House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California issued a stark warning to Democrats seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination: chasing a socialist utopia will alienate needed supporters to win against President Donald Trump next November.
“As a left-wing San Francisco liberal I can say to these people: What are you thinking?” Pelosi said of the 2020 candidates in an interview with Bloomberg. “You can ask the left — they’re unhappy with me for not being a socialist.”
The crowded Democratic presidential field has been dominated by candidates demanding the radical expansion of the welfare state by pushing prohibitively expensive proposals such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. While the race’s frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden has been slow to fully adopt some of the ideas pitched by the more progressive candidates in the race, even Biden is by no means a moderate and would be considered the most radical candidate in any other primary for his plans on health care and climate change.
“Remember November,” Pelosi warned. “You must win the electoral college.”
Pelosi also urged Democrats in the race to instead focus on how to protect and build onto the Affordable Care Act passed under the Obama Administration, rather than passing Medicare for All.
“Protect the Affordable Care Act — I think that’s the path to health care for all Americans. Medicare For All has its complications,” Pelosi said.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has championed Medicare for All as a signature proposal on the campaign trail recently released her plan to fund the program which excludes a hike in middle class taxes. According to multiple budget experts however, paying for the $52-trillion-dollar program would be mathematically impossible without such a tax increase.
Pelosi also shied away from endorsing a wealth tax, another key proposal put forward by Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as they run on aggressive platforms to tax the rich to fund the progressive wish-list. Instead, Pelosi told Bloomberg she would rather see “bipartisan” tax reform that would repeal the “dumb” Republican tax cuts passed in 2017 and begin paying down the national debt.
“We cannot just keep increasing the debt,” Pelosi said.
According to new data from the Treasury Department released Friday, the national debt surpassed $23 trillion for the first time in American history.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury released the numbers for the 2019 fiscal year last month revealing the national deficit reached nearly $1 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office has forecasted next year’s deficit to exceed that number as spending on entitlements continues to soar.