The 2020 presidential election does not take place until Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 — roughly 16 months from now.
But some of the leading Democrats competing for a chance to go up against President Donald Trump grabbed headlines from mainstream media outlets in recent days for some of the most — well, astounding — reasons yet.
Here’s a rundown of some shocking comments and promises as the campaign heats up.
(And a quick calendar note: The next round of Democratic primary debates occurs next week already — the last week of July.)
1.) Former Vice President Joe Biden said he doesn’t want to dump Obamacare, which the Medicare for All plan (backed by his Democratic rivals) would do. Instead, he wants health care choice for patients. Hmm. Doesn’t this sound a lot like former President Barack Obama’s famously false line in 2009, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it?” (PolitiFact named that breezy promise of Obama’s the lie of the year.)
On Monday, Biden released a plan to bolster Obamacare — not get rid of it — by protecting people with pre-existing conditions. It would add a “public option” like Medicare and use tax credits to lower premiums, as The New York Post explained.
”I understand the appeal of Medicare for All,” Biden announced in a video posted on Monday. “But folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare. And I’m not for that.”
He also said straight-out at an AARP-sponsored forum, “I give people the option. If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it. If, in fact, you have private insurance, you can keep it.”
And how would Biden pay for such a plan? His campaign said his health care plan would cost about $750 billion over a decade — and he said he would cover that cost by rolling back some of Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthy — and by doubling the tax rates on capital gains.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 15, 2019
Biden promised that people could choose to purchase a private option plan like Medicare that would also reduce patient costs by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers, as The Post and other outlets also noted. Again — hmm.
2.) Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke — who wants reparations for the descendants of slaves — said that he and his wife are descended from slave owners. “Something that we’ve been talking about in town hall meetings — the legacy of slavery in the United States — now has a much more personal connection,” O’Rourke wrote to his followers on Sunday.
“I was recently given documents showing that both Amy [his wife] and I are descended from people who owned slaves.”
Now O’Rourke — who, like many others running in the 2020 Democratic race, supports reparations for the descendants of slaves in this country — is using this new information about his background to double down on his “commitment” to certain demographics, it seems.
“That those enslaved Americans owned by my ancestors were denied their freedom, denied the ability to amass wealth, denied full civil rights in America after slavery, also had long-term repercussions for them and their descendants,” he added — also noting, “I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others.”
If @BetoORourke ‘s ancestors stole from blacks and he is still in possession of those purloined goods, he should pay reparations. Not “America,” because “America” didn’t do this. Some Americans —mainly Democrats—did it and others—mainly Republicans—stopped them. Pay up, Beto!
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) July 15, 2019
“That only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country,” O’Rourke finished in a piece he wrote for the website Medium.com.
How would reparations for the descendants of slaves in this country be paid for, by the way?
As he also wrote in his Medium piece, “I will continue to support reparations, beginning with an important national conversation on slavery and racial injustice. We all need to know our own story as it relates to the national story, much as I am learning mine.”
“It is only then, I believe, that we can take the necessary steps to repair the damage done and stop visiting this injustice on the generations that follow ours.”
3.) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she’ll convene a Justice Department commission to investigate abuses against illegal immigrants if she takes the White House. She doled out that morsel for the eager leftists who attended the Netroots Nation conference in Philadelphia over the weekend.
“You abuse immigrants, you physically abuse immigrants, you sexually abuse immigrants, you fail to get [them] the medical care that they need, you break a law of the United States of America,” Warren declared. “Donald Trump may be willing to look the other way, but President Elizabeth Warren will not,” she added to enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 13, 2019
As an opinion piece in The Philadelphia Inquirer noted of that performance, it was “met with another standing ovation — the loudest of the entire afternoon — not only for its promise of restoring American values after a once-unthinkable era of concentration camps but also for the dream that truly motivated the Netroots Nation crowd, a mental image of a true liberal lion occupying the White House in just 557 more days.”
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