Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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DNC's new debate rules open the door for Bloomberg

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former VP Joe Biden. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Democratic debate scheduled for Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, just before the Nevada caucus, will eliminate the requirement that candidates onstage have a specific number of donors, AP reports.

Why it matters: That decision could open the stage to billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who has been self-funding his campaign.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.

Experts raise concerns about new census tech in wake of Iowa

The Government Accountability Office, the Census Bureau's inspector general and some lawmakers doubt whether the U.S. census, which begins its every-10-year count next month, is ready for prime time, AP's Mike Schneider writes.

Why it matters: The Census Bureau plans to try out a lot of new technology, but some of it is not fully tested.

Donald Trump, the luckiest man

President Trump at a New Hampshire rally on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is capitalizing on three years of political, economic and global trends that have exceeded forecasts. He has also benefited from a run of extraordinary good luck.

Why it matters: Trump’s top advisers privately marvel at how he flirts with disaster only to catch a big break, whether it's the Iranians botching their response to his military attack or Democrats embarrassing themselves in Iowa on impeachment eve.

Buttigieg: I'm not going to be "lectured on family values" by Rush Limbaugh

Pete Buttigieg responded on "Fox News Sunday" to comments by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who received bipartisan criticism last week for saying voters aren't going to elect the former mayor because he's a "37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband" on stage after debates.

Why it matters: Limbaugh’s comments came only days after President Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s top civilian honor, during the State of the Union address. Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to launch a major presidential campaign.

Klobuchar says she has raised $12 million since New Hampshire debate

Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that her campaign has raised $12 million online in the nine days since the New Hampshire debate.

Why it matters: That's more than the Minnesota senator raised in the fourth quarter of 2019, which had been her strongest quarter yet. It follows a surprise third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, where she trounced both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — once believed to be Democratic front-runners.

Over 1,100 former DOJ officials call for Barr's resignation

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations have signed onto a statement condemning Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the sentencing of President Trump's associate Roger Stone, arguing that his actions "require" him to resign.

The big picture: Barr is facing widespread condemnation from Democrats for taking a hands-on role in a number of politically sensitive investigations, including the Stone case, a review of the origins of the Russia probe, and most recently the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Sanders: Bloomberg will not create the "energy" needed to beat Trump

Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into fellow 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg at a campaign event in Las Nevas on Saturday, arguing that the billionaire and former mayor "will not create the energy and excitement" needed to generate high voter turnout and defeat President Trump.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

How Joe Biden's free fall puts Bernie in command

Data: RealClearPolitics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Bernie Sanders hasn't picked up the voters who are deserting Joe Biden, but he's the clear beneficiary of the former vice president's rapid collapse.

The big picture: Of the top six candidates in the race, Sanders' polling numbers have changed the least over the last few weeks — but Biden's fall has made Sanders the biggest winner, since the moderate vote is now splintered four ways.

Nancy Pelosi: I'm not counting Joe Biden out of the 2020 race

Nancy Pelosi speaks during the Munich Security Conference at Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Germany on Friday. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN in an interview airing Monday that she's "not counting Joe Biden out" following the former vice president's disappointing finishes in the Iowa and New Hampshire Democratic primaries.

What she's saying: "There are still races ahead that are much more representative of the country," Pelosi told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview in Munich, Germany, Saturday. Pelosi also defended tearing up her copy of President Trump's State of the Union address on Feb. 4 amid criticism from Republicans, who said it was a '"breach of decorum." She said she only decided to do so after she read the speech and found its content "terrible."

Go deeper: Poll: Joe Biden loses status as most electable Democrat

DNC releases qualification rules for South Carolina Democratic debate

2020 candidates at the Nov. 20 Democratic debate in Atlanta. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee released its new rules Saturday for this month's South Carolina presidential debate ahead of the state's Feb. 29 primary.

Why it matters: The Feb. 25 debate in Charleston, South Carolina, is the final one before Super Tuesday on March 3.

Biden: Sanders must disassociate himself from attacks on union leaders

Joe Biden during a South Carolina campaign launch party, Feb. 11, Columbia, South Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview airing Sunday his 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders needs to do more to address "misogynistic" online threats to leaders of the Nevada Culinary Workers Union.

Why it matters: Biden's comments come ahead of Nevada's caucuses next Saturday. The union, representing some 60,000 workers, is the most influential in the state.
Its leaders announced last Thursday it would not endorse any Democratic candidate.

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