After 'Boycott' Claims, Four Democratic Presidential Candidates Meet AIPAC Delegates

Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar all met with delegations of AIPAC activists from their home states in Washington

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks at teh 2019 AIPAC conference, Washington D.C., March 25, 2019.
Jose Luis Magana,AP

WASHINGTON – Four Democratic Senators who are seeking their party’s presidential nomination in 2020, met this week with delegations of AIPAC activists from their home states. The meetings took place after eight presidential candidates announced they would not attend AIPAC’s conference, which took place this week in Washington.

Senators Corey Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, and Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnessota, met with delegations of AIPAC activists from their respective states, according to an AIPAC official. Booker met with the group at the convention center where the AIPAC conference took place. The other Senators hosted the delegations at their Senate offices.

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The meetings proved that despite what Vice President Mike Pence said during his speech at the conference, the Democratic Party is not “boycotting” AIPAC. Pence gave an unusually partisan speech at the conference, in which he directly attacked the Democrats and claimed that candidates who chose not to attend the conference were boycotting the event. 

In fact, three of the Democratic candidates who announced they won’t attend the conference - Klobuchar, Harris and Gillibrand - later met with home state activists in their offices, making it clear that they are not boycotting AIPAC as an organization.

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both spoke at the conference. Schumer denounced Trump for his comments following the far-right violence in Charlottesville, and equated them with statements that he described as anti-semitic which were made by Republican Congressional leader Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.