The latest entry in the 2020 race, former Vice President Joe Biden, promised Thursday that “America is coming back,” which many critics compared to President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Biden, who officially launched his 2020 presidential campaign with a video, was swarmed by reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, and was asked if he had a “message for the rest of the world.”
“Yes,” Biden firmly responded. “America’s coming back like it used to be; ethical, straight, telling the truth… supporting our allies. All those good things.”
Many on Twitter compared his remarks to Trump’s famous election slogan.
Others mocked Biden’s claim that America is “straight.”
Biden enters the race without the endorsement of his former running mate, President Obama.
He does, however, have a comfortable lead in the polls, averaging at 29.3 percent among primary voters according to Real Clear Politics.
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Vice President Joe Biden “shared his regret” with Anita Hill during a “private discussion” about his role in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings nearly three decades ago, a spokesperson said Thursday.
A Biden spokesperson told Fox News that the newly announced presidential candidate spoke to Hill and thanked her for all she has done in her pursuit of change. He also apologized for what she “endured.”
“Vice President Biden has spoken with Anita Hill. They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country,” the statement read.
Biden, 76, served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 when Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation process.
Similarly, Biden seemed to regret his actions last month when he said that Hill, a black woman, should not have been forced to face a panel of “a bunch of white guys.”
“To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” he said at an event in New York on March 26. “I wish I could have done something.”
But in an interview with The New York Times, Hill stopped short of calling Biden’s words an apology.
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she said.
Hill told The Times that the conversation, which took place earlier this month, is just the beginning of Biden’s apology tour, pointing to the recent allegations of inappropriate touching leveled against the former vice president.
“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” she told the paper. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw.”
Biden officially announced his bid for the White House on Thursday, several weeks after allegations of inappropriate touching were made against him.
Fox News’ Liam Quinn contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich said Thursday, “I think he is right” after President Trump vowed to fight any subpoenas from House Democrats, asserting there are “no crimes by me at all” following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Gingrich, a Fox News contributor and author of the new novel “Collusion,” made the statement on “America’s Newsroom” the day after Trump vowed that he would go all the way to the Supreme Court if “partisan” Democrats try to impeach him.
“It’s one thing to say – and people tend to forget this, when Ken Starr reported on Bill Clinton he found him guilty, used the word ‘guilty’ on 11 different charges. It’s a totally different thing to have somebody do two years of investigation, come back and say there’s no proof, there’s no criminality and then suddenly have, on a purely partisan basis, the Democrats jump up and hunt for new things to start fighting over,” said Gingrich.
“There’s no grounds as a private citizen for pre-presidential candidate Trump to have to give them all this stuff. And notice what they’ve gone after, they’re basically saying, ‘We’re going to dig through the family basement until we find something.’ And I think the president is right to just close it down, tell them to do the best they can and just ignore them. And have his lawyers fight their lawyers from now until the election.”
He added, “Let the country decide in 2020. You want real growth, lowest black unemployment, lowest Latino unemployment, a real chance to fix healthcare or do you want this kind of investigating baloney?”
The president’s pledge came as congressional Democrats debate whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. During a conference call on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., along with her leadership team, was clear that there were no immediate plans to move forward with impeachment.
Meanwhile, also on Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify publicly next month following last week’s release of Mueller’s Russia report.
Nadler described McGahn, who stepped down as White House counsel in October 2018, as “a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Special Counsel’s report.”
When asked about congressional Democrats potentially pursuing impeachment, Gingrich said, “It won’t work.”
Citing his reasons, Gingrich said, “First of all, you know in the Senate, which the Republicans control, that there is zero possibility that they would ever convict.”
“Second, I think for Democrats from marginal districts, districts that Trump carried or Clinton barely carried, to have to go back home and explain, you’re not working on healthcare, you’re not working on economic growth, you’re not working on education but here is investigative hearing number 73, I think that weakens the chance of re-election for an entire class of Democrats who are going to be very uncomfortable if that’s how their party is defined.”
Gingrich also weighed in Thursday on former Vice President Joe Biden officially announcing his 2020 bid in a video saying, “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.”
Biden added, “I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”
“I agree with Joe Biden, we are in a battle for the soul of the nation,” said Gingrich in response.
“You have Democrats now who favor killing babies after they’re born. You have Democrats who favor allowing terrorists and bombers to vote while they are in prison. You have Democrats who are for open borders, letting anybody in who wants to. You have Democrats who want to take away your right to have private health insurance. Let’s go down the list.”
He added, “this is a fight over the nature of America and the future of America. And the difference, the choice next year is going to be the widest choice maybe in modern times and I think Biden is going to find it difficult to navigate because he would like to be a good old guy, just a general nice person. But everybody on the left is going to say to him ‘where do you stand on all of these issues?’ And he’s pretty rapidly going to discover this is a much tougher environment for a Democrat than it was while Barack Obama was shielding him from any kind of hard questions.”
When asked if he thinks Biden can beat President Trump, Gingrich answered, “Conceivably. If the economy would go really bad. If the president would have a bad campaign. You don’t know.”
He added, “The question is going to be, can the Democrats offer an alternative that people decide is better? If it’s Trump versus perfection, I think President Trump has problems. If it’s Trump versus the most likely Democrats on their ticket vowing for the things they claim they favor, I think he’s going to beat them by a surprisingly big margin.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Democrats on several top House committees launched an investigation Thursday into the massive shakeup in leadership at the Department of Homeland Security due to allegations that President Trump removed top officials for refusing to carry out his desired immigration policies.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; and Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Thursday seeking documents related to recent immigration-related actions by the president and White House aide Stephen Miller “to remove senior leaders throughout DHS who reportedly refused orders to violate the law.”
The request comes amid a staffing shake-up at the agency which began earlier this month with the resignation of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“We are deeply concerned that the firing and forced resignation of these officials puts the security of the American people at risk,” they wrote. “We are also concerned that the President may have removed DHS officials because they refused his demands to violate federal immigration law and judicial orders.”
They added: “Moreover, we are concerned by reports that, even as he has removed the Department’s leadership, the President has sought to empower a White House aide, Stephen Miller, to ‘be in charge of handling all immigration and border affairs.’”
The letter was sent to DHS just hours after White House Counsel Pat Cipollone notified the House Oversight Committee that Miller would decline Cummings’ invitation to testify before the panel, and instead, offered cabinet secretaries and other agency officials to appear instead.
“In accordance with long-standing precedent, we respectfully decline the invitation to make Mr. Miller available for testimony before the Committee,” he wrote. “The precedent for members of the White House staff to decline invitations to testify before congressional committees has been consistently adhered to by administrations of both political parties, and is based on clearly established constitutional doctrines.”
He added: “In light of the Committee’s interest, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the Administration’s immigration policy priorities and note that many Executive Branch officials, including cabinet secretaries and other agency leaders, have testified on multiple occasions regarding the Administration’s efforts to secure the border.”
“Testimony by such Executive Branch officials with responsibilities defined by statute would be a reasonable accommodation to the Committee’s questions and legislative goals,” he wrote.
The White House’s decision comes after President Trump vowed this week to fight “all” subpoenas against the administration.
But the Oversight Committee did not subpoena Miller. Cummings invited Miller to testify on why he believes it is “good policy for the Trump administration to take the actions it has. Cummings noted the administration’s unofficial policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, “transferring asylum seekers to sanctuary cities as a form of illegal retribution” against political adversaries, and “firing top Administration officials who refuse orders to violate the law.”
The invitation from Cummings came after Trump announced that illegal immigrants would be “given” to sanctuary cities, pending official decisions from the Department of Homeland Security. Also, earlier this month, Trump said that the administration has no plans to revive the controversial policy that allowed for family separations at the border.
That announcement came amid a massive shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier this month, President Trump announced that Nielsen would be resigning, and replaced with former CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who would serve as acting secretary of the agency.
Since then, McAleenan appointed John Sanders to serve as acting CBP commissioner; former head of the Transportation Security Administration David Pekoske to be his acting deputy secretary at DHS; and Patricia Cogswell as acting TSA administrator. The White House earlier this month announced that James M. Murray would become head of the U.S. Secret Service—replacing Randolph “Tex” Alles.
Fox News’ Kristin Brown contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Vice President Joe Biden has not only snagged the limelight from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with his announcement that he is joining the 2020 Democratic presidential field, but he also snagged away some of Sanders’ former staff.
Biden, who made his long-awaited entry into the race for the White House on Thursday, has hired former Sanders’ staffer Symone Sanders to be one of his senior campaign advisers, his campaign announced.
Sanders served as the Vermont lawmaker’s spokeswoman in the 2016 presidential race and is a well-known Democratic strategist and political commentator on CNN.
The hiring of Sanders is another indication of the expected tough fight that Biden and Sanders are in for as the two frontrunners battle a deep Democratic field.
While Sanders himself didn’t torch Biden as he jumped into the race, it’s clear that many of his progressive supporters view the former vice president as a threat.
Biden’s entry into the race – at least in the early going – sets up a battle between himself and Sanders, who thanks to his fierce fight with eventual nominee Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination, enjoys name ID on the level of the former vice president.
Justice Democrats — who also called Biden “out-of-touch” – is an increasingly influential group among the left of the party. They’ve championed progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as well as Sanders. The group was founded by members of Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.
Biden has pushed back against the perception that he’s a moderate in a party that’s increasingly moving to the left. Earlier this month he described himself as an “Obama-Biden Democrat.”
And Biden said he’d stack his record against “anybody who has run or who is running now or who will run.”
Highlighting his early public push for same-sex marriage, he said, “I’m not sure when everybody else came out and said they’re for gay marriage.”
Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile – a Fox News contributor – highlighted that “Joe Biden can occupy his own lane in large part because he’s earned it. He’s earned the right to call himself whatever.”
But she emphasized that “elections are not about the past, they’re about the future…I do believe he has the right ingredients. The question is can he find enough people to help him stir the pot.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker gave a pass to Rep. Ilhan Omar and her history of controversial comments, ignoring his own party’s condemnation, and instead said President Trump’s criticism of her leads to right-wing terrorism in the country.
Sen. Booker on Tuesday appeared together with other 2020 Democratic candidates at the She The People Forum in Houston.
Shortly after taking the stage, the New Jersey senator was asked what is he going to do about Omar being the target of hate after her comments about “the outsize influence of AIPAC in determining U.S. foreign policy” and other flippant remarks prompted criticism both the House Democratic Leadership and from President Trump.
“What will you do as president to protect the right of courageous women of color to criticize U.S. policy even when directed at allies?” a woman asked Booker.
Without addressing his own party’s critics of Omar, including a House resolution that condemned hate after her comments that were largely perceived as anti-Semitic, Booker unloaded solely on Trump.
“The criticisms of Congresswoman Omar, what Donald Trump has been saying about her is reprehensible, it is trafficking in Islamophobia, and it should be condemned by everyone,” he said. “This kind of selective condemnation should be a chorus of people condemning it.”
“And more than this, the kind of language our president uses, especially about black women in power, the kind of language this President uses – it is toxic,” he added.
The Minnesota Democrat has been embroiled in a series of controversies since taking office in January. Earlier this month, Omar was accused of being flippant after referring to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks as “some people did something.”
In February, Omar drew bipartisan uproar after suggesting that politicians in the U.S. were bought by AIPAC, a non-partisan organization that seeks to foster the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
Just weeks later, Omar reignited the controversy, this time saying that supporters of Israel were pushing for U.S. politicians to declare “allegiance” to that nation.
Yet Booker continued his answer reiterating that Trump’s criticism of Omar “fuels the kind of hate we see in our communities, manifesting itself in the kind of terrorism that has been most seen in our nation since 9/11.”
“Most of the terrorist attacks in our nation since 9/11 have been right-wing extremist attacks. The majority of those have been white supremacist attacks,” he said to the crowd’s cheers.
“And so when you have a president uttering such bigotry, and uttering such racist attacks, talking about nations where black and brown people have come from in this nation as sh–hole countries …That is giving license to hate and to violence that we should not be tolerating,” he continued.
“So it’s not just important to be an ally. As one of our great black women has said in the past, it’s not enough just to say I’m not a racist. We must, where racism exists, all be anti-racist,” Booker concluded.
“Because if we are not dealing with this issue in our country, we will continue to see these kind of attacks and we will continue to see the kind of vicious violence that has been affecting our nation from black churches to synagogues to Muslim mosques as well.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Robert Wolf, former economic adviser to President Obama, said former Vice President Joe Biden, who officially announced his 2020 bid Thursday morning, has “really been resonating the last few weeks because he looks like he’s the most powerful candidate to go against President Trump.”
Wolf, a Fox News contributor, made the statement on “Fox & Friends” 90 minutes after Biden officially announced his 2020 presidential bid.
He announced his run in an online video Thursday, after weeks of speculation and anticipation, making him the 20th Democrat fighting for the Oval Office.
Asked about Biden’s announcement video, Wolf said, “I thought it was powerful and compassionate. I think that, listen, in this polarizing environment it’s an incredible contrast to
“The truth is, I think that he’s saying we have to bring people together and this is not the right way. And I’m going to show you the right way and I think it’s very powerful.”
Wolf, who said he has known Biden for more than a decade, added, “I think there’s a reason his polls, the Monmouth (University) Poll came out where he was top in the Democratic field, (a) poll this morning came out where he was plus 8 over Trump, I know polls mean nothing at this point, but he’s really been resonating the last few weeks because he looks like he’s the most powerful candidate to go against President Trump.”
A former senator from Delaware, Biden, who also served as vice president for two terms under Barack Obama, has emerged as a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination — topping the polls alongside self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Biden’s announcement on Thursday marks the beginning of his third campaign for the White House.
Wolf acknowledged Biden’s name recognition will prove to be an asset for his campaign.
“I think there’s no question early on name recognition matters. We know at this point in 2008 or 2007 Rudy Giuliani was beating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama became president. So as the guy that was backing Obama when he was at 1 percent, I know many things can change,” Wolf said.
“I would say it’s a little different (now), I would say name recognition is actually more important today because when there is a field of 20, you know, you’re going to have a lot of people get 10 to 15 percent. And then all of a sudden name recognition on stage doesn’t cost you money to introduce yourself and there’s going to be a fight for money.”
Even Biden’s entry into the crowded Democratic primary field isn’t enough to move former President Barack Obama off the sidelines. Obama’s team released a statement praising Biden on Thursday but didn’t offer an explicit endorsement.
“Former presidents never endorse. Maybe the only one who did was President Bush (who) endorsed his brother. But they just don’t endorse. They sit on the sidelines and they wait for the primary to actually take place. They don’t like to put their finger on the scale so it’s not a surprise,” said Wolf on Thursday.
He added, “I have been with him (Obama) for over a decade. I mean, their love for each other is real.”
Wolf said that he thinks Obama would “love” to see Biden as president, adding, “You don’t think that President Obama wants Joe or any of the field to beat President Trump?”
He also weighed in on if Biden can take on Sanders.
“There’s no question you cannot discount Bernie Sanders. You would say today, until Joe Biden announced, he was absolutely the frontrunner. He had the most money. He has the most grassroots. He’s been running for four years. And he has a lane that really no one’s matching yet, the populist left,” said Wolf.
“That being said, within the party, we’re not sure if he just has the highest floor at 20 percent and does he have possibly a ceiling at 30 percent? We don’t know.”
He added, “It’s clear that one of the reasons, I think, the polls for Vice President Biden have gone up, is he’s viewed as the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump and I think there’s a lot of Democrats that want to see that.”
Source: Fox News Politics
In a series of tweets Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez said that in order to avoid looking “utterly out of touch,” people should question whether a non-violent criminal should lose the right to vote.
Her comments furthered an already brewing debate that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., started when he indicated that he would support all felons — including sexual assaulters and murderers like Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — receiving the right to vote.
For Ocasio-Cortez, critics should have been more concerned about a “nonviolent person stopped [with] a dime bag,” a reference to a small bag of illicit drugs.
She went on to suggest the U.S. prison system was unjust, pointing to slavery and international incarceration rates.
The New York Congresswoman portrayed mass incarceration as ultimately stemming from slavery in the United States.
“Black Americans & [people of color] are far more likely to be convicted + sentenced longer than White Americans for similar crimes,” she tweeted.
Apparently annoyed by the responses on Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez knocked pundits whom she felt were like “1st graders” commenting on her tweets.
“GOP already bad-faith attacking ‘nonviolent offenses.’ Clearly if you are looking at CONTEXT CLUES in my thread & limits of 280 chars you know I’m referring to nonviolent drug offenses,” she tweeted.
Her chief of staff also received backlash after his Wednesday tweet which implied prisoners were “most affected by unjust laws.”
“What’s the reason NOT to let incarcerated people vote?” he asked. “Shouldn’t the people most affected by unjust laws have some say in electing people to change them?”
Although Sanders, somewhat of a progressive icon, has endorsed voting rights for prisoners, other 2020 hopefuls seemed more hesitant. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was ranked among the top three candidates in a poll this month, said that while he supported restoring felons’ voting rights, he didn’t think they should receive that right while incarcerated.
Source: Fox News Politics
“GOP: Let’s pose our older male members next to cardboard cutouts of young female legislators,” she tweeted. Her tweet included a post from the Republican Party of Kentucky. However, the politician pictured was Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, Ky., not a Republican as she claimed.
Ocasio-Cortez later deleted the tweet but not before critics pointed out the gaffe on Twitter.
“It literally says in the tweet that she is quoting that Yarmuth is a Democrat,” writer Ryan Saavedra tweeted.
“1st grade readers are in fact the worst,” Matt Whitlock, a senior advisor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted. He was knocking Ocasio-Cortez for one of her earlier tweets in which she called pundits “first graders” for apparently misinterpreting her comments on voting rights for prisoners.
This wasn’t the first time the freshman congresswoman appeared to mix up her political parties. While appearing in a video with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., she enthusiastically declared that she would turn a Kansas house seat “red” — the color often representing the Republican Party.
In 2018, she also faced criticism after she suggested that the government could pay for a large portion of Medicare-for-all by transferring “$21 trillion” in Pentagon “financial transactions” — a claim that fact checkers disputed.
Ocasio-Cortez has been portrayed as one of the leaders of the progressive wing in the Democratic Party. She, along with Sanders, has received intense criticism for policy proposals like the “Green New Deal.”
Source: Fox News Politics