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Biden Says Children Won’t Have White House Role: Campaign Update

Jennifer Epstein

(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden pledged that his children won’t have a role in his White House if he’s elected president and jabbed Donald Trump for involving his children in the “day-to-day operations” of his administration.

“My children are not going to have offices in the White House. My children are not going to sit in on cabinet meetings,” Biden said in excerpts from an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that will be broadcast on Sunday.

“It’s just simply improper because you should make it clear to the American public that everything you’re doing is for them,” he said.

Trump family members — including his son-in-law Jared Kushner — are “engaged in the day-to-day operation of things they know nothing about.” Asked in the interview conducted Tuesday whether Kushner was qualified for his work negotiating a Middle East peace plan, Biden said “I don’t. What credentials does he bring to that?”

Kushner has taken on a wide range of roles in the White House including work on the Middle East, immigration reform and trade agreements. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and Kushner’s wife, is a senior adviser with an office in the West Wing.

Trump has made unsubstantiated attacks on Biden for his son Hunter’s involvement in what the president says are corrupt business dealings in Ukraine and China.

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, responded with a statement that praised the accomplishments of Kushner and Ivanka Trump. He began by the statement by saying: “Joe Biden is correct on one point: Hunter Biden would never have an office in the White House because he’s proven that his only qualification is being the son of Joe Biden.

Sanders Proposes Expunging Pot Convictions (4:42 p.m.)

Bernie Sanders broadened his proposal for legalizing marijuana, offering a detailed plan Thursday that includes expunging past criminal convictions for possession, investing in communities hit hardest by the “war on drugs” and barring tobacco companies from participating in the expanding pot industry.

“We’re going to legalize marijuana and end the horrifically destructive war on drugs,” Sanders said in a statement. “It has disproportionately targeted people of color and ruined the lives of millions of Americans.”

Sanders said he would direct federal and state officials to expunge past marijuana-related convictions and re-sentence those currently incarcerated. He would create a $10 billion Department of Agriculture grant program to help people who have been arrested for or convicted of marijuana offenses to start urban and rural farms and growing operations. He also would establish an independent White House clemency board and increase regulation of marijuana producers.

The Vermont senator is scheduled to speak Saturday in South Carolina at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, which promotes bipartisan criminal justice reform. President Donald Trump will appear at the event on Friday.

Sanders was the first major presidential candidate to endorse marijuana legalization during his 2016 White House bid. Most of the other 2020 Democratic candidates have backed legalizing marijuana and some -- including Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker -- also support expunging past criminal convictions. -- Laura Litvan

Williamson Wants ‘Respect’ for Energy Workers (3:25 p.m.)

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said Thursday that fossil-fuel workers needed to be treated with “a genuine and tender respect” as the U.S. transitions toward renewable energy.

“One of the things that this has to do with is a genuine and tender respect for thousands and thousands of people who now make their living in fossil-fuel-related industries,” Williamson told the National Press Club in Washington. “We need your creativity, we need your research and development, we need your manufacturing skills — they need to be repurposed — but we’re going to do this carefully.”

Williamson, an author and political novice, is polling at 0.3% nationally. She has endorsed congressional Democrats’ Green New Deal, has called for the U.S. to re-enter the Paris climate agreement and wants a total elimination of emissions by 2030. -- Emma Kinery

Warren’s New Hampshire Headquarters Burglarized (3:25 p.m.)

Elizabeth Warren’s headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire, were broken into Wednesday night along with other offices in the same building, the Warren campaign said in a statement Thursday.

“We have no reason to believe this was targeted to the campaign or is anything further than a regular break-in, and we are working with authorities,” said Andrew Taverrite, Warren’s New Hampshire communications director.

Taverrite said the campaign discovered the break-in Thursday morning and filed a police report. Warren is currently campaigning in New Hampshire. She is scheduled to attend an afternoon town hall at Dartmouth College in Hanover and a town hall in Newport. -- Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Buttigieg Outlines His ‘Women’s Agenda’ (11:05 a.m.)

Pete Buttigieg outlined plans to level the playing field for women in pay, health care and safety as part of his “Women’s Agenda.”

“Women’s freedom can’t depend on Washington -- it can only come from systematically building women’s power in our economy, our political system, and in every part of our society,” Buttigieg said in a statement released by his campaign.

Buttigieg calls for spending $10 billion to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, doubling the funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to address gender discrimination, including wages, and provide credit toward Social Security for unpaid caregiving.

Buttigieg also called for reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, closing the so-called “boyfriend” loophole in gun laws -- which allows domestic abusers to own guns if the women they abused were not their wives -- and states he will “combat rising online harassment of women and girls” in addition to prioritizing addressing violence against Native American women.

Buttigieg also pledged to make half his cabinet female. Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all made similar pledges, changing the standard makeup of the U.S. government’s department heads. -- Emma Kinery

Warren Leads Biden in New Quinnipiac Poll (7:16 a.m.)

Elizabeth Warren has edged ahead of Joe Biden after the two candidates were essentially tied for weeks, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll showing her with the support of 28% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters.

Recent Quinnipiac surveys have shown Warren essentially tied with Biden, but the poll released Thursday reveals her leading all rivals outside of the margin of error. Biden came in second, with support of 21% of voters, followed by Bernie Sanders at 15% and Pete Buttigieg at 10%. The survey, conducted October 17-21, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points.

A September 25 Quinnipiac national poll showed Warren with support from 27% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, compared with 25% for Biden, a result well within the margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

The latest Quinnipiac survey stands in contrast to a CNN national poll released Wednesday that found Biden posting his widest lead since April, earning the support of 34% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters. Warren was second with 19% followed by Bernie Sanders with 16%. The CNN poll, conducted Oct. 17-20, has a margin of error of 5.8 percentage points. -- Elizabeth Wasserman

COMING UP

Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke and Sanders are to attend a town hall hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens in Iowa on Thursday from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. local time.

Biden, Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren are set to attend a forum hosted by the Bipartisan Justice Center in Columbia, South Carolina, Oct. 25-27.

--With assistance from Caitlin Webber, Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Emma Kinery and Laura Litvan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in Washington at jepstein32@bloomberg.net

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

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