Presidential candidate John Delaney visits AU
American Agora and AU Dems hosted the first candidate to announce plans to run for president in 2020
AU College Democrats and The American Agora, a campus political commentary publication, hosted Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) at AU Thursday to speak about his platform as a presidential candidate in the 2020 election.
In an interview with The Eagle, Delaney said he believes he can help unify the country if elected president.
“I think the central issue facing this country is ‘how do we bring it back together again?’ because we’re terribly divided and terribly fractured,” Delaney said. “And I think I’m the right person to do that.”
Delaney announced his decision to run for president in a July 2017 Washington Post article, becoming the first candidate to reveal their plans to run for the office in 2020. Delaney told The Eagle that he decided to make the announcement early because “not enough people know who I am and the way to solve that problem is by getting out there.”
Throughout the AU event, Delaney emphasized how he could unify the country because he does not partake in “hyper-partisanship,” stating that he had been ranked the third most bipartisan member of Congress. GovTrack ranked him the third most bipartisan House Democrat in 2015.
The event was broken up into two sections, with the American Agora posing questions followed by an audience question and answer period. During his remarks, the congressman said that mental health conditions need to improve in the U.S., as well as gun safety regulations, following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida.
“We clearly should put forth laws that require background checks of every person who buys a gun no matter where they buy it,” Delaney said. He also said that “the fact that we haven’t done this is a national embarrassment.”
One of Delaney’s central focuses for improving the country was to end gerrymandering, the practice of manipulating voting districts to favor one party. Delaney referred to gerrymandering as “the most insidious force in our politics” and said that ending it is necessary to ensure that Representatives more accurately represent their districts.
Another one of the issues Delaney spoke about was the cost of college tuition. When responding to a question from an AU student, Delaney said that he wants U.S. education to be free from pre-K to community college.
When asked about the current state of the Oval Office, Delaney made clear his disapproval of President Trump, calling him “the biggest narcissist I’ve ever observed in my life” and the “great divider-in-chief.”
Delaney told The Eagle why he thought young people should give him their vote in 2020.
“Young people are really in some ways non-partisan,” Delaney said. “They’re solution and cause oriented. I really think our job should be to find the right kind of policies, no matter where they reside … I don’t really think of things through a partisan lens, I think of it through a solutions oriented lens.”
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that 17 students died following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Three of the victims were on the school's staff as teachers or coaches. 14 were students. "Students" has been changed to "people."