Paul Ryan says GOP can't be seen as 'opposition party'

(Source: Gage Skidmore License:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 as voters head to the polls in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland (all times Eastern):

8:15 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan concedes the “five-point” Republican legislative agenda he’s pursuing in Congress could be construed as competing with policy points the GOP presidential candidates are pushing in the primary season. But he argues that the party shouldn’t wait until its nominating convention in July to tell the public its priorities, including lowering the national debt, strengthening the military and easing government regulation of business.

In an interview on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, Ryan says that if the party waits until its nominating convention to state its primary policy objectives, “it’s too late.” He says he doesn’t intend to handicap the GOP presidential race or discuss the candidates since he’s the party convention chairman. But Ryan adds that the GOP needs “a transition from being an opposition party to being a proposition party.”

He says he’s spoken to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich — the three candidates still in the race — but doesn’t elaborate. Speaking of congressional Republicans, Ryan says, “We’re not worrying about something that’s out of our control, which is who is the nominee.”

7:45 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says it would be a “great idea” to have a woman as vice president.

Speaking to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, as the polls in five Northeastern states prepared to open, Sanders said that there are many women who would be qualified and that he would consider as running mates should he win the nomination.

“Elizabeth Warren has been a real champion,” Sanders said.

7:30 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is voicing optimism he’ll do well in Tuesday’s presidential primaries but says “we are handicapped” because the states in play don’t allow independents to participate.

Sanders declared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday that “I don’t want to break the bad news to you, but the election is not over yet.”

The Vermont senator said “we are going to fight all the way to the Philadelphia convention.” But when pressed on whether he’d continue in the race even if rival Hillary Clinton secures enough delegates for the nomination, he said, “We are going to fight through California and then we’ll see what happens.”

In an interview on CNN Tuesday, he said, “We’re in this until the end.”

Asked on ABC if he would support Clinton unconditionally if she’s the nominee, Sanders said he’d work hard to make sure no Republican wins the White House. But he said he wants know “what the agenda is going to be,” if he’s not the nominee.

7:20 a.m.

Donald Trump says Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is using the “woman card” to get elected, saying that she is “pandering” to the electorate.

Speaking to Fox & Friends Tuesday, Trump said that he would “love to see a woman president, but she’s a disaster,” referring to Clinton.

“The only card she’s got is to play the woman card,” he said in the telephone interview.

Trump also reiterated comments against his Republican rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who announced a joint strategy Sunday to defeat Trump, saying that the partnership “makes them both look weak” and that it could backfire in upcoming races.

7:15 a.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says his pact Ted Cruz to collaborate on strategy against Donald Trump is a matter of resource allocation, and nothing more.

Speaking to NBC’s “Today” Tuesday, as voters prepared to vote in five Northeastern states, Kasich insisted that his partnership with Cruz is not indication that he is giving up on his campaign.

“I’m not over there running town halls. I’m not over there running television ads,” he said, referring to Indiana. “But I am in other states and I will be at the convention.”

Kasich said “the fact is, I don’t have unlimited resources,” to campaign everywhere, noting that he is not campaigning in Indiana, where Cruz is expected to do well on May 3, and is instead shifting his resources to Oregon.

3:00 a.m.

Donald Trump is aiming for a sweep of all five Northeastern states holding primaries Tuesday, leaving his rivals pinning their hopes of stopping the Republican front-runner on a fragile coordination strategy in the next rounds of voting.

For Democratic leader Hillary Clinton, wins in most of Tuesday’s contests would leave little doubt that she’ll be her party’s nominee. Rival Bernie Sanders’ team is sending mixed signals about his standing in the race, with one top adviser suggesting a tough night would push the Vermont senator to reassess his bid and another vowing to fight “all the way to the convention.”

Clinton is already looking past Sanders, barely mentioning him during recent campaign events. Instead, she’s deepening her attacks on Trump, casting the billionaire businessman as out of touch with Americans.

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