New 2020 Contender Supports Public Option, Wealth Tax

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who entered the 2020 race on Nov. 14, said that he supports a public option and a wealth tax.

Patrick, 63, who last year said he would not run for president, acknowledged in June it would be hard to gain traction without wide name recognition, but told CBS on Thursday that “you cant know if you can break through if you dont get out there and try.”

Patrick, who joined CBS this year but left just before being interviewed, said that the current field of Democratic presidential candidates includes talented individuals but doesnt know if they can “pull the nation together.”

“We seem to be migrating to, on the one camp, sort of nostalgia—lets just get rid, if you will, of the incumbent president and we can go back to doing what we used to do,” he said. “Or, you know, its our way, our big idea, or no way. And neither of those, it seems to me, seizes the moment to pull the nation together.”

Asked to name some of his stances, Patrick said he doesnt support the Medicare for All proposals made by some candidates but instead supports a public option, similar to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks on stage at Capital Hilton in Washington on June 22, 2017. (Larry French/Getty Images)

Instead of completely removing private insurance, a public option would build on Obamacare and introduce a publicly operated health insurance option to the Affordable Care Acts marketplaces. Critics say the option would effectively lead to the same thing because private insurers couldnt compete fairly against the government.

Patrick said he also supports a wealth tax, similar to candidates including Sens.