Avenatti discusses policy views as he weighs up 2020 presidential bid
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer has spoken out on Medicare, gun control and the Paris climate accord.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer taking on US president Donald Trump on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels, has offered some details on his policy views as he weighs up a possible Democratic bid for the White House in 2020.
In a new policy document, Mr Avenatti said he supports a “basic Medicare plan for all Americans” with an option to purchase additional coverage, and backs a path to citizenship for the young immigrants known as Dreamers.
He also wants to see a national paid family leave programme.
The lawyer added that cannabis should be decriminalised at the federal level, so-called assault weapons should be banned and the United States should re-join the Paris climate accord.
Those positions generally align Mr Avenatti with the left wing of potential 2020 Democratic presidential prospects, but he is more moderate on some issues.
Many have asked me my position on various issues. Below is a summary of where I stand. This is not an exhaustive list and more positions & details will follow. Most importantly, I didn't have to hire a pollster or political consultant to tell me what to say or what to believe. pic.twitter.com/hbXj1Vv3O9— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) August 14, 2018
While other Democrats – including senators Kristen Gillibrand and Kamala Harris – have called for outright abolition of the federal government’s chief immigration and customs enforcement agency (ICE), Mr Avenatti said: “We should not eliminate ICE but we must change the way ICE carries out enforcement.”
Mr Avenatti is a self-styled provocateur who has gained national attention for representing Ms Daniels in her lawsuit against Mr Trump, following an alleged 2006 affair which the president denies.
For months, he has been a fixture on cable news shows, taunting Mr Trump in interviews and baiting him and his lawyers in tweets. Mr Avenatti also has a blistering Twitter feed and a knack for a catchy slogan.
He pledged that, should he run, he will not take corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) money – putting him in line with a number of potential 2020 prospects.
Mr Avenatti is more general on some issues in the brief outline, saying he wants an economic plan that “delivers good quality jobs” and that college must be “more affordable for all Americans”.
He promised a detailed infrastructure plan called the “Real Deal”.
On trade, he said America must “be aggressive in dealing with countries that have gamed the system – but smart about how we fight back to avoid inflicting unnecessary harm on American workers and farmers”.
On international relations, he said the United States must “negotiate denuclearisation agreements with North Korea and Iran”.
Mr Avenatti said he is studying the issues, consulting with experts and will be releasing more information, including his “detailed economic infrastructure plan”, in the coming weeks.
The document also serves as a statement of principle for the lawyer, who has never run for public office. It stresses his support for all Americans “regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity”.
He fully backs unions and said teachers need more financial support, according to the document.