Let me start with the stories the Hardball Staff is talking about this morning.
JEB BUSH ANNOUNCEMENT SET:
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says he will make his announcement on whether or not he will enter the 2016 presidential race on June 15. Bush spread the news of the event via Twitter.
The announcement comes amongst criticism that Bush put off the inevitable decision for too long, toeing the line of election laws on fundraising for undeclared candidates. Ellen Weintraub, commissioner of the FEC, discussed the issue with Rachel Maddow Wednesday.
"There are standards for when you cross the line from testing the waters to becoming a candidate," Weintraub explained. "But if they're advertising their intention to run, if they're raising more money than could be reasonably expected to fund exploratory activities, if they appear to be amassing money for a run for office. All of these are criteria that indicate that someone has crossed the line."
HILLARY CLINTON TAKES ON VOTING RIGHTS:
Hillary Clinton will speak about voting rights while visiting Houston today. Clinton is expected to take on the Supreme Court ruling against the voting rights act, specifically focusing on voter suppression issues in Texas. Last night on "Hardball", the attorney for her campaign discussed the lawsuit he has already filed in Wisconsin and Ohio.
TED CRUZ WALKS BACK JOKE AGAINST JOE BIDEN:
Senator Ted Cruz quickly apologized for a joke he made Wednesday at the expense of Vice President Joe Biden.
Cruz quipped: "Joe Biden...you know what the nice thing is? You don't even need a punch line." The line was one Cruz had used repeatedly in stump speeches and was usually a winner among Republican audiences.
But the joke was immediately regarded in poor taste on social media in light of the passing of Biden's son over the weekend. Cruz posted an apology on his Facebook page reading: "It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and I sincerely apologize. The loss of his son is heartbreaking and tragic, and our prayers are very much with the Vice President and his family."
Beau Biden’s funeral is scheduled to be held Saturday in Wilmington, Delaware. Obama will deliver a eulogy at the services.