WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential race two days before critical contests in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina and Illinois (all times Eastern Daylight Time):
Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump is returning to Illinois after canceling a Friday night appearance in Chicago amid clashes between protesters and his supporters.
The mood was far more muted Sunday outside the Bloomington airport in central Illinois, where about 100 protesters gathered along an access road on an a foggy, overcast morning near the airplane hangar where Trump was scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. CST.
Some participants said they decided to drive the 130 miles from Chicago after the abrupt cancellation of that event. And some protesters said they felt emboldened to stand in a light but steady drizzle only after seeing reports of clashes in Ohio, Kansas City and elsewhere Saturday.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says Republican Donald Trump is lying when he says the Sanders’ campaign sent the protesters that disrupted Trump’s rally in Chicago.
Sanders says on ABC’s “This Week” that anyone following Trump’s campaign “knows that he tells the truth very, very rarely” and that in this instance, “He’s lying again.”
Friday night’s melee between Trump supporters and protesters broke out after the Trump campaign cancelled a rally because of security concerns. Some of the protesters in the crowd were carrying Sanders campaign signs. Trump on Sunday tweeted that if Sanders is sending supporters to Trump rallies to disrupt them, Trump would do the same at Sanders’ rallies.
Sanders denies that his campaign was responsible for the disruption.
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says he’s “very concerned” that someone will lose their life at a Donald Trump rally, adding that “it’s getting harder” to explain to his family and friends that he would support Trump as the GOP nominee.
Rubio said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the violence in Chicago Friday night looked like “something out of the Third World.” The Florida senator said it’s going to be hard for people who vote for Trump to justify their support down the road.
Rubio and two of his GOP rivals — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — pledged during a debate earlier this month to support Trump if he is the GOP nominee. All three have condemned the violence at Trump’s rallies, but they also are not excusing the protesters.
Here are the delegate tallies in the 2016 presidential race after Saturday’s contests.
On the Republican side, Marco Rubio won the caucuses in the nation’s capital on Saturday and grabbed 10 delegates. John Kasich took nine.
Ted Cruz won nine of the 12 delegates up for grabs in Wyoming. Rubio and front-runner Donald Trump each got one. Cruz also won the sole delegate from Guam at its presidential convention.
According to an Associated Press count, Trump leads the overall race for delegates with 460. Cruz has 370, Rubio has 163 and Kasich has 63. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination.
For Democrats, Hillary Clinton won the caucus on the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean.
Clinton now has 766 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 551, based on primaries and caucuses alone.
Including superdelegates — party leaders and elected officials who can support any candidate — Clinton’s lead is even bigger: 1,231 to Sanders’ 576.
More than 1,000 delegates in both parties are at stake on Tuesday when Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio vote.
Donald Trump says he’s “instructed my people” to explore the possibility of helping pay the legal bills for a 78-year-old man charged with assault at a Trump rally.
Authorities have said John Franklin McGraw of Linden, North Carolina, was charged after he was caught on video hitting a man deputies were escorting at a Trump rally last Wednesday in Fayetteville.
Trump tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that McGraw “got carried away” and “maybe he doesn’t like seeing what’s happening to the country.”
Trump was asked if he might help McGraw with legal fees, if McGraw needed it.
Trump says: “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes.”
The man who was punched has told The Associated Press that he and others went to the event as observers, not protesters. He says someone swore at one in their group, and by the time they tried to object, the police were escorting him out.
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