Michael Bennet on Principles & Values

Democratic Presidential Challenger; CO Senator


Moral obligation to beat Trump, but don't impeach

Q: Should President Trump be impeached?

BENNET: We are four months away from the Iowa Caucuses. And I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn't end up with an acquittal by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, which it surely would. And then President Trump would be running saying that he had been acquitted by the United States Congress. I believe we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single-term president. And we can't do anything that plays into his hands. We need to be smart about how we're running or we're going to give him a second term. We can't do it.

Secretary Julian CASTRO: Senator, I think that folks are making a mistake by not pursuing impeachment. The Mueller Report clearly details that he deserves it. And what's going to happen in the fall of 2020, if they don't impeach him, is that he's going to say, "You see? The Democrats didn't go after me on impeachment, and you know why? Because I didn't do anything wrong."

Source: July Democratic Primary debate, on impeaching Trump , Jul 31, 2019

Jewish mother survived Holocaust in Warsaw Ghetto

Michael Bennet said in the first round of Democratic primary debates about Trump's policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexican border, "When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom, because I know she sees herself, because she was separated from her parents for years during the Holocaust in Poland." Does that mean Michael Bennet's mother is a Holocaust survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto and therefore that Bennet is Jewish? We checked.

Yes, Bennet's mother, Susanne Christine Klejman, was born in the Warsaw Ghetto (where Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany imprisoned Polish Jews during WWII), in 1938. Her parents survived and she emigrated to America in 1950.

Bennet's father, Douglas Bennet, is a Christian. Under Jewish religious law, anyone born to a Jewish mother is automatically Jewish, including those with Christian fathers. Michael Bennet married his wife via an Episcopal priest, and says he believes in God, but observes neither Jewish nor Christian religious rituals.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on June Democratic Primary debate , Jun 27, 2019

Socialist policies are like giving candy to voters

Q [to Bernie Sanders]: What is your response to those who say nominating a "socialist" would re-elect Donald Trump?

SANDERS: [Trump is trying] to throw 32 million people off their health care 83% of tax benefits go to the top 1%.

Q: [to Bennet]: You have said, "It's possible to write policy proposals that have no basis in reality. You might as well call them candy." Were you referring to any proposal in particular?

facing as a country is, 40 years of no economic growth for 90% of the American people; and we've got the worst income inequality that we've had in 100 years. Where I disagree is on his solution of Medicare for all. Health care is a right. We need to get to universal health care. I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with ObamaCare and creating a public option. Bernie mentioned taxes that we would have to pay. Because of those taxes, Vermont rejected Medicare for all.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Improvement with each generation now at risk

My mom and her parents came to the United States to rebuild their shattered lives, in the only country that they could. Three hundred years before that, my parents' family came searching religious freedom here. The ability for one generation to do better than the next is now severely at risk in the United States. I believe we need to build a broad coalition of Americans to beat Donald Trump, end the corruption in Washington, and build a new era of American democracy and American opportunity.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Government no longer plans for the next generation

[Publicity blurb from Sen. Bennet's "Land of Flickering Lights":]:

"We had become the land of flickering lights, in which the standard of success was not what we were doing for the next generation of Americans, or to enhance our role in the world, but instead whether we had kept government open for another few minutes."

Source: Sen. Bennet's "Land of Flickering Lights" , Jun 25, 2019

Appointed for vacancy as "accidental Senator"

After a number of years in the private sector reorganizing distressed companies, in 2003 I became chief of staff to Denver's mayor John Hickenlooper. Shortly thereafter the board of education selected me to become the superintendent of Denver's public schools, a job that brought me face-to-face with America. Five years later, Barack Obama was elected president, and he soon nominated Ken Salazar, one of Colorado's senators, as a secretary of the interior. This created a vacancy, and to my surprise Governor Bill Ritter appointed me to fill it. I had never run for office. Polls pegged my name recognition in Colorado at 3 percent. I was not an obvious choice. A national political website greeted the news of my appointment with the encouraging headline: WTF?!! Colorado's Republican Party chairman derisively referred to me as "the accidental senator."
Source: Land of Flickering Lights, by Michael Bennet, p. 4-5 , Jun 25, 2019

Continue investigations; see if public supports impeachment

The majority of people say that the House should continue to investigate, and then we should make a decision down the road, about whether to impeach, I think that's exactly right. Mueller should testify. We should have the full, unredacted report. It seems fairly clear, from the evidence, that he has committed impeachable offenses. But we need to go through a process here and see if the American people can be convinced that that's actually the right outcome.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 5, 2019

Born in India, to diplomat & Jewish Holocaust survivor

Bennet was born in New Delhi, India, the son of Susanne Christine (ne Klejman) and Douglas J. Bennet. His father, who was born in New Jersey, served as an aide to Chester Bowles, then the U.S. ambassador to India. Bennet's father was Christian and his mother is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who was born in Poland and emigrated to the United States with her family in 1950. Her parents survived imprisonment in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Bennet's father ran the United States Agency for International Development under President Jimmy Carter, served as President and CEO of National Public Radio (1983-93), and Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in the Clinton Administration (1993-95). His grandfather Douglas Bennet was an economic adviser in Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. Bennet's mother is a retired elementary school librarian.

Source: Wikipedia.com, "Michael Bennet: Early Life and Education" , May 2, 2019

Family includes Mayflower descendants & Holocaust survivors

One fun thing about Michael Bennet: Bennet is the son of Mayflower descendants on his father's side and Holocaust survivors on his mother's.
Source: Axios.com on 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

Most Democrats are not socialists and should say so

He warns that Democrats shouldn't make it easy for Donald Trump to write them off as socialists (he jumped up and applauded when the president said "America will never be a socialist country" in his State of the Union address, realizing only later that Bernie Sanders was right behind him, scowling in his seat).
Source: The Atlantic, "Stop the Rage" on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 2, 2019

No particular religion nor congregation but believes in God

Q: What is Michael Bennet's religion?

A: Bennet does not affiliate with a particular religion but says he believes in God.

Q: Where does Michael Bennet worship?

A: Bennet does not worship with a congregation. He and his wife were married by an Episcopal priest.

Q: What religion was Michael Bennet born into?

A: Bennet's father is a Christian and his mother is Jewish. "I was raised with two different heritages, one was Jewish and one was Christian," Bennet has said. "I am proud that both heritages are part of me, and I believe in God." His maternal grandparents and his mother escaped from Poland during the Holocaust.

COMMENTS: "I'm not concerned about that at all," Bennet said of discussing his Jewish history, "just because I think we've moved beyond that in our politics."

Source: National Review on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 28, 2010

Raised in two different heritages, Jewish and Christian

From a profile in the Rocky Mountain News archives: His father, Douglas J. Bennet, is Christian but also did not actively worship.

Under Jewish doctrine, Judaism is passed down through the mother. Bennet is Jewish because his mother is. But even in Poland, the Klejmans were not observant, and he did not grow up practicing that religious tradition.

"I was raised with two different heritages, one was Jewish and one was Christian," Michael Bennet said. "I am proud that both heritages are part of me, and I believe in God."

Colorado voters typically have paid little attention to religion. Gov. Bill Ritter's Catholicism became an election issue only after he announced positions that Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput publicly condemned. In last year's primaries, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney swept Colorado, though his Mormon background raised concerns elsewhere.

Source: National Review on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 28, 2010

Pragmatism and independent thinking at national level

Michael Bennet's desire to represent Colorado in the US Senate is deeply rooted in a moral obligation to leave this country in a better place for his children, and a fear that we will fail in that obligation if we do not take a fresh approach to Washington. He believes that the pragmatism and independent thinking that have been so essential to making Colorado such an incredible place to live are also the values we must embrace at a national level to achieve the fundamental change we need.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, bennetforcolorado.com, "About" , Dec 25, 2009

Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal

Michael earned his bachelor's degree with honors from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal.
Source: Biography on www.senate.gov , Jan 23, 2009

Married with three school-age daughters

Michael married Susan Daggett, a successful natural resources lawyer, in 1997. Michael and Susan are the proud parents of three daughters, Caroline (9), Halina (7), and Anne (4).
Source: Biography on www.senate.gov , Jan 23, 2009

Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Question Trump on Emoluments clause.

Bennet signed questioning Trump on Emoluments clause

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:

Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.

FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.

Source: Letter from 17 Senators 17LTR-EMOL on May 18, 2017

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Bennet voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.