Joe Biden attends fundraisers in Bay Area, but again holds no public campaign events

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- For the second time as a presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden made a swing through the Bay Area to raise money. But, like his first swing in June, his second visit did not include any public campaign events -- only private fundraisers.

On Thursday, Biden attended a luncheon at the Tony Greek restaurant Evviva-Estiatorio in Palo Alto, where tickets ranged from $1,000 to $10,000. He then went to San Francisco for two fundraisers, including one at the home of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

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Several presidential candidates have campaigned in the Bay Area, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- all of whom also attended the Democratic Party summer meeting in San Francisco.

Biden opted to skip the meeting and has not held a public campaign event in the area.

A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows Biden is virtually tied with Warren and Sanders in California, with Warren polling one point ahead of the former Vice President.

Jeremy White, a political reporter at Politico and co-author of the California Playbook newsletter, said Biden's lack of public appearances in the Bay Area could be strategic.

"According to that poll, Elizabeth Warren enjoys the strongest support in the Bay Area and Joe Biden is strongest in the LA areas," White told ABC7 News. "So, take it for what it's worth, but certainly I think that a state as big as California and as expensive to run a campaign, with all of its media markets, I think focusing on areas of geographic strength is certainly a strategy some campaigns could be pursuing."

If that is a strategy, David Readerman, an undecided voter from Marin County who attended Biden's Palo Alto fundraiser, said he hopes it's one candidates avoid.

"I hope that Democratic candidates don't treat Northern California as just one big ATM machine," Readerman said as he waited to go inside the event Thursday afternoon. "And you just show up and people write checks and you go back and you try to win the Midwest."

Biden's campaign announced he raised $15.2 million in the third quarter. Those numbers lag behind some of his challengers, including Bernie Sanders (who raised $25.3 million) and Pete Buttigieg (who raised $19.1 million).

Biden did not stop to answer reporter questions when he left his Palo Alto fundraiser on Thursday.

When asked about President Trump requesting China investigate his son, he only responded briefly, saying, "I don't listen much to what the president has to say."

Joe Cotchett, an attorney and co-chair of the Palo Alto fundraiser, backed Biden up, calling the president's claims "outrageous." He then told reporters Biden does need to campaign in the Bay Area. "The answer is yes he should," Cotchett said. "But he's been all over the country and it's a big country, it's 50 states. He will be here in California, trust me."
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