They are women, hear Trump roar

Donald Trump shows no worries that belittling Hillary Clinton for playing “the women’s card” could hurt him.

The day after saying “if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote,” he got on the phone with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and took the line of attack further.

“I haven’t quite recovered, it’s early in the morning, from her shouting that message,” Trump said. “And I know a lot of people would say you can’t say that about a woman because, of course, a woman doesn’t shout. But the way she shouted that message ... I guess I’ll have to get used to a lot of that over the next four or five months.” (Video here.)

It’s similar to his lament in August, when Trump tweeted, “I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!” (He also criticized “that face.”)

Trump was right about Fiorina’s campaign — she dropped out of the GOP primary race in February — but she returned to the fray Wednesday as Ted Cruz’s declared running mate.

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Trump’s hands, whose size has been an improbable debate topic, are indisputably large enough to cover his ears. Or open a bottle of aspirin.

Cruz’s Hail Carly pass

Desperate to stay in the game after Trump crowned himself the “presumptive” Republican nominee, Cruz made what analysts called a presumptuous move — naming Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, as his vice-presidential choice.

Introducing Fiorina at a rally in Indiana, Cruz contended his gambit would help unite Republicans, Newsday’s Yancey Roy reports. Cruz’s only hope is a contested convention if Trump is held short of a first-ballot majority.

Indiana’s primary on Tuesday represents the best chance — and perhaps the last chance — for the “Stop Trump” forces, writes Roy.

After hearing of Cruz’s plan, Trump said on “Fox & Friends”: “He’s got no path to victory, and he’s naming a vice presidential candidate. I guess that’s cute.”

Which is not to suggest for a moment that Trump has cornered the market on hating Cruz.

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner is quoted in the Stanford Daily as calling the Texas senator "Lucifer in the flesh" and saying, "I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

The Takeaway

One of the more surprising aspects of the widely-expected general-election contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is the idea that she comes off as more status-quo, centrist and conservative than the front-running Republican.

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So this scramble for post-primary position offers Trump several options, Dan Janison writes.

LI donor’s two horses in race

Long Island millionaire hedge fund executive Robert Mercer must be smiling, writes Newsday’s Tom Brune: The two Republicans he has backed are now the Cruz-Fiorina team.

Mercer, co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies in East Setauket, has poured $13 million into a super PAC that favors Cruz and had it contribute $500,000 to another super PAC that supported Fiorina’s failed presidential candidacy.

The world according to Trump

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Trump laid out his “America first” foreign policy vision in a speech formal in tone but fuzzy on details, setting goals that seemed contradictory. The United States should be both a “consistent” and “unpredictable” force in the world, he said.

He ripped President Barack Obama both for major decisions, such as the Iran nuclear deal, and a long-forgotten one — Obama’s trip seven years ago to Copenhagen to push Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which failed.

“We were laughed at all over the world,” Trump said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest and others mocked Trump for mispronouncing Tanzania. To which Newt Gingrich harrumphed on Twitter: “He said the most important word correctly: America.”

Bernie’s got issues

Bernie Sanders delivered his usual fiery pitch at an Indiana rally Wednesday and vowed to keep up his fight even as his chances of winning the Democratic nomination grow dimmer.

Sanders told his supporters that their agenda can live on, even if he his candidacy does not: “We intend to win every delegate we can, so that when we go to Philadelphia in July we are going to have the votes to put together the strongest progressive agenda that any political party has ever seen.”

Sanders also plans to lay off “hundreds” of campaign staffers across the country and focus much of his remaining effort on winning California.

Feeling the after-Bern

The billionaire Trump said he is finding inspiration from the socialist Sanders on how to run against Clinton.

“I’m going to be taking a lot of things Bernie said and using them,” Trump said during the “Morning Joe” interview. He planned to mine Sanders’ speeches “and get some very good material,” such as a line Trump paraphrased as: “She’s got bad judgment.”

“When he said ‘bad judgment,’ I said ‘sound bite.’ ”

What else is happening:

  • Trump has now won more than 10 million primary votes — more than Mitt Romney in the entire 2012 primary season — and is on pace to set a record, Politico says ...
  • The largest Hispanic business group backed Clinton and John Kasich -- and slammed Trump, according to the Washington Post (pay site). 
  • Sarah Palin used Facebook to help pile on Cruz for his basketball gaffe.
  • “Stop Trump” forces thought Pennsylvania’s rules could work in their favor, but most of the 54 unpledged GOP delegates are poised to support Trump, according to a Washington Post analysis ...
  • In the middle of her speech Wednesday, Fiorina paused to sing a made-up song to Cruz’s daughters ...
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said he expects the Republican nominee will be “comfortable” with the policy proposals he will push in Congress ...
  • It’s not a good sign for the life expectancy of Kasich’s campaign when CNN posts a highlight reel of his months on the stump ...
  • Kasich’s campaign, putting the best spin on Tuesday’s results, emailed: “In five states last night, we finished second and ahead of Cruz in four of them” ...