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Asma Khalid

Asma Khalid is a political correspondent covering the 2020 presidential campaign.

Before joining NPR's political team, Asma helped launch a new team for Boston's NPR station WBUR where she reported on biz/tech and the Future of Work.

She's reported on a range of stories over the years — including the 2016 presidential campaign, the Boston Marathon bombings and the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger.

Asma got her start in journalism in her home state of Indiana, but was introduced to radio through an internship at BBC Newshour in London during grad school.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Many progressives are loudly calling for Joe Biden to pick Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. They insist the liberal senator, who's long been a darling of the left, would help the presumptive Democratic nominee win over skeptical young voters.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a recent morning, Kim Gates helped hand out free boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables in an underserved area of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lately, the retired schoolteacher from the nearby tiny town of Caledonia has been trying to volunteer with minority communities and read more about racism.

The 63-year-old white woman had always voted for the candidate she thought was best for the job — like, for instance, Michigan's recent Republican governor, Rick Snyder. She said she never considered herself political until Donald Trump's victory in 2016.

In late April, more than 200 black women who are leaders and activists within the Democratic party signed an open letter to the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden calling on him to select a black woman as his running mate.

"It is a fact that the road to the White House is powered by Black women and Black women are the key to a Democratic victory in 2020," they wrote.

Zach Rodriguez, a 22-year-old Republican from Kenosha, Wis., says he was disgusted when he watched video footage of George Floyd being killed by police.

"It was appalling," Rodriguez said, noting he was glad to see protesters in his hometown take to the streets.

"In the past, we saw a lot of 'Black Lives Matter' versus 'All Lives Matter.' In this case, I think it's really starting to hit home, especially in the Republican Party. Black lives do matter," he said.

If you're a supporter of President Trump, longing for the excitement and MAGA-kinship of a big rally, Trump's campaign has built the next best thing. It's a massive digital operation that creates an interactive world where Trump is flawless and Republicans are saviors, while Democrats and Joe Biden are wrong and dangerous.

They encourage supporters to "forget the mainstream media" and get their "facts straight from the source," an insular information ecosystem featuring prime time programming, accessed in its most pure form through the new Trump 2020 app.

At a town hall in New Hampshire this past February, long before Joe Biden was the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he outlined two basic criteria for his potential running mate:

"One, that they are younger than I am," the 77-year-old candidate told the crowd. "No, I'm not being facetious, and No. 2, that they are ready on Day 1 to be president of the United States of America."

The secretary of the Senate's office said on Monday that it cannot comply with former Vice President Joe Biden's request to search for and release any records of an alleged sexual harassment complaint from Tara Reade.

On Friday, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had formally written to Secretary of the Senate Julie Adams asking for help in determining whether Reade had filed a written complaint 27 years ago, as she says she did while working as a staff assistant in Biden's Senate office.

Updated at 5:59 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of an alleged sexual assault.

More than a month after being publicly accused of sexual assault by a former Senate staffer in the 1990s, former Vice President Joe Biden says the allegations "aren't true. This never happened."

"Nobody has been tougher on China than me," President Trump proclaimed at Tuesday's coronavirus briefing.

When the Trump administration has been criticized for how it has handled the coronavirus outbreak, the president has been inclined at times to blame the Chinese and then accuse his Democratic opponent Joe Biden of being "weak on China."

Biden's campaign has been trying to turn that argument back on Trump, seeing lots of material to work with as the president has touted an improved trading relationship with China.

Editor's note: This story contains a graphic description of an alleged sexual assault.

Tara Reade, a former junior staffer in Joe Biden's Senate office, has accused the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee of sexually assaulting her in 1993, when she was working as a staff assistant. The Biden campaign denies the accusation and says the alleged incident "absolutely did not happen."

In February 2009, the country was in the midst of the worst economic downturn it had experienced since the Great Depression. Unemployment was over 8%, job losses were widespread, and economic anxiety was spreading.

Congress passed a massive economic rescue package, just as it has to avoid economic peril from the coronavirus outbreak, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It included tax cuts, expanded unemployment support, infrastructure projects and money for a range of Democratic domestic priorities, such as green jobs and high-speed rail.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Joe Biden won the Democratic primaries. Now, his campaign is getting to work trying to win over progressives within his own party. NPR's Asma Khalid reports.

A day after Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race, Joe Biden, now the presumptive Democratic nominee, made an overture to progressives.

On Thursday he rolled out two new policy proposals:

  1. Lower the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60.
  2. Forgive student debt for low-income and middle-class families who attended public colleges and universities and some private institutions.

Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

President Trump and his likely Democratic opponent Joe Biden spoke about the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, a conversation that had been discussed between the two sides since last week.

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