Trump is up and tweeting, and confirming that he will be meeting “major pharmaceutical companies today at the White House” with regard to the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed two people in the US.
The global death toll from the coronavirus outbreak exceeded 3,000 on Monday. Covid-19 has now infected more than 88,000 people and spread to more than 60 countries.
Bill Kristol has come out strongly for Joe Biden this morning in The Bulwark, urging readers not to “overthink your Super Tuesday vote”.
Though the situation is complex, the answer actually is simple. Whatever the substantive case for either Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, and despite the flashes of electoral strength each has shown, neither is going to be the nominee. And despite what once seemed a possible, though unconventional, path to the nomination, it’s not going to be Mike Bloomberg either. So it’s Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden. Which means, if you’re inclined toward American constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and a free economic order–as well as a liberal world order anchored by the United States–it’s Joe Biden.
It feels like one of those endorsements that might end up energising the Sanders’ support base as much as it manages to shift any floating voters in Biden’s direction.
You can read it here – The Bulwark: The Simple Answer
Senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice Theodore R Johnson has written for us, urging people not to assume that the whole of black America has spoken in South Carolina with the overwhelming victory that Joe Biden enjoyed in the state.
Unlike in previous presidential primaries, black voters nationally are unlikely to coalesce behind a single candidate this early. And given the range of ideological positions among the Democratic field of candidates – from Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren further to the left and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg filling the centrist lane – the political diversity within the black electorate will find expression in ways often muted in years with presumptive nominees.
You can read his piece here:
“You’ve probably seen more ads for Michael Bloomberg than the rest of us running for president put together” says Elizabeth Warren in one of her new campaign ads.
CBS News have an interesting piece here on just where the Democrats ad-spend is going before Super Tuesday. It is no surprise who is spending the most.
Leading up to Super Tuesday, Bloomberg has spent more than $170 million on ads in the fourteen states holding contests…Apart from Bloomberg, only Sanders is airing TV and radio ads in nearly all Super Tuesday states, a move that can be chalked up to his success in record-breaking grassroots fundraising.
Buttigieg was also advertising heavily before he pulled the plug on his campaign at the weekend. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden have been more likely to rely on Super PAC money. Warren’s campaign has spent less than $2 million on ads, but the Persist PAC supporting her has splashed out $12m.
Read the full analysis here – CBS News: Where are candidates spending on the airwaves before Super Tuesday?
Away from the Democratic race for a moment, yesterday a federal judge ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed to lead the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and, as a result, lacked authority to give asylum seekers less time to prepare for initial screening interviews.
Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general and an immigration hardliner, was named to a new position of “principal deputy director” in June, which immediately made him acting director because Lee Francis Cissna had just resigned. The agency grants green cards and other visas and also oversees asylum officers.
US District Judge Randolph Moss in Washington found Cuccinelli’s appointment violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, a 1998 law governing who is eligible to lead federal agencies in an acting capacity. The impact of the ruling wasn’t immediately clear.
Donald Trump has favoured temporary appointments. At Homeland Security, Chad Wolf is acting secretary, and the heads of Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services are also in acting roles.
Homeland Security Department spokesperson Heather Swift said, “We obviously disagree with the court’s opinion and are looking more closely at it.”
Cuccinelli is now acting deputy Homeland Security secretary, the department’s No. 2 position. Joseph Edlow, a longtime congressional aide who joined Citizenship and Immigration Services in July, was named last month to run the agency’s day-to-day operations.
There will a lot of post-mortems of the Buttigieg campaign published today – here’s a fine one from Elena Schneider in Politico:
Buttigieg’s rank-and-file supporters defied easy ideological grouping — he battled fiercely with progressive Elizabeth Warren and moderate Amy Klobuchar for voters in recent months, in addition to lobbing calls for “generational change” at Biden and Sanders. The coalition he built did not exist 14 months ago…He was just two years clear of the constitutional age limit to become president. But Buttigieg burst out of obscurity on the strength of his charisma and sharp, viral answers to media questions in the opening months of the campaign.
Read it here – Politico: Inside the sudden end of Pete Buttigieg’s campaign
And here’s a reminder of how his campaign ended:
Mike Bloomberg’s campaigning on Sunday also produced protest images at the historic Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama that he probably would have rather avoided.
Bloomberg’s campaign has been dogged by his history of controversial statements on race, and his record on stop-and-frisk policing while he was mayor of New York. Inviting him to appear at an event commemorating one of the civil rights movement’s most emotional milestones was always likely to be controversial.
Sam Levine and Ankita Rao’s report from the church includes quotes from those who decided to protest Bloomberg’s appearance:
It isn’t just his record on race that risks derailing the Bloomberg bid to be a billionaire president – his troubling record with women could also pose a huge problem for him.
For years he has battled claims that he’s called women “fat broads” and “horse-faced lesbians,” allegedly announcing within an employee’s earshot that he would like to “do that piece of meat”, according to court records and other documents. (Bloomberg has denied ever saying the word “meat”). An aide recalled that Bloomberg often remarked “nice tits” upon seeing attractive women.
Lucia Graves has the latest in our series on the billionaire candidate:
More than one of the Democratic challengers had difficult campaigning days on Sunday. Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar ended up cancelling a rally in her home state after protesters took over the stage over the case of a black teen sentenced to life in prison while Klobuchar was the county’s top prosecutor.
Klobuchar was scheduled to speak at St. Louis Park High School in suburban Minneapolis. But dozens of protesters entered the gymnasium, raised signs and chanted “black lives matter” and “Myon,” a reference to Myon Burrell, who was convicted of the murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards.
Burrell was sent to prison for life following a police investigation some say was flawed. Klobuchar has said if there is new information in the case then it should be considered – a response that some activists have said doesn’t go far enough.
Klobuchar has struggled to win support from black voters, a major problem for her campaign, but she has rejected suggestions she drop out of the race, saying she plans to compete at least through the upcoming Super Tuesday contests.
Well then, good morning. It’s an absolutely crucial day of campaigning ahead of Super Tuesday – but it is a campaign that has changed shape dramatically after the events of the weekend.
Firstly Joe Biden’s margin of victory in South Carolina re-energised his bid for the nomination – and also showed that Bernie Sanders had failed to gain ground in a state where he was crushed by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary.
Tom Steyer may have been expected to drop out after a disappointing showing on Saturday – and he did – but it was former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s withdrawal last night that radically alters the situation.
Following his narrow win in Iowa, Buttigieg had already amassed more pledged delegates than Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg and Tulsi Gabbard combined – yet still couldn’t see a way through to winning the nomination.
It remains to be seen who Mayor Pete will endorse now – and whether we’ve seen the last of him for this election cycle. Could he end up being someone’s pick for VP?
Today Sanders will be in Utah and Minnesota, Biden is due in Texas, and Warren will be campaigning in California. Here’s our guide to Super Tuesday if you want a refresher on what is at stake.
Away from the Democratic race, there’s plenty going on in government. Donald Trump is meeting the Colombian president, having lunch with vice-president Mike Pence, and then meeting members of the Coronavirus Task Force. The US has confirmed approximately 60 cases of the severe respiratory illness with two deaths.
The president will later be at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mike Pence will be putting in an appearance at AIPAC, as will Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden.