Feb 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Democratic candidates lean on Obama in TV ads

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/ Getty Images

Former President Obama has refrained from endorsing any of the Democratic primary candidates, but that hasn't stopped a slew of the 2020 contenders from invoking the president's image in their campaign ads, Politico reports.

Why it matters: “It’s the perfect visual validation. Voters can recognize Barack Obama in a nano-second,” Eric Jaye, Democratic political consultant told Politico. “Obama might as well be on Mt. Rushmore for Democrats. It’s so powerful and instantaneous.”

The state of play: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer have all aired ads depicting Obama.

  • Five new ads featuring Obama aired the week of the Iowa caucus in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, per Politico.
  • Most of the ads show Obama mentioning the candidates by name, while others just flash a photo of the 44th president.
  • Biden was the first candidate to highlight his relationship with Obama. One ad uses audio from when Obama awarded Biden the Medal of Freedom.
  • Bloomberg paid more than $1.2 million to have his Obama TV ad air in over 70 markets — more than any other candidate, Politico notes.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,929,312 — Total deaths: 357,781 — Total recoveries — 2,385,926Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,709,996 — Total deaths: 101,002 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Business: Louisiana senator says young people are key to reopening the economy —U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

Go deeper: Twitter vs. Trump... vs. Twitter

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy