Andrew Yang on being only candidate of color on Dem debate stage: ‘Honor and disappointment’

closeAndrew Yang calls out Democrats for impeachment hysteriaVideo

Andrew Yang calls out Democrats for impeachment hysteria

2020 Trump senior legal advisor Jenna Ellis reacts.

Businessman and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang lamented the fact that he was the only person of color on the Democratic debate stage Thursday night.

"It's both an honor and a disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on the stage tonight," Yang said during the debate.

Thursday's debate occurred just weeks after Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., dropped out of the 2020 race — leaving a top tier of just white candidates.

"I miss Kamala, I miss Cory, though I think Cory will be back," Yang said, referring to Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. Booker remained in the race but was unable to qualify for Thursday's debate.

HARRIS' 2020 EXIT LEAVES POTENTIALLY ALL-WHITE DEBATE, CAUSING CONSTERNATION AMONG DEMS

Yang went on to suggest that he was the only candidate of color on stage because minorities lacked disposable income.

"You know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income," he said to applause.

"The way we fix it this is we take Martin Luther King's message of a guaranteed minimum income, a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for all Americans — I'd guarantee if we had a freedom dividend … I would not be the only candidate of color on this stage tonight," he said.

Yang wasn't the only one to note that the 2020 field was overwhelmingly white for a party that claims to champion diversity.

DNC UNDER FIRE FOR TIGHTENING DEBATE CRITERIA AGAIN, DESPITE BOOKER APPEAL

Aimee Allison, a leading progressive activist, lamented Harris' departure from the race, noting that it left only white candidates to participate in the debate.

"It's a sad state of affairs to have six white candidates on stage, many of whom don't necessarily speak with black women, who are the powerhouse voters — and we're at this moment where we went from the most diverse set of candidates in the history — certainly in my lifetime — to an all-white stage," Allison told MSNBC's Ali Velshi.

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Yang's comments came amid a Los Angeles Times report claiming that progressive leaders viewed Mayor Pete Buttigieg as a symbol of white privilege.

“There is frustration that Pete is the living and breathing embodiment of white male privilege," Rebecca Katz, who leads a progressive consulting firm, told the paper.

Original Article

Warren, 70, replies she’d be ‘youngest woman’ president when debate talk turns to age

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Pundits say Warren slipping

Medicare plan finally draws spotlight.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., seemed to turn a potentially troublesome fact to her advantage during Thursday night's Democratic primary debate in Los Angeles, when the conversation turned to the ages of the candidates.

“Senator Warren, you would be the oldest president ever inaugurated," moderator Tim Alberta of Politico magazine noted. "I’d like you to weigh in as well."

“I’d also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated,” Warren answered, drawing applause from the audience at Loyola Marymount University.

DEM DEBATE ERUPTS AS CANDIDATES SPAR OVER DONORS; YANG SLAMS TRUMP 'OBSESSION'

The age topic has been a touchy one for several of the 2020 Democrats, with septuagenarians Bernie Sanders (78), Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg (both 77) and Warren (70) competing for the party's nomination against younger rivals Tom Steyer (62), Amy Klobuchar (59), Cory Booker (50), Andrew Yang (44), Tulsi Gabbard (38) and Pete Buttigieg (37).

Of the younger group, only Buttigieg has managed to rank among the top-tier contenders, meaning that President Trump (73) could very likely face a fellow septuagenarian in the general election next November.

During her response, Warren also said she has posed for more than 100,000 selfies on the campaign trail so far – asserting it proves she has been connecting with average Americans. The comment appeared to be a subtle dig at rivals Biden and Buttigieg, who reportedly charge hefty sums to pose for photos.

Warren also addressed recent comments made by former President Obama, who said women were “indisputably better” leaders than men. Warren said she thought Obama was speaking about power in America.

Democratic presidential candidates spar, face impeachment questions on debate stageVideo

"I believe he’s talking about women and people of color and trans people and people whose voices just so often get shoved out,” Warren said. “For me, the best way to understand that is to look how people are running their campaigns in 2020.”

“I made the decisions, when I decided to run, not to do business as usual, and now I’m crowding in on 100,000 selfies. That’s 100,000 hugs and handshakes and stories. Stories from people who are struggling with student loan debt. Stories from people who can’t pay their medical bills. Stories from people who can’t find child care.

Democratic presidential candidates weigh in on Trump impeachment ahead of debateVideo

“Most of the people on this stage run a traditional campaign. And that means going back and forth from coast to coast to rich people and people who can put up 5,000 bucks or more in order to have a picture taken, in order to have a conversation. And in order maybe to be considered an ambassador … ”

Warren has repeatedly called out Biden and Buttigieg for accepting money from super PACs and billionaires, while her own campaign, as well as that of fellow progressive Sanders, claims to be grass-roots funded.

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In the most pointed exchange, Warren zeroed in on Buttigieg's recent private meeting with wealthy donors inside a California “wine cave."

Buttigieg, whose recent surge has been attributed in part to his fundraising success, said Democrats shouldn’t go against Trump with “with one hand tied behind our back." Trump’s reelection campaign has reportedly accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Cory Booker to run his first TV ad during Thursday’s Democratic debate

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Cory Booker unhappy with DNC debate rules; Joe Biden spars with caucus goer

Democrats swarm Iowa as caucus looms; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines.

He didn’t make the stage, but many TV viewers watching Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate will likely – and briefly – still see Sen. Cory Booker.

The senator from New Jersey will run the first television commercial of his Democratic campaign during the debate, which will be broadcast nationally on PBS and simulcast on cable TV by CNN.

DEBATE IS ON – DEAL REACHED IN LABOR DISPUTE THAT THREATENED TO SIDELINE THURSDAY'S SHOWDOWN

Booker’s campaign announced early Thursday that their ad is specifically targeting viewers tuning into the debate and will be seen in 22 TV markets across the country, including the four early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, as well as in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

In the 30-second spot titled ‘Together,’ Booker jokes “how long are these things? 30 seconds? Are you sure we can afford this?”

The candidate – who has struggled with fundraising and is hovering in the low single digits in most polling – then spotlights that “you're only gonna see this ad once because I'm not a billionaire. I won't be on tonight's debate stage, but that's okay because I'm going to win this election anyway.”

“This election isn't about who can spend the most, or who slings the most mud. It's about the people. It's about all of us, standing together, fighting together. Not just to beat Donald Trump, but to bring about the transformative change we need,” he adds.

Only 7 of the roughly 15 remaining Democratic White House hopefuls qualified for Thursday’s sixth round debate. They are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer, and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Booker reached the individual donor qualifying criteria set by the Democratic National Committee, but was far short of reaching the polling threshold. Thursday’s debate is the first for which he’s failed to qualify.

HE DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR THE DEBATE, BUT BOOKER SAYS HIS 'PATH FORWARD IS CLEAR'

On Saturday, Booker spearheaded a letter to the DNC asking the national party committee to "consider alternative debate qualification standards" for four nomination debates scheduled in January and February in the early voting sates.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who besides Booker is the other remaining black candidate in the nomination race, also failed to qualify for the debate. A third black candidate – Sen. Kamala Harris of California – qualified for the debate but ended her White House bid earlier this month. Former Housing Secy. Julian Castro, the only Latino candidate in the field, also failed to qualify. Yang – who’s Asian-American – is the only non-white candidate to qualify.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey campaigns in Portsmouth, NH in February 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey campaigns in Portsmouth, NH in February 2019

Booker – in his letter – argued that the higher thresholds have “unnecessarily and artificially narrowed what started as the strongest and most diverse Democratic field in history.”

The letter, which was co-signed by all seven candidates who will appear in the debate, appeared to receive a frosty reception by the DNC, which has yet to reveal the qualifying thresholds for the January and February primary showdowns.

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While Booker's commercial runs on TV, the candidate will be in Iowa Thursday night, kicking off a five day swing through the state that leads off the presidential nominating calendar.

Original Article

Impeachment debate kicks off with GOP objections on floor, Capitol protests

closeTom Cole: Dems spun creative narrative 'without factual evidence'Video

Tom Cole: Dems spun creative narrative 'without factual evidence'

Tom Cole, House Rules Committee, says its stunning the majority wants to move forward with impeachment given how flawed the process has been

Debate on historic articles of impeachment against President Trump got off to a slow start Wednesday with Republicans unleashing delay tactics from the onset, only to be overruled by majority Democrats.

Shortly after the House gaveled in at 9 a.m., one GOP member forced a vote on whether to adjourn — requiring lawmakers to head to the floor before the debate even started.

“I just moved for the House to adjourn so that we can stop wasting America's time on impeachment,” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. “Republicans stand united against this radical, vindictive, partisan sham by the Democrats.”

WITH TRUMP IMPEACHMENT VOTE IMMINENT, PRESIDENT TRAVELING TO BATTLE CREEK, MICH., TO RALLY THE FAITHFUL

The ill-fated motion kicked off what is expected to be a long day in the deeply divided House, where Democrats believe it’s their solemn duty to impeach the president to preserve the democracy and the integrity of elections. Meanwhile, Republicans have dismissed the impeachment as an illegitimate way to undo the results of the 2016 election.

There were fireworks outside the Capitol, too. Several hundred people protested in the chilly December cold in favor of impeachment and removing Trump from office, following more than 600 anti-Trump rallies across the country Tuesday evening.

The House rules call for six hours of debate before taking two votes on the articles of impeachment. The first article alleges abuse of power over Trump pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations into Democrats that could benefit his re-election campaign. The second alleges obstruction of Congress over Trump preventing the House from interviewing witnesses and obtaining documents for the impeachment investigation.

The GOP objections are likely to push the timetable back further. Immediately after Biggs’ motion to adjourn was defeated, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy offered another privileged resolution to condemn the way Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler handled the impeachment hearings.

HOUSE TO VOTE ON ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP: LIVE UPDATES

That motion set off another round of voting. GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., then stood up raising a “point of order” alleging the Democrats have violated the rights of the minority. The effort was dismissed by the presiding speaker Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.

More than an hour later, House Democrats finally moved forward on debating the rules of the impeachment.

"The evidence is as clear as it is overwhelming," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. "If a president undermining our national security and using the federal government for his own selfish personal gain is not impeachable conduct then…I don't know what is."

But GOP Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., shot back.

"If we're really being honest, Democrats have been searching for a reason to impeach President Trump since the day he was elected," Cole said.

Despite the prolonged floor drama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has the votes to make Trump the third president ever impeached. President Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached in the House, but acquitted in the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment.

In the hours leading up to impeachment day, most of the Democrats in the 31 districts Trump won in 2016 came out in support of impeachment, giving Pelosi the 216 votes necessary.

Trump, emboldened by his unanimous support from GOP members, sent Pelosi a letter on the eve of his impeachment calling it “an illegal, partisan attempted coup.”

“History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade,” wrote Trump.

Trump, who insists his call with the Ukraine president was “perfect,” heads to battleground Michigan for a campaign rally Wednesday night.

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Schiff, who has been the target of Trump’s anger, stood by how he handled the impeachment process. Asked if he had any regrets as he headed to the House floor, the California Democrat responded: “No. Not at all. This was tragically made necessary by the president’s misconduct, by the abuse of his office.

“And I think there very well may be members who have regrets after this day when they’re asked in the future why they did nothing to stand up to the unethical president who is destroying our national security.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Sarah Tobianski and Jason Smith contributed to this report.

Original Article

Debate is on? Tentative deal reached in union dispute that threatened 2020 showdown

closeOnly 7 candidates have qualified for next Democratic debateVideo

Only 7 candidates have qualified for next Democratic debate

Who stands the best chance? Democratic strategist Malia Fisher and GOP strategist Lauren Claffey debate.

A tentative agreement has been struck in a labor dispute between food service workers and their employer at Loyola Marymount University that threatened to derail Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate.

The food services company Sodexo negotiated late into Monday evening with their employees at Loyola Marymount University to secure a tentative contract agreement. A formal vote is expected to take place on Tuesday.

TRUMP LEAVES DOOR OPEN TO BYPASSING COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES SHOWDOWNS

Unite Here Local 11 – the labor union representing the workers – said last Friday that they would picket the debate at the Los Angeles-area school if no agreement was reached with Sodexo. All seven Democratic presidential candidates who qualified for the debate said they wouldn’t cross a picket line to take the stage, which threw the debate into limbo.

The three-year tentative agreement includes a 25 percent increase in salary, a 50 percent drop in health care costs, and increases in workers’ job security. All sides are expected to release more details at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in Los Angeles.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez – who served as labor secretary under then-President Barack Obama – worked through the weekend and Monday to help secure an agreement.

“Every worker deserves fair wages and benefits. That’s why I was proud to help bring all stakeholders to the table, including UNITE HERE Local 11, Sodexo, and Loyola Marymount University, to reach a deal that meets their needs and supports workers," Perez said in a statement.

"I commend Sodexo and UNITE HERE for coming together in good faith to forge an agreement that is a win-win for everyone, and I appreciate the constructive engagement of LMU leadership which was indispensable to the resolution of this negotiation."

The DNC said it's notified the campaigns of the agreement.

The DNC had already once before moved the debate location to Loyola Marymount University from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) due to a separate labor dispute at that school.

Original Article

Trump leaves door open to bypassing presidential debate commission in 2020

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President Trump's job approval ticks up amid impeachment inquiry

Are congressional Democrats wasting their time after weeks of testimony fails to sway voters? Reaction from NYC GOP Councilman Joe Borelli and Democratic political analyst Anthony Tall join the debate.

President Trump said Monday he looks “very much forward” to debating his eventual Democratic challenger in 2020 but suggested he may bypass debates sponsored by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates – which has organized presidential general election debates for more than 30 years.

TRUMP JOB APPROVAL TICKS UP IN NEW FOX NEWS POLL

Trump argued in a series of tweets that as president, the general election "debates are up to me" and "there are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission."

He added, "I will make a decision at an appropriate time."

Still, he tweeted: “I look very much forward to debating whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line in the little watched Do Nothing Democrat Debates.”

The first two rounds of Democratic nomination debates scored healthy ratings, but the numbers have declined this autumn.

Trump also tweeted that, “My record is so good on the Economy and all else, including debating, that perhaps I would consider more than 3 debates.”

Three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate have been held every four years dating back to the 2000 election.

The president’s tweets appear to be in response to a report from the New York Times last week that Trump was talking with aides about skipping out on the debates because of his mistrust of the commission.

“The problem is that the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers. 3 years ago they were forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone in the first debate against Crooked Hillary,” Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trump was referring to a problem with his microphone during his face-off in the September 2016 debate against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. In the spin room following the showdown and in an interview with Fox News, Trump complained to reporters that his mic was “defective” and questioned whether the malfunction was “on purpose.”

Following the debate, the commission issued a short statement saying, “Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall.”

Monday’s tweet was at least the second time this year he’s referenced the three-year old debate incident and blamed the commission. Such attacks are popular with Trump’s base.

Fox News reached out to the commission but they declined to comment on the president’s tweets.

In October, the commission announced the dates and locations for the four 2020 debates.

The presidential debates will be held on Sept. 29 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The sole vice presidential showdown will be held on Oct. 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Original Article

Democratic debate in jeopardy amid labor disputes as candidates express frustration over’artificially narrowed’ field

closeDemocratic presidential candidates threaten to boycott Los Angeles debateVideo

Democratic presidential candidates threaten to boycott Los Angeles debate

With workers at the university hosting the debate on strike, every major candidate vows not to cross the picket line; Ellison Barber reports.

Controversy continues to roil this week’s upcoming Democratic presidential primary debate in Los Angeles amid an ongoing labor dispute, anger over the tightening qualification standards and discontent with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

The debate, which was originally slated to be held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), was moved to Loyola Marymount University after AFSCME Local 3299 – the union representing more than 25,000 University of California service and patient technical care workers – and the state school forced UCLA to inform the Democrats and its media partners to abandon plans to host the debate at the Luskin School of Public Affairs.

But another labor dispute at Loyola Marymount University is now once again threatening the December 19 debate and the top Democratic primary candidates are threatening to boycott the event if they have to cross a picket line to get to the stage.

BUTTIGIEG RELEASES LIST OF CLIENTS FROM 2007-10 CONSULTING WORK

A labor union called UNITE HERE Local 11 says it will picket outside the event, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders responded by tweeting they wouldn’t participate if that meant crossing it. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, environmental activist Tom Steyer and businessman Andrew Yang followed suit.

“The DNC should find a solution that lives up to our party's commitment to fight for working people. I will not cross the union's picket line even if it means missing the debate,” Warren tweeted.

Only 7 candidates have qualified for next Democratic debateVideo

Sanders tweeted, “I will not be crossing their picket line,” while Biden tweeted: “We’ve got to stand together with @UNITEHERE11 for affordable health care and fair wages. A job is about more than just a paycheck. It's about dignity.” The other candidates used Twitter to post similar sentiments.

UNITE HERE Local 11 says it represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers and servers working on the Loyola Marymount campus. It says it has been in negotiations with a food service company since March for a collective bargaining agreement without reaching a resolution, and “workers and students began picketing on campus in November to voice their concern for a fair agreement. The company abruptly canceled scheduled contract negotiations last week.”

Loyola Marymount said that it is not a party to the contract negotiations but that it had contacted the food services company involved, Sodexo, and encouraged it “to resolve the issues raised by Local 11."

HOLDING BACK NO MORE, WARREN SLAMS TOP RIVALS BIDEN AND BUTTIGIEG

“Earlier today, LMU asked Sodexo to meet with Local 11 next week to advance negotiations and solutions. LMU is not an agent nor a joint employer of Sodexo, nor of the Sodexo employees assigned to our campus," the university said in a statement. “LMU is proud to host the DNC presidential debate and is committed to ensuring that the university is a rewarding place to learn, live, and work."

DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said both the DNC and the university found out about the issue earlier Friday, but expressed support for the union and the candidates' boycott, stating that “Tom Perez would absolutely not cross a picket line and would never expect our candidates to, either.”

Cory Booker unhappy with DNC debate rules; Joe Biden spars with caucus goerVideo

“We are working with all stakeholders to find an acceptable resolution that meets their needs and is consistent with our values and will enable us to proceed as scheduled with next week’s debate,” she said in a statement.

Perez, meanwhile, received a tersely worded letter from a number of Democratic candidates, asking him to relax the qualifications for January’s debate in South Carolina.

WARREN SLIPS AS BUTTIGIEG, BIDEN, AND SANDERS BATTLE FOR TOP SPOT IN NH: POLL

“The escalating thresholds over the past few months have unnecessarily and artificially narrowed what started as the strongest and most diverse Democratic field in history before voters have had a chance to be heard.” The letter, which was signed by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, along with Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Steyer, Warren, Yang and former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, stated.

The letter continued: “As a result, candidates who have proven both their viability and their commitment to the Democratic Party are being prematurely cut out of the nominating contest before many voters have even tuned in — much less made their decision about whom to support.”

Kamala Harris out of the 2020 presidential primary runningVideo

Given the continually escalating qualifications for the debates – and issues with fundraising – the Democratic field has already seen household names like Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas abandon their presidential bids.

“[W]hile we know this was an unintended consequence of the DNC’s actions, many of the candidates excluded due to these thresholds are the ones who have helped make this year’s primary field historically diverse,” the letter stated.

The controversies surrounding the debates and concerns over the party producing a viable candidate who can defeat President Trump in next year’s general election have cast doubts on Perez’s leadership of the party.

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In a lengthy interview with the New York Times that was published on Saturday, Perez said that the qualifications for next month’s debate were not going to change – despite the pleas from Booker – and said if voters are upset over the lack of diversity on the debate stage they should voice it when asked.

Tom Perez: More Americans think Trump needs to be impeached than notVideo

“I’m not doing the polling,” Perez said. “I’m a huge fan of Cory Booker. I think the world of him. I worked with him dating back to when he was mayor. And if voters are disappointed that he hasn’t qualified, then when they answer the phone, they need to express their preference for Cory Booker.”

Perez also confirmed that he will not be seeking another term at DNC chairman.

Fox News’ Lee Ross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Democratic debate once again in peril as candidates threaten to boycott over union dispute

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Pundits say Warren slipping

Medicare plan finally draws spotlight.

Next week's Democratic debate is now in jeopardy after all seven candidates slated to participate said they will refuse to take the stage over a labor strike at the proposed venue — chaos that comes after the location was already moved once.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Vice President Joe Biden, environmentalist Tom Steyer, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar all announced in rapid succession Friday afternoon their plans to sit out the Thursday debate at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) if the college's food service workers are picketing.

TRUMP SLAMS PELOSI, SAYS DEMS USING IMPEACHMENT FOR ‘POLITICAL GAIN’ AFTER JUDICIARY VOTE

"I stand with them," Warren tweeted Friday. "The DNC [Democratic National Committee] should find a solution that lives up to our party's commitment to fight for working people. I will not cross the union's picket line even if it means missing the debate."

Sanders immediately followed with his own tweet in support of the workers of Unite Here Local 11, a labor union representing the hospitality and food service workers at the university.

A Sanders campaign spokesperson told Fox News that if the labor dispute isn't resolved and there isn't an alternative venue, Sanders will skip the Los Angeles debate, which will be co-hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico.

"He's not going to cross the picket line. Simple as that," the campaign spokesperson said.

The Democratic National Committee did not immediately have a comment.

The debate was initially scheduled to be held at the University of California, Los Angeles, but the DNC canceled the location on Nov. 6 over ongoing labor disputes between the university and AFSCME Local 3299. LMU was picked as the alternative site.

Local 11 announced Friday it would protest the debate's second site because contract negotiations have stalled between the union and Sodexo, which runs food operations for students and employees at LMU's campus. About 150 dishwashers, cashiers, cooks and servers are affected by the union dispute.

“We had hoped that workers would have a contract with wages and affordable health insurance before the debate next week. Instead, workers will be picketing when the candidates come to campus,” Susan Minato, the co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, said in a statement.

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE APPROVES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST TRUMP, AS GOP SLAMS ‘KANGAROO COURT’

A union rep told Fox News the foodservice employees had been working without a contract for several weeks and had already held several pickets in an attempt to force school leaders to provide them with better wages, benefits and working conditions.

The employees were planning to work as normal on debate day, but didn't rule out the possibility of work stoppage, the union spokesperson said.

A source familiar with the matter said the DNC and LMU were not made aware of the issue until after the union sent a letter to the candidates Friday about their picket. Officials at the DNC were looking into the matter on Friday.

A Sodexo spokesperson told Fox News they are searching for a solution.

"Sodexo is 100 percent committed to reaching an agreement, and any statement that we have left the bargaining table is not accurate," the spokesperson said. "We have been negotiating in good faith with the Unite Here Local 11 since December of last year with a goal to reach a new collective bargaining agreement that is equitable for everyone, including our employees, and we still intend to achieve such an agreement.”

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It's unclear whether the DNC could move the debate location again in such short notice with the avalanche of candidates threatening to bow out.

"We must live our values and there is nothing more core to the Democratic Party than the fight for the working people," Yang tweeted.

"We’ve got to stand together with @UniteHere11 for affordable health care and fair wages," Biden said. "A job is about more than just a paycheck. It's about dignity."

Steyer tweeted: "I support @UNITEHERE11. If their dispute with @sodexoUSA is not resolved before the debate, I will not cross the picket line. I trust the DNC will find a solution ahead of the debate, and I stand with @LoyolaMarymount workers in their fight for fair wages and benefits."

"I stand in solidarity with the workers of @UNITEHERE11 at Loyola Marymount University and I will not cross their picket line," Buttigieg said.

"As I said at my event with labor leaders here in Miami, I will not cross the picket line and I will stand with @UniteHere11 to fight for the dignity of work," Klobuchar tweeted.

LMU released a statement Friday distancing the university from the Sodexo-union dispute and encouraging the two sides to talk in advance of the debate.

“LMU is not a party to the negotiations between Sodexo and Unite Here Local 11,” the statement said. “The university has encouraged and continues to encourage Sodexo to resolve issues raised by Local 11. Earlier today, LMU asked Sodexo to meet with Local 11 next week to advance negotiations and solutions.”

The university added: “LMU is not an agent nor a joint employer of Sodexo, nor of the Sodexo employees assigned to our campus. LMU is proud to host the DNC Presidential Debate and is committed to ensuring that the university is a rewarding place to learn, live, and work.”

Fox News' Andrew Craft and Lee Ross contributed to this report.

Original Article

Democrats announce packed debate schedule in early voting states

closeOnly 7 candidates have qualified for next Democratic debateVideo

Only 7 candidates have qualified for next Democratic debate

Who stands the best chance? Democratic strategist Malia Fisher and GOP strategist Lauren Claffey debate.

The Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday that it plans to sponsor four more presidential nomination debates in January and February in the first four states to vote in the primary and caucus calendar.

The first of the early voting state debates will take place on Jan. 14 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. CNN and the Des Moines Register will serve as media partners. Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses kick off the nominating calendar.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

The next debate will be held Feb. 7 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., with ABC News, local TV station WMUR, and Apple News as media partners. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary will be held on Feb. 11.

Twelve days later, the DNC will hold a debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, in partnership with NBC News, MSNBC, and the Nevada Independent. The Feb. 19 debate will be held three days before the state’s presidential caucuses.

The final early voting state debate will be held on Feb. 25, in Charleston, S.C., four days before the state’s primary. CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute are partnering with the DNC for the debate.

The DNC acknowledged that the timing of the Iowa debate could be in flux.

With a likely Senate trial in the impeachment of President Trump to be held in January – with the chamber possibly in session six days a week during the duration of the trial — the five Democratic senators running for the White House could be sidelined.

DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa tweeted that “if a conflict with an impeachment trial is unavoidable, the DNC will evaluate its options and work with all the candidates to accommodate them."

In its announcement, the DNC did not spell out how candidates could qualify for the upcoming debates. Candidates needed to hit 4 percent in at least four polls recognized by the DNC, or 6 percent in at least two polls conducted in early voting states, and receive contributions from at least 200,000 individual donors to make the stage at next week’s sixth round debate, which is being held in Los Angeles.

BOOKER SAYS HE WON'T MAKE DEBATE STAGE NEXT WEEK BUT VOWS TO CARRY ON

Only seven candidates in the field of roughly 15 remaining Democratic presidential candidates qualified for next week’s showdown.

They are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire environmental and progressive advocate and organizer Tom Steyer, and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Sen. Kamala Harris of California had qualified for the debate, but she dropped out of the presidential race last week.

Original Article

Trump administration’s new food stamp policy stirs debate over work requirements

closeHow the Trump administration's new food stamp restrictions may affect certain statesVideo

How the Trump administration's new food stamp restrictions may affect certain states

The Trump administration last week proposed a new rule implementing work requirements for those in the Supplemental Nutrition Program, or SNAP. Conservative columnist and author Tom Basile argues policies like these are why President Trump was elected while Coalition on Human Needs Executive Director Deborah Weinstein counters that the latest announcement is just another addition to the Trump administration's unrelenting attack on low-income people in need of food assistance.

The Trump administration's proposal to tighten work requirements for food stamp recipients has ignited a debate over benefits for low-income people and cuts to government spending.

Last week, the administration proposed a new rule targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Program, known as SNAP, which feeds more than 36 million people. The plan will limit states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment in order to receive benefits.

WHITE HOUSE TIGHTENS FOOD STAMP REQUIREMENTS, POTENTIALLY AFFECTING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

Hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the program could be adversely impacted, critics of the proposal say.

In an interview with Fox News, Coalition on Human Needs Executive Director Deborah Weinstein argued that the latest announcement is just another example of the Trump administration’s attacks on low-income people in need of assistance. Weinstein said President Trump’s food stamp proposal “will take the poorest of the poor and deny assistance to nearly 700,000 of them, and that means there'll be more hunger, and less access to food."

Conservative columnist and author Tom Basile, however, argued that policies like these are why Trump was elected, saying it will not only encourage self-sufficiency, but it will save taxpayers dollars. The Agriculture Department has claimed it could save $5.5 billion over five years.

“This is what the president was elected to do. To reform the federal bureaucracy, to cut taxes, to help create an environment where people can get jobs, not just have these programs, and not just have a handout.”

— Tom Basile

“This is what the president was elected to do,” said Basile. “To reform the federal bureaucracy, to cut taxes, to help create an environment where people can get jobs, not just have these programs, and not just have a handout.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week argued the move would encourage self-sufficiency and employment.

"Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream. We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand,” Perdue said.

Weinstein argued that calling the food stamps a “handout” is a mischaracterization and that they provide a modicum of stability in the lives of America’s very poor.

“The food assistance America’s poor get, which is very modest, around $160 a month, helps them stabilize their lives just a little bit,” Weinstein said. “It makes work more possible, and by cutting that away from them, work will be even harder.”

Trump administration set to tighten work requirements for food stampsVideo

Both Weinstein and Basile offered words of advice to the Trump administration. Basile advised highlighting fiscal responsibility, the low unemployment rate, and job openings across the country.

“For the Trump administration to say that we want to try to responsibly bring down the number of people who are on food stamp programs, if they are able-bodied adults, is not only the responsible thing, but will save taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Basile. “It will contribute to the ultimate goal of greater stability and economic prosperity.”

Weinstein, however, argued that the SNAP is a basic aid that helps secure people’s lives.

“That ought to remain the underpinning for moving people to more stable employment in a strong economy,” said Weinstein. “It should be especially a time when we offer training and support to people. So if there are jobs they can take, they can connect to them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Andrew Yang qualifies for next debate after release of new poll

closeYang: Our message is reaching the American people beyond the debatesVideo

Yang: Our message is reaching the American people beyond the debates

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang reacts to his debate performance on 'Fox News @ Night.'

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang stands at 4 percent in a new national poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University — which means the first-time candidate and tech-entrepreneur has qualified to take the stage at next week’s sixth Democratic presidential primary debate.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden leads with 29 percent support in the poll, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 21 percent. Biden jumped 5 percentage points and Sanders climbed 4 points from Quinnipiac’s previous national poll in the Democratic nomination race, which was released late last month.

YANG DIPLOMATICALLY RESPONDS TO AOC'S 'FREEDOM DIVIDEND' CRITICISM

Prior to the release of the new survey, Yang’s campaign had said it remained one poll shy of reaching the thresholds to make the stage at the Dec. 19 showdown.

Candidates must reach at least 4 percent in four surveys recognized as qualifying polls by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), or 6 percent in two polls in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Yang has already reached the other qualifying criteria — receiving contributions from at least 200,000 individual donors.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii still remains one poll shy of qualifying for the debate. She grabbed the support of 2 percent in the new Quinnipiac University survey among Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.

On Monday, Gabbard announced that she wouldn’t attend the debate even if she qualifies. The candidate said instead, she’ll meet with voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Candidates have until the end of Thursday to reach the polling and donor thresholds. The Democratic National Committee will wait unit after the deadline to officially announce which White House hopefuls have qualified for the debate.

By qualifying, Yang, an Asian-American, becomes the first non-Caucasian candidate to make the debate stage.

BUTTIGIEG SUPPORT DROPS IN NEW QUINNIPIAC POLL

Sen. Kamala Harris — one of three black candidates running for the Democratic nomination — had qualified, but the California senator last week ended her bid for the White House. The lack of a non-white candidate on the debate stage from a field that, at its zenith, was arguably the most racially diverse in history raised concerns with some voters.

Yang — once the longest of long-shots who has seen his campaign surge to middle tier status thanks in part to his promise of a $1,000-per-month Freedom Dividend payment to all adults — has qualified for all of the Democratic primary debates.

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts stands at 15 percent in the new poll, basically unchanged from last month. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg plunged from 16 percent support in last month’s poll to 9 percent.

“This is the first time Biden has had a double-digit lead since August, and Sanders' best number since June. While Warren's numbers seem to have stabilized, Buttigieg's numbers have dipped," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.

BLOOMBERG'S MASSIVE AD BLITZ SO FAR NOT BUYING THE LOVE OF PRIMARY VOTERS

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg grabbed 5 percent support in the Quinnipiac survey. The multi-billionaire business and media mogul, who declared his candidacy two and a half weeks ago, also stood at 5 percent in a Monmouth University national poll that was also released on Tuesday.

Besides Yang and Gabbard, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota stood at 3 percent. No other candidate in the still-large field of Democratic White House hopefuls topped 1 percent.

The poll also indicates that Biden, Sanders, Warren, Bloomberg and Buttigieg each with upper to middle single-digit advantages over President Trump in hypothetical 2020 general election matchups.

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The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted from Wednesday to Monday, with 1,533 registered voters nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey includes 665 Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Original Article

Booker, Castro say DNC debate rules excluding minorities after Harris exit

closeCory Booker unhappy with DNC debate rules; Joe Biden spars with caucus goerVideo

Cory Booker unhappy with DNC debate rules; Joe Biden spars with caucus goer

Democrats swarm Iowa as caucus looms; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines.

Democratic presidential candidates Cory Booker and Julián Castro criticized the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Thursday for a process they believe favors white candidates over minority candidates.

Their criticism follows California Sen. Kamala Harris’ withdrawal from the 2020 presidential race Tuesday, leaving only white candidates who will qualify for the next Democratic debate.

Both Booker and Castro increased their fundraising after Harris’ departure, but they are unlikely to reach the 4 percent threshold in four approved polls before the Dec. 19 debate in Los Angeles — a requirement in order to participate in the debate.

Democratic presidential contender Cory Booker poses for photos after a black men's round table on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. 

Democratic presidential contender Cory Booker poses for photos after a black men's round table on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP)

Speaking to supporters at a campaign stop in Des Moines on Thursday, Booker accused the DNC of undermining the party’s values.

“It’s really unfortunate that the party that’s seeking justice and fairness and inclusion, has created a set of rules that can be undermined so easily,” Booker said.

In an email to Politico, Castro lamented the lack of diversity in the candidates “who have met the DNC’s requirements to qualify for the next debate.”

“This process needs to be fixed,” he said.

BLOOMBERG SAYS TRUMP ‘ACCEPTS’ VIOLENCE AS DEM CANDIDATE UNVEILS GUN CONTROL POLICY

The DNC has defended its rules, pointing out that the 2020 campaign has “been the most inclusive debate process with more women and candidates of color participating in more debates than billionaires.”

DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the committee's “qualifying criteria has stayed extremely low throughout the entire process.”

To qualify for the Dec. 19 debate in Los Angeles, candidates must have 200,000 unique donors and at least 4 percent support in four approved polls.

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Hinojosa said that no candidate who has not met this requirement at this point in the campaign has gone on to be the nominee.

Original Article

Gabbard accuses Harris of ‘lies and smears’ in fiery debate clash

closeGabbard: War should always be a last resortVideo

Gabbard: War should always be a last resort

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard calls out Hillary Clinton's foreign policy record on 'Hannity.'

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard accused Sen. Kamala Harris of “lies and smears and innuendos" during a fiery exchange at Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate, saying a Harris presidency would be more of the “status quo.”

The tense moment began when Gabbard, D-Hawaii, was asked about her attack last month on Hillary Clinton — the former secretary of state had suggested in an interview that Gabbard was a “favorite of the Russians."

DEMS CLASH AT DEBATE OVER 'DIVISIVE' MEDICARE-FOR-ALL, PUSHED BY WARREN, SANDERS

“Our Democratic Party is not of or by the people,” Gabbard said, blasting the Democratic establishment. “I’m running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, and takes it out of their hands and truly puts it in the hands of the people in this country.”

She added, “And puts it in the hands of veterans and fellow Americans who are calling for an end to the Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine.”

Harris, D-Calif., chiming in, blasted Gabbard for spending years during the Obama administration criticizing his presidency.

“You spent four years, full time, on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” Harris fired back, adding that she has spent “the course of this campaign criticizing the Democratic Party.”

“What we need in November is someone on this stage who has the ability to win, someone who has the ability to go toe to toe with Donald Trump, and someone who has the ability to rebuild the Obama coalition and bring the country back together,” Harris said.

But Gabbard hit back.

“What Senator Harris is doing, is, unfortunately, continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos because she cannot challenge the substance of the argument that I’m making,” Gabbard said. “Which makes me guess that she will, as president, continue with the status quo.”

Harris had the last word in the intense exchange, saying she believes “that what our nation needs right now is a nominee who can speak to all people,” and “someone who has the ability to unify the country and win the election.”

Wednesday night was not the first time Gabbard and Harris have sparred on the campaign trail.

During the Democratic primary debate in July, Gabbard attacked Harris over her prosecutorial record while serving as attorney general in California, and over her health care plan.

Original Article

Impeachment takes center stage at Dem debate, as Warren takes aim at star witness Gordon Sondland

closeWill Pete Buttigieg get frontrunner treatment during fifth Democratic debate?Video

Will Pete Buttigieg get frontrunner treatment during fifth Democratic debate?

Buttigieg lands at top of recent Iowa poll; reaction from former Obama-Biden campaign regional field director Robin Biro and constitutional law attorney Ameer Benno.

Elizabeth Warren unloaded on U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland just hours after his explosive impeachment testimony, saying at Wednesday night's Democratic presidential primary debate that he bought his position "by writing a check for $1 million" to Trump's inaugural committee.

Warren vowed that if she were elected, "We are not going to give the ambassador posts to the highest bidder" — signaling that the Massachusetts Democratic senator would use the proceedings to advance her outsider message.

However, The Washington Free Beacon noted that Warren repeatedly voted to confirm several of former President Barack Obama's donors to ambassadorships, even when they lacked relevant experience.

"Read the Mueller report, all 442 pages of it, that show how the president tried to obstruct justice," Warren said. "We have to establish the principle that no one is above the law. We have a constitutional responsibility, and we need to meet it."

Others on stage also slammed President Trump over the impeachment proceedings.

“We have a criminal living in the White House,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., declared. Citing Sondland's claim that everyone was "in the loop" on Ukraine talks at the heart of the probe, she said "that means it is a criminal enterprise engaged in by the president" and other top officials.

Not everyone on stage committed to voting to convict the president if he were impeached, however. Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar suggested she wanted Trump removed, but emphasized the importance of seeing all the evidence.

"I have made it very clear that this is impeachable conduct. … I just believe our jurors is to look at each count and make a decision," Klobuchar said, before saying that Trump repeatedly "puts his own private interests … in front of our country's interest."

Amb. Gordon Sondland acknowledges that no one told him Trump was tying aid to Ukraine investigationsVideo

The debate's initial attention on Trump took some heat off Pete Buttigieg, at least for the moment. His dramatic rise from little-known Indiana mayor to a leading Democratic presidential candidate faces its toughest test on Wednesday, with rivals poised to lob debate-stage attacks in an effort to stall his momentum.

The debate in Atlanta marked the first time Buttigieg will face other White House hopefuls as an undisputed member of the top tier.

The 37-year old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, gained significant ground in recent months in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first caucuses in February. He is bunched at the top of most polls in Iowa with candidates who have much longer political resumes: former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Veteran Democratic consultant and communications strategist Lynda Tran said Buttigieg “is on the rise, and that means he should anticipate the other candidates on stage this week to set their sights on his campaign.”

BUTTIGIEG WEBSITES ON 'BLACK AMERICA' PLANS USED STOCK PHOTOS OF MINORITIES

Some surveys are beginning to show him taking a more convincing lead in the race, at least in early-voting states.

Media are given directions in preparation for the next day's Democratic Presidential Primary Debate, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Media are given directions in preparation for the next day's Democratic Presidential Primary Debate, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Buttigieg still faces plenty of hurdles to clinching the Democratic nomination, particularly winning over black and other minority voters. But his Iowa rise means he could come under fire from his rivals like never before.

Biden, Warren and Sanders have all faced similar scrutiny in previous debates, and those attacks did little to change the trajectory of the race.

The debate will unfold at a moment of uncertainty about the Democratic field, with some in the party, particularly donors, worried there’s no one positioned to defeat President Trump. Former President Barack Obama took the unusual step last week of warning the party against moving too far to the left.

WHAT HAPPENED IN TODAY'S BLOCKBUSTER IMPEACHMENT TESTIMONY?

Speaking to that anxiety, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick entered the Democratic race last week. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, is openly flirting with a bid.

Neither Patrick nor Bloomberg will be onstage Wednesday.

With less than three months before voting, much of the nation’s political attention would typically be focused on the primary. Instead, the focus is on the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Sen. Klobuchar speaks at a Politics & Eggs eventVideo

Some campaigns have privately questioned whether a debate against the backdrop of impeachment would have much impact. Still, for the candidates at the bottom of the polls who face increasingly dire prospects, nothing provides the opportunity for a breakout moment like two hours of exposure on national television.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker faces especially intense pressure. He’s yet to meet the Democratic National Committee’s polling requirements for the December debate, and his campaign acknowledges that he needs to capitalize on the national spotlight.

Klobuchar offered the model last month by repeatedly calling for a “reality check” on Warren and her sweeping progressive agenda. Klobuchar’s campaign said the subsequent few days were her best fundraising period yet. But it still hasn’t shown up in national or most early state polls.

For Harris, it’s the first debate since cutting her operation in New Hampshire, the first primary state, and concentrating on Iowa. Like Klobuchar, Harris has qualified for the December stage but needs more than the minimum polling performance to make any serious play for the nomination.

That trio of senators could see Buttigieg’s resume as a prime target, with his political experience limited to running a city of about 100,000 residents.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 photo, the stage for the Democratic presidential primary is seen before Wednesday's debate in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 photo, the stage for the Democratic presidential primary is seen before Wednesday's debate in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

The Buttigieg campaign expects the scrutiny and has taken an increasingly tough posture. The mayor was noticeably more aggressive during the October debate, joining Klobuchar with a more moderate argument against Warren’s and Sanders’ policy pitches for single-payer government health insurance, among other ideas.

This is the first debate since Warren said she would gradually guide the country to a “Medicare for All” system if elected president. The move prompted criticism from Sanders, who is arguing for a more immediate shift to a single-payer system, and has left her open to skepticism from moderates who say her plan is unworkable and could feed into Trump’s criticism of Democrats as socialists.

Warren and Biden, meanwhile, have been viewed as national front-runners in recent months but have yet to take each other on directly enough to define previous debates. They have, however, ratcheted up their rhetoric toward each other in recent weeks — often without naming the other.

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At a major Democratic gathering in Iowa this month, Warren suggested that rivals who disagreed with her call for “big structural change” might be running in the “wrong” party’s primary. Biden took umbrage, defending his proposals as “bold” and “ambitious,” while accusing Warren of being dishonest about the cost of her agenda and the likelihood she could get it through a divided Congress.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump campaign trolls Democrats with flyover ads by debate site: ‘Socialism will destroy Atlanta jobs’

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 20Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 20

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 20 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

ATLANTA – The Trump campaign is making its presence known in Atlanta Wednesday with a print and aerial ad attack as Democratic candidates gather for the evening’s debate.

The president’s team prepared a full-page newspaper ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a large banner that will fly over the city.

BUTTIGIEG SLAMMED BY TRUMP CAMPAIGN'S BLACK OUTREACH INITIATIVE: 'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY?'

“Democrats’ socialism will destroy Atlanta jobs,” the flyover banner reads. The newspaper ad goes into further detail regarding the effect a Democratic presidential victory could have both nationally and in Georgia.

The ad accuses Democrats of trying to “[e]liminate oil, gas & coal industries, killing 10 million jobs nationally & 150,000 in Georgia,” raise middle class taxes, ban offshore drilling, import energy from other countries “rather than helping American workers,” and impose a “[g]overnment takeover of healthcare, eliminating employer-provided insurance.”

The same ad contrasts this with Trump’s accomplishments during his first term, including the addition of 6 million new jobs.

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The ad is running on Wednesday’s newspaper and the flyover banner will appear in the skies over Atlanta until early evening hours before, the beginning of the Democratic debate, which will feature 10 of the top remaining candidates.

Original Article

Castro fails to make cut as DNC announces participants for next debate

closeJulian Castro questions role of Iowa and New Hampshire in primary processVideo

Julian Castro questions role of Iowa and New Hampshire in primary process

Should Iowa and New Hampshire remain the jumping off points for presidential campaigns? Peter Doocy reports.

Ten candidates qualified for next week’s Democratic presidential primary debate, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is not one of them.

Castro and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas are two candidates who debated last month who will not appear on the debate stage for the next round next week. Castro failed to meet the threshold requirements set forth by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, while O’Rourke dropped out of the race last month.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and author Marianne Williamson also failed to qualify.

This month, candidates were required to have reached 3 percent support in at least four qualifying national polls since Sept. 13 or 5 percent in two early-nominating state polls since that date, while collecting contributions from at least 165,000 unique donors — with at least 600 each in a minimum of 20 states.

CASTRO LAYS OFF STAFF IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SOUTH CAROLINA

Some candidates have criticized Perez for what they've viewed as overly stringent requirements. Some argue that the donor emphasis has forced them to spend disproportionately for online fundraising efforts that drain resources they could be using to reach voters in other ways.

Perez says hopefuls have had ample time to demonstrate their supporter, both in polls and through small-dollar contributors, and that any Democrat falling short this far into the campaign almost certainly isn’t positioned to win the nomination or defeat President Trump in November 2020.

Pundits rip Castro for Biden attackVideo

Perez has announced even stiffer requirements for a Dec. 19 debate. The polling marks:4 percent in four national polls or 6 percent in two early state polls taken after Oct. 16. The donor threshold: 200,000 unique donors, with at least 800 from each of 20 states.

The top-tier candidates – former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — are not threatened by those goals. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have met them as well.

But the higher targets put pressure on several other candidates to broaden their support or risk falling out of any reasonable contention with less than three months to go before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.

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Two new candidates also could be vying for December spots.

Deval Patrick, Michael Bloomberg consider making their 2020 White House bidVideo

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick launched his campaign Thursday and filed to appear on New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary ballot. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a bid as well, already having filed paperwork for some Super Tuesday primaries.

Next Wednesday's debate in Atlanta will be broadcast on MSNBC, 9-11 p.m. EST.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Klobuchar says a woman with Buttigieg’s experience wouldn’t make debate stage

closeSen. Amy Klobuchar on pushing back against Elizabeth Warren on debate stageVideo

Sen. Amy Klobuchar on pushing back against Elizabeth Warren on debate stage

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar joins Shannon Bream on 'Fox News @ Night.'

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., didn’t spare any punches on Sunday when going after fellow 2020 presidential primary candidate Pete Buttigieg – saying that a woman with the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s experience would not be on the debate stage.

Klobcuhar, who has been polling in the middle of the still-crowded field of Democrats, argued during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that while every candidate in her party has been more qualified to lead the country than President Trump, she doubted a woman with the same resume as Buttigieg would be given a chance at running for president.

“Of the women on the stage, I’m focusing here on my fellow women senators, Sens. Harris and Warren and myself. Do I think we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that he had? No, I don’t,” Klobuchar said in reference to Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Pete Buttigieg, rival Democratic presidential candidates fight for momentum in IowaVideo

BIG POST-DEBATE HAULS FOR KLOBUCHAR, BUTTIGIEG, COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR BIDEN

Klobuchar also took the opportunity to highlight her Midwest appeal and her record of statewide electoral victories in Minnesota. She has run a campaign painting herself as a moderate lawmaker who could appeal to rural voters that the Democrats lost to Trump in 2016.

“I’m the one from the Midwest that’s actually won in a statewide race over and over again,” she said. “Those are the kind of voters I’ve won and that’s not true of Mayor Pete.”

Buttigieg’s campaign did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Klobuchar: I want to be the president for all of AmericaVideo

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Klobuchar has been polling at 2.6 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics average, which was buoyed by what analysts called a strong debate performance last month. Buttigieg also has seen his numbers rise, with him garnering about seven percent of the overall vote.

Both candidates, however, trailed far behind frontrunners Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Original Article

Amy Klobuchar making crucial Iowa push ahead of November debate, caucus

closeDemocracy 2020: Iowa’s senator next door steps up ground gameVideo

Democracy 2020: Iowa’s senator next door steps up ground game

It's a crucial moment for Iowa’s senator next door: Democratic hopeful Amy Klobuchar as she’s one poll behind qualifying for the next debate. Her campaign is trying to build momentum through her” All For America” bus tour where she is visiting counties Trump won in 2016 and Obama won in 2012.

NEWTON, Iowa — As an Iowa native, 18-year-old Kayla Cook is no stranger to the Hawkeye State's starring political role every four years as presidential candidates make their pitch to voters.

But this year is different for her — and not just because she will be able to officially caucus for the first time. Cook, who is used to following her parents to meet-and-greets supporting the Republican Party, is switching to the other side this election cycle and planning to vote for a Democrat.

“As a Republican, I look at where our nation is right now and I see a lot of division,” she said. “I just want to see unity in our country again and I know it can happen.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar on pushing back against Elizabeth Warren on debate stageVideo

Cook is pinning her hopes on the senator from next-door Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar. That’s why the 18-year-old stopped what she was doing on a Sunday afternoon for a meet-and-greet with the senator in Newton, Iowa.

BIG POST-DEBATE CASH HAULS FOR BUTTIGIEG, KLOBUCHAR COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR BIDEN

It was a crowded room, with a few chairs, and standing room only at the Lemon Tree Tea House and Restaurant.

“I just know it needs to be someone who is moderate who cares both about the Republicans and Democrats and I believe she’s someone who could do that,” said Cook.

While most Democratic presidential candidates are stepping up their ground game in the key early state of Iowa, Klobuchar is making a big push in the state, hoping to continue to reach people like Cook.

It’s a crucial moment for her campaign as she tries to build momentum, which starts in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

Klobuchar only has a few weeks left to qualify for the next Democratic debate in November. She needs a boost in the polls to reach that goal, which is part of the reason why she’s launching a digital ad campaign to target voters.

The senator is also making counties won by President Trump in 2016 and former president Barack Obama in 2012 a top priority during her “All For America Bus Tour.”

For three days straight, Klobuchar’s bright green bus traveled to Dubuque, Black Hawk, Gurthie and Jasper Counties to listen to the concerns from voters.

She spoke to veterans, restaurant owners and even companies like W2 fuel, a biodiesel company whose CEO Roy Strom told the press that his biodiesel plant was forced to close due to waivers granted from the current administration for oil refineries, which hurt the price value for biodiesel products.

“At the last debate, we’ve got a lot of attention nationally and brought in over a million dollars in small contributions in just 24 hours. We did that by reaching out to people,” said Klobuchar. “I don’t have the big state and I don’t have the big-name ID as some of these other people so, it’s going to take a little more time.”

A recent poll from Suffolk University and USA Today ranks the senator as sixth among Iowa caucus-goers, tying her with California Sen. Kamala Harris and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Political analysts say it’s a do-or-die moment for Klobuchar’s campaign

“There’s still time for Sen. Klobuchar but the problem is she’s sort of had is that she’s looking for that middle lane or that moderate Democrat and Joe Biden was occupying that pretty strongly,” said Tim Hagle, professor of politics at the University of Iowa. “But now that he seems like he’s sort of fading a little bit, and if that continues, that opens up that lane.”

GREG GUTFELD AND JUAN WILLIAMS PICK THEIR DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE'S WINNERS AND LOSER

Complicating matters is South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who Hagle said is giving Klobuchar a run for her money as the stand-out Midwest candidate.

“With Klobuchar, at least what she has going for her is that she can say, 'I have experience in Congress, I know how to get things done,' and she can talk about all the things she has gotten done, so in that respect, she has an advantage,” Hagle said.

Original Article

Buttigieg, Klobuchar get big post-debate boost

closeDebate moderators fail to ask 2020 Democrats about immigrationVideo

Debate moderators fail to ask 2020 Democrats about immigration

Reaction and analysis from Young Americans for Liberty analyst Kristin Tate.

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On the roster: Buttigieg, Klobuchar get big post-debate boost – Mulvaney increases White House misery index – Dems build cash castellation around House majority – Poll shows Gardner trailing Hickenlooper – Oh, Floyd
BUTTIGIEG, KLOBUCHAR GET BIG POST-DEBATE BOOST

Fox News: “Sen. Amy Klobuchar – giddy after a lack of sleep and rave reviews for her debate performance – touted to the jam-packed crowd inside a café in New Hampshire’s capital city that she raised $1.1 million in the 24 hours after Tuesday’s Democratic presidential nomination showdown. The haul was nearly a quarter of what she brought in during the entire July-September third quarter of fundraising. Highlighting that most of the money was from small-dollar contributions, the Minnesota Democrat told reporters ‘that shows something happened, that people were watching and they responded. And that is a very big deal for us.’ As Klobuchar spotlighted her post-debate haul, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who also excelled during the showdown, reported bringing in $1.1 million in the same 24-hours following the debate. His campaign touted that Wednesday was ‘one of our biggest fundraising days yet.’”
Buttigieg draws heat from black activists over fundraiser – AP: “Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to attend a Chicago fundraiser that will be co-hosted by a former city attorney who vigorously tried to block the release of a video depicting the shooting of Laquan McDonald , a black teenager whose death at the hands of police stirred months of protest and resulted in an officer’s conviction. Steve Patton, who led Chicago’s law department under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is listed as a sponsor of the Friday event, according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press. For months, Buttigieg has faced criticism over his own handling of race as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a racially divided city where decades of simmering racial tension erupted this summer when a white police officer shot and killed an African American man. … ‘He should adjust his schedule,’ said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, when asked about the fundraiser.”
Analysis finds Warren $30 trillion short on single-payer plan – Bloomberg:Elizabeth Warren took a lot of flak at this week’s Democratic presidential debate for being evasive about the taxes needed to pay for the $30 trillion Medicare for All plan she champions. There’s a reason for being vague: Her team hasn’t yet figured out how to pay for it. ‘Her taxes as they currently exist are not enough yet to cover fully replacing health insurance,’ University of California, Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez, who advised the Warren campaign… Warren — who campaigns on the theme that she has a plan for everything — is relying on the wealthy and big corporations to pay for her vision of restructuring American society, including funding student debt, free college, universal childcare, green energy and affordable housing plans. … But she has made the strategic decision to adopt Bernie Sanders’ government-run health care plan rather than develop one of her own. … The Warren campaign said they are continuing to review revenue options to fund Medicare for All…”
Tim Alberta: Watching the Dem debate with Michael Bennet – Politico: “The instincts that guide [Michael] Bennet—being pragmatic, deliberative, restrained—are what many Americans say are precisely what’s needed to run the White House. But now, perhaps more than ever, those instincts are the opposite of what’s needed to win the White House. Once upon a time, there was a limited return on investing in outrage and demagoguery; statesmen were in high demand no matter the supply. That’s no longer the case, and not simply because a celebrity showman named Donald Trump is president of the United States. The painful reality of this political moment slides over Bennet like a barbed-wire blanket as he flops onto the couch and kicks off his faded brown dress shoes, preparing for a three-hour reality-television show that will help determine who leads the free world. All the more irksome to Bennet is the fact that five of his fellow senators are staring back at him from beneath the bright lights; he is the only member of the ‘world’s greatest deliberative body’ seeking a promotion who is excluded from the festivities.”
David Brooks: If it’s Trump vs. Warren, then what? – WaPo: “This is a memo for the politically homeless. It’s a memo to those of us who could never support Donald Trump but think the Bernie-Squad-Warren Democratic Party is sprinting too far left. It’s a memo built around the following question: If the general election campaign turns out to be Trump vs. Warren, what the heck are we supposed to do? The first thing we could do, of course, is pray for a miracle. Maybe the Democrats will nominate one of the five B’s or the K: Biden, Buttigieg, Booker, Bennet, Bullock or Klobuchar. These candidates are pluralists, not purists. … And yet, if it comes to Trump vs. Warren in a general election, the only plausible choice is to support Warren. Over the past month Donald Trump has given us fresh reminders of the unique and exceptional ways he corrupts American life. … Politics is downstream from morality and culture. Warren represents a policy wrong turn, in my view, but policies can be argued about and reversed.”
THE RULEBOOK: BUT STILL PROBLEMATIC
“It is at least problematical, whether the decisions of this body do not, in several instances, misconstrue the limits prescribed for the legislative and executive departments, instead of reducing and limiting them within their constitutional places.” – Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, Federalist No. 50
TIME OUT: LE EWW, LE GROSS
AFP: “The Paris zoo's latest attraction is a brainless, eyeless, single-celled organism with no limbs or stomach but more than 700 genders. Meet the ‘blob’, also known by its scientific name Physarum polycephalum or ‘many-headed slime.’ Preceding humans on Earth by some 500 million years, the creature resembles a kind of slippery sponge. It appears stationary, but does cover ground – at a leisurely pace of up to [0.4 inches] per hour – in search of prey, such as mushroom spores, bacteria, and other microbes. From Saturday, members of the public can become better acquainted with ‘le blob’, which has taken up residence in a large tank at the zoo in Paris' Bois de Vincennes park. Named after the 1958 sci-fi horror movie ‘The Blob’ about an alien creature that crashes to Earth and devours residents of Pennsylvania, the real-life blob consists of a single cell, sometimes with many nuclei that can replicate their DNA and divide.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28.2 points (↑ 0.2 point from last wk.)
Warren: 26.4 points (↑ 0.2 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 13.4 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6.2 points (↑ 0.8 points from last wk.)
Harris: 4.4 points (↑ 0.2 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Fox News, IBD, Monmouth University and NBC News/WSJ.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 42.2 percent
Average disapproval: 54 percent
Net Score: -11.8 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 1.2 points
[Average includes: Gallup: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 45% approve – 51% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 43% approve – 53% disapprove.]
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MULVANEY INCREASES WHITE HOUSE MISERY INDEX
WaPo: “For 39 minutes Thursday, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney turned the press briefing room into a sort of confession chamber, openly admitting to several acts that could deepen the legal predicament for the president. [Donald]Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry into whether he has abused his office for personal and political gain. … In admitting that Trump had personally intervened to award a multimillion-dollar summit to his own company, and that the president had also used taxpayer money as leverage to push a Ukrainian investigation into Democrats, Mulvaney embraced a classic Trumpian tactic: saying the quiet — and potentially illegal — part out loud. But that strategy with regard to Ukraine came in for withering criticism after Mulvaney’s appearance, and he later tried to walk back his comments. In a statement late Thursday, Mulvaney denied the quid pro quo he had previously defended as appropriate and normal.”
State Department official: Obama administration ignored Biden warnings – Fox News: “A State Department official focused on Ukraine policy told Congress this week he raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s role on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas firm in 2015, but was rebuffed by former Vice President Joe Biden’s staff, Fox News has confirmed. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, who testified behind closed doors before committees spearheading the formal House impeachment inquiry, told congressional investigators that he had qualms about Hunter Biden’s role on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. … A congressional source confirmed to Fox News on Friday that Kent testified that when he brought his concerns to the office of the vice president in 2016, his staff ‘blew him off’ and ignored the issue involving the younger Biden's role at the firm.”
Support steady for impeachment probe – Pew Research Center: “The new survey by Pew Research Center … finds that 54% currently approve of the House’s decision to conduct an impeachment inquiry, while 44% disapprove. Neither party engenders a great deal of confidence that they will be ‘fair and reasonable’ during the impeachment inquiry, the survey finds. About four-in-ten (43%) expect that the Republicans in Congress will be fair in handling the inquiry, while slightly more (47%) say the same about the Democrats in Congress. The survey, conducted on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, enables us to examine opinions about impeachment among the same group of respondents over the past month.”
Rick Perry announces year-end departure amid increasing scrutiny – NPR: “Secretary of Energy Rick Perry plans to leave his position at the end of the year, President Trump confirmed to reporters Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump praised Perry and said he already has a replacement in mind. ‘Rick has done a fantastic job,’ Trump said. ‘But it was time.’ Trump said that Perry's resignation didn't come as a surprise and that he has considered leaving for six months because ‘he's got some very big plans.’ Perry, 69, is one of Trump's original Cabinet members and recently has emerged as a central figure in the impeachment inquiry of Trump. Perry was part of what was dubbed ‘the three amigos’ — in addition to Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, former envoy to Ukraine — charged with managing the U.S.-Ukraine relationship after the White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team last spring.”
DEMS BUILD CASH CASTELLATION AROUND HOUSE MAJORITY
Politico: “Democrats are building a financial bulwark around their House majority that’s going to be tough for Republicans to breach in 2020. Thirty-three of the 44 most vulnerable House Democrats have stashed an impressive $1 million or more in the bank well before the election year even begins. And their fundraising pace is not slowing down as they gear up to defend the chamber. Federal Election Commission reports filed this week illustrate Democrats’ formidable advantage: The 44 Democrats in the most competitive seats banked a collective $59 million so far. Nearly 30 raised $500,000 or more in the third quarter, according to a POLITICO analysis of the fundraising filings. And all but six of the so-called ‘frontliners’ have at least half a million more banked than their challengers, if they have any challenger at all. … The GOP is struggling to adapt to a changing landscape; They can no longer dismiss the strong fundraising as an anomaly when it has remained steady throughout the first three quarters of 2019.”
Can anyone beat AOC? – NYT: “It is hard to imagine a scenario where Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez loses her seat next year. She has raised more than $3.4 million, is better known than some presidential candidates and handily won a district that is among the bluest in the nation. But that hasn’t stopped people — lots of them — from trying to unseat her. So far, eight Republicans and three Democrats have filed to run for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s seat in the Bronx and Queens. Two of the Republicans have each raised more than $420,000, even though no Republican has represented the Bronx in Congress in at least 50 years. … The campaigns also highlight a broader strategy by the Republican Party: turning voters’ resentment toward Ms. Ocasio-Cortez into a conduit for the party’s other electoral goals.”
POLL SHOWS GARDNER TRAILING HICKENLOOPER
KMGH: “New Colorado polling released Thursday shows that John Hickenlooper leads Sen. Cory Gardner in a theoretical Senate matchup next year by 11 percentage points and that a majority of Coloradans support the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The Keating Research-OnSight Public Affairs-Martin Campaigns (KOM) survey released Thursday afternoon was conducted by the Democratic pollsters Oct. 10-14 and polled 500 active statewide voters who cast ballots in 2016, 2017 or 2018 or signed up to vote since last November. The poll was weighted to be in line with voter turnout demographics and the margin of error was ±4.4% and was paid for by KOM.”
Former Republican launches Kansas Senate bid as a Democrat – The Wichita [Kan.] Eagle: “A Kansas lawmaker who left the Republican Party last year now hopes to become the first Kansas Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in decades. State Sen. Barbara Bollier launched her campaign for U.S. Senate on Wednesday by promising an independent approach. She condemned dysfunction in Washington as she seeks to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. … Bollier, of Mission Hills in Johnson County, is the fourth Democrat in the race and the ninth candidate overall – joining a sprawling field that includes Republicans Rep. Roger Marshall and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. In the Democratic contest, she will have to overcome serious campaigns by former federal prosecutor Barry Grissom and Manhattan Mayor Pro Tem Usha Reddi.”
PLAY-BY-PLAY
Trump boosts his struggling Miami golf resort with big federal contract –WaPo
Syria cease-fire in question after fighting, shelling reported Fox News
Trump holds Texas rally, defends Syria decision and impeachment inquiry Politico
Christianity’s decline among Americans remains rapid Pew Research Center
Britain and the EU reach new agreement, Brexit could pass on ‘Super Saturday’WaPo
Hillary Clinton has thoughts on Tulsi Gabbard and the Kremlin WaPo
Fox Poll: Majorities have confidence in CIA, FBI, and SCOTUSFox News
Pergram: Rep. Elijah Cummings' megaphone goes silentFox News
AUDIBLE: SHOTS FIRED
“I earned my spurs on the battlefield; Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.” – Former Defense Secretary James Mattis speaking at the Al Smith dinner in NYC Thursday night.

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with Mayor of South Bend, Ind. Pete Buttigieg. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“A small, but important correction. It is not the American Air Force at work in Syria. It is either the American air force or it is the United States Air Force/U.S. Air Force, from which I am retired with 21 years of service. The same goes for the American army or the American navy. I agree with capitalizing proper names, but prefer that it be done properly. I'm a faithful reader, an independent politically, and I appreciate your non-partisan approach. Sometimes it feels as though we who prefer listening, thinking and discussing rationally are but drowning voices in a maelstrom of partisan fury. The Halftime Report is one of the very few media outlets that I feel I can trust to report accurately and to make projections which are supported reasonably. Thank you for the time and effort you and your team put into keeping us informed.” – Dave Riley, Kasilof, Alaska
[Ed. note: Good point, Mr. Riley! Certainly no disrespect intended. I was swerving from overuse of U.S. and ran off the other side of the road. Thank you so much for your kind words, readership and, most of all, your service.]
“Chris, I hope the new Syrian ceasefire lasts longer than your pledge to remain neutral about Trump in your Halftime Report.” – Scott Lyddon, Savannah, Ga.
[Ed. note: I’ve got to give it to you, Mr. Lyddon. That was pretty good! And since the cease fire seems to have ended before it really began, you may be now doubly right from your own perspective. I would remind you though that the goal here isn’t to be “neutral,” but rather to be useful. Fair analysis will necessarily include criticism. If there were no criticism – true neutrality – we would lose the capacity to render necessary judgements. My promise to you, however, is that I do not and will not make judgement about ideological rights and wrongs. As we wrote Thursday, we hold harmless those who either support or oppose the president’s policies in Syria. The same goes for the competing opinions about whether the president should be removed from office for leaning on the Ukrainians to investigate his political foes. Both positions are defensible and substantially irrelevant to my work. Our point Thursday was that however you feel about the policies, Trump’s chaotic governance and indiscipline is creating political liabilities. This week has been a brutal one for the administration, most of it needlessly so. I hope, whatever resentments you may hold for my rejection of neutrality, you still find the analysis useful.]
“As much as I admire moderation in the body politic, it seems that we are rapidly approaching a choice for those of us with (R) on our voting status. I find much of the President's language and combative behavior appalling, however he is generally consistent with my views on policy. But I am APPALLED by the full throated embrace of Socialism that is occurring on the other ‘side of the aisle.’ If we ‘moderate conservatives’ sit this one out (as probably occurred with the evangelical Christians in 2012), I believe the result could be an upheaval of our American way of life, facilitated by the most massive transfer of wealth in history.” – Patsy Fields, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
[Ed. note: Well, I’ve got good news and bad news for you, Ms. Fields. The bad news is that we are indeed already in the midst of an upheaval of American life. The changes we’re seeing in how we live, work, play, worship, mate, learn and communicate are massive in scope. You would have to go back a century or more to find a moment that even comes close to the enormous societal and, consequently, political change that has wracked American society over the past 20 years. No matter how you vote, that toothpaste isn’t going back in the tube. Neither party nor any politician has the answer for dealing with all of these changes. The far left believes economic collectivism based on an ambition for social justice is the answer, while the far right champions a sort of cultural collectivism supported by economic nationalism in which the government works to engineer a new American culture to its supporters liking. Both will probably fail to achieve their highest aims. And that’s the good news. As we have done many times before, the rest of us will just have to figure it out, making it up as we go. It’s going to be bumpy, but I remain confident that it’s going to be great.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
OH, FLOYD
NY Daily News: “A leisurely Sunday afternoon hike on a mountain trail outside of Salt Lake City turned into an animal rescue after Floyd, a 3-year-old, 190-pound Mastiff, decided he was too tired to descend and wouldn’t budge. Around 6:30 p.m. as temperatures were dropping, rescuers were called after other hikers stumbled upon Floyd and his owner. Luckily, the all-volunteer Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team was able strap Floyd into a stretcher and carry the big fella down to the trailhead without further incident. ‘They had no hesitation whatsoever, even when they heard it was a dog,’ Sgt. Melody Gray of the Unified Police Department, which works with the sheriff’s search and rescue team, told CNN. She added the whole operation lasted about four hours.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“What’s so remarkable is that constitutions are highly reactionary documents. The very essence of a constitution is to constrain the enthusiasms of a future that one cannot even see.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a column from Krauthammer’s posthumous book, “The Point of It All,” published in the Washington Post on Nov. 29, 2018.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

Biden, Sanders and Warren pressed in debate on age, health

closeDebate preparation expert offers advice to 12 Democrats appearing on stage in OhioVideo

Debate preparation expert offers advice to 12 Democrats appearing on stage in Ohio

Robert Barnett reveals the big things the candidates need to do to stay in the race.

The top three Democratic candidates were put on defense during Tuesday night’s debate, with Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders all facing pointed questions about their age, health and how those factors could affect their electability and potential presidency.

The line of questioning started with Sanders, I-Vt., who just returned to the campaign trail after suffering a heart attack earlier this month. The 78-year-old was asked how he could “reassure” Americans that he was up for the task.

“We are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country. That is how I’m going to reassure the American people,” Sanders said while thanking voters, friends and fellow Democratic primary candidates for their support. “I’m so happy to be back here with you this evening.”

Next came Biden—whose age has been a topic of conversation and criticism over the past several months on the campaign trail. CNN’s Erin Burnett quoted former President Jimmy Carter, who said that he wouldn’t have been able to start a presidential term at the age of 80, and pressed Biden why he thinks he could handle the pressure.

“Because I watched it, I know what the job is, I’ve been engaged,” Biden, 76, said, adding that “one of the reasons” he is running for president is his age—and with that, comes “wisdom.”

Bernie Sanders released from hospital after suffering a heart attackVideo

“We need someone in office this time around who on day one, on the world stage, can command respect from world leaders and know exactly what needs to be done to get this country back on track,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why I decided to run this time because I know what has to be done. I’ve done it before, I’ve been there.”

He added: “I will not need any on the job training.”

Biden, who has grappled with sustained critical media coverage of a string of gaffes on the campaign trail, then vowed to release his health records, along with his tax records, before the Iowa Caucuses in January—the first contest of the 2020 primary season.

“I’m the only guy who’s released anything up here,” he scoffed.

Warren, D-Mass., who is 70, brushed off her age, when asked to respond.

“I say I will outwork, out-organize, and outlast anyone and that includes Donald Trump, Mike Pence or whoever the Republicans get stuck with,” she said.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who is 73, has said he feels “young” and is ready for another term of his administration.

“I feel like a young man. I am a young, vibrant man,” Trump said in April.

Should Trump be re-elected, he would be 74 on Jan. 20, 2021—Inauguration Day. Should the presidency go to one of the elder Democrats in the field—Biden would be 78; Sanders would be 79; and Warren would be 71.

But the CNN and New York Times moderators shifted to the other end of the spectrum, pointing to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, for her young age of 38.

“It’s not fair to ask these three about their health and their wellness,” she said of the questions to Biden, Sanders and Warren. “Who is fit to serve as commander-in-chief?”

Gabbard said that she was, and further challenged the moderators to ask every candidate on the stage about their age and health—a suggestion that was ignored.

Original Article