Delaney: ‘We should not put up a candidate who embraces socialism’

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyMoulton rolls out plan to promote national service among young Americans From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Winter is here: How 'Game of Thrones' took over American politics MORE (Md.), a moderate Democrat running for president in 2020, urged the party not to nominate a candidate who supports socialism.

“If we want to win and we want to beat Trump, we should not put up a candidate who embraces socialism. That’s not what the American people want,” Delaney said Wednesday on CNN.

An ideological debate among Democrats has ramped up in recent months after the insurgent campaign of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe unintended consequences of interest rate caps The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump threatens jail time over 'treason' and 'spying' Lewandowski: Why Joe Biden won't make it to the White House — again MORE (D-N.Y.), a self-declared democratic socialist, dethroned a top House Democrat in the 2018 congressional primary election.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (I-Vt.), another democratic socialist, electrified the progressive base in 2016 during his campaign against eventual Democratic nominee for president Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE and announced Tuesday he would make a second run at the White House, raising $6 million on its first day

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE has also sought to divide Democrats over socialism, recently mentioning the ideology in his State of the Union address and a speech this week on Venezuela in which he proclaimed, “The days of socialism are numbered.”

Despite Delaney’s disagreements with the more progressive wing of his party, he said he would still support any Democratic nominee who faces off against Trump in the general election.

“All the people running are so much better than President Trump, who I believe doesn’t have a moral compass and is dishonest with the American people. Of course I believe I would support them all,” he said Wednesday.

Wednesday’s comments mark the second time in as many days that Delaney has come out against nominating a candidate who supports socialism. He discussed the intraparty divide Tuesday after Sanders’s presidential announcement, saying "top-down, government-only approaches" are not the best polices for the American people.

“This primary is going to be a choice between socialism and a more just form of capitalism. I believe in capitalism, the free markets, and the private economy. I don’t believe socialism is the answer and I don’t believe it’s what the American people want. I don’t believe top-down, government-only approaches are the right answer,” he said in a statement Tuesday.