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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump wasn't criticizing women when he accused Hillary Clinton of playing the "woman card" in order to get elected president, a senior adviser to his campaign said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's comments this week in which he said Clinton would receive less support if she was a man and that women don't like her.

"I think he is pointing out something, frankly, Bernie Sanders' campaign has been talking about for months -- that Hillary Clinton's biggest thing that she's running on is the fact that she's a woman," she said. "The person that is playing the woman card is Hillary, not Donald Trump."

Trump made the comments despite Clinton receiving a higher percentage of the vote among female Democrats than he received among female Republicans during five primaries last Tuesday. Huckabee Sanders expressed confidence Trump would win them over.

"At the end of the day, they're going to side with Donald Trump," Huckabee Sanders said.

EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock disagreed that playing up the fact that she's a woman would hurt Clinton among female voters.

"She does happen to be a woman -- that is true," she said. "But really this campaign has been focused on economic opportunities for women and families in this country on a whole wide breadth of issues."

Trump, meanwhile, has had to fend off criticism for endorsements that may prove problematic with the female demographic. Former boxer Mike Tyson, who was convicted of rape in 1992, recently endorsed him. His endorsement is featured in a new anti-Trump attack ad released by the Trusted Leadership PAC.

According to Huckabee Sanders, though, every endorsement counts this election year.

"Donald Trump is looking for the endorsement and the vote of every American," she said. "I think that's why he's doing so well."

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  President Obama and the First Lady have announced that their daughter Malia will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017, taking a gap year after her high school graduation next month.

Malia, 17, is set to graduate from the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington in June.

President Obama recently was asked to speak at the commencement but turned down the offer, saying instead "I'm going to be wearing dark glasses ... and I’m going to cry."

Malia, along with her parents, has visited at least a dozen colleges over the past year and a half. Both the President and First Lady earned their law degrees at Harvard Law School.

The First Lady said in September of 2015 that the family talked over Malia's college plans "every night."

It is unclear just what Malia will do in the gap year after her father leaves office and the family moves out of the White House.

President Obama told Ellen Degeneres in February that Malia is "more than ready" to "make her own way."

"She’s one of my best friends," Obama said. "It’s gonna be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she’s ready to go. You can tell. She’s just a really smart, capable person."

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he’s worried about Donald Trump as a potential commander-in-chief, and says some world leaders are “quite concerned” about a potential Trump presidency.

"Many of them have -- have said publicly how worried they are about the possibility of Mr. Trump becoming president," Gates said in an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday. "His unpredictability, his lack of understanding of the complexity of international affairs, his threats, his claims that he's going to make other countries do things, when, in fact, the president of the United States does not have the power to make them do things."

“So I think -- I think a lot of leaders around the world, both among our friends and potential adversaries, are quite concerned,” Gates added.

Addressing the Republican front-runner's recent foreign policy speech, Gates said it showed someone who "doesn’t understand the difference between a business negotiation and a negotiation with sovereign powers."

The former Defense Secretary also voiced concerns about Trump’s willingness to take advice.

"One of the things that worries me, Martha, is that he doesn’t appear to listen to people," Gates told ABC’s Martha Raddatz. "He believes that he has all the answers, that he is the smartest man in the room."

"And I've worked for some very different presidents – Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Barack Obama," Gates said. "One of the things they all had in common was a willingness to listen to people who had experience, and then make their own independent judgments."

Gates has worked under eight different presidents on both sides of the aisle and served as Defense Secretary under both President George W. Bush’s and President Obama from 2006-2011.

His record in public service led the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin to suggest him as a possible third party candidate, if Trump secures the Republican nomination.

The former Defense Secretary laughed off the suggestion of a possible presidential bid. "That's the silliest thing I've ever heard,” he said.

Gates also put to rest the possibility of being Donald Trump's running mate.

"One of the problems with being vice president, is if you totally disagree with the president you can’t quit," he said.

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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(WASHINGTON) --   Republican presidential candidate John Kasich joined the likes of sports stars and musical artists by helping a young woman ask her peer to prom.

"Hey Nico, it would be 'Kay-sick' if you would go to the prom with Julia," the Ohio governor said in the video, intentionally mispronouncing his own name.

Julia Khan, the 17-year-old high school senior in the video, tweeted Kasich's "promposal" was successful. "He said yess!!" she wrote.

He said yes!! Thanks for your help, @JohnKasich and @cwclub — about to be the best prom ever! pic.twitter.com/LN33CbmM43

— Julia Khan (@JuliaTheKhan) April 30, 2016


But neither Khan, from Los Altos, Calif., nor her date actually plan to vote for Kasich in California's GOP primary in June, she told ABC News. They are bigger fans of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, she said.

"My prom date and I are both Clinton supporters," Khan, who lives in Los Altos, Calif., told ABC News. "So I guess it was just an opportunity to have a presidential candidate help me ask my friend to prom."

Kasich penned his own tweet in response to Khan's video, which was filmed on Friday after he participated in a town hall style-meeting in San Francisco. "That's great!" he wrote. "Have an awesome time!"

That's great! Have an awesome time! -John https://t.co/AHFc82j71K

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) April 30, 2016



Kasch's video contribution did not actually clinch the deal, although it was fun to make, according to Khan. She and her date had already planned to attend the dance together later this month, she said.

Even though she plans to vote for Clinton, Khan said she appreciated that Kasich was still taking questions from voters in such an accessible manner. She said she asked a question about cybersecurity during Friday's event.

"This is my only shot to get an issues-based question answered by anyone on the Republican side," she said. "I have a lot of respect for Kasich."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump holds a 15 percentage point lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Indiana ahead of the state's Republican primary this week, according to a new poll from NBC/WSJ/Marist released Sunday morning.

Trump earned 49 percent support in the new poll, while Cruz garnered 34 percent and John Kasich had 13 percent.

The result would help pave the way to the GOP presidential nomination for the real estate mogul, padding his delegate lead and giving him a viable way to become the "presumptive nominee" by clinching 1,237 pledged delegates after California and New Jersey vote on June 7.

Indiana is a winner-take-most state worth 57 delegates -- 30 delegates to the statewide winner and 27 delegates based on the winners of each congressional district. Even if Trump loses the state, he will still have a viable path to winning the nomination, using unbound delegates from states like Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Louisiana.

The poll also shows a majority of GOP voters in Indiana disapprove of the attempted alliance between Cruz and Kasich to consolidate the anti-Trump vote in the state. Fifty-eight percent of them say they disapprove of the combined effort to block Trump, while only 22 percent said it was a major factor in their vote.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight race in the Hoosier State. The poll has Clinton with 50 percent support, while Sanders garners 46 percent -- close enough to be within the poll's margin of error.

Indiana is a proportional state worth 83 pledged delegates for the Democrats. After Indiana votes, it will be mathematically impossible for Sanders to clinch the Democratic nomination using only pledged delegates -- and will need help from the superdelegates to win.

Sanders needs to win remaining states by an average of 30 percentage points to lead the pledged delegate count.

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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  President Barack Obama took aim at the 2016 presidential field at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday, hitting Republican front-runner Donald Trump the hardest during his humorous speech and leaving the audience waiting until the end for the punchiest lines.

Obama faked that he was finishing his speech before doing an about-face and proceeded to say, "Nah. I'm just kidding you. You know I’ve got to talk about Trump. Come on."

"I am a little hurt that he’s not here tonight," the president said. "It’s surprising. You got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no."

He added, "Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald?"

Obama said he wished Trump attended, mainly because the real estate tycoon knows a lot about shutting down waterfront properties, which would come in handy when it comes to closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

He went on to joke about the Republican presidential race.

"Things are a little more loose," Obama said. "Just look at the confusion over the invitations to tonight dinner. Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish. But instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan," a reference to the wishes of some establishment Republicans for the House Speaker to become the nominee.

"You may not like steak or fish, but that's your choice," Obama said.

 Obama also poked fun at the media for the amount of coverage Trump has received.

"I hope you all are proud of yourselves," Obama told the audience. "The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost and now we're praying that Cleveland makes it through July."

The annual event brings together politicians, journalists, and celebrities and features a humorous address by the president. This year Obama highlighted Vice President Joe Biden, who was making his first appearance at the event since the 2008 election.

"I love Joe Biden, I really do," he said, thanking the vice president for not "shooting anyone in the face," a nod to a hunting accident involving former vice president Dick Cheney. On a serious note, Obama thanked Biden for his dedication to public service, his friendship and his counsel.

Obama was joined by headline entertainer Larry Wilmore, a comedian that many watching in the audience and at home said on social media fell flat delivering his jokes. At times, those sitting in the crowd sat stone-faced during his routine.

"My eighth and final appearance at this unique event," Obama said, at the beginning of his routine. "I’m excited if this material works well I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year."

"Earn me some serious Tubmans," he said poking fun at the recent announcement that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will soon be the face of the $20 bill.

Taking more shots at the Republican presidential field, Obama mocked Senator Ted Cruz and his recent appearance in Indiana where he called a basketball hoop a ring. "What’s next? Is baseball sticks or football hats, but sure I’m the boring one," he said to the laughter in the audience.

He showed more deference toward Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, setting the stage for her as the presumptive president when next year’s dinner rolls around.

"Someone else will be in this spot and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be," he said.

 Obama also made fun of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination who attended the dinner, noting the Democratic senator from Vermont has sought to keep his distance from the president’s record at times.

"I am hurt, Bernie, that you've been distancing yourself from me,” he said. "That's just not something you do to your comrade."

Obama said Clinton didn’t have quite as exciting a slogan as Sanders’ "Feel the Bern," joking Clinton’s is: "Trudge up the Hill."

Obama seemed to have fun at the expense of Washingtonians.

At one point, he alluded to his pick to take over the vacant Supreme Court justice spot, who Republicans are blocking, calling for the doors to be locked in the banquet in order to get a vote by the senators in attendance on nominee Merrick Garland "right here, right now."

"But it’s not just Congress, even some foreign leaders have been looking ahead and anticipating my departure," he said. "Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face. A clear breach of protocol."

As his speech came to a close, Obama grew serious, thanking the assembled journalists for their work and advocating that they point out when facts are being skewed or ignored.

"With that I have only two things to say," he said in closing. "Obama out!"

He then, literally, dropped the mic.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- With a pivotal vote in Indiana this week, Ted Cruz is vowing to "go the distance," whatever the outcome of Tuesday's primary.

"It is an incredibly important state," Cruz said of Indiana on ABC's "This Week." "We are competing hard. I hope we do well here. I can tell you I'm barnstorming the state, we're in a bus with my family, we're doing everything we can to earn the votes of the men and women in this state. We're going the distance. We're competing the entire distance.”

Cruz, trailing his main rival Donald Trump by 431 delegates, enters this week after two weeks of losses to Trump in six states. When pressed by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz about whether Indiana is a must win, Cruz would not say. While it is mathematically impossible for Cruz to clinch the 1237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before the Republican convention in July, Cruz says Trump won't get there either.

"We're going to go in into Cleveland. It is going to be a contested convention," Cruz said. "I believe at the convention, the highest total Trump gets, it will be the first ballot and that we are seeing the party unite behind our campaign."

Cruz said he is hoping the announcement of Carly Fiorina as his running mate followed by the endorsement of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will help him secure a win on Tuesday in Indiana and give his campaign momentum in other states like California.

"I was honored to receive the support of Governor Pence. He is a trusted conservative. He's someone that Hoosiers respect, and he has a remarkable record here in Indiana of leading with common sense conservative values," Cruz said on "This Week."

In Pence's endorsement of Cruz on April 29, he also spoke glowingly about Trump, saying he wanted to "commend" Trump for giving voice to those who are frustrated.

Asked if he respects Trump, Cruz would only say "I am glad Donald ran. I think he energized and excited a lot of people, but I think his views -- he is a big government liberal just like Barack Obama and just like Hillary Clinton.”

The Texas senator also hit Trump for suggesting that the U.S. should reduce military aid to Israel, and likened his position to that of the Obama administration.

"In this speech, Donald Trump once again didn't stand with Israel," Cruz said. "That's what we've seen for seven years. If you like this administration, not standing with Israel, that's what Donald Trump has said he would do."

Cruz and his running mate Fiorina have repeatedly tried to connect Trump with Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner.

"I don't think we want to nominate, have the general election be between two rich, New York, big government liberals. Instead, the way we win is we provide a clear contrast, we paint in bold colors, not pale pastels and the difference between Carly and me on the one side and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump I think couldn't be clearer," Cruz said.

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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama was the King of "Nerd Prom" at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in the nation's capital on Saturday night.

The president showed his comedic side by taking shots at himself, but spent a significant amount of time joking about the campaign season, saying he was disappointed Donald Trump didn't make an appearance.

"What could he possibly be doing instead?" he asked the room of journalism's best. "Is he at home, eating a Trump steak? Tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel? What's he doin'?"

He joked that Trump "could be valuable" with closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

"Because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground," he said to roaring laughter.

President Obama also made a crack at Hillary Clinton and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after they received backlash for a controversial joke they recently made around "colored-people time."

"I was running on CPT, which stands for, 'Jokes that white people should not make,'" he said.

He called Bernie Sanders, who was the only presidential candidate in the audience, the "bright new face of the Democratic party," but said he was a little hurt that Sanders has kept his distance from the White House.

"I am hurt though Bernie, that you've been distancing yourself a little from me," he said. "I mean that's just not something you do to your comrade."

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ABC News(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Ted Cruz won 10 of the 13 delegates up for grabs at the Virginia Republican Convention Saturday, with Donald Trump taking the other three after state delegates voted in favor of the slate recommended by the nominations committee.

The result had many Trump supporters upset, because Trump won the Virginia primary.

"I voted for Cruz in the primary but I am against this slate because this is not what our state voted for," said one delegate who took the mic to voice her concerns.

Cruz surrogate Ken Cuccinnelli argued that the outcome Saturday was out of line, because Trump only won 38 percent of the vote in Virginia.

"Ted is successfully coalescing -- unifying, most of the rest of the party and that's the only way we can do this, that's the only way we can win a vote like this," he told ABC after the vote.

"That and having a good grassroots is why we're doing so well in these events all around the country," he added.

Cuccinelli went on to say the slate was an "olive branch" to Trump supporters.

"If we wanted a 13-0 slate, we could have had it. Instead we supported the mixed slate that was a unity slate, and that's an effort we're trying to make all around the country," he said.

Some Trump supporters took solace in the fact that Trump is ahead in the delegate count.

"We are really pleased that Donald Trump has 1,002 delegates as of today and will be our next president," delegate Clay Chase said.

"At the end of the day, Trump is going to win on the first ballot, so the selection of the delegates is kind of a moot point, really," said Trump surrogate Corey Stewart.

"We thought it was a good show, and we did better than expected," he added.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Prominent Satanists want to be clear: Ted Cruz need not apply.

After former House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday called the current Republican presidential candidate “Lucifer in the flesh,” saying he found it difficult to work with him, officials from the Church of Satan decried the comparison.

"Having a conservative Christian likened to Lucifer — one who opposes equal rights for same sex couples and promotes the ability to deny services to any with different values — we Satanists see as besmirching the positive, heroic aspects of that character as portrayed by Milton in his epic Paradise Lost," Magus Peter Howard Gilmore, the high priest of The Church of Satan, said in a statement.

Lucien Greaves, a spokesman and co-founder for the Satanic Temple, told ABC News he thinks Cruz engages in “clearly deplorable behavior” and that Boehner’s comments were “thoughtless and ignorant.”

"Christians can’t just push Cruz off on Satanists," Greaves said.“All he’s trying to say is that Ted Cruz is some type of embodiment of evil,” Greaves said. “I think that’s a rather destructive, backward mindset, because when you take clearly Christian individuals, clearly Christian activities, and things go sour, you pass them off as the influence of Satan.

"It really prevents you from thinking clearly.”

Cruz had previously dismissed Boehner's comparison, saying he had hardly interacted with the Ohio Republican over the years.

While Gilmore, the high priest, said that Satanists have not expressed any “collective support for any specific politicians,” Greaves said Satanists do not “want” Cruz and that he “is everything opposite of what we represent.”

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BernieSanders.com(NEW YORK) --  Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his presidential candidacy a year ago today. And over the past 12 months, his campaign has followed an almost poetic arch: taking the country by storm (and surprise), amassing a staff of over 1,000 people, breaking fundraising records and drawing some of the largest and most energetic crowds of this election cycle.

But the momentum continued to slow this week after big losses along the eastern seaboard and his chances to secure the Democratic nomination closed considerably. Sanders’ team also announced they were shrinking their staff as the primary calendar nears its end.

Until then, here’s a look back at some of the highlights of Sanders’ run:

Bernie Sanders’ First Campaign Announcement on Capitol Hill -- April 30, 2015


 The longest-serving independent congressman held a makeshift news conference on the Senate lawn to inform reporters that he was challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the nomination. "How do we create an economy that works for all of our people, rather than a small number of billionaires?” he said, his words almost identical to those delivered in every one of his speeches over the next year.

The Vermont senator was noticeably in a rush that day, almost uncomfortable or dismissive of the event. With his now infamous messy hair blowing in the wind and the far-from-thought-out shot for the cameras, it’s easy to see why many people were a little dismissive of the announcement, especially those unfamiliar with his significant social media presence.

Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Launch in Burlington, Vt. -- May 26, 2015

 A month later, the senator look another stab at his announcement and formally launched his campaign on the shores of Lake Champlain in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, where he had served as mayor, before being elected to Congress in 1990. The free-spirited, tie-dyed sunny event felt as much like a musical festival as a political event. The Woodstock generation and young hipsters there ate free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and talked of the 74-year-old’s authenticity. It was a sendoff in some ways -- a celebration -- and the senator would return to a hometown hero’s welcome the next March on Super Tuesday, when he would win Vermont with 86 percent of the vote but lose seven out of the 11 states that voted that day.

Bernie Sanders’ Rally in Los Angeles Featuring Sarah Silverman -- Aug. 10, 2015

The hallmark of the Sanders’ campaign quickly became his huge rallies. From city to city, college campus to college campus, the senator surprised everyone (reporters, party leaders, his opponents and even himself) with his ability to bring out tens of thousands of people to hear him speak. His first rally in Los Angeles, pictured here, featured some Hollywood star-power and signaled to the country and the Democratic Party that a “movement” was building.

Larry David/"Saturday Night Live" -- Oct. 17, 2015


The senator’s unbelievable doppelganger, comedian Larry David, solidified one fact: Sanders was now cool. David’s debut of his role on NBC’s "Saturday Night Live," delighted fans and the senator himself, who referenced the character and David’s impression from that point forward in almost a meta-comedy Sanders-doing-Sanders bit of comedy.

Coin Flips at the Iowa Primary -- Feb. 1, 2016


Sanders lost the first state to vote by 0.3 percent. On Election Day, several caucuses were so close they were decided by the flip of a coin. Diehard Sanders fans still talk about that fact as they lament party rules and regulations. On the flipside, Sanders emerged from Iowa with almost exactly the same number of delegates as Clinton.

Bernie Sanders Celebrates Win in New Hampshire -– Feb. 9, 2016


Sanders told ABC News’ Cecilia Vega days after the New Hampshire primary that it was his biggest victory to date and, yet, he barely had time to enjoy it.

"Biggest political victory of my life, I haven't had a chance to read it," Sanders said.

The Vermont senator won his neighboring state by an astonishing 22 percent, more than either side had predicted. He celebrated by playing basketball with his grandkids before a victory rally in the state. Less than three weeks later, he would be trailing Clinton by 26 pledged delegates after losing Nevada and South Carolina.

A Bird Lands on Sanders' Podium in Portland, Ore. -- March 25, 2016


Yea, Portland literally put a bird on it. During a rally in the town in March, a small sparrow landed on the senator’s stage. He seemed to almost beckon it with a flick of his hand and then stood in happy disbelief as it landed right on his podium. “Birdie Sanders” broke the Internet that day and spawned subsequent cultish artwork. Sanders himself called it a hopeful sign for world peace, because ... again ... Portland.

Bernie Sanders Lights Up New York City With Washington Square Park Rally -- April 14, 2016


Clinton won a resounding and decisive victory in New York, beating Sanders by 16 percentage points and all but clinching the nomination. Still, with an eye-popping event in the city’s iconic Washington Square Park, Sanders reinforced the fact that young people flock to him. With over 27,000 people, according to the campaign, filling parking space and surrounding blocks, the Brooklyn-born Sanders had an undeniably memorable night.

His Campaign Today

Despite his overwhelming delegate deficit and mounting pressure from the Clinton campaign and some voters to concede and begin the process of unifying the Democratic Party, Sanders has instead pledged in recent days to fight on until the last vote is cast.

While he has scaled back his team, he has not yet scaled back his travel plans. The senator flew this week out to Oregon for a day of events, before heading back to Indiana to keep campaigning as the Tuesday primary approaches.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich said Friday evening that some of his fellow party members are alienating Hispanic voters with scare tactics that could hurt the GOP in November's general election.

"Do the Republicans actually think that they can win an election by scaring every Hispanic in this country to death?" Kasich told reporters at the California GOP convention in San Francisco, being held ahead of the state's June 7 primary. "Scaring them to the point that they are afraid that their families are going to be torn apart and disrupted? Do you have any idea what those folks are going to do in a general election?"

Kasich touted his endorsement on Thursday by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The business group backed Kasich, the governor of Ohio, as well as Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side of the presidential race.

Donald Trump protesters, who congregated outside the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport hotel, marred the convention before Kasich arrived Friday night. "When you live on the negative side, when you feed people’s anger -- you see what happened here today? I heard about it," Kasich said before addressing attendees. "People chaining themselves to a fence trying to prevent somebody from coming -- I mean, you see what’s happening? Okay? Well, I may not be winning those votes right now, but over time I believe the people will like to live where they can be hopeful."

Earlier in the day, Kasich engaged in an intense exchange with a 62-year-old gay man at a town hall-style meeting in San Francisco. The man asked Kasich if he believed gay people were born gay.

"Do I think that people are, you know, born gay?" Kasich said. "Probably. I've never studied the issue, but I don't see any reason to hurt you or discriminate [against] you or make you feel bad or make you feel like a second-class citizen.”

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) --  It's a comedy routine two presidential terms in the making, with Saturday marking the final time President Obama will don his "Comedian-In-Chief" hat to roast the press, politicians and celebrities at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

Over the years, President Obama has used the dinner to cast a comedic light on some of the day's political headlines and laugh off his critics.

In his first dinner speech back in 2009, Obama opened by telling the audience he wanted to speak "from the heart," which was immediately followed by two teleprompters rising up from the floor.

"Pause for laughter," he joked.

In 2014, Obama chose to laugh off the disastrous rollout of his signature healthcare.gov website, simply saying, "that could have gone better."

"In 2008 my slogan was, 'Yes We Can,'" Obama said. "In 2013 my slogan was, 'Control-Alt-Delete.'"

But among his most notable roasts was that of now-GOP frontrunner Donald Trump at the height of the "birther" controversy in 2011 that resulted in Obama holding a press conference to release his birth certificate.

"I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald," Obama said. "And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"

Trump has again dominated political headlines over the past year, but inside the Obama administration, it has been no laughing matter. Obama himself has called out Trump's rhetoric against Mexican immigrants and Muslims as "dangerous" and detrimental to U.S. interests around the world.

Two weeks ago, Trump blamed the media for his decision not to attend this year's dinner, saying, "I would have a good time and the press would say I look like I wasn't having a good time."

Asked whether Trump would be a prime target in Obama's routine this year, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday he didn't want to give away any spoilers.

"I don't think that ducking in the room means that you are going to avoid some attention in the speeches," Earnest said. "But we'll see."

In a Friday preview of the president's speech in The New York Times, former Obama speechwriter and writer at "Funny or Die" David Litt walked through what it's like pitching jokes to the president and offered up what he expected to hear in his final speech.

"For weeks, writers in and outside the White House have submitted hundreds of jokes, and only a handful of my former colleagues know which 35 or 40 will make the final cut," Litt said. "A safe bet, however, is that at least a few of the president’s one-liners will look back on the last eight years. He’ll have plenty of material to work with."

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's address, President Obama repeated his call for Republicans in the Senate to give Chief Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and a vote.

Counting 45 days since he nominated Judge Garland to the Supreme Court, the president highlighted some comments from Senate Republicans.

"Judge Garland is someone who Senate Republicans are on record saying is 'a man of accomplishment and keen intellect;' a man who’s 'honest and capable;' a man whose 'reputation is beyond reproach.'"

Asserting that most Senate Republicans have refused to do their job and give Judge Garland the consideration he deserves, President Obama stressed that the Supreme Court "must remain above partisan politics."

"I’ve done my job – I nominated someone as qualified as Merrick Garland," he said. "Now it’s time for the Senate to do their job.  Give Judge Garland a hearing.  Give Judge Garland an up-or-down vote.  Treat him – and our democracy – with the respect they deserve."

Read the president's full address:

Hi, everybody.  It’s now been 45 days since I nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.  Judge Garland is a man of experience, integrity, and unimpeachable qualifications.  Judge Garland is someone who Senate Republicans are on record saying is “a man of accomplishment and keen intellect;” a man who’s “honest and capable;” a man whose “reputation is beyond reproach.”  Those are all quotes from Republicans in the Senate.

But so far, most Senate Republicans have refused to even meet with Judge Garland.  Which means they’ve also refused to do their job and hold a hearing on his nomination, or an up-or-down vote.  But they’ve still found time to head home for recess over the next week.

This is an abdication of the Senate’s responsibility.  Every Supreme Court nominee since 1875 who hasn’t withdrawn from the process has received a hearing or a vote.  For over 40 years, there’s been an average of 67 days between a nomination and a hearing.  This time should be no different.  This is not about partisan politics – it’s about upholding the institutions that make our democracy work. 

There’s a reason Judge Garland has earned the respect of people from both political parties.  As a young lawyer, he left a lucrative private firm to work in public service.  He went to oversee the federal response to the Oklahoma City bombing.  For the last 19 years, Judge Garland has served on the D.C. Circuit Court – often called “the Second Highest Court in the Land” – and for the past three years, he’s served as that court’s Chief Judge.  In fact, Judge Merrick Garland has more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history.  With a brilliant mind, a kind spirit, and a good heart, he has dedicated his life to protecting our rights, and ensuring that the voices of everyday Americans are heard.

So there is absolutely no reason for Republican Senators to deny him the basic courtesy of a hearing and a vote – the same courtesy that has been extended to others.  This refusal to treat a Supreme Court nomination with the seriousness it deserves is what makes people so cynical about Washington.  That’s why poll after poll shows a majority of Americans think Senate Republicans should do their job; give Judge Garland a hearing; and give Judge Garland a vote.

For all of our political differences, Americans understand that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.  And in the middle of a volatile political season, it is more important than ever that we fulfill our duties – in good faith – as public servants.  The Supreme Court must remain above partisan politics.  I’ve done my job – I nominated someone as qualified as Merrick Garland.  Now it’s time for the Senate to do their job.  Give Judge Garland a hearing.  Give Judge Garland an up-or-down vote.  Treat him – and our democracy – with the respect they deserve. 

Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Arizona Sen. John McCain delivered this week's Republican address, talking about national security concerns that the U.S. faces and the leadership needed to deal with it.

McCain, who is also chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, said that under President Obama, the country has "been on a holiday from American leadership."

"What’s unfortunately clear is this President has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem in a world that Director of National Intelligence General James Clapper says has not faced more crises and more refugees than we confront today," he said.

The senator criticized President Obama for scaling back troops in the Middle East and said, "The crisis in the Middle East has not been contained."

"It’s reached the streets of Paris, Brussels, and San Bernardino," he said. "It’s produced a refugee crisis that has destabilized Europe and divided the West. It’s given Vladimir Putin an opportunity to reassert Russia as a global power through intervention in Syria. And it has led America’s friends and foes around the world to distrust our word, question our resolve, and doubt our commitment."

Read the Republican's full address:

Hello, I’m Senator John McCain and I’m proud to represent the great State of Arizona.

On Friday morning, the headline on the front page of The Washington Post read: ‘Peace hopes unravel in Syria…Airstrikes level hospital in Aleppo…Children, doctors among dead in rebel-held areas.’ When the so-called ‘cease fire’ in Syria does ultimately collapse, we know what happens next: more barrel bombs and slaughter of the innocent by the murderous regime of Bashar Assad… more Russian bombing of moderate forces, including those trained by the United States…more refugees pouring out of the country and exacerbating the greatest refugee crisis since the end of World War II…greater instability on the borders of our partners and allies…and ultimately a stronger ISIL that will benefit from the chaos left behind.

For seven years, we’ve watched peace hopes unravel time and time again under a President focused more on withdrawing than succeeding. What’s unfortunately clear is this President has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem in a world that Director of National Intelligence General James Clapper says has not faced more crises and more refugees than we confront today.

The rules-based international order forged by a group of American leaders out of the ashes of World War II is under assault. Those that were there in the beginning recalled that they were "present at the creation." If we remain on our present course, we may well look back and realize that we were present at the unraveling.

Under this Administration, we’ve been on a holiday from American leadership. Too often, President Obama has adopted a cheap fatalism about America’s role in the world. No matter the challenge, we’re told that there are no good options, that our influence is limited, that we will not succeed overnight, that there is no military solution, and that we can’t solve every problem. These are truisms, but none of them absolve us of our responsibility to make the situation better where we can. And the results of our failure to do so are clear to see.

Vladimir Putin is learning from bloody experience in Ukraine and Syria that military adventurism pays, that diplomacy can be manipulated to serve his strategic ambitions, and that the worst refugee crisis since World War II can be weaponized to divide the West and weaken its resolve. The only deterrence that we seem to be establishing is over ourselves. Indeed, two years after Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, President Obama has shamefully refused to provide Ukrainian forces with the lethal assistance they need to defend themselves.

China is behaving less like a great power, and more like a petty bully. But time and time again, President Obama has failed to take timely action to defend our interests and our allies fearing China might be less likely to cooperate on priorities he thought were more important, like climate change and the reckless Iran nuclear deal. And as a result, China’s increasingly assertive behavior continues—cyberattacks, economic espionage and theft, militarization of one of the world’s most important waterways, and coercion of our regional allies and partners.

The Middle East is descending into chaos. But for the past seven years, President Obama has sought to scale back America’s involvement in, and commitment to, the Middle East. He has tried to convince us that the unfolding crisis in the Middle East is simply a local  problem…that our nation’s core interests are not truly threatened…and that the consequences of regional instability—hundreds of thousands dead in Syria, the collapse of Libya, sectarian strife in Iraq—all of these can be mitigated and contained.

But the crisis in the Middle East has not been contained. It’s reached the streets of Paris, Brussels, and San Bernardino. It’s produced a refugee crisis that has destabilized Europe and divided the West. It’s given Vladimir Putin an opportunity to reassert Russia as a global power through intervention in Syria. And it has led America’s friends and foes around the world to distrust our word, question our resolve, and doubt our commitment.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the war against ISIL. We have achieved some tactical and operational success against ISIL thanks to the excellence of our military leadership and our troops on the ground. But at a strategic level, we always seem to be a step behind, a day late, and a dollar short. ISIL has taken the strategic offensive: launching sophisticated attacks into the heart of western civilization and deepening its presence in Libya. With thousands of terrorists and training camps, and reports of external attack plotting in that country, we see all the warning signs that existed in Afghanistan on September 10, 2001. Once again, the President’s response has been reactive, slow, and insufficient. Our military service members serving in Iraq and Syria deserve better.

President Obama’s failed policies of the last seven years have placed us in a tragic rut once described by Winston Churchill: "Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history."

President Reagan was fond of saying that America has never faced a problem because it was too strong. That’s how he won the Cold War without firing a shot. The threats America faces have changed since then, but the need for American strength is the same as it ever was. If history has taught us anything, it is that while America cannot solve all the world’s problems, none of its problems will be solved without American leadership. We can—and must—return to the principle of ‘peace through strength’ for the sake of our men and women who are serving and the security of our nation. Thank you.

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