Bennet Announces 2020 Run, Says Democrats 'Don't Stand for Very Much at the National Level'

May 2, 2019

Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, criticizing his party as one that "doesn't stand for very much at the national level."

Bennet became the 21st Democrat to enter the 2020 field, telling CBS This Morning he was running to restore economic mobility to the people and integrity to the government.

Host John Dickerson asked him if the enormous primary field was a sign of a healthy party or one that didn't know where it stood on issues.

"I think it's both," Bennet said. "I think right now the Democratic Party doesn't stand for very much at the national level, with respect to what the American people think, but this is the opportunity to show what we stand for, for us to have a competition of ideas, and I think it's phenomenal that we've got as diverse an array of candidates as we have in all respects, and that we've got the number that we have. A process like this is long overdue in the Democratic Party."

Bennet is the seventh sitting Democratic U.S. Senator to seek the nomination, joining Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.),  and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.). All represent states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Bennet had successful surgery to treat prostate cancer last month and said he felt lucky as well as grateful to have the opportunity to run for president.

He's made headlines in recent months with his Senate floor diatribes in contrast with his usual mild manner. In a speech in January, he blasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Republicans in general over the protracted government shutdown.

Bennet acknowledged he was a "long shot" but added the same could be said for the nearly two-dozen-deep field. The Republican National Committee released a statement upon Bennet's announcement saying he had no chance of winning.

"Michael Bennet is just another tax-and-spend liberal with no chance of becoming president," spokesman Michael Ahrens said. "Bennet hasn't gotten anything done after more than a decade in the Senate, and unfortunately for him, the ‘unknown, no-accomplishments lane’ of the Democratic primary is already full."