The Latest: Harris gets warm welcome at California meeting
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee in California (all times local):
California Sen. Kamala Harris is getting a rousing hometown welcome at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in San Francisco.
Harris is looking to California as a potentially key part of her path to the Democratic presidential nomination.
With scores of supporters in the gallery Friday, Harris harkened back to her first political race for district attorney. She laughed as she recalled setting up an ironing board outside local grocery stores to get shoppers to stop and talk to her.
She said a similar grassroots effort is required to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts has told Democratic National Committee members that he will campaign vigorously for the party’s eventual 2020 presidential nominee after dropping his own longshot White House bid.
Moulton said Friday that he is ending his presidential campaign but plans to seek reelection in his Massachusetts congressional district. The military veteran says he ran for president to highlight that Democrats should not yield the idea of patriotism to Republicans.
Moulton helped recruit several Democratic veterans who ultimately won congressional races in 2018 and helped the party reclaim a House majority. Moulton says he will continue those efforts focused in “tough districts” around the country.
Moulton is the second Democrat to leave the presidential race this week, following Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is kicking off a Democratic National Committee gathering by slamming the party’s qualifying rules for the presidential primary debates.
Bennet on Friday accused the party of “stifling debate at a time we need it most.”
The DNC has set donation and polling thresholds to qualify for debates as it faces a massive field of candidates. Bennet says he won’t meet the requirements to participate in September’s presidential debate.
He’s also criticizing the fact that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was excluded from a presidential climate forum on CNN. Inslee, who made climate change the central tenet of his campaign, ended his 2020 presidential bid this week.
Bennet also says he thinks the debates should allow for lengthier exchanges among candidates on policy.
More than a dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls are making their way to California to curry favor with national party activists from around country.
Democratic National Committee members will hear Friday from top contenders, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders.
Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are skipping the meeting to campaign in the first primary state of New Hampshire.
Biden continues to top national and most early state polls, but he doesn’t have a commanding lead.
DNC members are in a new position for 2020 after they gave up their votes on the first nominating ballot of the 2020 convention. But they still could play a role if Democrats’ sprawling field results in a contested convention that requires multiple ballots to pick a nominee.