Daily Presidential News Briefing for April 29th, 2020: Amash launches exploratory committee for Libertarian nomination

April 29, 2020: Justin Amash launches an exploratory committee for the Libertarian presidential nomination. Former senior Bernie Sanders aides form a pro-Joe Biden super PAC. 

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Normally, polling places would be secured. Orders for printing ballots would be put in. Machines need to be procured; it’s a little too early to program them. It’s a little early to start hiring for poll workers. But all of the activity that takes place before the election would happen, except in those states that are still going to run primaries.

Preparations need to happen right now. If you’re expecting five times the number of absentee-ballot applications — like Wisconsin saw — you’re going to need to have a printer set up for that, and you’re gonna need to have a procedure set up to mail those ballots out. And if people have to apply for absentee ballots individually, those are all going to have to be processed. Lots needs to happen now that wouldn’t ordinarily have to happen quite so early.”

–  Rick Hasen, professor at University of California, Irvine

Election Updates

  • Justin Amash announced on Tuesday that he was launching an exploratory committee for the Libertarian presidential nomination. He said, “We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together. I’m excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president.”
  • During a virtual town hall on women and COVID-19, Hillary Clinton endorsed Biden.
  • Jeff Weaver and other former senior aides to Bernie Sanders have formed a new group, Future to Believe In, to promote progressive support for Biden.
  • Donald Trump discussed testing capacity, the possibility of community spread in states that are reopening, and the Payroll Protection Program during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Priorities USA is airing an ad in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania attacking Trump on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The narrator says in the clip, “Donald Trump said he would put America first, and now he has. The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases.”
  • Andrew Yang and seven of his New York delegates filed a lawsuit against New York after the board of elections removed Yang’s name from the ballot and canceled the Democratic primary.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: April 29, 2016

Mike Pence said he was voting for Ted Cruz in the Indiana Republican primary. He added, “Let me be very clear on this race: Whoever wins the Republican nation for president of the United States, I’m going to work my heart out to get elected this fall.”