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2020 Democrats campaign in Nevada, as Obama warns them to stay ‘rooted in reality’

Fourteen contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination headed to Nevada this weekend, trying to distinguish themselves in the primary season’s third-voting state. The lineup included former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a new entrant to the race. But as the candidates jostle for attention, the party’s debate over how best to beat Donald Trump continues. Amna Nawaz reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    We turn now to the Democratic presidential race.

    Over the weekend, candidates still trying to break through in the crowded field headed West.

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.:

    Hello, Nevada Democrats!

  • Amna Nawaz:

    As impeachment news consumes Washington, a show of force by the 2020 Democratic candidates in Nevada.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    This is a fight to end that national nightmare called Donald Trump.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    In Las Vegas Sunday night, 14 of the 2020 candidates made their pitch to Nevadans, who'll vote third in the party's nominating contest.

  • Deval Patrick:

    I'm confident there is a path.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The lineup included former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who entered the crowded race just last week.

  • Harry Reid:

    When we get that nominee, we're all going to join together.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Former U.S. Senate Leader Harry Reid, still a giant in the state's politics, made an appearance and a call for unity.

    But beneath the surface, the struggle continued over what kind of Democratic nominee should lead the party next, a centrist like former Vice President Joe Biden.

  • Joseph Biden:

    The risk of nominating someone who wouldn't beat Trump is a nation and a world that our children and our grandkids won't want to — won't want to live in.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Or a progressive like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who often warns against running what she calls a safe campaign.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.:

    We're not going to change it by a nibble here and a little bit of change over there. We're going to change it with big structural change.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    It came a day after former President Barack Obama, a moderate Democrat, made rare comments on the 2020 race and a veiled criticism of that big structural change.

    Mr. Obama said — quote — "This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement. They like seeing things improved, but the average American doesn't think you have to completely tear down the system and remake it."

    He warned candidates to — quote — "pay some attention to where voters actually are" and that — quote — "we also have to be rooted in reality."

  • Michael Bloomberg:

    I got something important really wrong.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Meanwhile, another potential late addition to the Democratic race, Michael Bloomberg, apologized for the stop-and-frisk policing policy he led while mayor of New York, and has since defended as a means to combat crime.

  • Michael Bloomberg:

    I spoke with many of the innocent people affected, and listened to their frustrations and their anger.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The policy, granting police broad authority to detain and question people, overwhelmingly impacted people of color, and is largely seen as out of line with the current Democratic Party.

  • Michael Bloomberg:

    I was wrong, and I am sorry.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Today, Bloomberg picked up a key endorsement from Stephen Benjamin, mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and one of the state's highest-profile black politicians, who applauded Bloomberg's apology.

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