Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the nearly two dozen Democrats vying for the presidential nomination, criticized President Trump's economic policies and his recent decision to on Chinese goods.
"Donald Trump has shown himself to be the most fiscally irresponsible president we have had in generations," Bennet told "Face the Nation" Sunday. "Here's a guy who's managed to rack up a $2 trillion deficit at a moment of full employment in the country. It is almost impossible to do that."
Bennet, a two-term centrist senator, said the president is right to denounce China's "unfair" mercantilist trading policies, but stressed that increased tariffs on Chinese imports hurt American companies and workers.
"Putting tariffs on our allies, putting tariffs on even the Chinese that are actually taxes on American producers, American farmers, taxes on the American consumer and taxes on the American worker, I think are completely the wrong way of doing this," he added.
On Friday, as directed by the president, a 15 percentage point tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect, intensifying a prolonged trade dispute between the two economic giants. The change was announced by Mr. Trump last week after he accused China's trade representatives of backtracking on a potential agreement. Since Thursday, the Trump administration has been meeting with a Chinese delegation to try to hammer out a pact.
Bennet suggested the new levies will do little to incentivize Beijing to broker what so far has proved to be an elusive trade deal with the U.S.
"I can assure you the Chinese have a longer attention span that Donald Trump has," he said.