Virtual Debates: 2020 Presidential Issues

Foreign Policy

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Bill de Blasio

On trade, de Blasio is against NAFTA and criticized the Trans Pacific Partnership, a large trade pact many Democrats backed under former President Barack Obama.

Source: pbs

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Bill Weld

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Julián Castro

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Donald Trump

As president, Trump ordered strikes on Syria on two occasions, in 2017 and last year, in response to reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. Trump also announced a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria in December, but then reversed course two months later and decided to leave several hundred peacekeeping troops in the country.

Source: PBS

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Cory Booker

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Andrew Yang

Focus our federal budget on fixing problems at home instead of spending trillions of dollars abroad. Work with our allies to rebuild our stature in the world, and strengthen alliances such as NATO. Work with allies to project our combined strength throughout the world, without engaging in activities that will cost American lives and money with no clear benefit to our long-term well-being. Sign a repeal to the AUMF, returning the authority to declare war to Congress, and refuse to engage in anything other than emergency military activity without the express consent of Congress.

Source: Campaign Website

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Joe Biden

First and foremost, we must enforce existing trade laws and invest in the competitiveness of our workers and communities here at home, so that they complete on a level playing field. Then, we need to write the rules of the road for international trade through a modern, inclusive process—rules that protect our workers, safeguard the environment, uphold labor standards and middle-class wages, foster innovation, and take on big global challenges like corporate concentration, corruption, and climate change.

Source: Campaign Website

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John Hickenlooper

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Tulsi Gabbard

The most important duty a president has is to serve as commander in chief and I'll be ready to do that job on day one. Having served as a soldier for over 16 years, deployed twice to the middle east, served in congress over 6 years on the homeland security, foreign affairs, and armed services committees, I know the importance of our national security and I know the cost of war. For too long, war mongers in both parties have been dragging us from one regime change war to the next, and this president right now is leading us closer and closer to the brink of a war with Iran. I'll work to end this new cold war.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Michael Bennet

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Beto O'Rourke

There are children sleeping on cold concrete floors with aluminum foil for blankets in the worst, most inhumane conditions. This is the same administration and government who placed those kids in cages, deported their mothers back to the very countries from which they fled, and has lost the lives of 6 children while in the custody of this country. That cannot be us. That cannot be America.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Seth Moulton

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Pete Buttigieg

We need to protect dreamers. For all undocumented immigrants we need to have a pathway to citizenship. We need to improve the lawful immigration system - including having the resources to adjudicate asylum claims. And by the way, it does not make America safer to divide families who are seeking asylum. Nor is is unlawful to come to this country seeking asylum.Source: We Decide Forum (June 2019)

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Kirsten Gillibrand

We must work with—not alienate—our allies, maintain international commitments and leverage diplomatic and humanitarian strategies before resorting to military ones. Most importantly, military engagements should not continue without a clear strategy, defined and achievable goals and the consent of Congress through new Authorizations for the Use of Military Force. America’s commander in chief is not a dictator, and the decision to deploy our troops can never be made lightly or unilaterally.

Source: Campaign Website

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Kamala Harris

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Mike Gravel

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Amy Klobuchar

We need to stand strong — and consistently — with our allies and that we must respect our frontline troops, diplomats and intelligence officers, who are out there every day risking their lives for our country, and deserve better than foreign policy by tweet. She would invest in diplomacy and rebuild the State Department and modernize our military to stay one step ahead of China and Russia, including with serious investments in cybersecurity.

Source: Candidate Website

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Jay Inslee

We have to insist on common sense, not chaos, so that Trump does not stumble into an unnecessary war in Iran.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Elizabeth Warren

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John Delaney

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Joe Sestak

As the son of an immigrant who is now buried at Arlington, I know that the immigrant story is the story of America. Our immigrant heritage is a rich seam in our country’s history and adds much promise to our collective future. So many immigrants arrived in this country with nothing, and yet, through hard work and perseverance, saw their children become doctors, machinists, scientists, journalists, artists, welders, teachers, engineers — and even three-star admirals. No one doubts that our current immigration system is broken. But it will not be fixed by breaking it even further, which seems to be the current administration’s approach. It can only be fixed through comprehensive reform.

Source: Candidate Website

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Tom Steyer

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Wayne Messam

We take advantage of the (I would say free labor) of many immigrants, but this country doesn't penalize corporations for hiring illegal labor - but we demonize them for coming to this country just to be able to chase the American dream. We have to provide a pathway to citizenship for those individuals.

Source: South Carolina Democratic Convention (June 2019)

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Marianne Williamson

Supports DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which protects young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.

Source: PBS

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Bernie Sanders

If we believe that we must end endless wars, we must take on the political dominance of the military industrial complex.

Source: Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame (May 2019)

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Steve Bullock

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Tim Ryan

I think this has been the President Trump appeasement tour. I have no idea why he is shaking hands with a dictator, who just in May, was sending missiles into the Sea of Japan. I mean, you don't reward that kind of behavior with a visit to your country by the President of the United States. There's been no progress at all. They have done nothing they have been talking about. It is historic, but what has been done? Nothing. And the whole deal with China, backing down on Huawei, are you kidding me? What China has been doing with cyber-security, what Huawei has been doing all over the world and and we're going to back down? I thought that was the one piece that we could count on President Trump to hold the line on for national security purposes and he's loosening what he did. I think this is very, very dangerous. I'm very disappointed in the President.

Source: Fox News Interview

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