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February 16, 2020

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway thinks Democrats should spend some time self-reflecting if they're really considering the possibility of backing billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the party's presidential nominee.

Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Conway on Sunday if it would be fair for President Trump to go after Bloomberg for sexist comments he's reportedly made in the workplace in the past. In Conway's mind that's absolutely fair game, and she's not sure why Democrats aren't already doing that themselves.

Wallace asked Conway how the Bloomberg revelations found in The Washington Post compared to Trump's infamous Access Hollywood tape. "It's far worse," Conway said. "Oh my goodness, it's far worse. And, by the way, that was fully litigated."

Bloomberg's Democratic competitor former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also appeared on Fox News Sunday and Wallace asked him to comment on the allegations of sexism and racism being waged at Bloomberg. Buttigieg said Bloomberg will have to answer for that, and he thinks voters want a candidate without that kind of baggage, but did say there was no comparison to Trump's rhetoric. Tim O'Donnell

February 16, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden zeroed in this weekend on one of his top competitors, who many consider to have eclipsed him as the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

In an interview set to air on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Biden waded into a controversy surrounding Sanders supporters who have been accused of threatening members of Nevada's Culinary Workers Union for not backing Sanders' Medicare-for-all proposal. Biden said Sanders isn't necessarily directly responsible for such behavior, but he's not sure he's done enough to put a stop to it, either.

Biden also criticized Sanders' policy proposals, arguing that while the senator has talked about Medicare-for-all for 35 years, he has nothing to show for it. Biden said people, like those in the Culinary Workers Union, have "broken their necks" to procure their current insurance, and he's not sure why Sanders wants to force them to give it up.

And on Saturday evening, the former vice president put Sanders' 2005 vote to exempt gun manufacturers from liability in shootings on blast. He didn't name Sanders outright, but he called out "some of the people running for office" who voted for the exemption. Sanders, for what it's worth, has since changed his position on the matter. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

February 9, 2020

It was a busy day for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom made the Sunday television rounds. One common question that came up was their opinions on the other's stance about billionaire donors.

Sanders said the fact that Buttigieg accepts contributions from wealthy donors, especially those tied to the pharmaceutical industry, makes it tough to believe he'll stand up to "powerful entities and represent working people" if he's elected president. Sanders said he, on the other hand, can be trusted to take on the likes of Wall Street, insurance companies, and the fossil fuel industry.

Buttigieg said he's far from an "establishment powerhouse" and he's "never hesitated to stand up to industry," noting that as mayor, South Bend sued pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. At the same time, he said he welcomes anyone who wants to contribute to his campaign and help defeat President Trump no matter their income-level.

He also referred to Sanders' own income, quipping "Bernie's pretty rich and I would happily accept a contribution from him." Tim O'Donnell

February 9, 2020

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has no issue with President Trump's decision to reassign Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council.

Vindman complied with a congressional subpoena and provided damaging testimony against Trump during the House's impeachment inquiry last year. After Trump was acquitted in a Senate trial, the White House dismissed Vindman from his post in what many consider an attempt to exact revenge. Graham is not among them. During Sunday's edition of Face the Nation on CBS, he said he respects Vindman's military service, but he said he's learned over the last two years that the State Department, Justice Department, and U.S. intelligence agencies have a political agenda and take the "law into their hands" since Trump took office, which he aims to put a stop to.

Graham said people in Vindman's chain of command were "suspicious" of his "political point of view," arguing it's possible he may have been the one to leak the contents of Trump's now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment saga. Host Margaret Brennan countered by saying National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien had previously told her he was "confident" no leaks came from within the council.

"Well, I am not," Graham said, bluntly. Tim O'Donnell

February 9, 2020

Iowa might be knocked from its perch next election cycle.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday the Democratic Party will have a "conversation" about Iowa's role as the first state to vote in the primaries going forward after the 2020 Democratic caucus turned chaotic, suggesting it may move down the lineup in the future.

But Perez acknowledged there's not much he can do about the state's decision to hold a caucus instead of a primary. "One of the challenges and the reason we didn't do that in our most recent conversation about this is that you need to pass a state law to have a state-run primary," Perez said during his appearance on State of the Union. "There are some states that still have caucuses where I'm not sure the Republican governor would sign the law to have the election." Tim O'Donnell

February 2, 2020

There will be no family feuding here, at least on television.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel mostly deflected questions from CBS's Margaret Brennan about her uncle Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) during a Face the Nation appearance Sunday. The Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday announced that Romney won't be invited to this year's event after he broke with Republicans and voted for additional witnesses in President Trump's impeachment trial.

Brennan wanted to know what McDaniel thought about that, as well as CPAC's intense ad which made it very clear Romney wasn't invited. Brennan also tried to gauge McDaniel's reaction to the argument that Trump has altered the Republican Party, leaving more traditional GOP names like Romney out in the wilderness. But McDaniel evaded talking about her uncle directly and instead praised Trump for representing real Republican ideals, while dismissing the notion the party had morphed.

She didn't defend Romney, either. McDaniel said she gets why CPAC and other party members are upset at Republicans who don't always support the president because they view going against the grain as contributing to the election of a Democratic president in 2020. Tim O'Donnell

February 2, 2020

President Trump really doesn't think the Democratic National Committee should let billionaire and former New York City Michael Bloomberg stand on a box during future Democratic primary debates. There's no evidence Bloomberg is trying to do that, but the president seems quite bothered by the possibility anyway.

In a preview clip from Fox News' Sean Hannity's Super Bowl interview with the president set to air Sunday, Trump is asked about Bloomberg. He said the only word he can think about when he ponders the man he's dubbed "Mini Mike" is "little." The president then went all in on a conspiracy theory he's developed — and tweeted — about Bloomberg negotiating with the DNC about standing on a platform so the Democratic presidential candidate appears taller during televised debates. Trump reportedly thinks that would be very unfair. "Does that mean everyone else gets a box?," he asked.

Trump did say, however, that it's okay to "be short."

The Bloomberg campaign said there's no basis to Trump's claim. Tim O'Donnell

January 26, 2020

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a U.S. military veteran, stood by President Trump in wake of the backlash against the commander-in-chief's comments describing brain injuries suffered by U.S. troops after an Iranian missile attack on a base in Iraq earlier this month as "headaches" and "not very serious."

CBS' Margaret Brennan asked Cotton during Sunday's edition of Face the Nation if Trump should apologize to the soldiers, 34 of whom it turned out suffered traumatic brain injuries. She pointed out that Veterans of Foreign Wars, a prominent U.S. veterans advocacy group, called on Trump to apologize for his "misguided" comments about potentially dangerous injuries, while also noting Cotton likely knew several people who suffered from similar injuries during his time in the military, which included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cotton, though, argued Trump wasn't "dismissing" the soldiers' injuries, but simply "describing them." Tim O'Donnell

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