Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says 2020 Democrats are heading down the wrong path by pushing “Medicare for all” and the decriminalization of illegal border crossings.
In an interview with Vice News published Aug. 20, Reid laid out his thoughts on what Democrats ought to be pushing instead if they hope to win back the White House in 2020.
“Of course it would be,” Reid said when asked if supporting single-payer health care would be an issue for Democrats to run on next fall. “How are you going to get it passed?”
“I think that we should focus on improving Obamacare. We can do that – without bringing something that would be much harder to sell,” Reid said. “Improving Obamacare: People understand that. They would appreciate that.”
When it came to decriminalizing unlawful border crossings, Reid also conveyed some strong feelings.
“There are so many more important things to do. Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list,” Reid said when asked about the proposal first introduced in the race by former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. “It should be way, way down at the bottom of the list.”
Reid said the general public had little appetite for the kind of open-border policy Democrats are pushing in the primary.
“People want a fair immigration system. They don’t want an open-door invitation for everybody to come at once.”
As the candidates race to “out-left” each other, progressive liberals touting “Medicare for all” and decriminalizing illegal border crossings as signature platform proposals have dominated the 2020 Democratic presidential field.
While the party’s front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has held off on endorsing such proposals, the rest of the top-tier candidates have all voiced their support for some version of these two policies.
Other candidates in the race who have blasted such ideas are consistently polling so low that they are unlikely to make it to the next Democratic debate in Houston in September.
Reid retired from the Senate in 2017 after suffering a fall that led to his having several eye surgeries. Reid, who served more than three decades in Congress, has since been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.