Nicholas Maldonado, a campaign volunteer for Joe Biden, spoke to the College Democrats Club on behalf of the presidential candidate’s campaign at the Multicultural Center conference room.
“Right now he’s the only progressive that is able to defeat Donald Trump. The way he talks, the way he speaks is what we need,” Maldonado said
President of College Democrats Club Steven Salazar said that he believes Biden has the best chance of defeating President Trump.
However, the College Democrats made it clear that it is not making an official endorsement.
Maldonado said that Biden is pro-women and pointed to his record of pushing for the Violence Against Women Act.
“He’s more progressive than any other candidate combined,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado told the attendees that Biden is going to reinstate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, pass comprehensive immigration reform and put an end to the border crisis.
“It is time for equal opportunity, equal rights and equal justice and for an economy that rewards those who actually do the work,” Maldonado said
Maldonado disagreed with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer universal healthcare plan, which would abolish private insurance.
However, he did say that Biden agrees with having a public option, a system in which there is a government-run health insurance agency, but also the option to buy into private insurance.
“We are passionate about healthcare and I respect everyone’s like discussion in regards to healthcare, but it’s time to build on the Affordable Care Act,” Maldonado said.
Aleece Hanson, secretary of the club, expressed disagreement with Biden’s healthcare plan and support for Sanders’ medicare-for-all plan.
“I can’t imagine getting sick and literally dying because you can’t afford health insurance,” Hanson said. “It’s just too expensive here and we’re one of the only countries that doesn’t have universal healthcare in some form.”
Siray Rodgers, a delegate for the Black Los Angeles Young Democrats, is working with Maldanado to represent Biden on college campuses.
“The number one thing I believe he’s focused on is social security for American citizens,” Rodgers said.
Recently, the Sanders campaign put out an ad showing a video clip from 1995 of Biden saying he would freeze social security benefits, medicare and veteran’s benefits. Biden accused the Sanders campaign of doctoring the video.
“I don’t think he [Biden] has what it takes to energize the youth of the Democratic Party,” Hanson said.
Hanson had some further criticisms.
“I know that the campaign talked about being a grassroots candidacy, but I just don’t understand how they can balance being grassroots with having a super PAC supporting them,” Hanson said.
Joanna Zegarra, vice president of the College Democrats Club, expressed some concerns about a Biden presidency.
“I don’t think he’s as transparent as know Sanders or some of the other candidates,” Zegarra said.
Maldanado said that what was really important at the end of the day was youth involvement in politics.
“Young people like ourselves, once we show our enthusiasm then more young people will want to get involved like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to get involved,” Maldonado said.
This article previously included inaccurate information regarding Hanson’s statements. It was corrected on Feb. 16 at 4:48 p.m.