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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A group of protesters gathered outside of a California event venue where Donald Trump spoke Friday afternoon.

The street outside of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame where Trump addressed the California GOP Convention near San Francisco was already closed in advance of the event.

There were an estimated 250 to 300 protesters gathered outside from a collection of different groups, including Code Pink and Black Lives Matter as well as supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Trump likely did not see any of the protests because he entered the building via a back entrance after exiting his motorcade at the side of the highway and walking up a grassy hill before entering the hotel.

"That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made... it felt like I was crossing the border actually," Trump joked at the beginning of his remarks.

"I'm coming through dirt and mud and under fences. … I’m looking at myself I’m trying to get all the dust and everything off," Trump said.

Frank Lara, 30, was one of the 40 or so members of the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition who protested Trump near the front of the hotel. Even though he said the group's initial goal was to shut down the convention, Lara told ABC News that they were not disappointed that Trump didn't go through the main entrance since helicopter news cameras captured Trump's awkward alternative route.

"We consider it quite a success," Lara said.

Lara said they started planning the protests about two weeks ago after learning that Trump would be in the area, taking issue with his stances "against immigrants, against the Latin community and against the Muslim community."

Some protesters were seen holding the Mexican flag and others were wearing costumes. A group of protesters knocked down a barrier near the front of the hotel and about 50 people got close to the entrance but did not get inside. Police then formed a line to hold them back which appeared to work for the time being.

One man wearing a green bandanna over his face was seen punching the glass windows of the hotel, and others yelled at him to stop saying "we're not about that." He didn't cause any damage, but others like him seem determined to get inside the Hyatt Regency

Some protesters threw eggs at the hotel, others chased a man wearing a Trump t-shirt off the property.

A campaign organizer for Code Pink, a grassroots peace organization of women, said that one of their supporters booked her a room in the Hyatt overnight.

The supporter, Nancy Mancias, stayed there until this morning before she went down to the convention floor at around 9:30 a.m. and started chanting "Stop hate! Dump Trump!"

Mancias said she was quickly, but gently, escorted out of the building by hotel security. She said they had been planning it for about a week and was on the fence initially, saying she "was worried about being thrown into jail or Guantanamo" but decided to go for it.

"As I got closer, I just decided, you know someone's got to do it and what would be better than a protester from Code Pink?" she told ABC News.

A man wearing a suit and a "Make America Great Again" hat was seen walking near a group of protesters, some of whom were seen hitting the man, who was believed to be a supporter of the Republican front-runner.

Other than the above incident, Friday's protests are said to be largely peaceful, which comes in contrast to the protests that were held near a Trump event in Los Angeles last night. More than a dozen arrests were made Thursday night and some protesters were seen damaging police cars.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration has released a report outlining a strategy to push smart gun technology, something President Obama called for in his January executive action on gun control.

Here are the details:

What's smart gun technology?

Smart guns are high-tech firearms that only work in the hands of their owner. In his January executive action on gun control, Obama called for several administration departments to work on a report "outlining research and development designed to expedite real-world deployment" of technology to "reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms."

"If we can set it up so you can't unlock your phone unless you've got the right fingerprint, why can't we do the same thing for our guns?" Obama said in his tearful announcement address in January.

Who supports it?

Obama and gun control advocates argue that smart gun technology would reduce the number of accidental deaths from guns. The National Rifle Association doesn't oppose smart gun technology or the sale of smart guns, but is against any laws preventing Americans from buying or owning traditional firearms.

The president is interested in encouraging the use of smart gun technology in the federal government, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

"The idea is, are there a set of standards and guidelines that can be developed that would ensure that smart gun technology could effectively be used by law enforcement officers?" Earnest said. "The idea is that, yes, the federal government is a bulk purchaser of firearms."

Four in 10 gun owners are willing to purchase a smart gun, according to a survey from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (Nearly sixty percent of Americans would buy a smart or childproof handgun, the survey found.)

What's inside the Obama administration’s smart gun report?

The report, from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense, details how the government can push smart gun technology and the adoption of smart firearms: by incentivizing their production, encouraging state and local governments to purchase smart guns for law enforcement and working with stakeholders to develop criteria for smart gun technology.

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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump is being criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for repeating a slogan the group believes to be anti-Semitic.

The ADL has taken issue with Trump's use of the phrase "America First" to describe his approach to foreign policy.

The phrase was originally used by a group called the America First Committee in the 1940s, which pushed to keep the U.S. out of World War II.

The ADL released a statement Thursday saying that famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, one of the best-known supporters of the committee, sympathized with the Nazis.

"The undercurrents of anti-Semitism and bigotry that characterized the America First movement – including the assumption that Jews who opposed the movement had their own agenda and were not acting in America’s best interest – is fortunately not a major concern today," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

"However, for many Americans, the term ‘America First’ will always be associated with and tainted by this history. In a political season that already has prompted a national conversation about civility and tolerance, choosing a call to action historically associated with incivility and intolerance seems ill-advised," Greenblatt continued.

The group said it wrote a letter to Trump urging him to stop using the phrase.

Trump has not publicly commented on ADL's request.

This is not the first time ADL and Trump have clashed.

In March, ADL decided to redirect all of the $56,000 in donations Trump previously gave to the Jewish civil rights-human relations organization, citing the "stereotyping and scapegoating that have been injected into this political season," Greenblatt said at the time.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  The list of people who have openly admitted to disliking Sen. Ted Cruz appears to grow by the day.

The harder list to create is one of people who openly admit to liking Cruz. Apart from Carly Fiorina, whom Cruz announced as his vice president should he become the nominee, most of Cruz's high-profile endorsements have been tepid.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham supported Cruz by throwing him a fundraiser in March and calling Cruz "the best alternative to Donald Trump."

Just weeks earlier, Graham had said that Cruz was so unpopular in the Senate that "if you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who previously endorsed and campaigned for Marco Rubio before he dropped out, also gave a similar statement of support for Cruz, saying in March that "my hope and my prayer is that Sen. Cruz can come through this and that he can really get to where he needs to go."

But when asked if she would formally endorse him, however, she said, "I don't know that that part matters."

One of Cruz’s biggest supporters has been his onetime rival, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Walker regularly campaigned with Cruz ahead of his state’s primary, which Cruz went on to win.

A number of other politicians, including members of Congress and several governors, have also endorsed Cruz.

Celebrities are generally a go-to in the world of endorsements, and that remains true for Cruz.

Cruz has received one no-holds-barred endorsement from actor James Woods.

.@SenTedCruz and I just spoke for 40 minutes by phone about our love of this country. This man is the real deal. I'm all in! #TedCruz #tcot

— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 23, 2015


His other Hollywood supporter was Caitlyn Jenner, but that relationship may have soured recently in response to Cruz's support for laws restricting transgender individuals from using certain bathrooms.

Earlier this week, Jenner posted a video of herself walking into a Trump hotel in New York and using the ladies room. When she comes out of the bathroom in the video, Jenner thanks Trump and says, "by the way Ted, nobody got molested," referencing what he said could happen if transgender women are allowed to use ladies rooms.

"We shouldn't be facilitating putting little girls alone in a bathroom w/ grown men. That's just a bad, bad, bad idea," Cruz tweeted earlier this month.

We shouldn't be facilitating putting little girls alone in a bathroom w/ grown men. That's just a bad, bad, bad idea https://t.co/fpj3vUjKuF

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 21, 2016


Jenner has not publicly stated whether or not she is still supporting Cruz.

For his part, Cruz continually deflects any negative remarks.

During an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in March, he was asked about his unpopularity, with Graham's comments cited as one example.

"When you stand up to Washington, they don't like it," Cruz said in response.

And after former Speaker John Boehner called Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh" and a "miserable son of a b----" on Wednesday, Cruz brushed off the remarks as sour grapes.

"The reason Boehner hates me is because conservatives in the House trust me and listen to me," Cruz said Thursday. "And we rose up together and said a radical proposition, 'Let us do what we said we’d do.' And that cost Boehner his speakership, that conservatives wanted us actually to do what we said we’d do."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced Friday that he will be voting for Sen. Ted Cruz in the state's upcoming primary.

The endorsement comes just four days before the state holds its primary.

During a campaign stop in Indiana Friday morning before Pence's announcement, Cruz praised Pence calling him "an optimistic, positive, unifying force" as well as "a strong leader" and "an extraordinary governor."

"I have tremendous respect for Gov. Mike Pence. He has been an incredible leader for the state of Indiana. He has really demonstrated that when you cut taxes when you reduce regulations, that jobs follow," Cruz said.

Pence's coveted endorsement was clearly something that Cruz's rival Donald Trump was hoping to win. The Republican front-runner posted a tweet on April 20 showing him and Chris Christie meeting with Pence.

Pence also met with Gov. John Kasich this Tuesday when the Ohio Governor was in the state, Kasich spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach told ABC News.

Had a meeting with the terrific @GovPenceIN of Indiana. So excited to campaign in his wonderful state! pic.twitter.com/73uCyV6ql4

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2016


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Bernie Sanders hit the campaign trail with renewed vigor Thursday -- and a new speech.

The Vermont senator returned to the West Coast for rally in Eugene, Oregon, Thursday and debuted new remarks, which were likely a preview of what is to come as he continues on the campaign trail, but faces the reality that his path to nomination has all but closed.

In the last few weeks, Sanders’ has vowed to do two things: Campaign against any Republican candidate, and try to amass as many delegates as possible to carry his message to the Democratic convention in July and influence the party’s platform. Speaking to a large crowd of over 8,000 people minutes from the University of Oregon’s campus, Sanders zeroed in on these two goals, offering sharp critiques of both parties.

First he lambasted Republicans. “If you take a hard look at the Republican agenda, it is hard to imagine anybody voting for that agenda,” he said. He criticized the GOP for wanting to give tax breaks to millionaires by repealing the estate tax, neglecting the uninsured by pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and abandoning the elderly for voting to cut Medicare and Social Security. From campaign finance to climate change, Sanders threw fire across the aisle.

“I think we are reaching the day when you are going to have members of Congress with patches on their jackets -- sponsored by the Koch bothers, sponsored by Exxon Mobile,” he said.

Then, Sanders turned his aggression on the Democratic Party itself, a party he has only officially called himself a member of for the purposes of this campaign. He blamed low voter turnout across the country on ambiguous platforms from Democrats.

“The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big money interests?” he said. “Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor or Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies?"

“The Democratic Party, up to now, has not been clear about which side they are on, on the major issues facing this country,” he continued. “You cannot be on the side of those workers who have lost their jobs, because of disastrous trade agreements, and support those corporations who have thrown millions of our workers out on the street.”

Beyond pushing specific progressive policy platforms, Sanders brought up more strategic and mechanical issues he believes the party should tackle. He spoke about automatic voter registration, open primaries, and a fifty-state strategy, and accused the party of turning its back on particularly poor states in the South.

“We need to plant a flag of progressive politics in every state of this country,” he concluded, telling the large crowd that its job was to revitalize American democracy.

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- With the Invictus Games just around the corner, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama showed Prince Harry they’re not messing around.

In a short video message on Twitter, the two called out Prince Harry, letting him know they’re ready for anything.

“Careful what you wish for,” President Obama warns.

Hey, @KensingtonRoyal! Are you ready for @InvictusOrlando? Game on. pic.twitter.com/S34KrEv5Is

— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) April 29, 2016

In response, Prince Harry proved he can handle the playful trash talk with some help from Queen Elizabeth.

Wow @FLOTUS and @POTUS, some @weareinvictus fighting talk there! You can dish it out, but can you take it? - H.

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2016

Unfortunately for you @FLOTUS and @POTUS I wasn't alone when you sent me that video ???? - H.https://t.co/sjfSQvkzb6

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2016

The Invictus Games, an international sporting event started by the prince for wounded, injured and sick service personnel, will be held in Orlando, Florida May 8-12.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They call it “nerd prom.”

The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) is one of Washington’s hottest tickets. It’s a night where journalists rub shoulders with Hollywood celebrities, athletes and administrators.

The star-studded event is hosted by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), the organization that represents the White House press corps.

This is President Obama’s eighth and final WHCD. Here is everything you need -- and wanted to know -- about Saturday's big event.

History

The first dinner was held in 1921 at the Arlington Hotel according to the WHCA, and there were 50 men in attendance. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge became the first presidential attendee. Since then, every president has attended the dinner at least once during his term in office.

The dinner barred guests of color until the 1950s, and women were not allowed to attend until 1962, according to the WHCA. Helen Thomas, the first female White House reporter, threatened to start a boycott against the dinner until the rules changed. Pressure tactics against President John F. Kennedy worked; Kennedy agreed and WHCA capitulated.

In its nearly 100-year history, the dinner has only been cancelled three times, according to a History Channel report: in 1930 following the death of former President William Howard Taft; in 1942 after the country entered World War II; and in 1951 because of the Korean War.

In the 1980s, the dinner saw the beginning of its transformation from a night of Washington insiders to a full-blown celebrity affair. It is now customary for media outlets to give tickets to industry elites and Hollywood stars alike.

Traditions

Perhaps the most well-known of the dinner’s traditions is the comedy routine. The president delivers the initial, joke-filled speech, followed by the keynote roast by a famous comedian. Recent headliners have included Cecily Strong, Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno.

However, it wasn’t until comedian Mark Russell headlined in 1983 that comedy became the cornerstone of the evening. In its first half century, the evening's entertainment was musical performances, movies and variety shows. Stars like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Irving Berlin have all graced the stage.

The dinner also serves to honor young and veteran journalists alike with scholarships and awards. The proceeds from the lofty ticket prices for the event go toward funding these accolades.

The 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Comedian Larry Wilmore will headline Obama’s last WHCD. Wilmore is the host of Comedy Central’s "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”

"Larry's edgy, even provocative, brand of humor means he's certainly up to the task of skewering politicians of all ideological stripes, and we don't expect the nation's news media to escape unscathed, either," said Carol Lee, White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and president of the association.

Tickets to the dinner -- which are only available for purchase by WHCA members -- cost $300 per person or $3,000 per table this year.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump recently accused Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton of using the “woman card” to get elected.

"I think the only card she has is the women's card," Trump said in New York earlier this week. "She has got nothing else going.”

Now Hillary Clinton is firing back again by dealing her supporters a literal 'Woman's Card' on her website.

Trump went on to argue, “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5 percent of the vote. ... And the beautiful thing is, women don't like her."

Clinton responded to the GOP front-runner in a speech on Tuesday night: "Mr. Trump accused me, of playing the, quote, 'woman card.' Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in."

Clinton's suppoters can recieve the card by donating to her campaign.

 

Want one? Chip in now: https://t.co/7zG2HrebW3 #WomanCard pic.twitter.com/tEnbvq5a9r

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 29, 2016



"Deal me in," the card pink card reads.

 

Clinton's campaign continues to change gears, focusing on Trump and his GOP rivals after extending her delegate lead over Bernie Sanders eariler in the week.

 

If fighting for women is "playing the #WomanCard," what card is Trump playing?https://t.co/PRoFKATQAE

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 29, 2016

 

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Following Donald Trump's rally in Costa Mesa, California, Thursday night, hundreds of protesters lined the streets, blocking cars leaving the OC Fair & Event Center, while others jumped on police cars.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said about 20 people were arrested, and there were no major injuries. There were nearly 200 officers outside the Trump rally, according to the Sheriff's Department.

#OCSDPIO Post Trump Rally Protest over. Approx 20 arrests by Costa Mesa PD. No major injuries. Crowd dispersed by 11pm. No further updates

— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSD) April 29, 2016

The protesters were met with police in riot gear and others mounted on horseback.

pic.twitter.com/Pd6EB3XUoV

— Chelsea Edwards (@abc7chelsea) April 29, 2016

Protesters jumped on police cars and other vehicles, and tossed water bottles and other objects at the police. At least one police car was damaged by the protesters. Protesters were also filmed trying to flip over a police car.

Protesters attempt to flip cop car outside Donald Trump rally in Orange County: WATCH #LIVE https://t.co/u5lTveArpyhttps://t.co/8nyDi9sy2N

— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) April 29, 2016

Rebeca Olguin, a Bernie Sanders supporter who was at the scene and posted a video of the mayhem on Instagram, told ABC News she came to protest Trump and his campaign.

"There were some who were peacefully protesting while others were being more open about sharing their opinions," she wrote in an e-mail to ABC News.

 Before the event started, the venue closed once it had reached capacity and individuals were trying to jump the fence to get in. They were escorted outside the gate.

The rally -- which attracted 18,000 supporters and was held in advance of the state's June 7 primary -- opened with families of people killed by undocumented workers from the Remembrance Project. They joined Trump on stage, as they have at previous rallies. "Trump is here to save us all,” said Jamiel Shaw, Sr., whose son Jamiel Shaw, Jr., was killed in 2008 when he was 17. Trump in turn took back the microphone and vowed to “Build the Wall."

Trump also took aim at his GOP rival Ted Cruz, and his newly-announced running mate, Carly Fiorina.

"[Cruz] will get an award...for the first time in the history of American politics, a man who is totally mathematically dead, has appointed a Vice President,” Trump said, later adding that Senator Cruz is “one lyin’ son of a gun.”

As for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, Trump said, “She’s there shouting all night long with reading from teleprompters. I’m sorta glad she won I wanna beat her more than Sanders.”

Trump will attend his first-ever state convention of the cycle Friday in California. His next rally is Sunday in Indiana.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Republican front-runner Donald Trump seems to have found a kindred spirit in famed, former Indiana University head coach Bobby Knight.

Knight has appeared with the businessman at two events in Indiana, praising Trump’s “preparedness.” Both have reputations for pursuing the win -- Knight boasting 900 career wins and Trump on a primary winning streak.

But both also have their share of controversies. Trump has come under fire for appearing to be xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and for his comments on abortion. Knight was infamously fired from his coaching position after allegations of physical assault. He faced added scrutiny when he made a comparison between handling stress and rape during an NBC News interview, saying, ''I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

Trump and Knight have bonded recently, with Knight throwing his endorsement to the real-estate mogul.

While speaking to an Evansville, Indiana crowd, Knight defended Trump against claims that the candidate was not presidential enough, comparing him to Harry Truman, who Knight said was accused of the same thing.

“They told him that he wasn’t presidential, and Harry Truman, with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944, saved, saved billions of American lives,” Knight said. “That’s what Harry Truman did and he became one of the three great presidents of the United States. And here’s a man who would do the same thing because he’s going to become one of the four great presidents of the United States.”

Knight also said during Trump’s Indiana visit that the candidate isn’t beholden to any party: "This man is not a Republican. He's not a Democrat at heart. He's just a great American.”

In Knight’s speech before introducing Trump he exclaimed, "Let me first tell you that I was very, very selective with players during the time I was here. And I’ll tell you one thing that man that was just up here a moment ago, I will tell you, that son of a b--- could play for me!"

While introducing Knight, Trump returned the favor, praising the coach as “the best.”

“You don’t get any better, tough, tough. Would you say he was tough enough, would you say?” he asked the audience.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It had all the makings of a dropping out speech -- minus the punchline.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich revealed to voters in Oregon that he had been seriously thinking about whether or not to continue his campaign. He trails rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz by hundreds of delegates.

“I want to tell you that I got up yesterday and, well, I started thinking about my campaign, started thinking about my effort,” Kasich told a crowd of supporters at a Portland town hall Thursday.

“I thought about should I keep going? Should I carry on? What is this all about? And I thought deeply about it,” Kasich admitted.

“I’ve decided to keep going. And there are going to be people who are going to criticize me for that, and it’s not always an easy road,” Kasich said. “I’m gonna do my very best.”

The sitting Ohio governor has won only his home state’s primary and is mathematically eliminated from securing the delegates needed for the Republican nomination.

Kasich dismissed calls from his GOP rivals to exit the race, saying: “I’m inclined to keep going.”

.@JohnKasich: "I've decided to keep going." https://t.co/pBbimp0Zid https://t.co/LY4SJhdHRr

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 28, 2016

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia and chief delegate counter for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, brushed off this Tuesday’s losses to Donald Trump in five northeastern states. He said the Cruz campaign will “march on.”

In the latest edition of the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, Cuccinelli told ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein, who hosts the podcast with Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, that Tuesday was a “good day” for Trump, but many of the states the real estate mogul has won “will never in a million years vote a Republican for president.”

“Senator Cruz has done well in Republican states,” Cuccinelli said. “I think that tells folks something: Only one of these two can carry on a national campaign that is grassroots-based. You can see that by how we’re absolutely cleaning their clock in the grassroots contest that is the delegate battle.”

Cuccinelli also put to rest any rumors that the Cruz campaign was wooing undecided delegates with a sweet treat -- cake.

“No, no, no,” Cuccinelli insisted. “If you knew our budget you’d recognize that it’s not even possible.”

“Not even cheap cake,” he added.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama stunned college student reporters attending a special briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest at the White House Thursday.

"Josh was speaking for me and I wanted to make sure he was getting it right," Obama said as he entered the briefing room. "Are you guys having an interesting time here?"

Obama then told the students he had some news to break.

"Today [Thursday] I want to announce that we're aiming to enroll 2 million more people in Pay As You Earn by this time next this year and you can find out how at studentloans.gov/repay," the president announced.

Pay As You Earn is new federal student loan repayment plan that is now available to some borrowers with newer federal loans.

The president added that the administration will soon make additional announcements about how it's going to get federal agencies to coordinate so that as students manage student debt there is a one-stop shop where they can figure out how to pay back their loans and ensure that there are consumer protections for how they're being treated in repayment process.

The president then took several questions from student journalists for more than 30 minutes.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- This presidential election stands out for many reasons, but one unexpected deviation is how it has changed the way the campaigns have mapped out their course.

Prioritizing some later states in this election -- like New York earlier this month and Indiana next Tuesday -- comes as a confluence of factors have changed the game.

It’s unfair to call these later primaries "battlegrounds ... any more than they ever were," but their role in the race has shifted, Georgetown University associate professor Hans Noel said.

"What is different is just that these states matter, because the contest isn’t settled,” Noel said.

"In a typical year, the party would be behind the front-runner, and anyone opposing the front-runner would have converted or at least stepped aside by now."

In addition to Sanders' narrative being "so entertaining" and his supporters being "very committed," Noel explained, it has forced Clinton's hand and made her still devote attention to the primary at a time when she may have wanted to shift toward the general election by now.

"Since the Democrats are proportional, it’s not enough to rest comfortably on a victory," Noel said, referring to the way that Democratic delegates are awarded. "Clinton needs to run up the score.”

For some states, the change in emphasis was intentional.

New York political leaders worked to change their state primary so it was held on a day with no others, as it had been previously.

"It was really done as a way to encourage the candidates to come campaign here," New York Republican State Committee spokeswoman Jessica Proud told ABC News. "New York is a very large, diverse state and, typically, candidates were coming into New York City to raise money rather than campaign around the state."

Others have become a focus of attention as a result of the length of the campaign itself, and the refusal by some to coalesce behind one candidate.

James Campbell, a professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, said the "very crowded" Republican field played a part.

"Supporters of the other candidates in the crowded field were likely to cling to their favored candidate longer than usual because they regarded a move to the front-runner unacceptable," Campbell said.

"In effect, this limited any bandwagon effect that we might have otherwise seen for a more broadly acceptable front-runner."

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