Wisconsin Governor Requests Mail-In Ballots: Campaign Update

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(Bloomberg) -- Governor Tony Evers asked lawmakers to ensure that all of Wisconsin’s 3.3 million registered voters receive absentee ballots as the state moves forward with plans to hold its April 7 primary election despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Evers, a Democrat, said the request to the Republican-held state legislature was made to allow as many people as possible vote while many Americans are staying at home to limit the spread of the virus. Evers declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin last week, but both he and Republican leaders in the legislature opposed any move to delay the vote, as several states have done.

“This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue -- this is an issue of democracy,” Evers said in a tweet. “I don’t care who gets the credit, I just want to make sure that everyone has the chance to vote this April. We don’t have time for politics -- we have to get this done, folks.”

Physical polling locations would still be open though they are the responsibility of local governments.

Biden Allies to Air Anti-Trump Ad in Spanish: Campaign Update (4:44 p.m.)

A Democratic-allied super PAC is doubling down on an ad Donald Trump’s campaign has tried to stop television stations from airing.

The super PAC, Priorities USA, said Friday that in addition to continuing to broadcast the original ad in several states, it will begin airing a Spanish-language version in Florida. The spot, titled “Exponential Threat,” features Trump appearing to call the coronavirus a “hoax” and criticizes his response to the pandemic.

Earlier this week, the Trump campaign asked TV stations in swing states to take down the ad, which the president’s allies say is misleading. The Trump campaign says the president was describing Democrats’ efforts to politicize the coronavirus, not calling the virus itself a hoax.

Fact-checkers at the Washington Post called a similar ad from Joe Biden’s campaign misleading, noting that the full comments from Trump at a campaign rally compared “politicizing the coronavirus” to the investigation into Russian interference and his impeachment.

Daniela Martins, Hispanic media director of Priorities USA, said the super PAC would not be deterred. “The Trump campaign is doing all they can to prevent us from hearing Trump’s own words as he downplayed and mismanaged this crisis, leaving us all at risk. But Latino communities will not fall for his lies,” she said in a statement. -- Max Berley

Biden Defends Governors On Virus Response (3:42 p.m.)

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden fired off one of his toughest critiques of Donald Trump to date, chastising the president for attacking state and local officials “doing the work he won’t” to fight for more equipment to combat coronavirus.

“Patients need ventilators. Nurses need equipment. And Donald Trump is attacking people who dare to do something about it,” Biden said Friday on Twitter.

Trump said Thursday on Fox News that he’s having problems with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who endorsed Biden and is pushing aggressively for more federal support for her state. Trump, referring to her as “the young, a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about, from Michigan,” said he doesn’t “know if she knows what’s going on” and “all she does is sit there and blame the federal government.”

Biden said he thanks “God every day for people like @GovWhitmer, who are doing the work he won’t.”

Whitmer has frequently been mentioned as a potential running mate for Biden after he committed to picking a woman for the role. Whitmer said earlier this month that she wasn’t going to be Biden’s vice-presidential pick but wanted to help him make a good choice. “I’m going to help him vet and make sure he’s got a great running mate. It is not going to be me,” she said in an interview on MSNBC. “But I’m going to have a hand in helping make sure that that he has got the rounded out ticket that can win.” -- Jennifer Epstein

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