Virtual Debates

Where do 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on the Issues?

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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

We need to fix the broken politics in Washington DC. That means beating Donald Trump, but it also means overcoming the blockade - the stranglehold - that Mitch McConnell and the freedom caucus have perpetrated on this country for the last decade or more. They have immobilized our government. Trump is the star of his own 3-ring circus in Washington, but there is no doubt who the actual ringmaster is: Mitch McConnell.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Former Vice President Joe Biden

I'm running to lead this country because I think it's important to restore the soul of this nation. This president has ripped it out. He is the only president who has equated racist and white supremacist with ordinary and decent people. He is the only president who has actively engaged and embraced dictators and thumbed their nose at out allies. And secondly, I'm running for president because I think we have to restore the backbone of America, the poor and hard-working middle-class people. You can't do that without restoring the dignity they once had. And the last thing, we've got to unite the United States of America as much as anybody says we can't. If we do, there is not a single thing the American people can't do. This is the United States of America. We can do anything if we are together. Together. God Bless you All. And God protect our troops.

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

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Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

You all know where power comes from. It does not come from an individual or an office, but from the grass roots. You all are the power. You all are the purpose. You all are what is going to help us win.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

Money has broken the political system’s power to take even the first step. We have to do more than just win this election — we have to make Washington work for us. Not for Big Money, not for the special interests, but for each one of us in the communities we call home.

Source: Campaign Website

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

Our values are on the line, and this season in the life of America's political development is one to end the idea that American values are the property of conservatives and republicans. Starting with freedom: Freedom is not a conservative value it is an American value. Freedom includes economic freedom, and you are not free if you do not have a living wage in this country. Freedom comes by way of organizing and that's why we stand shoulder to shoulder with labor. And we know that freedom comes by way of education and that's why, on day one, we need a president who will appoint a Secretary of Education who actually believes in public education.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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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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Representative John Delaney of Maryland

Together we are on a mission. We are on a mission to find the America that has been lost. Lost through infighting, lost through inaction. We're so much better than this. We are a country that used to do things. We saved the world. We created the American dream for millions of people like myself: the grandson of immigrants, the son of a union electrician who went on to become a successful business leader and create thousands of jobs. But we did these things with real solutions, not with impossible promises, and those are the roots we have to get back to. I'm running for president to solve these problems, to build infrastructure, to fix our broken healthcare system, to invest in communities that have been left behind, to improve public education. I don't want to be your president just to be your president. I want to be your president to do the job.This is not about me, this is about getting America working again.

Source: MSNBC Democratic Primary Debate #1 (June 26, 2019)

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

Our nation was founded on the principles of service before self. People who fled from kings who literally profited off the backs and sacrifices of people coming here to this country, instead putting in place a government that is of, by, and for the people. But that's not what we have. Instead we have a government that is of, by, and for the rich and powerful. This must end. As president, our White House, OUR White House will be a beacon of light: providing hope and opportunity, ushering in a new century where every single person will be able to get the healthcare they need, where people will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Where we will have good paying jobs in a new green economy. Join me in ushering in this new century with peace, prosperity, opportunity and justice for all.

Source: MSNBC Democratic Primary Debate #1 (June 26, 2019)

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Senator Kamala Harris of California

Thank you all. I just want to leave you with a couple of things. One, we need a nominee who has the ability to prosecute the case against four more years of Donald Trump – and I will do that. Second, this election is about you. This is about your hopes and your dreams, and your fears, and what wakes you up at 3 o'clock in the morning. And that's why I have what I call a 3am agenda that is about everything from what we need to do to deliver healthcare to how you will be able to pay the bills by the end of the month. And when I think about what our country needs, I promise you I will be a president who leads with a sense of dignity, with honesty, speaking the truth, and giving the American family all they need to get through to the end of the month and to prosper. So I hope to earn your support. Please join us at kamalaharris.org

Source: MSNBC Democratic Primary Debate #2 (June 27, 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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Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio

I'm from northeast Ohio -- the epicenter of industrialization in the United States. The next nominee for the Democratic party has got to deeply, deeply understand what the workers in America are going through. We have, in my community, watched the ripple effect of these devastating trade policies where you can't get mental health coverage, you don't have funding for your schools, you don't have funding for your roads, there's pollution in your river, there is lead paint and high rates of infant mortality as this ripples through the economy.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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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

First, I want to thank everyone who put me on this stage tonight. I am proof that our democracy still works. Democrats and Americans around the country have one question for their nominee and that is who can beat Donald Trump in 2020? That is the right question. And the right candidate to beat Donald Trump will be solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected and will have a vision of a trickle up economy that is already drawing thousands of disaffected Trump voters, conservatives, independents, and libertarians as well as democrats and progressives. I am that candidate. I can build a lot broader coalition to beat Donald Trump. It is not left. It is not right. It is forward. And that is where I will take the country in 2020.

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