Michael Bennet Announces Run for 2020 Presidency After Cancer Surgery

Michael Bennet prior to his appearance today on CBS This Morning.
Michael Bennet prior to his appearance today on CBS This Morning. Twitter
This morning, less than a month after revealing that he had prostate cancer and just thirteen days after his office announced that surgery for the condition had been successful, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet has announced that he is running for the 2020 presidency.

The news was broken during an appearance on CBS This Morning. The segment is on view below.

In addition, Bennet tweeted, "We cannot be the first generation to leave less to our kids, not more. That’s why I’m running for President. Let’s build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government."

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for Bennet. On April 3, in a late-evening email blast, he stated in part: "Late last month, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While hearing news like this is never easy, I am fortunate it was detected early, and as a result, my prognosis is good. During the upcoming Senate recess, I will have surgery in Colorado and return to work following a brief recovery."

In the meantime, the Colorado Independent unleashed Bennet's first interview about his cancer diagnosis. In a conversation with the site's Mike Littwin, he made explicit the presumption by political insiders that he would join the crowded field bidding to defeat President Donald Trump next year. "The idea was to announce sometime in April," Bennet told Littwin.

He missed that mark by a couple of days. Here's what he had to say on CBS This Morning:

Obviously, Bennet has a tall task before him.

Dealing with the challenges of recovering from prostate surgery is tough enough under ordinary circumstances, as we outlined in a pair of posts about sportscaster Vic Lombardi's recent experiences with the same diagnosis. And to call the 2020 presidential field crowded is to engage in an enormous understatement.

Counting President Trump and former Massachusetts governor William Weld on the Republican side, Bennet is the 23rd person to announce a White House run, by one recent measure, and the second Coloradan, following ex-guv John Hickenlooper.

The others include (deep breath) former congressman John Delaney; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; onetime Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard; New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; California Senator Kamala Harris; Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana ; author Marianne Williamson; New Jersey Senator Cory Booker; Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Washington Governor Jay Inslee; ex-Texas rep Beto O'Rourke; Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida; California Representative Eric Swalwell; Ohio Representative Tim Ryan; Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton; and former vice president Joe Biden.

Then again, Bennet's cancer journey has given him a very personal talking point with which to connect with voters. No doubt he's hoping to turn this devastating turn of events into a blessing in disguise.

Continue to read Bennet's first fundraising email, sent out within the hour:

I am excited to announce that I’m running for President of the United States.

In order to make sure our generation isn’t the first generation to leave less to our kids — not more — I need your help.

That is our shared cause: We can build opportunity for all Americans and restore integrity to our government. That’s why I’m running for President. Together, we can build opportunity for all Americans. Will you chip in right now to help launch my campaign? Even $1 goes a long way. Grassroots donors like you will power our campaign because we are not accepting corporate PAC money.

I want all of us to embark on a new project. One that allows for real disagreement and real consensus — not conflict for conflict’s sake. If we commit ourselves to leveling with each other and doing the hard work that it will take to solve our problems, we can make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Our empty politics are destroying the American Dream.

For the last 40 years, 90 percent of Americans haven’t seen a decent pay raise. Meanwhile, the costs of health care, child care, housing, and higher education have continued to rise. America calls itself the land of opportunity. But it doesn’t feel that way today.

Washington may have given up, but the American people are still fighting for their families.

Let’s join them and fight for that future together.

To get our message out and really kickstart this project, we need to get to the debate stage. I can’t do it alone. It will take immense grassroots support from people just like you. Will you chip in right now to help launch my campaign? Even $1 goes a long way!

Thank you,

Michael Bennet
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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