Politics

Dems Shouldn’t Just Focus On Attacking Trump, First 2020 Candidate Says

(via Delaney campaign)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent

Democratic Maryland Rep. John Delaney is the earliest non-fringe candidate in history to announce his candidacy for presidency, and he plans to oust President Donald Trump through a moderate agenda.

“I kind of don’t spend all my time just saying what’s wrong with the administration and the president because I don’t think that’s my job,” Rep. Delaney told The Daily Caller in a phone interview Friday.

The Maryland congressman is a successful businessman on his third term in office and announced his run for the presidency in June. He has so far visited early voting states such as South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

Delaney told TheDC that his reception in these states has been “terrific,” and “people in Iowa and New Hampshire, in particular, are excited to get the conversation around 2020 started now.”

The congressman has said that the Democratic Party is in a “bad spot,” but offered a vague answer when asked about how to repair this issue. Unlike the Republican Party after its 2012 presidential election loss, the Democrats have yet to release an election “autopsy.”

“And in terms of the parties, there’s been a lot of diagnoses of what happened, to me it’s actually pretty simple, right? I mean if you don’t talk to voters about what they care about, you’re not gonna win elections… I think the Democratic Party has spent too much time talking about what we care about and not enough time talking to people about what they care about,” Rep. Delaney responded when asked by TheDC about Democrat election losses.

“What people care about at the end of the day is their job, their pay, and the opportunities for their kids. They care about a lot of other things, but really what’s kind of is the center of the center is those things [sic], because those are the things that support them, support their families, and help their communities, right? I don’t think we spend enough time as a party really emphasizing what we would do to create more jobs, and better pay, and more opportunity. And I tend to think any time we’re not talking about that is a missed opportunity.”

The Maryland congressman’s party has been shifting leftward. This was seen with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ success in the 2016 presidential primary. Sen. Sanders has continued to serve as a leader of sorts for American progressives.

A single-payer health care bill he introduced was backed by several rumored Democratic 2020 hopefuls, such as: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Delaney told TheDC that he doesn’t support single-payer health care, but didn’t expand on his alternative.

“I support, as I think every Democrat does, some form of universal access, and I don’t think single payer is the only way of getting there, and in fact I think single payer may have some negative implications for quality and cost,” Rep. Delaney told TheDC. “So that’s kind of where I stand… And I think there’s other ways of getting universal access and I think that the mistake that the Democratic Party will make is if we use this issue to divide us because, in reality, what Democrats really stand for is everyone having health care, right? Having access to health care that’s affordable, but we should also stand for quality and cost, right? And single payer is a way of getting everyone health care, but the question is, is it the best way?”

Trump won traditionally blue states such as Michigan and Wisconsin last November largely due to support from white working class voters with a campaign that heavily focused on the notion that free trade agreements hollowed out the nation of thousands of jobs.

“The decision to become part of the global economy was the right decision. The mistake we made in this decision was not to do anything for the people who were left behind,” Rep. Delaney said when asked about reaching out to white working class voters.

He has called for an infrastructure program, like Trump, which Delaney believes would create jobs for Americans who have been displaced in the global economy.

As for winning the Democratic nomination as a 54-year-old white guy, the Maryland congressman replied, “Well I’m 54, I don’t think that’s so old. I think the Democratic Party is fine nominating me.”

Correction: Rep. Delaney is on his third term in office, not his second term.