After an event in Pittsburgh and several smaller events in early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, Joe Biden kicked his campaign into high gear with an event rallying 6,000 people in Philadelphia on Saturday. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders took his campaign to the Deep South, Elizabeth Warren unveiled two new policy proposals, and Beto O’Rourke is getting over his camera shyness.
For these stories and updates on every major 2020 candidate, check out AR/Intel’s 2020 round-up below:
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
Biden held his first campaign-style rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, calling on Democrats to unify and blasting President Trump. “I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what our party’s always been about,” Biden said from the podium. About 6,000 people attended the rally, a much smaller crowd than Kamala Harris’s 20,000 that showed up for her Oakland campaign launch event. A recent Quinnipiac poll found that Biden led Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up by about 11 percentage points.
Biden’s team announced his campaign headquarters would also be in Philadelphia, highlighting the important role Pennsylvania will play in his electoral strategy. But it’s also a decision borne out of convenience: Biden lives a short drive away in Delaware, and Philadelphia is the closest large city.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
A growing chorus of analysts are openly speculating whether Sanders’ window of opportunity has already closed. Trailing Biden in most polls by double digits, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin asks, “Is Sanders past his sell-by date?” Vox notes that his candidacy challenges “two cherished theories of electability.” And even Trump got in on the action, calling Sanders “history” in a Monday morning tweet.
But don’t tell any of that to Bernie. He’s been campaigning regularly, most recently traveling to Asheville, North Carolina, rural South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama. During his trip throughout the South, Sanders addressed abortion head on. “Let me say something to the men who are here today. This is not just a woman’s issue,” he said in Asheville. “This is an issue that impacts all of us. And the men must stand with the women in their moment of need.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Ever the candidate with a “plan,” Warren introduced a policy last week to address the state laws passed in Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia that limit abortion access. Warren’s plan would “block states from interfering in the ability of a health care provider to provide medical care, including abortion services,” according to her campaign.
That same week, Warren issued a policy proposal that would “essentially establish four-year noncompetes between the Department of Defense and major defense contractors, extend federal open records laws to private defense contracting companies, and limit national security officials from working for foreign governments,” per her campaign website.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Not to be outdone by Warren, Harris issued her own policy proposal on Monday. Hers focuses on eliminating the gender pay gap by forcing employers with more than 100 employees to obtain “equal pay certification” every two years by undergoing a federal audit of sorts. Those companies found to not be in compliance would be fined 1 percent of their profits for every 1 percent difference in pay between men and women.
Harris has seen her level of support drop in recent weeks as Democrats appear to be coalescing behind Biden. One of the few candidates still rising in the polls, albeit very incrementally, is Warren, who has released a bevy of policy proposals. It’s possible Harris is emulating Warren’s strategy with the hopes that it will help turn her campaign around.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Buttigieg appeared at a town hall meeting hosted by Fox News in New Hampshire on Sunday. He’s not the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so – Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have each attended a town hall hosted by the cable network. But the DNC has barred Fox News from hosting presidential debates, and Warren has pledged to never appear on the network, calling it a “hate-for-profit racket.”
During the town hall, Buttigieg defended abortion rights, raising taxes, and side-stepped a question about whether Biden is too old to be president. Instead of taking a whack at Biden, who is 76, Buttigieg said there’s a “special value to generational change at a moment like this.”
Meanwhile, Trump criticized the network’s decision to air a town hall focused on Buttigieg. “Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him. Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems,” he tweeted.
Fmr. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
And speaking of town halls, O’Rourke will get his own on CNN Tuesday night. It’s a calculated decision by O’Rourke, who had shunned most traditional media coverage in his first few weeks on the campaign trail. But after Biden’s entrance in the race, O’Rourke’s support in the polls began to wane and his team decided to re-introduce himself to Democrat voters. In recent days, he’s also appeared on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews, as well as ABC’s “The View.”
Meanwhile, O’Rourke is staffing up his campaign with former Obama and Clinton staff. He’s bringing on Lauren Brainerd, the DSCC’s 2018 field director, and Lise Clavel, a former Obama and Biden alum who worked on the 2012 re-elect. “The moves are an attempt by O’Rourke to shift toward a more mainstream operation after a Senate run in which his campaign focused heavily — almost indiscriminately — on voter turnout,” Politico wrote.
In a visit to Detroit, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told an audience that Michigan will be critical to Democrats’ success in 2020. Trump won the state by just over 10,000 votes in 2016.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) appeared on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday. She took aim at the new abortion laws in several states and the crisis at the U.S. southern border.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) said he would spend $1 trillion over 10 years to combat climate change. His plan would put the U.S. on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) also weighed in on the recent abortion laws, using language similar to Sanders’. “Women should not have to face this fight alone,” Booker wrote to GQ Magazine. “Men, it’s on us to listen, to speak out, and to take action. Not because women are our mothers, sisters, wives or friends—but because women are people. And all people deserve to control their own bodies.”
The Washington Free Beacon took a look at Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) personal finances, which include a six-figure salary, yet he “has failed to pay down his student loans, cashed out his pension, and accumulated credit card debt.”
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) introduced the “National Service Education Guarantee,” a plan to encourage young Americans to serve their country. The plan would “establish an education benefit for those who serve.”
CNN announced that anchor Poppy Harlow will moderate a debate with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) at their Atlanta headquarters on Sunday, June 2.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) called a Daily Beast story claiming that “Putin Apologists” are propping up her campaign is “fake news” during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.”
Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D-TX) told a Tennessee audience that he wasn’t born a front runner and didn’t grow up a front runner, but that “by the time y’all vote on March 3, that I will be the front runner.” Check back here next March to see if Castro’s prediction comes true.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio formally entered the race on Thursday. A high school junior in St. Louis scooped his announcement by spotting a Facebook event. Read about it here.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) told USA Today that Biden’s strategy of “restor[ing] the soul of the nation” by returning to Obama-era policies is backwards. He argues the Democratic nominee needs a forward-looking message.
The Washington Post reports that Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) strategy of focusing on only climate change could be “a tough sell,” given his record.
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT), who entered the 2020 race last week, is putting all of his stock in a successful Iowa campaign. “Iowa has always played that traditional starting out role, but it’s certainly significant to mine,” he said to CNN.