Virtual Debates

Where do 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on the Issues?

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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

We have many points of view in our country, and rediscovering our will to reconcile, navigate, and negotiate them is how we correct our course. This is not a call for lazy moderation or lame bipartisan agreements that split the difference between two political parties’ obsolete ideas. It is a call for the difficult, imaginative give-and-take that can produce enduring, forward-looking results.

Source: Medium Article by Michael Bennet

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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

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 need Washington to look more like our best run cities and towns, not the other way around. And we need a new generation of leadership to step up at the highest levels in our country. Values like freedom, and security, and democracy are not conservative values, they are American values. And this is the year we break the Republican monopoly on talking about freedom.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

[Spanish... my name is Julian Castro and I'm running for president of the United States]. The very fact that I can say that tonight shows the progress we have made in this country. Like many of you, I know the promise of America. My grandmother came here when she was 7 years old as an immigrant from Mexico – and just two generations later, one of her grandsons is serving in the United States Congress, and the other one is running for president of the United States. If I'm elected president, I will work hard every single day so you and your family can get good healthcare, your child can get a good education, and that you can have good job opportunities whether you live in a big city or a small town. And – on January 20, 2021, we'll say 'Adios' to Donald Trump.

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

The founders of our nation had a great vision for us, that our government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people. But that is not what we have today. Instead we have a government that is of, by, and for the rich and powerful, and we the people are left behind. You deserve a president that will put your interests ahead of the rich and powerful. As your president, I will bring a soldiers heart, that sense of service above self, to the white house, putting people ahead of profits, putting your well-being and the interests of the American people above all else.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Senator Kamala Harris of California

We are better than this. We will fight for the best of our country. We are not going back. We see a future. I know how to get that job done. And I did it for the people. We need someone who knows how to read a rap sheet and prosecute the case.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

I’m running because I believe we can be a nation governed not by chaos — but from opportunity. The kind of opportunity my grandpa — who worked 1500 feet underground in the mines in Northern Minnesota — gave my family when he saved money in a coffee can in the basement to send my dad to college. The kind of opportunity my mom, a school teacher and a proud union member, gave me when she taught me to live with purpose. The kind of opportunity my dad, a newspaperman, gave me to always look for life’s adventures and never shy away from adversity.

Source: Campaign Website

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Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

I'm Miramar, Florida mayor - Wayne Messam and I'm so excited to be here and I am one of the presidential candidates. One of the reasons I'm excited to be here is because I'm not supposed to be here. I am the son of immigrants. My father was a contract sugar cane cutter in the hot sun of south Florida - cutting sugar cane for $.75/row. My mother was a cook who went out into those fields to feed those same workers. They came to this country chasing the American dream that I'm living today. Now I'm the mayor of a major city in Florida, situated between Miami and Fort Lauderdale and we're solving a lot of progressive issues.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Former Representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas

I bring you greetings from my hometown of El Paso. It is one of the safest cities in the United States of America. Safe, not despite the fact that we are a city of asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees. Safe because were are a city of asylum seekers, and immigrants and refugees. Their very presence makes us stronger and safer and more successful than we would be otherwise.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio

There is nothing worse than not being heard, nothing worse than not being seen, and I know that because I've represented for 17 years in congress the forgotten community.They've tried to divide us: who's white, who's black, who's gay, who's straight, who's a man, who's a woman. And they ran away with all the gold because they divided the working class. It is time for us to come together. I don't know how you feel but I'm ready to play some offense. I come from the middle of industrial America but these problems are all over our country. There's a tent city in LA. There's homeless people and people around our country who can't afford a home. It's time for us to get back on track. The teacher in Texas, the nurse in New Hampshire, the waitress in Wisconsin, all of us coming together playing an offense that lifts everybody up. I will only promise you one thing, when I walk into that oval office every morning, you will not be forgotten. Your voice will be heard.

Source: MSNBC Democratic Primary Debate #1 (June 26, 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's a great honor to be here. Never in a million years did I think I would stand on a stage like this. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I have three older brothers. They all joined the military. I had a dream growing up and my dream was to be a public school teacher. By the time I graduated from high school my family... my family didn't have the money for a college application, much less a chance for me to go to college. But I got my chance. It was a $50 per semester commuter college. That was a little slice of government that created some opportunity for a girl, and it opened my life. I am this fight because I believe we can make our government, we can make our economy, we can make our country work – not just for those at the top – we can make it work for everyone. And I promise you this: I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family.

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

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Spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson of California

I'm sorry we haven't talked more tonight about how we are going to beat Donald Trump. I have an idea about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is not going to be beaten just by insider politics talk. He's not going to be beaten just by somebody who has plans. He's going to be beaten by somebody who has an idea what he has done. This man has reached into the psyche of the American people and he's harnessed fear for political purposes. So, Mr. President, if you are listening, I want you to hear me please. You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out. So I, sir, I have a feeling you know what you're doing. I'm going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field, and sir, love will win.

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

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Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang of New York

If you have heard anything about me and my campaign, you have heard this: There is an Asian man who is running for president that wants to give everyone $1000/month. Have you heard that South Carolina? And the first time you hear that, it sounds like a gimmick, it sounds too good to be true. But then you dig into our country's history and you find that this is an American idea that is as old as the country itself. Thomas Paine was for it at the founding of the country. He called it the citizen's dividend. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose birthday we celebrate every year was fighting for it in 1967 – he called it the guaranteed minimum income. And it is what he was fighting for on the day he was assassinated in 1968. It was so mainstream that 1000 economists signed a study saying that this would be tremendous for the country – and it passed the US House of Representatives twice, in 1971 under Richard Nixon. And then 11 years later one state actually passed a dividend where now everyone in that state gets between one and two thousand dollars a year – no questions asked. And what state is that? (Alaska) And how do they fund it? (Oil) And what is the oil of the 21st century? Technology, that's right. What they are doing with oil money in Alaska, we can do with tech money right here in South Carolina and everywhere around the country with technology money

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 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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