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How 2020 Democrats are striving to stand out in early states

On the 2020 presidential campaign trail, Democratic candidates are striving to stand out within a crowded field. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, now polling second to former Vice President Joe Biden, sought Monday to restore her credibility with Native American voters. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, released a sweeping proposal for criminal justice reform. William Brangham reports.

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  • William Brangham:

    We turn now to the 2020 presidential campaign, where Democratic candidates who've struggled to break out of the crowded field are trying to refocus their campaigns.

    Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren today publicly apologized for the first time for how she handled her own past claims to Native American ancestry, that as she addressed a Native American presidential forum in Sioux City, Iowa.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.:

    I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused.

  • William Brangham:

    Elsewhere this weekend, other candidates worked to reach minority voters. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was in Hartsville, South Carolina:

  • Pete Buttigieg:

    South Carolina, you have got a thumb on the scale of presidential politics right now.

  • William Brangham:

    Three leading candidates campaigned across the state this weekend, trying to shore up black support in this key early voting state.

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a sweeping, progressive criminal justice plan ahead of his weekend swing through South Carolina. The Sanders plan ends cash bail and civil asset forfeiture, bans for-profit prisons, abolishes the death penalty, legalizes marijuana, and creates a prisoners bill of rights, which includes ending solitary confinement and guaranteeing felons the right to vote.

    Meanwhile, in New Hampshire:

  • Julian Castro:

    I'm running for president because I believe we need a new vision with new leadership.

  • William Brangham:

    A handful of 2020 hopefuls pitched themselves to first-in-the-nation voters at a Sunday picnic.

    For his part, President Trump made clear he believes a possible economic downturn is the gravest threat to his reelection. Yesterday, before leaving his New Jersey golf club, he downplayed those fears.

  • President Donald Trump:

    I don't think we're having a recession. We're doing tremendously well.

  • William Brangham:

    And, today, he blamed Democrats for stoking the concern, tweeting: "Democrats are trying to will the economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 election."

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