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Victoria Jones created and edits Quick Morning News. She is chief White House correspondent with Washington DC-based Talk Media News, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.
 

Marco Rubio wins Puerto Rico primary. Bernie Sanders takes Maine caucuses
Quick News
  • Democrats fight in Flint: 10 jabs
  • Democrats: Who won?
  • Trump v Cruz?
  • Nancy Reagan dies at 94
  • Nancy Reagan tributes
  • North Korea threatens: US/South Korea exercises
Democrats Fight in Flint: 10 Jabs (Politico, Politico, Politico, AP, CNN, Hill, Hill, Hill, me)
• Clinton: “He voted against the money to save the auto industry. I think that was a pretty big difference.” Bernie Sanders: “If you are talking about the Wall St bailout where some of your friends destroyed this economy -” Clinton: “You know -” Sanders, testily: “Excuse me, I’m talking.” Clinton:”If you’re going to talk, tell the whole story,” Sanders: “Let me tell my story, You tell yours.”
 
• “Secretary Clinton wanted everybody else to release it
[speeches to Wall St groups],” Sanders said.” “Well, I’m your Democratic opponent. I released it, here it is! There ain’t nothing. I don’t give speeches to Wall St for hundreds of thousands of dollars. As he spoke, he threw his hands up, pretending to throw papers into the air (this isn’t going away – deal with it, Hill)
 
• At the CNN debate in Flint, Anderson Cooper asked Sanders: “Your policies are about expanding govt, why should the people of Flint trust that more govt is the answer” in the water crisis. Sanders, sarcastically: “I suppose they can trust the corporations who have destroyed Flint.” Huge cheers from audience. “We could trust them, I’m sure.” (Cooper did a good job)
 
• Clinton told the father of a young girl severely wounded in the recent rampage by an Uber driver in Kalamazoo that Sanders had voted in the Senate to grant “absolute immunity” to gun manufacturers. Sen Sanders (I-Vt) responded, “What you’re really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America.” (that statement could haunt him)
 
• Sanders said he was very proud to be Jewish. “My father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical extremist politics mean. I learned that as a tiny tiny child when my mother would take me shopping and we would see people working in stores who had numbers on their arms because they were in Hitler’s concentration camp.”

 

Democrats: Who Won the Debate?
• Sanders’ answer when asked if he knew what it’s like to be a person of color raised some eyebrows. “You don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto and to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or get dragged out of a car.” (mixed reax on twitter. some said he was putting all black people into ghettos – bit unfair)
 
• Sanders repeated his call for Michigan Gov Rick Snyder (R) to resign before Clinton spoke. “Amen to that,” she said. “I agree, the governor should resign or be recalled.” Sanders called for Snyder to resign in January, but Clinton hadn’t joined him until the debate’s opening statement
 
• Bryn Mickle, editor of the Flint Journal, pointedly asked the candidates: “Secretary Clinton, it took this water crisis for politicians like yourself to notice we are a city in trouble … Why should the people of flint believe that you aren’t just using this crisis to secure political points?” To Sanders: “What took you so long?” – five months (they are using it for political points, that’s why)
 
• Clinton said Sanders voted against a 2009 bailout of carmakers. “I went with them. You did not. If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed.” Sanders: “I will be damned if it was the working people of this country who have to bail out the crooks on Wall St.”
 
• “We are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health,” Sanders said. “And when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in mental health.” Huge audience cheers. Clinton laughed loudly (big winners in this debate were the audience questioners – on point, tough and well-prepared)

• Watch SNL compare Donald Trump’s rise to Hitler’s in Germany in the 1930s. Plus, all the other lovable GOP and Democratic characters in the 2016 scramble in the cold open


 
Trump v Cruz? (Politico, AP, Politico, Reuters, me)
• Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is angling to squeeze Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla) out of the GOP presidential primary, and two dominant victories in Maine and Kansas – as well as narrow misses to Donald Trump in Kentucky and Louisiana – added juice to his argument that he’s the only candidate capable of competing with Trump (GOP establishment freak-out – they hate both)
 
• “If you want to beat Donald Trump, we have to stand united as one,” Cruz said as he savored his two caucus wins and welcomed his rivals’ supporters. “I would like Marco to drop out,” Trump said at a presser after Saturday’s wins. But Rubio romped to victory in Puerto Rico’s primary on Sunday, sweeping all of the island’s 23 delegates – so he may be riding high now
 
• Cruz has proved dominant in most of the states holding “closed” caucuses – contests in which only registered Republicans can compete. That dynamic could be essential to deny Trump the delegates he needs to secure the GOP nomination in July. Though most early primaries have been open, the remainder of the calendar tilts towards closed elections
 
• If Rubio and Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio) exit the race, the Cruz team believes it will have the opportunity to defeat Trump in a one-on-one context. Trump, they note, hasn’t been able to notch a majority of the vote in any of the nominating contests so far – though he came close in Massachusetts
 
• Trump still leads the field with at least 378 delegates, while Cruz has at least 295. 1,237 are needed to win the nomination. The Republican campaign now moves to contests on Tuesday in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii

 

• Donald Trump said Sunday he wants to “broaden” laws so the U.S. can use waterboarding ++. He’s previously advocated “worse” than waterboarding – even if it doesn’t work – as well as killing the families of ISIS members. But, Friday he said he understood the U.S. is bound by laws and treaties and he wouldn’t order the military to violate those laws. But then, on Sunday…

 

Nancy Reagan Dies at 94 (BBC, AP, me)

• Former first lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at home in Bel Air, Calif, of congestive heart failure at the age of 94, the Reagan library said. Her 52-year marriage to Ronald Reagan was once described as the presidency’s greatest love affair. She will be buried next to her husband at the library in Simi Valley, the library said in a statement
 

• From 1981-1989 she was one of the most influential first ladies in U.S. history; initially criticized for an expensive renovation of the WH, but later becoming a much-loved figure. President Obama said she “redefined the role” of first lady
 

• As Nancy Davis, she was an actress during the 40s and 50s and married Reagan, a prominent film actor, in 1952. She served as first lady of California during her husband’s stint as California governor from 67-75 before moving into the WH after his decisive victory over Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980

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• As first lady, she sought to emulate the style of one of her predecessors, Jackie Kennedy. She extensively redecorated the WH, and accepted designer dresses worth $1m and a 4,732-piece set of china worth $209,000. There was a huge outcry from people outraged by what they saw as waste while millions of Americans were losing their jobs
 

• Public opinion was also swayed by accusations that Nancy Reagan had a frosty personality, often consulted astrologers, and ordered the dismissal of WH chief of staff Donald Regan in 1987. “I talk to people, they tell me things. … I’m a woman who loves her husband and I make no apologies for looking out for his personal and political welfare,” she once said
 

• Nancy Reagan’s best-known project as first lady was the anti-drugs “Just Say No” campaign. After her husband died of Alzheimer’s in 2004, she became a champion for Alzheimer’s patients, raising millions of dollars for research and breaking with fellow conservative Republicans to argue for stem cell studies

 

Nancy Reagan Tributes (BBC, AP)

• “Nancy is where she has always wanted to be, with her Ronnie.” – Michael Reagan, stepson / “Mrs Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the WH was complete and lasting.” – former President George W. Bush
 

• “Our former first lady refined the role in her time here [WH]. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives.” Obamas
 

• “Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mother and devoted wife to President Reagan – her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the president, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s” – former President Bill and Hillary Clinton
 

• “A woman of strength and wit, Nancy Reagan’s dedication to our country was matched only by that of her husband.” – former President Jimmy Carter / “Nancy Reagan was one of my heroes. She served as first lady with unbelievable power, class and grace and left her mark on the world.” – former Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

North Korea Threatens Attack: US/South Korea Exercises (Reuters, me)
• U.S. and South Korean troops began large-scale military exercises today in an annual test of their defenses against North Korea, which called the drills “nuclear war moves” and threatened to respond with an all-out offensive “to decisively counter the U.S. and its followers’ hysterical nuclear war moves.” (pretty standard – but they’ve been a bit wild recently)
 
• South Korea said the exercises would be the largest ever following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch last month that triggered a UN Security Council resolution and tough new sanctions. The sanctions were drafted by the U.S. and China
 
• The joint U.S. and South Korean military command said it had notified North Korea of “the non-provocative nature of this training” involving about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans (that’s a pretty big number)
 
• China’s not happy, either.  Chinese foreign ministry spox Hong Lei said, “China is linked to the Korean Peninsula. In terms of the peninsula’s security, China is deeply concerned and firmly opposed to any trouble-making behavior on the peninsula’s doorstep.”
 
• “Look, I told Barack, if you really, really want to remake the Supreme Court, nominate Cruz. Before you know it, you’ll have eight vacancies.” – VP Joe Biden at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington DC Saturday night. – “And Donald Trump. Donald has attacked every person of color – except John Boehner.”(Politico)

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Victoria Jones – Editor