Virtual Debates

Where do 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on the Issues?

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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

I haven't spent my life in politics. I was a school superintendent in the Denver public schools before I was in the Senate. I am in this race because we are at risk of being the first generation of Americans to leave less opportunity, not more, to the people coming after us. Our education system across this country is reinforcing income-inequality across the United States, not liberating people from it and that needs to change.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Former Vice President Joe Biden

You all know in your bones that this election is more important than any that we've ever been engaged in. We have a president that has promoted hate and division, encourages white supremacy, praises dictators, and in fact, goes around the world weakening our alliances. Our children are watching - and it matters what presidents say and do. Four more years of Donald Trump will permanently change the character of this country. We can't let that happen. We have to beat Donald Trump. I am unwilling any longer to postpone the potential of this nation.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

I'm running for president because we can't take four more years of Donald Trump. And I'm running for president because beating Donald Trump is not enough. We must have bigger aspirations and bolder dreams than just that. Beating Donald Trump is the floor, not the ceiling.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

For the sake of America, for our standing in the world, for the America that we pass onto our kids, we are here to make sure that Donald Trump is a one-term president. It's more than just beating him though, it's rejecting the behavior that he is normalizing: lies and mistatements, dividing us by race and gender and geography... twitter tirades and temper tantrums. We now expect more out of our pre-schoolers than we do out of the President of the United States. I won reelection in a state where Donald Trump won by 20 points. I won by 4. 25-30% of my voters voted for Donald Trump. The path to victory is not just through the coasts, it includes places that we lost last election.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

We are living through a moment of huge upheaval, but also of great opportunity. This moment demands that our policies reflect a deep understanding of Americans’ everyday lives and embody our country’s highest values: Freedom, Security, and Democracy. It’s not just about winning an election; it’s about winning an era.

Source: Campaign Website

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Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

We can promise young people that college doesn’t have to equal a future of crushing debt. We can promise our seniors that they can count on a life of dignity. We can promise our veterans that they’ll be respected and honored when they come home. We can promise people of color that they are safe, and promise immigrants that they are welcome.

Source: Campaign Website

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Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City

… All these things can be done, and I know it, because we have already done them in the nation's largest city. Change can happen my friends I've seen it with my own eyes, and I know it is time for greater change. I want to be your president. I want to be the president of working people. I want to show this country that we are the party of working people again. Are you ready for that? And let me tell you. In 2016, too many people in American didn't know who's side we were on.... Are you ready for us to be the party of working people again?

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Representative John Delaney of Maryland

Americans deserve a leader who will unite our divided nation and turn big ideas—that address present day and future challenges and opportunities—into real solutions.

Source: Candidate Website

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

As your president and commander in chief, I will bring the spirit of service before self to the White House, putting people ahead of profits, putting the well-being of th American people above all else. I will reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act and break up the big banks that are gambling with our future.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Senator Kamala Harris of California

As my first policy proposal, I am prepared to make the first federal investment in the history of our country in closing that teacher pay gap. The is part of the backbone of what I believe needs to be done right now, which is to make the case for America. Make the case for our America. America, where healthcare is a right, not a privilege. An America where teachers are paid their value. An America where women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. An America where people only have to work one job to put food on the table and a roof over their head. An America where our kids don't have to go to school every day and be concerned about some mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school. An America where the president knows it is a sign of strength, not to beat people down, but to lift people up./p>Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

We need an optimistic economic agenda that works in the East and the Wests, and in the North and the South. Because we are not going to leave the South behind in this election. We have to make the people in the urban areas understand that food doesn't magically appear on their tables. And this means investing in infrastructure in urban and in rural America. It means broadband, child care, affordable housing, getting our education system back on track, and supporting public education and our teachers, and closing the opportunity gap right here in South Carolina. If billionaires can refinance their yachts, then students should be able to refinance their student loans. As president, I will stand with Congressman Clyburn and the work he has done in poverty and cut child poverty in half in 10 years and end child poverty in a generation. We can do this, democrats.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

For us to take the White House back, we have to hear from candidates like myself. One of the youngest candidates that's bringing fresh and dynamic ideas to this debate. We cannot forget those who are disenchanted. Issues that deal with people of color, with women, with the LGBT community - we need them to be energized, inspired, and to show up at the ballot box. And when we ignore their voices, it hurts our opportunities to win. So I'm running for president because I feel that the same American dream that I've been blessed to achieve because of the hard sacrifice of my parents is slipping away from too many Americans. Too many Americans have to work more than one job to make ends meet, too many seniors cannot afford their high-cost prescription medication, too many Americans cannot get access to healthcare.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Former Representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas

Urgent need to take on powerful special interests to address the most profound issues facing the nation including climate change, criminal justice reform, access to universal, guaranteed, high-quality health care, immigration laws that reflect our values and ensuring that this economy works for all Americans.

Source: Candidate Website

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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

I suspect people around the country who are watching this debate are saying, 'these are good people, they have great ideas, but how come nothing really changes? How come, for the last 45 years, wages have been stagnant for the middle class? How come we have the highest rate of childhood poverty? How come forty-five million people still have student debt? How come 3 people own more wealth than the bottom half of America?' And here is the answer: Nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military-industrial complex and the fossil fuel industry. If we don't have the guts to take them on – we'll continue to have plans, we'll continue to have talk, and the rich will get richer and everybody else will be struggling.

Source: MSNBC Democratic Primary Debate #2 (June 27, 2019)

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Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania

Accountability means answering for oneself, not for one’s intentions, but for the deed. We need a leader who is trusted by the people because he is willing to be accountable to them – above self, above party, above any special interest, no matter the cost to him.

Source: Candidate Website

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Philanthropist Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer stepped down as head of his investment firm in 2012 to dedicate all his time to philanthropy and political action focused on making America more just by putting the people, not the corporations, in charge of our democracy.

Source: Candidate Website

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Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

It is time for big structural change in America. The time for small ideas is over. It's time for big plans, and yeah, I've got some big plans.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson of California

Donald Trump won by touching the inner life. He harnessed fear. He harnessed hate. The only antidote to that, the only thing that can override that, is if you harness love for political purposes. There are public issues that have just as much moral significance as private issues do. And it has been to the detriment of the Democratic Party that the Democrats have seemed to have forgotten that in the last few decades. America is in need of a “moral and spiritual awakening

Source: PBS

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Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang of New York

An Asian man, running for president, that wants to give everyone $1000/month.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Former Governor of Massachusetts

I'm running for president of the United States against President Trump in 2020. I really think if we have 6 more years of the same stuff we've had out of the White House for the last 2 years that would be a political tragedy and I would fear for the republic.

Source: CNN Interview

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Economic Stimulus

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Health Care

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Education

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Drug Policy

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Environment

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Civil Rights

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Tech and Innovation

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Foreign Policy

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Domestic Policy

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