2020 Democratic Hopefuls Campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and Elsewhere - NBC Bay Area
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2020 Democratic Hopefuls Campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and Elsewhere

Here are highlights of Saturday's campaigning



    2020 Democratic Hopefuls Campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and Elsewhere
    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
    Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a packed St. Patrick's Day party at the home of County Recorder John Murphy on March 16, 2019, in Dubuque, Iowa.

    Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said Saturday that being a white man in a 2020 Democratic field that's so deeply diverse won't be a hindrance because his gender and race have given him inherent advantages for years.

    While he'd spoken before about his gender and race, O'Rourke had largely dodged campaign-trail questions about whether his party would go for a white man in a year when a historic number of women and minorities are running to deny President Donald Trump a second term.

    "I would never begin by saying that it's a disadvantage at all," O'Rourke told reporters in a parking lot in Waterloo, after giving a speech at the campaign kickoff for state Senate candidate Eric Giddens. "As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on or take for granted, I've clearly had advantages over the course of my life."

    The former Texas congressman was making a series of stops in Iowa, the state that kicks off the presidential nominating process. Also campaigning Saturday were Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Vice President Joe Biden.

    Trump Doesn't See White Nationalism as a Rising Threat

    [NATL] Trump Doesn't See White Nationalism as a Rising Threat

    President Donald Trump on Friday declined to join expressions of concern about white nationalism, saying "I don't, really" when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world.

    (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    O'Rourke called recognizing and understand that and "doing everything I can to ensure that there is opportunity, and the possibility for advancement and advantage for everyone," a big part of the campaign he's running.

    O'Rourke said he believes the Democrats seeking the White House in 2020 encompass "the best field that we've ever seen in the nominating process," praising its "diversity of background and experience" and expertise.

    He had already said he'd stop making a joke he'd frequently repeated about how his wife, Amy, is raising the couple's three young children "sometimes with my help." O'Rourke said that he'd discussed scrapping the joke with Amy and, while she said she understood he was trying to not that she was "taking on the lion's share" of parenting responsibilities, "it came off sounding a little flip."

    Other highlights of Saturday's campaigning:

    Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar criticized Trump for his response to the deadly attacks in two New Zealand mosques, telling voters in Iowa "it's our job to stand up against" white supremacism.

    Trump played down the threat posed by white nationalism on Friday after the mosque massacre that left at least 50 people dead. The man accused of the shootings has described himself as a white nationalist who hates immigrants.

    CAIR Leader Calls for Trump to More Clearly Condemn Anti-Muslim Terrorism

    [NATL] CAIR Leader Calls for Trump to More Clearly Condemn Anti-Muslim Terrorism

    Niwad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, responded Friday to the terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand. He called on President Donald Trump to “condemn this, not only as a hate crime, but as a white supremacist terrorist attack.”

    (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    Klobuchar spoke about the shooting during a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa. The Minnesota senator referenced Trump's comments after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he said "both sides" were to blame for violence.

    "That other side was white supremacism," she said.

    On the policy front, Klobuchar said in Dubuque that as president she would put forward a major infrastructure program that would help address flooding that is hitting parts of the Midwest. Waterloo and Dubuque, both riverfront communities, were bracing for flooding from this year's heavy snowfall.

    "We have not been investing like we should" in infrastructure, she said. One option to fund a plan, she said, would be raising the corporate tax rate, which was cut in Trump's 2017 tax bill.

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called on Republicans to stop following Trump on the issue of climate change.

    He said until the GOP joins "the scientific world and the rest of humanity in defeating climate change," only one thing can be done: "Republicans must be defeated, and we should do that every chance we get. I'm totally committed to that."

    Beto O’Rourke Tells NBC Dallas-Fort Worth About Presidential Run

    [NATL-DFW] Beto O’Rourke Talks to NBC 5 About Presidential Run

    Beto O'Rourke is officially joining the 2020 race for the White House. After months of speculation, he announced his decision Thursday morning.

    (Published Thursday, March 14, 2019)

    Voters have "exactly one chance left to defeat climate change," Inslee said.

    "And that's during the next administration," he said.

    Campaigning in New Hampshire, Inslee tied his climate change push to the current debate over whether to end the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

    "Anything that gets in the way of defeating climate change needs to go," he said.

    Inslee also criticized Trump for his remarks after the New Zealand shootings, saying the president "uses exactly the same language of this monster who shot Muslims and talked about the invaders." He said the president "continually looks for dog whistles to spread hate rather than for looking for ways to search for the better angels of our nature."

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand championed public service opportunities during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, saying the work could help treat some of the woes facing the country today.

    Beto O'Rourke Holds First Campaign Rally for 2020

    [NATL] Beto O'Rourke Holds First Campaign Rally for 2020

    Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke hit the campaign trail with his first stop at a coffeeshop in Keokuk, Iowa, the morning he announced his bid for the Oval Office. 

    (Published Thursday, March 14, 2019)

    The Democratic presidential hopeful said public service "changes your life."

    "That's why I want national service," she said. "That's why I want to make it the cornerstone of my presidency."

    The New York senator held a civic service round table in Manchester as she finishes a two-day swing through the first-in-the-nation primary state.

    "I would like to tell anyone in America, if you're willing to do two years of public service, you can get your college degree paid for," she said. "So if you're willing to do a year and only a year, you can get two years paid for."

    The New Jersey senator criticized Trump's "bigoted, sexist rhetoric" as "dangerous," but declined to fault him in the New Zealand mosque massacre.

    "The president's rhetoric — his bigoted rhetoric, his sexist rhetoric ... and here we have a president that can't even condemn Nazis — is that dangerous? Yeah, it's dangerous," he told reporters in Ottumwa, Iowa.

    Manafort Lawyer Heckled for 'No Collusion' Comments

    [NATL] Manafort Lawyer Heckled for 'No Collusion' Comments

    Shortly after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to an additional 3.5 years in prison, his attorney Kevin Downing said there was no Russian collusion on the part of his client. 

    (Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019)

    "I'm not connecting it to any incidents," he continued, "but we know that there are white supremacist groups and right-wing groups that use his rhetoric as license for what they do. They talk about him being on their side. And that's unacceptable."

    Booker said if elected president, he would instruct the Justice Department to investigate hate groups and "unequivocally denounce" hatred.

    Speaking to about 100 people at the public library in Independence, Iowa, O'Rourke said that as president he'd make sure there is "no military intervention in Venezuela or anywhere in the Western Hemisphere." He pointed to a CIA-led coup in Guatemala in the 1950s as proof that U.S. military action in the hemisphere can have decades of unintended, negative consequences.

    A fluent Spanish speaker from El Paso, across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, O'Rourke noted earlier in the day that he's the only 2020 candidate from the border "at a time that that dominates so much of our national conversation and legislative efforts and the things that the president talks about."

    "There's one candidate who's there to talk about the profoundly positive impact that immigrants have had on our safety and our security, as well as our success and our strength," he said.

    Following a house party in Dubuque, O'Rourke was asked if he would commit to choosing a female running mate should he win the nomination. "That would be my preference," he said and later added: "It would be very difficult not to select a woman with so many extraordinary women who are running right now. But first I would have to win."

    'Run, Joe, Run': Biden Teases 2020 Presidential Bid

    [NATL] 'Run, Joe, Run': Biden Teases 2020 Presidential Bid

    Amid cheers of "Run, Joe, Run" from the crowd at the International Association of Firefighters, former Vice President Joe Biden teased a presidential bid, telling the crowd to "save" their energy. "I may need it in a few weeks," he said. 

    (Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019)

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio championed his progressive values during a trip to New Hampshire as he flirts with running for president.

    The Democrat is in New Hampshire this weekend for a two-day visit. He also met with New Hampshire Democratic chairman Ray Buckley as several presidential contenders spent the last two days campaigning across the state.

    "We have to be a country that rewards working people," de Blasio said during a speech. The mayor didn't receive a warm welcome from everyone, however.

    A vehicle sporting a large sign saying "Mayor Bill de Blasio is no friend of labor" could be seen outside the bar where the Democrat gave his speech Saturday night. He also said a decision on whether to run for president would come "sooner rather than later."

    "When we know we're there, we'll tell ya," de Blasio said.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden might have let on that he's leaning toward running for the White House again.

    Manafort Faces Second Sentencing for Conspiracy Charges

    [NATL] Manafort Faces Second Sentencing for Conspiracy Charges

    Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort faces a second sentencing for conspiracy charges in federal court today. All eyes will be on Judge Amy Berman Jackson's ruling, both for its length and whether it and the Virginia sentence will run concurrently or consecutively after the first ruling faced backlash for its light sentencing from the legal community.

    (Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019)

    Or it may just have been a slip of the tongue.

    In a keynote speech at a Saturday dinner for the Delaware Democratic Party, Biden boasted that he has "the most progressive record of anybody running."

    But Biden hasn't announced whether he is running again for president. He quickly corrected himself, saying "anybody who would run — I didn't mean it. Anybody who would run."

    Cheers nearly drowned out his correction. Although Biden has been known to go off script, his remark is likely to be viewed as a Washington-style gaffe — a case of accidentally telling the truth.

    Biden pushed Democratic policies and accused President Donald Trump of dividing the country.

    Biden, 76, who served as President Barack Obama's closest adviser, is the only major contender still on the sidelines and has suggested he could remain there for several more weeks.

    Pelosi: Trump Is 'Not Worth' Impeaching

    [NATL] Pelosi: Trump Is 'Not Worth' Impeaching

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made headlines after she told the Washington Post President Donald Trump was "just not worth" impeaching.  "I don't think we should go down that path," she told the paper - unless there was "something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan."

    (Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019)

    Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to a crowd of at least 1,000 people in a sunny park in a suburb of Las Vegas, the Vermont senator's first appearance this year in Nevada, where he gave Hillary Clinton a surprisingly strong challenge in the 2016 caucuses before she edged out a win.

    Sanders, who received stitches Friday after cutting his head on the edge of a glass shower door, was sporting a large bandage on his head and a black eye — along with a Vegas Golden Knights hockey team hat.

    "A little black eye is not going to stop me," Sanders said.

    Sanders barely made note of the crowded Democratic field, saying only that his policies that were once seen as too radical, including a $15-an-hour minimum wage, have now become mainstream. He pitched his campaign as a crusade for justice in all forms — social, economic, racial and environmental — that will defeat President Donald Trump with the help of an "unprecedented grassroots effort."

    Associated Press writers Sara Burnett, Will Weissert, Alexandra Jaffe, Michelle Price and Brian Slodysko contributed to this report.