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Sen. Mike Bennet: 'What The Democratic Party Needs Is A Competition Of Ideas'

He also talked about the waste of talent he saw as the superintendent of Denver's public schools.
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Earlier in this Morning Joe interview, Sen. Mike Bennet said the words that were music to my ears: "Anti-monopoly policies" as a tool to improve the economic well-being of the workers. I like Mike -- I also watched his interview on Rachel Maddow last night, and he vehemently attacked the Tea Party and their destructive affect on American politics. (You may remember when the ordinarily soft-spoken senator ripped into Ted Cruz on the Senate floor during the government shutdown.)

He also talked about how he's seen working and middle class kids are funnelled into only a few career paths, because they're the only ones that pay a decent wage. He talked about the loss of creative vision and talent. He said a lot of things I wanted to hear, and I'm going to follow his campaign with interest. At the very least, he will inject another needed perspective.

"The American people really don't know at this moment what the Democratic party stands for. We have the chance now to have a real competition of ideas in the party," Sen. Bennet said.

"The country needs that competition of ideas. It actually needs it between a normal Republican party and the Democratic party as well, but among Democrats, we need to do it and I think I bring to it a certain experience in the Senate over the last ten years of getting bipartisan results even when the place was cratering around us and I spent time in business and I've spent time running the Denver public schools as a superintendent in kids' schools and classrooms who were largely ignored, have been largely ignored for the last hundred years,"

"I'd like to bring their voices to this conversation to make sure that we're driving opportunity for them instead of marooning them in schools that are not going to allow them to meaningfully participate in the economy. So I think everybody in this race has strengths and weaknesses and I hope people see that I have some of those too."

"On the question of health care. Another group of candidates including you who say Medicare with a public option, an opt-in. It's not for everybody but you've got the option to get in. Why is that a better idea than Medicare for all?" Willie Geist asked.

"What unites this field is, we all believe in universal coverage. We all believe that America is spending too much on health care and American families are spending too much on health care. What unites this field is our health care and you would think every American would want that and to go back to my point, every Republican in Colorado wants that, not to mention Democrats and Independents. Since the day he was in office, he has tried to take health care away. Made it more expensive for Americans, never delivered on the promise he made to have a beautiful health system that was going to cost so little and cover everybody. All lies.

"I believe my suggestion about Medicare is a better alternative for Medicare for all because I think Medicare for all takes insurance away from 180 million people, 80% of whom like it in the private market. If you were sitting in a living room and said we want universal coverage, we want to reduce costs, we want to increase quality but we have to start by taking insurance away from half of you, the answer would be, 'No, you're not going to start by doing that. Do you have some other idea?' And I think the other idea is a robust public option, is a choice.

"I just went through a cancer operation and I can tell you, having been through that and then my kid who's 14 years old, had an appendectomy seven days after my surgery, I felt very strongly I wanted that option for my family. I think it makes it much more likely that it would ever pass. When Barack Obama said if you like your insurance you can keep it and several hundred thousand people lost it, we're still recovering from that."

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