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15d ago / 6:53 PM UTC
Clyburn says Biden 'has not projected out into the future the way people would like'
Rep. Jim Clyburn, the House Majority Whip and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, told MSNBC's Craig Melvin on Wednesday that Joe Biden “has not projected out into the future the way people would like for him to do” amid poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden is still a strong contender in Clyburn’s home state of South Carolina, which is often viewed as his firewall, but Clyburn, a longtime ally of the former vice president and political kingmaker in his state, said billionaire businessman Tom Steyer has a "great" chance to become a top-tier candidate after building a robust operation there.
"I just think that [Biden] is still, as of this moment, the leading candidate in South Carolina," he said. "I think Steyer is doing well in South Carolina, and so I do believe as we go into South Carolina it is a five-way contest right now."
Clyburn said that the other billionaire in the Democratic race, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg "will have one heck of a challenge trying to overcome" has past remarks supporting New York's previous stop-and-frisk policing policy "because that was a very, very racially charged policy.”
Clyburn added that Iowa and New Hampshire should “absolutely not” lead off the Democratic nomination process, "and I've been saying that for over 20 years."
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15d ago / 6:17 PM UTC
Democratic hopefuls face test of strength with voters of color in Nevada, South Carolina
The New Hampshire primary is over. The Iowa caucus is — kind of, mostly — settled. But the Democratic primary race is just getting started. There are several more nominating contests in the days and weeks ahead that could prove decisive in selecting a Democratic nominee before the party's convention kicks off on July 13 in Milwaukee.
Here's what's next.
Nevada's Democratic caucus is scheduled for Feb. 22. The Democratic electorate here has a significant non-white population, and the caucuses are an opportunity for candidates to show their strength with Latinos, an important Democratic voting bloc. The union vote is also powerful.
The core of the Democratic base, black voters, resides in South Carolina, whose Feb. 29 primary is the first contest in the South and will test candidates' strength with this key demographic. More so than overwhelmingly white Iowa or New Hampshire, the state's electorate more closely resembles the larger Democratic Party, which gives the contest additional significance in selecting the nominee.
The state's influential Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 workers, sent out a flyer on Tuesday warning that Sanders would "end Culinary healthcare." The union pays for members' healthcare through a special trust fund.
Asked in an interview with NBC News' Kristen Welker on Wednesday whether the union is right, Sanders said, "No."
"We will talk to the Culinary Union. It's a great union. We work with them very closely," Sanders said. "What we are going to do is expand Medicare to provide comprehensive healthcare to every man, woman and child. And our Medicare for All program will work well for the culinary workers, will work well for every union in America because finally we are gonna have comprehensive healthcare. And that includes expanding Medicare to include hearing aids, dental care, eyeglasses and in-home healthcare and every American, the vast majority of working Americans, will pay substantially less than they're paying right now."
Welker asked Sanders if he was concerned that the skepticism from some in the union could hurt him in Nevada ahead of Feb. 22 caucuses.
"I do not predict that we are gonna win 100 percent of the vote, never have. I think we are gonna do very, very well because we have a coalition," he said. "We have a coalition of working people, we have a coalition of young people, we have the communities of color, I think, strongly behind us and that's the kind of coalition we need to win."
In a statement later in the day Wednesday, a Culinary Union representative, Geoconda Argüello-Kline, said Sanders' supporters had "viciously attacked" the organization because it "provided facts on what certain healthcare proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over 8 decades."
Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg used the union's concerns to hit Sanders' health care plan earlier in the day in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"Nevada’s a good example of a place where there is, there are a lot of union workers, who sometimes gave concessions on wages in order to get excellent plans," he said. "I’m thinking about culinary workers, for example ... they are not interested in Senator Sanders’s vision of eliminating all private plans, because they actually got and fought for good health care coverage that they have right now. If the choice is between Senator Sanders telling them they’re gonna have to give that up, and me saying we can enhance and increase choice without asking them to sacrifice what they have worked so hard for, I think that is a very good debate for us to have, and I’m looking forward to having that debate."
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15d ago / 6:42 PM UTC
Deval Patrick ends presidential campaign after poor showing in New Hampshire
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the Democratic primary race after a poor showing in New Hampshire.
Touting his record on health care, education and the budget in Massachusetts, Patrick said in a statement, "I believed and still believe we had a strong case to make for being able to deliver better outcomes."
"But the vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting," he added. "So I have decided to suspend the campaign, effective immediately."
The former governor said he is "not suspending my commitment to help — there is still work to be done," warning that the country is "facing the most consequential election of our lifetime. Our democracy itself, let alone our civic commitments to equality, opportunity and fair play, are at risk."
Hoping for a next-door-neighbor advantage, Patrick, whose campaign failed to gain momentum after he entered the race late, in November, drew below 1 percent of the vote with 97 percent of the precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, according to the NBC News Decision Desk.
During the campaign, Patrick faced fundraising and organizational challenges and failed to significantly register in national polling.
Patrick, who has close ties to President Barack Obama, was a two-term Massachusetts governor from 2007 to 2015, the second black governor elected in U.S. history.
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15d ago / 5:03 PM UTC
Bloomberg spends big to challenge Trump on his home court: Facebook
Mike Bloomberg is spending so much money on Facebook ads that he has surpassed President Donald Trump, the reigning king of the social media realm.
The billionaire media magnate and the former mayor of New York City has been pouring millions of dollars into Facebook and its sibling app Instagram since he jumped into the Democratic presidential race, easily outpacing the Trump campaign, according to Facebook data compiled by NBC News.
Bloomberg spent more than $1 million a day on average over the past two weeks on Facebook. That’s five times more than Trump spent during the same period — and more than three times what Trump spent per day during his victorious fall 2016 campaign.
With an estimated net worth of around $61 billion, the former mayor said after the muddled results from the Iowa caucuses that he would ramp up his budget for ads and staff. He’s focused on the dozen-plus states that will cast votes on Super Tuesday, March 3, which is reflected in his Facebook spending.
Her home-stretch surge, fueled by a stellar debate performance Friday, appeared to be the key factor that robbed Buttigieg of the votes he needed to top Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The surprise star turn combined with the fading of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to catapult Klobuchar into the conversation about which bridge-the-divide candidate is best equipped to survive a long-slog campaign.
Bloomberg seeks to make stop-and-frisk controversy about Trump
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is working to bounce back from newly unearthed comments he made about crime in minority neighborhoods by casting the controversy as a cynical attempt by President Donald Trump to blunt his momentum in the presidential race.
A day after an audio clip emerged of Bloomberg bluntly defending the stop-and-frisk policy he oversaw as mayor, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, sought to portray it as an indication Trump is worried about Bloomberg’s rise and the prospect of running against him in the general election. Trump on Tuesday tweeted out the clip and called Bloomberg a “total racist,” although he later deleted the tweet.
“When you threaten Trump, you become a target,” Sheekey tells NBC News. “Mike was mayor for 12 years and fought for all New Yorkers, but he also knows you don’t back down from a bully and we are in a war to remove him from office.”
Although the audio clip from a 2015 speech by Bloomberg was discovered and published by a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., it caught fire on social media just as voters in New Hampshire were going to the polls Tuesday in large part due to amplification by the president and his son, Donald Trump Jr., who called Bloomberg’s comments “shocking by any reasonable standard of today.” That’s despite the fact that Trump has and continues to be a strong supporter of stop-and-frisk policing policies.
Yang says 'You haven't seen the last of the Yang Gang' when asked about future run
New York businessman Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary race Tuesday night after finishing near the bottom of the field in New Hampshire, says he won't rule out running for office again.
"You haven't seen the last of the Yang Gang," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
When asked about the possibility of running for New York City Mayor, Yang said he "hasn't ruled anything out at this point."
"I'm more attracted to executive roles than legislative ones because I think you can get more done, you can get your hands dirtier and roll up your sleeves," he said.
Yang declined to say where his devoted "Yang Gang" should throw their support now that he's out of the presidential race. He said that he has spoken to other Democratic candidates, but he's trying to figure out which of them aligns with his vision, particularly his signature universal basic income policy.
When asked on CNN whether he would want to be a vice presidential candidate, Yang said he would be honored to serve as someone’s running mate adding, “if I can solve these problems as someone's vice president, a member of an administration, we just need to start solving these problems for the next generation. And I'm happy to do my part. I'm also happy to do my part to campaign for the nominee and beat Donald Trump in the fall.”