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First Read's Morning Clips: Trump vs. the RNC

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
Image: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (C) speaks
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (C) speaks on January 24, 2014 in Washington, DCWin McNamee / Getty Images

OFF TO THE RACES: Trump vs. the RNC

Donald Trump is aggressively attacking the "rigged" delegate system, saying "It’s a phony deal."

And he said at a CNN town hall last night: "I know the rules very well, but I know it's stacked against me by the establishment."

Reince Priebus responded to Donald Trump's complaints about the GOP delegate selection process, saying "give us all a break."

The Washington Post calculates that Cruz is poised to block Trump from winning on a second ballot in Cleveland.

On Paul Ryan's announcement yesterday: Perry Bacon Jr. writes that Ryan's running a campaign -- it's just not for president.

Our newest NBC 4/ Marist poll of Maryland shows big leads for Trump and Clinton.

Morning Consult: “If the presidential election was held today, businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would lose to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to an extensive Morning Consult analysis of 44,000 poll respondents. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the only candidate who could beat Clinton in November. Both Trump and Cruz would lose to Clinton by considerable margins in a head-to-head race, winning just 210 and 206 electoral college votes, respectively. By contrast, Kasich comfortably beats Clinton, racking up 304 electoral college votes to her 234.

Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is endorsing three GOP Senate candidates -- Mike Lee (UT), Pat Toomey (PA), and Marlin Stutzman (IN).

CLINTON: The New York Times profiles the mothers of black victims of gun violence who are advocating for the Democratic frontrunner.

The Washington Post writes that Bill Clinton is still struggling to adapt to the changing times and a changing party. "Clinton is caught in a time warp, having to grapple with how much the era in which he served, the events that occurred then and the actions he took as president have been reinterpreted and, by many in his own party, rejected."

CRUZ: POLITICO writes that he and his wife will raise money from deep-pocketed New York donors next week.

The Wall Street Journal notes that he's campaigning in heavily Democratic districts in New York.

KASICH: NBC's Kailani Koenig wraps his big "two paths" speech yesterday.

The Washington Post, on his call for civility and governing experience: "So it is that Kasich is running a distant third in the nomination contest, espousing a brand of Republicanism — based on results, experience, bipartisanship, solutions — that won elections in the 1990s and 2000s and is still extolled by party leaders but has little currency with today’s voters."

He thinks his path can run through the northeast, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Lagging far behind in the hunt for convention delegates, the governor is banking on a highly unconventional strategy to leapfrog businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Mr. Kasich and his advisers are connecting with individual delegates to the Cleveland convention to test their appetite for backing the Ohio governor if Mr. Trump can’t clinch the nomination on the first ballot with the support of at least 1,237 attendees."

SANDERS: He picked up his first Senate endorsement from Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (who's also a superdelegate.)

The Denver Post has the latest on the furor over misreported delegates in Colorado.

He visited FDR's grave in New York.

TRUMP: He mistakenly claimed support from conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, who has endorsed Ted Cruz.

He dropped the ball in early delegate selection in Nebraska, too, POLITICO notes.

He backtracked on his inference that he'd consider John Kasich, Scott Walker or Marco Rubio for his second-in-command, telling The Hill " I like all of those people but I wasn’t talking about them as vice president."