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National Govt & Politics
LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates
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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

Amid growing calls in Congress by Democratic lawmakers to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, and in the wake of verbal broadsides against minority Democrats which have drawn cries of racism, Democratic hopefuls for their party's 2020 Presidential nomination gathered in the Motor City for their second round of debates, with the goal of taking back the White House next year.

Ten Democrats will be on the debate stage tonight - ironically at the historic Fox Theater in downtown Detroit - with ten other Democrats debating on Wednesday night, with a number of candidates probably facing their last best chance to shake up this race.

Here's what happened in this first round in Detroit:

-

10:43 pm - The first debate of this second round for Democrats is over. 

10:41 pm - Bernie Sanders wraps up the debate by calling President Trump a racist, sexist, 'and a homophobe.'

10:32 pm - Closing statements are now underway as each candidate gets one minute - but some run over that limit right away.

10:25 - There was a question about the age of a candidate - but Biden's name did not come up.

10:18 pm - The Democratic front runner, Joe Biden, has completely flown under the radar in this first debate.  Has his name been mentioned? I don't remember it. 

10:10 pm - The more progressive wing of the party has been urging some of the candidates running for President to give up their quest, and use their ideas to press for other offices.  This is from Brian Fallon, a former top aide for Hillary Clinton, who has been pushing the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren.

10:05 pm - Moving towards the end of this debate, Warren defends her idea of a wealth tax, arguing it's a solid way to close the 'wealth gap' in America, and a way to fund needed programs.

9:55 pm - For the first time tonight, the debate moves into trade, as Democrats say the President's trade actions have not helped, though they do say it's time to be tough with China.   Tim Ryan says President Trump 'bungled' the whole effort to fight Beijing.  “Trade wars are for losers,” said John Hickenlooper.

9:49 pm - The candidates get to take a swing at supporting the idea of reparations for descendants of slaves.  After Sanders endorses a bill in Congress, and O'Rourke says he would back a different one, CNN takes a second break.  Not much time left in this debate, along with closing statements.

9:38 pm - Marianne Williamson goes 48230 with her response to one question on Michigan: “What happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe.”

9:35 pm - Elizabeth Warren has the same type of reaction as Sanders, pushing back against the more moderate side of the party:

9:29 pm - We continue on the same refrain tonight, now with climate change.  Sanders says he's tired of listening to Democrats who are 'afraid of big ideas.'

9:27 pm - I'm not in the big press filing tent, but rather back in the Hockeytown Cafe bar.  Here's my view, along with a small group of other reporters.

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

9:18 pm - Delaney jumps on the bandwagon, saying Democrats can't run on 'fairy tale economics,' aiming right at Warren and Sanders again. Warren zings Delaney by saying she doesn't understand why someone runs for President if they aren't willing to dream big.

9:15 pm - Tim Ryan echoes the Hickenlooper jab at Sanders, rattling off issues like taking private insurance away from union members, decriminalizing illegal border crossings, and giving free health care to illegal immigrants - saying that is not a winning formula for Democrats.

9:12 pm - The next segment starts on a familiar theme for tonight, with Hickenlooper questioning the expansive plans from Sanders. Hickenlooper says if Democrats promise tons of free stuff, then Trump will win easily.

9:06 pm - After 53 minutes, CNN finally takes the first break of this debate.  There were some interesting moments, especially on health care.

8:58 pm - The candidates move into a third segment on gun violence.  It basically turns into multiple candidates slamming the National Rifle Association, and vowing to step up background checks, ban assault weapons, and limit the size of magazines.

8:55 pm - This segment on immigration is like the earlier question on health care, showing that there are differences among the Democrats, over the issue of whether to decriminalize the act of entering the United States illegally.

8:45 pm - The health care debate wraps up after showing some big differences on the subject.  A very interesting first 30 minutes. Next up is immigration.

8:43 pm - Sanders snaps at Tim Ryan over the details of how the unions would be hurt by a Medicare For All plan.  “I do know, I wrote the damn bill,” Sanders says. Ryan says the Medicare For All plan would be bad politics for Democrats in 2020.

8:40 pm - This health insurance argument continues, and shows an interesting divide among these candidates.  Buttigieg says there's no need to pull back on the ideas for a big Medicare for All plan.  Buttigieg says no matter what Democrats support, Republicans will call them a 'bunch of crazy socialists'

8:36 pm - An interesting dynamic tonight as Sanders and Warren face critiques over their big Medicare For All plans - Sanders calls Tapper's questions, a Republican talking point.

8:34 pm - Tapper being insistent as he presses the various candidates: “Who is offering a false choice here?”  Bullock is getting a lot of early play tonight.

8:30 pm - Jake Tapper is calmly trying to zero in on both Warren and Sanders about the cost of their Medicare for All plans.

8:26 pm - The Q&A gets underway with the first question going to Bernie Sanders on health care.  Jake Tapper talks about how Delaney and others say Sanders would spend too much money on his plan.  “You're wrong,” Sanders tells Delaney.

8:20 pm - Amy Klobuchar goes there first: “"I have had it with the racist attacks" of President Trump.

8:18 pm - The early statements from Bullock, John Delaney, Tim Ryan, and John Hickenlooper are a reminder that there is still a big chunk of more moderate Democrats who don't live on the East and West Coast.  We'll see if they really challenge Warren and Sanders tonight.

8:14 pm - Opening statements get underway.  Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana - who is in his first debate - goes first - and says President Trump will be hard to beat.

8:11 pm - Remember, most of the candidates will only speak between six and nine minutes tonight.  In the first round, Andrew Yang spoke the least of any candidate, at just under three minutes.

8:05 pm - The candidates are all on stage. 

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

7:55 pm - Down to the stage.

7:50 pm - Just a reminder of the 10 Democrats on stage:

Sanders

Warren

Buttigieg

O'Rourke

Klobuchar

Bullock

Ryan

Hickenlooper

Delaney

Williamson

7:45 pm - The head of the national Democratic Party is giving a giant stem winder of a speech from the debate stage.  CNN is showing the whole thing.  “Doesn't this seem really odd?” a younger reporter said to me with a quizzical look on his face.

7:40 pm - This just dropped into my inbox. It's a reminder that in the first pair of debates, what happened on the first night was almost totally overshadowed by the second debate.  I really those in the second debate have an advantage in terms of press.

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

7:35 pm - A lot is at stake tonight for the ten Democrats on stage, especially those who are not named Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg.  Maybe five of the ten candidates here for the debate won't be able to qualify for the next Democratic debate in September in Houston.

You can read more about what each candidate might face in my story from earlier today.

7:30 pm - Most reporters are not in the debate hall, but instead we are across the street at a sports bar - the Hockeytown Cafe - which is decked out with all sorts of Detroit sports paraphernalia.  I'm sitting about 25 feet from one of the bars, but they aren't selling any alcohol.  The 'Spin Room' is in a big tent attached to the back of the bar.

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

7:25 pm - You never know what issues will surface in a debate, and what issues might get left on the side.  Two hours might sound like a lot, but with ten candidates splitting the time, nothing is guaranteed.   Maybe one of the questions will be about the President's recent Twitter attacks on certain Democrats in Congress.

7:15 pm - Here is the roster for tonight's debate:

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

7:00 pm - The crowd is already seated inside the Fox Theater on historic Woodward Avenue in Detroit, just a long home run from where the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings play.  CNN is the host for tonight's debate (NBC had the first Democratic debate in Miami in late June.)

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats start second round of 2020 debates

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  • A single blood test may be able to detect your risk of dying within five to 10 years. That’s according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications, for which scientists in the Netherlands examined blood sample data on 44,168 Europeans ages 18 to 109 from 12 cohorts. More than 5,500 participants died during follow-up studies. When looking through the data, lead researcher Eline Slagboom and her team identified 14 biomarkers in the blood independently associated with “all-cause mortality.” These biomarkers, which are “involved in various processes, such as lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis, fluid balance, and inflammation,” ultimately help determine one’s score (or risk) of dying within five to 10 years. “Such a score,” study authors wrote, “could potentially be used in clinical practice to guide treatment strategies, for example when deciding whether an elderly person is too fragile for an invasive operation.” But how well can those 14 biomarkers actually predict risk of death? To find out, the scientists also compared their data with a 1997 cohort in Finland. According to data on more than 7,600 Finnish individuals (1,213 of whom had died during follow-up), the 14 biomarkers initially examined predicted patient deaths within five to 10 years with approximately 83% accuracy, according to the study. This suggests the biomarkers “clearly improve risk prediction of five and 10-year mortality as compared to conventional risk factors across all ages,” study authors wrote. Conventional risk factors, such as systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol, typically have a mortality prediction accuracy of 78% to 79%. Still, further research is certainly needed before a blood test based on the 14 biomarkers is used in clinical settings. Because the data used in the study comes from a variety of cohorts, future efforts should focus on creating a biomarker score based on individual-level data. Read the full study at nature.com.
  • A federal judge has placed the man at the center of the John Grisham book 'The Innocent Man' on the path to potential freedom. Karl Fontenot’s story was also made into a Netflix documentary series. U.S. District Judge James Payne, of Muskogee, ruled there is reasonable doubt that Fontenot should have been convicted in 1988 in the kidnapping and killing of Ada convenience store clerk Denice Haraway in 1984.  Judge Payne's opinion discusses alleged misconduct by police, investigators and prosecutors. Fontenot and co-defendant Tommy Ward were convicted in Haraway's murder in part due to a recording of them talking about dreams they had about her murder.
  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • The Trump campaign has a message for its female supporters: It’s time to come out of hiding. “There’s a lot of people that are fearful of expressing their support, and I want you ladies to know it’s OK to have felt that way, but we need to move past that or the Democrats win,” said Tana Goertz, a Trump campaign adviser, at an Iowa “Women for Trump” event on Thursday. The Iowa event, held in the back room of a barbecue joint in a Des Moines suburb, was one of more than a dozen in battleground states nationwide as part of a push to make the president’s case on the economy and train volunteers. The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women — an issue that has the potential to sink his chances for reelection. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of President Donald Trump than men have. Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president. Trump himself called into a gathering of hundreds in Tampa, Florida, and insisted, to cheers: “We’re doing great with women, despite the fake news.”
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.

Washington Insider

  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.
  • Before the leaders of the G7 nations had even boarded their flights for the meeting in Biarritz, France, President Donald Trump was already stirring the political pot associated with the meeting of western allies, making it clear he wants to see Russia return to the group, after being exiled in 2014 over the seizure of the Crimea from Ukraine. 'We spend a lot of time talking about Russia at those meetings,' the President told reporters this week. 'And they're not there. I think it would be a good thing if Russia were there so we can speak directly.' Russia was a member of what was then known as the 'Group of Eight' - but Moscow was booted out in 2014 after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine. 'President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in,' Mr. Trump said to reporters. 'But I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in.' But there seems to be little chance of that happening in the current political environment in Europe, especially with Russian backed forces fighting in Ukraine. During a meeting with Vladimir Putin earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron made clear his opposition to such a move proposed by President Trump, arguing that Russia must first address Crimea - and the ongoing proxy war pushed by Russian backed forces inside Ukraine - before any such change is made. 'In effect, the resolution of this conflict is a magic wand that will open the door for Russia to return to the G7 club,' Macron said . With the two leaders seated before reporters, Macron labeled the Ukraine situation an 'irritant' in Russian relations with the West. 'It is obvious that the return to the G8 format and normal relations with the EU requires the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,' Macron added. Last year, the 2018 meeting of world leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, ended in odd fashion, when President Trump suddenly left the meeting early, refusing to endorse a joint communique by the leaders. In order to avoid a dispute along those lines in 2019, Macron has decided there will not be a joint communique issued by the G-7. It will be the first time since the meetings began in the 1970's that the group will not issue a statement of joint goals. White House officials previewing the President's trip said much of his focus at the G-7 will be on free, fair and reciprocal trade, as he has often criticized Canada and the European Union of unfair trade barriers to U.S. exports.
  • Back in their home districts on an extended summer break, the drip-drip sound Democrats hear is not coming from the watering the plants, but rather from the halls of the Congress, where more and more Democratic members of the House are publicly announcing their support for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. A flurry of announcements were made on Thursday, as a series of Democrats said they would back an impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee, bringing the total number to 135 - more than a majority of Democrats in the House. 'I cannot ignore the call to defend our institutions, to safeguard our democratic norms, and to stand up for our democracy,' said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) on Thursday afternoon. A few hours earlier, Rep. William Keating of Massachusetts told his Bay State constituents that the Mueller Report left too many unanswered questions about the President, accusing the White House of stonewalling legitimate Congressional oversight. 'No person in America is above the law, including the President of the United States,' said Rep. Lauren Underwood, a freshman Democrat from Illinois. 'I support moving forward with an impeachment inquiry, which will continue to uncover the facts for the American people and hold this president accountable,' said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), the fourth ranking Democrat in the House.  'This is not a position I’ve reached lightly,' Lujan said earlier this week. When Democrats left town four weeks ago for their six week summer break, the number of lawmakers endorsing the start of an impeachment idea was nowhere near 100. But it's been creeping up on almost a daily basis - and more lawmakers seem likely to join in the weeks ahead.
  • Unlikely to qualify for the next debate among Democratic candidates for the White House, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State told supporters in an email on Wednesday night that he was dropping his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President, further thinning the field with just over five months until the first vote is cast. 'I want to share a tough decision with you,' Inslee said to supporters, as he cited his top priority of climate change. 'But I've concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be the next president of the United States,' Inslee added. Earlier in the week, Inslee touted that his campaign had hit 130,000 donors - one of the qualifying requirements for the next Democratic debate in Houston. But Inslee had no chance to register at 2 percent or higher in four different polls, leaving him on the sidelines - and off the debate stage. 'As a result, I don't believe we can compete for the attention and exposure needed to have a reasonable shot at the nomination,' Inslee said. Inslee had tried hard to be the loudest voice in the party on climate change, bringing it up in both debates, and doing numerous events on the subject. But the former Congressman, and current Governor, was never able to break out of the lower tier of Democratic candidates. “I want to once again thank everyone who helped in this effort. We have so much to be proud of,” Inslee wrote to his backers.  “Make no mistake, we also have a lot more work to do.” On MSNBC Wednesday night, Inslee said it was clear this was the right choice. “I'm not going to be carrying the ball,” Inslee said in an interview.  “I'm not going to be the President, so I'm withdrawing tonight.”