Trump plans S.C. visit before state’s Democratic Primary

Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 12:16 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday he plans to visit South Carolina just before of the state’s Democratic Primary.

The primary is set for Feb. 29.

“I’ll be going to South Carolina,” he said at Joint Base Andrews. “They’re working that out now. Probably the day before, but you know, look, we have a big voice and we might as well use it.”

Trump said he will make a speech in Nevada most likely the day before that state's Democratic caucus, calling the strategy of making a speech just before such an event "pretty effective."

The Nevada Caucus takes place this Saturday, one week before South Carolina's Democratic Primary.

“We got more votes than any incumbent president in history in Iowa and in New Hampshire, as you saw, and in that case I went just before the day before and I went the day before in both cases,” he said. “So it seems to be effective.”

The South Carolina Republican Party announced back in September that it would not hold a Republican presidential primary in 2020.

SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick said there is, as a general rule, no rationale for a party with an incumbent president in the White House to hold a primary.

“With no legitimate primary challenger and President Trump’s record of results, the decision was made to save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million and forgo an unnecessary primary,” McKissick said in a statement at the time the decision was made. “President Trump and his administration have delivered for South Carolinians, and we look forward to ensuring that Republican candidates up and down the ballot are elected in 2020.”

South Carolina Republicans did not hold a state primary in 1984, when Ronald Reagan was in office; or in 2004, when George W. Bush was president.

South Carolina Democrats skipped primaries in 1996 during Bill Clinton’s time in the Oval Office; and again in 2012 during Barack Obama’s administration.

Six of the eight Democrats running for president have met the qualifications needed to secure a spot on stage for next Tuesday’s Democratic debate so far.

Those candidates include Former Vice President Joe Biden, Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

CBS News reported Former New York City Mike Bloomberg has also qualified, but will not be on the South Carolina Democratic Primary ballot.

CBS News is hosting that debate from Charleston.

The Democratic National Committee set qualifications that must be met before a candidate can take part. The candidate must be polling at least 10 percent in four national or South Carolina polls or at least 12 percent in two South Carolina polls; or have at least one pledged delegate from Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada.

Poll numbers must be released between Feb. 4 and next Monday.

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