CLINTON – For the past 10 years, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado has heard from residents who can’t afford a middle class lifestyle, the presidential candidate told residents in Clinton on Monday.
For the first time in generations, children will not live better than their parents did, Bennet said. He’s running for president with the hope of fixing that.
Our democracy is broken, Bennet told about 30 residents at Jenny’s Diner in Clinton. “It was broken before Donald Trump arrived,” Bennet said, and Trump has made it much worse.
Trump is the first president to take health care away from the people, Bennet said, adding that he’s the worst foreign policy president of Bennet’s lifetime.
“A couple [of] weekends ago, he spent the whole weekend watching cable televison [and tweeting],” said Bennet.
If employees in Clinton had done that, they’d be meeting with human resources Monday morning and would be at risk of losing their jobs.
Meanwhile, China makes trade deals with other countries, and Iran is emboldened in its nuclear pursuit because it knows, based on Trump’s handling of Syria, that Trump won’t do anything about it, he said.
Asked about the impeachment of Trump, Bennet said that if the evidence doesn’t change, “he’s earned his impeachment.”
“To me, all of the evidence that we’ve seen so far supports the idea that the president tried to extort a foreign power,” Bennet said. “And I will vote to convict in the Senate.”
The president of the United States should have good moral standing, Bennet said. Anyone who denies the reality of climate change and attacks the late Sen. John McCain should not be president, he added.
“This is not a game. It’s not a reality TV show,” Bennet said. People can only vote for Trump if they have such a denigrated view that they can send a morally bankrupt individual to the White House, he said.
In response to a question from his audience, Bennet said that not having universal health care is “morally reprehensible,” and is economically bad for the country, but the best way to provide health care for everyone is through a public option, Bennet said. Within three years, with a public option, “we’d be done with coverage.”
“I do not believe that we will ever pass Bernie’s and Elizabeth’s plan” of Medicare for All, Bennet said. States have tried it, but voters won’t approve the tax bill for it.
“Let’s let the states that want to do it, do it,” Bennet said, but he’s not willing to waste time on it at the federal level. “I don’t want to lose the opportunity to address the issues people are actually facing.”
Rather than fight a losing battle for Medicare for All which will include a massive tax increase, Bennet said he wants to pass bills that will help people in the short term, such as raising minimum wage and increasing the child tax care credit.
“Iowa has more counties that voted twice for Obama and once for Donald Trump than any other state,” said Bennet. Clinton is one of those counties.
Bennet acknowledged that his poll numbers are almost non-existent and that Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are the top tier of candidates. But someone will emerge from the caucuses to join that top tier, he said. “And I hope to be that candidate.”