The Latest: Elton John, Katy Perry rally for Clinton

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2016 11:12 PM
The Latest: Elton John, Katy Perry rally for Clinton

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Campaign 2016 in the wake of Super Tuesday results that gave Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton strong leads (all times EST):

10:10 p.m.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is hosting a star-studded fundraiser at New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall.

Elton John, Katy Perry and Andra Day all performed, while Jamie Foxx and Julianne Moore also made appearances along with Bill and Chelsea Clinton.

John sang several of his hits, including "Tiny Dancer." He said it was an important year for America and Clinton was "the only hope you have."

Perry's empowering songs are a staple on the playlist before many of Clinton's events.

Bill Clinton said his wife would be the "change-maker" the nation needed.

Her campaign did not immediately say how much money the evening raised. Clinton won seven states on Super Tuesday.

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8:40 p.m.

Ted Cruz suggests that if Donald Trump is elected president, he'll work with liberal Democratic senators to name a new Supreme Court member to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Cruz told supporters at a Kansas rally Wednesday evening that this year's election is about the new president nominating the conservative Scalia's replacement.

He predicted that Trump would work with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and New York Sen. Charles Schumer to put a "left-wing judicial nutcase" on the court.

Audience members booed when Cruz suggested that the appointment of a liberal justice could lead the Supreme Court to erode religious liberties and gun rights.

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8:30 p.m.

Ted Cruz says that if he hadn't won his home state of Texas on Super Tuesday, he'd have suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for president.

Cruz told reporters Wednesday before a rally in Kansas that he and his campaign considered the possibility that he wouldn't win a single state. The Texas senator prevailed in his home state, as well as Oklahoma and Alaska.

He said he doesn't think a candidate has a viable path to the nomination if he can't win his home state.

Cruz said, "If we had lost Texas, that would have been the end of the road."

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8:20 p.m.

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz is praising retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for "touching millions" of Americans as Cruz tries to unify Republicans against Donald Trump.

Carson said Wednesday that he saw no path to winning the Republican nomination, effectively ending his bid for the White House.

Cruz complimented Carson for running a civil campaign and for rising from a challenging childhood to become a neurosurgeon. Cruz said, "I count myself as one of those millions touched by Ben's story."

The Texas senator told reporters he's the only GOP candidate who can prevent Trump from winning the nomination. Kansas is holding its presidential caucuses Saturday.

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8 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is pointing to differences with rival Hillary Clinton over trade deals, pointing to her support of "disastrous" policies such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Sanders is speaking to a rally of 10,000 people at Michigan State University on Wednesday night, part of a big push to win the state's March 8 presidential primary.

The Vermont senator says trade deals have contributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs in Michigan and the shuttering of thousands of factories across the nation. He says he and Clinton "disagree very significantly over trade policies" such as NAFTA and normalizing trade relations with China.

Sanders is also calling again for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to resign over his handling of the crisis involving Flint's lead-tainted water. Sanders calls it a "dereliction of duty" by the governor.

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7:15 p.m.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is standing by his comparison of Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, saying the Republican presidential front-runner "believes in the white supremacy."

Fox says Trump "lies and lies and lies and uses whatever is convenient for him without any attention to facts."

Trump has angered many Mexicans for his campaign rhetoric denigrating some immigrants as "rapists" who bring crime and drugs to the United States. He has repeatedly promised to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Fox is calling on Americans to "wake up" from "this Republican nightmare." He made the remarks Wednesday in an interview taped for Fox News Channel's "Hannity."

He says Trump's campaign "worries me for America, it worries me for the world, it worries me for Mexico."

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7:10 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz stopped at a suburban Kansas City restaurant for some barbecue before heading to a rally at Johnson County Community College.

The Texas senator ordered a smoked brisket sandwich at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Olathe, Kansas, on Wednesday and sampled some of the restaurant's ribs and burnt ends.

Cruz shook hands with supporters and said he was looking forward to trying Kansas City-area barbecue because his home state of Texas takes its barbecue seriously. He told a television reporter the best way to eat ribs is with your fingers, because "if you're eating barbecue and you're not getting it all over, you're not doing it right."

Cathy Schmidt, a 62-year-old Olathe real estate agent, reassured Cruz that he still can win his party's nomination.

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7 p.m.

Hillary's Clinton's campaign says more than 5,000 people attended her event Wednesday in New York City combining a post-Super Tuesday victory rally with a salute to the labor movement.

Clinton, who won seven states in Tuesday's primary voting, says, "We couldn't have done it without labor."

She told the raucous crowd at Manhattan's massive Javits Convention Center, "As long as you are fighting for the rights of the working families of American I will be too." Many in the audience were wearing brightly colored union shirts and carrying signs.

She urged her union supporters, "Don't let anybody tell you we can't make anything in America anymore."

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6:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is using a post-Super Tuesday victory rally in New York City as a salute to the country's labor movement.

She vowed Wednesday that labor will "always have a seat at the table when I'm in the White House" during a rally at a Manhattan convention center packed with New York union members.

She said she would "not over-promise" but said that, as the state's senator, "your fights were my fights" and that would continue as president.

She did not mention her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, or any Republicans by name, but decried that the rhetoric from the GOP side "had never been lower."

Clinton won seven states on Super Tuesday. The rally was attended by labor leaders and several New York elected officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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6:10 p.m.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump's campaign has contacted staff working for House Speaker Paul Ryan, the first sign of the businessman's outreach to congressional leadership.

In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesman for Ryan said the two men have not yet spoken. However, the spokesman says he expects the Wisconsin Republican to get in touch with all the candidates "to discuss our efforts to build a bold conservative policy agenda for 2017."

Ryan criticized Trump on Tuesday for his slow-moving disavowal of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's endorsement. Asked about it Tuesday night, Trump told reporters, "Paul Ryan, I don't know him well, but I'm sure I'm going to get along great with him, and if I don't? He's gonna have to pay a big price, OK?"

Last month, Trump faulted Ryan and his synonymous budget's approach on Social Security for the GOP's loss of the presidency in 2012. Ryan has dismissed that argument.

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6:02 p.m.

Republican Marco Rubio has a sharp message about Donald Trump for Michigan voters as the March 8 primary nears.

The Florida senator on Wednesday told a crowd of hundreds in Shelby Township north of Detroit that the billionaire is trying to "carry out a con job" and — to the extent that Trump's policy stances are known — he sounds like Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nominating Trump, Rubio says, means "destroying the Republican Party."

Rubio campaigned in western Michigan a little over a week ago and made little mention of Trump.

Rubio says the conservative movement cannot be "based on fear and frustration," and he can unify the party.

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5:20 p.m.

John Kasich is scoffing at critics who say he's denying Marco Rubio wins by staying in the Republican presidential race.

"Maybe he's taking votes away from me," Kasich told reporters Wednesday after a town hall in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

Kasich points to his second place finishes in Massachusetts and Vermont, alleging he would've won Vermont had Rubio not sent a "hit man" there days before. Kasich didn't specify who the so-called hit man was, but Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado suggested Kasich should drop out of the race while campaigning for Rubio in Vermont a few days before the Super Tuesday contest.

Kasich's rationale for staying in the race relies on the idea that he will win his home state of Ohio on March 15 as Rubio loses Florida.

Kasich also ridiculed Rubio for engaging in personal attacks against Trump all week for the benefit of winning only Minnesota last night.

Of the calls for him to drop out and clear the way for Rubio, Kasich says, "frankly it doesn't even aggravate me because it's just silly.'"

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5:00 p.m.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump continues to demonstrate a wide base of support, riding record turnouts to seven victories out of the 11 states where Republicans cast Super Tuesday ballots.

Exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and other media across nine of the states showed Trump drawing significant support across educational, ideological, age and income classifications. Perhaps most important for Trump: Even among voting groups where he was weakest, he maintained enough strength to deny Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio any chance of catching him.

It was a repeat of the billionaire businessman's performance in February, when he won three of the first four nominating contest. On Tuesday, he added states as disparate as Vermont, Virginia and Alabama to his win column.

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4:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton won at least 508 delegates on Super Tuesday while Bernie Sanders gained at least 342.

There were 865 delegates at stake in 11 states and the American Samoa. There are still 15 delegates left to be allocated.

The numbers reflect the uphill battle for Sanders as he seeks a path forward to become the Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton now has nearly half the delegates needed to clinch the nomination, heading into another batch of contests in delegate-rich states in the coming weeks.

Including superdelegates, the party leaders who can support any candidate, Clinton now has 1,056 delegates. Sanders has at least 429.

It takes 2,383 delegates to win.

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4:00 p.m.

Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu has joined an outside group that is rushing to raise millions of dollars to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.

Sununu and Meg Whitman, the chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, are among the Republican leaders now with Our Principles. The super political action committee had limited fundraising success in earlier weeks, drawing almost all of its funding from the billionaire Ricketts family. The group has spent about $1.5 million on paid television and radio media, most of it ahead of Iowa's primary caucuses.

"Donors feel guilty they didn't get active earlier," Sununu tells The Associated Press.

The plan for Republicans who want to stop Trump is to deny him enough delegates to win the nomination outright, he says.

"Frankly, at this point we want anyone but Trump," Sununu says of who should become the nominee. "The goal is this: Let's get to the convention in Cleveland and figure it out there."

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2:58 p.m.

Donald Trump and Fox News Channel are getting back together.

A spokeswoman for the Republican presidential front runner confirms that Trump will participate in Thursday's debate sponsored by the news channel, even though his sometime nemesis, Megyn Kelly, will be one of the moderators. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says the billionaire developer "looks forward to participating."

That's a departure from Trump's brawl with the network ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January when he demanded that Kelly be ousted from the lineup because she, he said, had been unfair to him.

Trump skipped the debate to hold his own event a few miles away.

Trump lost the leadoff Iowa caucuses to Ted Cruz and attributed it to "lies" told by the winner's supporters.

But Trump also suggested in Milford, N.H. that skipping that debate may have cost him votes.

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2:40 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says his campaign had an "extraordinary night" in the Super Tuesday contests.

He's pointing to wins in Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma. And in his home state of Vermont, Sanders says, "it was a close race. We only won by 72 points."

Sanders says his campaign has been consistently dismissed by pundits and have been wrong since day one.

The Democratic presidential candidate says he read this morning that pundits are calling the nomination for Hillary Clinton.

Sanders says, "that means we're probably going to win in a landslide."

Clinton won at least 490 delegates on Super Tuesday, giving her a commanding lead in the race for the Democratic nomination. Sanders picked up of at least 323 delegates on Tuesday.

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2:20 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is effectively ending his campaign after a poor finish across the Super Tuesday primaries.

Carson says in a statement Wednesday that he sees "no path forward" to the nomination and says he will not attend Thursday's GOP debate in Michigan.

Armstrong Williams, Carson's longtime business manager, tells the Associated Press it's "just the reality" that "there's only one candidate in this 2016 election on the GOP side, and his name is (Donald) Trump."

Williams adds that Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz also "have no path" and should drop out.

It was not immediately clear whether Carson will officially suspend his campaign, but Williams says he no longer will actively seek votes.

Another Carson aide, Larry Ross, said Carson will offer "more details" when he speaks Friday at the CPAC gathering, an annual conservative confab.

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2:00 p.m.

Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he would not vote for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in November.

Baker made the comment Wednesday in response to questions about Trump's victories in seven Super Tuesday primaries, including in Massachusetts.

Asked if he would back the New York billionaire if he were to emerge as his party's nominee, Baker said he didn't vote for Trump on Tuesday and added: "I'm not going to vote for him in November."

Baker was quick to add that there is a long way to go until the Republican convention and chided reporters for jumping to conclusions that Trump will be the eventual nominee.

Baker wouldn't say what he would do if Trump wins the nomination.

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1:33 p.m.

Ted Cruz's campaign says he raised $12 million in February for his Republican presidential bid, a cash infusion created in part by his first-place finish in the leadoff Iowa caucuses.

Campaign manager Jeff Roe announced the figure Wednesday on Twitter. None of the other four Republicans in the race has shared February fundraising hauls; campaign finance reports are due to federal regulators March 20. Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton raised $42 million and $30 million, respectively, last month.

The Cruz campaign did not say how much cash it had available as of March 1. Roe said on Twitter that February was the campaign's best fundraising month. In January, Cruz had raised $7.6 million.

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1:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign says it raised $30 million for her primary campaign in February_$12 million less than Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders over the same month.

Clinton aides are stressing that she starts March with $31 million in the bank — more than enough, they say, to mount a competitive primary push.

Sanders did not release the amount he has on hand at the end of the month.

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1:10 p.m.

Mitt Romney is expected to speak out about the Republican presidential race.

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee announced plans to deliver speech about the 2016 race on Thursday at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Romney has been critical of 2016 front-runner Donald Trump on Twitter in recent weeks and has yet to endorse any of the candidates.

His office says the speech is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. EST.

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11:48 a.m.

Republican Marco Rubio is insisting that he has a shot at winning the GOP presidential nomination despite strong Super Tuesday showings by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Rubio spoke Wednesday in English and Spanish after he and his wife, Jeanette, cast their early ballots in Florida's March 15 primary.

The Florida senator said Super Tuesday was a "positive" night, given his win in Minnesota — even though front-runner Donald Trump took seven states and Cruz won three states.

He says he feels "great about what the map looks like now moving forward."

"We are going to win Florida," he said as he ducked into a car outside West Miami City Hall, where 18 years ago he launched his political career by winning a seat on the city commission.

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11:44 a.m.

A former top adviser to Jeb Bush's presidential campaign has found another way to fight Donald Trump's march to the GOP presidential nomination.

Tim Miller said Tuesday he had joined Our Principles, an anti-Trump super political action committee led by Katie Packer, a former aide to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Miller was a spokesman for Bush, who ended his campaign after the South Carolina primary last month.

Our Principles has run ads in early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, seeking to undermine the GOP front runner on a variety of fronts, including his signature issue of illegal immigration.

Miller said in an email Tuesday night Our Principles "will fight until the last delegate is counted" to keep Trump from facing Hillary Clinton in the general election, which Miller said Trump would lose.

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11:40 a.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback thinks Marco Rubio should remain in the Republican presidential race, even after strong Super Tuesday showings by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Brownback says the fractured GOP "may be headed to a brokered convention."

Rubio is planning to travel Friday to Kansas for a rally in Wichita a day before the state's presidential caucuses. He's vying with Cruz and Trump for the state's 40 delegates.

Brownback has endorsed Rubio, as has Sen. Pat Roberts.

But Brownback said he would support Trump if Trump wins the Republican nomination.

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11:32 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is nearly half way to clinching the Democratic presidential nomination after her strong Super Tuesday.

With 865 delegates at stake, Clinton is assured of gaining at least 490 for the night, having won seven states and the American Samoa. Her double-digit wins in delegate rich states in the South were able to overcome Sanders, who won four states. He picks up at least 323 delegates.

Clinton's lead widens substantially when including superdelegates, the party leaders who overwhelmingly support her. Her total delegate count is now at least 1,038, giving her 71 percent of the delegates that have been awarded so far. Sanders has at least 410 delegates.

It takes 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination for president.

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11:30 a.m.

The No. 2 Republican in the Senate is capturing the GOP establishment's "what now?" in the face of Donald Trump's success on Super Tuesday.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn was asked by reporters on Wednesday about party leaders trying to winnow the GOP presidential field to come up with one alternative to the billionaire New York businessman.

"You suppose that they would listen to us," Cornyn said. The senator said the other candidates — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Ben Carson — are looking at their own chances and the possibility of a brokered convention and "figure that they'll hang in there as long as they can."

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11:00 a.m.

Despite Donald Trump's string of victories on Tuesday, he has to do better in upcoming contests to claim the Republican nomination for president before the party's national convention this summer.

Ted Cruz is emerging as the candidate who could stop him — with a little help from Marco Rubio.

A close look at the delegate math illustrates Trump's problem. So far Trump has won only 46 percent of the delegates, even though he has won 10 of the first 15 contests. It takes an outright majority of delegates to win the nomination.

On Tuesday, Cruz muted Trump's delegate gains by winning delegate-rich Texas, which is Cruz's home state.

The delegate math illustrates the importance of the March 15 primaries in Florida and Ohio in which the statewide winner gets all the delegates.

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10:00 a.m.

Donald Trump's delegate gains on Super Tuesday were limited by Ted Cruz's big win in delegate-rich Texas — his home state.

For the night, Trump won at least 234 delegates and Cruz won at least 209. Marco Rubio was a distant third with at least 90.

There were 595 Republican delegates at stake in 11 states. There were still 40 delegates left to be allocated Wednesday morning.

Texas was the biggest prize on Tuesday, with 155 delegates at stake. Cruz won at least 99 delegates in the state and Trump got at least 33, with 20 left to be awarded. Rubio picked up three.

Overall, Trump leads with 316 delegates and Cruz has 226. Rubio has 106 delegates, John Kasich has 25 and Ben Carson has eight.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

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9:38 a.m.

Top advisers to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders say his campaign is far from finished in part because upcoming contests could be more difficult for front runner Hillary Clinton.

They point to upcoming contests in Nebraska, Kansas and Maine as key opportunities for their candidate. Campaign manager Jeff Weaver says Michigan's primary later this month will be a "critical showdown" and the senator plans to focus heavily on Clinton's record on trade in the manufacturing state.

Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine acknowledged Wednesday that Super Tuesday was the best day on the primary calendar for the former secretary of state and that Clinton has a "substantial advantage" in pledged delegates.

Sanders won contests in his home of Vermont, Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma but Clinton swept through the South, adding to her delegate lead.

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8:07 a.m.

Six New Jersey newspapers say Gov. Chris Christie should resign over his endorsement of Donald Trump. They add that if Christie refuses to quit, New Jersey citizens should initiate a recall effort.

The papers — all owned by the Gannett Company, Inc., — on Wednesday ran brutal editorials saying they are fed up with everything from Christie's famous sarcasm to "his long neglect of the state to pursue his own selfish agenda." They add that they are "disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him."

Christie quit his own presidential campaign after disappointing finishes in early state contests and abruptly endorsed Trump. He said he was backing the billionaire because Trump represents the best chance to defeat Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton in November.