Jun 13, 2019

Beto O'Rourke: The country can do "far better" than Joe Biden

2020 candidate Beto O'Rourke acknowledged on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday former Vice President Joe Biden was "a return to the past," emphasizing "that cannot be who we are going forward."

"He is [a return to the past]. And that cannot be who we are going forward. We've got to be bigger. ... You've got to ask yourself where Joe Biden is on the issues that are most important to you. Did he support the war in Iraq that forever destabilized the Middle East? Does he really believe that women of lower incomes should be able to make their own decisions about their own body, to be able to afford health care in order to do that? He supported the Hyde Amendment; he now opposes the Hyde Amendment."
"... I'm not exactly sure what he believes or what he should apologize for. I only know that this country should be able to do far better."

The big picture: Campaign aides told Axios' Alexi McCammond last month that there wasn't a real incentive to attack one another just yet, and that it would be especially unwise if they tried to go after Biden. That has changed for some candidates, including for O'Rourke — who has found himself dropping as low 2% in 2020 polls months after drawing significant media attention at his campaign launch in March.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

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Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 28 mins ago - Health

Wall Street falls into correction territory as coronavirus rout intensifies

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

The S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq all entered correction territory on Thursday, down 10% from their recent record highs amid a global market rout that began earlier this week.

The big picture: Stocks fell 3% for a time on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world, according to CNBC.

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.