Candidates weighing using private jets to get to Iowa

Several senators running for president are reportedly mulling using private jets to campaign in Iowa as they try to balance their White House bids with the ongoing impeachment trial in Washington.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination Tenants call on lawmakers to pass rent freezes MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.) are both thought to be considering chartering flights to Iowa after Saturday’s impeachment proceedings wrap up, while Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Hillicon Valley: FCC chief proposes 0M telehealth program | Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus| Whole Foods workers plan Tuesday strike MORE (D-Minn.) has also not made her travel plans clear, The Associated Press reported.

The three senators are facing a unique dilemma in the leadup to the Feb. 3 caucuses in Iowa as the impeachment trial keeps them tied to Washington six days a week, leaving little time to campaign in early states.


Private flights could pose risks for Sanders and Warren, the AP noted, as the two leading progressives have railed against privileges afforded to the elite and eschewed contacts with high-dollar donors.

The two senators have also touted themselves as advocates for intensified efforts to combat climate change, while the use of private jets has been criticized as environmentally unfriendly.

“This is the problem of presenting your purity above your practicality,” Democratic strategist Chris Lippincott, who has not endorsed any of the 2020 primary candidates, told the AP. “When we think about certain candidates who talk a lot about the environment ... you’re going to hold them to a different standard.”

“I understand it,” he added, “but the reality is, there’s a big risk of being perceived as being an ideologue and not a problem-solver.”

Several campaigns have used private charters during the 2020 race, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll The Memo: Political world grapples with long coronavirus shutdown The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control MORE and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE.

Sanders’s campaign announced last year that it would provide carbon offsets in the form of donations to environmental groups as an effort to alleviate the environmental effects of extra emissions. Other campaigns have also since said they would try to offset their emissions in some form.

All three senators’ campaigns have stops in Iowa Saturday just hours after impeachment proceedings are expected to end for the day in the Senate. The trial will resume Monday.