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Wake Up To Politics - April 8, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016
11 Days Until the New York Primary
214 Days Until Election Day 2016I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • Invisible Primary: Giuliani Publicly Declares Support – but Doesn’t Endorse – Trump Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to vote for billionaire Donald Trump in the New York primary next week. “I support Trump,” Giuliani told the newspaper. “I’m gonna vote for Trump.”
  • Giuliani, a former presidential candidate himself (he ran for the GOP nod in 2008), explained his choice to the New York Times: “He’s my friend, and I think of the candidates, of the choices that I have, he’s the best choice for president,” Giulani said. “He’s a better choice than Cruz and a more realistic choice than Kasich.”
  • However, the former mayor stressed that he was not endorsing Trump, merely declaring saying he supported him…which is the Merriam-Webster definition of “endorse”. Still, Giuliani held to his assertion that his announcement does not count as endorsement, with spokeswoman Jo Ann Zafonte telling CNN that he “has not made any endorsement” and his “statement speaks for itself”.
  • According to CNN, Giuliani’s insistence that he had not endorsed a candidate was a ploy to maximize his influence at the Republican National Convention, where he will act as a delegate from New York. Giuliani will also not formally campaign for Trump.
  • Trump responded to Giuliani’s announcement with a statement Thursday, saying: “Everyone has tremendous respect for Rudy Giuliani and this is such a great honor. Rudy knows me well and therefore it is an even greater honor than it would normally be.”
  • And, Trump being Trump, he ignored his own supporter’s wishes, and trumpeted the announcement on his Instagram, posting: “America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorses Donald J. Trump for 45th President of the United States of America”.
  • Cruz Doubles Down on “New York Values” Even as he campaigns for the votes of Republicans in New York, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is sticking with his derisive label for what he calls Trump’s liberal belief system: “New York Values”.
  • At a campaign stop in the Bronx on Thursday, Cruz again employed the phrase, saying it was not a condemnation of the entire state, just the liberal policies associated with it. “They are the values of the liberal Democratic politicians like Andrew Cuomo, like Anthony Weiner, like Elliot Spitzer, like Charlie Rangel – all of whom Donald Trump has supported,” Cruz said. “If you want to know what liberal democratic values are, follow Donald Trump’s checkbook.”
  • Cruz first unveiled the phrase at a January debate in South Carolina. “Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage,” Cruz said at the time. “Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan.” Trump responded with a defense of his hometown, invoking the heroism and bravery of New Yorkers following the September 11th attacks, leading many to think he got the better of the exchange
  • Now that Cruz is campaigning for New York votes, he’s being attacked for “New York values” from all sides. Trump, of course, has not given up the issue, mentioning the debate moment at his Long Island rally Wednesday. “I’ve got this guy standing over there talking about New York values with scorn on his face, with hatred of New York,” Trump said of Cruz at the rally, his New York campaign kickoff.
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich also made light of the remarks, mentioning the phrase at a Bronx deli campaign stop. “We love New York values,” Kasich said. “It means innovation, neighborhoods, great food, great people. It means everything.” Even New York’s Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, hit Cruz on “New York values,” saying “he wants New York’s money, but he’s happy to put down the people of New York when he thinks it’s politically convenient.”
  • But, it doesn’t seem the criticism has gotten to Cruz’s head. Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on Thursday if he regrets invoking the phrase, Cruz demurred. “Not remotely,” he answered. “Everyone in New York and outside of New York knows exactly what I meant by that. And it is the liberal values of Democratic politicians who have been hammering the people of New York for decades. They've suffered under these liberal values.”
  • True New York Values “Cruz spent Thursday in Brooklyn, where he toured a matzah bakery and met with Orthodox rabbis…Ohio's Republican Governor John Kasich also hit the outer boroughs and gorged on Italian food.  Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton spoke outside Yankee Stadium Thursday, where she…rode the subway.” (Bloomberg)
  • New York Expectations Ted Cruz is playing the expectations game. In an interview with ABC News, Cruz’s campaign manager Jeff Roe said Trump should drop out if he doesn’t get over 50% in his home state. “If he doesn’t get over 50 percent, he should probably consider dropping out, like everyone else has when they don’t win their home state in a dramatic fashion,” Roe said.
  • Weekend Preview What’s going on in the 2016 race this weekend?
  • Saturday: Colorado Republican Convention On the Republican side, Colorado is one of few states that holds no primary or caucus: instead, the state’s entire 37-member delegation to the Republican National Convention will be unbound, able to vote for any candidate they want starting with the first ballot.
  • With no candidate certain to reach a majority of delegates outright, unbounds like Colorado’s have been hotly contested this year, as represented by the attention the state’s convention (where the delegates themselves will be chosen) will receive this weekend, as candidates jockey to get their supporters on the delegate slate.
  • Ted Cruz himself will speak at the convention (a strategy he employed in North Dakota last week, successfully gaining most of the state’s unbound delegates), joined by top Trump and Kasich surrogates. No candidate has spoken at the Colorado convention in 40 years.
  • How are delegates actually chosen? “On Saturday, thousands will pack an arena in Colorado Springs as more than 600 candidates speak for 20 seconds each in an effort to be delegates…Anyone seeking a delegate slot has the option of declaring a preference in advance or running as part of a slate of like-minded candidates…Pledged delegates who win must vote for their preferred candidate on the first ballot at the national convention. ‘Unpledged’ delegates have until votes are cast in Cleveland to make a decision. If the race remains unsettled, unpledged delegates will become some of the most sought-after Republicans in the country as Cruz, Trump and Kasich seek to win them over.” (Washington Post)
  • Saturday: Wyoming Democratic Caucuses Meanwhile on Saturday, the small Wyoming Democratic Party will come out to caucus. Democrats are a rare breed in the state, accounting for just 20% of Wyoming’s electorate. Bernie Sanders is favored to win the contest, having held his victory event Tuesday in the state – in addition, Wyoming’s largely white electorate and its holding caucuses all work positively for Sanders. 14 pledged delegates are at stake in Wyoming, six of which will go to the statewide winner and eight of which will be divided proportionally.
  • Friday to Sunday: Republican Jewish Coalition meeting The top lobbying group of Jewish Republicans will hold its Spring Leadership meeting this weekend, a top draw for GOP elected officials. Of the presidential candidates, only Ted Cruz accepted his invitation to the meeting – giving him a large advantage.
  • The meeting also gives Cruz an opportunity to seek the support of Sheldon Adelson, the business magnate who owns the meeting’s venue (The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas), sits on the RJC’s board, and is a top donor to the group and to the GOP.White House Watch
  • The President’s Schedule President Barack Obama spends the day fundraising for Democrats around California.
  • At 10:35pm, Obama will participate in a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) at a Santa Monica private residence.
  • At 12:15pm, he departs Los Angeles for San Francisco, where he arrives at 1:25pm.
  • At 5:25pm, the President will participate in a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser at a San Francisco private residence.
  • At 7:05pm, he will head to another San Francisco private residence for his final event of the day: a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
  • *All times local (Pacific Daily Time today)
  • Fundraiser-in-Chief Why is Obama suddenly doing so much fundraising? With the Clinton-Sanders race going longer than expected, Democrats have no other standard bearer to excite donors ahead of the general election. “As President Barack Obama waits out the unexpectedly protracted nomination battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, he’s stepping up his role as the Democratic Party’s top draw for dollars, jetting to wealthy enclaves across the country to capitalize on his popularity among deep-pocketed donors.” (CNN)

Question of the Day

  • Yesterday’s Answer The first Secretary of State to travel to a foreign country was…William Seward, who took a working vacation in the Caribbean in January 1866, visiting the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.
  • GREAT JOB…Matt Neufeld and Rick Isserman!
  • Honorable Mention to Marlee Millman, who answered Thomas Jefferson…technically the first Secretary of State to visit a foreign country (France), although he was not in office at the time (I did not include “sitting” in the question”). Great job!
  • Corrections Thanks to Ken Wittenberg for catching a mistake in yesterday’s “Question of the Day” answer. Ken writes:  “Mo Udall ran in 1976 in the Democratic primaries that picked Carter. As an 11 year old, I actually met him at the Albuquerque, New Mexico airport when he was running for president that year. He was very tall and my father admired him a great deal.”
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light