WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado became the 21st Democrat to announce a presidential bid, citing among other inspirations his Holocaust survivor mother and grandparents.
Bennet, whose father is not Jewish, does not identify as Jewish. However, he has cited his mother’s survival of the Holocaust on multiple occasions as an impetus for his political career, and did so in the 3-minute, 41-second video he posted Thursday announcing his candidacy
Bennet, 54, said he was inspired by the nation’s founders, and these were not limited to the founding fathers. He listed Abraham Lincoln, civil rights icons like Frederick Douglass and the suffragettes, and “Our parents and grandparents who stood up to tyranny in World War II. My mom and her parents who survived that tyranny and rebuilt their shattered lives in the only country they could, the United States of America.”
Bennet’s mother and grandparents survived the Warsaw Ghetto.
Bennet is the seventh sitting U.S. senator to join a crowded field. He sought to distinguish himself from others by saying that he did not seek fame, and was preoccupied mostly with the nuts and bolts of legislating.
“You probably don’t know me because I don’t go on cable news every night,” he said.
On policy, Bennet struck a centrist note in the video, arguing for health care reforms, but abjuring the “Medicare for all” that some on the party’s left now advocate, and calling for greater investment in education, but not the free community college that some have proposed.