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Your politics briefing: GOP frustration with Trump grows

Puerto Rico primary voters on Sunday, June 5,

Puerto Rico primary voters on Sunday, June 5, 2016, are expected to put Hillary Clinton closer to her goal of being the Democratic presidential candidate. Credit: AP / Carlos Giusti

GOP: Get off judge’s case

Newt Gingrich was quicker than many Washington GOP veterans to warm to Donald Trump as the apparent nominee. That makes all the more striking his rebuke, alongside those of other Republicans, of Trump’s complaints about a “Mexican” judge.

“This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. I think it’s inexcusable,” Gingrich, a past House speaker, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Instead of the shift in tone his party allies have yearned for, Trump has spent much of the past week — and talk show appearances Sunday — airing grudges and grievances, including repeated attacks against the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit that accuses Trump University of fleecing students.

The businessman contends that Indiana-born Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s “heritage” — his Mexican-immigrant parentage — makes him “a hater of Donald Trump” who is advocating building a wall on the border.

Curiel “is an American. Period,” said Gingrich. “When you come to America, you get to become an American, and Trump, who has grandparents who came to the U.S., should understand this as much as anybody,” he said. (Video here.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “I couldn’t disagree more” with Trump’s attack on the judge and is “concerned about the Hispanic vote” for Republicans.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on “ABC’s This Week” that he did not “condone the comments.” Speaking more broadly about Trump’s tone, Corker said he “is going to have to change. ... This campaign has to evolve.”

All three still support Trump for president.

Trump’s don’t-judge-me list

Trump was asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” if would have the same problem with a Muslim judge in light of his call for a temporary ban on letting Muslims into the U.S.

“It’s possible, yes. Yeah. That would be possible, absolutely,” Trump responded.

The take-away: Trump and Latinos

Trump’s expressions of hostility toward Hispanics didn’t begin or end with the judge in the California Trump University case. It’s a fixed pattern, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Clinton close to finish line

Hillary Clinton may be just about a dozen or two delegates away from clinching the Democratic nomination once the votes are counted in Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary.

Clinton started 60 delegates shy, and she stood a chance of getting most of the 60 delegates up for grabs on the island.

The outcome of the California Democratic primary Tuesday is still too close to predict, with Clinton leading Sanders just 49% to 47% among likely voters in a CBS News poll. In New Jersey, the poll shows Clinton way ahead, 61% to 34%.

But there’s no doubt the June 7 primaries will put Clinton over the top in the Democratic delegate hunt. If Clinton takes just half of the 142 delegates at stake in New Jersey, that will do it, writes Newsday’s Yancey Roy,

See the delegate tracker here.

Bernie’s wudda cudda shudda

Sanders could have beaten Clinton, but his campaign made some early mistakes that could not be overcome. The biggest? Not realizing that he actually could win and be more than a vehicle for protest votes.

That’s the conclusion of a Washington Post not-quite-post-mortem of his campaign, based on interviews with the candidate, his advisers, allies and other Democrats.

Libya do-over deja vu

Trump has blasted Clinton and President Barack Obama for the 2011 intervention in Libya and said earlier this year that “We would be so much better off” if Moammar Gadhafi still ruled.

That was at odds with his position in a video he made in 2011, urging the U.S. “on a humanitarian basis, immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly.” And that was the position he returned to on “Face the Nation,” saying he would have authorized a “surgical” strike.

What else is happening:

  • Clinton said she still has not been contacted by the FBI for questioning in the email probe, and “I would like to do that sooner instead of later and get this matter wrapped up and behind us”...
  • Sanders attacked the Clinton Foundation for collecting “many millions of dollars from foreign governments ... which are dictatorships” while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state...
  • David French, the National Review writer whom some conservatives considered a good third-party candidate, says he won't jump in.... 
  • Cornel West, introducing Sanders at a rally, reacted to Bill Clinton's prediction that the Vermont senator's campaign will be "toast" come Tuesday. West said of the ex-president:"Too much arrogance, too much vindictiveness." 
  • Past efforts to force judges to recuse themselves on the basis of their ethnicity have not gone well, and that’s a likely reason Trump’s lawyers haven’t tried, law professor Garrett Epps writes in The Atlantic...
  • A Washington Post examination of Trump University found that while attendees were told they could get rich quick, the venture was mostly devoted to enriching those who ran it....
  • Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he was saddened by Democratic voices critical of Israel. He was alluding to Sanders and his appointments to the party’s platform-writing committee, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports....
  • GOP consultant Cheri Jacobus, who has a pending defamation suit against Trump, tweeted: “GOP is now the abused wife making excuses for her husband, covering up the bruises, telling herself he’ll change.” ...
  • Some of the Republican Party’s potential 2020 contenders are already laying groundwork, Politico reports...
  • Trump's tweet on Muhammad Ali drove new allegations of hypocrisy against the candidate...
  • Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina became the first House candidate backed by Trump, who recorded a robo-call for her.  She's opposed by some conservative activists.

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