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Republican donors who sat out 2016 are throwing cash at Trump: ‘He’s won me over — I’m all in’

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Republican donors who did not back President Donald Trump in 2016 are pouring millions of dollars into his re-election campaign.

The fundraising drive will be formally announced May 7 at a closed-door event with Trump 2020 aides in Washington, where donors who collect at least $25,000 will be invited to campaign-sponsored retreats, briefings and dinners, reported Politico.

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The effort is closely modeled on the Pioneers network that propelled George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign.

Dallas Republican Roy Bailey said he’s seen commitments from about 150 donors, some of whom had strongly opposed Trump in 2016.

“There were still a lot of people who were trying to lick their wounds and hadn’t quite gotten over the fact that he had whipped everybody,” Bailey said. “They were slow to come on board. I’ve had a couple of people that in 2016, they just weren’t on board with candidate Trump at all and they said, ‘Look, Roy, he has won me over. I’m all in.’”

Jack Oliver, who was one of the architects of Bush’s Pioneers program, sat out 2016 after Jeb Bush left the race, but is now advising the Trump re-election campaign.

“I think you’ll have a significant number of Bush and Romney veterans that were on the sidelines or didn’t get overly involved in 2016 but will be involved in the 2020 campaign,” Oliver said.

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Geoff Verhoff, who bundled more than $1 million for Marco Rubio’s failed GOP presidential campaign, predicted that other Republican donors would sign on because they were happy with what they’d seen from Trump — and because they feared what Democratic candidates were running on.

“All you have to do is look at what the other side is gearing up for and this is a pretty easy decision for a lot of people,” said the lobbyist. “From a policy standpoint, there’s virtually nothing they disagree with, then layer on top of that the choice that the other side is presenting to the country and it’s a no-brainer.”


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Joe Biden takes on Trump’s rhetoric during racial justice crises: ‘The words of a president matter’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about the importance of a president's words and accountability during times of crisis during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.

Biden was interviewed by Craig Melvin, who noted the protests tearing apart cities and asked where he would start if elected president.

"I start by talking about what we must be, making no excuses, talking about our obligation to be decent," Biden answered. "Our obligation to take responsibility, our obligation to stand up when we see injustice."

"Look, the words of a president matter -- no matter how good or bad that president is," he explained. "A president can, by their words alone no matter who they are, make it rise or fall, take us to war, bring us to peace. The words of a president matter."

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South Carolina Republicans gather for an ‘active rejection’ of social distancing measures: report

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On Friday, The New York Times reported on a gathering of Republicans in Conway, South Carolina that appeared to be an "active rejection" of social distancing measures and other public health guidelines.

"The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio," wrote Astead Herndon. "Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks."

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Paul Krugman: A stronger GDP won’t help Americans if they’re dead

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Liberal economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column, has been stressing that the better a job the United States does with social distancing policies now, the better off the U.S. economy will be in the long run. In his Thursday column, Krugman warns that a premature reopening could hurt the U.S. both economically and from a health standpoint.

“America is now engaged in a vast, dangerous experiment,” Krugman writes. “Although social distancing has limited the spread of the coronavirus, it is far from contained. Yet despite warnings from epidemiologists, much of the country is moving to open up for business as usual.”

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