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Dan Patrick Draws Line in the Sand on Brokered Convention

Also, protesters push John Cornyn to take action on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and Ted Cruz's suggestion to patrol Muslim neighborhoods earns criticism from an overseas President Obama.

Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick claps while Senator Ted Cruz speaking during his event in Columbia following  the Republ...

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a delegate to the upcoming Republican national convention and a Ted Cruz backer, sent a warning shot last Friday at fellow Republicans who would try to push a nominee for president other than Cruz or Donald Trump.

If neither Cruz nor Trump secures enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot, Patrick said in a statement that “I will work to rally support for Ted Cruz’s nomination and fight any effort to disrupt the process by injecting an illegitimate candidate into the mix.

“I will draw a line in the sand on this issue and stand up for the voice of the people at the Convention,” Patrick said. “As conservatives, we believe it is the people who are the power brokers. The Washington cartel will not prevail.”

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The Club for Growth, one of the top outside groups seeking to stop Trump, has decided to start airing ads in favor of Trump's chief opponent in the Republican presidential race, Ted Cruz.

The organization announced the move Thursday, promising to air $1 million in TV and digital ads against Trump in the run-up to Wisconsin's April 5 primary. The Club for Growth's first commercial, a 30-second spot titled "Math," argues only Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas, "can beat Donald Trump," 

"John Kasich can't do it," a narrator says, referring to the only other Republican candidate left in the race. "The math won't work. A vote for John Kasich actually helps Trump by dividing the opposition."

The ad marks a shift in strategy for the group, which until now had only been airing commercials against Trump, not in favor of any of his opponents. The Club for Growth made its support for Cruz official Tuesday, endorsing the Texas senator as the GOP's best hope at keeping Trump out of the White House.

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A couple dozen protesters called for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to take action on the Supreme Court nomination on Monday, chanting “Senator, do you job,” outside Cornyn’s Austin office for just over 20 minutes at noon.

The protest climaxed flyover by a plane that was carrying the same slogan. Reports showed similar protests scattered around the country, including in Iowa for Sen. Chuck Grassley, Pennsylvania for Sen. Pat Toomey and Ohio for Sen. Rob Portman, to name a few.

Along with most of his Republican Senate colleagues, Cornyn has been resolute in his stance that there should be no consideration of a nominee until after the election, promising not to hold any hearings or votes on Obama’s choice of D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland.

In addition, Cornyn sent out a fundraising email last week, trading on his position against the president.

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President Barack Obama on Wednesday criticized Cruz's suggestion that police should patrol Muslim neighborhoods following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, saying the idea "makes absolutely no sense."

"As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free," Obama said at a news conference in Argentina, where he went after making a historic trip to Cuba. "The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It’s contrary to who we are and it’s not going to help us defeat ISIL."

Obama was responding to a statement Tuesday from Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas, that the United States should "empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." At least 31 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the attacks, for which the Islamic State terrorist group has taken credit.

Cruz pushed back on Obama's criticism later Wednesday while speaking with reporters in New York City.

"I'm never surprised when President Obama lashes out and attacks me," Cruz said, accusing the president of not doing enough to combat the threat posed by groups like the Islamic State. "We have seen President Obama's weakness and appeasement give rise to radical Islamic terrorism."

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The Campaign Legal Center, a well-known D.C.-based voting rights group that has been closely involved in many of the recent high-profile voting rights cases in Texas, announced on Wednesday a $1 million legacy grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The award will go toward supporting the Voting Rights Institute, a joint project of the Campaign Legal Center, the American Constitution Society and Georgetown University Law Center launched as a resource on the topic for attorneys, law students and the general public.

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