Vandalism Hits Bloomberg Campaign Offices Across The Us
Josh Lederman and Maura Barrett
WASHINGTON At least seven of Mike Bloombergs campaign offices have been vandalized over the last two weeks, campaign officials say, in a string of incidents that the Bloomberg campaign has blamed without evidence on Bernie Sanders supporters.
In the latest case, discovered early Monday morning, a Chicago office was graffitied with the words racist, sexist, and oligarch spray-painted in red on the windows of the building. Other vandalism at offices in Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee have referenced Bloombergs wealth and stop-and-frisk policing policy.
Kevin Sheekey, Bloombergs campaign manager, called the incident an act of hate and referenced the Sanders campaign.
While we do not know who is directly responsible, we do know Senator Bernie Sanders and his campaign have repeatedly invoked this language, and the word oligarch specifically when discussing Mike Bloomberg and his campaign, Sheekey said. Sen. Sanders refusal to denounce these illegal acts is a sign of his inability to lead, and his willingness to condone and promote Trump-like rhetoric has no place in our politics.
Sheekey called on Sanders to instruct his supporters and staff to elevate the discourse in this campaign and end their spread of hateful rhetoric. He suggested the incidents could lead to violence if not tamped down by Sanders, adding, This needs to end before someone gets hurt.
-Gary Grumbach contributed
Trump Campaign Renews Focus On Hunter Biden In Controversial China Ad
WASHINGTON As President Trump’s campaign gears up for a general election face-off with apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden, it’s also reintroducing attacks against the former vice presidents son and his business dealings with China.
In a new digital ad released on Thursday, the presidents re-election team is attempting to paint Biden as lenient on China when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic and travel ban, and specifically highlights a trip to Beijing that Hunter Biden joined his father on in 2013. The two-pronged approach is an effort to weaken Biden, while using his sons work with overseas companies to create a perception of corruption.
During Americas crisis, Biden protected Chinas feelings or perhaps Chinas investment? the text on the screen reads, spliced between news reports of the visit and Biden praising various Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping.
Beyond the 60-second online spot, the Trump campaign and its allies have started to highlight more news reports about the former vice presidents trip, which came under scrutiny again as the impeachment investigation began last fall after the president tried to dig up damaging information against the Bidens amid unproven allegations related to Hunters work with a Ukrainian energy company.
The Biden campaign is now calling for the spot to be removed.
This is utterly disgusting and should be pulled immediately, Biden spokesman Andrew Bates tweeted.
Pete Buttigieg Launches Pac Aimed At Electing Young Leaders
Priscilla Thompson and Ben Kamisar
HOUSTON, TX Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the presidential race just over a month ago, is launching “Win the Era,” a political action committee aimed at electing a new generation of leaders.
The PAC, named after a common refrain Buttigieg used while on the campaign trail, will represent a continuation of his work to support generational change candidates running in down-ballot races.
The work of electing a forward-thinking generation of Democratic candidates never ends, Buttigieg senior advisor Lis Smith said in a statement. Pete will do his part by building and leading the Win the Era PAC as we get closer to the November election.”
In an email to supporters, Buttigieg leans into a sense of urgency related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the need for strong state and local leadership.
Our nation and world are in a period of upheaval right now, which will make it more important than ever to support and elect good leaders this November and into the future, Buttigieg writes. He later adds, In the past few weeks especially, weve seen the importance of our institutions and the reality that local and state leadership is extremely important.
Buttigieg, known for being a fundraising powerhouse throughout his presidential bid, hopes to create that same energy around his latest project.
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Joe Biden Is The ‘delegate Math Candidate’
While much of the focus Tuesday will be on the statewide results in the more than dozen Super Tuesday contests, the Biden team will be looking just as closely for the results district-by-district especially in the South. Of the more than 1,300 delegates at stake Tuesday, 875 will be awarded not based on the statewide tally but from the results in individual congressional districts .
Bidens resounding win in South Carolina, boosted by overwhelming support of African American voters, validated the campaigns view that by heavily targeting their limited resources into areas with the highest concentrations of black voters, they could in many cases pick off extra delegates across the map that could prove essential to limiting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ability to gain an insurmountable lead.
Much of the strategy is based around the work of Bidens analytics team. Since the earliest days of the campaign, they developed and maintained a ranking of in the case of Tuesday the 164 districts in play based on how likely Biden was to earn extra delegates by potentially keeping most if not all of his rivals under the critical 15 percent threshold.
That analysis is based on three factors: demographic and polling information that suggests strong Biden support number of delegates at stake in a district and the likelihood that other candidates wont reach 15 percent support.
How Previous Dems Won South Carolina And The Nomination
WASHINGTON As 2020 candidates prepare for the South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday, the focus is on black voters, a growing base for the party in the Palmetto State and a key voting bloc for eventual party nominees in past elections. The demographic makes up about two-thirds of the state’s Democratic electorate.
Every Democratic winner in South Carolinas primary since 1992 has ultimately become the partys nominee except for John Edwards. Though Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leads the 2020 field in delegates after first and second place finishes in multiple early states, he’ll likely need to overcome his past challenges in South Carolina to clear his path to the nomination.
His 2016 primary finish was disappointing in South Carolina, especially among black voters. Hillary Clinton carried 74 percent of the state with Sanders trailing nearly 50 percentage points behind her, according to exit polls.
The racial breakdown between the two candidates supporters in the state was starkly different. Among Clinton voters in the primary, 71 percent identified as black while 64 percent of Sanders backers identified as white.
2008 primary exit polls show that Barack Obama won over about double the vote share of Clinton, including 80 percent of the black vote but less than one-fourth of white voters in the Palmetto State.
Billionaire entrepreneur Tom Steyer comes in a close third with 19 percent from black voters.
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President Trump Plays On Sanders Supporters Dislike Of Joe Biden
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump has been eager to play up the divisions within the Democratic presidential race, especially when it comes to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters.
Its being rigged against its sad its being rigged against Crazy Bernie, Trump said at his rally in Charlotte, N.C. on Monday after former Vice President Joe Biden picked up endorsements from former presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar ahead of the Super Tuesday contests.
And he tweeted this after Bidens big victories on Super Tuesday: The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!
Heres the logic and data behind why Trump argues that the Democratic race is rigged against Sanders, even though hes simply getting out-voted.
Just 38 percent of Sanders voters say they are enthusiastic or comfortable with Biden, versus 60 percent who have reservations or who are very uncomfortable with the former vice president, according to merged data from the January and February 2020 NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls.
That same level of discontent doesnt exist in Bidens supporters. In contrast, Biden voters actually have a net-positive view of Sanders.
Ohio Governor Calls On Fda For Help With Testing During Mtp Interview
WASHINGTON If it’s Sunday, does America have enough coronavirus tests to begin the move toward relaxing social restrictions?
Vice President Mike Pence answered that question affirmatively Sunday, telling “Meet the Press” that with testing capacity at 150,000 a day and 4 million already tested, America has enough tests to meet the testing criteria to move into Phase 1 of the federal government’s reopening guidelines.
But minutes later, Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine joined the show to plead with the Food and Drug Administration to green-light a tweak to test-kits aimed at solving a supply shortage that DeWine said is hampering his ability to “double or triple” testing capacity.
“We really need help. anybody in the FDA is watching, this would really take our capacity up literally overnight,” DeWine said.
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How Do These Mass Text Messages Work
Political campaigns tap companies such as Hustle or RumbleUp that employ hundreds of people who each send thousands of text messages to potential voters. They’re exactly like the text messages that you or I send to our friends and family, and are categorized as peer-to-peer, or P2P messages. That’s different from what’s known as application-to-peer, or A2P, messages, which are more formal blast text messages.
Since P2P messages are normally supposed to be more limited exchanges between individuals, systems may flag accounts that send too many messages. If, for instance, you send more than 1,000 messages in a day, those messages will likely get blocked.
Companies will work with the carriers ahead of time to get prior approval to send these mass messages.
Laid Off Bloomberg Staffers Docked Taxes For Campaign Phones Computers
WASHINGTON Laid off campaign staffers to Michael Bloomberg’s campaign who received their final paychecks on Tuesday were docked hundreds of dollars to cover taxes on their campaign-issued cellphone and laptop, three former Bloomberg campaign staffers told NBC News.
The deductions came as a lawsuit against the Bloomberg campaign, alleging that the campaign fraudulently promised jobs through November, has grown from one plaintiff to more than 50. The plaintiffs are seeking to get the case certified as a class action in seven states, a move that could raise the number of claimants to over a thousand.
Former staffers told NBC News that their paychecks were docked more than $400. The Bloomberg campaign had touted how they had lured top talent to the campaign with new iPhone 11s and MacBooks, and offered to let staff keep them when they were let go. A campaign spokesperson said staffers were told during the off-boarding process that theyd pay taxes on those items, but several former staffers said they did not realize that it would be automatically deducted from their remaining paychecks.
Sally Abrahamson, an attorney for the former staffers suing the campaign, said her firm, Outten & Golden, is now investigating the campaigns deduction of purported taxes on cell phones and laptops.
A Bloomberg campaign spokesperson, responding to both the docked paychecks and the expanded lawsuit, re-issued the campaign’s statement from earlier in March.
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Elizabeth Warren Endorses Joe Biden
Ali Vitali and Ben Kamisar
WASHINGTON Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid Wednesday, making her the latest prominent Democrat to publicly throw their support behind Biden in recent days.
Warren announced her decision in a message on Twitter, where she said that America needs an empathetic president like Biden to help Americans reconnect with the federal government.
“In this moment of crisis, it is more important than ever that the next president restores Americans’ faith in good, effective government,” she said.
“Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire life in public service. He knows that a government run with integrity, confidence and heart will save lives and save livelihoods.”
In this moment of crisis, its more important than ever that the next president restores Americans faith in good, effective governmentand Ive seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild. Today, Im proud to endorse @JoeBiden as President of the United States.
She connected Biden to her call for big, structural change to America, arguing that she’s seen his commitment to helping everyday Americans in how he handled the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008.
“When Donald Trump is gone, we will need to do more than heal a nation that has been bitterly divided. We will need to rebuild and transform our country. And I’ve seen Joe Biden help a nation rebuild,” she said.
Making Her Mark In Gop Politics
Wiles has built a reputation for delivering hard truths to powerful men. Some of the most difficult words shes had to share were with her father, the late sportscaster Pat Summerall, during a 1992 intervention to confront his alcoholism.
Dad, the few times weve been out in public together recently, Ive been ashamed we shared the same last name, Wiles said in a letter that was read during the intervention, according to Summeralls 2006 autobiography. The words made his knees buckle, Summerall wrote. Only after hearing from Wiles did the former NFL kicker and legendary broadcaster agree to enter the Betty Ford Center for treatment.
By then, Wiles had already kick-started a successful path into politics. It wasnt campus activism, Ronald Reagan, or a seminal moment that drew her in. The hypercompetitive political arena had simply felt like a natural fit for Wiles, who had grown up with two brothers in addition to being the only daughter of a professional athlete. In 1979, she was hired as an assistant for US Rep. Jack Kemp, an ex-teammate of Summeralls on the New York Giants. Next, she jumped aboard Reagans 1980 presidential campaign as a scheduler.
I have rarely met someone with her instincts for politics and policy and where they intersect, said John Delaney, the first of those mayors, who leaned on Wiles to sell voters on a multibillion-dollar tax increase to modernize the city. She knows what to magnify that will resonate with the public.
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Jim Clyburn Endorses Joe Biden
CHARLESTON, S.C. House Majority Whip, and influential South Carolina Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn made his endorsement of Joe Biden official on Wednesday morning, praising the former vice presidents record and years of service for the state.
Clyburns endorsement comes after NBC News learned he would endorse the former Vice President, but held off on the announcement until after Tuesday nights Democratic debate. Clyburn first announced the endorsement in a tweet, before appearing with Biden in person, writing, Joe Biden has stood for the hard-working people of South Carolina. We know Joe, but more importantly, he knows us.
I know Joe Biden.
Jim Clyburn SC-06
However, Clyburn said he struggled to decide if he should make an endorsement in this race even though he had long decided who he would vote for. He said it was not until he met an elderly constituent at his accountants Richland County funeral last week that Clyburn realized he could not stay silent. The constituent said they were waiting to hear from Clyburn before deciding who they would vote for.
I decided, then and there, that I would not stay silent, Clyburn said.
Clyburn continued, I want the public to know that I am voting for Joe Biden, South Carolina should be voting for Joe Biden.
Nobody with whom Ive ever worked with public life, is anymore committed to that motto, that pledge that I have to my constituents than Joe Biden, Clyburn said. I know his heart, I know who he is, I know what he is.
In Nod To Sanders Biden Looks To Adopt More Progressive Policies
WASHINGTON On his first day as the apparent Democratic nominee, Joe Biden is extending another olive branch to backers of his more progressive rivals, announcing his intent to expand access to Medicare and forgive loan debt for many students.
The former vice president said Thursday that he would seek to lower the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60, and forgive federal loan debt for those making less than $125,000 who graduated from any public undergraduate colleges and universities along with those who attend private Historically Black Colleges and Universities or Minority Serving Institutions.
While Biden cast these announcements as a nod in the direction of Senator Bernie Sanders on key priorities of his movement saying Sanders and his supporters can take pride in their work laying the groundwork for these ideas the campaign also notes that the policy moves are driven by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Recovery will require long term changes to build a more inclusive and more resilient middle class, and a greener and more resilient economy, Biden writes in a new Medium post. We have to think big as big as the challenges we face. As we start to lay the groundwork for recovery, we have to build back better for the future.
Sanders said Wednesday he intends to continue pressing for the Democratic Party to embrace Medicare for All in its platform. Sanders campaign did not comment on Bidens announcement Thursday.
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Pelosi Projects Unity Of House Democrats As Sanders Rises
WASHINGTON Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., projected complete unity within the House Democratic Caucus Thursday when it comes to the idea of backing the eventual presidential nominee of their party.
At Pelosis weekly press conference, NBC News asked Pelosi what shes telling her members about Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who might be nervous about what his possible victory in the Democratic race would mean for down-ballot races.