The Latest: Hickenlooper says driving out immigrants ‘crazy’

Government & Politics By: The Bullet Wire 11:01 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic contenders for president (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper tells a house party in Dubuque, Iowa, that immigration hard-liners have to accept that they won’t be able to drive out everyone who is in the U.S. illegally.

Hickenlooper says it would be “crazy” to think that a country founded and defined by immigrants would ever expel 10 million to 11 million people.

Hickenlooper launched his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination this week. He is on his first Iowa swing as an official candidate and is positioning himself as a uniter who can get things done.

In his remarks Saturday, the former governor said the perennial immigration standoff should be a simple problem to fix and that both sides need to sit down.

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4:15 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has defended her new call to break up big U.S. technology companies at a major tech conference in Texas.

The Democratic presidential candidate appeared Saturday at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival a day after making her pitch to reign in the influence of tech giants. She described them as monopolists making fewer monopoly profits, adding “boo hoo.”

The Massachusetts senator was also asked whether Sen. Bernie Sanders had discouraged her from entering the 2020 race. She said they had a private dinner but wouldn’t divulge what they discussed.

Warren is among several 2020 Democratic candidates appearing at SXSW this weekend. Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are speaking Sunday.

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3 p.m.

A documentary released Saturday about Beto O’Rourke’s near-upset of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz contains no hints about his 2020 plans — and the candidate himself was just as coy after its screening.

O’Rourke attended the premiere of “Running with Beto” at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter.

Afterward, O’Rourke repeated that he’s made up his mind about running for president and plans to let everyone know soon.

The documentary will air on HBO and was cobbled together from 700 hours of Texas Senate campaign footage.

O’Rourke briefly took questions from reporters afterward but provided no details on when he’ll announce his next move. He called seeing the documentary “very emotional.”

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12:50 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has told a packed house in Des Moines that as president his power to reform industries and institutions would be limited, but he’d still fulfill his campaign promises with their support.

Sanders said “no president, not the best-intentioned in the world, can take on those extraordinarily powerful forces.” He went on to say: “But we have something they don’t have — we have the people!”

The crowd packed into the Animal Learning Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds roared their approval of Sanders, who is making another run for the Democratic nomination. Many were decked out in his 2016 campaign gear or waved “IA loves Bernie” signs.

About 50 volunteers showed up to support the Vermont senator at the final stop of his three-day swing through the state, part of an Iowa volunteer force that Sanders said already totals 7,000.

“We need you to add to that number!” he said, to roars from the crowd.

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12:35 p.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota isn’t calling for a breakup of the biggest U.S. technology companies like one of her Democratic presidential rivals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Klobuchar on Saturday was the first of several 2020 candidates to speak at the tech-centric South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Asked if Google or Facebook should be broken up, Klobuchar said she would first want an investigation.

Warren is also scheduled to appear at SXSW. On Friday, the Massachusetts senator said that as president she would pick regulators who would seek to break up what she called “anti-competitive mergers.” One example is Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram.

But Klobuchar criticized big tech in a city rapidly transformed by the industry. She said tech companies didn’t like her efforts to improve disclosure requirements for online political ads and floated the idea of taxing social media companies when they sell personal data.

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11:50 a.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris says she’s committed to shoring up rural communities, a message the Democratic presidential hopeful is sharing with voters in some of the most sparsely populated parts of the early voting state of South Carolina.

The California senator told a crowd of several hundred gathered in tiny St. George, South Carolina, on Saturday morning that a national infrastructure of crumbling roads and bridges makes it difficult for people in communities like this one to get to their jobs, which may be miles and miles away.

Harris also says she wants to make changes to rural hospital funding, tweaks that she hopes will lead fewer health care facilities in such areas to close.

On Friday, Harris shared a similar message with voters in Hemingway, a tiny community of about 500.

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9:30 a.m.

Texas is an unlikely can’t-miss stop for the Democratic presidential candidates, but many of them are making appearances this weekend at the trendy and techie South by Southwest Festival in Austin.

Texas is an early primary state, but the real draw of the event for Democrats is the chance to spend time with the party’s ascendant young and liberal wing.

Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, is expected to attend the premiere of a documentary film chronicling his longshot U.S. Senate campaign last year. It ended in a narrow loss to the Republican incumbent, Ted Cruz.

O’Rourke hasn’t said yet whether he’s in or out of the 2020 White House race.

First up on Saturday at the festival are two senators who are running — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

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