<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usThu, 05 May 2016 22:42:28 -0700Thu, 05 May 2016 22:42:28 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Clinton Aides Interviewed in Email Investigation: Officials]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 17:51:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HillaryClinton-AP_894627747166.jpg

Sources familiar with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server told NBC News some of her top aides during her time as Secretary of State have been interviewed by the FBI “within the past few months.” 

Among them was Huma Abedin, who will be deposed in a separate Freedom of Information case against the State Department. 

Officials say the interviews were planned ahead of time and officials say the investigation is far from over. 

So far, no conclusions have been reached about whether any laws were violated in setting up or using the system, officials say. 

The Clinton campaign continues to say the Democratic front-runner “has offered to answer any questions that would help the Justice Department complete its review,” and that the campaign is “confident the review will conclude that nothing inappropriate took place.”



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Tweets Taco Bowl]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 17:26:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a huge taco bowl in New York City.

Trump posted a photo of himself, posing with the dish in his office at Trump Tower, to Twitter and Facebook Thursday afternoon. 

"Happy Cinco de Mayo!" the candidate wrote in the caption. "The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill."

"I love Hispanics!" he added.

The photo had garnered more than 44,000 shares and was liked more than 134,000 times in under an hour after being posted to Facebook. Thousands commented on the photo as well.

"I'm a trump supporter and I thought this was funny," said Facebook commenter Alex Earney.

It also went viral on Twitter, where some users lambasted the photo.

"C'mon man, even your Mexican food has a wall," tweeted Danny O'Dwyer, referring to Trump's promise to build a wall between Mexico and the United States.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was also quick to criticize Trump on social media, posting a video of him telling "NBC Nightly News" host Lester Holt this week that he still plans to deport all undocumented immigrants from the country if he's elected president.



Photo Credit: File – AP
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<![CDATA[Trump Reverses Stances on Taxes, Minimum Wage]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 14:11:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527324320-trump.jpg

Donald Trump has already indicated he may abandon his positions on two major policy issues: a minimum wage increase and tax cuts for the rich, NBC News reported.

Trump told CNBC on Thursday he backed away from his original tax plan and that he is “more into the middle class.” Trump put out a tax plan last year with major cuts to income, estate and business taxes for the ultra-wealthy, with far less generous cuts for the middle class. 

On Wednesday, Trump was asked on CNN whether the $7.25 minimum wage should be increased.

"I am open to doing something with it, because I don't like that," Trump told CNN on Wednesday after being asked if he thought the $7.25 minimum wage should be increased.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bush Presidents Won't Be Endorsing Trump]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:40:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/167503236.jpg

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will refrain from endorsing or commenting on Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

The senior Bush has enthusiastically endorsed the party's nominee in the past five election cycles. But the 91-year-old's spokesman confirmed to NBC News that President Bush will not endorse Trump and "is retired from politics."

George W. Bush is also staying out of politics this year and "does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign," his personal aide, Freddy Ford, told The Texas Tribune.

Trump repeatedly attacked Bush 43's administration on the campaign trail, saying it failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks and lied to get the U.S. involved in the Iraq War.

Neither Bush attended the 2012 or 2008 Republican conventions.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Voters Could Pick London's First Muslim Mayor]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 09:41:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sadiq-khan.jpg

London could make history as the first major Western city to elect a Muslim mayor, with Labour Party candidate Sadiq Khan on top of opinion polls, according to NBC News.

Khan, the son of a bus driver from Pakistan, became a human rights attorney before entering politics, and supports gay marriage. His opposition, Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative Party, is the son of a Jewish billionaire and was elected to the House of Commons in 2010.

Goldsmith has criticized Khan for appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers and Khan has accused Goldsmith of running a "nasty, dog-whistling campaign."

The tense election is being likened to the 2016 presidential election, which has drawn global attention for the fighting and inflammatory remarks among candidates, namely from presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump. 

"The campaign has degenerated in a profoundly depressing way," London reporter and blogger for The Guardian, Dave Hill, told NBC News.



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<![CDATA[Clinton Defends Against Sanders & Trump ]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 03:45:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CLINTON_AP_367442082209.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will now be defending her campaign from two flanks as Bernie Sanders' campaign continues and the sudden departure of Donald Trump's rivals have made him the presumptive GOP nominee, NBC News reported.

"I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that any Republican, let alone Donald Trump, was able to solidify the nomination before she was," said Patrick Murray, the polling director at Monmouth University. "This makes it really tough for her. There's no feasible way for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination, yet his decision to fight on in anything more than just a token way means she's got to continue to expend resources in places that she wouldn't bother."

Clinton and her campaign have adopted a posture of benign indifference to Sanders, largely ignoring him and declining to engage his attacks. Meanwhile, they've pulled resources away from the primary to devote to the general election, and have already been engaging consistently with Trump.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal GOP Leaders Stumped on Whether to Support Trump]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:59:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/189*120/trumpstill-05041.JPG Southern California GOP leaders gave answers ranging from “I don’t know” to flat-out “no” when asked if they would support the party’s presumptive candidate Donald Trump. Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at 6 on Wednesday, May 04, 2016.]]> <![CDATA[Donald Trump Becomes Presumptive Republican Nominee]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:59:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TrumpInd-528543736.jpg Donald Trump has become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, leaving some in the party unsure of how they'll vote in the general election. Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on May 4, 2016.

Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What Trump Should Consider in a Running Mate]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 15:25:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Donald Trump says he will go by the playbook when choosing a running mate, which is an unconventional move that’s unexpected for him, NBC News reports. 

There is a range of criteria — and names — that Trump must consider in filling the position, according to observers. 

Certain names, including John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry may help Trump with with particular states, while others like Chris Christie and Keith Kellogg may give the real estate mogul an edge over a perceived weakness. 

Trump may consider tea party darlings like Sarah Palin, who has already been tested on the campaign trail during her time with presidential hopeful John McCain. Palin has also stumped for Trump during the primaries. 

Check out some of the other criteria Trump may need to consider to fill the position.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton May Need to be Deposed: Judge]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:06:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ClintonAbedin-AP_11061119061.jpg

A federal judge said it "may be necessary" to depose Hillary Clinton about her personal e-mail server, in a freedom-of-information lawsuit over the employment of aide Huma Abedin, NBC News reported. 

Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan made the observation about the arrangement that allowed Abedin to do outside work while she was working for Clinton at the State Department. 

The question in the lawsuit is a narrow one: did the State Department do everything legally required when it searched for documents, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, about the Abedin employment arrangement?

Sullivan said, "questions surrounding the creation, purpose, and use of the clintonemail.com server must be explored through limited discovery," the legal term for gathering evidence in a civil lawsuit. 

State Department lawyers said when the existence of the private email account was revealed, they conducted a new search for relevant documents among the thousands of pages turned over by Clinton.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[RedState Calls on Confirmation of Garland to SCOTUS]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 11:28:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/garland-GettyImages-515910394.jpg

A conservative website is calling on Republicans to confirm President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination Merrick Garland, NBC News reports.

"Republicans must know that there is absolutely no chance that we will win the White House in 2016 now. They must also know that we are likely to lose the Senate as well. So the choices, essentially, are to confirm Garland and have another bite at the apple in a decade, or watch as President Clinton nominates someone who is radically more leftist and 10-15 years younger, and we are in no position to stop it," Leon Wolf wrote on RedState hours after Donald Trump became the GOP’s likely nominee. 

But not all conservatives agree. Erick Erickson, the former editor of RedState, who is against Trump, doesn’t support the immediate confirmation of Garland, saying Republicans risk taking away "arguments that can persuade independent voters to go with a Republican Senate."

Republican leaders in the Senate, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, vow to block Garland’s confirmation, saying the next president should be the one to make the nomination.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Warren Blasts Trump on Twitter]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:57:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Trump-Warren.jpg

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasted Republican front-runner Donald Trump after his victory Tuesday in Indiana, saying the billionaire businessman has more support from the KKK than the GOP.

"There's more enthusiasm for @realDonaldTrump among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the party he now controls," Warren, a Democrat, tweeted after Trump was declared the winner of Indiana's primary and rival Ted Cruz ended his bid for the White House.

Warren criticized Trump for "[building] his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia."

She also called him out for "cheerleading illegal torture" and fostering warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In her final thought, Warren vowed to fight "to make sure Trump's toxic stew of hatred & insecurity never reaches the White House."

The senator has yet to endorse a candidate, but her name has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Trump has not publicly responded to Warren's criticism.



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<![CDATA[Sanders Is Now a 3rd Wheel, Despite Indiana Win]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 04:10:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SANDERS_AP_16125039010921.jpg

Bernie Sanders' upset victory Tuesday in the Indiana primary shows Democrats are not quite ready to name Hillary Clinton the nominee.

Every time the race seems headed to the finish, voters decide to extend it, as they did in Michigan in March, NBC News reported. Sanders' win does nothing to knock Clinton off her glidepath to the nomination, since the few delegates he picks will barely dent her massive 300-plus pledged delegate lead.

But it will be a much-needed fundraising and momentum boost to a fading candidate who has pledged to stay in the race until the Democratic National Convention in July, even though his only path to victory involves improbable landslides and fanciful schemes to flip superdelegates.

Clinton's campaign and nervous Democratic leaders may now reassess their indifferent attitude to Sanders. They had hoped for a head start on Trump, but the Republican will instead have the drop on them and Clinton will face incoming attacks on both sides.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[It's Trump's GOP After Cruz Drops Out]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 03:40:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Donald Trump became the likely GOP nominee on Tuesday as top rival Senator Ted Cruz withdrew from the race, an outcome that was unthinkable to many just a few months ago. 

"We are going to win again and we are going to win again bigly," a confident Trump declared from Trump Tower in New York.

He will now represent the party of Abraham Lincoln in the general election despite little connection to the party's traditional trio of social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and national security conservatives, NBC News reported.

The real estate mogul won by tapping into a primal desire among GOP voters for a swaggering populist who would buck orthodoxy on trade, protect entitlements, build a border wall, deport all undocumented immigrants, and implement an "America First" foreign policy. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cruz Suspends Campaign: 'Voters Chose Another Path']]> Tue, 03 May 2016 18:41:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527830664-CRUZ.jpg

Sen. Ted Cruz, who despite an early victory in the Iowa caucus struggled to stop Donald Trump from cutting into his support from evangelical Christian voters, dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday.

Cruz lost the primary in Indiana on Tuesday, the latest in a string of defeats to the billionaire from New York, who considers himself the party's presumptive nominee.

"I've said that I will continue on as long as there is a viable path to victory. Tonight, I'm sorry to say that it appears that path has been foreclosed," Cruz said at a rally in Indianapolis.

"We gave it everything we've got, but the voters chose another path," he continued, vowing to continue to fight for liberty, a constant theme of his campaign.

Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich had battled to be the alternative to Trump. Kasich said in a statement Tuesday night that he continues to seek the nomination at an open convention.

"Gov. Kasich will remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the Convention," his statement said.

But the head of the Republican party indicated for the first time Tuesday night that the establishment was finally ready to back Trump.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump will be the party's presumptive nominee. 

"We all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton," Priebus said.

Reversing course after weeks of calling Cruz "Lyin' Ted," Trump said Tuesday night that the senator has "an amazing future" and congratulated him on the race he ran.

"I don't know if he likes me or if he doesn't like me, but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy," Trump said in a speech at Trump Tower.

Cruz based his campaign on appealing to the most hardline conservatives and evangelical Christians. He outlasted over a dozen other Republican contenders, but despite winning 10 states, including his home state of Texas, Cruz was losing ground to Trump by March.

When an outright win proved out of reach, Cruz turned to a strategy of forcing a contested convention — preventing his rival from amassing the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. But after Indiana, Trump was less than 200 delegates shy of doing so, with California among the states left to vote.

Cruz had expected to leverage his role as a Washington outsider — where he is known for stalling legislation and insulting other members of the Senate and where he planned to shut down the government his first year in office in a protest over Obamacare.

Cruz was popular among voters who described themselves as very conservative but Trump outdid him with white evangelical voters, including in the Indiana primary, according to NBC News exit polls. 

And in the contest for the nomination, he was quickly overshadowed by Trump’s outsized personality and non-political standing.

On Tuesday morning, Cruz attacked Trump as "a braggadocious, arrogant buffoon." He didn't mention Trump in his concession speech Tuesday night.

Cruz is unpopular among his fellow senators and others in the Republican establishment, some of whom worked quietly on behalf of Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race in March. Afterward, the so-called "Never Trump" movement turned to Cruz, but some in the Senate still only managed lackluster endorsements.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, himself a former candidate, called Cruz a reliable conservative he endorsed over Trump, but said Cruz was "certainly not my preference."

Cruz was born in Canada to an American-born mother and a father from Cuba. The legitimacy of his candidacy was challenged, particularly by Trump who threatened to go to court.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[From Cruz Conspiracies to Cheering Muslims: Trump's Wild Claims ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 13:59:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/trumpImages-527466972.jpg

In the latest in a string of incendiary and often conspiratorial comments, Donald Trump on Tuesday linked Ted Cruz’s father to President John F. Kennedy’s assassin.

Trump, on the day Indiana went to the polls, repeated assertions made by the National Enquirer that the Cuban-born Raphael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Cuba pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.

"I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?" Trump asked in an interview with Fox News. "It’s horrible."

Cruz’s campaign called the article “garbage.”

From Muslims celebrating en masse after the World Trade Center fell to disparaging the qualifications of his rivals for the presidency, here are some of Trump’s most provocative statements.

"Thousands of people were cheering"
Trump claimed to have seen thousands of Muslims rejoicing in Jersey City when the Twin Towers fell during the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down," he said at a rally in Alabama in November. "And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down."

"So something’s going on," he said. "We’ve got to find out what it is."

There were no verified reports of mass jubilation on Sept. 11 — though NJ.com found some residents and a police officer who said they saw small groups of people celebrating.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop tweeted that Trump’s statement was "absurd."

Cruz’s Canadian birth

Before the Iowa caucuses, Trump speculated that Cruz was not eligible to run for president because he was born in Calgary, Canada, and had held both American and Canadian citizenship.

According to the Constitution, the president must be a "natural born citizen" though it does not specify what that term means.

The Texas Republican is a U.S. citizen because his mother is one — and some scholars say the Constitutional issue is not settled.

In February, angry over ads, Trump threatened to sue Cruz.

And what about Rubio?
In another tweet in February, Trump raised questions about whether Marco Rubio could run for the White House. But the Florida senator, who has since dropped out of the race, was born in Miami, though to parents who had immigrated from Cuba.

Trump claimed simply to have retweeted an argument that neither Rubio nor Cruz were eligible.

"I've never looked at it, George," Trump told George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s "This Week." "I honestly have never looked at it. As somebody said, he's not. And I retweeted it. I have 14 million people between Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, and I retweet things and we start dialogue and it's very interesting."

Born in Kenya?
Trump’s birther claims began with President Barack Obama in 2012, when the New York businessman repeatedly questioned whether Obama was indeed born in the United States. At one of his campaign events, he allowed a false claim that Obama is Muslim to go unchallenged.

Pigs blood
Another discredited story that Trump repeats: Gen. John Pershing shot Muslim extremists in the Philippines with bullets dipped in pigs' blood. 



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<![CDATA[Democratic Delegate Caucuses Yield Hard-Working Prospects]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 07:47:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Judy+Ki+Democratic+Possible+Delegate+California.jpg

California is five weeks away from the state's presidential primary, but with the focus on the presidential race, it's easy to forget there are some often overlooked and interesting small contests among those jockeying to be delegates at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

On Sunday, dozens won places on the Clinton and Sanders tickets for the state’s June 7th balloting.

The Republican White House candidates file their own slates of proposed delegates in each congressional district, and 10 proposed statewide delegates.

The Democrats held caucuses that turned the wannabe delegates into candidates themselves, doing retail politicking.

One of the top vote-getters on the Clinton side was Poway resident Judy Ki, looking to go to the convention as a Clinton delegate from the 52nd Congressional District.

She sold herself, big-time, to about 300 voters in a Miramar District union hall.

"My margin of victory were my personal friends,” Ki said in an interview Monday. “My hairdresser came out. Some of my neighbors came out."

A long career as a middle school science teacher readied Ki for just the kind of research and presentations that serious politics demands.

“Doing any campaign is logical and sequential. It's like setting up a science experiment," she said. "You do step one, step two, step three, step four, right?"

Ki’s showing at the caucus would seem to make her a lock for Philadelphia in late July -- on her own dime, of course.

Or more accurately, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000 -- unless she can partner up for a hotel room.

"The (hotel) room is the most expensive. I don't eat a lot and the flights are fine -- I have lots of mileage,” Ki said with a hearty laugh. “But this is so exciting. This is on my bucket list, believe it or not.”

The second-place finisher at the 52nd District Clinton caucus was Jennifer Campbell, a retired physician who lives in Clairemont.

Her family is steeped in Democratic Party politics; her cousin is David Axelrod who served as President Obama’s campaign manager.

"My mother was a great politician in Colorado, and she was one of the first Democrats for (John F.) Kennedy,” Campbell told NBC 7. “And Kennedy used to call my house when I was a kid -- I talked to him on the phone. And it was just marvelous. And I got to go see his acceptance speech in 1960."

Campbell has met Hillary Clinton at Clinton's home in Washington when she was a senator.

She'd seem to be a no-brainer for delegate-picking by Clinton's team if the Democrats went by California GOP rules – but captured more than enough hearts and minds at Sunday’s Miramar District caucus.

“Well, I was thrilled and surprised, but we did work hard and campaigned,” she said. “There were four of us on the team -- two men, two women -- we worked together. And all of our friends and supporters, people who've known us for years in the Democratic Party came out to support us. And it was just wonderful, a wonderful day."

Campbell also appears to be likely to wind up in Philadelphia, and for the sake of her budget, she has relatives there who could spare her a hotel stay.

]]>
<![CDATA[As Indiana Heads to Polls, Candidates Scramble for Votes]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 07:38:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_lv50tweb_1920x1080.jpg Voters in Indiana headed to the polls early on May 3, 2016, in a primary that's been called a must-win for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) if he wants to defeat front-runner Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.]]> <![CDATA[Highlights From the 2016 Campaign Trail]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:40:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/2016-AP_16125796454108.jpg The 2016 presidential race has been contentious and full of surprises, with candidates fighting to the finish in superdelegate states. Check out scenes from the campaign trail and keep track of the candidates as they vie for a spot on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2016.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Within Striking Distance of Clinton for Ind. Primary]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 08:50:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sanders-clinton-split.jpg

In Indiana, where the latest poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's primary, Kristen Callihan will not even contemplate a general election without the Vermont senator as the Democratic candidate.

Callihan, a 44-year-old freelance writer from Michigan City, likes Sanders' honesty and integrity, that he is not a flip-flopper, and that he fought for civil rights in the 1960s. Callihan says she is no fan of Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, nor of Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

"[Sanders] is going to win," she said. "That’s all I’m thinking about."

But can Indiana provide enough of a boost to Sanders, badly behind in the delegate count as he is? If he were to lose, would his supporters back Clinton?

Going into Tuesday’s primary, Clinton leads Sanders by 4 percentage points, 50 percent to 46 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. The poll's margin of error was 4.6 percentage points. As in past contests, Clinton leads with those 45 and older, while Sanders is ahead among younger voters.

Clinton and Sanders likely will divide the Democrats’ 83 delegates in Indiana, and that will do little to change the narrative on the Democratic side, said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Sanders trails significantly in the overall delegate count, with 1,367 of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, while Clinton has 1,663, according to a count by The Associated Press. Clinton also has 520 superdelegates, who are free to support any candidate, to Sanders' 39.

Among likely Republican primary voters in Indiana, Trump is ahead by 15 points and is positioned to take of all the state’s 57 Republican delegates, a big step toward winning the nomination outright. Trump has 956 of the 1,237 delegates needed to win, after a landslide victory in the New York primary two weeks ago and wins in the five Northeastern states that held contests last week — the so-called "Acela primary," after Amtrak’s Acela Express. That compares to 546 for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and 153 for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

"After the Acela primary, there is an aura of inevitability surrounding the Trump and Clinton candidacies," Miringoff said in a statement.

Sanders has acknowledged how difficult it would be to win the 64 percent of remaining delegates he needs to secure the nomination, but he insists he is still in the race, fighting for every vote and delegate, and says the convention will be contested. He held three rallies Monday, the last day before voting.

"It is admittedly a tough hill to climb, but not an impossible one," Sanders told supporters.

But his fundraising has plummeted, off by more than 40 percent in April over March, and he has had to lay off campaign staffers. As Clinton turns her attention increasingly toward the general election, Sanders told a crowd in Evansville, Indiana, on Monday: "Our ideas, the political revolution transforming America, are the ideas for the future of this country and the future of the Democratic Party."

On Sunday night in Detroit, Clinton focused her comments on Trump, not Sanders, in a preview of the general election.

"We cannot let Barack Obama's legacy fall into Donald Trump's hands," she said. "We can't let all the hard work and progress we have achieved over the last seven and a half years be torn away."

Kelly Jay, a musician from South Bend, Indiana, said a debate is raging on Facebook over whether to vote for Clinton should Sanders withdraw. The Clinton campaign has done too much to alienate Sanders supporters, he said.

"I think they’re confident that they can win the general election without the progressive faction of the party," Jay said.

The young people who swarm to the Sanders rallies and favor him over Clinton care about the issues Sanders is addressing: curbing global warming, taking on the enormous inequities between rich and poor, and massive student loans.

"They owe no loyalty to the Democratic Party," Jay said. "And they've said over and over again, 'We don't want Hillary Clinton, we're not going to vote for her.'"

Heath Hensley, a union electrician who lives in Muncie, Indiana, says he was captivated by Sanders the first time he heard him speak and immediately began working to get him on the state’s ballot. A longtime admirer of Eugene Debs, who was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World and a presidential candidate for the Socialist party, Hensley, 38, said he was surprised that someone as progressive as Sanders was running for president.

"I’ve just been nuts about him," Hensley said.

Whether or not Sanders wins the nomination, Hensley said he would continue talking about the issues Sanders has raised — including international trade agreements that have harmed American workers — and support progressive candidates for political office. The Democratic Party is abandoning working-class people in favor of college-educated professionals, while the Republicans have nothing to offer labor, he said.

"I don’t want to see Trump get the nomination, but at the same time I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008 because I didn’t like her and I didn’t trust her then and I do not plan on voting for her now," Hensley said.

In New York, 23-year-old Carla Cruz was planning to work a phone bank for Sanders in advance of the Indiana primary. She remained hopeful despite Sanders' loss in New York, though she was disturbed by reports of voters dropped from the rolls and being turned away.

She said she also would not vote for Clinton.

"I don't think she's any better than Trump," she said. 

If Sanders fails to win the nomination, Carla Cruz will continue to work to limit the influence of corporations and special interests in elections. 

A suggestion from Trump's campaign manager recently that Sanders' supporters embrace the New York businessman was not met with much enthusiasm. 

"Bernie Sanders has large crowds — not as large as Mr. Trump's, but large crowds — and so there is a level of excitement there for people about his messaging and we will bring those people in," Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN.

Miringoff said how much support Sanders' backers give Clinton will depend on the senator.

"This is all premature," he said. "He will be important in signaling whether it's up to the individual supporters to decide what they want to do or the key thing is to defeat Donald Trump."

Clinton was magnanimous when she lost to President Barack Obama in 2008, he said. But, as an independent, Sanders' ties to the Democratic Party are not as strong.

"We'll just have to see how it all plays out," Miringoff said. "But I suspect he will not be as gracious as she was to Obama in '08."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Ted Cruz Says Young Heckler Deserves a Spanking]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 10:34:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ted-cruz1.jpg

Ted Cruz responded to a young heckler who yelled out "you suck" during a campaign event in Indiana by telling the child that such an outburst would land him a spanking in the Cruz household.

The heckler, described by an NBC reporter as a boy who appeared to be 10 years old, interrupted Cruz as he was speaking in La Porte on Sunday.

"Apparently there is a young man who is having some problems," Cruz said.

The person could then be heard yelling, "You suck!"

"Thank you son. You know I appreciate you sharing your views," Cruz responded. "You know, one of the things that hopefully someone has told you is that children should actually speak with respect."

The audience roared its approval as Cruz, a father of two, continued to riff on his parenting views.

"Imagine what a different world it would be if someone had told Donald Trump that years ago," he said. "You know, in my household, when a child behaved that way, they’d get a spanking."

Cruz faces a key vote in Tuesday's key Indiana primary against front-runner Trump, who has a 15-point lead in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump in Indiana Says China Is 'Raping' America]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 03:57:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16122772500150.jpg

Speaking about trade policy at a rally in Indiana, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took his rhetoric about China to a new level Sunday. 

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country," Trump told a crowd in Fort Wayne. "That's what they're doing. It's the greatest theft in the history of the world." 

Trump previously has come under fire for using offensive or degrading language. 

At the same Indiana rally, Trump questioned whether Democratic contender Hillary Clinton has the "strength or energy" to make America "great" again — a line that has drawn allegations of sexism in the past.

His speech was one of several in Indiana over the weekend ahead of the state's critical primary.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Sanders Insists He Can Still Win the Dem. Nomination]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 19:32:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/526912210-bernie-sanders-contested-convention.jpg

Facing a large delegate deficit, tough odds and just 10 remaining state contests, Senator Bernie Sanders made it clear Sunday that he intends to fight on to become the Democratic presidential nominee, NBC News reports.

Sanders' stated path relies on primary opponent Hillary Clinton not reaching a majority of pledged delegates and on superdelegates' switching their allegiances.

"It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach a majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone," Sanders, a senator from Vermont, said at a news conference at the National Press Club, indicating he would fight to persuade superdelegates to flip their support.

"In other words, the convention will be a contested contest," he said of the Democratic National Convention to take place in Philadelphia in July.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[A Look at Clinton's Promise of a Cabinet Full of Women]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 14:42:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_16122673573195-hillary-clinton-campaign-trail.jpg

Hillary Clinton last week pledged that, if elected, she would appoint a presidential cabinet in which at least half of the members are women, a move that would profoundly shift the look of the people who govern America, according to NBC News.

Clinton, in an interview on Monday with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, said, "I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?" 

Only 30 women have ever held Cabinet posts. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama appointed a number of women to key posts, but women held just four of the 16 official Cabinet posts during most of their tenures. Clinton is pledging to double that number.

"No hint of quotas or numeric targets — other than 'more than my predecessor' — has ever been part of cabinet head discussions before," said Heather Hurlburt, who served as a senior adviser at the State Department and National Security Council from 1995-2001. "So it's an enormous deal."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Leads Cruz in Crucial Indiana Primary: Poll]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 07:17:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_161110678355521.jpg

Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the state, followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July.

According to the poll, 58 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Indiana say they disapprove of Cruz and Kasich teaming up to beat Trump in the state.

Meanwhile, in the Hoosier State's Democratic contest, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by just four points, 50 percent to 46 percent.



Photo Credit: AP, file]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Roasts GOP Candidates at WH Correspondents' Dinner]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 10:27:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WhiteHouse-GettyImages-526666530.jpg

President Barack Obama pulled out the punches during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, taking jabs at the candidates vying for the Republican nomination. 

"It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House Correspondents' Dinner," he said, telling the audience how great they looked before getting right down to business.

Obama told the crowd at the 102nd and final dinner that his approval ratings have been rising, even in his final year in office. 

"What has changed?" he asked. "No one can figure it out." 

Obama paused, allowing a moment to pass before a split-screen of Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump popped up on screen. 

Obama didn't stop there. He called out top Republicans, who have touted Paul Ryan as a possible nominee, if one can’t be chosen before the GOP convention in July. 

"Steak or fish?” he told the audience, referring to the choice on the evening’s menu. "A whole bunch of you wrote Paul Ryan. You may not like steak or fish, but that’s your choice." 

Ryan has said he will not seek the nomination. 

Obama wasted no time cutting into the three GOP candidates, saying "some candidates aren’t polling high enough to qualify for their own joke" over a photo of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

"And then there’s Ted Cruz," he said, calling out the Texas senator for a mistake he made this week in Indiana when he referred to a basketball hoop as a "ring."

"What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But sure, I’m the foreign one," Obama said, before moving on to an absent Trump. 

"Is this dinner too tacky for 'The Donald'?"

Trump’s absence "hurt" Obama, who said he "had so much fun last time." Obama has singled out the real estate mogul in previous years, making fun of Trump's hair and the businessman's quest to see Obama's birth certificate. 

"Is he at home eating a Trump steak?" Obama asked. "What’s he doing?"

The president went on, making jabs at Trump's lack of foreign policy and experience, and his real estate prowess. 

"There's one area where Donald's experience could be valuable. And that's closing Guantanamo, because Trump knows a thing or two about closing waterfront properties into the ground."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cruz Defends Position on 'Bathroom Bills' ]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:03:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CruzMTP-Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-7.53.59-PM.jpg

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is standing his ground in his belief that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice opens the door for people "who are predators," dismissing criticism from reality TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner.

"The real danger is not people who are transgendered. It's people who are predators,” Cruz said in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd. "People who are predators…use that law as an excuse to go target our kids. And that is a real danger," he added.

Following a recent comment by Donald Trump in which he said Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower, the former Olympian used a women's bathroom at a Trump property and posted a video to Facebook with the caption: "By the way, Ted, nobody got molested."

Cruz also criticized Trump, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for coming out for so-called "bathroom bills" like the one passed in North Carolina.



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[White House Correspondents' Dinner 2016]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:13:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WhiteHouseDinner-GettyImages-526658212.jpg President Barack Obama hosts the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, also known as the "Nerd Prom." The biggest names in politics and entertainment will come out to watch the event, also known as the "Nerd Prom." This is the president's last chance to throw out the zingers at politicians, the press and himself. Obama's final dinner comes amid a heated and frenzied presidential campaign.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Team Shifting Staff to General Election States]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:18:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-524679204.jpg

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is preparing to hire staffers in some of the general election’s battleground states, NBC News reported.

A Clinton campaign official told NBC News the first wave of new hires and reassignments will involve state directors and other senior staff. The campaign is setting up state directors in Florida, New Hampshire and Colorado, and will eventually have general election operations in every state. 

The aide stressed that Clinton will continue to campaign in the remaining primary states. 

The news was first reported in USA Today.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Bill Unpaid After 3 Months]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:13:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Trump-GettyImages-503927392.jpg

The city of Burlington, Vermont, is considering calling a debt collection agency on a billionaire: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat, said Trump is nearly three months late paying an $8,500 bill the city sent his campaign on Feb. 1 for police and fire overtime costs associated with a recent stop in Vermont's largest city.

"We actually had the city attorneys looking into this; there's some complication on an issue like this," Weinberger said in response to an necn question about whether he would seek a collection agency's services.

Weinberger added that the city should have a plan soon about how to address the unpaid bills.

Trump held a rally Jan. 7 at Burlington's Flynn Center for the Performing Arts but issued thousands more tickets than there were seats. The city wanted extra personnel to handle the crowds and any potential problems, Weinberger said.

"It could have been a much better-coordinated and organized event," Weinberger told necn. "And had it been, it would have been much easier for the city to accommodate."

Weinberger said the city embraces the process of democracy, and he believes candidates should meet their constituents on the campaign trail. However, the  mayor urged campaigns to coordinate more closely with municipalities in scheduling and planning visits like the one Trump made to Burlington.

Weinberger made it clear the unpaid bills will not bankrupt Burlington or have any serious adverse effects. He said the city’s police department has a more than $10 million annual budget, so the $7,200 portion of the bills for police costs are only a very small percentage of the overall picture.

Still, Weinberger said the city could use the money for any host of purposes and would appreciate payment.

The mayor noted that hometown candidate Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democrats' nomination for the White House, paid his bills on time for police and fire support, as well as other fees, following a campaign kickoff on the Burlington waterfront last May.

Campaigns do have a history of skipping out on the check.

Through a request to the South Burlington Police Department, necn obtained a July 2011 email chain between Chief Trevor Whipple and a New England representative of President Barack Obama's reelection effort. In the emails, the chief was looking for reimbursement for extra staffing costs for security and traffic control for a presidential campaign fundraiser.

Trevor Whipple said Thursday he never heard back on that 2011 request.

"It's frustrating," Whipple said. "Where it's discretionary, especially where it's fundraising, my expectation is [candidates] should bear the cost of that. They should be responsible for reimbursing the taxpayer for the cost of that additional service that would not have been necessitated were it not for this fundraising event."

Whipple said if visits by dignitaries were for official business, he would not seek reimbursement. But he said he sees political fundraisers in particular as different, and the kind of event for which taxpayers deserve repayment.

Necn reached out to a spokesperson for the Trump campaign regarding the city of Burlington's claims, but had not heard back at the time of publication.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Do Celebrity Endorsements Help or Hurt?]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:48:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DAWSON_GettyImages-521061462.jpg

Celebrity surrogates have been ubiquitous on the campaign trail this season, frequently been driving the 2016 news cycle — and in some cases, forcing their preferred candidates off message.

In a crowded media marketplace, the prominence of a celebrity surrogate can make a difference — at least when it comes to media attention — but unlike most traditional political representatives, they are infamously difficult to control.

During an appearance on "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday, actress Susan Sarandon, a passionate Bernie Sanders supporter, doubled down on her refusal to say whether or not she would support Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one race against Trump. And unscripted diatribes on Sanders' behalf from stars like Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike and Tim Robbins have begged the question: Are these kinds of endorsements really worth it?



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Rocky History Between Cruz and Boehner]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:40:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/split2-cruz-boehner.jpg

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz personally told NBC News he had not met John Boehner, when he addressed comments made about him by the former House Speaker.

But the two men do have a past: Ted Cruz was once Boehner’s lawyer, when Boehner sued Washington state Democrat Jim McDermott over a leaked recording. Boehner filed the lawsuit in 1998 involving the illegal interception of an embarrassing phone call in which Boehner discussed House leadership business. He said his personal privacy was violated. 

Boehner won the case — part of which was handled by Ted Cruz. Sources close to Boehner told NBC News the two met during the lawsuit, but likely never had contact after Cruz arrived on Capitol Hill in 2013. 

For Boehner, Cruz led the political charge against him, when he was effectively a “player coach” in the move to oust the former speaker last year. 

Through the government shutdown in 2013, Cruz helped influence House members in the dissent that made the former speaker choose to step aside in 2015. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cub Reporter Broke 'Lucifer' Story]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 19:06:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/boehner-Ada_Throckmorton.jpg

Stanford Daily cub reporter Ada Statler-Throckmorton, 20, has spoken with big names and tackled weighty topics in the past.

The student from Prairie City, Kansas, has done a Q&A with Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey and covered the controversial fuel-free movement at the prestigious university in Palo Alto.

But she’s never broken a national news story like the one she did on Wednesday night at Stanford University’s CEMEX Auditorium. That’s where she was the first to report to the world that former House Speaker John Boehner called fellow Republican and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh."

As far as she knows, she was the only reporter covering the speech, other than internal Stanford media. And when Boehner said those words, she knew it was big. But she didn’t know just how big — so big that her mother heard about it while listening to NPR early Thursday morning.

Google News returned about 300 articles for a search of Boehner and "Lucifer in the flesh" Thursday afternoon, including all the major American political news sources, all of which cite Statler-Throckmorton's story. The Stanford Daily's original article has more than 1,000 comments and 8,000 shares on Facebook, amid what its managing editor told CNNMoney is record web traffic.

“I didn’t realize it would go this viral and this fast,” Statler-Throckmorton said, noting she isn't even a journalism student, but is majoring in Earth Systems and wants to go into environmental communications.

Boehner didn’t stop at comparing Cruz to the Devil, though, and Statler-Throckmorton wrote down what he said in a candid speech that was not broadcast or videotaped: “I have Democrat friends and Republican. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” The Stanford Daily was able to capture some audio of the now-hyped up talk.

Later in the day — and all thanks to the scrappy Stanford sophomore — Cruz held court with reporters, taking aim at Boehner, saying the former speaker allowed his "inner Trump to come out." As for the "Lucifer" comment, Cruz said: "If John Boehner is calling me 'Lucifer,' he’s not directing that at me.  He’s directing that at you."

Statler-Throckmorton has been sought after from major news outlets ranging from Fox to CNN to NBC News, which is all the more curious to her because the headline of her campus newspaper  - “John Boehner talks election, time in office” - certainly does not sell the story the same way those outlets did. 

The Stanford Daily hadn’t promoted the story by the time the first news organization latched onto it, and Statler-Throckmorton doesn’t even have a Twitter account. She still doesn’t know who first picked up her story.

Victor Young Xu, the managing editor of news at the campus paper, told CNNMoney that on a typical day the entire site draws 11,000 to 13,000 page views. 

Xu told CNNMoney the Boehner story had already reached 169,220 page views as of 11:40 a.m. PT, which represented 94.5 percent of all visits to the site. To compare, the second most-viewed story published over the last year — a satirical piece on Stanford's admissions rate — drew a little over 40,000 views.

Relishing in her 15 minutes of fame, Statler-Throckmorton said she’s been trying to juggle all the media attention cast on her while paying attention to classes. 

As for her family’s own political leanings, Statler-Throckmorton said “we’re certainly not Republicans.” But she added she certainly kept an open mind to what the former speaker of the House had to say. 

“He was very interesting to listen to,” she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area; Inset: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['If We Win In Indiana, It's Over': Trump]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:48:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TrumpIndiana-AP_16119692031356.jpg

Donald Trump set the stakes of the Indiana primary Thursday, saying he refused to take time off from the campaign trail because of the importance of the primary, NBC News reported. 

Trump continued his pivot toward the general election with the rally in Indiana, where he told the audience he “will be so much better to women than Hillary Clinton is — for health care issues, on the protection of our country.” 

"If we win in Indiana, it's over," he said.         

Trump told the audience Clinton can’t win New York because the Clintons “abandoned Arkansas for New York” and aren’t “real New Yorkers.” He also insisted Clinton “doesn’t do great in Arkansas,” even though she won the state's Democratic primary.

It's a hint at where Trump's focus lies after primary wins across the Northeast on Tuesday, putting him closer to the nomination.     



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[USHCC Endorses Clinton, Kasich]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:46:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/split2-march15-kasich-clinton.jpg

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it is endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich, in its first ever endorsement of any presidential candidate, NBC News reported.

"Secretary Clinton has stood with the USHCC and the Hispanic community at-large for decades," USHCC president and CEO Javier Palomarez said in a statement. "For more than 40 years, Secretary Clinton has fought to ensure that those who are willing to work hard in America have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead." 

Palomarez added that Kasich “understands that sustainable economic growth is needed in order to allow the American people an opportunity to succeed, regardless of background. He also understands that the Hispanic community is not monolithic, and that the issues most important to all Americans are: jobs, the economy, health care, education, immigration and national security." 

The group, which advocates on behalf of the country's Latin-owned businesses, bypassed Ted Cruz — the only Latino left in the presidential race.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>