Democratic presidential candidate and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a double-digit lead over the rest of the 2020 field in primary polls, does not represent the future of the Democratic Party.
“I think it’s time for a new generation of leadership,” Bennet said in an interview with PBS NewsHour managing editor and anchor Judy Woodruff, adding that he attributed Biden’s polling advantage to his name recognition.
While many of the more than 20 Democratic candidates are moving to the left on issues from health care to climate change, Bennet, like Biden, is carving out a space as a moderate in the crowded field.
Bennet said most voters in the middle of the country don’t understand what the Democratic Party stands for.
“I don’t think the base of the Democratic Party is anywhere near where the Twitter base of the Democratic Party is,” Bennet said. He also argued that Democrats should work to appeal to a “broad swath of Americans” in order to beat a “vulnerable” President Donald Trump in next year’s general election.
Other highlights from the interview:
- On health care: Bennet said all the Democratic candidates agree on the need for “universal coverage.” But the Colorado Democrat noted that he is also the only candidate serving in the Senate who did not sponsor the “Medicare for All” bill introduced earlier this year. Bennet, who delayed getting into the presidential race after a cancer diagnosis, is proposing instead a public option that would allow individuals to buy into Medicare or keep their private insurance.
- On Trump’s European trip: Bennet criticized Trump’s behavior during his visit to the United Kingdom this week, and said if he was president he wouldn’t be “cheering for Brexit” as Trump has done by touting several pro-Brexit candidates vying to replace outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Any president who replaces Donald Trump is going to have to rebuild those alliances as one of the first things he does,” Bennet said.