February 14, 2016

Michael Bennet Silent On Sanders And Single Payer

At last night’s Colorado Democratic Party annual dinner, Sen. Michael Bennet had plenty of time to launch partisan political attacks – BuzzFeed reported Bennet “tore into the Republican field in a stemwinder of a speech.”

But Bennet wasn’t as interested in discussing the increasingly contentious and competitive Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Bennet wouldn’t even say whether he would support Sanders – who is making Colorado a focal point of his campaign – as the Party nominee.

Colorado Democrats have already made it clear that they support one of Sanders’ core policy proposals – a left-wing single payer health care plan. A proposal to enact single payer health care will be on the November ballot in Colorado, right alongside Bennet.

Bennet, caught between enraging his liberal base or backing a radical left-wing proposal sure to alienate independent voters, has opted to avoid the issue altogether. He “brushed aside” questions on the ballot initiative from a reporter in November, and hasn’t clarified his stance in the months since then.

With Sanders poised for a strong showing in Colorado’s March caucuses and drawing crowds of thousands across Colorado, Bennet’s continued silence on Sanders and his policy proposals risks turning off his base and becoming a real problem for him in November.