The Note: Cruz Unloads on Trump
— -- NOTABLES
--CRUZ STANDS BY ‘NEW YORK VALUES’ REMARKS: Ted Cruz may be back in New York, but he is not backing down from his depiction of "New York" values. In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Ted Cruz laughed off rival Donald Trump saying that he can't imagine any New Yorker voting for Cruz. Trump recently told the Wall Street Journal that Cruz doesn't like New Yorkers and is mocking them. In January, Cruz first used the term "New York" values as a way to lob an insult at Trump. "Let me be very clear. The people that I was talking about are the liberal New York Democrats who have hammered this state. It is people like Mayor Bill de Blasio. It is people like Governor Cuomo," Cruz said. According to ABC’s JESSICA HOPPER, Cruz frequently notes on the campaign trail that Trump has donated to Democratic politicians like de Blasio, Cuomo and Hillary Clinton. http://abcn.ws/1oDAJM9
--AND HITS TRUMP’S BUSINESS RECORD: The Texas senator also seems ready to take his attack on Trump’s values to an attack on the real estate mogul’s business record. "Republicans, we want to win,” Cruz said. “We want to beat Hillary. The last thing we want is to nominate someone like Donald Trump, who, over and over again, has allegations of fraud against him, has litigation. Last thing we want is to nominate someone who's going to be on the witness stand in October and November as much as Hillary Clinton.” Cruz referenced Trump University, a shuttered business venture for Trump that has been the source of a class-action lawsuit. “The Trump University litigation that he defrauded thousands of people with a fake university, took their money, scammed them, that's scheduled to go to trial this summer,” Cruz said. http://abcn.ws/1UYYcWy
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: This year’s Democratic primary race was a slow-developing affair, a friendly contest between three, and then two, candidates with enough mutual respect to not even register on the campaign Richter scale that’s been recalibrated by the Republican candidates just about every week. That has now changed, formally and officially, and all it took was one day of campaigning in the run-up to New York. “I don’t believe that she is qualified” to be president, Bernie Sanders declared, ostensibly responding to a similar charge leveled by Hillary Clinton at Sanders. Clinton has said no such thing, and how careful she’s been in not saying it suggests that she has strongly not wanted to go there. But now that Sanders has gone there, with his campaign enumerating ways he believes her not to be qualified, there’s no going back. These kinds of assertions are extremely difficult to recant or recast. As a message to the Sanders voters who would be hard enough for Clinton to attract anyway, it’s a signal to stay strong for Sanders – and maybe to stay out of the process if Clinton is instead the nominee.
YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and PAOLA CHAVEZ
TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAUNCHING REGULAR CAPITOL HILL MEETINGS NEXT WEEK. The Trump campaign is planning a meeting on Capitol Hill next week with lawmakers who have endorsed the Republican presidential front-runner, in what will be the first in a series of regular sessions as the campaign begins to expand its Washington, D.C. operation, sources tell ABC News. One source described the congressional outreach effort as “the natural growth of the campaign” leading into the general election, despite a recent string of setbacks, including the Wisconsin primary. The purpose of the meetings, which are still in the planning stages, will be for the campaign to begin to listen and learn about concerns members of Congress have, along with discussion of strategy to court uncommitted Republican lawmakers, as the New York businessman works to lock up the GOP nomination ahead of the convention this summer, ABC’s KATHERINE FAULDERS and BENJAMIN SIEGEL report. http://abcn.ws/23iH92U
WHAT WE KNOW (AND DON’T KNOW) ABOUT A CONTESTED CONVENTION. Sen. Ted Cruz's win in Wisconsin Tuesday night over Republican front-runner Donald Trump increases the possibility of a contested convention -- a little-used process where no candidate has demonstrated support from a majority of delegates going into the convention. Because of the percentage of delegates that Trump, Cruz and Gov. John Kasich would need to win moving forward -- at least 60 percent for the real estate mogul and more for the others -- things could get interesting and possibly confusing in Cleveland this summer. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and RYAN STRUYK have more. http://abcn.ws/1qsM8jK
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES GETTING IN A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND AHEAD OF NEXT PRIMARY. It's no accident that the New York primary is going to be a bigger deal in this presidential election than in years prior. As all five remaining candidates turn their attention eastward after the Wisconsin primary Tuesday night, the style and locations of events are going to be different than they have in the past. That's a result of a change to the state's primary rules, a spokeswoman for the New York Republican State Committee told ABC News. The chairmen of the state's two major party groups, Republican Chairman Ed Cox and Democratic Chairman David Patterson, worked together to set a new date, April 19, New York Republican State Committee spokeswoman Jessica Proud said. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more. http://abcn.ws/1N9gWKJ
TRUMP’S LOSS IN WISCONSIN COULD MARK A TURNING POINT. Donald Trump opted to go into attack mode rather than lick his wounds after the latest primary challenge. The real estate mogul suffered a loss in Wisconsin to Sen. Ted Cruz in the Tuesday night primary with a bigger gap than anticipated. A state poll a week before the primary had Cruz beating Trump by 10 points, but the final total came out closer to a 13-point gap between the two. "He has to figure out how does he come back from a big loss like that," ABC News political analyst Matt Dowd said on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. ABC News estimates that Trump was only awarded six of the 42 delegates available in Wisconsin; Cruz was awarded 36 delegates. The upshot is that speculation about a possible contested convention becomes more real, ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY writes. http://abcn.ws/1SQjJwJ
CLINTON QUESTIONS WHETHER BERNIE SANDERS IS A DEMOCRAT: ‘I’M NOT EVEN SURE HE IS ONE’. Hillary Clinton questioned Bernie Sanders’ loyalty to the Democratic Party in an interview on the Politico podcast "Off Message," saying she’s not even sure her Democratic presidential opponent is a Democrat. “He’s a relatively new Democrat,” Clinton said. “I’m not even sure he is one. He's running as one. So I don't know quite how to characterize him. I'll leave that to him.” ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and PAOLA CHAVEZ note Clinton has increasingly been using this line of attack in the past few days. In an interview on "Morning Joe" Wednesday, Clinton said she was unsure if Sanders should be running against her, because “he himself doesn’t consider himself to be a Democrat.” http://abcn.ws/1oCkdMp
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LEGALITIES OF WOOING DELEGATES IN A CONTESTED REPUBLICAN CONVENTION. With a contested convention looking more likely, we asked top legal experts whether Republican candidates can give gifts or horse-trade with the delegates who may ultimately pick the nominee at this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Experts agree that candidates can pay a delegate’s convention expenses, including airfare, hotel, parties and meals. These can be lavish, since there are no specific rules limiting this, but giving money or tangible gifts in exchange for votes could violate state bribery laws, which vary across the country. ABC’s LAUREN PEARLE has more. http://abcn.ws/1qt2x7P
@chrisdonovan: Btw, if Sanders feels you're not qualified to be POTUS if u got Wall St $ thru Super PAC or supported Panama Free Trade, what about Obama?
@anniekarni: In interview, @taddevine points to this headline as reason why Bernie's "not qualified" comment was only defense: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/04/06/clinton-questions-whether-sanders-is-qualified-to-be-president/ …
@jaketapper: Have yet to hear a name of non-candidate to unite GOP at convention who holds Trump-like positions on trade and immigration.
@MrWillRitter: If you're starting your race w/ 100% name ID + you're willing to abandon simple decency and facts for free media attn, you don't need ads.
@nytpolitics: Fact Check: Hillary Clinton on Bernie Sanders's views on the Paris climate accord http://nyti.ms/1RRlKXb