The Latest: Harris says she is fully committed to Iowa
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential candidates (all times local):
Amid questions from Iowa activists about whether her campaign is taking Iowa seriously, California Sen. Kamala Harris told reporters she is “fully committed” to the state and that it will be “a very important part” of winning the nomination.
When asked about questions surrounding her Iowa campaign, she said she is “fully committed to competing in Iowa and working hard to earn the support of the people of this great state.”
Harris said that her visits to Iowa had been helpful to her campaign, by giving her insight into issues affecting voters not just in Iowa but nationwide. And she said that she sees the state as significant to her overall chance of winning the nomination.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) told Democrats Sunday to “change the channel” on Donald Trump’s presidency.
Speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame event, Buttigieg told a crowd of Democratic activists that the Democratic candidates are largely in agreement on their “values,” and the biggest remaining question differentiating the field is how to win.
He said Democrats are not going to win by playing it safe or promising a return to normal. He said Democrats cannot promise a return to the 90s any more than Republicans can deliver on a promise to return to the 50s.
All Democrats can do, Buttigieg said, is “look at that show that this president’s created,” whether it’s “a reality show, horror show, game show.” He promised to “change the channel to something completely different.”
Joe Biden is not in the room for the Iowa Democratic Party’s blockbuster fundraiser where 19 of his party’s presidential candidates are scheduled to speak. But he’s present in veiled references by some of his rivals.
Chief among them is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said the “same old politics will not” defeat President Donald Trump.
In his speech, Sanders made a thinly veiled reference to Biden as a “well-intentioned” candidate who thinks “the best way forward is a middle-ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody and that changes nothing.”
Sanders called this a “failed political strategy” that could lead to the reelection of Trump.
Similarly, California Rep. Eric Swalwell and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker were among those to describe abortion as a right to be protected.
Last week, Biden’s campaign first affirmed his support for a decades-old policy that bars federal funding for abortions, only to reverse course.
At an event meant to show off the Democratic presidential candidates’ organizational strength in Iowa, campaign swag is king.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign outfitted its tables of supporters with light-up campaign signs, which they waved in the air to show off one of the biggest crowds in the ballroom as Booker spoke.
California Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign gave its attendees glowing yellow foam sticks with the word “fearless” emblazoned on the side, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign had a sugar cookie stamped with the word “persist” at each setting. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a successful beer brewer, gave his supporters koozies to insulate their beer cans, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s campaign laid out her book for her supporters to take home.
With 1,400 people gathered in the convention center ballroom, the goodies are as much an opportunity for the candidates to show off their support as they are a gift for supporters to take home.
Almost 20 Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in early-voting Iowa in an effort to show their level of early support in the kick-off caucus state.
It’s a crowded speaking program at a fundraiser in Cedar Rapids for the Iowa Democratic Party.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads in polls of Iowa Democrats, is skipping the event.
Some candidates who’ve been traveling to Iowa for months, such as Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, are planning for a strong showing of backers outside the convention center. They’re hoping to project momentum eight months before Iowa holds its caucuses.