The Latest: Biden vows to ‘restore dignity for everyone’

September 15, 2020 GMT
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden depart after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden depart after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden depart after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is promising to “restore dignity for everyone, especially the poor” if he defeats President Donald Trump in November.

Biden made his pledge Monday to an online convocation of the Poor People’s Campaign, one of the nation’s leading civil rights and social justice organizations.

Biden highlighted several of his economic proposals: raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding health insurance access, investing billions of dollars in childcare, early childhood education and college tuition assistance. He also cited his plans for a $15,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and other housing assistance.

The Rev. William Barber, co-chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign, said 140 million Americans are “poor or low-income individuals,” spanning all races and ethnic groups. Biden and Barber say that number is growing because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate affects on poor and minority communities.

Barber is lamenting that tens of millions of those poor and low-income Americans don’t vote.

Barber invited Biden and Trump to speak, but Barber says the Trump campaign did not accept. Trump was campaigning Monday evening in Arizona.



President Donald Trump was in California on Monday for a briefing near Sacramento on the deadly wildfires before heading to Phoenix for a campaign visit. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, made a speech in Delaware in which he declared the fires and recent extreme weather underscore an urgent need to address climate change.

Read more:

— Trump, Biden face off on West Coast wildfires, climate change

— Democrats try to streamline mail balloting for their voters

— Biden faces worries that Latino support is slipping in Florida

— In defiance of Nevada governor, Trump holds indoor rally



7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is speaking to Hispanic supporters at what was labeled as a “roundtable” meeting in Phoenix, though even the president acknowledges “it looks like a rally.”

The president says he is at the event to listen, but he is also trying to energize the crowd of several hundred people, which is mostly unmasked and sitting closely together indoors.

Trump is finishing up a weekend trip to California, Nevada and Arizona. He says, “You need a lot of energy to do this job properly,” and he is criticizing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for spending so much time in his home state of Delaware. “I think Delaware is a good place, but you gotta leave it on occasion.”

Polls are showing a close race in the normally Republican-leaning state of Arizona. Trump is trying to rally Hispanic voters to his cause, citing low unemployment rates for the Hispanic population prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hispanics have been hit hard by the pandemic, with the latest unemployment rate standing at 10.5% in August. Trump is promising to revive the economy and says “we’re coming back very, very strong.” He says Biden would jeopardize that revival.


6:45 p.m.

Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton and the women who play them on “Saturday Night Live” have raised more than $6 million for the Biden campaign in a Monday fundraiser.

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, says 100,000 people were on the Monday evening fundraiser, which featured Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph. Clinton called it a “life-imitates-art” moment, referencing Poehler’s years of imitating her on “SNL.”

Turning to more serious matters, Clinton called recent tapes of President Donald Trump speaking about the pandemic to journalist Bob Woodward “stunning.” She’s criticizing Trump for keeping information from the American people “that could have saved lives and misery.”

She’s praising Harris as someone who “leads with her values” and says she loves to see the young women “who see themselves in Kamala as she makes history.”


6:35 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says Kamala Harris will have to navigate the double standard women in politics face when she debates Vice President Mike Pence next month.

Harris and Pence are set to debate Oct. 7.

Clinton says she expects Pence may try to “undercut” Harris and “somehow put her in the box of the inexperienced woman candidate.” Harris will have to be firm in rebutting Trump but “do it in a way that doesn’t scare or alienate voters,” Clinton says.

She adds she’s confident Harris will master those skills during her debate preparation.

Clinton debated President Donald Trump three times during the 2016 election. She says it was apparent that Trump didn’t care about giving accurate answers but intended to insult and bully her.


4:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump told journalist Bob Woodward that “nothing more could have been done” in his response to the coronavirus.

Trump spoke to Woodward in August after he learned the journalist had completed his latest book, “Rage,” to get a better idea of how he would be portrayed. That’s according to CNN, which obtained excerpts of the 10-minute conversation.

Woodward had 18 interviews with Trump for the book.

As the two discussed Trump’s performance on COVID-19, the president said, “Nothing more could have been done. I acted early.”

Almost 195,000 people in the U.S. have died of the coronavirus, far more than in any other country. There are more than 6.5 million confirmed cases in the U.S.

In another part of the conversation, Woodward tells Trump there are parts of the book that he won’t like. When Woodward talked about the virus, Trump reminds him that the stock market has come back strongly and wanted to know if he covered that as part of the book. Woodward assured him that he did.


3:25 p.m.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says his state can do a better job of forest management, but he tells President Donald Trump that it is “self-evident that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this.”

Trump and Newsom are participating in a briefing Monday on the deadly fires that have forced thousands of residents out of their homes along the West Coast. Trump has repeatedly discounted the impact of climate change and endorsed raking forests as a means of combating wildfires.

Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, told Trump that “if we ignore that science and sort of put our heads in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together in protecting California.”

Trump replied: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”

Crowfoot said, “I wish science agreed with you.”

Trump got in the last word of the exchange: “Well, I don’t think science knows actually.”


2:45 p.m.

Smoke from the West Coast’s massive wildfires was visible as Air Force One began its approach into Northern California.

President Donald Trump is expected to be briefed about the wildfires during a stop near Sacramento, California, on Monday. He will also recognize the work of the California National Guard, which has airlifted scores of stranded people to safety over the past week.

Trump has blamed poor forest management for the deadly fires, though many of the blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest.

When addressing reporters after exiting Air Force One, Trump was asked if climate change was also part of the problem, in combination with forest management.

He says, “I think a lot of things are possible.” But he says when it comes to forests, downed trees and dried leaves on the ground are “really a fuel for a fire, so they have to do something about it.”

The fires have killed at least 33, burned millions of acres and forced thousands from their homes on the West Coast.


2:15 p.m.

Joe Biden says wildfires and hurricanes will become “more devastating” if President Donald Trump wins a second term because he isn’t acting to address the climate crisis.

Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday, Biden said Trump’s “climate denial may not have caused these fires and hurricanes.” But he says Trump’s response had exacerbated it.

In his speech, the Democratic presidential nominee sought to emphasize that the effects of climate change have wide-reaching consequences. He pointed not just to wildfires in the West and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, but also to droughts affecting farmers in the Midwest and even climate-related threats to U.S. military installations around the world.

Biden says, “Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid red states or blue states. Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way. The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon. It’s science.”

Trump was in California on Monday meeting with fire officials after deadly fires along the West Coast. He has repeatedly discounted the impact of climate change, walked away from a major international climate agreement and proudly rolled back environmental regulations.


9:35 a.m.

Joe Biden has voted in Delaware’s primary, casting a ballot by appointment a day before the polls formally open.

The Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Jill, voted Monday morning at the New Castle Board of Elections. She wore boots with “VOTE” stenciled on each one.

Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech on climate change exacerbating the wildfires raging in California and other states later in the day from Wilmington, Delaware, where the couple lives.


Monday evening, the former vice president will address via internet the Poor People’s Campaign virtual event “Voting is Power Unleashed.”