In this Aug. 12, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrive to speak at a news conference at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del. As Democrats gather virtually this week to nominate Joe Biden for the presidency, party leaders and activists across the political spectrum agree on one unifying force: their desire to defeat President Donald Trump. AP
The Latest on the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez says he’s making the most of a virtual convention and that the new framework will allow him to visit with more delegates than he could with a traditional convention.
Perez told The Associated Press on Monday that he expects to attend “50 or 55” delegation and party caucus meetings online this week. There are 57 delegations representing the 50 states, six territories and Democrats Abroad, plus regional caucuses and other demographic-based caucuses.
In a normal convention, Perez said, a chairman might get to “a dozen or so.” That’s because the delegation breakfast meetings take place in and around the host city, all at the same time. That makes it logistically impossible to hop to more than a few each morning. This time, Perez is in the host city of Milwaukee, but he’s based at the party’s control center in what amounts to a remote broadcast studio that allows him to hopscotch across DNC meetings and media interviews.
Perez dropped in virtually to seven gatherings, including the Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland delegations and the DNC Labor Council. He had several more on his list Monday afternoon ahead of the first night of prime-time programming.
Presumptive nominee Joe Biden’s campaign also is dispatching top surrogates to delegation and caucus meetings and evening watch parties. Wisconsin Democrats are marking the start of the Democratic National Convention by blaming President Donald Trump for botching the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
They say that has forced them to cancel the in-person gathering that would have brought about 50,000 people to Milwaukee. Instead, when the convention starts on Monday night it will be delivered virtually, with speakers offering prerecorded or live comments online.
State Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler says the Republican president’s failure to adequately respond to the pandemic is why Democrats had to move to an all-virtual event. Trump’s Wisconsin campaign spokeswoman hasn’t responded to a request for comment.
Wisconsin Democrats tried to put a positive spin on the situation during an online “Welcome to Wisconsin” convention kick-off event Monday morning.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett noted the beautiful weather that would have greeted delegates had the convention gone as initially planned.
Barrett said from his home: “I wish you were here spending all of your money, but you can come back any time. We will leave the lights on.”
Unlike most recent presidential campaigns, it’s unclear whether the Democratic ticket will travel after the party’s national convention in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley-Dillon isn’t saying whether the former vice president or his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, expects to travel to key states this fall.
O’Malley-Dillon tells The Washington Post she’s not as concerned about the travel restrictions as she is about making sure the campaign is “spending the time and building community and connection and engaging with voters.”
President Donald Trump has mocked Biden for his light travel schedule.
O’Malley-Dillon also says the Biden campaign has lawyers ready to litigate any effort to limit voting by mail, which Trump has said without evidence is rife with fraud. Trump said last week he’s starving the U.S. Postal Service of money to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots, which he worries could cost him the election.
O’Malley-Dillon says Biden’s campaign will have “the largest voter protection effort” ever conducted on a presidential campaign.
Democrats’ virtual national convention begins Monday night.
The first night of Democrats’ national convention features a lineup of several former Republican officials who are backing former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.
Officials announced that former Ohio Gov. John Kasich will be making remarks, along with former New York Rep. Susan Molinari and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman.
Also slated for Monday night is Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. Whitman was a senior member of Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential bids but backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Kasich was one of the last contenders in the 2016 GOP primary and has been a fierce critic of Trump.
Biden campaign co-chair and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond says the inclusion of speakers from all political backgrounds reflects a theme of unity during national struggles including the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats are gathering virtually across the country for this week’s national convention, which begins Monday night. Other speakers include House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, former first lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
President Donald Trump says he has “no choice” but to campaign in Wisconsin this week while the Democratic National Convention goes on, in order to address voters there in what he says is a news media environment hostile to him.
Trump says during a morning interview on “Fox and Friends” that he plans to visit Oshkosh on Monday “because we have a fake media in this country, so I have to work. I don’t have time not to.”
Trump describes what he sees as unfair treatment by a news media with “fire out of their eyes” in their questions for him, while presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “doesn’t come out of his basement.”
Biden had largely campaigned virtually throughout the summer but has begun appearing in public, as he did with newly-named running mate Kamala Harris over the weekend.
Trump plans an afternoon campaign stop at a private air hangar in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a pivotal state in the quest for a majority of the Electoral College votes. The Democratic convention is being held in Milwaukee this week, but mainly features speakers addressing the event virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: AP NEWS