Say It Ain’t Joe

  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Friday he would pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide if elected president. President Trump and past U.S. presidents have chosen to sidestep the issue.

“If elected, I pledge to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority,” Biden said on Twitter.

  • Joe Biden’s allies are concerned that the former vice president’s campaign will not be able to compete with President Trump’s fundraising juggernaut, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy. 

“It’s our biggest problem right now in the general election,” one aide acknowledged.  

A New York Time analysis found that the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have a $187 million advantage over the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

  • Presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden is mostly watching from the sidelines as fellow Democrats in Congress and at the state level clash with President Trump over the federal government’s response to the coronavirus.

With the election just a little more than six months away, the Democrats making headlines almost every day are Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and governors such as Andrew Cuomo of New York.

In past presidential campaigns, the presumptive nominee — whether Democrat or Republican — has quickly become the party’s standard-bearer, taking the lead in staking out policy positions.

But Biden has taken a different approach during the pandemic.

“For the most part, he’s been silent,” said Steve Jarding, a Democratic strategist. “The burden has fallen on the Speaker and Leader Schumer.”

“My guess is the Biden folks are thinking that if he says anything it’s political and he doesn’t want to politicize the pandemic.”

  • Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement are calling on former Vice President Joe Biden to remove Larry Summers from his panel of economic advisers. The move marks the first big demand the progressive groups have made of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. 

The two groups were part of a slate of organizations who sent Biden a list of demands they want to see him adopt ahead of the general election. The organizations claim that Summers is unfit to carry out progressive issues.

  • A former neighbor of Joe Biden’s accuser Tara Reade has come forward to corroborate her sexual assault account, saying Reade discussed the allegations in detail in the mid-1990s. Biden has not addressed the accusations, but a campaign spokesperson says they are false. In addition to the denial from Biden’s campaign, other former Senate staffers have emerged to cast doubt on Reade’s accusations.
  • Progressive Caucus co-chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Monday endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, showing further unification of the Democratic Party ahead of the general election.
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s White House bid, becoming the latest prominent Democrat to officially lend her support to the party’s presumptive nominee.
  • Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden’s bid for the White House on Tuesday, making her the latest party leader to throw her support behind the presumptive Democratic nominee.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of State announced her support for the former vice president during a virtual town hall event focusing on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on women.

  • Former senior aides to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign are launching a new super PAC aimed at rallying progressives behind former Vice President Joe Biden in his battle against President Trump in November.

The group, which will be called Future to Believe In, will be led by Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to the Sanders 2020 campaign.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday he would return to Obama-era policies of engagement with Cuba and reverse the Trump administration’s sanctions if he wins the White House race in November.

“In large part, I would go back,” Biden said in an interview with a CBS affiliate in Miami. “I’d still insist they keep the commitments they said they would make when we, in fact, set the policy in place.”

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he hopes to have potential running mates vetted by July, a sign that a final selection may not come until later in the summer

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  • Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has reached a deal with Sen. Bernie Sanders that will allow the progressive former White House hopeful to keep hundreds of delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer to increase party unity and give his supporters a say at the nominating convention.
  • Top Democrats are defending former Vice President Joe Biden against allegations made by Tara Reade, a former aide who says the then-senator sexually assaulted her in 1993.

Two powerful Democratic women — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a former rival to Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Stacey Abrams, a top candidate to be Biden’s running mate — have come to Biden’s defense, saying that women have the right to be heard but that they do not believe Reade’s allegations against Biden.

“I know Joe Biden, and I think he’s telling the truth and this did not happen,” Abrams said on CNN.

The Biden campaign has denied the allegations, although Biden has not addressed the matter himself.

  • Joe Biden’s campaign is discussing how to get the former vice president out of the basement where he’s been holed up since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden’s team is taking a baby-steps approach so far, according to sources familiar with the discussions. 

But the need to change things up is growing more urgent, especially now that President Trump is signaling he intends to return to the road months ahead of the fall presidential campaign.

  • Joe Biden denied sexual assault allegations made by a former staffer. “This is an open book. There’s nothing for me to hide, nothing at all,” the US Democratic presidential candidate said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The allegations were made by his former staffer Tara Reade. During the appearance, he called for the release of any potential records related to the allegations.

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