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John Delaney (who?) casts himself as the bipartisan choice in Democratic debate

“We need real solutions, not impossible promises,” the former Maryland U.S. rep. says Wednesday night.
From left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney pose for a photo on stage before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
From left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney pose for a photo on stage before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Published Jun. 27, 2019

“We’ll get to you in just a minute, Congressman Delaney.”

It was a refrain that was repeated several times during Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Miami, where former Maryland Rep. John Delaney had to share the stage with nine other candidates.

When Delaney, 56, could get a word in, he kept bringing the conversation back to a central theme of his campaign: solving the country’s problems with a practical, bipartisan spirit that focuses on policies that lie left of center — but not too far left.

If you asked him, it’s less of a left-right issue than it is about being pragmatic and balancing the ledger.

“We need real solutions, not impossible promises,” he said.

Despite his limited allotment, he managed to get a few moments: He favors universal healthcare, but not the “Medicare for all.” He wants a “BetterCare” system where all Americans under 65 have a right to a government healthcare insurance plan, but not without the option to purchase a private plan.

On the economy, he presented a threefold platform — a higher minimum wage, paid family leave and double the current earned income tax credit.

“Jobs aren’t the problem,” he said after the debate. “It’s the pay.”

He managed to squeeze in one distinguishing element of his plan for dealing with climate change — a carbon tax.

The throughline on his proposals: Making policy decisions that Americans can actually pay for.

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