2020 Democratic hopefuls stuck in Washington deploy surrogates for help before Iowa vote

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN/AP) - Democratic White House hopefuls are deploying surrogates across the early primary states and beyond as they try to make up for their limited time on the trail.

Candidates have deployed their spouses, their children and celebrities to make their case to undecided voters and help them raise money in unorthodox ways.

The surrogates will become even more important this week as four senators running for president - Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett - will be stuck in Washington to serve as jurors for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

The proxies can help fill in the gap as the senators are sidelined from campaigning in the critical final stretch before voting.

Hillary Clinton bashes Sanders on likeability

Hillary Clinton says “nobody likes” her former presidential rival Sanders, even as the Vermont senator remains among the front-runners in the Democratic race.

In an interviewed posted Tuesday with “The Hollywood Reporter,” Clinton was asked about a comment she makes in an upcoming documentary where she says Sanders was “in Congress for years” but, “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done.”

Clinton replied that the criticism still holds and refused to say she’d endorse him this cycle if he wins the party’s nomination. Sanders campaign said it had no comment.

Clinton’s sentiments may only energize Sanders loyalists who believed the Democratic establishment rigged the 2016 primary in her favor.

A push in Iowa before impeachment trial

With the Iowa caucuses two weeks away, the 2020 Democratic field was out in full force on Monday.

First, they stopped in South Carolina, where the rivals marched arm in arm for Martin Luther King Day.

Most of the Democrats seeking their party's presidential nomination march in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
Most of the Democrats seeking their party's presidential nomination march in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard) (Source: Meg Kinnard)

Then, many of them rushed Monday afternoon to Iowa for separate events across the Hawkeye State as tensions simmered among the top tier of candidates.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are facing off over social security,

Biden accused the Sanders campaign of promoting a 2018 video, which takes the former vice president out of context by suggesting he wanted to cut the entitlement program.

“But it is simply a lie that video that is going around," he said. "And I’m looking for his campaign to come forward and disown it but they haven’t done it yet.”

Sanders is defending his criticism of Biden’s record on social security.

“On the issue of social security, time and time again, Joe Biden has been clear in supporting cuts to social security,” he said.

Biden’s also issuing a warning about how a Sanders or Elizabeth Warren nomination would affect other democrats on the ballot come November

“I’m just asking the rhetorical question, Bernie’s at the top of the ticket in North and South Carolina, or Warren’s the top of the ticket. How many Democrats down the line you think are gonna win?” Biden said.

As the 2020 contenders focus on the early states, a pair of rivals picked up a national endorsement.

In an unprecedented move, the New York Times editorial board announcing it’s backing Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren for president, writing: “both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach.”

This marks the first time the New York Times has ever endorsed more than one candidate in a presidential contest.

The paper has endorsed a Democratic candidate every year since 1960, when it endorsed John F. Kennedy.

The last Republican candidate it endorsed was Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

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