LA Times: Mark Z. Barabak: Now it's John Kasich's turn -- Baby! Loser! -- for the Donald Trump treatment:
First he went after “Little Marco” Rubio. Then he targeted “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz. Facing a key test on Tuesday in Ohio, a state that could hasten his way to the Republican nomination or raise a significant hurdle, Donald Trump has now turned his sights on its governor, presidential rival John Kasich.
CNN: Cassie Spodak: Pete Rose didn't endorse Donald Trump:
A bit of a curve ball on the night before Ohio's primary. Many assumed that the Ohio baseball legend Pete Rose had thrown his support behind Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump after the businessman tweeted a picture on Sunday showing an image of a ball signed by Rose with a reference to his signature phrase: "Mr. Trump, Please make America great again."
CNN (Opinion): SE Cupp: The cause of violence at Trump rallies?:
With the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago due to protests, and a slew of recent violent encounters between protesters and supporters of Donald Trump -- one of whom assaulted a protester as the police lead him away, and later threatened to kill him -- we are finally seeing the culmination of the Trump campaign's combative, reckless and downright disturbing rhetoric. Trump is both denying the violent encounters are taking place, and simultaneously blaming Bernie Sanders' supporters, President Obama, the media for overreporting them, and so-called Chicago "thugs."
CNN: Theodore Schleifer: Palin on Trump protesters: 'Punk-ass, little thuggery':
Sarah Palin's description of the protesters increasingly disrupting Donald Trump's rallies? "Punk-ass, little thuggery." Palin campaigned with Trump in Tampa Monday before returning to Alaska to be with her husband, Todd, who was in a serious snow machine accident. "We don't have time for all that petty, punk-ass little thuggery stuff that's been going on with these 'protesters,' who are doing nothing but wasting your time and trying to take away your First Amendment rights," she said. "And the media being on the thugs' side -- what the heck are you guys thinking, media?"
CNN: Tom LoBianco: Trump: 'There's no violence, nobody's been hurt' at rallies:
Donald Trump said Monday "there's no violence, nobody's been hurt" at his rallies, which have had a number of high-profile incidents of violence in the past week. "First of all let's not even use the word violence, there's very little disruption generally speaking. It's a function of the press, the press likes to say what the press likes to say," Trump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Monday. "If one person gets up and starts shouting and the police walks that person out, they try and make it like it's a violent thing. It's not violent. It's a protester that stands up or probably a disruptor, because I think they're sent there by people on the other side," he said.
CNN: Julia Manchester: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: Trump uses 'racist appeal':
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sharply condemned Monday rhetoric from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, in the wake of recent protests at the business mogul's events that have turned violent. De Blasio said on CNN's "New Day" that Trump himself has encouraged violence against demonstrators and he uses racism "as a strategic tool." "We've seen these different historical parallels before," de Blasio told CNN's Alisyn Camerota. "This is the moment where people need to stand up and say Donald Trump does not represent democracy."
CNN: David Wright: Carson warns Trump protesters: 'There could be an escalation':
Ben Carson said Monday that anti-Donald Trump protesters face "a real possibility of escalation" in confrontations with the real estate mogul's supporters. The retired neurosurgeon who endorsed Trump last Friday after suspending his own presidential bid defended Trump supporters in an interview on NBC's "Today" show, after protests shut down a Trump rally in Chicago the previous Friday.
CBS News: Emily Schultheis: Ted Cruz swipes at Donald Trump in response to a protester:
A protester interrupted a campaign rally for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Illinois Monday evening, and the candidate used the disruption as an opportunity to contrast himself with GOP front-runner Donald Trump. "Go back to Canada!" the man yelled, referring to Cruz's birthplace and the doubts Trump has voiced about his eligibility to run for president. "Thank you for being here," Cruz said. "One difference between this and a Donald Trump rally is, I'm not asking anyone to punch you in the face." Cruz was referring to the increased chaos and violence that has flared up at recent Trump rallies across the country.
CBS News: Sopan Deb: Trump picks up big Florida endorsement:
On the eve of the crucial Florida primary, the state's attorney general, Pam Bondi, dealt another blow to home state Sen. Marco Rubio's quickly fading presidential hopes, announcing her support for Donald Trump. "We need someone who is unafraid to lead and restore America to its greatness," Bondi, a rising star in Republican politics in Florida, said. "And today, I am proud to endorse Donald Trump." "Oh, by the way, there's one more reason," Bondi said. "I always listen to my mom. And my mom is with Donald Trump and so am I." Bondi also cited a friendship with Trump going back "many years."
NBC News: Hannah Hartig, John Lapinski and Stephanie Psyllos: Super Tuesday 2: Clinton, Trump Take Big Leads Into Key Contests:
Hillary Clinton maintains a sizable lead over Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination — 54 percent to 41 percent — while Donald Trump is a full 20 points ahead of any other Republican candidate. Trump leads Ted Cruz 44 to 24 percent, followed by John Kasich (12 percent) and Marco Rubio (11 percent). These results are according to the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll for the week of March 7 through March 13, 2016 among a national sample of 8,840 adults aged 18 and over, including 7,321 who say they are registered to vote.
NBC News: Ali Vitali: Sheriff Mulled If Trump's Conduct at North Carolina Rally Qualified as 'Inciting to Riot':
Donald Trump may want to watch his words more closely. After a North Carolina rally studded with protesters and ended with one 78-year-old man arrested for assault, the Cumberland County Sheriff Department says it investigated if there was a connection between Donald Trump's conduct on the stump and the violent events that followed. Under North Carolina law this is called inciting a riot — and the Sheriff's Office had earlier Monday said they were looking at "the totality of these circumstances."
NBC News: Leigh Ann Caldwell and Andrew Rafferty: Sanders: Trump Enticing Supporters to be Violent:
Bernie Sanders told NBC News' Chuck Todd on Monday that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is enticing supporters to commit acts of violence by offering to pay their legal fees. "It's more than a permission slip. It's an enticement," Sanders said in a town hall airing on MSNBC. "It's saying, 'You can beat up people. That's what this campaign is about, and don't worry about it. I'll pay the legal fees. It's a good thing to do.'"
NBC News: Ali Vitali and Tim Stelloh: Pete Rose on Trump: A Signed Baseball Is Not An Endorsement:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted what appeared to be an endorsement from Pete Rose, the once legendary — now blacklisted — professional baseball player and manager. "Mr. Trump," began a note that was scrawled on a baseball and posted to Trump's Twitter account. "Please make America great again" — an apparently reference to Trump's infamous slogan.
Ted Cruz suggested on Monday that it would take Donald Trump shooting somebody in New York City to not support the current front-runner in the general election if he becomes the Republican Party presidential nominee. "Well I can give you one example where I would no longer support Donald Trump," Cruz told reporters in Rockford, Illinois. "If, for example, he were to go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, I would not be willing to support Donald Trump."
NBC News: Benjy Sarlin: Here's What Donald Trump's Supporters Think of Rally Violence:
It can get worse. That's the sinking feeling hanging over Trump rallies amid mounting confrontations between supporters and protesters accompanied by ever-escalating rhetoric from the candidate himself. "I am worried about it," Jordan Vashey, a 25-year old Republican voter visiting from New Jersey said before heading into Trump's outdoor rally in Florida. "Something always seems to make the paper the next day and sometimes it's violence."
NBC News: Marianna Sotomayor: Fact-Checking Trump and Cruz on "Meet the Press":
Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz sat down with "Meet the Press" to discuss their campaign's path forward following a weekend of increased violence at several Trump events. NBC's fact-checking partner, PolitiFact, took a look at the claims Trump's and Cruz's made about their protesters. And while Trump's comment almost reached a "Pants-On-Fire" rating, the highest on PolitiFact's scale, Cruz did not bend the truth.
NBC News: Emil Guillermo: Young Asian-American Republicans Troubled by What Trump Is Doing to Their Party:
After Donald Trump won Hawaii's Republican caucus last week, Beth Fukumoto Chang, the 32-year-old leader of the Republicans in the Hawaii House of Representatives, was resigned to thinking she might not support her party for the presidency. "I don't think it's time yet to start a third party, but I can't support Trump as the nominee, and I think a lot of people like me are trying to figure out what that's going to mean," Fukumoto Chang told NBC News.
NPR: Ron Elving: A Campaign On The Brink: Donald Trump And The Intersection Of Outrage And Violence:
There remains a chance — or at least a hope — that the violent storm blowing in over American politics this primary season will move on without further damage to the country. More specifically, there is a chance — or at least a hope — that the violence witnessed at recent rallies for Donald Trump will subside. And that those most inclined to physical confrontation might step back from the brink. But the videos of violent scuffles at the aborted Trump rally in Chicago on Friday continue to play on cable TV, keeping the wound fresh.
NPR: Bill Chappell: Reporter And Editor Resign From Breitbart Site Over Alleged Assault At Trump Event:
Saying her employer had failed to stand by her after she alleged being assaulted by Donald Trump's campaign manager, reporter Michelle Fields has resigned from conservative website Breitbart News. Editor-at-large Ben Shapiro also resigned. "I can't stand with an organization that won't stand by me," Fields tweeted this morning.
NPR: Don Gonyea: Primary Voters Weigh In On Trump Clashes:
When a Donald Trump rally was cancelled in Chicago on Friday night after violent clashes broke out between protesters and Trump supporters, it set the tone for the next few days on the campaign trail. More than a thousand people were lined up outside a Trump Rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday. They were buzzing about the events of the night before in Chicago and more that ready to show their support for Donald Trump.
NPR (Morning Edition): GOP Mystery: Why Do Many Evangelicals Back Donald Trump?:
Many election observers struggle to understand why evangelical Christians have embraced Trump. Renee Montagne talks to Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, tells Renee Montagne.
OTHER 2016 NEWS:
Washington Post (opinion): Gina McCarthy: Michigan evaded the EPA on Flint. We can’t let that happen elsewhere.:
Gina McCarthy is administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. This week, I will testify along with Gov. Rick Snyder and others from Michigan and Flint about the health crisis in the city. This conversation is needed because what happened in Flint should not have happened. The crisis is the result of a state-appointed emergency manager deciding that, to save money, Flint would stop purchasing treated drinking water from a source it relied on for 50 years and instead switch to an untreated source. The state of Michigan approved that decision, and it did so without requiring corrosion control. These decisions resulted in Flint residents being exposed to dangerously high levels of lead.
Associated Press: Eric Tucker: JUSTICE DEPT.: STATES SHOULDN'T JAIL OVER FINE NONPAYMENT:
The Justice Department is discouraging state court systems from jailing poor defendants who fail to pay fines or fees, warning against practices that it says run afoul of the Constitution and erode community trust. A letter sent Monday by the federal government to state court administrators makes clear that judges should consider alternatives to jail, such as community service, for poor defendants who don't pay their fines. It also says judges must consider whether defendants have the ability to pay, and should not turn to incarceration without first establishing that a missed payment was willful.
Bloomberg: Steven Dennis: Democratic Puerto Rico Debt Bills Give Preference to Pensions:
Senate Democrats, led by Robert Menendez of New Jersey, put out Monday their version of a plan to tackle Puerto Rico’s growing debt crisis -- an ambitious, broad restructuring of the territory’s debt coupled with billions in tax breaks and other aid. The plan is almost certainly to be rejected by House Republicans, who plan on releasing their own legislative proposal this month. A pair of bills released by Menendez on Monday would give Puerto Rican pensions preference over bondholders, who would face a steep haircut in court. The sweeping territory-wide restructuring authority proposed in the bills, which would apply to the full $70 billion of the territory’s debt, will surely face resistance from debt-holders.
NPR: David Folkenflik and Naomi Lachance: The BuzzFeed BuzzSaw: Why Campaigns Should Fear These 4 Twentysomethings:
For more than a generation, politicians have been on notice that political opponents would hold them accountable through deep dives into their records — a practice called oppo research. This election cycle, candidates for the White House also have found themselves trying to dodge a buzz saw: BuzzFeed. Andrew Kaczynski, 26, runs a political research unit for the news organization, scouring the historical record to unearth buried stances taken by leading candidates. A surprising number of the controversies and scoops that surface in televised debates and interviews started with Kaczynski's four-person team, called the K-File.
BILL AND CHELSEA CLINTON:
Wall Street Journal: Gerald Seib: Campaign 2016 Shatters the Reagan and Clinton Coalitions:
GOP losing its traditional conservative base, as liberals move Democratic Party away from center. Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s crucial big-state primaries, Campaign 2016 already has produced one big change: It is winding down the two big coalitions that have dominated American political life for the last three decades. Those are the Reagan coalition and the Clinton coalition, crafted and ridden into the White House by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, respectively. Mr. Reagan’s conservative coalition formed the core of the Republican Party from 1980 on, and Mr. Clinton’s center-left coalition has represented the Democratic center of gravity, even in more-liberal era of Barack Obama. Until this year. Now both of those coalitions are splintering in plain view.
Huffington Post: Amanda Terkel: Bill Clinton Gets Emotional Talking About Drug Addiction:
The heroin epidemic is getting far less attention these days in the national press now that the presidential candidates have moved on from New Hampshire. The state's tradition of having small, intimate events meant that no matter where the candidates turned, they heard from voters who shared personal stories about the toll the epidemic had taken on them. But the opioid crisis is still ravaging other parts of the country, and voters want the presidential campaigns to know. Bill Clinton stumped for his wife in Chillicothe, Ohio, last week, calling Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) a "formidable opponent." While walking through the city, a group of women who run an addiction program stopped the former president and told them about their work.
Fortune: Sy Mukherjee: Chelsea Clinton Is Holding a Fundraiser With the Embattled Theranos CEO:
The company is under scrutiny from regulators and potential partners. Embattled blood testing company Theranos, once a darling of the biotech startup community, has suffered its share of grief in the past year. But at least one high-profile operation isn’t ready to toss the firm by the wayside: Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.Re/code reported on Monday that Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is hosting a fundraiser for the Democratic frontrunner next week featuring the candidate’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton. The event is slated to take place at Theranos’ headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Fortune reached out to both Theranos and the Clinton campaign to confirm the specifics of the fundraiser and will update this post if they respond.