Facts About Michael Bennet, The 21st Democrat To Declare A 2020 Presidential Bid
While the 2020 Democratic primary field is already crowded, one more candidate has joined in. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet announced his 2020 presidential run on Thursday, making him the 21st Democrat to join the crowded primary field. The senator isn't joining the race with the most name recognition, though, so it would be natural for you to want some facts about Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bennet.
Bennet officially entered the race with an announcement on CBS This Morning on Thursday. "We cannot be the first generation to leave less to our kids, not more," Bennet wrote in a Thursday morning tweet. "That’s why I’m running for President. Let’s build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government."
The Colorado senator is expected to tout his qualifications as a moderate Democrat, according to Bloomberg. He told CBS This Morning that the defining policy goals of his candidacy would be improving the health care system and creating better conditions of economic opportunity for all Americans. He will also likely point to his breadth of experience working with, rather than against, Republicans in Washington, as Bloomberg pointed out. There's more to him than that, though — so here are a few things to know about Bennet:
1. He Rose To Prominence During The Government Shutdown
Bennet went viral during the government shutdown in January with an emotional speech on the Senate floor, in which he tore into Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for his “crocodile tears” over first responders not receiving their salaries.
“In 2013, my state was flooded, it was underwater, people were killed, people’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever,” Bennet said, per Vox, referring to flooding that year in Colorado and Cruz's actions to shut the government down over Affordable Care Act. “And because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down for politics that he surfed to a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.”
2. He's A Cancer Survivor
In early April, Bennet announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in March, according to the Colorado Sun. At the same time, he also said that he had a "good" prognosis — and so far this has proven to be true. In the middle of the month, then, a spokesman of his announced that the senator had undergone "completely successful" surgery to treat the cancer and that he wouldn't need any additional treatment, according to Politico.
3. His International Experience Started At A Young Age
Bennet was born in New Delhi, India, where his father was working at the U.S. embassy, according to Axios.
4. He Knows A Thing Or Two About Public Schooling
One of Bennet's earlier forays into public service was when he served as the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, as Axios wrote.
"Serving as a school superintendent was one of the best jobs I’ll ever have," Bennet tweeted. "Everything I do, I try to do through the lens of whether it will help the kids in my former district and in school districts across the country."
5. He's Taken Strides To End Child Poverty
Ending child poverty in the United States seems like it could be an issue everyone could rally behind — and more than any other senator, Bennet has led the charge to do exactly that. He introduced the American Family Act of 2017, which would provide a bigger child tax credit to more families than the current one does. The bill has not yet passed, but Bennet and his co-sponsor, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, reintroduced a version of the bill in March, according to Vox — and it's got numerous Democrats rallying around it.
Given that many of the other candidates come in far more well-known than he does, Bennet will certainly be fighting an uphill battle to gain the name recognition that he'll need to succeed in the primary. There's still a long time before the primary voting begins, though, so you never know what'll happen.