Photo of Michael Bennet

Video Remarks Announcing Candidacy for President

May 02, 2019

There's 7,591 words in the Constitution of the United States.

The word politics is not among them.

That's because our nation's founders knew that politics and governing aren't the same thing. When campaigning never stops, governing never begins.

I'm Michael Bennett, and for the past 10 years, I've been a senator from the great state of Colorado. You probably don't know me because I don't go on cable news every night. I didn't set out to be a politician. My last job was Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools.

And I didn't go to Washington to get attention; I went to pay attention to what would help the people who sent me there make their lives better.

I spent a lot of time on farms and ranches, town halls and living rooms, listening and learning.

So you may not know me, but over the years, I've learned a lot about what Americans struggle with.

They work hard, but healthcare and prescription drugs keep costing more.

For the last 40 years, 90% of Americans haven't received a decent pay raise. This is not sustainable for our families or democracy.

Since 2001, we spent more than $10 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthy and wars in the Middle East.

What would our country look like today, if we spent that money investing in our own future?

We could have saved Social Security forever. Fixed the VA. Raised the pay of every teacher by 50%. We could have led the world in solving climate change. We could have fixed our crumbling bridges and dams, but we did none of it.

So we need to start now by investing in things Americans need the most. We need to fix health care and make good on what Obamacare promised: affordable, high quality health insurance with a public option that will guarantee competition in every county in America and lower drug prices.

And that's not Medicare for all, because I don't think 180 million Americans want to give up the insurance they already have through their work or their union.

Let's enact my plan to give families a tax cut they can use to support their children. It would cut child poverty by 40%.

We need to invest in education from preschool through college and job training as well.

But I'm not going to pretend free college is the answer. I'm not going to say there's a simple solution to a problem if I don't believe there is one.

In politics, they try to label you. Okay. Call me an idealist. A pragmatic idealist.

You can't fix a broken Washington if you don't level with the American people.

It's time for a new era of progress to reform our political system.

We need to reverse Citizens United and pass my proposals to end partisan gerrymandering and place a lifetime ban on members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists.

We're at a crossroads. We either build a future we want, or one we don't want will be thrust upon us. That's what our founders faced 243 years ago, and I think it's time for us to think of ourselves as them.

Frederick Douglass was a founder, Abraham Lincoln, the suffragettes, our parents and grandparents who stood up to tyranny in World War II, my mom and her parents who survived that tyranny, and rebuilt their shattered lives in the only country they could. The United States of America.

It's our job now to create a future that works for all America.

Because it's not enough just to win the next election. We need to win the next century.

So join me if you want to get to work. It's time to build the future.

Michael Bennet, Video Remarks Announcing Candidacy for President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project