Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
Having caught our breath from the stunning turn of events in Indiana, we cannot take our eyes off the coming crash of the Republican Party. We focus on Trump and Cruz, and Cruz and Trump, with a side of tobacco legislation. We promise to find other topics in days ahead. But today, we dwell.
Among the many head-spinning moments of Donald Trump’s campaign, the Trump endorsement shuffle would not rank high. But just last Friday, Trump told the California Republican Party: “There are some people, I honestly don’t want their endorsement. I just don’t want it.” Of Sen. Ted Cruz, he said: “If he wants to endorse me, that’s fine. But I don’t care.”
“I’ve watched all my life, as a politician, they just kill each other,” he said last week in Burlingame. “They say the worse things about each other. They say things you can never recover. And they say at the end, right, I want to congratulate Jim. He ran a brilliant campaign. I will be behind him 100 percent. He is a great person.”
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After Cruz dropped out, Trump became that guy, saying with all the unctuous sincerity he could muster: “Ted Cruz, I don’t know if he likes me or doesn’t like me, but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy. And he has got an amazing future.” Amazing, indeed.
Take a number: $51,000
Donald and daughter Ivanka Trump have given $51,000 to California politicians since 2005. That includes $10,000 from Donald to Arnold Schwarzenegger and $25,000 to the California Republican Party, understandable because he is a Republican. Donald’s odd donations include $6,000 to Attorney General Kamala Harris, plus $2,000 from Ivanka, $2,500 to Gavin Newsom, plus $500 from Ivanka, and $3,500 to Jerry Brown when he was attorney general. Newsom and Harris’ aides say they donated the money to immigrants rights groups after Trump went nativist. Trump had an interest in an Indian casino in the Southern California desert, until the tribe tired of his act, as described by The Desert Sun. “If you look at anything that guy has done in this industry, he has a lead thumb – it’s the opposite of a golden touch,” Victor Rocha, of the website Pechanga.net, was quoted as saying.
Editorial: Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law some of the most significant new anti-smoking legislation in decades.
Endorsement: A Trump presidency would be a disaster. Republicans should send a message by voting for John Kasich. And Hillary Clinton.
Dan Morain: Why a Reagan Republican is turning to Hillary.
Charlton H. Bonham: The crucial work of restoring Delta habitat is accelerating.
Joe Mathews, among our regular columnists: Only San Jose stands in the way of San Francisco.
Debra J. Saunders: What now? It’s panic time on the right.
The L.A. Times says Republicans who have been saying “never Trump” shouldn’t abandon the effort to deny Trump a first-ballot victory.
National Review: Trump has done little to demonstrate any commitment to, or even understanding of, conservative principles.
The Kansas City Star warns that America for the next six looong months is in for a never-seen-before stretch of vile.
Marcos Breton writes that the Mexican flag has no place in American politics.
Ruben Navarrette: The Trump show gets panned by California Latinos.
Dana Milbank: It could get a lot worse for Muslims in America.
Thomas L. Friedman: Trump and the Lord’s work.
Kathleen Parker: Ted Cruz’s fall from grace.
Tweets of the Day
Mike Murphy @murphymike: Here come the Vichy Republicans ...
David Axelrod @davidaxelrod: Don’t know what it means, but workmen arrived in early AM to affix giant, gold-plated letters on @RNC building: T-R-U-M-P #hostiletakeover
We turn our attention back to the race to succeed Sen. Barbara Boxer.