Romanoff Struggles to Out-Liberal Bennet in Debate

February 20 2010, 9:38 AM
During an election forum last night, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet frequently agreed with his Democratic opponent, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, despite Romanoff's best efforts to highlight differences. When Romanoff (right) jabbed Bennet for accepting money from political-action committees, Bennet conceded that campaign finance reform is needed. "I appreciate the accord that is breaking out on this stage, and I welcome you to join the team," Romanoff said (via The Denver Post), evoking laughter from the large crowd at St. Cajetan's Church on the Auraria campus. Bennet then won a few laughs of his own, responding to Romanoff, "I love you, and I just wish you were running a primary against one of the people causing the problems." The two agreed on the need to reform the health-care system, an issue that's gaining Bennet more national attention lately. He's joined a small group of fellow senators in asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use the reconciliation process, a procedural maneuver requiring only 51 votes, to insert a public health insurance option in the Senate's health-care-reform bill, although senators did not include such an option, according to CBS News. In a letter, Bennet and three other senators claimed a public option would save money, that a majority of Americans support the idea, and that the option would increase competition in the marketplace. Salon notes that the fate of health-care reform now rests in the hands of 11 Senate Democrats.