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Special Election Coverage: The June 7 Primaries

Catch up with these interviews from NPR's election coverage of the primaries in New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and California, done in collaboration with WNYC and KQED.

John Podesta, Chairman Of Clinton Campaign

On how to animate voters

John Podesta is the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
John Podesta is the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

I think one of the things when we talk about pledged delegates and superdelegates, etc ... she's gotten 3 million votes more than Bernie Sanders. So she's animated people to get out and vote for her and I think she will continue to do so. Obviously, he's been able to really connect, particularly with young people and get some excitement going there, but we intend to go out and campaign for them and campaign for their hearts so that they build a stronger future together with her leadership and put the country on a path that builds a economy that will work for them.

On if it's possible to avoid a negative campaign

I think that's what she's tried to do from the very beginning. I think that's why the Democratic contest has been one of ideas, rather than insults. We've tried to talk about what we need to do to get comprehensive immigration reform, to get equal pay for equal work, to get the minimum wage raised, and she'll continue to do that ... I think that's in great contrast to a campaign of insults, of bigotry and division that Donald Trump has run ... I think we'll draw a sharp contrast when we need to but we'll also talk about the ideas that she wants to bring forward for the American people .

Claire McCaskill, Senator From Missouri And First Lawmaker To Endorse Clinton

On the significance of having a woman as a major party nominee

It really makes me miss my mother and my grandmother. My grandmother raised two children as a strong, independent woman way before it was fashionable to be a strong, independent woman. My mother made me say trick or treat and vote for JFK when I was seven years old and wouldn't let me have a Barbie ... because it reinforced the wrong values for a young woman. They were such trailblazers in my life. I would give anything to be sitting here with them tonight and kind of relishing this moment where we have nominated a woman for the presidency from one of the two major parties in our country. It is a long time coming, way past due, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

On Bernie Sanders

I have great respect for what Bernie Sanders has accomplished in this campaign. Respect for him and his supporters. They have elevated the debate within our party and within our country to topics that we must deal with. And I think because of the success he's had, that will demand that we as a party focus on those issues. I know Hillary Clinton agrees with those issues and I think it will make us stronger in November because I have to believe that those Bernie supporters — I know Bernie feels this way — that it's about the issues, it's not about the person. I really do believe he will help knit this thing back together once he's had time to contemplate how these elections have turned out.

James Zogby, Sanders Supporter And Member Of Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee

On the importance of the party platform

James Zogby is the head of the Arab American Institute and will serve as a member of the Democratic Party Platform drafting committee.
The Washington Post / Washington Post/Getty Images
James Zogby is the head of the Arab American Institute and will serve as a member of the Democratic Party Platform drafting committee.

This is my ninth convention. People don't read the platform after it's debated. I want the debate to take place because to me it is a measure of the degree to which the party establishment will recognize the change debate in the country on a whole host of issues. That's important. But do I need this or that issue in the platform — that's not the question. The issues for me are the candidate herself. Will Hillary Clinton make a convincing case that she is going to win over the Sanders supporters? That remains to be seen.

On a contested convention

We're going to see a contested convention in some ways. There's going to be a contest over issues, there's going to be a contest over rules, there's going to be a contest over the direction of the party in the future. Does it become a contested convention between candidates for the votes? That's an issue that Sen. Sanders is going to be working out and have to think through.

Tim Clark, California State Director For Trump campaign

On criticism from GOP party leaders on Trump

I can tell you, we have traveled all over the state of California. We have over one hundred thousand volunteers on our file, which is just unheard of. We have tremendous excitement in every square inch of our state. From what we're seeing, this is a movement. And it's a very broad and large movement. I think you'll see a united, focused party going in and coming out of convention.

On the Latino vote

Out here in California we have a very large group, "Latinos for Trump." Families in every community across the state are very interested in seeing, once more, a vibrant economy. If you're following California, you know that our economy has been stuttering. We're not exiting this great recession like other states ... I think that decisions in California are going to be made on jobs and economic growth.

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