Michael Bennet talks presidential run and upcoming election in Littleton Town Hall
On Tuesday evening, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet fielded concerns about the upcoming election during a town hall to a crowd of around 120 at the Peak Community and Wellness Center in Littleton.
“Everyone has to understand what’s at stake here,” Bennet said. “The rule of law is getting shattered.”
The Colorado senator, who dropped out of the presidential race last week after the New Hampshire primary, discussed his campaign in his opening remarks. Bennet attributed his lack of success in his presidential run to his late start, which he said prevented him from qualifying for debates and fundraising.
“I hope that whatever national profile I was able to develop will benefit Colorado and my service in that state going forward,” Bennet said after the town hall. “I’ve learned that Colorado is the sweet spot, I think, of where American politics is.”
Attendees were eager to hear whether Bennet would endorse one of the Democratic candidates, but the senator said he has not yet made up his mind.
“As soon as I have an idea about that and think it would be useful to say that, I will,” he said.
Bennet said that he plans to see how the race develops over the next couple of weeks. He said that there’s not a nominee in the Democratic race that he wouldn’t support because of the threats President Donald Trump poses.
“We have to restore integrity to our government,” Bennet said. “We’re at a moment in our political life as a nation where we have to have an honest conversation about where we’re headed.”
Many constituents expressed fears of Trump’s potential for re-election. Carole Keller, an internet marketing consultant from Littleton, discussed how many people she talks to feel worn out by the current political system and unmotivated to vote. The 67-year-old asked Bennet what Democrats are doing to ensure that everyone gets out to vote without feeling so defeated.
“I understand how tired people are from the chaos every day,” Bennet said. “But it’s not allowable for us to feel beaten down before the election even gets here.”
Gabe Nelson, a junior at Columbine High School, asked Bennet how he plans to get young people out to vote. The senator stressed that though many difficult issues have been unfairly dealt to the next generation, including debt and climate change, voting is the vehicle to improvement.
“The only way to turn around our political system is to participate in it,” Bennet said. “And I hope that we can figure out ways of inspiring you based on that obligation we each have to our democracy.”
Bennet discussed the challenges Coloradans face trying to afford health care, housing and higher education. Jo Douglas, a 60-year-old from Littleton, asked Bennet about getting health insurance plans that are more accustomed to the needs of Coloradans.
“We have a broken health care market,” Bennet said. “Part of the problem we have, especially in rural areas, is there aren’t enough people in certain parts Colorado to have a real market to get people insured in a way that’s predictable and affordable.”
Bennet said that his proposal, called Medicare-X, which offers a public option, could provide universal health care.
He will hold two more town halls later this week in the state, in Grand Junction on Thursday and in Steamboat Springs on Friday.