AP NEWS

The Latest: Booker says Dems shouldn’t be victim to vitriol

March 2, 2019
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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker speaks to a crowd of several hundred during a campaign stop Friday, March 1, 2019, in Simpsonville, S.C. Booker is spending two days in the state, which holds the first 2020 Democratic primary in the South, holding town hall-style discussions as he continues to introduce himself to the largely African-American primary electorate. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

The Latest on the 2020 presidential candidates campaigning throughout the country this weekend: (all times EST):

4 p.m.

Presidential hopeful Cory Booker is urging fellow Democrats not to be distracted by vitriol directed at the party’s candidates from the man whom they seek to replace.

Booker was asked Saturday during a campaign visit to Charleston, South Carolina, how best to campaign against President Donald Trump without turning overly negative. The New Jersey senator said Democrats need to look inward and focus on issues important to them, such as health care and education.

Booker said Democrats “have got to understand this is not about him, it’s about us” and that they should be motivated by what they are for, not what they are against.

Booker also urged the audience of activists not to become complacent just because Democrats enjoyed successes in the 2018 midterm elections.

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3:45 p.m.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is emphasizing the need for Democrats to focus on policies over personal attacks, and to remain united in order to win the 2020 presidential race.

Campaigning in Waterloo, Iowa, on Saturday, Warren criticized Vice President Mike Pence when asked by a reporter about former Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks earlier this week calling Pence a “decent man.”

The U.S. senator from Massachusetts said she had followed Pence’s history on LGBTQ rights and that she didn’t think it was a “decent position.”

On other subjects, Warren focused heavily on policy but refused to draw any contrasts between her own proposals and those offered by other Democrats running for president.

Warren said she supported “Medicare for All” but that there were many ways to achieve universal coverage.

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2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling supporters that he will win re-election in 2020 and by a bigger margin than his 2016 victory.

During a wide-ranging speech before an appreciative audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, Trump on Saturday mocked Democrats for their framework to combat climate change and said House lawmakers pushing to expand their investigations of him are “sick.”

Trump also rehashed his outsider campaign that overcame long odds and a crowded field of established politicians to claim the White House over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

When he made his prediction of a second term, the crowd responded with chants of “USA, USA, USA.”

Trump praised the conservative movement, saying “Our movement and our future in our country is unlimited.”

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2:15 p.m.

In the final swing of a listening tour as he decides whether to enter the 2020 presidential primary race, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is spending time in South Carolina, sharing his message of advocacy for higher wages and more robust health care.

At a Darlington County Democratic women’s event on Saturday, Brown told attendees he values the important role black women play in the Democratic primary process. South Carolina holds the first southern voting, and its Democratic primary electorate is largely African-American.

On Friday, Brown stopped at a Columbia job training facility. He later went to Florence, where Mayor Stephen Wukela (woo-KEY-lah) said he would support Brown if he jumps into the race.

Later Saturday, Brown was expected to speak at Dorchester County Democrats’ oyster roast, an event New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was also scheduled to attend following a town hall discussion in Charleston.

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2 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has launched his second presidential campaign with a call for Americans from all walks of life to join his fight for a political revolution, one he’s been waging for four decades.

Sanders is calling Donald Trump the most dangerous president in modern U.S. history, with the Vermont senator saying his campaign is built to defeat Trump.

Sanders also says his Democratic campaign will create an economy and government that works for all people, and says the government will be based on economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

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10:15 a.m.

Democratic presidential hopefuls are introducing themselves to voters in some of the earliest states that will weigh in on their campaigns to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Candidates are fanning out in South Carolina and Iowa on Saturday, spending time with voters in two of the states that hold the earliest balloting next year.

Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sherrod Brown of Ohio are in South Carolina, site of the South’s first primary. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts plans to court voters in Iowa.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is scheduled to attend the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, an event where politicians traditionally poke fun at the press and other politicians. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is making Brooklyn the official launch site of his second run for the White House.

Trump plans to speak to a gathering of conservatives in suburban Maryland, where he is expected to emphasize the White House’s political message that Democrats are rallying behind what his team is calling the policies of “socialism.”