DEM MODERATES BOW OUT AND BLESS UNCLE JOE: The sudden exits of moderates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar from the 2020 race, along with a stream of endorsements from elected officials and party leaders across the country indicate a clear effort to bolster the former vice president after his dominant victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary. Tuesday’s series of contests — including primaries in 14 states, the American Samoan caucus and the start of Democrats voting from abroad — is the most significant single day on the nominating calendar, with 1,357 delegates up for grabs. And establishment Democrats have fretted for weeks that an inability to unify before this delegate bounty is dispersed could leave Sanders with an insurmountable advantage. Biden, who was endorsed by Klobuchar, Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke Monday evening, is still almost certain to be trailing Sanders in the delegate race once all Super Tuesday’s votes are counted. But the size of his delegate deficit will be the most crucial number to determine whether he can eventually overtake Sanders as the calendar extends to more favorable electoral turf later in March and into April.
MARK MEADOWS' CHOSEN SUCCESSOR PRINTS FRAUDULENT VOTING GUIDE: Fliers distributed in western North Carolina earlier this month listed endorsements from a group calling itself the “Official Conservative Ballot Committee of NC,” according to the Smoky Mountain News. If you were handed a flier with the “Official Conservative Ballot” name on it, you might think it’s a longstanding political group – and you’d be wrong. The “Conservative Ballot” committee wasn’t established until Feb. 11 – just two days before early voting started in the state. One of the candidates endorsed by the group was Lynda Bennett, a Republican running for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District seat. As it turns out, the “Conservative Ballot” group has ties to a consulting group that works for Bennett. Paperwork filed to establish the committee says it was mailed from an address belonging to Jordan Bowman, a consultant for Red Action Strategies. Campaign finance records show Bennett has paid Red Action Strategies more than $5,000 for services. Bennett, one of several candidates in the race, didn’t immediately respond to WRAL News’ request for comment. Other Republican candidates in that race told the Smoky Mountain News they had never heard of the “Conservative Ballot” group and never had the chance to seek its endorsement.
TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE A FEW BRICKS SHY OF A LOAD: "Trump is changing America. I don’t think there’s a time I can recall feeling as safe in our own country as I do now," said Susan Biehl of Waxhaw. "I am a big supporter, and I feel that to come out and support him is part of our job, and it’s the least we can do." "We’re going to vote for him the next time. We think it’s going to be a landslide if he keeps talking the way he’s been talking and holds his promises," said Scott Poole of Winston-Salem, who went to the rally with his wife. "He’s not only done what he said he was going to do, but he’s keeping our country first," said Katherine Trousdale of Bryson City. "We need to get back to our Constitution. We need to get back to our conservative ways of what made this country great to begin with." "It’s like going to a lovefest," said Alison Dillworth from Fort Mill, South Carolina. "This is better than Woodstock – we get to keep our clothes on."
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LIE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS VACCINE AND CURE: President Donald Trump persisted Monday in making false assurances about U.S. preparedness for the coronavirus outbreak and the prospects for a quick vaccine, or even cure. TRUMP: “We're talking about a vaccine. Maybe a cure is possible. But we're talking about a vaccine and they're moving along very quickly, all of the pharmaceutical companies, are moving along very quickly.” — remarks before a meeting with Colombian President Iván Duque. TRUMP: The U.S. may have a vaccine “relatively soon” and “something that makes you feel better ... sooner." — rally. THE FACTS: That's misleading, given the far more cautious pronouncements of federal public-health officials and scientists. They say a vaccine is probably more than a year away at best and there are no special treatments for COVID-19. The notion of a quick “cure” is not in their vocabulary as they focus on trying to help people avoid getting the disease in the first place.
G7 BANKS (INCLUDING U.S.)(SCRATCH THAT, THE FED IS LOWERING RATES) NOT READY TO LOWER INTEREST RATES OVER CORONAVIRUS: Central bankers and political leaders of the United States and other economic powers on Tuesday expressed their resolve to combat economic damage from the coronavirus, but stopped short of promising interest rate cuts or other immediate rescue measures. The joint statement of solidarity showed that the leaders of the so-called G7 nations, which also includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, are capable of cooperation. But the statement fell short of the more aggressive action that investors have been hoping for and that many economists say is needed to prevent the virus outbreak from undermining global growth. The announcement underlines what a fraught moment this is for the world’s economy. The virus could exact a heavy economic toll in the G7 countries, as it leads to quarantines, shutters factories, and hits investor and consumer confidence. Investors have been watching for any sign of action from the world’s central banks in battling the economic impact of the coronavirus. In the United States on Monday, the S&P 500 booked its biggest single-day gain since late December 2018, after the news that central bankers would join the conference call with finance ministers, fueling expectations that governments might lower interest rates in tandem.