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• Trump advisors try to pivot not fishtail
• Indiana shaping up as do or die for Cruz
• What happened to working man’s liberalism?
• Pro-Clinton PAC spends $1 million to fight online trolling
• 10-point score
TRUMP ADVISORS TRY TO PIVOT NOT FISHTAIL
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. – It’s a fine line between a general election shift and the dreaded ‘Etch A Sketch.’
Donald Trump’s supporters give him broad latitude on issues and even his promise of an attitudinal change. For example, his suggestion that the Republicans should become a pro-choice party likely wrinkled few brows among his core supporters.
The idea that Trump would change his attitude and approach along with his opinions wouldn’t trouble many who have faith in him as a man and a leader. For those who believe the Trump is the only person who can make America great again, putting on a new guise for the general election would be nothing troubling.
Remember, these are people who believe him when he describes himself as the new Reagan and the person more presidential than anybody since Lincoln.
But can Trump create a habitat that is healthy for both his backers and the kinds of folks that his newly expanded campaign are schmoozing here in Hollywood without further antagonizing the substantial chunk of his party that ranges from resentful to outright outraged about Trump’s surprising success in overtaking the GOP?
Trump had a very good day here Thursday. Aside from turning back a Rules Committee vote that might’ve helped Sen. Ted Cruz win a floor fight at the convention, delegates and other members of the establishment were very impressed by Trump’s campaign’s effort to start sucking up to them.
Promises of Trump’s flexibility when served alongside seafood platters and open bars from his new K Street handlers went a long way toward convincing the GOP elite that Trump is ready to play ball.
Little could be more comforting to them than the pledge from Trump’s campaign boss that the wildness of the frontrunner to this point has been a put on.
Consultants and party elders are not uncomfortable with the idea of tricking rubes or profit and or patriotism. And for those facing general election oblivion, anything that sounds like avoiding a savage showdown in Cleveland and not losing the general election by 40 states sounds good.
But even if Trump and his new handlers can keep the GOP elite and his existing populist base happy, the current maneuvers do pose a risk.
The most important thing for the Republican frontrunner right now is for his detractors and enemies on the conservative side of the party to just give up.
There are enough Republicans who loathe Trump to still stop him. But they have to go vote and they have to be willing to blow up their conventions to do it.
When Trump’s new Sherpa suggests that it has all been a fake so far, that gives new cause for alarm to the conservatives who already deeply mistrust Trump and see him as more of a Democrat than Republican.
All Trump needs in order to win is for the resistance to just lay down for a couple of weeks. When they wake up it will all be over.
But if Trump starts fishtailing in his turn towards conventionality it will reinvigorate the #NeverTrump movement.
It’s great to suck up to the party, even belatedly, but doing in such a transparent manner could be hazardous to Trump’s nomination.
[GOP delegate count: Trump 845; Cruz 559; Kasich 147 (1,237 needed to win)]
Fox News Sunday: Trump’s new man - Mr. Sunday sits down with the Trump campaign’s new boss, Paul Manafort, to discuss the latest campaign news on the heels of the RNC’s spring meeting. “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” airs at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
Indiana shaping up as do or die for Cruz - RCP: “Due to a dearth of public polling in Indiana, however, it’s not clear how large Cruz’s advantage might be, if he indeed has one. One recent private poll not affiliated with any of the presidential campaigns showed Cruz leading in two congressional districts, Kasich in one, and Trump dominating in two more. Three other congressional districts, meanwhile, showed Cruz and Kasich essentially tied…Although there are just 57 delegates at stake in Indiana, the contest is one of the few remaining wild cards on the primary map. If Cruz or Kasich do not win, the Republican race could quickly spiral out of their control. If Trump does not win Indiana, however, his delegate math becomes exceedingly difficult to win the nomination before Cleveland.”
Unpacking Trump’s health proposal - Health care policy expert, James Capretta, points out the flaws in Trump’s health care plan proposal: “Trump has said he wants to get rid of the entirety of the [Affordable Care Act], including subsidies for health insurance and its expansion of Medicaid. What does he propose instead to boost enrollment in health insurance by lower-income households? Essentially nothing.”
[Watch Fox: On Sunday, Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer host a town hall in Philadelphia with voters ahead of the crucial Pennsylvania primary. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
The passing of legendary pop star Prince on Thursday rocked the music industry in a way not seen since the passing of Michael Jackson. But the music revolutionary also had another passion in his life, one that Charlie Murphy was surprised by: Prince’s love of basketball. Time: “Back in October, Prince unexpectedly showed up to Target Center in Minneapolis to watch the fifth and deciding game the WNBA Finals, between the Lynx and the Indiana Fever. The Lynx won, 69-52, to clinch the series. The pop icon…approached a Lynx staffer with an incredible offer. The players, plus a guest, were invited to his Paisley Park compound for a private concert…He played ‘Purple Rain,’ ‘When Doves Cry,’ ‘1999,’ and some new stuff. He played different instruments throughout the evening — guitar, keyboards, drums. He played until 4 am; a few Lynx players and coaches danced on stage.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
National GOP nomination: Trump 40.4 percent; Cruz 30.6 percent; Kasich 21.8 percent
National Dem nomination: Clinton 47.7 percent; Sanders 46.3 percent
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +9.3 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +1
WHAT HAPPENED TO WORKING MAN’S LIBERALISM?
Vox’s Emmet Rensin takes a deep dive into a concept he dubs “smug style” liberalism in America and how the political concept changed from an ideology of the working class to that of the elite. How did this happen and what has the smug style done to American liberalism? This lengthy piece goes into the origins and results of the shift in American political thought:
“The smug style is a psychological reaction to a profound shift in American political demography. Beginning in the middle of the 20th century, the working class, once the core of the coalition, began abandoning the Democratic Party…In 1964, it was 55 percent of working-class voters. By 1980, it was 35 percent…The smug recognize one another by their mutual knowing…It is the smug style’s first premise: a politics defined by a command of the Correct Facts and signaled by an allegiance to the Correct Culture…So long as liberals cannot find common cause with the larger section of the American working class, they will search for reasons to justify that failure. They will resent them. They will find, over and over, how easy it is to justify abandoning them further. They will choose the smug style.”
Pro-Clinton PAC spends $1 million to fight online trolling - Daily Beast: “Citing ‘lessons learned from online engagement with ‘Bernie Bros,’ a pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC is pledging to spend $1 million to ‘push back against’ users on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Instagram. Correct the Record’s ‘Barrier Breakers’ project boasts in a press release that it has already ‘addressed more than 5,000 people that have personally attacked Hillary Clinton on Twitter.’ The PAC released this on Thursday.”
Democrats shift from protecting to adjusting Obamacare - National Journal: “In interviews, Senate Democrats pointed to items like sorting out the ‘Cadillac tax,’ building on delivery-system reforms, making sure states are afforded flexibility in the law, and more. The Democratic presidential front-runner, Hillary Clinton, has based her own health platform on protecting and building on the Affordable Care Act. Her proposals include adding a new tax credit to help with excessive out-of-pocket medical costs, capping monthly prescription-drug costs, and allowing three free sick visits per year, to name a few.”
#mediabuzz - Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer talk with host Howard Kurtz ahead of their Sunday town hall with voters in Philadelphia. Watch Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.
[Dem delegate count: Clinton 1893; Sanders 1180 (2,383 needed to win)]
BBC: “Tom Lo, 17, has told Newsbeat that he was about 10 minutes into the test when [a deer] ran across a road right in front of his car. ‘I was picking up speed because it was a 60mph zone and all of a sudden I see a deer in front of me…So I hit my brake but unfortunately the deer was killed,’ he says. It happened on a road near Colchester [England]. ‘I pulled over after the incident and my driving instructor had a look at the car and checked the deer…‘He said there was nothing we could do and that it wasn’t my fault, so I was told to continue my test.’ Amazingly, Tom passed the driving test with two minor faults.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I mean do we really have an epidemic of transgenders being evil in bathrooms across the country? I haven’t heard of a single case…This is a very small problem at the edges of the other problem having to do with gender identity that’s become national precisely because Republicans of North Carolina decided it was a problem.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.