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

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

Nothing about politics is theoretical for me. I've had the experience of writing a letter to my family, putting it in an envelope marked, 'just in case', and leaving it where they knew where to find it just in case I didn't come back from Afghanistan. I have the experience of being in a marriage that exists by the grace of a single vote on the US Supreme Court. I have the experience of guiding a community where the per capita income was below $20,000 when I took office into a brighter future. I'm running because the decisions we make in the next 3 or 4 years will decide how the next 30 or 40 will go. And when I get to the current age of the current president, in the year 2055, I want to be able to look back on these years and say that my generation delivered climate change solutions, racial equality and an end to endless wars. Help me deliver that new generation to Washington before it's too late.

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

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

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

Three things to know about me. First, I listen to people and that's how I get things done. That is my focus. I have a track record of passing over 100 bills where I am the lead democrat and that is because I listened and I acted, and I think that's important in a president. Everything else just melts away. Secondly, I am someone who can win and beat Donald Trump. I have won every place, every race, and every time. I have won in the reddest of districts, ones where Donald Trump won by over 20 points. I can win in states like Wisconsin and Iowa and in Michigan. Finally, yeah, I am not the establishment party candidate. I got respect, but I am not that person. I am the one that doesn't have a political machine, doesn't come from money, and I don't make all the promises that everyone else up here makes, but I can promise you this: I am going to govern with integrity; I am going to have your back; and I am going to govern for you.

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

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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

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

Let me be frank with you for a moment, while we all agree on the need to get rid of Donald Trump, we disagree on the best way to do that. In my view, we will not defeat Donald Trump unless we bring excitement and energy into this campaign, unless we greatly expand voter turnout, and unless we give working people and young people a reason to vote, and a reason to believe that participating in politics will improve their lives. We can create a nation where all people have healthcare and unlimited educational opportunities as a right. Where veterans are not sleeping out on the street and children are not going hungry.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 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

If you think our job is simply to find someone tough enough to beat Donald Trump you are naive about the nature of the opponent. Something deeper, something far more dangerous is going on here than traditional political toughness than anyone knows how to handle. Donald Trump has touched people - in a very fearful place. And only one thing can cast out that fear. It's not money, it's not just strategy, it's not just anger, and it's not just mobilizing our base. It is love. Last time we won with hope. This time we will win with love. And ultimately, we will only win if we touch enough people's hearts. I know something about harnessing the emotions of large groups of people. Donald Trump has built a career harnessing fear, and I have built a career inspiring love. The only way to defeat a Big Lie is through the power of a Big Truth. too many democrats are half-truth tellers, and Donald Trump will eat the half-truth tellers alive.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 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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