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• Boehner likes Trump, savages Cruz
• Trump completes GOP break with Bush foreign policy
• Hillary Clinton, survivalist
• Bernie to lay off ‘hundreds’ of staffers
• Rivalry rescue
BOEHNER LIKES TRUMP, SAVAGES CRUZ
The Republican establishment is getting jiggy with the idea of nominating Donald Trump.
How jiggy? Former House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday told a crowd at Stanford University that he was “texting buddies” with the celebrity businessman and would have no trouble voting for him in the fall.
According to the school’s student newspaper, Boehner “accepted Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee,” though he declined to endorse Trump’s specific policies.
As for the remaining obstacle to Trump’s takeover of the GOP, Boehner sounded rather Trump-like himself.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
The remarks came on the same day that Cruz tapped Stanford alum Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a bid to stage a comeback win in Indiana for the chance to thwart Trump at the Republican National Convention in July.
The viciousness of Boehner’s attack is the clearest signal yet that the Republican establishment is falling in line behind Trump in a big way.
Trump is returning the favor. At a rally in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Trump included a defense of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and attacked Cruz for making the “top man” in the senate look bad.
The question for Cruz is whether he can still rally the party’s conservative base against the unexpected new partnership between Trump’s populist backers and the big business wing of the GOP.
The question for Trump is whether his initial supporters will stay with him in this new Boehnerized coalition.
Trump completes GOP break with Bush foreign policy - WSJ: “Striking a nationalistic and populist tone, Mr. Trump was unambiguous in saying he would demand that allies pay the U.S. part of the bill for defending them or else they would have to defend themselves. Many of Mr. Trump’s comments contrasted with recent Republican foreign policy. GOP leaders, led by such figures as Mr. [George W] Bush and Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), have often called for muscular U.S. engagement in the Middle East, Ukraine and elsewhere.”
Conservatives poised for another defeat - FiveThirtyEight suggests that Cruz is too conservative to defeat Trump, not just for the moderate/liberal wing of the GOP, but also for those who identify as “somewhat conservative.” This essential part of the GOP was carried by George W. Bush back in 2000 despite Sen. John McCain’s dominance with liberal Republicans.
Unbound Pennsylvania delegates wary - NYT: “…[I]n the trench warfare fight for the Republican presidential nomination — the smaller, less understood delegate races that could prove far more pivotal to Mr. Trump’s campaign — the situation remains fluid. He appeared to have won about 40 of Pennsylvania’s 54 unbound delegates, along with another 17 awarded to him outright as the statewide winner. The remaining 14 delegates have either expressed no preference or said they would not vote for Mr. Trump.”
Fiorina waves off collusion talk - On “The Kelly File,” Carly Fiorina dismissed claims that there was something strange about a pro-Cruz super PAC giving her presidential campaign money last spring saying, “The last time I looked what Super PACs do, they’re not coordinating with candidates by law, and most super PACs give to a variety of like-minded candidates. I think there’s been no doubt to anyone who’s been watching this race for a long time that Ted Cruz and I are like-minded.”
[GOP delegate count: Trump 987; Cruz 562; Kasich 153 (1,237 needed to win)]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Presidents James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson’s neighboring estates in Virginia have long been contrasted as representing the simple and lavish tastes of each, respectively. But Monroe might have had more of Jefferson’s flare than originally anticipated. WaPo has the latest on this new discovery: “Situated in the Blue Ridge, the plantation known as Highland, where Monroe lived from 1799 to 1823, has stood in contrast to another presidential estate on the outskirts of Charlottesville — Monticello, the palatial manse of President Thomas Jefferson…But an archaeological discovery on the property is rewriting the legacy of Monroe and the place he called home. It turns out that the home preserved on the estate — and marketed for years as the residence where the president laid his head — is in fact a guest quarters. Instead, an archaeological dig on the grounds has revealed a sizable home more than twice the size of the small cottage. In other words, the home of Monroe was more castle than cabin…”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
National GOP nomination: Trump 43 percent; Cruz 30 percent; Kasich 21 percent
National Dem nomination: Clinton 49.5 percent; Sanders 45.8 percent
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +8.5 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +1
HILLARY CLINTON, SURVIVALIST
WaPo: “In an election defined by anti-establishment energy and anger, the two parties are now diverging as Republicans fully embrace an outsider as their presidential nominee and Democrats line up behind a quintessential insider…Democrats are consolidating around a guardian of the status quo, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who all but locked up the nomination with decisive victories in Tuesday’s primaries…While voters in both share a frustration with the state of the nation’s economy and politics, Republicans blame their own leaders as much as anybody else and are, therefore, more eager for a radical fix, whereas Democrats still believe their elected leaders can bring change from within.”
How will Hillary respond to Trump attacks? - New Republic: “Clinton will end up facing the same dilemma that hurt Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and the other Republican candidates: If she responds to Trump’s attacks, she’ll sink to his level, but if she ignores them she may look weak or evasive. This is where Trump becomes Clinton’s most dangerous opponent: Even if he loses, his toxicity will linger on to poison Clinton’s administration. She might start her presidential term with a large chunk of the Republican Party believing, for instance, that she is complicit in sexual assault. Trump has already shown he’s an ugly winner, denigrating his opponents even when he’s besting them at the polls. This suggests that Trump will be an even uglier loser—especially for the ultimate political prize. He won’t accept the prospect of defeat graciously.”
Bernie to lay off ‘hundreds’ of staffers - USA Today: “Bernie Sanders told a crowd of college students Wednesday that he’s ‘in this campaign to win,’ even as he further cast a vision for a future in which he does not. His words, in a speech at Indiana, came the same day that he confirmed to the New York Times that he planned to cut ‘hundreds’ of campaign staffers nationwide.”
Bernie’s campaign may leave lasting mark on party rules - Politico: “While there are no ongoing, direct conversations between the two campaigns about the platform or rules changes, Sanders is already making his opening arguments on the campaign trail — the open primary and superdelegate questions both landed at the top of his first appearance in Indiana on Wednesday.”
THE JUDGE’S RULING: WHO WILL PROTECT OUR INFORMATION?
Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano argues that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, or the FISA court, allows our information to be used far beyond the intended purpose of protecting national security. He explains: “Congress has unconstitutionally authorized the FISA court to issue search warrants on the basis of governmental need -- a standard that is no standard at all because the government can always claim that it needs what it wants. The FISA court does not require a showing of probable cause for its warrants, because it accepts the myth that the government is listening to or reading words by foreign people for foreign intelligence purposes only, not for prosecutorial purposes.”
[Dem delegate count: Clinton 2164; Sanders1355 (2,383 needed to win)]
FOX 4: “We call police when we need help. As it turns out, police needed to call the Kansas City Fire Department when they ended up stranded in a tight spot! Gregg Favre from the St. Louis Fire Department tweeted out a picture of the rescue. An elevator malfunctioned inside the police academy…The KC fire department arrived and freed their brothers in blue. Not one of the 12 officers inside were hurt, and were said to be in good spirits. The rescue made for some pretty light-hearted teasing though. ‘We had a lot of fun with them and we made sure everything happened safely and we did it all the way it`s supposed to be done, and they were good sports about it and we threw our jabs. It was cool,’ said firefighter Tony Pisciotta.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The Trump success [Tuesday] is he won every county in all five states. That’s a sweep. And it is clear that everything now hinges on Indiana. Even if Trump were to lose it, it’s extremely hard to see how he’s not nominated. But if he wins, I think that it will be definitively over for Cruz.” -- 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 digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.