U.S. markets closed

Klobuchar Is in ‘Very Good Health’: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar is in “very good health,” her doctor said in a medical report released Monday.

“She does not have any health conditions that would impair her ability to perform the duties of the Presidency,” Jennifer M. McKeand of Women’s Health Consultants in Minneapolis said in the report.

The report shows that the 59-year-old Minnesota senator has normal blood pressure and does not smoke. Klobuchar, who had a hip replacement in 2006, takes Ibuprofen for hip pain.

Front-runner Bernie Sanders has not released full medical records. Nor has Michael Bloomberg or Pete Buttigieg. Joe Biden released a three-page summary and Elizabeth Warren released her full records.

After a heart attack in October, Sanders released three letters from doctors indicating he is healthy. But when asked during a CNN town hall last week whether he would disclose more details, Sanders responded “I don’t think we will, no.”

(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

Sanders’s Praise of Castro Makes Him a Target (4:04 p.m.)

Tuesday’s Democratic debate will be held in South Carolina, but Monday’s rhetoric on the campaign trail signaled a coming fight over Florida.

Three Democratic candidates have made clear they will hit front-runner Bernie Sanders hard over his praise for former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, which has raised concerns among some Democrats about losing the Sunshine State in the general election.

In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” Sanders praised Castro’s literacy program. Joe Biden senior adviser Cristóbal Alex said in a press release that the comments were “part of a larger pattern” of Sanders embracing “autocratic leaders.”

Pete Buttigieg tweeted a clip from the “60 Minutes” interview. “After four years of looking on in horror as Trump cozied up to dictators, we need a president who will be extremely clear in standing against regimes that violate human rights abroad,” Buttigieg wrote in English and Spanish. “We can’t risk nominating someone who doesn’t recognize this.”

Michael Bloomberg also tweeted the video clip, saying Castro “left a dark legacy of forced labor camps, religious repression, widespread poverty, firing squads, and the murder of thousands of his own people.”

(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.) -- Ryan Teague Beckwith

Klobuchar Says a Woman President Would Inspire (3:07 p.m.)

Amy Klobuchar says a woman president would be inspirational for young girls.

“I want every little girl in America and around the world to know that anything is possible,” she said in a tweet Monday accompanied by a clip of a recent CNN town hall.

Her message echoes similar ones from the other women who have been in the 2020 race.

“I want every little girl to know she can do anything, too,” Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted in May. “This campaign is about lifting young girls up and showing them they can do anything,” Kamala Harris tweeted in July.

And Elizabeth Warren has long shared multiple videos on social media of her doing “pinky promises” with young girls to run for office one day. “Running for president: That’s what girls do,” she said in a typical tweet from last June.

Buffett Says Endorsement Might Hurt Bloomberg (11:38 a.m.)

Michael Bloomberg just missed out on an endorsement from one of the richest men in the world.

In an interview on CNBC, investor Warren Buffett said that he “would certainly vote” for the former New York City mayor over Bernie Sanders if he had the choice, but he wasn’t sure a public endorsement would be helpful.

“I don’t think another billionaire supporting him would be the best thing to announce,” Buffett said.

Sanders frequently criticizes billionaires, although he’s had a less contentious relationship with Buffett than some of his peers. In 2016, Sanders criticized Buffett for not supporting solar power at an energy utility he owns in Nevada.

Nonetheless, Buffett, who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, said Sanders had “run a model campaign” by being forthright and focusing on a positive message.

Sanders Knocked on Cuba Defense by Lawmakers (7:17 a.m.)

Bernie Sanders has long sought to distinguish his brand of Scandinavian-style democratic socialism from the Latin American socialism highlighted by Republicans, but his remarks on Cuba aren’t helping.

During a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, Sanders defended the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s policies, drawing fire from lawmakers in Florida, a critical swing state with a large population of Cuban refugees.

“I’m hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro,” Democratic Representative Donna Shalala tweeted.

Sanders said it was “unfair” to slam everything done in Cuba by Castro, who died in 2016, having led the island nation with one-party Communist rule for decades.

“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders said. “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio rebuked Sanders on Twitter on Monday morning. “The central promise every Marxist makes is that if we give up some of our individual freedom,the state will provide us more ‘security’ like free health care & education,” Rubio wrote. “But ultimately Marxism fails to deliver ‘security’ & you don’t have the freedom to do anything about it.”

Sanders also distanced himself from President Donald Trump during the interview, saying “I do not think that Kim Jong Un is a good friend,” and “Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.” -- Kathleen Hunter

COMING UP

South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29. Fourteen states and one U.S. territory will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

(Corrects that Sanders not only top-tier candidate to not release full medical records)

--With assistance from Kathleen Hunter, Elizabeth Wasserman, Emma Kinery and Tyler Pager.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Washington, D.C. at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net;Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, John Harney, Max Berley

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.