Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has publicly endorsed Joe Biden for president at a rally on Saturday, the AP reports.
“We’ve got to stop this circular firing squad. We’ve got to explain to people why we are running, why it’s so important to change.”
— Joe Biden, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, explaining he had not been “nearly as aggressive in the debates” because he felt it “undermines the Democratic Party and the narrative.”
“Michael Bloomberg will not accept political donations if he runs for president and he will not take a salary if he wins, according to senior aides who offered new details on Saturday about the New York billionaire’s plans to navigate his wealth as he marches toward a formal 2020 announcement,” the AP reports.
Said Bloomberg chief adviser Howard Wolfson: “He has never taken a political contribution in his life. He is not about to start. He cannot be bought.”
That means he will never get into a debate.
“In the latest sign Michael Bloomberg is prepared spend freely on a prospective presidential bid, the billionaire has begun booking a huge quantity of TV ad time in media markets across the country — including the one that’s home to President Trump’s winter White House, Mar-a-Lago,” Politico reports.
Said one analyst: “This buy is massive. We’ve only seen a few one-off stations but it looks like the buy is going to be at least $10 million for one week. Possibly way more.”
“The ads will begin airing as soon as Monday.”
Nevada Independent: “Both of the hires Klobuchar is announcing Friday worked on former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign here until he dropped out earlier this month.”
Said Sanders: “I’m disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any other billionaire thinks they can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy our elections. It’s just the latest example of a rigged political system that we are going to change when we’re in the White House.”
He added: “If you can’t build grassroots support for your candidacy, you have no business running for president. The American people are sick and tired of the power of billionaires, and I suspect they won’t react well to someone trying to buy an election.”
Boston Globe: ““Other candidates have not campaigned as much here as they have in Iowa and New Hampshire, and voters seem more undecided. South Carolina’s primary, the fourth nominating contest in the country, isn’t until Feb. 29, affording Patrick extra days to introduce himself to voters here.”
“Patrick is familiar with the state, having campaigned here for Barack Obama in 2008, and two- thirds of Democratic voters in the state are African-American, which provides an opportunity for Massachusetts’ first black governor. South Carolina also does not have the complex caucus system of Iowa and Nevada, and its cheaper media market makes it easier to campaign with less money, something that will matter for Patrick, who launched his bid just last week.”
President Trump acknowledged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is mulling a run for Senate in Kansas next year, the Kansas City Star reports.
Said Trump: “He loves the people of Kansas. If he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that and he would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas.”
Wall Street Journal: “California’s decision to move up its 2020 primary to Super Tuesday in early March from June will make the nation’s most populous state one of the most important in deciding the Democratic presidential candidate. But changes to the voting process could mean the final results won’t be known for weeks.”
“If the allocation of California’s 494 Democratic delegates—by far the most of any state—isn’t finalized until early April, that could affect the candidates’ viability, campaigning and fundraising momentum in the meantime. It also could influence voter support in other states.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden ripped into Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Friday after the senator requested documents on Biden in order to pursue a pet conspiracy theory of President Donald Trump’s. “They have him under their thumb right now,” Biden told CNN’s Don Lemon, referring to Graham. “They know he knows if he comes out against Trump he’s got a real tough road for re-election.”
Biden and Graham go back decades. After the death of Biden’s son Beau in 2015, Graham recorded a tearful interview in which he called Biden “the nicest person I think I’ve ever met in politics” and “as good a man as God ever created.” Biden alluded to that in the interview Friday. “I am disappointed, and quite frankly I’m angered by the fact — he knows me,” Biden said. “He knows my son. He knows there’s nothing to this.”
“Trump is now essentially holding power over him that even the Ukrainians wouldn’t yield to,” Biden said. “The Ukrainians would not yield to, quote, ‘investigate Biden.’ There’s nothing to investigate about Biden or his son.”
“Lindsey is about to go down in a way that I think he’s going to regret his whole life,” he added. Asked what he would tell Graham, Biden responded bluntly, “I say Lindsey, I’m just embarrassed by what you’re doing, for you. I mean, my lord.”