Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, the first Democrat to announce a run for president back in July 2017, pledged that if he were elected president in 2020, he would only pursue policy that has the support of both political parties.
“What the American people are really looking for is a leader to try to bring us together, not actually talk like half the country's entirely wrong about everything they believe,” Delaney said on “This Week” Sunday.
“One of the things I've pledged is in my first hundred days, only to do bipartisan proposals. Wouldn't it be amazing if a president looked at the American people at the inauguration and said, ‘I represent every one of you, whether you voted for me or not and this is how I'm going to prove it.'”
ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos pressed Delaney on whether that plan was at odds with Democrats’ expectations for a Democratic president, asking him if he’s putting “other Democratic priorities on the backburner.”
Delaney said for the first 100 days, yes, so he can “prove to the American people that we can actually start solving problems and getting things done.
“Then you start talking about some of the big things we need to do to build a better future,” he added, noting he supports universal health care and a carbon tax to fight the consequences of climate change.
Since declaring his candidacy on July 28, 2017, Delaney has made 21 trips to Iowa and 12 trips to New Hampshire, the first caucus and primary respectively, in presidential elections.
On “This Week,” Delaney pitched himself as someone who could bring “this terribly divided nation back together” and stressed the importance of leadership.
Stephanopoulos said that “you couldn’t imagine, really, two more different people” to be president than President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. He asked Delaney, “How do you speak to that divide?”
“Well, I just think it takes leadership,” Delaney said, adding that candidates need to “focus on where we have common ground, talk about big things for our future and really do things differently.”
Prior to serving as a congressman for three terms, Delaney co-founded two publicly traded companies and was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange, accumulating a fortune of more than $200 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Stephanopoulos brought up a column by Washington Post columnist George Will in which Will wrote of Delaney, “His quest will test whether Democrats’ detestation of President Trump is stronger than their enthusiasm for identity politics: A white male businessperson, Delaney comes to bat with three strikes against him.”
“Is he right about that this year?” Stephanopoulos asked, referring to the “three strikes.”
Delaney said Will was wrong, and that Democrats are ultimately looking for a leader.
“I’m not a person of color, and I’m not a woman, and I appreciate the fact that I have had different experiences and haven’t had to deal with some of the challenges that people of color in our country have had to deal with and women have had to deal with,” Delaney said.
“But I think at the end of the day what the Democratic primary voters are going to look for is a leader, someone who can lead our country into the future with a real vision as to how to create a more prosperous, just and secure future for all Americans.”