Trump Heading To Nomination After Forcing Cruz To Quit; Sanders Wins In Indiana

BuzzFeed News correspondent Rosie Gray is in Indiana with Ted Cruz's campaign.

It'll be Trump vs. Clinton in November, folks. Here's a rundown:

  • Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president after winning the Indiana primary and forcing his chief rival, Ted Cruz, to drop out.
  • "Ted Cruz, I don't know if he likes me or if he doesn't like me but he is one hell of a competitor," Trump said in his victory speech. "He has got an amazing future," he added, "I had some moments where it is not looking so good, and it's not a great feeling."
  • Trump's victory — it was called seconds after polls closed at 7 p.m. — meant he had a clear path to getting the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination in the nine remaining primaries. (Delegates are the people who actually go to the convention and vote for the nominee.)
  • This math drove Cruz — who emerged from a very crowded GOP field — to shutter his 13-month campaign. The stunned crowd shouted "no!" when he announced it.
  • "We gave it everything they've got, but the voters chose another path," said Cruz, who ran hard to Trump's right, saying he was the true conservative. "And so, with a heavy heart…we are suspending our campaign."
  • Essentially, "Cruz has almost reached the bottom of his bag of tricks," BuzzFeed News political reporter Rosie Gray wrote.
  • The past days have been wild for the Republicans: Cruz picked Carly Fiorina as a running mate to build momentum, and Trump repeated a dubious National Enquirer story about Cruz's father being somehow linked to John F. Kennedy's assassination.
  • For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton. But it really doesn't matter — Clinton has a far greater lead over Sanders in "super delegates" who can vote for whoever they want, making her overall delegate lead insurmountable.
  • Sanders said on Tuesday night that the ideas he's running on — economic inequality namely — are the "future ideas" of the Democratic party.


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Here Are The Prominent Republicans Who Aren’t Feeling #NeverTrump

Donald Trump is now effectively the Republican nominee. Some conservatives are vowing that they'll never vote for him — or even that they'll vote for Hillary Clinton instead.

Others, however, are feeling that Trump vibe.

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Republicans Are Burning Their Voter Registration Cards After Trump Becomes Likely Nominee

Pictures and videos were posted on social media Tuesday night Trump was declared the presumptive nominee.

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Here Is What the New York Daily News Thinks Of All This:

Tomorrow's front page: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the @GOP

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Welp. Ted Cruz Elbowed His Wife In The Face After He Quit The Presidential Race

Seriously, drop everything you're doing and watch this Vine of Ted Cruz accidentally punching his wife in the face

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Trump Calls Ted Cruz A Fierce Competitor And Calls For GOP Unity

With the Republican presidential nomination all but guaranteed, Donald Trump took up a gracious tone after winning the Indiana primary — calling his rival Ted Cruz, "one smart guy."

Just hours earlier, Trump had insinuated Cruz's father might have been involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination and referred to him for weeks as, "Lyin' Ted."

But his tone was significantly different as he spoke from Trump Tower in New York, by that point considered the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.

"What Ted did was a very brave thing to do," Trump said. "We want to bring unity to the Republican Party. It's so much easier if we have it."

Trump also went on to thank Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, with whom he's also clashed over the possibility of a contested convention.

But with Trump's leading opponent out of the race, Priebus called Trump the presumptive nominee for the election in November.

"I have met some of the most incredible competitors that I have ever competed against right here in the Republican party," he said. "Ted Cruz, I don't know if he likes me or he doesn't like me, but he's one hell of a competitor. He's one smart guy, and he's got an amazing future."

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Clinton Used Trump's Moment As A Way To Motivate Her Donors

Donald Trump is the presumptive @GOP nominee. Chip in now if you agree we can't let him become president:

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Republican National Committee Chairman Calls Trump The "Presumptive" Nominee

.@realDonaldTrump will be presumtive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton

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Donors Say Third Party Anti-Trump Effort Unlikely To Happen

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's win in Indiana Tuesday night made him the presumptive GOP nominee, revving up talk of a third-party candidacy as the only shot the anti-Trump wing of the Republican Party would have at the White House.

But a third-party candidate would have to amass hundreds of millions in a matter of days to compete even in a few swing states, and the party's biggest donors and fundraisers aren't willing to pony up for what they see view as a lost cause.

"It's too late," said Stan Hubbard, a major GOP donor and Minnesota-based media mogul. "You don't just file last minute."

Each state has its own complex rules and deadlines for third-party candidates to qualify for the general election ballot — an extremely complicated process that requires thousands of signatures, time, organization and money.

—Tarini Parti

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Ted Cruz Drops Out

View this video on YouTube

Senator Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign Tuesday after Donald Trump's major victory in Indiana's primary, the campaign told BuzzFeed News.

"Tonight, I'm sorry to say, that path has been foreclosed," Cruz said to shouts of "no!"

"We gave it everything they've got, but the voters chose another path."

"And so, with a heavy heart…we are suspending our campaign," he said, to more shouts of "no!"

Cruz entered an initially crowded Republican field and, after 13 months, emerged as the main contender against Trump. He ran to the right of the businessman, saying he was the true conservative in the race and that Trump was masquerading as a Republican.

—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos and Rosie Gray

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Sanders Forges Ahead

Bernie Sanders continued on in the campaign trail while he and Hillary Clinton appeared to be neck-to-neck as results came in at the Indiana primary.

Sanders kept mostly to his stomp speech as he spoke to voters at Louisville, Kentucky, Tuesday evening.

"The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, it is the great political issue of our time and together we will address that issue," he told the crowd.

At one point, as votes were being counted in Indiana, Sanders stopped his speech as he appeared to pull a slight lead over Clinton.

"We don't know for sure," he told the crowd.

With about 40% of precincts in, Sanders had a lead of 52.1%, according to CNN.

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John Kasich Will Remain In The Race

Despite Donald Trump's big win in Indiana, Gov. John Kasich said the results do not change his campaign plans.

"Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention," according to a statement.

He will continue to compete with Trump in the upcoming primaries through California on June 7.

"Gov. Kasich will remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the Convention," the statement reads.

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After Winning Indiana, Trump Slams Cruz For Not Being "Very Presidential"

Wow, Lyin' Ted Cruz really went wacko today. Made all sorts of crazy charges. Can't function under pressure - not very presidential. Sad!

Lyin' Ted Cruz consistently said that he will, and must, win Indiana. If he doesn't he should drop out of the race-stop wasting time & money

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It’s Over: Donald Trump Is The Presumptive Republican Nominee

With his win in the Indiana primary, Trump has delivered an effective knockout blow to Ted Cruz, his last remaining rival for the nomination. Now, Trump is extremely likely to reach 1,237 delegates over the next month — the magic number to be the party nominee at the convention.

In recent weeks, the primary that once looked headed toward a contested convention took a turn: Trump dominated a series of primaries on the East Coast, racking up delegates and doing major damage to Cruz's favorability ratings, which have plunged in recent weeks. Anti-Trump groups spent big in Indiana — the state that Cruz needed to win to keep his hopes alive — but it didn't matter. The billionaire won big in the state, helped in recent weeks with a lineup of famous sports coaches.

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Voting has closed in the vast majority of Indiana — only the region including the city of Gary closes at 7 p.m. because it's on Central time. We expect results after that.

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Primary Voters Most Worried About The Country's Economy

The country's economy is one of the biggest concerns on voters minds, according to exit polls conducted by the Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

More than nine in 10 republican voters said they are either very or somewhat worried about the economy, while eight in 10 Democrats agreed.

More specifically, two-thirds of Democratic voters said the think Wall Street hurts the economy.

Both republican and democratic voters said they think the race has been fair. A third of GOP voters said the nomination process is unfair. Democratic voters said they don't think Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have unfairly attacked each other.

Three-fourths of democratic voters said they think the nomination process has energized the party, while six in 10 republican voters said the process has divided the party.

— Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Cruz: Trump Will Next Say "My Dad Is A Space Alien"

Ted Cruz says Donald Trump's next movie will be to claim his dad is a space alien. That's in response to Trump saying this morning the elder Cruz might have played some role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, citing a National Enquirer report.

"Donald this morning goes on national television and accuses my dad of being involved with killing JFK, and it's just nuts. It is ludicrous, it's a pathological lie. His friends at the National Enquirer published this lie. The next thing you're gonna say is my dad is a space alien from Area 51. It is tabloid nonsense."

Cruz noted that the tabloid endorsed Trump and Trump is friends with the publisher.

"He uses the National Enquirer to spread his smears, he used it to go after my wife Heidi," said Cruz.

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Graham: Trump Is "Completely Unhinged" And GOP Will Be "Destroyed"

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that Donald Trump's comments tying Ted Cruz's father to presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are evidence the Republican frontrunner is "completely unhinged."

Graham, who dropped out of the GOP race in December only to reluctantly endorse Ted Cruz, said the Republican Party deserves to be "destroyed" in November's general election if Trump is the nominee.

Any doubt left Trump is completely unhinged? His assertion Ted Cruz’s father was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald should remove ALL doubt.

If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it.

— David Mack

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Cruz Slams Trump For JFK Assassination Claims

Ted Cruz blasted Donald Trump in a lengthy tirade Tuesday after the wealthy businessman alleged the Texas senator's father had associated with President John F. Kennedy's assassin.

Speaking to Fox News by phone on Tuesday morning, Trump brought up a story in the National Enquirer tabloid that purported to show photos of Rafael Cruz supporting Cuban dictator Fidel Castro alongside Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.

"You know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said. "What is this, right, prior to his being shot, and nobody brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it's horrible."

The Cruz campaign told the Miami Herald the tabloid article was "another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage."

View this video on YouTube

Speaking to reporters in Indiana, Cruz mocked Trump for parroting the tabloid piece: "I guess I should go ahead and admit, yes, my dad killed J.F.K.," he joked. "He is secretly Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard."

Cruz also called Trump a "pathological liar," a "narcissist," and described him as "utterly amoral."

— David Mack

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Ted Cruz: "Of Course I Didn't" See Fiorina Fall Off Stage

Ted Cruz says he did not see Carly Fiorina fall off the stage earlier this week.

Fiorina took a tumble into the crowd at an event in Indiana. Donald Trump said it showed Cruz was cold and "weird," because Cruz is in the background shaking hands when it occurred.

"Of course I didn't, and not only that, I only, I saw the thing on Twitter today, it was the first I saw it," said Cruz on Mike Gallagher on Monday evening. "It looked like, I'm sure she was all right since I've seen her since then. It did look like she fell; I don't know what happened but I certainly didn't see anything. I was shaking hands with folks."

Trump had said, "They just showed it to me, and I said, 'Wow that's really cruel,' she fell off, she just went down. And she went down right in front of him and he was talking and he kept talking... That was a weird deal, man."

Andrew Kaczynski

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Ted Cruz Is “Staring At The Abyss” In Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — Ted Cruz has almost reached the bottom of his bag of tricks.

Casting the primary as literally a battle between good and evil, Cruz has pulled out all the stops ahead of Indiana, naming Carly Fiorina as his running mate, making a non-aggression pact with John Kasich, and aggressively barnstorming the state in the final hours, much as he did in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses.

Cruz has hung on in the Republican primary longer than anyone predicted, emerging as the last viable alternative to Donald Trump and the unlikely figurehead of a movement of anti-Trump Republicans hoping to stop the billionaire's rise. But for those anti-Trump Republicans, tonight will be a reckoning — and after this, there may not be any options. Should Trump win on Tuesday night, as he is expected to do, it's very likely he will be able to clinch the nomination outright in California next month.

Read the full story here.

— Rosie Gray

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Clinton Campaign To Name Top CBC Operative As North Carolina State Director

WASHINGTON — Troy G. Clair, the chief of staff to the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has gone to work for Hillary Clinton's campaign in North Carolina, three sources tell BuzzFeed News.

Clair left to become the state director for North Carolina, according to two of the sources, who were not authorized to speak on the issue because the campaign has not publicly announced the hire.

Read more here.

— Darren Sands

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Republicans for Hillary

Republicans for Hillary? Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat from the right-leaning state of West Virginia, says if Trump is the nominee — then sure, why not.

"My good friend, my dear, dear friend Lindsey Graham is my bellwether. Okay? So, if Cruz gets wiped out today, let's see what happens. Who knows! Who knows!" he told reporters with a laugh while campaigning on Tuesday for Clinton in Charleston, W.V., ahead of the state's primary on May 10.

"We'll work on it."

Ruby Cramer reporting in Charleston, W.V.

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Cruz NJ Chairman: “We’re Not Going To Nominate Hillary Clinton With A Penis”

The New Jersey State Chairman for Ted Cruz said Tuesday he did not expect conservative voters to nominate Donald Trump, whom he described as "Hillary Clinton with a penis."

Former Bogata, New Jersey Mayor Steve Lonegan, who was appointed to Cruz's New Jersey leadership team in December, made the remark during an interview Tuesday on CNN.

Watch the moment here.

— David Mack

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Why Is Everyone Saying Trump Could Pretty Much Lock Up The Nomination Tonight?

The New York Times has a nice breakdown of how this is possible.

First, the latest bound delegate estimates for reference: * Trump: 955 * Cruz: 546 * Kasich: 153

Remember, delegates are the people who actually go to the summer convention and vote for the nominee.

Here's how the Times breaks down Trump's chances from here on out:

A win in Indiana would make him the overwhelming favorite to clinch it by June 7, the last day of voting for Republicans. Mr. Trump already has nearly 1,000 delegates, and even the most pessimistic projections would give him another 120 from West Virginia, New Jersey and three states — Washington, Oregon and New Mexico — that award their delegates proportionally, putting him about 120 delegates away from the nomination. A win in Indiana would cover about half of that number, since the state's 57 delegates are awarded on a winner-take-all basis both statewide and by congressional district. Mr. Trump would have plenty of opportunities to cover the rest. A win in California (172 delegates), where he leads in recent polls by more than 20 percentage points, would be more than enough.

The Times goes on to say that Trump may not even have to win California. Picking off more delegates than expected in "West Virginia or Washington — let alone a surprise win in Nebraska or Montana —" is enough to lock it up.

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Trump On Pat Buchanan In 1999: He’s “Beyond Far Right” And Only Gets “The Wacko Vote”

Donald Trump, in an appearance on Larry King Live in 1999 when he was exploring a presidential run on the Reform Party ticket, criticized his potential opponent Pat Buchanan for being "beyond far right" and only appealing to the "wacko vote."

Earlier this year, Buchanan praised Trump on CNN, saying, "Trump has raised the very issues I raised in the early nineties."

Buchanan's 2000 platform was identical to Trump's in a number of ways. Buchanan was a protectionist on trade, used harsh rhetoric on immigration, wanted to limit donor influence in politics, and spoke loudly against Washington corruption.

—Andrew Kaczynski
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Cruz: Trump Is “Divorced From Reality” Over Mike Tyson’s Rape Conviction

Ted Cruz on Monday said Donald Trump is "divorced from reality and truth" for accusing him of lying about Mike Tyson's rape conviction.

"Donald Trump was talking recently, he was talking about Mike Tyson and Donald said something to the effect of, 'Cruz says Tyson is rapist. That's why we call him Lyin' Ted.' And Donald is so divorced from reality and truth. It is not an opinion that Mike Tyson is a rapist," Cruz said on the Mike Gallagher Show on Monday night.

Tyson was convicted of rape in Indiana in the early '90s. Trump advocated for Tyson publicly during the trial. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Trump: "The Cruz campaign is making an issue of your support for Mike Tyson back during the time of the rape conviction in 1992. Your reaction to that?"

— Andrew Kaczynski
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Voting is underway in Indiana and the candidates are making their final pushes. Here's Cruz's running mate, Carly Fiorina, campaigning at a Pancake House this morning:

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Clinton To Name Key Nevada Caucus Operative State Director For General Election

BuzzFeed News has learned that Jorge Neri will take the reins in Nevada for Hillary Clinton's campaign, the state where he served as organizing director during her momentum-shifting caucus win, according to two sources with knowledge of the campaign's plan.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement that former Nevada state director Emmy Ruiz will run Colorado for Clinton in the general election. Ruiz and Neri worked together to deliver Nevada for Obama in the general election in 2012, with 70% of the Latino vote, and used their early arrival and relationships in the Hispanic community in the state to win in February for Clinton.

Read more here. — Adrian Carrasquillo

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Meanwhile in 👀 news: Ted Cruz’s Wife Promises He’s Not The Zodiac Killer

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Trump Says U.S. Should Shoot At Russian Planes That Barrel Roll Over U.S. Air Force Planes

Donald Trump said Monday that the U.S. should shoot at Russian planes that barrel roll over American aircraft, which has happened twice in that past month. The Republican presidential contender was speaking to Indiana radio host Charly Butcher when he made the comments.

He said that the U.S. should start first with diplomacy and a "phone call to Putin," but if that doesn't work, "you gotta shoot."

"You gotta shoot. I mean, you gotta shoot. And it's a shame. It's a shame. It's a total lack of respect for our country and it's a total lack of respect for Obama. Which as you know, they don't respect," Trump said.

Read more here.

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Donald Trump On Criticism Of Mike Tyson Support: “We Will Take The Endorsement”

Donald Trump responded to criticism from Carly Fiorina that he was touting in Indiana the endorsement of Mike Tyson, who was convicted of rape in the state.

"Well, a lot guys have endorsed me, a lot of people," Trump said on the Mike Slater Show on Friday. "I noticed that Mike Tyson endorsed me over the internet and we will take the endorsement."

"Look, he's a tough cookie," Trump continued. "He had difficulty, but a lot of people had difficulty, but Mike Tyson did me endorse me. What does she want me to do, tell him I don't want his endorsement? Should I do that? You think I should do that? I don't think so. So, I really know nothing about it other than I heard Mike Tyson endorsed me."

— Andrew Kaczynski

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Trump Has Repeatedly Sympathized With Hillary Clinton Over Lewinsky Affair

Donald Trump and his campaign staff in recent days have signaled that they plan to attack Hillary Clinton for the martial indiscretions of her husband.

Trump tweeted on Friday that Hillary Clinton was "one of the all time great enablers!" Similarly, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said the campaign was willing to bring up Monica Lewinsky.

"I think that depends on Hillary Clinton," Pierson said on MSNBC Live when asked about Lewinsky. "

"This came about because she called Donald Trump a sexist," she continued. "It boggles my mind that if a woman is criticized, all of a sudden that makes you a sexist. That is simply not the case."

A BuzzFeed News review shows Trump used to speak much differently about Bill Clinton's affair. In a series of late1999 interviews, the year Hillary Clinton began exploring a run for Senate in New York, Trump expressed sympathy for her for having endured so much.

— Andrew Kaczynski

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Clinton Invokes Trump As Threat To Obama’s Legacy As First Black President

DETROIT — For 30 minutes on Sunday night, speaking from the dais of an NAACP dinner here in Detroit, Hillary Clinton presented the audience of 6,000 with a distinct and cutting image of her likely opponent in the general election.

It was Donald Trump, she reminded the predominantly black crowd, who "led the insidious birther movement to discredit the president's citizenship" only a few years ago. And it was Donald Trump, she said, who played "coy" and declined to disavow David Duke and other white supremacists who have supported his campaign.

"We cannot let Barack Obama's legacy fall into Donald Trump's hands," Clinton declared, moving people in the sprawling COBO Center to their feet.

In recent weeks on the campaign trail, Clinton has talked increasingly about an all but certain match-up against Donald Trump and what she argues is his "divisive" and "dangerous" vision for America. On Sunday, delivering the keynote address at the Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner for the NAACP, Clinton spoke in personal and urgent terms about what Trump's election might mean for the Obamas and their legacy.

—Ruby Cramer

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