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John Delaney on garbage plates, the pope, American flag tattoos


John Delaney

Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., walks during the Fourth of July Parade in Amherst. | Mary Schwalm/AP Photo

Former Rep. John Delaney spoke to POLITICO Thursday as part of a series of interviews with Democrats seeking to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

In addition to discussing Medicare for All, the Democratic debates and more, we asked him some lighter questions:

Have you ever met Donald Trump?

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“I’ve never met him actually…I would say, ‘Listen, you’ve got an opportunity to get some things done, you should do it’…He could do an infrastructure plan. Democrats wouldn’t be able to say no. And that would be a good thing for the country. Listen, I’m going to beat him in 2020. But I want him to be a successful president until then because that’s actually what’s good for the country. So, I would, you know, I’d meet him. I wouldn’t start screaming at him. I’d say, ‘Listen, you’re missing a huge opportunity to get some things done and you should do it.'”

Instead of a debate, there’s going to be a dodgeball game with the entire field. Who do you pick first to be on your team?

A: “I think I take Tim Ryan…he was a quarterback. So, he’s got a good arm. And I know him well, so I’d be comfortable pushing him in front of a ball.”

Q: “Who would you try to hit first? Who seems like the weak link?”

A: “Well, you don’t go after the weak link, because that’s — I mean, listen, I consider myself a polite person. So, I — and I don’t mean this in the wrong way — I don’t think I would throw the ball at any of the female candidates. I’d much rather nail some of the guys. You know who’s running who’s a very good friend of mine is Tom Steyer because we were business partners together. And so I might toss it at old Tom.”

What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to do or eat on the campaign trail?

A: “What do they call that thing, like, it’s an egg, sausage? It’s home fries. It’s all on top of each other. You know?”

Q: “Garbage plate.”

A: “Yes…Yeah, that’s what I got. That’s the weirdest thing.”

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met in your life?

“I met the pope…I met him at the Capitol and then also met him at Catholic Charities. My wife and I used to chair Catholic Charities. So, they had an event for them over at the, downtown, like in the Catholic Church.

…I met Obama, obviously, he’s pretty famous, but I think the pope — I don’t know who’s more famous, Obama or the pope.”

Do you have any tattoos? And if not, what would you get if you got one?

“No…The American flag.”

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