Trump Assails North Carolina Democrat: Campaign Update

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump urged voters in a North Carolina congressional district to elect Republican Dan Bishop to the House in a special election on Tuesday, declaring that the candidate’s Democratic challenger, Dan McCready, a former Marine, is part of the “America-hating left.”

Trump spoke at the rally in Fayetteville on Monday, after Vice President Mike Pence crisscrossed the largely rural district earlier in the day to turn out votes for Bishop. The presence of both men in the state reflects Republican worries about the election; while Trump won the district easily in 2016, McCready came within about 900 votes of winning the House seat in 2018.

The 2018 election was overturned due to alleged vote fraud by the campaign of McCready’s then-opponent, Mark Harris, forcing a new election this year.

Trump told his rally audience they should vote against McCready because “he’s not going to protect your Second Amendment.” The president said McCready’s support for so-called “sanctuary cities” would “force cities and counties to release dangerous criminal aliens into your neighborhoods.”

Matt Fried, a spokesman for the McCready campaign, said he “is the only candidate in this race who has defended this nation’s borders in the Marines, when he served in Iraq.” McCready opposes state legislation in North Carolina that would require sheriffs to detain undocumented immigrants at the request of federal immigration authorities, though Fried told Politifact that the Democrat doesn’t support “sanctuary cities.”

Trump Says No Republican Primary Debate (3:10 p.m.)

President Donald Trump said he doesn’t plan to debate Republicans running against him for the GOP nomination in 2020.

“I don’t know them, I don’t know them,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. “They’re all at less than 1%. I guess it’s a publicity stunt.”

Trump Assails North Carolina Democrat: Campaign Update

Republicans seeking the nomination include former U.S. Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, and syndicated talk show host and former one-term Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh.

“I’m not looking to give them any credibility, they have no credibility,” Trump said. Several states have canceled their Republican presidential primaries in a move that would keep the challengers from getting any votes there. -- Josh Wingrove

Oil Workers Want Trump to Say No to Biofuel (2:49 p.m.)

Oil refinery workers and labor groups want President Donald Trump to know he has to woo voters from places other than Iowa.

Workers in Ohio and Michigan will hold a rally Thursday to persuade Trump to reconsider plans to boost biofuel made in Iowa. Their message: You need our votes too.

Trump is looking to temper criticism from Iowa and other politically important farm states over his decision to exempt oil companies from requirements that they use corn-based ethanol and soy-based diesel. Those waivers have prompted intense criticism from Republicans in Iowa and provided potent fodder to 2020 Democrats who are highlighting the issue in the state. In response to the outcry, Trump has promised to unveil “a giant package” of changes to benefit biofuel, and administration officials have developed plans to boost annual renewable fuel quotas.

The issue divides two of Trump’s political constituencies -- agriculture and oil -- with electoral implications. After Trump promised to protect ethanol in 2016, Iowa helped elect him to the White House (even though the state went for Barack Obama in the previous two presidential elections). But refining interests opposed to Trump’s potential biofuel move hold greater sway in Rust Belt states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio that are also crucial to Trump’s re-election. -- Jennifer Dlouhy

Warren Backs Democratic Incumbent’s Challenger (11:49 a.m.)

National Democrats typically close ranks behind the party’s incumbents, but
Elizabeth Warren is breaking with that practice.

On Monday, the presidential candidate endorsed Jessica Cisneros, the liberal primary challenger to Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas, who has served since 2005.

Trump Assails North Carolina Democrat: Campaign Update

Cuellar is among the more conservative members of the Democratic caucus, voting in alignment with President Donald Trump’s position more often than all but a few of his party colleagues, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The Cisneros campaign mocked Cuellar as “Trump’s favorite Democrat.” Cuellar’s district backed Hillary Clinton by 20 points in the 2016 election.

“We told you the outside special interests were coming to take away local jobs. Elizabeth Warren and our opponent share an agenda that would” kill jobs in his region, Cuellar wrote on his campaign Twitter account. “I’m fighting back. Will you join me?”

Warren also said she’s endorsing Marie Newman in her primary challenge against Representative Dan Lipinski of Illinois, a high target of liberal groups who is one of the few remaining Democrats in Congress to oppose abortion rights.
-- Sahil Kapur

Ex-Prosecutor Harris Releases Criminal Justice Plan (11:00 a.m.)

Kamala Harris used her record as a prosecutor to style herself as uniquely suited to fix criminal justice inequities, releasing aplan Monday to overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system.

The four segments of her plan are: ending mass incarceration, re-imagining law enforcement’s mission as one of service and accountability to communities, treating individuals “equitably and humanely” and protecting vulnerable people.

Trump Assails North Carolina Democrat: Campaign Update

More specifically, Harris proposes to end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, nix mandatory minimum sentences, increase the use of clemency, bridge the disparity between crack and powder cocaine and stop using private prisons. Her plan would also refocus resources toward rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

In a policy paper, the Harris campaign proposed to fix “decades of failed policies” that they said “have created an unjust, unequal and vastly expansive system that disproportionately harms communities of color and criminalizes individuals just because they are poor.”

Harris has faced criticism of her record as a prosecutor in California, with some accusing her of using her power to secure and sustain convictions against people in dubious circumstances. But other Democrats view her prosecutorial past as a positive to her candidacy. -- Sahil Kapur

DNC Chair Doesn’t See a Third-Party Challenge (5:30 a.m.)

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said he appreciates former Starbucks Corp. Chairman Howard Schultz’s decision not to run for president in 2020 as an independent, and is confident that Tulsi Gabbard won’t mount a third-party challenge either.

Gabbard, a Hawaii representative, has been critical of some of her rivals for the Democratic nomination but said in August she’s ruled out an independent run. Schultz, who’d been considering a 2020 run, told supporters in a letter posted on his website Friday that such a bid “is not how I can best serve our country at this time.”

Some Democrats worry about a repeat of 2000, when Ralph Nader’s third-party bid siphoned off voters, arguably contributing to Al Gore’s defeat by George W. Bush. In 2016, some Democrats blamed Green Party candidate Jill Stein for swinging enough votes away from the party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton, in key states to allow Donald Trump to win.

Perez said he doesn’t think Gabbard, who’s languishing in the polls and failed to qualify for Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate in Houston, will run as a third-party candidate “because she has said so” -- and that all Democrats know the importance of defeating Trump in 2020.

“We understand that it’s our democracy as we know it that’s on the ballot,” Perez said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “All of our candidates understand the gravity of the moment, and they understand that whoever wins, they’re going to be supporting the Democrat.” -- Mark Niquette

COMING UP

Ten candidates will face off in the third Democratic debate on Sept. 12 in Houston. It’ll be the first time Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren share a debate stage. Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Sanders and Andrew Yang will also participate.

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