The Latest: Black protesters disrupt Clinton rally in Pa.

AP News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2016 10:17 PM
The Latest: Black protesters disrupt Clinton rally in Pa.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 following the New York state primary (all times Eastern Daylight Time):

8:30 p.m.

Several black protesters were escorted out of a Hillary Clinton rally in North Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

The protesters chanted, "Don't vote for Hillary! She's killing black people!" as they were led out of the Fillmore Theater.

Later in her speech, Clinton said: "I know we've got a lot of political disagreements in our country. That's the American DNA."

But she added: "What we cannot abide is breaking ourselves into groups where we don't even talk or listen to each other, like what we just saw, right?"

Earlier this month in Philadelphia, Clinton's husband was confronted by protesters over the crime bill he signed into law more than 20 years ago. Former President Bill Clinton later said he had regrets about the exchange and said both sides talked past each other in the moment.

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8:15 p.m.

Donald Trump, fresh off a rout in his native New York, is predicting more wins in a series of East Coast states that are holding their primaries next week.

During a rally Wednesday night in Berlin, Maryland, he joked that he was also poised to do well in neighboring, tax-friendly Delaware "because I have so many corporations registered in Delaware."

That drew laughs, but Trump's praise for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady drew loud boos in Baltimore Ravens country.

Trump also suggested for the first time that the back pay he wouldd demand from NATO nations could be used to be pay down the national debt.

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8 p.m.

Donald Trump is comparing himself to Babe Ruth.

Trump mentioned the famed slugger, who was born in Baltimore, during a rally at a high school on Maryland's Eastern Shore on Wednesday night. Trump said his own "instinct" for creating jobs was akin to the Yankee legend's ability to slug home runs.

Trump was in an apparently very good mood after his resounding win the night before in the New York primary. He peppered his speech with jokes and saluted a member of his staff who went to the high school where the rally was being held.

He once again complained the Republican delegate process was "rigged" but reassured the crowd that he had a big enough lead to withstand any political chicanery and would emerge with the nomination.

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7:40 p.m.

Donald Trump is promising that his supporters are "going to enjoy watching" him trounce Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Trump, kicking off a rally in Berlin, Maryland, is predicting Clinton will be "allowed to run" despite questions that are swirling around her use of a private email server.

But the Republican front-runner says that if he is elected, he'll order his administration to "take a second look" at the issue.

Trump's rally Wednesday night began his push through Maryland ahead of the state's primary next week. More than 1,300 people crammed into a high school gymnasium and another hundred filled an overflow room.

Outside the school, some of the nearly 100 protesters exchanged harsh words with some of the Trump backers who couldn't fit inside.

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5:43 p.m.

Former presidential candidate Marco Rubio says Donald Trump's charge that the GOP primary is "rigged" is wrong and that, despite his differences with the billionaire businessman, he would support him if he wins the party's nomination.

In an interview on Miami radio station WIOD Wednesday, the Florida senator says Trump's argument of a rigged primary is wrong because "he knew the rules, or should have, going in."

As for backing him if he becomes the Republican nominee, Rubio says "I've always said I'm going to support the Republican nominee and that's especially true now that it's apparent that Hillary Clinton" is going to win the Democratic nomination.

Says Rubio: "Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for America."

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4:45 p.m.

Ted Cruz is conceding he cannot win the Republican presidential nomination before the party's national convention this summer.

But the Texas senator insists that GOP front-runner Donald Trump can't clinch the nomination before the convention either.

Cruz addressed reporters on Wednesday at the site of the Republican National Committee's spring meeting in Florida.

He says, "What's clear today is that we are headed to a contested convention."

Party leaders are convening this week to discuss the rules governing the messy nomination process. Trump is accusing GOP leaders of a rigged system that's allowing Cruz to collect delegates even though he's losing the popular vote in some states.

Cruz says the nomination will ultimately be decided at the party's national convention in July.

He says, "I believe we have a tremendous advantage in that battle."

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4:11 p.m.

Donald Trump is basking in the glow of his New York victory as he campaigns in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

He's telling thousands of supporters at the Indiana State Fairgrounds that his Tuesday victory over John Kasich and Ted Cruz is "a great feeling."

Indiana doesn't vote until May 3, but Trump's campaign team sees the state as key to denying rival Ted Cruz any pathway to the nomination.

Trump met with the state's governor, Mike Pence and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, ahead of the rally.

Aides to Pence, who has not endorsed a candidate, said Trump requested the private meeting. Pence will share a stage with Cruz on Thursday at an Indiana Republican Party fund-raiser.

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4:00 p.m.

A small crowd of protesters outside Donald Trump's Indianapolis campaign rally are targeting both the Republican presidential front-runner and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The group of about 75 people chanted anti-Trump and anti-Pence slogans for about an hour at the Indiana State Fairgrounds where a few thousand Trump supporters attended the rally.

Fifty-six-year-old Jay Johnson says Trump "is pandering to the worst common denominator" and is a product of the corporate word that is the real problem for the country.

There was little interaction between Trump supporters and the protesters before the campaign rally, with only a few instances of shouting at each other.

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2:30 p.m.

Donald Trump picked up 89 of New York's 95 delegates, putting him on a narrow path to clinch the nomination by the end of the primaries — if he keeps winning.

John Kasich won four delegates and Ted Cruz was shut out.

The last two delegates will have to wait until the absentee votes are counted.

Trump has won 47 percent of the delegates awarded so far. He has to win 57 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination and avoid a contested convention.

Cruz and Kasich can only hope to block Trump, forcing a convention in which no one has a clear majority of the delegates.

The AP delegate count:

Trump: 845.

Cruz: 559

Kasich: 148.

Needed to win: 1,237.

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2:27 p.m.

Donald Trump supporters arriving to hear him speak at an Indianapolis campaign rally say they remain worried the Republican Party leaders are trying to block him from winning the presidential nomination.

A few thousand people gathered in an Indiana State Fairgrounds hall for the rally Wednesday, a day after Trump's big Republican primary win in New York.

Sixty-year-old Scott Sheffield of Indianapolis says he thinks Trump will win Indiana's May 3 primary and expose how the GOP establishment is trying to grab the nomination from him.

Trump's Indiana campaign stop will be followed by a Ted Cruz speech on Thursday at a state Republican Party fundraiser in Indianapolis.

Thirty-four-year-old Jay Derbes of Indianapolis says he thinks Indiana voters are independent enough that Trump's "message will resonate."

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2:12 p.m.

The Maryland State Education Association is asking the Worcester County school system to keep Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from using a school for a rally.

System spokesman Carrie Sterrs tells The Baltimore Sun that the campaign's lease of the gym Wednesday night at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin will go ahead.

Union President Betty Weller said in a statement Tuesday that "Trump and his divisive, fear-mongering rhetoric have no place in the halls of Maryland's public schools." She also says his "eagerness to bully minorities" would be unacceptable behavior from students.

Sterrs says the system isn't endorsing Trump. She says the appearance is "just a facility rental," as the system does for other organizations.

She says Trump is paying almost $5,000 to use the gym.

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1:19 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he would back Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, even though he endorsed Ted Cruz.

Walker told reporters Wednesday that he will support whoever is the nominee, even if it's Trump. Trump criticized Walker and his record as governor while campaigning in Wisconsin, a state that Cruz won by 13 points.

Walker endorsed Cruz the week before Wisconsin's April 5 election, cut a television ad and campaigned alongside him.

Walker had repeatedly said before he endorsed Cruz that he would support whoever gets the GOP nomination. His spokesman Joe Fadness said Tuesday that nothing had changed.

On Wednesday Walker stressed that he remains a big backer of Cruz, but that any Republican would be preferable to Democrat Hillary Clinton as president.

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11:30 a.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Indiana for political meetings with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

New Jersey Republican Party spokesman Pete Sheridan said Wednesday Christie will participate in political meetings with Trump, but did not give further details.

Christie is scheduled to return to New Jersey later Wednesday and appear on his monthly regular radio interview program.

Christie last appeared with Trump on the trail in March, missing the funeral of a New Jersey state trooper and drawing criticism. Christie responded saying the criticism was expected and that he planned to attend a groundbreaking elsewhere in New Jersey even if he were in the state.

Christie said earlier this week if Trump asks for his help and he is able to go, he would.

A statement from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's office said Wednesday that Pence will be meeting with Trump on ahead of his Indianapolis rally.

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10:45 a.m.

Supporters at a Pennsylvania rally for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz say they aren't overly concerned about his third-place finish in the New York primary.

Several people waiting Wednesday morning for the Texas senator to arrive at an event inside the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, attributed the results to Donald Trump's home state support.

Nathan Herr of Washington Boro says Cruz hardly campaigned in New York and it was "a foregone conclusion" that Trump would do well there.

Military veteran Wendell Ritchie says he sees Cruz as "a straight shooter" who doesn't pull punches, and hopes Cruz will "keep being real."

Cruz can continue "to pull support from these little towns," says 36-year-old Jessica Neiger of Stevens, Pennsylvania, who brought her seven children under age 12 to the rally.

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7:15 a.m.

With her New York win, Hillary Clinton's support among superdelegates puts her on track to clinch the Democratic nomination outright before the national convention — even before results from the California primary, which Bernie Sanders was counting on winning to stand a chance.

Clinton added 33 new endorsements over the past month, according to an Associated Press survey, expanding her overwhelming support among the party officials who can back any candidate, despite Sanders' recent string of victories in Wisconsin and the West. Sanders picked up seven.

The AP count, including New York:

— Based on primaries and caucuses: Clinton leads, 1,428 to 1,151.

— Including superdelegates: 1,930 to 1,189.

Sanders must win 73 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates to get the nomination. It takes 2,383 to win.

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3:00 a.m.

Hillary Clinton emerged from New York's presidential primary closer to clinching the Democratic nomination and becoming the first woman to reach that milestone. Republican Donald Trump strengthened his own path toward the general election with a commanding victory, but has little room for error in the states ahead.

The front-runners hope to replicate their strong showings in New York in the cluster of Northeastern states next up on the primary calendar. Clinton was scheduled to spend Wednesday campaigning in Pennsylvania, while Trump had a rally planned in Maryland, as well as Indiana.

Following her win in New York, Clinton made clear she was focusing on the general election after her unexpectedly competitive primary battle with Bernie Sanders.