Biden, Warren Handle Pranksters With Humor: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith

(Bloomberg) -- Saturday might not have been the best day to prank presidential candidates. With just two days before the Iowa caucuses, tension was running pretty high.

But two Democratic candidates dealt with the disruptions with aplomb.

At a town hall for Joe Biden in North Liberty, Jason Selvig of the comedy duo the Good Liars asked the former vice president for advice on how to get his ex-wife back. Biden said he’d talk to him after the event, but Selvig persisted.

“I’m beginning to see why your wife left you,” Biden joked.

Later in the day, Selvig got down on one knee and mock proposed to Elizabeth Warren, who pointed to her husband in the crowd, asking if he was OK with it.

Transit Union Switches to Biden From Sanders (5:05 p.m.)

A major transit union that backed Bernie Sanders in 2016 announced it’s supporting Joe Biden this time around.

The Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents about 200,000 workers, said it will back the former vice president in the 2020 Democratic primary, citing his support for labor as a senator, and his proposal to improve the country’s roads and rails.

“This is a pivotal moment in U.S. history and our nation needs a leader that will bring back respect, dignity, and civility to our country,” said ATU International President John Costa. “Joe Biden is the right person for working people and America.”

The endorsement came after a poll of rank-and-file members and a vote by the union’s executive board.

Biden has also been endorsed by the Iron Workers union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the National Association of Government Employees.

Steyer Dismisses Talk of Bipartisanhip After Impeachment Trial (3:24 p.m.)

Tom Steyer said Saturday that Senate Republicans put party over country in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, marking a break from his Democratic competitors who say they’ll be able to work with the Republicans if elected.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television’s David Westin in Des Moines, the founder of Farallon Capital Management LLC said that the Republican majority’s decision not to call witnesses in Trump’s trial showed that they were unwilling to cooperate with Democrats.

“We’re talking about witnesses in a trial, that seems like a pretty low bar,” he said.

Steyer then singled out Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar -- three candidates who’ve said they could restore bipartisanship to the nation’s capital as president.

“For all of the people who say that we’re going to meet in the middle, let me ask you, where they are now?” he said.

In 2017, Steyer founded Need to Impeach, a grassroots group that called for Trump’s impeachment. He stepped down in 2019 when he decided to run for president.

COMING UP:

Some of the Democratic candidates will debate again in New Hampshire on Feb. 7.

The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22 and South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29.

CNN will host town halls featuring eight presidential candidates in New Hampshire on Feb. 5 and 6.

(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 Ros Krasny.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Des Moines at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net

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

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