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Despite Late Start, Deval Patrick Says He's Still A Strong Contender For President

BOSTON (CBS) – Former Massachusetts governor and 2020 presidential candidate, Deval Patrick, joined the presidential race in November, once his wife's cancer went into remission – and that has left him playing from behind, with national polls showing him at one percent or less.

He's back in Massachusetts campaigning and took time to sit down with WBZ-TV's Liam Martin to discuss the 2020 presidential election and his prospects in the race.

Former Massachusetts governor and 2020 presidential candidate, Deval Patrick, sat down to discuss the 2020 presidential race with WBZ-TV's Liam Martin. (WBZ-TV)


"I am personally skeptical of polls," Patrick said. "If I had relied on polls, I never would have been governor -- not the first time or the second time."

Instead, Patrick said, he's doing work at ground-level, attending events and meeting constituents.

Is it too late a little more than two weeks out from Iowa?

"You know, it's interesting, Most of the people I meet and most of the polls you see show an overwhelming number of people who are undecided. And when I meet people who ask me that question, I often say to them, 'Have you decided?' And they say 'No.' And I say 'Well, I'm not too late for you.'"

Among Patrick's platforms are making reparations for the living descendants of slaves, restoring the estate tax to 55 percent, restoring the corporate tax to 25 percent and eliminating corporate tax loopholes.

And while Patrick said he would like to see a public option in health care, when it comes to a Medicare-for-all option, as proposed by fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, "I'm not there. I think the next step for us should be a public option."

Patrick said he sees a value in "creative tension" between a public option and private insurance that would keep costs down and keep health care innovative.

And as the Democrats seem to settle into progressive or moderate lines, Patrick said doesn't necessarily fall into either category.

"I think, first of all, voters, they understand people don't fit in a box. Increasingly, I think, a moderate in this cycle is a progressive who actually gets stuff done, and I've gotten stuff done," Patrick said, citing Massachusetts's high number of citizens with health insurance, high employment rates, sentencing reform and strong environmental record during his time as governor.

Lately, Patrick has been campaigning heavily in New Hampshire – a state that's more familiar with him.

He's hoping for a surprise in the primary there next month and then for a strong finish in South Carolina.

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