Virtual Debates

Where do 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on the Issues?

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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

My mom and her parents came to the United States to rebuild their shattered lives, the only country that they could. 300 years before that my father's family came searching religious freedom here. The ability for one generation to do better than the next is now severely at risk in the United States. I especially among children living in poverty like the ones I used to work for in the Denver public schools. That's why I'm running for president. I've had two tough races in Colorado - by bringing people together, not be making empty promises. And I believe we need to build a broad coalition of Americans to beat Donald Tump and the corruption in Washington and build a new era of American democracy and American opportunity. This is going to be hard to do, but it is what our parents would have expected. It's what our kids deserve. I hope you will join me in this effort.

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

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Former Vice President Joe Biden

In America, no matter where you start in life, there should be no limit to what you can achieve. We need to rebuild the middle class, and this time make sure everybody—regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability—gets a fair shot.

Source: Campaign Website

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Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

50 years ago this month, my family moved into the town I grew up in because after being denied a house because of the color of their skin it was activists, mostly white activists, who stood up and fought for them. That's the best of who we are as America. That is why, when I got out of law school, I moved into the inner-city of Newark to fight as a tenant lawyer for other people's rights. I've taken on bullies and beat them. I've taken on tough fights and we've won. And we win those fights, not by showing the worst of who we are, but by showing the best. Donald Trump wants us to fight on his turf and his terms. We will beat him. I will beat him by calling this country to a sense of common purpose again. This is a referendum on him and getting rid of him, but it is also a referendum on us, who we are and who we must be to each other. It's time we win this election and the way I'll govern is by showing the best of who we are because that is what this country needs and deserves.

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

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

When I talk to working people, and not just Democrats, but Independents and Republicans too, they want change.They want us to invest in working people and their communities: affordable housing and education and infrastructure – things that will help people. Any time I talk about it, any time we talk about investing in people, you know what you hear? There's always those pundits and critics who say there's not enough money. We can't afford to invest in people. Well, here is what I say to them every time. There's plenty of money in this world. And there's plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands. And we need to put money back in the hands of working people. And I'm here to tell you it can be done, because we have been doing it in New York. I run the biggest, toughest, most diverse city in the world. I have 8.6 million highly opinionated constituents. All of them have an opinion. But one thing we agree on is putting working people first. We got sick of waiting for Washington...

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Representative John Delaney of Maryland

Young people today will be the first generation that don't actually do better than their parents. We are leaving them with debts they can't repay - fiscal debts, climate debts. I don't think what the country needs is more gridlock more partisanship, or more ideology. They need solutions. Unless you have investment nothing happens. We need more investments in so many communities in this country. And I know how to do it.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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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 Kirsten Gillibrand of New York

Women are on fire in America today. We have marched. We have organized. We have run for office and we have won... Women are taking a stand. Now more than ever, our rights are under attack. Now is not the time to be polite. Now is not the time for small steps. Now is the time to fight like hell. I have voted against President Trump more than any other Senator on this stage. Now is not the time to settle for the status quo or to be polite. Now is the time to be brave, because when hope rises, fear loses, and brave wins.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Senator Kamala Harris of California

I know how to take on predators. I took on the big banks and won over 20 billion dollars. I took on for-profit colleges and put them out of business. I took on oil companies who were polluting our environments, I took on trans-national organizations that were preying on women and children. I know how to get that job done. And I did it for the people. For. The. People. So let me tell you, we need somebody on our stage, when it comes time for that general election, who knows how to recognize a rap sheet when they see it and prosecute the case. So let's read that rap sheet, shall we? He asked black Americans, what do you have to lose? Well we know civil rights investigations are down and hate crimes are up. We have a lot to lose. Let's look at that rap sheet where he told working people that he would help them, but instead he passed a tax bill benefitting the top 1% and the biggest corporations of this country. Said he would help the farmers, but instead passed what I call the Trump Trade Tax – Trump Trade Policy by Tweet and now we got farmers who have soybeans rotting in bins and auto workers who may be out of their jobs by the end of the year. Let's look at that rap sheet, where he said he would give everyone healthcare, but he's is still trying to rip healthcare away from folks and turn back the clock on Obamacare. Let's talk about looking at that rap sheet where he has embraced dictators like Kim Jong Un and Putin and taken their word over the word of the American intelligence community. Let's prosecute the case!

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 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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Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts

I'm Seth Moulton, and I want to tell you a little bit today about who I am, what I believe, and why I am running for president. I served four combat tours in Iraq, a war I spoke out against. During those years, marines asked me a lot of questions... one question that was the hardest: 'why the hell are we risking our lives for this?' They were right to ask it, because fundamentally were were fighting a war that should not have happened, started by leaders that did not live up to our values... the answer is... we are fighting to uphold the values our leaders have abandoned. We are fighting for who we are. In the past few years, Donald Trump has taken us from a country of "yes, you can" to a country of "no, you can't".

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 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

The United States Government is deeply corrupt. This is not a swamp, this is a sea of corruption. This has been going on for 40 years, and we are now at a point where, basically, we are not functioning as a democracy. We are functioning as a veiled aristocracy, the same kind of thing we said no to in 1776. The same kind of thing that showed and reared it's ugly head with slavery, that shows and rears it's ugly head with the suppression of women, that shows and rears it's head with segregation, with white supremacy, with Islamophobia, with anti-LGBTQ, with anti-semitism. And that ugliness is back. It's back not so much with one particular institution. That would be like an operable tumor which we could just excise. Rather, ladies and gentlemen, it's back and it's really sly now. It's back as a mindset. And it is like a cancer that has metastasized. And we have a president that has harnessed it for political purposes.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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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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