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Is The 'Never Trump' Movement Backfiring?

6 minutes ago
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Donald Trump has called himself the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. But he can't become the real presumptive nominee without first gaining a lot of votes in the California primary on June 7 – the last day of voting on the GOP primary calendar.

It's the first time in decades that California will make a difference in picking the GOP nominee. That's why all three remaining candidates will be speaking at the California Republican Party's convention, which begins Friday.

With Bernie Sanders lopping hundreds of staffers from his campaign this week, it's easy to forget he has outraised and outspent Hillary Clinton every month this year. And not by just a little.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled a new compromise plan to overhaul the way drug criminals are punished, making one last push for legislative reform before the presidential election all but forecloses action on Capitol Hill.

At a news conference Thursday, one of the plan's biggest supporters, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., proclaimed, "This is the best chance in a generation to reform our federal drug sentencing law."

Former House Speaker John Boehner is a retired politician, so he seems to have retired from being politic. He went with radical honesty at a recent event at Stanford, according to the Stanford Daily, when he was asked about his opinion of Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Lucifer in the flesh," the former speaker said. "I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Lately, it's been a political guessing game of which Donald Trump is going to show up.

In the past 24 hours alone, the whiplash between what rival-turned-uneven-surrogate Ben Carson called the "two different Donald Trumps" was on bold display.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After Bernie Sanders lost four of the five presidential primaries Tuesday night, the Democratic hopeful's campaign is laying off many staffers.

Noting that 80 percent of the nominating contests have been completed, Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement that "we no longer require many of the loyal and dedicated state and national support staffers who helped us."

Championing "stability" and protectionism, Donald Trump managed a sendup of the foreign policies of the last three American presidents, as well as the candidate he is likely to face this fall in a general election — Hillary Clinton.

"With President Obama and Secretary Clinton, we've had ... a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy — one that has blazed a path of destruction in its wake," Trump charged in a sober foreign policy address at a hotel in Washington. He added, "[T]he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray."

The NPR Politics team is back with a quick take following Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement that if he wins the nomination, Carly Fiorina will be his running mate. Most candidates wait until they actually get the nomination to pick a VP, so what's with all the fanfare? Cruz's announcement came just a day after he all five states that voted in the Northeast primaries.

On the podcast:

  • Political Editor Domenico Montanaro
  • Campaign Reporter Scott Detrow
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A five-primary victory on Tuesday night seemed to embolden Donald Trump Tuesday night. Taking questions after his victory speech, the Republican front-runner went after Hillary Clinton, his most likely opponent in November, on her gender.

"Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card," he said. "She's got nothing else going on. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's vote. And the beautiful thing is that women don't like her, OK?"

OK.

Ted Cruz announced Wednesday he is picking former rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a last-ditch move designed to shake up the GOP primary race in which he badly trails Donald Trump.

Calling his decision "one of the most solemn choices you make" as a candidate, at a rally in Indianapolis, Ind., Cruz praised Fiorina's business experience, character and past ability to stand up to the Republican front-runner.

"She doesn't get overly excited," Cruz said. "She doesn't get rattled over what is being thrown at her."

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert admitted at his sentencing hearing Wednesday that he sexually abused more than one student when he was a teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois decades ago, and said he was "ashamed."

Hastert initially said he had "mistreated" athletes, NPR's David Schaper tweeted from the courtroom. He added: "What I did was wrong and I regret it."

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rolled in the delegates in Tuesday night's presidential primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. But there were some other important results in House and Senate primaries that will have bearing on the general election.

Everyone knew Iowa would matter — and New Hampshire, too. The other February contests got a lot of attention, as did Super Tuesday and the mega-states like New York. And, yes, late in the season, you heard people saying, it might all come down to California.

But when did anyone know to get excited about Indiana?

It comes late in the season, with the great majority of states voting sooner and allocating the great majority of delegates, so no one seemed to give a hoot about the Hoosier State — the one and only primary on May 3.

After big wins in four states Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is on the verge of becoming the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton would become the first woman ever to top a major party's presidential ticket.

That milestone has been somewhat lost in the drama of this campaign, but is still "a really important moment in American society," said political science professor Andra Gillespie of Emory University.

"The impact is just as important for a woman to head the top of a major-party ticket as it was for an African-American to do so eight years ago," she said.

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