Biden Swipes at Warren With ‘Planner’ Remark: Campaign Update

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(Bloomberg) -- Seeking to draw a contrast with Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden said Wednesday that the country is “not electing a planner.”

Warren, who is statistically tied with Biden in recent state and national polls, has released a flurry of policy proposals, a practice that has developed into a campaign slogan: “Warren’s got a plan for that.”

For the most part, Biden has refrained from criticizing his rivals, but his rebuke of Warren may signal a more aggressive approach as he seeks to regain his lead in the polls.

“More important than my plan is my promise: I will get this done,” Biden, who is trying to position himself as a more moderate pragmatist, said Wednesday evening in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Later, he continued, “There is no one in this race who has a stronger record of passing important, consequential legislation than I have.”

Sanders Defends Delay in Reporting Heart Attack (4:56 p.m.)

Bernie Sanders dismissed criticism that his campaign failed to disclose that he had been diagnosed with a heart attack for three days, and said he “misspoke” when he told reporters he would scale back his campaign schedule.

“That’s nonsense,” the Vermont senator said in a brief video clip of an interview that will air Wednesday evening on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. “I don’t know what people think campaigns are, you know we’re dealing with all kinds of doctors and we wanted to have a sense of what the hell was going on really.”

When his campaign first divulged that Sanders had been hospitalized and had two stents implanted in Nevada on Oct. 2, it was described as a episode of chest pain. It wasn’t until three days later that the campaign revealed he had suffered a heart attack, though doctors say a blood test would have been conducted immediately to diagnose the heart attack and he likely would have known right away.

NBC also reported that in the interview Sanders walked back comments to reporters outside his Vermont home Monday, when he said he would reduce his campaign schedule and “change the nature of the campaign a bit.”

“I misspoke the other day, I said a word I should not have said and media drives me a little bit nuts to make a big deal about it,” Sanders said. “We’re going to get back into the groove of a very vigorous campaign, I love doing rallies and I love doing town meetings.”

He indicated, though, that that wouldn’t happen right away. “I want to start off slower and build up and build up and build up,” according to NBC News. -- Laura Litvan

Trump Would Win Re-Election Based on Economy (4:08 P.M.)

If the 2020 election is decided on the economy, historic trends suggest that President Donald Trump would win by 5 percentage points, according to a new analysis by the economic forecasting firm Oxford Economics.
“A record-low unemployment rate, subdued inflation and only moderately cooler income growth will favor the incumbent party despite some party fatigue,” according to the analysis. Trump could even survive a slight downturn, it concludes.

Oxford Economics reached that conclusion based on a model by Ray Fair of Yale University, who has studied the economic factors that best predict presidential elections dating to 1916.

But the analysis carries a big caveat: “Non-economic factors are likely to play an outsized role in this election.” Those factors include the impeachment inquiry announced by House Democrats and Trump’s likability. The model also doesn’t take the Electoral College vote into account. -- Gregory Korte

Biden Leads in North Carolina Poll (12:34 p.m.)

Joe Biden has a strong foothold in North Carolina, with a double-digit lead over the rest of the Democratic field thanks to overwhelming support from black voters, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday.

The finding is good news for Biden, who is either tied with or trailing Elizabeth Warren nationally and in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Among all likely Democratic voters in the state, Biden tops the field with 39%, while Warren had 22%. They were followed by Pete Buttigieg, who had 9%, and Bernie Sanders, who had 6%. While white voters prefer Warren over Biden 31% to 26%, Biden has 63% support among black voters, compared with 3% for Warren.

Biden’s two strongest states are now North and South Carolina, where his black support pushes him into a solid lead.

Still, Warren has room to expand her support from black voters in North Carolina, said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. She has a 69% favorable rating with 9% seeing her as unfavorable. Biden has an 84% favorable rating with 6% viewing him as unfavorable. -- Emma Kinery

COMING UP

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation will host a town hall at the University of California at Los Angeles devoted to LGBTQ issues on Friday. Candidates scheduled to attend are: Warren Cory Booker, Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Julián Castro and Tom Steyer. Sanders, who has been recovering from a heart attack, also is scheduled to appear, but his campaign hasn’t said whether he still plans to attend.

The fourth Democratic debate is scheduled for Oct. 15th at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Twelve candidates are slated to take part: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar and O’Rourke, as well as Tulsi Gabbard, Steyer and Andrew Yang.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union will host forums in Iowa with Democratic presidential candidates on Oct. 13. Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris and Michael Bennet have confirmed that they will attend.

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