The Latest: Rubio says he's not interested in VP run

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2016 5:34 PM
The Latest: Rubio says he's not interested in VP run

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential race (all times Eastern Daylight Time):

5:30 p.m.

Marco Rubio is making it abundantly clear that he's not at all interested in being Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate.

In a Facebook post Monday, Rubio writes, "I have never sought, will not seek and do not want to be considered for Vice President."

Rubio, who bowed out the presidential race on March 15 after being routed by Donald Trump in the Florida primary, says he's focused on his job in the Senate.

Rubio says Trump "will be best served by a running mate and by surrogates who fully embrace his campaign."

He adds, "While Republican voters have chosen Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee, my previously stated reservations about his campaign and concerns with many of his policies remain unchanged."


5:07 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz may have shut down his presidential bid, but a top adviser still hopes to push his conservative agenda at the Republican national convention — perhaps over bathroom use by transgender people.

In an email to convention delegates backing the Texas GOP senator, Cruz adviser Ken Cuccinelli says those at the July gathering in Cleveland will have a chance "to strengthen and protect the conservative elements" of the party's platform — a statement of the party's policy goals that does not bind the presidential nominee.

The 2,472 GOP delegates will have final say on the party's rules and platform at the convention. Billionaire Donald Trump is the GOP's presumptive nominee.

Cuccinelli said in the interview that he expected a push for a statement in the platform effectively saying: "Boys should only be allowed to go in the boys' bathroom, and girls should only be allowed to go in the girls' bathroom."

The federal Justice Department sued North Carolina on Monday over the state's law requiring transgender people to use the restroom of the gender on their birth certificate.

The email, which invited Cruz backers to join a Monday night conference call on the subject, was first reported by The New York Times.


4:46 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is refusing to respond to Donald Trump's recent comments that she was an "enabler" of Bill Clinton's marital infidelities during his political career.

Clinton tells reporters following an event in a politically critical Virginia suburb that she has "nothing to say" about the Republican front-runner "and how he's running his campaign."

Trump said during the weekend that the Democratic presidential candidate was "married to a man who was the worst abuser of women in the history of politics." He also called Hillary Clinton a "total enabler."

The former secretary of state tells reporters that she's answering Trump "on what I think voters care about," including on differences "between our records, our experience, what we want to do for our country." Clinton spoke to reporters after holding a discussion with voters in Virginia's Loudoun County about work and family issues.


4:00 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is focusing on so-called "work-life balance" issues as she campaigns in northern Virginia today.

She's targeting white women — a demographic group that President Barack Obama lost — in her early effort to defeat GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Her campaign believes women, particularly those in battleground states, will be turned off by his history of sexist statements.

Clinton is highlighting her support for increased family leave and equal pay at an event with parents in a coffee shop in suburban Loudoun County, Va. — a battleground county outside Washington where the votes of affluent women are critical.

"We need to really start looking at these programs from the lens of what life is like today and not what it was like 50 years ago," she says.

Clinton says the problems facing families today are "just harder" than the ones she dealt with as a young lawyer in Arkansas trying to raise her daughter, Chelsea.

"Costs are greater, everything from commuting time to feeling like if you take that vacation day, you are going to be viewed as slacking off," she says.


1:08 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he'd step down as co-chairman of the Republican National Convention if presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump asked him to.

Ryan adds that a third-party or independent run for president by conservatives upset with Donald Trump "would be a disaster for our party."

Ryan made the comments Monday in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Ryan's comments come after he said last week that he was not yet ready to endorse Trump, but he hoped to be able to later. The two are scheduled to meet later this week.

Ryan also is dismissing claims from Sarah Palin that he is considering a run for president in 2020. Ryan says "I would not have become speaker of the House if I had 2020 aspirations. If I really wanted to run for president, I could have run in 2012 and 2016. The speaker is not exactly a good stepping stone for president.


11:30 a.m.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is hedging his bets on backing his party's nominee for president now that it's apparent it'll be Donald Trump.

Toomey wrote in a Sunday op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer that he's "inclined to support the nominee" of his party but said that his differences with Trump could become "so great as to be irreconcilable."

Toomey was narrowly elected in the GOP's 2010 midterm landslide but is now running in a presidential election year in a state that Democrats have carried since 1992. Electoral pundits say his race is a toss-up.

Earlier, Toomey had said he would support the GOP standard-bearer, but that was before Trump became the presumptive nominee.


11:20 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is slamming Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and billionaire investor Carl Icahn in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He's telling supporters the duo's "greed and recklessness" have hurt the city's struggling gaming industry.

The Democratic presidential candidate cites Trump's stance on the minimum wage and his provocative statements about Latinos and Muslims.

Icahn is the owner of Atlantic City's Tropicana and Taj Mahal casinos and an early supporter of Trump. Sanders accuses him of seeking to destroy the pensions and health benefits of workers.

Sanders says "greed is not acceptable" and if he's elected president he will "take these people on."


11:10 a.m.

Donald Trump is tapping New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead the transition team that will usher in a Trump administration if he wins the White House.

It's a plum post for the governor who endorsed Trump back in February, when his success in the primaries was far from assured.

Christie's own Republican presidential race failed, and he earned derision back in New Jersey for backing Trump. But since then Trump has driven all remaining competitors out of the nomination contest.

Since that happened last week, Trump's team has been playing catch-up as it works to prepare for the general election, quickly adding staff, building a finance operation and reaching out to Republican leaders.

Christie has been a key adviser behind the scenes.

Trump says in a statement that Christie is "an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled transition team."


10:30 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is imploring supporters in New Jersey to keep fighting despite his long odds. He says "Don't let anybody tell you this campaign is over."

Sanders trails Hillary Clinton by nearly 300 delegates won in primaries and caucuses, but vows to press on into the Democratic convention.

He told an Atlantic City rally he hopes for wins in New Jersey, California and other states on June 7 to narrow the gap against Clinton.

If he can win a majority of the delegates from the primary season, he says, he can come out of the convention with the nomination.

But Sanders would have to win 66 percent of the remaining pledged delegates. So far, he is winning just 45 percent. And he trails even more when the party insiders known as superdelegates are included.


9 a.m.

Sarah Palin isn't taking kindly to House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to hold off on a Donald Trump endorsement. She's declared that Ryan's "political career is over, but for a miracle," and says she'll work for his defeat in the August Wisconsin GOP primary.

Palin was the vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in 2008 and now is a prominent Trump supporter. On Monday, Trump declined to echo Palin's harsh words about the speaker from a day earlier, saying, "Sarah is very much a free agent."

The presumptive presidential nominee drove his remaining rivals out of the race but is struggling to close the deal with party insiders like Ryan.

The two are expected to meet this week.