Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetInterior reverses Trump, moves BLM headquarters back to DC Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals MORE (D-Colo.) said Wednesday that he plans to run for president in 2020 if he beats his recent cancer diagnosis.
In an interview with The Colorado Independent, Bennet revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month as he readied to make an announcement for his candidacy.
“The idea was to announce sometime in April,” Bennet told the Independent. “That was the plan. We hired some staff. We interviewed people for positions in New Hampshire and Iowa. And then I went for the physical. In my last physical, my PSA was high. They did a biopsy, and it was clear. But this time, it was not clear."
“That was 2-3 weeks ago. I was in San Francisco. Then the question became: Is this still something I wanted to do? I could answer the question in two ways. Maybe this would be a good time to give it up and go do something else. And the other was whether I could continue to run. I found myself hoping that I could run. That’s what the doctors have said."
Bennet said he hoped to be able to recuperate quickly because doctors found the cancer early.
“I’m 54,” he said. “That’s relatively young. It seemed to make sense to have the prostate removed … I’d be recuperating for 7-10 days and would need some rest after that. The hope is then I’ll be cancer-free and able to move on. If I’m not cancer free, then I’d have to make another decision.”
Bennet released a statement Wednesday evening confirming the diagnosis. He wrote that his surgery to remove his prostate is scheduled for soon after Congress's spring recess, which begins April 11.
"Late last month, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While hearing news like this is never easy, I am fortunate it was detected early, and as a result, my prognosis is good," Bennet said in the statement. "During the upcoming Senate recess, I will have surgery in Colorado and return to work following a brief recovery.”
Late last month, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Here's my full statement: pic.twitter.com/vYNzu87UQU— Michael Bennet (@SenatorBennet) April 3, 2019
Asked why he decided to run, Bennet told the paper that after he finished writing his book “The Land of the Flickering Lights,” he determined that his ideas were not being expressed adequately in the Democratic primary.
“I finished the book. I didn’t think the case that I made in the book was being articulated by anyone in the field. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I had a chance to win," the lawmaker explained. "I think, like everyone else does, it’s a long shot. But I think everyone in the field is a long shot.”
Bennet’s office referred The Hill to his remarks published in the Independent.
The senator, considered a moderate, made headlines earlier this year when he blasted Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMore than 10,000 migrants await processing under bridge in Texas Senators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (R-Texas) regarding the government shutdown in a Senate floor speech. Bennet unloaded on Cruz after he joined other Republican lawmakers in introducing a bill to pay members of the Coast Guard during the partial shutdown but not reopen the government.
If Bennet does launch a 2020 White House bid, he'll be competing with several prominent politicians for the Democratic nomination, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Democrat to filibuster GOP elections bill Lawmakers must also serve as community organizers O'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor MORE (D-Texas).