Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet says the nation’s politics were “immobilized” by partisanship before Donald Trump was elected president. The Democratic candidate for president told voters at the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair that he would bridge the divide by taking steps to rein in the influence of money in American politics.
Bennet said he would look to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, reform the redistricting system to eliminate political gerrymandering and place a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists.
“Half the people who leave Congress and don’t retire become lobbyists in Washington, D.C.,” Bennet said. “What kind of signal does it send?”
Bennet also called for a more moderate approach to expanding health care coverage than some of his peers competing for the Democratic nomination. He said he would add a public option to the Affordable Care Act rather than creating a national Medicare for All system and eliminating private insurance as proposed by others such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“I know Bernie’s coming up here after me, but I just don’t believe the American people are ready to take away insurance and the choice for insurance from 180 million Americans,” Bennet said. “And I’m so sick and tired of this country not having universal health care that we can’t let Bernie’s ideology stand in the way of our making progress.”
Bennet also parted from Sanders on college debt, saying he would rather provide free preschool nationwide than free tuition at public colleges as Sanders has proposed, adding that he thinks college gets more attention because those students are old enough to vote.