Virtual Debates

Where do 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on the Issues?

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Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

We need to fix the broken politics in Washington DC. That means beating Donald Trump, but it also means overcoming the blockade - the stranglehold - that Mitch McConnell and the freedom caucus have perpetrated on this country for the last decade or more. They have immobilized our government. Trump is the star of his own 3-ring circus in Washington, but there is no doubt who the actual ringmaster is: Mitch McConnell.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 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

I'm running for president because we can't take four more years of Donald Trump. And I'm running for president because beating Donald Trump is not enough. We must have bigger aspirations and bolder dreams than just that. Beating Donald Trump is the floor, not the ceiling.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 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

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

Americans deserve a leader who will unite our divided nation and turn big ideas—that address present day and future challenges and opportunities—into real solutions.

Source: Candidate Website

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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

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

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

Our daughter, Molly, turned 11 this week. I'm on this stage for her, and for children across this country including some her same age who have been separated from their parents and are sleeping on concrete floors under aluminum blankets tonight. We're going to be there for them. We are going to confront the challenges that we face. We can't return to the same old approach. We are going to need a new kind of politics, one directed by the urgency of the next generation. Those climate activists that are fighting, not just for their future but for everyone's. Those students marching not just for their lives, but for all of ours. We'll need a movement like the one we lead in Texas. It renewed our democracy by bringing everyone in and writing nobody off. That's how we beat Donald Trump and that's how we bring this great country together again. Join us. This is our moment. And generations that follow us are counting on us to meet it.

Source: MSNBC Democratic Primary Debate #1 (June 26, 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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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

I suspect people around the country who are watching this debate are saying, 'these are good people, they have great ideas, but how come nothing really changes? How come, for the last 45 years, wages have been stagnant for the middle class? How come we have the highest rate of childhood poverty? How come forty-five million people still have student debt? How come 3 people own more wealth than the bottom half of America?' And here is the answer: Nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military-industrial complex and the fossil fuel industry. If we don't have the guts to take them on – we'll continue to have plans, we'll continue to have talk, and the rich will get richer and everybody else will be struggling.

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

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

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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