Newly-entered 2020 candidate Deval Patrick boasted that the Democrats are the "party of the woke."
Appearing on MSNBC on Thursday after officially launching his presidential campaign, the former Massachusetts governor was asked about the "vulnerability" of his involvement in Bain Capital, the investment firm that previously dogged Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign.
"You’re not running in a Republican primary, you are running in a Democratic primary," MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace told Patrick. "Your party has moved to the left."
"First of all, I love that the party has moved to the left. I love that we are the party of the woke," Patrick said. "I believe that we also have to be the party of the still waking, and I have always conducted my personal life and my business life and my life as a civil rights lawyer, my life as an advocate, my life as a mediator and as a governor that way. And, why? It's not because I'm trying to smooth over issues. I am interested in getting at root causes."
Patrick went on to claim that Bain Capital was "demonized" during the 2012 election and defended the firm, saying that "there is a place for private equity in a private economy." He also acknowledged that capitalism "has a lot to answer for."
Earlier in the day, Patrick took swipes at the current 2020 frontrunners, including former Vice President Joe Biden. Patrick said he was "a big, big fan of" Biden but noted that his "deep, deep, public empathy doesn’t always come through in this campaign."
He also criticized the progressive proposal "Medicare-for-all" being promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
“I think that if we want solutions that last, they can’t be solutions that feel to the voting public as if they are just Democratic solutions," Patrick said.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.