AFL-CIO’s Trumka Looks for Workers’ Candidate: Campaign Update

Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou
AFL-CIO’s Trumka Looks for Workers’ Candidate: Campaign Update

(Bloomberg) -- AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he’ll be watching the Democratic debates to see which presidential candidate can best help working people.“We ARE this country, yet more and more, the economic and political rules have been rigged against us,” Trumka, who heads the largest federation of U.S. unions, said in a statement. “We’ll be listening for a candidate who will use the presidency to make our country work for working people. We’re not settling for anything less.”Most 2020 Democratic candidates have yet to present policy proposals to increase employment to the Rust Belt. The debates provide an ideal backdrop to appeal to those voters in Michigan, which was won by Donald Trump in 2016.

Sanders Risks Handing Election to Trump, Delaney Aide Says

John Delaney‘s campaign took a swipe at Senator Bernie Sanders‘s health care plan just before the two presidential candidates were to meet on stage at the Democratic debate in Detroit.

Michael Starr Hopkins, Delaney’s national press secretary, said Sanders’s Medicare for All proposal would “all but guarantee that Donald Trump gets re-elected.”

The Vermont senator’s plan “to turn our health care system into a socialist experiment isn’t just bad policy, it’s bad politics,” Hopkins said. Sanders, he added, “isn’t even a Democrat.”

Delaney is one of the lowest polling candidates in the field and his campaign’s direct attack on Sanders signals how he plans to make his mark during the debate. At the California Democratic Convention last month he was booed for opposing Sanders’s Medicare for All plan.

Trump to Air Attack Ad During Debate

Donald Trump won’t be on stage for the two nights of the Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, but he’s not missing the opportunity to take shots at the candidates.

The president’s re-election campaign will air a 30-second attack ad on Tuesday and Wednesday that opens with 10 Democrats, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, raising their hands when asked if their health care plans would cover undocumented immigrants. The question was asked during the first debate in Miami on June 27.

The ad also criticizes Democratic candidates for supporting “socialized medicine” that would eliminate private insurance. It ends with the line, “They’re all the same.”

The 30-second spot will air on MSNBC and Fox News Channel and CNN, the network that is sponsoring the debate. -- Bill Allison

Trump May Not Appear on California Ballot

President Donald Trump could be left off the primary ballot in California next year if he doesn’t release five years of his tax returns, because of a new law that Governor Gavin Newsom signed Tuesday.

California is the first state to require presidential candidates to release their tax information, though lawmakers in at least 25 states have introduced similar legislation since Trump won the presidency. Although not required to do so, Trump was the first presidential candidate in more than 40 years not to release his taxes and he has continued to refuse to reveal them as president.

The law is likely to face legal challenges. Newsom said his state is “well within its constitutional right,” but critics of the tax-return disclosure effort say that the Constitution sets out requirements to be president and states can’t add new ones.

Despite a flurry of bill introductions, few states are likely to follow California. Former California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation last year. He questioned whether the law was constitutional and expressed concern that it could instigate a “slippery slope” for what states could require candidates to reveal.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said there were “good reasons” Brown vetoed the measure.

“It’s unconstitutional and it opens up the possibility for states to load up more requirements on candidates in future elections,” Murtaugh said in an emailed statement. “What’s next, five years of health records?”

Tom Steyer to Run an Impeachment Ad During Debate

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer won’t be on stage in Detroit Tuesday night, but CNN viewers tuning in to the second presidential debate will hear his message anyway.

Need to Impeach, a Steyer-funded advocacy group, bought air time for a 30-second ad to run on CNN and MSNBC before and after the Democratic primary debate, the organization said. Steyer doesn’t appear in the spot.

The new ad compiles some of the most damning clips from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s House testimony last week about Russian interference and President Donald Trump’s obstruction: “Did you actually totally exonerate the president?” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler asked. “No,” Mueller responded. “The campaign welcomed the Russian help, did they not?” asked Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. “Yes,” Mueller said.

The billionaire hedge fund manager announced his candidacy July 9, too late to qualify for this week’s debates.

Half in U.S. View Trump as Racist, Poll Finds

Half of American voters believe that President Donald Trump is a racist, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

The survey also found little appetite for impeaching the president, with 60% saying that Congress shouldn’t begin proceedings.

The poll comes after weeks of increasingly harsh rhetoric on race from the president, who has suggested that four women of color who are Democratic members of Congress should go back where they came from and called the majority black congressional district of Representative Elijah Cummings in Baltimore a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

The poll found 51% of voters believe Trump is a racist, up 2 percentage points from the last time Quinnipiac asked the question a year ago. That’s within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Among the demographic groups most likely to believe Trump is racist were African-Americans (80%), those without a religious affiliation (63%), women (59%), Hispanics (55%), college-educated whites (54%) and those under age 35 (53%).

The poll was conducted July 25-28, after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress. Thirty-one percent of voters thought the Mueller report cleared Trump of all wrongdoing. That’s down from shortly after the report was released, when 38% said it cleared the president.

Biden Touts Endorsement From Iowa Heavy Hitter

Front-runner Joe Biden might be focused on preparing for Wednesday night’s debate in one state that’s critical to Democrats’ road to 2020 victory, but his campaign is looking ahead to another that could make or break his bid for the nomination.

Biden’s campaign announced Tuesday morning that Iowa’s longest-serving congressman -- former Representative Neal Smith -- has endorsed the former vice president.

Smith, who represented a Des Moines-area district for 36 years, retired from Congress in 1995. He is 99.

That fact could cut both ways for Biden, who has tried to make his deep Washington ties and wealth of policy experience an asset while deflecting claims that his septuagenarian status and decades on Capitol Hill render him out of touch with today’s voters. There have been news reports of officials in important electoral states like South Carolina defecting from Biden to other candidates.

The timing of the announcement underscores the degree to which Biden’s campaign recognizes that a strong showing in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation voting in February is essential. Biden’s poor performance in the Hawkeye State in 2008 spelled the end of his presidential ambitions that year. He dropped out of the race after wining less than 1% of the vote. -- Kathleen Hunter

Coming Up This Week:

Twenty candidates will be in Detroit for the second round of Democratic debates on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Night one will feature:

Steve Bullock, Montana governorPete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana, mayorJohn Delaney, former U.S. congressman from MarylandJohn Hickenlooper, former Colorado governorAmy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from MinnesotaBeto O’Rourke, former U.S. congressman from TexasTim Ryan, U.S. congressman from OhioBernie Sanders, U.S. senator from VermontElizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from MassachusettsMarianne Williamson, author

Here are the candidates who will appear on night two:

Joe Biden, former vice presidentKamala Harris, U.S. senator from CaliforniaAndrew Yang, entrepreneurJulian Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentCory Booker, U.S. senator from New JerseyTulsi Gabbard, U.S. congresswoman from HawaiiMichael Bennet, U.S. senator from ColoradoBill de Blasio, New York City mayorJay Inslee, Washington governorKirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York

--With assistance from Kathleen Hunter, Gregory Korte, Laura Davison, Bill Allison and Emma Kinery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at, Max Berley, Laurie Asséo

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