- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on presidential candidates making campaign stops in Utah ahead of the Tuesday caucuses. (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters are dispersing from outside a Salt Lake City hall where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke.

Police in riot gear looked on Friday as the protesters chanted “Dump Trump” and “Mr. Hate Out of Our State.” Some held signs supporting Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The audience of about 1,200 people inside the venue was briefly blocked from leaving to prevent clashes.

Trump said he loves Mormons in his first public appearance of the campaign in Utah. He had critical words, though, for former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who professed support for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s upcoming caucuses.

Trump spoke for about 45 minutes to a rowdy but adoring crowd.

6:15 p.m.

Fueled by a strong turnout of young supporters, thousands attended a Bernie Sanders’ rally Friday afternoon in Salt Lake City where the Democratic presidential candidate spoke about the cornerstone issues of his campaign.

The Vermont senator lamented corrupt campaign finance laws, a rigged economy and broken criminal justice system. He called for raising minimum wage, making public college tuition free and passing comprehensive immigration reform. He vowed to support minorities and LGBT people.

His supporters, mostly young people, stood in lines for hours to get into an outdoor historic site at the foot of snowcapped mountains where Sanders gave his speech. Many wore the t-shirts with the campaign slogan, “Feel the Bern.”

Sanders will square off with Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton in Utah’s caucus Tuesday.

Clinton has a lead of more than 300 pledged delegates.

___

3:34 p.m.

John Kasich is brushing off Mitt Romney’s endorsement of rival Ted Cruz and instead telling Utah Republicans that he’s the candidate best suited to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.

Kasich told reporters Friday in Orem that Romney is entitled to his opinion that voting for Cruz could deny Donald Trump the GOP nomination. But the Ohio governor says the election “is not a parlor game.”

Romney has campaigned with Kasich but not endorsed him. The 2012 Republican presidential candidate is popular in Utah but it’s unclear how his endorsement of Cruz may sway GOP voters in the state’s Tuesday caucuses.

Kasich says it’s fine that Romney endorsed Cruz and that he’ll move beyond it.

Kasich made the comments after speaking to about 600 people in a town hall meeting at Utah Valley University.

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