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

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

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

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

I'm running for president because I believe it's time for new energy and new leadership in this country with a new vision for our future. It is time for a leader who is a president for everyone, that understands we must move forward as one nation, with one destiny in the years to come. I am convinced that that destiny for America is to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest, and the most prosperous nation on earth.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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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

We need to ensure that America works for hard-working Americans. We need to become the party of ideas. The party that embraces debate. The party that wants to build a big tent - so that progressives that want change, moderates that want solutions, independents who just want their elected officials to put their country first, and even those disaffected republicans who look at this president and see that he has no moral compass and have turned their back on that party. If we become that party, we're going to win every election.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 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

Americans need a president who will restore the moral fabric of this country and bring back the integrity, compassion, and leadership in the world that we’ve lost. From protecting health care and our planet to combating hate and discrimination, so much of the fight ahead of us is about deciding who we are as a country. Kirsten will stand up for what’s right and repair what’s been broken.

Source: Campaign Website

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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

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

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

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

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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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

Ready for big, structural change? I got a plan for that.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 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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