Super Tuesday: Battle for the East

Just a few days until the now-critical primaries in CT, DE, MD, PA and RI.  The campaigns are all out in force today as there’s little time left to influence voters in yet another Super Tuesday.

1000EDT -- Sen Cruz holds a rally. NuWeld, Inc., Williamsport, PA. LIVE via LiveU

0900EDT -- Sen Sanders holds a "Faith and Moral Economy" breakfast. The Sharon Center, Philadelphia, PA. LIVE via LiveU

1115EDT -- Hillary Clinton holds an "economic barriers conversation" with Lilly Ledbetter. Curds & Whey, Jenkintown, PA. LIVE via LiveU

Hillary Clinton campaign in Connecticut yesterday.. scene of a gunman’s massacre of children. She contrasted her record with Bernie Sanders. Both candidates in appearances yesterday, however, we’re gentler towards each other.. at least for a little while. We’ll see the possible detente holds up.

Cathleen Decker writing in the Los Angeles Times:

“In the wake of Hillary Clinton's expansive win in the New York primary, both she and challenger Bernie Sanders face a freighted decision: whether, and how, to pull back on rhetoric that has grown sharper and nastier in recent weeks as they battle for the Democratic nomination.

The choices, whether to lay down arms or continue strafing, would seem to be simple. But the stakes are so high that the strategic imperatives are complicated.

Both candidates are seeking delegates in Pennsylvania and in four other states Tuesday. But neither wants to risk alienating voters by coming off as too negative. Both candidates -- particularly Clinton, the leader in delegates with a far better shot at the nomination -- are looking at the difficulties inherent in unifying a fractured party in November.”

Kimberly Strassel has a piece in the Wall Street Journal today called “Berning the Clinton Establishment.”

The New York Times reports that Clinton has burned through several million dollars defending against Bernie Sanders in states that won’t be competitive in November slowing her path to the general election.

The RNC is cutting back spending on some races nationally over fears of a divisive front runner.

The Trump campaign, however, is now saying its pivoting and will offer a softer, gentler campaign.

Zeke J Miller writes today in Time:

"The part that he's been playing is evolving”

Top aides to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign met Thursday with the Republican Party elite in an effort to allay concerns over his insurgent candidacy.

Meeting with the same individuals their candidate has derided for months, newly-empowered Trump convention manager Paul Manafort and political director Rick Wiley led a 20-min presentation Thursday afternoon to make the case for Trump as a general election candidate.

The Washington Post today asks whether a Trump makeover is “too late.” Matea Gold and Jose A. DelReal writing:

Even as the billionaire real estate mogul took steps this week to soften his brash persona, Democrats ramped up their efforts to tangle Trump in his own words - rushing to portray him as immature, misogynistic and bigoted.

The battle to define the Republican presidential front-runner comes as Trump has sought to professionalize his campaign and persuade party leaders that he is capable of mounting a credible general-election fight. On Thursday, Trump's chief strategist told a group of Republicans behind closed doors that Trump has been playing a "part" and is "now evolving."

But his opponents on the left, looking to weaken him for the fall, are already rolling out reminders of his most undisciplined moments.

President Obama is in England. He meets with Queen Elizabeth today after her 90th birthday this week for lunch with the First Lady. During our hours he’s holding a joint news conference with PM David Cameron. Both men are pushing for the UK to remain in the EU. Tonight Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will host a dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Obama.

0945EDT -- Marine One arrives London LZ and POTUS boards motorcade. POOL TAPE

1010EDT -- Motorcade arrives 10 Downing St and POTUS is greeted by British PM David Cameron. HOST TV LIVE / POOL TAPE

1020EDT -- POTUS participates in a bilateral meeting with PM Cameron. 10 Downing Street, London, UK. HOST TV LIVE / POOL TAPE

1150EDT -- POTUS participates in a press conference with PM Cameron. 10 Downing Street, London, UK. HOST TV LIVE / POOL TAPE

1255EDT -- Motorcade departs 10 Downing for hotel.

1355EDT -- Motorcade departs hotel.

Representatives from more than 150 countries are gathering at the U.N. today to sign a global agreement to combat climate change. Secretary of State John Kerry will be there for the U.S.. The agreement commits all the signatories to limits on greenhouse gasses. They are not binding, but will be followed up on every five years. Many critics say it’s too little and the agreement lacks enforcement measures.

TMZ is reporting that drugs may have been involved in the death of Prince which broke during our show yesterday. The pop star was just 57 years old.

The GOP is arguing over the rules that will govern the nomination convention this Summer.

The U.S. suicide rate has risen sharply over the past 15 years.  We’ll ask a doctor why.

We get earnings today from Caterpillar, American Airlines, GE, Honeywell and McDonalds. Yesterday Microsoft and Google parent company Alphabet missed earnings targets continuing a trend of weak quarterly reports from some of the biggest names in American corporate life.

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