Sen. Marco Rubio  (R-Fla.) on Friday gave the green light to supporters in Ohio to vote for Gov. John Kasich in Tuesday’s presidential primary in order to stop GOP front-runner Donald Trump, an unusual tactic that comes as Rubio is trying to rally the anti-Trump vote in Florida behind his candidacy and which could complicate Trump’s path to the nomination.
The move was the latest sign that Trump continues to occupy the center of the GOP race and affect virtually every major strategic decision in the contest. Heading into next Tuesday’s crucial slate of primaries, Trump is well-positioned to add to his delegate lead and could deal a knockout blow to Rubio and Kasich by beating them in their home states.
But there were no immediate signs of a smooth coordinated effort between the campaigns and outside groups aligned against Trump. Kasich’s campaign did not respond to Rubio’s comments warmly. Meanwhile, a pro-Rubio super PAC did not bow to the Kasich campaign’s subsequent demand that it stop running television ads against the Ohio governor.

The real question is how this affects Tim Pawlenty’s chances of being chosen at a brokered convention.

National Review, one of the country’s leading conservative magazines, will endorse Ted Cruz on Friday in a blow to Marco Rubio after its top editors and publisher decided that the Texas senator is the only candidate left who can defeat Donald Trump, POLITICO has learned.
“Ted’s the only one with a plausible path to stopping Trump,” National Review editor Rich Lowry told POLITICO, “either by getting a majority himself or denying Trump a majority and finishing close behind and getting it to convention.”
The magazine’s opposition to Trump is not new. It published a special issue in January under the headline “Against Trump” ahead of the Iowa caucuses. But until Friday, it remained divided among the remaining choices, as both Cruz and Rubio have long been allies of the conservative movement.

Another reminder that Cruz’s problems with The Establishment have nothing to do with substance.

* President Obama hits 52 percent in Gallup’s daily tracking poll, which I guess is proof that most Americans hate America.

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* Asked on television to say something nice about the late Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton credited the Reagans with starting a national conversation on AIDS. Michelle Goldberg explains how very, very wrong Clinton was about this.

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* And after a zillion people said “What did she say???”, Clinton issued this apology:

* With Dems gearing up for a big day next Tuesday, Alex Seitz-Wald reports from Ohio on how the Sanders campaign is working to duplicate the formula for success they used in Michigan.

* Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer puts out a scalding statement on the climate skepticism, or better, the climate stupidity the GOP candidates displayed at their debate. It’ll be worth watching how Steyer spends money to push the issue in the 2016 elections. — gs

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Ben Carson has been grifting the conservative movement for years. He knows the main chance when he sees it, and right now Trump offers him the best prospect of staying in the spotlight and selling more books. I wonder if Trump will make him stand obediently behind him during his next rally, like he did with Chris Christie?

And by the way, if you still want to donate to Carson, he’ll be happy to take your money.

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