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In early primary states, 2020 Democrats court black voters

The list of Democrats running for president now exceeds 20, and the crowded field hit early primary states over the weekend. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg were in South Carolina, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke visited Iowa. As Yamiche Alcindor reports, race and gun control were prominent campaign topics.

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  • William Brangham:

    As the list of Democrats running for president now tops more than 20, candidates again hit early primary states this weekend.

    Lisa Desjardins will get the take from our Politics Monday duo in a moment.

    But, first, Yamiche Alcindor brings up to speed on the latest from the trail.

  • Audience:

    We want Joe! We want Joe!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    In South Carolina, chants of "We want Joe." This weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden made his first campaign stop in the state. In Columbia, he set out to directly appeal to black voters. He denounced the — quote — "legacy of systemic racism" and referenced his former boss, President Barack Obama.

  • Joe Biden:

    As Barack says, when two equally qualified people, one Jamal and one John, they both apply for a job, and John gets the job. That's the reality in America.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    In the early voting state of South Carolina, unlike Iowa and New Hampshire, the majority of Democratic primary voters are black. South bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also rallied in South Carolina over the weekend.

    Sunday at a high school, he spoke to a crowd in North Charleston. He later acknowledged that he needs better outreach to black voters. The mayor has made faith a cornerstone of his campaign. Earlier on Sunday in Georgia, he attended former President Jimmy Carter's Sunday school.

    In Iowa, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders crisscrossed the state in a series of rallies. He pushed back on Vice President Biden once saying Biden has the most progressive record in the race. In an interview with ABC's "This Week," Sanders didn't hold back.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:

    Joe voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort against it. Joe voted for NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations, trade agreements with China. I led the effort against that.

    If you look at Joe's record, and you look at my record, I don't think there's much question about who's more progressive.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    A host of other candidates also campaigned in Iowa this weekend, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas.

    Meanwhile, at an NAACP event in Detroit, Kamala Harris went after President Trump's rhetoric.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    Let's speak truth here and today. This president isn't trying to make America great. He's trying to make America hate.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Today, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker released a sweeping gun control agenda, with more than two dozen policy proposals. One would require all gun owners to be licensed by the federal government.

    In a statement, Booker said — quote — "I am sick and tired of hearing thoughts and prayers for the communities that have been shattered by gun violence. It is time for bold action."

    With more than 20 candidates vying for 20 spots in the first Democratic debates in June, presidential hopefuls are trying to break through to voters.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

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