Ted Cruz

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.”

Gage Skidmore / CC

NEW YORK — An owner of a gay-oriented New York City hotel lashed out at “extremists” who have urged a boycott over a dinner invitation to Sen. Ted Cruz, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage.

But gay-rights advocates outraged by the invitation to the Republican presidential candidate say they will keep up the pressure by shunning all the properties owned by the men who hosted the dinner.

Hotelier Mati Weiderpass wrote in an op-ed piece in the New York Observer Sunday that since hosting the April 20 dinner he has been “inundated with hateful, biased social media messages, and attacks from gay extremists (do I dare say the word?) who demand inclusion, but do not believe in dialogue.”

“It is amazing that my businesses are being boycotted by some because I hosted a discussion with an elected official,” said Weiderpass, who owns The Out NYC in Manhattan's Hell’s Kitchen with Ian Reisner.

Immigration: Where Do The Presidential Hopefuls Stand?

May 7, 2015
ACLU of Texas

WASHINGTON — Immigration, a prominent issue as the presidential campaign begins in earnest, is a complicated, emotional and broad subject. But for political purposes there’s a very real question to be answered: What to do about the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.

President Barack Obama says his executive actions blocking the deportation of millions living illegally in the U.S. go as far as the law allows. But Hillary Rodham Clinton says that if she becomes president, she would go even further.

On the Republican side of the 2016 race, this was the week the courting of the Latino vote seemed to begin.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas spoke Wednesday at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., after the group criticized him for skipping their summit last month. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush went on a Spanish-language tour — first to Puerto Rico and then speaking to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston.

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Readiness to be president is a threshold question for many candidates. That's especially true when that candidate is 43 years old and a freshman senator.

No, not Barack Obama, but Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida, who announced Monday that he's running for president.

"I'm certainly capable from Day 1," Rubio told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview in Miami hours before he announced. "I'm very confident that I have the capability from Day No. 1 to lead this country."

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