Sep 7, 2019

Trump's GOP challengers squeezed out of primaries in Kansas, South Carolina

Joe Walsh and Bill Weld. Photos: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call and Tom Williams/Roll Call

Kansas and South Carolina's Republican parties shuttered their 2020 presidential primaries on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the AP reports.

The big picture, via Axios' White House editor Margaret Talev: Early on, President Trump's campaign team studied the patterns of past presidents who lost re-election and sought to avoid their mistakes. Trump is using the tools he has now to minimize primary challenges so that he can save his money and energy to focus on the general election.

Why it matters: The chances of Trump's only 2 current GOP challengers — Rep. Joe Walsh and former Gov. Bill Weld — being able to build support in these states will be formally constricted. Republican parties in Arizona and Nevada intend to follow Kansas and South Carolina's lead, the New York Times reports, citing 3 people familiar with the states' plans.

What's next: "States that do not hold primaries still choose delegates, often by holding a convention," the Times reports. Nevada has scheduled meetings on Saturday to determine the fate of their primary and Arizona's decision is expected later in September, per the AP.

What they're saying: Walsh compared the president to a "mob boss" for the states' decisions to remove primaries, in an interview with the NYT and on Twitter. Weld told the Times that the move to close primaries "is something that would be appropriate in a monarchy.”

  • “These are decisions made entirely by state parties, and there are volumes of historical precedents to support them,” Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesperson, told the NYT. “Nevertheless, President Trump will dominate and prevail in whatever contest is placed before him.”
  • "The Kansas Republican Party will not organize a Caucus for the 2020 election because President Trump is an elected incumbent from the Republican Party," the Kansas GOP said in a statement on Friday.

Go deeper: More Republicans than Democrats leaving Congress before 2020 election

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, 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 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.

WHO temporarily suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization is temporarily pausing tests of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment in order to review safety concerns, the agency's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu said Monday.

Why it matters: The decision comes after a retrospective review published in The Lancet found that coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine or its related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac death, compared to those who did nothing.