U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Maryland, stood out to me as I watched the first of two NBC News Democratic Presidential Debates on Wednesday night. It is not because I agree with much in the way of policy, I don’t, but out of a field who are trying to prove how far left they are Delaney is taking a different path.

He’s trying to fill the moderate lane and it showed during the debate as he seemed to be the sanest guy on stage, perhaps the only sane candidate on the stage.

Here are a few things he said that jumped out.

Economic Policy

For instance, he followed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for wealth redistribution and his response was considerably different.

“We need to make sure everyone has a living wage. And I’ve called for a doubling of the earned income tax credit, raising the minimum wage, and creating paid family leave. That will create a situation where people actually have a living wage. That gets right to workers,” Delaney told moderator Jose Diaz-Balart.

While I don’t support raising the minimum wage, common ground can be found on the earned income tax credit, as well as, paid family leave (there are a couple of Republican plans).

He pointed to his business experience. “I’m very different than everyone else here on the stage. Prior to being in Congress, I was an entrepreneur. I started two businesses. I created thousands of jobs. I spent my whole career helping small- to mid-sized businesses all over the country, 5,000 of them I supported,” Delaney added.

I can respect his past experience and unlike some of his colleagues he has walked the walk.

Rejects Premise of Medicare For All

Some on stage advocated for getting rid of private health insurance. Delaney did not.

“100 million Americans say they like their private health insurance, by the way. It should be noted that 100 million Americans — I mean, I think we should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken,” he argued.

He offered his support for universal health care but added, “Why do we have to stand for taking away something from people?”

Delaney noted that taking all private health insurance off the market, like what Medicare for All does, would negatively impact our health care system.

“If you go to every hospital in this country and you ask them one question, which is how would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate? Every single hospital administrator said they would close,” he said. “And the Medicare for All bill requires payments to stay at current Medicare rates. So to some extent, we’re supporting a bill that will have every hospital closing.”

Family Separation

Delaney did not get to say much in the discussion over immigration, but what he chose to say when he did get a chance to weigh in was interesting.

He pointed out that families being separated coming into the country is not a new issue.

“My grandfather was actually separated from his family when he came to this country,” Delaney stated.

Bipartisanship

He said that Democrats need to work in a bipartisan manner when weighing in during the discussion on gun control.

“Listen, I will sign into law bills that come to the White House that are passed on a party-line basis, absolutely. But all the big transformative things we’ve ever done in this country’s history have happened when huge majorities of the American people get behind them, which is why we need real solutions, not impossible promises,” Delaney said.

Greatest Geopolitical Threat

He didn’t answer “climate change.”

“Well, the biggest geopolitical challenge is China. But the biggest geopolitical threat remains nuclear weapons,” Delaney answered.

Americans Are Not Asking For Impeachment

Delaney pointed out that average Americans are not concerned about the Mueller investigation and they are not calling for impeaching President Donald Trump.

“I do think the — no one is above the law, and this president, who is lawless, should not be above the law. But I will tell you, Rachel, the one thing when you’re out doing as much campaigning as I’ve done, 400 events, all 99 counties in Iowa, this is not the number-one issue the American people ask us about,” he said.

“There’s over 3,000 counties in this country. That’s what they care about. They care about what’s going on in the public schools. They care about what’s going on with jobs in their communities, with their pay, with their health care, with infrastructure. These are the issues, these kind of kitchen-table, pocketbook issues, are actually what most Americans care about. They never ask about the Mueller Report,” he added.

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