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

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.

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.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

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

Facing impeachment, Trump tops Democratic challengers in 2020 matchups: poll

closePresident Trump dismisses impeachment push as Chuck Schumer seeks White House witnessesVideo

President Trump dismisses impeachment push as Chuck Schumer seeks White House witnesses

Trump calls the impeachment process the greatest con job in the history of American politics; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

He’s all but certain to be impeached this week by the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, but a new poll indicates that President Trump now tops the leading Democratic presidential candidates in potential 2020 general election showdowns.

The Republican incumbent edges former Vice President Joe Biden by 3 percentage points, holds a 5 point advantage over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and tops Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts by 8 points, in a USA Today/Suffolk University survey released Monday.

FOX NEWS POLL: TRUMP JOB APPROVAL TICKS UP

In hypothetical November 2020 matchups, the poll shows Trump beating South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg by 10 points and multibillionaire business and media mogul and former New City Mayor Mike Bloomberg by 9 points.

The president trailed the leading Democratic White House hopefuls in hypothetical general election showdowns in most national polling during the summer and early autumn – in many cases by double digits — but he’s made up ground in more recent surveys.

A CNN poll released last week indicated the president edging Biden by 1 point and holding 7-point leads over Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg. But Biden topped Trump by 7 points in a Fox News Poll released Sunday. The survey also indicated Sanders topping the president by 6-points and Bloomberg ahead by 5-points. Warren and Buttigieg each edged Trump by a single point.

While such numbers are helpful in taking the political temperature of the moment, hypothetical matchups taken nearly a year before the election – and well before the Democrats choose their 2020 standard-bearer – are hardly considered a reliable barometer of the eventual general election outcome.

LATEST 2020 ELECTION POLL FROM FOX NEWS

Suffolk University Political Research Center director David Paleologos noted that in the new poll’s matchups, the president “won among male voters but every Democratic contender carried a majority or plurality of female voters against him.”

And he added that Trump “bested the Democratic hopefuls among age groups 35 and older, but he lost to each of them among voters 18 to 34 years old.”

The USA Today/Suffolk University poll was conducted Dec. 10-14, with 1,000 registered voters nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

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

Fox News Poll: Biden still leads Democratic race as Warren drops

closeOne-term plan? Biden denies talking to aides about re-electionVideo

One-term plan? Biden denies talking to aides about re-election

Former Vice President Joe Biden denies planning for one-term presidency; Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy reports.

Former Vice President Joe Biden remains Democratic primary voters’ preferred presidential candidate, as a Fox News Poll released Sunday shows more think he is capable of beating President Trump than feel that way about any of his main competitors — and he performs best in potential 2020 matchups. In addition, Biden has the largest number of Democrats, as well as voters overall, saying his positions on the issues are “about right.”

Seventy-seven percent of Democratic primary voters think Biden can beat Trump in next year’s presidential election, up from 68 percent in October. Smaller majorities say the same about Bernie Sanders (60 percent), Elizabeth Warren (59 percent), and Mike Bloomberg (55 percent). Forty-eight percent think Pete Buttigieg can win — an 18-point jump from 30 percent in October.

More Democratic primary voters think Biden’s “about right” on issues (64 percent) than Buttigieg (56 percent), Warren (53 percent), Sanders (49 percent), and Bloomberg (47 percent). Seventy-eight percent of Republicans say Trump’s positions are “about right.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

Running down the Democratic race: Biden leads with 30 percent, followed by Sanders at 20 percent. Warren returns to third with 13 percent, down from a high of 22 percent in October.

Next, it’s Buttigieg (7 percent), Bloomberg and Amy Klobuchar (5 percent each), Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang (3 percent apiece), and Cory Booker (2 percent). The remaining candidates garner 1 percent or less.

Biden’s lead comes mostly from voters ages 45 and over (up by 26 points), moderates/conservatives (+20), and non-whites (+13). Sanders wins among voters under 35 (+19) and white men (+1).

But don’t place any bets just yet. Nearly half of those currently backing a candidate, 49 percent, say they could change their mind.

"Biden's support has been the consistent feature of this race," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. "It's time for consultants and pundits to seriously consider the possibility his backers aren’t simply being strategic and may be more committed than we heretofore suspected."

Sanders and Warren have experienced fairly significant swings in support, while Biden’s numbers have barely budged since March, staying between 29-35 percent. At the same time, his current 10-point edge over Sanders is down from a 19-point lead in June.

Democratic primary voters divide when choosing between a candidate who will “restore the political system” to the way it was before Trump (48 percent) and one who will “fundamentally change how the political system works” (45 percent).

Those wanting to restore the system go for Biden (39 percent) over Sanders (14 percent) and Warren (11 percent). Those wanting big changes put Sanders (26 percent) and Biden (23 percent) on top, while Warren trails (14 percent).

Fewer Democratic primary voters are satisfied with their field of candidates now (63 percent) than were in late October (69 percent). Since then, Bloomberg and Deval Patrick joined the race, while Steve Bullock, Kamala Harris and Joe Sestak dropped out.

Since late October, support for Warren is down across the board, with the notable declines among those with a college degree (-13 points), those ages 45+ (-12), and women (-11 points).

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“The most likely explanation for Warren’s drop is some primary voters souring on 'Medicare-for-all',” says Anderson. “The issue could be a real drag for the Democratic nominee in the general election. The more it’s debated, the more voters who care most about beating Trump seem to realize her push for 'Medicare -for-all' is bad politics at this moment in time.”

Currently, 54 percent of Democratic primary voters favor moving to a government-run system in lieu of private health insurance, down from a high of 65 percent in October. Large numbers like the idea of allowing every American to buy into Medicare if they want (78 percent) and making minor changes to Obamacare (67 percent).

Among all voters, majorities favor "Medicare-for-all" who want it (66 percent) and Obamacare (53 percent). Over half (53 percent) oppose an entirely government-run health care system. In addition, 68 percent favor Warren’s proposed 2 percent “wealth tax,” including 83 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans.

About 4 voters in 10 think Biden’s (42 percent), Buttigieg’s (37 percent), and Trump’s (39 percent) positions on the issues are “about right,” while over half think Sanders’ (56 percent) and Warren’s positions (52 percent) are “too liberal.”

In hypothetical head-to-heads, Biden tops Trump by 48-41 percent and has the only lead outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.

However, Biden’s 7-point lead is his narrowest since March; this is the first time he’s been below 50 percent since July, and Trump’s 41 percent support is a record high for him in a ballot test against the former vice president.

Sanders is preferred over Trump by six points (49-43) and Bloomberg is ahead by five (45-40). Warren (46-45) and Buttigieg (43-42) are each up by one point.

Biden’s advantage over Trump is driven largely by double-digit leads among women (+15 points) and non-whites (+36). Whites with a college degree go for Biden by 6 points, while whites without a degree back Trump by 12. Rural whites prefer Trump over Biden by 18 points, while suburban women favor Biden by 21.

The electorate is paying attention: 58 percent of voters are extremely interested in the presidential election, including 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. At this point in the election cycle four years ago, far fewer, 32 percent of voters, said they were extremely interested (November 2015).

Conducted December 8-11, 2019, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,000 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters and 4.5 points for Democratic primary voters (453).

Original Article

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

closePundits say Warren slippingVideo

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.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

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

2020 Democratic long-shot Bennet goes all in on NH, jabs at Buttigieg

closeSen. Michael Bennet on impeachment inquiry, size of Democratic presidential fieldVideo

Sen. Michael Bennet on impeachment inquiry, size of Democratic presidential field

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bennet joins Dana Perino on 'The Daily Briefing.'

SALEM, N.H. – Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado faces a challenging uphill climb to win the Democratic presidential nomination. But regardless, he said he's going all-in on the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

And the long-shot contender is taking aim again at one of the top tier candidates: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Campaigning in New Hampshire Friday, Bennet highlighted in an interview with Fox News that, “I think I’m far more experienced than he is.”

Bennet, who served as superintendent of the Denver public school system before heading to the Senate in 2009, added that, “like Pete, I got my start at the local level. But my school district had a budget three times the size of his city and since that time I’ve spent 10 years in the Senate, which is enough time to learn how to get some things done but why the biggest things don’t get done in Washington. I think it’s just a very different set of experiences."

Bennet spoke after holding the first of what he pledges are 50 town halls between now and the state’s February 11 presidential primary.

“I think a lot of my time is now going to be devoted to New Hampshire,” he told Fox News.

Asked why he’s emphasizing New Hampshire instead of Iowa, which kicks off the presidential primary and caucus nominating calendar eight days before the Granite State votes, Bennet pointed to New Hampshire’s smaller size and similarities to his home state.

“It’s a little less crowded. It reminds me a lot of Colorado," he said. "It’s a third Republican, a third Democratic, a third independent, which is what Colorado is like. And I think I can get to one end of it to another over and over again, which is why I’ve committed to do 50 town halls between now and the primary.”

Asked where he needs to finish in the primary, the senator would only say “I’ve got to do well here and I hope to do well here.”

Campaign officials told Fox News that they're currently adding to the roughly 10 staffers they have in New Hampshire, and they intend to open two more campaign offices, bringing to three the number they have in the state.

But the campaign added that it's not abandoning Iowa – where it has about 20 staffers.

“Our team in Iowa is intact. It’s a great group of people,” Bennet noted.

Bennet jumped into the race on May 2. His campaign launch was delayed after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery. But after announcing a clean bill of health in mid-April, Bennet moved forward with his White House bid.

He qualified for the first two Democratic presidential debates, held in June and July, but has failed to make the stage since those early showdowns – as he’s fallen short of the polling and fundraising thresholds.

But speaking at a café in Salem, New Hampshire – a large town along with state’s southern border with Massachusetts – Bennet argued that “the debates I don’t think have done very much for the Democratic Party. I think they’ve sort of played into Donald Trump’s hands. I can see why it’s entertaining and part of what we do but it shouldn’t be the central way we conduct this election.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado campaigns at a cafe in Salem, NH, on Dec. 6, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado campaigns at a cafe in Salem, NH, on Dec. 6, 2019

And he took aim at the top tier contenders for the nomination, saying “we’ve got a problem on our hands because I think people are deeply unconvinced that the leading candidates in this race can beat Donald Trump. And that’s the No. 1 issue for people.”

Asked by the crowd how he can compete with the candidates with bigger name identification and bigger campaign cash war chests, Bennet pointed to New Hampshire’s tradition of late-deciding voters.

“Look, you guys are just starting to make up your minds here, in New Hampshire, to say nothing of the rest of the country,” he noted.

That tradition is reflected in the latest polls in the state’s Democratic presidential primary, with a high percentage of undecided voters – or voters who are backing a candidate but saying they could change their minds by primary day in February.

Original Article

GOP’s Joni Ernst portrayed as gun-firing sniper in Democratic challenger’s campaign ad

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 6Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 6

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 6 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

The campaign of U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, blasted as "outrageous and offensive" a new campaign ad posted by her 2020 Democratic challenger Thursday that depicts Ernst as firing gunshots at him while he talks about gun control, climate change, health care and taking on President Trump.

In the ad, candidate Eddie Mauro, a businessman and congressional candidate in 2018, introduces himself as a "progressive Democrat" before telling viewers he decided to run for Ernst's Senate seat in part because “our current senator, Joni Ernst, she thinks it's OK to run ads glorifying guns."

SENS. TIM SCOTT AND JONI ERNST: WHY WE BELIEVE SO STRONGLY IN THE POWER OF 'OPPORTUNITY ZONES'

As Mauro speaks, the video repeatedly cuts to footage from a 2014 campaign ad for Ernst showing her shooting a gun at an indoor range. Then the ad cuts back and forth to Mauro as he walks through a field with bullets whizzing by, narrowly missing him before striking a fence post, the grass, barrels and other objects. The edits make it appear as though Ernst is firing the shots at him.

"She doesn't seem to care that many of those guns will be pointed at our kids, our teachers, churchgoers, moviegoers, concertgoers, police officers," Mauro said of Ernst. "Well, I care."

After the ad went public, Ernst's campaign posted a response on Twitter.

"It's outrageous and offensive that @eddiejmauro would make light of gun violence in order to help his campaign," came the statement posted under the "Team Joni" Twitter handle. "He should be ashamed and this disgusting ad should be taken down immediately."

Later in his ad, Mauro takes aims at President Trump, referring to him as Ernst's "boss in the White House” and the Trump agenda as a “non-stop assault on our climate, on our democracy, on decency, on what it means to be an American.”

"I’m the best Democrat to take on Joni and the Washington establishment," Mauro adds. "I won’t take PAC money, I won’t accept the status quo. So, Joni Ernst, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, the NRA — you won’t like what I have to say.”

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks in Washington in an undated photo. (Associated Press)

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks in Washington in an undated photo. (Associated Press)

Mauro defended pushback against the ad throughout the day Thursday through his Twitter account.

In separate tweets, Mauro also advocated for the Green New Deal and promised: “to stand up to hate, take down the NRA and to flip the Senate to a progressive majority.” The 56-year-old announced his 2020 Senate campaign in May. Last year, he lost a primary challenge for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District to U.S. Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne, the Des Moines Register reported.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Ernst, 49, is a native Iowan who served in the Iowa National Guard for more than two decades and spent 12 months in Kuwait in 2003-04 before retiring in 2015 as a lieutenant colonel. Before going to Washington in January 2015, she served as an Iowa state senator.

The divorced mother of an adult daughter made national headlines earlier this year when she revealed that she was raped by an abusive former boyfriend while she was a college student. During her divorce proceedings, Ernst also claimed that her estranged husband had been physically and verbally abusive.

Mauro also is a native Iowan, living in Des Moines with his wife and two children. He has served as a teacher and a coach in addition to running a small business, according to his campaign website.

Mauro is among four Democrats hoping to face Ernst in the general election next November. The others are Theresa Greenfield, Kimberly Graham and Michael Franken.

Original Article

Democratic Rep. Denny Heck takes shots at Trump, GOP as he announces retirement plans

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 5Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 5

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 5 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck said Wednesday that he’ll retire from Congress when his fourth term ends next year.

The 67-year-old Democrat from Washington state used the announcement as an opportunity to slam President Trump and other Republicans.

In a letter to supporters, Heck – a member of the House Intelligence Committee — said the Russia investigation and the Trump impeachment inquiry have left him discouraged and “rendered my soul weary.”

NEWT GINGRICH: HOUSE REPUBLICANS AND 2020 — RETIREMENTS REALLY MEAN THIS (NOT WHAT YOU THINK)

“I will never understand how some of my colleagues, in many ways good people, could ignore or deny the president’s unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him, and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth,” Heck said.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 3, 2019. (Associated Press)

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 3, 2019. (Associated Press)

Heck has represented Washington’s 10th Congressional District, located southwest of Seattle. It encompasses the state capital of Olympia and is considered a Democratic stronghold.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from central Washington, said he was proud to have worked with Heck on issues important to the state, including reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and returning a 9,000-year-old skeleton dubbed “The Ancient One” to local Native American tribes.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Born in Vancouver, Wash., Heck was a state lawmaker who was first elected to office at age 24. He later served as chief of staff to then-Gov. Booth Gardner from 1989 to 1993.

Heck has declined to endorse some priorities of progressive Democrats, including the Green New Deal and Medicare for all.

He was expected to face at least one Democratic primary in 2020: Joshua Collins, a 26-year-old truck driver and Democratic Socialist who supports the major points on the progressive agenda.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Original Article

Matt Gaetz grills impeachment witnesses over Democratic donations, slams professor’s dig at Barron Trump

closeMatt Gaetz grills impeachment witnesses over Democratic donations, dig at Barron TrumpVideo

Matt Gaetz grills impeachment witnesses over Democratic donations, dig at Barron Trump

Matt Gaetz grills impeachment witnesses over Democratic donations, dig at Barron Trump

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., grilled three of the four impeachment panel witnesses for their past support for Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, and admonished one for making a joke at the expense of the teenage son of President Trump.

Gaetz began his allotted five minutes of question time by responding to the previous questioner, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem S. Jeffries, D-N.Y., who noted that Americans had elected a Democrat majority in the House to serve as a check on Trump.

"The will of the American people also elected Donald Trump to be president of the United States in the 2016 election, and there's one party that can't seem to get over it," Gaetz said, adding that unlike Jeffries' caucus, Republicans haven't focused all of their resources on attempting to remove the top official in the opposing party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"Frankly, we'd love to govern with you," he added.

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON TRUMP: LIVE UPDATES

Professor Pamela Karlan: President Trump can his name his son Barron, he can't make him a baronVideo

Turning to the professors, he asked UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Michael Gerhardt to confirm that he donated to President Barack Obama.

"My family did, yes," Gerhardt responded.

Shifting his attention to Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman, Gaetz noted the educator has written several articles that portray Trump in a negative light.

"Mar-a-Lago ad belongs in impeachment file," Gaetz said, repeating the title of an April 2017 piece Feldman wrote for Bloomberg Opinion.

More from Media

Gaetz further pressed Feldman, asking him: "Do you believe you're outside of the political mainstream on the question of impeachment?"

Responding to Gaetz, Feldman said impeachment is warranted whenever a president abuses their power for personal gain or when they "corrupt the democratic process." The professor added he was an "impeachment skeptic" until the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

After the exchange, Gaetz turned to Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan and challenged her on reported four-figure donations to Clinton, Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

"Why so much more for Hillary than the other two?" he added, smiling.

The Florida lawmaker went on to criticize Karlan for a remark she made while answering an earlier question by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

Karlan had told Jackson Lee that there is a difference between what Trump can do as president and the powers of a medieval king.

"The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son 'Barron', he can't make him a baron."

Gaetz fumed at the remark, saying it does not lend "credibility" to her argument.

"When you invoke the president's son's name here, when you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump… it makes you look mean, it makes you look like you are attacking someone's family: the minor child of the president of the United States."

Original Article

Bennet slams Democratic National Committee over Bullock’s departure from 2020 race

closeSen. Michael Bennet on impeachment inquiry, size of Democratic presidential fieldVideo

Sen. Michael Bennet on impeachment inquiry, size of Democratic presidential field

Bennet joins Dana Perino on 'The Daily Briefing.'

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bennet took aim at his party’s national committee on Monday over fellow Democrat Steve Bullock’s announcement that he would end his bid for the White House.

The Montana governor suspended his campaign after failing to resonate in the polls, trailing far behind top-tier rivals when it came to campaign cash and proving unable to reach the thresholds needed to qualify for the Democratic National Committee’s autumn and winter debates.

MONTANA GOV. BULLOCK ENDS HIS WHITE HOUSE BID

Bullock repeatedly touted his success in three statewide elections and pushed a progressive agenda in a solidly red state that Donald Trump won overwhelmingly in the 2016 presidential election.

“I entered this race as a voice to win back the places we lost,” he noted in his announcement Monday.

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado files to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot last month in Concord.

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado files to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot last month in Concord.

Bennet, the senior senator from Colorado, is like Bullock in that he also hasn't made a debate stage since July. Bennet emphasized in a statement that “the fight to win back voters who abandoned our party for Donald Trump isn’t hopeless. It runs through battle-tested candidates from swing states, who know how to meet Americans where they are — not where the loudest voices on social media think they ought to be. It’s unfortunate that the DNC couldn’t make room for a perspective like that.”

Both Bennet and Bullock have been critical of the DNC’s debate-qualification rules for months.

Bennet, who, also like Bullock, is considered a long-shot contender for the nomination – argued: “I have a lot more faith in Democratic voters than I do in the people making up the debate rules at the DNC. The nomination won’t be won with Facebook ads or pithy tweets. It will be won by the person with the experience to defeat Donald Trump and an agenda best aligned with the priorities of the American people.”

And he pledged “that’s what I’m offering, and that’s how I’ll win.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Of some 16 candidates still vying for the Democratic nomination, Bennet is one of just four who hails for a swing state or a GOP-dominated red state.

Top-tier contender Pete Buttigieg is from Indiana, a red state. So is former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and onetime San Antonio, Texas., Mayor Julian Castro.

Bennet’s home state of Colorado is a perennial swing or battleground state. And some political analysts consider Minnesota – home to Sen. Amy Klobuchar – a purple state.

Original Article

Michael Bloomberg officially enters 2020 Democratic presidential primary race

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 24Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 24

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 24 are here. Check out what's clicking on FoxNews.com

A video released on Sunday by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg marks the official start of the billionaire’s 2020 presidential run, a top adviser to Bloomberg told Fox News.

The one-minute ad, which was posted on social media and features images of Bloomberg campaigning alongside those during his younger years, shots of New York City and unflattering images of President Trump, is “the launch ad,” according to one of his top advisers.

Along with the video, Bloomberg posted a written statement on his campaign website in which he laid out why he was the best candidate to defeat President Trump next November.

“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America,” Bloomberg wrote.

BLOOMBERG LAUNCHING 'MASSIVE' COAST TO COAST TV AD BUY

“We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” he continued. “He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.”

There has been speculation for months that Bloomberg, who donated millions of his own dollars to Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, would enter the 2020 fray, but rumors hit a frenzied point earlier this month when he completed the paperwork to be on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama.

Bloomberg had announced earlier this year that he would not seek the party's nomination. But, in a statement obtained by Fox News in early November, his political adviser Howard Wolfson said Bloomberg was worried that the current crop of Democrats seeking the White House was "not well-positioned" to defeat President Trump.

Bloomberg speaks at NYC megachurchVideo

"In 2018 [Bloomberg] spent more than $100 million to help elect Democrats to ensure that Congress began to hold the President accountable," Wolfson said. "And this year he helped Democrats win control of both houses of the Virginia legislature."

He added: "We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that."

Bloomberg's expected move has come amid increasing concern about the leftward drift of the major Democratic candidates, the departure of candidates who failed to gain traction – and talk of other potential late entries.

BLOOMBERG WON'T CAMPAIGN IN EARLY VOTING STATES IF HE RUNS

Bloomberg’s entrance comes just 10 weeks before primary voting begins, an unorthodox move that reflects anxiety within the Democratic Party about the strength of its current candidates.

As a centrist with deep ties to Wall Street, Bloomberg is expected to struggle among the party’s energized progressive base. He became a Democrat only last year. Yet his tremendous resources and moderate profile could be appealing in a primary contest that has become, above all, a quest to find the person best-positioned to deny Trump a second term next November.

Forbes ranked Bloomberg as the 11th-richest person in the world last year with a net worth of roughly $50 billion. Trump, by contrast, was ranked 259th with a net worth of just over $3 billion.

Already, Bloomberg has vowed to spend at least $150 million of his fortune on various pieces of a 2020 campaign, including more than $100 million for internet ads attacking Trump, between $15 million and $20 million on a voter registration drive largely targeting minority voters, and more than $30 million on an initial round of television ads.

Even before the announcement was final, Democratic rivals like Bernie Sanders pounced on Bloomberg’s plans to rely on his personal fortune.

“I’m disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any billionaire thinks they can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy elections,” Sanders tweeted on Friday.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Elizabeth Warren, another leading progressive candidate, also slammed Bloomberg on Saturday for trying to buy the presidency.

"I understand that rich people are going to have more shoes than the rest of us, they're going to have more cars than the rest of us, they're going to have more houses,” she said after a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire. “But they don't get a bigger share of democracy, especially in a Democratic primary. We need to be doing the face-to-face work that lifts every voice."

Fox News’ Ed Henry and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Democratic state senator in Pennsylvania to become Independent over increasingly liberal party

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

A Democratic state senator in Pennsylvania who represents a district that flipped to President Trump in 2016 said he plans to become an Independent and caucus with the state’s Republicans because he’s tired of “purist” politicians and felt a disconnect with an increasingly liberal party.

“As an Independent, I will continue to put people above politics," state Sen. John Yudichak, who represents Pennsylvania’s 14th senatorial district in the northeastern part of the state, said. "I will continue to support Democratic ideas as well as Republican ideas when it is clear that they serve the greater good and help government work for people rather than the narrow interests of partisan purists.”

PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRAT APOLOGIZES FOR CALLING EARLY MISCARRIAGES ‘JUST SOME MESS ON A NAPKIN’

John Yudichak represents Pennsylvania's 14th district, 

John Yudichak represents Pennsylvania's 14th district,

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa said Democrats were “extremely disappointed” by Yudichak’s decision to turn away from their “big tent” values.

Yudichak responded that the Democrats’ “tent is shrinking every day.”

The Republicans will likely have a 29-21 majority next year with the Yudichak and a January special election in a solidly Republican district.

“This is unique,” Yudichak said. “I’m an independent. I’m going to be fiercely independent. I’ve been independent by nature, now it’s going to be by party.”

Yudichak won re-election to a third term in 2018 in the district without any challengers.

He said his stances on issues won’t change and he'll continue to support some of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s policies.

Democrats picked up six seats in the state in 2018, causing the party to look at potentially getting the majority for the first time in almost 30 years.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Yudichak will be up for re-election in 2022.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Hillary Clinton says ‘many, many, many people’ want her to join 2020 Democratic primary

closeUncertainty over Biden, Warren stirs rumor mill that Hillary Clinton may enter raceVideo

Uncertainty over Biden, Warren stirs rumor mill that Hillary Clinton may enter race

Pundits ramp up speculation of Hillary Clinton entering the 2020 Democrat field after recent reports of an 'anxious' Democrat establishment; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines, Iowa.

Hillary Clinton continued to stir speculation on Tuesday that she could make a late entry into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, saying “many, many, many people” are pressuring her to consider a third run for the White House.

The former secretary of state said during an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live that she hasn't ruled out joining the already-crowded Democratic fray looking to be the nominee to challenge President Trump in next year’s general election.

“I, as I say, never, never, never say never,” Clinton said. “I will certainly tell you, I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.”

Clinton added: “But as of this moment, sitting here in this studio talking to you, that is absolutely not in my plans."

BLOOMBERG WON'T COMPETE IN EARLY VOTING STATES IF HE RUNS FOR WHITE HOUSE

While previous election cycles have seen the list of potential nominees winnow down as the first primaries approach, the 2020 Democratic primary looks different. With no clear front-runner and shifting polls, a number of potential candidates have indicated an interest in launching a late bid for the presidency.

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, filed paperwork last week to qualify for the primary in Alabama and has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the rise of liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Democratic presidential candidates rip Michael Bloomberg's potential White House bidVideo

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has also reportedly been considering entering the primary. Newsweek reported last Friday that Holder had spoken with strategists about a potential run. And on Monday, sources close to former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told The Associated Press that he's mulling a White House run, as well.

If Clinton were to join the race, she would quickly become the biggest figure in the Democratic field. She has twice run for president in the past, losing the Democratic nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 and losing the general election in a close race to Trump in 2016.

Rumors about Clinton entering the 2020 race, however, have been circulating for a while, with Mark Penn, an adviser and pollster to Bill and Hillary Clinton from 1995 to 2008, making waves last year by predicting in The Wall Street Journal that Clinton would return in 2020 as a “liberal firebrand."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Despite the rumors, Clinton’s supporters in early voting states don’t think she’ll be entering the race in 2020.

President Trump losing support among Catholic voters ahead of 2020Video

“I don’t think she’s running again,” incoming New Hampshire Senate President Donna Soucy, a four-term Democratic state senator who backed Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns, told Fox News.

“I know the rumors floating out there that that’s a possibility,” Soucy added. “I don’t believe for a second that it is.”

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Original Article

Deval Patrick considering entering 2020 Democratic presidential primary

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 11Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 11

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 11 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is the latest Democrat to consider joining the 2020 Democratic presidential primary fray, with sources close to the politician telling the Associated Press he is mulling a White House run.

Patrick ruled out a run earlier this year but has since been talking with Democratic operatives and donors about launching a campaign. His deliberations come as some Democrats express uncertainty about the party's current crop of contenders.

Patrick has not made a final decision on whether to run and faces fast-approaching deadlines to get on the ballot in key states.

BLOOMBERG WON'T COMPETE IN EARLY VOTING STATES IF HE RUNS FOR WHITE HOUSE

Patrick is a close ally of former President Barack Obama. He made history as Massachusetts' first black governor, serving from 2007 to 2015.

The former Massachusetts governor is the latest high-profile Democrat to spark rumors of a late entry into the primary.

Democratic presidential candidates rip Michael Bloomberg's potential White House bidVideo

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, filed paperwork last week to qualify for the primary in Alabama and has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the rise of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions.

In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes Trump "represents an unprecedented threat to our nation" and must be defeated.

"But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned to do that," Wolfson said.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is also reportedly considering entering the Democratic primary with Newsweek reporting last Friday that Holder had spoken with strategists about running in the already crowded Democratic 2020 primary field.

How the Catholic vote will impact the 2020 presidential raceVideo

The news of the late entries has caused frustration and anger among the current Democratic candidates, and raised more concerns about the chances of current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, beating President Trump next November.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

For his part, Biden said last Friday that he welcomes the possibility of Bloomberg joining the crowded presidential field seeking the Democratic nomination.

"Michael's a solid guy, and let's see where it goes," Biden told reporters after filing paperwork to run in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary in February. "I have no problem with him getting in the race."

"The Democratic Party is a big tent," he added. "In order to be able to win, you have to be able to reach out and win parts of all of the constituency."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Bloomberg move underscores Democratic Party panic over 2020 field

closeBloomberg expected to file paperwork to enter 2020 Alabama Democrat primaryVideo

Bloomberg expected to file paperwork to enter 2020 Alabama Democrat primary

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has staffers on the ground in Alabama on deadline day for a ballot filing; Peter Doocy reports.

The potential entrance of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the 2020 presidential race marks perhaps the most significant sign yet of rising anxiety among prominent Democrats over the current candidate field.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are locked in a race to the left that could leave either struggling to attract the center in a general election, and former Vice President Joe Biden is facing lingering doubts about his campaign's strength.

The billionaire Bloomberg, despite previously ruling out a run, is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in Alabama’s Democratic presidential primary. In a statement, his political adviser Howard Wolfson said bluntly that Bloomberg was worried the current crop of 2020 hopefuls is not “well positioned” to beat President Trump next November.

BLOOMBERG EXPECTED TO FILE PAPERWORK TO ENTER 2020 ALABAMA DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

"In 2018 [Bloomberg] spent more than $100 million to help elect Democrats to ensure that Congress began to hold the President accountable," Wolfson said. "And this year he helped Democrats win control of both houses of the Virginia legislature."

He added: "We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that."

That’s a view shared by a number of Democratic strategists and commentators. While Biden remains near the top of the polls, questions about his age, fitness and fundraising ability have shadowed him, and he has been savaged by the party’s left-flank for his more moderate positions on questions such as health care, immigration and even working with Republicans.

“This is a thunderclap,” Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted about the Bloomberg news. “And not exactly a vote of confidence from leading moderate in durability of @JoeBiden campaign.”

Trump, meanwhile, predicted that Bloomberg would hurt Biden, and indicated he looked forward to the prospect of a Bloomberg candidacy.

“There’s no one I would rather run against than Little Michael,” Trump told reporters, while also casting doubt on Bloomberg's ability to prevail in the primaries.

It remains unclear whether Bloomberg, running from the center-left, could command the kind of primary support necessary to rise in the packed field, even spending his own fortune to do it.

One possibility, as Trump suggested, is that he'd draw just enough support from Biden to boost a more liberal candidate such as Warren, D-Mass., or Sanders. I-Vt. — whose big-spending policy prescriptions have also raised alarm about general election viability.

Biden attacks Warren: Is the play-nice approach of 2020 Democrats changing?Video

“There’s more anxiety than ever,” Connie Schultz, a journalist who is married to Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, told The New York Times last month. Brown has also been eyed by some Democrats as a possible late entrant to the race.

“We’re both getting the calls. I’ve been surprised by some who’ve called me,” Schultz said.

Last Friday, Warren released her “Medicare-for-all” plan, coming with an eyewatering price tag of $52 trillion (including $20 trillion in new spending over the next decade) and a promise not to raise taxes on the middle class — a claim met with deep skepticism from across the political spectrum. But centrists were also scathing about how the plan would play out in swing states.

“This is going to cause down-ballot damage in swing districts and states if she’s the nominee,” Colorado State Rep. Bri Buentello told Politico.

Sanders, meanwhile, on Thursday released his immigration plan — a grab bag of far-left items including a deportation freeze, full welfare access for illegal immigrants, the dismantling of federal immigration agencies, and the promise to accept a minimum of 50,000 “climate migrants” in the first year of a Sanders administration.

While those plans have been cheered by left-wing activists, it is far from clear how well they would go down in swing states any Democrat needs to win in order to beat Trump.

While current national polling suggests most of the main 2020 candidates would beat Trump next year, there are warning signs in the polling data for Democrats — apart from the general caveat that most polling also showed Trump losing in 2016, and he didn’t.

The swing states generally show a tighter race against Trump. A New York Times/Siena College survey in six battleground states released Friday shows that Democrats there also prefer a more moderate pick. A majority, 55 percent, said they wanted a candidate more moderate than most Democrats, and 62 percent wanted a candidate who would try and find common ground with Republicans.

Bernie Sanders vows to dismantle Trump's immigration agenda if electedVideo

“With Trump looming, there is genuine concern that the horse many have bet on may be pulling up lame and the horse who has sprinted out front may not be able to win,” Axelrod told the Times last month.

The idea that Bloomberg’s entrance into the 2020 race is a response to the deficiencies of the current field has been greeted by glee by Republicans.

“Really? Another one?" Republican National Committee Rapid Response Director Steve Guest tweeted. “The fact that Michael Bloomberg feels the need to run for president underscores the weak Democrat field and shows that Democrats know they can’t compete with @realDonaldTrump in 2020.”

There are other signs that Democrats on the sidelines are nervous about the current field. Hillary Clinton has been the subject of a series of rumors that she may throw her hat in the race — a prospect that seemed unthinkable a year ago. The Washington Post, meanwhile, reported that former Attorney General Eric Holder is considering stepping into the race too.

The consideration of any of these politicians may reflect sheer personal ambition as much as concern about the field — but the fact they're even flirting with a run at this late stage indicates they see an opening for that reason.

It remains to be seen whether Bloomberg will jump all the way in. The next major deadline he faces is in New Hampshire, where the deadline for candidates to put their name on the ballot is Nov. 11. Bloomberg aides tell Fox News there’s no word yet on whether the former New York City mayor will come to New Hampshire to file. But they add that they'll do "everything necessary to keep all of our options open.”

Team Bloomberg is also reaching out to top Granite State Democrats. Longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley told Fox News that he’s been contacted. But others have pushed back on the idea that what Democratic voters want is even more candidates to choose from.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Longtime New Hampshire based Democratic consultant James Demers – who’s backing Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey this cycle – said that “anybody and everybody has a right to run if they want to but I’m hearing voters more and more saying ‘I really want this field to winnow down to six or seven so I can process who’s running and they’re not asking for the field to grow.’

“So I think it’s a high-stakes game for anyone to get in this late in the game because that’s not where the voters’ heads are,” he said.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Peter Doocy contributed to this report.

Original Article

Polls close in Louisiana primary as Democratic governor seeks to avoid runoff

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 12Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 12

Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 12 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

Polls have closed in Lousiana's primary election, which will determine whether Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards will face a runoff election next month against one of two GOP contenders.

Under Louisiana’s so-called “jungle primary” system, all the candidates of both parties appear on a single ballot and a runoff is triggered if no candidate achieves a simple majority.

Voters went to the polls one night after President Trump held a rally in Lake Charles in a last-ditch attempt to encourage voters to vote for either U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham or businessman Eddie Rispone in order to prevent Edwards from hitting the magic number of "50 percent plus one." A runoff would take place on Nov. 16.

TRUMP BLASTS 'BULLS— IMPEACHMENT' AT LOUISIANA RALLY, SAYS NANCY PELOSI 'HATES THE UNITED STATES'

Trump was careful not to throw his weight behind either of the Republican challengers running and instead was joined on stage by both Abraham and Rispone at the "Keep America Great Rally."

Abraham, 65, a third-term congressman from rural Richland Parish in northeast Louisiana, touted his background as a doctor. He pledged tax cuts while promising new spending on early childhood education, roads and public safety. He didn't explain how he would balance the budget with less revenue.

Rispone, 70, founder of a Baton Rouge industrial contracting company, is a long-time GOP political donor running for his first elected office. He largely self-financed his campaign, pouring $11 million in the race. He presented himself in the mold of Trump, describing himself as a conservative outsider who would upend the traditional political system of Baton Rouge.

Edwards dealt with a crisis on Saturday morning after a portion of the Hard Rock Hotel under construction in downtown New Orleans collapsed killing one person and injuring dozens more. Rescue efforts were ongoing inside the building as law enforcement officials said two people remained trapped inside even as a 270 feet tall crane remained unstable, requiring possibly larger equipment to stabilize it.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Republicans sought to prove that Edwards' longshot victory in 2015 was a fluke, aided by a flawed GOP opponent, David Vitter, who was hobbled by a prostitution scandal and attacks on his moral character from fellow Republicans in the primary.

Democrats want an Edwards reelection win to show they can compete even in a ruby red state that Trump won by 20 points. Throughout his campaign, Edwards sought to make the election a referendum on his performance rather than a commentary on Louisiana's views on national politics.

Edwards, a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger opposes abortion and gun restrictions, talks of working well with the Trump administration and calls the U.S. House Democrats' impeachment inquiry a distraction to governing in Washington. He signed one of the nation's strictest abortion bans, but also expanded Louisiana's Medicaid program, adding nearly a half-million new people to government-financed health care and lowering the state's uninsured rate below the national average.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Fox News Poll: Biden and Warren gain ground in Democratic race

closeBiden calls for Trump's impeachment for first timeVideo

Biden calls for Trump's impeachment for first time

2020 hopeful Joe Biden says the president has violated his oath of office and betrayed the nation; Griff Jenkins reports from Washington.

Together Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren capture the support of more than half of Democratic primary voters, according to the latest Fox News national poll on the 2020 election.

Biden stays on top in the race with 32 percent support among primary voters, up 3 points since September. He’s followed by Elizabeth Warren at 22 percent — that’s up 6 points and a new high for her. Bernie Sanders is at 17 percent, down 1 point since last month.

While Biden’s support has stayed between 29-35 percent since March, his current 10-point advantage is about half of his 19-point lead in June.

The rundown continues with Kamala Harris at 5 percent, Pete Buttigieg at 4 percent, Beto O’Rourke at 3 percent, and Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang each at 2 percent. Michael Bennet, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan, Tom Steyer, and Marianne Williamson receive 1 percent apiece.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

Biden retains top billing with strong support among non-whites, voters over age 45, and moderates/conservatives. Warren has strengthened her position by increasing support among suburban voters, very liberals, and men.

When Democratic primary voters’ first and second choice preferences are considered together, Biden and Warren tie at 45 percent support, Sanders is at 34 percent, Harris 15 percent and Buttigieg 13 percent.

President Trump’s allegations about improper actions by Biden and his son have so far failed to chip away at Biden’s support in the primary race — and Democratic primary voters continue to believe the former vice president is the candidate best equipped to beat Trump in 2020: 43 percent feel that way, up from 42 percent last month. Nineteen percent think Warren has the best chance to oust Trump and 15 percent say Sanders.

At the same time, the poll finds the three top Democratic candidates with sizable leads over the president in potential head-to-head matchups.

The poll, released Thursday, shows Biden (50-40 percent) and Warren (50-40 percent) both top Trump by 10 points, and Sanders is up by 9 (49-40 percent). This marks the first time all three Democrats have held a lead outside the poll’s margin of error. Last month, Biden was up by 14 points, Warren by 6 and Sanders by 8.

“If Warren continues to poll as strongly against Trump as the former vice president, it makes it increasingly difficult for the Biden team to keep making the argument he is the most electable candidate,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican Daron Shaw.

The impeachment inquiry hasn’t caused any real shifts in the ballot test, as Trump’s support in the two-way matchups has been between 37-42 percent all year. However, the poll finds an 8-point shift since last month in the number expecting Trump will be re-elected. In September, more thought he would win by a 6-point margin and now more expect he won’t by 2 points.

And while most Republican primary voters want to keep Trump as their party’s nominee, nearly one in five, 17 percent, would like to see someone else run.

“So far, Trump has been able to keep his Republican base on board,” says Shaw. “If the percentage opposing his re-nomination creeps into the 20s, that would be a troubling sign.”

Meanwhile, voters continue to believe Donald Trump is dishonest. Sixty-three percent say that — far more than the 35 percent who think he is honest and trustworthy. By the way, that’s the same number who said Trump was honest before he won the 2016 election.

Vice President Mike Pence does a bit better than his boss, although not by much: 39 percent say he’s honest and 54 percent say dishonest.

On the other side, each of the top three Democratic candidates receives positive ratings on this measure. Sanders performs best with 59 percent saying he is honest and trustworthy (36 percent disagree). Fifty percent think Warren is honest vs. 44 percent dishonest, and for Biden voters split 48-47 percent.

Among Democrats, 87 percent think Sanders is honest and trustworthy, while 81 percent feel that way about Warren and 75 percent Biden. Seventy-three percent of Republicans say Trump is honest.

Currently, 51 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Sanders, while 43 percent view him negatively. That puts him in positive territory by 8 points. More view Warren positively by 7 points (46 favorable vs. 39 unfavorable) and Biden by 6 (50 favorable vs. 44 unfavorable).

The ratings are closer to even for Buttigieg (+3 points), Yang (+3), Booker (-2), Harris (-3) and O’Rourke (-4). They each also have large numbers who have never heard of them or have no opinion of them. For example, 43 percent of voters are unable to rate Yang, while 36 percent can’t rate Buttigieg and 32 percent can’t rate Booker.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Voters view Trump more negatively than positively by 13 points (43-56). His personal favorable rating was underwater by 22 points in the days leading up to the 2016 election (38-60).

Twice as many primary voters say Trump’s allegations make them more likely to vote for Biden (21 percent more vs. 10 percent less), while twice as many say health concerns make them less (31 percent) rather than more likely (15 percent) to vote for Sanders in the primary.

Sanders is off the campaign trail since suffering a heart attack October 3. He’s 78 years old, while Biden is 76, Trump is 73, and Warren is 70.

Conducted October 6-8, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,003 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters and 4.5 points for Democratic primary voters (484).

Original Article

Nita Lowey, longtime Democratic lawmaker and House Appropriations chairwoman, to retire

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 10Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 10

Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 10 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., a 16-term congresswoman and chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced Thursday that she will retire after the 2020 elections.

Lowey, who represents New York's 17th Congressional District, located in the southeastern part of the state – including Westchester, Queens and the Bronx – touted the record she built over her 31-year career and promised to continue representing her constituents through 2020.

"Thank you to the people of my district for the opportunity to serve," she said in a statement. "I will continue working as hard as ever – with the same optimism and energy – through the end of this term in Congress."

Lowey became the first-ever woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee and has championed legislation on drunk driving, gender equality and support for Israel.

GABBARD THREATENS TO LEAVE BOYCOTT OHIO DEBATE, CLAIMS DNC IS 'RIGGING' PRIMARIES

"I am especially thankful for the dedication and wisdom of my current and former staff in New York, in Washington and on the House Appropriations Committee," she wrote. "I look forward to more time with my husband Steve and our family, who have strongly supported my career in public service."

Lowey's retirement comes as the number of House GOP members not running for reelection has mounted, especially in Texas, where Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, recently became the sixth Republican to decide not to seek another term. He is the 19th House Republican leaving Congress, including two members who resigned.

Lowey's district won't be in any danger of turning red as it's located in a Democratic stronghold and she won her most recent reelection 88 percent to 12 percent. There's previously been chatter that Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, might be interested in the seat.

Chelsea Clinton in April 2017. News stories in the past have speculated Clinton could run for the New York 17th District's congressional seat after longtime Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., retires.

Chelsea Clinton in April 2017. News stories in the past have speculated Clinton could run for the New York 17th District's congressional seat after longtime Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., retires. (Reuters)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Those news reports have speculated the youngest Clinton might run for the 17th District seat after Lowey's retirement, and the Clinton's hometown is Chappaqua, which is currently represented by Lowey. Clinton has been an outspoken critic of President Trump since her mother lost to him in the 2016 election and would likely have the highest name recognition of any Democratic candidate for the seat were she to run.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Warren slightly edges Biden in 2020 race ahead of next Democratic showdown: Poll

closeFox News poll shows Joe Biden with a commanding lead in South CarolinaVideo

Fox News poll shows Joe Biden with a commanding lead in South Carolina

GOP pollster Justin Wallin on which 2020 Democrat will win in the battleground state of South Carolina.

With one week to go until the next Democratic presidential debate, a new national poll shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren is holding a slight edge over former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for their party’s 2020 nomination.

The poll – released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University – is the latest in a slew of national and early voting state surveys in recent weeks to show Warren has surged and now is virtually tied with Biden in the Democratic primary battle.

STAGE IS SET FOR RECORD-BREAKING DEMOCRATIC 2020 DEBATE

The populist senator from Massachusetts who has produced one progressive plan after another stands at 29 percent support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in the survey. Biden – who for months was the unrivaled front-runner – registers at 26 percent. Warren’s three-point advantage over the former vice president is within the poll’s margin of error.

“Warren maintains her strength in the Democratic primary, which has been consistently growing since the start of her campaign. This poll confirms her status as a co-frontrunner with Biden," Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders – the progressive independent from Vermont who’s making his second straight White House run – received 16 percent support.

Warren was at 27 percent, Biden 25 percent, and Sanders 16 percent in Quinnipiac's last Democratic primary poll, which was released two weeks ago.

QUESTIONS MOUNT OVER WARREN'S STUMP SPEECH STORY THAT SHE LOST HER TEACHING JOB BECAUSE SHE WAS PREGNANT

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a distant fourth, at 4 percent, in the new survey. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang stand at 3 percent in the survey. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota register at 2 percent, with everyone one else in the record-setting field of Democratic presidential candidates coming in at 1 percent or less.

Biden tops President Trump 51-40 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup. But that’s down from a 16 percentage point lead over the GOP president in Quinnipiac’s late August poll. Warren’s ahead of Trump by eight points in the new survey, down from a 12-point lead in August. And Sanders beat the president by 7 points, down from a 14 point lead in the previous poll.

The new poll also indicates that registered voters nationwide remain divided over impeaching and removing the president from office over the Ukrainian crisis.

IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY GETS MAJORITY SUPPORT IN NEW POLL

Forty-five percent of registered voters say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, with 49 percent opposing such a move. Voters were evenly split at 47 percent in last week’s Quinnipiac survey. But a Quinnipiac poll released late last month – before news of the Ukrainian crisis broke – indicated support for impeachment at just 37 percent.

The new poll indicates 53-43 percent majority support for impeachment inquiry being conducted the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, a slight uptick from 52-45 percent backing for the investigation a week ago.

As expected, there’s a vast partisan divide, with 92 percent of Democrats saying the inquiry’s legitimate and 88 percent of Republicans calling it a witch hunt. By a 52-40 percent margin, independents say the investigation into Trump is legitimate.

Trump’s under fire over his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over their dealings in the eastern European country that’s been battling Russia this decade. Fueled by whistleblower complaints and a read-out of the call released by the White House, Democrats argue the president was asking a foreign country to potentially interfere in a U.S. election.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong and has on numerous occasions described his conversation with the Ukrainian leader as “perfect.”

The president and allies have instead tried to put the spotlight in the scandal on Biden, a political rival who’s hoping to face off against the president in next year’s election.

Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president. Trump and fellow Republicans have questioned how Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was looking into corruption at the company. The prosecutor – who had been widely accused by both Democrats and Republicans of overlooking corruption in his own office – was later dismissed.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted October 4-7, with 1,483 self-identified registered voters questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.7 percent for questions to the 646 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.

Original Article