Ted Cruz to Donald Trump: ‘You are a sniveling coward’

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Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both in California this week.

Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz to travel to California

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Clinton calls California the ‘exclamation point’ on Democratic race

Calling California the “exclamation point” of the presidential primary race, Hillary Clinton said Thursday that she planned to campaign heavily in the state before its June 7 primary.

“California will be the final word on the nominating process for both sides and I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to do well here, reaching out to every part of the state, every voter in it,” Clinton said. “It’s important to get ready and organized for the fall election.”

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, made the remarks after holding a homeland security town hall at USC with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She spent almost all of the nearly hourlong session listening to leaders of the local Muslim community and other groups discuss efforts to bring people together and combat radicalization.

Clinton did not mention her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, whom she leads by seven points in a recent California poll.

Clinton lamented the heated rhetoric of the Republican campaign but largely avoided directly discussing politics, with one exception: a reference to GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“We like to say in my campaign that love trumps hate,” she said, and the small invite-only audience roared.

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Anti-Trump effort rolls into Wisconsin with new ad

The anti-Donald Trump effort is taking its campaign to the next primary battleground state, Wisconsin, with a new TV ad pushing conservative voters to Ted Cruz.

The ad from the conservative Club for Growth takes direct aim at rival candidate John Kasich, saying the choice is a matter of math: “Only Ted Cruz can beat Donald Trump. John Kasich can’t do it.”

Wisconsin is becoming a key opportunity for Cruz to make gains on the billionaire’s delegate romp to the convention. Cruz leads Trump in some polling.

The Club has been among the few GOP-aligned groups willing to take on Trump in an open split that is dividing the right flank and threatens to undo the tea party. The $1-million ad effort begins airing Saturday, ahead of Wisconsin’s April 5 primary.

“Donald Trump is the worst candidate in the Republican field, and he can’t win in November,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “It’s time for Republicans to rally around Ted Cruz, the one candidate who can lead the party to victory.”

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Hillary Clinton talks homeland security while in Los Angeles

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Hillary Clinton hits the Southland

Hillary Clinton plans to crisscross Southern California on Thursday, discussing national security after the bombings in Belgium, raising money and taping a late-night television appearance in Hollywood.

Thursday is the second day of the Democratic front-runner’s California trip. On Wednesday, she gave a national security address at Stanford University and headlined fundraisers in the Bay Area.

Clinton has frequently visited the state since announcing she was running for president, but almost exclusively to raise money behind closed doors. The public appearances in California this week signal the likelihood that the Democratic nominating contest will continue through this state’s June 7 primary, despite Clinton’s significant delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders.

Sanders also visited Southern California this week, capping his visit with a boisterous rally at the Wiltern on Wednesday.

Clinton is not appearing at campaign rallies. Instead, she plans to host a town hall about homeland security at USC with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She’ll then head to Santa Monica for a fundraiser at the home of ICM Partners’ Chris Silbermann and his wife, Julia Franz.

Clinton will cross town once again to tape an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” before hitting another fundraiser at the Avalon nightclub featuring performances by Mary J. Blige, Estelle and Ben Harper.

The top contribution amount for both fundraisers is $10,000, which gets the donor a picture with Clinton.

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Bernie Sanders’ revolution may come in fundraising

While Bernie Sanders expresses disdain for big banks and other corporate lenders, some of the most valuable field lieutenants in the Vermonter’s political “revolution” are a band of techies here who have proven masterful at persuading Americans to make credit-card payments.

In a barely marked storefront location down the street from Tufts University, this team heavy with millennials operating under the name ActBlue mills around an office space with the usual tech firm quirks -- bean-bag chairs, a ping-pong table, a massive net for dropping party balloons – doing work that is not particularly sexy. But it is turning big-money politics upside down.

ActBlue is a decade-old nonprofit that creates fundraising software to help Democrats build networks of donors, instead of leaving them isolated on the various databases controlled by individual campaigns. The system enables donors who might tap into it to give to one particular candidate or cause to broaden their participation, and send money to any other ActBlue client by punching a button on their phone.

The partnership the Sanders campaign has forged with ActBlue could prove one of the more enduring legacies of this unique election cycle, positioning liberals to raise unprecedented amounts for their candidates and causes long after election day has come and gone.

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Jorge Ramos and Sean Hannity square off over reporting on Donald Trump

Jorge Ramos landed himself in another hostile argument with a Fox News show host.

Ramos, the Univision anchor, tussled with Fox News’ Sean Hannity over fair coverage of Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Hannity said Ramos mischaracterizes Trump’s policy proposals.

“You act like a sanctimonious, objective reporter, and you’ve got an agenda,” Hannity said on his show.

Ramos fired back by criticizing Hannity — as he did Bill O’Reilly last week — of failing to ask Trump tough questions. He also defended his coverage, saying he uses the same comments from Trump that Hannity does.

“As journalists, we have to question those who are in power and those who are seeking power,” Ramos said.

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Cruz and Trump fight over their wives, Round 2

Ted Cruz tried to undercut rival Donald Trump in their latest Twitter go-round over their wives by complimenting Trump’s wife and calling his own wife, Heidi, his true love.

Late Thursday, Trump retweeted a comparison of an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz and a glamorous photo of his own wife, Melania Trump, who is a former model.

Cruz responded by telling Trump that “real men don’t attack women.”

The spat began Tuesday when Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz as retaliation for an ad featuring a racy photo of Melania that was circulating in Utah ahead of the state’s caucuses. But the ad came from an anti-Trump super PAC, not Cruz’s campaign.

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Analysis: Why winning California’s presidential primary won’t be easy for Bernie Sanders

The Democratic presidential campaign arrived in California this week with a dynamic unaltered by the long battle through the South and Midwest: Bernie Sanders wins states that are predominantly white, and Hillary Clinton’s odds of victory escalate as states grow more diverse.

That suggests a difficult road ahead for Sanders in the nation’s most populous state, where women and minorities — the groups among which Clinton is most powerful — dominate Democratic contests.

Both candidates were in California on Wednesday. Clinton, with an eye to the terrorist attacks that riveted the world Tuesday, delivered a speech at Stanford University on combating the Islamic State militant group. Sanders held a giant rally in San Diego on Tuesday night before traveling to Los Angeles for campaign events Wednesday that included another large gathering at the Wiltern Theater.

The contrast of the two schedules underscored the differences between the candidates as the presidential contest moves toward the June 7 primary here.

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Bernie Sanders rocks the Los Angeles faithful in a rally at the Wiltern

Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at the Wiltern in Los Angeles.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times )

Stephanie Rosales paused and placed her hand over the crinkled sign adorning her shirt -- a red heart outlining the name “Bernie” -- when asked whether she would vote this fall if Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee.

“It’s a tough call,” said Rosales, 22, a film major at Cal State L.A. She is the prototypical Bernie Sanders supporter: a college student upset by what she calls a cycle of the same politicians running for office. “I’ll have to reassess what I’ll do if Bernie doesn’t win, but I’m not there yet. I’m hopeful.”

Rosales, who attended Sanders’ rally in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the Wiltern Theatre, might have to arrive at that decision soon.

Crowds in the tens of thousands — Sanders rallied 10,000 supporters in San Diego on Tuesday — have been a hallmark of the Vermont senator’s campaign, but the turnout hasn’t translated into the votes he needs to surge past Clinton.

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