(Bloomberg) — Joe Biden stepped up his criticism of Donald Trump for escalating tensions with Iran as the Democratic presidential hopeful continues to assert that his decades of foreign policy experience make him best suited to take on the president.
“No president can take the nation to war without the consent of the American people. Whether or not this ends up in war remains to be seen, but it’s becoming frighteningly close to getting this engaged in a war in the region,” Biden told donors at a Monday night fundraiser in New York.
“The whole situation has been turned upside down,” the former vice president said. “And does anybody here – should anybody — think the president knows what he’s going to do next, has an idea of what he’s going to do next?”
Biden spent the weekend in Iowa voicing similar concerns about the tensions with Iran that followed the Jan. 3 killing by a U.S. drone of a top Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani.
The Democratic front-runner plans a more formal speech in New York on Tuesday on “the imperative need to restore respected, responsible, and dignified leadership on the world stage.” He’s also scheduled for an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.
“I’ve been on the Intelligence Committee since it started. I chaired the Foreign Relations Committee. I’ve have been more deeply involved in foreign policy – that’s why I got picked as vice president, because of that factor,” Biden said.
Senator Bernie Sanders, in an appearance on CNN on Tuesday night, criticized Biden for his vote as a senator to allow the 2003 invasion of Iraq, saying his record of support for that war would prevent him from generating the kind of voter enthusiasm required to defeat Trump in November.
Sanders said he opposes any U.S. military expansion in the Middle East in response to tensions with Iran. “I’ll do everything I can to stop another disaster,” he said, pointing to legislation he introduced that would bar the administration from spending funds to take military action against Iran.
The Biden fundraiser was hosted by Barry Gosin, chief executive officer of Newmark Group, Inc., and Jeffrey Gural, chairman of GFP Real Estate LLC. About 80 people attended the event, for which tickets cost $2,800. Attendees included Caroline Kennedy, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, and her son, John Schlossberg, as well as former New York Congressman Steve Israel.
Trump to Hold Rally for Party-Switcher Van Drew 8:13 p.m.)
President Donald Trump will host a campaign rally for a New Jersey congressman who just crossed over to the Republican Party amid the impeachment furor.
Trump’s campaign announced Monday that he’ll hold a Keep America Great rally on Jan. 28 in Wildwood, N.J., in the district of Representative Jeff Van Drew. Elected as a Democrat, Van Drew crossed the aisle last month, joining Republicans after voting against both articles of impeachment.
Trump’s rally there could potentially fall in the middle of a Senate impeachment trial, giving him a venue to fire back at Democrats alongside the lawmaker who jumped ship. Democrats vying to run against Van Drew include Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Representative Patrick Kennedy.
While Trump tries to blunt the impact of impeachment proceedings, his New Jersey event is unlikely to make a splash in this year’s election. The state is reliably Democratic, and Trump lost it in 2016 by 14 percentage points. Van Drew first won election in 2018 in a district that had long been in Republican hands. — Josh Wingrove
Deval Patrick Releases His First Ad (3:34 p.m.)
Deval Patrick is launching his first paid ad of the campaign, set to begin running on cable outlets in four states on Wednesday.
The campaign is spending about $245,000, according to Advertising Analytics, for ads that will run on cable and digital platforms in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire. Patrick, who served as governor in neighboring Massachusetts, is spending $100,000 on cable ads in the Granite State alone.
Patrick’s campaign is running a 30-second spot featuring his wife, Diane Patrick, describing her battle with cancer and the decision they made for him to enter the race. It’s already started running the ad in online media.
The former Bain Capital LP managing director joined the campaign in November. He tallied less than 1% support in the most recent WBUR poll of New Hampshire voters.
Julian Castro Endorses Warren for President (10:38 a.m.)
Four days after ending his own bid for the White House, Julian Castro announced his endorsement of Senator Elizabeth Warren for president.
The former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and Obama administration HUD secretary announced his endorsement in video released on Monday. He describes Warren as the most qualified candidate to win the nomination and beat Donald Trump. The move has led to speculation that Castro might be vying to be Warren’s running mate should she win the Democratic nomination.
“There’s one candidate I see who’s unafraid to fight like hell to make sure America’s promise will be there for everyone,” Castro says in the video. “Who will make sure that no matter where you live in America or where your family came from in the world, you have a path to opportunity, too. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren for president.”
Castro and Warren worked together when he was housing secretary and she served on the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees HUD. Castro will join Warren at an event in Brooklyn on Tuesday. — Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou
Judge Judy Rules For Bloomberg (10:26 a.m.)
Judy Sheindlin, who presides over the daytime television courtroom show “Judge Judy,” appears in a new campaign ad endorsing former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I like to say you can judge someone’s character by what they’ve done,” Sheindlin says in the ad, which Bloomberg’s campaign said will run across digital channels and on television in 26 states. “Mike Bloomberg has done amazing things and will be a truly great president.”The campaign said Sheindlin, a New York City native and a former supervising judge of the Family Court in New York County, hadn’t ever endorsed a presidential candidate. In a USA Today opinion piece before Bloomberg announced his candidacy, Sheindlin encouraged him to run because “he represents our best chance to bring America together again and begin the long national process of healing.”Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. — Mark Niquette
Five Democrats — Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar — have qualified for the next debate, on Jan. 14 in Iowa.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Milwaukee on the same night as the debate, as well as a rally in Toledo on Jan. 9.
The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3.
(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)
–With assistance from Mark Niquette, Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Bill Allison and Laura Litvan.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in Washington at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at [email protected], Chelsea Mes, John Harney
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