The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden moves to unify party before general election

The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden moves to unify party before general election
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Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:

Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign slams Trump's Rose Garden event as 'sad affair' New shutdowns add to Trump woes CNN cuts away from Trump's 'campaign-type' Rose Garden speech MORE has his work cut out for him. 

With the Democratic nomination all but certain, the former vice president is facing the task of uniting the party's moderate and liberal wings and bringing Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden aspires to become America's auto-pen president Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law MORE's (I-Vt.) ultra-devoted supporters into his campaign. He's made some overtures to progressives in recent weeks, endorsing Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel Biden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona MORE's (D-Mass.) bankruptcy reform plan and adopting parts of Sanders's proposal for free public colleges and universities. 

Complicating Biden's outreach efforts is the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has largely ground traditional campaign activities to a halt in recent weeks. For now, the former vice president will have to settle for virtual events – a reality that worries some of his supporters who see his face-to-face retail politicking as his greatest asset.

Biden has already started his appeal to Sanders's supporters. In a livestreamed address on Tuesday night, following his victories in the Florida and Illinois primaries, he insisted that while he and Sanders may "disagree on tactic," they "share a common vision" for the country. "Let me say, especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Sen. Sanders: I hear you. I know what's at stake. I know what we have to do," he said. "Our goal as a campaign and my goal as a candidate for president is to unify this party and then to unify the nation."

Strategists say that showing respect for Sanders and the progressive movement he leads is a good first step for Biden. 

"A big piece of this is tone and attitude," Mark Longabaugh, a senior adviser to Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign, said. "I don't want to rehash the 2016 campaign over again, but [Hillary] Clinton just had this attitude that she won so everybody needed to get on board. Well that's true. She won. But Bernie has displayed some strength among key constituencies. The key thing for Biden is to show that he's not contemptuous of Bernie or Bernie's wing of the party and that he wants them to be part of his team."

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--Max Greenwood

 

READ MORE: 

Biden seeks transition to general election campaign, by The Hill's Amie Parnes

Warren on endorsement: 'I think Bernie needs space to decide what he wants to do next,' by The Hill's Tal Axelrod

Connecticut becomes latest state to delay its primary, by Tal

Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 17 points in Connecticut, by The Hill's John Bowden

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Hawaii) ended her presidential campaign on Thursday and threw her support behind Biden, Tal reports. Her exit from the race follows weeks of dismally low finishes in primary contests across the country. Her decision to endorse Biden marks a change of course for the Hawaii congresswoman, who previously backed Sanders's 2016 presidential bid. In a statement to supporters, she acknowledged that she has disagreements with Biden, but said that he was well positioned to heal the country's partisan divisions. "Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people," she said.

 

Twitter on Thursday denied a request by President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE's campaign to put a "manipulated media" warning tag on content spread by Democrats under the social media giant's new policy aimed at curbing the spread of misinformation. According to emails reviewed by The Hill, the Trump campaign flagged new content on Twitter that it said had been deceptively edited to make it seem like the president had called the coronavirus a "hoax." Jonathan Easley reports.

 

PERSPECTIVES: 

Bernard Goldberg: Trump's hurdles include Biden, a scary virus and a shaky economy

J.T. Young: Biden may be from the establishment but he's no moderate

 

FROM CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers On The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities IRS chief pledges to work with Congress on examining tax code's role in racial wealth disparities MORE (D-Ohio) expressed concern on Wednesday that President Trump could use the coronavirus outbreak or another issue to delay the November presidential election, pointing to the recent decisions of several states to postpone primaries in the face of the pandemic. "My concern is that in the age of Trump that other governors might think, or that the president might ask, for a delay in the November election based on something, perhaps this, perhaps something else," Brown told reporters on a conference call, according to The Columbus Dispatch

 

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockThere's a big blue wave coming Internal poll shows tight battle in Montana House race The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations MORE (D) and Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate MORE (R) are tied in the race for Daines's Senate seat, according to a poll released Thursday from left-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP).

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POLL WATCH:

HARTFORD COURANT/SACRED HEART – CONNECTICUT PRIMARY

Biden: 42 percent

Sanders: 25 percent

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

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(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

April 4:

Alaska Democratic primary

Hawaii Democratic primary

Wyoming Democratic caucuses

 

April 7:

Wisconsin Democratic primary

 

April 26:

Puerto Rico Democratic primary

 

April 28:

Delaware primaries

New York primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

 

ONE HOPEFUL THING

Yesterday we told you about a number of grocery stores around the world which are setting aside hours exclusively for the elderly and those especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. 

Today we're going to tell you about Tonka the Great Dane, who is spreading comfort and cheer to those quarantined during these stressful and uncertain times. 

KXAN reports that Tonka, a certified therapy dog with the Dog Alliance in Cedar Park, Texas, was a frequent visitor to the area's senior community before the coronavirus outbreak. The virus isn't stopping the Great Dane's work. 

While Tonka may not be able to go inside the senior facilities anymore, he's been doing curb-side appearances. 

"We learned that with the recent events all therapy visits will be discontinued for safety purposes, of course, and containment. We really missed our visits, and I thought, what can I do personally, on my own, to try and continue some of the feelgood that this wonderful dog gives to everyone? So they were kind enough to go with the idea I had," Tonka's owner Leigh told KXAN. 

 

Stay safe and stay home, folks!