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

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight 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-CortezOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline McCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid MORE (D-N.Y.), a self-declared democratic socialist, dethroned a top House Democrat in the 2018 congressional primary election.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Bernie Sanders: 'This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome 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 ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection 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 TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance 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.