John Delaney defends criticism of Medicare for All: 'I tell the truth'

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyWarren, Yang fight over automation divides experts The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Warren's surge brings new scrutiny to signature wealth tax MORE (D-Md.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, defended his comments at the California Democratic Convention that Medicare for All is "actually not good policy nor is it good politics."

Delaney's statement was met with loud boos from the crowd over the weekend.

“I tell the truth and I think health care is too important a topic not to tell the truth about,” Delaney told Hill.TV on Tuesday.

“Health is one of the most if not the most issue to most Americans right now and I think we have this terrible tragedy of all of these uninsured Americans and we have to find a way forward to create a form of universal health care,” he continued.

Delaney said he’s concerned that support for Medicare for All could make Democrats vulnerable during the 2020 election.

“We’re going to put up an candidate whose going to run on Medicare for All and then suddenly the Republicans are not going to be afraid to say what I just said,” he told Hill.TV.

Medicare for All is one of the most talked about issues on the campaign trail among Democratic candidates. While the policy has been rejected by some centrist Democrats, the plan remains popular among progressives.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTlaib to join Sanders at campaign rally in Detroit AOC: Trump comparing impeachment inquiry to a lynching is 'atrocious' Former Obama official pushes back against assertion of unfair Sanders media coverage MORE (D-N.Y.), blasted Delaney for his remarks.

Ocasio-Cortez, a champion of the progressive policy, said on Twitter it’s time for Delaney to “sashay away.”

“This awful, untrue line got boo’ed for a full minute,” the freshman lawmaker tweeted on Sunday. “John Delaney, thank you but please sashay away.”

Delaney's campaign fired back, saying her comments could lead to “a second term for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE.” 

“If Democrats are serious about beating the President at the ballot box, we need less political grandstanding and more truth-telling from the Bernie wing of the party," the statement read.

—Tess Bonn