Young Turks founder: ‘I actually really respect John Delaney’

The founder of the progressive online channel “The Young Turks” offered praise for former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), saying the long-shot 2020 presidential hopeful isn’t afraid to let voters know where he stands on issues.

“I actually really respect John Delaney because he’s not hiding the ball,” Cenk Uygur told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball during an interview on Thursday.

“I’ve had some of the best interviews and conversations with congressman Delaney,” he added.

Uygur recalled the time Delaney, who has painted himself as the “most moderate” Democrat in the race, attended a rally held by the group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“John Delaney just comes out and says, ‘hey this is what I’m for and this is what I’m not for,” he said. “ ‘You like it, great, and if you don’t like it, no problem,’ and you have an intellectual conversation with him.”

Delaney was among the 10 candidates who participated in the first night of the inaugural Democratic primary debate in Miami on Wednesday.

Though he struggled throughout the debate to get a word in, he did prompt a round of applause for his comments on health care reform.

“We should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken,” he said, adding that he supports universal health care but that patients should have the option to buy private insurance.

Delaney also doubled down on his criticism of Medicare for All, calling the single-payer health care proposal “bad policy.”

“If you went to every hospital in this country and you asked them one question, which is how would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate, every single hospital administrator said: They would close,” he said at the event.

Wednesday’s debate put a spotlight on the division among Democrats over Medicare for All.

Only two candidates — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)— raised their hands in favor of getting rid of private insurance and implementing a government-run program.

—Tess Bonn

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