Republican Ted Cruz hoped to add to his edge in Colorado over front-runner Donald Trump when 13 more delegates were to be chosen at the state’s GOP convention. Cruz already had locked up the support of 21 Colorado delegates and visited the state to try to pad his numbers there.
Keeping up his tussle with Trump over values, Cruz told the Colorado crowd it’s easy to talk about making America great again — “you can even print that on a baseball cap” — but that the more important question is which candidate understands “the principles and values that made America great in the first place.”
Trump left the Colorado convention to his organizers, and spent about a half-hour on Saturday touring the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan. His campaign issued a statement describing the site as “symbolic of the strength of our country, and in particular New Yorkers, who have done such an incredible job rebuilding that devastated section of our city.”
“This is what ‘New York values’ are really all about,” it added, a not-too-veiled poke at Cruz, who has taken heat for his earlier criticism of “New York values.”
Democratic presidential hopefuls, too, were focused on New York’s big trove of delegates even as Wyoming gave its nod to Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
Sanders got word of his Wyoming win from his wife, Jane, midway through a rally in Queens, part of a four-stop swing through New York City. A raucous cheer went up from the New Yorkers, but the Wyoming vote was a draw from a delegate perspective: Sanders and Clinton each picked up seven.
That means Clinton has 1,287 delegates based on primaries and caucuses to Sanders’ 1,037. When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton has 1,756, or 74 percent of the number needed to clinch the nomination. Sanders has 1,068.
Sanders, who has now won seven of the last eight state contests, called Wyoming “a beautiful, beautiful state,” and told reporters the vote there was part of a shift in support in his direction since the campaign left the Deep South.
“Now that we are in the second half of this campaign, we are going to state after state which I think have a more progressive outlook,” Sanders said. “We are in this race to win.”
Clinton, at an evening rally before a Latino crowd in Brooklyn, found a rare point of agreement with Trump on the matter of New York values.
“I actually think New York values are really good for America,” she said, then launched into an argument for electing Democrats to protect the U.S. economy.
“It’s a fact that our economy does better when we have a Democrat in the White House,” she said.
Earlier in the day, she made a stop at Junior’s restaurant in Brooklyn, where she spoke admiringly of the cheesecake — but declined to partake.
She urged New Yorkers to help lock up the Democratic nomination so “we can go after the Republicans full time.”
On the Republican side, more than 3,000 people at Colorado’s Republican state convention were picking 13 delegates. Cruz supporters sported bright orange T-shirts with his slate of delegates printed on the back. Trump’s organizers distributed a slate that listed incorrect information for four of his candidates.
If Cruz wins most or all of the Colorado delegates, it increases the odds of a contested convention this summer. Trump still has a narrow path to clinching the nomination by the end of the primaries on June 7, but he has little room for error.
Trump would need to win nearly 60 percent of all the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention. So far, he’s winning about 45 percent.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, far behind Trump and Cruz in the delegate, also was campaigning in New York.