Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted his party’s push for controversial progressive policies, such as Medicare-for-All.
In a phone interview with Vice News published Tuesday, Reid — who served in the Senate from 1987 to 2017 — was asked if he believes supporting Medicare-for-All would prove to cause problems for the eventual Democratic nominee in the 2020 general presidential election.
Reid said “of course it would be” and questioned how the nominee would “get it passed.”
He went on to say that he believes that the Democrats should “focus on improving ObamaCare” when asked if he thought his party should work towards Medicare-for-All or an expansion of the Affordable Care Act.
“I think that we should focus on improving Obamacare. We can do that — without bringing something that would be much harder to sell,” the former Senate majority leader said. “Improving Obamacare: People understand that. They would appreciate that. It locks in many important things.”
As IJR Red previously reported, Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) came under fire after she recently told a group of donors at a campaign event in the Hamptons that she has “not been comfortable” with self-described democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders‘ (I-Vt.) Medicare-for-All proposal and still believed in capitalism.
She had previously signed on to the legislation as the “first senator” to co-sponsor it.
Reid had similar thoughts regarding the push by some of the 2020 Democrats to decriminalize the act of crossing the border illegally.
The Nevada Democrat proclaimed that “there are so many more important things to do” and said that it would “of course” pose a political issue for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
“Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list. It should be way, way down at the bottom of the list,” Reid said, adding that “people want a fair immigration system. They don’t want an open-door invitation for everybody to come at once.”
Several Democratic presidential candidates backed the idea of decriminalizing illegal border crossings, including former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (D), Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), and Sanders.