STATE BILL COLORADO
DENVER — Andrew Romanoff may be perceived as a latecomer to the U.S. Senate race, but he’s not, and his candidacy won’t divide the Democratic party, he insisted Sunday on 9News ‘Your Show.’
Romanoff, the former Colorado House speaker who was term limited in January 2009, aid his aim is to grow the party. The recent Democratic presidential primaries was good for democracy and good for the Democrats. “Democrats are a lot like cats,” he said. The sounds of alley-fighting are Democrats “making more cats.”
The candidate was asked to point out a difference between himself and Michael Bennet, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to the seat vacated by Ken Salazar when was made secretary of the Interior.
He replied: “I bring to this race a strong record of legislative leadership. … I know how to find common ground. I also know where to draw the line. I bring I think the strong record of legislative leadership … of any candidate, on either side of the aisle.”
Asked why he didn’t decide to run earlier, Romanoff said, “I did spend a good deal of the year teaching and traveling and talking to ordinary Coloradans.” The 14 months that lay between now and November 2010 is “plenty of time” for Coloradans to pick a senator, he said. The selection of a senator is important, and should rest with the people, Romanoff stressed.
Schrager asked: How would Romanoff overcome President Obama’s endorsement of the Bennet pick? Romanoff said, “We’ve got support from all across the state. … Within a couple weeks, you’ll see us put together a campaign that has a leader in every county.” No one is entitled to the job, Romanoff said.
“The only job I’m focused on is representing the people of Colorado in the United States Senate.” It’s not about his job, Romanoff said, it’s about yours. “Those are the jobs I think we should make sure the campaign focuses on.”
On the issue of health care, Romanoff said the public option should be made available to every American who wants it, citing the need to hold insurance companies accountable. “We heard from lots of constituents trying to get claims paid,” he said of testimony in Colorado’s House of Representatives.
A viewer asked about his past support for single payer health insurance. Does he still support it? Romanoff said he does, saying he doesn’t believe in “the luck of the draw.” Single payer would energize the economy, Romanoff said.
“What causes a great deal of upheaval in families right now is when they face a catastrophic illness or injury that sends them into bankruptcy,” he said.
Romanoff, who received a law degree from the University of Denver, was asked by one viewer about medical malpractice tort reform. Romanoff instead proposed a “pay for performance” model for doctors that would raise health outcomes.
The Employee Free Choice Act needs to be brought to the floor of the Senate, and a filibuster should be avoided, Romanoff said. Romanoff supports the bill but said he wants to preserve the secret ballot for union approvals.
Romanoff was asked about his vote supporting a 2003 resolution supporting then-President Bush’s entry into the Iraq war. Romanoff replied, “Like most Americans, I regret that way we went into Iraq with a definite exit strategy.”