Trump Says Media Exaggerates Warren Rally Crowd: Campaign Update

Alyza Sebenius
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France G7 Summit

U.S President Donald Trump listens to French President Emmanuel Macron during the final press conference during the G7 summit Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 in Biarritz, southwestern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump has a new grievance against the media: coverage of Elizabeth Warren’s crowd sizes.

“They do stories so big on Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren’s crowd sizes, adding many more people than are actually there, and yet my crowds, which are far bigger, get no coverage at all. Fake News!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, reprising a derisive name that he has often used to mock Warren’s claim of American Indian heritage.

A rally for Warren in Seattle over the weekend drew a crowd that her campaign estimated at 15,000 people and described as the largest of her presidential bid.

Trump has frequently accused the media of downplaying the attendance at his rallies since the beginning of his administration. On his first full day in office he complained that the size of the crowd at his inauguration had been deliberately understated by reporters. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, later said the event featured “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”

Trump to Hold Rally for GOP in North Carolina (6:45 p.m.)

President Donald Trump is keeping his promise to help a Republican candidate in one of two special elections in North Carolina.

Trump will hold a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Sept. 9, just one day before voters there cast ballots in the two U.S. House races.

Trump had earlier promised to bolster the candidacy of the Republican in the closest of the two contests. GOP State Senator Dan Bishop is locked in the tight race against Democrat Dan McCready, an energy entrepreneur, in a re-do election in the state’s Republican-leaning 9th congressional district that spans Charlotte’s southern suburbs. Trump won that district with 54% of the vote in 2016.

The seat has been vacant since January, after North Carolina’s board of elections refused to certify a 2018 winner over allegations of ballot fraud involving a political operative employed by the campaign of the Republican candidate, Mark Harris. After the election board called for a new election in February, Harris declined to continue his candidacy.

The second special election will replace Republican Representative Walter Jones, who died in February after more than two decades representing eastern North Carolina. Republican Greg Murphy, a state representative and physician, is heavily favored to prevail over Democrat Allen Thomas, the former mayor of Greenville.

Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2016, garnering 50% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 46%. -- Laura Litvan

Biden, Sanders Defeat Trump, New Poll Shows (3:24 P.M.)

Joe Biden isn’t the only Democrat who could beat Donald Trump in 2020. An Emerson national poll released Tuesday showed Bernie Sanders winning a head-to-head matchup, too.

Biden leads Trump 54% to 46%, while Sanders is ahead 52% to 48%. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both tied against the president. The survey conducted this week has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.In the Democratic primary contest, Emerson found Biden leading 31%, followed by Sanders with 24%, Warren with 15% and Harris with 10%. No other candidate has more than 4%.

Pete Buttigieg, whose standing has eroded over the summer, was in sixth place among Democrats at 3%, behind Andrew Yang, who had 4%. The Democratic primary poll had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

A Monmouth University poll on Monday showed a virtual three-way tie among Sanders, Warren and Biden.

The Emerson poll also found that Democratic primary voters are increasingly locking in their choices: 50% said they have chosen the candidate they will vote for, up from 41% who said they were sure in early July. -- Emma Kinery

Biden Assails Trump for Skipping G-7 Climate Talks (12:38 p.m.)

With President Donald Trump back inside the water’s edge, Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden unloaded on him for isolating the U.S. at the just-concluded G-7 summit in France by refusing to show up for a session on climate change.

“There is no more telling metaphor for this administration’s abdication of American global leadership than the empty chair at the G-7 climate meeting,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “When it comes to meeting the existential crisis of our time, Trump has walked away from the table — literally.”

Biden held back from assailing Trump until his return to the White House on Monday, adhering to the bipartisan tradition of restrained criticism of the president’s foreign policy while he’s overseas. In New Hampshire earlier this week, Biden bit his tongue on Trump’s performance at the summit.

“It’s an omission by intention because I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be criticizing an American president when they’re abroad and engaging in foreign policy,” Biden said.

Biden’s presidential rival Pete Buttigieg had no such qualms, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Trump’s boycott of the climate meeting was “U.S. isolation on display.”

More than any other Democratic candidate, Biden is emphasizing his foreign policy experience, pointing to his role as vice president during the Obama administration. -- Gregory Korte

Trump’s Approval Drops in Tossup States in Poll (8:15 a.m.)

President Donald Trump is struggling in states that matter most to his re-election chances, according to a new tracking poll by the Morning Consult.

The president has sustained double-digit declines in net approval rate in nearly every state that could be considered a tossup, and more voters disapprove than approve of him in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Ohio that Trump won in 2016. Some of the biggest swings are in the southwestern U.S., where the president’s focus on hardening immigration policy may be hurting him. According to the poll, Trump saw a 30-point swing toward disapproval in New Mexico and a 26-point negative swing in Arizona.

Voters have also soured on the president in states with key Senate races for Republicans, like Susan Collins’ re-election bid in Maine (where Trump has seen a 21-point swing in the wrong direction) and Cory Gardner’s defense of his seat in Colorado (where Trump is now 12 percentage points under water).

The White House and Trump’s campaign have insisted they’re not worried about recent polls, and say their data shows the president still prevailing against an eventual Democratic nominee. And presidents almost always see a decline in popularity after their inauguration.

“I think I’m winning based on polls that we see,” Trump told reporters Monday at the G-7 summit in France. -- Justin Sink

Trump’s Freeze-Out of Sessions Extends to 2020 (5:30 a.m.)

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who earned President Donald Trump’s ire during the Russia investigation, shouldn’t be surprised that the president doesn’t want him by his side for his re-election.

The Trump 2020 campaign announced its honorary state chairs for Alabama on Monday, and Sessions’ name is conspicuously absent from the list, even though he was Trump’s first Senate endorsement from 2016.

The list includes other notable elected officials from the state, including Governor Kay Ivey and Senator Richard Shelby. (Sessions’ old seat is now filled by Democrat Doug Jones, who is up for re-election in 2020 as well.)

Although Sessions was a key early backer, endorsing Trump just before Super Tuesday in 2016, he fell out with the president after recusing himself from oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry.

That’s not to say that Sessions is not still supportive. At a state Republican dinner earlier this year, he argued that Trump has been a “good strong leader” and should be re-elected. -- Ryan Teague Beckwith

COMING UP

The first, great culling. This week is crunch time for Democratic hopefuls hoping to qualify for the next round of candidates debates, in Houston in September. Aug. 28 is the deadline to meet the debate criteria of having 130,000 donors and polling at least 2% in four qualifying polls. About half of the current field is yet to qualify, even accounting for the three recent dropouts: John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee and Seth Moulton. If one more candidate hits the threshold, the event will be held over two nights, with slots randomly assigned. Billionaire investor Tom Steyer looks to have the best chance to get in.

Climate change takes center stage on Sept. 4, even if the Democratic National Committee rejected pleas from climate activists for a party-sponsored debate solely on that subject. CNN hosts a town hall on the issue just after Labor Day.

(An earlier version of this article corrected assertion that Biden results were within margin of error in second paragraph; ranking of Buttigieg in fourth.)

--With assistance from Ryan Teague Beckwith, Justin Sink, Gregory Korte, Emma Kinery and Laura Litvan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at asebenius@bloomberg.net

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

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