The Wall Street Journal - 28.03.2020 - 29.03.2020

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A4| Saturday/Sunday, March 28 - 29, 2020 PWLC101112HTGKRFAM123456789OIXX **** THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.




Dispatches from the
Nation’s Capital


gles with the spread of the
coronavirus. Aides say the
campaign’s focus is on the
day-to-day operation and re-
sponding to the pandemic
rather than what Mr. Sanders’s
future holds.
The campaign hasn’t put up
and has stopped soliciting do-
nations via email to fund its op-
eration, instead pulling in
money to support organizations
that are involved in coronavirus
relief. However, the campaign is
still accepting donations on its
website and recurring funds are
still being pulled in. The Ver-
mont senator is doing frequent
virtual briefings, at times
bringing on progressive law-
makers and activists.
Mr. Sanders hasn’t indi-
cated any intention to quit the
race. His spokesman said re-
cently that he would partici-
pate in a presidential debate
in April if the Democratic Na-
tional Committee held one.
“He is being extremely
presidential and he’s showing
us exactly the way a leader
would act in this moment,”
said Katherine Abegg, 43, a
textile research and develop-
ment manager who lives in
Ms. Abegg wasn’t alone in
her passion for Mr. Sanders.
Eleven of the 25 people inter-
viewed by The Wall Street
Journal said they would have

a difficult time voting for Mr.
Biden in November and
planned to write in a name at
the top of their ballot, leave it
blank or stay home on Elec-
tion Day.
Most of those who said
they would not cast their bal-
lots for Mr. Biden said they
lived in states that were likely
to vote for the Democrat any-
However, some Sanders
supporters in Arizona, a 2020
battleground state, Idaho and
Tennessee, both of which gen-
erally vote Republican, also
said they wouldn’t cast ballots
for Mr. Biden.
An aide to Mr. Biden de-
clined to comment beyond
pointing to polling that shows
the former vice president
leading Mr. Trump in swing
One Sanders supporter, 58-
year-old Brenda Wilson of
Cleveland, said Mr. Sanders
should exit the race soon. Ms.
Wilson said she is likely to
cast her ballot for Mr. Biden
when Ohio votes in June. “I
still love him,” she said of Mr.
Sanders, adding that if he re-
mains in the race, he could
hurt Mr. Biden’s chances
against Mr. Trump.
“I’m a true believer if there’s
a stronger candidate, we should
go with you,” she said.
—Ken Thomas
contributed to this article.

BAN LOBBYINGby firms that
receive funds as part of the cor-
onavirus stimulus package, but
the provision tucked into page
728 of House Democrats’ draft
proposal quickly caught the eye
of lobbyists who were assured
by Hill contacts that the provi-
sion had no chance of being in-
cluded in the final legislation
hammered out by the Senate.
“The corporation may not carry
out any Federal lobbying activi-

ties,” the House draft said.
It was one of several condi-
tions on federal aid to corpora-
tions in Pelosi’s bill. Others in-
cluded bans on stock buybacks,
restrictions on executive pay
and a ban on paying dividends
to shareholders until the federal
assistance was fully repaid.
Some of those corporate-ac-
countability conditions were ulti-
mately included in the Senate
Some legal experts saw the
lobbying provision as a Demo-
cratic messaging effort that
wouldn’t have survived legal
scrutiny. “It’s highly likely to be
struck down as unconstitutional
under the ‘unconstitutional con-
ditions’ doctrine,” because it vio-
lates corporations’ First Amend-
ment rights to petition the
government, said Robert Kelner,
a partner at Covington & Burling
who advises companies on lob-
bying-disclosure rules.
Lobbying by firms that re-
ceive bailout money was contro-
versial during the financial crisis,
too, and had uneven outcomes:
Major banks continued to em-
ploy lobbyists, while American
International Group took a
yearslong break from lobbying

after feeling pressure from Con-
gress. It restarted in 2014 after
it had repaid its $182 billion

BILL HAGERTY, the former
ambassador to Japan now run-
ning for Senate in Tennessee, is
following President Trump’s lead
and referring to the coronavirus
as the “Wuhan coronavirus” or
the “foreign virus,” terms re-
jected by public-health experts
like Anthony Fauci. The Republi-
can Hagerty was supposed to
hold a telephone town hall
meeting on Wednesday with
White House adviser Larry Kud-
low, and the event’s press re-
lease referred to the “Wuhan
coronavirus” numerous times in
quotes from Hagerty and Kud-
low. The event was postponed.
Hagerty has ratcheted up his
anti-China rhetoric since leaving
Japan, including writing a Breit-
bart op-ed last week blaming
China for the virus’s spread.
Trump says terms like “Chi-
nese virus” aren’t racist, but told
Fox News on Tuesday that he
would stop saying it: “I decided
we shouldn’t make any more of
a big deal out of it.” Trump has
taken issue with some Chinese

government attempts to blame
the U.S. military for the virus,
which experts agree began its
spread in Wuhan. Hagerty told
the Journal that he believes the
Chinese government was to
blame for the crisis, and that
the U.S. “cannot allow them to
rewrite history by deflecting
blame for this deadly illness.”
His former employer seems to
agree: the State Department
scuttled a G-7 joint statement
because it didn’t call the corona-
virus the “Wuhan Virus.”

been thrown out the window in
a time of crisis, and proponents
of larger government programs
feel vindicated. “It’s actually a
fascinating progressive moment,
because what it’s shown is that
all of these issues have never
been about how are you going
to pay for it,” Rep. Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez said on a Bernie
Sanders campaign live stream.
Stephanie Kelton, a Sanders-
backing economist, says there
are plenty of other major pro-
grams that could be pursued
without spending offsets, includ-
ing canceling medical debt.
Fiscal conservatives say that

current economic conditions are
exceptional and akin to wartime,
so normal spending rules don’t
apply. “Larger deficits are not
only an inevitability, but are, un-
fortunately, a necessity,” the
Committee for a Responsible
Federal Budget said.

SIGHTbecomes a casualty of
the pandemic. The House Judi-
ciary Committee canceled a
March 31 hearing with Attorney
General Bill Barr. That hearing
would have been Congress’s
first chance to question him
about the handling of Trump as-
sociate Roger Stone’s sentenc-
ing, which prompted all of the
front-line Justice Department
prosecutors to resign from the
case. Many in Congress worry
that oversight of the Trump ad-
ministration’s coronavirus re-
sponse will be impeded by so-
cial-distancing measures that
could keep Congress out of ses-

ADSfrom Democratic groups
debut against senators accused
of selling stocks ahead of the
market’s steep decline. Majority

Forward is running spots in
Georgia attacking the state’s
GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and
David Perdue, both up for elec-
tion this year. Both have denied
allegations that they profited
from information about the vi-
rus’s expected damage by sell-
ing stocks after they received a
briefing from health officials.
Republicans see the threat of
coronavirus-related ads: a pro-
Trump Super PAC has sent
cease-and-desist letters to TV
stations in swing states to try
to block them from airing ads
about Trump’s response to the

MINOR MEMOS:Sports bet-
ting site puts odds on Trump
using words like “tremendous”
and “not our fault” in coronavi-
rus daily press briefings.... New
York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ap-
pears on his brother Chris’s CNN
show, says “Mom told me I had
to.”... Senators struggle with
work from home, too: Illinois’s
Tammy Duckworth forgets to
mute conference call with Dem-
ocratic Senate caucus, tells her
toddler to “go potty and wash
your hands then mommy will
come downstairs.”

people, and I hear them.”
Democratic Party officials
are set to meet in mid-July to
decide on their platform and
nominate the candidate who
will take on Mr. Trump in the
general election. To win the
nomination on the first ballot
at the convention, a candidate
must earn 1,991 delegates, a
majority of those awarded
through state caucuses and
primaries. As of Thursday af-
ternoon, Mr. Biden had
roughly 300 more delegates
than Mr. Sanders.
But since the coronavirus
crisis prompted some states to
delay their contests, Mr. Biden
is unlikely to sew up the nomi-
nation quickly if Mr. Sanders
remains in the race.
In an interview with NPR
Friday, Mr. Sanders said it
to overtake Mr. Biden.
The uncertainty caused by
Covid-19, the illness caused by
the new coronavirus, has given
some hope to a handful of Mr.
Sanders’s supporters that he
still has a shot at the nomina-
tion. They say that the crisis
has highlighted the need for a
Medicare for All system be-
cause millions of people who
lose their jobs because of the
illness could also lose their
health insurance.
“I think that the Covid stuff
is maybe the absolute best
possible thing for his cam-
paign right now,” said Kirsten
Southwell, 29, a senior de-

signer at the Art Institute of
Chicago. “I think it really con-
firms a lot of the things that
Bernie has talked about.”
Ms. Southwell and others
are hoping that voters will see
Mr. Sanders’s reaction to the
crisis and go for him in
droves, giving him the signifi-
cant margins he would need in
every state going forward.
Mr. Sanders returned to
Vermont on Thursday after
voting the night before on a
roughly $2 trillion stimulus
package aimed at bolstering
the U.S. economy as it strug-

Supporters of Bernie Sand-
ers want him to stay in the
presidential contest, despite an
unlikely path to the Democratic
nomination after a string of
primary losses in March.
The Vermont senator would
have to completely upend the
race by capturing more than
60% of the remaining dele-
President Joe Biden and earn
the party’s nomination to face
President Trump in November.
Mr. Biden’s allies have called
for unity, but Mr. Sanders has
shown no sign of leaving the
race and has deflected ques-
tions about how long he will
In interviews with more
than two dozen Sanders sup-
porters, many of them ac-
knowledged his second bid for
the Democratic nomination
was unlikely to be successful.
But nearly all said they saw no
reason for him to exit now,
and most of those in states
with primaries still to come
said they planned to vote for
the senator.
Backers said the coronavi-
rus pandemic that has shut
down much of the U.S. high-
lights the need for many of
Mr. Sanders’s signature issues,
such as a Medicare for All
health insurance program.
They hope that his continued
presence in the race will pres-
sure the Democratic Party and
Mr. Biden to adopt more of
Mr. Sanders’s policies.
“I think he should not give
up, even if it looks like he’s
not going to be the nominee.
He needs to continue to advo-
cate for what we believe in,”
said Luis Yofe, 67 years old,
who works in the travel in-
dustry and lives in Dallas.
“For us to be enthusiastic, Bi-
den and the party will have to
adopt, in the platform for the
general election, some of the
key principles that Bernie is
Mr. Biden has adopted some
policies in a nod to liberals, in-
cluding an expanded free-col-
lege program. Mr. Sanders has
said the proposal doesn’t go
far enough.
“I’m happy to talk with him,
and I’ve indicated that I also
hear his supporters,” Mr. Bi-
den said on ABC’s “The View”
this week. “He’s had very
strong support from young


Sanders Backers

Want Him to

Stay in the Race

Bernie Sanders greeted the crowd at a rally in Spartanburg, S.C., at the end of February. Below, a Sanders volunteer yelled at passing cars
in Dearborn Heights, Mich., earlier this month. Some supporters acknowledged the Vermont senator’s bid was unlikely to be successful.


‘He needs to continue
to advocate for what
we believe in,’ said
one supporter.

going investment in data and
technological infrastructure,”
asserts Ken Farnaso, deputy
press secretary for the
Trump campaign.
Former Vice President Joe
Biden is reacting in kind.
The presumptive Democratic
nominee has geared up his
own version of a Rose Gar-
den strategy by setting up a
mini TV studio in his Dela-
ware home, from which he
has delivered an online
speech, held a conference
call with reporters and con-
ducted televised interviews.

and the Trump campaign say
they have 550,000 trained
volunteers. Last Saturday,
the campaign says, support-
ers made 1.5 million calls
from their homes to other
voters, urging them to visit
the Centers for Disease Con-
trol and Prevention website
for virus guidance—while
also touting Mr. Trump’s re-
cord and urging supporters
to register to vote online if
they can.
“The Trump Campaign
has a significant advantage
because of our early and on-

Still, in political terms,
the approach appears to be
paying dividends. Mr.
Trump’s job-approval rating
has ticked up in a series of
polls. In the rolling Gallup
survey, his weekly average
has moved into positive ter-
ritory with 49% approving of
his performance while 45%
Meantime, his campaign
says it is utilizing digital
tools to reach voters while
much of the nation is shut-
tered. Between them, the Re-
publican National Committee

and government health ex-
perts, are on hand too, but
Mr. Trump is the clear star
of the show. On Monday, his
appearance stretched for al-
most two hours.
That has caused TV net-
works to debate whether to
continue airing the briefings
live. Meantime, the president
stirred controversy this week
by using that setting to argue
for reopening the country’s
businesses sooner rather than
later, sparking a backlash
from experts who fear such a
move is simply too risky.

while, his real campaign is
chugging along in virtual
form below the radar screen.
Technically, Mr. Trump is
using a pressroom strategy,
because the White House
briefing room rather than
the Rose Garden just beyond
its doors has become his fo-
rum for staying in front of
voters. He now makes almost
daily appearances there for a
late-afternoon briefing and
jousting session with White
House reporters.
Other officials, including
Vice President Mike Pence

Sometimes presidents
choose to adopt a Rose Gar-
den strategy to campaign for
re-election, opting to make
their case
with the
White House
as a dramatic
Trump was
forced to adopt such a strat-
egy because of the coronavi-
rus, and he worked this week
to make the most of it. Mean-



Virus Pushes Trump to a Rose Garden Campaign Strategy

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