Election 2020

Dem 2020 Hopeful: 'At the End of the Day' Diversity Won't Be Party's Deciding Factor

Presidential candidate and former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) laughs during a roundtable discussion on climate change on Feb. 12, 2019, in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

One of nearly a dozen Democrats who have already filed with the Federal Election Commission or launched an exploratory committee to run for president said he doesn’t believe he will be disadvantaged in the process as a white male.

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) declared his candidacy back in August 2017, before President Trump even filed for re-election. He had served in Congress since 2013 and passed on running for another term in November’s midterm elections.

The field of Democrats hoping to unseat Trump has since been joined by half a dozen women, two black candidates and one Latino candidate.

Delaney told Fox News on Monday that his early start means he currently has the biggest campaign operation on the ground in New Hampshire and Iowa; he just opened his sixth campaign office in the Buckeye State.

“I’m pursuing that kind of old-fashioned, early-state strategy where you’re in coffee shops, in people’s living rooms and you’re telling what your plans are. And I’m introducing myself to them and we’re getting a lot of enthusiasm on the ground here in Iowa and New Hampshire,” he said. “So to some extent I’m playing a bit of a different game. Right. I’m not necessarily playing the national media game right now. I’m playing the Iowa/New Hampshire early-stage strategy.”

Delaney noted he’s already done more than 300 events in these early states, and “already have a lot of supporters on the ground here and we’ve got a good-sized team.”

Asked how he’d fare as a middle-aged white male in a campaign season where many in the Democratic Party are clamoring for a diverse ticket, Delaney replied that “diversity in our party is terrific.”

“I think our party right now, at this moment in time, really represents the American people. You know I’m not a person of color and I’m not a woman, as you correctly recognize there, and so I can never fully appreciate all of the issues people of color and women have had to deal with in this country,” he added. “But I do believe at the end of the day what the Democratic Party is going to look for is the person who they think is the best leader, who has the best vision for the country. I’m running as a pragmatic idealist.”

“There’s big things I want to do to make this world better but I actually want to get them done. I want to find common ground; I want to bring people together.”

Delaney is not on board with Medicare for all or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal, but says he has “better ways of doing them.”

“I think we should have universal healthcare in this country but I don’t think we should get there by making private insurance illegal. That’s a crazy approach,” he said. “…I think one of the central issues we face as a country is how terribly divided we are. How American has been increasingly pitted against American. So I think we have to get back to this notion of common purpose that we’re all in it together that there’s some big things we need to do but we have to do them together.”

“And there’s obvious solutions for all the issues we face as a country right now whether it’s healthcare, climate change, jobs, pharmaceutical prices, but we’ve got to solve them together.”