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2020 Sunday Trail Markers: The Democratic field responds to ISIS leader's killing by U.S. forces

Klobuchar says she would've left U.S. troops in Syria

Here's what you need to know in politics this week...

  • The Democratic presidential field responds to the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi
  • Congresswoman Katie Hill announces resignation
  • Former Congressman John Conyers is dead at 90
  • Biden talks about super PACs and his campaign
  • Sanders picks up endorsment of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
  • New Hampshire GOP takes on Kamala Harris over President Trump's use of the word "lynching" to describe impeachment inquiry
  • Where the candidates will be this week

What the 2020 field said about ISIS leader al-Baghdadi's killing by U.S. special forces

The 2020 Democrat presidential candidates are praising U.S. Special Forces and the intelligence community after news that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid on Sunday morning.  

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who served in Afghanistan, said at a campaign stop in South Carolina that everyone involved deserves credit for the success of the raid. When asked if President Trump deserves credit, he repeated that all deserve credit but those who were "at the tip of the spear" deserved the most credit.  

His fellow candidates were not so generous. While all of them praised the fact that a dangerous terrorist had been taken down, most criticized the president, pointing to his actions in Syria.  Senator Amy Klobuchar, in an appearance on "Face the Nation," told host Margaret Brennan,"That's what concerns me overall about this president's decision-making and about what he has done in terms of breaking down our alliances — leaving the Kurds who gave us intelligence for this operation, leaving them for slaughter."  

After a rally in Durham, North Carolina, Biden said, "I think the president should spend more time like President Obama did, giving credit to the incredible military and intelligence community planning." He added that if Mr. Trump had a part in planning the raid then he deserved some credit, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports.

Senator Bernie Sanders said the president had betrayed the Kurds and brought more instability to the region.  

"That mission was accomplished with information supplied by the Kurds," he said on CNN. "And as we know, Trump has turned his back and betrayed the Kurds, something that I think will have a negative impact, not only in that region of the world, but terms of our relationship with allies from one end of this planet to the other. But clearly any victory against a destructive group, like a terrible terrorist group like ISIS is topic is something that is positive."

Senator Kamala Harris said the intelligence community does extraordinary work and deserves credit for being dedicated and fearless. She went on to blast Mr. Trump for repeatedly casting aspersions on their integrity and professionalism. 

Katie Hill announces resignation

Congresswoman Katie Hill of California said she'll resign at the end of the week, after facing scrutiny and a House ethics investigation into an allegation involving an extramarital relationship with a member of her congressional staff.

"This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country," Hill said in a statement Sunday night. A conservative blog published details of a relationship she had with a campaign staffer, details of her ongoing divorce, and intimate photos of her and the campaign aide. Hill said the release of the photos were caused by her husband and "the brutality of hateful political operatives who seem to happily provide a platform to a monster who is driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation."  

Hill flipped her Los Angeles County district blue in 2018 and served on the House Oversight Committee involved in the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Trump. California Secretary of State spokesman Sam Mahood told CBS News broadcast associate Aaron Navarro its office would confer on special election details after it receives Hill's official resignation, and said California Governor Gavin Newsom will set the timeline. General special election rules call for an election to be held on a Tuesday at least 126 days, but not more than 140 days, following the Governor's proclamation of an election. 

John Conyers, former Democratic congressman, dies at 90 

Long-serving former Democratic Congressman John Conyers Jr., who was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and first introduced Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday, but had to step down in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, has died. He was 90.

A family spokeswoman confirmed Conyers's death to CBS News, while two other people in touch with his family Sunday said that Conyers died in his sleep at his Detroit home of natural causes.

Joe Biden talks about super PACs and his campaign

Biden for the first time responded to criticism over his softening stance on super PACS, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports. Biden, in response to a question from Erickson, explained that he doesn't personally have a super PAC (he can't) but "I cannot stop [super PACs] if I wanted to stop them," Biden added. Asked about criticism by fellow Democrats like Bernie Sanders, who say Biden is selling out to billionaires, said "I didn't change my opinion" and then seemed to joke that he was "surprised" that Bernie Sanders would say such things.

Bernie Sanders picks up endorsement of Rashida Tlaib

"I am endorsing Amo Bernie Sanders because he's not gonna sell us out. He understands that it's not just about policies and about words, but it's going to be also about completely transforming the structures in place," Tlaib tweeted Sunday. She appeared with him at a Detroit rally to announce her endorsement, notes CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte.

Bernie Sanders compares some ultra-wealthy to drug addicts

Sanders believes that the super-rich and large corporations are actively working against working class Americans and in an interview Friday night with CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte compared some of the ultra-wealthy to drug addicts. Ending corporate greed was the theme of a five-stop, two-day swing through Iowa this week – marking his return to a first in the nation state since suffering a heart attack 25 days ago.

"There's always been greed in this country — no question about it. But I think 40, 50 years ago, the big money interest in this country made a decision that they were going to go to war against the working families of this country," Sanders told CBS News in an interview Friday.

Korte spoke with Sanders before his Iowa City Rally on Friday night. He discussed his fight against corporate greed – the focus of this Iowa swing, his first time back on the trail since his heart attack 24 days ago.  

In the states...

New Hampshire 

New Hampshire State Representative and Trump 2020 New Hampshire Co-Chair Al Baldasaro tweeted last night in response to a video of Senator Kamala Harris condemning President Trump's description of the impeachment inquiry as "a lynching." 

Defending the president, Baldasaro tweeted, "Kamala, stop using the race card and dividing our country. Horse thieves, bank robbers and murders were lynch many years ago. It was the Democrat KKK, that lynched African Americans. Rumor has it Kamala that you are not African American. Is that true?"

Today, the New Hampshire Democratic Party African-American Caucus released the following statement: "We in the first in the nation primary state find these tweets unacceptable. This is not who we are. We hope everyone joins us in the condemnation of this tweet."

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley tweeted, "Al has a long history of vile attacks, he's proud he is sexist, racist and homophobic. He's a loud mouth embarrassment. Shameful the NHGOP rewards him with titles."

A spokesperson for Donald Trump's New Hampshire campaign did not respond to CBS News' request for comment.

Last week, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu sent out a fundraising email criticizing the Democratic presidential candidate. "Billionaire Tom Steyer, the very liberal Democrat with the very extreme agenda, is taking time out from his quixotic Presidential campaign to attack me," the email reads. "He is spending over $200,000 on Facebook alone running negative, baseless ads targeting me for supporting election law integrity."

The email refers to New Hampshire's new voter residency law, House Bill 1264, requiring anyone who registers to vote to declare residency in the state of New Hampshire, effectively calling for  voters to obtain a New Hampshire ID. The law could trigger laws for motor vehicle registration, mandating new residents obtain a New Hampshire license within a 60 day window or face a penalty.

In response to Sununu's email, Tom Steyer told reporters, "I think that there is an attempt here to intimidate harass and, you know, deprived of their voting rights college students in the state of New Hampshire deliberately, and it is part of a national effort by the republican party to take away, disenfranchise from American citizens." He continued, "I don't think it's any more complicated than that. And I think that his description is honestly dishonest, that he is trying to cover up something he did that was wrong. And that he should be held to account."

On the campaign trail this week...

10/28 – Bennet in DC, Biden in FL, Booker in PA, Buttigieg in DC, Castro in DC, Gabbard in IA, Harris in PA, Sanders in DC, Steyer in NH, Williamson in SC

10/29 – Harris in IA, Warren in NH

10/30 – Bennet in NV, Biden in IA, Buttigieg in NH, Harris in IA, Sanders in NH, Warren in NH

10/31 – Biden in IA, Harris in IA, Sanders in NH

11/01 – Bennet in IA, Biden in IA, Booker in IA, Bullock in IA, Buttigieg in IA, Castro in IA, Delaney in IA, Harris in IA, Klobuchar in IA, O'Rourke in IA, Sanders in IA, Steyer in IA, Trump in MS, Warren in IA, Yang in IA

11/02 – Bennet in IA, Biden in IA, Booker in IA, Buttigieg in IA, Castro in IA, Delaney in IA, Harris in IA, Klobuchar in IA, O'Rourke in IA, Sanders in IA, Sestak in IA, Steyer in IA, Warren in IA, Yang in IA

11/03 – Biden in VA, Buttigieg in IA, Sanders in MN

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