CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential candidates (all times local):
Joe Biden is not in the room for the Iowa Democratic Party's blockbuster fundraiser where 19 of his party's presidential candidates are scheduled to speak. But he's present in veiled references by some of his rivals.
Chief among them is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said the "same old politics will not" defeat President Donald Trump.
In his speech, Sanders made a thinly veiled reference to Biden as a "well-intentioned" candidate who thinks "the best way forward is a middle-ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody and that changes nothing."
Sanders called this a "failed political strategy" that could lead to the reelection of Trump.
Similarly, California Rep. Eric Swalwell and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker were among those to describe abortion as a right to be protected.
Last week, Biden's campaign first affirmed his support for a decades-old policy that bars federal funding for abortions, only to reverse course.
At an event meant to show off the Democratic presidential candidates' organizational strength in Iowa, campaign swag is king.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's campaign outfitted its tables of supporters with light-up campaign signs, which they waved in the air to show off one of the biggest crowds in the ballroom as Booker spoke.
California Sen. Kamala Harris' campaign gave its attendees glowing yellow foam sticks with the word "fearless" emblazoned on the side, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign had a sugar cookie stamped with the word "persist" at each setting. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a successful beer brewer, gave his supporters koozies to insulate their beer cans, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's campaign laid out her book for her supporters to take home.
With 1,400 people gathered in the convention center ballroom, the goodies are as much an opportunity for the candidates to show off their support as they are a gift for supporters to take home.
Almost 20 Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in early-voting Iowa in an effort to show their level of early support in the kick-off caucus state.
It's a crowded speaking program at a fundraiser in Cedar Rapids for the Iowa Democratic Party.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads in polls of Iowa Democrats, is skipping the event.
Some candidates who've been traveling to Iowa for months, such as Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, are planning for a strong showing of backers outside the convention center. They're hoping to project momentum eight months before Iowa holds its caucuses.