Democrat Governors Voice Concern Over Ultra-Progressive Candidates

A trio of Democratic governors warned their party’s leading presidential candidates against embracing far-left policies on healthcare and immigration that could alienate independent and swing voters in the 2020 presidential election. 

The New York Times spoke with Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo this week. All three expressed concerns about the policies embraced by their party’s presidential candidates. 

Asked about calls by some candidates to eliminate private health insurance, Governor Raimondo, head of the Democratic Governors Association, said, “I don’t think that’s good policy or good politics.”

“I think it scares people,” Governor Grisham remarked on the calls by Senators Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to abolish private insurance. 

Healthcare has become a defining issue for many of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination. 

Progressive challengers in the race such as Sens. Sanders and Warren have loudly proclaimed their support for Medicare for All on the campaign trail, while more moderate candidates including former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) have advocated for policies that would seek to improve on Obamacare. 

The three governors who spoke to the Times suggested candidates focus on improving access to affordable healthcare instead of proposing overhauls of the healthcare system. 

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