The Latest: Sanders delegates assured they won’t miss votes


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (all times EDT):

7:30 p.m.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is assuring its delegates they will not miss votes if they attend a private meeting with him before the start of the Democratic National Convention.

A text message Saturday to Sanders’ 1,900 delegates says they should “not worry about being in the convention hall for the opening gavel.”

It adds that if delegates arrive too early, they “will have nothing to do for hours.”

Delegates have been expressing concerns about the meeting because it’s being held at 2 p.m. Monday, miles away from the Wells Fargo Center.

The convention was originally slated to start at 3 p.m., but the DNC says the time has been changed to 4 p.m. The first votes are expected at 4:30 p.m.

Delegates will vote on the Democratic platform and rules that day.

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4:40 p.m.

An effort to fully eliminate superdelegates in future elections has failed at a meeting of the Democratic National Convention rules committee.

At the Saturday gathering in Philadelphia, a delegate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders offered an amendment to get rid of superdelegates — party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice at the convention. Sanders supporters claim superdelegates gave Hillary Clinton too much of an advantage in their battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The amendment was defeated, though it earned enough support to force a floor vote at the convention. More amendments on superdelegates were expected at the meeting.

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4:30 p.m.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is urging its 1,900 delegates not to miss a private meeting with him right before the start of the Democratic National Convention.

In a text to delegates Saturday, the campaign says the meeting about “continuing the political revolution” is the “most important thing you can do at the DNC.” It was obtained by The Associated Press.

Delegates are expressing concerns about the meeting’s timing. It is being held at 2 p.m. Monday miles away from the Wells Fargo Center, where the convention begins at 3 p.m. Votes on the Democratic platform and rules are planned that day.

A leader of the Bernie Delegates Network, Karen Bernal, says most delegates will skip the Sanders meeting if it jeopardizes their ability to cast votes. The network claims 1,200 members.

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2:30 p.m.

Liberal activists are making a push at the Democratic National Convention to eliminate the use of superdelegates in future elections.

A group of progressive organizations say they have enough support for a floor vote on an amendment to get rid of superdelegates. Those are the party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice at the convention.

The amendment is expected to be offered at a meeting of the convention’s rules committee on Saturday.

Supporters of the move say superdelegates have outsized power in the nominating process. Many who want to do away with superdelegates backed Bernie Sanders. They say his campaign was hurt by Hillary Clinton’s overwhelming support from superdelegates.

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1:45 p.m.

Tim Kaine is using his debut campaign appearance as Hillary Clinton’s running mate to introduce himself to voters.

He’s joining Clinton at a rally in Miami, and here’s what he’s telling the crowd: “For many of you, this is the first time you’ve heard my name. I’m excited for us to get to know one another.”

Kaine has opened his remarks in fluent Spanish, and he’s detailing his biography to supporters.

There was his childhood as the son of a Kansas ironworker and hi education at a Jesuit boys schools. He’s describing his early work as a missionary in Honduras and a civil rights lawyer in Richmond, Virginbia.

In Kaine’s words, “I like to fight for right.”

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1:30 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she has “no doubt” that running mate Tim Kaine is qualified to be her vice president.

She says the most important factor in her decision was whether her running mate could “step in and be president.”

Clinton tells a campaign crowd in Miami that behind Kaine’s smile is a “backbone of steel.”

Clinton says the Virginia senator has fought for what she calls the most important issues facing the country, including voting rights, criminal justice reform, gun control, immigration legislation and LGBT equality.

Clinton and Kaine are making their debut appearance as running mates at the Miami event. It comes days before the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia.

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1:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are sharing a stage at their first public campaign event as the Democratic ticket.

Clinton is calling Kaine a progressive who likes to get things done and says he’s “everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not” — referring to the Republican nominees.

Clinton and Kaine are being greeted by cheers from a boisterous Miami crowd in the crucial battleground state of Florida. Their appearance comes just days before the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia.

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11:15 a.m.

More than 19,000 emails from Democratic party officials have been leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton’s nomination next week at the Philadelphia convention.

The emails detail the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s former primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at the Sanders campaign — and, in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion.

Some emails show DNC and White House officials mulling whether to invite guests with controversial backgrounds to party events.

Wikileaks’ posting of the emails didn’t disclose the identity of who provided the private material. But those knowledgeable about the breach said last month that Russian hackers penetrated DNC computers.

DNC and Sanders campaign officials weren’t immediately available for comment.

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11 a.m.

National preference polls may give Hillary Clinton an edge over Donald Trump, and the electoral map may favor her. And sizable numbers of Democrats say they’re behind Clinton.

But many Democrats say they’re more motivated by a desire to keep Trump out of the White House than by her vision for the country’s future or by her bid to become the first woman to serve as president.

Democrats and independent voters in the Philadelphia suburbs — a crucial area in a competitive state — are expressing mixed feelings about Clinton in the days leading up to next week’s Democratic convention in their hometown.

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10:50 a.m.

The streets are freshly swept, the hotel rooms are pristine, the party invitations have gone out and extra police patrols are assigned.

Philadelphia is ready for the Democratic National Convention.

But tougher to clean up and shine is the state’s political image. It’s been tarnished by recent political corruption cases that have implicated many Democrats across the state.

A Republican consultant says these cases send a message about the overwhelmingly Democratic city — and could provide grist for Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans as the general election draws near.

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10:45 a.m.

Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are closely aligned on many issues.

But Kaine’s cautious, left-leaning political profile has been blurred at times by his ties to energy industry interests and his personal qualms over abortion.

Kaine has navigated the rough-and-tumble of Virginia’s electoral landscape with few ethics missteps. But minor controversies have flared over his acceptance of paid travel and gifts.

He and Clinton share support for a number of issues, from a no-fly zone in the air over Syria to gun control, education, health care and a tax overhaul.

Clinton opposes offshore drilling. Kaine has sponsored legislation to open Virginia’s coast to drilling.

Kaine opposes abortion, but says “the right role for government is to let women make their own decisions.”

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9 a.m.

Hillary Clinton has made her pick and now it’s time to team up with running mate Tim Kaine for the Democratic ticket’s first public event.

They’ll be at Florida International University in Miami later Saturday.

Florida is a vitally important state in the 2016 race.

The bilingual Kaine may prove to be a valuable asset in Spanish-language media as the campaign appeals to Hispanic-Americans turned off by Republican Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric about immigrants.

Kaine — a Virginia senator and former governor — got the nod from Clinton in a telephone call Friday evening — days before the party convention begins in Philadelphia.

His selection completes the lineup for the general election. Clinton and Kaine will face Trump and his vice presidential choice, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

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