Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Anti-Trump Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says launching 2020 bid

January 16, 2019

New York Senator has been a relentless critic of the president and champion of women’s issues including the #MeToo movement; ‘We have to rise up and reclaim our values’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater‎ to tape an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater‎ to tape an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democratic US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken Donald Trump critic and champion of women’s issues including the #MeToo movement, announced Tuesday she was jumping into the 2020 presidential race.

Nearly 22 months before the election, the battle for the White House is already firming up, as Americans begin to assess who might be the opposition party nominee to challenge Trump.

Four Democrats — three of them women — have made clear steps towards a formal campaign in recent weeks, and many more including several of Gillibrand’s Senate colleagues, an anti-Trump billionaire businessman and former vice president Joe Biden are waiting in the wings.

“I’m going to run for president of the United States, because as a young mom I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own — which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” the senator told Stephen Colbert on his CBS television talk show.

Her goals will include putting gender at the fore of her campaign, combating “institutional racism,” taking on special interests and entrenched systems of power in Washington, and fighting against political “corruption and greed.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“I know that I have the compassion, the courage, and the fearless determination to get that done,” she added in the interview set to be aired in full later Tuesday.

The 52-year-old from upstate New York said she was forming an exploratory committee, a crucial legal step for a candidate to run for president, just days before she reportedly travels to the early voting state of Iowa.

Reclaim our values

She took to social media Tuesday to amplify her message.

“We have to rise up and reclaim our values,” she tweeted.

“We need to protect our basic rights and fight for better health care, education and jobs. And I believe I’m the woman for the job,” she said, adding that she is “not afraid to take on Trump.”

Kirsten Gillibrand


Tonight I announced that I’m preparing to run for president, because I believe we’re all called to make a difference. I believe in right vs. wrong – that wrong wins when we do nothing. Now is our time to raise our voices and get off the sidelines. Join me: 

Kirsten’s Getting Ready to Run

We are compassionate. Courageous. Determined. Now is our time. Join us.

6,042 people are talking about this

Gillibrand was easily re-elected in November to her second full term. In 2009 she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s US Senate seat, when the latter became secretary of state.

In the years since she has abandoned several of her centrist political positions, tilting to the left to eventually become one of the more liberal senators.

The next presidential election is still more than 650 days away, but Gillibrand is entering what will be a chockablock field vying for the right to challenge Trump.

Elizabeth Warren, a fellow female US senator and frequent target of the provocative billionaire president, has also launched an exploratory committee, as has congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who served military tours in Iraq and Kuwait.

Former San Antonio mayor and Obama-era cabinet member Julian Castro and recently retired congressman John Delaney have formally launched their presidential bids.

Some politicians with stronger name recognition are expected to enter the race soon, including former Biden, ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke and current senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders, who ran against Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

But Gillibrand has distinguished herself in key ways. She is one of the top Trump naysayers in the Senate, voting against the president’s nominees for major posts more than almost any other senator.

She also raised her national profile by sponsoring — and mounting a three-year campaign for — a bill that would revamp the prosecution system for military sexual assaults and remove such cases from the military chain of command.

The bill fell short in the Senate, but Gillibrand has been relentless about highlighting sexual assault in the military, on college campuses and in the workplace.

See also:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is entering the 2020 race for president


Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Expected To Launch Presidential Campaign

January 12, 2019

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is set to formally launch his bid for president on Saturday, after weeks of hinting he was ready to join the growing 2020 Democratic primary field.

The 44-year-old will be the first Hispanic candidate to enter the race for the White House, joining Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who recently said they are running. Several more well known candidates are expected to announce their plans soon.

Democrat Julián Castro talks about exploring the possibility of running for president in 2020, at his home in San Antonio in December 2018.  Eric Gay/AP

Castro launched an exploratory committee last month, Julián for the Future, and has already traveled to early primary states, with more visits to Iowa and New Hampshire slated for next week following his announcement Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

“Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. We’re ready to keep our promises, and we’re not going to wait. We’re going to work,” Castro said in a video last month announcing he was testing the waters.

Castro has pointed to his experience on both the local and federal level. He was the youngest-ever city councilman in San Antonio’s history when he was elected in 2001 at age 26. Eight years later, he was elected mayor. In 2012, he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention — which had catapulted Barack Obama to national fame eight years earlier — telling the crowd about his experience as part of an immigrant family.

“In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay,” Castro said. “Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.”

Two years later, President Obama chose him to run HUD. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also considered him as a possible vice presidential running mate.

His identical twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, has represented their native San Antonio in Congress since 2013. The two were born into a politically active family. Their mother was an organizer with La Raza Unida in the 1970s, campaigning for the rights of and improved working conditions for Mexican-Americans.

Castro may not be the only Texan in the race, however. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate bid last year, is also weighing a run and has been on the rise in very early polls.

The former HUD secretary, who campaigned for O’Rourke in 2018, told the Associated Press last month he wasn’t worried if he himself is not testing very high right now in surveys.

“If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I’m going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful,” Castro told the AP.



Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020

January 12, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Friday she will run for president in 2020.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” the Hawaii Democrat told CNN’s Van Jones during an interview slated to air at 7 p.m. Saturday on CNN’s “The Van Jones Show.”
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Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of Congress.
“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve,” she said, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues.
“There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” Gabbard added. “I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”
Rania Batrice, who was a deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is now a top aide to Gabbard, will be the campaign manager, Batrice says.
In 2015, Gabbard, then a vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was sharply critical of its then-chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for scheduling just six presidential debates during the 2016 primary election cycle. She later resigned her post as DNC vice chair to become one of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ highest-profile supporters, aligning herself with his populist economic message.
Gabbard has staked out anti-interventionist foreign policy positions in Congress. Her 2017 meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad drew widespread criticism. “Initially, I hadn’t planned on meeting him,”
Gabbard told CNN’s Jake Tapper in January of 2017. “When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace, and that’s exactly what we talked about.”
Gabbard joins a quickly growing field of Democrats eager to take on President Donald Trump for the presidency.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on New Year’s Eve that she was forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro also formed an exploratory committee and is expected to announce his 2020 plans Saturday.
A number of other potential Democratic candidates, including heavyweights like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are currently weighing whether to run for president and are expected to announce their decision soon.


Bloomberg says he would use his own money to fund 2020 run — Democratic field filling up

January 12, 2019

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing back against liberal critics who say he shouldn’t be allowed to use his multibillion-dollar fortune to self-fund a possible White House campaign and “buy the presidency.”

“I ran three times. I used only my own money so I didn’t have to ask anybody what they wanted in return for a contribution,” Bloomberg said in Austin, Texas, on Friday. “And, if I ran again, I would do the same thing.”

His defense echoed arguments he made while self-funding three successful City Hall bids when critics claimed he was buying the office.

“I think not having to adjust what you say and what you work on based on who financed your campaign is one of the things that the public really likes,” Bloomberg added.

New York’s former mayor spent more than $260 million combined in his runs for City Hall in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

He has been publicly toying with the idea of running for president for months and has promised he will make a decision within a month or so.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who recently launched her own White House bid — has called for spending limits to keep billionaires, like Bloomberg, from crushing the competition with a mountain  of spending


“Is this going to be a Democratic primary that truly is a grassroots movement that is funded by the grassroots and it’s done with grassroots volunteers, or is this going to be something that’s one more plaything that billionaires can buy?” she asked.




Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Staffs Up for Likely 2020 Presidential Run

January 11, 2019

New York Democrat signs up key staff members, plans first trip to Iowa

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2018 file photo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks during the New York Senate debate hosted by WABC-TV, in New York. Gillibrand's Republican challenger is Chele Farley. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool, File) Photo: Mary Altaffer / Pool, AP

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) coasted to re-election in 2018 and has more than $10.6 million left over from her Senate campaign, seed money that can be used in her presidential bid. PHOTO: MARY ALTAFFER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is closing in on announcing a 2020 presidential campaign, signing up key staff members and planning her first trip to Iowa, according to people familiar with the plans.

Ms. Gillibrand’s staff will be run by Jess Fassler, her Senate chief of staff, and Dan McNally, a former campaign aide to Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) and the campaign arm of Senate Democrats, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

Meredith Kelly, a top communications aide to the House Democrats’ campaign arm, will lead Ms. Gillibrand’s communications operation, the people said. Ms. Kelly’s hiring was first reported by the New York Times.

 How to Prepare for a Presidential Run: The 2020 To-Do List

How to Prepare for a Presidential Run: The 2020 To-Do List
Presidential hopefuls are stepping out of the shadows, but their 2020 announcements are far from spontaneous. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains.

She has also hired two top digital aides, Emmy Bengtson and Gavrie Kullman, both highly sought-after Democratic digital specialists, according to people familiar with the move.

As part of the preparations, Ms. Gillibrand has hired Joi Chaney to become her new Senate chief of staff. Ms. Chaney formerly served as a staff member in the Senate and the Obama administration at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Glen Caplin, a longtime Senate aide to Ms. Gillibrand who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, is also expected to play a senior advisory role in her campaign. Mr. Caplin declined to comment.

Ms. Gillibrand plans to travel next weekend to Iowa—the location of the first 2020 presidential caucus and a sign that her campaign will be soon under way. Ms. Gillibrand’s Iowa plans were reported Thursday night by Politico.

Ms. Gillibrand, 52 years old, coasted to re-election in 2018 and has more than $10.6 million left over from her Senate campaign, seed money that can be used in her presidential bid.

The senator has positioned herself as a leading voice of the Democratic opposition to President Trump, with whom she tangled in December 2017 after the president called her a “flunky” for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and said she would do “anything” for a political donation.

Ms. Gillibrand responded that Mr. Trump couldn’t silence her or the millions of women from speaking out “about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.”

She is expected to join a field that already includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and could grow to include several of her Senate colleagues.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Following a midterm election cycle in which Democratic women took center stage, Ms. Gillibrand has championed electing more women to office and has been a leading voice in the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment and assault movement.

In this photo from January 29, 2017 US Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks to people gathered at Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts. (Ryan McBride/AFP)

But some Democrats have accused her of opportunism, pointing to her evolution on issues such as immigration and gun control and her role as the first Senate Democrat to call for the resignation of former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken after the Democrat was accused of sexual misconduct.

Ms. Gillibrand’s advisers said at the time that she was standing up for her values.

Write to Ken Thomas at

Kamala Harris sounds like a 2020 candidate: ‘I think this is that moment’

January 8, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris indicated Tuesday that she’s seriously considering a 2020 White House run, by saying her mother would have wanted her to fix what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.

In an ABC interview, Harris said her mother, who died in 2009, would think DC is a “hot mess.”

Image result for George Stephanopoulos, Kamala harris, pictures

“And Kamala has to fix it?” George Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well yeah,” Harris said. “I mean, I was raised that when you see a problem, you don’t complain about it, you go and do something about it.”

[Read: 45 Democrats jostling to challenge Trump in 2020]

“I would get so upset at her when I got older,” Harris added. “I would come home with a problem, other parents would say, ‘Oh darling, I’ll take care of it.’ My mother, the first thing she would do, she’d look at us and she’d say, ‘Well, what did you do?'”

“So I think this is that moment,” she said. “And I believe for all of us, history will say and our children and our grandchildren will ask, at that inflection moment, where were you, and what did you do in service of your family, your neighborhood, your community and your country.”

While Harris sounded like she’s on the verge of running, she said at the top of the interview that she is “not going to decide right now.”


Probably a long shot.   Photographer: Nicholas Kamm/AFP


Image result for Kirsten Gillibrand, pictures

Kirsten Gillibrand

Image result for Beto O’Rourke, pictures

Joe Biden’s brother rips Hillary Clinton on bungled 2016 election

January 8, 2019

 Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “deplorables” to describe Trump voters was “idiotic”

Vice President Joe Biden’s younger brother unloaded Monday on Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign — saying his sibling would have won Pennsylvania, would have campaigned aggressively in Michigan and would not have insulted voters as “deplorables.”

Does Joe Biden Have a Chance?

January 7, 2019

Democrats like him. But he’d likely command only factional support – and not a winning coalition.

Probably a long shot.   Photographer: Nicholas Kamm/AFP

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for a while – that is, he’s been doing things that presidential candidates do – but he’s now being pressed to make a more formal declaration. Biden claims that his interest is based on electability, that no one else out there is as capable of beating President Donald Trump. And it’s certainly true, as Nate Silver points out, that plenty of Democrats say they consider electability a top attribute in a nominee.

But I’m doubly skeptical.

On the one hand, political-science research has generally shown that candidates aren’t very important in presidential elections, especially out-party candidates facing an incumbent. Party is by far the most important factor in determining voter choice, followed by attitudes about the sitting president, the state of the economy and other current conditions. The challenger candidate isn’t entirely irrelevant: Selecting someone far from the ideological mainstream was probably costly for Republicans in 1964 and Democrats in 1972. And there’s evidence that moderation helps even during this era of partisan polarization. Overall, though, there’s just not much difference between most of the plausible nominees.

At the same time, I strongly suspect that electability isn’t really a major factor for most voters. Instead, candidates that they prefer for other reasons will likely seem more electable to them. Just as voters often claim to support the person and not the party, but inevitably wind up liking the person from the same party almost every time, they may justify supporting a candidate in a nomination contest for reasons other than demographic characteristics or the recommendations of well-known party actors.

At any rate, I’m still not very impressed with Biden’s chances. The New York Times says that he would “instantly be the early front-runner,” but doesn’t give many reasons to believe it. It’s true that Biden’s two previous presidential campaigns, in which he failed to win any support at all, preceded his terms as vice president, so they can’t entirely be held against his prospects now. Walter Mondale was a far stronger candidate in 1984 than he had been in 1976. But Biden’s on-again, off-again candidacy in 2016 was hardly met with a flood of support before he called it off for good. And in 2020 he’d be at best the leader of a moderate faction rather than of a broad coalition. In fact, it’s hard to see anyone but moderate candidates – maybe only moderate white-male candidates – who would drop out if Biden moved forward. And that’s a pretty good indication that he’s no overwhelming favorite.

As for his poll numbers: It’s important to read those carefully. Biden’s strong-looking performance so far is almost certainly based on name recognition. Sure, most Democrats like him. But by the time each state votes, the main contenders will have caught up in name recognition and they’ll be well-liked too. (That’s because most Democratic voters like most Democratic politicians, just as Trump’s high ratings with Republicans are largely because Republican voters like most Republican politicians.)

Could Biden win? Certainly. But my hunch is that Democrats are looking for someone within the party mainstream who has conventional qualifications – and someone no older than Senator Elizabeth Warren, who will be 71 by next November. Biden is already 76. My guess is that he isn’t one of the five likeliest nominees, and I’m not really sure he’s among the top 10.

1. Alice Hunt Friend at the Monkey Cage on Trump, Syria and civilian control of the military.

2. David Leonhardt has a first-rate summary of the case for removing Trump. I think he’s correct that a lot of Republicans in Congress believe Trump is unfit for office. But there’s a difference between believing that and thinking he should be removed.

3. Ed Kilgore, meanwhile, makes the case that Republicans won’t ever remove him.

4. Jennifer Bendery spoke with Native American leaders about Warren’s DNA test.

5. And Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks with a style report on the first day of the 116th Congress.

Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe. Also subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.

Joe Biden blames ‘the conservative blonde woman’ for government shutdown

January 6, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing criticism for pointing the finger at conservative radio host “Rush Limbaugh and the conservative blonde woman” for the partial government shutdown.

Image result for joe biden, pictures

Biden was presumably talking about Ann Coulter, who had before the shutdown called President Trump “gutless” and said that if Trump caves on the wall then the next president would be a Democrat.

Image result for Ann Coulter, pointing, photos

“Republicans overwhelmingly voted to keep the government open,” Biden said. “Then Rush Limbaugh and the conservative blonde woman says he’s losing his base, and so he’s changed his mind.”

Limbaugh, a conservative radio host, had urged Trump to stand a firm ground on the shutdown in order to deliver on his campaign promise about building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congress had planned to send Trump a bill that would have extended government funding through February, but Trump told them he wouldn’t sign it and demanded more than $5 billion to pay for the wall. Trump has maintained since he will not sign a spending bill that doesn’t include money for a border wall.

Image result for Rush Limbaugh, pointing, photos

Biden’s comments drew criticism on Twitter for his use of “conservative blonde woman” rather than the woman’s name. Coulter is a well-known, if controversial, conservative columnist and talk show host who has published a dozen books.

The comment is the latest from the gaffe-prone former senator — who once described then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama as “articulate and bright and clean” — to earn criticism for being sexist, dating back decades. Criticism of his handling of the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas in which Anita Hill testified about the sexual harassment she faced re-emerged in the wake of the hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by California professor Christine Blasey Ford.

Hill said in an Elle interview last year that while Biden, who chaired those hearings, has since said he owes her an apology, he had not apologized.

Biden, widely regarded as a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has also drawn scrutiny for his habit of touching women while he speaks to them, a practice repeatedly captured in photos of public events.

Image result for Michelle Obama, pointing, photos

Mark Steyn: Dems prefer ‘Muslim transgender candidate’ but will ‘make do’ with Biden

December 28, 2018
Conservative commentator Mark Steyn joked during an interview on “Fox & Friends” Thursday that the Democratic Party prefers a “Muslim transgender candidate” but will “have to make do with [former Vice President] Joe Biden” as its nominee.
Image result for Mark Steyn, photos
The comments come as Biden tops most polls as an early favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, with many pollsters pointing to the former Delaware senator having the highest name identification as a key factor for his early advantage in polls.
“Fox & Friends” fill-in co-host Katie Pavlich noted a Vanity Fair piece from the previous day that said Biden was reportedly upset by Obama meeting with Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) last month when the former vice president was still considering a White House bid.
“Obama has flirted with Beto and other 2020 rivals and Joe Biden is very upset,” said Pavlich, who is also a contributor to The Hill. “It seems like the former president is leaving behind Joe Biden as he pursues newer and younger candidates.”
“They’re looking for something more intersectional,” Steyn noted after some crosstalk. “They really would like a Muslim transgender candidate, but they will have to make do with Joe Biden.”
“The problem with Biden is it’s not Obama’s fault any more than it was last time,” he continued. “You can’t do this sort of Hamlet on the battlements, ‘Oh, I’d like to to run if you want me to run.’ People who want to be president get out there and run and become president.”

USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday found that 59 percent of surveyed Democrats and independents are “excited” about having “someone entirely new” run in 2020, while Biden was the top choice among named candidates, with 53 percent saying they would be excited for him to run.


Biden had considered running in 2016 but ultimately decided not to for family reasons. Multiple reports indicated that Clinton allies and Obama had pressured Biden to stay out of the race to clear a path for Hillary Clinton. In an interview with NBC in January 2016, Biden said he regretted every day not seeking the presidency during that election cycle.


“I regret it every day, but it was the right decision for my family and for me. And I plan on staying deeply involved,” Biden told Connecticut NBC affiliate WVIT.


Political experts believe anywhere from 20-30 Democrats could seek the nomination in 2020 against President Trump, who sits at 42.6 percent approval in the RealClearPolitics index of polls.
No president has lost a bid for a second term since George H.W. Bush in 1992.