The Latest: Rep. Fudge confirms she’s new convention chair


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

2:00 p.m.

Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio says she is “happy to serve” as chair of the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia.

Fudge issued a statement Sunday thanking Hillary Clinton for recommending her to the position. Fudge said she is looking forward to a “great convention and our ongoing efforts as we work together for a strong party and a successful election.”

Still in question is what role Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will play during the convention. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says she should step down after some 19,000 DNC emails were leaked that suggested committee officials favored Hillary Clinton during the party’s primary.

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1:25 p.m.

Michael Bloomberg, who was elected mayor of New York City as a Republican, will speak at the Democratic National Convention to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

Spokesman Marc LaVorgna says Bloomberg will make the endorsement speech Wednesday night.

The billionaire media mogul opted against running as a third-party candidate for fear it might siphon away votes from Clinton and help elect Republican Donald Trump.

Bloomberg has been sharply critical of Trump, and in particular of his fellow New Yorker’s inflammatory rhetoric on immigration.

Bloomberg had previously been a Democrat before switching his party affiliation to Republican before his successful 2001 run for mayor. Bloomberg, who served three terms, later became an independent and a leading advocate for gun control.

His endorsement was first reported Sunday by The New York Times.

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12:56 p.m.

The Democratic National Committee’s rules panel has decided that Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio will preside over convention sessions beginning Monday.

A DNC rules committee member says she was voted as convention chairwoman as part of standard procedures. That makes clear that DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not act in that capacity; under party rules, the DNC head acts as temporary chair until a new one is voted in.

Still in question is what role Wasserman Schultz might play during this week’s Democratic convention. Many supporters of Bernie Sanders are angry after some 19,000 emails from the DNC were leaked that suggested committee officials favored Hillary Clinton during the party’s primary.

The DNC rules committee member spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of internal party affairs.

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12:55 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are planning a bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio after the Democratic National Convention.

Economic issues are the focus, with the Democratic ticket set to stop in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and Youngstown and Columbus in Ohio.

They’ll appear at public rallies and smaller events.

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12:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine say they won’t come up with an epithet for Donald Trump akin to his use of “Crooked Hillary.”

In a joint interview with Kaine, Clinton told “60 Minutes Sunday” that she won’t engage in “that kind of insult-fest” and that she prefers to talk about Trump’s record.

Kaine, who was announced as Clinton’s running mate this weekend ahead of the Democratic National Convention, said using terms like “Crooked Hillary” was beneath “the kind of dialogue we should have.” He added: “Most of us stopped the name-calling thing about fifth grade.”

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11:45 a.m.

A California delegate says there are serious discussions underway to challenge Hillary Clinton’s pick of Tim Kaine as her running mate.

Norman Solomon, a delegate who supports Bernie Sanders, says there is talk among Sanders’ delegates of walking out during Kaine’s acceptance speech or turning their backs as a show of protest.

Solomon said he believes a “vast majority” of Sanders delegates support these kinds of protests to express their dismay. Sanders’ supporters say they are concerned that Kaine is not progressive enough.

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11:15 a.m.

Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, were back at their longtime church in Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday, a day after the Virginia senator made his campaign debut with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as her running mate.

Kaine — a former choir member at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church — sang a solo during Communion.

His wife spoke briefly at the end of the service, telling parishioners how important they’ve been in their lives.

She said “you have helped shape us” and that she and her husband “will really need your prayers.”

Kaine told reporters outside the church: “We needed some prayers today and we got some prayers, and we got some support and it really feels good.”

St. Elizabeth’s is a majority black church in Richmond’s Highland Park area.

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10:15 a.m.

Bernie Sanders says he wishes Hillary Clinton had picked someone like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her running mate instead of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Sanders tells NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that Kaine is a “very, very smart guy” and a “very nice guy” but wouldn’t have been his vice presidential choice.

Sanders — who describes himself as a democratic socialist — says Kaine is more conservative than he is.

Warren is known for her fiery edges, particularly when going after Wall Street and big banks, and is a favorite of the party’s liberal base.

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9:35 a.m.

Bernie Sanders wants the head of the Democratic National Committee to step down — after leaked emails suggested the party played favorites during the presidential primary.

Here’s what Sanders tells ABC’s “This Week”: “I’m not shocked, but I am disappointed.”

Emails posted to the website Wikileaks show that at least some DNC officials were looking at ways to undercut Sanders’ campaign, including questioning his religious beliefs.

Sanders says the party chairwoman, Rep., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, should resign immediately.

The Vermont senator says a new leader is needed to focus the DNC on defeating Donald Trump, attracting young voters and improving the economy.

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9:30 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager accuses Russia of leaking emails on purpose from the Democratic National Committee to help Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election.

Wikileaks has posted emails that including several denunciations of Clinton’s primary rival, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters.

Robby Mook says on CNN’s ‘State of the Union” that experts are telling the campaign “Russian state actors” broke into the DNC’s emails, and that other experts say these Russians are now selectively releasing the emails.

He says it’s no coincidence the emails are coming out on the eve of the party’s nominating convention in Philadelphia.

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9 a.m.

President Barack Obama says Donald Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. might not come to the defense of NATO allies is another sign of what he calls Trump’s “lack of preparedness” on foreign policy.

Obama tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Trump’s comments amount to an admission that the U.S. “might not abide” by NATO’s “most central tenet.”

NATO members promise that an attack against any of them is considered an assault against all.

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8:50 a.m.

It’s become a bit easier for Hillary Clinton to formally claim the nomination at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic National Committee has released a slightly trimmed list of superdelegates — those are the party officials who can back any candidate.

There are now 4,763 total delegates, and 712 of them are superdelegates.

Two superdelegates left their positions in the last month, while Rep. Mark Takai of Hawaii died from cancer.

It now takes 2,382 delegates to formally clinch the nomination.

Heading into the convention, Clinton now has 2,814, when including superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count. Sanders has 1,893.

More than 50 remain uncommitted.

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