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Montana Governor Steve Bullock speaks at a residence in Manchester Sept. 1.

The typical bountiful food spread that is indicative of a Delaware County Democrats meeting was on the table at a Sept. 1 gathering, but this meeting also included some Montana beer as well as that state’s governor.

Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat candidate for president, visited Jim and Sharie Kernan’s historic home in Manchester for a speech and Q-and-A session Sunday afternoon.

Bullock said if elected president, he aims to begin repairing some of the divide in the country, which he said is not only evident in the media, but also the Thanksgiving table.

Bullock’s Manchester stop was part of a series of visits to the Iowa counties that flipped from Obama to Trump in the past election.

While Bullock did offer a lot of criticism of President Donald Trump, he said if Democrats expect to win in 2020, they have to offer a message instead of just bashing Trump.

“Let’s not focus on (Trump’s) behavior for the next year-and-a-half, let’s actually focus on how you can have a better life if you don’t have him as President,” he said. “I think that’s actually how we win.”

Bullock said he believes that path to victory for Democrats doesn’t just run through the coasts, but through places like small-town Iowa.

“This is the most important election in my lifetime — it’s about beating Donald Trump but it’s also about preserving the 243-year experiment that we call representative democracy,” he said.

As for some policy points, Bullock said he is not for Medicare-for-all like many of his fellow Democrat candidates, stating he doesn’t think the government should be telling 165 million people with employer healthcare that it is going to be taken away so the government can build something new.

“Ninety percent are already covered, but far too many are paying too much,” he said. “We should have a public option that you can buy into in competition against the private insurance market. It’s horrific that Costco can negotiate prescription drug prices but in the federal government it is criminal to do so.”

As for immigration, he said the government needs to figure out comprehensive immigration reform, that Dreamers need to have protections from deportations and a path to citizenship needs to emerge.

He said he does disagree with Democrats who have stated it should no longer be unlawful to come into the country without documentation or provide healthcare for everyone in the country without documentation.

As for guns, he said if it is viewed as a public health issue and not a political issue, the problems could be solved a lot quicker.

“If it was a public health issue we would turn around and say ‘universal background checks’ — the vast majority of Republicans and NRA members believe we should have universal background checks,” he said. Bullock also supports “red flag laws” and safe-storage efforts.