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Biden Raises $141 Million, Topping Trump For Second Straight Month

Former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $141 million in June, his campaign announced Wednesday night, topping the total haul of President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee for the second straight month.

Trump and the RNC combined to raise $131 million. 

Both campaigns massively improved upon their fundraising from May, when Biden and the DNC banked $80.8 million and Trump raised $74 million.

Biden has now outraised Trump in both months since reaching a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC in late April, which allowed him to raise much larger sums from a single donor. Trump and the RNC have had a joint fundraising agreement for years.

The Trump campaign, which is trailing by significant margins in public polling, has long planned to have a major financial advantage over the Democratic nominee. But Biden’s fundraising strength, powered by donors large and small, likely means that advantage is smaller than the Republicans would like. 

The Trump campaign said it has more than $295 million on hand, while the Biden campaign did not release a total. The Biden campaign ended May with just $82 million in the bank. 

The Trump campaign announced its fundraising total with great bombast and confidence earlier Wednesday only to be one-upped by Biden’s team Wednesday night.

“After yet another haul of record-breaking support, the voters are speaking loud and clear ― they support President Trump,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement at the time. “As Joe Biden remains hidden in his basement, President Trump is leading this country to a Great American Comeback that will reignite our economy, restore law and order, and usher in a new era of strength.” 

“There’s real, grassroots energy for Joe,” Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon countered on Twitter, noting the Biden campaign’s fundraising list had grown by more than 2.6 million people over the past three months. 

The Biden campaign’s haul was part of an auspicious month for the finances of left-leaning groups and campaigns. The wave of activism powered by the Black Lives Matter movement and growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic led to a record-shattering $392 million in payments through ActBlue, a digital donation processor for Democrats and liberal groups. 

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Biden slams Trump over report Russia offered bounties for U.S. soldiers

Joe Biden has accused Donald Trump of betraying his duty as president, after a report claimed the White House knew for months Russian intelligence offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. soldiers but did not punish Moscow. 

“His entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale,” Biden said during a virtual town hall Saturday. “It’s betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way. It’s a betrayal of every single American family with a loved one serving in Afghanistan or anywhere overseas.”  

The New York Times reported Friday that the U.S. determined months ago a Russian military intelligence unit offered Taliban-linked militants bounties to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. 

Trump was briefed on the intelligence and the White House National Security Council discussed the findings at a meeting in late March, according to the Times, which cited officials briefed on the matter. Officials developed options from a diplomatic complaint to sanctions, but the White House has not yet authorized a response, the Times reported, citing the officials. 

The Wall Street Journal also reported Saturday that a Russian spy unit paid militants in Afghanistan to attack U.S. troops, citing people familiar with classified American intelligence. The assessment was delivered to the White House earlier this spring, a person familiar with the intel told the Journal. 

The White House on Saturday denied that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the matter, but did not dispute the validity of the intelligence as described in the New York Times’ report. 

“The United States receives thousands of intelligence reports a day and they are subject to strict scrutiny,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. “While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the president nor the vice president were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”

“This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter,” she added. 

The Trump administration reached a deal with the Taliban in February to reduce its troop presence and established a cease-fire, with the goal of completely withdrawing from Afghanistan in 14 months.

Biden, the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, slammed Trump for inviting Russia to join a summit meeting of seven world powers, known as the G-7, in Washington this September after allegedly being briefed on the plot to kill U.S. soldiers. Russia was kicked out of the group in 2014 after annexing Crimea from Ukraine. 

“President Trump, the commander in chief of American troops serving in a dangerous theater of war, has known about this for months according to the Times and done worse than nothing,” Biden said.

“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” Biden continued. “He has had this information according to the Times and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7.”

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, said he immediately reached out to the Trump administration after reading the New York Times’ report and “will be talking with them in the very near future.” 

“If accurate, the administration must take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable,” McCaul said. The Texas congressman said the report deepens his concerns about the Russian government’s “malicious behavior globally.”

“From invading Ukraine, propping up dictators around the world and interfering in U.S. and European elections, the Putin regime has shown time and again it cannot be trusted and is not our friend,” McCaul said. 

Biden said he took the report personally as the father of a soldier who served in a war zone. His son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the Army National Guard. 

“But I don’t just think about this as a candidate for president. I think about this as a dad, a father who sent his son to serve in harm’s way for a year in the Middle East and in Iraq, and I’m disgusted on behalf of those families whose loved ones are serving today,” Biden said. 

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Black women mount public and private campaign for Biden to pick a Black woman running mate

These women — consisting of a wide swath of prominent political figures and friends of the former vice president — have made their case behind closed doors and also notably and intentionally in public.

A campaign of this kind is likely unprecedented but represents what the women see as a unique moment in American political history in which the power of the Black voter — especially black women –has reached a zenith. And it is time, they say, for the party to respond.

“I don’t think you’ve seen this level of outpouring of sentiment and support,” said Karen Finney, who was the strategic communications adviser and senior spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and is a CNN political commentator.

The argument being made is two-fold: To pick someone who has the lived experience navigating the issues that threaten to tear the country apart, including systemic racism and police brutality, as well as lift up the voices of the most loyal Democratic voters — black women — to energize the base.

Part of that push includes the influential quartet of seasoned black women political operatives and the authors of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics,” Donna Brazile, Minyon Moore, Leah Daughtry and Yolanda Caraway.

“When they start speaking, everybody shuts the hell up,” said a source close to the campaign.

The public pressure only increased this week when Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar took herself out of the running for the job Thursday and called on Biden to choose a woman of color.
Amy Klobuchar drops out of Biden VP contention and says he should choose a woman of color

“This is a historic moment, and America must seize on this moment. And I truly believe as, I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,” Klobuchar told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.

Biden committed to choosing a woman as his vice-presidential pick back in March and has since created a selection committee to vet candidates. His committee, he says, is looking at more than a dozen possible picks that includes numerous women of color.

Women like California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Georgia gubernatorial Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Florida Rep. Val Demings are considered to be on his short list with some reportedly undergoing official vetting.

Public and private pressure

California Senator Kamala Harris (C) hugs Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden after she endorsed him at a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Michigan on March 9, 2020.

Multiple groups of black women have signed on to letters and op-eds arguing that Biden should pick a black woman vice president.

One of those letters that now has over 500 signatures was put together by Melanie Campbell, chair of Sisters Lead Sisters Vote, and resulted in a call with Biden and top campaign staffers that Campbell described as “respectful.” The New York Times was the first to report the call.

“We’re unapologetic and respectfully saying it’s time,” Campbell said in an interview. “Our turn of phrase is ‘follow black women if you want to win.’ “

Finney, also a participant of the call, said Biden was “very open to having that conversation.”

Moore, the first black woman political affairs director under former President Bill Clinton, wouldn’t confirm details of the call, but she described generally how the argument is being made.

“We laid out our premise privately on why we believe that having a black woman on the ticket is very viable,” adding that they asked the campaign to look at the polling and whether the black women check various qualifying boxes.

“Can they excite a community that has had unprecedented destruction around them? Can they be a good partner to Vice President Biden, can they be ‘simpatico,’ can they be loyal?” she asked out loud, using a phrase Biden himself has used to describe a perfect running mate. “Check, check, check, check, check.”

Why Joe Biden will almost certainly pick a black woman as VP

Some of Biden’s closest political advisers outside of the campaign have spoken with him privately about the issue but have saved the pressure campaign for grassroots activists.

“We believe it is important that activists take the lead,” said one Biden friend.

Biden’s closest political confidants inside and outside of the campaign are also keenly aware that this choice is one of the most personal decisions that he will make — and one that ultimately is his alone.

A senior Biden adviser said that the desires of activist haven’t fallen on deaf ears, but the process of vetting candidates, political considerations and personal considerations takes precedent.

“The public pressure campaign has done more to influence the press than the campaign,” this adviser said, putting it bluntly.

That sentiment is echoed by those who know Biden well and say that the former vice president’s experience of building a developing a close relationship with former President Obama has made both finding a running mate with the relevant experience and having a personal rapport with that person among the two most important considerations.

“In this moment it may feel like a black woman is the right move, but I believe we have to take the long view,” said one person who is close to Biden.

Biden himself has not committed to picking a black woman, telling CNN’s Dana Bash last month: “There are women of color under consideration and there are women from every part of the country under consideration because there are a lot of really qualified women that are ready to be president. But I’m not making that commitment, I’m going to make that judgment after in fact this group goes through interviewing all these people.

The potential picks themselves have walked a tight-line on outwardly advocating for a black woman to be chosen as Biden’s running mate. Both Abrams and Harris have said it would be “important” to have a woman of color on the ticket, but in subsequent interviews have largely said they trust Biden to choose the best running mate for himself. Demings, who said she would accept the nomination if asked, said in an interview with MSNBC in April, “I just hope and pray that Vice President Biden will select an African American woman to serve beside him.”

‘I want to see myself’

But their boosters are not concerned about the blowback that could come from making their case so publicly.

“I’ve been in politics long enough to know that that’s what politics is: public pressure,” Campbell.

LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, was also on that same call with Campbell, said Biden told the women he hears their concerns and is taking them seriously — but didn’t commit.

At age 28, Brown ran in her first election ever to unseat her district’s state board of education representative, a Black male pastor in Selma, Alabama. Encouraged to run by her mentor state Sen. Henry “Hank” Sanders, Brown went to a local church to campaign during Sunday service, as is customary in the South, and the church wouldn’t allow it, saying she couldn’t come into the diocese because she was a woman.

“Unless black women make space for black women, space doesn’t get made for us,” Brown said, reflecting on that lesson. “It was a turning point for me, and I’ve been dedicated to making space ever since.”

Biden says vice presidential search panel has interviewed 'a lot' of potential running mates

And that moment has brought Brown here, to join the Black women demanding representation at the top of the ticket.

“Just imagine, what field would white men be the most dependable and have the highest turnout percentage wise for more than 50 years and there not be a white man in one of the positions of leadership. People would think there is something wrong with the model,” Brown said.

Moore, who has held multiple ceiling-breaking roles, from leadership positions in the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s and Michael Dukakis’ campaigns to becoming the first Black political director at the Democratic National Committee, parroted the sentiment.

“I have worked to elect White men, Black men, brown men and White women. But for me right now, I feel like investing in a woman who just happens to be Black and immensely qualified is where I want to be at this time in my life,” she said. “I want to see myself.”

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Caraway, who has served as an elected member-at-large of the DNC since 1988 and has filled many senior level positions within the DNC over the years, says putting a black woman on the ticket would validate her feeling that black women have gone unnoticed by the Democratic Party.

“Black women have been the backbone of the Democratic party forever. We never get credit” Caraway told CNN. “The party seems to think we are dispensable.”

To put a black woman on the ticket for Caraway would “make us feel like maybe we can have a level playing field.” To not put a black woman on the ticket, in Caraway’s eyes, “would be a disservice.”

She hasn’t expressed these concerns with the campaign directly but with racial injustice and systemic racism at the forefront of the nation’s conscience, Caraway argued that she does not see how the Biden campaign can pick anyone other than a black woman.

“How could it not have an impact?” Caraway asked when reflecting on the racial tensions infused in the political moment.

“We’re the secret sauce for the Democrats to win,” Campbell said of black women. “It’s coming from intergenerational voices across the board: women in business, women in Hollywood, women in urban America, rural America.”

Glynda Carr, co-founder of Higher Heights for America, a PAC that’s dedicated to electing black women and endorsed Harris in her failed Presidential bid before she dropped out, said black women voters are looking for a return on their voting investment both in policies and representation.

“If it’s not a Black woman, there will be a period of disappointment. And then the question will then become how are people organizing and how are black women showing up in his administration,” she said.

Higher Heights has not said whether they prefer either Abrams or Harris or another black woman from the list but Carr summarized the enthusiasm that a Black woman could bring to the ticket saying there’s a difference between just getting their vote versus Black women’s ability to organize across class and racial lines.

“Are women going to run out and grab the physical newspaper [to frame] like we did for Barack Obama?”

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These lifelong Republicans may vote for Biden come November

It only takes a few minutes before Linda and Tom Rawles, holding “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice 4 George” signs, hear a clear and now familiar scream from a passing motorist — suggesting this Republican-stronghold suburb of 4,000 is anything but free of cares. “Every life matters!” screams a woman from a red SUV. “Get a f***ing life!”

A few minutes later, another driver waves an obscene gesture out of his window.

The Rawleses wave or hold up peace signs with their fingers, unmoved by the negative feedback.

Politically, the Rawleses describe themselves as independents but remain lifelong Republicans. Both have worked in Arizona’s Republican Party and have run for Congress as Republicans. In 2016, they voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

This November, the Rawleses say, they will vote for Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. They’re among the group of independent voters who say they prefer the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. A number of national polls in the last few weeks show Trump trails Biden among independents, a group he narrowly won in 2016.
“I’m not Antifa,” jokes Linda Rawles, 61. But the registered Republicans, in just the last few weeks, have been moved by the nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice, the response to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession to this corner.

“I think the last three to six weeks have been a turning point,” says Tom Rawles, 70. “We can always fight over the issues. But we need to cut out the cancer that is infecting the body politic of America.”

That cancer to their party, the couple says, is Trump.

“We’ll support Biden not because we agree with him on issues,” Linda Rawles says, “but he’s a decent, kind, sane man. I’ve considered myself a Republican since I was 13. We’re not at home in our party. We’re not Democrats. We don’t have anywhere to go.”

Former Republican operative Tim Miller sees this group of political homeless voters as ripe for shifting in 2020, because now “their personal lives are being directly impacted by Trump,” he says.

It’s a philosophy Miller himself has held since 2016, when he was an outspoken “Never Trumper” who made efforts but failed to convince other Republicans to not vote their party. In 2020, he’s part of a more targeted campaign to convince white, suburban Republicans to abandon Trump, called Republican Voters Against Trump.
The group, made up of famous anti-Trumpers like conservative writer Bill Kristol, has launched a $10 million digital and television advertising blitz in battleground states, which include Arizona.

But ads are not what’s driving the group’s 2020 effort — it’s elevating the voices of disappointed moderates and Republicans. On its website, Republican Voters Against Trump has posted hundreds of personal stories from people across the country. Spokeswoman Priya Gada tells CNN the site has received tens of millions of organic views.

“In 2016, people disapproved of Trump personally but still voted for him,” Miller says. “Concerns about him have come home to roost with the virus, the economy and the instability in their communities with the protests. Those reservations about Trump? Well, it’s getting real now.”

There also remain the Republican voters who aren’t sure what they’ll do on Election Day. Cheryl Coons, 56, a cardiac nurse on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, would agree the issues in 2020 are real for her, professionally and personally, but she remains uncertain how she’ll vote in November. The self-described moderate is also a “registered, card-carrying Republican,” she says. “I have always identified with issues on both sides of the political spectrum and struggled with both parties.”

Coons, who is recovering from pneumonia suspected of being caused by Covid, doesn’t blame the President for her illness or the pandemic, saying the administration did what it could given the enormity of the outbreak. Coons also remains confident that Trump would lead the country best in an economic recovery. But what is making her consider voting for a Democrat for the first time in her life, she says, are the sustained protests and pain she’s seeing on America’s streets.

“I feel like we need more of a sense of unity and, and no antagonism on this issue at all,” says Coons, who voted for Trump in 2016. “And I don’t feel I see that being fostered. We have to come together as a people and we need a leader that’s going to help us do that, not poke the bear.”

Coons says she tries not to discuss politics with her friends, because nearly all of them are unmovable politically. In a time of such polarization, she says, it’s a little nerve-wracking talking about being a moderate.

Coons says it’s not too late for Trump to change her mind, though. Because when it comes to her vote, “I honestly don’t know yet.”

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The Top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as vice president

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers late last month has drastically changed the calculation for former Vice President Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting team when it comes to who he will pick to share the ticket with him this fall.

While Biden made clear months ago that he would pick a woman, there now appears to be a significant surge of support for him to select a black woman — making history (there has never been a black woman on either party’s national ticket) while also sending a very clear message to the black community that he not only understands their import to his nomination but also believes they need a major voice in his White House.

(Biden’s “you ain’t black” gaffe, while not nearly as important as the nationwide protests over police brutality, also plays a part in this calculation.)

With that in mind, I have made major changes in this week’s vice presidential rankings. The most likely picks are now all African American women. And Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who I’d ranked as the second-most likely women to be the pick, takes a major tumble this week amid questions about her record as the top prosecutor in Minnesota prior to being elected to the Senate in 2016.

These rankings change weekly, so if your favorite isn’t ranked where she should be — or isn’t even on the list — there’s always next week. Speaking of, here’s last week’s rankings. Necessary Michelle Obama caveat: The former first lady is not on this list because she has never indicated an interest in being a politician. If she does so, she would immediately jump to the top of these rankings.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo
10. Gina Raimondo: If you believe a) that Biden will have one self-identifying moderate in his final VP group and b) Klobuchar and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is suffering from another self-inflicted wound this week, are moving in the wrong direction on this list, then the Rhode Island governor may well fill that niche. (I had long believed Biden would have a moderate in his final three; I am not sure I think that anymore.) The policy-focused Raimondo has won praise from the likes of conservative columnist George Will, and has a shown a willingness to make hard choices in office. (Previous ranking: Not ranked)
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
9. Amy Klobuchar: The issue of the Minnesota senator’s record during her time in the early 2000s as the lead prosecutor in Hennepin County (Minneapolis) had been percolating on a slow boil during the VP speculation. But George Floyd’s death has turned that record, which many black leaders have suggested was too pro-police, into a top-of-mind issue.

And it’s very hard to see how Biden takes such a risk in picking Klobuchar given the mood within the Democratic Party right now. (Previous ranking: 2)

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth
8. Tammy Duckworth: While the Illinois senator doesn’t get as much buzz as some of the names above her on this list, her profile stands up to any one of them: A helicopter pilot in Iraq, she lost both legs and the use of one arm when she was shot down. She went on to be elected to the US House and Senate from Illinois. She’s also making her voice heard in the days since Floyd was killed in Minneapolis: “George Floyd’s death was unnecessary and heartbreaking,” she wrote in a CNN op-ed on Monday. “It was a tragedy — but horrifyingly, it was not an anomaly.” (Previous ranking: Not ranked)
Stacey Abrams
7. Stacey Abrams: In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Thursday (no, not that one), Abrams makes the argument that the best way to react to Floyd’s death is for people of color to register to vote and then do so in November.

“Voting is a first step in a long and complex process, tedious but vital,” the former Georgia state House minority leader wrote. Wise words — and ones that suggest she is ready to lead on an issue of critical import to all minority communities. (Previous ranking: 9)

Susan Rice
6. Susan Rice: If Biden wants to pick the woman with the most hands-on experience on foreign policy and national security issues, there’s no question that Rice is at the top of that list — having served as national security adviser and US ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration. But she carries baggage, too — most notably her statements after the Benghazi, Libya, attack and her January 20, 2017, email on Michael Flynn. (Previous ranking: 7)
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

5. Michelle Lujan Grisham: Lost amid the flood of news over the last week is the fact that Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto removed herself from VP consideration. That move leaves Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, as the highest-ranking Latina in the VP mix.

(Other names like Texas Reps. Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia still seem like something of a long shot to me.) Lujan Grisham has also stepped up her criticism of Trump and his response to Floyd’s death. (Previous ranking: 8)
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

4. Elizabeth Warren: As I said above, I think it is very likely Biden picks a black women to be his running mate. If he doesn’t, the Massachusetts senator probably has the best chance, as she is beloved by liberals and her selection be seen as an attempt to unite the Democratic Party. (Previous ranking: 3)

Florida Rep. Val Demings
3. Val Demings: Even before Floyd’s death and the ongoing reverberations from it, this Florida House member was getting rave reviews about her potential as a ticket-mate for Biden. But now consider what Demings would do to the ticket: A black former police chief of a major southern city (Orlando) who knows the issues within the law enforcement community vis a vis police brutality intimately. (Previous ranking 5)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
2. Keisha Lance Bottoms: Lance Bottoms’ speech last Friday night — amid violent protests in Atlanta — was a moment. She was empathetic. Tough. And deeply human. I’ve had the Atlanta mayor on my list almost since the start of the VP process but I was never sure she would break into the top tier. Boy, was I wrong. (Previous ranking: 6)
California Sen. Kamala Harris

1. Kamala Harris: For all that’s changed on the list this week, the California senator’s positioning has not. If anything, Harris seems even more likely to be the pick now as she, at 55, is a generation younger than Biden but also has a wealth of experience — as California attorney general and a senator — that we know Biden values. (Previous ranking: 1)

CNN’s Allison Gordon contributed to this report.

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Joe Biden adopts signature tactics from former primary rivals as he prepares for general election against Trump

And he and Buttigieg hosted a virtual “grassroots” fundraiser, a small-dollar event modeled after the events Buttigieg often held, on Friday.

The efforts offer Biden a chance to tap into the popularity and excitement surrounding his former rivals. Part of the aim, a Biden adviser said, is to appeal to the cultural components of past campaigns that are important to those supporters while also maintaining an authentic feeling for Biden and his campaign.

It all comes as Biden’s campaign morphs from a largely offline primary effort, where support from older voters, especially African Americans, catapulted him to the Democratic nomination, into one that is attempting to unite the party and gear up for what the coronavirus pandemic could force to be a general election battle that’s fought over the internet and airwaves.

“Our campaign continues to grow stronger because we are adopting some of the smartest, most effective tactics used during the primary, and we’re grateful to our friends on other campaigns who have helped us do that,” said TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign. “It’s because of this kind of cooperation and unity that we will beat Donald Trump this November.”

Joe Biden's running mate list is shorter than you might think -- for now, at least

The calls with Warren and the code borrowed from Buttigieg both align with the image of Biden that his campaign has sought to portray: an empathetic figure who is motivated by the personal connections he makes and stories he hears on the campaign trail.

“These tactics work because they’re authentic to Joe Biden,” said Lis Smith, the Buttigieg strategist who said she and other former staffers have been in contact with Biden’s campaign.

“It doesn’t come across as pandering. He’s doing it in a way that is authentic to him and that is authentic to his campaign, and that’s why I think it’s so powerful,” she said.

Adopting some of his former rivals’ tactics is part of Biden’s broader effort to bring Democrats together after a bruising primary campaign. Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, his strongest rival in the party’s primary, have assembled a series of working groups on policy issues.
Biden’s team has been deliberate in welcoming supporters of past opponents. This includes helping produce graphics for members of Buttigieg’s “Team Pete” and Kamala Harris‘ “KHive” now on board with the former vice president’s campaign — a move that allows those people to maintain their identities as supporters of Biden’s former rivals while lining up behind the party’s choice to take on Trump.
As a gesture of thanks to Buttigieg’s supporters on Super Tuesday, the Biden campaign’s press shop learned a dance to the song “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco, which had become a light-hearted joke among Buttigieg’s followers. And Biden himself sought to extend olive branches to Sanders’ supporters as the primary wound down, frequently praising the Vermont senator and courting his supporters in speeches.

Buttigieg’s “Rules of the Road” were the first prominent example of Biden — who has had to grow his staff for the general election while at home in Delaware, with aides working from their homes, as well — adopting a former rival’s tactics.

Biden and Buttigieg have spoken several times in recent months, and Biden’s campaign asked for Buttigieg’s feedback and sign-off before making public its “Campaign Code.”

“It was really smart to have Pete that involved in this process, because it signals to Pete’s supporters that the Biden campaign wasn’t just paying Pete’s campaign and Pete’s supporters lip service,” Smith said.

This week Buttigieg emailed his campaign’s list to invite them to his first grassroots fundraiser with Biden. It’s the sort of event that could bring new online donors into Biden’s campaign — and allow the campaign to hit those donors again and again for contributions.

“Grassroots fundraisers are really important to me. They are based on the idea that the experience of a political fundraiser, often regarded as high-dollar closed-door events in the past, should be equally available to folks chipping in $5, $25 at a time,” he said.

Biden’s embrace of his rival’s campaigns extends to policy and staffing as well. Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, who took over leading the team in March, initially ran former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s presidential bid. And several other O’Rourke staffers now fill prominent roles in Biden’s campaign.

This week, Biden’s campaign announced the hiring of Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the former co-national political director for the Harris campaign, as a senior adviser focusing on Latino outreach and state operations. The campaign recently beefed up its digital team by adding senior advisers from the campaigns of Harris, O’Rourke and Warren.

Biden’s advisers maintain frequent contact with the teams of former opponents. Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director who is an alum of O’Rourke’s campaign, has coordinated digital and social media efforts, and a trio of top advisers — Cristóbal Alex, Stef Feldman and Symone Sanders — work with outside groups and former rivals’ teams on policy issues.

The Top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as vice president, ranked
Biden has already made policy overtures to past campaigns, including embracing Warren’s bankruptcy plan and teaming up with the Massachusetts senator to highlight possible corruption in the Trump administration’s coronavirus relief efforts. He’s credited Sanders and his supporters for “laying the groundwork” on two of Biden’s recent policy commitments — lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60 and forgiving student loan debt for low-income and middle-class borrowers who attended public colleges and universities, historically black colleges and universities, and other institutions geared toward students of color.
The Biden and Sanders’ teams have set up unity task forces aiming to work together on six key policy areas. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an ardent Sanders supporter, is co-chairing the group focusing on climate change along with Biden backer former Secretary of State John Kerry.
As Democrats turn their attention to the general election, the Biden campaign is working to maximize the use of former rivals in virtual fundraising and events. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Harris and Klobuchar have all participated in recent fundraisers for the former vice president.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar and O’Rourke, have headlined virtual campaign events and calls for the campaign. Klobuchar, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Andrew Yang have appeared on Biden’s podcast “Here’s the Deal.”

Biden made his own calls to grassroots donors occasionally during the primary, but he’s aimed to make those personalized calls more frequently since he became the presumptive Democratic nominee. Like Warren once did, his team dangles the possibility of a call from Biden in many of its fundraising pitches.

Biden and Warren recently teamed up to call those grassroots donors together.

“I wanted to call to say thank you for contributing to Vice President Biden’s campaign. You’re one of the people we’re counting on,” Warren said in a video of the calls. “Today I’ve got a special guest … take it away Joe.”

“Carroll, this is Joe Biden,” the former vice president said. “I was kidding with the senator a moment ago. I said, you know I used to call my contributors, but I never had as many until she endorsed me,” said Biden. “I’m counting on her a great deal not just for her endorsement, but for her ideas and her leadership.”

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Breaking New

CNN Poll: Battlegrounds tilt for Trump, but Biden leads nationwide

In the new poll, 51% of registered voters nationwide back Biden, while 46% say they prefer Trump, while in the battlegrounds, 52% favor Trump and 45% Biden. Partisans are deeply entrenched in their corners, with 95% of Democrats behind Biden and the same share of Republicans behind Trump. The two are close among independents (50% back Trump, 46% Biden, not a large enough difference to be considered a lead), but Biden’s edge currently rests on the larger share of voters who identify as Democrats.

The former vice president continues to hold healthy leads among women (55% Biden to 41% Trump) and people of color (69% Biden to 26% Trump). The two run more closely among men (50% Trump to 46% Biden) and the President holds a clear edge among whites (55% Trump to 43% Biden). The poll suggests Biden outpaces Trump among voters over age 45 by a 6-point margin, while the two are near even among those under age 45 (49% Biden to 46% Trump).

Though other recent polling has shown some signs of concern for Biden among younger voters and strength among older ones, few have pegged the race as this close among younger voters. The results suggest that younger voters in the battleground states are tilted in favor of Trump, a stark change from the last CNN poll in which battleground voters were analyzed in March, even as other demographic groups shifted to a smaller degree. Given the small sample size in that subset of voters, it is difficult to determine with certainty whether the movement is significant or a fluke of random sampling. Nationally, Biden holds a lead over Trump among voters age 65 and older, a group which has been tilted Republican in recent presidential elections.

Trump’s biggest advantage over Biden in the poll comes on his handling of the economy. Most voters, 54%, say they trust the President to better handle the nation’s economy, while 42% say they prefer Biden. An earlier release from the same CNN poll found the public’s ratings of the economy at their worst level since 2013, as a growing share said the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus outbreak could be permanent. But Biden does have the advantage as more trusted to handle the response to the coronavirus outbreak (51% Biden to 45% Trump) and health care (54% Biden to 42% Trump).

Voters divide over which of the two has the stamina and sharpness to be president (49% say Trump, 46% Biden), a frequent attack Trump levels against the former vice president. But Biden outpaces Trump across five other tested attributes. His advantage is largest on which candidate would unite the country and not divide it (55% say Biden would, 38% Trump), followed by being honest and trustworthy (53% choose Biden, 38% Trump). Biden is seen as caring more about people like you (54% Biden vs. 42% Trump), better able to manage government effectively (52% Biden to 45% Trump) and more trusted in a crisis (51% Biden to 45% Trump).

A majority of Americans say they have an unfavorable view of the President (55%) while fewer feel negatively about Biden (46%). Among the 14% of registered voters who say they have a negative impression of both Trump and Biden, the former vice president is the clear favorite in the presidential race: 71% say they would vote for Biden, 19% for Trump. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who announced he is exploring a run for the presidency on the Libertarian ticket, is unknown to 80% of Americans, and is viewed more unfavorably (13%) than favorably (8%).

As Biden’s campaign moves closer to the selection of a vice presidential running mate, 38% of Democratic voters say choosing a candidate who brings racial and ethnic diversity to the Democratic ticket is one of the top two traits they’d like to see in Biden’s choice, 34% name executive experience as a top-two trait, 32% say bringing ideological balance to the ticket is one of their top two criteria, and 31% say representing the future of the Democratic Party is that important. Proven appeal to swing voters and legislative experience were top tier for about a quarter of voters.

Among Democratic voters of color, 43% say racial and ethnic diversity is one of their top two most important traits, topping all others by 11 points. Among white Democratic voters, diversity and executive experience are about even at the top of the list.

Biden has said he will choose a woman as his vice president. Although several of the possible contenders are unknown to sizable chunks of the population, , five of the women widely considered to be on his list of potential choices — including three of Biden’s former 2020 rivals — are far more liked than disliked among Democratic voters, according to the poll.

CNN Poll: Negative ratings for government handling of coronavirus persist

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren fares best, viewed favorably by 69% of Democratic voters and unfavorably by 19%. California Sen. Kamala Harris is also viewed positively by a majority of Democrats (59% favorable vs. 15% unfavorable). Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is viewed favorably by 49% of Democratic voters, unfavorably by 15%. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia in 2018, is seen favorably by 43% of Democrats while 11% have an unfavorable view. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is the least widely known of this group, with 63% of Democratic voters saying they haven’t heard of her or don’t yet have an opinion of her, but those who do largely tilt positive, 29% favorable to 9% unfavorable.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS May 7-10 among a random national sample of 1,112 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer, including 1,001 registered voters and 583 voters in battleground states, defined as the 15 states decided by 8 points or less in 2016 — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

This story has been updated with additional details about the battleground state findings.

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Breaking New

Latinx activists want Joe Biden to pick a Latina as his VP

“Part of what the Biden campaign has been thinking, and thinking very deeply about it and grappling within, is how do we bring more Latinos into the fold?” said Mayra Macías, the executive director of Latino Victory, a progressive political action committee that works to get Latinos into political office.

Macías said she’s spoken to the Biden team about choosing a Latina vice president.

“In addition to obviously us helping bring some folks into the fold, I think having a Latina on the ticket is a way, and a very visible way, of bringing Latinos into the fold.”

At least two Latina candidates who are likely to be considered for Biden’s vice president short list: Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Both have already made historic strides: Cortez Masto is the first Latina to serve in the Senate, and Lujan Grisham is the first Latina to serve as a Democratic governor in the US.

Lujan Grisham, in particular, has been in the spotlight in recent weeks for her handling of the Covid-19 crisis in New Mexico. She was among the first governors to issue a stay-at-home order and close schools statewide as the coronavirus outbreak spread throughout the country.

Latino voters could play a role in choosing the next president of the United States, accounting for 13.3% of all eligible voters, according to the Pew Research Center. Additionally, 62% of Latino registered voters identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party while 34% say the same about the GOP.

“The Latino community is an important part of a winning coalition not only in states like Florida, Arizona, and Texas, but also in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Strong support from Latino voters is essential to defeat Donald Trump in November,” Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told CNN in a statement. “Latina leaders deserve to be fully vetted and seriously considered — this process should not just be a check-the-box exercise or a substitute for substantial community investment.”

José Dante Parra, the CEO of Prospero Latino, a strategic communications firm, said that having a Latina vice presidential nominee “would mean we have arrived.”

“There’s a feeling out there that it’s just about lip service to the Latino community. When it comes to actually delivering for the Latino community, it isn’t that top of mind. But it would mean that we are considered a top priority for the presidential ticket. And I think that could send some reverberations through the community and really excite people,” Parra said.

Parra also said that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken over the news cycles, causing the 2020 election to be out of mind for many voters across the country. Parra said that Biden picking a minority woman to be on the ticket could generate more excitement ahead of November.

“I think nominating a member of a minority group would help Biden also break through the noise, break through the news cycle. And I think it would be several new cycles worth of analysis and earned media that they would get by nominating a member of a minority community.”

Latina VP options come with support and ties to Biden

Both Cortez Masto and Lujan Grisham have said they are honored to be considered for the post.

Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, a close ally of Biden’s, previously held the seat now filled by Cortez Masto and told CNN in a statement she would be an “excellent choice.”

“Selecting a Latina running mate like Senator Cortez Masto would certainly help to energize Nevada voters,” Reid said.

In a fundraising email for Biden from late last month, Cortez Masto mentioned her relationship with Beau Biden, the late son of the former vice president who passed away from brain cancer in 2015. Before winning her Senate seat in 2016, Cortez Masto served as the Nevada attorney general and worked with Beau Biden, who had been Delaware’s attorney general.

“I’ve known Joe Biden for nearly 10 years, but he wasn’t the first member of the Biden family I met. It was actually his late son, Beau, a fellow state attorney general, my partner in many important fights and a dear friend. Beau was a fearless public servant, a staunch advocate for justice, and a man who led with courage and compassion,” Cortez Masto wrote in the email. “As I got to know Joe personally, it was clear the apple had not fallen far from the tree.”

Biden says vice presidential committee 'looking at more than a dozen women'

Lujan Grisham, who has been New Mexico’s governor since 2019, served as a congresswoman from New Mexico’s 1st congressional district from 2013 to 2018. She also previously served as the health secretary of New Mexico from 2003 to 2007.

The governor also has a similar experience to the former vice president — her sister died of brain cancer, like Beau Biden. Lujan Grisham has previously said in interviews that her sister’s illness and death motivates her work toward affordable health care.

Support for Biden within Latinx community

Biden’s trajectory to the nomination depended heavily on African-American voters, who strongly supported his candidacy and propelled him to the top after his overwhelming win in the South Carolina primary.

But he’s struggled to create and sustain the same enthusiasm with Latino voters, who in the primary widely supported Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.

That was made clear after the Nevada caucuses, which was the first state in the primary process to have a diverse Latinx voting bloc. There, Sanders won a stunning 53% of Latino voters, three times as much as the next closest competitor — Biden at 17%.
Biden has received endorsements from Latino organizations including the Latino Victory Fund, but his campaign acknowledges there’s work to do to gain more Latino support and points to the lack of in-person campaign events in recent weeks as to why he’s been unable to break through.
Biden confronts allegation as he prepares for unprecedented campaign against Trump

A source within the Biden campaign told CNN they attribute it to a total conversion to virtual events amidst the pandemic, arguing that it is difficult to break through in coverage during a public health crisis when Biden’s opponent, the incumbent President Trump, is on television nearly everyday holding briefings on the coronavirus.

But despite the lack of enthusiasm from the Latinx community, one campaign aide told CNN that a Latina running mate isn’t necessarily needed to spur enthusiasm among Hispanic communities.

“I don’t think that it will have that much impact. I think the community just wants someone who understands them,” the aide told CNN.

Macias said she hopes that Biden’s campaign seriously considers a Latina to be his running mate, rather than just have the women as names on their checklist.

“I think the bigger harm is if the (Latinx community) is not even on the short list, right? Because I think there’s still a long way to go I think for us. The bigger harm is that we’re not even considered or on the short list,” she said. “Because again, that reaffirms a message, or a false narrative that the Latino vote doesn’t matter. Which I think as a community and as an organization, who works to mobilize and excite Latinos, is something that we constantly hear.”

Covid-19 and 2020

While Covid-19 has halted in-person campaigning, both Cortez Masto and Lujan Grisham have been making appearances on cable news to support the former vice president’s candidacy.

In an interview with Telemundo earlier this month, Cortez Masto was clear she was “100%” with Biden.
Biden campaign announces vice presidential selection committee

The Nevada senator also formally endorsed Biden last week, saying in a statement: “Joe Biden is the leader our country needs right now. His experience leading through moments of crisis and his trademark compassion and empathy are the leadership qualities that are needed as the American people face an unprecedented public health and economic crisis.”

When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about being on Biden’s VP list, Lujan Grisham said she wants “to be the governor of New Mexico” and dodged directly answering the question.

“Well, I will do this. I think that you want a vice president that was much like former Vice President Biden. He knew how to govern. He had done a ton of work as a senator and in local government as well, and I think that those are incredible attributes. I want to be the governor of New Mexico. I will do whatever it takes to support a Biden administration, and I’m looking forward to a federal administration that can do a national strategy in good times and in bad times both.”

CNN’s Sarah Mucha and Dan Merica contributed to this report.

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Breaking New

Tara Reade’s allegation against Joe Biden: What we know

“While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny,” Biden said in the statement.

He continued, “Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.”

CNN has spoken with Reade, her former neighbor, a friend of hers at the time, and her brother regarding the allegation. CNN has also spoken with Biden’s campaign and several longtime aides and former staffers to Biden.

Here’s what we know about the allegation:

Reade’s allegation

Reade publicly accused Biden last year of touching her shoulders and neck and making her feel uncomfortable. At the time, she did not accuse him of sexual assault.

She first came forward with her sexual assault allegation against Biden in interviews in recent weeks with multiple media outlets, including CNN.

Reade told CNN that in 1993, when she was working as an aide in Biden’s Senate office, she was asked to deliver a duffel bag to the then-Delaware senator. In a corridor somewhere in the Capitol Hill complex, Reade said Biden “had me up against the wall; he used his knee to spread open my legs,” and “put his fingers inside me.”

Reade said when she pulled away, Biden said to her, “Come on man. I heard — I thought you liked me.” Biden then looked angry, according to Reade, and said, “You are nothing to me. You are nothing.” She said that Biden eventually took her by the shoulders and said words to the effect of, “You’re OK. You’re fine,” before walking away.

Reade has said that she complained to multiple colleagues in the office about interactions with Biden that made her uncomfortable, but not about the alleged assault. Reade has also said that she filed a complaint with a personnel office on Capitol Hill at the time, but that she does not have a copy of it. It is unclear what kind of complaint — and with what office — Reade may have filed. She has said she filed a complaint related to the uncomfortable interactions in the office, but not sexual assault.

The ‘Larry King Live’ video

Reade said on the night of the alleged assault she spoke on the phone with her mother, Jeanette Altimus, who was “adamant” that she call the police. She said she did not call the police. Reade said she recalls her mother telling her sometime after the alleged assault that she had called into Larry King’s show. Altimus died a few years ago.

A newly surfaced video from 1993 appears to feature the mother of Reade calling into Larry King around the time of the alleged assault to seek advice about “problems” her daughter had been having while working for a “prominent senator.”

In a “Larry King Live” segment that aired on August 11, 1993, on CNN, an unnamed woman calls in to the show with her location identified on the screen as San Luis Obispo, California. The show was about the cutthroat nature of Washington, DC, politics and media. The woman does not mention sexual assault or harassment, nor does she describe in any detail what “problems” she might be referring to. Her daughter’s name and Biden are also not mentioned.

In a phone interview with CNN, Reade said she is certain the voice in the video belongs to her mother.

Former neighbor’s story

Lynda LaCasse told CNN in a phone interview that Reade, her former neighbor, told her about the alleged sexual assault within a few years of the incident.

LaCasse said it was 1995, perhaps even early 1996, based on her recollection. LaCasse said she often sat outside on her stoop smoking Virginia Slims, and that on this particular day, she cried as she discussed with Reade a custody battle for her kids. Reade began to cry too, LaCasse said.

“She started talking about Joe Biden. And I didn’t really know much about Joe Biden,” she said. LaCasse said that Reade told her that when she was working in Washington some years prior, Biden “had pushed her up against a wall and he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside of her, and she was dealing with the aftermath of that.”

CNN verified through public records searches, photos and an examination of Reade’s past government identification that LaCasse and Reade were once neighbors.

Friend’s story

A friend of Reade’s, who asked to remain anonymous in order to protect her privacy, told CNN that Reade told her on multiple occasions while she was working in Biden’s Senate office about physical interactions with the then-senator that had made her feel uncomfortable.

The friend told CNN that she and Reade became close in the early 1990s when she spent multiple semesters interning in Washington, DC, to receive college credits. One of her internships was with the late-Sen. Ted Kennedy.

In 1993, when the friend was back in school, she received a phone call from Reade. Reade told her in detail that she had been sexually assaulted by Biden on Capitol Hill. The friend said she believes Reade called her within days of the alleged assault. The friend said she advised Reade against filing a police report at the time.

Reade’s brother’s story

The Washington Post interviewed Reade’s brother, Collin Moulton, who told the paper that she had told him in 1993 that Biden had behaved inappropriately by touching her neck and shoulders but not about the alleged sexual assault. Several days after that interview with Reade’s brother, the Post said, “he said in a text message that he recalled her telling him that Biden had put his hand ‘under her clothes.'”

Moulton later told CNN that Reade told him in the early 1990s that she had been asked to bring Biden his gym bag, and that in a private setting, he had cornered her against the wall and put his hands under her clothes.

Biden campaign response

Before Biden denied the allegation himself in a statement and on camera, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, issued a statement calling Reade’s allegation “untrue.”

“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women. He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard – and heard respectfully,” Bedingfield said. “Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”

Former Biden aides respond

Marianne Baker, who was Biden’s executive assistant in the 1980s and 1990s when Biden was a senator, also previously said in a statement provided through the Biden campaign that she was never aware of any reports of inappropriate conduct, including from Reade.

“In all my years working for Senator Biden, I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone. I have absolutely no knowledge or memory of Ms. Reade’s accounting of events, which would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager,” Baker said. “These clearly false allegations are in complete contradiction to both the inner workings of our Senate office and to the man I know and worked so closely with for almost two decades.”

Dennis Toner, who was Biden’s deputy chief of staff at the time and one of the people Reade said she had discussed her complaints with, told CNN in an interview on Thursday that he had no recollection of Reade or any conversation related to sexual harassment allegations.

“I clearly would remember if we — that is, if Tara and myself — had any kind of conversation regarding sexual harassment allegations, let alone something involving Sen. Biden. It would stick in my mind. It would be burned in my mind,” Toner said. “I don’t understand it.”

CNN has interviewed half a dozen former Biden aides who worked in his Senate office in the early 1990s. All of them said they were not aware of any sexual harassment or assault allegations.

Attorney in Biden’s VP vetting: Two months of research into Biden’s ‘long record in public service’

The man who led the vetting of Biden as Barack Obama’s possible running mate in 2008 said his team did not find evidence of sexual harassment complaints or allegations during Biden’s vetting process.

Attorney William Jeffress told CNN’s Arlette Saenz that his team of nearly 10 lawyers spent roughly two months “doing every deep dive into his long record in public service,” including examining records and interviewing dozens of former and present staffers to the then-Senator. Jeffress said they specifically looked for and asked if anyone was aware of complaints or allegations, including ones pertaining to sexual harassment, made against Biden.

“We asked everybody an open-ended question — ‘Are you aware of any complaints of any illegal, unethical conduct, including discrimination or harassment?’ And the answer was uniformly no,” Jeffress said. “We never heard of any allegation against him of that sort.”

Jeffress said Reade’s name did not come up in their vetting process, and no one suggested they speak to her.

Patti Solis Doyle, who served as chief of staff for vice presidential operations during the 2008 election, echoed Jeffress’ comments. During a Saturday appearance on CNN, Solis Doyle told Michael Smerconish that “the selection committee had done a thorough vet of all vice president contenders.”

“if anything like a sexual assault or a sexual allegation had come up, certainly, I would have been given the heads-up on it. And nothing like that ever came up,” she said.

This story has been updated to include comment from two people involved in the 2008 vice presidential selection process or management.

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Joe Biden wins Kansas primary

Biden won 76.9% in the vote-by-mail contest run by the state party, which implemented ranked-choice voting this year. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who dropped out of the race last month, won 23.1%, making him the only other candidate eligible for delegates to the national convention.

Despite the competition for the Democratic nomination effectively ending with Sanders’ suspension, the party still received more than 145,000 ballots.

“The KDP offers its congratulations to former Vice President Joseph Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders for receiving delegates from the Sunflower State. Kansas Democrats made history in this election with record participation levels along with demonstrating how a vote-by-mail election can protect voters and our Democracy, even in the most uncertain of times,” Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt said in a statement.

“We are confident the enthusiasm and engagement seen during the 2020 Primary will only continue to grow and translate into Democratic victories up and down the ballot in November,” Hiatt continued.

The campaigns announced a joint agreement last week under which Sanders would keep all the delegates he earns, despite a Democratic National Committee rule that he was no longer eligible for hundreds of them because he dropped out of the race.

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