NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The presidential campaign trail came to the Big Apple Wednesday, with candidates on both sides making stops ahead of next month's primaries.
Democrat Hillary Clinton kicked off her efforts to win the New York primary by leading a rally at the Apollo Theater, at 253 W. 125th St. in Harlem.
And on Wednesday afternoon, Republican John Kasich made a stop at Gino's Pizzeria and Restaurant, at 158-46 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach, Queens before an evening Town Hall meeting.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Clinton opened up her spirited rally with a few pot shots at opponent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), but reserved the bulk of her fire for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
"Just listen to Donald Trump," Clinton said. "He plays coy with white supremacists. He says demeaning and degrading things about women. He wants to round up millions of Latino immigrants and kick them out of the United States…. Loose cannons tend to misfire."
Trump returned fire while campaigning in Wisconsin Wednesday.
"Hillary is a disaster. Hillary Clinton will be a disaster – a disaster as president. And I will beat Hillary," Trumps said. "And believe me, the one person she doesn't want to run -- and I know this for a fact -- the one person she doesn't want to run against is Donald Trump."
Back at her event, Clinton paid tribute to the eight years she spent in the U.S. Senate representing New York state, recalling how she fought to secure federal benefits for first responders sickened after working at ground zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.
She also praised the city's diversity and spirit to rebuild after the devastating attacks.
Supporters lined up around the block waiting to get into Clinton's event, CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported. Shira Epstein of Harlem brought her 5-year-old son Gabriel.
"I want to teach my son it's very important to get involved in politics at a very young age and to stand up for what you believe in," Epstein said.
Ahead of the campaign rally, Clinton went to Make My Cake, a locally owned bakery on at 121 St. Nicholas Ave.
She posed for photos with staff and said she was looking forward to campaigning "across the state that took a chance on me'' when she was elected to the Senate in 2000.
She then asked for a shot of espresso to be poured into a cup of black coffee and sat down to share a piece of cake with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who represents portions of Harlem.
Clinton has also released a new television ad that her campaign says will run in New York, and which takes aim at Trump.
Clinton says in the ad that while some people say America's problems can be solved by "building walls'' and "banning people based on their religion,'' New Yorkers know better.
The spot also shows a clip of a man being punched at a recent Trump rally and briefly flashes a sign from one of the billionaire's new hotels.
At Wednesday's rally, Clinton told the crowd Trump and GOP candidate Ted Cruz were running campaigns of bluster and bigotry.
"That doesn't make them sound strong, it makes them sound in over their heads," Clinton said.
Sanders, meanwhile, shows no signs of dropping out despite Clinton's large delegate lead. He's hoping for a victory next week in Wisconsin.
Sanders will appear at a rally in the South Bronx on Thursday, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.
On the Republican side, Kasich and his rivals are coming off a GOP town hall Tuesday night on CNN. Kasich was asked why he would get the nomination if he's only won his home state of Ohio.
"A couple of reasons," he said. "First of all, in virtually every national poll, I am the only one that beats Hillary Clinton consistently."
Kasich predicted that an open convention will be coming for the GOP.
"Nobody is going to have enough delegates going into the convention," Kasich said. "Ted Cruz now needs almost 90 percent of all the remaining delegates to be the nominee. That is not going to happen. Trump needs about 55 percent or more. That's not going to happen, because I'm going to be competitive as this moves onto my home court."
While Trump, Cruz and Sanders were not in New York on Wednesday, their thoughts and actions were certainly directed toward the state since it is a treasure trove of delegates.
The New York primary places 95 Republican delegates up for grabs, and 291 Democratic delegates.
Cruz was at a Women for Cruz rally in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, his mother, and former candidate Carly Fiorina.
"The event this morning is a celebration of strong women," Cruz said at the event. "The Democrats love to pigeonhole women – put them in a little box, 'OK, you have a set of issues that are women's issues, and you can wear that hat, and that's what you're allowed to think about."
Also in Wisconsin, Sanders told a crowd, "Billionaires are able to buy elections. That is not democracy. That is oligarchy."
Many New Yorkers favor the hometown candidates.
"Hillary because I think she's the only one who can do a reasonable job," said Upper East Side resident Cheryl Gerson.
"Donald Trump," said Queens resident Raymond D'Auria. "I think he can do great things for this country."
This is the first time since 1988 that there is no clear winner in New York for either the Democratic or Republican parties ahead of the primary, Diamond reported.
New York holds its Democratic and Republican primaries on April 19.
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