GOP, Dem hopefuls shift focus to NY race


Associated Press

NEW YORK

Republican Donald Trump declared it’s “great to be home” at a massive rally in the New York City suburbs Wednesday, shrugging off a defeat in Wisconsin a day earlier and instead, predicting victory in his delegate-rich home state.

“I love these people. These are my people,” he said to thunderous cheers.

Dozens of police officers amassed outside the soundstage venue on Long Island as protesters chanted, “Your hats are made in China” and “Dump Trump.”

Trump supporters retaliated, declaring, “Socialism sucks!” and “Leave this country!”

The rally comes as the GOP front-runner signaled a shift toward “more meat on the bone” in his policy speeches amid new signs of campaign discord after his stinging Wisconsin loss to rival Ted Cruz emboldened his critics and pushed the GOP closer to its first contested national convention in four decades.

Both parties shifted toward New York’s April 19 primary elections, where Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump hold big leads in early polls.

Clinton embraced a tougher approach with liberal rival Bernie Sanders on Wednesday after her defeat in Wisconsin. Still, Sanders’ string of recent primary victories has done little to erode the former New York senator’s overwhelming delegate lead as the 2016 primary season lurches toward a high-stakes contest in two weeks in New York.

“The core issue in his whole campaign doesn’t seem to be rooted in an understanding of either the law or the practical ways you get something done,” an aggressive Clinton declared in an interview on MSNBC. She suggested Sanders “hadn’t done his homework” on specific prescriptions needed to address economic inequality.

As the Democratic front-runner tried to undercut Sanders’ recent momentum, Trump’s grasp on his party’s presidential nomination appeared far more tenuous. Senior Trump adviser Barry Bennett shrugged off Tuesday’s loss to Cruz, but he also said the billionaire businessman would soon begin to deliver a series of “presidential, substantive” speeches on his policy priorities. That list likely includes immigration, trade, defense and taxes.

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