- Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado announced he’s running for president in a May 2 appearance on CBS “This Morning.”
- Bennet, the 21st Democrat to announce a presidential campaign, is currently serving his second elected term as Colorado’s senior senator. He was first appointed in 2009 and re-elected the following year.
- Bennet will be competing against his former boss and fellow Coloradan former Gov. John Hickenlooper, who announced his presidential bid in March.
- He said on Thursday that he would distinguish himself in a crowded race through his diverse past experience and bipartisan work, and said he plans to focus on healthcare.
- He said that his decision “isn’t just about President Trump. It’s about the politics that existed before he got there.”
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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado is running for the Democratic nomination for president, he announced in a May 2 appearance on CBS “This Morning.”
Bennet, the 21st Democrat and seventh US senator to announce a 2020 presidential campaign, is currently serving his second elected term as Colorado’s senior senator.
Speaking on “This Morning,” he said that his decision “isn’t just about President Trump. It’s about the politics that existed before he got there.”
“I think this country faces two enormous challenges,” Bennet said. “One is a lack of economic opportunity and mobility for most Americans and the need to restore integrity to our government.”
“If we keep going down this road, we’re going to be the first generation of Americans to leave less opportunity, not more, to the next generation,” he added, saying that he plans to focus on healthcare.
He was first appointed in 2009 to replace Ken Salazar after his appointment as Obama’s Secretary of the Interior and was re-elected in 2010.
Born in New Delhi, India and raised by a wealthy family in Washington, Bennet attended Wesleyan University and Yale Law School, briefly working as a law clerk for a federal judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. His brother James is the editorial page editor of the New York Times.
Bennet then made a small fortune in the private sector, working for many years as a managing director for The Anschutz Investment Company before going into politics.
The Colorado senator began his career in public service as chief of staff for former Denver Mayor and fellow presidential contender John Hickenlooper, who went on to serve two terms as Colorado’s governor. In 2005, Bennet was appointed as the superintendent of the Denver public school system, a position in which he served four years.
Bennet said that he would be able to distinguish himself through his tendency to “tell the truth to the people I represent” and the fact that he has won “very tough races” in purple states, as well as his “track record of bipartisan work” and his business skills.
“I don’t think anyone has as broad a set of experiences in the field and I think that will distinguish me.”
Colorado political figures close to Bennet, including former State Senator Chris Romer, predicted to INSIDER in February that Bennet will likely run a campaign appealing to a centrist, business-friendly wing of the Democratic party.
As a senator, Bennet has mainly been known for his quiet intellect, bipartisan legislative achievements, and affable demeanour. As he was preparing to leave office in 2016, former President Barack Obama identified Bennet as one of the Democratic Party’s most “gifted” up-and-coming politicians.
But this January the usually demure Bennet went viral for an uncharacteristically fiery and passionate speech on the Senate floor slamming Sen. Ted Cruz for shedding “crocodile tears” over the then-ongoing government shutdown.
On April 19, Bennet announced he underwent successful surgery to treat prostate cancer, previously telling the Colorado Independent’s Mike Littwin that he would move forward with a presidential bid if he was cleared of the disease.
He described the experience as “very clarifying” when speaking on “This Morning,” and said that he feels “incredibly lucky” to have been cleared of the disease five years after he was diagnosed.
He said that his reaction to getting diagnosed was “disappointment at the idea that I couldn’t run” but that it motivated him to “think about what it would feel like to get a diagnosis like that and not have insurance and to know that this president has worked hard since he’s been president to take insurance away from people in America.”
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