BOONE, Iowa -- Fresh of the first round of presidential debates, Democratic candidate John Delaney was in Boone Saturday afternoon.
The former congressman from Maryland says after the first presidential debate, he learned he had to take advantage of every time he had the mic.
“I had to fight for every minute I had out there because I don't think the moderators were giving everyone a fair share, but that's fine, I did it, and I made some really important points particularly around healthcare,” said Delaney.
At the Boone County Democrat’s picnic, Delaney says he wants to fashion himself as a moderate in this race. He wants to reject popular left-wing talking points like total student debt elimination and Medicare for All.
“I'm for universal healthcare. I have a plane to give every American healthcare as a basic human right. It's called ‘Better Care’. You get a basic plan for free, but you're allowed to choose private insurance if you want. Why do we have to be the party that's making private insurance illegal? 150 million Americans have private insurance. A lot of them really like it, including our seniors who have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance, and they love it. It's crazy to run on taking that away from people,” said Delaney.
Some in the crowd still liked some of the left-leaning policy but admit they may not be realistic.
“I'm for a lot of those issues but I think they’re baby steps, and I think John Delaney is right about that [with] what we can get done,” said Dave Waters.
An undecided voter, Waters didn't mention Delaney as someone he felt stood out in the first debate but says it's not always about how they come across on TV. Waters says events like the picnic help to form a better picture of a candidate.
“There's a couple of candidates that I've heard speak that I didn't think really came well across, but then when you got to meet them straight up, they were very sincere people. They weren't just doing their political statement. They were talking to you about your problems and their problems,” he said.
Delaney will continue his campaign with a meet and greet tomorrow at the Hy-Vee in Newton on Sunday at 10 a.m.