Political News

The Latest: Biden raises record $383 million in September

Posted October 14, 2020 9:44 p.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2020 9:49 p.m. EDT

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to speak at Southwest Focal Point Community Center in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

— The Latest on the 2020 presidential race (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden raised $383 million for his election effort in September, a record-breaking sum that eclipses the unprecedented fundraising from the previous month.

The haul, announced Wednesday night, leaves him with $432 million in the bank just weeks before the Nov. 3 election. He raised the money in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee.

The gobs of cash Biden has raised since securing the nomination amount to a complete reversal in fortune for the former vice president. During the Democratic primary, he struggled to raise cash and was almost broke by the time he won the South Carolina primary, which catapulted him to a commanding Super Tuesday performance.

In the months since, a flood of donations and low spending has enabled him to eclipse President Donald Trump’s once-formidable cash reserves. Biden's campaign and the DNC raised $364 million in August.

In the tweet announcing his September haul, Biden thanked his supporters and said he was “humbled.” He added: “There’s still more work to be done, but I wanted to share the good news.”

The Trump campaign hasn’t yet released their September fundraising numbers.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is being forced to play Electoral College defense with a trip to Iowa, a state he won handily in 2016 but where Democrat Joe Biden is making a late push. Biden doesn’t have any public campaign events scheduled Wednesday.

Read more:

— Democrats, Republicans stretch for hard-to-get districts in House races.

— AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsifies Biden stance on fracking.

— NBC sets Trump town hall.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

9 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he doesn’t mind running against former Vice President Joe Biden, but he wouldn’t want to run against his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

Speaking to supporters in Iowa on Wednesday, Trump got some of his biggest cheers when he brought up her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He joked, “Please promise me, Amy, you’ll never run.”

Trump calls Barrett a “great intellect” who is deftly handling the questioning she is getting, particularly from Democrats, and “she handles it like nothing.”

Trump says he hasn’t spoken with Barrett for a few days, “and I just want to say we made the right choice with Amy.”

If Barrett is confirmed, which is expected, she would replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month.

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8:55 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama says his administration’s inability to eliminate racial bias in the criminal justice system may have left some Americans “skeptical about what the government can do.”

Obama was asked on an episode of “Pod Save America” released Wednesday night about what he would say to anyone still deciding whether to vote in next month’s presidential election — especially young people and minorities.

“Some of them may have been frustrated about my failure to have completely transformed the criminal justice system to eliminate racial bias,” Obama responded. “Part of that is because 90% of criminal sentencing typically is taking place at the state rather than the federal level.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed to address institutional racism in the criminal justice system during his first 100 days in office. Obama didn’t address that goal specifically but said government can’t solve some of the nation’s most ingrained problems “overnight.”

Still, Obama said that’s no reason not to cast a ballot.

“The idea that you’d give away your power because you’re not getting 100% when you could get 30%, 40%, 50% better, that doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

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3:20 p.m.

A Michigan congressman says he tested positive for the coronavirus before he was scheduled to appear at a campaign rally in the state with Vice President Mike Pence.

Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga said on Twitter on Wednesday that he took a rapid test and was isolating while awaiting results from a second test to confirm the results.

Pence spoke for about an hour outdoors at Lacks Enterprises in Cascade Township, near Grand Rapids. Peter Meijer, a Republican running for Congress, greeted and introduced Pence.

Pence says, “The road to victory runs right through Michigan.”

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will present the Medal of Freedom to Dan Gable, a renowned wrestler and coach from Iowa.

Trump’s decision to award one of the nation’s highest civilian honors to Gable comes during a tight race in a state in which Gable is a sports legend. He was a champion wrestler at Iowa State University, and as a coach, led the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA team titles. He also won the gold medal in the 1972 Olympics.

Trump told the local ABC station in Des Moines on Wednesday that he would be presenting the award to Gable “today or shortly thereafter.” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also tweeted that congratulations were in order for Gable.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to people who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, or to its culture or other significant endeavors. Trump has presented the award to several athletes during his nearly four years in office.

Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally at the Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday.

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11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is describing the choice for voters in the Nov. 3 election as a “choice between the socialist nightmare and the American dream.”

Trump is promising a COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year and claiming that if “the left wins power” they will shut down the economy and prolong the pandemic.

Trump was speaking Wednesday to economists from Washington, New York, Pittsburgh and elsewhere in a video address from the White House.

The pitch is comparable to the message Trump is delivering at rallies as the election campaign enters its final three weeks.

Trump, his voice raspy at times, called for those at lower risk of severe illness to the novel coronavirus to return to more normal economic activity. He says lockdowns are needlessly destroying lives.

He says he’ll push for more infrastructure investment in a second term, though Republicans and Democrats have struggled over how to pay for better roads, bridges and mass transit. He says he’ll continue to push for tax cuts while Democrats want to raise taxes.

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7:55 a.m.

In lieu of a formal debate, President Donald Trump has agreed to answer voters’ questions during a town hall program sponsored by NBC News on Thursday night.

The event will be held outdoors at the Perez Art Museum in Miami.

NBC News says it has a statement from National Institutes of Health clinical director Dr. Clifford Lane indicating he and White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci have reviewed Trump’s medical data and concluded with a “high degree of confidence” the president is “not shedding infectious virus.”

Trump tested positive for the coronavirus Oct. 2. He spent three days at the Walter Reed military hospital. He resumed public appearances over the weekend and resumed campaign travel Monday.

A formal matchup between the Republican president and Democrat Joe Biden that was scheduled for Thursday in Miami by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debate was canceled. The commission shifted the format from a town hall to a virtual meeting, and Trump declined to participate.

Biden is participating in an ABC News town hall Thursday in Philadelphia.

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