Sen. Michael Bennet said there's still time to break through the crowded field

The 2020 presidential hopeful discusses his campaign and shares his stance on education, the racial wealth gap and health care.
5:32 | 07/11/19

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Transcript for Sen. Michael Bennet said there's still time to break through the crowded field
You're polling at less than 1% right now in most polls. I just question, you know, why you? Why now? What's your argument to our viewers why you think you can be the president? First of all, if you look at the polling, nobody who is leading today ends up winning. Barack Obama at this point in the polls was not yet 30 points behind Hillary Clinton. That came later in November. Bill Clinton was polling at something, like, 1.3% when he was running. Joe leverman was leading the field when he was running. This is early days, and I think I have got different experience than everybody else in the race. I have won two really tough national races in a swing state in Colorado. It's a third democratic, a third Republican, and a third independent. That's what the country looks like now. That's what the country looks like now. I have spent ten years in the senate which is long enough to know how to get some things done, but also long enough to know why the important things are not getting done, because of the government shutdown nonsense that you are talking about, and other things in politics that are getting played there, and before I went to the senate, I had a wife outside of politics. 95,000 kids. Education is critical to this today -- We have the worst income inequality that we have had since 1928, and today our education system is actually reinforcing that income inequality, not liberating people from it. We need to do something about -- How do you think Betsy Devos is doing? Terrible, man. Let her get her question. This is your first time joining us. There is something I like to do called my policy speed round. Talking about issues that matter to voters. Quickly let me know what your plan is to fix the student debt. It is not to forgive it as Bernie has said. Right. We need to lower the cost of college. That's the most important thing, and make it easier for people who have the debt to repay their debt, but forgiving it, that's not a Progressive policy. That's an effort for him I think to get votes and I'm more for focusing on free preschool than forgiving student loan debt because I think it will make a difference to kids living in poverty. Universal pre-k? Yes. Green new deal? I would say I support the findings of the green new deal, but I have a different set of policies that I think will reach the middle of the country. Climate is an urgent and existential problem, and the next president needs to start addressing it on day one of their presidency. The racial wealth gap. By the way, it's an existential crisis that we have a climate denier in the white house. He should be the last climate denier in this white house. The wealth gap, there is a significant problem with the racial wealth gap as well. Reparations, would that be part of your solution? I supported the bill to study reparations because there are distinct issues relating Morely to African-American people in this country, that there's a straight line that you can draw from slavery through Jim crow, through the red lining and the banking and housing, to mass incarceration today, and I think it's important that somebody who has been a school superintendent, it's important we face those facts. What is I think, really critical for this country is that we have an education system that works for every kid in America no matter what zip code they are born into, no matter whether they are parents are wealthy or not wealthy. We need a system of tax policy in this country that supports parents. I have a proposal called the American family act that would dramatically increase the child tax credit in this country and reduce childhood poverty by 40%, and $2 a day poverty in America for kids in this country. That's what we need, instead of the daily distractions of somebody in the white house who only cares about himself and not about the American people. Enough is enough. We need to make a change. That's for sure. You were kind of late to join the race because you were diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year. Thankfully, you have recovered, yes? Fully? Fully. Thank you. Okay. The reason I bring this up is because I would like to know, do you have a plan for everyone else to be able to have the same really good kind of coverage that congress and senate has? Do you think it could be something where we all have the same kind of thing? I have that plan, but let me say first, I have not taken a subsidy on health care since we passed the affordable care act. I'm on my wife's insurance back in Colorado and that's who handled my operation. Not my wife, but the insurance. And the most abiding thing that I came out of that experience with was the knowledge that I found out I had prostate cancer because of a screening that I was able to get because I had primary care because I had I had no symptoms. I would be sitting here today, whoopi, talking to you, not knowing that I had serious cancer and it wouldn't be fixed. You might not be here. Millions of Americans are dealing with that today. My plan is called medicare X which would give every single person in this audience the chance to choose whether you want to keep the private insurance you have if you have it or get on a public option. I think that's the fastest way to universal health care in this

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