Biden addresses controversy over fundraiser co-host
Despite the pushback, Joe Biden went ahead with a fundraiser last night that was co-hosted by a founder of a natural gas company, which some activists said violated the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.
“I just want to be very clear to everyone here: I am committed to not raising money from fossil fuel executives and I am not doing that tonight,” Biden told fundraiser attendees. “Climate change presents an existential threat, and it is real … I’m so tired of having a president who picks fiction over science.”
Meanwhile, a couple dozen protesters outside the event chanted phrases like, “Hey hey, hey Joe, fracked gas has got to go.”
Biden chose to blame the controversy on a “mild misrepresentation,” and his aides have pointed out that the host in question, Andrew Goldman, is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the natural gas company.
But climate activists are still crying foul, accusing Biden of playing semantics to get around the pledge that he signed. It doesn’t help matters that many Democrats are already displeased about Biden holding high-dollar fundraisers at all.
But given the former vice president’s steady position atop most polls despite a series of recent gaffes, it seems unlikely that this flare-up will move the needle much.
Howard Schultz scraps his potential White House bid
Happy Friday, live blog readers!
Well, that’s one less person running for president. Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, announced that he would not pursue the independent presidential bid he has been toying with since January.
“My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time,” Schultz wrote in a letter posted to his website.
Schulz also noted that “not enough people today are willing to consider backing an independent candidate because they fear doing so might lead to re-electing a uniquely dangerous incumbent president”.
That last sentiment will likely frustrate the many Democrats who have been making that same argument to Schultz for months. But it will still come as a relief on the left that Schultz, who presented himself as a pragmatic alternative to some of the more progressive presidential candidates, will not split the anti-Trump vote.
More than anything, the announcement came as a shock to those who forgot Schultz was still considering a bid, given that back surgery has left him unable to campaign since June. This Slate headline neatly summed it up: “Former Starbucks CEO Reminds Everyone He Was Thinking of Running for President by Announcing He Won’t.”
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Donald Trump has no publicly scheduled events and is already tweeting about everything from immigration to interest rates.
- Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will appear on the Breakfast Club.
- Hurricane Dorian, now a category 1 storm, is unleashing its havoc on North Carolina. The Guardian will have live coverage of the storm as it progresses.
That’s all still coming up, so stay tuned.