The Latest: Klobuchar jabs at O'Rourke's 'born to run' line


DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic race for president (all times local):

10:50 p.m.

Democratic White House hopeful Cory Booker said Sunday night he would reverse President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military if elected president.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 300 voters in Davenport, the New Jersey senator answered a question posed by a woman who identified herself as transgender about what he would do to protect LGBTQ rights as president.

“When I am president of the United States, right away I will end this ridiculous, insulting, un-American ban on transgender Americans serving in the military,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

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It was one of a handful of Trump Administration policies he pledged to undo if elected president, including Trump’s tax cuts and his revocation of protections from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.

Booker also weighed in on marijuana legalization, offering a more comprehensive vision for legalization that would include expunging criminal records and promoting access to the legal marijuana industry for women and people of color.


8:35 p.m.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized former President Barack Obama during a small gathering in New Hampshire as he mulls a run for president, saying that Obama’s early days in office were “a lost window.”

De Blasio called Obama’s pursuit of health care legislation noble but lamented that it played out over a long period and was treated politically as a narrow instead of universal item.

Minutes later, in front of a larger audience at a Concord restaurant, de Blasio praised the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement, calling it “progress.”

The New York Democrat has not decided whether he will run for president, saying a decision would come “sooner rather than later.”


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5:41 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said during a campaign stop in Tennessee that her proposed tax on “ultra-millionaires” is a key step in reducing corruption and privileges for the rich, while making the economy work better for poorer people.

An energetic Warren spoke to a racially-mixed group of about 400 potential voters at Douglass High School in Memphis on Sunday.

Warren is the first of a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates to visit the Deep South in the run-up to the 2020 election. She is scheduled to visit Mississippi on Monday and Alabama on Tuesday.

She touted her tax on those households with a net worth of $50 million or more. Warren said the tax revenue could help in reducing the cost of housing, health care and child care.


4 p.m.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has told New Hampshire voters he wants to see changes that are “fair to working people,” as he emphasized his record on paid sick leave, time off and health care.

De Blasio said Sunday that people deserve a more decent life than one of work and struggle to make ends meet.

The New York Democrat has not decided whether he will run for president, saying a decision would come “sooner rather than later.”

The mayor is scheduled to make three stops in New Hampshire on Sunday after meeting with young Democrats in Manchester Saturday night.

If he does run for president, de Blasio would join a crowded field that includes more than a dozen candidates, some of who are running on progressive ideals shared by the mayor.


11:55 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says he’s never taken the illegal drug LSD and there’s “nothing” he hasn’t already revealed about his past that could hurt his candidacy.

O’Rourke also committed Sunday during a stop in Madison, Wisconsin, to stop using the f-word while campaigning, a profanity he used frequently while running for the U.S. Senate in Texas and while exploring his presidential bid.

O’Rourke was asked about his past drug use after signing a person’s skateboard. Another voter asked O’Rourke if he was going to “clean up his act” and stop using profanities, especially in front of his children.

O’Rourke says “great point, and I don’t intend to use the f-word going forward. Point taken, and very strongly made. … We’re going to keep it clean.”


11 a.m.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke is making his first stops in Wisconsin as a presidential candidate, but he says 20 years ago he toured the state with his punk rock band.

O’Rourke told hundreds of supporters at a Madison coffee shop on Sunday that he’s modeling his campaign off the “punk rock adventure.” O’Rourke says to him that means showing up everywhere and meeting people.

O’Rourke says as a punk rocker, he traveled through Wisconsin in a Plymouth Satellite station wagon. He’s been campaigning for president in a minivan.

O’Rourke was also in Wisconsin a month ago, as he explored a presidential bid. Democrats have roundly criticized Hillary Clinton for not campaigning in the state in 2016 after she lost the primary to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

President Donald Trump carried Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes.


10:30 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told hundreds of supporters who gathered Sunday to see him at a Madison, Wisconsin, coffee shop that it would have been justified for a person named O’Rourke to have a pint of beer on St. Patrick’s Day. But he says he stuck with coffee for a morning meeting with Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan before the campaign stop.

About 200 people packed into the coffee shop to see O’Rourke, his second Wisconsin stop in a month. Another 200 people were on the sidewalk outside.

O’Rourke came in wearing a St. Patrick’s Day necklace with a green cabbage on it. He handed that off to the college student who introduced him.


10 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke plans to drive a Dodge Caravan he began using in Iowa through the Midwest and on to New Hampshire.

His campaign announced on Sunday that O’Rourke will follow two Sunday stops in Wisconsin with visits to Michigan and Ohio on Monday. He eventually plans to hit Pennsylvania, and then drive to New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first presidential primary.

A former congressman, O’Rourke visited all 254 Texas counties while nearly upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November. He frequently drove himself between events, often with livestream cameras rolling.

The driving road trip likely can’t last forever. Organizers say O’Rourke will visit South Carolina next weekend and he plans to be in his native El Paso, Texas, for an official campaign kickoff on March 30.


9:40 a.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (KLOH’-buh-shar) is jabbing at fellow Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for saying he was “just born to be in” in the White House race.

Minnesotan says that “growing up in the ’70s, in the middle of the country, I don’t think many people thought a girl could be president. I wasn’t born to run. But I am running.”

Klobuchar tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it was “probably more when I got to college” that she thought she might run for president one day.

She says “It’s something that’s happened over time, as I’ve realized I can do things.”

Asked whether she feels “born to do this,” she says: “Oh, that’s the Beto line.”

He made the comment in a Vanity Fair interview.


8 a.m.

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) says he’s met a fundraising threshold to participate in this summer’s debates.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor said says he’s received contributions from more than 65,000 individual donors.

The Democratic National Committee said last month up to 20 candidates can qualify for the debates by collecting donations from at least 65,000 individuals, with at least 200 unique donors in at least 20 states. They also can qualify by reaching 1 percent support in at least three national or early primary state polls.

In an email to supporters Buttigieg says “we weren’t even close” to 65,000 donors when the DNC announced the requirement. The 37-year-old veteran says more than 76,000 people have now donated.

The debates will be held in June and July.


6 a.m.

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand (KEER’-sten JIHL’-uh-brand) has spent more than a month traveling around the country to gauge support for a 2020 presidential campaign, and the New York senator says she’s now in the race.

Gillibrand is joining the dozen-plus contenders, saying in a campaign video that the nation needs “a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices. Someone who isn’t afraid of progress. That’s why I’m running for president.”

She says her debut speech as a candidate will come next Sunday in front of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York.

Gillibrand has been one of the most forceful critics of the Trump administration. Using the backdrop of one of President Donald Trump’s marquee properties is the latest example of that.

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