House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinks Democrats running for president in 2020 might strike out against Trump with ultra-liberal policies that fire up the party’s progressive base, yet might not go over so well with swing voters in flyover states.
Proposals pushed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders like Medicare for All and a wealth tax play well in liberal enclaves like her own district in San Francisco but won’t sell in the Midwestern states that sent Trump to the White House in 2016, she said. –Bloomberg
“What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan,”Pelosi said in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg. “What works in Michigan works in San Francisco — talking about workers’ rights and sharing prosperity.”
“Remember November,” she added. “You must win the Electoral College.”
And while she didn’t back any particular candidate running for office, Pelosi said Democrats should be focusing on “lower costs of prescription drugs, bigger paychecks by building infrastructure, and cleaner government.”
She also worries that candidates like Warren and Sanders are going down the wrong track by trying to ‘out-left’ each other to court fellow progressives while abandoning moderate voters that the party needs to win back from Trump.
“As a left-wing San Francisco liberal I can say to these people: What are you thinking?” Pelosi said. “You can ask the left — they’re unhappy with me for not being a socialist.”
Pelosi also expressed concerns that voters don’t care about the Green New Deal promoted by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, which calls for rapid, radical reductions in carbon emissions.
“There’s very strong opposition on the labor side to the Green New Deal because it’s like 10 years, no more fossil fuel. Really?” said Pelosi.
The speaker’s concerns reflect those of many Democratic leaders and donors who believe that left-wing policies will alienate swing voters and lead to defeat.
Warren and Sanders are betting on a different theory — that voters who float between parties are less ideological and can be inspired to vote for candidates who represent bold new change in Washington.
Pelosi said Democrats should seek to build on President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act instead of pushing ahead with the more sweeping Medicare for All plan favored by Warren and Sanders that would create a government-run health care system and abolish private insurance. –Bloomberg
Instead, Pelosi says Democrats need to salvage Obamacare:
“Protect the Affordable Care Act — I think that’s the path to health care for all Americans. Medicare For All has its complications,” she said, adding that “the Affordable Care Act is a better benefit than Medicare.”
Warren on Friday announced that her Medicare for All plan would cost $52 trillion (raising federal spending by $20.5 trillion over 10 years), and would be funded through a wave of taxes on large corporations, the wealthy, cracking down on tax evasion, an $800 billion reduction in defense spending, and putting newly legalized immigrants on the tax rolls. The Biden campaign called her plan “mathematical gymnastics” which would raise taxes on the middle class. Warren hit back, accusing Biden of “running in the wrong presidential primary.”
“Democrats are not going to win by repeating Republican talking points,” Warren said while speaking in Des Moines, Iowa. “So, if Biden doesn’t like that, I’m just not sure where he’s going.”
Watch above, or read the rest of the report here.