Politics

THE LATEST: CLINTON PROMISES AGGRESSIVE BID FOR CALIFORNIA

The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times EDT):

5:30 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is promising to mount an aggressive campaign across California and to compete to win over “every voter in it.”

Her remarks to reporters in Los Angeles on Thursday came a day after Bernie Sanders predicted he would claim the nation’s most populous state in its June 7 primary, so long as he gets a strong turnout.

Clinton also appears to be looking beyond the Democratic primaries.

She calls California an “exclamation point” on the primary season, but adds that it’s “important to get ready and organized for the fall election.”

Clinton carried California in the 2008 Democratic primary, when she was running against then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, carried the state in 1992 and 1996.

The former first lady says, “I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to do well here.”

5:04 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is warning that “hot rhetoric and demagoguery” can be offensive and dangerous.

Her remarks Thursday at a round-table discussion on keeping communities safe from radicalization and terrorism echoed criticism she made a day earlier of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and his Republican rivals.

Speaking at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Clinton warned that voices that could bring communities together can be “drowned out by politics, by partisanship.”

In a speech Wednesday at Stanford University, Clinton said comments from Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz show they are not up to the task of combatting Islamic militants.

She says to combat such threats, the nation cannot be divided, with groups pitted against each another.

5:02 p.m.

Bernie Sanders may be drawing thousands of people to his rallies and raising millions of dollars online, but increasingly, he’s also making the case his campaign isn’t a lost cause.

Sanders is favored over Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in this weekend’s contests in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska.

The Vermont senator also points to April votes in Wisconsin and New York, and California’s June 7 primary, as other contests where he could cut into Clinton’s wide lead in delegates.

That lead, however, is more than 300 pledged delegates – roughly double the margin that then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama held over Clinton during the 2008 primaries.

That math has forced Sanders to defend his path to victory amid whispers he should drop out.

4:14 p.m.

Ted Cruz says rival Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is “a sniveling coward” who has a problem with women – particularly “strong women.”

Cruz made the comments Thursday in Wisconsin, where he’s campaigning ahead of the state’s April 5 presidential primary.

It’s a response to Trump’s threat on Twitter from Tuesday night to “spill the beans” about Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

The billionaire piled on later, retweeting a post featuring side-by-side pictures: an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz and a flattering one of his wife, Melania Trump.

Before speaking to employees at a Madison-area manufacturing plant, Cruz told reporters that Trump “doesn’t like strong women. Strong women scare Donald.”

He concluded, “Leave Heidi the hell alone.”

4 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has picked up the endorsement of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents about 50,000 workers along the West Coast.

The union of dock workers says Sanders was the best choice on issues such as trade, support for unions and fair wages.

Sanders says the union is a “vital part of our movement, which is spreading to every corner of our country.”

The endorsement comes ahead of Saturday’s contests in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska, where the union has a presence.

Sanders also expects to compete heavily in upcoming races in Oregon and California, where the union’s membership is also based.

3:15 p.m.

The Club for Growth will help Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz with $1 million in advertising in next-to-vote Wisconsin. The ads will pitch Cruz as the only candidate who can beat Donald Trump.

The Washington-based Republican group has spent millions of dollars on anti-Trump ads across the country. This week, the political arm of the Club for Growth officially backed Cruz for president.

David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth, says the time has come not just to tear down Trump, but to build up Cruz. McIntosh says voters “now overwhelmingly know the problems” with Trump.

The new ad will be up on broadcast, cable and digital platforms beginning this weekend. It also urges Wisconsinites not to pick Ohio Gov. John Kasich on April 5. Kasich is the third candidate seeking the GOP nomination and has no way to accumulate enough delegates to win the nomination.

McIntosh says a vote for Kasich is a vote for Trump. And he says if Trump wins the nomination, he’s sure Hillary Clinton will beat him in the fall.

2 p.m.

John Kasich is up on television in Wisconsin in advance of the state’s April 5 Republican presidential primary, where he hopes to pick up delegates.

Kasich is running two ads with inspirational messages about his record and personal biography. They focus on his experience balancing the federal budget, his faith and a drunk-driving accident that killed his parents.

His campaign is spending $500,000 on Wisconsin ads, and a supportive outside group is chipping in another $500,000, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG. Ted Cruz’s campaign also has a bit over $500,000 in ads planned. Donald Trump typically has advertised only in the week before an election and hasn’t made plans in Wisconsin yet.

The outside group supporting Kasich is running an ad arguing he’s the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Kasich’s campaign sees Wisconsin as potentially favorable territory for the Ohio governor before the contest moves east, where Kasich also hopes to do well. But he’s so far behind in the hunt for delegates that he can’t win the nomination in the primary season. His only hope is in a contested convention in the summer.

7:45 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s endorsement of onetime Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz for the party’s nomination doesn’t extend to Cruz’s new proposal on U.S. Muslims.

Graham tells NBC’s “Today” show that Cruz’s call for increased surveillance of Muslim communities in the U.S. after the Brussels attacks “doesn’t make sense.”

The South Carolina Republican, who dropped his own bid for the White House, seemed to qualify his answer when asked Thursday about Cruz’s statement. Graham said that closer cooperation with the Muslim community would be helpful if it meant there would be a “better policing relationship.” But he said he didn’t think tighter surveillance would be the correct approach.

Graham has said he came out for Cruz because he worries that Donald Trump “would destroy” his party.

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