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Steve who? Montana gov says he can win in 2020

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 15, 2019 - Duration: 02:31s

Steve who? Montana gov says he can win in 2020

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock of Montana jumped into the 2020 presidential race on Tuesday, touting his ability to work with Republicans and promising to make campaign finance reform a signature issue.

Lisa Bernhard reports.

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Steve who? Montana gov says he can win in 2020

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) MONTANA GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK, SAYING: 'I think that I can both beat Donald Trump AND get this country working again.'

But who is he?

That's question for many Americans unfamiliar with Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who this week threw his hat in the 2020 ring - a field filled with more than 20 fellow Democratic contenders.

In an interview with Reuters, the relative unknown touting his unique qualification: (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) MONTANA GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK, SAYING: 'There's only one person in the field that's actually won in a state that Donald Trump won.'

That's him.

The 53-year-old won re-election in conservative Montana in 2016 – also touting he's the only candidate who's actually passed progressive legislation in a state that's otherwise controlled by Republicans.

But not too progressive.

Although he signed a bill to extend his state's Medicaid program, Bullock stops short of endorsing Medicare for all, instead looking for ways to make healthcare more affordable and accessible without upending the system.

His other big issue - campaign finance reform.... calling for an end to so-called 'dark money' political contributions and fighting to overturn the Supreme Court's landmark Citizen's United decision, which ushered in a new era of big-money political donations from corporations and unions.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) MONTANA GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK, SAYING: 'You look at pre-Citizens United, two percent of the outside spending came from groups that didn't disclose.

These mid-terms it was over half.

So we don't even know who's trying to buy these elections.

Think of the tax cuts last year.

I think Senator Graham said, 'We have to do this to make our donors happy.'

So the outside dollars that are going to influence these elections.... Climate - Republicans don't even talk about the climate changing anymore because of the outside influences of money.'

Bullock presents himself as a potential unifier in a party torn between those who prefer a pragmatist who can appeal to moderates and independents, and those who want a fresh face to energize the party’s increasingly diverse and left-leaning voters.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) MONTANA GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK, SAYING: 'It's not enough to be against Donald Trump.

Twenty-five to thirty percent of my voters voted also for Donald Trump and it's not because I changed either what I was talking about or the values that I hold.

So I think what we need to do is less about being against him and it's more about giving them a reason to vote for us.

That the government will actually make a difference in their lives.

It will bring people up, it won't be dividing people.'

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