Bernie Sanders calls Hillary Clinton’s debate snub ‘insulting’
Bernie Sanders, trailing in delegates and running out of time in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, told a crowd of supporters Monday evening that it was insulting that Hillary Clinton was refusing to debate him in California.
“I think it’s a little insulting to the people of California -- the largest state,” Sanders said, addressing a rally on the astro-turf football field at Santa Monica High School.
“She is not prepared to have a discussion with me about how she is going to help California address the major crises we face,” he said.
“She’s scared! She’s scared!” the crowd chanted.
Earlier in the day, Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, backed out of a debate with Sanders. The two candidates had agreed earlier this spring to hold a debate in May.
The last time the pair debated was in New York in April.
For Sanders, who also held a rally in East Los Angeles in the afternoon, his criticism of Clinton was a deviation from his standard stump speech. Though he has battled the party’s establishment, he has largely avoided direct attacks on Clinton during recent events across California.
Still, his disdain over the debate was hard to hide Monday evening.
Clinton, he told supporters in Santa Monica, is acting “very nervous lately.”
Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown, once Democratic rivals, meet to talk politics
Former President Bill Clinton made a house call before speaking at a rally here. He stopped at the governor’s mansion, where he met with Gov. Jerry Brown.
The two men were famously adversaries during the Democratic presidential primary in 1992, when Brown’s insurgent campaign threatened to derail Clinton’s bid for the White House.
More than two decades later, Clinton’s wife, Hillary, is dispatching her own insurgent rival, Bernie Sanders, and tightening her hold on the nomination.
According to a spokesman for the governor, Brown invited Clinton to the mansion, which he recently refurbished. They met for an hour and a half in the same room where President John F. Kennedy and Gov. Pat Brown, Jerry Brown’s father, discussed the 1960 election.
What did Brown and Clinton talk about?
“They discussed foreign and domestic politics, and yes, the presidential campaign,” said spokesman Evan Westrup.
California’s primary is on June 7, and Brown has not endorsed a presidential candidate. However, over the weekend he warned against “scorched earth” campaigns for the nomination.
“It’s very important to beat Donald Trump,” he said. “That’s the overriding imperative.”
Thanks, but no thanks -- Hillary Clinton says no to a debate in California
Hillary Clinton has backed out of participating in another debate with Bernie Sanders, hours after he called on her to “keep her word” and face off with him before the Democratic primary in California.
“We believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands,” Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director, said in a statement.
Clinton and Sanders last debated in New York in April before the primary there. She previously had agreed to participate in another debate in May.
But with Clinton’s delegate tally all but ensuring she will secure the Democratic nomination, she’s turned her attention to a general election matchup against Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Bernie Sanders says he will be in ‘strong position’ headed into Democratic convention
Bernie Sanders, whose continued quest for the Democratic presidential nomination against front-runner Hillary Clinton has caused concerns of division among some party leaders, said on Monday that his campaign will be in a “strong position” to have influence during the July convention in Philadelphia.
Speaking to reporters after a rally in East Los Angeles, Sanders pointed to the Democratic National Committee’s announcement earlier in the day that five of his supporters have been named to the party’s platform committee.
“We will be in a very strong position to fight for an economy that works for all of our people,” Sanders, who has had a tense relationship with the DNC, said as he lauded the announcement.
Clinton will have six members on the committee, while the DNC will have four.
“We will be in a really strong position to make sure the platform that leaves the drafting committee is the strongest platform that the Democratic Party has ever seen,” Sanders said.
The Vermont senator, whose populist message centered on income inequality resonates with progressives, has vowed to remain in the race and fight for a more liberal platform at the party’s July convention in Philadelphia.
While speaking to reporters, Sanders also continued his calls for Clinton to debate him in California. For her part, Clinton has said she “will consider” a debate ahead of the state’s June 7 primary.
“I hope that Secretary Clinton will keep her word in terms of engaging in a debate here in California,” said Sanders, alluding to lukewarm agreement both campaigns made earlier in the spring.
Prior to addressing reporters, Sanders spoke with supporters on a dusty softball field at a park in East Los Angeles, where he only mentioned Clinton a handful of times when talking about polls and the use of super PACs. In recent days, Sanders has toned down assailing the former secretary of State.
During the rally, Sanders touched on the usual themes of his campaign -- income inequality, criminal justice reform, immigration -- and announced his support for an initiative to legalize marijuana in California.
“I think it makes sense to legalize marijuana at this particular point,” Sanders, who has indicated his support in the past, told supporters under sun-drenched skies. “So if I were here in your state, I would vote yes on that issue.”
GOP Sen. Bob Corker meets with Donald Trump as VP speculation swirls
A top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, insisted Monday he had “no reason to believe” he was being considered for vice president after meeting with Donald Trump in New York.
Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is considered a measured conservative thinker. He had previously provided brief bits of counsel to the candidate.
Monday’s meeting, though, appeared more substantial.
Corker downplayed the speculation. He noted he is often in New York for meetings, including one last week with Henry Kissinger. The former secretary of State also met last week with Trump.
“Sen. Corker had a good meeting today with Mr. Trump in which they engaged in a wide-ranging policy discussion,” said Todd Womack, the senator’s chief of staff.
Bernie Sanders gets voices on key Democratic Party committee
In 2008, during the last contested Democratic primary, eventual nominee Barack Obama chose all the members of the party’s platform committee, which sets policy priorities at the convention.
This year, the committee is being chosen much differently, a reflection of the philosophical divide between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Although Clinton is expected to secure the nomination, Sanders will still have a sizable voice when the party works out the platform.
He chose five of the committee’s members, one fewer than Clinton. Four more were chosen by the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
Sanders’ choices are Keith Ellison, a congressman from Minnesota; environmental advocate Bill McKibben; social justice activist Cornel West; James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute; and Deborah Parker, a Native American activist.
Clinton chose Wendy Sherman, a former State Department official under Clinton; Neera Tanden, a former aide and president of the Center for American Progress; Ohio state Rep. Alicia Reece; Luis V. Gutierrez, a congressman from Illinois; former White House environmental advisor Carol Browner; and Paul Booth, a union leader.
Wasserman Schultz’s picks were Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic congressman from Maryland who will head the committee; Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland; Howard Berman, a former California congressman; and Bonnie Schaefer, a business executive and philanthropist.
In a statement, Sanders said, “We believe that we will have the representation on the platform drafting committee to create a Democratic platform that reflects the views of millions of our supporters who want the party to address the needs of working families in this country and not just Wall Street, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and other powerful special interests.”
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton, said Sanders’ supporters will be “well represented in the drafting of the party’s platform.”
“The Democratic Party historically has been a big tent, representing a diverse coalition, and Hillary Clinton is committed to continue welcoming different perspectives and ideas,” he said in a statement.
‘The party should be unified’ after the convention, Bernie Sanders aide says
With the odds of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic presidential nomination increasingly narrow, party leaders have been wondering whether the Vermont senator would set aside his feisty rivalry with front-runner Hillary Clinton and help Democrats keep the White House in November.
His campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, provided a clue to that answer in an interview with MSNBC on Monday.
Weaver said it was unlikely that Sanders would campaign with Clinton before the Democratic convention in July, something that Clinton did when she fell short in her primary battle with Barack Obama in 2008.
However, he said to expect Sanders to hit the trail after the convention when the “party should be unified.”
“He has said that he will campaign day and night, 24/7 to keep Donald Trump from becoming president of the United States,” Weaver said. “So, I think you’re going to see Bernie Sanders out on the campaign trail during the general election.”
Sanders has had a testy relationship with the Democratic establishment this year, even endorsing a primary challenger to the party’s chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
But Weaver’s comments are another sign of how the possibility of a Trump presidency would help Democrats move past the primary and band together for a general election.
Don’t let Donald Trump bankrupt the U.S., Hillary Clinton tells union
Hillary Clinton took some new swipes at Donald Trump in a Monday speech to a powerful labor union, saying that his checkered track record in the business world shows he’s not the right choice for the presidency.
“He could bankrupt America like he’s bankrupted his companies,” she said. “I mean, ask yourself, how can anybody lose money running a casino?”
The comments, which Clinton made at an SEIU convention in Detroit, were a reference to Trump’s history as a casino owner in Atlantic City, N.J., which involved multiple stints in bankruptcy court.
Clinton is close to clinching the Democratic presidential nomination despite a persistent challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. She urged members of her party to look past the contentious primary to the general election.
“The only thing standing between Donald Trump and the Oval Office is all of us,” she said.
Clinton added: “We are going to unify the Democratic Party and stop Donald Trump.”
Bernie Sanders set to rally supporters in East L.A.
Donald Trump sees political gain in Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs
For weeks, Donald Trump has dredged up stories from the 1990s about Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs. Then Trump went a step further, reviving an unsubstantiated rape accusation against the former president.
Even for Trump, the anything-goes showman whose insults left rivals reeling in the GOP primaries, the attacks have a searing personal dimension, pushing boundaries and forcing his presumed Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, to relive the humiliation of her husband’s adultery.
Given Trump’s own extramarital dalliances along his tabloid-chronicled path from his first wife to his second and third, the tactic could backfire. But it serves strategic goals for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
Asian Americans becoming more Democratic, survey finds
Asian American voters are flocking toward the Democratic Party and do not like Donald Trump, according to a new poll conducted for several Asian American advocacy groups.
The survey, which asked about the political leanings of 1,200 Asian American registered voters, found the percentage of Asian Americans who identify as Democrats has increased over the last four years from 35% to 47%.
The survey also found that 61% of Asian Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
On the other hand, the survey found just 26% of Asian Americans have unfavorable views of likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The survey, which was conducted by several groups, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, sheds new light on a little-studied, but fast-growing, segment of the electorate.
The number of Asian American voters has nearly doubled in the last decade from 2 million voters in 2000 to 3.9 million in 2012, according to the Center for American Progress.
Asian Americans are projected to account for 5% of voters nationally by 2025 and 10% by 2044.
But voter mobilization and outreach by parties, candidates and community organizations lag behind other groups, the survey found. Asian Americans are less likely than other groups to be contacted by political campaigns.
The report found Asian Americans in California favored Clinton over her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in the California primary 33% to 21%.
Nationwide, Sanders has the edge with voters 18 to 34, following a pattern of younger voters across demographic groups who prefer Sanders.
Analysis: Two white-haired politicians — Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton — call a California truce
For months now, Bernie Sanders and the other white-haired gentleman on the campaign trail, Bill Clinton, have feuded over how closely the future of the Democratic Party will resemble its past.
They have disagreed over trade and crime policies pushed by Clinton, and healthcare and college tuition policies pursued by Sanders.
They have fought over whether the party’s turn to the center under Clinton was motivated by survival or was a breach of principle, just as they have disagreed over some of Sanders’ efforts to push Democrats to the left this campaign season.
But as both men coursed across Southern California over the weekend, something new was evident, something that seemed, perhaps temporarily, like detente.