Colorado Senator Michael Bennet may not be registering high in the polls, but he's still promising that he will be campaigning for the Democratic nomination for the presidency through the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary in the hopes of outperforming expectations.
Bennet, who has not qualified for the next Democratic primary debate, spoke to CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast.
"It's my guarantee," Bennet said. "How does that sound?"
Bennet, a self-described "pragmatic idealist," criticized his fellow candidates who are running to the left, saying that ideas such as "Medicare for Al"l could put off moderate voters.
"Donald Trump could get another term as president. And that's not just bad for the Democratic Party — that's terrible for America," Bennet said.
Bennet also responded to a question about the whistleblower complaint alleging that President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Joe Biden and his son. He called Mr. Trump a "grifter" and accused him of "extorting" Ukraine.
"I think he feels completely unconstrained by the rule of law," said Bennet. "The president takes the view that whatever he can get away with is what's appropriate."
Bennet spoke with Garrett on Tuesday, a few hours before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry. It was also recorded before the White House released a summary of the call with Zelensky, before the was made public, and before acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about the complaint.
When asked by Garrett whether he supported opening a formal impeachment inquiry into the president, Bennet said he hasn't decided yet.
"I haven't made up my mind on anything. I'd like to see the report," Bennet said, referring to the complaint. Bennet told MSNBC later on Tuesday evening that the House was "right" to open an impeachment inquiry.
Bennet also hit back at Mr. Trump for calling Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, corrupt.
"He's a grifter," Bennet said. "This is his pattern of approaching things like this, and it's to obscure the truth, to lie about it, and then to point in another direction."
For more of Major's conversation with Michael Bennet, download "The Takeout" podcast on iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).
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