A new East Carolina University poll in South Carolina finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic primary field with 28%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 20%, Tom Steyer at 14%, Elizabeth Warren at 7%, Pete Buttigieg at 8% and Amy Klobuchar at 7%.
“Michael Bloomberg has made it his late life’s mission to take on the National Rifle Association, calling the organization ‘shameful,’ ‘dangerous’ and extreme,” Politico reports.
“The problem now that he’s seeking the Democratic nomination? In his final year as New York mayor, Bloomberg compared two groups core to the Democratic base — a local faction of the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York City teachers union — to the NRA.”
“The White House told Congress on Friday that President Trump authorized the strike last month that killed Iran’s most important general to respond to attacks that had already taken place and deter future ones, contradicting the president’s claim that he acted in response to an imminent threat,” the New York Times reports.
“In a legally mandated, two-page unclassified memo to lawmakers, the White House asserted that the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was ‘in response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months’ by Iran and Iran-backed militias.”
“Bernie Sanders hasn’t picked up the voters who are deserting Joe Biden, but he’s the clear beneficiary of the former vice president’s rapid collapse,” Axios reports.
“Of the top six candidates in the race, Sanders’ polling numbers have changed the least over the last few weeks— but Biden’s fall has made Sanders the biggest winner, since the moderate vote is now splintered four ways.”
Wall Street Journal: “Self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Trump rose in politics by developing strong personal brands, while keeping only tenuous ties to—and frequently criticizing the leaders of—the parties they later sought to lead.”
“Their ascents are the latest sign that the nation’s political parties have lost influence in choosing their own presidential nominees, a development that some party officials see as inevitable in the modern media environment and an era of billionaires funding their own campaigns, as Mr. Trump initially did and Democrat Michael Bloomberg is doing today. But it is one that they say has made politics more volatile and partisan.”
New York Times: “In the compressed and crucial weeks between the New Hampshire primary and Super Tuesday, Pete Buttigieg is moving aggressively to replenish his campaign coffers with an ambitious schedule of 10 fund-raisers held across six states in a 14-day period.”
Mike Bloomberg said the final Obamacare bill would do “absolutely nothing to fix the big health care problems” and also called the program “a disgrace” in comments made in 2010, just months after the law’s passage, CNN reports.
He added: “The President, in all fairness, started out by pointing out what the big problems were, but then turned it over to Congress, which didn’t pay any attention to any of those big problems and just created another program that’s going to cost a lot of money.”
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), who is running to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in November, released a new attack ad against fellow GOP primary contender and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, The Hill reports.
“In the new 30-second ad, Bryne criticizes Sessions for being forced by President Trump to resign as attorney general. The video also appeared to reference a common refrain, ‘lock her up,’ to dig at Sessions’ job while serving as attorney general, that was chanted about former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during Trump campaign events in 2016.”
From the ad: “Hillary still ain’t in jail.”
“Progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders jabbed his more moderate rivals on Saturday for taking campaign cash from billionaires as Democratic officials at some sites across Nevada were overwhelmed by long lines on the first day of early voting in presidential caucuses,” the AP reports.
Said Sanders: “Democracy is not candidates going to the homes of billionaires raising money.”
“Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are fearful that the conservative hardliner Kris Kobach could cost them a crucial Senate seat in Kansas and potentially their narrow majority — and are eager to find a way to defeat him in a hotly contested primary,” CNN reports.
“But Kobach is getting face time with President Donald Trump and consulting with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, over an immigration plan that the White House is developing. And no one knows how Trump will insert himself into the GOP primary, and whether Senate Republican leaders will succeed in getting him to endorse a candidate they argue has a better chance of winning in November.”
Joe Biden called on Bernie Sanders to accept greater accountability for tactics and rhetoric of his staunchest supporters and do more to discourage it, after what he called the “outrageous” threats on a prominent union that criticized his healthcare plan, NBC News reports.
Representatives of the powerful Culinary Workers Union said this week that supporters of the Vermont senator had “viciously attacked” its members after its leadership warned about the risk to their negotiated health plans under a Medicare for All system.
Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at Michael Bloomberg over his self-funded 2020 presidential campaign, saying that the former New York City mayor would not be able to produce the “excitement” and “energy” needed to defeat President Trump, Reuters reports.
Said Sanders: “The simple truth is that Mayor Bloomberg, with all his money, will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump.”
Vox: “Although the caucuses — which will take place on February 22 this year — have been the third Democratic primary contest in the nation since 2008, the state is notoriously hard to poll.”
“So hard, in fact, that until Friday, the most recent poll included in RealClearPolitics’ Nevada polling average — from Suffolk University — was more than a month old.”
“We now have exactly one recent poll of the state, courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which shows Sen. Bernie Sanders in the lead among likely caucus-goers with 25 percent support.”
“More than 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials called on Attorney General William Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone,” the New York Times reports.
“They also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.”