The Latest: Sanders celebrates praise from Joe Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (all times Eastern Daylight Time):

8:30 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is citing favorable comments from Vice President Joe Biden that stopped short of an endorsement of his campaign.

Biden told The New York Times he prefers Sanders' "aspirational approach" to rival Hillary Clinton's "caution."

Sanders on Thursday told a crowd at the Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, that he thinks "the Vice President is exactly right."

Sanders says he thinks being aspirational means "having the courage to envision a nation that allows us to fulfill the potential we know we have as a people."

The Vermont senator acknowledges he's thinking big, but denies that proposals like free public college, campaign finance reform and universal health care are radical ideas.

Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and is hugely popular in the state.


8:20 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz is quoting the basketball movie "Hoosiers" as he campaigns in Indiana, comparing the federal government to "the guy who will get naked and bark at the moon in your living room."

The Republican presidential contender told the crowd at the state's annual GOP spring dinner that the 1986 movie about a small-town Indiana basketball team. Indiana's presidential primary is on May 3, with 57 national delegates up for grabs.

In "Hoosiers," a coach says there are "two kinds" of dumb: "a guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and a guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with."


8:05 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz is vowing to aggressively campaign across Indiana in the coming weeks, saying all eyes will be on the state ahead its May 3 primary.

The Republican presidential candidate spoke Thursday during the state GOP's annual spring dinner. He says the people of Indiana want to get behind an optimistic conservative campaign.

Cruz's swing through the state follows a Wednesday rally held by businessman Donald Trump, which drew several thousand people.

Indiana offers 57 Republican delegates and could play a crucial role as Trump seeks to gain enough delegates to avoid a contested national convention.


7:25 p.m.

A top aide to Donald Trump is telling GOP officials that the billionaire businessman is prepared to raise money for the Republican National Committee.

Trump's convention manager Paul Manafort delivered the message behind closed doors in a private meeting with RNC officials in Florida Thursday.

He said Trump is prepared to work with the RNC "to raise the money necessary so that we will be well-funded" and is "prepared to do his part in his campaign as well."

Manafort, who was brought in to professionalize Trump's campaign, also assured potentially nervous members that Trump is "preparing a campaign operation that will be what you all are historically used to."

The Associated Press obtained a recording of the closed-door exchange.


7:15 p.m.

Donald Trump's chief lieutenants are telling skeptical Republican leaders the GOP front-runner has been "projecting an image" so far in the 2016 primary season and "the part that he's been playing is now evolving" in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters.

The message, delivered behind closed doors in a private briefing, is part of the campaign's intensifying effort to convince party leaders that Trump will moderate his tone in the coming months to help deliver big electoral gains this fall.

Trump's newly hired senior aide, Paul Manafort, told party leaders in Florida that "the part that he's been playing is evolving." Manafort says, "The image is going to change."

The Associated Press obtained a recording of the closed-door exchange.


6:30 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump is calling on his remaining rivals to drop their presidential bids, saying neither Ted Cruz nor John Kasich has a path to the nomination.

"They should both drop out of the race so that the Republican Party can unify!" Trump tweeted Thursday evening.

While Trump has previously called on Kasich to quit, he is ramping up his rhetoric against Cruz following a commanding win in New York, which left him the only candidate with a realistic, if narrow, path to clinching the nomination ahead of this summer's GOP convention.

"Cruz said Kasich should leave because he couldn't get to 1237. Now he can't get to 1237," Trump added. "Drop out LYIN' Ted."


6:25 p.m.

Donald Trump is running two new television spots in Pennsylvania and Indiana, part of a robust new advertising buy from the Republican front-runner.

The 30-second ad running in the Pittsburgh area features Trump speaking directly to the camera about his policy proposals. The message is similar to radio ads he's run in other states.

The second spot features Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., speaking warmly about the businessman as a father and includes images of Trump with his young grandchildren. That ad is going on air in the Evansville, Indiana, area, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media's CMAG.

CMAG shows Trump has reserved about $2 million worth of airtime in Pennsylvania and Indiana.


6 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz drew more than 100 people to his first campaign event in Indiana.

The Republican presidential candidate met voters at Shapiro's Delicatessen in Indianapolis.

Dave Frye of Indianapolis says he has supported Cruz since he announced his candidacy more than a year ago. The 44-year-old insurance broker praises Cruz as a staunch constitutionalist and says GOP front-runner Donald Trump has distorted the national conversation.

Twenty-five-year-old Katie Conley of Indianapolis says she supports Cruz because of his focus on family and his anti-abortion stance.

Cruz's visit comes nearly two weeks before Indiana voters cast their ballots in the state primaries. Indiana is expected to be pivotal in this year's presidential race despite being late in the election season.


5:17 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is showing few signs of backing down in his Democratic primary fight against Hillary Clinton, reminding voters in Pennsylvania about Clinton's high-priced private speeches to Wall Street.

Sanders notes at a rally in Reading, Pennsylvania, that Clinton delivered speeches to Wall Street after she left the State Department for $225,000 per speech. The Vermont senator has pressured Clinton to release the transcripts of her speeches, saying it should be "shared with the American people."

Sanders was traveling across Pennsylvania on Thursday ahead of the state's April 26 primary. It was his first day of campaigning since Clinton defeated Sanders decisively in New York's primary.

Sanders also notes his differences with Clinton over trade, fracking and super PACs.


4:30 p.m.

Colorado Republican Chairman Steve House said he hopes a sheriff from his state will accompany the delegation to the GOP nominating convention in Cleveland, after his delegates reported getting threatening email messages and telephone calls from Trump supporters.

House raised the concerns during a closed meeting of state GOP chairmen gathered in Holiday Beach, Florida, for the Republican National Committee meeting going on this week.. House later relayed to The Associated Press just one of the messages he received by phone after Ted Cruz swept Colorado's delegate selection conventions this month.

House said a caller told him to "put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger." And if he didn't? "I'll send someone over to help you."

Trump did not compete aggressively for the Colorado delegates, and received none of the state's 34 pledged delegates. House is among three unpledged delegates from the state, and is publicly neutral.


1:52 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is urging his supporters to pressure the nation to tackle problems like wealth inequality and the influence of Wall Street but offering a more subdued speech after his defeat in New York's primary.

The Vermont senator is back on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania after losing to Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's presidential primary in New York.

He is only mentioning Clinton in passing, pointing to their differences over trade, fracking and Social Security.

When he brings up New York's primary, some supporters boo. Sanders jokes, "I share those sentiments."

He points out that 3 million voters in New York were registered as independents but "did not have the right to participate." He says, "that really is not democracy."


11:35 a.m.

Ted Cruz is criticizing Donald Trump for opposing North Carolina's new bathroom law, saying his rival is giving in to "political correctness."

Trump said earlier Thursday that North Carolina should not have passed the law directing transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate.

Cruz supports the North Carolina measure and says, "Grown adult men, strangers, should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls." He says his view is "basic common sense."

Cruz is campaigning in Frederick, Maryland, where voters will cast their ballots Tuesday.


11:30 a.m.

Some prominent Southern Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton want Bernie Sanders to stop dismissing his rival's landslide Democratic primary wins across the GOP-dominated region.

Southern primaries account for a considerable portion of Clinton's national lead in pledged delegates and the popular vote. Sanders in recent weeks said the results "distort reality," and he's suggested the results aren't indicative of the Democratic Party because they came from the country's "most conservative region."

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler of South Carolina, among others, penned a letter this week to the Vermont senator noting the region's racial diversity accurately reflects the national Democratic coalition. Clinton has won non-white voters by large margins.

They noted President Barack Obama leaned on a similar coalition of voters in the 2008 primary and both his general election victories.

Citing the Republican power in the region, Fowler and his colleagues argued that "our national Democratic leaders" should "invest in our races and causes_to amplify our voices, not diminish them."


10:40 a.m.

Donald Trump says he will deliver a foreign affairs address on Wednesday, the first in a series of policy speeches for the Republican front-runner.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump says he is also planning a speech outlining more details on his immigration policy, and a separate speech on the military. He says people may be surprised by "how well I'll handle matters relative to the military."

Trump says he "may or may not" use teleprompters for his speeches depending on the "level of detail" in policy speeches. Trump almost never relies on a teleprompter, preferring instead to speak in his free-wheeling style at large rallies.

Trump's advisers have cast the policy speeches as part of a campaign evolution that has included hiring staff with more experience in presidential politics.


9:25 a.m.

Donald Trump says he opposes replacing President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. The Republican presidential front-runner calls it an act of "pure political correctness."

Trump — during a town hall Thursday on NBC's "Today Show" — said he'd prefer to leave Jackson on the bill and place Tubman's image on another denomination instead.

As he puts it: "Maybe we do the $2 bill or we do another bill."

He says Tubman is "fantastic," but that Jackson has "been on the bill for many, many years" and "really represented somebody that really was very important to this country."


8:15 a.m.

Donald Trump says he believes transgender people should be able to use whichever bathroom they choose.

Speaking at a town hall event on NBC's "Today" Thursday, Trump said North Carolina's so-called "bathroom law," which directs transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates, has caused unnecessary strife.

"There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble," he says.

Still, he says he's opposed to the move to create new, non-gendered bathrooms open to anyone, calling that push "discriminatory in a certain way" and "unbelievably expensive for businesses and the country."

He says if Caitlyn Jenner, formerly former Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner, were to walk into Trump Tower, she could use whichever bathroom she wanted.


7:45 a.m.

Melania Trump says there's one habit she wishes her husband, Donald Trump, would give up: "Retweeting."

The wife of the Republican presidential front-runner offered the response while speaking on NBC's "Today" ahead of a town hall event taking place in midtown Manhattan.

Melania Trump has long taken issue with her husband's Twitter use. She told CNN's Anderson Cooper recently that she's tried to rein it in, with little success.

"Anderson, if he would only listen. I do say it many times," she said then.

Trump has long described his social media following as an asset that gives him the power to broadcast his own message.

But it's also gotten him in trouble.

He does appear to have toned down his Twitter use since re-shuffling of his campaign and bringing in more experienced operatives in recent weeks.