Mitt Romney to Join John Kasich at Two Campaign Stops

Mitt Romney on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast” earlier this month.Credit Richard Drew/Associated Press

HANOVERTON, Ohio — Mitt Romney, taking another step to counter Donald J. Trump, will join Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on Monday for two campaign stops as Mr. Kasich tries to win his home state.

The Ohio primary on Tuesday, a winner-take-all contest with 66 delegates, is a critical moment in the effort by Mr. Romney and other Republicans to stop Mr. Trump. Two recent polls have given Mr. Kasich an edge over Mr. Trump, but the contest is expected to be close.

Mr. Romney, who earlier this month denounced Mr. Trump, has suggested that voters support whichever candidate is the strongest alternative to Mr. Trump in their state. He is not expected to endorse Mr. Kasich when they appear together on Monday. Mr. Kasich has conceded that his campaign will have to end if he loses Ohio.

Last week, Mr. Romney recorded phone messages for Mr. Kasich and for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Florida’s primary is also on Tuesday, though Mr. Rubio has trailed Mr. Trump by a large margin there.

Mr. Kasich’s campaign said that Mr. Romney would join Mr. Kasich for events in North Canton and Westerville, which is near Mr. Kasich’s home in the Columbus area.

Ashley Parker contributed reporting from Boca Raton, Fla.

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‘You Have to Brand People,’ Donald Trump Says

Donald J. Trump campaigned in Boca Raton, Fla., on Sunday.Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Trump University may be closed and embroiled in controversy, but Donald J. Trump offered his fans a free lesson in branding Sunday evening at an outdoor rally here.

As he began to talk about two of his remaining Republican rivals — Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida — Mr. Trump quickly transitioned to his favored nicknames for the two men.

“Lyin’ Ted,” he said, before spelling it out, letter by letter, for the crowd: “L-Y-I-N-apostrophe.”

“We can’t say it the right way,” he explained. “We’ve got to go — Lyin’! Lyin’ Ted!”

Turning his attention to Mr. Rubio, whom he calls “Little Marco,” Mr. Trump spelled out his preferred nickname: “L-I-D-D-L-E. Liddle, Liddle, Liddle Marco.”

“You know, you have to brand people a certain way when they’re your opponents,” Mr. Trump said, before relishing in perhaps his most devastating description of this election cycle — calling Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, “low energy.”

“Like Jeb Bush — we call him low energy, low energy,” he continued. “And I don’t care talking badly about him. He spent $29 million in negatives on me, $29 million. Can you believe it? Of other people’s money. Of his lobbyist and his special interest money.”

Finally, Mr. Trump concluded his education interlude.

“But you’ve got to brand people,” he said, going on the describe the original Republican field. “So we started off with 17 people who were up on this stage, and what the hell did I know about this stuff? I’ve never done this before, right? So we start off with 17 people, now we’re down to four. Bush was favored, then Walker was favored, then another one was favored, they’re all favored.”

“Now,” he finished with a flourish, as the crowd roared, “Trump is favored.”

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Hillary Clinton Stops Apologizing and Starts to Sprint

Hillary Clinton spoke at a church in Highland Hills, Ohio, on Sunday in a bid to shore up support with African-American voters.Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

HIGHLAND HILLS, Ohio — Hillary Clinton began the final sprint to Tuesday’s nominating contests in five states with a visit to church here on Sunday. She had spent the previous few days apologizing for wrongly saying that Nancy Reagan had “started a national conversation” about HIV/AIDS during the administration of her husband, President Ronald Reagan.

At the Mount Zion Fellowship, a predominantly African-American church outside Cleveland, Mrs. Clinton stressed her resilience to congregants on Sunday by sharing a favorite saying of Eleanor Roosevelt.

“A woman is like a tea bag,” Mrs. Clinton said. “You don’t know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.”

The church’s followers represented a key constituency for Mrs. Clinton as she seeks to shore up support among minority voters ahead of Tuesday’s contests, hoping her strength among African-Americans can counter inroads Senator Bernie Sanders has made with young voters and working-class whites.

Clinton aides predict tight races in the Midwestern states where economically struggling voters have gravitated to the populist pitch of Mr. Sanders. But even if she loses in the Rust Belt, they see tremendous upside in Florida and North Carolina, where black, Latino and older voters are expected on Tuesday to give Mrs. Clinton a healthy edge in the race for delegates.

“Even if he won in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois,” Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, said. “We would still have more delegates on the 15th because of their performance in delegate-rich Florida and North Carolina.”

On Monday, Mrs. Clinton will campaign in Chicago and Springfield, Ill., followed by a get-out-the-vote rally in Charlotte, N.C.

As Mr. Sanders runs ads attacking Mrs. Clinton’s positions on global trade deals that many voters blame for widespread job losses, Mrs. Clinton has emphasized her proposals to bring jobs back to the United States and has criticized Mr. Sanders for not presenting specific plans to do the same.

Speaking to a crowd of about 500 people at M7 Technologies, a factory in Youngstown, Ohio, on Saturday night, Mrs. Clinton vowed to end steel dumping by China and other nations, a factor that had hit the economy in the state’s Mahoning Valley area.

“I have always been committed to bringing back manufacturing,” she said. “And I’m the only candidate, on either side, who actually has a plan to do that.”

On Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Clinton stopped in at the 8 Sisters Bakery in Marion, Ohio. “I really want to have a conversation,” she told a dozen potential voters seated at wooden tables near a display of pastries.

“I’m very interested in hearing from each of you about your lives,” Mrs. Clinton said. “What you think is working, your challenges, how the economy is going or not going, what needs to be done to create more opportunities in Marion and around it.”

Donald Trump Returns to Illinois and Gets a Friendlier Welcome

Trump supporters during a campaign event for in Bloomington, Ill., on Sunday.Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Donald J. Trump returned to Illinois on Sunday morning less than 48 hours after protesters and security concerns prompted him to call off a rally in Chicago.

The audience at the airplane hangar where Mr. Trump spoke in Bloomington was far different, and friendlier, than the contentious scene on Friday. Mr. Trump told supporters that he felt bad for those who had waited hours to hear him speak in Chicago, but said the decision to call off that rally had been prudent because of a “massive crowd” that included many protesters.

“They all showed up at the same time,” Mr. Trump told his audience in Bloomington, a city more than 100 miles southwest of Chicago that is predominantly white. “It was totally organized. Troublemakers, troublemakers.”

A handful of protesters, including one who tore apart a campaign sign, also sought to disrupt Sunday’s rally, but with varied success. Mr. Trump ignored most of the demonstrators and urged his supporters to do the same, though he did say “get ‘em out of here” a few times.

“We all want peace,” Mr. Trump said later in his speech. “We don’t want trouble.”

The Bloomington rally, which comes ahead of the state’s primary election on Tuesday, was the first of three scheduled campaign stops for Mr. Trump on Sunday. His plane landed here several hours after supporters started lining up in the rain to hear him speak.

Nerijus Meskauskas, who wore a “Make America Great Again!” baseball cap to the Bloomington event, said he had also attended the Chicago rally and was confronted by angry protesters.

“It was clearly unsafe,” said Mr. Meskauskas, 22, who lives in the suburbs outside Chicago. Mr. Meskauskas said he planned to vote for Mr. Trump because “a lot of the stuff he says is the same stuff I say,” particularly on immigration.

Before the rally, Cydney Williams, 54, of Bloomington, said immigration was also her “main issue,” and that she was attracted to Mr. Trump’s stance. Ms. Williams, who wore a star-spangled scarf and planned to vote for Mr. Trump, said Friday’s episode in Chicago had not affected her decision to attend the Bloomington rally. “I’m not here to pick a battle,” she said.

Inside, Mr. Trump’s references to the border wall and trade deficits received some of the most enthusiastic applause from the large crowd. At one point, Mr. Trump brought a man to the stage who said he immigrated to America legally as a child and supported Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump tied illegal immigration and trade deficits to the country’s economic problems, and made frequent reference to Illinois’s particularly dire fiscal situation.

“You’re losing too fast,” Mr. Trump told the crowd, adding that “I’ll get it fixed.”

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John Boehner Endorses Fellow Ohioan John Kasich

John Boehner, the former speaker of the House, shown on Capitol Hill in June, endorsed Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on Saturday.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

WEST CHESTER, Ohio – On Saturday afternoon, John Boehner, the former speaker of the House, posted an image of himself on Instagram pushing a lawnmower and boasting, “My first cut of the year. My grass is perfect!!!!”

That evening, in one of his few public appearances since he resigned from Congress under pressure last year, Mr. Boehner endorsed Gov. John Kasich in Ohio’s Republican primary on Tuesday.

In a low-key speech to the Republican Party of Butler County, meeting here in his hometown, Mr. Boehner avoided any mention of the front-runner for the nomination, Donald J. Trump, nor did he allude to the anti-establishment uprising roiling the party nationally or in Ohio, where Mr. Kasich, despite his popularity, is fighting for his political life.

“I’m not really interested in getting in the middle of all this,’’ Mr. Boehner said. He went on to say that he had voted for Mr. Kasich, casting an early ballot, based on their years of friendship, including 18 years overlapping in Congress.

Mr. Kasich, a two-term governor who enjoys high approval ratings in Ohio, has called out nearly the entire Republican apparatus in the state to support his candidacy.

Mr. Boehner has kept a low profile since he stunned Republicans last year by announcing he would step down from the House, averting a possible government shutdown and breaking with elements of his party that rejected any deals with Democrats.

Paradoxically, the no-compromise wing of the Republican Party helped fuel the rise of Mr. Trump, whose supporters believe that only a total Washington outsider can end government dysfunction.

Deborah McGillvary, who attended a Trump rally on Saturday outside Dayton, said Mr. Boehner had disappointed her. “I think he became very weak in his attempt to try to pacify everybody,’’ she said. “He just let down the entire Republican Party.’’

The race to succeed Mr. Boehner in Ohio’s eighth district, which includes suburban Cincinnati and rural communities, has more than a dozen candidates who will be on the primary ballot on March 15. They represent Tea Party and other anti-establishment factions that undermined Mr. Boehner’s leadership, and outside money is pouring in.

Mr. Boehner, who cracked jokes about mispronunciations of his name and his well-known tendency to shed sentimental tears, sounded deeply relieved to be out of the fray.

“I have no regrets about how I retired,’’ he said. “Every day I’m grateful that I’m not there.’’

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Donald Trump Says He May Pay Legal Fees of Accused Attacker From Rally

Donald J. Trump waited as a protester was removed during a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., last week.Credit Travis Dove for The New York Times

Donald J. Trump said on Sunday that he would look into paying the legal fees of a man who was accused of sucker-punching a protester at one of Mr. Trump’s rallies last week, directly contradicting his claim that he does not condone violence by his backers.

The man, John McGraw of Linden, N.C., was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct. After the incident in Fayetteville, N.C., Mr. McGraw said that next time he might kill the protester, who he said was not acting like an American.

Mr. Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, defended Mr. McGraw in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday, claiming that the protester was taunting him and making crude gestures. While he said he did not want to see violence at his events, Mr. Trump said that the man who threw the punch might have gotten carried away but that he “obviously loves the country.”


Black Protester Punched at Trump Rally

Amateur video shows a white Donald J. Trump supporter in a cowboy hat punching a black protester in the face as he was led out of a rally in Fayetteville, N.C.

By REUTERS on Publish Date March 10, 2016. Photo by Travis Dove for The New York Times.

Mr. Trump has regularly said at his rallies that his supporters should actively silence protesters, and he has promised to pay their legal fees if they become too aggressive. Asked if he planned to keep that promise for Mr. McGraw, Mr. Trump said that he did.

“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” Mr. Trump said.

Anger has been boiling over at Mr. Trump’s rallies over the last week. On Saturday, a protester jumped over a barrier and rushed the stage where Mr. Trump was speaking. The man was tackled by Secret Service agents and taken away.

Later on Saturday, Mr. Trump posted a tweet with a video, set to Arabic music, showing someone who appeared to be the stage-rusher dragging an American flag. Mr. Trump accused the man of having ties to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The video was apparently fake, but Mr. Trump insisted on Sunday that it raised questions about the protester.

“Supposedly, there was chatter about ISIS,” Mr. Trump said. “All I know is what’s on the internet.”

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Police Use Pepper Spray to Disperse Protesters Outside Trump Rally in Kansas City

Demonstrators at a Trump campaign rally in Kansas City, Mo.Credit Nati Harnik/Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The police used pepper spray twice to disperse protesters outside Donald J. Trump’s rally here Saturday night, just 24 hours after confrontations between his supporters and demonstrators led to the cancellation of a Chicago event.

Cellphone video posted on social media appeared to show as many as four cans of spray being used at one point as protesters confronted police officers on foot and on horseback.

Andrea Tunks, 19, said she and several other protesters had locked arms and faced down two police horses and numerous officers in front of the theater where the rally took place.

She said she believed the police were preparing to have the horses walk toward them. At that point, she said, she was sprayed.

Darin Snapp, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department, said officers used pepper spray outside Mr. Trump’s rally in an effort to “prevent protesters from taking over the street in an attempt to fight with rally supporters.”

He said no one was injured outside the rally, but two people were arrested — one on charges of throwing a bottle at the theater, and the other on a disorderly conduct charge for his “refusal to stay out of the street.”

The police department and its chief also defended use of the spray on Twitter.

During the event, inside a grand old theater with inlaid carvings, a chandelier, a mezzanine and upper deck, Mr. Trump, notably hoarse, called on the police to arrest people who were merely demonstrating. He drew some of the audience’s loudest cheers when he pledged, “I’ll file whatever charges you want.”

The police escorted people out throughout the event, though they did not appear to arrest anyone for just speaking up.

At one point Mr. Trump held up the protesters as examples of the kind of people his campaign was massed against: “It’s all a little group that wants free lunch.”

He also took a shot at another favorite target, the news media: “Look at those cameras, how they bend around,” he said, as a group of protesters was led off through an aisle, past the jeering crowd, early in the rally. “They’ll do anything for a shot. That’s why I love the protesters. The only way we find out how many people are in these places is through the protesters.”

One protester, Emerson Smith, 21, said he and several others had been harassed by security personnel before the event. Security workers at Mr. Trump’s events have tried to identify potential protesters and keep them from entering. On Friday night, however, hundreds of demonstrators made it into an arena in Chicago where their confrontations with Trump supporters led to the cancellation of the event.

Mr. Smith and his fellow protesters got in Saturday night, and when they spoke up, they tried to hold on to a railing as security workers came to take them away.

He said he believed they were destined for a “back room” but were instead taken out through the front door and not arrested.

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Donald Trump Accuses Protester of ISIS Ties Based on Dubious Video

Donald J. Trump announced from the stage at a rally in Kansas City, Mo., that a man who had charged him at an event earlier Saturday was “probably” linked to the Islamic State, appearing to base his statement on an Internet video that has been described as a hoax.

“This was a guy that was looking to do harm,” Mr. Trump said at his last event of the day. “It was probably ISIS or ISIS-related, can you believe it?”

He added that “my people found this” on the Internet, and just before the rally he posted it on Twitter.

Earlier Saturday, in Dayton, Ohio, a man jumped a barrier and rushed toward the stage, causing a brief scare as Secret Service agents surrounded Mr. Trump. The man was tackled and taken away.

Later, a video surfaced purporting to show the same man at a protest months ago. That video was taken and overlaid with Arabic text and music, but it appears to have been done as a hoax. No government agency has suggested that the man was connected to terrorism.

But that did not stop Mr. Trump from insisting that there was a more sinister threat.

“Certainly he’s not in love with our country, that I can tell you,” he said.

Mr. Trump said that in the future he would press charges against protesters to deter them because “their lives are going to be ruined, and they’ll know their lives are going to be ruined.”

Demonstrating his point later, when a woman shouted during the rally, he called out, “Arrest her. Arrest her.” (It was unclear if she was arrested.)

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William Daley of Chicago Political Clan Wonders About Donald Trump’s Choice of Venues

Supporters of Donald J. Trump and protesters clashed at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion on Friday.Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times

William M. Daley, a scion of the storied Daley political clan of Illinois, said he was not surprised that protests against Donald J. Trump before his Chicago rally got so out of hand that Mr. Trump canceled it before even taking the stage.

And Mr. Daley wondered why the venue was selected in the first place.

Mr. Daley, a former chief of staff to President Obama and a son of the late Richard J. Daley, the longtime mayor of Chicago, pointed out in an interview on Saturday that the University of Illinois at Chicago, where the rally was to be held, has one of the most diverse student bodies of any university in the country.

It has 17,000 undergraduate students, many of whom come from low-income families. Roughly a quarter are Hispanic, 8 percent are black and 25 percent are Asian. Mr. Daley’s father, who was mayor during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that was marred by violence, had championed the creation of the campus.

Mr. Daley wondered aloud whether the Trump campaign had picked the site to provoke a reaction. “Whoever picked that location knew what they were doing as far as poking that sleeping dog there,” Mr. Daley said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump did not respond to questions about Mr. Daley’s thoughts on the location. It was not the first school that Mr. Trump has chosen for a rally; he has held others at colleges and universities over many months.

But Chicago has a history of racial clashes and protests, Mr. Daley pointed out. There has been deep distrust between black residents and the police after a video released last year showed Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, being shot 16 times by a police officer.

If anything, Mr. Daley said, it should have occurred to Mr. Trump’s campaign that the venue could be a crucible for problems.

Mr. Trump abruptly canceled his rally on Friday night, citing concerns of the Chicago Police Department. Officials with the Police Department denied having given such advice, saying the campaign chose to do it. But for days, it had been reported in the news media and on social media that thousands of people were signing petitions against Mr. Trump’s appearance and planning major disruptions of his speech.

Mr. Trump’s allies suggest he has been treated unfairly by protesters who have gone to his rallies with the intention of stopping him from speaking and creating scenarios in which there could be violent clashes.

Mr. Daley’s view is different. He argued that many people are contributing to what is taking place, chief among them Mr. Trump.

“I don’t think he’s trying to fuel the people that don’t agree with him; he’s trying to fuel the people that agree with him,” Mr. Daley said. “You can’t do that in a vacuum.”

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Trump Supporter Who Made Nazi Salute Explains Why She Made the Gesture

The photo, taken outside the arena where Donald J. Trump’s appearance had just been canceled on Friday in Chicago, circulated far and wide: A woman in a Donald Trump T-shirt, eyes locked with a protester, her right arm raised skyward, her palm faced down.

It did not take a second glance to understand that she was making a Nazi salute. Many took the photo, published by The Chicago Tribune, as a sign of the support Mr. Trump has engendered from extremists. Others surmised that it was maybe a Bernie Sanders supporter in disguise.

But in an interview on Saturday from her home in Yorkville, Ill., Birgitt Peterson, 69, who says she was the woman in the photo, explained why she had made the salute.

She and her husband, Don, had attended the rally to check out the candidate in person. “The Republican Party needs to be broken up, and I believe Donald Trump is the one to do it,” Ms. Peterson said.

After the rally was canceled, the Petersons found themselves in the middle of a group of protesters, some of whom they described as “rude.” One  was holding a poster with a picture of Adolf Hitler on it.

Ms. Peterson, who was born in West Berlin in 1946 and became an American citizen in 1982, said she took offense to the comparison of Mr. Trump to Hitler.

“They said Trump is a second Hitler,” Ms. Peterson said. “I said do you know what that sign stands for? Do you know who Hitler really was?”

“I make the point that they are demonstrating something they had no knowledge about,” she said. “If you want to do it right, you do it right. You don’t know what you are doing.”

That is when she made the Nazi salute — a gesture that is banned in Germany — as a form of counterprotest. But that is all it was, she said.

“Absolutely I’m not a Nazi, no,” she said. “I’m not one of those.”

The couple said they had not yet seen the photo, but they had received calls from family members about it.

Social media on Saturday was inundated with people sharing the photo, as well as the account of Michael Joseph Garza, who said he was the protester in the frame. Mr. Garza, in a Facebook post, said he had attempted to help the couple leave as some in the crowd grew hostile.

“I start to clear the path. I walk right up to her and say, ‘Ma’am we have listened to you. We understand this is all a little wild, but we have cleared a path for you to leave.'”

“My right hand was constantly swinging in motion, showing her the path out we made for her,” Mr. Garza wrote. “She goes, and I quote, ‘Go? Back in my day, you know what we did.'”

Mr. Peterson said the couple was upset by the accusations. “It’s insulting for anyone to assume that we have anything to do with Nazis,” he said. “We have never done anything other than demonstrate to a bunch of idiots that when they talk about Nazism, they better learn about it first.”

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Kasich Backers Knock Trump Ad Off Air in Ohio

Demonstrators before a Trump rally in Cleveland on Saturday.Credit Mark Makela for The New York Times

Television stations across Ohio are refusing to run advertisements from the Trump campaign that are critical of Gov. John Kasich because of a technical election law violation in the ad.

New Day for America, the “super PAC” supporting Mr. Kasich, sent complaints to stations about the ad, saying that it was “falsely attacking Ohio Gov. John Kasich,” and that it did not comply with federal regulations for political advertising.

“No disclaimer appears at the end of the advertisement paid for by Donald Trump,” Matt Carle, executive director of New Day for America, wrote in the complaint. “Consequently, this advertisement is in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and it must be removed from the air.”

The move to block the ad was announced by New Day for America, and confirmed with media buyers. WHIO and WDTN, among others, are not going to air the ad in its current form. The ad was released late on Friday, and began running in Ohio on Saturday morning.

The Federal Election Commission says that political ads must include a “clearly readable” written statement that appears at their end “for a period of at least four seconds” with a “reasonable degree of color contrast” between the background and the disclaimer statement.

Mr. Trump has varied where he has placed his disclaimer in his advertising, sometimes putting it at the beginning and other times at the end. The campaign has not had a problem with any of its ads until now.

The ad being challenged now accused Mr. Kasich of helping “Wall Street predator Lehman Brothers destroy the world economy.” It also called him an “absentee governor,” a critique Mr. Trump has been using on the campaign trail as well.

“Campaigns always reflect the candidate, and it’s clearly amateur hour over at Trump HQ,” Matt David, New Day For America’s chief strategist, said in a statement. “How can a campaign who can’t figure out how to run a television ad possibly beat the Clinton political machine? It’s a joke.”

The Kasich ad and two airing in Florida about Senator Marco Rubio have been a departure from the tone and visuals of previous spots. The Trump campaign has never identified who has made his ads, although his Federal Election Commission filings show payments to the firm owned by Rick Reed, a veteran Republican ad maker.

The new spots, according to two people briefed on the campaign’s plans who asked for anonymity to speak about private discussions, were made by a Florida-based firm.

Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, declined to respond to questions about who made the recent ads and the status of the ad in question in Ohio.

Say, Who Was That Mysterious Man Behind Hillary Clinton?

ST. LOUIS — An energized Hillary Clinton took aim at Donald J. Trump and Bernie Sanders on Saturday. But at least one shot backfired.

Mrs. Clinton accused Mr. Sanders of distorting her record and said the Vermont senator, who has made a single-payer health care system a signature part of his campaign, had not always been such an advocate on the issue.

She said she has “a little chuckle to myself” when she thinks about the current debates over health care. “I don’t know,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Where was he when I was trying to get health care in ’93 and ’94?”

The answer: “Literally, standing right behind her,” a Sanders spokesman, Mike Casca, said on Twitter, posting a photo from a 1994 news conference that shows Mr. Sanders next to Mrs. Clinton when the then first lady spoke about the White House’s proposed health care overhaul.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton, Jennifer Palmieri, had a comeback.

“Exactly, he was standing behind her,” Ms. Palmieri said. “She was out in front.”

Tough Words From Bernie Sanders on Rahm Emanuel

Senator Bernie Sanders campaigned on Saturday in Chicago.Credit Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

CHICAGO — A day after many of his supporters protested at a rally for Donald J. Trump here, Bernie Sanders defended the demonstrators and pointedly attacked the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, for closing schools and firing teachers.

The Vermont senator, in the midst of a tour across the Midwest ahead of Tuesday’s elections, spoke to reporters Saturday and called on Mr. Trump to denounce the increasingly aggressive behavior of his supporters at many of the Republican front-runner’s events.

Mr. Sanders also took aim at his rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton proudly lists Mayor Rahm Emanuel as one of her leading mayoral endorsers,” Mr. Sanders said. “Well let me be as clear as I can be: based on his disastrous record as mayor of the city of Chicago, I do not want Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement if I win the Democratic nomination.”

Mr. Sanders went on to say that Mr. Emanuel was not the type of leader that he would want to be connected with because the mayor has closed schools and fired teachers while keeping close ties with Wall Street banks. Mr. Sanders also criticized the city for paying banks that “lured the school system into a risky investment in an exotic debt-financing scheme.”

“The city of Chicago should sue these banks for fraud and put public pressure on these wealthy bankers to protect Chicago’s most precious asset – its children,” Mr. Sanders said. “The reality is that there wouldn’t be a budget shortfall if Chicago had refused to pay Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America over $500 million for risky financial schemes that were marketed as a way to finance the public school system.”

The senator stopped short of calling for Mr. Emanuel to resign. But he said that if he lived in Chicago, he would join the efforts to have him step down. Many Sanders supporters in Chicago have been demanding the mayor resign for months.

Adam Collins, a spokesman for Mr. Emanuel, said in a statement Saturday night that Mr. Sanders’s comments were “the kind of typical campaign rhetoric you get this time of year.”

“The Mayor is proud to have actually implemented a program to provide free college tuition in Chicago, instead of just talking about the idea,” Mr. Collins said. “On Wednesday Bernie Sanders will leave town and take his empty promises with him, and Mayor Emanuel will be right here doing the hard work to move Chicago forward and create opportunities for our residents.”

Mr. Sanders also defended his supporters who were protesting Mr. Trump’s rally on Friday, which was eventually canceled. The senator rejected claims that the protesters were inciting violence, as some Trump supporters have suggested.

“What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has in fact, in many ways, encouraged violence,” Mr. Sanders said. “When he talks about, you know, ‘I wish we were in the old days when you could punch somebody in the head,’ what do you think that says to his supporters?”

Mr. Sanders said, “Donald Trump has got to be loud and clear and tell his supporters that violence at rallies is not what America is about and to end it.”

Soon after speaking to reporters, Mr. Sanders sat down with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson at his civil rights organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The two men talked about voter suppression, institutional racism and Mr. Sanders’s plan to invest in poor communities. Mr. Jackson said Mrs. Clinton would l meet with him on Monday.

Hillary Clinton on Trump Rallies: ‘That’s Political Arson’

Hillary Clinton at a campaign stop on Saturday in St. Louis.Credit Whitney Curtis for The New York Times

ST. LOUIS — The morning after Donald J. Trump canceled his rally in Chicago amid unruly protests, Hillary Clinton delivered her most extensive remarks to date denouncing the leading Republican candidate and the clashes that have erupted at his campaigns, accusing Mr. Trump of committing “political arson.”

“The ugly, divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong, and it’s dangerous,” Mrs. Clinton told supporters Saturday morning at the O’Fallon Park recreation complex here. “If you play with matches, you’re going to start a fire you can’t control. That’s not leadership. That’s political arson.”

“The test of leadership and citizenship is the opposite,” Mrs. Clinton said. “If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. And if you see a bully, stand up to him.”

The comments came days after a Democratic debate in Miami in which neither Mrs. Clinton nor her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, answered directly a question about whether they thought Mr. Trump was a racist.

On Saturday, after Mr. Trump abruptly canceled an event at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion when angry clashes broke out between protesters and supporters, Mrs. Clinton seemed more comfortable denouncing the former real estate developer in stark terms. The Chicago rally came after a protester had been assaulted by a Trump supporter who said, “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”

On Twitter on Saturday, Mr. Trump said, “The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!”

Mrs. Clinton acknowledged that job losses, wage stagnation and clashes with the police had led to a genuine anger in the electorate that drew supporters to Mr. Trump’s populist message and enraged his opponents.

“Now, look,” she said, “I know it’s no secret there are people angry on the left, on the right, and for some very good reasons. Many people have gotten a raw deal for too long. Our economy and our politics have failed to deliver results the way they should.”

“But I believe with all my heart the only way to fix what’s broken is to stand together against the forces of division and discrimination that are trying to divide America between us and them,” she said, “and that means, that means, finding common ground.”

After the stop in St. Louis, she headed to the St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program to discuss job creation. There, she reiterated her criticism of Mr. Trump, saying he had “encouraged” the violence that has taken place at his political events.

My Candidate, Right or Wrong: Ted Cruz on Possible Trump Nomination

Supporters of Senator Ted Cruz during his interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News at the Faith Assembly of God Church on Friday in Orlando, Fla.Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

BALLWIN, Mo. — A brief accounting of Senator Ted Cruz’s arguments against Donald J. Trump on Friday evening:

— He “affirmatively encourages violence.”

— He “disrespects the voters.”

— His campaign is “facing allegations of physical violence” against a reporter.

— He has created an environment that all but ensures future clashes.

And so, Mr. Cruz was asked on Saturday morning, can you still support Mr. Trump if he is the Republican nominee?

“My answer is the same: I committed at the outset,” Mr. Cruz told reporters, before a rally inside a high school gymnasium here. “I will support the Republican nominee, whoever it is.”

Standing beside him, Carly Fiorina, who endorsed Mr. Cruz this week, chimed in helpfully: “Cruz is going to be the nominee.”

Mr. Cruz has trod carefully throughout the campaign in his treatment of Mr. Trump and his supporters. For months, he enveloped Mr. Trump in a “bear hug,” as he told donors in New York last year, taking care not to alienate voters who he hoped would defect in due time.

After Mr. Trump began raising questions about Mr. Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency, citing his Canadian birth, Mr. Cruz began swinging back. Now, the skirmishes at a Trump rally in Chicago on Friday evening have placed Mr. Cruz in a precarious position. Late Friday, he delivered an impassioned rebuke of Mr. Trump for “creating an environment” where violence could fester.

“When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalates,” Mr. Cruz said. “And today is unlikely to be the last such instance.”

America, he said, is “better than this,”

On Saturday, when asked again about Chicago, Mr. Cruz began by criticizing “protesters that resort to violence” in a bid to “silence speech that they don’t like.”

He mentioned by name the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Black Lives Matter movement, saying they foster protests that “take speech into intimidation, into violence, into trying to silence anyone who might disagree with them.”

But Mr. Cruz also alluded to Mr. Trump, saying that “responsibility begins and ends at the top.” He appealed for “civility” and “our better angels.”

Asked to square his remarks about Mr. Trump with his pledge to support him if he is the nominee, Mr. Cruz deflected, saying he could “understand people who are supporting Donald Trump” before laying out more reasons not to vote for him.

“Donald Trump is Washington,” Mr. Cruz said. “Donald Trump is big business. He is the system. He has been supporting liberal Democratic politicians for 40 years.”

Asked again to explain the prospect of eventually supporting Mr. Trump anyway, Mr. Cruz walked away to begin his rally.

Security Forms Ring Around Donald Trump After Disruption at Ohio Rally


Trump Reacts to Security Scare at Rally

Donald J.Trump was surrounded by security personnel during an interruption by a person in the crowd at his rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on Saturday.

By REUTERS on Publish Date March 12, 2016. Photo by Victor J. Blue for The New York Times.

Updated, 5:10 p.m. | A man jumped a security barrier and rushed the stage at Donald J. Trump’s rally in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday morning, leading to a brief moment of panic when Secret Service briefly surrounded the candidate.

The night before, Mr. Trump abruptly canceled his rally in Chicago as hundreds of activists scuffled with his supporters inside the arena where it was to take place. But the Dayton event Saturday was relatively quiet, by Mr. Trump’s standards, until the end.

One man began protesting about 10 minutes before Mr. Trump finished talking. “What took him so long to put up his hand, we’re almost finished!” Mr. Trump said, mocking the man and telling him to “go back to mommy.”

Not long after that person was escorted out, a man jumped over a security barrier and rushed toward the stage, a moment captured on a video quickly posted to YouTube.

People could be heard screaming, and Mr. Trump ducked his head, grabbing his podium with both hands. One of Mr. Trump’s personal security guards, who has worked for him for years, was the first to jump on stage. Three other men who appeared to be Secret Service agents jumped on stage, and all formed a ring around Mr. Trump for a few moments.

“Thank you for the warning,” Mr. Trump told the crowd. “I was ready for him, but it’s much easier if the cops do it.”

In an email, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, Hope Hicks, said, “A man attempted to breach the secure buffer and was removed rapidly and professionally.” According to the Secret Service, the man was arrested by the Dayton Police Department; the exact charges were not immediately available.

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Marco Rubio, Nearing Reckoning in Florida Primary, Likens Donald Trump to ‘Third-World Strongmen’

Senator Marco Rubio during a campaign event on Saturday in Largo, Fla. Mr. Rubio likened Donald J. Trump to a third-world dictator.Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

LARGO, Fla. – Senator Marco Rubio, in his strongest and most emotional condemnation yet of Donald J. Trump’s incendiary brand of politics, likened Mr. Trump to a third-world dictator who was leading the country dangerously close to a boiling point. And for the first time Mr. Rubio questioned whether he could support Mr. Trump as the Republican nominee.

“Most countries around the world that are failures are because they deposit their hopes in a person, a strong leader who comes forward and says ‘Put me in power. And I will make the country better,’” Mr. Rubio said in an interview Saturday with The New York Times.

“That’s exactly what he’s doing,” Mr. Rubio continued. “The rhetoric reminds me of third-world strongmen.”

As he campaigned in Central Florida three days before the primary that will most likely decide his fate as a presidential candidate, Mr. Rubio sounded at times as if he was in a state of disbelief about the turn the presidential race has taken.

“There’s going to be a reckoning no matter how this election turns out,” he said. “And I just don’t know if that’ll happen in time. I hope it does.”

“But you mark my words,” he added, his voice growing sharper. “There will be prominent people in American politics who will spend years explaining to people how they fell into this.”

Mr. Rubio began the day with a news conference condemning Mr. Trump for inciting supporters who have punched and beaten demonstrators.

“This is a frightening, grotesque and disturbing development in American politics,” Mr. Rubio said of the violence at Mr. Trump’s events, which reached such a pitch on Friday night in Chicago that the real estate developer was forced to cancel an event that had drawn thousands of people.

Mr. Rubio had previously said that if he were not the Republican nominee, he would support whoever was, even if it were Mr. Trump.

“I still at this moment continue to intend to support the Republican nominee,” he said at the news conference, pausing to contemplate his words. “But,” he added, “it’s getting harder every day.”

Mr. Rubio spread the blame for the anger coursing through American politics – to the protesters, the media and the left, which he said too often tries to stifle dissent. But he reserved his harshest words for Mr. Trump.

“We are being ripped apart as a country,” he said.

Though Mr. Rubio has taken on Mr. Trump more directly and forcefully as his own campaign for president lost altitude over the last two weeks, he was never as forthright or as angry as he appeared on Saturday.

The toll of a long and difficult campaign was showing on Mr. Rubio, who has been facing growing questions and even doubts from some of his own supporters about whether he can continue in the race much longer.

At times he sounded almost despondent, questioning not just the ugly turn the presidential campaign has taken but the future of the American political system.

Mr. Rubio continued to vent when he took the stage at a campaign rally here outside Tampa on Saturday morning.

“I’m not sure what happens next,” he dolefully told the crowd of about 200, a smaller gathering than he had been drawing just a week ago. “No matter what our political differences may be, who wants to live in a country where everybody hates each other?”

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John Kasich Says Donald Trump Has ‘Created a Toxic Environment’

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio spoke at the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club pancake breakfast on Saturday.Credit John Minchillo/Associated Press

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, drawing a contrast between the tone of Donald J. Trump’s campaign and his own, chastised Mr. Trump on Saturday for having “created a toxic environment.”

Mr. Kasich, asked if he would still support Mr. Trump if were the nominee in light of what has happened at the businessman’s rallies, said what had taken place made it “extremely difficult.”

But he also urged people to “take a deep breath,” saying he believed some people had purposely sought out conflict at Mr. Trump’s rally on Friday night in Chicago, which was ultimately canceled.

“Donald Trump has created a toxic environment, and a toxic environment has allowed his supporters and those who sometimes seek confrontation to come together in violence,” Mr. Kasich said at a news conference before speaking at a Republican pancake breakfast here.

“There is no place for this,” Mr. Kasich said. “There is no place for a national leader to prey on the fears of people who live in our great country.”

Mr. Kasich and Mr. Trump are locked in head-to-head competition as Tuesday’s winner-take-all primary in Ohio draws near. Mr. Trump has stepped up his attacks on Mr. Kasich, releasing a negative television commercial and, on Saturday, criticizing Mr. Kasich on Twitter over the issue of trade.

On Friday night, asked about the violence at Mr. Trump’s rallies, Mr. Kasich sounded much more cautious. He said he could not comment on what has happened at those gatherings. “I’ve never been to one, don’t expect to be going,” he said.

Later that evening, after Mr. Trump canceled the rally in Chicago, Mr. Kasich released a statement saying that “the seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign finally bore fruit, and it was ugly.”

“Just to see Americans slugging themselves at a political rally deeply disturbed me,” Mr. Kasich said on Saturday. “We’re better than that.”

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Ted Cruz Says Donald Trump Is to Blame for Violence at His Rallies

Senator Ted Cruz spoke on Friday before the Lincoln Day dinner in Rolling Meadows, Ill.Credit Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said on Friday that Donald J. Trump bore responsibility for “creating an environment” that encourages violence at his events.

Speaking to reporters at a local Republican dinner outside Chicago, where Mr. Trump had just canceled a rally amid fierce confrontations between his supporters and protesters, Mr. Cruz began by saying that the “protesters who took violence into their own hands” were responsible for the episode.

“But in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top,” Mr. Cruz continued. “And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.”

Mr. Cruz invoked the protests and violent police run-ins at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and predicted that future skirmishes were likely.

“When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalates,” Mr. Cruz said. “And today is unlikely to be the last such instance.”

Mr. Cruz also suggested that President Obama had stoked tensions since taking office, arguing that the president had “sought to divide us on racial lines, on ethnic lines, on religious lines, on class lines” in moments of crisis.

“America’s better than this,” Mr. Cruz said.

Though Mr. Cruz also attracts many supporters who are angry with Mr. Obama and Washington politics, his rallies have not veered toward violence. But at the debate on Thursday, Mr. Cruz declined an opportunity to condemn Mr. Trump for the tenor of his events. The senator did criticize his rival for asking supporters to raise their hands in a pledge to vote for him.

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Bernie Sanders Praises Ruling Allowing 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Ohio

A Sanders rally Friday in Toledo, Ohio.Credit Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

A group of 17-year-olds in Ohio has successfully persuaded a state judge to allow them to vote in the state’s primary on Tuesday.

The ruling, in state court, came before another suit by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont could be decided in federal court. Mr. Sanders sued Ohio’s top elections official, Secretary of State Jon A. Husted, in federal court on Tuesday arguing that Mr. Husted had “arbitrarily” discriminated against young black and Latino voters by not allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election in November to vote in the primary on Tuesday.

On Friday, an Ohio state judge ruled that the teenagers can vote in the primary as well as in congressional, legislative and mayoral races. Mr. Husted has vowed to appeal the decision.

Brad Deutsch, Mr. Sanders’s lawyer, praised the state court’s ruling Friday.

“This is a huge victory for 17-year olds across Ohio,” Mr. Deutsch said in a statement. “Their votes for presidential nominees will now count when they vote on either Tuesday or over the weekend in early voting.”

He also said the judge had “admonished the secretary of state for abusing his discretion by prohibiting 17-year-olds from voting for presidential candidates and not only directed the secretary to instruct poll worker to allow 17-year olds to vote but also instructed them to make a reasonable effort to attempt to determine and record choices that have already been made by any 17-year-old who already voted in early voting.”

In a statement Friday saying he would appeal the decision, Mr. Husted said, “This last-minute legislating from the bench on election law has to stop.”

“We will appeal this decision because if there is a close election on Tuesday we need clarity from the Supreme Court to make sure that ineligible voters don’t determine the outcome of an election,” he said.

Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, said he expected that the state ruling would be appealed this weekend. He added that the federal judge dealing with Mr. Sanders’s lawsuit has said that he will rule in federal court by Monday afternoon.

At least 20 states allow 17-year-olds to participate in presidential primaries or caucuses if they will be 18 on Election Day in November, according to FairVote, a voting-rights advocacy group.

In December, Mr. Husted, a Republican, said that under state election law, 17-year-olds could vote in nominating contests but not elections, and thus a presidential primary was off-limits since voters will be electing delegates to the party conventions.

Talking to reporters in Toledo before boarding a plane to Illinois, Mr Sanders said he was “delighted” by the decision.

“The idea that in the year 2016, we have Republican secretaries of state trying to suppress the vote, trying to make it difficult for young people to participate in the political process, is an outrage,” he said. “Our jobs is to get more people involved in the process, not fewer people, and I am glad that decision was won and I am confident that it will be sustained.”

Also at the Toledo rally, Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio announced her endorsement.

“America could have no stronger Democratic leader for jobs in America, for fair trade and for economic progress for all, not just the privileged few, than Bernie Sanders,” Ms. Kaptur said as she introduced him in front of 2,600 supporters.

Mr. Sanders, addressing the recent incidents of violence at Donald J. Trump rallies, said he hoped that the nation was not at a point “where people are going to be intimidated and roughed up and frightened about going to a political rally.”

“We all have different points of view, that’s called democracy,” Mr. Sanders said. “Rallies and events are part of American democracy,” he said, adding, “And I hope Mr. Trump speaks out forcefully and tells his supporters that that is not what the American political process is about.”

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Hillary Clinton Lauds Reagans on AIDS. A Backlash Erupts.

Hillary Clinton at the funeral for Nancy Reagan on Friday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

In the days since her death on Sunday, Nancy Reagan has been praised for her work on a range of causes, from preventing drug abuse to supporting research into Alzheimer’s.

But on Friday, Hillary Clinton praised Mrs. Reagan as a force in confronting another disease: H.I.V./AIDS, which was killing alarming numbers of gay men and others during Ronald Reagan’s two terms.

“It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about H.I.V./AIDS back in the 1980s,” Mrs. Clinton, who was attending Mrs. Reagan’s funeral in Simi Valley, Calif., told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan – in particular, Mrs. Reagan – we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it. Nobody wanted anything to do with it.”

The problem with Mrs. Clinton’s compliment: It was the Reagans who wanted nothing to do with the disease at the time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first identified the disease in 1981, but Mr. Reagan, despite desperate calls for action and thousands of deaths, did not mention H.I.V. or AIDS publicly until 1985 and did not give a speech about the disease until 1987, when an estimated 40,000 people had already died of the disease and roughly 36,000 more had been given a diagnosis.

Indeed, the activist-author Larry Kramer, who chronicled the early years of the epidemic in his play “The Normal Heart,” called Mr. Reagan “Adolf Reagan” and wrote that he “murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world.”

And in 1985, after the C.D.C. said the AIDS virus could not be spread through casual person-to-person contact, Mr. Reagan expressed skepticism about whether children with AIDS should be allowed to attend school.

Yet Mrs. Clinton said Friday that she had appreciated Mrs. Reagan’s “low-key advocacy” on H.I.V./AIDS, saying “it penetrated the public conscience, and people began to say, ‘Hey, we have to do something about this.’”

She faced a swift and fierce backlash, and issued a contrite apology within hours.

“It’s almost tempting to interpret this as withering, devastating sarcasm,” Gawker wrote. “The Reagans ‘started a national conversation about AIDS’ in the same sense that George W. Bush ‘started a national conversation’ about Iraq.’”

“Marie Antoinette did some incredible LOW KEY ADVOCACY for the French Underclass,” Dan Fishback, a writer and performer, wrote on Twitter.

There were calls for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay-rights group, to revoke its endorsement of Mrs. Clinton. Its president, Chad Griffin, a former Clinton administration official, issued a statement saying that “Nancy Reagan was, sadly, no hero in the fight against H.I.V./AIDS.”

The comments struck a particular chord with older gay men who watched in the 1980s as their communities were ravaged by the disease.

“This is shameful, idiotic, false – and heartbreaking,” said Charles Kaiser, author of “The Gay Metropolis.” “There is nothing else to say about it. And she has been my candidate.”

Mrs. Clinton wasted little time apologizing.

“While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, I misspoke about their record on H.I.V. and AIDS,” she said in a statement about two hours after her interview had been shown on MSNBC. “For that, I’m sorry.”

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A Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina Ticket? Not So Fast …

Senator Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina sat for an interview Friday with Fox News in Orlando, Fla.Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

ORLANDO, Fla. — How would Ted Cruz feel about Vice President Carly Fiorina?

“Let’s win the nomination first,” came the response — from Mrs. Fiorina.

What did Mr. Cruz make of Donald J. Trump’s argument against holding future debates?

“Well, listen,” the Texas senator began, at a news conference next to his new supporter.

“I’m sorry, senator,” Mrs. Fiorina interjected, “I just have to say — ”

She suggested that Mr. Trump was afraid to debate Mr. Cruz if the field thinned. She noted that Mr. Cruz had “never talked about spray tans or body parts, or hurled insults.”

Then she lowered the boom: “Man up, Donald.”

At her first campaign stop with Mr. Cruz since her surprise endorsement two days ago, Mrs. Fiorina on Friday made a few things clear: She does not intend to be an inconspicuous surrogate. She has not gotten rusty since ending her campaign a month ago. And she is perfectly positioned, particularly among Cruz supporters, to flourish again as an eager and prominent critic of Mr. Trump — reprising the role she forged as a candidate.

For Mr. Cruz, the support comes at a critical time. He is increasingly, even urgently, framing the Republican primary as a two-man race, even if some rivals have failed to cooperate so far.

“There are two candidates, effectively, in this race: Donald Trump and me,” Mr. Cruz said during a taped interview with Fox News at a church in Orlando, before a few hundred admirers.

Mr. Cruz has not explicitly called on Senator Marco Rubio of Florida or Gov. John Kasich of Ohio to leave the race, but in the interview, he laughed when asked about a new gambit from the Rubio campaign: urging supporters to back Mr. Kasich in Ohio, in the interest of stopping Mr. Trump.

“It’s the Washington establishment’s last gasp: ‘Let’s divide things up. Let’s play games,’” he said. “It’s real, real simple. How do you beat Donald Trump? You beat him. You beat him at the ballot box.”

Mr. Cruz, widely reviled among establishment Republicans in the Senate and beyond, has begun to attract growing, if often, begrudging, support in recent days: On Thursday, Senator Mike Lee of Utah became the first Senate colleague to endorse Mr. Cruz. And on Friday, the conservative magazine National Review backed him.

“Come on in, the water’s fine,” Mr. Cruz said to prospective defectors at his news conference.

Mrs. Fiorina, who was at times critical of Mr. Cruz during her own campaign, has adapted quickly. She described Mr. Cruz’s reputation as a natural consequence of having challenged the status quo.

“We’re known by the company we keep,” she told the crowd, after joining Mr. Cruz and the Fox host, Sean Hannity, onstage at the church. “He is known by the enemies he’s made. Good for him.”

At one point, Mr. Hannity asked attendees for vice-presidential suggestions: Mrs. Fiorina’s name rang loudest, though Mr. Lee and Allen West, the former Florida congressman, were also mentioned.

One child held a homemade “Cruz-Fiorina 2016” sign.

After Mrs. Fiorina deflected on Mr. Cruz’s behalf, the senator did take care to call her “extraordinary.”

And about an hour after the event, Mr. Cruz’s team sent a scheduling update: Mrs. Fiorina would be at an Italian restaurant in St. Charles, Mo., on Friday night, campaigning solo.

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Donald Trump’s Greatest Hits Against Ben Carson

Ben Carson and Donald J. Trump made their way to the news conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday.Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Donald J. Trump and Ben Carson “buried the hatchet” on Friday as Mr. Carson endorsed the Manhattan businessman, proclaiming him the best person to be America’s next president. Mr. Trump said that the tough attacks he once leveled at Mr. Carson were just politics, and Mr. Carson agreed that forgiveness was the way forward.

Still, things got quite nasty late last year as Mr. Carson gave Mr. Trump a run for his money in Iowa. Here are some of Mr. Trump’s greatest hits against the mild-mannered brain surgeon who now supports him.

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson’s immigration views: “Ben Carson is very, very weak on immigration. He believes in amnesty strongly.”

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson’s energy levels: “Actually, I think Ben Carson is lower energy than Jeb.”

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson’s ability to stimulate the economy: “Ben Carson has never created a job in his life (well, maybe a nurse). I have created tens of thousands of jobs, it’s what I do.”

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson’s fitness to lead: “It’s not his thing. He doesn’t have the temperament for it. I think Ben just doesn’t have the experience.”

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson’s religion: “I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about, I just don’t know about.”

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson being violent as a child: “He actually said ‘pathological temper,’ and then he defined it as disease. If you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that, folks. If you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, there’s no cure for that.”

Mr. Trump on Mr. Carson’s bad temper, continued: “Think about what Carson is saying: he hit his mother over the head with a hammer, he hit a friend in the face with a lock, he tried to kill somebody with a knife.”

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Committee to Draft Paul Ryan for President Shuts Down

Speaker Paul D. Ryan answered reporters’ questions on Capitol Hill last week.Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

That was a quick draft effort.

The Committee to Draft Speaker Ryan for President, created by a group of New York political consultants and financed by Earle Mack, a real estate developer and former ambassador to Finland, is shutting down.

The move came days after aides to Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican speaker of the House and Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate in 2012, denounced the committee and disavowed it in a letter to the Federal Election Commission.

“The committee was not sanctioned or in any way inspired by the speaker, his team or allies,” read a statement from the group. “Nor was this, as it was incorrectly described in some media reports, an ‘establishment’ effort to oppose any candidate currently running for president.”

“It’s become increasingly clear that the committee’s efforts, however well intended, could become an unwanted distraction to the speaker’s current responsibilities,” the statement said. “As a result, the committee is immediately ending its activities and closing down operations.”

In an interview when the committee was formed in early March, Mr. Mack said he planned to spend up to $1 million of his own money on the effort. It was not intended as an effort to stop Donald J. Trump from getting the nomination, he said. But he feared that the candidates now running had all been scarred by the negative tone of the race so far and would face an uphill climb against the Democratic nominee in the general election.

Despite how the speaker’s aides felt about the existence of the committee, Zack Roday, a spokesman for Mr. Ryan, sounded a magnanimous note now that it is ending.

“Speaker Ryan is grateful for Ambassador Mack’s passion. He cares deeply about the future of our country,” he said. “Speaker Ryan does too, and that’s why he is focused on advancing a bold policy agenda with his House colleagues to unify our party and turn around our country.”

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‘Two Donald Trumps’ Emerge, the Public One and the Private One

Members of the news media, including TV cameramen, during Donald J. Trump’s news conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday.Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

PALM BEACH, Fla. — “I think there are two Donald Trumps,” said the first version of Donald J. Trump, addressing reporters at a news conference at Mar-a-Lago, his club where he was endorsed by his former Republican presidential rival Ben Carson on Friday.

Then, moments later, the second version emerged, to offer an opposing theory: “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps,” said this Mr. Trump. “I think there’s one Donald Trump.”

Ah, to be Donald Trump, either version.

Mr. Trump was responding to questions about his public and private persona, first raised by Mr. Carson, who said, “There are two different Donald Trumps.”

“There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully,” Mr. Carson said. “You can have a very good conversation with him. And that’s the Donald Trump that you’re going to start seeing more and more of right now.”

Asked about the discrepancy between his showman-like public self and more private self, Mr. Trump first said he agreed with Mr. Carson’s assessment. His public version, he said, “seems to have worked over my lifetime.” But, he added: “I’m a big thinker. And I have my ideas and they’re strong, and typically they worked out.”

But later, prompted by reporters, he returned to the question, first saying he doesn’t like “to overanalyze myself,” before offering a bit of introspection. “I will tell you that I try and be who I am, I want to be honest, certain questions are asked of me and I give a straight answer as opposed to a politically correct answer,” he said. “I know the politically correct business better than anybody.”

Seeming to realize the political peril of saying he would give different answers in private that he does in public, he added that he always answers questions honestly, before finally concluding: “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there’s one Donald Trump.”

But, he added: “You have somebody else that sits and reads and thinks, and I’m a thinker and I have been a thinker, and perhaps people don’t think of me that way, because you don’t see me in that forum. But I am a thinker. I thought it was very nice what Ben said, because it is another side of me. I’m a very deep thinker. I know what’s happening.”

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Marco Rubio Aide Urges Supporters to Back John Kasich in Ohio


Rubio Addresses Ohio Voters

The Florida Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio echoed the sentiment of his spokesman, Alex Conant, but did not go as far in urging his supporters to back his rival and current Ohio governor John Kasich.

By REUTERS on Publish Date March 11, 2016. Photo by Eric Thayer for The New York Times.

A top aide to Senator Marco Rubio on Friday urged his supporters in Ohio to back Gov. John Kasich in that state’s primary on Tuesday, giving fresh momentum to efforts to stop Donald J. Trump a day after a debate in which his rivals declined to take a swing at the leading Republican presidential candidate.

Alex Conant, Mr. Rubio’s spokesman, made the comments in an interview with CNN. He said that he hoped supporters of Mr. Kasich and of Senator Ted Cruz would support Mr. Rubio in his home state primary in Florida, and that he would suggest Mr. Rubio’s backers in Ohio do the same by supporting Mr. Kasich there.

“I’m just stating the obvious,” Mr. Conant said. “If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich, because John Kasich is the sitting governor, he’s very close to Donald Trump in some of the polls there.”

He said the reverse was true in Mr. Rubio’s home state, suggesting that supporters of Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz back Mr. Rubio there.

The remarks dovetail with a strategy proposed by Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 nominee, who urged Republicans opposing Mr. Trump to coalesce around the leading non-Trump candidate in coming nominating contests to deny the nomination to the Manhattan businessman.

Mr. Conant said that “John Kasich is the one candidate in Ohio that can beat Donald Trump — that’s stating the obvious, that is indisputable.”

In a news conference in West Palm Beach, Mr. Rubio echoed the sentiment, but did not go as far in urging his supporters to back Mr. Kasich in Ohio.

“Clearly John Kasich has a better chance than winning Ohio than I do,” Mr. Rubio told reporters. And if Ohioans concluded that the best way to stop Mr. Trump was to vote for Mr. Kasich, the Florida senator said, “I expect that’s the decision they’ll make.”

Asked directly if he was urging his people to vote for Mr. Kasich in Ohio, he said of his spokesman, “I’ll leave it for John to make that argument.”

And Mr. Cruz, speaking in Orlando on Friday, dismissed the strategy, indulging in a laugh when asked about it.

“It’s the Washington establishment’s last gasp: ‘Let’s divide things up. Let’s play games,’” Mr. Cruz said in a taped interview with Fox News. “It’s real, real simple. How do you beat Donald Trump? You beat him.”

Mr. Cruz argued, as he has for weeks, that he was the only candidate still capable of doing so.

Those hoping to defeat Mr. Trump acknowledge that if he wins either Ohio or Florida, it becomes much harder to deny him the nomination.

But Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Mr. Kasich, naturally welcomed the idea of having Mr. Rubio’s supporters back the governor in Tuesday’s voting in Ohio.

“We agree with the Rubio campaign that the best chance to beat Donald Trump in Ohio is by voting for John Kasich, and in that spirit, Senator Rubio should immediately tell his Super PAC to stop attacking the governor.”

Matt Flegenheimer and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.

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Hillary Clinton Urges Effort to Improve Struggling Schools

Hillary Clinton addressed supporters at Hillside High School in Durham, N.C., on Thursday.Credit Carlos Barria/Reuters

DURHAM, N.C. — Hillary Clinton made a pitch for public schools at a get-out-the-vote rally on Thursday, proposing to create a teaching task force that would recruit more young people and midcareer professionals to the country’s struggling public schools.

“I think public education needs some T.L.C.: Teaching, Learning and Community,” she told a rowdy crowd at Hillside High School, a predominantly black public school. “Thousands of teachers cannot make ends meet, are leaving the profession.”

Mrs. Clinton mentioned seeing crumbling schools in rural South Carolina and urban classrooms in Detroit infested with rodents and mold. She said that when she traveled across the country as first lady she would apply what she called “the Chelsea test” to public schools she would visit.

“I would say to myself ‘Would I send my daughter there?’” she said. “A lot of places, the answer was yes, and proud to do it, but too many times the answer was no.”

The plan came days after Mrs. Clinton defended teachers’ unions at a Democratic debate in Flint, Mich., on Sunday. Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if unions — the largest of which have endorsed Mrs. Clinton — protect bad teachers, she pushed back on the assumption.

“It really pains me,” she said, “a lot of people have been blaming and scapegoating teachers because they don’t want to put the money into the schools system that deserve the support that comes from the government.”

North Carolina, which holds its primary on Tuesday, has seen its public schools stripped of funding in recent years. Mrs. Clinton has come under criticism for expressing skepticism of charter schools and teachers’ evaluations, two topics she hardly broached in Thursday’s upbeat address.

Instead, Mrs. Clinton tried to make her remarks personal. She talked about studying North Carolina’s public schools as first lady of Arkansas when she was given the task of improving that state’s schools. But since then, she said, Republicans in the state had “slowly eroded” public education.

“I am a product of really good public schools,” she said. “I had great teachers from kindergarten through high school. They challenged me. They helped me understand the world that I l lived in and what I could do to make a difference.”

The speech on improving public education came on a busy day of campaigning for Mrs. Clinton as she shuttled to campaign events from Florida to Illinois (with a stop in North Carolina on the way) leading up to Tuesday’s voting contests. At a stop in Tampa, she discussed investing in infrastructure.

At a late-night rally outside Chicago, Mrs. Clinton discussed manufacturing and job training — topics that have become central to the race in the Midwestern states where her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, has criticized her record on trade deals.

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Hillary Clinton Gets Some Star Power to Help in New Ads


Clinton Releases Star-Studded Ad

The celebrities Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Ellen Pompeo and Shonda Rhimes appear in a new political advertisement for Hillary Clinton.

By HILLARY CLINTON for PRESIDENT on Publish Date March 11, 2016.

CHICAGO — With just days before several primaries where she will depend on the loyalty of female and black voters in Florida, North Carolina and the Midwest, Hillary Clinton got some heavyweight help from Hollywood.

The campaign released a new ad titled “Real Life” featuring the TV writing powerhouse Shonda Rhimes and the actresses who play the leading characters on the hit shows she produces, including Kerry Washington, the star of “Scandal,” Ellen Pompeo of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame, and Viola Davis, who plays a high-profile defense lawyer-turned college professor Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away With Murder.” They profess that Mrs. Clinton is the “real life” version of their characters.

In the ad, which began airing across the states that hold contests on Tuesday, the actresses alternate describing their characters.

“Every day I wake up and play a brilliant, complex, overqualified, get-it-done woman, who obsessively fights for justice, who cares, who gives a voice to the voiceless, who gets knocked down and always gets backed up,” the women say.

“I make television filled with the kinds of characters I imagine we all can be,” Ms. Rhimes says.

“Our characters are on television,” Ms. Washington says.

“The real world has Hillary Clinton,” Ms. Rhimes says.

The ad concludes with all of the women saying, “I’m with Hillary,” and Ms. Rhimes, staring intensely at the camera, adds, “Join us.”

The ad, aimed at Mrs. Clinton’s base, aims to counter the strength her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, has shown among young and white voters in the Midwest. His campaign’s onslaught of ads in Illinois, Missouri and Ohio strike a less personal tone and instead hammer Mrs. Clinton (without mentioning her) for her past support of global trade deals that have been widely blamed on job losses in the manufacturing sector.

Mrs. Clinton has found devoted surrogates in the cast of ABC’s prime-time dramas. “Real Life” was directed by Tony Goldwyn, who portrays the fictional President Fitzgerald Grant II opposite Ms. Washington’s character Olivia Pope on Ms. Rhimes’s “Scandal.”

The cast kept the Clinton ad top secret, but suspicions were raised when the former secretary of state stopped by the show’s set on a fund-raising swing to Los Angeles last month. At a rally in Nashville, Mrs. Clinton hinted at the ad, telling the audience Ms. Washington “just cut some ads for me.”

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Ben Carson Endorses Donald Trump, Saying ‘We Buried the Hatchet’


Ben Carson Endorses Donald Trump

A former Republican presidential candidate, Mr. Carson backed Mr. Trump, calling him “a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”

By REUTERS on Publish Date March 11, 2016. Photo by Todd Heisler/The New York Times.

Updated, 10:43 a.m. | PALM BEACH, Fla. — Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon who ended his own presidential bid last week, endorsed Donald J. Trump at a news conference on Friday at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s club, calling him “actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”

The announcement came in the club’s white-and-gold ballroom the morning after Thursday night’s rather subdued Republican debate, where Mr. Trump announced on the debate stage that he had landed Mr. Carson’s support.

Mr. Carson praised the Manhattan businessman, saying, “There are two different Donald Trumps.”

“There’s the one you see on the stage, and there’s the one who’s very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully,” M. Carson said. “You can have a very good conversation with him. And that’s the Donald Trump that you’re going to start seeing more and more of right now.”

In a 45-minute news conference, the two men talked about their mutual respect, with Mr. Trump saying he expected Mr. Carson to be very involved with his campaign’s education policy.

And Mr. Trump, who previously boycotted a Fox News debate in Iowa after he felt the network had treated him unfairly, also seemed to float the idea that he might skip what was to be the next Republican debate, now scheduled for March 21 in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Trump, whose sedate appearance in the Miami debate on Thursday night was widely noted, said he believes it’s time to move past them.

“We’ve had enough debates in my opinion,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his news conference.

“It would be nice to finish off with this one,” he said, pointing out that he had repeatedly called it an “elegant” debate and saying it was simply time for a calm, staid debate so that the party could come together.

Mr. Trump maintained that he has continued to hear from Republicans seeking to bring the party together. He sought to project the image of a front-runner, saying he hoped there would not be a Republican National Convention fight over who will be the nominee.

During the campaign, especially when Mr. Carson was experiencing a brief boomlet in the polls, Mr. Trump clashed with the doctor-turned-presidential candidate, comparing him to a child molester, questioning his religion, and calling him “super low energy” — a favorite Trump insult.

Asked about Mr. Trump’s past criticism of him, Mr. Carson said, “We buried the hatchet — that was political stuff.”

“We move on,” he said.

But Mr. Trump also publicly defended Mr. Carson after the campaign of Senator Ted Cruz, Mr. Trump’s chief rival, spread false information that Mr. Carson was dropping out of the race before the Iowa caucuses.

And on Friday, Mr. Trump said he had attacked Mr. Carson during the campaign because “I couldn’t lose him, I couldn’t shake him, he did so well.”

“And I fought back and I hit him hard, which is politics and Ben understands that,” Mr. Trump said. “But he handled it with such dignity. I frankly thought it was amazing. I gained a lot respect for him.”

The support of Mr. Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, could help Mr. Trump woo evangelical voters, who remain an important part of the Republican base. But Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said that Mr. Trump himself has done well with evangelicals so far on his own.

Asked if Mr. Carson would be campaigning for Mr. Trump, and would be deployed to help him win over black voters, Mr. Lewandowski dismissed the question.

“I think Dr. Carson is going to campaign with Mr. Trump, but this campaign has been very clear about not trying to segregate out specific demographics to have a different message for,” he said. “I think what you have in this campaign is Mr. Trump talks to everybody exactly the same, and if Dr. Carson joins us on the campaign trail, we’re not going to delineate between African-Africans or white Americans or Hispanic Americans or Asian-Americans. We have the same message for everybody, which is make America great again.”

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In Republican Debate, Donald Trump Looks to Run Out the Clock

From left, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Donald J. Trump, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio at the Republican presidential debate at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

There are any number of sports metaphors that could be applied to the type of game Donald J. Trump was playing at the 12th Republican primary debate on Thursday night. Whether you call it running out the clock, playing keep-away or working the pitcher’s count, Mr. Trump was looking to escape the last face-off before the March 15 states hold their primaries having done as little harm to himself as possible.

In last week’s debate, Mr. Trump made an early reference to the size of his genitalia as he fended off attacks from Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. In this contest, he seemed almost sedated as he sought to project an air of seriousness and sobriety. Mr. Trump has scoffed at critics who suggest he should act more presidential, but that appeared to be on his mind at the debate. Gone were the belittling comments about “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted.” He barely acknowledged Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio.

Instead Mr. Trump, the billionaire real-estate developer and reality television star, sought to protect his position as the Republican front-runner and avoid making any memorable errors on policy. He occasionally made candid statements, like when he acknowledged that he might take donations in earnest if he becomes the nominee and give up the partly true claim that he is self-funding his candidacy. And he stood by his statements questioning the Islamic faith, although he declined to repeat what he had said a night earlier, that “Islam hates us.” He said that there are “bad dudes” who protest his rallies, although, despite his own language at his events, he insisted he does not condone violence. The party needs to unify, he said more than once.

As for Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, they too, somewhat inexplicably, stuck to the civil tone of the evening, giving no sense of the urgency of the task of stopping Mr. Trump that they have talked about on the campaign trail. Mr. Rubio, who hopes to have a political future down the road, tried to sound the aspirational notes that his message had before he devolved into a festival of insults with Mr. Trump. Mr. Cruz got in some barbs suggesting that Mr. Trump was more interested in himself than in voters. But they were lines that probably would have been more effective before this late stage of the game. And it is hard to see the debate altering the state of the race.

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Obama Is Eager to Nominate a Justice, but Timeline Is Unclear

President Obama with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada during a joint news conference at the White House on Thursday.Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Senate Democrats are eager for President Obama to announce his choice for the Supreme Court and to put a human face on their battle with Senate Republicans over filling the vacancy. And Mr. Obama said on Thursday that he thought it was “important for me to nominate a Supreme Court nominee quickly because I think it’s important for the Supreme Court to have its full complement of judges.”

But just what the timing will be remains unclear. Mr. Obama, in a joint news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, said he did not feel the need “to take shortcuts in terms of the selection and vetting process.”

Still, many on Capitol Hill expect the announcement to come before the Senate breaks next week for two weeks into early April, allowing Democrats to press a new front in the nomination fight just as Senate Republicans return home to face questions about it. And they anticipate that Mr. Obama would make a decision before he leaves on what will be a high-profile trip to Cuba on March 21.

But White House officials have made it clear that they are taking the search for and selection of a fitting nominee very seriously, despite Senate Republicans’ pledge to not engage in a confirmation process at all. They say the president will not be rushed into what he considers one of the most important decisions in the role.

Mr. Obama did offer some detail on Thursday on the qualities he would seek in a nominee.

“Obviously, it’s somebody who I want to make sure follows the Constitution; cares about things like stare decisis and precedent; understands the necessary humility of a judge at any level in looking at statute, looking at what the elected branches are doing; is not viewing themselves as making law or, in some ways, standing above elected representatives,” he said. Notably, he added that he wanted to be sure the nominee “recognizes the critical role that that branch plays in protecting minorities to ensuring that the political system doesn’t skew in ways that systematically leave people out.”