Approximately 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.
Getting to Know Gov. Steve Bullock
Montana Governor Steve Bullock has a unique background.
A Democratic governor that is loved in a red state that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.
Governor Bullock hopes that his ability to connect with voters in rural and red Montana can translate to a victory over President Trump.
Bullock can boast about being the only Democrat to win the governor’s race in a state that voted for Trump.
And although Trump won Montana by 20 points in 2016, Bullock won the state by four points.
“People want to make sure we can win back places we lost,” Bullock said. “If we really want to make sure that we can be competitive in red states, it might help to have somebody that’s actually won in a red or purple state at the top of the ballot, and that’s me.”
Bullock spoke of states that Democrats lost such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that actually spun the 2016 presidential election away from Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The two-term governor also brags that he has gotten some progressive things done even with a state legislature dominated by Republicans.
“The word progressive, at the core of that is progress,” Bullock told Fox News. “I’ve actually been able to make progress on healthcare, affordable college…kicking dark money out of elections.”
In politics, dark money is money spent to persuade voters without disclosing where the money originates.
Political nonprofit groups and super PACs sometimes spend dark money to influence elections.
“I view myself as kind of in the actually-get-stuff-done-that-matters-to-people’s-lives’ lane,” said Bullock. “I think that’s what we, as Democrats, need to be focusing on.”
Despite Vice President Joe Biden stating that the Democratic presidential primary is about beating Trump, Bullock believes that 2020 is about more than defeating the 45th President of the United States.
Bullock believes that healthcare is one of the most pressing issues going into the 2020 presidential election.
“Access to healthcare should not depend on the size of your paycheck,” said Bullock via his official presidential website. “But with over 27 million Americans still uninsured, we have work to do. To ensure high quality, universal healthcare access, we must take bold action to make care more affordable while expanding access and improving existing coverage. This can be done by building on the success of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), not dismantling it.”
Bullock has five core principles that he believes will improve the healthcare options for many Americans.
He wants to increase access to healthcare.
Bullock wants to make healthcare more affordable.
The Democrat plans to do this by negotiating drug prices and battling the pharmaceutical companies.
He also will make healthcare more affordable by fighting mergers of insurance companies, which jack up the prices for medicine.
Another way to lower the cost of healthcare is to end surprise out-of-network billing.
The Montana governor wants to improve care in rural and underserved communities.
Bullock will do this by preserving rural hospitals and protecting Title X funding and access high quality reproductive healthcare.
The Democratic presidential hopeful wants to strengthen Medicare.
And Bullock wants to attack the opioid crisis by taking the fight to the drug companies and investing in community solutions to fight this epidemic.
Bullock has also decried the impact that money has had on the election system.
Big budget donors often have more sway over politicians than the communities that they represent.
Furthermore, candidates with big pockets can often pay their way onto the debate stage and into the political discourse.
While Bullock struggles to meet the financial criteria to qualify for the September Democratic presidential debate in Houston, billionaire Tom Steyer has a better chance to make the debate because of his wealth.
“The thought that you can spend $10 million to get on the debate stage, I don’t think that that’s really good for democracy,” Bullock said in an interview with Fox News. “It’s disclosed [not dark] money, but we should be actually talking to voters; not spending money just trying to get individual donors.
“We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grassroots support. It’s not serving the candidates, and it sure isn’t helping the voters who will actually decide this election.”
Despite his ability to reach moderates and conservatives, many Democratic pundits want Bullock to drop out of the presidential race to focus on the Senate so that Democrats would have a better chance of flipping the Senate.
“The candidates that are out there have a tremendous climb and a lot to prove,” said David Parker, a political science professor at Montana State University.
However, Bullock has no interest as of yet of running for the Senate.
Bullock campaign senior advisor Matt McKenna said that running for the Senate “has never in his life, not once, been a consideration. There is just no way.”
Running for the Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines would not be easy for Bullock, but his chances would be greater than winning the presidency considering his popularity in Montana.
Furthermore, Democrats have to hope to hold on to the House of Representatives while flipping the Senate to have any chance of pushing their progressive platform forward after 2020.
“He’d be a great Senate candidate,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in May. “He’s terrific. And there’s such a huge field right now. So it’s hard to sort of understand more people getting in at this point in terms of the presidency.”