UPDATED 7:06 AM PT — Monday, November 18, 2019
“Is that left or right? Let’s stop tearing each other down, let’s stop drawing artificial lines.” –
– Cory Booker, Democratic presidential candidate
Democrat presidential contenders are rejecting recent criticisms of falling too far left. This comes after former President Barack Obama warned the White House hopefuls not to alienate voters by becoming too radical. He pointed out they don’t have to completely tear the system down in order to remake it.
While he did not direct his comments at anyone specific, Obama alluded to controversial proposals by progressive candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He cited immigration and health care reform as examples where Democrats may be out of sync with voters. The former president’s comments became talking points at Democrats’ campaign events over the weekend.
“When I talk about health care being a human right and ending the embarrassment of America being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for every man, woman and child — that’s not tearing down the system, that’s doing what we should have done 30 years ago,” said Sanders. “I’m not tearing down the system, we’re talking about justice.”
Warren is taking a different route by saying Obama “paved the way” for her proposed health care reform. Meanwhile, Julian Castro said he’s confident any Democrat candidate can beat President Trump regardless of their political policies. However, this isn’t the first time these candidates have been criticized for veering too far left.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke out against the progressive movement earlier this month. She warned these policies could backfire in the general election, especially in swing states as these ideas fail to connect with moderate voters. Despite the continuous push-back that seems to becoming a trend, some 2020 hopefuls remain steadfast on their proposals and claim they will lead to fair reform.