Paul Steinhauser

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is blasting President Donald Trump for “chest-thumping militarism” and warned that rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran “could very quickly get away from this president.”

At a campaign event Friday night in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, the one-time long shot for the nomination — who has surged the past two months to become a credible contender — also vowed that “I’m going to win” as he took an indirect jab at former Vice President Joe Biden, the clear front-runner in the Democratic 2020 race.

TRUMP SENDS 1,500 TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST AMID RISING TENSIONS WITH IRAN

The South Bend, Indiana mayor and Afghanistan War veteran criticized the Republican president just hours after the Pentagon said that 1,500 additional U.S. forces and firepower are headed to the Middle East as the specter of potential conflict with Tehran increases.

The Trump administration has been ringing alarms the past month over what it calls “troubling” and “escalatory” moves by Iran. The U.S. has been raising the volume on Iran ever since the president took the country out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran a year ago.

Trump has spent weeks alternating between tough talk towards Tehran while still insisting he’s open to negotiating with the Islamic Republican. On Friday, the president told reporters before departing on a trip to Japan that “we’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective.”

Buttigieg, speaking at a campaign event in Exeter, New Hampshire, claimed that Trump “now seems to be setting us on a course that could lead to violent confrontation.”

He later told reporters that “I’m very worried because we have steps towards confrontation in Iran that almost make it seem as though we learned nothing from the experience in Iraq.”

And he warned that “what we’re seeing right now is a set of escalations that could very quickly get away from this president to where he’s not even in control.”

JUDGE TEMPORARILY BLOCKS TRUMP’S BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION PLANS

For the third time in two days, Buttigieg took aim at Trump accusing him of faking a disability decades ago in order to avoid military service in the Vietnam War.

Speaking to a crowd jam-packed into Exeter’s historic town hall that his campaign estimated at 680 people, the candidate charged Trump “used his privilege to avoid serving when it was his turn.”

He made similar comments at a campaign event with veterans in Londonderry, New Hampshire earlier in the evening.

Trump received five deferments from the draft for military service during the Vietnam War. Four were education deferments while he was a college student and the fifth – in 1968 after he graduated – was a medical exemption.

Two daughters of a New York podiatrist told The New York Times recently that 50 years ago, their father diagnosed Trump with bone spurs in his heels, as a favor to the doctor’s landlord, millionaire real estate developer Fred Trump.

SANDERS RIPS BIDEN FOR SWANKY FUNDRAISERS, ACCUSES HIM OF COURTING ELITE

On the campaign trail in 2015, as he was running for president, Trump said: “It was a long time ago … I had student deferments and then ultimately had a medical deferment because of my feet. I had a bone spur.”

Trump told reporters at the time that he couldn’t remember which foot had the problem. His campaign later said the bone spurs affected both feet.

Minutes after once again charging that Trump used his “privilege” to avoid military service, Buttigieg emphasized to the audience that “we can’t spend all our time thinking up a zinger that’s going to knock the president flat. Because any energy that goes his way, any attention that goes his way, even in the form of criticism, it’s kind of like food, he just takes it in and gets bigger off of it.”

Asked later by Fox News how he could square those comments with his repeated attacks on Trump the past two days over his Vietnam War deferments, the candidate answered “we absolutely need to say exactly what we think about the president’s wrongdoing, malfeasance and lies. It’s just that that can’t be our message. As soon as we say that, we’ve got to return to the question of how we’re going to make American lives better.”

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Buttigieg also appeared to take a shot at the former vice president during the town hall. In an obvious reference to Biden – who many voters feel may be the most electable candidate of the two-dozen Democrats currently running for president, Buttigieg argued that “sometimes we pick somebody who is less inspiring that we think will also be less risky and we wind up getting somebody that’s neither.”

“The point is you can move people. It’s not just about ideology. It’s not just about where your dot is on the political spectrum. It is about offering something new, offering something different,” the 37-year old candidate emphasized.

Asked by a member of the crowd why they should support him, Buttigieg declared “two reasons, I’m going to make a really good president and I’m going to win.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Sen. Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign is once again taking aim at Joe Biden for the former vice president’s numerous top-dollar fundraising events from coast to coast.

In a fundraising email to supporters titled “We risk falling behind,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir wrote Friday that Biden’s “raising huge sums of money at large fundraising events all across the country. And these are not grassroots fundraising events.”

BIDEN CAMPAIGN TOUTS DIGITAL FUNDRAISING

He said “these are high-dollar functions hosted and attended by corporate lobbyists, health care executives, a Republican casino-CEO, and a union-busting lawyer among others.”

Faiz stressed the independent senator from Vermont’s small-dollar and grassroots approach to fundraising, highlighting that “the truth of the matter is that the American people are pretty sick and tired of the billionaire class of this country buying up our candidates and our elections. We can win elections without begging those people for money.”

Biden has been raising big bucks through small-dollar online donations – his campaign this week touted their online contributions and said those kinds of contributions made up the lion’s share of the whopping $6.3 million it raised in the 24 hours after the former vice president announced his candidacy last month.

But Biden’s also been holding some high-profile, high-end fundraisers. On his first night as a White House contender, he raised $700,000 at the Philadelphia home of a Comcast executive. He also hauled in big bucks at a Hollywood finance event earlier this month and at two Florida fundraisers this week.

The former vice president’s expected to hold two major fundraisers in Boston on June 5, and two more in New York City on June 17, sources close to Biden’s inner circle told Fox News.

Fundraising was far from then-Sen. Biden’s wheelhouse in his unsuccessful White House runs in the 1988 and 2008 presidential cycles. But so far, the third time appears to be the charm, as Biden’s raking in big bucks both at traditional fundraisers with deep-pocketed donors — which he’s opened up to media coverage in a move for transparency — as well as through online contributions.

Biden adviser Brandon English touted in an email earlier this week that the campaign’s “fundraising has been driven by rapid, massive growth over the last month.”

The courting of wealthy donors used to be commonplace, but this time around, the two progressive leaders in the Democratic nomination race — Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — have criticized Biden and sworn off those types of donations.

LATEST POLL NUMBERS IN 2020 DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION RACE

But Sanders reportedly has decided to now hold in-person fundraising events and has hired an official to oversee such finance events.

Source: Fox News Politics

Among the throng of abortion-rights demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court this week were six Democratic presidential candidates.

They were there to protest new abortion restrictions passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in such states as Georgia, Missouri and especially Alabama, which approved an outright ban on abortions.

SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR PLEDGES TO SIGN ‘HEARTBEAT’ ABORTION BILL

“We are not going to allow them to move our country backward,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota vowed as she spoke to the crowd.

Another White House hopeful, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, called the measures “the beginning of President Trump’s war on women.”

And Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey urged those protesting to “wake up more men to join this fight.”

The demonstration on the steps of the nation’s highest court was the latest sign that the divisive issue of abortion has rocketed to the center of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — and with a lawsuit filed Friday against the Alabama law, legal proceedings could easily keep the debate hot going into the 2020 general election.

But the question going forward — will the debate mobilize Democrats to the same degree Republicans have used the issue to energize social conservatives in the decades since the landmark Roe v. Wade high court ruling codified abortion protections? Part of President Trump’s 2016 coalition included social conservatives who, despite reservations about the candidate, wanted to ensure federal court vacancies were filled by like-minded jurists.

LA COUNTY OFFICIALS VOTE TO BAN TRAVEL TO ALABAMA OVER ABORTION LAW

And with numerous state abortion laws tempting legal challenges, an epic battle over abortion restrictions could be shaping up in the future before a Supreme Court that Trump has made more conservative since taking office.

On Friday, Missouri’s governor signed a bill banning abortions after eight weeks. Last week, Alabama passed an outright abortion ban, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, unless the woman’s life is in danger. Days earlier, Georgia banned abortions absent a medical emergency after six weeks of pregnancy. The measure also made abortions illegal after a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected, which can happen before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.

“More than anything, I think what you’re seeing from both the presidential candidates and the broader Democratic elected and progressive activist universe is a visceral response to blatant attacks on women’s reproductive rights,” highlighted veteran Democratic consultant and communications strategist Lynda Tran. “For so many women — and men — across the country, this isn’t politics as much as it is personal.”

In his 2012 re-election, then-President Barack Obama hammered GOP nominee Mitt Romney and Republicans for waging what he and other Democrats described as a “war on women.”

Four years later, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reiterated the theme as she spotlighted her support for Roe v. Wade — and Trump vowed to put “pro-life justices on the court.”

While the 2020 Democrats largely support abortion rights and criticize the recent state laws, they do differ when it comes to how much emphasis they put on the issue.

Gillibrand traveled to Atlanta last week, to protest Georgia’s new measure at the state capital and once again vowed to nominate judges who vow to uphold Roe v. Wade.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts produced a new policy proposal to protect access to reproductive health care.

And Sen. Kamala Harris of California has spotlighted the fight for abortion rights on the campaign trail the past couple of weeks.

But it’s not just the female candidates.

Booker earlier this week rolled out a plan that would include creating a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom.

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Eric Swalwell of California, and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts also attended the rally outside the Supreme Court.

Social conservatives are banking on the legal challenges against the new state laws eventually ending up before the high court, which they hope will overturn Roe v. Wade.

FOX NEWS POLL: MAJORITY WANT ROE V. WADE TO ENDURE

But public perceptions about the 1973 ruling appear to be shifting.

A Fox News Poll in January indicated that six in 10 registered voters wanted the precedent to remain in place, while just 21 percent wanted Roe v. Wade overturned.

And 28 percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released this week said abortion should be legal in all cases, an all-time high in that organization’s polling. Eight percent said abortion should be illegal in all cases, the lowest level since Quinnipiac first asked the question 15 years ago.

Female voters helped drive the Democrats’ success at the ballot box in 2018, as they recaptured the majority in the House. Democratic strategists say the issues will help rally the troops again in 2020.

Tran noted that “Republicans seem to be banking on these laws and this fight helping to turn out their base in 2020.”

But she spotlighted “what it will also likely do is enable Democrats who won huge victories in 2018 thanks to women voters in key districts nationally to drive up what is already heightened voter enthusiasm among progressives even higher.”

The Republican National Committee says the issue of abortion is distracting Democrats from getting the work of the people accomplished.

“While Democrats continue to espouse extreme positions on abortion,” argued RNC press secretary Blair Ellis, “they neglect the real and substantive work they promised the American people.”

A veteran GOP consultant thinks the significance of abortion’s impact on the 2020 election is overstated.

“The issue of abortion rights is a hot button issue for a small portion of either party,” said Lauren Caren, a veteran of numerous Republican presidential and Senate campaigns.

“What the middle of the road person expects is common sense. So I don’t see this issue as being the pinnacle of all issues for this election cycle,” added Carney, who served as a top adviser to Carly Fiorina’s 2016 White House bid.

Source: Fox News Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains his front-runner status, but a new national survey in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination indicates a drop in support for Sen. Bernie Sanders and a rise by Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

According to a Monmouth University public opinion survey released Thursday, 33 percent of Democrats or independents who lean toward the Democratic Party say they support Biden, up from 27 percent in Monmouth’s April poll.

BIDEN UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 POLL

Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who’s making his second straight White House bid, registers at 15 percent support, down 5 percentage points from a month ago and a drop of 10 points from Monmouth’s March poll, when the senator stood at 25 percent.

The new poll differs from a Quinnipiac University survey released a day earlier, which suggested Sanders on the rise.

Harris, the former California attorney general, is in third place in the survey at 11 percent, up slightly from 8 percent in April. Warren, the populist senator who’s put out one progressive policy proposal after another, stands at 10 percent, up 4 points from a month ago.

Two other national surveys released in the past week, from Fox News and Quinnipiac University, also indicated Warren’s poll numbers on the rise. The Monmouth poll also suggested a slight collective rise in support for the other female candidates: Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and best-selling spiritual author Marianne Williamson.

“Women are commanding a larger slice of Democratic support than they were a few weeks ago and we are seeing bumps in their individual voter ratings. We can’t parse out the exact reasons from this one poll, but recent efforts by certain states to restrict access to abortion services may be playing a role in the closer look these candidates are getting right now,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said.

The survey also indicated a rise in favorable ratings for Warren, Harris and Klobuchar.

South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, a one-time long-shot who’s surged this spring, stands at 6 percent in the survey, down 2 points from last month. The Monmouth survey follows this week’s Quinnipiac poll in suggesting a slight edging down of Buttigieg’s support since April.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas stands at 4 percent in the poll, with Klobuchar at 3 percent. Everyone else in the historically enormous field of two-dozen candidates registered at 1 percent or less.

This latest survey comes with more than eight months to go until the first votes are cast in the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

“One thing we need to remember is that huge pockets of Democratic voters, particularly moderates, have yet to tune in to the campaign,” Murray emphasized.

The Monmouth University poll was conducted May 16-20, with 802 adults questioned by live telephone operators. The survey included 334 registered voters who identified as Democrats or independents who lean towards the Democratic Party. The sampling error for Democratic primary questions was plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.

Source: Fox News Politics

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg raised the volume Thursday on his criticism of President Trump, accusing him of using his “privileged status to fake a disability” decades ago in order to avoid military service in the Vietnam War.

The South Bend, Indiana mayor also likened the GOP president to a “crazy uncle” and effectively called Trump a racist during an hour-long interview with The Washington Post.

EVEN PETE BUTTIGIEG SURPRISED BY HIS 2020 SURGE

The one-time long-shot for the Democratic nomination, who has surged the past two months, also indirectly criticized former Vice President Joe Biden, the clear front-runner in the primary race, over Biden’s support for the now-controversial 1994 crime bill.

Buttigieg, an Afghanistan War veteran, said, “I have a pretty dim view of his [Trump’s] decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam.”

Trump received five deferments from the draft for military service during the Vietnam War. Four were education deferments while he was a college student and the fifth – in 1968 after he graduated – was a medical exemption.

Two daughters of a New York podiatrist told the “New York Times” recently that 50 years ago, their father diagnosed Trump with bone spurs in his heels, as a favor to the doctor’s landlord, millionaire real estate developer Fred Trump.

“This is somebody who I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us took advantage of the fact that he was the child of a multi-millionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place,” Buttigieg charged.

But on the campaign trail in 2015, as he was running for president, Trump said, “It was a long time ago … I had student deferments and then ultimately had a medical deferment because of my feet. I had a bone spur.”

Trump told reporters at the time that he couldn’t remember which foot had the problem. His campaign later said the bone spurs affected both feet.

Buttigieg, meanwhile, also slammed the president as a racist.

“If you do racist things and say racist things, the question of whether that makes you a racist is almost academic. The problem with the president is that he does and says racist things and gives cover to other racists. It’s not an accident that hate crime rose disproportionately in places that his campaign visited,” the candidate argued.

“It’s almost like a sort of crazy uncle management,” Buttigieg added. “Like, he’s there. You’re not going to disrespect his humanity. But he thinks what he thinks. There’s not much you can do about it.”

The president has repeatedly denied being a racist.

The latest comments ratchet up the tit-for-tat between Buttigieg and Trump, who recently likened him to the Mad magazine mascot in an attempt to knock him down a peg.

“Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States,” the president said in a Politico interview. He later questioned the young mayor’s ability to hold his own in negotiations with foreign governments like China.

“I want to be in that room, I wanna watch that one,” Trump joked at a recent rally.

Buttigieg on Thursday also defended athletes who have created controversy by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and the mass incarceration of African-Americans.

“I felt that I was watching Americans exercise a right that I had put my life on the line to defend,” said Buttigieg, who served in the U.S. Navy Reserve in Afghanistan in 2014.

NEW NATIONAL 2020 POLL SUGGESTS BUTTIGIEG EDGING DOWN

Buttigieg is averaging in the mid-to-upper single digits in most 2020 Democratic nomination polls, which puts him near the top in a historically massive field of nearly two-dozen candidates.

Biden is far ahead of the rest of the field in the latest public opinion surveys but Buttigieg sought Thursday to dispel the notion that the former vice president has earned the nomination.

“I think you earn the nomination by winning it,” he emphasized. “Nobody’s earned the nomination in 2019.”

Buttigieg also disagreed with Biden over the effects of the 1994 crime bill, which has been criticized in recent years by many Democrats for spiking incarcerations, particularly among minorities.

BIDEN BUILDS LARGE LEAD IN 2020 POLLS WITH BLACK VOTERS

Biden, who as a senator from Delaware helped craft the sweeping legislation, last week defended the law’s gun control provisions, which he said helped him “beat the NRA.”

“I’m the only guy ever nationally to beat the NRA,” Biden said in defending the law. “Because when we did the crime bill — everybody talks about the bad things. Let me tell you about the good thing in the crime bill.”

“It’s the one that had the assault weapons ban, a limited number of bullets in a clip. It made sure that cop-killer bullets, Teflon bullets, weren’t available any longer. It opened up the whole effort to make sure there is background checks for the first time in American history,” he added.

Buttigieg said that “from a South Bend perspective, the bad outweighs the good,” adding that there’s a broad consensus “that that bill contributed to mass incarceration in a country that is the most grievously incarcerated in the world.”

“I think the incarceration did so much harm that I would think that even those who were behind the ’94 crime bill, at least many of them, would do it differently if they had a chance to do it again,” he said.

Asked if those responsible for the bill –  like Biden – should be held to account, Buttigieg quickly answered: “That’s what elections are for.”

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Buttigieg, whose difficulties in attracting support from African-American voters so far have been widely documented by the press, said that “it is important, especially in these times, that the next administration be the most gender-balanced, racially-diverse ever. And that you would see that reflected in all of my decisions, including the selection of a running mate.”

Asked if he would firmly say he’d name a female or minority as his running mate should he win the nomination, Buttigieg answered: “I’ll certainly lean in that direction. I’m just not going to make a declaration in May of 2019 that would rule any individual in or rule them out.”

Buttigieg, who if elected would become the nation’s first openly gay president, did seem to rule out a West Wing role for his husband, Chasten Buttigieg.

“I’ve never hired a family member,” he noted.

Asked about the role of Trump’s daughter and son-in-law Ivanka and Jared Kushner as top advisers to the president, Buttigieg said, “I don’t endorse in that kind of family situation.”

But he did compliment his husband, saying “in South Bend and on the campaign trail, Chasten has done an amazing job in my view of modeling what a first spouse can be like.”

And he added that his husband “helps me govern right now.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has a message for the Democratic National Committee.

The best-selling spiritual author and philanthropist turned Democratic presidential candidate says the DNC’s “job should be to help us [the candidates] get in front of the voters.”

FIRST 2020 DEMOCRATIC DEBATES TO BE HELD IN MIAMI IN LATE JUNE

With five weeks to go until the first of the DNC-organized presidential primary debates kick off, the long-shot for the nomination who’s pushing to make the debate stage is taking aim at the national party committee’s criteria.

“I don’t believe the political parties should be gatekeepers. They should be conduits and channels that should serve the process, not design the process,” Williamson said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News and NHTalkradio.com while campaigning in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.

In February, the DNC announced two ways the candidates could reach the debate stage. One is registering 1 percent or more support in three qualifying national or early primary or caucus voting state polls released between Jan. 1 and 14 days prior to the date of the first showdown. The other is receiving donations from at least 65,000 unique donors and having a minimum of 200 unique contributors per state in at least 20 states.

Each month, the DNC plans to hold two debates – on consecutive nights – with 10 contenders debating each evening. But with an historic two-dozen candidates now vying for the Democratic nomination, low-polling candidates are worried they’d have to meet both criteria to make the cut.

WILLIAMSON TELLS FOX NEWS ‘WE HAVE SWERVED AWAY’ FROM COUNTRY’S FOUNDING PRINCIPLES

Williamson announced recently that her campaign reached the 65,000 individual donors criteria.

“Now, there’s another hoop. Well, we’ll jump through that one. I placed in the CNN poll. I placed in the Fox poll. I need to place in one more poll,” she explained.

But the candidate railed against the process, stressing that “that’s not what this should be about.”

“This is not what we should be spending our time on. Everybody’s desperate, please, for those 65,000. This is what’s wrong with our democracy. The American people should decide. So they’re saying that they can only have ten people on each night. Why? So have 12 people on. Have 11 people on. Why should it make such a big difference,” Williamson pleaded.

Having debates on sequential nights equally and randomly divided in two groups of 10 was by design, as the DNC was determined to avoid the controversial varsity and junior varsity debates the RNC held for its extremely large field of candidates in 2016.

The DNC also wanted to appear more inclusive and open to grassroots candidates, after the party was slammed in the 2016 cycle for trying to stack the deck for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton at the expense of upstart Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“If the DNC had not put their finger on the scales and let the people decide, and everybody had felt very clearly that whether it was Hillary or Bernie, that it was the people who had truly decided, then I think the Democrats would have one because so many people wouldn’t have stayed home,” Williamson said.

And she hoped that the DNC’s “not going to run those same kind of games this time, and this doesn’t bode well that this is happening now, with the 65,000 and these other shenanigans.”

Pointing to the national party committee’s role in organizing the debates, Williamson asked “why are guys even in there…I hope that this process will be genuinely democratic. Let the people decide.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has a message for the Democratic National Committee.

The best-selling spiritual author and philanthropist turned Democratic presidential candidate says the DNC’s “job should be to help us [the candidates] get in front of the voters.”

FIRST 2020 DEMOCRATIC DEBATES TO BE HELD IN MIAMI IN LATE JUNE

With five weeks to go until the first of the DNC-organized presidential primary debates kick off, the long-shot for the nomination who’s pushing to make the debate stage is taking aim at the national party committee’s criteria.

“I don’t believe the political parties should be gatekeepers. They should be conduits and channels that should serve the process, not design the process,” Williamson said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News and NHTalkradio.com while campaigning in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.

In February, the DNC announced two ways the candidates could reach the debate stage. One is registering 1 percent or more support in three qualifying national or early primary or caucus voting state polls released between Jan. 1 and 14 days prior to the date of the first showdown. The other is receiving donations from at least 65,000 unique donors and having a minimum of 200 unique contributors per state in at least 20 states.

Each month, the DNC plans to hold two debates – on consecutive nights – with 10 contenders debating each evening. But with an historic two-dozen candidates now vying for the Democratic nomination, low-polling candidates are worried they’d have to meet both criteria to make the cut.

WILLIAMSON TELLS FOX NEWS ‘WE HAVE SWERVED AWAY’ FROM COUNTRY’S FOUNDING PRINCIPLES

Williamson announced recently that her campaign reached the 65,000 individual donors criteria.

“Now, there’s another hoop. Well, we’ll jump through that one. I placed in the CNN poll. I placed in the Fox poll. I need to place in one more poll,” she explained.

But the candidate railed against the process, stressing that “that’s not what this should be about.”

“This is not what we should be spending our time on. Everybody’s desperate, please, for those 65,000. This is what’s wrong with our democracy. The American people should decide. So they’re saying that they can only have ten people on each night. Why? So have 12 people on. Have 11 people on. Why should it make such a big difference,” Williamson pleaded.

Having debates on sequential nights equally and randomly divided in two groups of 10 was by design, as the DNC was determined to avoid the controversial varsity and junior varsity debates the RNC held for its extremely large field of candidates in 2016.

The DNC also wanted to appear more inclusive and open to grassroots candidates, after the party was slammed in the 2016 cycle for trying to stack the deck for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton at the expense of upstart Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“If the DNC had not put their finger on the scales and let the people decide, and everybody had felt very clearly that whether it was Hillary or Bernie, that it was the people who had truly decided, then I think the Democrats would have one because so many people wouldn’t have stayed home,” Williamson said.

And she hoped that the DNC’s “not going to run those same kind of games this time, and this doesn’t bode well that this is happening now, with the 65,000 and these other shenanigans.”

Pointing to the national party committee’s role in organizing the debates, Williamson asked “why are guys even in there…I hope that this process will be genuinely democratic. Let the people decide.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign didn’t exactly catch fire despite jumping in early – her poll numbers sagged, her ancestry controversy hung over the launch and other progressives stole her spotlight.

“It’s early and I’m running the campaign that I want to run,” Warren insisted to Fox News last month, when the Democratic presidential candidate from Massachusetts was averaging in the mid-single digits nationally and in key states.

WARREN RISING IN LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY POLL

Perhaps the slow-and-steady approach will pay off.

The populist senator who’s put out one progressive policy proposal after another during the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is enjoying a recent rise in the polls. She now stands at 13 percent in a new Quinnipiac University poll, trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden — the front-runner at 35 percent in the survey — and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, at 16 percent.

Also striking is the latest Fox News Poll, which indicates Warren in third place, at 9 percent among likely Democratic primary voters. She’s up from just 4 percent in the previous Fox News Poll, which was conducted in March.

WARREN THE LATEST 2020 DEMOCRAT TO LAND ON TIME MAGAZINE COVER

Warren was the first major candidate to jump into the race, announcing her presidential exploratory committee on Dec. 31. While she came out of the gate with a lot of buzz and attention, she was soon hit with media attention over the controversy surrounding her disputed Native American heritage and attacks by President Trump labeling the senator as “Pocahontas.”

“I think there was a lot of unfair negative coverage directed towards Warren, but she just put her head down and put out good and interesting policy positions and campaigning all over the place,” said Kathy Sullivan, a Democratic National Committee member and former New Hampshire Democratic Party chair.

Sullivan, who remains neutral in the battle involving two-dozen candidates for the nomination, said Warren is benefiting from a combination of “ sheer hard work and … the production of some very well-thought-out policy positions.”

From the opioid epidemic to the student loan debt to sky-high housing prices to early education and child care, Warren’s got a plan, putting out what seems like a policy proposal for everything.

“I’ve got a plan for that” has become her unofficial motto. Her campaign website is selling t-shirts and tote bags that say: “Warren has a plan for that.”

The candidate even made headlines when the catch phrase prompted comedian Ashley Nicole Black to tweet: “Do you think Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix my love life?”

That prompted a response from Warren, who wrote on Twitter “DM me and let’s figure this out.”

Political scientist Dante Scala, a veteran observer of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, noted that Warren’s time away from the spotlight may have helped her regain her footing.

“Sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise for a campaign to get off to a slow start. Away from the spotlight of a front-running campaign, Elizabeth Warren is running a positive, issues-oriented campaign.  She is poised to become the progressive alternative to Joe Biden, especially if Bernie Sanders falters,” said Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.

Sullivan highlighted that Warren’s reaction to the negative stories and falling polls was also instrumental.

“It’s not being surprised by, let down by, or bothered by early poll numbers and whatever initial press coverage there may be, but keeping your head down, meeting voters and letting them hear your ideas. And Elizabeth Warren has done that and she’s reaping the rewards for all the work that she’s done,” Sullivan explained.

New Hampshire’s considered a must-win state for Warren. Presidential candidates from the state’s neighbor to the south have a history of winning the New Hampshire primary – most recently Democratic Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012.

Warren – who’s been a very frequent visitor to the Granite State this year – was back in New Hampshire again this past weekend.

Headlining a Rockingham County Democrats annual clambake, she zeroed in on the state’s soaring student loan debt.

“Over the past 10 years in New Hampshire, student loan debt has more than doubled,” Warren spotlighted. “Three-quarters of the students who graduate here in New Hampshire, graduate with debt. So they start the great game of life behind the starting line.”

Even one of Warren’s most vocal Republican critics complimented the senator on her 2020 rebound.

REED: WARREN’S 2020 CAMPAIGN IS LOOKING UP AFTER A ROCK START, BUT IS SHE IN IT TO WIN IT?

“I’ve long believed those who underestimate Sen. Warren do so at their own peril,” noted veteran GOP strategist Colin Reed. “She will have a second act in this political campaign.”

But as she rises, she can expect renewed tough treatment from Trump and his allies, who are sure to not only revive the ancestry controversy but challenge her government-heavy proposals on health care and more.

Reed, pointing to Warren’s decision not to run for the White House in the 2016 campaign, argued that “her fundamental problem remains unchanged and will never go away: she should have run last time when there was a field of two and a desperate craving from the electorate for a progressive alternative to Secretary Clinton. Timing is everything, and Sen. Warren missed her moment.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the clear front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but a new national poll is the latest to indicate a recovery by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The Quinnipiac University public opinion survey also appears to suggest a drop in support for rising star Pete Buttigieg.

THE LATEST FOX NEWS POLL IN THE 2020 DEMOCRATIC RACE

Biden stands at 35 percent among Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters questioned in the survey, which was conducted May 16-20. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is in second place, at 16 percent. The former vice president edged down 3 percentage points from Quinnipiac’s previous poll, which was conducted in April, with Sanders jumping 5 points.

Warren stands at 13 percent in the survey, up from just 4 percent in Quinnipiac’s March poll. A Fox News Poll released last week also indicated a surge of support for the populist senator who’s putting out one progressive policy proposal after another. Warren jumped from 4 percent in the March Fox News poll to 9 percent in May.

The Quinnipiac survey indicates Buttigieg at 5 percent. The South Bend, Indiana mayor stood at 10 percent in Quinnipiac’s April poll.

EVEN PETE BUTTIGIEG IS SUPRISED BY HIS SURGE

“Cleary the race got more crowded,” Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Tim Malloy told Fox News. There are now nearly two-dozen Democrats running for the party’s nomination.

Pointing to Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Malloy noted that “these are two young rising political stars and maybe the star faded a little bit with the arrival of so many candidates on the scene and the ascendancy of Joe Biden.”

O’Rourke registers at just 2 percent in the latest survey, down from 12 percent in Quinnipiac’s March poll.

The poll also shows Sen. Kamala Harris of California at 8 percent, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey at 3 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at 2 percent. Everyone else in the survey registered at 1 percent or less.

Republican President Trump’s approval rating remains deeply underwater in the new poll. The survey indicates Trump stands at 38 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval among American voters.

Fifty-four percent of all voters say they “definitely” won’t vote for the president in next year’s general election, with just 31 percent saying they “definitely” will vote for Trump.

But the president’s far from the only White House candidate with underwater ratings.

BIDEN BUILDS LARGE LEAD AMONG BLACK VOTERS

With a 49-39 percent favorability rating, Biden is the only White House hopeful with a clear positive score. The favorability ratings for other Democrats are negative or mixed.

The most negative rating appears to go to the latest entry into the race – two-term New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He stands at 8 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable in the survey.

The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,078 voters nationwide, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. The survey included 454 Democrats and Democratic leaners, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points for questions on the Democratic presidential nomination race.

Source: Fox News Politics

Joe Biden’s message was clear.

“We’ve got Jim Crow sneaking back in,” the former vice president warned at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, soon after launching his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.

JOE BIDEN UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 POLL

Biden, in equating new restrictions on voting eligibility with the heinous racial segregation laws of generations past, was at the same time courting black voters who predominate in the Democratic primary in South Carolina, the first southern state to vote in the race for the White House. The former veep’s bond with that critical voting bloc has only strengthened in the weeks since.

For now the clear front-runner in the Democratic nomination campaign, Biden is being boosted at this early stage by his immense popularity with black voters.

For Biden’s rivals, this is a daunting factor heading into primary season. The key question going forward, according to former Democratic National Committee leader and Fox News contributor Donna Brazile, is whether the 76-year old white male candidate in a field of young and diverse contenders can “solidify this support.”

According to the latest Fox News poll, Biden stands at 33 percent support among white Democratic voters. But that support rises to 38 percent among non-white likely Democratic primary voters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a distant second among that group, at 14 percent. The two major Democratic contenders who are black — Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey — stand at 6 percent and 5 percent in the survey, respectively.

Every other candidate is also in single digits among non-white likely voters. Notably, Pete Buttigieg, who’s risen from obscurity to the upper-middle tier in many polls, stood at just 1 percent among that group. The South Bend mayor acknowledged at a Fox News town hall on Sunday that he needs to do more to appeal to “black and brown” voters, suggesting that minority voters are “skeptical of people who seem to come out of nowhere.”

It doesn’t hurt Biden that he spent eight years as then-President Barack Obama’s right-hand man, a period that did more than just build his name recognition.

Part cheerleader, part sage and part protector, Biden was always deferential to the nation’s first black president, who extended political affection in return. As they left office in January of 2017, Obama praised his trusted friend and adviser.

“My family is so proud to call ourselves honorary Bidens,” the outgoing president said as he awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony.

While Obama is staying neutral at this early point in the primaries, Biden is running in many ways as his successor.

During his swing through South Carolina, as elsewhere, he was quick to compliment his former boss, calling Obama “one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”

His standing as Obama’s vice president and his longtime relationships with African-American Democratic leaders across the country are so far helping keep him far ahead of the rest of the field in courting the black vote.

Mo Elleithee, the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service and a Fox News contributor, pointed to Biden’s record on civil rights and his eight years serving with Obama, saying that black voters “know Biden’s track record” and that “he’s been there for them time and time again.”

“What you’re seeing now is just a validation of a comfort level,” said Elleithee, a senior spokesman for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who later served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee.

“Biden is the guy who gives them a sense of security and comfort, and that he would be a champion for them probably more than anyone else right now,” he added during an appearance Monday on Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing.”

Brazile said that Biden’s “a place holder because everyone knows him. You call up my nieces and nephews right now, they’ll say ‘Biden’ because they know Biden. They don’t know the other candidates that well.”

But she pointed out that while Biden is a well-known commodity with the older black electorate, “African-American voters are trending young and he’s not as well known. Maybe they were in elementary school when Joe Biden was elected vice president. The question is will he be able to reach out and give them a hopefully optimistic message not only to win their support but broaden participation.”

Elleithee warned that Biden’s current standing atop the field doesn’t mean that another candidate can’t “chip away” at his lead with minority voters.

And Biden can provide his rivals with plenty of ammunition – including his crafting of the now-controversial 1994 crime bill, his vote last decade in favor of the Iraq War, his now-criticized treatment of Anita Hill while Senate Judiciary Committee chairman during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearing, and his initial observation of Obama during the 2008 primaries as “clean and articulate.”

HARRIS CRITICIZES BIDEN OVER CONTROVERSIAL 1994 CRIME BILL

After Biden recently defended the crime bill, which has been criticized in recent years for a spike in incarcerations, especially among minorities, Harris shot back.

“I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Joe Biden, but I disagree,” the senator said last week. “That 1994 crime bill, it did contribute to mass incarceration in our country. It encouraged and it was the first time we had a federal three strikes law. It funded the building of more prisons in the states.”

The comment by Harris could just be an appetizer for things to come.

Brazile noted: “It’s early.”

And pointing to Obama’s winning of the White House, she predicted “we could see a repeat of the 2008 cycle where one of the candidates catches fire in Iowa or New Hampshire or Nevada and all bets off going into South Carolina and Super Tuesday. You will see once again black voters playing an oversized role in the major states on Super Tuesday.”

Source: Fox News Politics


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