AP NEWS

Biden hit for taking Democratic endorsements for granted in S.C.

May 6, 2019

Some South Carolina Democratic officials believe former Vice President Joseph R. Biden isn’t working as hard as his rivals for their endorsement, after Mr. Biden’s weekend swing through the early primary state.

“My colleagues and I are being courted pretty heavily by several of the other candidates, and a call from a staffer isn’t going to get him an endorsement,” one female legislator told The Washington Times. “If the endorsements of South Carolina legislators are important to him — and I would think that he’d especially want the female legislators’ endorsements — it would make sense for him to ask personally.”

This Democrat said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Seth Moulton all have personally been in contact with her, among other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Mr. Biden is a relatively late entry into the race, announcing his candidacy on April 25. His campaign released a list Monday of 23 South Carolina Democrats who have endorsed him, after Mr. Biden spent the weekend campaigning in the state.

“We are grateful for the strong support in South Carolina from so many of the state’s most respected and accomplished political and community leaders,” said Kendall Corley, South Carolina State Director of the Biden campaign. “It’s clear from the enthusiasm and energy we’re seeing not just here in South Carolina this past weekend, but across the country, that voters are eager for the kind of sea change from the status quo that Vice President Biden represents.”

But the female Democratic legislator, who describes herself as a fan of the former vice president, said Mr. Biden is raising some eyebrows among officials in the state party for taking their endorsements for granted. She said especially in the wake of Mr. Biden’s controversy about offending women, he should be contacting officials directly instead of outsourcing the job to aides.

“You would think that he would contact the female legislators or leaders in the party and really want their endorsements,” she said. “I think he knows what he’s doing, but he probably doesn’t know the extent to which the other [presidential] candidates are really aggressively courting the legislators and other Democratic Party leaders to get their endorsements.”

Ms. Warren, she said, has been talking to her since last summer, and Mr. Booker regularly text-messages her.