his argument.

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