Democrats Join Las Vegas Picket Line: Campaign Update

So many Democratic presidential candidates showed up at the Culinary Workers Union’s picket line in Las Vegas that it could have doubled as a presidential forum.

Eager to show their pro-union bona fides to the largest and most influential labor group in Nevada, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer walked the line at the Palms Casino Resort on Wednesday.

The union is engaged in a long-running fight with the owners of the casino over recognition of their representation of its workers.

Warren showed up with a box of Dunkin’ Donuts, locking arms with union members and walking the line twice. Buttigieg joined the line next, holding up a sign that said “no contract, no peace.” Steyer and Klobuchar crossed paths while joining the picket line at the same time. Absent from the protest: Bernie Sanders.

Union leaders said they won’t endorse a candidate before the caucuses, but they released a flyer criticizing Medicare for All plans like the one Sanders supports. All of the candidates who walked the picket line with the exception of Steyer will participate in a Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. — Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Biden, Bloomberg Go at Each Other Before Debate (2:31 p.m.)

Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg were going after each other even before the kickoff of Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.

The back-and-forth began Wednesday morning, when the former vice president’s campaign posted a video compilation of instances when Bloomberg criticized former President Barack Obama, undercutting recent campaign ads that showed the former New York City mayor and Obama together. “Welcome to the debates, Mike,” he tweeted. “We have a lot to catch up on about Barack Obama’s record.”

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

Bloomberg’s campaign responded with a clip of Biden praising him in an old speech. “We are honored to have Joe’s support,” the campaign tweeted back.

Talking to reporters in Las Vegas, Biden had a retort. “I don’t endorse Republicans,” he said. “The truth is he’s basically been a Republican his whole life,” Biden added. “The fact of the matter is he didn’t endorse Barack or me when we ran.”

Bloomberg did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008, but he endorsed Obama shortly before the 2012 election, citing his response to Hurricane Sandy. Bloomberg was first elected mayor of New York as a Republican and switched to independent midway through his second term before registering as a Democrat in 2018. — Jennifer Epstein

Buttigieg Gives Norwegian, Maltese a Go (11:40 a.m.)

Just days after Pete Buttigieg slipped up on his Spanish,

he was quizzed on two less common languages: Maltese and Norwegian.

During a CNN town hall Tuesday night, host Erin Burnett put the former South Bend, Indiana mayor on the spot, asking him to try to say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” in the two languages.

He gamely tried in Maltese, then added “A bunch of Maltese people are going to like tweet me how I got that wrong.”

When someone applauded after his attempt in Norwegian, he joked, “As far as everybody here knows, that was right.”

A Norwegian historian who watched the exchange wrote that his attempt was not fluent, but impressive.

For what it’s worth, the Foreign Service Institute rates Norwegian as a Category I language, meaning it’s fairly easy for English speakers to learn. Maltese, which has elements of Arabic and Romance languages, is unrated.


The Democratic candidates will debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Nevada holds its caucuses on Saturday, and 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.)

— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein, and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

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