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Sen. Michael Bennet says despite cancer diagnosis, he's 'looking forward to running in 2020'

Michael Bennett Attends Election Night Gathering.jpg
Posted at 11:59 AM, Apr 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-07 13:59:45-04

(CNN) -- Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet said despite his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer, he wants to launch a presidential bid soon.

"I'm looking forward to running in 2020," Bennet said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper. "This obviously was unexpected, but we caught it early. It's something that I think we're going to be able to treat, and I don't think it should keep me off the trail."

Bennet said last Wednesday he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would have surgery during the next congressional recess. He told the Colorado Independent at the time that he had intended to "announce sometime in April."

Bennet said in his CNN interview that he would get a procedure during the recess, then there would be a few weeks of recovery time, "but I'd like to get on with this."

Bennet said also that he did not have any symptoms and advised people to get screened.

"I feel as good this week as I did last week and the week before that," Bennet said. "And there's no way I would know I had prostate cancer if I hadn't had the screening."

Bennet has broken from much of the Democratic field by not endorsing "Medicare for All," an initiative to establish a government-run plan to insure all Americans.

Bennet has joined instead with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine to push a plan dubbed "Medicare-X," which he said would establish a public option for people to buy into while maintaining the private insurance market.

Asked on CNN about the break on health care from many announced candidates, Bennet said he wanted to maintain "choice" for people in the health care market.

"What Colorado families want is maximal choice for themselves and their families," Bennet said. "They want to have a robust, strong public option because not all of them want to be subject to private insurance."

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