Biden’s First Virtual Event Encounters Technological Glitches
WASHINGTON The virtual campaign is proving a bit complicated, after a Friday event for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign encountered some technological glitches.
Biden is the first Democratic candidate to hold a virtual town hall due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 and public events. The attempt to broadcast the first of two scheduled virtual events in the next several days involved a garbled-voiced Biden and ended roughly four minutes after the Facebook Live video began streaming in Illinois.
The former vice president acknowledged the issues while ending the livestream.
Well, Im sorry this has been such a disjointed effort here because of the connections, but there is a lot more to say and Ive probably already said too much, Biden said.
But the appetite for these events appears to be there the short event garnered more than 5,000 viewers.
On Saturday morning, the campaign released a link to a full, updated video without the technical glitches.
Much of the event focused on Biden explaining how he’d work to respond and recover the country from pandemics. He also tried to downplay the need for panic and outlined ways in which everyone can take precautions to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus, while still connecting to people.
Campaign events are no exception thats why were connecting virtually today. Were going to have to get better at the technical side of this, Biden said.
Trump Attempts To Bully Pence Into Rejecting Bidens Electoral Votes
Trump still had an even more dangerous trick up his sleeve: getting his faithful vice-president, Pence, to steal the election for him when Congress convened on January 6 to perform the routine task of confirming the December 14 Electoral College vote.
This potentially revolutionary maneuver had two prongs. First, Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas filed a lawsuit contending that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which governs the rubber-stamping of the electoral vote count, was an unconstitutional abrogation of the vice-presidents power to recognize and count electors however he wanted. Gohmerts claim was quickly dismissed by the federal courts on grounds that he had no standing to sue.
At the same time, Trump lobbied Pence publicly and privately to do whatever he could in announcing electors to deny Biden the 270 electoral votes he needed to become president-elect. Perhaps the sycophant-in-chief would give Trump an outright victory, or maybe he would simply create a dispute that would throw the contest to the U.S. House, where Republicans controlled a majority of delegations.
This is the six-point plan advanced by Trump lawyer John Eastman for VP Pence to overturn the election on January 6th.
Buttigieg: Campaign Pressing Onto Super Tuesday Despite South Carolina Result
WASHINGTON Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg told “Meet the Press” Sunday his campaign is pressing on after a fourth-place finish in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, arguing that his message has “resonated across the country.”
Buttigieg said that his campaign has been able to “beat the odds and defy all the expectations” before, but he added that he’s keeping an eye on how he can best help the party defeat President Trump in November.
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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!
Here’s the logic and data behind why Trump argues that the Democratic race is rigged against Sanders, even though he’s 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 doesn’t exist in Biden’s supporters. In contrast, Biden voters actually have a net-positive view of Sanders.
The Insurrection Was A Complex Yearslong Plot Not A One
In the year and a half since the Capitol Riot of January 6, 2021, the House select committee investigation and various media reports on what Donald Trump and his allies were doing during the attack have cast new light on an important threat to American democracy. But the intense focus on a few wild days in Washington can be misleading as well. Trumps campaign to steal the 2020 presidential election began shortly after the 2016 election, and arguably the moment of peak peril for Joe Bidens inauguration had already passed by the time Trump addressed the Stop the Steal rally on January 6.
A full timeline of the attempted insurrection is helpful in putting Trumps frantic, last-minute schemes into the proper context and countering the false impression that January 6 was an improvised, impossible-to-replicate event, rather than one part of an ongoing campaign. If Congress fails to seize its brief opportunity to reform our system for finalizing presidential election results, the danger could recur in future elections perhaps with a different, catastrophic outcome.
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New Biden Digital Ad Argues Trump’s ‘ego Will Cost Lives’ To Coronavirus
WASHINGTON The Biden campaign is issuing a cautious warning about President Donald Trumps leadership in a new video, saying that his ego will cost lives” in the fight against coronavirus.
In a digital video posted to Twitter and Facebook Saturday evening, the campaign uses Trumps own words during a White House press briefing, where he admitted to telling Vice President Mike Pence not to call Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, two Democrats, because he is wasting his time speaking with them.
You dont want to call the governor of Washington? You know what I say? If they dont treat you right, I dont call, the video shows Trump saying.
In response, the campaign posts text on the screen over horror-movie like music that say, His failure will cost lives. His downplaying will cost lives. His incompetence will cost lives. His ego will cost lives.
Donald Trumps ego will cost lives.
The digital video, which is currently not a paid ad, already has about 5 million views on Twitter and thousands of engagements on Facebook and Instagram.
Biden has spent the past week criticizing Trump for his slow response to preventing the spread of the COVID-19, often pointing to numerous examples of Trump downplaying the seriousness of it earlier this year. The claims in the video are the furthest the campaign has gone in sharply pointing out how Trumps continued approach to leading the effort could lead to American deaths.
Physician Embraces His Expertise While Campaigning In The Coronavirus Era
WASHINGTON As candidates across the country adjust to campaigning in the age of coronavirus, Dr. Cameron Webb sees an opportunity and is embracing his experiences as a physician and public health expert on the trail.
Its necessary to have the range of professional backgrounds represented in our legislature, Webb told NBC News in a recent phone interview. I think the expertise that I have is really useful in a moment like this.
Webb hopes to be the first Democrat to fill Virginias fifth congressional seat since 2008, a GOP-held district the size of New Jersey that includes Charlottesville and much of central Virginia. A practicing physician and a public health sciences director at the University of Virginias medical school, he has made expanding affordable health care a major focus of his career and campaign.
My job is to walk into rooms and ask people where it hurts, Webb explained. When you have a district thats this diverse, thats this broad, you have to be a really skilled listener in order to meet everybodys needs.
So far, the candidate thinks this strategy of listening to voters like he does with patients has been effective, and that his background allows him and his campaign to model the leadership required during the coronavirus crisis.
Webb, who serves on Virginias Medicaid board, remarked that hes grateful for his states 2019 Medicaid expansion as the pandemic takes a toll on patients and businesses.
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Sanders Launches Three New Ads Targeting Biden
Melissa Holzberg, Shaquille Brewster and Mike Memoli
Bernie Sanders launched three new ads on Wednesday in nine states targeting former Vice President Joe Biden as the race rapidly narrowed following Biden’s Super Tuesday victories.
One of the ads, “Feel the Bern,” focuses on past comments then-President Barack Obama made about Sanders, complimenting him for being authentic and someone who has gotten bills passed for veterans. It’s a new kind of ad for Sanders, as his campaign typically likes to draw on Sanders being an outsider, rather than a deal-maker.
Biden has consistently run his own TV and digital ads that show Obama complimenting him and granting him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And the Biden team is responding to Sanders’ use of Obama, saying that Obama “chose” Biden, while Sanders considered a primary challenge against him.
The Biden team is also re-upping an ad they ran against Sanders in South Carolina that focused on Sanders’ consideration of a primary challenge.
Sanders’ two other ads, “Protect Social Security” and “Decimated,” take direct aim at Biden’s past votes.
The ads call out Biden for comments he made about freezing federal spending, which would have included Social Security benefits for a limited time, and for supporting trade deals, like NAFTA, that Sanders opposed.
The new ads will run in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Washington all of which vote on either March 10 or 17.
Biden Makes Emotional Speech To Pass Gun Reform Legislation
LAS VEGAS, Nev. Former Vice President Joe Biden made an emotional commitment to pass gun reform legislation if elected president of the United States on Thursday calling anyone who has not and would not support the movement “cowards”.
Speaking just miles away from the site of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, Biden delivered a passionate plea for politicians to finally put families touched by gun violence over gun manufacturers interests.
During his speech, he scorned Republicans and some Democrats, specifically naming Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for voting to protect gun manufacturers from being sued by individuals touched by gun violence. Even though he acknowledged that Sanders viewpoints on the issue has changed, he called it immoral for anyone to have ever voted in favor of immunity.
Folks, it’s just flat out immoral. It’s just flat out immoral. You know, too many Republicans and some Democrats, like Bernie Sanders, voted five times against the Brady bill that I was passing.
Biden added, Every day that we do nothing about this epidemic of assaults and assault weapons, high capacity magazines in our streets, is an insult.
It’s time to hold gun manufacturers accountable.
Biden became visibly emotional, putting his hands over his face and wiping away tears at one point, after hearing Stephanie Pizzoferratto talk about losing her four-year-old daughter to a stray bullet.
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Poll: Coronavirus Concerns Are Especially Affecting Younger Americans
WASHINGTON A new poll released Thursday finds that younger Americans are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic more acutely than the country overall when it comes to health and the economy. Young people are also significantly more critical of President Trump and his handling of the crisis.
The survey from the Democratic-leaning Super PAC, NextGen America, and left-of-center polling firm, Navigator Research, reveals that Americans ages 18-34 are more likely than the general public to know someone who has lost their job, who has had work hours reduced, or who has been infected with the virus all by about 10 percentage points.
Nearly one-quarter of younger Americans 24 percent know somebody who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, versus 16 percent of the overall public. Strong majorities of young people know somebody who has either lost their job or had hours cut amid the public health crisis .
Thats compared with 53 percent and 65 percent of all Americans, respectively, who say the same thing.
Almost one-in-four younger Americans also report that they personally have lost their jobs while 14 percent of all Americans say the same.
Whats more, this younger demographic is experiencing the most anxiety about grappling with coronavirus than any other age group and is more likely to worry about finances. According to the poll, young Americans are tapping into their savings and applying for unemployment insurance at higher rates than others.
Bloomberg Gives $18 Million To Dnc In Lieu Of Starting His Own Group To Beat Trump
Alex Seitz-Wald, Maura Barrett and Josh Lederman
WASHINGTON Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is transferring $18 million left in the accounts of his now-defunct presidential campaign to the Democratic National Committee and forgoing, for now, creating his own independent political group to help Democrats in November.
While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the President accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution, Bloombergs campaign said in a memo to the DNC. The dynamics of the race have also fundamentally changed, and it is critically important that we all do everything we can to support our eventual nominee and scale the Democratic Partys general election efforts.
The funds will be put towards the DNC’s battleground buildup program, to hire data and operations staffers, among other efforts, in a dozen states that will be important in the general election.
Bloomberg will also offer to transfer campaign field offices the billionaire’s campaign set up and paid for to local state Democratic Parties as in-kind contributions. His staff, some of which were planning to transfer to work for Bloomberg’s independent entity in six battleground states, are all being laid off. They will be paid through the first week of April and have full benefits through the end of April.
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Biden Ally Larry Rasky Passes Away At 69
WASHINGTON Larry Rasky, a close ally of former Vice President Joe Biden who played a key role in the super PAC that boosted Biden during the Democratic presidential primary, has died.
Rasky’s eponymous public relations firm confirmed his death in a brief statement on Sunday.
“Larry was a giant in so many ways, not just professionally but personally. He loved and was loved by so many. He always treated the company like a family and we are all shocked and saddened by the news of his passing. He has left an indelible imprint on everyone he touched and the company that bears his name will go on in his spirit,” the statement from Rasky Partners read.
He was 69 years old, according to the Boston Globe. The paper said the cause of death was not yet known.
Rasky was a longtime public relations professional who worked with a lanundry list of Democratic politicians including Biden, then-Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey , former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and President Jimmy Carter.
Having worked as Biden’s press secretary during his 1988 presidential bid, he served as Biden’s communications director during his 2008 presidential campaign.
This cycle, he served as the treasurer to Unite the Country, the super PAC backing Biden.
Biden remembered Rasky during an interview with the Globe as a “real friend” who gave him “confidence.”
He was also generous and sharp and he just had a spirit about him. His passion for politics was amazing, Biden told the paper.