Sanders gets best reception at early 2020 audition
Democratic presidential hopefuls embraced their party’s left flank during a presidential cattle call in the nation’s capital on Wednesday.
More than a thousand energetic attendees gathered at the We the People Summit to hear from some top potential 2020 contenders: Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). But it was Sanders who won the most applause from the crowd of progressive and labor activists. ...
When Warren, Sanders’s top competition on the party’s left flank, took the stage, she used her time to hammer the GOP. She said Republicans are leaving workers behind and argued that there’s widespread corruption in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. She specifically called out the GOP’s tax overhaul as “evidence of corruption in Congress.”
“We’re going to hose out this cesspool of corruption,” Warren, 68, said to roaring applause. “We’re going to make this government work for the people.”
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WaPo - Dave Weigel
At We the People forum, Democratic activists shift presidential hopefuls to the left ...
“I think income inequality is the greatest risk to our democracy that we have right now,” Gillibrand said. “In this economy today, we reward ownership. We don’t reward work.”
Two leading voices in the party, Sanders and Gillibrand, now favor a very small but lucrative tax on every form of Wall Street trade. When the Tax Policy Center looked at the proposal in 2015, it calculated revenue of $185 billion over 10 years. Democrats, put in a corner by the 2017 Republican-passed tax law, are increasingly talking up ideas like this. They’d much rather be accused of holding stock traders upside down and shaking the change out of their pockets than of raising taxes on everyone.
So far, in the “invisible primary” that takes place years before candidates officially announce, the most talked-about potential candidates have been hard to find in early primary states. Local Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire have been visited by Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who is already a candidate for president; by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio); and by voting rights advocate Jason Kander, who is addressing a New Hampshire party dinner this weekend.
But the debate about what the party stands for has been happening elsewhere. Wealthy potential candidates like Mark Cuban and Howard Schultz have laid out their policy positions in media interviews; a Schultz interview on CNBC, in which he urged Democrats to debate Social Security and Medicare cuts, got enough attention that Sanders was asked to respond to it. (Sanders called Schultz’s stance on health care and government spending “dead wrong.”) Liberal groups have offered up day-long forums for candidates to lay out policies, such as last month’s Ideas Summit organized by the Center for American Progress.
The We the People summit went further, with attendees knowing up front that they might get critical questions from the audience, in a room so full that it threatened to pass capacity. Booker, who still takes heat from activists over his vote against a Sanders-backed pharma bill, used a story about a childhood mentor to discuss racial injustice and economic inequality.