Klobuchar Raises $2 Million Off Strong Debate: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith

(Bloomberg) -- Bernie Sanders had something nice to say about Wall Street Saturday: It’s not as bad as drug companies.

The Vermont senator told voters at an event in Rochester, New Hampshire, that his staffers often debate which is more corrupt: Wall Street or the pharmaceutical companies.

Sanders said he is inclined to think it’s the drug industry.

“It’s a hard choice. I kind of lean to the drug companies,” Sanders said. “These guys are not only greedy, they are bloody corrupt.“

He added that when drug companies realized they had drugs like opioids that were highly addictive, their response was to hire more sales people “just like heroin pushers do.” -- Emma Kinery

Klobuchar Raises $2 Million Off Strong Debate (2:23 p.m.)

Amy Klobuchar’s campaign said it had raised $2 million from donors in all 50 states since Friday night’s debate, in which she went on the offensive against the front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The pace was a sharp uptick from her previous level when she raised $11.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“With proven grassroots support, Amy continues to outperform expectations and punch above her weight,” campaign manager Justin Buoen said in a statement.

At a debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Minnesota senator said Bernie Sanders would turn off moderate voters, called Medicare for All proposals unrealistic and argued that Pete Buttigieg was too inexperienced to be president.

Still, Klobuchar faces an uphill race in the Democratic primary. She came in fifth place in the Iowa caucuses, with 12.3% of the vote. In the Real Clear Politics average of polls in New Hampshire, she’s currently in fifth place.

Biden Mocks Buttigieg in Ad About Experience (1:35 p.m.)

Joe Biden mocked Pete Buttigieg in an ad that contrasts the former vice president’s long experience in government to the more modest accomplishments of the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

“We’re electing a president. What you’ve done matters,” the ad says.

The spot compares Biden’s work helping to pass the Affordable Care Act to Buttigieg’s implementation of decorative lights under South Bend’s bridges. It also says that while Biden, 77, worked to revive the economy after the 2008 crash, Buttigieg brought new sidewalks to his mid-sized city.

“Both Vice President Biden and former Mayor Buttigieg have taken on tough fights,” the ad says. “Under threat of a nuclear Iran, Joe Biden helped to negotiate the Iran deal. Under threat of disappearing pets, Buttigieg negotiated lighter licensing regulations on pet chip scanners.”

Democratic candidates including Biden took aim at Buttigieg’s experience at the Democratic debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday after the former mayor won the Iowa caucus by a razor-thin margin. Biden placed fourth.

Buttigieg spokesman Chris Meagher said the ad reflected Biden’s status as a Washington insider.

“South Bend residents who now have better jobs, rising income, and new life in their city don’t think their lives are a Washington politician’s punchline,” Meagher said in a statement. “The vice president’s decision to run this ad speaks more to where he currently stands in this race than it does about Pete’s perspective as a mayor and veteran.” -- Emma Kinery

Warren Slides in New Hampshire Poll (1:19 p.m.)

Elizabeth Warren has slipped to single digits in a New Hampshire poll, just days before the state’s primary Tuesday.

In a survey for CNN by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, Warren, the senator from neighboring Massachusetts, had 9% support of likely Democratic primary voters, putting her in fourth place.

In previous polls over the last year, she had been as high as 19% in New Hampshire.

The poll showed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the lead with 28%, followed by former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 21% and former Vice President Joe Biden at 11%.

The survey of 365 likely Democratic primary voters conducted Feb. 4 through 7 has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

Top Democrat Sees Arc From Harvey Milk to Buttigieg (11:44 a.m.)

Ray Buckley was just a teenager when Harvey Milk was assassinated, less than a year after he had been elected to the San Francisco City Council.

Now the New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman, Buckley said that the death of the most famous openly gay politician in the U.S. in 1978 was a “profound moment.”

“For those of us who were teens who wanted to be involved in public office,” he said, the killing suggested, “if you come out, you will be assassinated,” he said. “That was a very real frightening thought for many of us for years.”

Buckley remarked on the progress he has seen since he was elected as an openly gay state lawmaker in 1986 to today, when the state has an openly gay legislators, mayors, city councilors, school board members and a congressman. Notably, former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, is polling well in the presidential primary.

He compared the arc from Milk’s assassination to Buttigieg’s candidacy to that from Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination to the election of Barack Obama. Buckley noted that when he helped found the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Rights, its list of goals did not include same-sex marriage, serving openly in the military or adoption rights. “We were just trying to survive,” he said.

COMING UP

The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11.

Democratic presidential candidates will meet for their next debate on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas.

Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22, and South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

--With assistance from Emma Kinery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Manchester, New Hampshire at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Max Berley, Magan Crane

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