The Note: Clinton and Sanders Spar

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders Responds to Hillary
WATCH Bernie Sanders Responds to Hillary Clinton


--SANDERS SAYS HILLARY CLINTON HAS 'MOVED MUCH CLOSER' TO HIM ON ISSUES: Bernie Sanders responded to attacks from Hillary Clinton this morning, telling ABC’s DAVID MUIR that the former secretary of state took his comments about Donald Trump out of context. Clinton had accused the Vermont senator of calling Trump’s recent controversial statement about punishing women and banning abortion a “distraction.” “I have been spending my entire political life fighting for the right of women to control their own body,” Sanders said on "GMA." “I have a 100 percent voting record and if elected president I will continue to defend a women’s right to choose and I will take on those Republican governors all over this country who are trying to restrict and take away that right. What Secretary Clinton did was take things out of context.” More from ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS:

--CLINTON TELLS GREENPEACE ACTIVIST SHE'S ‘SICK OF THE SANDERS CAMPAIGN LYING’: Hillary Clinton was visibly angry at a campaign event yesterday when questioned by an environmental activist about donations to her campaign from the fossil fuel industry. While shaking hands with voters during an event at the State University of New York at Purchase, Greenpeace USA activist Eva Resnick-Day asked the Democratic presidential candidate if she would reject fossil fuel money. The question clearly aggravated Clinton, who immediately snapped back. “I am so sick -- I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I am sick of it,” she said.

--CLINTON KNOCKS SANDERS OVER RESPONSE TO TRUMP’S ABORTION COMMENTS: Also yesterday, Clinton chided Sanders for his response to Donald Trump’s controversial comments on abortion this week, ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ reports. “Last night, Senator Sanders agreed that Donald Trump’s comments were shameful but then he said they were a distraction from, and I quote, 'a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America,’” the Democratic presidential candidate told the crowd of roughly 700 people at an event in Purchase, New York -- prompting boos from some in the crowd.


TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s RYAN STRUYK: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in New York where she has a manufacturing roundtable and an organizing event in Syracuse today. She’s been clashing over fossil fuel industry donations with her rival Bernie Sanders, fresh off record-breaking fundraising numbers from the month of March, who will be in Wisconsin for a town hall and a rally later today – a state he hopes to win big next Tuesday. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, still under fire for his shifting positions on abortion over the last two days, is off the trail today. Yesterday he met with RNC Chair Reince Priebus in Washington, where a source says the goal was to establish regular communication on the convention and general election. Ted Cruz and John Kasich will be in Wisconsin tonight for a local GOP event in Milwaukee tonight ahead of the primary there Tuesday. Heidi Cruz will also spend her morning in Wisconsin. But Kasich, who hit Trump hard over his policy positions yesterday, will spend the early part of his day in Pennsylvania, where many delegates are completely unbound.


THIS WEEK ON “THIS WEEK”: The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, radio host Hugh Hewitt, and Fox News analyst, columnist for The Hill and author of the new book “We the People” Juan Williams.



--FROM THE LEFT… DNC TOUTS NEW ‘5 STAGES OF GRIEF’ VIDEO FOR GOP: From a DNC official: “The Republican Party is approaching their primary day in Wisconsin with Trump as the front-runner and are struggling through the five stages of grief along the way. The DNC is offering some counseling to help the GOP establishment with this realization – from denial to anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – using their own words to do so.” WATCH:

--AND THE RIGHT: RNC RELEASES RESEARCH BRIEF ON CLINTON’S ‘EMPTY JOBS PROMISES TO UPSTATE NEW YORK’: From the memo: “Today, Clinton will tout her manufacturing jobs plan at a roundtable event in Syracuse, New York. Clinton will hope that New Yorker's forget her failure to deliver the jobs she promised while campaigning for Senate in 2000.” READ MORE:



TRUMP SAYS HE COULD HAVE 'MISSPOKEN' ON ABORTION COMMENTS. Donald Trump is seeking to clarify his comments on abortion...again. After saying earlier this week that that women who undergo abortions, if there were a ban on the procedure, should be punished, then releasing a statement reversing that position, now he's admitting that he could have "misspoken" initially, ABC’s CANDACE SMITH reports. Speaking to Fox News host Eric Bolling, he reaffirmed that, if abortions were illegal, it would be the doctor's actions that were illegal. "It could be that I misspoke," he said of the initial comments, adding, "But this was a long, convoluted subject."

A LOOK BACK AT TRUMP’S EVOLVING STANCE ON ABORTION. Donald Trump's position on abortion has been a key area of criticism from his competitors since the start of the presidential race and now it's back in the limelight. The real estate mogul-turned-politician has flip-flopped on the issue over the years. On Wednesday alone, Trump had three different stances on abortion, twice clarifying comments he made earlier in the day that women who undergo abortions, if there were a ban on the procedure, should be punished. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more on the brief history of Trump’s evolving stance on the controversial procedure.

TRUMP’S GROWING PROBLEM WITH WOMEN AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE GOP. Donald Trump's support among women may be on even shakier ground following the series of issues that have come up just in the past week alone. From his campaign manager being charged with simple battery of a female reporter, to his argument with Sen. Ted Cruz about their wives, and now the comments he made on Wednesday -- and then reversed that same day -- about punishing women should they get abortions if the procedure is banned, Trump could be facing potential backlash from a significant portion of voters. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more.

5 TIMES DONALD TRUMP HAS BACKTRACKED HIS POSITION IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS. Donald Trump speaks bluntly, but is also prone to backtracking. In several instances, Trump’s position on certain subjects has evolved or changed -- and fast. Flip-flopping, backtracking and clarifying, of course, are not political moves unique to Trump. His rivals in both parties have done it too. But Trump’s comments this week about abortion have shined a brighter spotlight on the Republican presidential front-runner’s tendency to take a position only to change his stance later. ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI has more.

BEN CARSON: TRUMP NOT A ‘STRAIGHT-DOWN-THE-LINE’ CONSERVATIVE. Ben Carson says Donald Trump is “probably not” a "straight-down-the-line" conservative. But the former Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon, who endorsed Trump after suspending his own presidential campaign, doesn’t see that as a problem and says he’s not “necessarily a conservative either.” “Are all of his beliefs straight-down-the-line conservative? Probably not,” Carson said during an interview on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics" podcast Thursday, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS notes. “But the way I kind of look it at it is anyone who is a thinking individual really shouldn’t be straight-down-the-line anything.” LISTEN to full podcast:

WHAT VOTERS CARE ABOUT IN WISCONSIN AHEAD OF THE PRIMARY. Wisconsin has become an unexpected battleground in the presidential race with Ted Cruz beating Donald Trump by up to 10 points in the polls ahead of the state’s primary on April 5. Marquette University Law School released a poll that surveyed residents on different political issues, ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY notes. When asked about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s job performance, 53 percent did not approve of Walker while 43.2 percent did approve. Professor Barry Burden from the political science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said that Walker qualifies as a “key issue” in the campaign. “He recently endorsed Ted Cruz and has been ridiculed by Donald Trump in debates and campaign speeches,” Burden said of Walker. “Republican voters will decide between Cruz and Trump based in part on what they think about Walker.”

BILL CLINTON SAYS TRUMP’S COMMENTS SHOW REPUBLICANS ‘KEEP PLAYING AROUND’ WITH ISSUE OF ABORTION. Former President Bill Clinton weighed in Wednesday about Donald Trump’s recent remarks on abortion, saying, “I strongly disagree” with the GOP front-runner. Trump said in a pre-taped town hall with MSNBC that “there has to be some form of punishment,” for woman who had an abortion, if abortion were to be banned. Trump added that the punishment would “have to be determined.” Clinton took several pauses to gather his thoughts when asked by ABC News, “What are your thoughts on Donald Trump saying that woman should get a punishment for getting an abortion?” “They keep playing around with the issue and taking the right to choose away from women,” Clinton told ABC’s MATTHEW CLAIBORNE and LISETTE RODRIGUEZ, “Terrible mistake.”



--PIZZA PITFALLS AND CHEESESTEAK MISSTEPS: POLITICAL FOOD FAILS. Gov. John Kasich is just the latest in an ever-growing line of politicians who have earned the ire of some eagle-eyed voters after making a food-related gaffe. Pizza happens to be the source of many political meal missteps, but it isn't the only one. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more on some of the most infamous food fumbles.

--CHRISTIE PUTS TO REST HOW HE EATS M&MS. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended the way he enjoys his M&Ms after a photo of him pouring his bag of chocolates into a box went viral on Twitter. “There’s a bag inside the box, you dope,” Christie said in an interview with WFAN’s Boomer & Carton. ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ reports the New Jersey radio personalities poked fun at the governor saying, “Why would you go bag-to-box? Just eat ‘em out of the bag!” Christie was photographed at Notre Dame’s men basketball game in Philadelphia.



@SopanDeb: These @pewresearch numbers seem to show that the GOP is really souring on Trump.

@Peggynoonannyc: Trump’s Mess Has Become His Message by @peggynoonannyc … via WSJ

@continetti: Conservatism may be on its heels, the GOP may be broken, but we can still save the country. My column. …

@anniekarni: De Blasio has been a distracting Clinton surrogate. But she's working on a joint event w/him before NY primary. …

@matthewjdowd: daily reading "the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone" I want to examine who I reject in a day, & realize their value