Hillary Clinton celebrates at a rally with Democratic Reps. Karen Bass and Maxine Waters yesterday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher)
THE BIG IDEA:
The Associated Press’s declaration last night that Hillary Clinton has secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination for president frustrated both her and Bernie Sanders.
The wire service stomped on a special moment that the former Secretary of State and her team have carefully choreographed for tonight in Brooklyn, in which she will celebrate becoming the first woman to lead a major party in the race for the White House.
With polls showing a neck-and-neck race in California, the biggest delegate prize of the year, Clinton advisers are nervous that the AP proclamation will keep her supporters home while hardcore Sanders supporters still head to the polls. They realize that, if Clinton loses the Golden State, the mainstream media narrative tomorrow will be about how weak she is as a general-election candidate – not the historic nature of her achievement. (Besides California, Democrats also vote today in New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota.)
— A Sanders spokesman blasted the AP’s “rush to judgment.” And his supporters saw the surprise announcement as an effort to anoint the establishment favorite before all the votes have been cast. The Vermont senator insists that he can still convince superdelegates to invalidate the popular will of the Democratic electorate.
A supporter listens to Bernie in San Francisco last night. (Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post)
— At Sanders’s closing rally in San Francisco last night, Berniecrats lashed out at the press. There was “unbridled fury” at the media and “deep bitterness” with the party establishment, Robert Costa reports from the scene: “On the lip of the bay, on a cold, foggy night, there were angry shouts as people thumbed through news stories on their phones, many of them turning to each other in exasperation to read aloud articles to fellow rally-goers. … Many of the people who were spread out on the grass said they are far from ready to see Sanders cede the nomination … There were urgent calls for him to fight on to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. ‘Disgusting. Absolutely horrible to hear,’ said Travis Fox, 31, of San Carlos, Calif. ‘But you know what? I’m more inspired to support Bernie Sanders. He should go all the way.’”
“Once Sanders took the stage for his nearly 50-minute speech, he did not directly address the news reports or signal that he was readying to leave the race,” Bob adds. “Yet there was a sense of solidarity with his fuming supporters. His tone was defiant and his hand sliced the air as he issued a series of criticisms of Clinton, describing her as an ally of Wall Street. There were wistful moments of reflection … ‘When we began our campaign, our ideas were considered a fringe campaign and fringe ideas. That is not the case today,’ Sanders thundered as the crowd roared.”
|Sanders vows to fight on in Calif. as Clinton secures needed delegates
— Clinton also ignored the AP story as she spoke at a star-studded fundraising concert hosted in her honor at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Appearing alongside Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin, Cher, Magic Johnson and Christina Aguilera, she stressed the importance of voting. “We’re going to come out of the primary even stronger to take on Donald Trump,” Clinton told the crowd. “Enough with the fear, enough with the anger, enough with the bigotry, enough with the bullying!”
|Clinton: ‘We still have work to do’
— Both campaigns are pushing their supporters hard to vote today:
FLASHBACK TO EIGHT YEARS AGO
— On June 3, 2008 – the final day of that year’s primaries – it was Clinton who was dismissive when the AP called the race for Barack Obama. As NBC News reported that day, “Advisers indicated earlier Tuesday that the former first lady would publicly acknowledge in her speech that Obama had crossed the delegate threshold. But she changed her mind and refused to do so … Her advisers said they considered the delegate numbers to be unreliable, even as the AP estimated Obama had several more than the 2,118 needed to nominate.”
It took four days for Clinton to deliver her famous concession speech. “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” she said at the Building Museum on June 7, 2008. “And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”
— Clinton dropped out only after she came under intense pressure from Democratic leaders, including her allies, to face reality and not fight until the convention in Denver.
Among those pressuring her to get out was Sanders. A superdelegate, he had stayed neutral during that year’s contest, but he endorsed Obama on June 5 – after Obama clinched but two days before Clinton dropped out. “Sanders said he held off supporting either of the Democrats because he has made it a custom not to support any Democrat for the presidential nomination until the party had chosen its nominee,” the Burlington Free Press reported at the time.
— There are several historical examples of this dynamic. Looking back to 1984, a similar dynamic played out with Gary Hart after he lost in the primaries to Walter Mondale. Initially, the Colorado senator promised to fight hard through the convention but then backed off so he could preserve goodwill for a campaign four years later.
Here’s The Post’s coverage from 32 years ago:
— Sanders is about to face this same level of pressure, if not more. He’s going to fly to Burlington, Vermont, after an election night appearance in Santa Monica. There he mill mull his future.
— As he does so, here are five constituencies that will begin aggressively pressuring the senator to step aside, for the good of the Democratic Party:
Barack Obama holds up a Denver Broncos jersey as he welcomes the Super Bowl Champions during a ceremony in the Rose Garden yesterday. Standing behind the president is Peyton Manning. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
1. Barack Obama
The president could endorse Clinton as soon as this week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday.
POTUS himself telephoned Sanders on Sunday. It’s not clear exactly what was said, but Obama apparently gave notice that he’ll soon back Clinton. The senator stepped off his campaign bus so that the conversation would be private.
Senior Obama aides told the New York Times that they are in active discussions with the Clinton campaign about what role he will play. The obviously-authorized disclosure appeared timed to for maximum impact: to be published on a Monday morning when people were coming back to work.
White House officials said the timeline is likely to hold regardless of how Sanders reacts to the returns tonight. The AP offers some possible pegs: “On Wednesday, he’s due in New York City to address donors at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser [not far from Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters]. He’ll also tape an appearance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,’ a favorite with the coveted young demographic, for the show set to air Thursday night. The news will likely be followed by a first joint appearance before long.”
“We’ll be talking about all of that in the next days, and I look forward to that,” Clinton said when reporters asked what role Obama will play in her campaign. “Obviously, I’m excited about having the president’s support, because I have said throughout this campaign, I was honored to serve in the president’s cabinet.”
Hillary works the rope line in Long Beach yesterday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Clinton’s superdelegate total has increased by 24 delegates since Sunday, according to the AP count, while Sanders’s support has scarcely budged.
His last-dash hopes rest on the very party insiders who he has spent the past year railing against suddenly warming up to him. But it could also work the other way. Some of Sanders’s delegates could declare their intention to support Clinton, which would undercut his case that he’s making inroads.
“Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates,” the AP noted in its story declaring that she has won. “The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted. While superdelegates will not formally cast their votes for Clinton until the party’s July convention in Philadelphia, all those counted in her tally have unequivocally told the AP they will do so.” (The Fix’s Philip Bump explores the math here.)
Bernie talks to his chief strategist Tad Devine. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
3. Forces inside Bernie’s own campaign
The Wall Street Journal reports that a split has emerged inside the Sanders campaign over whether the senator should actually take the fight all the way to Philadelphia next month. Some think it gives them more leverage; others believe it hurts the ability to build a lasting movement.
“One camp might be dubbed the Sandersistas, the loyalists who helped guide Mr. Sanders’s political ascent in Vermont and the U.S. Congress and are loath to give up a fight that has far surpassed expectations,” Peter Nicholas reports. “Another has ties not only to Mr. Sanders but to the broader interests of a Democratic Party pining to beat back the challenge from Trump and make gains in congressional elections.”
- “Tad Devine, a senior Sanders strategist who advised Democratic nominees Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, among others, suggested the ‘path forward’ is uncertain, hinging on the outcome in California and other states that have yet to vote. He voiced a conciliatory note, describing how the two campaigns might set aside differences that have grown more pronounced in the heat of the year-long campaign. ‘What will happen hopefully when the voting is done, our two campaigns will begin to talk once more to one another and figure out where the common ground is,’ he said.”
- “Campaign manager Jeff Weaver, who has worked in Mr. Sanders’s congressional offices and Vermont-based campaigns dating to the mid-1980s, takes a more aggressive approach. … A victory in California and elsewhere on Tuesday would ‘strengthen’ the argument for the nomination, Mr. Weaver said, but it isn’t necessary to keep the candidacy alive through the convention.”
Elizabeth Warren has her photo taken with a supporter of Jeff Merkley at a 2014 rally in Oregon. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Andy Nelson)
4. Prominent liberals
Elizabeth Warren and her campaign have had increasingly frequent backchannel conversations with Clinton. The Massachusetts senator has stayed neutral, but she’s also being pushed by many on the left as a potential running mate for Clinton. If she came out and endorsed her, it would take a lot of the remaining air out of the Sanders bubble and help coax anti-Clinton progressives into the fold.
Jeff Merkley is the only Democratic senator to endorse Sanders. The Oregonian, though, said in April that Sanders should end his campaign once it becomes clear that he has no viable path to the nomination. “I think after California, June 7, is about the time it would be appropriate — all states will have weighed in by then. It will then give them five weeks to work together” before the convention, Merkley told CNN at the time.
Liberal media elites could also have a big impact. John Judis, the editor-at-large of Talking Points Memo who voted for Sanders in the Maryland primary, says he must drop out after tonight in a new blog post: “Sanders had a commendable political agenda, and he can return to it with some authority after November if Clinton wins and he becomes the Budget Chair. But a convention battle over delegates and platform won’t help him or her. The clearest precedents are 1976 and 1980. In 1976, Ronald Reagan took the nomination with Gerald Ford to the convention in Kansas City; and in 1980 Ted Kennedy battled Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention in New York. Ford lost in November, and so did Carter. They might well have lost anyway, but the convention battles certainly did not help their campaigns. I certainly can’t think of an example where a bitter convention battle helped the nominee.”
Jay Carson, who was Hillary’s press secretary in 2008, pens an op-ed in the Timesabout how hard it was for him to support Obama in 2008: “So to all the Sanders staff members and supporters who are as hurt and dismayed as I was, who feel that their candidate is right and the opponent dead wrong, who want to keep fighting to the convention and beyond: I get it. I’ve been there (with Howard Dean and Bill Bradley as well). But please learn what I have learned and don’t let your anger get the best of you.”
Nancy Pelosi (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the Curran)
5. Prominent female Democrats
On “Good Morning America” a few minutes ago, Nancy Pelosi formally endorsed Clinton and said she voted for her in today’s primary. She also said it would be “fabulous” for two women to be on the ticket.
Every Democratic woman in the Senate, with the exception of Warren, lined up early for Clinton, and they are very excited about the history-making implications of an HRC presidency. Several also have personal relationships with Clinton from her eight years in the upper chamber.
A few in this elite sorority have already called on Sanders to drop out. California Sen. Barbara Boxer, for example, chastised Sanders for how he responded to the chaos at the Nevada Democratic convention, where she had been a guest speaker, and for calling her part of the “establishment.”
Expect these kinds of statements to become louder and more pointed in the coming hours and days. These and other female leaders – think Madeleine Albright – will warn explicitly that Sanders staying in could imperil her chances.
“When the math is final, Bernie has to look at a potential President Trump and go, ‘Ruh-roh, we’ve got to get busy…,’ Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said recently onCBS. “And I’m just confident Bernie will be there when the time comes.”
A testy press conference in California yesterday gave a taste of how the conversation may become much more gendered after today. Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times asked Sanders: “What do you say to women who say that you staying in the race is sexist because you’re standing in the way of what could be the first female president?”
“Is that a serious question?” Sanders asked.
“Yes, it is a serious question,” Alcindor said.
“Is your point that it is sexist for any man to oppose her?” Sanders asked.
“No, my point is that if she has more delegates than you tomorrow…” Alcindor said.
“Well, that’s another point,” Sanders interrupted.
“… that if you stay in the race, is it sexist?” she finished.“I don’t think it is sexist,” Sanders said.
|Sanders: ‘I don’t think it is sexist’ to stay in the race
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— New federal civil rights data show persistent racial gaps in discipline and access to advanced coursework. From Emma Brown: “Nationwide, 2.8 million students were suspended from public schools during the 2013-2014 school year, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection, which the U.S. Education Department releases every two years [it came off embargo at midnight]. That represents a drop of nearly 20 percent compared to the 2011-2012 school year. But black students were nearly four times as likely to be suspended as white students, and nearly twice as likely to be expelled. The same pattern showed up in preschool: Black children represented 19 percent of all preschoolers but accounted for 47 percent of those who received suspensions.”
Four eye-opening figures from the Education Department’s survey, flagged by Emma:
- In the 2013-2014 school year, 6.5 million children were chronically absent from school, missing 15 or more days of school.
- 850,000 high school students didn’t have access to a school counselor.
- 1.6 million students went to a school that employed a sworn law-enforcement officer, but no counselor.
- Nearly 800,000 students were enrolled in schools where more than 20 percent of teachers hadn’t met state licensure requirements.
— At least 11 people were killed in a car bomb explosion in Istanbul, the latest in a string of deadly attacks on Turkey’s largest city. From Erin Cunningham: The blast took place near Istanbul University but appeared to target security forces. “The bomb was remotely detonated as a van carrying riot police drove by, the governor said, adding that seven of the dead were police officers. Four civilians were also killed, and another 36 people wounded.”
— Trump continued to stoke controversy last night, telling Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that he was one of the original people who “broke the glass ceiling” for women in the construction industry. “Number one, I have great respect for women. I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women, more than anybody in the construction industry,” he said, defending his record on women’s issues amid scrutiny over gender-based pay gaps among his campaign staffers. “My relationship I think is going to end up being very good with women.” (Jose A. DelReal)
GET SMART FAST:
- A French man was arrested after trying to smuggle explosives and firearms into Ukraine, ostensibly to be used in planned attacks on a major soccer tournament this weekend. Ukrainian authorities said he plotted the attacks as a “sign of protest” against the mass migration of foreigners into France and the growing number of Muslims living in the country. (Andrew Roth)
- Vice President Biden unveiled a new public database for clinical data on cancer.Designed to facilitate sharing of information among cancer researchers, the first-of-its-kind system will contain genomic information and data of more than 12,000 patients. (Laurie McGinley)
- The Marine Corps ousted its second-highest ranking officer at the Parris Island training regiment, four months after the mysterious death of a 20-year-old recruit at the South Carolina facility. Officials said they are still investigating events surrounding the death of Raheel Siddiqui, a Muslim-American who suffered fatal injuries after falling from a three-story structure during boot camp. (Dan Lamothe)
- The Obama administration is seeking to amend surveillance law to give the FBI explicit authority to access a person’s Internet browser history and other electronic data without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases. The administration made a similar effort six years ago, but dropped the measure after blowback from the tech industry. (Ellen Nakashima)
- The mother of the 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo will not face criminal charges. “By all accounts, this mother did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm,” prosecutor Joseph Deters told reporters. “If anyone doesn’t believe a 3-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they’ve never had kids.” (Cincinnati.com)
- Samsung might introduce a line of new smartphones with bendable screens, including a version that folds in half like a cosmetic compact. The new devices could hit the market as early as 2017. (Bloomberg)
- Roger Clinton, Hillary’s brother-in-law, was charged with drunk driving in California. Police said the 59-year-old was driving “erratically” in the Redondo Beach area, prompting a worried driver to report him to the cops. (Philip Bump)
- A former Democratic Assemblyman in California, Tom Calderon, pleaded guilty to federal money laundering, agreeing to a plea deal that guarantees he will serve no more than 12 months in prison. (LA Times)
- The Supreme Court ruled that a class-action lawsuit accusing Google of violating California fair advertising laws could move forward, rejecting the company’s appeal. (Elise Viebeck)
- The Supreme Court said it would review two cases brought by African Americans on death row in Texas. “One challenge involves Texas’s use of what lawyers say is an outdated method of determining whether inmates’ intellectual disabilities are so great that they should not be executed. The other alleges that racial discrimination infected an inmate’s sentencing,” per Robert Barnes.
- Aid workers in the Central African Republic unearthed the remains of 12 people who they say were murdered by Congolese peacekeepers in 2014, new evidence in what is believed to be one of the most egregious cases of peacekeeper abuse ever. (Kevin Sieff)
- Mexico’s ruling party suffered a string of stinging defeats in Monday’s state elections, with the Institutional Revolutionary Party losing four states for the first time. (AP)
- Officials named two suspects in the 2014 murder of a Florida State law professor, possibly linking his death to a murder-for-hire gambit stemming from a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife. (T. Rees Shapiro)
- A jury recommended the death penalty for the notorious “Grim Sleeper” serial killer, accused of slaying 10 women and terrorizing South L.A. for more than two decades. A county judge will hand down the sentence in August. (LA Times)
- Martin Shkreli pleaded not guilty to a newly-filed conspiracy charge,which accuses the 33-year-old “Pharma Bro” of using employees and consultants to conceal his control of Retrophin stock. (AP)
- UC Davis scientists have successfully engineered part-human, part-pig embryos in hopes of addressing a global shortage of transplant organs. Researchers “believe the hybrid embryos could develop into seemingly normal pigs that house human organs – in this case, pancreases.” (USA Today)
- Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman called for an “immediate medical evaluation” of Sumner Redstone’s mental capacity, two weeks after filing a lawsuit to challenge his removal from the media mogul’s trust. The court filing is the latest missive in a bizarre and contentious legal saga to gain control over Redstone’s company. (LA Times)
- Stephen Hawking published new research suggesting “black holes” – the mysterious, nightmarish “prisons of space” — might have exits after all. (New York Times)
- Rand Paul is introducing legislation to end the Selective Service program as a tribute to the late Muhammad Ali, who famously refused to serve in Vietnam.(David Weigel)
- TV host John Oliver made talk show history after buying – and forgiving — $15 million worth of medical debt. This is apparently the largest one-time giveaway ever on television, beating out Oprah Winfrey, who in 2004 gave cars to her studio audience. (Stephanie Merry)
- A West Virginia woman and her boyfriend were arrested after allegedly attempting to sell a three-month-old infant child “for $500 to $1,000.” (Sarah Larimer)
TWO GOP RACES TO WATCH TONIGHT:
Renee Ellmers debates Greg Brannon and George Holding in Raleigh, N.C. last month. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)
— For the first time in 2016, a Republican member of Congress will lose a primary.Considering the strong outsider mood that has propelled Sanders and Trump, this is remarkable. Court-ordered redistricting put Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) into the same district as another Republican member, George Holding, meaning that one must go down.
Several conservative outside groups that helped elect Ellmers in 2010, including Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, have been spending heavily to defeat her. They’re angry that she votes with GOP leadership and did not back them on issues like killing the Export-Import Bank. (Catherine Ho wrote about this dynamic last week.)
Anti-abortion groups are also going after Ellmers. Last year, she led a group of female GOP lawmakers in trying to amend a 20-week abortion ban. The bill would have required that women formally report being raped to law enforcement in order to qualify for the exception. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, which backed Ellmers in the past, sent field staffers down to organize door-knocking against her because of this.
Trump, surprisingly, inserted himself into the race and endorsed Ellmers over the weekend, despite the fact that she is the underdog. He recorded a robo-call that’s been going to Republican homes in the district. The Donald calls her “the first congresswoman” to endorse him. “She really was terrific and, boy, is she a fighter,” Trump says on the call.
|Donald Trump Endorsement
— Kevin McCarthy is also taking his reelection very seriously. Two years ago this week, Eric Cantor went down unexpectedly in a Virginia primary. The California congressman who replaced him as House Majority Leader is determined not to meet the same fate. Reporter Paul Kane sends this dispatch for the 202: McCarthy’s challengers have not received anything approaching what David Brat, who slayed Cantor, received two years ago. And the state has a jungle primary, which means that McCarthy could finish second in June and still be on the ballot in November.
But the majority leader’s campaign committee nonetheless spent more than $2.1 million from Jan. 1 to mid-May, according to the most recent detailed federal filing period. “Some large chunks of that went to donations to other lawmakers in trouble, but he also maintained staff in his Bakersfield, Calif., campaign office. McCarthy is even running both TV and radio ads during the campaign’s final days.
In the last two weeks, when only donations of at least $1,000 must be reported, McCarthy raked in roughly $130,000 — including maximum donations totaling more than $10,000 from Sean Parker and his wife, along with $2,500 from the PAC of Elon Musk’s SpaceEx private space aviation company.
That haul for McCarthy in the last two weeks was four times what his lead primary challenger, local tea party antagonist Ken Mettler, raised for the entire campaign.
McCarthy’s goal might ultimately be to do what Cantor thought he was doing on the morning of his massive loss, when he told a group of lobbyists at the Starbucks on Capitol Hill that he wanted to so crush Brat that he’d discourage any other significant primary challenge.
THE DAILY DONALD:
Trump speaks during a rally in Fresno, Calif. (AP/Chris Carlson)
NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME:
— On one of the most surreal conference calls in campaign history, Trump urged his top surrogates to call reporters racists when they ask about Trump University and his own comments about a federal judge’s Mexican heritage. “We will overcome,”Trump told his backers. “And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.”
“There was no mention of apologizing or backing away from his comments, despite a Sunday email from his own campaign that urged surrogates to stop talking about the Trump University lawsuit,” Bloomberg Politics, which broke the story, reports. “When former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer interrupted the discussion to inform Trump of the memo, he immediately overruled the decision and claimed not to know the staffer who sent it. ‘Take that order and throw it the hell out,’ Trump said. ‘Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks? “That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.'” (Both campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks were cc’d on the emailed memo, giving credence to a lack of communication even among the campaign’s top staffers.)
A “clearly irritated” Trump urged his backers to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit: “The people asking the questions—those are the racists,” Trump said. “I would go at ’em.”
Brewer told Trump that he and his staff need to get on the same page. (Read the full story by Kevin Cirilli, Michael C. Bender and Jennifer Jacobs.)
— The brouhaha might have something to do with broader disorganization in the campaign. “Republicans working to elect Trump describe a bare-bones effort debilitated by infighting, a lack of staff to carry out basic functions, minimal coordination with allies and a message that’s prisoner to Trump’s momentary whims. Veteran operatives are shocked by the campaign’s failure to fill key roles,” MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin, Katy Tur and Ali Vitali report.“There is no communications team, no rapid response director to quickly rebut attacks, and a limited cast of surrogates who lack a cohesive message. … The lack of organization is becoming more and more glaring.”
Lindsey Graham speaks with reporters on his way to a vote at the Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
THE FALLOUT IS REAL: “Trump finds himself INCREASINGLY ISOLATED,” Jose DelReal and Mike DeBonis report, “as Republicans moved en masse Monday to disassociate themselves from the remarks while Democrats worked to tie the entire Republican Party to them.”
— Sen. Lindsey Graham urged Republicans who have backed Trump to walk back their endorsements, calling his comments “the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy.” “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,” he said. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.” (New York Times)
— Several other former Republican rivals also condemned Trump’s remarks:
- “He needs to stop saying it,” Marco Rubio told Florida’s WFTV. “I don’t think it reflects well on the Republican Party. I don’t think it reflects well on us as a nation.”
- John Kasich called the remarks “flat out wrong,” saying in a tweet that Trump should “apologize to Judge Curiel and try to unite this country.” (ABC News)
- “Every human being is an individual first rather than a member of an identity group,” said Ben Carson. “The moment we forget that is the moment we enter into a phase of moral descent.” (Politico)
— Profiles in courage: Chris Christie refused to comment. Buzzfeed even tried to reach him on his personal email account. Remember when the New Jersey governor used to have a reputation for straight talk? That seems so quaint now.
— Every Republican senator got asked about Trump when they showed up for votes. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine called the slurs against the judge “absolutely unacceptable.” Vulnerable New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said the “comments are offensive and wrong, and he should retract them.” More from the reporters who were chasing after them:
–In his first “Political Stu” column for PowerPost, Stuart Rothenberg asks whether there are enough white voters to elect Trump. The answer: probably not: “Alternatively, [Trump] could win landslide levels of white voters, as Reagan and George W. Bush did in their re-election victories. Given the 2012 electorate, the polarized political environment, and Trump’s own problems with some GOP voters, that seems unlikely. He will win whites comfortably but almost certainly not by 30 points.”
From the leading critic of Trump in the GOP caucus:
— In another sign of disjointed communication, Trump’s lead defense attorney publicly praised Judge Curiel just three weeks ago for his decisions in the Trump University case. “The judge is doing his job,” Daniel Petrocelli said on camera. “We’re not seeking to recuse the judge.” (Yahoo News)
Paul Ryan sits in his Janesville office. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
— Could Paul Ryan have chosen a worse time to hop aboard the Trump Train? The Speaker’s brand has taken a huge hit over the past week, as past allies sour on him. Here are just four examples from the cascade of condemnation he’s receiving from conservative thought leaders for kowtowing:
- George F. Will devotes his whole column to Ryan: “The Caligulan malice with which Donald Trump administered Paul Ryan’s degradation is an object lesson in the price of abject capitulation to power. This episode should be studied as a clinical case of a particular Washington myopia — the ability of career politicians to convince themselves that they and their agendas are of supreme importance. Some say in extenuation of Ryan’s behavior that if he could not embrace Trump, he could not continue as speaker. But is Ryan, who was reluctant to become speaker, now more indispensable to the nation’s civic health than Trump is menacing to that health? Ryan could have enhanced that health by valuing it above his office … In March, Trump said of Ryan: ‘I’m sure I’m going to get along great with him. And if I don’t, he’s going to have to pay a big price.’ Ryan has now paid a staggering price by getting along with Trump. And what did Ryan purchase with the coin of his reputation? Perhaps his agenda.”
- Charles Krauthammer said Trump is showing his true character – and has therefore created a moral dilemma for those who have thrown their support behind him. “They have to ask themselves morally, is this the man you want to be the leader of your party?”
- “He is getting worse, not better,” said Joe Scarborough. “This is unbelievable.”The “Morning Joe” host added: “These Republicans this week who were so shocked and stunned and deeply saddened and offended by this clear act of racism had all the evidence in the world before that he had done things that — again — stopped them from endorsing him. How do you endorse, Paul Ryan, a man that supports the banning of 1.4 billion Muslims from ever entering the United States of America? You make him back down, actually.”
- “What good does it profit a party to win the White House and lose its soul?”asks conservative commentator Erick Erickson. “This is a descent into madness and the American public will not reward it … A Republican Party that abandons its principles and refuses to call out racism in the name of winning the White House will not win the White House and will lose everything along the way.”
— Sneak peek: Looking to turn the page, Ryan will unveil an anti-poverty proposal today as part of an election-year policy agenda. Kelsey Snell and Mike DeBonis reportthat the Speaker will unveil a proposal for fighting poverty that identifies a long list of policy ills but stops short of prescribing specific legislative fixes. The plan will be announced at an event at the House of Help City of Hope in the District’s Anacostia neighborhood. “The (35-page) proposal is the result of work done by one of several task forces created by Ryan to draft the six-point policy agenda.”
- “The members of the poverty group identified a number of areas in the welfare system that should be improved or discarded, including poor coordination between agencies, a long list of programs that are not well tailored to the specific needs of individual beneficiaries, insufficient access to education and training, and a lack of programs to promote saving.”
- “The plan does not include some of Ryan’s past signature anti-poverty proposals, such as an expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide assistance to single, childless workers or a new social services block grant program for states and local government. … Many of the specific policy prescriptions aimed at addressing the problems identified in the paper were left out because members couldn’t agree on details such as how to prevent waste and fraud, according to aides.”
- “The proposal also stops short of embracing specific welfare reform legislation that House Republicans have introduced or passed in recent years, including drug testing requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, better known as food stamps.”
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)
— Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi — who was on that bizarre Trump conference call yesterday — personally solicited a political contribution from Trump “around the same time” her office was deciding whether to join a fraud investigation into Trump University. The disclosure provides additional details around the “unusual” circumstances of Trump’s $25,000 donation to Bondi.
“The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities,” the AP’s Jeff Horwitz, Gary Fineout, and Michael Biesecker report. “A political group backing Bondi’s re-election … reported receiving the check Sept. 17, 2013 — four days after Bondi’s office publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities …After the check came in, Bondi’s office nixed suing Trump, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.” All told, more than 20 people requested help from the Florida AG in obtaining refunds from Trump University and affiliates, with Bondi’s predecessor receiving “numerous other complaints” about the seminar company. Many say they paid money for training materials and personalized instruction which were never delivered.”
— Buzzfeed terminated a $1.3 million advertising deal with the RNC, citing Trump’s incendiary and racially-loaded rhetoric. “We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue,” said CEO Jonah Peretti of his decision to walk away from the agreement. “However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.” (Buzzfeed)
— Dana Milbank’s column focuses on Trump singling out a black man in the crowd at his rally on Friday. “Look at my African American over here,” Trump said, pointing. “Look at him. Are you the greatest?”
“The gesture — reminiscent of Trump eating a Cinco de Mayo taco bowl at Trump Tower and tweeting ‘I love Hispanics!’ — was as respectful as if he had just instructed the crowd to ‘look at my Irish setter over here,’” Dana writes. “And it was as clumsy as if he had tried to validate his pro-Israel position by saying, ‘Look at my Jew over here,’ or to neutralize his general intolerance by saying, ‘Say hello to my lesbian,’ or, ‘Take a gander at my Chinese American.’ It turns out Trump’s African American, Gregory Cheadle, says he’s not a Trump supporter. He said he wasn’t offended by Trump taking possession of him, telling NPR it would have been worse if Trump followed ‘my African American’ by saying, ‘What’s up, dawg?’ or the N-word. Small consolation.”
— Stuart Rothenberg, whose new column for PowerPost debuts today, says the defining question for Trump’s campaign will be whether he can turn out enough white voters to beat Clinton: “Ultimately, the best chance for Trump – maybe the only chance, even with his current competitive standing – is to change the make-up of the electorate by bringing millions of new white voters to the polls and winning them by a large margin … Given what he has accomplished so far, it would be foolish to dismiss Trump’s ability to change the make-up of the electorate or even to win the presidential election. But he faces a difficult demographic challenge, since he needs to alter the trajectory of the last 50 years of American elections … Clearly, the odds are against him.”
Important observation –> “Many Trump supporters don’t believe his wildest promises — and they don’t care,” by Jenna Johnson: “The wall along the Mexican border is one of Trump’s most enduring and popular proposals … Yet many of Trump’s fans don’t actually think he will build a wall — and they don’t care if he doesn’t. Many also don’t think that Trump as president would really ban foreign Muslims from entering the country, seize oil controlled by terrorists or deport 11 million illegal immigrants. They view Trump’s pledges more as malleable symbols than concrete promises, reflecting a willingness to shake things up and to be bold. The ambiguity presents a stark challenge for his probable opponent … How can she and other Democrats convince people that Trump’s ideas are dangerous if many voters don’t believe he will actually implement them?”
— Dick Morris is in talks to join Trump’s campaign, per New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman: “According to two sources with direct knowledge of the talks, the Trump campaign is in discussions with the former Clinton adviser-turned Clinton nemesis, about joining the campaign as a strategist. Morris would ‘join the Hillary unit,’ one source explained. ‘It’s on the table,’ a senior Trump adviser added. ‘Some of the most important info about the Clintons is 20 years old.’ In recent days, the National Enquirer, which has been a loud pro-Trump outlet, named Morris its ‘chief political commentator.’ And Morris has told people he’s been a longtime acquaintance of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Morris has been looking for a high-profile perch since being dropped by Fox News in 2013.”
Clinton takes the stage at a rally in Long Beach, Calif. (AP/John Locher)
MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC DENOUEMENT:
— Great perspective on The Meaning of The Moment, via Karen Tumulty: “Clinton has been part of our national consciousness for so long that it is easy to forget how far she has pushed the edges … She has been the avatar of a different way of thinking about women and what they can do. … The arc of her career has not been a graceful one. Again and again, the sequence has been the same: She sets out, stumbles, gets up again, grinds on. And as she herself has acknowledged, she lacks the natural political talents of the two men against whom she is inevitably measured — the one she married, and the one to whom she lost in 2008. … It was never much in doubt that she would try again, because that is her laborious way. She is determined to make history, and she has; what she will never do is make it look easy.” Read Karen’s whole piece here.
— Senior State Department official Stephen D. Mull testified that he was aware of Clinton’s private server but had “no reason” to think it was being used for government business. “Your question is based on the assumption that I knew that someone was conducting government business, and I don’t have a basis to make such a judgment,” said Mull, who oversaw executive operations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary. “I think it’s difficult with hindsight to say something was a mistake, if a person didn’t have the knowledge at the time of what was going on.” His deposition is one of more than a half-dozen sought by the conservative group Judicial Watch in a federal open records lawsuit. (Spencer S. Hsu)
— “‘This reminds us of the times of Hitler’: In the heart of Europe, anti-Islam politics are on the rise,” by Anthony Faiola, in Erfurt, Germany: “This Medieval city of timber-framed buildings and cobblestone streets is on the front lines of the escalating culture war over Islam in the West. Trump may be calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. But on this side of the Atlantic, too, Islam is under fire … In few places is the shift more startling than here in Germany, where attacks by Islamist radicals in neighboring nations and a record wave of Middle Eastern migrants are testing the national will to protect minority rights adopted after World War II. Some here — and not only Muslims — are deeply worried by the trend. ‘For the first time [since World War II] there is a party again attempting to existentially constrain an entire religious community and to threaten it,’ [said] Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany … ‘This reminds us of the times of Hitler.’”
— “‘Comeback’ Cleveland readies for a rare moment in the sun,” by Mary Jordan:“When this former industrial powerhouse beat out Dallas, Denver and other cities competing to host this summer’s Republican convention in the same week that basketball legend LeBron James announced his return to the Cavaliers, Cleveland felt it had its mojo back. Millennials were moving downtown. Lakefront condos, luxury hotels and outdoor cafes were opening around a new convention center. … The ‘Comeback City’ couldn’t wait for thousands of Republicans and journalists to come check out the change — and spread the word. But back then, in 2014, no one forecast Hurricane Donald. Now Trump, the most unconventional presidential candidate in modern times, is promising to create ‘a big spectacle’ with a ‘showbiz’ feel, leaving Cleveland excited about the heightened interest — and nervous about what might happen with the arrival of the political storm. … ‘I would venture to say we have never had this much attention,’ said David Gilbert, president of the Cleveland Host Committee. ‘We are no longer the bridesmaid.'”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Check out how Twitter exploded shortly after 7 p.m. EDT when the AP called the Democratic race for Clinton. The news vaulted Clinton mentions over Sanders — unusual, though not unprecedented in these last several weeks of social media monitoring, according to our analytics partners at Zignal Labs. We’ll see if the moment below becomes the turning point where Clinton can pivot to Trump and once and for all put her primary opponent on the back Berner…
— Until the AP called the race for Hillary, Twitter was dominated by conversation about Trump.
Michael Reagan announced that he will not support Trump in the California primary — and said his father, Ronald Reagan, would not either if he was alive.
Arnold Schwarzenegger called Curiel an “American hero”:
The ex-governor, who is taking over Celebrity Apprentice from Trump, linked to a flattering New York Times profile of the judge: “For much of a year, Gonzalo P. Curiel, then a federal prosecutor in California, lived officially in hiding. He hunkered down for a while on a naval base and in other closely guarded locations under the protection of United States marshals. Even his siblings did not know exactly where he was at times. The reason: In a secretly taped conversation inside a San Diego prison, a man accused of being a gunman for a Mexican drug cartel said that he had received permission from his superiors to have Mr. Curiel assassinated. ‘It was kind of scary,’ said Mr. Curiel’s brother Raul. ‘He had to be protected. He always had one or two bodyguards with him.’” Nearly 20 years later, Gonzalo Curiel is being targeted in a very different way by Trump and his slew of angry supporters: ‘He’s cool,’ said Gregory A. Vega, a former prosecutor who has known Curiel since ninth grade. ‘I don’t think he’s giving it a second thought.’”
Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, called out Trump’s staff:
One of the most important donors in the GOP, Fred Malek, had this to say:
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) penned this harsh rebuke:
The congressman later elaborated on MSNBC, saying he “would have liked to have spoken in a much more diplomatic fashion, but I felt like I had to speak to Trump in a language he understands.” (Texas Tribune)
A White House spokesman wondered how Republicans can justify not confirming Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland when, in the best case scenario for the GOP, Trump would get to fill the vacancy:
On a separate note, here’s a photo of Judge Curiel as a child:
And this from our colleague, Jose:
Bill Clinton trolled one of his staffers:
Lawmakers marked the anniversary of D-Day:
Spotted in downtown D.C.:
Finally, check out this beautiful photo of the Atlantic:
Polls close at 8 p.m. ET in New Jersey, 9 p.m. ET in New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota, 10 p.m. ET in Montana and 11 p.m. ET in California. Follow the live returns here.
On the trail:
- Clinton speaks tonight in Brooklyn.
- Sanders speaks in Santa Monica, Calif.
- Trump holds an evening press conference at his golf club in Westchester, N.Y.
At the White House: Obama holds a bilateral meeting and a working lunch with Prime Minister Modi of India. Vice President Biden speaks at the Allegheny College Civility Award Event at the University Club in Washington, D.C.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume work on the NDAA. The House meets at 2 p.m. to consider 11 suspension bills. Special note: Helen Mirren testifies in the Senate Judiciary Committee on legislation to help Holocaust survivors and their families recover art stolen by the Nazis.
Here at The Post: On Thursday, President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Post columnist David Ignatius will examine the fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy strategy, including the White House’s approach to counterterrorism, Russia, and Obama’s legacy. Register here to attend.
|QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Who made it possible for Obama to have the Iranian deal, full funding for Obamacare, Planned Parenthood funding? Republicans did that,” Mike Huckabee, a Trump surrogate, said on The Sean Hannity Show. “And they’re getting what they justly deserve, they’re getting spanked. And they need to be happy they’re only getting spanked and not executed, because there is seething rage out in the country for those who have fought to help some of these guys get elected, and they get there and they surrender to Obama and people are sick of it. And I think that’s why we’ve seen the spirit of this election, and frankly Donald Trump gives me great comfort.” (BuzzFeed)
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— Another day of low-humidity sunshine to enjoy, according to the Capital Weather Gang: “Highs in the 80s today feel even better than yesterday as the humidity drops. As our dew points fall even further. Tomorrow and Friday feel like spring with highs in the 70s. Warmer temps return by the weekend, but we don’t really see the summer-like humidity again until Sunday.”
— Metro emerged from the first day of its SafeTrack program with no major breakdowns. Officials refrained from billing the day as a success, however, noting that about ridership was down by nearly 26 percent on the lines undergoing repair. (Lori Aratani, Michael Laris and Faiz Siddiqui)
— The Supreme Court agreed to rehear a case over whether Virginia’s voting districts are racially gerrymandered, saying they will consider a different court’s rejection of the Republican-led measure when the court’s new term begins in October. (Robert Barnes and Laura Vozzella)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Watch John Oliver go after Trump University:
|John Oliver Slams Shady Trump University—An Apt Metaphor for His Campaign
Priorities USA, the main Clinton super PAC, highlighted Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter:
Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington and other celebrities appeared in this video with Michelle Obama to announce a White House summit on women:
|The United State of Women
Listen to excerpts from Clinton’s 1969 commencement speech at Wellesley College:
|Excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s 1969 commencement speech at Wellesley College