The Latest: Warren says Bloomberg NDA refusal disqualifying

Politics
Joe Biden

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about gun violence at a campaign stop, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on presidential campaign developments (all times local.):

6:30 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren says that if Mike Bloomberg isn’t willing to release his former employees from any non-disclosure agreements they’ve signed, he should be disqualified from being president.

Speaking during a CNN town hall Thursday night, the Massachusetts senator kept up the pressure on the billionaire businessman by drawing on her experience as an attorney and law professor and writing up her own version of a “release and covenant not to sue” for Bloomberg to sign and release any of his past employees from their NDAs. “I thought I’d make it easy,” she said.

Bloomberg came under fire from Warren and other candidates during Wednesday night’s debate over NDAs signed by past employees and allegations that he made sexist comments and fostered a sexist culture at his company. Bloomberg said he would not release employees from those agreements, and dismissed any complaints about his past remarks as employees possibly taking a “joke” he made the wrong way. On Thursday night, Warren said that his response “just doesn’t cut it,” and that if Bloomberg is unwilling to “remove those gags, and let those women and maybe those men talk, then he is disqualified” from being president. But she said she’d vote for Bloomberg if he became the nominee.

5:50 p.m.

Joe Biden is pledging not to run for a second term if he’s not healthy enough to do the job of president. Speaking at a CNN town hall Thursday night, Biden, who is 77 years old, told a questioner concerned about his age he would not outright commit to only running for one term.

Any candidate who offers that promise, he said, “is already behind the 8 ball because then you’re a one term president, and no one worries what’s gonna happen after that.”

But he added: “If anything changed in my health, making it incapable of me to fully exert all the energy and mental acuity that was needed to be done, then I give you my word: I would not run again.”

Biden released a doctor’s report in December that described him as “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to execute the duties of the presidency.” He is not the oldest candidate in the field; both Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are 78 years old.

5:40 p.m.

Joe Biden says he is “not surprised at all” at news that Russia is meddling in the 2020 election to help Donald Trump.

At a CNN town hall Wednesday night Biden said that he knew there was foreign meddling in elections while he was Vice President and “I guarantee you (Russians) are involved” in the current election. Biden also said he suspected whomever briefed Congress on the interference “is about to be fired.”

He added that “I guarantee you” other foreign actors are interfering and said he’d stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, pledging to make sure “there’s consequences for his actions — economic consequences.”

Biden also panned Trump’s pick for Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, who is currently serving as Ambassador to Germany. “He has absolutely zero experience in intelligence,” he said.

4 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has picked up the endorsement of a prominent progressive Hispanic organization ahead of Saturday’s caucus in Nevada.

The Latino Victory Fund announced Thursday that it was endorsing Biden. The group had endorsed former Obama administration housing chief Julián Castro in August, but he left the presidential race last month.

It timed its announcement to impact both Nevada and many of the Hispanic-heavy states voting on “Super Tuesday” on March 3. Cristobal Alex headed Latino Victory until last March but now is a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign.

Latino Victory Chairman Luis Miranda Jr. said in a statement that Biden “has consistently supported issues that align with the Latino community.”

Miranda added that, if elected, Biden will work with Congress to promote comprehensive immigration reform and to protect so-called “Dreamers,” or people brought to the U.S. illegally as children — both issues where Biden’s views overlap with his top Democratic presidential contenders.

Biden is looking to rebound in Nevada after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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12:30 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday slammed one of his presidential rivals for voting against the 1993 Brady Bill. At an emotional event with gun control activists Biden said “too many Republicans and some Democrats like Bernie Sanders voted — five times — against the Brady Bill.”

Biden called politicians who opposed gun control “cowards” but would not respond to reporters’ questions whether he thought Sanders was a coward.

Asked whether Biden accepts Sanders’ statements that he’s changed his mind on gun control, Biden answered: “I do think he’s changed his views and I’m happy about that.”

Biden’s broadside at Sanders came as the campaign released a web video of Sanders telling a radio caller after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre that allowing people to sue gun manufacturers would do no good. Biden alluded to Sanders’ support for a 2005 law immunizing gun manufacturers from lawsuits at Wednesday night’s debate.

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12 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren is digging into her attacks on Mike Bloomberg a day after her sharp barbs left the New York billionaire on his heels in the Democratic debate.

Warren told supporters Thursday outside Las Vegas that “last night was a lot of fun” because Bloomberg was held accountable.

“I have really had it with billionaires, regardless of party, who think that the rules don’t apply to them,” Warren said.

Warren pressed Bloomberg at the debate to say how many nondisclosure agreements his company has signed preventing women from talking about complaints of harassment.

She leaned in on Thursday, saying when women complain, Bloomberg can “throw a little money on it, put a little gag in the woman’s mouth.”

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