Jim Messina, campaign manager for former President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign, predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would be unable to counter President Trump’s economic messaging and would therefore lose in a 2020 electoral matchup.
“Bernie Sanders is unlikely going to be able to stand up to the constant barrage that is Donald Trump on economic issues,” Messina said during the Powerhouse Politics podcast this week.
Messina contended that swing voters were “incredibly focused on the economy” and that winners of the last five presidential elections were those candidates who were able to “win” the economic argument with swing voters.
Sanders already leads the pack of declared, Democratic candidates in polling and fundraising but his poll numbers trail former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Messina campaigned for and is expected to announce his 2020 bid on Wednesday.
He will enter a field already filled with more progressive candidates like Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Sanders, a self-described socialist, appeared to highlight progressives’ growing prominence in the party when he came in second to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Multiple polls have shown both Biden and Sanders receiving more support than Trump for the 2020 general election.
Messina indicated, however, that the more progressive Sanders wasn’t someone who could both grab swing voters and energize the base — a winning combo that he said former Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter were able to achieve.
“You have to excite your base and turn out people, and you have to win swing voters. And we are going to look for a nominee who can do both,” Messina said. “Today, you would say in a general election context, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be that candidate.”
The former campaign manager’s comments came just as Karl Rove, who served as the chief strategist behind former President George W. Bush’s 2000 electoral bid, speculated that Sanders had a shot at beating Trump.
Messina said that Sanders could win the Democratic nomination and be “the Donald Trump of 2020.” While both Trump and Sanders have been described as populist alternatives to establishment candidates, the two would likely have a lot to debate about on the economy.
That could be tough for Sanders considering the numerous economic milestones — record-low unemployment, strong manufacturing growth, and surprisingly high gross domestic product — that Trump took credit for in the last two years.
Trump has attributed that economic success to his massive tax reform package, which Sanders vehemently opposed. Sanders has pushed a slew of progressive policies, including single-payer health care which set him and other progressives apart from their more moderate counterparts.
According to Messina, the upcoming Democratic primary would provide a healthy debate between those two wings within the party.
“Overall, this is being cast as a kind of insurgent versus the machine campaign — I think that’s wrong. Democrats are having a very healthy and very predictable fight about the ideological center of the Democratic party,” he said.
Both Sanders and Trump will likely face scrutiny over their personal finances — Trump for refusing to release his tax returns and Sanders for the amount of money revealed in his.
During a Fox News town hall last week, Sanders fended off criticism of his and his wife’s income which totaled more than $1 million in 2016 and 2017. Much of their income came from the success of their bestselling book, something for which Sanders refused to apologize.
Source: Fox News Politics
Republican strategist Karl Rove said on “Fox & Friends” Friday that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ town hall on Fox earlier this week convinced him that the presidential candidate could win the Oval Office in 2020.
He credited Sanders, who is 77 and from Vermont, for bucking the decision of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, Tom Perez, to exclude Fox News from hosting a Democrat primary debate.
“First of all, the simple fact that he went on” despite Perez’s decision, was impressive, Rove said.
Despite Perez’s “attempt to keep [the Democratic candidates] off Fox, Bernie comes on to Fox, and gets the largest viewership of any campaign event thus far.”
“That was a smart move on his part,” Rove said.
Rove, who was the architect of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, said that it is apparent that Sanders has run for president before and has learned from earlier missteps.
“He is a lot more fluid,” Rove said, noting that Sanders deftly pivoted to the messages he wanted to push when Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier asked him tough questions about his taxes and to respond to presidential contender and South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s call for a “new generation of leadership.”
“He says ‘I paid all the taxes I owe,’ and he quickly pivots and says ‘I released 10 years of tax returns, President Trump ought to do the same.’ Martha says ‘You know, here’s Mayor Pete, he says there should be a new generation of leadership. You will be 79 if you’re sworn in as president.’ He makes a joke. He says ‘It’s a fair question.’ He says ‘It’s not whether you’re young or old, it’s what you believe.’”
“Every time he brought it back to his message,” said Rove, who wrote about Sanders’ strong 2020 prospects in a Wall Street Journal editorial this week. “That demonstrated to me that he has learned from having run before. He really did a good job of softening the edges of socialism. Whenever the issue came up, he made it feel warm and fuzzy, kumbaya, shake hands, run around the campfire.”
Rove noted that Sanders stressed the importance of not having an all anti-Trump message.
Sanders said that Democrats “will lose if we spend our time bashing Trump.”
“He was focused on what he was for,” Rove said.
But while Sanders, a self-styled democratic socialist, tries to make socialism seem mainstream, he failed to provide details about how such concepts as Medicare-for-all would be funded, Rove said.
“He says, ‘Everything we propose we’re paying for,’ without telling us that it’s trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars.”
Rove said that Trump’s camp seems to view Sanders as a formidable contender for 2020.
“Some of the Trump campaign people said ‘You know what? We’re paying attention to this guy. We’ve got to take him seriously.’”
Source: Fox News Politics
New York Times opinion columnis Paul Krugman– who once called Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ economic policies “destructive self-indulgence”– is now praising the leading 2020 candidate for “civic virtue” because he’s advocating his policies despite his riches.
Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, offered a defense of Sanders on Thursday following the revelations that the senator became part of America’s one percent, thanks to his 2016 presidential campaign that propelled him to national stardom and wealth.
“A peculiar chapter in the 2020 presidential race ended Monday, when Bernie Sanders, after months of foot-dragging, finally released his tax returns,” Krugman wrote, calling the filings “perfectly innocuous.”
He said that while it seems that “Sanders got a lot of book royalties after the 2016 campaign, and was afraid that revealing this fact would produce headlines mocking him for now being part of the 1 Percent,” he shouldn’t actually hide his wealth.
“Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue,” Krugman wrote, calling such attacks “stupid.”
“Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue.”
The senator’s 2018 tax return revealed that he and his wife, Jane, earned over $550,000, including $133,000 in income from his Senate salary and $391,000 in sales of his book, “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.”
The filings showed that Sanders has been among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. According to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, families in the U.S. earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.
Krugman’s rare defense of Sanders comes after his relentless attacks on the Sanders campaign during the 2016 election.
In a January 2016 column, Krugman decried Sanders’ idealism, saying “it’s not a virtue unless it goes along with hardheaded realism,” which Sanders doesn’t have.
“Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence,” he wrote.
“Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence.”
In a blog post the same month, Krugman also declared Sanders’ positions on financial reform and healthcare were “disturbing.”
“And in both cases his positioning is disturbing — not just because it’s politically unrealistic to imagine that we can get the kind of radical overhaul he’s proposing, but also because he takes his own version of cheap shots,” he wrote.
“Not at people — he really is a fundamentally decent guy — but by going for easy slogans and punting when the going gets tough.”
Source: Fox News Politics
More than three-quarters of voters are already interested in the 2020 presidential election, including over half, 52 percent, who are “extremely” interested, according to the latest Fox News Poll. That matches interest levels typically seen only in the last weeks before Election Day.
The enthusiasm is on both sides. Fifty-seven percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 are “extremely” interested in the upcoming election, as are 57 percent of Donald Trump voters, and two-thirds of self-identified “very conservatives” (67 percent) and “very liberals” (65 percent).
Democratic primary voters are upbeat about many of their options. Nearly 8 in 10 would be satisfied with Joe Biden (78 percent) or Bernie Sanders (75 percent) winning the nomination, while 6 in 10 would be happy with Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren (each 61 percent).
Compare that to 53 percent who would be satisfied if the nominee were Beto O’Rourke, 50 percent Cory Booker, 43 percent Pete Buttigieg, 38 percent Julian Castro or Kirsten Gillibrand, or 34 percent Amy Klobuchar. Still, there is room for opinions to change for these candidates, as at least 3 in 10 primary voters don’t know enough about each to have an opinion.
Two candidates, Harris and Buttigieg, perform notably better among “extremely” interested Democratic primary voters: satisfaction with Harris as the nominee goes from 61 to 70 percent, and satisfaction with Buttigieg increases from 43 to 50 percent.
Among Democratic primary voters, men, women, whites, and non-whites generally agree on the candidate ratings, but there is a significant difference in opinion among age groups. Primary voters under age 45 are more likely than those 45 and over to say they would be satisfied if Sanders were the nominee (82 percent vs. 68 percent). Those ages 45+ (82 percent) are happier if Biden is the nominee than those under 45 (73 percent).
Eighty percent of those satisfied with Biden as the nominee would also be happy with Sanders, and 83 percent of those happy with Sanders would be fine if Biden wins.
There’s little fallout from the criticism that Biden’s “touchy” behavior has made some women uncomfortable. Most, 76 percent, are unconcerned about it. That includes 82 percent of Democratic women, 82 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of women over age 45, 71 percent of women under 45, 68 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of GOP women.
Almost all Republican primary voters, 88 percent, would be pleased with President Trump as the 2020 GOP nominee. That includes 64 percent who would be “very” satisfied.
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld announced April 15 he is challenging Trump for the Republican nomination. His first task is improving his name recognition, as 50 percent of primary voters have never heard of him. Twelve percent would be satisfied if he wins.
The poll tested several policy proposals discussed on the campaign trail. Majorities support establishing Congressional term limits (80 percent favor), pushing for renewable energy (70 percent), providing government-run health insurance for all (59 percent), providing free college tuition for all (57 percent), reducing government regulations (57 percent), and abolishing the Electoral College (52 percent).
There is less support for building a border wall (45 percent favor), increasing the number of Supreme Court justices (37 percent) and paying reparations for slavery (32 percent).
The top three policies favored by Democrats are Medicare for all (87 percent), renewable energy sources (86 percent), and free college tuition (81 percent). For Republicans, the largest numbers favor term limits (86 percent), a border wall (83 percent), and fewer regulations (74 percent).
“There’s appreciable support for free benefits from the federal government along with reining in that same government,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “I’m not sure the public sees the irony.” Shaw conducts the Fox News Poll with Democratic counterpart Chris Anderson.
Meanwhile, a majority, 53 percent, believes GOP policies benefit the rich and powerful rather than everyday Americans (32 percent), while voters are more likely to see the Democratic Party as being for everyday Americans (40 percent) than the rich (34 percent).
When considering significant policy proposals that are now law, voters continue to view the 2010 Affordable Care Act more favorably than the 2017 tax reform law. Forty-seven percent have a positive opinion of ObamaCare compared to 36 percent for the GOP tax law.
Conducted April 14-16, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,005 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 five points for both the Democratic (413) and Republican primary voter samples (374).
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance on Thursday at a rally for striking grocery store workers in Boston, where he expressed his solidarity with the union members and his anger at corporate America.
Biden, who is widely expected to soon announce a run for the presidency, highlighted his working-class upbringing in Pennsylvania and his disdain for unfair labor practices.
“Wall Street CEOs and bankers did not build America, you built America,” Biden told a crowd of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union gathered outside a Stop & Shop market in the Dorchester neighborhood.
More than 30,000 UFCW Stop & Shop workers have been on strike since April 11 as they fight the company over what they’ve called unreasonable contract and benefit cuts.
“This is morally wrong what is going on around the country, and I’m sick of it, and I’ve had enough of it,” Biden said. “We’ve got to stand to together, and we will take back our country.”
While Biden has not officially declared that he plans to challenge President Trump for the White House, recent polling indicates that he is considered one of the front-runners for the Democratic nomination, alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. A recent poll by Fox News shows that Biden holds a seven-point lead in a head-to-head race against Trump, while Sanders holds a three-point lead over Trump.
Looking ahead to his re-election campaign, Trump predicted in a tweet earlier this week that he would face either Biden or Sanders in the general election next year.
Sanders is leading a crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field in fundraising so far, raising $18 million.
Winning back working class voters is of major importance to the 2020 Democratic after the party suffered major losses in union-heavy states like Michigan and Pennsylvania in the 2016 election. Biden has already been courting union voters even before he has officially entered the race.
“You are coming back,” he told the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers last week. “We need you back.”
Biden is not the only potential candidate courting union votes: Sanders’ campaign became the first in U.S. history with a unionized workforce, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined striking Stop & Shop workers on a picket line in New Hampshire last Friday and California Sen. Kamala Harris hired a top Service Employees International Union executive for her campaign and made her first proposal one to raise teacher’s pay.
Major union endorsements are likely several months away, especially because the labor movement is treading carefully after complaints that its leadership was too quick to back Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary over Sanders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told voters and Fox News viewers why they should vote him into the White House in a special town hall event Monday night.
Sanders spent an hour answering questions from potential voters and Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, before thanking the audience and viewers.
The senator defended his wealth, outlined his health care plan, and critiqued President Trump in what was the most watched town hall event so-far this election season.
But that wasn’t the whole story…
Fox Nation took a behind the scenes look at Monday’s Town Hall as Fox News crews worked tirelessly setting up the event and reaching out to the local community about the important issues that Sanders needed to address.
The crew even dealt with a weather situation that threatened the event.
“Due to the weather conditions in the area they’re worried about a power cut from the local utility,” Roger Germinder, Coordinator Operations and Engineering for Fox News revealed in the Fox Nation special.
To see how the Town Hall was put together, how the anchors prepared and more go to FoxNation.com.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Trump offered his thoughts Tuesday night on which two Democratic contenders he thinks will be left standing in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
“I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!” he wrote. “I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!”
While Sanders, I-Vt., confirmed in February that he would be running again for president, Biden has yet to formally enter the race.
The president’s prediction came after he targeted Sanders in a separate tweet, speaking about the lawmaker’s finances.
“Bernie Sanders and wife should pay the Pre-Trump Taxes on their almost $600,000 in income,” Trump wrote. “He is always complaining about these big TAX CUTS, except when it benefits him. They made a fortune off of Trump, but so did everyone else – and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing!”
Shortly ahead of a Fox News town hall Monday night, Sanders’ presidential campaign released his 2018 returns. According to the figures, Sanders and his wife Jane paid a 26 percent effective tax rate on $561,293 in income, and made more than $1 million in both 2016 and 2017. Nearly $400,000 of his income last year came from book sales.
Sanders later fired back at the president for his remarks, tweeting that Trump seemed “scared of our campaign.”
“He should be,” he continued.
Fox News’ Jennifer Earl and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett claims President Trump’s tax overhaul helped promote job growth saying, “The question I would ask a critic of the tax cuts, if it wasn’t the tax cuts and it wasn’t our deregulation, then what was it? Was it the Martians?”
Hassett asked the question on “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday in response to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ comments during a Fox News town hall Monday, when the 2020 presidential hopeful urged President Trump to release his tax returns on the same day he released 10 years of his own tax information.
At the fiery town hall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, sparks flew almost immediately, as the Vermont senator defiantly refused to explain why he would not voluntarily pay the massive new 52 percent “wealth tax” that he advocated imposing on the nation’s richest individuals.
For his part, Hassett said, “The thing that I would actually, if I had been at a town hall meeting with anyone who is a critic of our policies… the thing that I would remind folks, and I think it’s important to remind folks now, is that if you go back to 2016, The Congressional Budget Office, it’s nonpartisan, it forecasted what 2018, last year, would look like and they said that the economy that President Trump inherited would create 58,000 jobs a month. If you look at what we did last year, we created about 206,000 jobs a month and so there’s a big, big increase in growth and job creation and wages that must be explained by something.”
He then asked if “Martians” or “Magic Sauce” were responsible for the dramatic increase in job creation.
President Trump spent his tax filing day in Minnesota, where he touted the $1.5 trillion package of corporate and individual tax cuts he signed into law in 2017.
When asked if he thinks the president will ever release his tax returns, Hassett said the “president will make that decision on his own.”
He added, “It goes back to the election and I think if the American people were concerned about it, he wouldn’t be president.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Jess McIntosh, a former aide to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders for what she suggested was a hypocritical response to concerns over his own financial success amid his campaign’s populist messaging.
McIntosh’s comments came after a Fox News townhall in which the Sanders defended the profits he made from his bestselling book as the result of his own success. “His message is capitalist!” McIntosh told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday.
“He’s literally saying ‘I made a product the market wanted, and I got rich off of it, and you can do that too,'” she added. Sanders, among other 2020 Democrats, received a wave of criticism after a series of financial disclosures revealed just how much money they made in previous years.
During her Monday broadcast, Burnett labeled Sanders a “hypocrite” for railing against the wealthy while contributing little in charitable donations. “The problem is when you’re Bernie Sanders and you rail against people paying their fair share, and you don’t have the huge charitable donations, and you’re not donating money to the IRS, you are a hypocrite,” Burnett asserted.
For McIntosh, Sanders’ hypocrisy didn’t come so much from the fact that he made as much money as he did. “I actually don’t see too much of a contradiction between being a millionaire and railing against a class that produces millionaires,” she said.
Part of Sanders’ earnings, as he pointed out during his town hall, came from “Our Revolution,” the book he co-authored with his wife Jane. The book’s sales reportedly contributed substantially to the couple’s more than $1.1 million in earnings made during 2017.
“If anyone thinks I should apologize for writing a bestselling book, I’m sorry, I’m not going to do it,” Sanders said while defending himself.
That defense, in addition to his attitude towards allegations surrounding the verbiage in his speeches, “undermines the integrity of his message.”
“When he spent the weekend attacking a liberal outlet for correctly citing that he has changed in his speeches railing against ‘millionaires and billionaires’ to railing against ‘multi-millionaires and billionaires,’ the defensiveness […] it really undermines the integrity of his message,'” she said.
Her comments appeared to highlight long-standing tension between Sanders’ and Clinton’s campaigns — something that surfaced once again when a left-leaning publication released a video insinuating that Sanders made millions of dollars through hypocritical messaging.
“It’s all very off-brand and embarrassing, but Sen. Bernie Sanders is a millionaire. Turns out railing against ‘millionaires and billionaires’ can be quite the lucrative enterprise,” the video from ThinkProgress, which is affiliated with a think tank led by former Clinton aide Neera Tanden, said.
Although Tanden eventually backed away from the video, the incident seemed to recall conflict between establishment Democrats and the party’s more progressive wing during the 2016 election.
Source: Fox News Politics
And while the filings are a way for the Democratic candidates to spotlight Republican President Trump’s refusal to release his taxes — both as a 2016 White House candidate and as a sitting president — the returns also have revealed that some of the biggest class warriors of the 2020 field happen to be among the wealthiest.
“This year, we had $560,000 in income,” Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont explained Monday night during a Fox News town hall.
Minutes before the start of the town hall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the independent senator from Vermont’s presidential campaign released his 2018 returns. According to the figures, Sanders and his wife Jane paid a 26 percent effective tax rate on $561,293 in income, and made more than $1 million in both 2016 and 2017. Nearly $400,000 of his income last year came from book sales.
Sanders doubled down on his previous defenses of his wealth, which even some progressives have criticized considering his advocacy for an increase in the tax rates the wealthiest Americans pay.
“In my and my wife’s case, I wrote a pretty good book. It was a bestseller, sold all over the world, and we made money. If anyone thinks I should apologize for writing a bestselling book, I’m sorry, I’m not gonna do it,” he said.
And Sanders, who’s faced calls for the past month to release his returns, acknowledged that he had been “fortunate” even as he pushed for a more progressive tax system.
Sanders isn’t the only populist senator running for the White House whose tax returns indicate income in the upper six-digits.
Minutes after pushing her proposal to increase taxes on the ultra-wealthy, Sen. Elizabeth Warren released her tax returns last week. The figures show that the Massachusetts Democrat and her husband Bruce – a professor at Harvard University – paid more than $230,000 in taxes last year on just over $846,000 in adjusted income, for an effective tax rate of 27 percent. Warren made about $325,000 in book sales in addition to the $175,000 salary she receives as a senator. Her husband earned around $400,000 from Harvard.
The wealthiest Democrat among those 2020 candidates who’ve so far made their tax returns public is Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
The former Golden State attorney general and her husband – attorney Doug Emhoff – reported an adjusted income of nearly $1.9 million in 2018. They paid nearly $700,000 in taxes, for an effective rate of 37 percent. Besides her Senate income, Harris earned around $320,000 in income from writing a book that was published earlier this year. Her husband earned $1.5 million for his work as an attorney.
While Harris is reporting the most income of the candidates who’ve so far released their 2018 tax returns, former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland appears to be the wealthiest candidate in the field of Democratic presidential nomination contenders.
Last year, the then-three-term congressman was listed as the sixth wealthiest member of Congress, with an estimated net worth of $92.6 million according to rankings from Roll Call. Delaney, who grew up in a working-class family in New Jersey, became the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.
According to his first quarter of fundraising report, the candidate infused $11.7 million of his own money into his campaign, making up the vast majority of the $12.1 million he brought in during the first three months of the year.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and his wife, meanwhile, made $366,455 – according to their 2017 returns – paying an effective tax rate of 22 percent. The candidate released 10 years of returns on Monday, but didn’t include his 2018 taxes.
“As a candidate aspiring to restore the American people’s trust in the nation’s highest office, O’Rourke will also release his 2018 tax returns as soon as possible after they are filed,” his campaign explained.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and her husband earned $338,121 last year, paying a 19 percent effective tax rate. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and her husband earned nearly $215,000 in income last year, paying an effective tax rate of 14 percent.
Gillibrand became the first of the 2020 Democrats to make public her returns, when she released her returns on March 27.
“Join me in calling on every presidential candidate to disclose their taxes. This is what transparency and accountability is all about,” Gillibrand said in a video at the time, as she challenged the rest of the Democratic 2020 contenders to make their returns public.
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee also released his returns, indicating that he and his wife earned nearly $203,000 last year, paying an effective tax rate of 15 percent.
Source: Fox News Politics