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Clinton Wins 4 States; Rubio Bows Out; Kasich Still In With Ohio Win


And last night was a big one for Hillary Clinton. She won in Missouri and Illinois. And David Greene, you've been talking to voters there in Cleveland, Ohio.


Yeah, Renee. So went to this elementary school - Ridge-Brook Elementary School in Parma. It's just outside Cleveland. There was this banner that says home of the dolphins hanging on a brick wall as people were walking inside to vote. And around the school, aging homes with small yards, and beyond them large factory buildings. And there was a voter, Debra Lee. She's a Hillary Clinton supporter we heard from elsewhere in the show. And she was telling us about To encompass about Parma.

DEBRA LEE: This is a very, I think, blue-collar neighborhood. I've lived here since 1990. I think it is struggling. We have lost the factories around here. Ford has cut back; Chevy has cut back. We're losing - we've lost a lot of manufacturing base, so it's very tough, yeah. I don't doubt that there are Trump supporters here.

GREENE: And Renee, they were, like Russ Lakatos. He's an electrician.

RUSS LAKATOS: I voted for Trump - just time for a change, I guess, man. I'm looking for somebody that wasn't born and raised into the political genre of things, you know? Something different, I guess.

GREENE: When people criticize Trump and call him, like, a racist and someone who, you know, says nasty stuff and insults, what do you - does that trouble you at all?

LAKATOS: No. He's really saying I think what people want to hear. But the rest of the politicians that have been, you know, born into the stuff, they can't say it or they don't want to say it. But he doesn't care. He's saying it because I think it's what - a lot of people are thinking that way. Even though it sounds a little crazy and some of his stuff might be a little off the hook - you know, but I think he's saying what the people want to hear.

GREENE: His proposal to sort of make the country safer by making sure more Muslims are not coming into the country for a certain period of time, do you think that's a good idea?

LAKATOS: Yeah. I say anything with all the illegals - you know, any of these illegal people that are coming in - it's just not fair to the rest of us. It's just how I feel, anyway.

GREENE: That is Trump supporter Russ Lakatos. We spoke to him in Parma, Ohio.


Now let's hear a voice of the Trump opposition here in Florida. He's an attorney and lobbyist. His name is Mac Stipanovich. He supported Jeb Bush. He was on this program a few days ago after Bush withdrew strongly supporting Marco Rubio, who is now withdrawn. And he's graciously returned to the program. Mr. Stipanovich, good morning.

MAC STIPANOVICH: Good morning. How are you?

INSKEEP: So if you're a mainstream Republican, what do you do now?

STIPANOVICH: You fight on. You know, my dad told me when I was a kid you've got to stand up and fight a bully whether you win or you lose. And he's still alive, and I've talked to him about this. And he said this is the kind of bully I need to be fighting.

INSKEEP: What would be the approach if somebody were asking you a strategy?

STIPANOVICH: Well, obviously, the remaining candidates in the race think that they can pull enough delegates to win the nomination. You know, winning a plurality doesn't make you the majority choice of the Republican Party. So we'll have to see what happens between now and the convention and what happens at the convention. Should Trump be nominated, then I'm a charter member of never Trump. I will not vote for him in November, and I will try to get everybody I know not to vote for him in November. He's - I honestly believe he's a menace to the country.

INSKEEP: Well, there has been some talk of some kind of third-party candidate being put up by disaffected Republicans. Would you go so far as to join a movement like that?

STIPANOVICH: Absolutely. I would support a tree stump over Donald Trump. So if they come up with a candidate, I'll vote for him, as long as he's...

INSKEEP: That's a rhyme - that's an impressive run, by the way - tree stump over Donald Trump. You could...

STIPANOVICH: There you go.

INSKEEP: ...Put that on a bumper sticker or something like that.

STIPANOVICH: (Laughter).

INSKEEP: Why, however, do you think that Marco Rubio - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio - was unable to win his own state where people knew him best?

STIPANOVICH: Well, Marco's campaign I think was challenged in at least three ways. One was he didn't have a core constituency like some of the other candidates does - do - to whom he appealed. He wasn't really right wing. He wasn't really mainstream. He tried to have it both ways, and he failed. And then he didn't have the stature - meaning experience - to overcome the lack of a core constituency. And then he had the wrong message. He was preaching optimism and hope in a - to an electorate that is angry, envious and bitter.

INSKEEP: Well, let's talk about that for a moment. What do you say to people like the Trump voter we just heard from a moment ago who says look, you may disagree with Trump - in fact, his statements may be outrageous - but he's saying what a lot of people are thinking?

STIPANOVICH: Well, they - you know, the question he was asked was about racism, bigotry, things like that. He said well, that's what a lot of people think. If people are thinking about that, they're wrong. Just because you think something and you're a citizen of the United States doesn't make you right or that you deserve to have someone who reflects your views in the White House. You're just wrong. That's what you are. And I think it will all sort out. I mean, it's like the lady on the program said earlier, we're not going to round up 12 million people, transport them, house them, feed them and deport them. You know, there'd be concentration camps around regional airports and trains rolling in every day unloading weeping women and children. It's not going to happen. Anybody who believes it is a damn fool.

INSKEEP: One other thing - your state's attorney general endorsed Donald Trump, somebody who's a figure in the Republican establishment so-called. Do you sense any movement among your fellow Republicans toward Trump to just embrace him?

STIPANOVICH: No, I really don't. There are as many - and I could cite them, but it wouldn't mean anything to your listeners - people who are exactly the opposite who are never Trump people and a lot more of them. There'll be front-runners who will join Trump, particularly if he wins the nomination. There always are, but, you know, I would kind of quote the Bible on that - for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?


MONTAGNE: Florida - that's Mac Stipanovich, speaking to Steve in Florida. He's with the polling firm Bendixen Amandi. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.