Saturday, August 15, 2020 While the liberal mainstream media and many Democrats applauded the choice of Harris, some progressives in the party voiced their displeasure.
August 15, 2020
The 2020 presidential campaign is hot, hot, hot — just like the August weather. Joe Biden finally picked a running mate, choosing long-time frontrunner Sen. Kamala Harris. Not everyone was happy — Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters, who mostly stayed home in 2016, blasted the pick. President Trump, meanwhile, licked his chops, saying Harris "was my No. 1 choice."
In other developments, Trump said he will give his speech accepting the 2020 Republican nomination at the White House, while Biden called for a nationwide mask mandate, declaring, "Every single American should be wearing a mask when they are outside."
And just for good measure, Hillary Clinton popped up to hype a wild conspiracy theory.
1. Biden picks his running mate.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this week selected Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate, calling her a "partner in this campaign."
"I have the great honor to announce that I've picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants — as my running mate," Biden wrote on Twitter. "Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with [Biden's son] Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign."
Harris responded with her own tweet praising Biden. "Joe Biden can unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief."
2. Not everyone's happy with Biden's pick.
Photographer: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images
While the liberal mainstream media and many Democrats applauded the choice of Harris, some progressives in the party voiced their displeasure.
Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, some of whom begrudgingly signed on to the Biden campaign after the Vermont democratic socialist dropped out of the race, are concerned that Harris —who was, at one time, a law-and-order prosecutor in California — won't be nearly as progressive as other possible picks.
Brihanna Joy Gray, Sanders' former communications director who has been skeptical of Biden since Sanders exited the race back in April, really wasn't pleased with the Harris pick.
"We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the Democratic Party chose a 'top cop' and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump. The contempt for the base is, wow," Gray said on Twitter.
3. Trump calls Harris his "No. 1 choice".
Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Although some Democrats were unhappy with Biden's pick, Trump said she was the perfect choice.
"She is a person that's told many, many stories that weren't true," Trump told reporters during a news conference this week. "She's very big into raising taxes. She wants to slash funds for our military at a level that nobody can even believe. She is against fracking. She's against petroleum products. I mean, how do you do that and go into Pennsylvania or Ohio or Oklahoma or the great state of Texas? She's against fracking. Fracking's a big deal."
"She's in favor of socialized medicine, where you're going to lose your doctors," Trump said. "You're going to lose your plan. She wants to take your healthcare plans away from 180 million Americans. 180 million Americans that are very happy with their health insurance and she wants to take that away.
"So she was my number one pick. I mean, as they would say, because hopefully you'll start college football. She was my number one draft pick. And we'll see how she works out. She did very, very poorly in the primaries as you know. She was expected to do well. She ended up at right around 2% and spent a lot of money."
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4. Trump sets new site for his RNC speech, and Dems don't like it.
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The president has been having a tough time finding a site from which to deliver his Republican National Convention acceptance speech. Now, he says he'll just do it from home.
"I'll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It's a place that makes me feel good, it makes the country feel good," Trump told The New York Post. "We'd do it possibly outside on one of the lawns, we have various lawns, so we could have it outside in terms of the China virus."
The conventions for both parties have been thrown into disarray amid COVID-19. First, the four-day GOP soiree was set for Charlotte, NC, but the state's Democratic governor said the gathering might not happen because of the virus. So Trump bailed on that state and announced the RNC would be held in Jacksonville, FL. But then he scrapped that plan, too, deciding against hosting the convention in-person as planned.
The Democratic convention will now be held Aug. 17-20, while the Republican convention will be Aug. 24-27.
5. Biden calls for nationwide mask mandate.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The politics of COVID-19 was on display this week as Biden blamed Trump for the virus's spread and called for a nationwide mandate requiring all Americans to wear masks for at least the next three months.
"Every single American should be wearing a mask when they are outside for the next three months at a minimum. Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing," Biden said from his home in Delaware. "And it's not about your rights, it's about your responsibilities as an American."
"Wearing a mask will give the life of a clerk in your local store or your letter carrier, your child's teacher. It will increase their prospects of not contracting the virus. Even though it's uncomfortable, we're not used to it, wearing a mask is going to get our kids back to school sooner and safer," Biden said. "Every American wearing a mask outdoors is going to get our businesses back and to full strength long term."
Biden also blamed Trump for the wide spread of the virus. "If the president had acted sooner, we'd have saved – just one week earlier, we'd have saved 30-some thousand lives. Two weeks earlier I think it was 51,000 or 57,000 lives. I hope we've learned our lesson. I hope the president has learned the lesson," Biden said.
6. Hillary pushes election conspiracy about Trump.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election nearly four years ago, but she just won't go away.
The twice-failed Democratic candidate this week claimed that Trump and Attorney General William Barr will try to steal the upcoming election.
"If you were asked to serve in the next administration, would you accept?" a reporter asked Clinton during an interview.
"I would. I'm not even going to go there because I am so focused right now on just helping them get elected, which is what I think everybody should be focused on," Clinton said. "And let me just add, and I don't wanna, I don't wanna scare people, but I want you to be prepared, I have every reason to believe that Trump is not going to go silently into the night if he loses."
"He's going to try to confuse us," Clinton claimed without evidence. "He's going to try to bring all kinds of lawsuits. He's got his crony Attorney General Barr ready to do whatever is necessary. So I can't even think yet about the administration."
7. By the numbers: Trump vs. Biden.
With just more than 80 days left in the campaign, the polls continue to tighten. Biden had enjoyed a double-digit lead in numerous polls, but the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of national polls now shows Biden currently leading Trump by 7.5%, down from more than 10% in late June.
Trump currently trails in five of the battleground states he won in 2016, and over the last month, Biden's lead in those states has widened. But now they're starting to close up again, with Trump picking up points in a few states, including taking over the lead in North Carolina. Here's the breakdown according to RCP (with last week's numbers in parentheses):