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

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyFive things to watch as AIPAC conference kicks off Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements 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-CortezHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Romney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars MORE (D-N.Y.), a self-declared democratic socialist, dethroned a top House Democrat in the 2018 congressional primary election.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll O'Rourke tests whether do-it-yourself campaign can work on 2020 stage 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 ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense 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 TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' 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.