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2020 Democrats focus on Nevada, while taking aim at Bloomberg’s record

In the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, most of the candidates have fanned out across Nevada, whose caucuses will be held February 22nd. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, as well as Pete Buttigieg, are aiming to build on their momentum, while former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren hope to push their campaigns in a new direction. Judy Woodruff reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The eight Democratic presidential candidates still vying for their party's nomination are trying to build on their momentum or rebound from poor showings in the first two contests. And many are turning their attention to the West.

    Most of the Democratic hopefuls have fanned out across Nevada, with state caucuses coming up Saturday, and early voting already begun.

    Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was in Reno today, looking to build on strong showings in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

  • Pete Buttigieg:

    Let me share with you the image, the idea that kind of guides a lot of our thinking in this campaign.

    And it's an image of a moment that's in our near future. And it's how it's going to feel the first time that the sun comes up over the mountains and the deserts of Nevada, and Donald Trump is no longer the president of the United States.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also campaigned in Nevada, hoping to recover after finishing as also-rans in the two contests so far.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    We did OK, if you take a look at what happened there. I mean, it was kind of an unusual thing that I hope doesn't happen here.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.:

    What do you do when people are afraid, when the danger is real? Do we back up? Do we cower? Do we get timid? Or do we fight back? Me, I'm fighting back.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But the candidates also spent much of the weekend focusing their fire on a rival whose name isn't even on Nevada's ballot.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    There's a lot to talk about with Michael Bloomberg.

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.:

    I think he cannot hide behind the airwaves and the money.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has risen in national polls, so far spending nearly $420 million of his own fortune on advertising.

    Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and others accused him of trying to buy the election.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:

    Well, I have got news for Mr. Bloomberg. And that is, the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar took aim at Bloomberg's past support for policing policies that target minorities.

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar:

    But as for what Michael Bloomberg did, I — stop and frisk, that is unconstitutional.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Added to that, The Washington Post reported on lawsuits filed over the years against Bloomberg and his business information company alleging sex discrimination and the creation of a culture of sexual harassment.

    The Post also uncovered a 1990 booklet put together by an employee that catalogued sexist remarks allegedly made by Bloomberg.

  • Pete Buttigieg:

    I think he's going to have to answer for that and speak to it.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    It's not clear if Bloomberg will qualify for Wednesday's Democratic debate in Las Vegas to defend his record on stage.

    But he did turn to Twitter, on Saturday, writing — quote — "I wouldn't be where I am today without the talented women around me." And he said he would always be a champion for women in the workplace.

    Meanwhile, another billionaire candidate, Tom Steyer, spent today in South Carolina, ahead of that state's primary on February 29.

    And Bernie Sanders turned his attention to California, the biggest prize in the Super Tuesday contests on March 3.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    And I hear the establishment saying, oh, Bernie can't win the election.

    (BOOING)

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    Take a look at this crowd today and tell me we can't win the election!

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump is also competing for the spotlight. On Sunday, he opened this year's Daytona 500 stock car race in Florida. Mr. Trump took a warmup lap in his limousine, in a spectacle that drew a big reception.

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