Trump gets surprise Log Cabin Republicans endorsement

Welcome to 2020 Vision, the Yahoo News column covering the presidential race. Reminder: There are 171 days until the Iowa caucuses and 445 days until the 2020 presidential election.

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Log Cabin Republicans back Trump

During the 2016 election, Log Cabin Republicans, the conservative LGBT organization, declined to endorse Donald Trump for president, even after Trump's vow, at the Republican convention, to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from violence and oppression.”

Since taking office, Trump and his administration have effectively rolled back rights for the LGBT community, reinstating a ban on transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military; reversing departmental protections against discrimination against transgender people; banning the flying of pride flags at U.S. embassies; and siding with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

This month, the Department of Labor promulgated a draft rule that would allow government contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees on religious grounds.

That's why it was a surprise on Friday when the group — which normally waits until after the conventions to endorse a candidate — announced its endorsement of Trump's reelection bid.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Log Cabin Republicans chairman Robert Kabel and vice chair Jill Homan credited Trump with "removing gay rights as a wedge issue from the old Republican playbook" and "taking bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community."

"He has committed to end the spread of HIV/AIDS in 10 years, through the use of proven science, medicine and technology to which we now have access," they wrote. "Trump has used the United States’ outsize global influence to persuade other nations to adopt modern human rights standards, including launching an initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality."

"While we do not agree with every policy or platform position presented by the White House or the Republican Party," they added, "we share a commitment to individual responsibility, personal freedom and a strong national defense."

Trump has courted the support of evangelical leaders such as Franklin Graham, John Hagee and Jerry Falwell Jr., who stridently denounce homosexuality as a sin. He appointed Falwell to a task force on education policy.

Log Cabin Republicans endorsed John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

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Donald Trump kicks off his 2020 re-election campaign in Florida
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Donald Trump kicks off his 2020 re-election campaign in Florida
President Donald Trump reacts to the crowd after speaking during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump, smiles as press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks to supporters at a rally where Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Vice President Mike Pence speaks to supporters at a rally where President Donald Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Vice President Mike Pence, left, and wife Karen Pence greet supporters at a rally where President Donald Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet supporters after formally announcing his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump greets supporters after his speech where he formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump, center, speaks to supporters where he formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump supporters shake their fists at the media as Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
From left, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump and Eric Trump, senior adviser Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr., watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters after arriving at Miami International Airport in Miami, following his re-election kickoff rally in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump greet supporters at a rally to formally announce his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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Beto’s reboot

After the deadly mass shooting in El Paso earlier this month, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke returned to his hometown, where he was met by both grieving families and mounting calls for him to end his presidential run and return to the Lone Star State.

"Texas needs you," the Houston Chronicle said in an editorial calling for him to drop his bid for the Democratic nomination and focus his efforts on the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican John Cornyn.

Instead, O'Rourke delivered what his aides called a “major address to the nation” in El Paso on Thursday morning, recasting his campaign as a direct effort to hold President Trump accountable for gun violence.

"I've got to tell you, there's some part of me — and it's a big part of me — that wants to stay here and be with my family and be with my community," O'Rourke said. "There have even been some who suggested that I stay in Texas and run for Senate. But that would not be good enough for this community. That would not be good enough for El Paso. That would not be good enough for this country.”

He added: “We must take the fight directly to the source of this problem, the person who has caused this pain and placed this country in this moment of peril. And that is Donald Trump."

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Beto O'Rourke throughout his political career
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Beto O'Rourke throughout his political career
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: Rep.-elect Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, speaks to reporters after a news conference with democratic members-elect in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
**ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, OCT 31** El Paso City Representatives Steve Ortega, left and Beto O'Rourke pose with a backdrop of Downtown El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005. The two and three other colleagues, all political newcomers under 35, were elected this year to the El Paso city council. The group of young up-and-comers say they took on their public roles to make El Paso the kind of city it should be, the kind it has long struggled to become. (AP Photo/El Paso Times, Victor Calzada)
US Rep. Beto O'Rourke (R), D-TX, speaks during a meeting with One Campaign volunteers including Jeseus Navarrete (L) on February 26, 2013 in O'Rouke's office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANWith the United States days away from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, anti-poverty campaigners fear that reductions in foreign aid could potentially lead to thousands of deaths. The world's largest economy faces $85 billion in cuts virtually across the board starting on March 1, 2013 unless the White House and Congress reach a last-minute deal ahead of the self-imposed deadline known as the sequester. While the showdown has caused concern in numerous circles, activists are pushing hard to avoid a 5.3 percent cut in US development assistance which they fear could set back programs to feed the poor and prevent disease. 'The sequester is an equal cut across the board, but equal cuts don't have equal impact,' said Tom Hart, US executive director of the One campaign, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, rides his bike after a democratic congressional baseball practice in Northeast. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, is pictured at a democratic congressional baseball practice in Northeast. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
US Rep. Beto O'Rourke , D-TX, meets with One campaign volunteers on February 26, 2013 in O'Rouke's office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. With the United States days away from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, anti-poverty campaigners fear that reductions in foreign aid could potentially lead to thousands of deaths. The world's largest economy faces $85 billion in cuts virtually across the board starting on March 1, 2013 unless the White House and Congress reach a last-minute deal ahead of the self-imposed deadline known as the sequester. While the showdown has caused concern in numerous circles, activists are pushing hard to avoid a 5.3 percent cut in US development assistance which they fear could set back programs to feed the poor and prevent disease. 'The sequester is an equal cut across the board, but equal cuts don't have equal impact,' said Tom Hart, US executive director of the One campaign, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 14: Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, walks down the House steps of the Capitol following the last votes of the week on Friday, June 14, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. citizen Edgar Falcon, second from right, and Maricruz Valtierra of Mexico, second from left, laugh while El Paso congressman Beto O'Rourke, right, and Judge Bill Moody, left, congratulate them after the couple was married at U.S.-Mexico border, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 in El Paso, Texas. Like many other couples made up of a US citizen and a foreigner, Falcon and Valtierra, who has been declared inadmissible after an immigration law violation, hope immigration reform will help them live together in the U.S. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, stands with his family for a ceremonial photo with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, left, in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol after the new 113th Congress convened on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Washington. The official oath of office for all members of the House was administered earlier in the House chamber. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas., surrounded by border region leaders, human rights experts, and residents, speaks to media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013., during a news conference to explain what border communities are asking for in the context of immigration reform. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Congressman Beto O'Rourke, center, speaks at a new conference accompanied by Lillian D'Amico, left, mother of a deceased veteran, and Melinda Russel, a former Army chaplain, in El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, June. 4, 2014. A survey of hundreds of West Texas veterans conducted by O'Rourke's office has found that on average they wait more than two months to see a Veterans Affairs mental health professional and even longer to see a physician. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 29: U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, asks a question of former Army Capt. Debra Gipson during a House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee hearing on 'Defined Expectations: Evaluating VA's Performance in the Service Member Transition Process' in the Cannon House Office Building, May 29, 2014, in Washington, DC. Ms. Gipson suffered a severe back injury while en route to Afghanistan. (Photo by Rod Lamkey/Getty Images)
Democratic candidate for the US Senate Beto ORourke addresses his last public event in Austin before election night at the Pan American Neighborhood Park on November 4, 2018 in Austin, Texas. - One of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races is in Texas, where incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz is facing Democratic Representative Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke, 46, whose given names are Robert Francis but who goes by Beto, is mounting a suprisingly strong challenge to the 47-year-old Cruz in the reliably Republican 'Lone Star State.' O'Rourke, a three-term congressman and former member of a punk band, is drawing enthusiastic support from many urban dwellers in Texas while Cruz does better in conservative rural areas. Plucking the Senate seat from Cruz, who battled Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, would be a major victory for the Democratic Party. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, of El Paso, Texas, speaks at the University of Texas at Dallas Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, walks during a protest march in downtown Dallas, Sunday, April 9, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, left, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, take part in a debate for the Texas U.S. Senate, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in San Antonio. (Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News via AP, Pool)
Texas Congressman Beto ORourke gives his concession speech during the election night party at Southwest University Park in downtown El Paso on November 6, 2018. - After a close race for senate, ORourke conceded to incumbent Ted Cruz in his home town. (Photo by Paul Ratje / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Democratic Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke gestures during a live interview with Oprah Winfrey on a Times Square stage at "Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square," Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in New York. O'Rourke dazzled Democrats in 2018 by nearly defeating Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the country's largest red state. O'Rourke says he'll announce whether he'll run for president "before the end of the month." (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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Cardi B. is feeling the Bern

Sen. Bernie Sanders recently sat down with rapper Cardi B. for a campaign video set in a Detroit nail salon, where they discussed their shared love of FDR, increasing theminimum wage, canceling student debt and defeating Donald Trump in 2020.

“We have this bully as a president, and the only way to take him out is somebody winning,” Cardi said.

“We’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump, obviously,” Sanders agreed, “because Donald Trump is an overt racist. He’s way out there.”

It's not the first time Sanders has turned to hip-hop in an effort to connect with African-American voters. In 2016, he sat down with the rapper Killer Mike at an Atlanta barbershop for a similar conversation. Killer Mike subsequently became one of Sanders’s most visible surrogates, even appearing in the spin room after one of the Democratic debates on his behalf.

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Bernie Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign
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Bernie Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign
A Bernie2020 campaign sign is help up in the crowd as Sanders co-chair Sen. Nina Turner, joined by local politicians and hospital workers protest the imminent closure of Hahnemann University Hospital at a rally outside the Center City facilities in Philadelphia, PA on July 11, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
PELLA, IA - JULY 04: An attendee hold a sign for U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 4th of July parade on July 4, 2019 in Pella, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PELLA, IA - JULY 04: U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate v (I-VT) waves as he attends the 4th of July parade on July 4, 2019 in Pella, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PELLA, IA - JULY 04: U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attends the 4th of July parade on July 4, 2019 in Pella, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the media after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders speaks to the press in the Spin Room after participating in the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful former US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders looks on during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, USA - JUNE 27: Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2020 presidential candidate speaks to the media outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children a detention facility for incarcerated youths that have been detained by Homeland Security in Homestead, Florida, United States on June 27, 2019. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate and US Senator, Bernie Sanders, holds up a sign during a rally inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college in Rock Hill, SC on June, 23 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Danny Glover (L), Hollywood actor and supporter of Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, listens as Sanders gives a speech inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college in Rock Hill, SC on June, 23 2019. Glover has been on the campaign trail opening for the Senator during his swing through South Carolina. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, greets supporters after a speech at a packed rally inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college, before a rally in Rock Hill, SC on June, 23 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, addresses the crowd at a packed rally inside the gymnasium at Clinton College, a historically black college, before a rally in Rock Hill, SC on June, 22 2019. - Many of the Democratic candidates running for president were in South Carolina over the weekend to make appearances at the Democratic Party Convention and win the hearts of black voters. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - 2019/05/31: U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, speaks at a campaign rally in Pasadena, California. The 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to supporters at the Pasadena Convention Center. This weekend Sanders will also attend the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - 2019/05/31: Supporters of the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are seen holding letters that spell Bernie during a campaign rally in Pasadena, California. The 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to supporters at the Pasadena Convention Center. This weekend Sanders will also attend the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - MAY 31: Sen. Bernie Sanders appears at a campaign rally at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 31, 2019 in Pasadena, California. Sanders and three other candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination - Sen. Kamala Harris, Julian Castro and Gov. Jay Inslee - will field questions at the Immigrant Unity and Freedom Presidential Forum of 2019 nearby, following the rally. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - 2019/05/31: Supporters of the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hold Bernie placards during a campaign rally in Pasadena, California. The 2020 presidential hopeful spoke to supporters at the Pasadena Convention Center. This weekend Sanders will also attend the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MONTPELIER, VT - MAY 25: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in the capital of his home state of Vermont on May 25, 2019 in Montpelier, Vermont. This was the first Vermont rally of Sanders' 2020 campaign. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: People holding Bernie signs during a Bernie Sanders rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd during his rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd during his rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SCHENLEY PLAZA, PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES - 2019/04/14: Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd during his rally campaign ahead of United States Presidential election. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rally in Pittsburgh, PA on the campaign trail for the bid in the 2020 election. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 5: Flanked by Rev. Al Sharpton (L) and Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson (R) look on as Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at the National Action Network's annual convention, April 5, 2019 in New York City. A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are speaking at the organization's convention this week. Founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991, the National Action Network is one of the most influential African American organizations dedicated to civil rights in America. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I -VT) attends the National Action Network's annual convention on April 5, 2019 in New York City. A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will speak at the organization's convention this week. Founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991, the National Action Network is one of the most influential African American organizations dedicated to civil rights in America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Supporters of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) listen during a campaign rally at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Volunteer Ena Silva wears a hat she decorated during a campaign rally for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Souvenir t-shirts are seen outside a campaign rally for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Judy Canham holds a doll of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the rally as Sanders continues his California swing in preparation for the early 2020 primaries (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 24: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally at the Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Sanders, who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race, is making the rounds in California which is considered a crucial 'first five' primary state by the Sanders campaign. California will hold on early primary on March 3, 2020. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gives a speech during a single-day strike of University of California research and technical workers on the UCLA Westwood campus March 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Union leaders and students from UCLA also participated in the activities. Similar demonstrations were held at UC medical facilities across the state. Sen. Sanders formally announced in February that he is running for President in the 2020 campaign. (Photo bu Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - MARCH 14: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses the crowd at the Royal Family Life Center on March 14, 2019 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Sanders received 26 percent of the South Carolina Democratic vote in the 2020 race, eventually losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - MARCH 14: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greets the crowd at the Royal family Life Center on March 14, 2019 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Sanders received 26 percent of the South Carolina Democratic vote in the 2020 race, eventually losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - MARCH 10: Supporters of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign event on March 10, 2019 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race is making the rounds in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - MARCH 09: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greets potential supporters at a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on March 9, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race is making the rounds in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders launched his 2020 presidential campaign at his alma mater, Brooklyn College, in his hometown Brooklyn, New York, US, on 2 March 2019. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, Independent US Senator from Vermont speaks on stage as he kicks-off his campaign for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections on a Democratic ticket at a rally at Brooklyn College, in Brooklyn, NY on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, Independent US Senator from Vermont speaks on stage as he kicks-off his campaign for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections on a Democratic ticket at a rally at Brooklyn College, in Brooklyn, NY on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Bernie Sanders pins are on display during his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College on March 02, 2019 in the Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)
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#KAG wins

At his rally in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday, President Trump polled the crowd inside the Southern New Hampshire University Arena on whether his reelection campaign should adopt a new slogan, "Keep America Great," or use the one from his successful 2016 bid, "Make America Great Again." Judging by applause, the crowd chose "Keep America Great."

They were perhaps swayed by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, who was handing out "Keep America Great" hats before the president's speech.

After the event, Trump posted photos of the crowd on Twitter with their preferred rallying cry and accompanying hashtag, #KAG2020.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, "kag" is a slang verb that means "to eat or drink something reluctantly" or "to consume with disdain or disgust" and "choke down."

Hickenlooper ends campaign, eyes Senate

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s run at the Democratic presidential nomination officially came to an end on Thursday after a campaign of “pragmatic progressivism” that never found traction. Hickenlooper had a muddied start (refusing to identify himself as a capitalist before becoming the race’s foremost basher of socialism; an odd answer at a CNN town hall when asked about putting a woman on the ticket) and a late June staff shakeup that failed to serve as a reboot as he lagged in both polls and fundraising.

After repeatedly saying he had no interest in the Senate, Hickenlooper said in his departure video that he would now give serious consideration to taking on Republican incumbent Cory Gardner in the 2020 race, saying, “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

Gardner is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican senators, as his narrow victory in the 2014 GOP wave year was followed by Hillary Clinton winning the state by 5 points in 2016 and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis winning by double digits in 2018. Hickenlooper remains a popular figure in Colorado, where he won two terms as both governor and mayor of Denver.

Who’s in, who’s out for next debate

One reason for Hickenlooper to drop out is he had almost no chance of making the next round of Democratic debates, set for Sept. 12 and 13. As we’ve written here before, the qualifications are higher than they were for the first two sets, requiring 130,000 individual donors and 2 percent or more in four Democratic National Committee-approved polls. Nine candidates have already locked in spots:

  • Joe Biden

  • Cory Booker

  • Pete Buttigieg

  • Kamala Harris

  • Amy Klobuchar

  • Beto O’Rourke

  • Bernie Sanders

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Andrew Yang

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro has hit the donor mark and just needs one more qualified poll by the Aug. 28 cutoff. That’s the same position as billionaire Tom Steyer, whose recent entry into the race came with massive spending on social media and gripes from some of his fellow candidates about buying a spot on the stage.

"We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grassroots support," said Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who is projected to miss the next set of debates but will have a CNN town hall later this month. "It’s not serving the candidates, and it sure isn’t helping the voters who will actually decide this election."

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — who went after Harris’s prosecutorial record in the last debate — has also cleared the donor threshold but needs three polls after a flurry of 1 percent finishes. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s message of climate change likely won’t make the stage as he has yet to hit 2 percent in any of the qualifying polls, but his campaign did announce on Wednesday that it was within 10,000 of the donor mark.

Should the number of qualified candidates exceed 10 — which seems likely — the group will be split into two nights, live on ABC News and Univision from Houston.

Warren surges in latest Iowa poll

Last weekend all the candidates descended on Iowa for the state fair and crossed off important items from the list, from meeting voters and giving speeches to eating fried food and looking at a butter cow sculpture. Coming out of the cattle call, one poll shows a big winner: Elizabeth Warren. Warren led with 28 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in an Iowa Starting Line-Change Research Poll, 11 points ahead of Biden and Sanders, who were tied for second. It is a 16 percent bump from Warren’s position in a similar poll in May. The only other candidate to clock in at double digits in the August survey was Pete Buttigieg, who placed fourth with 13 percent.

While Iowa Republicans haven’t had the best luck at projecting the future nominee (the last three winners were Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee), the last few Democrats to win Iowa (Hillary Clinton by a slim margin, Barack Obama and John Kerry) all went on to win the nomination.

Biden still leads in most national polling, but Warren has worked her way into second in two August releases from Quinnipiac (21 percent, to Biden’s 32) and Fox News (20 percent, to Biden’s 31). A Morning Consult poll found the Massachusetts senator in third with 14 percent, behind Biden (33 percent) and Sanders (20 percent).

Verbatim

“Promises have been made to black Americans. And they have not been kept.”

— South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at the Black Church PAC forum in Atlanta on Friday, when asked why African-American millennials should support him

"We are losing our well-being as a nation because so many of these guns now are on our streets."

— Sen. Cory Booker, on MSNBC Wednesday, responding to the news of six police officers being shot in Philadelphia

"I will not in any scenario run for the United States Senate. I’m running for president."

— Beto O'Rourke, on MSNBC Wednesday, when asked about calls from some in the Democratic Party for him to change course

“One of the things I’m most proud of in this presidential campaign is that I’m leading the national narrative on major issues.”

— Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in an interview with CNN Wednesday; Gillibrand traveled to Missouri this week to highlight abortion rights

"Whether you love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me."

— President Trump at a rally in New Hampshire on Thursday

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