Political News

Sherrod Brown says he's likely to decide on 2020 run in March

Posted February 5, 2019 9:13 p.m. EST

— Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio will likely decide in March whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

"Probably March, Connie and I will decide," the senator told CNN's Erin Burnett on "Erin Burnett OutFront" Tuesday.

The third-term senator is one of more than 20 Democrats considered possible candidates to enter a crowded primary field. Before he makes a decision about entering the race, however, Brown said he is traveling the country to speak to voters.

"We're doing a dignity of work listening tour," Brown said. "I don't go to these early states looking for big crowds. I'm going listening to workers and listening to farmers and listening to people talking about their lives."

Brown's listening tour included stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. He told CNN's Van Jones in January that the Democratic Party needs to do a better job of reaching workers as well as progressives.

Brown repeated that sentiment Tuesday, saying he has an interest in putting America and American workers first -- but he won't be using the same message as President Donald Trump, which he called "phony."

"It's about putting workers first, but it's not about racism. It's never about beating up on foreign workers. It's never about talking about dividing in this phony populism," Brown said. "To me it's about lifting workers up in all countries."

Brown said the country needs to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement to benefit American and Mexican workers in order to accomplish those goals. He added that action needs to be taken to roll back corporate tax cuts, which were included in the 2017 tax overhaul bill.

Brown did not give a direct answer Tuesday night when asked if he supported the plans to drastically raise taxes on the wealthy suggested by fellow Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

"Fundamentally, you want a tax system that puts money in the pockets of middle-class hardworking families and takes away the incentives for companies to shut down production in Dubuque (in Iowa) or Manchester (in New Hampshire) and move production overseas and get a tax break," Brown said.