presidential campaign

Doug Gansler / CC

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is apologizing for cracking a joke at Vice President Joe Biden’s expense even as Biden mourns the death of his son.

During an appearance Wednesday in Howell, Michigan, Cruz rattled off a Biden line he’s been using in speeches on the stump.

In the joke, Cruz pokes fun at Biden’s occasionally controversial remarks and tells his audience that one need only mention Biden’s name to get people to laugh.

“Vice President Joe Biden. You know the nice thing? You don’t need a punchline,” the Texas senator said at a GOP dinner.

“I promise you it works. The next party you’re at, just walk up to someone and say, ‘Vice President Joe Biden’ and just close your mouth. They will crack up laughing,” he said.

His audience laughed  but by Thursday morning, Cruz used his Facebook account to say he was sorry.

In his post, the Texas senator said, “It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and I sincerely apologize.”

SEIU Walk a Day in My Shoes 2008 / Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — Seeking an expansion of voting rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to call for an early voting period of at least 20 days in every state and push back against Republican-led states that have sought restrictions on voting access.

The Democratic presidential candidate is speaking Thursday at Texas Southern University in Houston, a historically black university. Democrats have filed legal challenges to voting changes from GOP lawmakers in the presidential battleground states of Ohio and Wisconsin.

Clinton’s campaign said she intends to denounce voting restrictions in North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Wisconsin and encourage states to adopt a new national standard of no fewer than 20 days of early in-person voting, including weekend and evening voting.

Office of the Governor

When the state’s longest serving governor announces his second presidential run Thursday, he is going to be surrounded by a star-studded group his campaign calls “patriots.”

At the Addison Airport just north of Dallas, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 65, will be flanked by decorated soldiers, including former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, who wrote the book, Lone Survivor. Taya Kyle, the widow of the celebrated military sniper and author, Chris Kyle, will also be there.

In a growing field of more than a dozen Republican presidential candidates, Perry will try to remind voters he served six years in the Air Force during the Vietnam era. 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders sought to put behind him a strange episode concerning a bizarre piece of fiction he authored four decades ago, likening the work to Fifty Shades of Grey during his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press.

Answering a question from the show's host, Chuck Todd, the Vermont lawmaker said, "This is a piece of fiction that I wrote in 1972, I think. That was 43 years ago. It was very poorly written.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Saturday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, joining front-runner Hillary Clinton and dark horse candidate Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary race.

Speaking at a rally in Baltimore, where O'Malley served as mayor before becoming governor, he decried "an economy that has so concentrated wealth in the hands of the very few that it has taken opportunity out of the homes of the many."