MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Democratic presidential candidate, Cory Booker, presented on Sunday what he called the "hard truth" on Medicare-for-all: it will be difficult to pass, so the party should also bring some news. other progressive changes.
The next day, her rival, Senator Kamala D. Harris, defended the Green New Deal, a broad proposal on the climate, before adding: "We will achieve some of our goals, others we will not do it" .
Then, on Monday night, Senator Amy Klobuchar told a young presenter at a CNN public meeting that, unlike some of her fellow candidates, she would not support the possibility of making the university free during four years. "If I were a magical genius and could give it to anyone and we could afford it, I would," she said.
The increasingly wide-spread Democratic presidential field of 2020 leads two simultaneous battles: a chaotic struggle within a party-to-party party over the room for maneuver to push their policies and a wider question about how to take up the challenge posed by President Trump, who has already begun to call Democrats Socialists. .
The dynamic has put pressure on Democratic candidates as they begin to expose their messages. They are pressed on the one hand by grassroots democratic voters eager for left-wing policies favored by the most energetic activists and, on the other, by the need to woo the centrist voters who could be alienated by the left-wing left.
The opportunity for Trump to define the Democratic field could be long: the president will have more than a year to present the opposing party as radical before the selection of a Democratic candidate.
The pressure of Democratic candidates could further tighten after the announcement by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) To the presidency. The entrance of Sanders, a Democratic Socialist and leading Medicare-for-all advocate, could intensify Republican criticism and pressure on his rivals for them to advocate more aggressively for single payer health care, the One of the many popular social programs left.
For the moment, a large part of the Democratic candidates is, if it is diverse by race and sex, positioned mainly on the far left of the ideological spectrum. The Democratic debate could become even more complicated in the coming weeks if candidates with more moderate political opinions get into the race. Former Vice President Joe Biden and several former governors, such as Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, are among the moderates who are considering the campaign.
Candidates do not openly worry about the GOP's attempt to portray the Democrats as extremists determined to push the country towards socialism. But activists and voters have expressed concern over the past week about the definition of the opposition.
"I am very worried because that is how Trump won," said Wendy Thomas (D), representative of the state of New Hampshire, who participated in Sen's presidential campaign. Booker (D-N.J.) At an arcade in Manchester on Sunday. "He used this technique against all other candidates."
Public polls show that Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal are generally popular, even if they are tenuous. However, surveys did not include costs in support of the Green New Deal; The health insurance surveys for all show that the public has little knowledge of the plan and that the support is very malleable.
This gave the Republicans, led by Trump, an opportunity to portray the Democrats as being out of the mainstream on a host of issues. As in the case of the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all, Republicans adopt the most extreme positions of some Democrats to qualify the entire party as socialist, on topics such as the wealth tax, Free childcare, free university studies and the abolition of national laws. immigration authority.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany issued a statement on Tuesday in response to Sanders' announcement, saying he had already "won the debate in the Democratic primary, because every candidate adheres to socialism.
The president made the same point in his speech on the state of the Union earlier this month.
"We are alarmed by the new calls for the adoption of socialism in our country," said Trump, reviving a line of attack that Republicans sought to use against Democrats for decades. The president has also criticized the socialist government in Venezuela in a way that seems intended for a national audience.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans are trying to force Democrats to choose between angry Liberal activists or disdain for the president: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he would hold a Senate vote on the Green New Deal, an initiative designed to put pressure on Democratic senators to take a stand. The Republicans also grabbed a flawed information sheet distributed by the staff of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), One of the major sponsors of the Green New Deal.
Yet, although Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as Socialist Democrats, most presidential candidates are not.
"I'm not a democratic socialist," said Harris (D-Calif.) At the press Monday in New Hampshire, while she was campaigning for the presidency.
Asked by a reporter about his reaction to Trump's attacks on the Democrats, Booker, the former mayor of Newark, highlighted his bipartisan efforts.
"I was a guy who had to run a city. You do this by bringing people together and governing, by getting things done, "he said. "I'm a guy who has worked with President Trump's administration in the aisles to get things done."
Booker delivered a keynote address at a crowded meeting in Manchester on Sunday, emphasizing the themes of unity, while briefly mentioning health care and climate change. During a question-and-answer session, she was asked about Medicare-for-all.
"I strongly believe that we need to create a system that is accessible to everyone – that's why I joined the Medicare for All bill," said Booker. "But I will not be one of those presidential candidates who will not tell you the hard truth."
He then explained that it would be difficult to get enough votes in the Senate. "Medicare for all is excellent, but if we can not get it, but if we can extend it to 55 years. . . this will create such an effect on the whole system that will make it better. "
The next question that Booker faced was how to launch "a kind of Green Green New Deal". The senator called for a "bold vision" on climate change and broadly expressed it to address it.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Who held a public meeting in Greenville, South Carolina, focused Saturday on her education in Oklahoma. The 2020 candidate did not use the words "Green New Deal" or "Medicare-for-all" even though she approached health care in a more expansive manner and addressed the problem of climate change. (Like Booker and Harris, she is co-sponsor of both proposals.)
When asked how she could fight the "false news circulating" that equates universal health care with "socialism or communism," Warren referred the question to Trump.
"We are caught in this moment when the very foundations of democracy are under attack," Warren said. "It's a scary moment for our country."
Warren told reporters that she was not deliberately avoiding the terms "Green New Deal" or "Medicare-for-all".
In his audience, the climate change proposal was somewhat skeptical.
"I have a sense," said David Danielson, 47, substitute teacher. "I think it's like a mission statement. In some cases, it goes too far. "
At a town hall style meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Monday, in her opening remarks, Ms. Harris gave a very ambitious speech, calling on the country to "tell the truth" about the problems which he faces. She also emphasized her support for Medicare-for-all.
Regarding the Green New Deal, for which Harris emphasized her support during the question-and-answer session, she said: "It's a resolution that requires us to set goals and reflect on what we can achieve and to put measures on it. "
On Saturday in South Carolina, Harris took care of getting into the mainstream.
"I care about the environment," she said. "Not because I want to hug a tree, but I have a strong desire to hug a healthy baby."
Mary Montana, 75, who attended a Harris event Saturday in Columbia, S.C., said she is worried that Republicans are effectively using the Green New Deal to define the party as being too liberal. "What's really in it is not clear," she said. Montana also said that Democrats should be concerned that Republicans are defining their health care positions as too left-wing.
Klobuchar (D-Min.), Another co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, sought on Monday to moderate his expectations as to the achievement of the specific objectives of the proposal.
"I think these are aspirations. I think we can get closer. I do not think we're going to get rid of whole industries in the United States, "she told CNN's Manchester City Hall.
Klobuchar said, "I think we can look to the future, but I want to take action now." She emphasized her intention to develop Medicaid.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.), who launched her presidential campaign last month, praised the Green New Deal, which she co-sponsors, as a "multifaceted approach" to a green economy.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who also joined the presidential race in January, decided to face Republican attacks. he taken to Twitter on monday argue that single payer health care is not extreme.
This is a debate, however, that should not end soon.
Linskey reported to Greenville, SC Scott Clement in Washington contributed to this report.