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Snapshots: Sanders reaches out to black leaders

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making an impassioned case to a New York gathering of black leaders that he’s the Democrat who can best address the nation’s problems and defeat Republican Donald Trump.

Sanders is speaking Thursday to the National Action Network conference led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. The meeting comes hours before a Democratic presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.

Sanders is outlining a litany of policy proposals on jobs, education and criminal justice. He says if people think the issues will be addressed by “establishment politics and establishment economics, you’ve got a very good candidate to vote for but it’s not Bernie Sanders.”

Kasich campaign traces a tricky path to GOP prize

Concord, N.H. — John Kasich won’t come close to securing enough delegates for the Republican nomination before this summer’s convention. He won’t control the powerful rules committee, either — a critical tool in securing favorable terrain in Cleveland.

No matter, say his advisers, who argue that the Ohio governor can capture the nomination by persuading delegates to switch allegiance from Donald Trump or Ted Cruz should a winner not emerge on the first or second ballot.

“The biggest thing of all is what I call the delegate chase — it’s romancing the people after they’ve been elected,” said Charlie Black, a veteran Republican operative helping Kasich’s campaign. He and others argue that electability and a record of governing will be important to the longtime party members and insiders who make up a solid portion of the convention delegates and don’t want to see Republican candidates nationwide crushed in November.

Others say such hopes are a pipe dream. Kasich has fewer than 150 delegates — it takes 1,237 to get the nomination — and has won only his home state of Ohio.

“If John Kasich’s strategy is to hope and pray that longtime party establishment insiders are going to bail him out, I think he’s delusional,” said Ryan Williams, a GOP consultant who worked for Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush but is now unaffiliated with a presidential campaign.

Cruz: Bathroom access law ‘reasonable’

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he supports the ability of North Carolina lawmakers to pass a law restricting bathroom access for gay and transgender people.

Cruz said Thursday during taping of a MSNBC town hall in Buffalo, New York, that states can pass such laws because “men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls.” Cruz says, “That is a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make.”

But Cruz would not comment on an executive order signed by North Carolina’s governor “to protect privacy and equality” for many state workers “to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.” Cruz says he isn’t familiar with the details of what was signed.

North Carolina has faced a national backlash from gay rights groups, entertainers and business leaders who say the law unfairly targets gay and lesbian people.