Michael Bennet

Senator from Colorado
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Michael Bennet dropped out of the presidential race on February 11, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Bennet has pitched himself as a pragmatic lawmaker with a progressive voting record. He was first appointed to the US Senate in 2009 and subsequently elected in 2010 and 2016.
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1987; Yale Law School, 1993
November 28, 1964
Susan Daggett
Unaffiliated
Halina, Anne and Caroline
Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, 2005-2009;
Chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, 2003;
Managing director, Anschutz Investment Company, 1997-2003;
Special assistant to the US attorney for Connecticut, 1997;
Counsel to the US deputy attorney general, 1995-1997
BENNET IN THE NEWS
Michael Bennet ends 2020 presidential campaign
Updated 11:48 PM ET, Tue Feb 11, 2020
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet ended his 2020 presidential campaign on Tuesday in a speech to supporters in New Hampshire. "I think it's fitting for us to end the campaign tonight," Bennet told a crowd in Concord. He continued: "I really want to say that I appreciate the fact that you gave me a chance here, and you're giving all the other candidates a chance. I wish all those candidates well that are going beyond New Hampshire." Bennet said he would support the Democratic nominee for president, and said, "I am going to do absolutely everything I can do as one human being to make sure that Donald Trump is a one-term president." "It's not just about who's in the White House," Bennet continued. "We've got to win a majority in the Senate and I will campaign all over this country to make sure we win that majority in United States Senate." Bennet's candidacy sputtered from the outset, with the Colorado senator failing to qualify for the majority of Democratic debates. But the Democrat stuck in the race long after his momentum stalled, turning his operation almost entirely to New Hampshire as it became clear he did not have a path to victory in Iowa. Bennet, the seventh member of the United States Senate to run for president this cycle, looked to set himself apart as a candidate with the ability to win narrow races, something he did in his first Senate race in 2010, and his ability to work with Republicans. The senator regularly attacked the left wing of the Democratic Party, publicly worrying that moving the party too far to the left would not only help Trump but hurt Democratic efforts to win over voters who stayed home in 2016. "I think right now the Democratic Party doesn't stand for very much at the national level with respect to what the American people think," he said when he announced his bid. "But this is an opportunity to show what we stand for, for us to have a competition of ideas. I think it is phenomenal we have got as diverse an array of candidates as we have in all respects and that we got the number that we have. A process like this is long overdue in the Democratic Party." But the Democratic electorate showed little interest in that pitch, despite the fact that Bennet raised questions about "Medicare for All" before they became the centerpiece of attacks on the sweeping health care policy by other moderate candidates. "I'm concerned about that bill," he told CNN in early 2019, noting he worries the bill would do to employer-backed insurance plans that most Americans have. "I don't think that is a good starting point." Bennet, near the end of his campaign, was barely registering in state or national polls, but he continued campaigning with a particular focus on New Hampshire, where the candidate pledged to hold 50 townhalls before the February primary. Bennet entered the race in early April. The senator had intended to get in earlier but delayed his announcement after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and subsequently given a clean bill of health. The high point of Bennet's campaign came when he slammed Vice President Joe Biden for delivering the American people a bad deal in 2012 when he negotiated a deal on taxes and spending with Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bennet voted against the deal and argued during that the deal was a bad one. "That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell," Bennet said, "and a terrible deal for America." The attack did little to hurt Biden, however, as he remains a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and Bennet is ending his bid.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES
climate crisis
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Bennet has said he doesn’t support the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Instead, he has released his own five-principle plan, which would significantly increase the protection of public lands. “I think it is great that we have a bunch of bold proposals out there,” Bennet said in May 2019. “We are going to have a competition of ideas.” Bennet has set a target of 100% net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, although he has not detailed how he would reach this goal. He also said he would create a $1 trillion “climate bank” to invest in infrastructure and, he hopes, spur private investment in green energy innovation. Bennet says the plan would create 10 million jobs over a decade related to what he calls the “zero-emission economy.”Bennet has said he would keep the US in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Bennet’s climate crisis policy
economy
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Bennet has not signed on with congressional Democratic efforts to pass a $15 minimum wage. According to his campaign, he favors an increase to $12 per hour. He’s also introduced legislation to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and overhaul and expand the child tax credit, which currently provides families with a credit of up to $2,000 for each dependent under 17. Under Bennet’s plan, families would get a $300 monthly credit for each child under 6 and $250 a month for each child under 17. He has actively opposed some of Trump’s trade actions. With Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, Bennet filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to reverse the President’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and he has opposed Trump’s trade war with China, specifically because of the negative impact on American farmers. But he has also said Trump “was right to call China out.” More on Bennet’s economic policy
education
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Bennet unveiled a plan in September 2019 pledging that by 2028, “every child born in this country, regardless of circumstance, will be at the center of a community that offers them a real chance to flourish personally and prosper financially,” according to his campaign. The plan calls for a federal-state partnership to establish free nationwide preschool, support for school districts that establish longer school days and school years, free community college for all Americans, increases to teacher pay and more funding for schools in rural areas and “high-poverty and otherwise underserved schools.” As Denver schools superintendent, Bennet was deeply involved in shaping merit-pay plans for teachers. As a presidential candidate he has called for taking steps to raise teacher pay. “We have to pay teachers as the professionals that they are. And that’s not just a little bit more. That is a lot more,” he said at a CNN town hall. More on Bennet’s education policy
gun violence
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Bennet has voted to ban high-capacity magazines and supports universal background checks. While he did not co-sponsor the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, Bennet says he would support banning so-called assault weapons. He did not endorse the recent legislation because it “was overly drawn and allowed the manufacturers to avoid the ban,” he told CNN in May 2019.
healthcare
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Bennet is not in favor of plans that would eliminate private insurance. He co-sponsored a plan known as “Medicare-X” that would let individuals and small businesses buy government-backed insurance policies, known as a public option, on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The plan would also allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices. Bennet says Americans should still have choice when it comes to health insurance. “We need to get to universal health care,” he said during the first Democratic debate. “I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with Obamacare and creating a public option.” In July 2019, he introduced a rural health care plan that would harness technology to provide medical services in rural communities, including allowing doctors to see patients via video chat and remotely monitor patients. The plan would provide up to $10,000 a year in loan forgiveness and repayment support for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who choose to work in rural areas. And it would invest $60 billion to combat substance abuse, including building more treatment centers. More on Bennet’s health care policy
immigration
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Bennet has compared Trump’s separation of families at the border to his Jewish mother’s experience being separated from her own parents as a child in Poland during the Holocaust. “When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom,” Bennet said during the first Democratic debate. He has called for overhauling the asylum process and restoring aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to reduce the flow of migrants north. He’s a co-sponsor to a Senate bill called the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act. Bennet has said he still stands by the last major bipartisan immigration package, negotiated in 2013, which included a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. He also co-sponsored the DREAM Act of 2009, some of which was eventually put into effect through Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protecting from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors.
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
Coronavirus cases top 850,000 globally
Updated 10:15 PM ET, Tue Mar 31, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically cut operations at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by 60%, according to an airport official. In the past 10 days, operations -- categorized by officials as the combination of departures and arrivals -- were down from 2,700 on average to 1,100 on Monday. The airport official said many employees were teleworking, while essential workers are still reporting for work.  Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson is known as the “world’s busiest airport” and is often listed among the top airports ranked in passenger traffic and flights. More than 107 million passengers flew through Hartsfield-Jackson in 2018. ##Business## Legendary jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney died at St. Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, Tuesday due to complications from coronavirus, according to this publicist. He was 59. "I am saddened to confirm that the iconic trumpeter and jazz legend Wallace Roney passed away due to complications of COVID-19 this morning just before noon," publicist Lydia Liebman confirmed to CNN in a news release.  "The family is looking to have a memorial service to honor Wallace and his musical contributions once this pandemic has passed. Please respect their privacy at this time." A tweet on Jazz legend Miles Davis' official Twitter account said, "Wallace was a global life force in the jazz community. He played with Miles at the historic Montreux concert directed by Quincy Jones ... He was loved and mentored by Miles. We will miss you Wally. We love you. Peaceful journey." Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York reacted to the news in a tweet: "With great sadness, we learned today of the passing of singular trumpeter Wallace Roney. A former mentee of icons like Miles Davis and Clark Terry, Roney has long since carved out his own reputation as a true modern great. He will be missed dearly." Two nurses at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver, Colorado, have told CNN that they're running out of proper sedation drugs because they've had to intubate so many patients since the coronavirus epidemic began in the US.   A nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, tells CNN that their hospital is running out of fentanyl, which they used to sedate intubated Covid-19 patients.  "We are starting to run out of proper sedation medication like propofol and fentanyl," one nurse says.  "It’s hard to watch when you have to flip these people onto their bellies and use oral medications to sedate them through their feeding tubes." SCL Health Vice President of System Communications Nikki Sloup said that their hospital system, which includes St. Joseph's Hospital, currently has an adequate supply to meet patient needs.  But Sloup warns that if they experience a patient surge, it could see shortages.  "We have put in place numerous conservation programs and continue to work with public and private partners to secure the supplies we need to provide safe and appropriate care to our patients and ensure the safety of our caregivers," Sloup told CNN in a statement. CNN reached out to Johns Hopkins Hospital for comment but did receive a response. One nurse said they've never seen so many ventilators being put to use. "Being on a ventilator is a package deal -- it typically comes with the addition of sedation in order to tolerate being ventilated and that’s where fentanyl comes into play," they said. "It is being used in such high doses to appropriately sedate these patients." ##Health## More than 262 million Americans are currently under stay-at-home orders -- over 80% of the US population -- according to a CNN count. This count includes state, city and county orders. The numbers were tallied using US census data. Among the most heavily impacted states are: California: 39.5 million people New York: 19.4 million people Illinois: 12.6 million people Ohio: 11.6 million people North Carolina: 10.4 million people ##Daily Life## ##Travel## ##Health## ##Business## Hawaii has reported its first death from the coronavirus, leaving Wyoming as the only US state without a fatality from Covid-19. The Hawaii victim “was an older adult resident of Oahu” with preexisting health problems, according to Dr. Bruce Anderson with the state Department of Health. “This is a difficult time for everyone in Hawaii,” Governor David Ige said in a news conference Tuesday evening. A plane from Russia loaded with personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to assist in the response to Covid-19 is expected to arrive in the United States on Wednesday, a senior administration official tells CNN.  “We expect Russia to deliver a planeload of personal protection equipment and supplies tomorrow, as President Putin offered President Trump yesterday,” the official said. “We will put into immediate use any needed items that are FDA approved. Likewise, the United States is sending equipment and supplies to many other countries and will continue to do more as we are able.” President Trump on Monday told reporters that Russia sent the US “a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment which was very nice.” Why is Russia sending the equipment? The Russian embassy in DC tweeted Tuesday that President Vladimir Putin provided the assistance with the consideration that manufacturers would reciprocate and share supplies with Russia if need be. The National Security Council and State Department did not reply to inquiries as to if President Trump promised that US manufacturers would share supplies with Russia if Russia gets to a point where they need them. ##Business## ##Health## President Donald Trump acknowledged Tuesday that Covid-19 is worse than the seasonal flu, despite claiming otherwise multiple times in the past. “It’s not the flu. It’s vicious,” Trump said of Covid-19 Tuesday while discussing a personal friend of his who is in a coma battling coronavirus. Some context: The tone is new for Trump, who on March 9 tweeted: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” Two days after Trump made that comment, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that coronavirus is “10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.”  Today members of the coronavirus task force warned that Americans should be “prepared” for over 100,000 deaths. ##Health## There are 41,771 positive cases of Covid-19 in New York City and 1,096 fatalities, according to a news release from the New York City mayor’s office Tuesday evening.  There were at least 8,400 people hospitalized, and of those individuals, at least 1,888 were in the ICU as of 6 p.m. ET on March 31. ##Health## There have been at least 811 new coronavirus deaths reported in the US on Tuesday, according to a count from CNN Health. This is the most reported deaths in the United States in a single day since the coronavirus outbreak began.  There have been a total of 3,833 deaths reported in the US. ##Health##
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