The Latest: Democratic candidates make rapid-fire appeals


Supporters of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker rally for the Democratic presidential hopeful ahead of Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s “World Famous Fish Fry” on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

Nearly all of the Democrats running for president in 2020 have made rapid-fire appeals to hundreds of cheering, sweating supporters at the “world famous” fish fry hosted by South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn.

Friday night’s raucous, open air-event in hot and humid Columbia ended with 20-plus Democratic candidates appearing together on stage sporting blue Clyburn T-shirts and posing for a rather awkward group photo.

Each had been given one minute to speak, and many had used it to repeat the same promises they make multiple times a day while campaigning.

One of the last candidates to appear, Sen. Kamala Harris, even gently noted that much of what needed to be said had already been said.

Still, hundreds in the crowd stayed for the duration — cheering long and loud, even if much of what they heard wasn’t exactly new.


11:10 p.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris is calling attention to the fourth anniversary of a massacre at a Charleston church where a white supremacist shot and killed nine black South Carolinians.

Harris says she realizes she was lowering the mood at a South Carolina fish fry where 20-plus Democratic presidential candidates are addressing a boisterous crowd.

The senator promises expanded background checks and other gun restrictions.

Harris also says her candidacy is owed to previous generations of civil rights leaders. She’s one of two major black Democratic candidates. Black voters are expected to cast a majority of the South Carolina presidential primary ballots next February.


10:55 p.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is promising to impose a wealth tax on the richest Americans, declaring, “I’m in this fight because I believe that the time for small ideas is over.”

Warren says she’d use the proceeds to provide universal child care until age 5, as well as universal pre-kindergarten and tuition-free college for nearly all Americans.

Drawing sustained applause, Warren yelled her way through much of her 1-minute speech at Rep. Jim Clyburn’s fish fry in South Carolina.

She says, “We need to have courage in this country.”


10:40 p.m.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is poking fun at President Donald Trump for all but sending the country “to war by tweet,” while businessman Andrew Yang is promoting his plan for a universal, guaranteed, monthly income of $1,000.

Yang says his plan to provide $1,000 per month to all Americans is “a vision of a trickle up economy,” drawing some of the loudest applause of the night as 20-plus candidates each took the stage for one minute to address a crowd of hundreds at South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s fish fry.

Yang declared, “The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math,” prompting chants of, “Andrew! Andrew! Andrew!”


10:30 p.m.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is asking South Carolina Democrats to “imagine a woman not just having a seat at the table, but having a seat at the head of the table.”

Gillibrand has made defending women’s rights a centerpiece of her presidential campaign and says she has “taken on the powerful and the corrupt my entire career.”

Gillibrand is promising to “take on the battles others won’t,” adding of President Donald Trump, “The best way to take on a bully is to stand up to him.”

She is also noting that more than 100 women ran for Congress in 2018 and won.

Gillibrand is among the White House hopefuls speaking Friday at South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s annual fish fry.


10:15 p.m.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is telling South Carolina Democrats that he wants a country where the “full story of the United States” is told.

O’Rourke says he’s trying to do that by traveling to all corners of the state that hosts the South’s first presidential primary. O’Rourke named key parts of the state where the black population is concentrated.

South Carolina is the first state in the Democrats’ nominating process where black voters cast a majority of primary ballots.


10:10 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is reminding South Carolina voters of his long ties to the state that holds the South’s first presidential primary.

Biden is among the first White House hopefuls speaking at South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s fish fry. It’s an annual event that is reaching its peak this weekend as more than 20 candidates visit the state for high-profile events.

Biden told more than 1,500 attendees that he’s “been in every one of your counties over the years.” Biden is leading in early polls on his strength among older black and white voters.


8 p.m.

It’s been part of South Carolina politics for nearly three decades, but House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s “World Famous Fish Fry” is a little different this year, becoming a showpiece Democratic event in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

At Clyburn’s invitation, 21 Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination will address a crowd in downtown Columbia on Friday night. The gathering marks the first time so many hopefuls from the sprawling field will appear at the same event and comes just days before the first primary debates.

The fish fry is a highlight of a big political weekend in South Carolina, with many candidates also attending the state party’s annual fundraising gala.

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