Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: June 1-5, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.     

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

– Statement by James Mattis, former U.S. secretary of defense

“Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted two words that succinctly describe the winning coalition that will assure his November reelection: ‘SILENT MAJORITY.’ This prompted a considerable amount of fustian mirth from the Twitter mob, a number of ostensibly serious opinion pieces in the corporate media, and contemptuous dismissal by the Democrats. The consensus was that Trump was indulging a Nixonian fantasy whereby white suburbanites frightened by an increasingly diverse electorate would save his presidency. This interpretation betrays profound ignorance about the term ‘silent majority,’ which never had any racial connotation, and disregards what suburban voters really fear — Democratic incompetence in a time of economic uncertainty and social unrest. …

So, what about that silent majority? The Morning Consult poll noted above makes it clear that they want order restored. This, along with a fast economic recovery, is precisely what the president has pledged. Meanwhile, Trump’s likely general election opponent maunders about systemic racism while struggling to keep his figures straight concerning how many lives and jobs have been lost to the pandemic. As former Clinton pollster Doug Schoen writes, ‘The political risk to Democrats is becoming associated with the riots … which would result in the party losing the White House and risking their House majority.’ The Democrats already own the riots, and the silent majority is quietly counting the days to November 3.”

– David CatronThe American Spectator

Week in Review

Trump, RNC say Republican nomination will not be held in North Carolina

Trump tweeted on June 2, “Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love. Now, @NC_Governor Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena – Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and … then tell them they will not be able to gain entry. Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of … millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State. Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

A statement from the Republican National Committee said, “Due to the directive from the governor that our convention cannot go on as planned as required by our rules, the celebration of the president’s acceptance of the Republican nomination will be held in another city. … Should the governor allow more than 10 people in a room, we still hope to conduct the official business of the convention in Charlotte.”

According to Axios, “The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host.”

Biden, Trump win Tuesday primaries

Joe Biden and Donald Trump won primaries in Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C., on June 2. Biden won an estimated 406 pledged delegates in those races and Bernie Sanders won 44, with delegates in some states yet to be assigned. This brings Biden to 1,972 out of the 1,991 delegates needed to secure the nomination, according to the Associated Press.

Trump speaks about protests, walks to St. John’s Episcopal Church

On June 1, Trump spoke about protests following the death of George Floyd before law enforcement cleared an area outside the White House and Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church. Trump said, “… we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.  The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their President, I will fight to keep them safe.  I will fight to protect you.  I am your President of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

Biden speaks in Philadelphia about George Floyd death, protests 

Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia on June 2. He said, “I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain. I’ll do my job and I’ll take responsibility — I won’t blame others.” Biden’s campaign used clips from the speech in a new ad running on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

More caucuses this weekend

Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands will hold Democratic caucuses on June 6.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Karine Jean-Pierre is a Democratic staffer with experience in campaign management and political strategy. She graduated from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a master’s degree in public administration.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Martin O’Malley presidential campaign, deputy campaign manager
  • 2013 Letitia James New York City public advocate campaign, campaign manager
  • 2013 Bill Thompson New York City mayoral campaign, senior advisor
  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, deputy battleground states director
  • 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, southeast regional political director
  • 2008 John Edwards presidential campaign, southeast regional political director

Other experience:

  • 2019-2020: NBC and MSNBC, political analyst
  • 2016-2020: MoveOn.org, chief public affairs officer
  • 2014-present: Columbia University, faculty
  • 2014-2015: ACLU Reproductive Freedom Initiative, campaign manager
  • 2009-2011: White House Office of Political Affairs, regional political director
  • 2009: U.S. Department of Labor, White House liaison
  • 2009 Presidential Inauguration Committee, political department
  • 2006-2007: Wal-Mart Watch, state and local outreach coordinator
  • 2004-2006: New York City Council, deputy chief of staff

What she says about Biden: “This really is the most important general election in generations. … I’ve known Joe Biden for 10 years now. I believe he’s a man of integrity, he’s a man who knows how to lead, he’s a man who knows how to use the levers of government to help people and he’s the man who could beat Donald Trump in November. For me, as a black woman, I just could not sit this out.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 1-5, 2016

  • June 5, 2016: Hillary Clinton said during a rally in Sacramento, California, “We’re going to have a very contentious campaign because I am going to point out at every single moment that I can why the Republican nominee should never get near the White House.” She stated, “I believe that Donald Trump is not qualified or temperamentally fit to be president.”
  • June 4, 2016: Ahead of the final primaries of the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders said, “The media is in error when they lump superdelegates with pledged delegates. … Hillary Clinton will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination at the end of the nominating process on June 14. Won’t happen. She will be dependent on superdelegates. … The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention.” He said, “And what I hope that the delegates going to the Democratic National Convention understand is that in virtually every state poll we do much better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton.”
  • June 3, 2016: Trump criticized Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in San Jose, California. He said, “Anything Obama wants, she’s going forward with. … Because you know why? She doesn’t want to go to jail. That’s why.”
  • June 2, 2016: Hillary Clinton spoke about national security at an event in San Diego, California. She said of Trump, “He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”
  • June 1, 2016: The Field Poll put Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders within the poll’s margin of error in the upcoming California Democratic primary, with Clinton leading by two percentage points. Sanders said the same day, “On Tuesday, we are going to win the primary. … And we have the establishment very nervous. That’s a good thing.”

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About the author

Janie Valentine

Janie Valentine is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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