The TAKE with Rick Klein
The former vice president's campaign rationale is predicated on the assumption Democrats need him. His maturity, pragmatism and centrist inclinations are the way to win back the kinds of voters who flipped to President Donald Trump -- or so the argument goes.
Yet seeming to joke about issues he needs to take seriously may be the beginning of the challenges facing Biden, should he make good on a run that appears increasingly likely.
Biden on Friday called himself an "Obama-Biden Democrat," a phrase we'll hear regularly if he declares his candidacy. But the composition of the Democratic Party and the country have changed substantially even since the Obama-Biden era, as Biden knows even while arguing that the "party has not moved."
Former President Barack Obama himself fretted about the emerging dynamic over the weekend. During an appearance in Berlin, he said that progressives' "rigidity" on some issues could create a "circular firing squad" for Democrats.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Trump wants a new Secretary of Homeland Security. He abruptly announced on Twitter Sunday evening that Kirstjen Nielsen would be leaving her post and be replaced Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner.
The president has been eager for results and expressed a desire to cause a traffic headache and slow down commerce, according to his tweets over the weekend. He doubled-down on a plan to send additional border agents to southern ports of entry to assist with processing people crossing from Mexico.
"This will cause traffic & commercial delays until such time as Mexico is able to use.... it's powerful common sense Immigration Laws to stop illegals from coming through Mexico," he wrote in a series of tweets.
We have redeployed 750 agents at the Southern Border's specific Ports of Entry in order to help with the large scale surge of illegal migrants trying to make their way into the United States. This will cause traffic & commercial delays until such time as Mexico is able to use....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2019
....it's powerful common sense Immigration Laws to stop illegals from coming through Mexico into the U.S., and removing them back to their country of origin. Until Mexico cleans up this ridiculous & massive migration, we will be focusing on Border Security, not Ports of Entry....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2019
....In the meantime, the Democrats in Congress must help the Republicans (we need their votes) to end the horrible, costly and foolish loopholes in our Immigration Laws. Once that happens, all will be smooth. We can NEVER allow Open Borders!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2019
Saturday, the president made fun of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States, calling the program a "scam." Still, government officials, members of Congress and experts on the border have documented the desperation of people fleeing poverty, violence and gangs in Central America as well as a double-digit increase of families with children in particular reaching the U.S.-Mexico border and seeking refuge.
Last week, the only Hispanic Democrat to enter the crowded presidential primary so far, former Mayor and Housing Secretary Julian Castro, released a detailed immigration proposal that will surely challenge others in the race from his party to do the same.
The president is expected to keep up the drum beat on the issue this week on a planned trip to Texas.
The TIP with John Verhovek
In 2018, amid a string of horrific mass shootings, Democrats across the country were unafraid to make gun control a more prominent part of their platforms.
Now we may be poised to see a candidate attempt to do the same on a national stage, as Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., is rumored to be joining the presidential race on Monday. The congressman is making an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Monday evening and on Tuesday will hold a town hall on ending gun violence in the same community that saw 17 people killed during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
If Swalwell does enter the presidential race, it would be a key test of how broadly a candidate focused on the issue of gun control could appeal in a crowded Democratic primary.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Monday morning's episode features ABC News White House correspondent Tara Palmeri, who tells us why Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is out of a job despite Trump's renewed focus on border security. And ABC News' Clayton Sandell brings us the story of a legal immigrant denied U.S. citizenship because of his career in the cannabis industry.
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