Sanders courts California voters as new poll shows him trailing Clinton in the state
Bernie Sanders returned to familiar territory Wednesday night as he spoke to a crowd of supporters at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, opening by swiping Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for paid speeches and for benefiting from the support of Super PACs.
But despite losing Arizona and much of its delegate bounty to Clinton on Tuesday, wins in Idaho and Utah had Sanders reframing his campaign as the one to beat in the West.
According to a poll released late Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, Sanders is trailing in the state among Californians likely to vote in the Democratic primary election June 7. Clinton received the support of 48% of those likely voters polled, with Sanders at 41%.
Sanders had strong support among voters 18 to 44 years old, and with white voters. Clinton was bolstered by Latino voters and those 45 and older.
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Watch full Bernie Sanders speech from L.A. rally
Bernie Sanders spoke before a crowd of supporters Wednesday at The Wiltern theater in Los Angeles, where the Democratic presidential hopeful was introduced by actress Rosario Dawson. Watch the full speech here:
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Crowds in the tens of thousands have been a hallmark of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, but the turnout hasn’t translated into the primary votes he needs to surge past Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Sanders, who will rally Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theatre, drew 10,000 supporters in San Diego on Tuesday who came to hear his populist speech peppered with staples of his candidacy: income inequality, free college tuition, the need to overhaul the criminal justice system.
“Together we are going to change the national priorities of this country,” he said. “Together we are going to invest in our communities.”
But even with fervent support and victories Tuesday in Utah and Idaho, Sanders trails Clinton by about 300 pledged delegates. She crushed him in the day’s other contest in Arizona.
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Donald Trump gets one more shot at insulting Jeb Bush
GOP front-runner Donald Trump trotted out some of his old favorite insults after Jeb Bush briefly reappeared in political headlines when he endorsed Trump’s main rival, Ted Cruz.
Throughout the campaign, Trump frequently labeled the former Florida governor “low-energy” and made fun of the vast sums that Bush and his allies spent on his unsuccessful bid, taunts he repeated Wednesday.
Trump’s and Bush’s disdain for each other was visceral throughout Bush’s campaign, with Trump relishing every chance to needle Bush even after he sunk so low in the polls that he posed no threat to Trump’s campaign.
Bush, briefly the presumed front-runner when he entered the race last summer, insisted that once voters grew serious and the election neared, Trump would become an afterthought.
But that never happened. As Bush put out policy papers and delivered detailed speeches, he also began to appear frustrated by Trump, whom he viewed as not serious and insisted would not be the GOP nominee.
Cruz, the senator from Texas, has the best chance of stopping Trump from accumulating the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination. He and Bush were never ideological soulmates, but Bush pointed to electability when he announced his endorsement early Wednesday.
“For the sake of our party and country, we must move to overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena, or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President Obama’s failed policies,” Bush said in a statement.
Hillary Clinton talks Apple, Donald Trump in counter-terrorism address
Justice Department official pans Cruz’s call for Muslim neighborhood patrols
Sally Yates, the deputy U.S. attorney general, said Wednesday she disagreed that the Brussels terror attack suggests the U.S. should beef up monitoring of Muslim communities.
“I can tell you that the Muslim community is one of our greatest partners in our fight against terrorism and public safety generally,” she said. “No, we do not believe we need to step up patrols of Muslim communities.”
Sen. Ted Cruz caused a stir Tuesday by saying the U.S. needs to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
Obama: Ted Cruz’s counter-terrorism plan makes ‘absolutely no sense’
President Obama derided the idea of monitoring Muslim neighborhoods or conducting a “carpet bomb” campaign against the Islamic State, saying Wednesday that such proposals – made by GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz – would compromise American values while making “absolutely no sense” in the fight against terrorism.
Addressing ideas floated by Cruz since the bombings in Brussels, Obama said surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods would violate the principles of freedom that drew Cruz’s father to the U.S. from his home in Cuba – where Obama made a historic visit this week.
“I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free,” Obama said. “The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense … and it’s not going to help us defeat ISIL,” he said, using an acronym for the terrorist group.
Obama made his remarks in a news conference in Buenos Aires with Argentine President Mauricio Macri dominated by concerns about the attacks in Belgium. Obama said that fighting terrorism is his “No. 1 priority,” insisting that the U.S. fight Islamic State “in an intelligent way.”
Cruz has suggested that the U.S. “carpet bomb” Islamic State, referring to the use of mass conventional airstrikes not against specific targets but to cover a particular area completely. In World War II the tactic resulted in massive civilian casualties.
Obama dismissed the idea as “inhumane” as well as stupid. A carpet-bomb campaign would be an “extraordinary mechanism” for Islamic State recruiting, he said.
Obama has also been dogged by criticism from Republicans over his decision to continue his trip through Latin America after the explosions in Brussels. For the civilized world to keep disrupting its activities in response to Islamic State attacks, he said, is to give in to the group’s only real power.
That power, he said, is “to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt out societies, so that the effect cascades.”
As the world hunts down the terrorist network, he said, it must also take care not to respond with fear.
“We defeat them in part by saying, ‘You are not strong,’” he said. “’You are not going to change our values of liberty and openness.’”
Texas vs. New York? Ted Cruz takes fight to Mayor Bill de Blasio
A day after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio assailed his comments about “patrolling” Muslim neighborhoods, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz mocked him in Manhattan on Wednesday.
“Mayor De Blasio is very, very unhappy with me because I said we should empower law enforcement to stop radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz told supporters in a ballroom of a boutique hotel. “The mayor’s response is essentially, ‘Who are these terrorists of which you speak?’”
In the hours after Tuesday’s bombings in Belgium, Cruz called for increased patrols of Muslim neighborhoods. He cited the NYPD’s since-abandoned and discredited practice of spying on Muslim communities for potential terrorist activities as a model for the nation. (Cruz’s claim of the program’s efficacy received four Pinocchios in a fact check by the Washington Post.)
While De Blasio did not address Cruz’s assertions about the NYPD, he did criticize his suggestion of patrolling Muslim communities.
“It’s reprehensible. His comments are not about safety and security. It’s demagoguery,” he said a news conference late Tuesday.
There are “peace-loving, law-abiding Muslim Americans in neighborhoods all over New York City,” De Blasio said, and they “should be respected like all other members of our community.”
Cruz, who trails New York businessman Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, described De Blasio as too politically correct.
“It’s that ostrich-head-in-the-sand political correctness that has made America so vulnerable,” he said, noting that police in New York turned their backs on the mayor at the funeral of a slain officer last year.
“When the heroes of the NYPD stood up and turned their backs on Mayor De Blasio they spoke not just for the men and women of New York, but for Americans all across this nation,” he said.
Clinton to lay out plan to fight terrorism, take aim at Trump remarks
Hillary Clinton will lay out a plan for fighting terrorism Wednesday that is, not surprisingly, very different from the one Donald Trump suggested in the aftermath of the Brussels attacks yesterday.
In a speech at Stanford, Clinton is expected to pointedly reject Trump’s call to reevaluate the United States alliance with NATO, which the GOP front-runner says is costing Americans too much money. According to an email a Clinton aide sent to reporters, Clinton “will argue we need to reinforce the alliances - in particular, NATO - that have been core pillars of American power for decades.”
As Clinton shifts her focus on the campaign trail increasingly toward Trump, she has been contrasting her deep experience in diplomacy with what Democrats characterize as his unpredictable temperament. On Wednesday, Clinton will likely take aim at proposals from Trump and fellow GOP candidate Ted Cruz to launch intensive law enforcement surveillance of Muslim American communities, as well as at Trump’s plans to bar Muslims from entering the country and implement the use of waterboarding and other forms of torture banned by international law.
Clinton will “say we need to rely on what works, not on rhetorical bluster that runs counter to our values and does nothing to improve our safety,” according to the campaign official. She intends to “call out” responses to Brussels “from multiple Republican candidates that are both wrong and dangerous.”
Paul Ryan talks politics — just not Donald Trump or other candidates
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan commanded center stage on Wednesday to decry the sorry state of U.S. politics, but he declined — again — to throw his weight into the presidential race.
“It did not used to be this bad,” Ryan told a roomful of interns gathered for a midday speech on Capitol Hill before lawmakers leave for spring recess. “It does not have to be this way.”
Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential running mate to Mitt Romney, has made clear his preference for discussing the lofty ideals of governance rather than the rough-and-tumble election.
He made no mention of Donald Trump or the other contenders.
The closest he came to mentioning the presidential campaign was criticizing politics that “scare” and “that divide us.”
As speaker, Ryan has struggled to lead the House GOP majority — most recently tangled in a budget battle. But he said Congress, should “raise our gaze” and “raise the tone of our rhetoric.”
“It is not our job to put gas on the fire,” he said.
Ryan has also said he has no interest in becoming the party’s nominee.
But he did correct the record on his own past positions, acknowledging that he was “wrong” for having earlier divided the country into “makers and takers.” Romney in 2012 criticized the “47%" of Americans who don’t pay taxes.
“Takers was not the way to refer to a single mom,” Ryan said. “To label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong.”
Before the talk began, aides encouraged the interns to participate, on social media and by applauding, as they like.
They clapped politely at the end.
Trump, Cruz responses to Brussels ‘dangerous,’ Clinton says
Hillary Clinton laid into Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on Tuesday for their responses to the bombings in Brussels.
Trump’s insistence on using torture and Cruz’s call to police Muslim neighborhoods show “dangerous” approaches to dealing with terrorism that won’t keep the U.S. safe, she said.
“We can’t throw out everything we know about what works and what doesn’t and start torturing people,” Clinton said at a campaign rally in Seattle.
In a Wednesday interview with CBS, Cruz defended his call for heightened surveillance. But cohost Norah O’Donnell criticized the Texas senator’s inability to identify how many Muslims live in the United States — too many to consider patrolling every neighborhood, she said.
Appearing also on NBC, Cruz again tried to explain his claims that radical Islamic terrorists work like gangs. He said authorities can track their roots to those neighborhoods.
“What I’m talking about is focusing law enforcement and national security resources on areas, on locations where there is a higher incidence of radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz said on NBC’s “Today.”
Ted Cruz warns Donald Trump: ‘Heidi is way out of his league’
Heidi Cruz sits in a league of her own — a league Donald Trump doesn’t deserve, Ted Cruz said Wednesday.
In interviews with NBC and CNN, Cruz warned his GOP rival off threatening to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife and claimed Trump only attacked her because he wanted to draw attention away from his Tuesday loss in Utah.
“If Donald wants to get in a character fight he’s better off sticking with me,” Cruz told CNN’s “New Day.” “Heidi is way out of his league.”
Cruz’s warning had a Hollywood ring to it:
The Texas senator added that this attack revealed that Trump’s gut instincts tell him to sully the name of good people. He added that whenever Trump loses, he responds by lashing out at anyone, especially using Twitter.
“When he’s unhappy, when he’s scared, he lashes out, he yells, he screams,” Cruz said. “He often curses and he threatens people.”
Trump takes Arizona Republican primary; Cruz comes out on top in Utah caucuses
Donald Trump rolled to another big victory Tuesday in Arizona, inching closer to the delegates he needs to capture the Republican presidential nomination without a contest at the party’s national convention this summer.
With nearly two-thirds of the vote counted, Trump was crushing Ted Cruz and John Kasich, his remaining GOP rivals, giving him all 58 of Arizona’s delegates and pushing him more than halfway to the 1,237 needed to mathematically clinch the nomination.
Texas Sen. Cruz won the Utah caucuses, the day’s other contest, and took all 40 delegates and slowed Trump’s progress before his lead becomes insurmountable.
After weeks of cross-country balloting with hundreds of delegates in play, Tuesday’s stakes were comparatively meager, and the results were starkly overshadowed by the terrorist attacks in Belgium.
Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz
Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz in the GOP presidential race Wednesday, arguing that he was the best candidate to take on the party’s front-runner, Donald Trump.
“For the sake of our party and country, we must move to overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena, or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President Obama’s failed policies,” Bush said in a statement released early Wednesday.
Bush and Cruz make for odd political bedfellows.
Bush, the former governor of Florida, was the presumed GOP front-runner when he entered the race last summer with an enormous fundraising edge, expected to capture the support of establishment Republicans. Facing an angry electorate who disdained his familial relationships to the last two GOP presidents – his brother and his father -- Bush never caught on. He dropped out of the race in February after disappointing finishes in the early-voting states.
Cruz, the Texas senator, is a tea party firebrand who has alienated his Republican colleagues in Washington with his intransigence.
Many speculated that Bush would endorse Sen. Marco Rubio before that candidate dropped out of the race earlier this month after faring poorly in their shared home state of Florida. Bush is ideologically and temperamentally more aligned with Rubio, his one-time protégé, than with Cruz.
But it’s not surprising Bush decided to cast his support behind Cruz as part of a growing GOP effort to stop Trump.
The business-mogul-turned-reality-television star relished needling Bush and his family throughout the campaign, labeling Bush as “low energy” and accusing his brother, President George W. Bush, of failing to keep the nation safe from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and lying about his decision to invade Iraq. The attacks continued long after Jeb Bush was an afterthought in the GOP presidential race.
Bush is arguably more aligned with Ohio Gov. John Kasich -- the other candidate still standing in the GOP nomination contest -- but Kasich has failed to showed viability at the polls aside from in his home state. Bush pointed toward electability in his statement endorsing Cruz.
“Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests,” Bush said. “Washington is broken, and the only way Republicans can hope to win back the White House and put our nation on a better path is to support a nominee who can articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential.”