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

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

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

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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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

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

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

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

We are all focused on the same goal for our country - beating Donald Trump in 2020 and to bring this country together again in 2021.

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

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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