Campaign Wrap: ‘Lucifer’ Tag Undercuts Cruz GOP Unity Bid

While some party leaders have been urging GOP establishment figures to rally around Ted Cruz as the best way to derail Donald Trump, ex-House Speaker John Boehner’s characterization of the Texas senator as “Lucifer in the flesh” indicates the anti-Cruz faction is alive and well.

  • No lawmaker did more before the 2013 government shutdown to knife Boehner’s fiscal strategies than Cruz, who stoked anger among the House GOP rank-and-file -- discord that would help lead to Boehner’s departure from Capitol Hill two years later
    • Now out of office and free to speak his mind -- and with Cruz’s presidential bid potentially on the ropes --Boehner returned the favor
  • Other members of Congress chimed in; Rep. Peter King of N.Y. who’s also been outspoken about his dislike for Cruz, said on CNN that he “gives Lucifer a bad name”
  • Just 6 sitting senators have endorsed Cruz, despite the prominent push by one of them, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, to expand that number
  • Responding to Boehner’s disparaging comments, Cruz claimed he didn’t even know the former House speaker
    • He also knocked Boehner as Trump’s “texting and golfing buddy,” part of his effort to tie the businessman to the Washington political establishment
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ON THE TRAIL

Cruz said the much-publicized state-splitting agreement between him and John Kasich announced at the start of this week doesn’t really exist

  • “There is no alliance,” he said in Fort Wayne, Ind., according to the New York Times
  • Carly Fiorina, Cruz’s new VP pick, said on MSNBC that Trump would get “shellacked” by Hillary Clinton in Nov.’s election

Trump last night slammed the Fiorina gambit, saying in Indianapolis that Cruz is “the first candidate who is mathematically eliminated” from winning the presidential nomination through the primary process who “picked a vice presidential candidate”

Bernie Sanders remains “absolutely in it to win it,” his wife, Jane, told MSNBC of her husband’s Democratic presidential bid

  • She said several upcoming primaries are open to independent voters, which increases her husband’s odds
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DELEGATES

If reports of Trump’s success among uncommitted Pa. delegates prove accurate, he doesn’t necessarily need to win Indiana to reach 1,237 delegate level, the Upshot reports

  • Winning Ind. on May 3 “would be very helpful,” but “there’s now a credible path to winning on the first ballot without it”
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ADS

Cruz’s campaign has already spent $1.1m in TV ads in Ind. and has reserved an additional $400k before Tuesday’s primary, New York Times reports

  • Super-PAC backing him, Trusted Leadership PAC, has gone through about $1.2m of $1.6m it pledged to spend in state
  • Anti-Trump group Our Principles PAC has spent about $600k, and Club for Growth has spent nearly $1m

Trump has spent $700k in Ind., Times says

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ENDORSEMENTS

Rep. Bill Shuster endorsed Trump

  • Shuster narrowly survived GOP primary challenge on Tues., winning re-nomination by 1 ppt in unofficial results
  • Pa. Republican, who is chairman of the House Transportation Cmte, is 1st House cmte chair to back Trump

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce endorses Clinton and, in GOP race, John Kasich, Washington Post reports

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ETC.

Former Green Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader said on CNN that Sanders shouldn’t drop out because “there could be a scandal” with Clinton

  • “Those transcripts” of her paid, private speeches “‘and closed-door meetings with the big bankers and other corporations could be released,’’ he said

Caitlin Jenner, the former Olympic medal winner and current transgender reality TV star, used women’s bathroom at Trump Tower and posted a video of it on Facebook, Politico reports

  • Trump said last week that transgender people could use whatever bathroom they want

Economic platforms offered by GOP candidates ‘‘don’t simply defy logic and any known economic theories, they are fantasy,” President Obama said in interview with the New York Times

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