WASHINGTON — Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn’t happy that some of his party’s presidential candidates are pushing for Medicare for All and decriminalizing border crossings, two hot-button issues in the Democratic primary.
In a half-hour phone conversation with VICE News, Reid was blunt when asked if he thought supporting Medicare for All would be problematic in the 2020 general election.
“Of course it would be,” he said. “How are you going to get it passed?”
“I think that we should focus on improving Obamacare. We can do that — without bringing something that would be much harder to sell,” he said when asked his thoughts on the debate over whether Democrats should pursue Medicare for All or a more modest Obamacare expansion. “Improving Obamacare: People understand that. They would appreciate that. It locks in many important things.”
The onetime Democratic powerhouse and Nevada kingmaker had similar thoughts about another issue dividing the 2020 Democratic presidential field: whether to decriminalize the act of crossing into the U.S. without authorization.
Decriminalizing the border
“There are so many more important things to do. 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, responding with a curt “of course it is” when asked if supporting that position would be politically problematic in the general election.
“There are so many more important things to do.”
“People want a fair immigration system. They don’t want an open-door invitation for everybody to come at once,” argued Reid.
(Bloomberg) — Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez plans to hold party fundraising events with the American expatriate community in Mexico City next month.
Perez will participate in three events in the Mexican capital on Sept. 28, according to invitations obtained by Bloomberg News. The events range from happy hour drinks with a $25 minimum student entry to a dinner where tickets range from $1,000 to $15,000.
The registration form on the DNC website require that attendees be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and enter passport or green card numbers. It is illegal for foreigners to contribute to American political campaigns. Evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election aimed at benefiting Donald Trump has been a persistent drag on his presidency.
DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa confirmed that Perez will be holding the events.
Trump has singled out Mexico since the day he launched his first presidential campaign in 2015, suggesting Mexico was “sending” criminals and rapists among immigrants and demanding that the nation pay for a border wall. In May he threatened to impose tariffs unless Mexico did more to stop people arriving from Central America.