Ground Game Podcast: And Then There Were 15

Just two months away from Iowa Caucuses and we’re saying goodbye to more Democratic Presidential campaigns, including California Senator Kamala Harris. This while President Trump arrived in London for the NATO Summit Tuesday kicking off his visit with a lot to say to reporters.

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Sen. Kamala Harris rolls out mental health plan

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris rolled out a mental health policy proposal on Monday in South Carolina. The senator from California wants to double the number of mental health treatment beds available across the country. (Nov. 26)

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Candidates slam Trump, defend impeachment inquiry

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris defend the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump at a candidate forum in Las Vegas. (Oct. 2)

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Hispanic political forum focuses on gun violence

Democratic presidential candidates at UnidosUS Hispanic political forum in San Diego discussed guns and the past week’s mass shootings. Monday’s speakers included Joe Biden and Senators Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. (Aug. 6)

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AP Debate Analysis: Big night for young candidates

Ten candidates were on stage in Detroit on Wednesday night, the second straight night of Democratic presidential debates. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris took a lot of heat as younger candidates sought the spotlight. (Aug. 1)

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2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Proposed Economic Policies

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders are among the leading Democratic presidential candidates – here’s where they stand on the US economy.

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2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Proposed Economic Policies

Harris on hearing ‘go back to where you came from’

Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris says she’s personally been told ‘go back to where you came from.’ The California Democrat, in Iowa, had an angry response to President Trump’s recent tweet about four Democratic congresswomen. (July 17)

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Harris in Iowa, discusses Trump and other topics

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris campaigned in West Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday. She criticized President Donald Trump’s planned Fourth of July celebration and discussed topics including healthcare and busing. (July 4)

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‘It was hurtful’: Kamala Harris defends jab at Joe Biden | AFP

Senator Kamala Harris of California, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, tells reporters in the spin room after the first presidential debate that “we have to be honest about what happened” in the past with race relations in the United States.

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Viewers in four states review the debate

People attending watch parties in New Hampshire, Michigan, Louisiana and Colorado reviewed Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate. Many said Senator Kamala Harris had the best night and Joe Biden had the worst. (June 28)

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What Joe Biden’s Flip-Flop On The Hyde Amendment Means For The Democratic Party (HBO)

Joe Biden no longer wants to be the only 2020 Democrat who supports a controversial rule to block federal funding for most abortions.

Biden said Thursday night that he doesn’t support the Hyde Amendment, a restriction added to the federal budget annually that prevents any money from going toward abortions — except in cases of rape, incest, or serious threats to the mother’s health. The U-turn comes just a day after his campaign told the New York Times Wednesday that he was still in favor of the rule.

Biden’s initial support made him the only 2020 candidate to come out in favor of Hyde, while a slew of his 2020 opponents — including the top three female candidates — almost immediately reiterated that they wanted to do away with the rule entirely.

On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren flat-out called Biden’s original stance wrong and pointed out that Hyde most directly affected low-income women through Medicaid.

“Understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions,” Warren said during an MSNBC town hall Wednesday night. “Who won’t will be poor women.”

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker all doubled down this week as well and said they support repealing Hyde. Abortion groups, too, quickly came after Biden’s support for the law.

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Why The Breakfast Club Is A Required Stop For Presidential Candidates (HBO)

If you’re a Democrat running for president, chances are you want stop by The Breakfast Club, the syndicated morning radio show produced by New York City hip hop station Power 105.1 FM.

The three Breakfast Club hosts — Angela Yee, DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God — have hosted long, free-wheeling interviews with 2020 candidates Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg and more. On Thursday, their guest was Elizabeth Warren.

Warren’s interview has already gone viral with a clip of Charlemagne accusing her of being “the original Rachel Dolezal.” Viral clips are the best-known result of a Breakfast Club interview, but they do the show a disservice — it’s really a loose, revealing interview that you won’t see on any Sunday morning TV politics show.

VICE News went behind the scenes with The Breakfast Club as they prepared for the Warren interview and grilled her.

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Sanders, Harris pitch immigration reform in Calif.

Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris dueled Friday over Hispanic votes in California, a central front in the nation’s immigration battle where Latinos represent the state’s largest ethnic group. (May 31)

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Dems In Congress Can’t Decide If They Should Impeach Trump (HBO)

To impeach, or not to impeach?

Elizabeth Warren broke the ice for the 2020 field on Friday afternoon when she called for Trump’s impeachment in a Twitter thread.

And during a town hall on Monday night, two top-tier candidates – Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg- joined the call to bounce Trump from office.

“I think he’s made it pretty clear that he deserves impeachment,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who’s surging in polls right now.

But Mayor Pete and senators don’t make that decision- at least for Warren and Harris, not yet.

The people who will really decide this are the Democrats in the House of Representatives. And right now, they’re struggling with the question that Democrats always seems to be struggling with: what’s more important—principles or politics?

Speaker Pelosi seems to be trying to strike a balance: move forward slowly, play down the impeachment talk, and characterize your investigations as regular old fact-finding. She held an all-caucus call on Monday to rally her base, and in a readout provided by a person on the call she called on Democrats to “save our democracy.”

“Whether it’s articles of impeachment or investigations, it’s the same obtaining of facts. We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”

A lot of House Dems seem to be following that lead for now. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon represents a mostly blue-collar district west of Philly. She’s a freshman elected last fall on the anti-Trump wave. She’s also the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee—the committee that is normally tasked with an impeachment investigation.

When asked bluntly if she would impeach the president today, Scanlon said no.

“I wouldn’t right now. I think we have a lot of work to do to get there. It’s not something you jump into. There’s so many important avenues of investigation that we’re not finished with,” she said in her district office on Wednesday morning.

The office says that in the last week, they’ve received 178 letters or emails asking for impeachment; 85 letters or emails saying that oversight should happen first; and 124 people have asked for the Mueller report to fully released to the public.

One constituent call that Vice News was allowed to listen to on Wednesday featured a woman struggling with the impeachment decision- but for different reasons. But she urged members of Congress to “get to the bottom of this” Mueller report.

“I’m not sure about impeachment. I’d love it but Pence is evil. I’m concerned about him being president. At least Trump is dumb,” she explained to a Scanlon staffer.

But for the Congresswoman Scanlon this isn’t a question about Trump being dumb or not. It’s a question of how congress should do its job. Is the moral high ground to impeach Trump?

“I think acting as a check and balance on an administration that’s out of control in a lot of ways is the moral high ground. It’s why a lot of us ran and that’s why a lot of us were elected,” Scanlon told VICE News. That’s the question that Scanlon thinks faces each member of Congress: “When you look at all of the evidence does it lead you to conclude that for the good of our country. Impeachment is what we have to do that. That it’s an executive who cannot function.”

Scanlon thinks that if impeachment were to happen in the House, that Republicans may be on board.

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After Jussie Smollett, Politicians May Stop Tweeting For Free Woke Points (HBO)

When Empire actor Jussie Smollett said last month that he’d been the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime, a lot of politicians immediately tweeted out their support of the actor.

Particularly for Democrats, the story of Smollett being attacked by two white men who put a noose around his neck, called him racist and homophobic slurs, and hailed “MAGA country” was a perfect encapsulation of the Trump-influenced hatred they stood against, and an opportunity to reiterate their own values.

Over the past few years, politicians, both liberal and conservative, have used public outrage tweets as a low-effort way to play to their base.

But that strategy may no longer be viewed as a safe one.

Thursday morning, Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police, who say he orchestrated the whole thing, and filed a false police report. In Illinois, this is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. Smollett’s lawyers maintain his innocence.

Donald Trump, who initially showed sympathy for Smollett, saying that the alleged attack was “horrible” and “doesn’t get worse”, has now gone on the offensive, tweeting that Smollett had insulted “tens of millions of people” with “racist and dangerous comments.”

But pivoting hasn’t been so easy for Democrats who had tweeted support for Smollett, and many have begun to walk back their statements. Right-wing commentators have had a field day bashing initial supporters such as Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, who tweeted that the alleged attack was a “modern day lynching,” and Nancy Pelosi, who called it an “affront to our humanity” (Pelosi has since deleted her tweet).

Despite clear evidence that hate crimes are on the rise, conservative commentators often insist that reports of hate crimes are either exaggerated or false.

For them, this incident has been a lucky break.

Smollett has not been found guilty of anything, and it is entirely possible that he will be exonerated. But the doubt surrounding this case doesn’t only affect Democrats — it will likely have serious implications for politics in general.

In recent years, victims of hate crimes could often count on politicians to publicly support them. For the politician, it may have been a selfish PR move, but it did have the positive effect of helping to put those issues into the national conversation.

But after Jussie Smollett’s arrest, politicians will likely be much more reluctant to step forward and support movements for social justice.

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AP Top Stories January 28 A

(28 Jan 2019) Here’s the latest for Monday January 28th: Trump has doubts about border wall deal; Deadly dam collapse in Brazil; 2 police officers shot in Denver; Senator Kamala Harris kicks of presidential campaign.

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Sen. Kamala Harris kicks off White House campaign

(28 Jan 2019) Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, standing outside of Oakland’s city hall, formally kicked off her campaign for the White House on Sunday, presenting herself as the leader who can best unite America. (Jan. 28)

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AP Top Stories 21 P

(21 Jan 2019) Here’s the latest for Monday January 21st: Americans honor Martin Luther King Jr.; Senator Kamala Harris announces her bid for president; Turmoil continues in Venezuela; Spanish taxi drivers protest.

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Harris: ‘Stand up & fight for best of who we are’

(21 Jan 2019) Sen. Kamala Harris enters the Democratic presidential race Monday, vowing to “stand up and fight for the best of who we are” in America. (Jan. 21)

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Kamala Harris says she’s “prepared to fight” Trump in 2020 race

Asked if she is the strongest Democrat to take on Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election, Senator Kamala Harris says she is “prepared to fight” what she believes “will be a winning fight”. The California Democrat was speaking publically for the first time after announcing that she is seeking to become the first African American woman to hold the office of US president. SOUNDBITE

Senator Kamala Harris campaigns in Mississippi

(19 Nov 2018) Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat and possible 2020 presidential contender, campaigned in Mississippi for Democratic US Senate Candidate Mike Espy. He’s in a runoff against Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. (Nov. 19)

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