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Friday
Apr292016

Hundreds of Protesters Descend Upon Trump Rally in California, Damaging Police Cars and Blocking Roads

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Following Donald Trump's rally in Costa Mesa, California, Thursday night, hundreds of protesters lined the streets, blocking cars leaving the OC Fair & Event Center, while others jumped on police cars.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said about 20 people were arrested, and there were no major injuries. There were nearly 200 officers outside the Trump rally, according to the Sheriff's Department.


The protesters were met with police in riot gear and others mounted on horseback.


Protesters jumped on police cars and other vehicles, and tossed water bottles and other objects at the police. At least one police car was damaged by the protesters. Protesters were also filmed trying to flip over a police car.

Rebeca Olguin, a Bernie Sanders supporter who was at the scene and posted a video of the mayhem on Instagram, told ABC News she came to protest Trump and his campaign.

"There were some who were peacefully protesting while others were being more open about sharing their opinions," she wrote in an e-mail to ABC News.

 Before the event started, the venue closed once it had reached capacity and individuals were trying to jump the fence to get in. They were escorted outside the gate.

The rally -- which attracted 18,000 supporters and was held in advance of the state's June 7 primary -- opened with families of people killed by undocumented workers from the Remembrance Project. They joined Trump on stage, as they have at previous rallies. "Trump is here to save us all,” said Jamiel Shaw, Sr., whose son Jamiel Shaw, Jr., was killed in 2008 when he was 17. Trump in turn took back the microphone and vowed to “Build the Wall."

Trump also took aim at his GOP rival Ted Cruz, and his newly-announced running mate, Carly Fiorina.

"[Cruz] will get an award...for the first time in the history of American politics, a man who is totally mathematically dead, has appointed a Vice President,” Trump said, later adding that Senator Cruz is “one lyin’ son of a gun.”

As for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, Trump said, “She’s there shouting all night long with reading from teleprompters. I’m sorta glad she won I wanna beat her more than Sanders.”

Trump will attend his first-ever state convention of the cycle Friday in California. His next rally is Sunday in Indiana.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

John Kasich Remains in Presidential Race

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It had all the makings of a dropping out speech -- minus the punchline.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich revealed to voters in Oregon that he had been seriously thinking about whether or not to continue his campaign. He trails rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz by hundreds of delegates.

“I want to tell you that I got up yesterday and, well, I started thinking about my campaign, started thinking about my effort,” Kasich told a crowd of supporters at a Portland town hall Thursday.

“I thought about should I keep going? Should I carry on? What is this all about? And I thought deeply about it,” Kasich admitted.

“I’ve decided to keep going. And there are going to be people who are going to criticize me for that, and it’s not always an easy road,” Kasich said. “I’m gonna do my very best.”

The sitting Ohio governor has won only his home state’s primary and is mathematically eliminated from securing the delegates needed for the Republican nomination.

Kasich dismissed calls from his GOP rivals to exit the race, saying: “I’m inclined to keep going.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Cruz's Delegate Counter Cuccinelli: They're ‘Cleaning’ Trump’s ‘Clock’

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia and chief delegate counter for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, brushed off this Tuesday’s losses to Donald Trump in five northeastern states. He said the Cruz campaign will “march on.”

In the latest edition of the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, Cuccinelli told ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein, who hosts the podcast with Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, that Tuesday was a “good day” for Trump, but many of the states the real estate mogul has won “will never in a million years vote a Republican for president.”

“Senator Cruz has done well in Republican states,” Cuccinelli said. “I think that tells folks something: Only one of these two can carry on a national campaign that is grassroots-based. You can see that by how we’re absolutely cleaning their clock in the grassroots contest that is the delegate battle.”

Cuccinelli also put to rest any rumors that the Cruz campaign was wooing undecided delegates with a sweet treat -- cake.

“No, no, no,” Cuccinelli insisted. “If you knew our budget you’d recognize that it’s not even possible.”

“Not even cheap cake,” he added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

President Obama Crashes White House Briefing for College Students

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama stunned college student reporters attending a special briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest at the White House Thursday.

"Josh was speaking for me and I wanted to make sure he was getting it right," Obama said as he entered the briefing room. "Are you guys having an interesting time here?"

Obama then told the students he had some news to break.

"Today [Thursday] I want to announce that we're aiming to enroll 2 million more people in Pay As You Earn by this time next this year and you can find out how at studentloans.gov/repay," the president announced.

Pay As You Earn is new federal student loan repayment plan that is now available to some borrowers with newer federal loans.

The president added that the administration will soon make additional announcements about how it's going to get federal agencies to coordinate so that as students manage student debt there is a one-stop shop where they can figure out how to pay back their loans and ensure that there are consumer protections for how they're being treated in repayment process.

The president then took several questions from student journalists for more than 30 minutes.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Shifting Electoral Focus Stands Out in 2016 Race

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- This presidential election stands out for many reasons, but one unexpected deviation is how it has changed the way the campaigns have mapped out their course.

Prioritizing some later states in this election -- like New York earlier this month and Indiana next Tuesday -- comes as a confluence of factors have changed the game.

It’s unfair to call these later primaries "battlegrounds ... any more than they ever were," but their role in the race has shifted, Georgetown University associate professor Hans Noel said.

"What is different is just that these states matter, because the contest isn’t settled,” Noel said.

"In a typical year, the party would be behind the front-runner, and anyone opposing the front-runner would have converted or at least stepped aside by now."

In addition to Sanders' narrative being "so entertaining" and his supporters being "very committed," Noel explained, it has forced Clinton's hand and made her still devote attention to the primary at a time when she may have wanted to shift toward the general election by now.

"Since the Democrats are proportional, it’s not enough to rest comfortably on a victory," Noel said, referring to the way that Democratic delegates are awarded. "Clinton needs to run up the score.”

For some states, the change in emphasis was intentional.

New York political leaders worked to change their state primary so it was held on a day with no others, as it had been previously.

"It was really done as a way to encourage the candidates to come campaign here," New York Republican State Committee spokeswoman Jessica Proud told ABC News. "New York is a very large, diverse state and, typically, candidates were coming into New York City to raise money rather than campaign around the state."

Others have become a focus of attention as a result of the length of the campaign itself, and the refusal by some to coalesce behind one candidate.

James Campbell, a professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, said the "very crowded" Republican field played a part.

"Supporters of the other candidates in the crowded field were likely to cling to their favored candidate longer than usual because they regarded a move to the front-runner unacceptable," Campbell said.

"In effect, this limited any bandwagon effect that we might have otherwise seen for a more broadly acceptable front-runner."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina Tag-Team Attacks On Donald Trump

Ty Wright/Getty Images(FT. WAYNE, Ind.) -- On their first full day as a political power team, Ted Cruz and newly-minted running mate Carly Fiorina tag-teamed attacks on Donald Trump, part of their fight to dethrone the front-runner.

At a rally in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Fiorina stayed mostly silent while Cruz interacted with the gaggle of press beforehand.

But, when she later took the stage, Fiorina proved why she has been such a strong surrogate for the Texas senator.

Walking out to "Cruz/Fiorina" campaign signs, the former HP executive was greeted by chants of “Carly.” She attacked and advocated for Cruz, lashing out at Trump and former House Speaker John Boehner while describing Cruz as the ultimate fighter. In a speech Wednesday, Boehner had compared Cruz to “Lucifer” and said he would not support him in a general election.

“There’s some breaking news. John Boehner, you know the guy who used to be the speaker of the house, and he didn’t get anything done right?" Fiorina said during the rally. "John Boehner last night said, 'Well, Donald Trump and I are texting and golfing buddies.' I rest my case ladies and gentlemen, because only an insider gives $100,000 to John Boehner’s Super PAC and at the same time, funds Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. That’s what Donald Trump has done. So make no mistake, they will not fight the system -- they are the system."

Cruz was peppered with questions by reporters about whether picking Fiorina simply amounted to an act of desperation, something Trump has claimed.

“Of course he would scream desperate. That is Donald Trump, it’s the only way he knows how to operate," Cruz said. "I gave the [explanation of] why we made the announcement early. It is certainly unusual to make a vice presidential announcement early before the convention. But this, if anything, is an unusual presidential cycle."

Cruz believes Fiorina will help him unite the Republican party behind his campaign.

“I think Carly is a powerful leader to help unite this party and bring us all together,” Cruz said. "I think it's important for the people of Indiana for the American people to know exactly what you're going to get and to give a clear choice. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are virtually indistinguishable on policy issues across the field.

The two further made things official with their first joint campaign ad.

Cruz told Tony Katz in a radio interview that Fiorina was on a short list of 17 candidates that had been winnowed down from 40 prospective choices.

ABC News spoke with Indiana voters who attended Cruz’s rally in Fort Wayne Thursday afternoon.

Fort Wayne local Gina Wyatt is an undecided voter, but might consider voting for Cruz now that Fiorina is his VP pick.

"I’m still thinking, but now that he has Carly Fiorina, I like her,” Wyatt, 54, told ABC News. “I think that might pull me in.”

She said she liked that Fiorina brought a business perspective to the table. “You need a politician, you need a business person,” she said, adding it was good to have a woman on the ticket.

She still has questions for Cruz, like his plan for dealing with illegal immigrants, esp. “good, hardworking illegal people.” She said there are a lot of Hispanic people in the Fort Wayne area who are “here for a good reason” and that she doesn’t “want to just kick them out.”

Business owner Paul Schroeder, 55, from Battleground, Indiana, attended the Cruz rally with his wife and six kids.

He said he would vote for Cruz, but that Ben Carson had been his first choice originally.

"I’m not sure she would’ve been my first choice,” Schroeder told ABC News. “But I think she’s a great running-mate for the ticket.”

"I like Carly Fiorina. I think she’s a great debater,” Schroeder said. "I think [she] and Cruz are the toughest debaters of all of them.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Twitter Reacts to Trump Saying Hillary Clinton Plays the 'Woman Card'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump recently accused Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton of using the “woman card” to get elected.

"I think the only card she has is the women's card," Trump said in New York earlier this week. "She has got nothing else going.”

Trump went on to argue, “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5 percent of the vote. ... And the beautiful thing is, women don't like her."

Clinton responded to the GOP front-runner in a speech on Tuesday night: "Mr. Trump accused me, of playing the, quote, 'woman card.' Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in."

It was only a matter of time until the hashtag #womancard took Twitter by storm. While some tweeters got creative using memes to criticize Trump’s comment, others focused on the deeper issues.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Ted Cruz Says There Is ‘No Alliance’ With John Kasich to Stop Trump

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Thursday there is "no alliance" with fellow GOP candidate John Kasich to stop front-runner Donald Trump from securing the Republican presidential nomination.

"There is no alliance. Kasich and I made a determination where to focus our energies, where to focus our assets, where to focus our resources," Cruz told reporters while campaigning in Indiana.

Cruz went on to say that Kasich is a "good" and "honorable" man.

Cruz's comments are an apparent attempt to walk back an agreement between the two campaigns to halt Trump in three upcoming primary contests.

"We disagree on a number of policy issues but I'll tell you where we do agree," Cruz said. "We agree that Hillary Clinton as president would be a disaster and we agree that nominating Donald Trump elects Hillary Clinton."

The Kasich campaign did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

On Sunday night, the Cruz campaign released a statement saying it would "focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico."

The Kasich campaign said it would "shift our campaign's resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana" that same evening.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Indiana 'Really Important' for Bernie Sanders, Win or Lose

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Bernie Sanders has turned his attention to Indiana, despite his diminishing chances to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders’ focus on the next primary comes during a tough week, which started with his winning only one of the five East Coast primaries on Tuesday.

The campaign then announced the next day it was cutting hundreds of staffers, though arguing that fewer remaining primaries call for a realignment of resources. But his overall campaign has shrunk dramatically, to between 325 and 350 staffers from more than 1,000, a campaign source told ABC News.

"Bernie Sanders began the process of conceding in his speech on Tuesday, when he said he would take this to the convention for the purpose of influencing the platform,” Georgetown University associate professor Hans Noel told ABC News Thursday. “Laying off workers is just a hint at that.”

The Sanders campaign hasn’t conceded anything, however, even stressing after Tuesday’s disappointing finish that he’s in the race for the long haul.

"The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast," Sanders said in the statement.

Indeed, the campaign has been well underway in Indiana, which holds its primary next Tuesday and allocates 92 delegates proportionally.

"His operation actually has been pretty impressive," political science professor Marjorie Hershey of Indiana University said. "I live in Bloomington [Indiana] and this will probably be one of his best areas of the state. His canvasing has been pretty thorough and I've seen a number of Sanders’ television ads, whereas I have seen only one [Hillary] Clinton television ad.”

Hershey said she saw her first Sanders ad a week before she saw a Clinton ad, which is consistent with his state director’s comments to ABC News that they started their operation there more than a month ago.

"We were sent here to win six weeks ago in a vacuum regardless of what else was happening," the Sander’s campaign Indiana director, Pete D'Alessendro, said. We are here to win Indiana."

D'Alessendro pointed to the significant crowds Sanders attracted in the state a day after the Tuesday East Coast primaries.

"We haven't seen a hit in the grassroots enthusiasm, but that is unique to this campaign," he said. "Every other campaign in the history of the world would have seen one."

There has been no reportable statewide polling in Indiana yet, so it is difficult to grasp the spread in the Democratic race there.

If Hillary Clinton secures 24 of the state's 83 pledged delegates, there will be no way for Sanders to earn enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination outright. He would have to rely on superdelegates.

Still, professor Hershey says, Sanders could translate whatever wins he has into the power to shape the political conversation at this summer’s convention and beyond.

"I think that, to be perfectly frank, the Democratic race is over at this point," Hershey said.

"Now it depends on what you are expecting and hoping that Sanders would achieve. If we're not talking about his winning the nomination ... but about his retaining some momentum primarily for his ideas as we go into the convention phase, then certainly doing really well in Indiana would be really important," she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr282016

Hillary Clinton and Her Campaign Pivots to the General Election

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- After a string of recent wins in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware, Hillary Clinton is solidly on the path to the Democratic nomination -- and she knows it.

The presidential candidate (who confidently blurted out during an interview this week, “I’m winning!”) has all but declared herself her party’s nominee. And though she and her campaign aides are still focused on the primary contests ahead, they’re now more than ever pivoting to the general election and preparing for a run against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

The shift was apparent Wednesday, the morning after the Pennsylvania primary, when the Clinton campaign appeared to preview their anti-Trump strategy by blasting out a series of messages and tweets critiquing Trump ahead of his foreign policy speech.

"Nothing he can say can hide the long list of dangerous national security proposals he’s put forward over the course of this campaign,” the campaign wrote in a lengthy memo titled, “Loose Cannons Tend to Misfire,” highlighting some of Trump's "most irresponsible comments and proposals."

Following his speech, Clinton campaign supporters -- former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sen. Tim Kaine (also thought to be high on the campaign’s list for VP) -- held a conference call with reporters to critique Trump for his “dangerous national security proposals.”

And throughout the day, Clinton’s campaign tweeted out a number of reactions to Trump -- both for his foreign policy and for a comment he made about Clinton playing the “woman card.” They made no mention whatsoever of Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile, Clinton herself tweaked her speech on Tuesday night to suggest she has her eye on November.

She vowed to unify the Democratic Party -- a message seemingly aimed at Sanders, who has been hesitant to say he would endorse Clinton if she becomes the nominee.

"Whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us,” Clinton exclaimed. "I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality and I know together we will get that done.”

Clinton also appeared to begin a push to woo Republicans (specifically those more moderate ones who are not supporters of Trump or Ted Cruz). She called on anyone who is a “thoughtful Republican” to consider her message and campaign.

"So my friends, if you are a Democrat, an independent or a thoughtful Republican, you know their approach is not going to build an America where we increase opportunity or decrease inequality,” she said. "So, instead of letting them take us backwards, we want America to be in the future business. That's why I want you to keep imagining a tomorrow where instead of building walls, we're breaking down barriers.”

Trump has also shifted his focus to Clinton in recent days, taking her on more directly during his campaign events and saying he plans to study Sanders' playbook. ("I can re-read some of his speeches and get some very good material," Trump said on MSNBC about his plans to go after Clinton.)

Sanders has yet to tone down his critiques of his opponent, and has vowed to stay in the race through the convention, however, the reality of the race is settling in. His campaign is set to lay off hundreds of staff members.

"As a result of the process moving forward with only ten states to go, we need fewer people in place to do the work [than] we needed when there were 50 states to go," Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement. "And so the campaign is doing some right-sizing to deal with the practicability that we have fewer states left to go."

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