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2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday defended his stance for granting voting rights to criminals in prison, including the Boston Marathon bomber and convicted sexual assaulters.

During a CNN town hall on Monday night, Harvard student Anne Carlstein asked if his position would support “enfranchising people” like Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who she noted is a “convicted terrorist and murderer,” as well as those “convicted of sexual assault,” whose votes could have a “direct impact on women’s rights.”

Sanders first responded by saying he wanted a “vibrant democracy” with “higher voter turnout” and blasted “cowardly Republican governors” who he said were “trying to suppress the vote.”

The Vermont senator then argued that the Constitution says “everybody can vote” and that “some people in jail can vote.”

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SEN. BERNIE SANDERS

“If somebody commits a serious crime- sexual assault, murder, they’re gonna be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime,” Sanders elaborated.

“But, I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime, not gonna let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not gonna let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope. So, I believe that people who commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right the vote, but I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”

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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo pressed the Democrats’ frontrunner, asking him if he was “sure about that” since he effectively was “writing an opposition ad.” Sanders dismissed such concerns, saying he’d written “many 30-second opposition ads” throughout his life.

“This is what I believe. Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that every single American 18 years of age or older who is an American citizen has the right to vote?” Sanders continued. “This is a democracy. We’ve got to expand that democracy and I believe that every single person does have the right to vote.”

Source: Fox News Politics

A new poll in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House shows Sen. Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont leading in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll also shows former Vice President Joe Biden a distant second, with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg surging to third. And the survey, released Monday, puts Republican President Trump far ahead of his declared or potential primary rivals in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary, which will be held next February.

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According to the poll, 30 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State say they’d back Sanders, the independent from Vermont who’s making his second straight run for the White House. Sanders crushed eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in the state’s 2016 Democratic primary. Biden, who’s expected to launch his White House bid this week, is at 18 percent, with Buttigieg at 15 percent.

Sanders held at 26-22 percent edge over Biden in UNH’s previous poll, which was conducted in February. Buttigieg stood at just one percent in that survey.

SOME SANDERS BACKERS UPSET WITH BUTTIGIEG

“While Biden continues to garner the second most support among likely Democratic Primary voters, his share of support has fallen considerably since early 2018, while support for Sanders has remained largely steady as he has lead the field over the past year,” explained UNH pollster Andrew Smith.

The UNH survey differs from a Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll released two weeks ago. That survey indicated Biden on top, at 23 percent, with Sanders at 16 percent and Buttigieg in third at 11 percent.

THE LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 POLL

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of neighboring Massachusetts stood at 5 percent in the new UNH survey.

“Warren, while still among the top five Democratic candidates, continues to experience far less support than she enjoyed in 2017 and 2018,” Smith pointed out.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California registered at 4 percent, with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas at 3 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, and New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 2 percent.

Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand of New York, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Eric Swalwell of California, and Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam registered at 1 percent, with everyone else in the large field of Democratic presidential contenders at less than 1 percent.

Biden and Sanders have topped nearly every single national and early primary and caucus state poll in recent months. Name recognition is a likely contributing factor, as early polling in an election cycle is often heavily influenced by name ID.

Fifty-one percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they would like to see Biden run, with 36 percent saying they hoped the former vice president wouldn’t launch a presidential bid.

Thirty percent said Sanders is the Democratic candidate with the best chance to defeat the president in the 2020 general election, with 25 percent indicating Biden had the best shot of topping Trump.

In the GOP primary race, the poll indicates Trump enjoys 76 percent support among likely Republican primary voters, with former Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10 percent. Kasich, a vocal critic of the president who came in second to Trump in the 2016 New Hampshire primary, is mulling a 2020 bid.

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who last week launched his primary challenge run against the president and immediately came to New Hampshire to campaign, stands at 5 percent support. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who’s mulling a primary challenge, stands at 1 percent. Hogan comes to New Hampshire on Tuesday to headline ‘Politics and Eggs,’ a must stop for White House hopefuls.

The Granite State Poll was conducted April 10-18 by the University of New Hampshire, with 549 randomly selected Granite State adults interviewed by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error for the 241 likely Democratic primary voters was plus or minus 6.3 percentage points.

Source: Fox News Politics

It doesn’t seem like Bernie’s bros with Mayor Pete. Or at least his supporters aren’t.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., made headlines when he compared President Trump’s supporters to those who back Bernie Sanders, stating both groups feel marginalized and want to tear down the system.

“I think the sense of anger and disaffection that comes from seeing that the numbers are fine, like unemployment’s low, like all that, like you said GDP is growing and yet a lot of neighborhoods and families are living like this recovery never even happened,” the 37-year-old told high school students in Nashua, N.H.

“It just kind of turns you against the system in general and then you’re more likely to want to vote to blow up the system, which could lead you to somebody like Bernie and it could lead you to somebody like Trump. I think that’s how we got where we are.”

SANDERS NABS TOP SPOT IN NEW DEMS POLL AS PETE BUTTIGIEG GAINS MOMENTUM

But the statement seemingly hasn’t gone over well with those who support Sanders — including some prominent Democrats.

“Come on ⁦@PeteButtigieg⁩. It is intellectually dishonest to compare Bernie to Trump,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., tweeted, before listing some policy differences between Sanders and the president.

Nina Turner, a vocal supporter of Sanders, tweeted: “Bernie Sanders’ supporters are not the same as Trump fans — Sen. @BernieSanders supporters are Democratic & Independent voters, many of whom are people of color.”

Citizen Uprising, a far-left Twitter account, sent out a post reading: “Pete Buttigieg is officially over. He just blamed Trump AND Bernie voters for the problems we currently face.”

PETE BUTTIGIEG WAS VOTED ‘MOST LIKELY TO BE PRESIDENT’ IN HIGH SCHOOL: REPORT

However, Rep. Khanna’s and others protests were quickly shot down, with one prominent analyst referring to the California Democrat as a “Sanders surrogate.”

“This is an extremely weird Narrative coming from some Sanders surrogates. Buttigieg’s comments were extremely boilerplate, basically that Trump and Sanders voters both suffer economic anxiety and are disaffected with the system,” FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver tweeted.

TRUMP WOULD BEAT SANDERS IN 2020 MATCHUP, OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER SAYS 

“It’s an extremely weird thing to get upset about unless they’re deliberately looking to pick a fight with Buttigieg.”

New York-based writer M. Mendoz Ferrer also took issue with complaints from those on the Sanders side.

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“So, it’s interesting that the Sanders camp, including Ro Khanna, are upset with @PeteButtigieg for basically stating that Trump and Sanders voters both suffer economic anxiety and are disaffected with the system – because that is pretty much all Bernie Sanders ever says,” she tweeted.

Source: Fox News Politics

They’re the better, but lesser-known, halves of the 2020 presidential candidates.

But thanks to their time on the campaign trail, as well as cameos in magazine profiles and social media livestreams, the spouses of the nearly two-dozen people running for president are coming into the spotlight.

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Here’s a look at the marital running mates who could be the next first lady, or the first-ever first gentleman, of the United States.

THE DEMOCRATS

2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (R) and husband Chasten Glezman are seen arriving at 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on February 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (R) and husband Chasten Glezman are seen arriving at ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ at the Ed Sullivan Theater on February 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Chasten Buttigieg

Twenty-nine-year-old Chasten Buttigieg is among the most well-known of the 2020 spouses. The teacher who married Pete Buttigieg last year has become a staple on the campaign trail as he travels alongside his husband, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg – who’s been surging the past month in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination – would become the nation’s first gay president if he makes it to the White House. And Chasten Buttigieg would also make history as the country’s first ‘first gentleman.’

Chasten Buttigieg, who’s on leave from his job as a teacher as he helps his husband’s presidential campaign, has quickly become a star of his own on social media. He’s now up to 276,000 followers on Twitter.

And he’s becoming a regular in campaign emails.

In a fundraising pitch to supporters a few days ago, he described watching his husband declare his candidacy for president, saying “I watched from backstage, in awe of the man I love and the community of people who are standing for a better future for all of us.”

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, right, stands with his wife, Amy O'Rourke, at his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, right, stands with his wife, Amy O’Rourke, at his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Amy O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke’s wife Amy was thrust in the spotlight the day after the former congressman from Texas launched his presidential campaign last month.

After repeatedly joking on the campaign trail that his wife has been raising their three children “sometimes with my help,” O’Rourke faced criticism that the quip spotlighted gender stereotypes.

Beto O’Rourke vowed to be more thoughtful going forward, adding that “my ham-handed attempt to try to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion’s share of the burden in our family — that she actually works but is the primary parent in our family, especially when I served in Congress, especially when I was on the campaign trail — should have also been a moment for me to acknowledge that that is far too often the case, not just in politics, but just in life in general.”

But even before those headlines, Amy O’Rourke was featured in her husband’s popular Instagram and YouTube videos from his 2018 Senate campaign. And she was a co-star in a widely discussed Vanity Fair article that came out hours before Beto O’Rourke launched his White House bid.

O’Rourke, like her husband, is an El Paso native. She hails from a locally politically influential family. O’Rourke met husband on a blind date and a year later, in 2005, they married. The couple has three children.

ORourke, 37, worked as a teacher and later served as the superintendent of a K-8 school. She’s currently part of CREED, an educational nonprofit in El Paso.

FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, wave as they are introduced during an Elko Town Meeting on February 19, 2016 in Elko, Nevada. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, wave as they are introduced during an Elko Town Meeting on February 19, 2016 in Elko, Nevada. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jane O’Meara Sanders

Like her husband, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Jane O’Meara Sanders is a native of Brooklyn.

But she met her second husband in the 1980s, when she was working as a community organizer in Burlington, Vermont and Bernie Sanders was running for mayor of the city.

Sanders, who’s frequently seen at her husband’s side on the presidential campaign trail, has long served as one of his top unofficial advisers, dating back to his first election to the House of Representatives nearly three decades ago.

Sanders was in the headlines in recent years for another reason – her tenure from 2004-2011 as president of Burlington College. The school folded in 2016 due to financial difficulties and she came under investigation. But last year, the U.S. attorney’s office in Vermont informed Sanders that they had finished their investigation, and would not bring charges against her.

Two years ago she co-founded the Sanders Institute, a think tank. But with her husband now running for president again, operations at the institute have been suspended for the duration of Sen. Sanders’s White House campaign.

Bruce Mann arrives to vote in Cambridge, Mass., on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Bruce Mann arrives to vote in Cambridge, Mass., on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Bruce Mann

Massachusetts native Bruce Mann is a professor at Harvard Law School and a legal historian.

But the 68-year-old Mann is best known to many outside the world of legal academics as the husband of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Mann was a common sight on the campaign trail during the opening weeks of his wife’s presidential campaign, escorting Bailey, the golden retriever he gave Warren as a gift last summer.

He also grabbed attention for his cameo appearance in Warren’s much talked about (and derided) campaign launch video, when he passed on drinking a beer with his wife in their kitchen.

Mann and Warren married in 1980. The senator has two adult children from a previous marriage.

Then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris and lawyer Douglas Emhoff (R) attend Children's Defense Fund - California Hosts 24th Annual Beat The Odds Awards at Book Bindery on December 4, 2014 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Children's Defense Fund)

Then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris and lawyer Douglas Emhoff (R) attend Children’s Defense Fund – California Hosts 24th Annual Beat The Odds Awards at Book Bindery on December 4, 2014 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Children’s Defense Fund)

Doug Emhoff

Sen. Kamala Harris met her husband on a blind date.

Doug Emhoff, the other part of this California power couple, is a partner at the prestigious multinational law firm DLA Piper. He earned $1.5 million last year, according to the couple’s 2018 tax returns. The earnings helped put the couple at the top of the income list among candidates who released their tax returns.

Emhoff has two children from a previous marriage.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and her husband Jonathan Gillibrand walk together after a media availability announcing she will run for president in 2020 outside the Country View Diner, January 16, 2019 in Troy, New York. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and her husband Jonathan Gillibrand walk together after a media availability announcing she will run for president in 2020 outside the Country View Diner, January 16, 2019 in Troy, New York. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Jonathan Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York also met her husband, Jonathan, on a blind date.

The venture capitalist who’s a British national planned to stay in the U.S. for only a year while studying for his masters in business administration at Columbia University. But he stayed because of his relationship with Gillibrand.

The two married in 2001 and have two sons.

Amy Klobuchar and John Bessler attend the 2018 Directors Guild of America Honors at DGA Theater on October 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)

Amy Klobuchar and John Bessler attend the 2018 Directors Guild of America Honors at DGA Theater on October 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)

John Bessler

Like his wife, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, John Bessler was raised in Minnesota. Bessler’s an attorney and academic. He’s a professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

The couple, who met in a pool hall and married in 1993, have a daughter named Abigail.

Bessler has written seven books – most of them about capital punishment.

But his wife says he’s also taken on many of the traditional roles of the spouse of a U.S. senator.

FILE: Erica Lira Castro (C), wife of Julian Castro, attends his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

FILE: Erica Lira Castro (C), wife of Julian Castro, attends his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Erica Lira Castro

Like her husband, former San Antonio mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Erica Lira Castro’s a Texas native.

Lira Castro, the first person in her family to graduate college, became an elementary school teacher and currently works as an education consultant. She teamed up in 2015 with then-Second Lady Jill Biden to encourage more Hispanic Americans to become teachers.

She married Julian Castro in 2007 and they have a daughter and a son.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (left) and his wife Trudi Inslee as he announces his run for the 2020 Presidency at A & R Solar on March 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (left) and his wife Trudi Inslee as he announces his run for the 2020 Presidency at A & R Solar on March 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Trudi Inslee

Like her husband Gov. Jay Inslee, Trudi Inslee is a native of Washington State.

The two met at Seattle’s Ingraham High School and were married a few years later, in 1972. They have three sons.

Trudi Inslee’s an avid golfer, a passion that was passed along by her father, who was a public golf course pro and former University of Washington golf coach.

Outgoing governor John Hickenlooper stands with his wife, Robin Pringle before the inauguration of Governor-elect Jared Polis at the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Outgoing governor John Hickenlooper stands with his wife, Robin Pringle before the inauguration of Governor-elect Jared Polis at the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Robin Pringle

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s wife, Robin Pringle, is a vice president for corporate development at Liberty Media, a corporation which owns QVC, Charter Communications, SiriusXM, The Atlanta Braves, Provide Commerce, and Barnes and Nobles.

Pringle, who’s a quarter century younger that Hickenlooper, tied the knot with the then-Colorado governor in 2016.

The two started dating in 2014, two years after Hickenlooper split from his first wife, best-selling author Helen Thorpe.

Abraham Williams (L) and Tulsi Gabbard attend the Sean Penn CORE Gala benefiting the organization formerly known as J/P HRO & its life-saving work across Haiti & the world at The Wiltern on January 5, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for CORE, formerly J/P HRO )

Abraham Williams (L) and Tulsi Gabbard attend the Sean Penn CORE Gala benefiting the organization formerly known as J/P HRO & its life-saving work across Haiti & the world at The Wiltern on January 5, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for CORE, formerly J/P HRO )

Abraham Williams

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s husband, Abraham Williams, is commonly seen on the campaign trail, with his camera capturing almost every move of his wife his wife’s bid for the White House.

Williams, a cinematographer, and Gabbard were already friends in 2012 when he volunteered to help shoot Gabbard’s campaign ads when she was running for the U.S. Congress for the first time.

The two, who share a passion for surfing, started dating a year later. They married in 2015. It was the second marriage for Gabbard, who’s seven years Williams’ senior.

Andrea Zetts

Like her husband Rep. Tim Ryan, Andrea Zetts is a native of northeastern Ohio.

Zetts, an elementary school teacher, met Ryan in 2008. The two, who were both previously married, tied the knot in 2013.

They have two children from her first marriage and added a baby boy in 2014.

U.S. Representative from California's 15th congressional district Eric Swalwell and wife Brittany Watts attend the Broadway opening night of 'Oklahoma' at Circle in the Square Theatre on April 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

U.S. Representative from California’s 15th congressional district Eric Swalwell and wife Brittany Watts attend the Broadway opening night of ‘Oklahoma’ at Circle in the Square Theatre on April 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Brittany Watts

Rep. Eric Swalwell met his wife Brittany Watts in 2015 and they married a year later. It was the congressman’s second marriage.

They have a son and a daughter together.

Watts is a sales director at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay.

FILE: John Delaney and April Delaney attend the 7th Annual Common Sense Media Awards honoring Bill Clinton at Gotham Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Common Sense Media)

FILE: John Delaney and April Delaney attend the 7th Annual Common Sense Media Awards honoring Bill Clinton at Gotham Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Common Sense Media)

April McClain-Delaney

Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland’s wife, April McClain-Delaney, is a communications lawyer and an entrepreneur, who’s focused for some 25 years on the regulation of communications satellites as well as safeguarding the digital privacy of children.

While John Delaney grew up in a union household in New Jersey, April McClain was born and raised in Idaho, where her father was a russet potato farmer.

The two met at Georgetown University Law Center and married in 1990. They have four children together.

Evelyn Yang

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang met his future wife Evelyn on the campus of Columbia University.

The two married in 2011 and have two sons.

They live in New York City.

THE REPUBLICANS

President Donald Trump, right, with first lady Melania Trump, center, and daughter Tiffany Trump, left, arrive for Easter services at Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Sunday, April 21, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump, right, with first lady Melania Trump, center, and daughter Tiffany Trump, left, arrive for Easter services at Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Sunday, April 21, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

First Lady Melania Trump

The most famous among the spouses of 2020 candidates, Melania Trump has carved out her own agenda in the White House, launching an anti-bullying initiative and traveling solo last year to Africa.

The Slovenia-born fashion model became a permanent resident of the United States in 2001. She married Donald Trump in 2005 and became a naturalized American citizen a year later.

She is the second foreign-born first lady in the country’s history, following Louisa Adams, who was the wife of President John Quincy Adams.

Melania and Donald Trump have one son together, Barron.

FILE: William Weld and Leslie Marshall attend GREY GARDENS Opening Night Party at The Boathouse in Central Park on November 2, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

FILE: William Weld and Leslie Marshall attend GREY GARDENS Opening Night Party at The Boathouse in Central Park on November 2, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Leslie Marshall

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who to date is the only Republican primary-challenging President Trump, married Leslie Marshall in 2003. It was the second marriage for both.

Leslie Marshall has two children from her first marriage with Dominic Bradlee, the son of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.  She was a reporter for the Washington Post and is a magazine editor and novelist.

Source: Fox News Politics

Jim Messina, campaign manager for former President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign, predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would be unable to counter President Trump’s economic messaging and would therefore lose in a 2020 electoral matchup.

“Bernie Sanders is unlikely going to be able to stand up to the constant barrage that is Donald Trump on economic issues,” Messina said during the Powerhouse Politics podcast this week.

Messina contended that swing voters were “incredibly focused on the economy” and that winners of the last five presidential elections were those candidates who were able to “win” the economic argument with swing voters.

Sanders already leads the pack of declared, Democratic candidates in polling and fundraising but his poll numbers trail former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Messina campaigned for and is expected to announce his 2020 bid on Wednesday.

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He will enter a field already filled with more progressive candidates like Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Sanders, a self-described socialist, appeared to highlight progressives’ growing prominence in the party when he came in second to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Multiple polls have shown both Biden and Sanders receiving more support than Trump for the 2020 general election.

Messina indicated, however, that the more progressive Sanders wasn’t someone who could both grab swing voters and energize the base — a winning combo that he said former Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter were able to achieve.

“You have to excite your base and turn out people, and you have to win swing voters. And we are going to look for a nominee who can do both,” Messina said. “Today, you would say in a general election context, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be that candidate.”

BERNIE SANDERS FAST FACTS: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE VERMONT SENATOR

The former campaign manager’s comments came just as Karl Rove, who served as the chief strategist behind former President George W. Bush’s 2000 electoral bid, speculated that Sanders had a shot at beating Trump.

Messina said that Sanders could win the Democratic nomination and be “the Donald Trump of 2020.” While both Trump and Sanders have been described as populist alternatives to establishment candidates, the two would likely have a lot to debate about on the economy.

That could be tough for Sanders considering the numerous economic milestones — record-low unemployment, strong manufacturing growth, and surprisingly high gross domestic product — that Trump took credit for in the last two years.

Trump has attributed that economic success to his massive tax reform package, which Sanders vehemently opposed. Sanders has pushed a slew of progressive policies, including single-payer health care which set him and other progressives apart from their more moderate counterparts.

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According to Messina, the upcoming Democratic primary would provide a healthy debate between those two wings within the party.

“Overall, this is being cast as a kind of insurgent versus the machine campaign — I think that’s wrong. Democrats are having a very healthy and very predictable fight about the ideological center of the Democratic party,” he said.

Both Sanders and Trump will likely face scrutiny over their personal finances — Trump for refusing to release his tax returns and Sanders for the amount of money revealed in his.

During a Fox News town hall last week, Sanders fended off criticism of his and his wife’s income which totaled more than $1 million in 2016 and 2017. Much of their income came from the success of their bestselling book, something for which Sanders refused to apologize.

Source: Fox News Politics

Republican strategist Karl Rove said on “Fox & Friends” Friday that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ town hall on Fox earlier this week convinced him that the presidential candidate could win the Oval Office in 2020.

He credited Sanders, who is 77 and from Vermont, for bucking the decision of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, Tom Perez, to exclude Fox News from hosting a Democrat primary debate.

“First of all, the simple fact that he went on” despite Perez’s decision, was impressive, Rove said.

Despite Perez’s “attempt to keep [the Democratic candidates] off Fox, Bernie comes on to Fox, and gets the largest viewership of any campaign event thus far.”

“That was a smart move on his part,” Rove said.

Rove, who was the architect of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, said that it is apparent that Sanders has run for president before and has learned from earlier missteps.

HOW BERNIE WENT FROM SOCIALIST GADFLY TO FRONTRUNNER

“He is a lot more fluid,” Rove said, noting that Sanders deftly pivoted to the messages he wanted to push when Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier asked him tough questions about his taxes and to respond to presidential contender and South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s call for a “new generation of leadership.”

“He says ‘I paid all the taxes I owe,’ and he quickly pivots and says ‘I released 10 years of tax returns, President Trump ought to do the same.’ Martha says ‘You know, here’s Mayor Pete, he says there should be a new generation of leadership. You will be 79 if you’re sworn in as president.’ He makes a joke. He says ‘It’s a fair question.’ He says ‘It’s not whether you’re young or old, it’s what you believe.’”

“Every time he brought it back to his message,” said Rove, who wrote about Sanders’ strong 2020 prospects in a Wall Street Journal editorial this week. “That demonstrated to me that he has learned from having run before. He really did a good job of softening the edges of socialism. Whenever the issue came up, he made it feel warm and fuzzy, kumbaya, shake hands, run around the campfire.”

Rove noted that Sanders stressed the importance of not having an all anti-Trump message.

Sanders said that Democrats “will lose if we spend our time bashing Trump.”

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“He was focused on what he was for,” Rove said.

But while Sanders, a self-styled democratic socialist, tries to make socialism seem mainstream, he failed to provide details about how such concepts as Medicare-for-all would be funded, Rove said.

“He says, ‘Everything we propose we’re paying for,’ without telling us that it’s trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars.”

Rove said that Trump’s camp seems to view Sanders as a formidable contender for 2020.

“Some of the Trump campaign people said ‘You know what? We’re paying attention to this guy. We’ve got to take him seriously.’”

Source: Fox News Politics

New York Times opinion columnis Paul Krugman– who once called Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ economic policies “destructive self-indulgence”– is now praising the leading 2020 candidate for “civic virtue” because he’s advocating his policies despite his riches.

Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, offered a defense of Sanders on Thursday following the revelations that the senator became part of America’s one percent, thanks to his 2016 presidential campaign that propelled him to national stardom and wealth.

BERNIE SANDERS RELEASES 10 YEARS OF TAX RETURNS; DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST MADE OVER $560G IN 2018

“A peculiar chapter in the 2020 presidential race ended Monday, when Bernie Sanders, after months of foot-dragging, finally released his tax returns,” Krugman wrote, calling the filings “perfectly innocuous.”

He said that while it seems that “Sanders got a lot of book royalties after the 2016 campaign, and was afraid that revealing this fact would produce headlines mocking him for now being part of the 1 Percent,” he shouldn’t actually hide his wealth.

“Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue,” Krugman wrote, calling such attacks “stupid.”

 “Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue.”

— Paul Krugman

The senator’s 2018 tax return revealed that he and his wife, Jane, earned over $550,000, including $133,000 in income from his Senate salary and $391,000 in sales of his book, “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.”

The filings showed that Sanders has been among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. According to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, families in the U.S. earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.

NY TIMES’ PAUL KRUGMAN SAYS US PART OF ‘NEW AXIS OF EVIL’ WITH RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA

Krugman’s rare defense of Sanders comes after his relentless attacks on the Sanders campaign during the 2016 election.

In a January 2016 column, Krugman decried Sanders’ idealism, saying “it’s not a virtue unless it goes along with hardheaded realism,” which Sanders doesn’t have.

“Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence,” he wrote.

“Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence.”

— Paul Krugman on Bernie Sanders in 2016

In a blog post the same month, Krugman also declared Sanders’ positions on financial reform and healthcare were “disturbing.”

“And in both cases his positioning is disturbing — not just because it’s politically unrealistic to imagine that we can get the kind of radical overhaul he’s proposing, but also because he takes his own version of cheap shots,” he wrote.

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“Not at people — he really is a fundamentally decent guy — but by going for easy slogans and punting when the going gets tough.”

Source: Fox News Politics

More than three-quarters of voters are already interested in the 2020 presidential election, including over half, 52 percent, who are “extremely” interested, according to the latest Fox News Poll. That matches interest levels typically seen only in the last weeks before Election Day.

The enthusiasm is on both sides. Fifty-seven percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 are “extremely” interested in the upcoming election, as are 57 percent of Donald Trump voters, and two-thirds of self-identified “very conservatives” (67 percent) and “very liberals” (65 percent).

Democratic primary voters are upbeat about many of their options. Nearly 8 in 10 would be satisfied with Joe Biden (78 percent) or Bernie Sanders (75 percent) winning the nomination, while 6 in 10 would be happy with Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren (each 61 percent).

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Compare that to 53 percent who would be satisfied if the nominee were Beto O’Rourke, 50 percent Cory Booker, 43 percent Pete Buttigieg, 38  percent Julian Castro or Kirsten Gillibrand, or 34 percent Amy Klobuchar. Still, there is room for opinions to change for these candidates, as at least 3 in 10 primary voters don’t know enough about each to have an opinion.

Two candidates, Harris and Buttigieg, perform notably better among “extremely” interested Democratic primary voters: satisfaction with Harris as the nominee goes from 61 to 70 percent, and satisfaction with Buttigieg increases from 43 to 50 percent.

Among Democratic primary voters, men, women, whites, and non-whites generally agree on the candidate ratings, but there is a significant difference in opinion among age groups.  Primary voters under age 45 are more likely than those 45 and over to say they would be satisfied if Sanders were the nominee (82 percent vs. 68 percent). Those ages 45+ (82 percent) are happier if Biden is the nominee than those under 45 (73 percent).

Eighty percent of those satisfied with Biden as the nominee would also be happy with Sanders, and 83 percent of those happy with Sanders would be fine if Biden wins.

There’s little fallout from the criticism that Biden’s “touchy” behavior has made some women uncomfortable. Most, 76 percent, are unconcerned about it.  That includes 82 percent of Democratic women, 82 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of women over age 45, 71 percent of women under 45, 68 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of GOP women.

Almost all Republican primary voters, 88 percent, would be pleased with President Trump as the 2020 GOP nominee.  That includes 64 percent who would be “very” satisfied.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld announced April 15 he is challenging Trump for the Republican nomination.  His first task is improving his name recognition, as 50 percent of primary voters have never heard of him.  Twelve percent would be satisfied if he wins.

The poll tested several policy proposals discussed on the campaign trail.  Majorities support establishing Congressional term limits (80 percent favor), pushing for renewable energy (70 percent), providing government-run health insurance for all (59 percent), providing free college tuition for all (57 percent), reducing government regulations (57 percent), and abolishing the Electoral College (52 percent).

There is less support for building a border wall (45 percent favor), increasing the number of Supreme Court justices (37 percent) and paying reparations for slavery (32 percent).

The top three policies favored by Democrats are Medicare for all (87 percent), renewable energy sources (86 percent), and free college tuition (81 percent). For Republicans, the largest numbers favor term limits (86 percent), a border wall (83 percent), and fewer regulations (74 percent).

“There’s appreciable support for free benefits from the federal government along with reining in that same government,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “I’m not sure the public sees the irony.”  Shaw conducts the Fox News Poll with Democratic counterpart Chris Anderson.

Meanwhile, a majority, 53 percent, believes GOP policies benefit the rich and powerful rather than everyday Americans (32 percent), while voters are more likely to see the Democratic Party as being for everyday Americans (40 percent) than the rich (34 percent).

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When considering significant policy proposals that are now law, voters continue to view the 2010 Affordable Care Act more favorably than the 2017 tax reform law. Forty-seven percent have a positive opinion of ObamaCare compared to 36 percent for the GOP tax law.

Conducted April 14-16, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,005 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, and five points for both the Democratic (413) and Republican primary voter samples (374).

Source: Fox News Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance on Thursday at a rally for striking grocery store workers in Boston, where he expressed his solidarity with the union members and his anger at corporate America.

Biden, who is widely expected to soon announce a run for the presidency, highlighted his working-class upbringing in Pennsylvania and his disdain for unfair labor practices.

“Wall Street CEOs and bankers did not build America, you built America,” Biden told a crowd of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union gathered outside a Stop & Shop market in the Dorchester neighborhood.

TRUMP PREDICTS BIDEN, SANDERS, WILL BE THE TWO DEM 2020 FINALISTS

More than 30,000 UFCW Stop & Shop workers have been on strike since April 11 as they fight the company over what they’ve called unreasonable contract and benefit cuts.

“This is morally wrong what is going on around the country, and I’m sick of it, and I’ve had enough of it,” Biden said. “We’ve got to stand to together, and we will take back our country.”

While Biden has not officially declared that he plans to challenge President Trump for the White House, recent polling indicates that he is considered one of the front-runners for the Democratic nomination, alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. A recent poll by Fox News shows that Biden holds a seven-point lead in a head-to-head race against Trump, while Sanders holds a three-point lead over Trump.

POLLS SUGGEST VOTERS SHRUGGING OFF BIDEN INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING CONTROVERSY

Looking ahead to his re-election campaign, Trump predicted in a tweet earlier this week that he would face either Biden or Sanders in the general election next year.

Sanders is leading a crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field in fundraising so far, raising $18 million.

Winning back working class voters is of major importance to the 2020 Democratic after the party suffered major losses in union-heavy states like Michigan and Pennsylvania in the 2016 election. Biden has already been courting union voters even before he has officially entered the race.

“You are coming back,” he told the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers last week. “We need you back.”

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Biden is not the only potential candidate courting union votes: Sanders’ campaign became the first in U.S. history with a unionized workforce, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined striking Stop & Shop workers on a picket line in New Hampshire last Friday and California Sen. Kamala Harris hired a top Service Employees International Union executive for her campaign and made her first proposal one to raise teacher’s pay.

Major union endorsements are likely several months away, especially because the labor movement is treading carefully after complaints that its leadership was too quick to back Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary over Sanders.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,  told voters and Fox News viewers why they should vote him into the White House in a special town hall event Monday night.

Sanders spent an hour answering questions from potential voters and Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, before thanking the audience and viewers.

WATCH: FOX NATION’S BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT BERNIE SANDERS’ TOWN HALL

The senator defended his wealth, outlined his health care plan, and critiqued President Trump in what was the most watched town hall event so-far this election season.

But that wasn’t the whole story…

HOW BERNIE WENT FROM SOCIALIST GADFLY TO FRONTRUNNER

Fox Nation took a behind the scenes look at Monday’s Town Hall as Fox News crews worked tirelessly setting up the event and reaching out to the local community about the important issues that Sanders needed to address.

The crew even dealt with a weather situation that threatened the event.

“Due to the weather conditions in the area they’re worried about a power cut from the local utility,” Roger Germinder, Coordinator Operations and Engineering for Fox News revealed in the Fox Nation special.

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To see how the Town Hall was put together, how the anchors prepared and more go to FoxNation.com.

Source: Fox News Politics


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