Democratic Presidential Candidate John Delaney did not rule out a gubernatorial run In Maryland if his bid for the White House proves unsuccessful.
In a wide-ranging interview with WGBH News Thursday, the entrepreneur and former congressman said he would not run against either of the state's Democratic senators, but declined to say whether he would run for governor against Larry Hogan, a Republican.
"I’ve always believed in the Lincoln expression, which is, 'You can only paddle to the next bend in the river.' And so, I’m just paddling towards this bend," Delaney, 56, responded when asked about a possible gubernatorial bid in 2022. WGBH News interviewed him just before he began three days of campaigning in New Hampshire.
Delaney, who was the first to announce a campaign for the Democratic nomination back in July 2017, has had difficulty building support. A recent poll sponsored by The Economist suggested most surveyed don’t know how they feel about him.
Delaney said Thursday he believes there’s still time for his presidential bid to pick up steam. He pointed to heavy media attention on a handful of candidates and gradual voter engagement as a reason for this lag in support.
“Some of these candidates get 100 times more media attention than other people,” said Delaney of the crowded Democratic field. He added that he’s counting on more candidates dropping out and more moderate voters becoming plugged in to the contest for the Democratic nomination.
“I’m going to be in the race. I’m staying in the race. The field gets smaller, the [pool of] interested Democrats gets larger, and they become kind of a more moderate thing, and that’s where I think all the work we’ve done is going to start paying off,” he said.
Delaney, who was one of the few candidates to not embrace the concept of an exclusive single-player health care system, said he’s feeling vindicated now that several opponents are backing away from absolute support of Medicare for All. Delaney said the plan would “cause upheaval” to the nation’s existing health care system. His proposal is based on reforming the Affordable Care Act into a universal health care system with a public option and the ability to opt-out. The plan would be paid for, in part, by eliminating the corporate deductibility of health insurance expenses and a cost-sharing requirement for higher earners.
“It’s the mix of private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid that allows health care facilities to stay viable,” he said. “If you take private insurance out, and only reimburse at the Medicare rates, which the Medicare for All bill specifically says, then you’ll cause huge closures of health care providers in this country.”
Delaney also stopped short of labeling the president as “racist” in the way other opponents did in the wake of back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month. The mass shooting in El Paso involved a shooter with an online manifesto decrying an “invasion” of Hispanics in the United States.
“There’s no question the president has said things both in the spoken word and in the tweet that I view as racist,” he said. “I’ve never met the president, so I obviously don’t know what’s in his heart. But it seems to me that when you consistently say things and put out things that are either racist or designed to create racial divisions, it doesn’t seem to me there’s any other conclusion you can reach.”