Biden joins the race now 20 for 2020- What's Your Point?

This week’s panel:  Wayne Dolcefino – media consultant, Laura Moser – former Democratic congressional candidate, Bob Price – Associate Editor of Breitbart Texas, Carmen Roe – Houston Attorney, Kathleen McKinley – conservative blogger, Antonio Diaz- writer, educator and radio host, talk about presidential candidate Joe Biden.


Former Vice President Joe Biden is reporting he raised $6.3 million in the first day of his campaign, the most of any of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in the first 24 hours after their announcements.

In a news release Friday, Biden's campaign says he raised the money from nearly 97,000 individuals across all 50 states, including 65,000 who weren't solicited by email.

Biden edged former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's first-day total of $6.1 million and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' sum of slightly less than $6 million.

Biden attended a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Thursday evening aimed at raising $500,000. Hosts said Friday raised substantially more.

The former vice president under Barack Obama entered the race Thursday, declaring the "soul of this nation" at stake under President Donald Trump's administration.

He's already scheduled at least two fundraisers in Los Angeles on May 8: one at the home of Joe Waz, a retired telecommunications executive, and Dr. Cynthia Telles, a professor at UCLA's School of Medicine, and the other at the home of James Costos, Obama's ambassador to Spain. Co-hosts of Costos' event include Richard Blum, the husband of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein; movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg; and other top Obama and Hillary Clinton donors.

NEW YORK (AP) - As she campaigned through Iowa this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts didn't hesitate to jab the newest contender in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary: Joe Biden.

"Our disagreement is a matter of public record," Warren said, referring to Biden's past support of a massive bankruptcy overhaul. "Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies."

The early days of the 2020 Democratic primary have been defined by order, amicable disagreement and an overwhelming focus on defeating President Donald Trump.

No more.

Biden's campaign launch on Thursday ushered in a new phase in the nominating contest. With the field largely set, the leading candidates have begun to turn on one another, raising the prospect of an ugly fight for the future of the party that could have lasting consequences for Democrats' quest to reclaim the White House.

Progressive groups aligned with Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took aim at Biden, portraying him as out of step with today's Democratic Party. They railed against his connections to big corporations, his past support for a "grand bargain" that would have cut Social Security and Medicare, and his support for a 1994 crime bill that disproportionately hurt minorities.

"For numerous reasons, Joe Biden is the least electable Democrat that we could possibly nominate," said Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal group known as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has long supported Warren's presidential ambitions. "We're in a new moment. This is not Joe Biden's moment."

Sanders' campaign manager slapped at the former vice president in a fundraising message titled "Joe Biden."

"Not only are we taking on a political and corporate establishment that will do and spend whatever it takes to stop us, but we are running against a record number of candidates at the same time," Faiz Shakir wrote. He added: "There are a lot of candidates in this race right now. But there is only one Bernie Sanders."

Biden's campaign said Friday it raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours since announcing, narrowly besting Sanders' first-day haul.

Desperate to deny Trump a second term, Democrats can ill afford any lasting divisions that could depress turnout come November 2020.

The early infighting has already caught the attention of party leaders like Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman, of New York, who helped raise money for former President Barack Obama and Biden in years past.

"The No. 1 issue that I've seen across the country is Democrats staying focused on beating Donald Trump. I demand that Democrats remain positive with each other," Zimmerman said. "Any Democrat who tries to build their message by maligning or attacking personally their opponent is going to disqualify themselves."

Yet the battle lines are quickly hardening. With emboldened liberals on one side, pro-Biden establishment leaders in Congress and labor unions are lining up on the other.

Biden, who served in the Senate for nearly four decades, won immediate endorsements from Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California had already declared her support. None of the other 2020 contenders has the endorsement of more than one U.S. senator.

The largest firefighters union in the country, the International Association of Firefighters, was also preparing to endorse Biden. Group leaders have said they would be "investing" heavily in his campaign.

Biden himself took an indirect swipe at his Democratic competitors earlier in the month as he defended his liberal bona fides: "The definition of 'progressive' now seems to be changing. And that is, Are you a socialist?'" he said. Sanders, who is Biden's closest competitor in recent polls, describes himself as a democratic socialist.

The establishment support lining up behind Biden could embolden his critics on the left.

Prominent black Democrats seized on the 1994 crime bill, which Biden helped craft and is now blamed for creating an environment of mass incarceration that disproportionately hurt people of color.

"So @JoeBiden you were the author of the 94 Crime Bill, it's champion, and #1 cheerleader," tweeted Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina state Democratic elected official and prominent African American voice on television. "This bill has led to mass incarceration and specifically targeted black and brown people. What are your plans to unravel the damage you helped to cause?"

Of course, there's time for Biden to win over the critics. Primary voting begins in roughly nine months, and the general election isn't until November 2020.

Some of Biden's liberal attackers indicated they would support him over Trump should Biden win the nomination. In a nod to his opponents, he also hired former Sanders' aide, Symone Sanders, to serve as a senior campaign strategist.

Biden and his wife "are a class act," tweeted Symone Sanders, who isn't related to Bernie Sanders. "Over the course of this campaign, Vice President Biden is going to make his case to the American (people). He won't always be perfect, but I believe he will get it right."

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump says he feels "young" and "vibrant" at age 72 and thinks he can beat 76-year-old Joe Biden "easily."

A reporter asked Trump at the White House on Friday how old is too old to be president of the United States.

Trump said: "I just feel like a young man. I'm so young. I can't believe it. ... I'm a young vibrant man."

Then he smiled and said he's not sure about Democratic presidential contender Biden, the second-oldest contender in the race behind Bernie Sanders.

Trump said: "I look at Joe. I don't know about him."

Biden, in an interview on ABC's "The View," joked in response that if Trump "looks young and vibrant compared to me, I should probably go home."

WASHINGTON (AP) - Declaring the "soul of this nation" at stake, former Vice President Joe Biden pushed into the crowded 2020 presidential contest and quickly sparked a fierce debate over the direction of the modern-day Democratic Party.

Ignoring the political noise in his own party, Biden aimed directly at Donald Trump in an announcement video seizing on the Republican president's response to the deadly clash between white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, two years ago. That was the spur for him to launch a third presidential bid , Biden said, noting Trump's comments that there were some "very fine people" on both sides of the violent encounter, which left one woman dead.

"We are in the battle for the soul of this nation," Biden declared on Thursday. "If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation - who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen."

Yet Biden will get a chance to take on Trump only if he survives a Democratic field that now spans at least 20 contenders. And his party's more liberal wing was far from welcoming in the hours immediately after he declared his candidacy. Justice Democrats, a group created from the remnants of Bernie Sanders' failed 2016 campaign, came out against Biden on Thursday and spent much of the day assailing him on social media.

As an older white man with often centrist views, Biden must now prove he's not out of step with Democrats trying to push the party to the left.

He's been taking steps in recent weeks to clean up perceived missteps from his long record in elected office, including his role as a senator in allowing sexual harassment accuser Anita Hill to be grilled by an all-male committee during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

A campaign aide said Biden has privately contacted Hill to share "his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country." But The New York Times reported Thursday that Hill said in an interview she was deeply unsatisfied and unconvinced by his apology.

Biden has also highlighted his role in authoring the Violence Against Women Act nearly three decades ago, legislation that is credited with reducing domestic violence nationwide.

Still, the 76-year-old Scranton, Pennsylvania, native's political liabilities are many.

He would be the oldest person ever elected president - Trump was 70 in 2016 - even as his party embraces a new generation of diversity. He has yet to outline his positions on issues defining the 2020 Democratic primary, most notably "Medicare for All ," the universal health care plan authored by Sanders that has been embraced in one form or another by virtually the entire Democratic field.

Biden is betting that his working-class appeal and ties to Barack Obama's presidency will help him win over skeptics. He quickly racked up endorsements Thursday morning, becoming the first Democrat running for president with the backing of more than one U.S. senator.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., who previously served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he had urged the former vice president to run and highlighted Biden's potential electability when asked to assess African Americans' feelings.

"Black voters are saying the same thing that white Democrats are saying: We can't afford to lose. That is a big message. That's a big motivator," Richmond said.

Obama has so far declined to endorse Biden, however, and several former Obama aides are now working for other candidates. Biden addressed Obama's position as he briefly faced reporters in Delaware on Thursday.

"I asked President Obama not to endorse," Biden said. "Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits."

While he didn't endorse, Obama took the unusual step of weighing in on Thursday's announcement.

"President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made," Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill said. "He relied on the vice president's knowledge, insight and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today."

Trump was quick to pounce on Biden, who he has nicknamed "Sleepy Joe."

"I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign," Trump said. "It will be nasty - you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate."

Privately, Trump allies have warned that Biden might be the biggest re-election threat given the former vice president's potential appeal among the white working class in the Midwest, the region that gave Trump a path to the presidency.

Biden is paying special attention to Pennsylvania, a state that swung to Trump in 2016 after voting for Democratic presidential candidates for decades. While Biden represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years, he was often referred to as Pennsylvania's third senator.

The former vice president will be in the state three times within the opening weeks of his campaign. He was in Philadelphia on Thursday evening headlining a fundraiser at the home of David L. Cohen, executive senior vice president of Comcast. Biden was aiming to raise $500,000 at the event.

In remarks during the fundraiser via a video obtained from attendees, Biden said of the Trump era: "I'm hoping that in a couple years, we'll look back and say - whether it is me or anybody else replacing him - that this is an aberration in American history, this four years, because it's not who we are."

Biden will hold his first public event as a 2020 presidential candidate in Pittsburgh on Monday. Then it's off to Iowa, home of the leadoff nominating caucuses, on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by two days in South Carolina. He'll visit the other two early-voting states, Nevada and New Hampshire, in early May before holding a major rally in Philadelphia.

Biden's first media appearance is set for Friday morning on ABC's "The View," a move that may help him make an appeal to women whose support will be crucial to winning the primary. He also hired Symone Sanders to serve as a senior strategist, tapping a prominent African American who previously worked for Biden's chief competitor, Bernie Sanders, in the 2016 presidential contest.

As Biden neared his campaign launch, his challenges came into greater focus.

He struggled last month to respond to claims that he touched 2014 Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores' shoulders and kissed the back of her head before a fall campaign event. A handful of other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.

Biden, a former U.S. senator from Delaware, pledged in an online video to be "much more mindful" of respecting personal space but joked two days later that he "had permission" to hug a male union leader before addressing the group's national conference.

On another issue he'll have to address throughout the campaign, Biden once played a key role in anti-crime legislation that had a disproportionately negative impact on African Americans. And last month he struggled to explain comments he made as a freshman senator in 1975 about the school busing debate.

Despite the challenges, his high-profile status in the race may make it difficult for his competitors. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker cast Biden's announcement as a direct threat to his own campaign in a fundraising appeal.

"The truth is this poses a real challenge for an underdog campaign like ours," Booker said.