“The Democratic Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we lead with conviction, principle, and bold, new ideas,” Obama said in a statement sent to reporters.
Former President Barack Obama endorsed Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday in her New York congressional race.
The former president did not include Ocasio-Cortez in his first round of endorsements in the congressional midterms but included her in his second round of over 250 additional endorsements announced on Monday.
“Our incredible array of candidates up and down the ticket, all across the country, make up a movement of citizens who are younger, more diverse, more female than ever before,” Obama said. “They’re Americans who aren’t just running against something, but for something.”
Ocasio-Cortez shocked the political establishment after she defeated an entrenched House Democrat voicing a political platform of socialism. The former president also endorsed Democratic socialist candidate Andrew Gillum, who is running for Governor of Florida.
Obama also endorsed current Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida for re-election, as well as Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin and Sen. Tina Smith in Minnesota. He also endorsed Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is running for Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat after the Arizona Republican announced his retirement.
However, not all dems were on board with Obama as he announced back in September of his first rounds of endorsements
Obama has kept a low political profile since leaving office, but sources familiar with his plans say he will soon hit the campaign trail to help Democrats in their quest to take back the House, protect vulnerable Senate incumbents and win state legislative races.
The former president will kick off his push by delivering a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday. In the weeks ahead, Obama will also campaign in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, a person familiar with his schedule said.
Not all Democrats want Obama’s help.
Democratic candidates running in states that President Trump won by double digits in 2016 would prefer that the former president stay far away.
Some Democrats in pro-Trump states, such as Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio), say they hope Obama will campaign for them.
Others, such as Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), want to keep the race locked on the battle between themselves and their state rivals, fearing a high-profile surrogate like Obama could distract from the strategy.
“We’re not going to use any surrogates. Surrogates are fine but we don’t need them. The race is myself and Matt Rosendale and that’s the way we want to keep it,” Tester told The Hill, referring to his GOP challenger.
Asked if she thought Obama might show up in North Dakota, Heitkamp said: “Nope, no.”
“He threatened to campaign against me once so I don’t think he’s coming out there,” she said.
While the former president remains extremely popular with the Democratic base, especially among African-American voters, Democrats fear his entrance into some battleground states could inadvertently rev up conservatives and pro-Trump voters.
“Trump wants nothing more than a foil. He knows he can activate the other side,” said a source familiar with Obama’s thinking.
The former president is “going to be involved this fall in a very Obamaesque, smart way,” the source added.
Democrats say that one way Obama can have a big impact on races is by urging infrequent voters to show up to the polls in November, something that will be a major theme of the former president’s speech on Friday.
“He will echo his call to reject the rising strain of authoritarian politics and policies. And he will preview arguments he’ll make this fall, specifically that Americans must not fall victim to our own apathy by refusing to do the most fundamental thing demanded of us as citizens: vote,” said Obama communications director Katie Hill.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), said the party welcomes Obama’s help but noted it’s up to individual candidates whether to invite him to their states.
We welcome his participation in these races as a DSCC. Every Senate candidate will decide in conversation with President Obama whether it makes sense for him to come to their states,” Van Hollen said on CSPAN’s “Newsmakers” program last month.
Van Hollen noted that Obama held a joint fundraiser for the DSCC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last year.
Obama also held a fundraiser in May for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who is running in a state Trump won by 19 points.
Still, the former president has held off on endorsing Democratic senators running in states won by Trump, even though he has backed Democratic candidates down the ballot in some of those states.
For example, while he endorsed Richard Cordray, Betty Sutton and Steve Dettelbach, the Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in Ohio, respectively — as well as two U.S. House candidates and a slew of state House candidates in the Buckeye State — he did not endorse Brown, the incumbent U.S. senator.
Asked why his name was missing from Obama’s endorsement list, Brown said, “I don’t have any idea” but added, “I make nothing of that.”
The Democratic senator noted that Obama is likely to make additional endorsements and said he would welcome his support.
“I’d love for him to come to Ohio and help us with voter turnout for Cordray and for me,” he said.
Democratic sources say Obama will campaign with Casey in Pennsylvania, even though the former president also didn’t include him on the list of candidates from the Keystone State he endorsed last month.
Obama announced his support for two House candidates in Pennsylvania, Madeleine Dean and Susan Wild, and three state House candidates, but not Casey.
Trump carried both Ohio and Pennsylvania over Hillary Clinton in 2016. He won Ohio by 8 points and Pennsylvania by less than 1 point.
When Obama made his first round of endorsements in August, he stayed away from Democratic Senate candidates with the exception of Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), who is running to unseat Sen. Dean Heller (R) in Nevada — the only Senate battleground that Trump lost.
Obama’s endorsement in state and local races is less likely to hurt Democratic candidates because those contests are often less partisan than federal races. The GOP strategy in Senate races in red states is to tie the centrist Democratic incumbents to party leaders in Washington.
One Democratic strategist said the lack of endorsements from Obama falls under the ‘do no harm’ category.
“Both of those senators are doing well their respective states and they don’t exactly need Obama’s seal of approval. In fact, it might do more harm than good,” the strategist said. “Obama is still popular with certain folks in those states but he’s not exactly popular with some others.”
But Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist, said he doesn’t think it has to do with unpopularity but a focus on races that need his support.
“There are others who have tougher races than Sherrod’s and Casey’s,” he said. “Those races are shaping up to be easier than some others … And they have robust war chests so they don’t really need Barack Obama’s endorsement.”
Rocha said he wouldn’t expect Obama to endorse senators like Tester and Heitkamp. “Places like that, they’re probably not advocating to get that endorsement.”
A person familiar with Obama’s thinking cautioned against reading too much into his endorsements, noting that he will come out with another round before Election Day.
Casey expects to receive Obama’s support and to campaign with him in the next few weeks.
“We look forward to campaigning with him, we hope, in the fall. I hope to. I don’t know what the schedule will be,” he said.
Casey said he thinks Obama would help Democrats up and down the ballot if he campaigns in Pennsylvania and noted that Obama has made it a priority to focus on local races in order to give Democrats more leverage in future congressional redistricting.
Patrick Rodenbush, communications director for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said Obama has been very helpful in trying to give Democrats more influence over future congressional district maps.
“He helped us with fundraising since we were launched in 2017,” he noted. “He cut a video for us in July about the stakes of redistricting and why these elections in November matter.”
“He’s going to hit the road in September. We expect he’ll talk about the issue of redistricting when he’s out on the trail,” he added.
Obama also headlined fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee in September of last year and this past June.
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Pelosi: ‘I Didn’t Know What Ilhan Omar Said When I Defended Her 9/11 Remarks’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did a major backpedal today when she admitted she didn’t know the content of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) recent remarks about 9/11. That didn’t stop her from defending Omar to the hilt in the wake of criticism from President Donald Trump. Pelosi gave an interview to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour where she rejected charges of anti-Semitism against Omar and pushed back against criticism that the Democrat Party isn’t doing enough to combat it.
“I don’t think the congresswoman is anti-Semitic. I wouldn’t even put those in the same category,” Pelosi told Amanpour in Ireland. “We have no taint of that [anti-Semitism],” she added. “And just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean that we take that bait.” No one is making accusations… it’s all out in the open for everyone to see. This woman is delusional.
Then Pelosi went on to dismiss criticisms that she hasn’t done enough to defend Omar, conceding, “Until I talk to somebody, I don’t even know what was said.” Really? You didn’t take the time to even find out? “I do know that what the president did was not right,” she added. But not Omar. Trump did nothing wrong. In fact, he did the right thing in saying we should never forget 9/11 while Omar insulted all Americans by her “some people did something” slur.
“Omar is facing blowback for downplaying the September 11, 2001, terror attack, describing it last month private fundraiser for Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a day on which “some people did something,” before adding “and that all of us were starting to lose our civil liberties.”
“In reaction to the Minnesota Democrat’s remarks, President Trump shared a video to social media of Omar’s remarks and scenes of the World Trade Center engulfed in flakes shortly after it was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. The video’s caption reads: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
“She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country. I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country,” the president said at an event in Minnesota on Monday.
“Several Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 2020 Democrat candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, said President Trump was inciting violence against Omar by tweeting the clip. In a statement Saturday, Pelosi demanded the president remove the video and said Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Omar amid a growing number of death threats.
“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family, and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces,” Pelosi said.
“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video,” she added.”
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
This knee-jerk defense of someone simply because they are in your political party is hypocritical and just wrong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scolded Trump for using the “painful images of 9/11 for a political attack” against the first-term Minnesota Democrat. So, pretend it did not happen when a leftist such as Omar intimates there were no terrorists involved and just brushes off nearly 3,000 deaths? I don’t think so.
From Fox News:
“Many Republicans and conservative outlets expressed outrage at Omar’s remarks. Fellow Democrats, including some who have disagreed with Omar in the past, defended her.
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,'” tweeted Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas. The retired Navy SEAL lost his right eye in 2012 in an explosion in Afghanistan.
“Here’s your something,” the New York Post blared on its cover beneath a photograph of the flaming towers.”
“Several of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump’s tweet.
“Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, said the Republican president’s tweet was an “incitement to violence” against Omar, who is Muslim-American, and others like her. O’Rourke, campaigning in South Carolina, likened the tweet to Trump’s rhetoric about Mexicans, described in the past by Trump as murderers and rapists. O’Rourke said “there is a cost and there is a consequence” to Trump’s comments.
“Warren, a Massachusetts senator, said Republican leaders in Congress “cannot take a pass on this, cannot look the other way and pretend it isn’t happening. It is happening. And those who don’t speak out in the Republican leadership are complicit in what he is doing. It’s wrong.”
“Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar noted that a New York man recently was charged with threatening Omar’s life.
“The video the president chose to send out today will only incite more hate,” Klobuchar said. “You can disagree with her words — as I have done before — but this video is wrong. Enough.”
“Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Omar “won’t back down to Trump’s racism and hate, and neither will we.”‘
What a bunch of anti-American schmucks. As for Pelosi, I think she knew exactly what Omar said and what she meant. She’s trying to straddle a fence here and is going to wind up impaled on it. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving feckless Marxist.
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In First Year Bernie Made Over $1 Million He Donated Less Than 1% To Charity
Vermont Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had the utter gall to go on Fox News to show off that he had released ten years of tax returns and to demand that President Trump do the same. Bolshevik Bernie is one socialist who has become a millionaire thanks to American capitalism but he doesn’t want the masses to prosper the way he did. His answer to all of this is a so-called 52 percent ‘wealth tax’.
As for charity, Sanders is lousy at it as most Democrats and leftists are. Sanders earned an average of $280,975 per year from 2009 through 2015. His income skyrocketed to $1,062,626 in 2016 due to sales of his best-selling book, “Our Revolution.” Ironic, no? He gave just $10,600 in charitable contributions in 2016, making up slightly less than one percent of his reported income and falling under the $21,365 average charitable contribution for Americans who earned $250,000 or more that year, according to the latest available IRS data.
The self-avowed Democratic-socialist purchased his third home in 2016. It is a $575,000 lake-front property in Vermont, according to Fox News. He’s also got a penchant for racy cars. Bernie’s an ‘elite’ socialist don’t ya know. During his 2016 presidential campaign and beyond, Sanders declared that wealth inequality was “the great moral issue of our time.” What a hypocrite.
The following year, Sanders donated $36,300 of his adjusted gross income of $1,131,925 to charity. That’s still a pittance. Behold the benefits of being a Democratic Socialist with no morals or ethics.
The filings showed that Sanders has been among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. According to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Families in the U.S. earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.
From The Daily Caller:
“From 2009 through 2015, when Sanders was earning on average $280,975 per year, he contributed 2.06 percent to charity.
“His charitable giving rose slightly to 2.39 percent of his income from 2016 through 2018, when his average income soared to $918,615 per year.
“My wife and I do give money to charity, and we’re proud to do what we did,” Sanders said at a Fox News town hall Monday.
“A campaign spokesperson for Sanders said in a statement to the Daily Beast that while the senator believes voluntary charitable donations are commendable, they can’t make up government investment in social programs, which his platform calls for.
“Over the last decade, Bernie and Jane Sanders have donated more than $100,000 to charity. Their overall charitable giving rates have been roughly in line with the average rates in America as a whole,” Sanders’s campaign spokeswoman Arianna Jones said.
“In some years, they gave more than 3 or 4 percent of their income to charity. They have given to senior centers, low-income organizations, educational entities, and environmental and housing advocacy groups. They also believe that while voluntary charitable donations are commendable, they can never replace ongoing public investments in major social programs and services that improve people’s lives.”’
Sanders really meant what he said in 1981 when he told attendees at a local United Way fundraiser in Vermont, “I don’t believe in charities.” Sanders, then serving as mayor of Burlington, “went on to question the ‘fundamental concepts on which charities are based’ and contended that government, rather than charity organizations, should take over responsibility for social programs,” according to the New York Times.
Leftists like Sanders knocked Trump for charitable giving and he gave many times over what Sanders donated. Socialism is inherently anti-charity. It’s anti-job and anti-freedom. Charity is a form of love for your fellow man. Not something socialists are known for.
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