2020 Democratic hopefuls focus on Iowa while making final pitches

Three Democratic presidential candidates took to the Sunday shows to make their final pitches the day before the Iowa caucuses, including Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, both of whom have made their potential appeal to moderates in the Midwest central to their candidacies.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg in recent weeks has stepped up his pitch as a more electable alternative his opponents and on Sunday he wouldn’t say whether he thought Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE were capable of defeating President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.

“Here’s my concern, if you look at the lessons of history over the last half century, every time that we have won, my party has won the White House it has been with a candidate who is new in national politics, who doesn’t work in Washington or at least hadn’t been there very long and it was opening the door to a new generation of leadership,” Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCarson says issues over systemic racism are ‘very uncommon now’ Congressional Black Caucus chair says ‘a lot of’ House GOP interest in police reform bill National security adviser blames ‘a few bad apples,’ says there’s not systemic racism in law enforcement MORE Sunday.

A NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found Buttigieg, along with Sanders, Biden and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) defeating Trump nationally in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. 

Asked by ABC’s George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosPelosi: Presidents should not ‘fuel the flame’ National security adviser defends Trump tweets: The president ‘wants to de-escalate violence’ Sanders pushes back on doubts supporters will back Biden MORE whether a finishing in the top 3 in Iowa was necessary for Buttigieg’s campaign to remain viable, he responded “we certainly need to have a strong finish here in Iowa.”

Buttigieg was also asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” about his low polling among African Americans, a key Democratic voting group both nationwide and particularly in the South Carolina primary.

Buttigieg defended his numbers as a consequence of being newer to national politics than most of his rivals.

“I recognize that I am newer on the scene and we’re at a time when no one is feeling the pain of living under this administration more than Americans of color,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons why there is such a focus on making sure that we are the campaign that can bring an end to that and that can turn the page. But the process of proving that begins right here in Iowa.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who has also touted her moderate, Midwestern bona fides but struggled to gain traction with African American voters, was questioned by Fox News’ Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace to Colbert: US hasn’t seen this level of unrest since 1968 Chris Wallace to ‘The View’: Trump had a ‘very bad week’ for his reelection prospects Economic adviser on positive news: ‘The worst thing we can do right now is relax’ MORE on an issue that has led the Minneapolis NAACP to call on her to end her campaign, her prosecution of then-16-year-old Myon Burrell.

“It was a tragic case, it was a big deal within the African-American community and our focus was on bringing the people to justice and doing justice for [Edward’s] family,” Klobuchar said.

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“We know it was a bad case, the question is whether this young man did it,” Wallace responded.

Wallace asked if the case would tie into Klobuchar’s current weak numbers among African American voters, with Klobuchar responding by touting her support among African Americans in Minnesota and among the state’s Somali-American community, specifically.

Klobuchar also said a strong showing in Iowa would be vital to her campaign but said she would continue to New Hampshire regardless.

“I’ve been to New Hampshire 22 times … I think we have to do well [in Iowa] but I’m going to New Hampshire no matter what,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s a debate, I’m on the debate stage.”

Entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE, meanwhile, told Stephanopoulos he believed the campaign would outperform his polling in Iowa, which the host noted had “been in a pretty consistent sixth place.”

“We think we’re going to surprise a lot of people on Monday night, George, and we’ve got a ton of support in New Hampshire,” Yang said. “I can’t wait to take this vision to the rest of the country.”

The other candidates in the Democratic field are similarly sprinting toward the finish line in Iowa, with Sanders, who has led in several recent polls of the state, drawing about 3,000 people Saturday night to a campaign rally featuring Vampire Weekend and Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Biden, Democrats seek to shut down calls to defund police McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Minn.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBiden’s right, we need policing reform now – the House should quickly take up his call to action Defense bill turns into proxy battle over Floyd protests Top progressive lawmaker unveils bill requiring national police training standards MORE (D-Wash.) and Mark PocanMark William PocanProgressive Caucus co-chair endorses Kennedy in Massachusetts Senate primary Biden’s right, we need policing reform now – the House should quickly take up his call to action Defense bill turns into proxy battle over Floyd protests MORE (D-Wisc.).

“We’re not only going to win here in Iowa, we’re not only going to win the Democratic nomination, but we are going to defeat this dangerous president,” Sanders said, according to NBC News.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), meanwhile, announced Saturday that her campaign has hit one million individual donors, and rallied in Indianola, Iowa, Sunday to a substantial crowd.

Biden, meanwhile, told NBC News that his focus was on the future regardless of  the Iowa result.

“Nothing happens here on Monday’s gonna end this campaign,” he said. “I mean, I’d rather have an outright win, don’t get me wrong.”

“I think I’ll do well in Nevada,” he said. “And I think I have a real firewall in South Carolina. And then we go into the Super Tuesday States that have a significant number of minorities and African Americans [where] I think I’m gonna do fine. So I don’t think that this is like it has been in the past, that if you haven’t won the first two, that you’re done.”

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