2020 Daily Trail Markers: Biden lays out foreign policy agenda



WARREN: Amid high tensions over immigration policies, Sen. Elizabeth Warren today released a set of protections for migrants to “address the humanitarian mess at the border and reverse this president’s discriminatory policies,” according to CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak. Warren’s proposal solidified her place on the far-left side of the issue. Following similar sentiments from Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Warren said unauthorized immigration should be decriminalized and treated as a civil issue. She also called for several measures to alter the landscape of immigration enforcement led by the Trump administration.  

Warren said that immigration and law enforcement should be separated, and that the government should “remake CPB and ICE in a way that reflects our values.” She also said as president she would work to end private detention facilities and “unnecessary detention.” The plan also calls for the creation of a new set of immigration courts and for the Justice Department to investigate abuse of detained immigrants under the Trump administration. “If you are violating the basic rights of immigrants, now or in the future, a Warren administration will hold you accountable,” she wrote in a Medium post.

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DE BLASIO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said today that he would reject any NAFTA replacement negotiated by the Trump administration, and he challenged his fellow candidates to make the same commitment. Speaking in New York to a group of union members, de Blasio led a chant of, “NAFTA, we don’t hafta,” Hudak reports. De Blasio, struggling to build national momentum, took yet another shot at Joe Biden, calling out the former vice president for his support of NAFTA in 1994. “He has to explain to the American people why he did that and what he’s learned since then because a lot of damage was inflicted,” de Blasio said.

STEYER: Tom Steyer, the newest and richest candidate to join the large Democratic field, today released a set of voting reforms he said he would fight for if elected, Hudak says. Several of the proposals, such as repealing Citizens United, are similar to voting initiatives of several other candidates, and they would require far more than executive action to be implemented. Steyer did set himself apart with this first set of proposals, however, by calling for congressional term limits and national referendums.

BIDEN: Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Trump foreign policy is “dangerously incompetent.” Speaking at the official unveiling of his foreign policy outlook, Biden stated: “Political wisdom holds that the American public doesn’t vote on foreign policy, but I think that’s an old way of thinking.” CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson, who reviewed the policy plan, says the highlights include:

  • End “forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East”
  • No US support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen war
  • Re-enter Iran Deal if Tehran complies with pre-determined nuclear guidelines
  • “Empower” North Korea negotiators
  • End migrant family separation at the border and detention of youth migrants

Biden is at least the fifth Democratic presidential contender to release his foreign policy objectives, look for more candidates as the campaign continues.

HARRIS: Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign is cautioning people to stick with ActBlue when donating to candidates. This comes as several groups, including the candidate’s own team, are investigating whether money was stolen during the planning of an event billed as a Harris fundraiser in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event’s flier falsely advertised the 2020 presidential candidate would be there in-person.  

“It came to our attention that an individual who was not an employee of the campaign was working with a third party organization to solicit money for two events that falsely advertised the Senator’s attendance in Salt Lake City on July 17,” said spokesperson Kate Waters. “If you have shared your credit card information or given money to any individual or organization associated with these events in Salt Lake City, you should contact local authorities. The campaign has been working with local law enforcement to provide information about the individual in question.”

It was recently discovered that man behind the Utah fundraiser both reportedly misrepresented himself as a campaign staffer and has a significant criminal history that includes fraud, theft and forgery, as first reported by The Salt Lake City Tribune.

Waters told CBS News campaign reporter Stephanie Ramirez on Thursday, “The campaign has identified 18 individuals who made contributions to the campaign that may have been associated with these falsely advertised events. The campaign is currently working to contact each of those individuals to refund their donations.”

BUTTIGEIG: South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg released the details of his Douglass Plan, which the campaign says is “ambitious” as the Marshall Plan that was implemented to rebuild Europe after World War II, reports CBS News Campaign Reporter Jack Turman. Buttigieg’s Douglass Plan, named in honor of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, proposes solutions across health care, entrepreneurship, education and criminal justice to empower black Americans and to “intentionally dismantle racist structures and systems.”


CBS News Campaign Reporter Adam Brewster reports at a press conference with Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price, former U.S. Agriculture Secretary and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and former Iowa Lt. Governor Patty Judge called out the Trump administration over granting waivers to refineries owned by big oil companies that gets them out of producing ethanol. Vilsack said it’s not only costing farmers income, but causing job loss in rural America. Vilsack and Judge were also asked about whether presidential candidates are doing enough to reach out to rural voters. Both Vilsack and Judge said candidates are visiting rural places, which is critical. Judge said she thinks there’s “a different mindset than 4 years ago” with candidates visiting rural areas and understanding that some of those communities felt left behind in the last presidential election. On the policy front, Vilsack said, “I think this summer we’re liable to see, as they’re rolling out policy initiatives, I would be willing to bet that a number of these candidates will roll out a specific rural agenda. I’m certainly hopeful they’ll do that. And if they do they’ll find a receptive audience.”

CBS News Campaign Reporter Nicole Sganga, reporting from New Hampshire, says Sen. Bernie Sanders’ New Hampshire campaign today announced a total of 45 staffers on the ground in the state, the majority committed to community and field organizing. The campaign plans to open field offices in Manchester, Portsmouth, Dover and West Lebanon, in addition to its existing Greater Nashua field office unveiled last month. “From day one of this campaign, I have said we will take nothing for granted here in the first-in-the-nation primary,” New Hampshire state director Joe Caiazzo said in a statement. “I’m proud of the team we put together.”

Meanwhile, State Rep. Linda Tanner of Sullivan County endorsed Harris for president. “It is important to me that a leader is pragmatic but remains true to their core progressive values,” Rep. Tanner said in a statement. “She is a fighter for LGBTQI rights, social justice, women’s rights, affordable healthcare, and public education.” Tanner marks the third Granite State endorsement for Harris, joining former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Joe Keefe and State Rep. Dick Ames of Cheshire County.

Buttigieg’s New Hampshire team announced its ninth senior staff hire today. Eugene Chow will serve as New Hampshire deputy communications director, joining the mayor’s expanding team in the Granite State. Last month, the Buttigieg campaign took on six new senior staff hires in New Hampshire, including two deputy state directors, an operations director, an organizing director and two deputy organizing directors. “Eugene is a deeply talented communicator who will help us tell the story of how Mayor Pete will take on the challenges facing New Hampshire and usher in a new era where everyone can succeed,” said New Hampshire state director Michael Ceraso said in a statement.

Meanwhile, CBS News Campaign Reporter Alex Tin reports, in Nevada, Harris’ campaign is out with its 20th endorsement in the state: Washoe County Recorder Kalie Work. They tout Work as a key endorsement from “the only swing county” in Nevada. While once an indisputable battleground in the Silver State, Democrat Jacky Rosen’s resounding defeat in 2018 there of Republican then-Sen. Dean Heller has thrown Washoe’s swing reputation into question. And in the Democratic caucuses, the county has historically handed clear victories to primary candidates in 2008 (Barack Obama) and 2016 (Bernie Sanders)


BIG SENATE $$: CBS News associate producer Ellee Watson finds in the battle for the Senate seat in Michigan, Republican candidate John James raised $1.7 million within one month of his campaign, and the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Gary Peters raised $2.4 million in the second quarter and has $4.7 million on hand. Both parties are fighting hard for this seat. In 2016, the state voted for a Republican presidential candidate for the first time since 1988. Trump beat Clinton by 0.3 percentage points. But since his inauguration, Mr. Trump’s approval rating has decreased by 18 percentage points, according to Morning Consult. And in 2018, Democrats picked up the governor’s seat and two House districts.


CLIMATE:  On Sept. 23, the League of Conservation Voters, The New Republic magazine and Earther (Gizmodo’s environmental news site) are throwing a 2020 Presidential Climate Summit in New York City. Due to the DNC’s rule barring participation in non-DNC hosted debates, the event will have a strictly forum format where candidates will appear on stage one by one and answer moderator questions. The communications director for the Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy group that protested for a climate debate outside the DNC headquarters, told CBS News Political Unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro they will continue to push for a nationally televised, DNC-sanctioned national climate debate. O’Hanlon did say if the DNC doesn’t reverse their ban on a climate debate, they would work with other groups to hold one. Earther senior reporter Brian Kahn said they have already gotten interest from “a number of campaigns” and they are “continuing those campaigns and doing further outreach to those we have yet to hear from.”