Trump Plans North Carolina Event Before Primary: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump will hold a rally in North Carolina on the eve of Super Tuesday, continuing his pattern of gathering supporters ahead of primary votes.

The Trump campaign will hold a rally at 7 p.m. on March 2 at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, a key area of the state if North Carolina ends up competitive in the general election.

The rallies serve several purposes. They boost turnout in the Republican primary, which Trump likes to cite as evidence of his popularity. They help the Trump campaign gather names and contact information for supporters in potential swing states. And they steal some of the spotlight from the Democratic candidates.

Trump also appears to like using the rallies to tweak the Democrats running to replace him. “Will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight for a big Rally. Want to shake up the Dems a little bit - they have a really boring deal going on,” Trump tweeted before the New Hampshire primary.

The Associated Press reported that some Trump advisers also thought Secret Service restrictions at the Manchester rally would disrupt Democrats as they tried to travel around the state’s biggest city the night before the primary.

New York Mayor de Blasio Endorses Sanders (5:39 p.m.)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, Sanders’ campaign told CNN on Friday.

De Blasio, who ended his own run for the nomination in September, will join Sanders on the campaign trail next week.

“We are so proud to have the support of a New York City mayor fighting every day to improve the lives of New Yorkers,” Sanders said in a statement. “Bill is a leading example of what bringing the Democratic Party together around so-called ‘radical ideas’ like universal pre-K, paid family and sick leave, and defending immigrant neighbors can do for our country.”

The endorsement is a reversal from 2016, when de Blasio backed Hillary Clinton over Sanders in the primary. In August, he said that, in retrospect, he believes Sanders would have won the general election.

The endorsement was first reported by The New York Times.

Notably, De Blasio is not endorsing the man who preceded him as mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who is also running for president. (Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

Buttigieg Slips on Spanish Greeting in Nevada (1:03 p.m.)

Pete Buttigieg might want to brush up on his Spanish before the Nevada caucuses.

The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, who speaks Spanish, attempted to greet the audience at the League of United Latin American Citizens town hall on Thursday, but blanked on the words “esta noche.”

“Thank you so much for the chance to join you,” he said. “Gracias por invitados par hablar ... uh ... this evening. I bring greetings from South Bend. Not quite sleeping enough, but delighted to be with you.”

Buttigieg recently debuted a TV ad in Spanish in Nevada asking viewers to imagine “the first day after the Trump presidency.”

His campaign has said that he can also speak French, Italian, Norwegian, Maltese, Arabic and Dari and he’s been known to briefly answer questions from French and Norwegian journalists in their languages.

Sanders Says Trump Backs Socialism for the Rich (9:48 a.m.)

Bernie Sanders is borrowing a rhetorical trick from President Donald Trump: throwing criticism back at your opponent.

During an interview on “CBS This Morning” Friday, the Vermont senator criticized what he called “socialism for the rich” under the Trump administration.

“In my view, to a significant degree, we are living right now, under Donald Trump, in a socialist society,“ he said. “The only difference is, does the government work for working people or does it work for billionaires?”

Sanders noted that Trump received more than $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies for Manhattan real estate projects, a number calculated by the New York Times from city records, and he criticized tax breaks that help the oil and gas industries.

“The fossil fuel industry receives tens of billions of dollars a year in subsidies and tax breaks,” he said. “That is socialism for the rich.”

COMING UP

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

--With assistance from Tyler Pager.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Washington, D.C. at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann

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