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Politics The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy

00:51  15 september  2020
00:51  15 september  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Biden assembles legal team ahead of divisive 2020 election

  Biden assembles legal team ahead of divisive 2020 election WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden is assembling a team of top lawyers in anticipation of court challenges to the election process that could ultimately determine who wins the race for the White House. Biden's presidential campaign says the legal war room will work to ensure that elections are properly administered and votes correctly counted. It will also seek to combat voter suppression at the polls, identify foreign interference and misinformation, and educate voters on the different methods available for casting ballots. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

Donald Trump holding a sign in front of a crowd: The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy © Getty Images The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Trump casts doubt on climate change science during briefing on wildfires

  Trump casts doubt on climate change science during briefing on wildfires President Trump cast doubt on the science of climate change and its role in the devastating western wildfires during a briefing with federal and local authorities in California on Monday, predicting that it would soon get "cooler." State officials who met with Trump in McClellan Park, Calif., emphasized the explosion of temperatures in California in recent years, saying that climate change has been a primary factor driving the wildfires ravaging parts of the Pacific Northwest.

The debate over indoor campaign rallies amid the coronavirus pandemic is raging today after President Trump held two crowded rallies, including one that was indoors, over the weekend.

The indoor rally defied both Nevada's coronavirus rules limiting gatherings to no more than 50 people and White House guidelines. The events drew thousands of people. While the campaign performed temperature checks on attendees and provided masks, few attendees wore face coverings and there was no social distancing.

On Monday, Trump campaign spokeswoman Erin Perrine was pressed on the rally's safety during an appearance on Fox News, a network that tends to be friendly to Trump.

Perrine said the event organizers took the measures to ensure the public's safety at the rally, comparing the rally to protests for social justice seen across the country this summer.

For Republicans, the Fires Change Nothing

  For Republicans, the Fires Change Nothing Climate change’s destructive power represents an irresistible force for action. But it’s colliding with an immovable object.“Yes, absolutely,” she told me earlier this week, when I asked her whether this year’s fires are the most tangible danger to California that she’s seen from climate change. “It’s not suddenly going to reverse itself …  to years when there’s no fire season, or it’s not going to happen until October. The changes are going to be real, and they are going to be long-lasting.

And despite the criticism, the Trump campaign is holding its ground on the matter.

Vice President Mike Pence held an indoor rally in the battleground state of Wisconsin on Monday. The Trump campaign also took the step of knocking a virtual GOTV rally hosted by Jill Biden and Rep. Jennifer Wexton for Virginia voters on Monday.

"It is clear how low Virginians are on the Biden campaign's priority list as all they could manage is a virtual event. Meanwhile, Virginia Trump Victory is seeing unprecedented enthusiasm for President Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot," Trump Victory spokeswoman Samantha Cotton said in a statement.

However, public health experts say there are serious risks to holding large scale gatherings in indoor spaces.

Remember, just three months ago, coronavirus cases in Tulsa, Okla., surged after Trump held an indoor rally in the city. A local health official said the rally and accompanying protests "likely contributed" to the spike in coronavirus cases in the area.

Yosemite National Park closes as wildfires scorch West Coast

  Yosemite National Park closes as wildfires scorch West Coast The federal government-run air quality monitor, Airnow.gov, showed that pollutant levels in the park were so high they exceeded the site’s index. Dangerous air quality is expected in the park, which is spread across nearly 1,200 square miles in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, for the next several days, the park service said. It isn’t clear when Yosemite will reopen.Two wildfires were burning in or near the park, including the massive Creek Fire to the south.

And as for the president? He told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he's not concerned about catching the virus while he's on screen at these events.

"I'm on a stage that's very far away, and so I'm not at all concerned," Trump said.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BATTLEGROUND

The Biden campaign is assembling a legal team to fight the mounting legal battles surrounding the 2020 election. The operation, first reported on Monday by The New York Times, includes hundreds of lawyers and some of the most seasoned legal veterans in Democratic politics.

Per the Times, here's what the program will look like:

  • Dana Remus, who has served as general counsel for Biden's campaign, will lead the effort along with Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel under the Obama administration.
  • Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger, two former solicitors general, will lead a "special litigation unit" within the campaign itself.
  • Marc Elias, a longtime lawyer for the Democratic Party, will lead a team within the law firm Perkins Coie that will tackle state-by-state legal fights over voting rules and procedures.
  • Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will coordinate the efforts between the Biden campaign and the independent groups involved in the legal effort, according to The Times.

It's not unusual for campaigns to retain legal counsel to fight potential battles over election procedures and voting rights. But the size and scale of the Biden campaign's operation underscores the intense legal fighting that's already unfolding across the country, especially given the expansion of mail balloting in several states since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

Why Biden and Trump are both headed to Minnesota to battle for the middle class

  Why Biden and Trump are both headed to Minnesota to battle for the middle class Twin campaign visits to Minnesota Friday by President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will focus on who is more trusted on jobs and manufacturing.The sale of slaves saved Georgetown University: will descendants be repaid?

ON THE ATTACK

Biden is going on the attack against Trump over climate change. Speaking from his home state of Delaware on Monday, the former vice president called Trump a "climate arsonist," accusing him of ignoring mounting signs of environmental strain, including the wildfires currently raging across California, Oregon and Washington.

Here's a look at what Biden said, per The Hill's Rebecca Beitsch:

"What we're seeing in America, in our communities, is connected to all of this, with every bout with nature's fury caused by our own inaction on climate change," Biden said.

"If we give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze? If we leave a climate denier with four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater. We need a president that respects science, understands that the damage from climate change is already here. Unless we take urgent action, it will soon be more catastrophic."

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR VOTIN'

Jill Biden made a major fashion statement at the ballot box in Delaware today, sporting a pair of Stuart Weitzman boots adorned with the the word "vote" in bold, silver lettering.

The Hill's Judy Kurtz has all the latest on Jill Biden's bold, fall footwear here.

And if you're wondering where you can get your own, don't fret. You can purchase them for a cool $695 from Stuart Weitzman's website.

Of course, this isn't the first major fashion statement that has been made with the word "vote" this election cycle.

Former first lady Michelle Obama's BYCHARI "Vote" necklace, which she wore during her video address at the Democratic National Convention last month, made waves on the internet, sending the boutique's sales skyrocketing.

Republicans Claim Addressing Climate Change Is Too Expensive. Americans Aren’t Buying It, a New Poll Shows .
Nearly half of Americans think addressing climate change will help the economy, according to a new pollBut few Americans are buying it, a new poll shows. Nearly half of Americans think addressing climate change will help the economy while only 29% believe that climate policy will cause harm, according to a new report by researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future (RFF) and ReconMR. “It’s just an argument that doesn’t work,” says report author Jon Krosnick, a Stanford social psychologist professor who studies political behavior of the argument that climate policy hurts jobs. “The argument has never convinced even a majority of Republicans.

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