2020 Daily Trail Markers: Dems get ready for debate night in Detroit


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Just in time for the second round of the 2020 Democratic debates, on Monday Sen. Kamala Harris released her version of a “Medicare for All” plan. While the campaign says she is still a co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bill, Harris’ proposal has some key differences, including expanding the transition period from four years (as proposed by Sanders) to ten years, calling on private insurance to offer Medicare plans and allowing families of four making less than $100,000 and those within designated “high-cost” areas to be exempt from a middle class tax hike. 

The California senator also visited two minority-owned businesses on northwest Detroit’s “Avenue of Fashion” on Monday morning. While there, she responded to former Vice President Joe Biden recently saying he would not be as polite – a comment directed at Harris following their first debate interaction. 

“My mother raised me to be polite and I intend to be polite,” said Harris. “I will express differences and articulate them and certainly point out where we have differences in opinion because I believe that democrats and the American voter have a right to know that. But there’s no reason we can’t be polite.” 

When asked what advice she may have for Sen. Cory Booker on night two, Harris told CBS News Campaign Reporter Stephanie Ramirez that “Cory Booker is brilliant and he knows what to do. I don’t need to tell him what to do.” Harris added that she would “tell him to be himself. That’s it.” 

Harris started off speaking to the press with a statement expressing her sorrow to families whose loved ones were killed and injured in Gilroy, California over the weekend.  The Harris campaign also tells CBS News they have over 450 volunteer-organized watch parties in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for the second Democratic debates. This is more than double the number from the first Democratic debates, according to a Harris campaign spokesperson. 

REP. TIM RYAN: Over the weekend, CBS News Campaign Reporter LaCrai Mitchell asked Rep. Tim Ryan how he’s preparing for the debates during his visit to Greenville, South Carolina. He said that voters can expect a familiar message from the last debate. 

“You’re going to hear the same thing—talking about getting wages up, and rebuilding the middle class, and really getting away from this left right divide that we have in the country right now,” said Ryan. “It’s got to be about new ideas, new politics, new ways of solving these old problems and that’s what I’m going to be providing, that’s what I’ve been talking about, we’re going to continue talking about that during the debates.” 

The Ohio congressman also mentioned that because the Detroit debates are in his “neck of the woods,” he plans to drive to them. 


DOWN SOUTH: After defending President Trump’s criticism of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and his majority-black Maryland district on CBS News’Face the Nation, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is receiving backlash from the Democratic Party in the state he once represented as a member of Congress. South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Trav Robertson says it’s laughable for Mulvaney to criticize any district after failing to eliminate the poverty gap in certain counties within the state. 

“Mick Mulvaney flat out lied about the problems people face in SC-5 while defending the racist rants that are used to energize Trump’s base,” said Robertson. “Representative Cummings has done more to advance the ideals that make America a land of opportunity than Trump and Mulvaney have the mental acuity to imagine.” 

Before being selected by the president to join his administration, Mulvaney served as the Republican U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. CBS News Campaign Reporter LaCrai Mitchell spoke with a couple voters who were familiar with the president’s tweets, and one independent voter, who didn’t want to give their name, said the tweets were “reprehensible” and that the president should consider “keeping his mouth shut” sometimes.


ON THE $$$: The Democratic super PAC Priorities USA announced Monday that it raised $23.4 million through the end of June. The cash haul is part of $88 million in commitments obtained by the independent Democratic committee. This is the most money raised by Priorities in the first half of an off-year in its history, says CBS News Political Unit Associate Producer Sarah Ewall-Wice. At this stage of the 2016 election cycle, Priorities had raised $15.7 million. 

“We are thrilled with the level of support we have received at this early stage of the 2020 cycle,” said Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil. The fundraising announcement comes after Priorities USA launched a $100 million spending program in 2019 and early 2020 beginning in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that included a six-figure digital ad campaign last month ahead of Mr. Trump’s re-election kickoff rally. 


TO YOUR HEALTH: Texas Sen. John Cornyn accused Democrats on Twitter Monday of not joining Republicans in the fight to guarantee coverage of pre-existing conditions even though Cornyn is one of the senators who voted to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act in 2017. 

A spokesperson for Cornyn told CBS News Political Unit Associate Producer Ellee Watson that Cornyn’s tweet referred to Democrats refusing to jump on the Protect Act that Cornyn co-sponsored in April, which is designed to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the bill falls short of its stated goal by allowing insurers to exclude coverage of essential health benefits like mental health care, sell plans with no limit on out-of-pocket costs, and charge older people far more than young people. 

Cornyn’s vote to repeal the ACA is featured in a video released by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to mark the two-year anniversary of the votes. The Senate failed to repeal parts of the ACA in July 2017 in a 49-51 vote with three Republicans voting not to repeal.    


IN THE HOUSE: CBS News Broadcast Associate Aaron Navarro reports within the past seven days, four Republican U.S. Representatives have announced they would not seek re-election in 2020. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah was the latest to do so when announced Monday he would not seek a ninth term. 

In 2012, Bishop promised to voters he’d retire after serving out a House committee leadership position, and his role as chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources expires in 2020. According to CBS News’ latest count so far this year, Bishop joins six other Republican House members and one Democrat who have announced they would not run for re-election. 

In the east, New Jersey House Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer is facing a new progressive primary challenger. Arati Kreibich, a city councilwoman in the district, campaigned for Gottheimer’s re-election in 2018 but later criticized his role in passing the Senate’s iteration of the border security bill through the house. 

Kreibich’s announcement video highlights her immigrant background and how Mr. Trump’s election motivated her to run for public office. “And now I’m running again because incremental change isn’t cutting it,” she said in the video. Republicans have targeted Gottheimer’s seat in 2020, and GOP House campaign arm spokesman Michael McAdams pointed to the district going for Trump in 2016. “The last thing Josh Gottheimer needs is a primary challenger who will push him even further to the left,” he said. However, Gottheimer has shown his fundraising chops, recording close to a million dollars in the second quarter of the year alone. 

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