Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off in a highly-anticipated debate tonight in Brooklyn. We assume they’ll draw sharp distinctions between their policy plans for America’s kombucha, beards, and microbrews.
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‘16 from 30,000
One of the most interesting things about today’s brouhaha over a Bernie Sanders supporter who used the phrase “corporate Democratic whores” was that it took so long for an unruly Sanders surrogate to get this much attention for going off-script. As Sanders campaign reporter Danny Freeman points out, health care activist Paul Song was hardly the first (or the most famous!) #FeeltheBern fan to use controversial language (see examples from Rosario Dawson, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.) But one very big reason for the in-depth coverage of Song’s remark and subsequent apology was the relative absence of Donald Trump in the news cycle. The GOP frontrunner is hardly quiet -- after all, he’s flatly accused the entire GOP nominating apparatus of being “corrupt.” But Trump has notably NOT been lurching lately from one hyper-controversial comment to the next (akin to his remarks about the KKK, nuclear attacks and punishing women for abortions.) That created some room in the news cycle for a Democratic controversy that might have otherwise gotten second billing to high-stakes drama on the GOP side. It’s another reminder of how much of a break both Clinton and Sanders have been getting for the last few months, as Trump distracting from their protracted fight by taking up all the oxygen day in and day out.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Here are four things to watch in tonight’s Democratic debate, per MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald.
- Hillary Clinton has expanded her lead over Bernie Sanders in New York's April 19 Democratic presidential primary, according to a new NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.
- Authorities in Florida announced Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski won’t be charged with battery, saying there is not enough evidence to convict him of attacking a reporter at a rally last month.
- Donald Trump has taken over Reddit, MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin reports.
- During an MSNBC town hall with our own Chuck Todd, Ted Cruz doubled down on accusations that GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lied to him.
- He also called his parents’ generation “deadbeats” for saddling younger generations with debt, MSNBC’s Anna Brand writes.
- Ahead of the New York primary, John Kasich justified his continuation in the GOP race by quoting famous Yankee Yogi Berra: "It ain't over till it's over," one of us writes.
- And Kasich said he supports “moving on” from the gay marriage debate.
- The stop-Trump effort is going small in New York, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
- Bernie Sanders' campaign is under fire again for comments made by a supporter at a campaign event, this time after a speaker at Sanders' massive Manhattan rally Wednesday night decried "corporate Democratic whores," MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald reports.
- And from First Read: Clinton and Sanders are prepared to clash at tonight’s debate after a contentious week.
FOR THE RECORD…
“Some people, look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing.”
- Donald Trump, asked on WHAM 1180 AM radio what his favorite Bible verse is
Hillary Clinton begins her day in New York City before heading to California.
Bernie Sanders travels to Rome.
Trump holds rallies in Plattsburgh, New York and Hartford, Connecticut.
Kasich and Cruz also campaign in the Empire State.