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July 30, 2014

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) encountered an interesting person Wednesday during a local campaign stop in Emporia: His opponent in next week's Republican primary, Tea Party candidate Milton Wolf, who was there with a group of his own supporters to directly confront Roberts, The Emporia Gazette reports.

"We know you've told Kansans, you've given your word you would give a debate," said Wolf, right after a friendly handshake. "You've said it multiple times, in multiple places. You tell us that you're tough and tested and trusted. And I want you to keep your word, I want you to debate. I think Kansans deserve it."

Roberts responded: "Listen, Milton — Milton, Milton, this is not the time. We have a regularly scheduled event, a listening tour event. This is not the way to do that, this is not the time."

"When would be the time, Senator? Because I'll go anywhere you'd like," Wolf answered, continuing as Roberts began walking away. "You've given your word to debate; let's just debate."

Perhaps there just might not be any debate in time for Tuesday.

In addition to be a Tea Party candidate, Wolf is also a distant cousin of President Obama himself — though he's definitely not a fan. A recent SurveyUSA poll for the Republican primary gave Roberts a solid lead over Wolf, 50 percent to 30 percent. The likely Democratic nominee is Chad Taylor, the district attorney of Shawnee County, the area that includes Topeka. The last time Democrats won a Senate race in Kansas was all the way back in 1932, during the landslide first election victory of President Franklin Roosevelt. But very interestingly, the same SurveyUSA poll also showed Taylor in close races right now with either Roberts or Wolf. --Eric Kleefeld

9:53 p.m. ET
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

"It's been some unbelievable day," Donald Trump said to supporters in New York after he won the Indiana Republican primary, forcing rival Ted Cruz out of the race. He thanked legendary Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, professed his love for the Hoosier State ("I said, maybe I'll just never leave"), and criticized the onslaught of negative ads he saw while campaigning in Indiana. Most of the ads were directed at him, and "I said, how can anyone endure this?" Trump asked. "The people are so smart. They don't buy it. They get it."

Trump turned to the general election, criticizing Hillary Clinton on trade policy and for threatening to shut down coal mines, saying, "ee're going to get those miners back to work." He also vowed to prevent U.S. companies from moving jobs overseas, saying, "we will not let them leave," and if they do, "there will be consequences, and there will be very, very serious consequences." Trump said America needs to rebuild its infrastructure and its military, calling the military buildup "the cheapest thing we can do," and said that under a Trump foreign policy, other countries are "going to end up liking us better than they do now."

Finally, Trump turned to Cruz, saying he's not sure if his erstwhile rival likes him, "but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy. And he has got an amazing future." He wasn't so charitable to the last man standing in the race, John Kasich. Trump began by thanking RNC chairman Reince Preibus, saying it is hard to manage "17 egos," then added, "and now I guess he's down to one — I don't know, is there a second?" In case Kasich didn't get the hint, Trump said, "What Ted did is actually a very brave thing to do," paving the way for party unity. Peter Weber

9:17 p.m. ET

If you ever find yourself standing on a stage with Ted Cruz, run — don't walk — away as fast as you can for your own protection, lest you become the latest person to get hurt.

Over the weekend, Carly Fiorina ate it after introducing the one-time Republican presidential candidate, falling off the stage and disappearing into a sea of Cruz supporters. On Tuesday, after Cruz announced his decision to drop out of the race, he elbowed his wife Heidi not once, not twice, but three times in the head as he went to embrace his father. He then awkwardly pulled Heidi into their hug, and she buried her face into his arm, clearly in survival mode.

Now that Cruz is no longer running, the world is instantly a safer place for those who might have found themselves sharing a dais with him. Don't be surprised if Cruz, knowing of his curse, tries to make his way onstage with a certain former rival — Donald Trump, you've been warned. Catherine Garcia

9:15 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With Ted Cruz's departure, the Republican presidential race has become a two-man contest, but Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus apparently doesn't think much of John Kasich's chances to overtake Donald Trump. After Trump's romp in Indiana, Priebus tweeted a sort of congratulations to Trump, and a plea for party unity.

Be careful, Priebus, #NeverTrump is watching. Peter Weber

8:55 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After losing the Indiana Republican presidential primary to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz suspended his campaign. Cruz had called Indiana his firewall, and said on Monday he would fight on as long as he had a viable path to the Republican nomination. "Tonight, I'm sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed," Cruz told a crowd in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. "Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we had. But the voters chose another path." Cruz ended his speech promising to fight on. "We are suspending our campaign," he said, "But hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty," the U.S. Constitution, and the "Judeo-Christian values that built America."

Carly Fiorina, who just last week joined Cruz's campaign as his running mate, introduced Cruz, saying she spoke for the whole Cruz team "when I tell you how many Hoosiers we have fallen in love with on this campaign." She thanked everyone in the room, and said "we came here as warriors, warriors in a cause." Fiorina called Cruz "one of the great citizens of this extraordinary nations." When he came on, Cruz began, "God bless the Hoosier State," talked about the last contested Republican convention, when Ronald Reagan lost to Gerald Ford in 1976, suggesting that he may be back again for the 2020 race. Peter Weber

8:26 p.m. ET
Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Imagesr

John Kasich came in a very distant third place in the Indiana Republican primary, but the Ohio governor says the results are "not going to alter" his campaign plans.

"Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention," the Kasich campaign wrote in a note on Facebook. Kasich will remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the convention because he "remains the candidate best positioned to win a contested convention."

The campaign argues that a "plurality of Trump delegates will support him after the first ballot," and he can unite the Republican Party "better than anyone else. Trump's cynical sowing of division will render the GOP into angry, irrelevant status for decades." The campaign also called Trump out for "disrespectful ramblings" and said "Americans overwhelmingly want to vote for Governor Kasich in a general election." Catherine Garcia

8:12 p.m. ET

On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) identified the Navy SEAL killed by Islamic State fire outside Mosul, Iraq, as Charlie Keating IV, a grandson of Charles H. Keating Jr., a financier at the center of the Savings and Loan crisis in the 1980s and early '90s. The elder Keating was chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which collapsed in 1989, leading to accusations that five senators had improperly intervened in a federal banking investigation on behalf of Keating.

Charlie Keating was the third U.S. serviceman killed in the battle against ISIS in Iraq, and White House press secretary Josh Earnest called his death a "vivid reminder" of the dangers U.S. service members face in Iraq and Syria. "They are taking grave risks to protect our country. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude," he said. According to Iraqi Kurds and U.S. defense officials, Keating was killed by small arms fire after ISIS fighters broke through the Kurdish Peshmerga frontline with armored Humvees and bulldozers. He was advising the Peshmerga forces as they battle ISIS just north of Mosul. You can watch Earnest describe the death, and the mission, below. Peter Weber

7:58 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

It's too early to call the Indiana Democratic primary, but Bernie Sanders told an audience in Louisville, Kentucky, he is proud of his showing in the race so far.

"As of today we have now won 17 primaries and caucuses," he said. "The ideas we are fighting for are the ideas of the future of America, and the future of the Democratic Party." Sanders reminded the crowd he is running for president because they live in "the wealthiest country in the history of the world, but most Americans don't know that because the economy is rigged and almost all new income and wealth goes to the top one percent."

Sanders called income inequality the "great moral issue of our time, the great economic issue of our time, the great political issue of our time," and said "together, we will address that issue." He also promised to create an economy that "works for all of us, not just the 1 percent," and said he would invest in America's "crumbling" infrastructure, creating millions of jobs. Catherine Garcia

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