The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to rebound after tough week

The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to rebound after tough week

Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your new weekly rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races from Max Greenwood, Jonathan Easley and Julia Manchester. Email us at mgreenwood@thehill.comjeasley@thehill.com and jmanchester@thehill.com, or follow us on Twitter at @KMaxGreenwood@JonEasley and @JuliaManch

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I'm Julia Manchester, and here's what we're watching this week on the campaign trail. 

 

LEADING THE DAY: 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTwo former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden Strippers, 'Hustlers' and the Democratic debates 2020 Dems honor Emily Clyburn MORE's (D-Calif.) presidential campaign is seeing the dividends of confronting former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Trump whistleblower complaint involves Ukraine: report MORE head-on at last week's Democratic primary debate, getting a boost in the polls and the attention of the former vice president himself. 

Harris has been surging in post-debate polls after questioning Biden over his opinions on civil rights issues, in particular federally mandated busing. And that strong showing has helped her win over the support of Black Caucus members.

Biden, while still leading the pack, appears to be slipping. Those troubling signs are not lost on the campaign. 

The former vice president spent the Fourth of July holiday in defense mode, trying to minimize the growing controversy over his past stance on federally mandated busing and civil rights.

Biden on Thursday argued that he didn't need to "atone" for his position on busing during an event to celebrate the holiday in the aptly named town of Independence, Iowa.

He also took part in a sit-down interview with CNN's Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoGiuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Chelsea Handler: Trump is 'perfect example of white privilege' MORE on Thursday evening, and talked more about last week's debate clash with Harris, saying he didn't expect her to "come at me the way she came at me." 

But there are few signs that the controversy over busing is dying down.

Harris has also had to clarify her remarks. During the debate, Harris had suggested the federal government should be responsible for ensuring schools are not segregated and criticized Biden for voting against federally mandated busing.

But on the campaign trail she said she thought of busing as "being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America's schools."

She later told reporters that busing should be one method school districts can use to desegregate but that it does not need to be federally mandated.

Biden and Harris staffers have even gotten in on the action, taking to Twitter to defend their candidates. Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, and Harris's national press secretary Ian Sams, got into a spat this week on the platform over the issue of busing. 

Harris's bump after challenging Biden won't be lost on the other candidates in the field, who could be encouraged to stand out and take their own shots at the former vice president.

Biden's camp will likely need to steel themselves for more attacks from the field.

In his Friday morning interview, Biden defended his more centrist views against the ideas from progressive challengers, saying that mainstream Democrats win "general election fights."

And he told CNN that he was going to avoid attacking other Democrats, focusing instead on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE. Stay tuned ...

 

Read more: 

The Memo: Fight for black voters intensifies as Biden struggles via The Hill's Niall Stanage 

Biden's support slips as Harris makes strides in new post-debate polls via The Hill's Rachel Frazin 

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

HAPPY FOURTH: The Democratic 2020 contenders did not take a day off for Independence Day, but instead celebrated (and tried to woo voters) by attending events and parades in early contest states.

Biden, Harris, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Krystal Ball calls on Sanders to follow Yang's lead on war on drugs Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all MORE (I-Vt.), and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum MORE swept through Iowa, while Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDemocrats will not beat Trump without moderate policy ideas Harris revamps campaign presence in Iowa Sanders, Yang to miss CNN's town hall on LGBTQ issues MORE (D-Minn.), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyWilliamson: Climate change result of an 'amoral' economic system The Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' Krystal Ball: Reality debunks Biden's 'Medicare for all' smear MORE (D-Md.) and Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonOvernight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Williamson: Climate change result of an 'amoral' economic system Overnight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks MORE, as well as Reps. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardKavanaugh book author on impeachment calls: 'That's not our determination to make' Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Beto needs to revive talk about his 'war tax' proposal MORE (D-Hawaii) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDemocrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate MORE (D-Calif.) stormed New Hampshire. 

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Nearly 60 US mayors pen op-ed backing Buttigieg's 2020 bid Gabbard drives coverage in push to qualify for October debate MORE even missed the famous Nathan's hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, opting instead to talk with voters in the Hawkeye State. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Two former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden Strippers, 'Hustlers' and the Democratic debates MORE (D-N.J.) and Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Wall Street ends volatile month in major test for Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans MORE (D-Mass.) headed out west to meet voters in Nevada. 

But not all the candidates spent time on the campaign trail. A spokesperson for Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Yang floats nominating Inslee as 'climate czar' The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate MORE told me that the governor would be watching the fireworks with his grandkids at his home in Bainbridge Island, Wash. 

 

Read more: 

2020 Democrats use July 4 to storm early contest states via The Hill's Julia Manchester 

 

ODDS AND ENDS:

NO MORE NATO?: During his wide-ranging interview with CNN, Biden predicted that there may not be a North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the not-so distant future if Trump is reelected. Biden is seeking to tout his foreign policy experience from his stints on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

HEALTH CARE: In the same interview, Biden said he supported undocumented people having access to health care in the U.S., telling the network that it's "just common decency." 

 

Read more: 

That stance will help him in progressive circles, but Republicans also see a potent 2020 line of attack on the promise of health care access for undocumented immigrants. The Hill's Jessie Hellmann explains why.

  

POLL WATCH:

REUTERS/IPSOS: Biden's support from black voters dropped from 40 percent in June to 20 percent after the first debate, where Harris attacked his record on civil rights. The same poll found that Harris's support among the voting group ticked up from 4 percent to 10 percent, the largest bump for any Democratic candidate. The same poll also found Biden slipping among all voters polled, while support for Harris increased, via The Hill's Rachel Frazin and The Hill's Julia Manchester.

 

ECONOMIST/YOUGOV: Biden holds a slim 3-point lead over Warren, according to a poll released on Wednesday. Twenty-one percent tapped Biden as their first choice candidate in this week's poll, marking a 3-point drop from last week, via The Hill's Rebecca Klar.

 

DAVID BINDER/FOCUS ON RURAL AMERICA: Harris and Warren are climbing in Iowa, finding themselves in a virtual tie with Biden, according to the poll. Warren leads the field with 20 percent of the vote, while Harris and Biden are 18 and 17 percent respectively, via The Hill's Reid Wilson. 

 

The latest from RealClearPolitics: Biden leads the field with 27.2 percent, Sanders takes second with 14.8 percent, Harris gets third with 14.7 percent support and Warren and Buttigieg round out the top five with 13.5 and 5.3 percent respectively.

 

FROM 1600 PENN:  

BREAKING JOBS NEWS: The Labor Department announced on Friday that the economy added 224,00 jobs in June, exceeding expectations. 

President Trump celebrated the news on Twitter

 

SALUTE TO AMERICA: Trump celebrated America's birthday on Thursday, marking the day with his highly anticipated "Salute to America" event at the Lincoln Memorial. The event was marked by controversy, but the president's remarks were largely uncontroversial. Trump touted the U.S. armed forces and America's military might during his 45-minute address, which critics worried could veer off into a campaign-style event. 

But Trump is getting criticism for some gaffes during the address, most notably, mistakenly claiming that Revolutionary War soldiers "took over airports" in 1775.

And a number of Canadians took to Twitter, taking issue with Trump's characterization of Alexander Graham Bell as an American. For the record, the Scottish-born Bell had British, American and Canadian citizenship. 

But Trump is calling the production a success and wrapped up the holiday by retweeting tweets praising the event. 

  

   

 

Read more: Trump focuses July 4 speech on celebrating armed forces, via The Hill's Maggie Miller and Brett Samuels 

 

FROM CONGRESS:

SENATE WATCH: Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are predicting the battle for the Senate majority will depend on the winner of the Democratic presidential nomination and the general election, via The Hill's Alexander Bolton. 

 

AMASH'S FAREWELL: Longtime GOP maverick and libertarian Justin AmashJustin AmashThe Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Amash: 'Bolton never should have been hired' MORE announced his exit from the Republican Party on Independence Day, making it official in a Washington Post op-ed. 

The piece caused a stir in Washington on Thursday morning and led to Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTo boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action Pressure rises on Cheney to make decision NCAA urges California governor not to sign 'fair pay' bill for college athletes MORE (R-N.C.) calling for Amash to leave the Republican Conference. 

But don't hold your breath on Amash switching to the Democratic Party. The congressman wrote that the "the two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions."

Polls show Amash trailing his primary challenger by 16 points, but the congressman has not ruled out a third-party presidential run, so stay tuned. 

 

MONEY WATCH

ON THE PRESIDENTIAL FRONT. Biden brought in $21.5 million in fundraising during the second quarter, and boasted that he raised more money per day during the second quarter than any other campaign. However, Buttigieg is leading the fundraising battle so far, this quarter, bringing in $24.8 million. The two candidates both kicked off their campaigns in April. Meanwhile, Sanders raised $18 million in the second quarter, with his campaign emphasizing that he's stayed away from high-dollar fundraisers. 

Takeaway: The latest figures show how far Buttigieg has come from being a little-known midwestern mayor just months ago, to leading the race's two, well-known front-runners in fundraising. 

Don't forget Trump: Trump and the RNC announced they had raised $105 million in the second quarter, more than former President Obama raised over a similar period in 2011. That large haul will likely worry Democrats who still face what could be a long primary fight.

 

SENATE RACES. The second quarter also treated a number of Senate Democratic contenders well, something that could worry Republicans trying to defend the upper chamber in 2020. Theresa Greenfield, who is challenging Iowa Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay Ernst'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Overnight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Trump administration to repeal waterway protections MORE (R), announced that her campaign for Senate raised more than $625,000 in less than one month. Greenfield officially kicked off her campaign on June 3. 

Meanwhile in Maine, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE's (R) challenger, state Speaker Sara Gideon (D), raised more than $1 million in the first week of her campaign. Moving south to the Palmetto State, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks America's newest comedy troupe: House GOP GOP group hits Pence over Trump alleged business conflicts MORE's Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison brought in $1.5 million since launching his campaign just a month ago. 

  

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

SATURDAY, JULY 6

Biden will travel to South Carolina, making stops in Sumter and Orangeburg, per his campaign. 

On Sunday, he will meet with voters in Charleston at 6 p.m. EDT.  

11:18 a.m. CDT: Harris speaks at the Essence Festival in New Orleans 

1:05 p.m. CDT: Booker speaks at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. 

2:52 p.m. CDT: Warren speaks at the Essence Festival in New Orleans 

4:04 p.m. CDT: Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Fox's Ed Henry to Trump: 'Are you willing to stand up to the NRA?' Sanders, Yang to miss CNN's town hall on LGBTQ issues MORE (D-Texas) speaks at the Essence Festival in New Orleans

11:30 a.m. PDT: Sanders holds his West Las Vegas Town Hall

3:00 p.m. PDT: Sanders speaks at the Veterans Issues Roundtable with the Nevada Democratic Veterans & Military Families Caucus

4:30 p.m. PDT: Sanders will attend the 2020 East Las Vegas Office Grand Opening

 

  • There are 213 days until the Iowa caucuses, 221 days until the New Hampshire primaries, 232 days until the Nevada caucuses, 239 days until the South Carolina primaries and 242 days until Super Tuesday. 

 

CAMPAIGN HIRES/POLICY ROLLOUTS/KEY ENDORSEMENTS:

2020 HIRES: O'Rourke's campaign picked up former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperLeft off debate stage, Bullock all-in on Iowa Yang says he would not run as a third-party candidate The Hill's Morning Report - Hurricane Dorian devastates the Bahamas, creeps along Florida coast MORE's (D-Colo.) former 2020 campaign finance director, Dan Sorenson, this week, per Politico.

 

ENDORSEMENTS: Rep. Jahana HayesJahana HayesIlhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley dance to Lizzo's 'Truth Hurts' in video Democratic rep slams news outlets for 'exaggerated headlines' about threats Lawmakers put spotlight on youth homelessness MORE (D-Conn.) became the seventh Congressional Black Caucus member to endorse Harris, making the case for the freshman California senator in an Essence op-ed.

 

EDUCATION ROLL OUT: Inslee rolled out his education plan on Friday, pushing for universal preschool, free or reduced college tuition, as well as a focus on teaching students how to combat climate change. 

 

ONE FUN THING

CANDIDATE LITE: We've seen Warren drink a beer on Instagram Live, while Hickenlooper frequently touts his past work as a brewer. This week, The Hill's Alicia Cohn writes how 2020 contenders are connecting with voters over beer this election cycle, taking a deep dive into the age-old question: "Would you have a beer with that candidate?"

Read more: 2020 Democrats connect with voters over beer, via The Hill's Alicia Cohn 

 

See you next week! Cheers!