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2020 Daily Trail Markers: Gabbard says Trump trying to "pimp out our military" to Saudi Arabia

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FROM THE CANDIDATES

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET

Bennet launched his first two television advertisements in Iowa, say CBS News Campaign Reporters Musadiq Bidar & Adam Brewster. According to Advertising Analytics, Bennet's campaign has spent about $190,000 in the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids markets. The campaign says it is part of a seven-figure TV and digital buy over the next several weeks in Iowa. 

One of the ads, called "Most," highlights some of Bennet's biography and legislative achievements. The other advertisement, called "Truth," is focused on health care. "The truth is, a health care plan that starts by kicking people off their coverage makes no sense," Bennet says in the ad. "Before we go and blow up everything, let's try this. Give families a choice: keep your health care or join a public option." 

Bennet has held 15 events over six days in Iowa this month, which is more events than any other candidate has held in the Hawkeye State during September.

REP. TULSI GABBARD

Gabbard offered sharp criticism of President Trump's latest saber rattling with Iran while campaigning last night in Iowa's rural Warren County, which President Trump won by more than 16 points in the 2016 election. Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, spent most of her speech criticizing the Trump Administration for wanting to "start a war with Iran without Congressional authorization," says CBS News Campaign Reporter Musadiq Bidar

Gabbard said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed the drone attacks that knocked out of half of Saudi Arabia's oil supplies on Iran "without providing any evidence to prove that." She also criticized Mr. Trump for tweeting that he is waiting to hear from Saudi Arabia on "how we should proceed." 

"As a soldier, I can tell you this is despicable and a disgrace," Gabbard told a crowd of about 25 people in Indianola, Iowa. Gabbard also pointed out that President Trump designed Iran's entire military as a "terrorist organization," calling it an "unprecedented" move. 

"The reason why they did that is because they want to be able to use the current authorization to use military force that is in place because of the attack on 9/11," Gabbard said. "They designated Iran's military as a terrorist group to create a backdoor for them to start a war with Iran without Congressional authorization." 

Gabbard said a war with Iran would be significantly more dangerous and consequential because Iran's military is much more advanced than Iraq's. "This president does not have authorization to start a war against Iran," Gabbard said. She went on to add that the Constitution does not give the president "the power to basically pimp out our military to any foreign country like Saudi Arabia but that is exactly what he is doing here."  

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS

On Tuesday, the Sanders campaign launched their latest nationwide digital ad — "Real Change Begins With Teachers" — which centers around striking West Virginian teachers. According to CBS News Campaign Reporter Cara Korte, the campaign often points out that teachers are the top occupation of Bernie 2020 donors, stating in a release today that tens of thousands of teachers have made more than 80,000 contributions so far this year. 

"While other candidates court big money at fancy fundraisers, this campaign is supported by teachers from West Virginia and every state in the country," said Sanders Campaign Manager Faiz Shakir. "Only Bernie Sanders has called to raise teachers' pay to at least $60,000 nationwide and put an immediate moratorium on federal funding for new charter schools." 

Sanders won the 2016 West Virginia primary by more than 15 points and is the only candidate in any party who has polled ahead of President Trump in West Virginia, beating Trump by 2 points in a previous survey.   

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN

Iowa State Representative Lindsay James on Tuesday endorsed Warren for president in an op-ed for Iowa Starting Line. CBS News Campaign Reporters Musadiq Bidar & Adam Brewster note that James is the sixth elected official in Iowa to endorse Warren. James represents Iowa's 99th district, which is on the eastern side of the state and covers parts of Dubuque. The district is one of more than 700 state legislative districts in the country that intersect with one or more "Pivot Counties," counties that voted for Mr. Trump after voting twice for President Obama. 

In the op-ed, James wrote "the rich and the powerful have corrupted our government so that it works great for them, while leaving working people behind." James said she is endorsing Warren because the Senator has "devoted her career fighting for my constituents and people like them all across America." James said constituents in her district need "economic justice" and "universal healthcare" as well as a "political and economic system that works for everyone." 

"These are monumental challenges that cut across our whole society and our entire economy, and Elizabeth has a plan to solve them," James wrote. "She's the only candidate who understands that these challenges demand big, structural change and she's willing to fight for it."

EARLY STATES

DOWN SOUTH

The small, unincorporated, rural community of Galivants Ferry, South Carolina felt like a bustling town center when four Democratic presidential candidates came through the area Monday. CBS News Campaign Reporters LaCrai Mitchell & Bo Erickson spoke with rural voters who traveled from near and far to hear Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Bill De Blasio during the first-ever presidential Galivants Ferry Stump event.

OUT WEST

The Kamala Harris campaign this week touted its endorsement lead in Nevada with a smattering of new backers, including from Kurt Kuznicki, a public lands advocate, and José Rosas, president of the Federación de Poblanos in Las Vegas.  CBS News Campaign Reporter Alex Tin says Julián Castro also released five new Silver State endorsements of his own on Tuesday, including author Terri Farley and Madonna Long, a disability and consumer rights advocate.

PARTY POLITICS

GOP PRIMARIES

On CNN's New Day on Monday, former Rep. Joe Walsh said the Republican Party has never cancelled primaries when there were primary challengers. He added, "We can't just cancel elections in this country." On a literal level, Walsh is incorrect, reports CBS News Political Unit Associate Producer Ellee Watson, but Walsh makes a good point that the challengers are of a higher caliber in 2020 than in some previous presidential elections.  

According to Green Papers, state legislatures in UtahKansas, and Arizona cancelled primaries for 2004 before eventual low-level challenger Bill Wyatt filed to run for president in October 2003, according to FEC reports. In 1992, Republicans cancelled 8 presidential primaries even though former White House aide Pat Buchanan and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke mounted challenges and appeared on several states' ballots. Buchanan, a well-known writer and television pundit, won 38% of the vote that year in the New Hampshire primary. 

For 2020, state GOP parties have already cancelled nominating procedures in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina even after at least two men filed to run against Mr. Trump. Walsh and former Gov. Bill Weld had filed to challenge the president before the states made their decisions, and since then, former governor and congressman Mark Sanford has announced a bid. 

CONGRESSIONAL COVERAGE

IN THE HOUSE

California U.S. Rep. Paul Cook has decided to step down after his current term in order to pursue a San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors seat. CBS News Political Unit Broadcast Associate Aaron Navarro reports that Rep. Cook makes it now 18 House Republicans that have either announced their retirement (12 members), resignation (2 members) or pursuit of another office (Cook makes it 4 members). 

However, Cook is the first California Republican to announce leaving in any capacity since the state's GOP House presence diminished in 2018. "After twenty-six years in the Marine Corps, my attention turned first to local government," Cook said in a statement. "And while I've been called to serve in other capacities such as Congress, my focus has always been on empowering communities and making sure local residents have the strongest voice in decisions that affect them."

On the Democratic side, New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced her endorsement of Democratic primary challenger Marie Newman on Tuesday in hopes of ousting incumbent Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, who has been at odds with Democrats for opposing abortion rights. Newman lost her race against Lipinski in 2018 by less than two points. 

"We need the Congressmembers who represent deep blue districts to be pushing us towards progressive change, not advancing a Republican agenda," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a fundraising email from the progressive group Justice Democrats. The Bronx lawmaker also endorsed Sen. Ed Markey, whom she co-sponsored the Green New Deal with, last week.

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