Former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, who is now campaigning and fundraising for Joe Biden, thinks the presumptive Democratic nominee should pick a Black woman to be his running mate in 2020. "I'd like it to be an African-American woman because I think it's a statement about where we are and I know that there's some fantastic candidates," Steyer said in an interview with CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar, adding that he trusts Biden's choice no matter who ends up on the ticket.
Biden has said he will pick a female vice president and several Black women are being considered, including California Senator Kamala Harris and Los Angeles area Congresswoman Karen Bass.
Steyer mentioned both Harris and Bass, calling them "outstanding candidates" for the job. He noted that Harris is "well known" with "broad support" and added that Bass, who may not have the same kind of national name recognition as Harris, is "an outstanding person who I have enormous respect for."
Steyer endorsed Biden in April and has hit the virtual campaign trail for the former vice president in recent weeks. Steyer, who founded NextGen America, a non-profit advocacy group that mobilizes young voters around issues of climate change, said he'll focus on turning out the youth vote this fall.
Steyer, who focused his campaign on climate change and often said he would declare a climate emergency on day one if elected, challenged Biden during a debate in November to say that climate would be his number one priority as well. Now, Steyer believes climate change will be a top concern for a potential Biden administration.
Read CBS News Trail Markers Thursday for Steyer's explanation of why Biden's climate change plan is"progressive" and "people driven."
FROM THE CANDIDATES
Joe Biden teased a campaign-produced conversation with former President Obama to be released via social media on Thursday, another opportunity by the campaign to seize on the popularity of the former president with Democrats, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports.
"You know what it's like as much as anybody to be in the White House during a crisis," President Obama tells Biden in a clip, "The thing I've got confidence in Joe is, is your heart and your character, and the fact that you are going to be able to reassemble the kind of government that cares about people and brings people together."
On Wednesday, Biden virtually met with SEIU members who work as healthcare workers, caregivers, and janitors, and heard how they're working through the pandemic. One nurse's assistant during a virtual hospital tour asked for Biden's help to increase pay for healthcare workers so they can recruit more help. Another caregiver told Biden she believes President Trump's rhetoric on China and the pandemic is increasing hostility towards Asian-Americans, a sentiment she said as a South Korean immigrant she recently experienced.
"We've had racists try to get elected president…[Trump] is the first one that has," Biden responded. President Trump was asked to respond in the briefing room Wednesday, and he praised his administration's work on criminal justice reform, opportunity zones, and the low unemployment numbers before the coronavirus crippled the economy. "I have done more for Black Americans than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln," Trump said.
A local television station in Phoenix asked former Vice President Joe Biden again about defunding the police, and expressed his opposition to the idea – a stance he has repeatedly outlined, including in a June interview with the "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell. But despite Biden's insistence and multiple fact-checks, CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin says Donald Trump's campaign has continued to blanket the airwaves in Arizona and other swing states with the false accusation, including on the commercial breaks preceding the former vice president's Arizona interview on Tuesday. Though Biden's team has also fielded ads in the state, only the president's campaign has booked any future ad reservations in Arizona – more than $6.8 million – according to Kantar/CMAG data.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
President Trump took to the briefing room the past two days with a different approach than the days of daily coronavirus task force briefings. Without doctors by his side, President Trump encouraged people to wear masks, to stay away from crowded bars, and said he views the response to the pandemic "as a team" in conjunction with governors. CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett and CBS News White House coordinating producer Arden Farhi report that the change is in part due to new campaign manager Bill Stepien. Trump is listening to Stepien in ways he wasn't to former campaign manager Brad Parscale. The president started tuning Parscale out after the June rally in Tulsa failed to turn out as many people as expected.
The message from aides to Mr. Trump is he is down in the campaign's internal polling. For example, he is trailing by at least six points in Georgia and North Carolina. Both respective party bases are in their hardened camps, but swing voters may be amenable to a message grounded in realism. To win them over, Trump needs to sound like he is in control, hence the about face in the briefing room. When asked Wednesday why the doctors aren't appearing at the briefings with him, Mr. Trump said he's meeting with them, and "they're giving me all of, everything they know as of as of this point in time and I'm giving the information to you."
Representative Karen Bass appeared on "The View" today where she was obligatorily asked about her veepstakes odds. Bass of course deferred all questions to the Biden campaign, but she did say that she hopes Biden picks someone with whom he has a great partnership. According to Bass, Obama and Biden shared a unique "camaraderie". The congresswoman said that Biden, having been the number two, knows better than anyone how to make the right choice. CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte notes Bass was not asked if she and Biden had that kind of rapport.
Nevada's Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, one of a handful of top elected Republican officials to have steered their elections toward mail voting in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, told the Las Vegas Review Journal this week that the potential swing state would hold a traditional, in-person election for November. According to the newspaper, Cegavske said the state would need millions in additional funds to carry out another all-mail contest for the general. CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin reports Nevada's shift towards mail voting for its June elections was fraught with litigation and criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. At the few remaining in-person county polling locations in the state, voters had reported record wait times past midnight.