Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:
On an episode of “Pod Save America” set to be released this week, former Vice President Joe Biden tells the hosts he regrets saying he’d want to engage President Donald Trump in a schoolyard fight.
“I shouldn’t have brought it up again because I don’t want to get down in the mosh pit with this guy,” Biden said in the interview, recorded Friday.
However, The Hill’s Amie Parnes writes that Biden insiders are happy with the former vice president’s feud with Trump — which escalated when Trump tweeted that Biden “would go down fast and hard, crying all the way.” The Bidenworld view: It shows Trump is scared of a Biden challenge, and elevates Biden as a potential foe.
How likely is Biden against Trump 2020? CNN’s Harry Enten writes: “Biden versus Trump is probably the highest probability matchup compared to all the others at this moment in time, though it’s still a relative long-shot.”
News and notes
INTRODUCING… WARRENCARE?: Not quite. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren just introduced legislation designed to make the Affordable Care Act more affordable. The Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act would, per The Huffington Post’s Daniel Marans, cap premiums (at 8.5% of income) and prescription drug expenditures. It’s not meant to compete against “Medicare for all” (Sen. Bernie Sanders is a co-sponsor of Warren’s bill, after all), but offer a kind of bridge from private to public insurance.
— Speaking of Warren and Sanders, they teamed up for a live-streamed town hall on inequality this past Monday night. It was the second time out for Sanders, who previously held one on his single-payer insurance plan. The Guardian, which carried it live online along with liberal groups, has the wrap.
KAMALA FOR JEALOUS: California Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed Ben Jealous, the former National President and CEO of the NAACP and a strong Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016, for governor of Maryland last week. Harris called Jealous “a champion of working people. From his days working as a community organizer and civil rights leader to his exceptional leadership of the NAACP, Ben has shown the courage to take on the biggest challenges we face.”
— According to the Daily Beast, Harris shopped a book to a number of New York publishers as recently as a month ago.
GARCETTI TO IOWA: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will take a two-day tour of the state of Iowa on April 13 and 14, making stops in Des Moines, Altoona, Davenport and Waterloo. His itinerary will include appearing at a union event, a political fundraiser and visiting with locals along the way.
The trip will make Garcetti the first prospective 2020 candidate to visit all four of the first nominating states so far.
GILLIBRAND BACKS CUOMO: Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon’s Democratic gubernatorial challenge against incumbent Andrew Cuomo got off to a headline-grabbing start. For out-of-staters, it’s really worth listening in because this is shaping up — from a rhetorical and ideological standpoint — as a preview of the broader debate you’re going to hear among Democrats in the presidential primary.
Gillibrand made her call early and, as endorsements go, quietly. It’ll be interesting to see if and how often she gets out on the trail with Cuomo. The primary isn’t until September, so there’s plenty of time for that.
On the right:
ARNOLD AND JOHN: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that he believes Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich could be “a great alternative” to President Donald Trump in 2020 if the President fails to deliver on his promises.
“People are going to judge the President before they go to the polls by his performance,” Schwarzenegger, who is a Republican, said. “If Trump does a great job, then there’s no reason to replace him. But what I’m saying is that John Kasich is a great alternative should he (Trump) not perform, because we don’t know yet. We are only one year into his term.”
During a joint appearance with Kasich in Sacramento on Wednesday at an event hosted by New Way California, Schwarzenegger made it clear that he wants his friend to take his talents to Washington. “John, get back to Washington and kick some butt and take care of this mess, once and for all. We can’t take it anymore,” Schwarzenegger said. “Your vision and inclusiveness is just what our nation needs.”
Before you go:
GOP Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse is writing a book, due out just before the midterms. He told the Lincoln Journal Star the book will be called “Them”, subtitled “Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal” … House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will headline the Polk County Democrats’ Spring Dinner on May 6 in Des Moines … Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is heading to North Carolina in April. He and Rev. William J. Barber II will be the feature guests for an event titled, “The Enduring Challenge of a Moral Economy: 50 Years After Dr. King Challenged Racism, Poverty, and Militarism.” … South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will headline the South Dakota Democratic Party’s annual McGovern Day Banquet Dinner on Saturday, April 28 in Sioux Falls.