It’s been an eventful week on the campaign trail for the 2020 Democrats; Biden is facing criticism after opening the door to super PAC support, Warren is trying to formulate a funding proposal for her Medicare for All plan, and Harris flip-flopped on attending a criminal justice forum.
Catch up on the latest developments in the 2020 primary.
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
Cozying Up To Super PACs: After a disappointing fundraising quarter that saw his cash on hand reserves dwindle, Biden allies intensified conversations about setting up an outside super PAC to bolster Biden’s presidential candidacy (despite previous statements he would not rely on outside support). Biden’s campaign has seemingly relented on the subject; Per NBC News: “Deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that Biden as president will ‘push to remove private money from our federal elections,’ including through a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United to ‘end the era of unbridled spending by Super PACs. But, she added, ‘until we have these badly needed reforms, we will see more than a billion dollars in spending by Trump and his allies to re-elect this corrupt president. And let’s be clear: Donald Trump has decided that the general election has already begun.’”
Rivals Pounce: Biden’s seeming flip-flop caused his 2020 rivals to go on the offensive. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign hit the former vice president over what Sanders called a “reversal” on accepting donations from super PACs. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the move “disappointing,” adding, “that any Democratic candidate would reverse course and endorse the use of unlimited contributions from the wealthy to run against fellow Democrats. A handful of wealthy donors should not be allowed to buy the Democratic nomination. That’s not who we are.”
Campaign Of The Dead?: NY Mag doesn’t seem too impressed with Biden’s campaign thus far. Per a headline from last week: “The Zombie Campaign Joe Biden Is The Least Formidable Front-Runner Ever. Will It Matter?”
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Leaning On The Squad: Over the last week and a half Sanders has received endorsements from some of the left’s most influential new faces. After receiving formal support from Rep. Alexandria Ocasi0-Cortez (D-NY), Sanders was endorsed by two more members of “the Squad;” Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Sanders has already appeared at campaign rallies with the freshmen Democrats and last week he began running a six-figure digital ad campaign highlighting his rally in New York City with Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of him.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Solving The Medicare For All Equation: After coming under fire for having a plan for “everything” except how to pay for “Medicare For All”, Warren promised to release a formal pay-for proposal. The Warren camp has brought in a team of economists to help her put together the funding plan, which she has assured the public will not increase taxes on the middle class. The media has been skeptical of Warren’s promise, however, with the Los Angeles Times wondering, “Can Elizabeth Warren Afford To Be All In On ‘Medicare For All’?”
Soros Is All In: Wealthy Democrat megadonor George Soros appears to be ready to go all in for Warren’s 2020 campaign. In an interview with The New York Times published last week, Soros said Warren “has emerged as the clear-cut person to beat,” and that he “believe[s] that she is the most qualified to be president.”
Sen. Kamala Harris
Legal Past Becoming A Liability: In a long piece, the Los Angeles Times lays out California’s troubled past with “tough-on-crime” policies that drove mass incarceration and highlights how Harris perpetuated the state’s legal culture.
Harris Cancels Appearance, Then Un-Cancels: Late last week, Harris announced she was pulling out of a South Carolina criminal justice forum over organizers’ handling of President Donald Trump’s appearance the previous day. In a bizarre handling of the situation, Harris then reversed her decision on Saturday to confirm that she would indeed attend the event.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Trying To Stay Relevant: With Sanders and Warren cornering the progressive voter pool and Biden starting to falter, Buttigieg is attempting to stay relevant by charting the “Centrist” path.