Democrats Launch Effort to Hit Trump on Economy: Campaign Update
Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, speaks during an event to launch presidential campaign in Oakland, California, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Democrats Launch Effort to Hit Trump on Economy: Campaign Update

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(Bloomberg) -- The chairman of the Democratic Party slammed President Donald Trump’s economic record as he laid out the party’s strategy in battleground states in the 2020 election.

On the day the government reported the economy grew 2.5% last year -- below Trump’s 3% target -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the president has failed to keep promises to workers on health care and wages.

“Democrats have people’s backs,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Markets. “This president has a knife in their back.”

The DNC is launching a campaign in seven states pivotal in the presidential election to make the case against Trump’s performance on the economy. The effort will include events hosted by the DNC in coordination with state parties in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump carried all but Nevada in 2016.

Perez also highlighted next week’s debates in Detroit, drawing attention to auto workers facing plant shutdowns and tough times for farmers who’ve been hurt by the trade war with China.

“They’re over the barrel and the reason is because of the president’s incompetence,” Perez said.

Trump’s Attack on Squad Raises Their Numbers

President Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on four minority freshmen congresswomen have succeeded in raising their national profiles -- and their poll numbers.

A Fox News poll this week found that Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar’s favorable ratings increased among registered voters nationally after Trump told them to “go back” to where they’re from this month. Both are U.S. citizens, and Ocasio-Cortez was born in the US.

The number of voters who view Ocasio-Cortez favorably has increased from 26% to 39% since February, when Fox News last polled on the question. Omar’s favorable numbers increased from 17% to 26% since April.

To be sure, they’re still unpopular, particularly with Republicans and white men. But their unfavorable numbers have gone up more slowly over the same time periods. Ocasio-Cortez’s went from 39% to 41%, within the 3 percentage point margin of error. Omar’s rose from 33% to 37%.

Trump Campaign Ties Democrats to Squad in Video

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign dialed up its effort to brand the Democratic Party as radical leftists with a video released on Twitter that doubles down on his attacks against four freshman congresswomen of color.

Dubbed “The Squad: Meet the Leaders of the Democrat Party,” the video juxtaposes news footage of Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with clips of Trump criticizing each during a recent rally.

Some of the clips are edited with cartoonish effects. It closes with a loop of Ocasio-Cortez saying, “Call me a radical,” her voiced deepened and slowed with spiral graphics spinning over her eyes.

Trump has been attacking those four members of Congress for more than a week, exhorting them to “go back” where they came from. All but Omar were born in the U.S.

Elizabeth Warren Says ‘WooHoo’ to 1 Millionth Donation

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has garnered more than 1 million individual donations, she said on Twitter, a milestone that Bernie Sanders announced in April.

The disclosure comes days before Warren is set to face off against Sanders in the second Democratic presidential debate in Detroit. The Vermont senator, like Warren, has eschewed big-money donations in favor of grassroots support.

“We’re 100% grassroots-funded, & every person who chips in owns a piece of our movement,” Warren said in her tweet. She also said she called the millionth donor to thank her with “a double woo-hoo.”

The senator from Massachusetts was one of the first candidates to promise not to accept donations from wealthy donors or have big dollar fundraisers during the primaries. She raised $19 million in the second quarter of 2019, the third most of the Democratic field.

Kamala Harris Has A $60 Billion Plan for Black Colleges

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is rolling out a new policy to invest $60 billion in historically black colleges and universities along with other minority-serving institutions.

Harris will present the plan in a speech to the National Urban League in Indianapolis on Friday, part of an effort to court black voters who have a key role in the Democratic nomination process and overwhelmingly favor Joe Biden in recent polls.

Her proposal would set up a $50 billion competitive fund for institutions to invest in science, technology, engineering and math education. She calls for allocating $10 billion to infrastructure such as classrooms and labs.

The blueprint by Harris, a graduate of the historically black Howard University in Washington, also includes $2.5 billion for those institutions to train black teachers.

Here’s What Happened on Thursday:

  • Joe Biden has a commanding lead over his 2020 Democratic rivals in South Carolina, where a majority of black voters back him, a Monmouth University Poll shows. Biden is supported by 39% of likely voters in the February primary, a crucial early presidential contest. Senator Kamala Harris is in second place with 12%, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders at 10%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren at 9%. Among black voters, a group that makes up more than half of likely primary voters in South Carolina, 51% favor Biden, a sharp contrast to just 24% of white voters.
  • Biden tops President Donald Trump Trump in Ohio 50%-42%, while every other Democrat is effectively tied with the president, according to a Quinnipiac poll. Ohio is a key swing state on the 2020 electoral map. Trump won there in 2016.

Coming Up This Week:

  • Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris appear at a forum at the National Urban League Conference in Indianapolis on Friday.

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