Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren talked about everything from education to health care during a rally in Denver on Sunday.
“It feels like to me that Denver is ready for some big, structural change,” she said, opening her campaign event at the Fillmore Auditorium.
During her speech, she promoted her wealth tax, a plan for more affordable health care and investments into public education. She also referred to rival candidate Michael Bloomberg as “a threat” and does not want to “trade one arrogant billionaire for another,” comparing Bloomberg to President Donald Trump.
Her rally drew in about 3,800 to the Fillmore, with 300 more waiting outside. Colorado state Sens. Kerry Donavan and Julie Gonzales introduced Warren at the rally. Donavan endorsed Warren in September while Gonzalez gave her endorsement earlier this month.
Warren also distanced herself from Bernie Sanders, and said that she is not a democratic socialist and that Sanders supports filibusters while she does not.
Both Sanders and Bloomberg are ahead of Warren according to national polls. And she came in fourth in the Nevada caucuses the night before her appearance in Denver. Sanders won all the delegates.
In the Iowa caucus, Warren came in fourth with 18 percent of the vote and won eight delegates. In New Hampshire, Warren didn’t win any delegates but got 9.2 percent of the vote.
Heather Mathias lives in Longmont and said she’s an undecided voter.
“I like her stance concerning mental illness and how she wants to address that,” Mathias said. “I saw the other night she was talking about bipolar disorder and my daughter suffers from that. It’s a concern making sure that my daughter will be taken care of.”
One of Warren’s policy proposals — Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act — would create a portal that patients can use to get information about their rights, how insurers make parity decisions, and results of insurers’ audits. The act would also require insurance companies to disclose how they are making parity decisions and their denial rates for mental and physical health claims.
Mathias said that she’s torn between Warren and Sanders, in part because their platforms are similar and Mathias is a Vermont native.
In contrast, Darrell Seeney is all for Warren. He’s originally from Delaware but has lived in Denver for the last five years.
“She’s the best person for the job,” Seeney said.
He said he likes that Warren understands that none of the country’s issues are isolated.
“For example, Medicare isn’t an issue about health care, it’s about social equity and employment [because] people keep their jobs because they want to keep their health care, they’re not happy there,” Seeney said. “It’s [also] about how climate change is about race in this country. If we look at where we sacrifice climate or the environment, it’s really been around areas of color. Warren understands that.”
Bob Rose is from Golden and he is also an undecided voter. He went to Pete Buttigieg’s town hall Saturday night before coming to Warren’s rally.
“I’m here to see what [Warren] has to say,” Rose said. “I just want the most electable person and I’m trying to sort that through but it’s hard.”
The event came on the heels of a new policy plan Warren released earlier Sunday. The plan — A Just and Equitable Cannabis Industry — focuses on legalizing the drug and expunging past marijuana convictions. Another major part of the policy is protecting immigrants who work in the cannabis industry.
Many of the leading Democratic presidential candidates have visited Colorado in the last few weeks ahead of the state’s primary on March 3. They include Sanders, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tulsi Gabbard.
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