Politics

Warren Out of 2020 Presidential Race, but Democratic Field Still Crowded

Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Biden unofficially remain as Trump launches 'Keep America Great!' campaign

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told “Fox News Sunday” she is “not running for president in 2020,” ending speculation that she would be among a dozen or more Democrats seeking to take on President Donald Trump and his “America First” agenda.

“I am not running for president in 2020,” Warren told Fox News’ John Roberts. “I have an election right now in 2018, here in Massachusetts, and I’m out there talking to folks all across the Bay State. I just did my 23rd, I think it is, town hall in Weymouth on Saturday, my 22nd on Friday in Springfield.”

Warren, perhaps the most liberal member of an extremely left-wing Senate Democratic caucus, has been among the most frequently mentioned 2020 prospects since Trump’s stunning defeat of the party’s heavily favored 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton.

With Warren now out of the 2020 presidential running, here’s a refresher on others among the multiple potential Democratic candidates who’ve stoked significant speculation since Trump’s victory:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders, a self-avowed socialist who briefly joined the Democrats when he unsuccessfully challenged Clinton in 2016, is expected to again offer himself as an anti-Establishment candidate speaking for lower- and middle-class Americans.

Although he lost to Clinton in a contest former acting Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Donna Brazile has said was rigged from the outset, Sanders resonated with millennials in a way Clinton never did. He ran on a progressive platform pushing free college tuition, a single-payer health care system, and sharp increases in minimum wages for blue-collar workers.

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Although Sanders hasn’t yet made any 2020 announcements, he provoked speculation last summer by touching base with his grass-roots supporters in Iowa, which hosts the nation’s first presidential primary contest.

Sanders also told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in September that “the current model of the Democratic Party obviously is not working” and must be exchanged for a much more “progressive agenda” if Democrats plan to make 2018 and 2020 comebacks.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Harris, a vehement Trump critic, fueled 2020 speculation almost as soon as she became a senator in 2017, and she’s done much in the months since to position herself as a potential contender.

“This past weekend, Sen. Kamala Harris went to Selma, Alabama, to march with civil rights activists across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and to speak at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast.” Then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “also made that trip in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election,” Politico’s David Siders wrote Saturday.

Harris announced in August 2017 her support of Sanders’ single-payer “Medicare for All” bill and staunchly opposes Trump’s enforcement of federal immigration laws, blasting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation raids across California.

Harris urged ICE not to “abuse the power” it had by targeting illegal immigrants and slammed Trump for deciding “to scapegoat these communities.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Booker, like Harris, supports Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill and rejects Trump’s immigration enforcement agenda. He made headlines in January by hijacking a Senate hearing with an emotional 11-minute lecture of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. He claimed to have cried “tears of rage” upon hearing of Trump’s “s***holes” description of Haiti and several African nations.

Related: Homeland Security Chief Calls Cory Booker’s 11-Minute Lecture ‘Inappropriate’

“And for you not to feel that hurt and that pain, and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues, saying, ‘I’ve already answered that line of questions,’ when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now because of what they’re worried about what happened in the White House, that’s unacceptable to me,” Booker told Nielsen.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Gillibrand has made a name for herself by embracing the #MeToo women’s rights movement and calling for Trump’s resignation in December 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him during the 2016 campaign.

But Trump pointed to Gillbrand’s past defense of former President Bill Clinton, who has repeatedly been accused of sexual misconduct since the 1980s. Trump called her a “lightweight senator” and “total flunky” for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Related: Trump Is Rebounding Against 2020 Democratic Rivals

But Gillibrand made waves when she admitted regretting her earlier silence on Clinton and accused Trump of using a “sexist smear meant to silence” her. She also bucked many of her Democratic colleagues by calling early on for former Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) resignation following sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D). A Democrat from Delaware, Biden admitted he regretted not running for president against Trump in 2016, although he believes not running was the correct decision for his family at the time. His son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

Biden was a dutiful vice president under Obama, but Biden is more of a traditional 1960s labor-liberal Democrat and could thus pose some danger to Trump’s re-election bid, according to a smattering of polls showing Biden beating Trump in a 2020 matchup.

For his part, Trump said he remains optimistic about his chances. During a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, the president said his 2020 campaign slogan will be “Keep America Great!”

“We can’t say ‘Make America Great Again,’ because I already did that,” Trump said. “I look forward to 2020, because I want to see how far Left the person that we’re going to run against is going to be.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

(photo credit, homepage image: Cory Booker, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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