Biden Says Trump Will Leave White House: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith and Jennifer Epstein
Biden Says Trump Will Leave White House: Campaign Update

(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden says he isn’t concerned that Donald Trump could refuse to leave office if he loses the November election.

Given how he’s treated the military, the intelligence agencies and the FBI, “I have no worry about him being escorted out of the White House,” the Democratic presidential hopeful said Wednesday at a CNN town hall in Charleston, South Carolina.

Biden was also asked if he had a message for Trump if he was watching the interview.

“Mr. President, we have a democratic process,” Biden said, staring directly into the camera. “When the voters speak, they are heard and they have to be responded to. Now, if you’re worried about somehow someone interfering in our election, why don’t you do something about Russia now?

Trump Opening Offices in Black Neighborhoods (4:52 p.m.)

President Donald Trump’s campaign said Wednesday it will open offices in African-American neighborhoods in key swing-state cities like Milwaukee and Detroit.

The campaign plans to open 15 Black Voices for Trump Community Centers in cities with significant numbers of black voters, including Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Philadelphia and Charlotte.

A mock-up of one such community center from the campaign shows a storefront with a photo of Trump and Alice Johnson, a black woman he granted clemency.

A sign trumpets the “promises made, promises kept” slogan as well as the phrases “school choice,” “criminal justice reform” and “HBCUs,” the acronym for historically black colleges and universities.

Exit polls showed Trump won 8% of black voters in the 2016 election, 4 percentage points less than the average of nearly 12% among Republican presidential candidates between 1968 and 2004. His supporters think even a modest improvement in 2020 could make a win much harder for the Democratic nominee. -- Mario Parker

South Carolina Conservatives Want Sanders (4:22 p.m.)

Some South Carolina conservatives are urging Republican voters to cross party lines and back Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

The goal: to help secure the nomination of the candidate they think is most likely to lose to President Donald Trump in November.

“We think we have the opportunity here to get enough Republicans to vote to swing four or five or six points to help Senator Sanders win on Saturday,” said Stephen Brown, former chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party, according to the Greenville News.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned about that kind of logic on Tuesday, however. “I think Republicans speculating about which Democratic candidate for president being easiest to beat may be a bit foolish,” he said.

After all, some Democrats thought Trump winning the Republican nomination in 2016 meant they would have easier sailing in the general election.

Biden Looks to Black Voters on Super Tuesday (2:15 p.m.)

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday ad buy is relatively small and comes late in the game, but it is telling.

The Biden campaign said Wednesday that it will be launching a six-figure ad campaign on stations and shows with large African-American audiences in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

In North Carolina and Texas, the campaign will also air radio ads on stations with African-American listeners encouraging early voting.

After faring poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire and losing to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Nevada, Biden is counting on his lead in South Carolina, where he has been boosted by higher support among black voters, to give him some momentum.

But recent polls have shown Sanders gaining ground among black voters, which would undermine Biden’s strategy. -- Jennifer Epstein

Pelosi Plays Down Concerns About Sanders (1:56 p.m.)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday played down concerns that Bernie Sanders would cost Democrats the House of Representatives.

Although some moderate Democrats have worried that having a self-identified democratic socialist as the nominee might hurt them down-ballot, the speaker said she wasn’t concerned about losing her majority.

“I think whoever our nominee is, we will enthusiastically embrace and we will win the White House, the Senate and the House,” she said.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued at Tuesday’s debate that Sanders would hurt the party’s other candidates.

“If you want to keep the House in Democratic hands, you might want to check with the people who actually turned the House blue -- 40 Democrats, who are not running on your platform,” he said. “They are running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can.”

COMING UP

South Carolina will hold its primary on Saturday, Feb. 29. Fourteen states and one U.S. territory will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

--With assistance from Jennifer Epstein and Mario Parker.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Washington, D.C. at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net;Jennifer Epstein in Charleston, South Carolina at jepstein32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Max Berley, John Harney

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.