At South Carolina Convention, Sanders Hammers Centrist Democrats
COLUMBIA, S.C.—The Latest on Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina (all times local):
Bernie Sanders is striking back at a centrist Democratic group he says is dismissing him as an “existential threat” to the party’s 2020 hopes.
The Vermont senator and second-time presidential candidate hammered Third Way as a corporate-financed group as he spoke Saturday at the South Carolina Democratic convention.
Some of the group’s members have garnered fresh attention for warming toward liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She is perhaps Sanders’ biggest threat for support on the Democrats’ left flank.
Sanders argued Saturday that he can win a general election against President Donald Trump not by winning over the middle of the traditional electorate but instead by attracting millions of new voters. “We defeat Trump by running a campaign of energy and enthusiasm that substantially grows voter turnout … in a way we have never seen,” he said.
Elizabeth Warren is getting a warm welcome from South Carolina Democrats as she argues that her campaign for “big ideas” can appeal across the political spectrum.
The Massachusetts senator said she can “draw in Democrats and Republicans” who want to “make government work for everyone.”
Warren has spent months building her campaign in the key early primary state whose Democratic electorate is dominated by black voters and moderate whites.
She didn’t mention front-runner Joe Biden. But her emphasis counters the former vice president’s fundamental claim that he’s the best general election option to oust President Donald Trump.
California Sen. Kamala Harris is taking a prosecutor’s case straight at President Donald Trump as she campaigns in South Carolina.
The former local district attorney and state attorney general told thousands at the South Carolina Democratic Party convention on Saturday that Trump has a long “rap sheet” that Democrats’ 2020 nominee must be able to use against him in a general election.
She hammered Trump for everything from tax policy benefiting the rich and trade policies hurting farmers to a lack of civil rights protections for marginalized Americans.
Harris added that Democrats shouldn’t “turn back the clock” and instead “start the next chapter.”
She never mentioned Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, but her spirited speech seemed to attack the former vice president’s argument that he’s the Democrat with the best shot to defeat the president.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is telling South Carolina Democrats that his city will recover from the racial wounds exposed after a South Bend police officer shot and killed a black man last week.
Buttigieg told a large crowd, including hundreds of black voters, that South Bend, Indiana, “is full of people who believe in safety and justice.” He said an independent investigation of the incident will help the city “become stronger in the broken places.”
The mayor spoke at the South Carolina Democratic Convention a day after being jeered and protested in his home city.
Buttigieg’s relationship with black South Bend residents has gotten more scrutiny in recent months. Black voters historically cast more than half of South Carolina’s presidential primary ballots.
Nearly the entire Democratic presidential field will address hundreds of South Carolina Democrats on Saturday as the candidates look to make connections in a key early nominating state.
The South Carolina state party convention is part of a big political weekend for the South’s first primary state, with more than 20 candidates campaigning at various party events.
Most of the candidates also will appear Saturday at a separate Planned Parenthood forum on abortion rights.
South Carolina offers the largest Democratic primary electorate of the four early nominating states, and it’s the only early primary historically dominated by older black voters and white voters who trend more moderate than the national party.
Almost the entire sprawling Democratic presidential field of more than 20 candidates took the same stage in the South’s first primary state, looking to make connections in a primary battleground that has helped propel the party’s last two nominees.
Former Vice President Joe Biden reintroduced himself to South Carolina voters at gatherings he’s attended many times before. His rivals tried to convince a boisterous throng at a Friday event to consider a new path.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s annual fish fry, a longstanding event that this year has blossomed into a centerpiece ahead of the 2020 election. The weekend events include the state party convention and a Planned Parenthood forum on abortion rights Saturday.WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
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