JUDY WOODRUFF: Speaking of the Democratic presidential candidates, they crisscrossed the country over the weekend. As Yamiche Alcindor reports, issues of racial injustice remained at the forefront.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), Presidential Candidate: Hello, everybody!
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: For some 2020 Democratic candidates, the road to the nomination ran through New Orleans and the Essence Fest this weekend. The event is a gathering put on by the company behind Essence magazine. A number of candidates, like California Senator Kamala Harris, came to sway this audience of mostly black voters with a policy-first pitch.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), Presidential Candidate: So, a typical black family has just $10 of wealth for every $100 held by a white family. So we must right that wrong and, after generations of discrimination, give black families a real shot at homeownership.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Her plan aims to put $100 billion toward helping millions of minority homebuyers, specifically toward down payments and closing costs. It also includes proposals to allow more people to build credit histories. It would also bolster laws against housing and lending discrimination. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren arrived with a new plan of her own, having just written an op-ed for the Essence Web site. We need to demand, she wrote, that companies and the government properly value the work of black women and hold them accountable if they don't.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential Candidate: My plan is to use the power of the federal government on a half-of-a-trillion dollars of government contracts to make sure every government contractor in this country doesn't just talk the talk, but walks the walk on equal pay for equal work and a truly diverse work force that looks like America.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also came with a policy-first approach. He highlighted his baby bonds idea of savings accounts for children born in the United States. Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke kept his focus on funding for historically black colleges and universities, as well as majority-minority school districts. And Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, came touting his plan to boost minority entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden spent his weekend in South Carolina, where black voters historically have had significant sway in Democratic primaries. This weekend, he apologized for previous comments about working with segregationists who served in the U.S. Senate decades ago.
JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate: Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it. And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception they may have caused anybody.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Today, Eric Swalwell became the first Democratic candidate to drop out of the race.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Today ends our presidential campaign.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Before today, the California congressman was on the bubble for making it into the second set of primary debates later this month. For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Yamiche Alcindor.