Full Democratic Presidential Debates Night Two July 31 2019 – #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of night 2 of the Democratic Presidential Debate held on July 31, 2019. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.

0:00:01 Jake: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic presidential debate. Candidates, we’re about to begin opening statements but first, a quick review of the ground rules that your campaigns agreed to earlier this month to try to ensure a fair debate. As moderators, we will attempt to guide the discussion. You will each receive one minute to answer questions, 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals and 15 additional seconds if a moderator asks for a clarification. The timing lights will remind you of these limits. Please respect them and please refrain from interrupting other candidates during their allotted time. A candidate infringing on another candidate’s time will have his or her time reduced. We, again, remind our audience inside the Fox Theater to try to remain silent when candidates are actively debating. The candidates need to be able to properly hear the questions and each other.

0:00:49 Dana: Let’s start with opening statements. You will each receive one minute. Mayor Bill de Blasio, please begin.

0:00:57 Mayor Bill De Blasio: To the working people of America, tonight I bring you a message of hope. We can make change in this country. I know from personal experience it can be done. When I became the mayor of the nation’s largest city, I set us on a path of bold change. They said it couldn’t be done but we gave pre-K to every child for free. We got rid of stop-and-frisk and we lowered crime. We raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Yes, it can be done. Now, tonight we have to get to the heart and soul of who we are as Democrats. There are good people on this stage but there are real differences. Joe Biden told wealthy donors that nothing fundamentally would change if he were president. Kamala Harris said she’s not trying to restructure society. Well, I am. For 40 years, working people have taken it on the chin in…


0:01:58 MB: It cannot go on this way. When I’m president, we will even up the score and we will tax the hell out of the wealthy to make this a fairer country and to make sure it’s a country that puts working people first.

0:02:12 Dana: Thank you, Mayor de Blasio. Senator Michael Bennet.

0:02:16 Senator Michael Bennet: Thank you. Last week, I saw one of those Trump signs that says, “America, love it or leave it.” And it was on the outside of a church. I love America and I know we can make it better. Before coming to this Senate, I ran a large urban school district where most of the kids live in poverty. Those kids have exactly the same hopes that I had. Their parents have exactly the same hopes for them that my parents had for me and that Susan and I have for our three children. But for the last three years, we’ve been consumed by a president who frankly doesn’t give a damn about your kids or mine. Mr. President, kids belong in classrooms, not cages.


0:03:22 SB: And they deserve something better than a bully in the White House. Let’s end this three-ringed circus in Washington and let’s make this election about reclaiming our future for our kids and our democracy. Empty promises won’t beat Donald Trump, I can.

0:03:42 Dana: Governor Jay Inslee.

0:03:46 Governor Jay Inslee: Good evening. I’m Jay Inslee. I am running for president because the people in this room and the democrats watching tonight are the last best hope for humanity on this planet. If we make defeating the climate crisis the top priority of the United States, we will have a fighting chance to save ourselves and our children’s future. It has to be our top priority. My plan is one of national mobilization, quickly bringing 100% clean energy to Americans, creating 8 million good union jobs. This is a big, bold, ambitious plan for clean energy for a big, bold, ambitious nation. Middle ground approaches are not enough. We must confront the fossil fuel industry. I’ve been working on this for 25 years and now we know this. We are at tipping point and whether we shrink from this challenge or rise to it is the vital question of our time. We democrats believe we can still do big things in this nation. We can defeat the climate crisis. Let’s get to work.


0:05:05 Dana: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

0:05:08 Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: My grandmother taught me that nothing’s impossible. She spent two generations organizing women in upstate New York. My mother taught me nothing’s impossible. She was one of only three women in her law school class and worked with gay couples for basic rights. If you want to get something done, just tell me it’s impossible. As a freshman senator, I was told you couldn’t repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Even members of my own party told me it wasn’t convenient. When are civil rights ever convenient? We stood up to the Pentagon and we got it done. Not impossible. 10 years ago I was told you couldn’t pass healthcare for our 9/11 first responders, those heroes who raced up the towers when others were coming down. Even when Congress turned its back on them, we kept fighting. Just last week we made the 9/11 health bill permanent.


0:06:08 SG: Beating Donald Trump. Definitely not impossible. We need a nominee who will take on the big fights and win…


0:06:27 SG: Beating Donald Trump, definitely not impossible. We need a nominee who will take on the big fights and win. We need a nominee who doesn’t know the meaning of impossible.

0:06:40 Dana: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

0:06:44 Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: I love… And as president, I’ll bring this unifying spirit of love for country and the soldier’s values of service above self to the White House, truly leading a government of, by, and for the people.

0:07:04 Dana: Secretary Julian Castro.

0:07:07 Secretary Julian Castro: Thank you Dana, and good evening. Just a few days ago, we were reminded and inspired by our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico that public service is not fundamentally about any of us. It’s about you, and your family. I want you to know that if I’m elected president, that I will work hard every single day, so that you and your family can have good health care when you need it, so that your children and grandchildren can get a good education so that they can reach their dreams, and that you can have good job opportunities whether you live here in a big city like Detroit or in a small town in our country. I know we have a wonderful special nation, but too many people are struggling. And I know what that’s like too. I grew up with a single mom in a poor neighborhood. But like many of you, I don’t wanna make America anything again. I don’t want us to go backward. We’re not going back to the past. We’re not going back where we came from. We’re gonna move forward. We’re gonna make America better than it’s ever been in the years to come. Let’s do that together.


0:08:17 Dana: Andrew Yang.

0:08:20 Andrew Yang: If you’ve heard anything about me and my campaign, you’ve heard that someone is running for president who wants to give every American $1000 a month. I know this may sound like a gimmick, but this is a deeply American idea from Thomas Paine, to Martin Luther King, to today. Let me tell you why we need to do it, and how we pay for it. Why do we need to do it? We already automated away millions of manufacturing jobs. And chances are, your job could be next. If you don’t believe me, just ask an auto worker here in Detroit. How do we pay for it? Raise your hand in the crowd if you’ve seen stores closing where you live. It is not just you. Amazon is closing 30% of America’s stores and malls, and paying zero in taxes while doing it. We need to do the opposite of much of what we’re doing right now. And the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man, who likes math.


0:09:11 AY: So let me share the math. A $1000 a month for every adult would be $461 million every month right here in Detroit alone. The automation of our jobs is essential challenge facing us today. It is why Donald Trump is our president, and any politician not addressing it, is failing the American people.


0:09:32 Dana: Senator Cory Booker.

0:09:34 Senator Cory Booker: Thank you Dana. Last week the President of the United States attacked an American city, calling it a disgusting, rat-infested, rodent mess. We need a nation that understands these tired old language.

0:10:04 Jake: Stand-by senator.

0:10:04 SB: I will stand by.

0:10:05 Jake: Please stand by.

0:10:22 Jake: Please continue, senator.

0:10:23 SB: Thank you very much. Donald Trump from Charleston, to Baltimore, to even the border is using the tired old language of demagogues, of fear mongers, of racists to try to divide our country against itself. We know who Donald Trump is. But in this election, the question is who are we as a people. We have serious problems in America. We have deep wounds, and seriously deeply rooted challenges. We desperately need to heal as a nation and move forward. Because we know in this country that our fates are united, that we have a common destiny. The call of this election is the call to unite in common cause and common purpose. That’s how we will beat Donald Trump. That’s how I will beat Donald Trump, and as your president, that’s how I will govern and move us forward together.


0:11:38 Dana: Senator Kamala Harris.

0:11:42 Senator Kamala Harris: This is an inflection moment in the history of our country, I think we all know that. This is a moment in time that is requiring us each as individuals, and collectively, to look in a mirror and ask the question. That question being, “Who are we?” And I think most of us know that part of the answer to that question is, we are better than this. So, this then becomes a moment that we must fight for the best of who we are, and fight, of course, we will. And this is not a new fight for us as Americans. We have always been prepared to fight for our ideals. We have always been a nation that fights for the best of who we are. And I’ll tell you. I come from fighters. My parents met when they were active in Civil Rights Movement. My sister, Maya and I joke, “We grew up surrounded by a bunch of adults and spent full-time marching and shouting about this thing called Justice.” And I am prepared to march with you, to fight with you for the best of who we are, and to successfully prosecute the case of four more years of Donald Trump, and against him.


0:12:51 Dana: Vice President, Joe Biden.

0:12:53 Vice President Joe Biden: Tonight, I think democrats are expecting some engagement here. And I expect we’ll get it. I’m running for president to restore the soul of this country. You know, we have a president, who everybody acknowledged here, every day is ripping at the social fabric of this country. But no one man has the capacity to rip that apart, it’s too strong, we’re too good. Just look at this stage. Made up of very diverse people from diverse backgrounds, went on to be mayors, senators, governors, congresswomen, members of the Cabinet and yes, even a vice president. Mr. President, this is America. And we are strong and great because of this diversity, Mr. President, not in spite of it, Mr. President. So Mr. President, let’s get something straight. We love it, we are not leaving it, we are here to stay, and we’re certainly not gonna leave it to you.


0:13:54 Dana: Thank you Vice President, Biden. I wanna start the debate with one of the top priorities for democratic voters, and that is health care. Senator Harris, this week you released a new health care plan which would preserve private insurance and take 10 years to phase in. Vice President Biden’s campaign calls your plan, quote, “A have-it-every-which-way approach” and says, “It’s just part of a confusing pattern of equivocating about your healthcare stance.” What do you say to that?

0:14:25 SH: Well, they’re probably confused ’cause they’ve not read it. But the reality is that I have been spending time in this campaign, listening to American families, listening to experts, listening to healthcare providers. And what I came away with, is a very clear understanding that I needed to create a plan that was responsive to the needs of the American people. Responsive to their needs understanding that insurance companies have been jacking up the prices for far too long, that American families have to be held down by deductibles and co-pays and premiums that can cause them bankruptcy. I listened to the American families who said four years is just not enough to transition into this new plan. So I devised a plan where it’s gonna be 10 years of a transition. I listened to American families who said, “I want an option that will be under your Medicare system that allows a private plan.” So I designed a plan where, yes, responsive to the needs of American… Families, there will be a public plan under my plan from Medicare and a private plan under my plan from Medicare. Because the bottom line is this, we must agree that access to healthcare must be a right and not just a privilege of those who can afford it. And in America today, far too many people, in fact, 30 million people…

0:15:46 Dana: Thank you, senator.

0:15:46 SH: Are going without access to health care.

0:15:48 Dana: Thank you, Senator Harris. Vice President Biden, your response.

0:15:51 VB: Well, my response is that the senator’s had several plans so far and any time someone tells you you’re gonna get something good in 10 years, you should wonder why it takes 10 years. If you noticed, there’s no talk about the fact that the plan in 10 years will cost $3 trillion and you will lose your employer-based insurance. And in fact, you know, this is the single most important issue facing the public. And to be very blunt and to be very straight forward, you can’t beat President Trump with double talk on this plan.

0:16:21 Dana: Your response, Senator Harris?

0:16:22 SH: Absolutely. Unfortunately, Vice President Biden, you’re just simply inaccurate in what you’re describing. The reality is that our plan will bring healthcare to all Americans under a Medicare For All system. Our plan will allow people to start signing up on the first day. Babies will be born into our plan and right now, four million babies, almost are born every day in America or every year in America. Under our plan, we will ensure that everyone has access to healthcare. Your plan by contrast, leaves out almost 10 million Americans. So I think that you should really think about what you’re saying but be reflective and understand that the people of America want access to healthcare and do not want cost to be their barrier to getting it.

0:17:07 Dana: Senator Harris, thank you. Vice President Biden, your response?

0:17:11 VB: The plan, no matter how you cut it, costs $3 trillion when it is in fact employed, number one, 10 years from now, after two terms of the senator being president, after her time. Secondly, it will require middle-class taxes to go up, not down. Thirdly, it will eliminate employer-based insurance. And fourthly, what happens in the meantime?

0:17:36 SH: I’d like to respond. First of all, the cost of doing nothing is far too expensive. Second, we are now paying $3 trillion a year for health care in America. Over the next 10 years, it’s probably gonna be $6 trillion. We must act. My plan is about immediately allowing people to sign coverage. Right now, in America, we have seniors, who every day, millions of seniors are going into the Medicare system and they are getting full coverage and the kind of coverage they need. All people should have access to healthcare and cost should not be their barrier.

0:18:15 Dana: Thank you Senator Harris. Mayor de Blasio, let’s bring you in here. What’s your response?

0:18:18 MB: Thank you. I don’t know what the Vice… Say that their health insurance isn’t working for them. There’s tens of millions of Americans don’t even have health insurance, tens of millions more who have health insurance they can barely make work because of the co-pays, the deductibles, the premiums, the out-of-pocket expenses. There’s this mythology that somehow all these folks are in love with their insurance in America. What I hear from union members and from hard-working middle-class people is they wish they had better insurance and they’re angry at private insurance companies that skim all the profits off the top and make it impossible for everyday people to get coverage like mental healthcare…

0:19:02 Dana: Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

0:19:02 MB: Dental care, the things that would be full coverage for all Americans.

0:19:05 Dana: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Vice President Biden, you just heard Mayor de Blasio, he said in the past that Democrats who want to keep the private insurance industry are defending a healthcare system that is not working. What’s your response?

0:19:18 VB: My response is, ObamaCare is working. The way to build this and get to it immediately is to build on ObamaCare. Go back and take back all the things that Trump took away, provide a public option, meaning every single person in America would be able to buy another option if they didn’t like their employer plan, or if they’re on Medicaid, they’d automatically be in the plan. It would be take place immediately, it would move quickly, and it would ensure the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans. In the meantime, what happens? Did anybody tell you how much their plans cost? My plans cost $750 billion. That’s what it costs. Not $30 trillion.

0:19:57 Dana: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Senator Gillibrand, you support Medicare For All. How do you feel about Senator Harris continuing to call her health proposal Medicare For All, when it includes a far more significant role for private insurance than the bill you cosponsored?

0:20:12 SG: I think for the viewers and the audience right now, they’re at risk of losing the forest to the trees, because the truth is, healthcare in America should be a right. When I was a young mother and had Theo as an infant, he had an allergic… I know whatever they’re gonna prescribe, whether it’s an EpiPen or an inhaler, I can afford it. The truth about healthcare in America today is people can’t afford it. They cannot afford, and the insurance companies, for these plans that rely on insurance companies, I’m sorry, they’re for-profit companies. They have an obligation to their shareholders, they pay their CEO millions of dollars, they have to have quarterly profits, they have fat…

0:21:00 Dana: To come out $5000.

0:21:02 VB: My plan makes the limit of co-pay to be $1000, because we further support the ability to buy into the ObamaCare plan. Secondly, the idea that this is somehow a bad idea, no one has to keep their own private insurance, but if they would like their insurance, they should be able to keep it. Nothing is demanded on my plan that there be private…


0:21:28 SB: Take away America’s healthcare. There’s a court case working through the system that’s going…

0:21:36 Dana: You say you support Medicare For All. You also say you are not going to pull private health insurance from more than 150 million Americans in exchange for a government plan. But that’s what Medicare For All would do, so how do you square that?

0:21:50 SB: Well, first of all, let me just say that the person that’s enjoying this debate most right now is Donald Trump, as we pit Democrats against each other while he is working right now to take away America’s healthcare. There’s a court case working through the system that’s going to gut the Affordable Care Act and actually gut protections on pre-existing conditions. And so, I was raised by two civil rights parents who told me to always keep your eyes on the prize. And that is that in the United States of America, every Democrat should stand with the belief that everyone should have access to healthcare, that it’s a human right. And how we get there, it has to be to end this broken system because we are on our way in just a handful of years of literally spending 20% of our economy, one out of every $5 spent on healthcare, and we spend more than every other nation. On everything from MRIs to insulin drugs, multiple more than other countries. And so, you wanna know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to work to get us to a point where Medicare For All, where everyone is covered. But this pitting against progressives, against moderates, saying one is unrealistic and the other doesn’t care enough, that to me is dividing our party and demoralizing us in face of the real enemy here.


0:23:05 Dana: Thank you, Senator.

0:23:06 SB: And I’m gonna keep fighting for that…

0:23:07 Dana: Thank you, Senator Booker.


0:23:09 Dana: Congressman Gabbard, what’s your response?

0:23:11 CG: The reality is, right now, we don’t have a healthcare system. We have a sick care system, and there are far too many people in this country who are sick and unable to get the care that they need because they cannot afford it. So, the core of this problem is the fact that big insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies who’s been profiting off the backs of sick people have had a seat at the table writing this legislation. Now, Kamala Harris just talked about Kathleen Sebelius, who helped write her bill. This just pointed to the fatal flaw in her proposal. Sebelius works for Medicare Advantage, private insurance company who will stand to profit under her plan. If we’re seeking to really reform our healthcare system, we’ve got to shut out big insurance and big pharma out of the drafting process so they cannot continue to profit off the backs of the sick people in this country who are searching and in desperate need of care.


0:24:02 Dana: Senator Harris, your response?


0:24:04 SH: Well, unfortunately, Representative Gabbard got it wrong. Kathleen… Not have access to healthcare. And in 2019 in America, for a Democrat to be running for President with a plan that does not cover everyone, I think is without excuse. Our plan covers everyone…

0:24:28 Dana: Thank you, Senator.

0:24:29 SH: And gives people choice.

0:24:30 Dana: Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden, your response.

0:24:32 VB: What plan will cover everyone? Number one. Number two, the fact is that my plan also calls for controlling drug prices. The bio pharma is now where things are gonna go. It’s no longer chemicals, it’s about all these breakthroughs that we have, with the whole, excuse me, immune system. And what we have to do now, is we have to have a forum that sits in HHS and says, “As you develop a drug, you gotta come to us and decide what you can sell it for. We will set the price.” And secondly, it says that, “You cannot raise that price beyond the cost of inflation from this point on.”

0:25:08 Jake: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I wanna bring in Senator Bennet. Last night on this stage, one of your Democratic rivals suggested that running on Medicare For All would get Donald Trump re-elected. Do you agree with that, sir?

0:25:20 SB: I agree that it makes it much more likely. Unlike others on this stage, I’ve been crystal clear where I’ve been for a decade, through two tough races in Colorado. I believe we should finish the job we started with the Affordable Care Act, with a public option that gives everybody in this audience the chance to pick for their family, whether they want private insurance or public insurance. It requires the drug companies to be negotiated with by Medicare and it provides competition. That is totally different from the plan that Senator Warren and Senator Sanders and Senator Harris have proposed, which would make illegal employer-based health insurance in this country, and massively raise taxes on the middle class to the tune of $30 trillion. As Joe Biden said, we don’t need to do that, it doesn’t make sense for us to take away insurance from half the people in this room, and put huge taxes on almost everybody in this room, when we can pass a public option, trust the American people to make the right decision, and have universal healthcare in this country in two years, not 10 years.

0:26:26 Jake: Thank you Senator. Secretary Castro, I wanna bring in. Your response.

0:26:29 SH: I would like to respond.

0:26:31 Jake: I’ll come to you right after Secretary Castro. Secretary Castro.

0:26:33 SC: Well, I know that this is something very personal for all Americans. I grew up with a grandmother that had diabetes, and I watched as her condition got worse and worse. That whole time she had Medicare. I wanna strengthen Medicare for the people who are on it, and then expand it to anybody who wants it. I also believe though, that if somebody has a private health insurance plan that is strong, that they wanna hold on to, that they should be able to do that. What I don’t believe is that the profit motive of the big pharma or big insurance companies, should ever determine in our great nation, whether somebody gets healthcare or not.

0:27:06 Jake: Thank you Secretary Castro.


0:27:07 Jake: Senator Harris, Senator Bennet had suggested that you support banning employer-based health insurance. Is that true?

0:27:14 SH: Well, first of all, with all due respect to my friend, Michael Bennet, my plan does not offer anything that is illegal, what it does is it separates the employer from healthcare, meaning that the kind of healthcare you get will not be a function of where you work. I have met so many Americans who stick to a job that they do not like, where they are not prospering, simply because they need the healthcare that that employer provides. It’s time that we separate employers from the kind of healthcare people get. And under my plan, we do that, as it relates to the insurance and the pharmaceutical companies who will not be called in, and who will not be taken to task by Senator Biden or Senator Bennet’s plan. We will do that.

0:27:57 Jake: Senator Bennet I wanna bring you back.

0:27:58 SB: Senator Harris is my friend as well. But I have to say, if we can’t admit, if we can’t admit tonight what’s in the plan, which is banning employer-based insurance, we’re not gonna be able to admit that when Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of doing that as well. We need to be honest about what’s in this plan. It bans employer-based insurance and taxes the middle class to the tune of $30 trillion. Do you know how much that is? That is 70% of what the government will collect in taxes over the next 10 years. We don’t need to do that. We can have a public option and have universal healthcare in this country.

0:28:31 Jake: Thank you Senator. Governor Inslee. I’ll come to you in a second but I do wanted… I do wanna bring in Senator Harris ’cause he just suggested you were not being honest.

0:28:42 SH: He… We cannot keep with the Republican talking points on this. You gotta stop. The reality is that under my Medicare For All plan, yes, employers are not gonna be able to dictate the kind of healthcare that their employees get. They will be able to make that decision. Private insurance companies and private carriers, if they comply by our rules and play by our rules, we’ll be able to offer those employees healthcare coverage under a private Medicare plan, or they can have the option of a public Medicare plan. But it is misleading to suggest that employees want what their employer is offering only. They want choice, and my plan gives that to them.

0:29:20 Jake: Thank you. Thank you, Senator. Governor Inslee…


0:29:22 Jake: I wanna bring you in. You recently signed a public option into law which allows Washington State residents to purchase… The American people need?

0:29:35 GI: No, we need universal coverage, and I’m proud of our state that has done less squabbling and actually getting things done. And I am proud that we were the first state to offer a publicly sanctioned offer of healthcare to our citizens. I’m also proud that we didn’t stop there. We were also the first state that has taken care of our elders, our seniors. We have a looming retirement wave coming up. I’m proud that our state has made them eligible to retire in dignity. I’m also proud of this, and I think we need to talk more about this as Democrats. It is time to give people adequate mental healthcare in this country.


0:30:11 GI: And we are… We are… We are having… We have had some success in integrating mental health with physical health. There’s no reason we should distinguish between your physiological and your mental health. And the last thing we’re doing, and I think it’s very instructive for the nation, we know we’re being eaten alive by pharmaceutical costs. We have had one of, if not the most innovative way, to drive down pharmaceuticals for life-saving medications in the United States. That’s a record of Washington State. I’d like to take it to Washington, DC.

0:30:44 Jake: Thank you. Thank you Governor Inslee. Mr. Yang, I wanna bring you in. You support a Medicare for all system. How do you respond to Governor Inslee?

0:30:51 AY: Well, I just wanna share a story. When I told my wife I was running for President, you know the first question she asked me? What are we gonna do about our healthcare? That’s a true story, and it’s not just us. Democrats are talking about healthcare in the wrong way. As someone who’s run a business, I can tell you flat out our current healthcare system makes it harder to hire, it makes it harder to treat people well and give them benefits and treat them as full-time employees, it makes it harder to switch jobs as Senator Harris just said, and it’s certainly a lot harder to start a business. If we say, “Look, we’re gonna get healthcare off the backs of businesses and families,” then watch American entrepreneurship recover in blue. That’s the argument we should be making to the American people.


0:31:26 Jake: Thank you, Mr. Yang. Mayor de Blasio.

0:31:29 MB: Yeah. I don’t understand why Democrats on this stage are fear-mongering about universal healthcare. It makes no sense. Ask the American people, they are sick of what the pharmaceutical companies are doing to them. Ask them what they feel about their health insurance companies, they feel it’s holding back their families ’cause they can’t get the coverage they need. They get a lot of no’s, they don’t get a lot of help from health insurance companies. Why are we not going to be the party that does something bold? That says, “We don’t need to be dependent on private insurance, we can have a system that actually covers everyone.” You know what? Donald Trump won this state of Michigan by saying he was gonna disrupt the status quo. How about we be the party that’s gonna disrupt the status quo for working people?

0:32:07 Jake: Thank you.


0:32:08 Jake: Mr. Mayor, just a 15-second point of clarification. Who were you talking about? Who’s fear-mongering?

0:32:14 MB: Certainly, with all due respect to Senator Bennett, what he’s saying is absolutely inaccurate about taxes. Americans right now are paying so much money for their healthcare. Ask people about the reality of premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses.

0:32:30 Jake: Thank you.

0:32:31 MB: That’s worse than any tax.

0:32:32 Jake: Thank you.

0:32:32 MB: And people are paying that right now.

0:32:33 Jake: Thank you Mr. Mayor. Senator Bennet.


0:32:36 SB: [chuckle] This is… This has nothing to do with Republican talking reports or the pharmaceutical industry. This has to do with having faith in the American people that they can make the right decisions for their families and they can choose a public option…


0:32:55 MB: As democrats say, “We’re done with private insurance that has only hurt the American people in so many ways. We’re gonna give them something that works for their families, full coverage, that they can depend on.” If we say that, then there’s an election. The American people get to decide. The ultimate choice, Senator…


0:33:15 MB: A chance to make that decision through an election.

0:33:15 Jake: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Vice President Biden, your response, sir.

0:33:18 VB: This is not a Republican talking point. The Republicans are trying to kill Obamacare. Obamacare took care of 20 million people right off the bat, 100 million people with pre-existing conditions. And, in fact, what we got is a public option that, in fact, would allow anybody to buy in. No one has to keep their private insurance. They can buy into this plan and they can buy into it with $1000 deductible and never have to pay more than 8.5% of their income when they do it. And if they don’t have any money, they’ll get in free. And so this idea is a bunch of malarkey, what we’re talking about here.


0:33:50 VB: The fact of the matter is that there will be a deductible. It will be a deductible on their paycheck. Bernie acknowledges it. Bernie acknowledges it. $30 trillion has to all be paid. And I don’t know what math you do in New York, I don’t know what math you do in California, but I tell you, that’s a lot of money. And there will be a deductible. The deductible will be out of your paycheck because that’s what will be required.

0:34:16 Jake: Senator Harris, I wanna bring you in here. Your response?


0:34:19 SH: Yeah. Let’s talk about math. Let’s talk about math. Let’s talk about the fact that the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies last year alone profited $72 billion, and that is on the backs of American families. And under your plan, status quo, you do nothing to hold the insurance companies to task for what they have been doing to American families. In America today, a diabetes patient, one in four cannot afford their insulin. In America today…

0:34:52 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

0:34:53 SH: For those people who are overdosed from an opioid, there is a syringe that cost $4000…

0:34:57 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

0:34:58 SH: That will save their life. It is a immoral. It is untenable. And it must change with Medicare for all.

0:35:01 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Your time is up, Senator. Vice President Biden, your response?


0:35:05 VB: Real quick. I have the only plan that limits the ability of insurance companies to charge unreasonable prices, flat out, number one. Number two, we should put some of these insurance executives who totally oppose my plan in jail for the $9 billion opioids they sell out there. They are misrepresenting to the American people what need to be done. And, lastly, here’s the deal. The deal is, let’s figure out how this works. We immediately are able to cover everybody who wants to get off of their insurance plan they don’t like, no matter what one it is, and buy into a Medicare option. And they can buy the Gold Plan and they’re not gonna have to pay… Anyway.

0:35:44 Don: Thank you, Mr. Vice President, thank you. Let’s move now to Immigration, please. Secretary Castro, do you think it should no longer be a crime to cross the US border illegally? President Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, whom you served with, says, “That is a public declaration that the border is “effectively open to all.” How is he wrong?

0:36:05 SC: Thank you for that question. You know, if you elect me President…


0:36:14 SC: In this country again is to repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration Nationality Act. That is the law that this President, this…


0:36:27 SC: Pathway to citizenship, that we do a 21st century martial plan with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala so that we can get to the root of this challenge so people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to come to the United States. So that’s how we can be smarter, more effective, and more humane when it comes to immigration policy.

0:36:47 Don: Thank you, Secretary Castro. Senator Benett, what’s your response?


0:36:53 SB: I disagree that we should decriminalize our border. This is personal for me. My mom’s an immigrant and she was separated from her parents during the Holocaust in Poland. And for those reasons, I was part of the gang of eight that wrote… I wrote the immigration bill in 2013 with John McCain that passed the Senate, was…


0:37:19 SG: I think when you talk about whether this should be a crime, you have to remember who we’re talking about. When I was at the Texas border, I visited with women who had fled violence. A woman from El Salvador owned a small business, gangs came to her and said, “If you don’t give us all your money, we’re going to kill your family.” That’s why she fled. Another woman was raped. That’s why she fled. So, this is who we’re talking about. And they’re not criminals. So, I believe that we should have a civil violation. No President before President Trump enforced the law in the way he has enforced it because he’s using it as the crutch to lock up women and children, to separate mothers and babies, to put them behind bars. So, I don’t think we should have a law on the books that can be so misused. It should be a civil violation and we should make sure that we treat people humanely.

0:38:09 Don: Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden?


0:38:12 Don: In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly 800,000 immigrants were deported, far more than during President Trump’s first two years. Will the higher deportation rates resume if you’re President?

0:38:23 VB: Absolutely not, number one. Number two, everything landed on the President’s desk but locusts. I found that… Excuse me. The Secretary, we sat together in many meetings. I never heard him talk about any of this when he was the Secretary.

0:38:36 S?: Three million deportation. Three million deportation. Three million deportation.

0:38:41 Don: Please be respectful. Please be respectful in the crowd.

0:38:45 S?: Three million deportations.

0:38:46 SC: Please continue, Mr. Vice President.

0:38:47 S?: Three million deportations.

0:38:50 S?: Three million deportations. Three million deportations.

0:38:53 VB: The fact is… The fact is…

0:38:56 S?: Three million deportations.

0:38:58 VB: I don’t know if you can hear, I can hear, but anyway.

0:39:00 Don: We can hear fine, Mr. Vice President, [chuckle] please continue if you will.

0:39:01 VB: Okay. [chuckle] The fact is what the Senator from New York talked about is seeking asylum. That woman, the women she spoke to are entitled to asylum. That is not crossing the border illegally. What we should do is flood the zone to make sure we have people to make those decisions quickly. With regard to the Secretary’s point, I already proposed and passed $750 million for Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to be able to change the circumstance why people fled in the first place. In addition to that, we’re in a circumstance where if in fact you say you can just cross the border, what do you say to all those people around the world who in fact want the same thing, to come to United States and make their case, but they don’t, that they have to wait in line? The fact of the matter is, you should be able to… If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It’s a crime. It’s a crime, and it’s not one that in fact…

0:40:02 Don: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Secretary Castro, please your response.

0:40:05 SC: First of all, Mr. Vice President, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past, and one of us hasn’t. Let me begin by telling you…


0:40:15 SC: Let me just start out by answering that question. My immigration plan would also fix the broken legal immigration system. Because we do have a problem with that. Secondly, the only way that we’re gonna guarantee that these kinds of family separations don’t happen in the future is that we need to repeal this law. There’s still gonna be consequences if somebody crosses the border. It’s a civil action. Also we have 654 miles of fencing, we have thousands of personnel at the border, we have planes, we have boats, we have helicopters, we have security cameras…

0:40:45 Don: Secretary. Secretary Castro, thank you. Your time is up.

0:40:48 SC: What we need are politicians that actually have some guts on this issue.


0:40:51 Don: Thank you Secretary. Mr. Vice President, please, your response.

0:40:55 VB: I have guts enough to say his plan doesn’t make sense. Here’s the deal, the fact of the matter is that in fact when people cross the border illegally, it is illegal to do it unless they’re seeking asylum. People should have to get in line, that’s the problem. And the only reason this particular part of the law is being abused is because of Donald Trump. We should defeat Donald Trump and end this practice.


0:41:22 Don: Thank you. Congresswoman Gabbard, what’s your response?

0:41:26 CG: Our hearts break when we see those children at these detention facilities who’ve been separated from their parents, when we see human beings crowded into cages in abhorrent, inhumane conditions. This is about leadership and understanding that we can and should have both secure borders as well as humane immigration policies. We will have to stop separating children from their parents, make it so that it’s easier for people to seek asylum in this country, make sure that we are securing our borders, and making it so that people are able to use our legal immigration system by reforming those laws.

0:42:03 Don: Mr. Yang your response.

0:42:05 AY: I’m the son of immigrants myself. My father immigrated here as a graduate student and generated over 65 US patents for GE and IBM. I think that’s a pretty good deal for the United States. That’s the immigration story we need to be telling. We can’t always be focusing on some of the distress stories. And if you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall to wall immigrants, you will find wall to wall robots and machines. Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy.


0:42:33 Don: Thank you, Mr. Yang. Senator Booker, you have a plan that would, ‘Virtually eliminate immigration detention.’ Does that mean that the roughly 55,000 migrants, currently in detention would be released into the United States?

0:42:48 SB: Well, first of all, I just wanna say again tonight we are playing into Republican hands who have a very different view and they’re trying to divide us against each other. I’m listening to the language of my colleagues. No, Mr. Vice President, we are not gonna just let people cross the border. An unlawful crossing is an unlawful crossing if you do it in the civil courts or if you do it through the criminal court. But the criminal courts is what is giving Donald Trump the ability to truly violate the human rights of people coming to our country, who no one surrenders their human rights. And so doing it through the civil courts means that you won’t need these awful detention facilities that I’ve been to, seeing children sleeping on pavement, people being put in cages, nursing mothers, small children. This is not necessary. We have seen, using the civil system, piloted programs that have 100% compliance with the civil courts, where people are evaluated. If they have no justifiable reason to be here, they are returned. If they are, like the people I met in Juarez who were survivors of sexual assault, who we wouldn’t even let come and present for asylum. We are butchering our values and making ourselves less safe.

0:44:03 Don: Senator Booker, thank you very much. Mr. Vice President, your response.

0:44:06 VB: I agree with the Senator, the asylum process is a real process and this President is ruining it, it has nothing to do with that section of the law. That’s what he’s doing, number one. Number two, we should in fact, and we are proposing, we tried to get it passed in our administration, I propose… Significantly increasing the number of legal immigrants who are able to come. This country can tolerate a heck of a lot more people. And the reason we’re the country we are, is we’ve been able to cherry pick from the best of every culture. Immigrants built this country. That’s why we’re so special. It took courage, it took resilience, it took absolute confidence for them to come. And we should be encouraging people.

0:44:40 Don: Thank you.

0:44:41 VB: And by the way, anybody who crosses the stage with a PhD should get a green card for seven years. We should keep them here.

0:44:48 Don: Thank you.

0:44:48 S?: I agree with that.

0:44:48 Don: Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Governor Inslee, what’s your response?


0:44:52 GI: I think we’re missing two central statements we need to make. Number one, we can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House, number one.


0:45:01 GI: And number two…


0:45:08 GI: Number two, we have to make America what it’s always been, a place of refuge. We gotta boost the number of people we accept. I’m proud of being the first governor saying, “Send us your Syrian refugees.” I’m proud of being the first governor to stand up against Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. I’m proud to have sued him 21 times and beat him 21 times in a row. I’m ready for November 2020.


0:45:30 Don: Go ahead, Mayor De Blasio, please, your response.

0:45:32 MB: Two points. One, it’s all kind of a charade because there’s 11 million people here, and everyone, in theory, has broken the law, but they’re part of our communities now, they’re part of our economy, they’re our neighbors. Why are we even discussing on one level whether it’s a civil penalty or a criminal penalty when it’s an American reality? And what we need is comprehensive immigration reform once and for all to fix it. Second, Vice President Biden, I didn’t hear your response when the issue came up with all those deportations. You were Vice President of the United States. I didn’t hear whether you tried to stop them or not using your power, your influence in the White House. Did you think it was a good idea or do you think it was something that needed to be stopped?

0:46:11 Don: Mr. Vice President.

0:46:11 VB: The President came along, and he’s the guy that came up with the idea, first time ever of dealing with the DREAMers. He put that in the law. He had talked about a comprehensive plan, which he put on the… Laid before the Congress, saying that we should find a pathway to citizenship for people. He said we should up the number of people that we’re able to bring into this country. Lastly, he also pointed out that we should go to the source of the problem and fix it where people were leaving in the first place. So he did… To compare him to Donald Trump, I think is absolutely bizarre.

0:46:44 Don: Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President.


0:46:46 Don: Congresswoman Gabbard, you are a co-sponsor of the College for All Act, which would make public colleges and universities free for all Americans. One of the authors of that plan, Senator Sanders, believes college should be tuition free for undocumented immigrants as well. Do you?

0:47:02 CG: I don’t. I think it’s important for us to fix our legal immigration system and look at the millions of undocumented immigrants in this country who have been suffering as they’ve been living in the shadows. And instead of putting a band-aid on this problem, fix our legal immigration system to provide them with that pathway to legal residency or citizenship so that they are no longer treated as second-class citizens in this country. We’ve gotta look at the challenge that people all across this country are facing under crushing student debt. This is something that is impacting my generation in a huge way, and I believe that it is our generation that has the bold, creative solutions to be able to solve it. This is about promise for our future, and we’ve gotta make those kinds of investments.

0:47:47 Don: Thank you, Congresswoman. Mayor de Blasio, what’s your response?


0:47:50 MB: Yeah, I agree with the Congress member, but I don’t hear an answer from the Vice President. And I’m confused. I asked the Vice President point blank, did he use his power to stop those deportations. He went right around the question. Mr. Vice President, you wanna be President of the United States, you need to be able to answer the tough questions. I guarantee you, if you’re debating Donald Trump, he’s not gonna let you off the hook. So did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the President and say, “This is a mistake. We shouldn’t do it.” Which one?

0:48:18 VB: I was Vice President, I am not the President. I keep my recommendation in private. Unlike you, I expect you would go ahead and say whatever was said privately with him. That’s not what I do. What I do say to you is, he moved to fundamentally change the system. That’s what he did. That’s what he did. But much more has to be done. Much more has to be done.

0:48:40 MB: I still don’t hear an answer.

0:48:41 Don: Senator Booker, please respond. [chuckle]

0:48:42 SB: Well, a couple of things. First of all, Mr. Vice President, you can’t have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.


0:48:52 SB: And the second thing, and this really irks me because I heard the Vice President say that if you got a PhD you can come right into this country. Well, that’s playing into what the Republicans want; to pit some immigrants against other immigrants. Some are from shithole countries, and some are from worthy countries.


0:49:08 SB: We need to reform this whole immigration system and begin to be the country that says, “Everyone has worth and dignity, and this should be a country that honors for everyone.” Don’t let the Republicans divide this party against itself.

0:49:21 Don: Senator, thank you. Mr. Vice President, your response.

0:49:23 VB: The fact is, that’s what I said about this country. We are a country of immigrants, all of us. All of us. Some here came against their will. Others came because they, in fact, thought they could fundamentally change their lives, and they did. The Statue of Liberty, “Send us your… ” That’s what we’re talking about. That’s what made us great. And the fact of the matter is, I think the President of the United States, Barack Obama, went out of his way to try to change the system and he got pushed back significantly.

0:49:51 Don: Senator Gillibrand, what’s your response?


0:49:58 SG: [chuckle] Again, President Trump, under his administration, seven children died in his custody. Under his administration, families have been torn apart. This party is talking about real ideas for the future. We’re talking about what we will do to change America. But we must not forget about our values. We used to believe in this country, you should treat others the way you wanna be treated. We used to believe in this country, we should care about the least among us. Let’s remind the American people who we are, why we are Democrats, and why we’re running for President.

0:50:31 Don: Senator Gillibrand, thank you very much. The debate will be right back right after this short break.


0:51:20 Jake: Democratic Presidential debate. We are live from Detroit. I wanna turn now to criminal justice of Mr. Vice President. Senator Booker called your new criminal justice reform plan quote, “An inadequate solution to what is a raging crisis in our country,” unquote. Why is Senator Booker wrong?

0:51:39 VB: Well, I don’t. I think he is wrong. I think we should work together. He has a similar plan. I think that we should change the way we look at prisons. Right now, we’re in a situation where when someone is convicted of a drug crime, they end up going to jail and to prison. They should be going to rehabilitation, they shouldn’t be going to prison. When in prison, they should be learning to read and write and not just sit in there and learn how to be better criminals. And when they get out of prison they should be in a situation where they have access to everything they would have had before. Including Pell Grants for education, including making sure that they’re able to have housing, Public Housing including they have all the opportunities that were available to them because we want them to become better citizens. That’s the essence of what my plan in detail lays out. I’m happy to discuss it more in detail if the Senator would want to. I looked at it. Anyway, that’s what I think my plan, I know what my plan does, and I think it’s not dissimilar to what the Senator said. We should be working together on getting things done.

0:52:35 Jake: Senator Booker, your response?

0:52:36 SB: Well, my response is that this is a crisis in our country because we have treated issues of race and poverty, mental health and addiction with locking people up and not lifting them up.


0:52:50 SB: And Mr. Vice President has said that since the 1970s, every major crime bill, every crime bill, major and minor has had his name on it. And so those are your words, not mine. And this is one of those instances where the house was set on fire and you claimed responsibility for those laws. And you can’t just now come out with a plan to put out that fire. We have got to have far more bold action on criminal justice reform.

0:53:21 Jake: Thank you, Senator Booker.

0:53:21 SB: Like having true marijuana justice. Which means…

0:53:24 Jake: Thank you, Senator Booker.

0:53:25 SB: That we legalize it on a federal level.


0:53:26 Jake: Thank you, Senator Booker.

0:53:27 SB: And re-invest the profits in communities…

0:53:29 Jake: Thank you, Senator Booker.

0:53:29 SB: That have been disproportionately targeted by marijuana enforcement.

0:53:32 Jake: Vice President Biden, I wanna give you a chance to respond.

0:53:35 VB: The fact is that the bills that the President that the, excuse me, the future President here that the Senator is talking about, are bills that were passed years ago and they were passed overwhelmingly. Since 2007, I, for example, tried to get the crack powder cocaine totally, disparity, totally eliminated. In 2007, you became Mayor and you had a police department that was… You went out and you hired Rudy Giuliani’s guy and engaged in stop and frisk, you had 75% of those stops reviewed as illegal, you found yourself in the situation with three times as many African Americas were caught in that chain and caught up. The Justice Department came after you for saying you were engaging in behavior that was inappropriate. And then in fact, and nothing happened the entire time you were Mayor.

0:54:23 Jake: Thank you. Senator Booker you wanna respond?

0:54:25 SB: Well, first of all, I’m grateful that he endorsed my presidency already. But I’ll tell you this, it’s no secret that I inherited a criminal, a police department with massive problems and decades long challenges. But the head of the ACLU has already said, the head of the New Jersey ACLU, that I put forth national standards to setting accountability.

0:54:45 VB: That’s not…

0:54:46 SB: Mr. Vice President, I didn’t interrupt you. Please show me that respect, sir.

0:54:47 VB: I’m sorry. I beg your pardon. I beg your pardon.

0:54:50 SB: We have a system right now that’s broken and if you wanna compare records, and frankly, I’m shocked that you do, I am happy to do that.


0:54:58 SB: Because all of the problems that he is talking about that he created, I actually led the bill that got passed into law, that reverses the damage that your bills that you were, frankly, to correct you, Mr. Vice President, you are bragging calling it, “The Biden Crime” bill up ’till 2015.

0:55:14 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden?


0:55:17 VB: Number one, the bill he talks about is a bill that in my, our administration, we passed. We passed that bill that you added on too. That’s the bill, in fact, you passed. And the fact of the matter is, secondly, there was nothing done for the entire eight years he was Mayor. There was nothing done to deal with the police department that was corrupt. Why did you announce in the first day, a zero tolerance policy of stop and frisk and hire Rudy Giuliani’s guy in 2007, when I was trying to get rid of the crack cocaine problem?

0:55:49 SB: Mr. Vice Present, there’s a saying in my community, you’re dipping into the Kool Aid, and you don’t even know the flavor.


0:55:54 SB: You need to come to the City of Newark and see the reforms that we put in place. The New Jersey head of the ACLU has said that I embraced reforms, not just in action but in deeds. Sir, you are trying to shift the view from what you created. There are people right now in prison for life for drug offenses because you stood up and used that tough on crime phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected, but destroyed communities like mine. This isn’t about the past sir, this is about the present right now. I believe in redemption.

0:56:30 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:56:30 SB: I’m happy you evolve…

0:56:32 Jake: I wanna bring in Secretary.

0:56:32 SB: But you offered no redemption to the people in prison right now.

0:56:35 Jake: I wanna bring in Secretary Castro. You’re response, sir?


0:56:37 SC: Yeah, I agree with Senator Booker that a lot of what Vice President helped author in ’94 was a mistake, and he has flip flopped on these things and that’s clear. But let me say, when we talk about criminal justice reform, there are a lot of things that we can talk about, sentencing reform, cash bill reform, investing in public defenders, diversion programs. I’m proud that I’m the only candidate that has put forward a police reform plan because we have a police system that is broken and we need to fix it.


0:57:08 SC: And whether it’s the case of someone like Tamir Rice, or Michael Brown, or Eric Garner, where the Trump Justice Department just decided not to pursue charges, we need to ensure we have a national use of force standard and that we end qualified immunity for police officers so that we can hold them accountable for using excessive force.


0:57:27 Jake: Thank you, Secretary Castro.

[overlapping conversation]

0:57:29 Jake: I wanna bring in Governor Inslee. Governor Inslee your response?

0:57:32 GI: Let me suggest that people come out to the State of Washington, and see what Criminal Justice Reform looks like, our effort to reduce racial disparity. I’m proud that I was the first Governor to offer pardons to thousands of people with drug crimes. Now we’re vacating more tens of thousands, we’ve eliminated the death penalty and importantly, we’ve done this when people come out of the legal system and they’ve done their responsibility to the citizens, we need to make sure they can get a job. We have Ban the Box so that people can actually get a job when they come out. And I’ve gotta argue with my friend, Secretary Castro, we haven’t just put forward a plan, we have adopted probably one of the best police accountability measures and trainer police officers in de-escalation techniques, so we have less violence.

0:58:21 Jake: Secretary… Secretary Castro, your response to Governor Inslee.

0:58:24 SC: Well, then it’s much more than that, because what we see, and this was a good example the other day of the Department of Justice not going after Officer Pantaleo, that Officer Pantaleo used a chokehold that was prohibited by NYPD. He did that for seven seconds. 11 different times Eric Garner said that he couldn’t breathe. He knew what he was doing, that he was killing Eric Garner, and yet he has not been brought to justice. That police officer should be off the street.


0:58:52 Jake: Mayor de Blasio… Mayor de Blasio, why is that police officer still on the force, the one who killed Eric Garner? Please respond.

0:59:04 MB: Let me tell you, I know the Garner family, they’ve gone through extraordinary pain. They are waiting for justice and are going to get justice, there’s finally going to be justice. I have confidence in that in the next 30 days in New York. You know why? Because for the first time we are not waiting on the Federal Justice Department which told the City of New York that we could not proceed because the Justice Department was pursuing their prosecution. And years went by, and a lot of pain accrued. And in the meantime, what I’m working on is making sure, and I have for five years, there will never be another tragedy, there’ll never be another Eric Garner because we’re changing fundamentally how we police it.

0:59:42 Jake: Thank you Mayor.

0:59:42 MB: But there’s one last point I have to say about the Justice Department. The Vice President, for two-and-a-half of those years, Mr. Vice President, tell us what did you do to try and spur on the Justice Department to act in the Garner case?

0:59:56 Jake: Thank you, thank you Mayor… Thank you, Mayor de Blasio. Vice President Biden, you can respond to that.

1:00:00 VB: We did a lot. Number one, we made sure we reduced the federal prison population by 38,000 people, number one. Number two, we in fact insisted that we change the rules that police engage in. They had to have… We provided for body cameras. We made sure that there were a lot of things that were changed in the process, but 38,000 people in the federal system were released under the system. And so the fact is that there’s a lot we’ve done. But here’s the deal. The fact is that we’re talking about things that occurred a long, long time ago, and now, all of a sudden, I find it fascinating. Everybody’s talking about how terrible I am on these issues. Barack Obama knew exactly who I was. He had… He had 10 lawyers do a background check in everything about me in civil rights and civil liberties, and he chose me and he said it was the best decision he made. I take his judgement.

1:00:47 Jake: Thank you Mr Vice President. Mr. Yang, your response.

1:00:52 AY: I speak for just about everyone watching when I say I would trust anyone on this stage much more than I would trust our current president on matters of criminal justice. We cannot tear each other down. We have to focus on beating Donald Trump in 2020. I wanna share a story that a prison guard, a corrections officer in New Hampshire said to me. He said we should pay people to stay out of jail because we spend so much when they’re behind bars. Right now we think we’re saving money. We just end up spending the money in much more dark and punitive ways. We should put money directly into people’s hands certainly when they come out of prison, but before they go to prison.

1:01:25 Jake: Thank you, Mr. Yang. I wanna bring in Senator Gillibrand. You heard earlier Mayor de Blasio respond to Secretary Castro on the question of why the police officer who killed Eric Garner is still on the NYPD. Was that response adequate? Please respond.

1:01:40 SG: No. He should be fired. He should be fired now.


1:01:47 SG: I sat… I sat down with Eric Garner’s mother, and I can tell you when you’ve lost your son, when he begged for breath, when you know because you have a video, when you know he said, “I can’t breathe,” so many times over and over again, when you know he used an illegal chokehold, that person should be fired, and as… As I was… If I was the Mayor I’d fire him, but as President I would make sure that we had a full investigation, that the report would be made public, and if I wasn’t satisfied, we would have a consent decree.

1:02:17 Jake: I wanna bring in Senator Harris now. Senator Harris, you have also been quite critical of Vice President… Vice President Biden’s policies on race, specifically on the issue of busing in the 1970s, having benefited from busing when you were a young child. Vice President Biden says that your current position on busing, you’re opposed to federally mandated busing, that that position is the same as his position. Is he right?

1:02:46 SH: That is simply false. And let’s be very clear about this. When Vice President Biden was in the United States Senate, working with segregationist to oppose busing, which was the vehicle by which we would integrate America’s public schools, had I been in the United States Senate at that time, I would have been completely on the other side of the aisle. And let’s be clear about this. Had those segregationist their way, I would not be a member of the United States Senate, Cory Booker would not be a member of the United States Senate, and Barack Obama would not have been in a position to nominate him to the title he now holds. And so on that issue we could not be more apart, which is that the Vice President has still failed to acknowledge that it was wrong to take the position that he took at that time. Now I would like to also talk about this conversation about Eric Garner because I too met with his mother. And one of the things that we’ve gotta be clear about is that this President of the United States, Donald Trump, while he has been in office has quietly been allowing the United States Department of Justice to shut down consent decrees, to stop pattern and practice investigations. On that case we also know that the Civil Rights Division…

1:03:58 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:03:58 SH: This is important. The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice said charges should have been filed, but this United States Department of Justice you served, and I believe it is because that President did not want those charges to go forward, and they overrode a decision by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Under my administration, the Civil Rights Division will reign and there will be independent investigations.

1:04:16 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden, Vice president Biden, I wanna give you a chance to respond to what Senator Harris just said.

1:04:25 VB: When Senator Harris was the Attorney General for eight years in the state of California, there were two of the most segregated school districts in the country, in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. And she did not… I didn’t see a single solitary time she brought a case against them to desegregate them. Secondly, she also was in a situation where she had a police department when she was there that in fact was abusing people’s rights. And the fact was that she, in fact, was told by her own people, that her own staff, that she should do something about and disclose to defense attorneys like me, that you, in fact, have been… The police officer did something that did not give you the information that would expropriate your client. She didn’t do that, she never did it. And so what happened? Along came a federal judge and said, “Enough, enough,” and he freed a thousand of these people.

1:05:18 Jake: Thank you.

1:05:18 VB: If you doubt me, Google “1000 prisoners freed, Kamala Harris”

1:05:22 Jake: Thank you, Vice President Biden. And Senator Harris, your response?

1:05:26 SH: That is simply not true. And as Attorney General of California, where I ran the second largest Department of Justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice, I am proud of the work we did, work that has received national recognition for what has been the important work of reforming a criminal justice system and cleaning up the consequences of the bills that you passed when you were in the United States Senate for decades. It was the work of creating one of the first in the nation initiatives around re-entering former offenders and getting them jobs and counselling.

1:06:00 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:06:00 SH: I did the work as Attorney General of putting body cameras on special agents in the state of California and I’m proud of that work.

1:06:05 Jake: I wanna bring in Congresswoman Gabbard. Congresswoman Gabbard, you took issue with Senator Harris confronting Vice President Biden at the last debate. You called it a, “False accusation that Joe Biden is a racist.” What’s your response?

1:06:17 CG: I wanna bring the conversation back to the broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately, negatively impacting black and brown people all across this country today. Now Senator Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president but I’m deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations, and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.

1:07:07 Jake: Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Harris, your response?

1:07:13 SH: As the elected Attorney General of California, I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of a state of 40 million people which became a national model for the work that needs to be done, and I am proud of that work. And I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor but actually doing the work of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform. That is why we created initiatives that were about re-entering former offenders and getting them counselling. It is why and because I know that criminal justice system is so broken, that I am an advocate for what we need to do…

1:07:53 Jake: Thank you, Senator, your time is up.

1:07:54 SH: To not only decriminalize, but legalize marijuana in the United States.

1:07:57 Jake: I wanna bring Congresswoman Gabbard back in. Your response?

1:08:00 CG: The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not. And worse yet, in the case of those who were on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so. There is no excuse for that. And the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.

1:08:25 Jake: Senator Harris?

1:08:29 SH: My entire career I have been opposed, personally opposed, to the death penalty and that has never changed. And I dare anybody who is in a position to make that decision, to face the people I have faced to say, “I will not seek the death penalty.” That is my background, that is my work. I am proud of it. I think you can judge people by when they are under fire and it’s not about some fancy opinion on a stage but when they’re in the position to actually make a decision, what do they do? When I was in the position of having to decide whether or not to seek a death penalty on cases I prosecuted, I made a very difficult decision that was not popular to not seek the death penalty. History shows that and I am proud of those decisions.

1:09:09 Don: Senator Harris, thank you very much. Senator Bennet, a question for you. Why are you the best candidate to heal the racial divide that exists in this country today? Which has been stoked by the President’s racist rhetoric.

1:09:20 SB: Yeah. First of all, the President’s racist rhetoric should be enough grounds for everybody in this country to vote him out of office. That one thing alone should be enough. Second, Don, I wanna answer your question by tagging on the conversation we were just having. This is the fourth debate that we have had and the second time that we have been debating what people did 50 years ago with busing when our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago. We need a conversation about what’s happening now.


1:09:55 SB: And when there’s a group of kids in this country that don’t get preschool through no fault of their own and another group does, equal is not equal. And we’ve got a group of K-12 schools that are good because families can spend a million bucks and you’ve got the Detroit public schools that are as segregated as they were, equal is not equal.


1:10:17 SB: And let me tell you something else, Don, I believe you can draw a straight line from slavery through Jim Crow through the banking and the redlining to the mass incarceration that we were talking about on this stage a few minutes ago but you know what other line I can draw? 88% of the people in our prisons dropped out of high school. Let’s fix our school system and maybe we could fix the prison pipeline that we have.

1:10:46 Don: Thank you, Senator Bennet. Governor Inslee, what’s your response? Governor Inslee, please respond.

1:10:55 GI: I approach this question with humility because I have not experienced what many Americans have. I’ve never been a black teenager pulled over in a white neighborhood. I’ve never been a woman talked over in a meeting, I’ve never been an LGBTQ member subject to a slur. And so I have believed I have an added responsibility, a double responsibility to deal with racial disparity and we’ve talked on the way we do it, including ending the school-to-prison pipeline in my state.

1:11:29 GI: But I wanna say this, and this is a common error that every single senator on this stage as much as I respect them all, they all have an enormous error which is going to prevent our party for making any progressive progress in the United States, and it is this: We are all gonna work for the Dickens to get more Democrats elected to the Senate, we are going to do that and I hope we’re gonna succeed, but if we get a majority in the US senate, because of the position of these senators, not a damn thing is gonna get done, and I’ll tell you why. With all their good intentions, and I know they’re very sincere and passionate, and I respect them enormously, but because they embraced this antediluvian, a super majority thing called the filibuster, Mitch McConnell is gonna run the US Senate even if we take the majority. We gotta get rid of the filibusters so we can progress the United States.

1:12:28 Don: Thank you, Governor. Mr. Yang, why are you the best candidate to heal the racial divide in America? Your response?

1:12:33 AY: I spent seven years running a non-profit that helped create thousands of jobs including hundreds right here in Detroit as well as Baltimore, Cleveland, New Orleans and I saw that the racial disparities are much, much worse than I’d ever imagined. They’re even worse, still a study just came out that projected the average African American median net worth will be zero by 2053. So you have to ask yourself, how is that possible? It’s possible because we’re in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in our history, artificial intelligence is coming, it’s going to displace hundreds of thousands of call center workers, truck driver is the most common job in 29 states including this one. And you know who suffers most in a natural disaster, it’s people of color, people who have lower levels of capital and education and resources. So what are we gonna do about it? We should just go back to the writings of Martin Luther King who in 1967, his book, “Chaos or Community” said, “We need a guaranteed minimum income in the United States of America.” That is the most effective way for us to address racial inequality in a genuine way and give every American a chance to the 21st century economy.

1:13:35 Don: Mr. Yang thank you very much. Secretary Castro, after the president’s racist tweets attacking Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings, the Mayor of Baltimore slammed the tweets and said to the president, and I quote here, “Help us. Send the resources that we need to rebuild America.” So what would you do for Baltimore and other cities that need help?

1:13:56 SC: First of all, the President is a racist, and that was just one more example of it.


1:14:02 SC: We know that whether it’s Baltimore or cities like Detroit, they’re tremendously rich in history and culture and also in possibility. Here’s what I would do if I’m president. Number one, I would invest in tremendous educational opportunity, invest in universal pre-K for three and four-year-olds, invest in improving K-12 education and also making higher education available to everyone through tuition-free public state universities, community colleges and job training and certification programs. I would follow up on the work that I did at HUD, we passed the most sweeping rule to further desegregate our communities in the United States. This Trump administration set that back, I would put that back in order. I would also invest in housing that is affordable, because folks know that the rent is going through the roof, and we need to make sure that you don’t have to get out of West Baltimore or inner city Detroit, or the west side of St. Antonio or anywhere if you wanna reach your American dream. I want you to be able to accomplish it in your great neighborhood, where you are.

1:15:02 Don: Thank you, Secretary Castro, Senator Gillibrand, what’s your response?

1:15:06 SG: So I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to be the only voice that takes all these issues of institutional racism, systemic racism in our country. I think as a white woman of privilege who is a US senator running for President of United States, it is also my responsibility to lift off those voices that aren’t being listened to. And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is, that when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.


1:15:46 SG: When their child has a car that breaks down, and he knocks on someone’s door for help and the door opens and the help is given, it’s his whiteness that protects him from being shot. That is what white privilege in America is today. And so my responsibility is to not only lift up those stories, but explain to communities across America like I did in Youngstown, Ohio to a young mother, that this is all of our responsibilities and that together we can make our community stronger.

1:16:13 Dana: Thank you Senator, Gillibrand.


1:16:15 Dana: Let’s now turn to the issue of the climate crisis. The United Nations says, “The world needs to cut all carbon emissions by 2050 or risk facing disastrous consequences.” Governor Inslee, many of your fellow Democratic candidates say climate change is the biggest existential threat facing the country. You though, are calling it the number one priority in your campaign, what do you know that the others don’t?

1:16:42 GI: Well, I know the first hand terrific impact of climate change on Americans across the country already. The family who I saw with their aluminum home now, just a pile of molten aluminum, they lost everything in the paradise of fires, the non-profit in Davenport, Iowa that was washed away in the floods, we have to act now. Look, climate change is not a singular issue, it is all the issues that we democrats care about. It is health, it is national security, it is our economy. And we know this, middle ground solutions like the Vice President has proposed, or middling average-size things are not gonna save us. Too little, too late is too dangerous. And we have to have a bold plan and mine has been called, The Gold Standard. Now, we also need to embed environmental justice. I was in zip code 48217, in the Detroit neighborhood the other day.


1:17:48 GI: Right next to an oil refinery where the kids have asthma and they have cancer clusters. And after talking to these folks, I believe this, I believe this, it doesn’t matter where your zip code is…

1:17:57 Dana: Thank you, Governor.

1:17:58 GI: It doesn’t matter what your color is, you ought to have clean air and clean water in America, that’s what I believe.

1:18:00 Dana: Thank you, Governor. Vice President Biden, I’d like to get you to respond. Governor Inslee just said that your plan is middling.

1:18:08 VB: There’s no middle ground about my plan. The fact of the matter is, I call for the immediate action to be taken. First of all, one of the things that… We’re responsible for 15% of all the pollution in the country. He’s right about how it affects people and it affects neighborhoods, particularly poor neighborhoods. But here’s the deal, in that area, there’s also another piece, 85% of it is something I helped negotiate. And that is the Paris Climate Accord. I would immediately re-join that Paris Accord. I would make sure that we up the ante which it calls for. I would be able to bring those leaders together, who I know… I’d convene them in the White House, like we did in Nuclear Summit and I would raise the standard.

1:18:45 Dana: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

1:18:46 VB: I also invest $400 billion…

1:18:48 Dana: Thank you, sir.

1:18:48 VB: In research for new alternatives to deal with climate change…

1:18:53 Dana: Mr. Yang your response.

1:18:53 VB: And that’s bigger than any other person.


1:18:57 AY: The important number in Vice President Biden’s remarks, just now, is that the United State is only 15% of global emissions. We like to act as if we’re 100%. But the truth is, even if we were to curb our missions dramatically, the earth is still going to get warmer and we can see it around us this summer. The last four years have been the four warmest years in recorded history. This is going to be a tough truth, but we are too late, we are 10 years too late. We need to do everything we can to start moving the climate in the right direction but we also need to start moving our people to higher ground. And the best way to do that is to put economic resources into your hands so you can protect yourself and your families.

1:19:32 GI: I was challenged by the Vice President…

1:19:32 Dana: Thank you, Senator.

1:19:33 GI: May I be heard on this for a moment?

1:19:35 Dana: Go ahead, Governor.

1:19:35 GI: Thank you very much. Look, we have these deadlines are set by science. Mr. Vice President, your argument is not with me, it’s with science. And unfortunately, your plan is just too late. The science tell us we have to get off coal in 10 years.

1:19:50 VB: Yes.

1:19:50 GI: Your plan does not do that. We have to have off of fossil fuels and electrical grid in 15. Your plan simply does not do that. I’ve heard you say that we need a realistic plan. Here’s what I believe.

1:20:01 VB: No, I didn’t say that.

1:20:02 GI: Here’s what I believe. I believe that survival is realistic and that’s the plan we need. And that’s the kind I have.

1:20:09 VB: My plan calls for 500,000 charging stations around the country. So by 2030, we’re all electric vehicles. My plan calls for making sure that we have $400 Billion invested in technology to learn how to contain what we’re doing, creating 10 million new jobs. We will double off shore wind, we will end any subsidies for coal or any other fossil fuel, but we have to also engage the world while we’re doing it. We have to walk and chew gum at the same time.


1:20:41 Dana: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels including coal and fracking in a Biden administration?

1:20:51 VB: No, we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies, for either one of those, either any fossil fuel.

1:21:00 Dana: Thank you. Thank you sir.

1:21:00 GI: We cannot work it out. We cannot work this out. The time is up, our house is on fire. We have to stop using coal in 10 years. And we need a president to do it or it won’t get done. Get off coal, save this country and the planet. That’s what I’m for.

1:21:15 Dana: Senator Harris, your response?

1:21:18 SH: I have to agree with Governor Inslee. And I’m gonna just paraphrase one of your great sayings, Governor, which is we currently have a president in the White House who obviously does not understand the science. He’s been pushing science fiction instead of science fact. The guy thinks that wind turbines cause cancer, but when in fact they causes jobs and the reality is that I would take any democrat on this stage over the current President of the United States who was rolling it back to our collective peril. We must have and adopt a Green New Deal. On day one as president…

1:21:49 Dana: Thank you.

1:21:50 SH: I would re-enter us in the Paris Agreement…

1:21:51 Dana: Thank you, Senator.

1:21:52 SH: And put in place so we would be carbon neutral by 2030.

1:21:55 Dana: Thank you, Senator. I wanna talk about that with Senator Gillibrand. You are a cosponsor of the Green New Deal which includes the guarantee of a job with medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security for everyone in America. Explain how that’s realistic.

1:22:11 SG: So, the first thing that I’m gonna do when I’m president is I’m gonna Clorox the Oval Office.



1:22:17 SG: The second thing I’m going to do is, I will re-engage on global climate change. And I will not only sign the Paris Global Climate accords but I will lead a worldwide conversation about the urgency of this crisis. The greatest threat to humanity is global climate change. I visited a family in Iowa, who water spewed into her home, Fran Par, it tossed her refrigerator upend, all the furniture was broken, all the dishes were broken and mud was everywhere. That is the impact of severe weather right now on families’ lives. And so the truth is, we need a robust solution. When John F. Kennedy said, “I wanna put a man on the moon in the next 10 years,” not because it’s easy but because it’s hard. He knew it was going to be a measure of our innovation, our success, our ability to galvanize worldwide competition. He wanted to have a space race with Russia. Why not have a green energy race with China? Why not have clean air and clean water for all Americans?


1:23:17 SG: Why not rebuild our infrastructure? Why not actually invest in the Green jobs, that’s what the Green New Deal’s about.

1:23:24 Dana: Thank you.

1:23:24 SG: Not only will I pass it but I will put a price on carbon to make market forces help us.

1:23:28 Dana: Thank you, Senator. Congresswoman Gabbard, you are not a cosponsor of the Green New Deal. Please respond.

1:23:34 CG: First of all this is personal. You can imagine I grew up in Hawaii which is the most remote island chain in the world, so for us growing up there protecting our environment was not a political issue it’s a way of life, it’s part of our culture, it’s part of who we are. This is why as a member of Congress long before there was ever a Green New Deal I introduced the most ambitious climate change legislation ever in Congress called the Off Fossil Fuels Act that actually laid out an actionable plan to take us from where we are today to transition off of fossil fuels and invest in green renewable energy, invest in workforce training, invest in the kinds of infrastructure that we need to deal with the problems and the challenges that climate is posing to us today.

1:24:18 Dana: Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Booker, what’s your response is the job guarantee in the Green New Deal realistic?

1:24:25 SB: I just wanna take first of all a step back and say that I agree whole heartedly with Governor Inslee it’s one of the reasons why Greenpeace ranks me and him at the top of this entire field of the candidates on climate…

[overlapping conversation]

1:24:36 GI: You’re second Cory, that’s close. You’re second but close, just close.


1:24:40 SB: I wanna say very clearly… Thank you man, thank you, I’ll try harder. Look, the reason why is because first of all this problem didn’t start yesterday, science didn’t become a reality yesterday, this has been going on for years. There was another president that would not join an international accord, then it was the Kyoto accord, I was mayor then and I stood up at national leadership joining with other mayors to say climate change is not a separate issue, it must be the issue in the lens we should review every issue, nobody should get applause for risk warning the Paris Climate accords, that is kindergarten. We have to go to far advance and make sure that everything from our trade deals, everything from the billions of dollars we spend to foreign aid, everything must be sublimated to the challenge and the crisis that is existential which is dealing with the climate threat and yes, the majority of this problem is outside the United States but the only way we’re gonna deal with this is that United States leads.

1:25:38 Dana: Thank you. Senator Mayor De Blasio, your administration has come under fire after hundreds of children living in New York City Public Housing tested positive for elevated levels of lead, as you know we’re not far from Flint, Michigan where residents are still dealing with the consequences of having lead in their drinking water, how can you assure the people of Flint and across the nation that you are the right person to handle such a problem?

1:26:05 MB: We have a huge problem and it’s decades old in New York but here’s what we’ve done about it. We’ve declared the eradication of all lead literally ending the notion of lead poisoning once and for all as the goal of our administration and we’re doing something about it, lead poisoning has gone down 90% since 2005, and we’re going to literally bring it down to zero because we’re going to go into every place, buildings, schools, public housing and take out that lead, remediate that lead once and for all, that needs to be done all over this country. Now the federal government used to not take any responsibility for our public housing, for decades they’ve been dis-investing in the public housing and it was supposed to be a federal responsibility, that’s part of why we have this lead crisis to begin with but I’ll tell you what you do when you’re actually in charge of something. I’m in charge of the largest city in this nation, you do not accept the status quo, you fix it and so we are going into every one of those apartments to make sure those children and those families are safe and then we are gonna eradicate that lead once and for all and there should be a federal mandate to do the same for Flint, for Detroit, for every place in this country and it can be done.

1:27:14 Dana: Thank you Mr. Mayor. Secretary Castro, why are you the right candidate to solve this problem? Please respond.

1:27:19 SC: Well, because people don’t have to wonder what I would do I’ve actually done it. I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development when Flint had it’s water crisis, I went to Flint we did what we could to help folks get our water filters and then we didn’t stop there we improved the standard of how we deal with elevated blood lead levels in children, a lot of Americans don’t know that this is still a major problem out there. I was back in Flint about six weeks ago and I released a plan to invest $50 billion so that we remove lead as a major public health threat, we need to do it, we can do it and I will do it.

1:27:53 Jake: Thank you Secretary Castro. Donald Trump won independence here in Michigan by 16 percentage points which was critical to Donald Trump winning the states 16 electoral votes now there is a big debate within the Democratic Party here and around the country about the best way the Democrats can win back Michigan. Vice President Biden, last night on this stage Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “We’re not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness, we’re going to solve them by being the Democratic Party of big structural change.” What do you say to progressives who worry that your proposals are not ambitious enough to energize the progressive wing of your party which you will need to beat Donald Trump?

1:28:37 VB: Because we did it. I was asked to manage an $87 billion plan to be spent in a total of 18 months that revived this state and many others because it kept us out of a depression with two tenths of 1% of waste to fraud. Secondly I was part of the organization and within our administration that pushed bailing General Motors out saving tens of thousands of jobs here in this state.


1:29:07 VB: Number three, number three I also was asked as the Mayor of Detroit can tell you by the President United States to help Detroit get out of bankruptcy and get back on its feet. I spent better part of two years out here working to make sure that it did exactly that. We invested significantly in this city on transportation, only 20… Anyway, the point is we made significant investments in this state I expect in this city, and I expect that’s why the mayor endorsement and then endorse the senate.

1:29:37 Jake: Thank you, Vice President Biden. Senator Gillibrand what’s your response?

1:29:41 SG: To the people of Michigan, I know exactly how I beat President Trump. I’ve already done it. I took a bus tour to talk about Trump’s broken promises here in Michigan. He promised no bad trade deals, not only did he not have bad trade deals, he started a trade war with China, and he just signed on to another bad trade agreement with NAFTA 2.0, a give-away to drug companies in Mexico. I took the bus to Michigan to Ohio and to Pennsylvania. Telling people that he has broken his promises to them. I lifted up their voices, I listened to their concerns and I offered real solutions. And I’ve done this before. My first house district I ran in was a two-to-one Republican district. I won it twice and I haven’t lost an election sense so I can bring people together and red, purple, and blue areas.

1:30:27 Jake: Thank you, Senator Gillibrand.

1:30:28 SG: But more than that, I can get things done.

1:30:30 Jake: Mr. Yang in poll after poll democratic voter is saying that having a nominee who can beat President Trump is more important to them than having a nominee who agrees with them on major issues. And right now, according to polls, they say the candidate who has the best chance of doing that, of beating President Trump is Vice President by Biden. Why are they wrong?

1:30:51 AY: Well, I’m building a coalition of disaffected Trump voters independence, libertarians, and conservatives as well as democrats and progressives. I believe I’m the candidate best suited to beat Donald Trump. And as for how to win in Michigan, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania the problem is that so many people feel like the economy has left them behind. What we have to do is we have to say, “Look there’s record high GDP and stock market prices. You know what else also record highest? Suicides, drug overdoses, depression, anxiety.” It’s gotten so bad that American life expectancy has declined for the last three years. And I like to talk about my wife who’s at home with our two boys right now. One of whom is autistic, what does her work count at in today’s economy? Zero, and we know that’s the opposite of the truth. We know that her work is among the most challenging and vital. The way we win this election is we redefine economic progress to include all the things that matter to the people in Michigan and all of us. Like our own health, our well-being, our mental health, our clean air, and clean water. How our kids are doing. If we change the measurements to the 21st century economy the world evolve around our own well-being then we will win this election.

1:31:52 Dana: Thank you Mr. Yang. Congresswoman Gabbard, your response?


1:32:01 CG: Donald Trump won this election because far too many people in this country felt like they’ve been left behind by both political parties. By self-serving politicians on both sides who are more interested in partisan politics and they aren’t actually fighting for the people. I’m speaking the truth to people all across this country about the fact that people in Flint, Michigan are still being left behind still being poisoned by the water in their system because every single month we are spending $4 billion on a continuing war in Afghanistan. $4 billion every single month, rather than ending that war bringing our troops home. And using those precious resources into serving the needs of the people here in this country.

1:32:44 Jake: Thank you, congresswoman.

1:32:44 CG: People in communities like Flint. That’s the kind of leadership that I’ll bring.

1:32:47 Jake: Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Booker, your response?

1:32:49 SB: I’m grateful, Jake. Look, this is one of those times where we’re not staring at the truth and calling it out. And then this is a case for the Democratic Party the truth will set us free. We lost the state of Michigan because everybody from Republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African-American voters.


1:33:11 SB: We need to say that. If the African-American vote in this state, had been like it was four years earlier, we would have won the state of Michigan. We need to have a campaign that is ready for what’s coming. And all out of salt especially on the most valuable voter group, in fact the highest performing voter group in our coalition, which is black women. And so, I will be a person who tries to fight against border suppression that could activate engaged kind of voters and coalitions are gonna win states like Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

1:33:42 Jake: Thank you. Senator Harris?

1:33:45 SH: First of all, Donald Trump came in making a whole lot of promises to working people that he did not keep. He said he was gonna help farmers, he said he was gonna help auto workers. Farmers are now looking at bankruptcy soya beans rotting in bills. Auto workers we expect perhaps hundreds of thousands will be out of jobs by the end of the year. Jerome Powell just dropped the interest rates and he admitted why. Because of this so-called trade policy that this president has that has been nothing more than the Trump trade tax that has resulted in American family spending as much as $1.4 billion more a month on everything from shampoo to washing machines. He betrayed the American people, he betrayed American families. And he will lose this election because folks are clear that he has done nothing except try to beat people down instead of lift people up, and that’s what we want in the next President of the United States.

1:34:36 Jake: Thank you Senator Harris. The debate is back right after this short break.



1:34:54 Dana: And we’re back with the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate. I wanna turn now to the economy. Secretary Castro, this was for you. Wage growth is up, stocks are rising, unemployment is near-historic lows, including for Latinos and African-Americans. You have all outlined plans, but in particular that could end up raising taxes. How can you guarantee that won’t hurt the economy?

1:35:21 SC: Well first of all, there are a lot of Americans right now that are hurting. Just go and ask the folks that just receive notice that they’re gonna get laid off by General Motors. Ask the many folks who are sleeping on the streets in big cities and small towns across the United States. Ask fast food workers that I joined a couple of weeks ago that are working for minimum wage, and can’t provide for their families or pay the rent. So the idea that America is doing just fine is wrong. Not only that, this president always likes to take credit like he did this. We’ve now had about 105 straight months of positive job growth. The longest streak in American history. Over 80 months of that was due to President Barack Obama. Thank you, Barack Obama.


1:36:08 SC: Thank you, Barack Obama.

1:36:11 SC: I believe that we need to invest in what will ensure that Americans can prosper in the years to come, making sure they have the knowledge and skills to compete in the 21st century economy, ensuring that they can afford the rent where they live, and that they have healthcare, so that they don’t have to worry about going homeless because they can’t afford a medical procedure.

1:36:32 Dana: Thank you, Secretary Castro. I wanna turn now to a question about trade, and for Congresswoman Gabbard. Many saw the Trans-Pacific Partnership issue as something that would be a critical tool to deal with the rise of China. You were against it. How would you ensure that the United States is able to remain competitive against China on the world stage?

1:36:55 CG: By pushing for fair trade. Not trade deals that give away the sovereignty of the American people, and our country, that give away American jobs, and that threaten our environment. These were the three main issues with that massive trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And the central one was the fact that it gave away our sovereignty to a panel of international corporations whose rulings would supersede any domestic law that we would pass, either a federal law, or a state, or a local law. This is extremely dangerous, and goes against the very values that we have as a country. What to speak of the fact that it would have a negative impact on domestic jobs, and that it lacked clear protections for our environment. These are the things that we have to keep at the forefront as we look to enact fair trade deals with other countries to make sure that we continue to be a thriving part of our global economy.

1:37:48 Dana: So to be clear, Congresswoman, would do keep President Trump’s tariffs on China in place?

1:37:53 CG: I would not, because the approach that President Trump has taken has been extremely volatile, without any clear strategic plan. It has a ravaging and devastating effect on our domestic manufacturers, on our farmers, who are already struggling and now failing to see the light of day because of the plan that Trump has taken.

1:38:13 Dana: Vice President Biden, would you rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which of course, the President Trump withdrew from. Please respond.

1:38:20 VB: I’d renegotiate it. We make up 25% of the world’s economy. Either China is gonna write the rules of the road for the 21st century on trade or we are. We have to join with the 40% of the world that we had with us, and this time make sure that there’s no one sitting at that table doing the deal unless environmentalists are there, and labor is there. And to make sure we equip our workers first to compete by investing in them now, and the things to make them more competitive. That’s what we have to do. Otherwise, they are gonna write the rules of the road. We must have the rest of the world join us to keep that in check from abusing.

1:38:58 Dana: Thank you. Vice-President Biden, just to be clear, would you or would you not rejoin the TPP, yes or no?

1:39:04 VB: I would not rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward. I would insist that we re-negotiate pieces of that with the Pacific nations that we had in South America and North America, so that we could bring them together to hold China accountable for the rules, of us setting the rules of the road as to how trade should be conducted. Otherwise, they’re gonna do exactly what they’re doing, fill the vacuum, and run the table.

1:39:30 Dana: Thank you, sir. Mayor de Blasio, you also opposed the deal. Please respond.

1:39:34 MB: Yeah, and I would just wanna ask this question to all the candidates, but particularly to Vice President Biden. President Trump is trying to sell NAFTA 2.0. He’s got a new name for it. It’s just as dangerous as the old NAFTA. It’s gonna take away American jobs like the old NAFTA, like it did to Michigan. And we cannot have Democrats be party to a new NAFTA. So Vice President, I believe, you’re the only person on the stage, who voted for the original NAFTA. Are you ready to say here and now, that you oppose a new NAFTA. And that what you will believe in, to a lot of us hope for, is trade treaties that empower organized labor across the boundaries of the world, and give working people power again. Not just local national corporations.

1:40:12 Dana: Mr. Vice President.

1:40:14 VB: Yes.

1:40:15 Dana: Your response. Your response, sir.


1:40:18 VB: Yes.

1:40:18 Dana: That’s it?

1:40:19 VB: No, he said, would I insist that labor be engaged. The answer is, yes.

1:40:25 MB: I consider that a victory. [chuckle]

1:40:27 VB: Well, I love your affection for me. You’ve spent a lot of time with me.

1:40:32 MB: You know what? We believe in redemption, Joe. We believe in redemption in this party.

1:40:38 VB: Well, I tell you what? I hope you’re part of it.

1:40:41 Dana: Okay. I’m gonna ask a question of Senator Bennet now. Senator, CNN reached out to Michigan Democratic primary voters for their most pressing question. Faris from Flint, Michigan has this question. “Here in Detroit, our economy has seen firsthand how technology and automation can displace workers, and create uncertainty around human job security. How would you balance these disruptions created by technology with the beneficial impact of technology on our economy.”

1:41:09 SB: Dana, this goes to the last question you asked as well, which is how are we gonna remain competitive? It’s not just about trade, which we were talking about earlier. It’s about whether we’re gonna invest in this country anymore. Since 2001, we have cut $5 trillion worth of taxes. Almost all of that has gone to the wealthiest people in America. We have made the income inequality worse, not better through the policies of the federal government. We spend $5.6 trillion in the Middle East. That’s 12 or $13 trillion that from the point of view of driving the economy in Michigan, or anywhere else in America, we might as well just have lit that money on fire. We’ve gotta stop doing that, and we need to invest in America, again. For the money that we spent that I just described, we could have fixed every road and bridge in this country. We could have fixed every airport that needs to be fixed. We could have fixed not just Flint, but every water system in this country.

1:42:12 Dana: Thank you.

1:42:14 SB: We could have made Social Security solvent for my children.

1:42:18 Dana: Thank you, senator.

1:42:18 SB: But we did none of it because of self-serving politicians in Washington, DC, who voted for deals that were good for them.

1:42:25 Dana: Senator Bennet, thank you very much.

1:42:26 SB: But not for Michigan or the American people.

1:42:27 Dana: Your time is up, sir.

1:42:28 SB: Thank you.

1:42:31 Dana: Mr. Yang, women on average earn 80 cents, about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. Senator Harris, wants to fine companies that don’t close their gender pay gaps. As an entrepreneur, do you think a stiff fine will change how companies pay their female employees?

1:42:51 AY: I have seen first hand the inequities in the business world, where women are concerned, particularly in startups and entrepreneurship. We have to do more at every step. And if you are a woman entrepreneur the obstacles start, not just at home but then when you seek a mentor or an investor often they don’t look like you and they might not think your idea is the right one. In order to give women a leg up, what we have to do is we have to think about women in every situation including the ones who are in exploitative and abusive jobs and relationships around the country. I’m talking about the waitress who’s getting harassed by her boss at the diner, who might have a business idea but right now is stuck where she is. What we have to do, is we have to give women the economic freedom to be able to improve their own situations and start businesses, and the best way to do this is by putting a dividend of $1000 a month into their hands. It would be a game changer for women around the country because we know that women do more of the unrecognized and uncompensated work in our society. It will not change unless we change it. And I say that’s just what we do.


1:43:50 Dana: Senator Harris your response.

1:43:54 SH: I think that’s support of my proposal, which is this, since 1963 when we passed the Equal Pay Act, we have been talking about the fact women are not paid equally for equal work. Fast forward to the year of our Lord, 2019, and women are paid 80 cents on the dollar, black women 61 cents, Native-American women 58 cents, Latinas 53 cents. I’m done with the conversation. So yes, I am proposing in order to deal with this, one I’m gonna require corporations to post on their website whether they are paying women equally for equal work. Two, they will be fined for every 1% differential between what they’re paying men and women, they will be fined 1% of their previous years profits. That’ll get everybody’s attention.


1:44:36 Dana: Thank you senator.

1:44:36 SH: Time for action.

1:44:40 Dana: Senator Gillibrand what’s your response? Will fining companies help solve the problem?

1:44:46 SG: I think we have to have a broader conversation about whether we value women and whether we wanna make sure women have every opportunity in the workplace. And I wanna address Vice President Biden directly. When the Senate was debating middle class affordability for child care he wrote an op-ed. He voted against it. The only vote. He wrote an op-ed… Was that he believed that women working outside the home would quote, “Create the deterioration of family.” He also said that women who were working outside the home were quote, “Avoiding responsibility.” And I just need to understand as a woman who’s worked my entire career as the primary wage earner, as the primary care giver. In fact my second son Henry, is here. And I had him when I was a member of Congress. So under Vice President Biden’s analysis am I serving in Congress resulting in the deterioration of the family, because I had access to quality affordable day care. I just wanna know what he meant when he said that.

1:45:49 VB: That was a long time ago and here is what it was about. It would have given people making today, $100,000 a year a tax break for childcare. I did not want that. I wanted the child care to go to people making less than $100,000 and that’s what it was about. As a single father who in fact raised three children for five years by myself, I have some idea what it costs. I support making sure that every single solitary person needing child care get an $8000 tax credit now. That would put 700,000 women back to work, increase the GDP by almost eight tenths of 1%. It’s the right thing to do, if we can give tax breaks to corporations through these things why can’t we do it this way?

1:46:34 Dana: Thank you.

1:46:34 SG: But Mr. Vice President you didn’t answer my question. What did you mean when you said when a woman works outside the home it’s resulting in quote, “The deterioration of family.”

1:46:44 VB: No what I…

1:46:44 SG: And that we are avoiding… These are quotes. It was the title of the op-ed. And that just causes concern for me because we know America’s women are working. Four out of 10 moms have to work. They are the primary or sole wage earners. They actually have ot put food on the table. Eight out of 10 moms are working today. Most women have to work to provide for their kids. Many women want to be working to provide for their communities, it’s to help people.

1:47:05 Dana: Thank you Senator. Let the Vice President respond now. Thank you.

1:47:07 SG: So either you don’t believe it today or what did you mean when you said it then?

1:47:11 VB: From the very beginning my deceased wife worked, when we had children. My present wife has worked all the way through and raising our children. The fact of the matter is, the situation is one that I don’t know what’s happened. I wrote the Violence Against Women Act. Lily led better. I was deeply involved in making sure the Equal Pay, amendments. I was deeply involved in all of these things. I came up with the, It’s On Us proposal to see to it that women were treated more decently on college campuses. You came to Syracuse University with me and said it was wonderful. I’m passionate about the concern, making sure women are treated equally. I don’t know what’s happened except that you’re now running for president.


1:47:46 SG: So I understand… Mr. Vice President.


1:47:48 SG: Mr. Vice President. I respect you deeply. I respect you deeply. But those words are very specific. You said women working outside the home would lead to the deterioration of family. My grandmother worked outside the home. My mother worked outside the home. And…

1:48:10 Dana: Thank you Senator Gillibrand.

1:48:11 SG: So… Well, he hasn’t…

1:48:12 Dana: I wanna bring Senator Harris into this conversation.

1:48:12 SG: Either he no longer believes it… I just think he needs to…

1:48:16 VB: I never believed it.

1:48:17 SG: Oh okay.

1:48:17 Dana: Thank you. Senator Harris please respond.

1:48:19 SH: Well, I just… Listen, talk about now running for president and you change your position. On the Hyde Amendment, Vice President, where you made a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to have access to reproductive healthcare and… Including women who were the victims of rape and incest. Do you now say that you have evolved and you regret that? Because you’ve only since you’ve been running for president this time said that you had… In some way, would take that back or you didn’t agree with the decision that you made over many, many years. And this directly impacted so many women in our country.

1:48:56 VB: But…

1:48:57 SH: And I personally prosecuted rape cases and child molestation cases. And the experience that those women have, those children have, and that they would then be denied the resources…

1:49:06 Dana: Thank you Senator. Let the Vice President respond, please.

1:49:07 SH: I think is unacceptable.

1:49:10 VB: The fact is that the Senator knows that’s not my position. Everybody on this stage has been in the Congress and the Senator House is voted for the Hyde Amendment at some point. The Hyde Amendment in the past was available because there was other access for those kinds of services provided privately, but once I wrote the legislation making sure that every single woman, when in fact, we have an opportunity to have healthcare paid for by the federal government, everyone, that could no longer stand. I support a woman’s right to choose. I support it’s a constitutional right. I’ve supported and I will continue to support it, and I will in fact move as president to see to that, that the Congress legislates that, that is the law as well.

1:49:53 Dana: Thank you. Thank you Mr. Vice President. Governor Inslee, your response.


1:49:53 SH: Well, why did you take so long to change your position on the Hyde Amendment? Why did it take so long until you’re running for president to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?

1:50:02 VB: Because there was not full federal funding for all reproductive services prior to this point.

1:50:08 SH: Okay.

1:50:09 Dana: Thank you. Governor Inslee, your response.

1:50:12 GI: I would suggest that we need to broaden our discussion. I would suggest we need to think about a bigger scandal in America which is that in professions and careers where women have been more than the majority, they have been almost always underpay, and that is why this year, I’m proud to be the governor who won the largest pay increase for our educators in the United States, and I believe that that is long, long overdue.


1:50:40 GI: I think it is true for nursing, as staff as well. And I’m glad that we’ve now passed any measures…

1:50:45 Jake: Thank you.

1:50:47 GI: And I’m glad that we’ve increased our union membership 10% for unions to stay at that, for women as well.

1:50:49 Jake: Thank you Governor. Thank you Governor Inslee. I wanna turn to foreign policy if we can. Senator Booker. There are about 14,000 US service members in Afghanistan right now. If elected, will they still be in Afghanistan by the end of your first year in office?

1:51:04 SB: Well, first of all, I wanna say very clearly that I will not do foreign policy, like tweet as Donald Trump seems to do all the time.


1:51:12 SB: A guy that literally tweets out that we’re pulling our troops out before his generals even know about it, is creating a dangerous situation for our troops in places like Afghanistan. And so I will bring our troops home, and I will bring them home as quickly as possible, but I will not set during a campaign, an artificial deadline. I will make sure we do it. We do it expeditiously. We do it safely to not create a vacuum that’s ultimately gonna destabilize the Middle East, and perhaps create the environment for terrorism and for extremism to threaten our nation.

1:51:43 Jake: Congresswoman Gabbard. You’re the only veteran on the stage. Please respond.

1:51:50 CG: This is real, in a way that’s very difficult to convey in words. I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 during the height of the war where I served in a field medical unit where every single day I saw the high cost of war. Just this past week, two more of our soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. My cousin is deployed to Afghanistan right now. Nearly 300 of our Hawaii National Guard soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan. 14,000 service members are deployed there. This is not about arbitrary deadlines, this is about leadership. The leadership I will bring to do the right thing, to bring our troops home within the first year in office because they shouldn’t have been there this long. For too long, we’ve had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll that it takes on our service members, on their families. We have to do the right thing and these wasteful regime change wars and bring our troops home.

1:52:51 Jake: Thank you. Thank you Congresswoman. Mr. Yang, Iran has now breached the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal after President Trump withdrew the US from the deal and that puts Iran closer to building a nuclear weapon. The ability to do so at the very least. You’ve said if Iran violates the agreement, the US would need to respond “very strongly”. So how would a President Yang respond right now?

1:53:15 AY: I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran because they’re responding to the fact that we’ve pulled out of this agreement. And it was just us and Iran, there were many other world powers that were part of that multilateral agreement. We’d have to try and re-enter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines because the timelines now, don’t make as much sense. But I’ve signed a pledge to end the forever wars. Right now, our strength abroad reflects our strength at home. What’s happened, really? We’ve fallen apart at home, so we elected Donald Trump, and now we have this erratic and unpredictable relationship with even our long-standing partners and allies. What we have to do is we have to start investing those resources to solve the problems right here at home. We spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives in conflicts that had unclear benefits. We’ve been in a constant state of war for 18 years. This is not what the American people want. I would bring the troops home. I would de-escalate tensions with Iran and I would start investing our resources in our own communities.


1:54:14 Jake: Governor Inslee, your response.

1:54:16 GI: Well, I think that these are matters of great and often difficult judgment. And there is no sort of primer for presidents to read. We have to determine whether a potential president has adequate judgment in these decisions. I was only one of two members on this panel today who were called to make a judgment about the Iraq war. I was a relatively new member of Congress, and I made the right judgement because it was obvious to me that George Bush was fanning the flames of war. Now we face similar situations where we recognize we have a President who’d be willing to beat the drums of war. We need a President who can stand up against the drums of war and make rational decisions. That was the right vote and I believe it.

1:55:02 Jake: Thank you. Thank you, Governor. Vice President Biden, he was obviously suggesting that you made the wrong decision and had bad judgment when you voted to go to war in Iraq as a US senator.

1:55:12 VB: I did make a bad judgement trusting the President saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the UN to agree to put inspectors in. From the moment, shock and awe started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration. Secondly, I was asked by the President in the first meeting we had on Iraq, he turned and said, “Joe, get our combat troops out.” In front of the entire national security team. One of the proudest moments of my life was to stand there in Al Faw Palace and tell everyone that we’re coming… All our combat troops are coming home. I opposed the surge in Afghanistan.

1:55:50 Jake: Thank you.

1:55:50 VB: This is long overdue, we should have not, in fact, gone into Afghanistan.

1:55:54 Jake: Thank you.

1:55:55 S?: Mr. Vice President, can I make a comment?

1:55:56 Jake: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I wanna bring in… I would like to bring in the person on this stage who served in Iraq. Governor… I’m sorry, Congresswoman Gabbard, your response to what Vice President Biden just said.

1:56:06 CG: We were all lied to. This is the betrayal, this is the betrayal to the American people, to me, to my fellow service members. We were all lied to, told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was working with Al Qaeda and that this posed a threat to the American people. So I enlisted after 911 to protect our country, to go after those who attacked us on that fateful day, who took the lives of thousands of Americans. The problem is that this current President is continuing to betray us. We were supposed to be going after Al Qaeda, but over years now, not only have we not gone after Al Qaeda who is stronger today than they were in 9/11, our President is supporting Al Qaeda.

1:56:49 Don: Thank you, Congresswoman. Let’s talk about…

1:56:53 MB: We still didn’t talk about Iran.

1:56:54 Don: Thank you, please, please.

1:56:54 MB: We didn’t talk about Iran yet we’re on the march to war in Iran right now, and we [1:56:57] ____.

1:56:58 Don: Please, Mayor. The rules, please follow the rules.

1:57:00 MB: I respect the rules, but we have to stop this march to war in Iran and the Democrat party has to stand up for it.

1:57:01 Don: Mayor, thank you very much. We’re going on and we’re gonna talk about another subject. Mayor, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Let’s talk about now the former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appearance in front of Congress last week. When asked whether or not the President could be charged with a crime after leaving office, his answer was, “Yes.” Senator Harris, you’ve criticized President Trump for interfering with the Justice Department. And just last month you said, if you were elected President, your Justice Department would “have no choice and should go forward with the obstruction of justice charges against former President Trump.” Why is it okay for you to advocate for the Justice Department to prosecute somebody but President Trump, not him?

1:57:40 SH: Well, I would never direct the Department of Justice to do whatever it believes it should do. But listen. Look, we all watched his testimony. I’ve read the report. There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this President and he needs to be held accountable. I’ve seen people go to prison for far less. And the reality of it is that we have a person in the White House right now, who has been shielded by a memo in the United States Department of Justice that says, “A sitting president cannot be indicted.” I believe the American people are right to say there should be consequence and accountability for everyone and no one is above the law including the President of the United States.

1:58:19 Don: Senator Booker, your response.

1:58:23 SB: My response is exactly that. I’ve read the report. I’ve read the redacted versions of the report. We have something that is astonishing going on in the United States of America. We have a president that is not acting like the leader of the free world. He’s acting like an authoritarian against the actual Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold. And so this is a difference with a lot of us on this debate stage. I believe that we, in the United States Congress, should start impeachment proceedings immediately.


1:58:53 SB: And I’ll tell you this, Debbie Stabenow now has joined my call for starting impeachment proceedings because he is now stone-walling Congress, not allowing… They were subjecting themselves the checks and balances. We swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. The politics of this be damned. When we look back in history of what happened when a President of the United States started acting more like an authoritarian leader than the leader of the free world, the question is, is what will we have done? And I believe the congress should do its job.

1:59:22 Don: Senator Booker, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, what’s your response?

1:59:25 SC: Well, I agree. I was the first of the candidates to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. There are 10 different instances that Robert Mueller has pointed out where this President, either obstructed justice or attempted to obstruct justice. And I believe that they should go forward with impeachment proceedings. As to the question of what my Department of Justice would do, I agree with those who say that a President should not direct an Attorney General, specifically, to prosecute or not prosecute. However, I believe that the evidence is plain and clear, and that if it gets that far, that you’re likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.

2:00:00 Don: Thank you, Secretary. Mayor de Blasio. I’m gonna bring you in and what’s your response?

2:00:03 MB: I think it’s obvious at this point in our history that the President has committed the crimes worthy of impeachment. But I wanna caution my fellow Democrats, while we move in every way we can for impeachment, we have to remember at the same time the American people are out there looking for us to do something for them in their lives. And what they see when they turn on the TV or go online is just talk about impeachment. We need more talk about working people and their lives. For example, are we really ready? And I ask people on this stage this question, “Are we ready to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes?” That’s something every American wants to know about. That’s something they want answers to right now. So yeah, move for impeachment but don’t forget to do the people’s business and to stand up for working people because that’s how we’re actually gonna beat Donald Trump. The best impeachment is beating him in the election of 2020.

2:00:53 Don: Mayor, thank you very much. Senator Bennet, how do you respond to this conversation?

2:00:56 SB: I think, look, as we go forward here, we need to recognize a very practical reality which is that we are four months away… We’ve got the August recess, then we are four months away from the Iowa caucuses. And I just wanna make sure whatever we do doesn’t end up with an acquittal by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, which it surely would. And then President Trump would be running saying that he had been acquitted by the United States Congress. I believe, we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president and we can’t do anything that plays into his hands. We were talking earlier about climate up here. It’s so important. Donald Trump should be the last climate denier that’s ever in the White House.

2:01:44 Don: Senator Bennet, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, please respond.

2:01:47 SB: But we need to be smart about how we’re running…

2:01:49 Don: Thank you, Senator.

2:01:50 SB: Or we’re gonna give them a second term.

2:01:51 Don: Secretary, please. Your turn.

2:01:53 SB: We can’t do it.

2:01:53 SC: Well, let me first say that I really do believe that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. All of us have a vision for the future of the country that we’re articulating to the American people. We’re gonna continue to do that. We have an election coming up. At the same time Senator, I think that too many folks in the Senate and in the Congress have been spooked by 1998. I believe that the times are different, and in fact, I think that folks are making a mistake by not pursuing impeachment. The Mueller report clearly details that he deserves it. And what’s gonna happen in the fall of next year of 2020, if they don’t impeach him, it’s easy to say, “You see? You see? The Democrats didn’t go after me on impeachment and you know why? Because I didn’t do anything wrong. These folks that always investigate me, they’re always trying to go after me. When it came down to it, they didn’t go after me there because I didn’t do anything wrong.” Conversely, if Mitch McConnell is the one that lets him off the hook, we’re gonna be able to say, “Well, sure…

2:02:46 Don: Secretary… Secretary Castro, thank you.

2:02:46 SC: They impeached him in the House, but his friend, Mitch McConnell, Moscow Mitch let him off the hook.

2:02:51 Don: Thank you, Secretary. Senator Bennet, please respond.


2:02:57 SB: I don’t disagree with that. You just said it better than I did. We have to walk and chew gum at the same time. It is incredibly unusual for members of Congress to be able to do that. And I’m glad that Secretary Castro has the ambition…

2:03:09 SC: My brother can. He’s…

[overlapping conversation]

2:03:11 SB: That was I was gonna say. It’s your brother that’s giving you that good feeling about the Congress. That’s what we should do.

2:03:17 Don: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, gentlemen. The debate continues right after this.



2:03:25 Jake: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate. It is time now for closing statements. You will each receive one minute. Mayor de Blasio, let’s begin with you.

2:03:35 MB: Thank you. For the last three years, we’ve watched Donald Trump hit working people against each other. Black versus white, citizen versus immigrant and why? So that the wealthy and the powerful he represents can hold the American Dream hostage from everyone else. We can’t let them get away with it. If we’re gonna beat Donald Trump, this has to be a party that stands for something. This has to be the party of labor unions. This has to be the party of universal health care. This has to be the party that’s not afraid to say out loud, “We’re gonna tax the hell out of the wealthy.” And when we do that, Donald Trump right on cue will call us socialists. Well, here’s what I’ll say to him, “Donald, you’re the real socialist. The problem is, it’s socialism for the rich.” We, here in this country, we don’t have to take it anymore. We can fight back. If you agree that we can stand up to Donald Trump and we can stand up to the wealthy, then go to taxthehell.com and join us so we can build a country that puts working people first.

2:04:49 Jake: Senator Bennet.

2:04:50 SB: Thank you. Thank you very much. What I wanna say to all of you tonight is we have been here before as a country. We have faced challenges that we’ve actually even forget some of us tonight how hard the people fought, how hard they worked, how hard they organized, the votes they had to take, the people they had to get to the polls to make this country more democratic, more fair, and more free. And now we have a person at the White House who has no appreciation of that history, who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, who doesn’t believe in the independence of the judiciary, who doesn’t believe that climate change is real. I think that we have an incredible opportunity in front of us, all of us, to come together just as our parents and grandparents did before them and face challenges, even harder than the ones that we face. But the only way we’re gonna be able to do it is to put the divisive politics of Donald Trump behind us and the divisive politics of the last 10 years behind us. We need to come together, united against a broken Washington, make Donald Trump a one-term president, and begin to govern this country again for our kids and our grandkids who cannot do it for themselves. We have to do it for them. Please join me at michaelbennet.com. Thanks for being here tonight.


2:06:14 Jake: Governor Inslee.

2:06:19 GI: For decades, we have kicked the can down the road on climate change and now under Donald Trump, we face a looming catastrophe. But it is not too late. We have one last chance. And when you have one chance in life, you take it. Think about this. Literally, the survival of humanity on this planet and civilization as we know it is in the hands of the next President. And we have to have a leader who will do what is necessary to save us, and that includes making this the top priority of the next presidency. And I alone on this panel I’m making that commitment that this will be the organizing principle of my administration not the first day, but every day. And if you share my view of the urgency of this matter, I hope you’ll join me because we are up against powerful special fossil fuel interests and it is time to stand up on our legs and confront the fossil fuel special interests because that is our salvation what it depends upon. So I hope you will consider going to jayinslee.com and joining in this effort and I will close with this, I am confident and optimistic tonight, even in the face of this difficulty, because I know we can build a clean energy economy. I know we can save our children and our grandchildren. I know that we can defeat climate change and we will defeat Donald Trump. This is our moral responsibility and we will fulfill it. Thank you very much.


2:08:02 Jake: Senator Gillibrand.


2:08:07 SG: Donald Trump has really torn apart the moral fabric of this country, dividing us on every racial line, every religious line, every socioeconomic line he can find. I’m running for president because I wanna help people and I actually have the experience and the ability to do that. I’ve brought Congress together and actually made a difference in people’s lives. I also know how to beat Donald Trump. He has broken his promises to the American people. I’ve taken this fight directly to his backyard in Michigan and Ohio and in Pennsylvania and I’ll go to all the places in this country. I will fight for your family. It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter where you live, it doesn’t matter who you love because that’s my responsibility. And I’ve done this before. I started out in a 2-to-1 Republican district. I won it twice. I’ve never lost an election since. And I not only bring people together electorally but also legislatively. I get things done. So we need a president who’s not afraid of the big challenges, of the big fights. There is no false choice. We don’t need a liberal or progressive with big ideas or we don’t need a moderate who can win back Trump-Obama voters. You need someone who can do both. And that’s who I am. Please go to kirstengillibrand.com so I can make the next debate stage.


2:09:39 Jake: Congresswoman Gabbard.

2:09:43 CG: Thank you. Now Donald Trump and warmongering politicians in Washington have failed us. They continue to escalate tensions with other nuclear-armed countries like Russia and China and North Korea, starting a new Cold War, pushing us closer and closer to the brink of nuclear catastrophe. Now, as we stand here tonight, there are thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at us and if we were to get an attack right here tonight, we would have 30 minutes, 30 minutes before we were hit. And you would receive an alert like the one we received in Hawaii last year that would say, “Incoming missile. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

2:10:27 CG: And you would see as we did, as my loved ones in Hawaii did, there is no shelter. This is the warmonger’s hoax. There is no shelter. It’s all a lie. As president, I will end this insanity because it doesn’t have to be this way. I will end these wasteful regime-change wars, work to end this new Cold War through the use of diplomacy to de-escalate these tensions and take the trillions of dollars that we’ve been wasting on these wars and on these weapons and redirect those resources into serving the needs of our people right here at home. Things like health care for all, making sure everyone in this country has clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, investing in education, investing in our infrastructure. The needs are great. As your president, I will put your interests above all else.


2:11:18 Jake: Secretary Castro.

2:11:19 SC: Well, first of all, let me say thank you to you, Jake, Dana, and to Don, and to everybody here and to those watching. You know, this election is all about what kind of nation we’re gonna become. You and I, we stand on the shoulders of folks who have made beds and made sacrifices, people that fought in wars and fought discrimination, folks that picked crops and stood in picket lines, and they helped build the wonderful nation that we live in today. Donald Trump has not been bashful in his cruelty and I’m not gonna be bashful in my common sense and compassion. I believe that we need leadership that understands that we need to move forward as one nation with one destiny and our destiny in the years to come is to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth. If you wanna help me build that America for the future, I hope you’ll go to juliancastro.com and on January 20th, 2021, we’ll say together, “Adios to Donald Trump.”


2:12:33 Jake: Mr. Yang?

2:12:37 AY: You know what the talking heads couldn’t stop talking about after the last debate? It’s not the fact that I’m somehow number four on this stage in national polling, it was the fact that I wasn’t wearing a tie. Instead of talking about automation and our future, including the fact that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs, hundreds of thousands right here in Michigan, we’re up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show. It’s one reason why we elected a reality TV star as our president.



2:13:10 AY: We need to be laser-focused on solving the real challenges of today, like the fact that the most common jobs in America may not exist in a decade or that most Americans cannot pay their bills. My flagship proposal, the freedom dividend, would put $1000 a month into the hands of every American adult, be a game changer for millions of American families. If you care more about your family and your kids than my neck-wear, enter your zip code at yang2020.com and see what a $1000 a month would mean to your community. I have done the math, it’s not left, it’s not right; it’s forward. And that is how we’re going to beat Donald Trump in 2020.


2:13:49 Jake: Senator Booker?


2:13:51 SB: Thank you. First, I just want to give a lot of thanks to the city of Detroit. They’re hosting us today and one of the reasons I respect this city is because it has the kind of defiant love that I find in many American cities, including the city of Newark. And Detroit is turning around and Newark is turning around because we let no one divide us, no one demean or degrade us or underestimate our worth. We pulled together and fought for common purpose and common cause. That’s the history of this city. My mom is sitting there who was born in the city of Detroit, born to a guy that was a UAW worker, my grandfather, who pulled his family out of poverty in the depression. My grandmother joined him. She was really entrepreneurial, opened a pool hall and a laundry mat right here in this city. That is the American dream and so many of us have stories like that.

2:14:45 SB: But the dream of this country is under threat right now. Well, my mom’s generation, 80-95% of baby boomers did better than their parents. It’s now just a coin toss for millennials. We have a real crisis in our country and the crisis is Donald Trump, but not only Donald Trump. I have a frustration that sometimes people are saying, “The only thing they want is to beat Donald Trump.” Well, that is the floor and not the ceiling. The way we beat Donald Trump is not just focusing on him, he wants to take all the oxygen out of the room. It’s when we start focusing on each other and understanding that our common bonds and our common purpose, to address our common pain is what has saved us before. It’s what’s gonna save us now. That is the kind of leader that I am going to be as President of United States, not just uniting the Democratic Party, but making sure that we put more indivisible back into this one nation under God. And if you believe like I do, please go to corybooker.com and join the mission.


2:15:53 Jake: Senator Harris.

2:15:58 SH: So, in my background, as Attorney General of California, I took on the big banks, who preyed on the home owners, many of whom lost their homes and will never be able to buy another. I’ve taken on the for-profit colleges who preyed on students, put them out of business. I’ve preyed on transnational criminal organizations, that have preyed on women and children. And I will tell you, we have a predator living in the White House. And I’m gonna tell you something, Donald Trump, has predatory nature, and predatory instincts. And the thing about predators is this, by their very nature, they prey on people they perceive to be weak. They prey on people they perceive to be vulnerable. They prey on people who are in need of help, often desperate for help and predators are cowards. What we need is someone who is gonna be on that debate stage with Donald Trump, and defeat him, by being able to prosecute the case against four more years.

2:17:02 SH: And let me tell you… We’ve got a long rap sheet. We’re looking at someone who passed a tax bill benefiting the top 1% and the biggest corporations in this country when he said he would help working families. We’ve got a person who has put babies in cages and separated children from their parents, we have someone who passed his so-called trade policy, that was trade policy by tweet… And has resulted in attacks on American families. So we must defeat him and then in turning the page write the next chapter for our country, and that has to be written in a way that recognizes, what wakes people up at 3 o’clock in the morning. And that is my agenda, the 3:00 AM agenda that is focused on giving folks the jobs they need, giving their children the education they need, making sure they have the health care they need and the future they deserve. So, please join me at kamalaharris.org and I thank you for your time.


2:17:58 Jake: Vice President Biden.

2:18:00 VB: Thank you, thank you very much. And thank you Mr. Mayor for Detroit hosting this… Look, I’ve said it many times and I think everyone agrees with this. We’re in a battle for the soul of America. This is the most consequential election any one of you, no matter how old or young you are, has ever, ever participated in. Four more years of Donald Trump will go down as an aberration, hard to overcome the damage he’s done, but we can overcome it. Eight more years of Donald Trump will change America, in a fundamental way, the America we know, will no longer exist. Everybody knows who Donald Trump is, we have to let them know who we are. We choose science over fiction, we choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division and we choose, we choose the idea that we can as Americans, when we act together, do anything. This is the United States of America. We’ve acted together, we have never, never, never, been unable to overcome whatever the problem was. If you agree with me go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight. Thank you very much.


2:19:14 Dana: Candidates, thank you so much.

Democratic Presidential Debate – June 26 #Transcripts2020

As part of our Transcripts 2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of the first Democratic Presidential Debate held on June 26th. An editable version is available here. Other transcripts of this series are available here.


0:00:00 Lester Holt: Good evening everyone. I’m Lester Holt, and welcome to the first Democratic debate in the 2020 race for president.

0:00:08 Savannah Guthrie: Hi, I’m Savannah Guthrie, and tonight it’s our first chance to see these candidates go head-to-head on stage together. We’ll be joined in our questioning tonight by our colleagues, José Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow.

0:00:19 LH: Voters will try to nail down where the candidates stand in the issues, what sets them apart, and which of these presidential hopefuls has what it takes?

0:00:27 SG: Well now, it’s time to find out.

0:00:29 Speaker 3: Tonight, round one. New Jersey senator, Cory Booker; former housing secretary, Julián Castro; New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio; former Maryland Congressman, John Delaney; Hawaii congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard; Washington governor, Jay Inslee; Minnesota senator, Amy Klobuchar; former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke; Ohio congressman Tim Ryan; and Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren. From NBC News, Decision 2020 The Democratic Candidates’ Debate. Live from the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, Florida.


0:01:21 LH: And good evening again every one. Welcome to the candidates and to our audience here in Miami here in the Arts Center and all across the country. Tonight we’re gonna take on many of the most pressing issues of the moment, including immigration, the situation unfolding at our border, and the treatment of migrant children.

0:01:38 SG: And we’re gonna talk about the tensions with Iran, climate change, and of course, we’ll talk about the economy, those kitchen table issues so many Americans face every day.

0:01:46 Josu00e9 Diaz-Balart: And some quick rules of the road before we begin, 20 candidates qualified for this first debate, we’ll hear from 10 tonight and 10 more tomorrow. The breakdown for each was selected at random. The candidates will have 60 seconds to answer and 30 seconds for any follow-ups.

0:02:03 LH: Because of this large field, not every person will be able to comment on every topic. But over the course of the next two hours, we will hear from everyone. We’d also like to ask the audience to keep the reactions to a minimum. We are not going to be shy about making sure the candidates stick to time tonight.

0:02:20 SG: All right, so with that business out of the way, we wanna get to it. And we’ll start this evening with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator, good evening to you.

0:02:27 Elizabeth Warren: Thank you. Good to be here.

0:02:28 SG: You have many plans, free college, free childcare, government health care, cancellation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the break-up of major corporations. But this comes at a time when 71% of Americans say the economy is doing well, including 60% of Democrats. What do you say to those who worry this kind of significant change could be risky to the economy?

0:02:51 EW: So, I think of it this way, who is this economy really working for? It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. It’s doing great for giant drug companies. It’s just not doing great for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. It’s doing great for people who want to invest in private prisons just not for the African-Americans and Latinx whose families are torn apart, whose lives are destroyed, and whose communities are ruined. It’s doing great for giant oil companies that wanna drill everywhere. Just not for the rest of us who are watching climate change bear down upon us. When you’ve got a government, when you’ve got an economy that does great for those with money and isn’t doing great for everyone else, that is corruption pure and simple. We need to call it out. We need to attack it head on. And we need to make structural change in our government, in our economy and in our country.


0:03:51 SG: Senator Klobuchar, you’ve called programs like free college something you might do if you were a “magic genie.” To be blunt, are the government programs and benefits that some of your rivals are offering, giving your voters, people, a false sense of what’s actually achievable?

0:04:15 Amy Klobuchar: Well, first the economy, we know that not everyone is sharing in this prosperity, and Donald Trump just sits in the White House and gloats about what’s going on when you have so many people that are having trouble affording college, and having trouble affording their premiums. So I do get concerned about paying for college for rich kids. I do. But I think my plan is a good one, and my plan would be to first of all make community college free, and make sure that everyone else, besides that top percentile, gets help with their education. My own dad, and my sister got their first degrees with community college. There’s many paths to success, as well as certifications. Secondly, I’d use Pell Grants, I double them. From $6000 to $12,000 a year, and expand it to the number of families that get covered. To families that make up to $100,000. And then the third thing I would do is make it easier for students to pay off their student loans. Because I can tell you this, if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.

0:05:22 SG: That’s time. Thank you.


0:05:23 SG: Congressman O’Rourke, what we’ve just been discussing and talking about is how much fundamental change to the economy is desirable, and how much is actually doable? In that vein, some Democrats want a marginal individual tax rate of 70% on the very highest earners, those making more than $10 million a year. Would you support that? And if not, what would your top individual rate be?

0:05:48 Beto O’Rourke: This economy has got to work for everyone and right now we know that it isn’t and it’s gonna take all of us coming together to make sure that it does.

[foreign language]

0:06:19 BO: Right now, we have a system that favors those who can pay for access and outcomes, that’s how you explain an economy that is rigged to corporations and to the very wealthiest, a $2 trillion tax cut that favored corporations while they were sitting on record piles of cash, and the very wealthiest in this country at a time of historic wealth inequality. A new democracy that is revived because we returned power to the people. No PACs, no gerrymandering. Automatic and same day voter registration to bring in more voters and a new Voting Rights Act to get rid of the barriers in place now. That’s how we each have a voice in our democracy and make this economy work for everybody.

0:06:56 SG: That’s time sir… I’ll give you 10 seconds to answer if you wanna answer the direct question. Would you support a 70% individual marginal tax rate? Yes, No or pass.

0:07:06 BO: I would support a tax rate and a tax code that is fair to everyone. Tax capital at the same rate…

0:07:11 SG: 70%?

0:07:12 BO: That you tax ordinary income, take that corporate tax rate up to 28%, you would generate the revenues you need to pay for the programs we’re talking about.

0:07:19 SG: That’s time. Thank you. Senator Booker. There is a debate in this party right now about the role of corporations, as you know. Senator Warren, in particular, put out a plan to break up tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. You said we should not “be running around pointing at companies and breaking them up without any kind of process.” Why do you disagree?

0:07:41 Cory Booker: I don’t think I disagree. I think we have a serious problem in our country with corporate consolidation. You see the evidence of that in how dignity is being stripped from labor. And we have people that work full-time jobs and still can’t make a living wage, we see that because consumer prices are being raised by pharmaceutical companies that often have monopolistic holds on drugs. And you see that by just the fact that this is actually an economy that’s hurting small businesses and not allowing them to compete. One of the most aggressive bills in the Senate to deal with corporate consolidation is mine about corporate consolidation in the ag sector. So, I feel very strongly about the need to check the corporate consolidation and let the free market work. And I’ll tell you this, I live in a low income Black and Brown community, I see every single day that this economy is not working for average Americans. The indicators that are being used from GDP to Wall Street’s rankings is not helping people in my community. It is about time that we have economy that works for everybody, not just the wealthiest in our nation.

0:08:44 SG: But quickly Senator Booker, you did say that you didn’t think it was right to name, names. To name companies and single them out as Senator Warren has briefly. Why is that?

0:08:54 CB: Well, again I will single out companies like Halliburton or Amazon that pay nothing in taxes and our need to change that. And when it comes to antitrust law, what I will do is, number one, appoint judges that will enforce it. Number two, have a DOJ and a Federal Trade Commission that will go through the processes necessary to check this kind of corporate concentration. At the end of the day, we have too much of a problem with corporate power growing. We see that with everything from Citizens United, and the way they’re trying to influence Washington. It’s about time that we have a president that fights for the people in this country.

0:09:26 SG: That’s time sir…

0:09:27 CB: We need to have someone that’s a champion for them.

0:09:30 SG: Thank you Senator. Senator Warren, I mentioned you, are you picking winners and losers?

0:09:36 EW: So, the way I understand this, is there is way too much consolidation now in giant industries in this country. That hurts workers, it hurts small businesses, it hurts independent farmers, it hurts our economy overall. And, it helps constrict real innovation and growth in this economy. Now look, we’ve had the laws out there for a long time, to be able to fight back. What’s been missing is courage. Courage in Washington to take on the giants. That’s part of the corruption in this system. It has been far too long that the monopolies have been making the campaign contributions, have been funding the super PACs have been out there making sure that their influence is heard and felt in every single decision that gets made in Washington. Where I wanna start this, is I wanna return government to the people and that means calling out the names of the monopolists and saying, “I have the courage to go after them.”

0:10:36 SG: Thank you.


0:10:39 LH: Secretary Castro, the next question is for you. Democrats have been talking about the pay gap for decades, what would you do to ensure that women are paid fairly in this country?

0:10:49 Juliu00e1n Castro: Thank you very much for that question, Lester. I grew up with a mother who raised my brother, Joaquin, and me as a single parent. And I know what it’s like to struggle, I know what it’s like to rent a home, and to worry about whether you’re gonna be able to pay the rent at the first of the month. And to see a mom work very, very hard and know that moms across this country are getting paid less simply because they’re women. I would do several things starting with something we should have done a long time ago, which is to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, finally in this country. And, also pursue legislation so that women are paid equal pay for equal work in this country. It’s past time that we did that and we have to do this, if we wanna be the most prosperous nation in the 21st century, we need to make sure that women are paid what they deserve.

0:11:41 JD: All right, thank you. I wanna put the same question to Congresswoman Gabbard, your thoughts on equal pay?

0:11:46 Tulsi Gabbard: Now, first of all let’s recognize the situation we’re in, that the American people deserve a president who will put your interest ahead of the rich and powerful. That’s not what we have right now. I enlisted in the Army National Guard after the Al-Qaeda terror attacks on 9/11, so I could go after those who had attacked us on that day. I still serve as a Major, served over 16 years, deployed twice to the Middle East. And in Congress served on the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees for over six years. I know the importance of our national security as well as the terribly high cost of war. And, for too long our leaders have failed us, taking us from one regime change war to the next leading us into a new Cold War and arms race costing us trillions of our hard earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end. As President, I will take your hard-earned taxpayer dollars and instead invest those dollars into serving your needs, things like health care, a green economy, good paying jobs, protecting our environment and so much more.

0:12:50 JD: Mayor De Blasio, good evening. You’re the mayor of the biggest city in the United States, but it’s also one of the cities in the country with the greatest gap between the wealthy and the poor. How would you address income inequality?

0:13:06 Bill De Blasio: Well, we’ve been addressing income inequality in New York City by raising wages, by raising benefits, by putting money back in the hands of working people; $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, pre-K for all, things that are making a huge difference in working-people’s lives. But let me tell you what we’re hearing here already in the first round of questions, is that battle for the heart and soul of our party. I wanna make it clear, this is supposed to be the party of working people. Yes, we’re supposed to be for a 70% tax rate on the wealthy. Yes, we’re supposed to be for free college, free public college for our young people. We are supposed to break up big corporations when they’re not serving our democracy. This Democratic party has to be strong and bold and progressive, and in New York we prove it, that we can do something very different. We can put money back in the hands of working people. And let me tell you, every time you talk about investing in people and their communities, you hear folks say, “There’s not enough money.” What I say to them every single time is, “There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands.”

0:14:10 JD: Thank you.

0:14:10 BB: We Democrats have to fix that.

0:14:12 JD: Congressman Delaney, do you agree?

0:14:16 John Delaney: I think we need to do real things to help American workers and the American people, right? This is the issue that all of us hear on the campaign trail. We need to make sure everyone has a living wage. And I’ve called for a doubling of the earned income tax credit, raising the minimum wage and creating paid family leave. That will create a situation where people actually have a living wage. That gets right to workers. Then we gotta fix our public education system. It’s not delivering the results our kids needs, nor is college and post-high school, career in technical training programs doing that. I’m very different than everyone else here on the stage. Prior to being in Congress, I was an entrepreneur. I started two businesses. I created thousands of jobs. I spent my whole career helping small to mid-sized businesses all over the country; 5000 of them I supported. The Obama administration gave me an award for lending to disadvantaged communities.

0:15:09 JD: I know how to create jobs. We need a short-term strategy, which is to put money in the pockets of workers with the earned income tax credit, raising the minimum wage and creating paid family leave. And then we need to have a long-term strategy to make sure this country is competitive and we’re creating jobs everywhere in this country.

0:15:24 JD: Thank you. Governor Inslee, how would you address income inequality?

0:15:27 Jay Inslee: Well, I’m a little bit surprised. I think plans are great, but I’m a Governor and we gotta realize the people who brought us the weekend, unions, are gonna bring us a long overdue raise in America. And I’m proud of standing up for unions. I’ve got a plan to reinvigorate collective bargaining so we can increase wages finally. I marched with the SCIU folks. It is not right that the CEO of McDonald’s makes 2100 times more than the people slinging hash at McDonalds. And the next thing I’ll do is put people to work in the jobs of the present and the future. Look it, Donald Trump is simply wrong. He says wind turbines cause cancer. We know they cause jobs, and we know that we can put millions of people to work in the clean energy jobs of the future. Carpenters, IBEW’s members, machinists. We’re doing it in my state today, and then we can do what America always does, lead the world and invent the future and put people to work. That’s what we’re gonna do.

0:16:29 JD: So, Congressman Ryan, President Trump, and you just refered to him, promised that manufacturing jobs were all coming back to places like your home state of the Ohio. Can you make that same promise?

0:16:42 Tim Ryan: Yes, I believe you can, but first let’s say the President came, he said, “Don’t sell your house,” to people in Youngstown, Ohio. And in his administration just in the last two years, we lost 4000 jobs at a General Motors facility that rippled throughout our community. General Motors got a tax cut. General Motors got a bailout. And then they have the audacity to move a new car that they’re gonna produce, to Mexico. I’ve had family members that have to unbolt a machine from the factory floor, put it in a box and ship it to China. My area where I come from in Northeast Ohio, this issue we’re talking about here, it’s been going on 40 years. This is not a new phenomenon in the United States of America. The bottom 60% haven’t seen a raise since 1980. Meanwhile the top 1% control 90% of the wealth. We need an industrial policy saying, “We’re gonna dominate building electric vehicles. There’s gonna be 30 million made in the next 10 years. I want half of them made in the United States. I wanna dominate the solar industry…

0:17:44 JD: Thank you.

0:17:44 TR: And manufacture those here in the United States.

0:17:47 JD: Senator Warren, are they coming back? Are these jobs coming back?

0:17:50 EW: So, we’ve had an industrial policy in the United States for decades now, and it’s basically been, let giant corporations do whatever they wanna do. Giant corporations have exactly one loyalty and that is to profit, and if they can save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico or to Asia or to Canada, they’re gonna do it. So here’s what I propose for an industrial policy. Start with a place where there’s a real need. There’s going to be a worldwide need for green technology, ways to clean up the air, ways to clean up the water, and we can be the ones to provide that. We need to go tenfold in our research and development on green energy going forward. And then we need to say, any corporation can come and use that research. They can make all kinds of products from it, but they have to be manufactured right here in the United States of America. And then we have to double down and sell it around the world. There’s a $23 trillion market coming for green products. We should be the leaders and the owners and we should have that 1.2 million…

0:18:57 JD: Thank you.

0:18:58 EW: Manufacturing jobs here in America. We can do this.

0:19:01 LH: All right, we’re gonna turn to the issue of health care right now and really try to understand where there may or may not be daylight between you. Many people watching at home have health insurance coverage through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government run plan? Just a show of hands to start out with.


0:19:22 LH: All right, well, Senator Klobuchar let me put the question to you. You’re one of the Democrats who wants to keep private insurance in addition to a government health care plan. Why is an incremental approach in your view better than a sweeping overall?

0:19:36 AK: Well, I think it’s a bold approach. It’s something that Barack Obama wanted to do when we were working on the Affordable Care Act, and that is a public option. I am just simply concerned about kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years, which is exactly what this bill says. So, let me go on beyond that. There is a much bigger issue in addition to that, and that is pharmaceuticals. The president literally went on TV, on Fox, and said that people’s head would spin when they see how much he would bring down pharmaceutical prices. Instead, 2500 drugs have gone up in double digits since he came into office. Instead, he gave $100 billion in giveaways to the pharma companies. For the rest of us, for the rest of America, that’s what we call at home, all foam and no beer. We got nothing out of it.


0:20:28 AK: And so, my proposal is to do something about pharma, to take them on, to allow negotiation under Medicare, to bring in less expensive drugs from other countries, and pharma thinks they own Washington. Well, they don’t own me.

0:20:40 LH: Your time is up. Thank you.


0:20:41 LH: Senator Warren, you signed on to Bernie Sanders Medicare for All plan. It would put essentially everybody on Medicare, and then eliminate private plans that offer similar coverage. Is that the plan or path that you would pursue as president?

0:20:57 EW: So, yes, I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All, and let me tell you why. I’ve spent a big chunk of my life studying why families go broke. And one of the number one reasons is the cost of health care, medical bills. And that’s not just for people who don’t have insurance, it’s for people who have insurance. Look at the business model of an insurance company. It’s to bring in as many dollars as they can in premiums and to pay out as few dollars as possible for your health care. That leaves families with rising premiums, rising co-pays, and fighting with insurance companies to try to get the health care that their doctors say that they and their children need. Medicare for All solves that problem. And I understand, there are a lot of politicians who say, “Oh, it’s just not possible. We just can’t do it.” It’s have a lot of political reasons for this. What they’re really telling you, is they just won’t fight for it. Well, health care is a basic human right, and I will fight for basic human rights. That means Medicare for All.


0:22:02 LH: Thank you.


0:22:03 LH: Congressman O’Rourke, when you ran for Senate, you also praised the bill that would replaced private insurance. This year, you’re saying you’re no longer sure. Can you explain why?

0:22:14 BO: My goal is to ensure that every American is well enough to live to their full potential because they have health care. In Laredo, Texas, I met a young man, 27 years old, told me that he’d been to a doctor once in his life. And on that visit, he was told he had diabetes. He was told had glaucoma, and he was told untreated because he doesn’t have health care, he’ll be dead before the age of 40. So, getting to guaranteed high quality universal health care as quickly and surely as possible has to be our goal. The ability to afford your prescriptions and go to a primary care provider, the ability to see a mental health care provider. In Texas, the single largest provider of mental health care services is the county jail system today. And health care also has to mean that every woman can make her own decisions about her own body and has access to the care that makes that possible.


0:23:06 BO: Our plan, says that if you’re uninsured, we enroll you in Medicare. If you’re insufficiently insured, you can’t afford your premiums, we enroll you in Medicare. But if you’re a member of a union that negotiated for a health care plan that you like because it works for you…

0:23:20 LH: Your time is up.

0:23:21 BO: And your family, you’re able to keep it, we preserve choice, by making sure that everybody has health care.

0:23:24 LH: Your time is up, Congressman, but I do wanna ask you a follow-up on this one. Just to be very clear, I’ll give you a 10 seconds. Would you replace private insurance?

0:23:31 BO: No. I think the choice is fundamental to our ability to get everybody cared for…

0:23:34 BB: Hey, wait, wait, Congressman O’Rourke. Congressman O’Rourke, private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans when you talk about the co-pays, the deductibles, the premiums, the out-of-pocket expenses, it’s not working. How can you defend the system that’s not working?

0:23:45 BO: That’s right. So, for those… For whom it’s not working, they can choose Medicare. For the culinary workers in Nevada who I listened to, who negotiated for those plans…

0:23:49 BB: Congressman. You got to start by acknowledging the system is not working for people.

0:23:54 BO: They are able to keep them.

0:23:55 BB: Why are you defending private insurance?

0:23:56 JD: 100 million Americans say they like their private health insurance, by the way. It should be noted that 100 million Americans. I think we should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken.


0:24:09 JD: Doesn’t that make sense? We should give everyone in this country health care as a basic human right for free. Full stop. But we should also give them the option to buy private insurance. Why do we have to stand for taking away something from people? And also, it’s bad policy. If you go to every hospital in this country and you ask them one question, which is, “How would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate?” Every single hospital administrator said they would close, and the Medicare for All bill requires payments to stay at current Medicare rates. So to some extent, we’re basically supporting a bill that will have every hospital close. My dad was a union electrician, right? I actually grew up in a working class family. He loved the health care that the IBEW gave him. And I just always think about my dad in anything I would do from a policy perspective. He’d look at me and he’d say, “Good job, John, for getting health care for every American. But why you’re taking my health care away?”

0:25:07 LH: I’ve let this play out a little bit because I’m fascinated to hear the daylight between you. Congresswoman Gabbard, why don’t you weigh in here?

0:25:13 TG: Yes. I think we’re talking about this in the wrong way. You’re talking about one bill over another bill. Really, what we’re talking about is our objective, making sure that every single sick American in this country is able to get the health care that they need. I believe Medicare for All is the way to do that. I also think that employers will recognize how much money will be saved by supporting a Medicare for All program. A program that will reduce the administrative costs, reduce the bureaucratic costs, and make sure that everyone gets that quality health care that they need.

0:25:45 LH: Yeah, Senator…

0:25:46 TG: I also think if you look at other countries in the world who have universal health care, every one of them has some form of a role of private insurance. I think that’s what we’ve gotta look at, taking the best of these ideas, but making sure unequivocally that no sick American goes without getting the care that they need, regardless of how much or little money they have in their pockets.

0:26:04 LH: Congresswoman… Congresswoman, thanks.


0:26:06 LH: Let me turn to Senator Booker on this. Senator Booker, explain to me where you are. This is hugely important to people. So tell us where you are.

0:26:13 CB: I absolutely will. First of all, we’re talking about this as a health care issue, but in communities like mine, low-income communities, it’s an education issue, because kids who don’t have health care are not going to succeed in school. It is an issue for jobs and employment, because people who do not have good health care do not succeed at work. It’s even a retirement issue, because in my community, African-Americans have a lower life expectancy because of poorer health care. And so, where I stand is very clear. Health care, it’s not just a human right, it should be an American right. And I believe the best way to get there is Medicare for All. But I have an urgency about this. When I am president of the United States, I’m not going to wait. We have to do the things immediately that are going to provide better care. And on this debate, I’m sorry. There are too many people profiteering off of the pain of people in America, from pharmaceutical companies to insurers. Literally, the overhead for insurers that they charge is 15%, while Medicare’s overhead is only at 2%. We can do this better. And every single day I will be fighting to give people more access and more affordable costs until we get to my goal…

0:27:15 LH: Your time is up, Senator.

0:27:16 CB: Which is every American having health care.

0:27:19 LH: Time is up senator. I want to move back, if I can, to Congresswoman Gabbard.

[overlapping conversation]

0:27:22 EW: I just wanna add to Senator Booker a point, though, and that is that the insurance companies last year alone sucked $23 billion in profits out of the health care system, $23 billion. And that doesn’t count the money that was paid to executives, the money that was spent lobbying Washington. We have a giant industry that wants our health care system to stay the way it is, because it’s not working for families, but it’s sure as heck working for them.

0:27:50 JI: It should not… It is not…

0:27:51 LH: Governor Inslee… Governor Inslee…

0:27:51 EW: It’s time for us to make families come first.


0:27:55 JI: It should not be an option in the United States of America for any insurance company to deny a woman coverage for their exercise of their right of choice.


0:28:06 JI: And I am the only candidate here who has passed a law protecting a woman’s right of reproductive health in health insurance. And I’m the only candidate who has passed a public option. And I respect everybody’s goals and plans here, but we do have one candidate that’s actually advanced the ball. And we’ve got to have access for everyone. I’ve done it as a public option.

0:28:29 LH: Time is up, Governor.

[overlapping conversation]

0:28:30 S?: That’s a false claim.

0:28:30 LH: Senator Klobuchar, I wanna get you… I’m fascinated by this, Senator. Senator Klobuchar.

0:28:36 AK: I just want to say, there’s three women up here that have fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose. I’ll start with that.


0:28:43 AK: And then I just want to make very clear, I think we share the goal of universal health care. And the idea I put out there, the public option, which the governor was just talking about, this idea is that you use Medicare or Medicaid without any insurance companies involved, you can do it either way. And the estimates are 13 million people would see a reduction in their premiums, 12 more million people would get covered. So, I think it is a beginning and the way you start and the way you move to universal health care.

[overlapping conversation]

0:29:15 LH: Secretary Castro, this one is for you. All of you on stage support a woman’s right to an abortion. You all support some version of a government health care option. Would your plan cover abortion, Mr. Secretary?

0:29:26 JC: Yes, it would. I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom. I believe in reproductive justice.


0:29:34 JC: And, what that means is that just because a woman, or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose. And so, I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion. More than that, everybody in this crowd and watching at home knows that, in our country today, a person’s right to choose is under assault in places like Missouri, in Alabama, in Georgia. I would appoint judges to the federal bench that understand the precedent of Roe v. Wade and will respect it. And in addition to that, make sure that we fight hard as we transition our health care system to one where everybody can get and exercise that right.

0:30:21 LH: Senator Warren, would you put limits on, any limits on abortion?

0:30:25 EW: I would make certain that every woman has access to the full range of reproductive health care services, and that includes birth control, it includes abortion, it includes everything for a woman.


0:30:38 EW: And I want to add on that. It’s not enough for us to expect the courts to protect us. Forty-seven years ago, Roe vs Wade was decided, and we’ve all looked to the courts all that time, as state after state has undermined Roe, has put in exceptions, has come right up to the edge of taking away protections.

0:31:00 LH: Your time is up, Senator.

0:31:01 EW: We now have an America where most people support Roe vs Wade. We need to make that a federal law.

0:31:06 LH: Senator, you’re over. Thank you. Jose?

0:31:06 JD: Lester, thank you. Senator Booker, I want to kind of come back on a discussion we were having about health and the opioid crisis. You represent a state where 14 of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies are based. Should pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these drugs be held criminally liable for what they do?

0:31:27 CB: They should absolutely be held criminally liable, because they are liable and responsible. This is one of the reasons why well before I was running for president, I said I would not take contributions from pharma companies, not take contributions from corporate PACs, or pharma executives, because they are part of this problem. And this opioid addiction in our country, we in cities like mine have been seeing how we’ve tried to arrest our way out of addiction for too long. It is time that we have a national urgency to deal with this problem and make the solutions that are working to actually be the law of our land and make the pharmaceutical companies that are responsible help to pay for that.

0:32:07 JD: Congressman O’Rourke, how would you deal with it?

0:32:10 BO: Tonight in this country, you have 2.3 million of our fellow Americans behind bars. It’s the largest prison population on the face of the planet. Many are there for nonviolent drug crimes, including possession of marijuana, at a time that more than half the states have legalized it or decriminalized it. And yet, despite what Purdue Pharma has done, their connection to the opioid crisis and the overdose deaths that we’re seeing throughout this country, they’ve been able to act with complete impunity and pay no consequences, not a single night in jail. Unless there’s accountability and justice, this crisis will continue. In my administration, we will hold them to account. We will make sure that they pay a price, and we will help those who’ve been victims of this malfeasance in this country, get them treatment and long-term care.

0:32:54 LH: I know immigration is on a lot of your minds here.


0:32:57 LH: And I want to talk about it. We’re going to talk about it in a moment. We need to take a break. We’ll be back with more from Miami after this.



[background conversation]


0:34:13 S3: Tomorrow, the first real test of the 2020 presidential race continues with night two of the Democratic candidates debate. Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, and Harris battle it out with six others. Who will make the most of the moment? The first Democratic debate moderated by Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, José Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow. Tomorrow at 9:00 Eastern, on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo.



0:34:58 JD: We wanna turn to an issue that has been in the news especially this week. There are undocumented children being held alone in detention. Even as close as Homestead, Florida; right here, less than 30 miles from where we are tonight. Fathers and mothers and children are dying while trying to enter the United States of America. We saw that image. Today, it broke our hearts, and they had names, Oscar Martinez, and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria died trying to cross the river to ask for asylum in this country. Last month more than 130,000 migrants were apprehended at the Southern border. Secretary Castro, if you were President today, oy, what would you specifically do?

0:35:51 JC: Thank you very much Jose. I’m very proud that in April, I became the first candidate to put forward a comprehensive immigration plan and we saw those images…


0:36:01 JC: Watching that image of Oscar and his daughter Valeria is heartbreaking. It should also piss us all off. If I were president today…


0:36:15 JC: And it should spur us to action. If I were president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid of Trump’s zero tolerance policy, the remain in Mexico policy, and the metering policy. This metering policy is basically what prompted Oscar and Valeria to make that risky swim across the river. They have been playing games with people who are coming and trying to seek asylum at our ports of entry. Oscar and Valeria went to a port of entry and then they were denied the ability to make an asylum claim so they got frustrated and they tried to cross the river and they died because of that.

0:36:48 JD: On day one, sorry. I’m just gonna ask…

[overlapping conversation]

0:36:50 JC: On day one, I would do that executive order that would address metering. And then I would follow that up in my first 100 days with immigration reform that will honor asylum claims, that would put undocumented immigrants, as long as they haven’t committed a serious crime on a pathway to citizenship. And then we’d get to the root cause of the issue, which is we need a Marshall Plan for Honduras, and Guatemala, and El Salvador, so that people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of coming to the United States to seek it.

0:37:20 JD: Senator Booker, what would you do on day one? And this is a situation that the next president will inherit.

0:37:25 CB: Yes.

[foreign language]

0:37:40 CB: On day one, I will make sure that, number one, we end the ICE policies and the Customs and Border Policies that are violating the human rights. When people come to this country, they do not leave their human rights at the border. Number two…


0:37:55 CB: I will make sure that we reinstate DACA, that we reinstate pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients, and to make sure that people that are here on temporary protective status can stay and remain here. And then, finally, we need to make sure that we address the issues that made Oscar and Valeria come in the first place, by making major investments in the Northern Triangle, not like this president is doing, by ripping away the resources we need to actually solve this problem. We cannot surrender our values and to think that we’re gonna get border security. We actually will lose security and our values. We must fight for both.

0:38:34 JC: If I might very briefly, and this is an important point. My plan… And I’m glad to see that Senator Booker, Senator Warren, and Governor Inslee agree with me on this. My plan also includes getting rid of Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, to go back to the way we used to treat this when somebody comes across the border, not to criminalize desperation, to treat that as a civil violation, and here’s why it’s important. We see all of this horrendous family separation. They use that law, Section 1325, to justify under the law, separating little children from their families.

0:39:09 JD: Thank you.

[overlapping conversation]

0:39:10 JC: And so I wanna challenge every single candidate on this stage to support the repeal of Section 1325.


0:39:17 JD: Thirty seconds.

0:39:19 CB: As my friend here said, I agree with him on that issue, but folks should understand that the separation of children from families doesn’t just go on at our border. It happens in our communities, as ICE are ripping away parents from their American children, spouses and the like, and are creating fear in cities all across this country where parents are afraid to even drop their kids off to school or go to work. We must end those policies, as well.

0:39:38 BB: Jose, we have to change the discussion about immigration in this country…

0:39:41 JD: Mayor?

0:39:42 BB: Because look at the bottom line here. Those tragic, that tragic photo of that parent, that child, and I’m saying this as a father. Every American should feel that in their heart, every American should say that is not America, those are not our values. But we have to get under the skin of why we have this crisis in our system, because we’re not being honest about the division that’s been fomented in this country. The way that American citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery, and their pain, and their challenges. For all the American citizens out there who feel you’re falling behind or feel the American dream is not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you.


0:40:20 BB: The big corporations did that to you. The one percent did that to you. We need to be the party of working people, and that includes a party of immigrants. But first we have to tell working people in America who are hurting that we’re gonna be on their side every single time against those big corporations who created this mess to begin with, and remind people we’re all in this together. If we don’t change that debate, that politics that’s holding us back, we won’t get all these reforms people are talking about. That’s what we need to do as Democrats.

0:40:48 JD: Thank you. If I could, I’m sorry.

[foreign language]

0:40:58 JD: What would you do, Congressman, day one at the White House?

[foreign language]

0:41:09 BO: We would not turn back Valeria and her father, Oscar. We would accept them into this country and follow our own asylum laws. We would not build walls. We would not put kids in cages. In fact, we would spare no expense to reunite the families that have been separated already…

0:41:22 JC: But your policy would still criminalize a lot of these families. Congressman, your policy would still criminalize them because your policy doesn’t call for the repeal of Section 1325.

[overlapping conversation]

0:41:25 BO: And we would not criminally prosecute any family who is fleeing violence and the persecution. We would make sure…

0:41:32 JD: Secretary, let him finish. And I will give you… But let him finish.

0:41:38 BO: We would not detain any family fleeing violence, in fact, fleeing the deadliest countries on the face of the planet today. We would implement a family case management program so they could be cared for in the community at a fraction of the cost. And then we would rewrite our immigration laws in our own image. Free Dreamers forever from any fear of deportation by making them US citizens here in this country. Invest in solutions in Central America, work with regional stakeholders so there’s no reason to make that 2000 mile journey to this country.

0:42:05 JD: Thank you. Secretary, I’ll give you 30 seconds.

0:42:09 JC: Let’s be very clear. The reason that they’re separating these little children from their families is that they’re using Section 1325 of that act which criminalizes coming across the border to incarcerate the parents and then separate them. Some of us on this stage have called to end that section, to terminate it. Some, like Congressman O’Rourke, have not. And I wanna challenge all of the candidates to do that.


0:42:34 JC: I just think it’s a mistake, Beto. I think it’s a mistake. And I think that if you truly wanna change the system, then we gotta repeal that section. If not, then it might as well be the same policy.

0:42:42 JD: Thank you.

0:42:43 BO: Let me respond to this very briefly. Actually, as a member of a Congress, I helped to introduce legislation that would ensure that we don’t criminalize those who are seeking asylum and refuge in this country.

0:42:53 JC: I’m not talking about the ones that are seeking asylum. I’m talking about everybody else.

0:42:55 BO: If you’re fleeing desperation, then I want to make sure… I want to make sure you are treated with respect.

0:43:00 JC: I’m still talking about everybody else.

0:43:01 BO: But you’re looking at just one small part of this. I’m talking about a comprehensive rewrite of our immigration laws.


0:43:06 JC: That’s not true.

0:43:06 BO: And if we do that, I don’t think it’s asking too much for people to follow our laws when they come to this country.

0:43:09 JC: That’s actually not true. I’m talking about millions of folks… A lot of folks that are coming are not seeking asylum. A lot of them are undocumented immigrants, right? And you said recently that the reason you didn’t wanna repeal Section 1325 was because you were concerned about human trafficking and drug trafficking. But let me tell you what, Section 18, title 18 of the US code, title 21 and title 22, already cover human trafficking.

0:43:35 BO: If we apprehend a known smuggler or drug trafficker, we’re going to make sure that they’re deported and criminally prosecuted.

[overlapping conversation]

0:43:37 JC: I think that you should do your homework on this issue. If you did your homework on this issue, you would know that we should repeal this section.

0:43:44 JD: This is an issue that we should and could be talking about for a long time, and we will for a long time.

0:43:49 JD: Can we talk about the conditions about why people are coming here?

0:43:52 JD: Let’s let Lester… Savannah, sorry. Savannah, I know, it’s just… We could go on…

0:43:58 JD: But rather than talk about specific provisions, we really have to talk about why these people are coming to our country.

0:44:02 SG: You’ll get your chance.

0:44:03 JD: And what are we gonna do to actually make a difference in these countries?

0:44:06 SG: Congressman, you’ll get your chance. Let’s continue the discussion.


0:44:10 SG: Senator Klobuchar…

0:44:10 AK: Yes.

0:44:10 SG: Let’s talk about what Secretary Castro just said. He wants to no longer have it be a crime to illegally cross the border. Do you support that? Do you think it should be a civil offense only? And if so, do you worry about potentially incentivizing people to come here?

0:44:29 AK: Immigrants, they do not diminish America. They are America. And I am happy to look at his proposal. But I do think you want to make sure that you have provisions in place that allow you to go after traffickers and allow you to go after people who are violating the law. What I really think we need to step back and talk about is the economic imperative here. And that is that 70 of our Fortune 500 companies are headed by people that came from other countries. 25% of our US Nobel laureates were born in other countries.

0:45:04 AK: We have a situation right now where we need workers in our fields and in our factories, we need them to start small businesses, we need their ideas, and this president has literally gone backwards at a time where our economy needs immigrants. And so my proposal is to look at that 2013 bill that passed the Senate with Republican support, to upgrade that bill, to make it as good as possible and get it done. It brings the debt down by $158 billion. It gives a path to citizenship, for citizen, for people who can become citizens. And it would be so much better for economy in America.

0:45:40 SG: Senator that’s time, thank you. Congressman Ryan, same question, should it be a crime to illegally cross the border or should it be a civil offense only?

0:45:49 TR: Well, I agree with Secretary Castro. I think there are other provisions in the law that will allow you to prosecute people for coming over here if they’re dealing in drugs, and other things, that’s already established in the law. So there’s no need to repeat it. And I think it’s abhorrent, we’re talking about this father who got killed with his daughter and the issues here, a way these kids are being treated. If you go to Guantanamo Bay, there are terrorists that are held, they get better health care than those kids that have tried to cross the border in the United States, that needs to stop. And I think the president should immediately ask doctors and nurses to go immediately down to the border and start taking care of these kids. What kind of country are we running here where we have a president of the United States who’s so focused on hate and fear and division and what has happened now, the end result is now we’ve got kids literally laying in their own snot with three-week-old diapers that haven’t been changed? We’ve got to tell this president that is not a sign of strength, Mr. President, that is a sign of weakness.


0:46:55 SG: Congressman, Senator Booker, I will go to you. But a lot of people… Jose asked the question, if you’re president on day one, what will you do with the fact that you will have families here? There’s been a lot of talk about what you’ll do in the first 100 days about legislation. What will you actually do with these families? How will you care for them? Will they be detained or will they not be?

0:47:19 CB: Well, this is a related and brief point because what we’re talking about, what Secretary Castro, and I are talking about is that we have the power to better deal with this problem through the civil process than the criminal process. I have been to some of the largest private prisons which are repugnant to me, that people are profiting off incarceration and they’re immigration lockups. Our country has made so many mistakes by criminalizing things, whether it’s immigration, whether it’s mental illness, whether it’s addiction. We know that this is not the way to deal with problems. There is a humane way that affirms human rights and human dignity, and actually solve this problem. Donald Trump isn’t solving this problem. We’ve seen under his leadership a surge at our border. We solve this problem by making investments in the Northern Triangle to stop the reasons why people are being driven here in the first place, and we make sure we use our resources to provide health care, to affirm the values and human dignity to people that come here because we cannot sacrifice our values, our ideals, as a nation for border security, we can have both by doing this the right way.


0:48:21 SG: All right, Senator, thank you. Let me go to Governor Inslee on this. What would you do on day one? Same question I just asked Cory Booker, I have yet to hear an answer from anyone on this stage. What will you do with the families that will be here?

0:48:34 JI: There is no reason for the detention and separation of these children. They should be released, pending their hearings, and they should have a hearing and the law should be followed, that’s what should happen. And we should do what we’re doing in Washington state. I’m proud that we’ve passed a law that prevents local law enforcement for being turned into mini-ICE agents. I’m proud to have been the first governor to stand up against Donald Trump’s heinous Muslim ban. I’m proud to be a person who’s not only talked about Dreamers, but being one of the first to make sure that they get a college education, so that they can realize their dreams. These are some of the most inspirational people in our state. And I’ll leave you with this thought, if you wanna know what I think. Donald Trump the other day tried to threaten me. He thought it was a threat to tell me that he would send refugees in Washington state if we passed the law that I passed. And I told him, “That’s not a threat at all. We welcome refugees into our state. We recognize diversity as a strength. This is how we built America, that tradition is gonna continue if I’m president of the United States.”

0:49:40 LH: We are gonna switch, we are gonna switch to another topic now. We’ve got a lot to get through, let’s, let’s talk about…

0:49:43 JD: Just one more topic on this, my grandfather was actually separated from his family when he came to this country.

0:49:47 LH: We’re gonna talk about Iran right now because we’re working against the clock. Tankers have been attacked, a US drone has been shot down, there have been disturbing threats issued by both the US and Iranian leadership. I’d like if you can just for a moment to put aside how you think we may have gotten here, but what I wanna know is how do you dial it back? So a show of hands, who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated? That’s a, well, Cory, Senator Booker, why not?

0:50:17 CB: May I address that? First and foremost, it was a mistake to pull out of that deal. And one of the reasons why we’re seeing this hostility now is because Donald Trump is marching us to a far more dangerous situation. Literally, he took us out of a deal that gave us transparency into their nuclear program and pushed back a nuclear breakout 10, 20 years. And now we see Iran threatening to go further and we are pulled, being pulled in further and further into this crisis. We need to renegotiate, and get back into a deal, but I’m not gonna have a primary platform to say, “Unilaterally, I’m gonna rejoin that deal.” Because when I am president of United States, I’m gonna do the best I can to secure this country, and that region and make sure that if I have an opportunity to leverage a better deal, I’m gonna do it.

0:50:58 LH: All right, Senator Klobuchar, I’d like you to answer that question because you’ve said, you’ve said you would negotiate yourself back into the Iranian agreement. Can you argue that that nuclear pact as it was ratified was a good deal?

0:51:09 S?: Yes it was.

0:51:11 AK: It was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment. I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that’s something we could negotiate to get back in the deal, but the point is, Donald Trump told us when he got out of it that he was gonna give us a better deal, those were his words. And now we are a month away from the Iranians who claim now that they’re going to blow the caps on enriching uranium. And the Iranians have told us this. And so that’s where we are right now. He has made us less safe than we were when he became President. So what I would do is negotiate us back into that agreement is stand with our allies and not give unlimited leverage to China and Russia, which is what he has done. And then finally, I would make sure that if there was any possibility of a conflict, and we’re having this debate in Congress right now, that he comes to Congress for an authorization of military force. I would do that. And this president, is literally every single day, 10 minutes away from going to war, one tweet away from going to war. And I don’t think we should conduct…

0:52:14 LH: All right, your time is up.

0:52:15 AK: Foreign policy in our bath robe at 5:00 in the morning, which is what he does.

0:52:19 LH: Congresswoman Gabbard.


0:52:23 LH: You’ve said you would sign back out of the 2015 deal, would you insist, though, that it address Iran’s support for Hezbollah?

0:52:32 TG: Let’s deal with the situation where we are, where this President and his chicken-hawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war, in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005. A war that took over 4000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran, would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives, it would exacerbate the refugee crisis and it wouldn’t be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it’s so important that every one of us, every single American stand up and say, “No war with Iran.”


0:53:18 TG: We need to get back into the Iran Nuclear Agreement and we need to negotiate how we can improve it. It was an imperfect deal. There are issues like their missile development that needs to be addressed, we can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war.

0:53:36 LH: Your time is up. And just a very quick follow-up, but what would your red line be, that would, for military action against Iran?

0:53:44 TG: Look, obviously, if there was an attack against the American, our troops then there would have to be a response. But my point is, and it’s important for us to recognize this. Is Donald Trump and his cabinet, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and others are creating a situation that just a spark would light off a war with Iran, which is incredibly dangerous. That’s why we need to de-escalate tensions. Trump needs to get back into the Iran nuclear deal and swallow his pride, put the American people first.


0:54:13 BB: Hey but wait a minute…

0:54:13 SG: All right. We are out of time, we’re up against a hard break but we will have much more.

0:54:15 BB: No Republicans have been serious about the war [0:54:17] ____.

[overlapping conversation]

0:54:18 SG: Mayor De Blasio we will have it more. The commercial is coming, we will continue our questioning next with Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow. Stick around, we’ll have a lot more with some very anxious candidates, just ahead.



0:54:42 S3: All eyes on the 2020 election. Continue to follow the latest on the candidates with the NBC News mobile app. Stay connected with breaking news, top stories, live video and all your favorite NBC news shows. Text NBC News to 66866 to get the app now.

0:55:02 Steve Kornacki: All right, well, on election day 2020 Donald Trump will be something he was not on election day 2016, that is President Donald Trump. An incumbent running for re-election, in some ways, a re-election campaign for a President of course becomes a referendum and how folks feel the president did during his four years in office. So what can we say about how voters have been reacting so far to the Trump presidency? Well, what you see here, this is his average approval rating, meaning you’ve always got these different polls out there, one day NBC will have one, the next day CNN will have one, they’re always coming in from all over the place. This trend line is an average. A day-to-day, average of all of those polls put together. And what you see here in this trendline, it’s a very narrow range that Trump is operating. And what I mean by that is, look at this, this is his high watermark, his peak as president, his average approval rating at its best 46%. And when was this? Early February 2017, that was his honeymoon. He had just become president, that makes him different right there.

0:56:03 SK: From every modern predecessor, he has, because all of them have gotten to 60%, 65%, 70% at least for a short period, they all had honeymoons. Trump’s honeymoon, he couldn’t even crack 50%. So, already we see a lower ceiling for Trump than we’ve seen with past presidents. But that comes with a flipside, and that is the basement for Trump. Look at this, 37% is the low point he’s hit in his average approval rating as president. That is actually not as low as some of his predecessors have gone. We’ve seen Nixon, Bush Senior, Carter, we saw them fall into the 20s at some point during their term. That has not happened to Trump either. Thirty-seven on the low-end, 46 on the high end. Right now, somewhere in between, it’s a very narrow range. It speaks to polarization, I’ll tell you, it speaks to something else. Is this presidency really any different politically in terms of how it’s being received than the campaign in 2016? ‘Cause compare this trendline, 46:37, low, high, compare that to Trump’s support against Hillary Clinton in the polls in the fall of 2016.

0:57:06 SK: Trump’s average support at a low point, 36%. At a high point, about 43.5%. Of course, on election day, what was the number he hit? 46%, the same high watermark he’s had in his approval rating. So Trump has been operating in the same range as a candidate, as President, we say it speaks to polarization, it also speaks to… Look, this is somebody who succeeded as a candidate in 2016, despite some very, very high negative numbers, what I mean by that is look at this, the exit poll on election day. Do you think Donald Trump’s qualified to be president? Only 38% said they thought he was qualified for the job. The clear majority said Trump wasn’t qualified. Does he have the temperament? 35% said he had the temperament. Do you like him? Do you have a favorable view? Only 40% did. You’re not supposed to be able to win with those numbers. Trump was one of the big reasons… His opponent Hillary Clinton by election day 2016 almost as unpopular as he was only 43% favorable. It created that narrow path for Trump. And that becomes the question, when you look at that approval rating now, in 2020 can he make his opponent as unpopular on election day, as Clinton was in ’16?

[background conversation]

0:58:52 LH: And welcome back everyone of the first Democratic presidential debate from the Arts Center in Miami.

0:58:56 SG: And as we continue the questioning, time to get more members of our team in the mix.

0:59:01 JD: Right, now let’s turn it over to Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow. Take it away.


0:59:07 Rachel Maddow: All right. We’re gonna start by recapping the rules. 20 candidates qualified for this first Democratic debate. We’re gonna hear from 10 tonight, 10 more tomorrow. The breakdown for each night was selected at random. Now, the candidates will have 60 seconds to answer, 30 seconds for a follow-up if necessary, and we will be ruthless if necessary.

0:59:25 Chuck Todd: Yeah, we can do that. By the way, hi Rachel.

0:59:27 RM: Hi, Chuck.

0:59:27 CT: How are you doing?

0:59:28 RM: Good.

0:59:28 CT: And we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. We’re gonna be talking about guns and climate here up top. A whole lot more in this hour. Obviously, because of the size of the field, not every person will be able to weigh in on everything, but over the course of this next hour, we will hear from everyone, I promise, everybody. And to begin with, we’re gonna go with guns. And Senator Warren, I wanna start with you. We are less than 50 miles from Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a school shooting last year, and where there has been significant activism on gun violence ever since. Many of you are calling for a restoration of an assault weapons ban, but even if implemented, there will still be hundreds of millions of guns in this country. Should there be a role for the federal government…

[background conversation]

1:00:13 CT: Everybody’s mics are on. I think we have a… I heard that, too. That’s okay. I think we had a little mic issue in the back.

1:00:19 RM: Control room, we’ve got conflict on…

1:00:21 CT: I think we heard… We have the audience audio. All right. The question is simply this. I apologize you guys didn’t get to hear this, the first part of the question. Obviously, we’re not far from Parkland, Florida. Gun activism has become a big part of high school life up there in Broward County. Many of you are calling for tighter gun restrictions, some of you are calling for the restoration of the assault weapons ban, but even if it’s put in place, there are still gonna be perhaps hundreds of millions of guns still on the streets. Is there a role for the federal government to play in order to get these guns off the streets?

[background conversation]


1:01:03 RM: What’s happening?

1:01:04 CT: We are hearing our colleague’s audio. If the control room could turn off the mics…

[background conversation]

1:01:12 CT: Yeah. If the control room could turn off the mics of our previous moderators we will…

[background conversation]

1:01:19 RM: We prepared for everything.

1:01:21 CT: Yes.

1:01:22 RM: We did not prepare for this.

1:01:22 CT: Guess what guys, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna get this technical situation fixed and we’ll be right back.



[background conversation]


1:02:04 SK: All right. Let’s take a look at the Electoral College in 2020. The place to start obviously is where the last election ended, 2016. And remember, of course, by the popular vote, Hillary Clinton had almost 3,000,000 more of those than Donald Trump, but we don’t elect the President by national popular vote, we do it by the Electoral College, and there Donald Trump had the right combination of votes in the right States, enough to win 306 electoral votes for him, so how is that map looking for 2020?

1:02:33 SK: Well, first of all, one thing you need to do, just understand how narrow that Trump path was in the electoral college in 2016. You can start by looking at Wisconsin. Look at that margin there. Fewer than 25,000 votes separated Clinton from Trump in Wisconsin. This was a state that had not gone for a Republican in a presidential election since 1984. By a margin of fewer than 25,000 votes, Trump becomes the first in over three decades. He gets Wisconsin. The margin in Michigan even closer, barely 10,000 votes, Trump over Clinton, and again that’s the first time since ’88 that a Republican carried Michigan. And then there was Pennsylvania here about 44,000 votes. That’s the margin for Trump over Clinton in Pennsylvania. Trump wins all three of those states. Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania by a combined total of about 75,000 votes. That’s it. But that’s enough to win the electoral college.

1:03:30 SK: For Democrats, if they wanna reverse the result of 2016, that is the easiest and most direct path, at least on paper. You flip those states where Trump’s margin was the narrowest, those states that had been voting Democratic before 2016, you flip them back, you win the electoral college; if everything else stays the same. That’s the most direct path for Democrats, at least on paper. But hey, things can change over the course of a few years. There are other states to be keeping an eye on as well. I’ll give you an example, perfect one right here, Florida. We always talk about Florida. Remember, Florida, Florida, Florida, from back in 2000. Well, here’s one again, Donald Trump, somewhat of a surprise on election night. The Clinton campaign had been feeling decent about Florida, but Trump pulled out Florida in 2016, 29 electoral votes right there. We obviously expect to be very competitive in 2020. If the Democrats can flip Florida, just given the size of the state, that is a massive change.

1:04:23 SK: The one cautionary note for Democrats though, they had a big year in the 2018 midterms, it was not big enough to carry over to Florida. In Florida, in the 2018 midterms, a Republican won the Governor’s race, Republican won the Senate race, ousted a Democratic incumbent in fact in that Senate race. So Florida, it’s tantalizing on paper for Democrats. It’s always tantalizing on paper for Democrats, but does 2018 tell you that maybe there’s a little bit more Republican strength there in Florida? And of course, Arizona. This is the one Democrats have been talking about now. A long time Red state that Democrats think demographically might be trending in their favor. This is a state Democrats did do well in in the 2018 midterms, winning a senate race there, Clinton got within three points. Democrats hope that there’s some momentum there. Some demographic, some political momentum, and they can flip Arizona. That could change things too.

[background conversation]


1:05:33 CT: We believe we have the technical difficulties fixed.

1:05:46 RM: Never say that. [chuckle]

1:05:47 CT: Never say never. But we will… We will march forward here. And I will lean forward here a little bit. Senator Warren, we’re gonna get to the gun question here. Parkland, Florida, it’s just north of here in Broward County. As you know, it has created a lot of teenage activism on the gun issue. It has inspired a lot of you to come out with more robust plans to deal with guns including assault weapons ban, but even if you’re able to implement that, what do you do about the hundreds of millions of guns already out there? And does a federal government have to play a role in dealing with it?

1:06:22 EW: In this period of time that I’ve been running for president, I’ve had more than a 100 town halls, I’ve taken more than 2000 unfiltered questions, and the single hardest question I’ve gotten, I got one from a little boy and I got one from a little girl. And that is to say, “When you’re president, how are you going to keep us safe?” That’s our responsibility as adults. Seven children will die today from gun violence, children and teenagers. And they won’t just die in mass shootings. They’ll die on sidewalks, they’ll die in playgrounds, they’ll die in people’s backyards. Gun violence is a national health emergency in this country, and we need to treat it like that.


1:07:09 EW: What can we do? We can do the things that are sensible. We can do the universal background checks. We can ban the weapons of war. But we can also double down on the research, and find out what really works, where it is that we can make the differences at the margins that will keep our children safe. We need to treat this like the virus that’s killing our children.

1:07:31 CT: Thank you Senator Warren. You didn’t address… Do you think the federal government needs to go and figure out a way to get the guns that are already out there? Very quickly.

1:07:37 EW: What I think we need to do, is we need to treat it like a serious research problem, which we have not done.

1:07:44 CT: Okay.

1:07:45 EW: Guns in the hands of a collector who’s had them for decades, who’s never fired, who takes safety seriously, that’s very different from guns that are sold and turned over quickly. We can’t treat this as an across-the-board problem. We have to treat it like a public health emergency that means bring data to bear, and it means make real change in this country…

1:08:09 CT: Thank you. Thank you senator.

1:08:09 EW: Whether it’s politically popular or not.


1:08:12 CT: Senator Booker, you have a program…

1:08:13 EW: We need to fight for our children.


1:08:15 CT: Senator Booker, you have a federal government buy-back program in your plan, how is that gonna work?

1:08:24 CB: Well, first of all, I wanna say, my colleague and I both have been hearing this on the campaign trail. But what’s even worse is I hear gunshots in my neighborhood. I think I’m the only one. I hope I’m the only one on this panel here that had seven people shot in their neighborhood just last week. Someone I knew, Shahad Smith was killed with an assault rifle at the top of my block last year. For millions of Americans, this is not a policy issue, this is an urgency. And for those who’ve not been directly affected, they’re tired of living in a country where their kids go to school to learn about reading, writing, and arithmetic, and how to deal with an active shooter in their school. This is something that I’m tired of, and I’m tired of hearing people, all they have to offer is thoughts and prayers.


1:09:07 CB: In my faith, people say, “Faith without works is dead.” We will find a way. But the reason we have a problem right now is we’ve let the corporate gun lobby frame this debate. It is time that we have bold actions and a bold agenda. I will get that done as President of the United States because this is not about policy, this is personal.


1:09:27 CT: Thank you Senator Booker.

1:09:28 RM: Secretary Castro, I’d like to talk to you about something that Senator Booker just mentioned there. The idea of active shooter drills in schools. The school shootings seem like an almost everyday or every week occurrence now. They don’t make a complete news cycle anymore, no matter the death toll. As parents are so afraid as their kids go off to school, that their kids will be caught up in something like this. Next to nothing has changed in federal law that might affect the prevalence of school shootings. Is this a problem that is going to continue to get worse over our lifetimes, or is there something that you would do as president that you really think would turn it around?

1:10:01 JC: Yeah, Rachel. I’m the dad of a 10-year-old girl, Carina, who’s here tonight. And the worst thing is knowing that your child might be worried about what could happen at school, a place that’s supposed to be safe. The answer to your question is, no, we don’t have to accept that. And I believe that on January 20th, 2021, at 12:01 PM, we’re gonna have a Democratic President, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate.


1:10:34 JC: And the activists of Parkland, folks from Moms Demand who have risen up across the United States and inspired so many people.


1:10:45 JC: We may not have seen yet legislative action, but we’re getting closer. The House took a vote. In the Senate, the question often is, if the decision is between 60 votes, a filibuster, or passing common sense gun reform, I’m gonna choose common sense gun reform. I believe that we’re gonna be able to get that done in 2021.

1:11:07 RM: Secretary Castro, thank you.

1:11:09 TR: Rachel, I have something to add to this, briefly.

1:11:12 RM: We’ll give you 30 seconds for follow-up on that question, on that answer from Secretary Castro, Congressman Ryan.

1:11:18 TR: You’re talking about in the schools, these kids are traumatized. I support all the gun reforms here. We need to start dealing with the trauma that our kids have. We need trauma-based care in every school. We need social and emotional learning in every school. 90% of the shooters who do school shootings, come from the school they’re in and 73% of them feel shamed, traumatized, or bullied.


1:11:42 TR: We need to make sure that these kids feel connected to the school. That means a mental health counselor in every single school in the United States. We need to start playing offense. If our kids are so traumatized that they’re getting a gun and going into our schools, we’re doing something wrong too, and we need reform around trauma-based care.

1:11:58 RM: Thank you Congressman Ryan.

1:12:00 CT: Congressman O’Rourke, you’re a Texan whose campaigned, you campaigned all over the state in 2018, in the most conservative parts there. What do you tell a gun owner who may agree with you on everything else? Okay. But says, “You know what, the Democrats, if I vote for ’em in there, they’re gonna take my gun away. And even though I agree with you on these other issues, I… ” How do you have that conversation?

1:12:19 BO: Here’s how we had that conversation in Texas. I shared with them what I learned from those students who survived the Santa Fe High School shooting. A young student named Bree, her friend Marcel, who survived another shooting, the mother of a victim who lost her life, Ronda Hart. They talked about universal background checks where you close every loophole, we know that they save lives. Talked about ending the sales of assault weapons into our communities, those weapons of war were designed to kill people as effectively and as efficiently as possible, they should belong on the battlefield, and not in our communities.


1:12:53 BO: Red Flag laws, so that if someone poses a danger to themselves or to someone else, they’re stopped, before it’s too late. And what I found in each one of those 254 counties is that Democrats and Independents and Republicans, gun owners and non-gun owners alike agreed that this effort must be led by the young people that you referenced at the beginning of this issue. Those students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas led the charge here in Florida, and they’ve been able to change those laws. They’re making our democracy work, ensuring that our values and our interests and our priorities are reflected in the laws that we pass.

1:13:26 CT: Thank you, thank you Congressman O’Rourke, hang on. Let me give 30 seconds Senator Klobuchar, the Iron Range, I’m curious, gun confiscation. If the government is buying back, how do you not have that conversation?

1:13:42 AK: Well that’s not confiscation. You could give them the offer to buy back the gun. But I’ll say this, I look at these proposals and I say, “Does this hurt my Uncle Dick in his deer stand coming from a proud hunting and fishing state. These proposals don’t do that. When I was a prosecutor, I supported the assault weapon ban. When I was in the Senate, I saw those moms from Sandy Hook come and try to advocate for change, and we all failed. And then now these Parkland kids from Florida, they started a literally, a national shift. You know why, it’s just like with gay marriage, when kids talk to their parents and their grandparents they say, “I don’t understand why we can’t put these sensible things in place,” they listen. And if we get bested by a bunch of 17-year-olds, it’s the best thing that ever happened.

1:14:25 CT: Senator thank you.

1:14:26 AK: We need to get to…

1:14:26 CT: Senator thank you…

1:14:27 RM: Senator Booker let me go to you on another matter.

1:14:28 CT: We got another issue.

1:14:29 RM: Senator Mitch McConnell says that his most consequential achievement as Senate Majority Leader was preventing President Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat. Having served with Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, do you believe they would confirm your court nominees?

1:14:45 CB: I’m gonna use of 20 seconds just to say this, one thing we don’t all agree with when it comes to guns and I think it’s common sense. And over 70% Americans agree with me. If you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to buy and own a firearm. And not everybody in this field agrees with that, but in states like Connecticut, that did that, they saw 40% drops in gun violence and 15% drops in suicides. We need to start having bold agendas on guns, when it comes to the Supreme Court very clearly, I agree with my friend, Secretary Castro. We are going to get to 50 votes in the Senate. This is a team sport, whoever is our nominee, needs to campaign in places like South Carolina ’cause we can elect Jamie Harrison. They need to campaign in places like Iowa, because we can win a Senate seat there. This is about getting us back to having 50 votes in the Senate, and more, so that we can not only balance the Supreme Court, but start to pass an aggressive agenda that frankly isn’t so aggressive because most of America agrees with the policy objectives of our party.

1:15:48 RM: Mayor De Blasio I wanna…

[overlapping conversation]

1:15:52 JD: We have to actually…

1:15:54 RM: Congressman Delaney, you’ll have some time in a moment on this issue.

1:15:56 JD: This issue is related…

1:15:57 RM: Congressman Delaney, I’ll give you some time in a moment. Mayor De Blasio as an executive in the largest city in this country, you are used to saying what you want to have happen and having it happen. If you nominate a Supreme Court nominee as President of the United States and Mitch McConnell is still Senate Majority Leader, what makes you believe that he would allow you to make a nominee?

1:16:15 BB: Rachel, I am Chief Executive of the nation’s largest city and I also wanna just to say something quick on the gun issue and come to your question. Look, I run the largest police force in America, too and if we’re gonna stop these shootings we’re gonna get these guns off the street we have to have a very different relationship between our police and our community. I also wanna say there’s something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running in this race, that is for the last 21 years, I’ve been raising a black son in America. And I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city, and all over this country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution, because there’ve been too many tragedies between our young men and our police too, as we saw recently in Indiana. We need to have a different conversation in this country about guns, but also a different conversation about policing that brings police and community together. We’ve done that in New York City and we’ve driven down crime while we’ve done it.


1:17:10 BB: But to your question about Mitch McConnell, there’s a political solution that we have to come to grips with. If the Democratic Party would stop acting like the party of the elites and be the party of working people again and go into states including red states to convince people we’re on their side, we can put pressure on their senators to actually have to vote for the nominees that have put forward decent jurists who deserve that right.

1:17:31 RM: That’s time sir. That’s time. Thank you Mayor De Blasio.

[overlapping conversation]

1:17:33 CT: Senator Warren, I’m gonna get you… I will get you 30 seconds. I promise. Let me get this question. We’re trying… I know you guys, we got other issues we’re trying to get to including a big one coming up in a minute, but Senator Warren, I wanna continue on the Mitch McConnell thing because you have a lot of ambitious plans.

1:17:50 EW: I do.

1:17:50 CT: You have a plan for that. Okay, we talked about the Supreme Court. Do you have a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell if you don’t beat him in the Senate, if he’s still sitting there as the Senate Majority Leader, it’s very plausible you’d be elected President with a Republican senate. Do you have a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell?

1:18:09 EW: I do.


1:18:17 EW: We are a democracy and the way a democracy is supposed to work, is the will of the people matters. Now we, for far too long, have had a Congress in Washington that has just completely dismissed what people care about across this country. They have made this country work much better for those who can make giant contributions, made it work better for those who hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers, and not made it work for the people. Well, here’s how I see this happening. Number one, sure, I wanna see us get a Democratic majority in the Senate. But short of the Democratic majority in the Senate, you better understand, the fight still goes on. It starts in the White House and it means that everybody we energize in 2020 stays on the front lines come January 2021. We have to push from the outside, have leadership from the inside and make this Congress reflect the will of the people.


1:19:17 CT: I’m gonna get a couple of you in here. I’m gonna get a couple of you in here. 30 seconds. Congressman Delaney, you seem to believe you can do everything in a bipartisan manner. Mitch McConnell doesn’t operate that way. He operates differently. Why do you think he is going to conform to your style?

1:19:35 JD: We need to get things done that’s why I believe we need to operate in a bipartisan manner. Listen, I’ll sign into law bills that come to the White House that are passed on a party line basis, absolutely. But all the big transformative things we’ve ever done in this country’s history have happened when huge majorities of the American people get behind them. Which is why we need real solutions, not impossible promises. We need to put forth ideas of work, whether it’s on health care, creating universal health care, so that every American gets health care, but not running on making private insurance illegal.

1:20:08 CT: Okay.

1:20:08 JD: The gun issue is related. The gun safety issue is related because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been with folks in Western Maryland, and they’ve said to me, “Democrats don’t do anything for us. Republicans don’t do anything for us. You fight all the time.” So they vote on that single issue.

1:20:24 CT: Okay, thank you.

1:20:24 JD: If we become the party of getting things done…

1:20:27 CT: I understand.

1:20:27 JD: For the American people, with real solutions not impossible promises, we’ll be able to get all these things done.

1:20:31 CT: Senator Booker, hang on. Sure. I promise 30… I promise two 30… Senator Booker, 30 seconds. You, how do you deal with Mitch? You’ve been in the Senate. You can’t get bills on the floor right now with Mitch McConnell. Presidents can’t do it. Is President Booker gonna get his bills on the floor with Senator McConnell?

1:20:48 CB: When I got to the United States Senate, going back to what De Blasio said, as an African-American man in an African-American dominated community, I knew one of the biggest issue was criminal justice reform. From police accountability, to dealing with the fact that we have a nation that has more African-Americans under criminal supervision than all the slaves in 1850. And when I got to the Senate, people told me, “We could not get a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill done.” As my colleagues in the Senate know, I fought on that bill from the day I got to the Senate, built coalitions across the aisle and today we passed the First Step Act. It’s not as far as I wanna go, but thousands of people will be liberated. I have gotten… I’ve taken on tough problems, people said we cannot achieve and I have been able to get things accomplished.

[background conversation]

1:21:28 CT: Thank you, Senator Booker. Rachel’s got the next question.

1:21:31 RM: We are going to make… We are going… Hold on. Governor, you’re gonna be happy with where we go. Governor Inslee, this next question is to you.

1:21:37 CT: Just give us a second.


1:21:38 RM: You got me? Do you got me?

1:21:39 JI: Rachel…

1:21:42 RM: You have staked your candidacy on the issue of climate change. It is first, second and third priority for you. You said it’s all the issues. Let’s get specific. We’re here in Miami, which is already experiencing serious flooding on sunny days as a result of sea level rise. Parts of Miami beach and the keys could be underwater in our lifetimes. Does your plan save Miami?

1:22:04 JI: Yes. First, by taking away the filibuster from Mitch McConnell to start with, we have to do that.


1:22:10 JI: Look it, we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change and we are the last that can do something about it. Our towns are burning, our fields are flooding, Miami is inundated. And we have to understand this is a climate crisis, an emergency. And it is our last chance in the administration, next one, to do something about it. And we need to do what I’ve done in my state. We’ve passed a 100% Clean Electrical Grid Bill. We now have a vision statement and my plan has been called the gold standard of putting people to work. But the most important thing on this and the biggest decision for the American public is, who is gonna make this the first priority? And I am the candidate and the only one who’s saying this has to be the top priority of the United States, the organizing principle to mobilize the United States so that we can do what we’ve always done. Lead the world and invent the future and put 8 million people to work.

1:23:15 RM: Governor Inslee, thank you. Governor.

1:23:16 JI: That’s what we are gonna do.

1:23:17 CT: Congressman O’Rourke, you’ve also put out a big climate change plan from your campaign. You want some big changes in a pretty short period of time including switching to renewable energy, pushing to replace gas-powered cars in favor of electric ones. What’s your message to a voter who supports the overall goal of what you’re trying to do but suddenly feels as if government’s telling them how to live and ordering them how to live? What is that balance like?

1:23:40 BO: I think you’ve gotta bring everybody in to the decisions and the solutions to the challenges that we face. That’s why we’re traveling everywhere, listening to everyone. We were in Pacific Junction, a town that had never meaningly flooded before just up against the Missouri river in Iowa. And every home in that community had flooded. There were farms just outside of Pacific Junction that were effectively lakes, those farmers already underwater in debt, their markets closed to them by a trade war under this administration and now they don’t know what to do. We, in our administration, are gonna fund resiliency in those communities in Miami, in Houston, Texas; those places that are on the front lines of climate change today. We’re gonna mobilize $5 trillion in this economy over the next 10 years. We’re gonna free ourselves from a dependence on fossil fuels and we’re gonna put farmers and ranchers in the driver’s seat, renewable and sustainable agriculture to make sure that we capture more carbon out of the air and keep more of it in the soil. Paying farmers for the environmental services that they wanna provide. If all of us does all that we can, then we’re gonna be able to keep this planet from warming another two degrees Celsius and ensure that we match what this country can do and live up to our promise and our potential.

1:24:54 CT: 30 seconds. Secretary Castro, who pays for the mitigation to climate, whether it’s building sea walls for people that are perhaps living in places that they shouldn’t be living. Is this a federal government issue that needs to do that? Do they have to move these people? What do you do about that where maybe they’re building a house someplace that isn’t safe? Who pays to build that house? And how much should the government be bailing them out?

1:25:21 JC: Well, I don’t think that that represents the vast majority of the issue. In fact, my first visit after I announced my candidacy wasn’t to Iowa or New Hampshire. It was to San Juan, Puerto Rico.


1:25:35 JC: Because people should know that if I’m elected the president, everybody will count. And I’m one of the few candidates in this race with executive experience with a track record of getting things done. When I was mayor of San Antonio, we moved our local public utility. We began to shift it from coal-fired plants to solar and other renewables, and also created more than 800 jobs doing that. And when I was HUD secretary, we worked on the national disaster resilience competition to invest in communities that were trying to rebuild from natural disasters in a sustainable way. That’s the way that we’re gonna help make sure that we’re all safer in the years to come, and that we combat climate change.

1:26:11 CT: Thank you.

1:26:12 JC: And if I’m elected president, the first thing that I would do, like Senator Klobuchar also said is sign an Executive Order re-committing us to the Paris climate accord so that we [1:26:20] ____.

1:26:20 CT: Congressman Ryan, I got a full question for you here, which is simply this. There are a lot of the climate plans include pricing carbon, taxing carbon in some way. This type of proposal has been tried in a few places, whether it’s Washington State where voters voted it down. You’ve had the yellow vest movement. We had in Australia, one party get rejected out of fear of the cost of climate change being put on the backs of the consumer. If pricing carbon is just politically impossible, how do we pay for climate mitigation?

1:26:53 TR: Well, there’s a variety of different ways to pay. We talk about different ways of raising revenue, and I think we’ve gotta build our way out of this and grow our way out of this. But let me just talk real quick to the previous question about real politics. We could talk about climate, we could talk about guns, we could talk about all of these issues that we all care about. We have a perception problem with the Democratic party. We are not connecting to the working class people in the very states that I represent in Ohio, in the industrial Midwest. We’ve lost all connection that we have got to change the center of gravity of the Democratic party from being coastal, and elitist and Ivy League which is the perception to somebody from the forgotten communities that have been left behind for the last 30 years, to get those workers back on our side. So we can say, “We’re gonna build electric vehicles. We’re gonna build solar panels.” But if you wanna beat Mitch McConnell, this better be a working class party if you wanna go into Kentucky and take his rear end out. And if you wanna take Lindsey Graham out, you gotta have a blue-collar party that can go into the textile communities in South Carolina.

1:28:02 CT: Okay. Thank you.

1:28:03 TR: All I’m saying here…

1:28:04 CT: Thank you, Congressman Ryan.

1:28:05 TR: All I’m saying here is…

1:28:06 CT: Thank you, Congressman Ryan.

1:28:07 TR: All I’m saying here is here… If we don’t address that fundamental problem with our connection to workers, white, black, brown, gay, straight, working class people…

1:28:16 CT: Thank you, Congressman.

1:28:16 TR: None of this is gonna get done, Chuck.

1:28:17 CT: Thank you very much. We’re gonna keep moving. Congressman Delaney, I’m gonna get to you.

1:28:22 JD: This is… I introduced the only bipartisan carbon tax bill in Congress…

1:28:25 CT: 30 second…

1:28:25 JD: This is really important.

1:28:26 CT: All right, 30 seconds, go.

1:28:26 JD: All the economists agree that a carbon pricing mechanism works. You just have to do it right. You can’t put a price on carbon, raise energy prices, and not give the money back to the American people. My proposal, which is put a price on carbon, give a dividend back to the American people. It goes out one pocket back in the other…

1:28:45 CT: Thank you, Congressman.

1:28:46 JD: I can get that passed my first year as president with a coalition of every Democrat in the Congress, and the Republicans who live in coastal states.

1:28:53 CT: Thank you. Congressman, thank you.

1:28:54 JD: These Republicans in Florida, they actually care about this issue.

1:28:57 CT: Thank you very much.

1:28:58 JD: This has gotta be our way forward if we’re actually serious about this issue.

1:29:01 CT: Thank you. Congresswoman Gabbard.


1:29:03 CT: We’re gonna move here. One of the first things you did after launching your campaign was to issue an apology to the LGBTQ community about your past stances and statements on gay rights after the Trump administration’s rollbacks of civil rights protections for many in that community. Why should voters in that community, or voters that care about this issue in general trust you now?

1:29:23 TG: Let me say that there is no one in our government at any level who has the right to tell any American who they should be allowed to love or they should be allowed to marry.


1:29:36 TG: My record in Congress for over six years shows my commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality. I serve on the equality caucus and recently voted for passage of the Equality Act. Maybe many people in this country can relate to the fact that I grew up in a socially conservative home, held views when I was very young that I no longer hold today. I’ve served with LGBTQ service members, both in training and deployed down range. I know that they would give their life for me, and I would give my life for them.


1:30:10 TG: It is this commitment that I’ll carry through as President of the United States, recognizing that there are still people who are facing discrimination in the workplace. Still people were unable to find a home for their families. It is this kind of discrimination that we need to address.

1:30:24 CB: But it’s not enough.

1:30:24 CT: Thank you. Thank you, Congresswoman Gabbard.

1:30:25 CB: If I can add to this. It’s very important.

1:30:27 CT: 30 seconds, Senator.

1:30:28 CB: This is not enough. Look, civil rights is some place to begin, but in the African-American civil rights community, another place to focus on was to stop the lynching of African-Americans. We do not talk enough about trans-Americans, especially African-American trans-Americans, and the incredibly high rates of murder right now. We don’t talk enough about how many children, about 30% of the LGBTQ kids who do not go to school because of fear. It’s not enough just to be on the Equality Act. I’m an original co-sponsor. We need to have a President that will fight to protect LGBTQ Americans every single day from violence in our country.

1:31:04 CT: Thank you. Senator Booker.

1:31:04 RM: Senator Klobuchar, let me put this to you. On the issue of civil rights, for decades… On the issue of civil rights and demographics, honestly, and politics. For decades, the Democratic Party has counted on African-American voter turnout as step one to winning elections on a national level. Democrats are counting on the Latino community now and in the future in the same way. What have you done for Black and Latino voters that should enthuse them about going to the polls for you if you are your party’s nominate?

1:31:35 AK: My life and my career and my work in this Senate has been about economic opportunity. And to me, this means better childcare for everyone in this country. And when you wanna have an economy that works, you need to have retirement that works. You need to have public schools that work, and you also need to make sure that that those communities are able to get those jobs of the future, the STEM jobs. In fact, Donald Trump, one of the first bills that he signed of the 34 he signed where I was the lead Democrat, okay, that’s a first up here, was one that was about that, making sure minority community members could share in those jobs. So to me, this is about a few things. It’s about an African-American woman that goes to a hospital in New Orleans, says her hands are swollen, and then doctor ignores her, and her baby dies. It’s about the fact that African-American women make 61 cents for every dollar a white man makes. So in short, we need to one, and I will do this in my first 100 days as president. We will work to make sure everyone can vote at this table, everyone can vote in this country, and we will also go to the next step of criminal justice reform. Senator Booker and I worked on that First Step Act, but we should go to the second step act which is to help all our communities across the country.

1:32:53 RM: Senator, thank you very much. Thirty second follow-up to you, Secretary Castro, this is a 70% Latino city here in Miami. You are the only Latino Democrat who is running this year in the presidential race.


1:33:03 RM: Is that enough of an answer? What Senator Klobuchar is describing there, an economic justice agenda. Is that enough to mobilize Latino voters to stand with the Democratic party in a big way?

1:33:15 JC: Well, I also think that we have to recognize racial and social justice. And I was in Charleston not too long ago, and I remembered that Dylann Roof went to the Mother Emanuel AME Church, and he murdered nine people who were worshipping, and then he was apprehended by police without incident. Well, but what about Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, and Laquan McDonald, and Sandra Bland, and Pamela Turner, and Antonio Arce? I’m proud that I’m the only candidate so far that has put forward legislation that would reform our policing system in America and make sure that no matter what the color of your skin is, that you’re treated the same, including Latinos who were mistreated too often times by police.

1:33:52 RM: Secretary Castro, thank you.

1:33:53 CT: Let me go over to Lester Holt who’s got a question, I believe, a viewer question.

1:33:57 LH: I’m over here, Chuck. Thanks. We asked voters from across the country to submit their questions to the candidates. Let me read one now. This comes from John in New York who submitted this question. He asks, “Does the United States have a responsibility to protect? In the case of genocide or crimes against humanity, do we have a responsibility to intervene, to protect people threatened by their governments even when atrocities do not affect American core interests?” I’d like to direct that question to Congressman O’Rourke.

1:34:29 BO: John, I appreciate the question. The answer is yes. But that action should always be undertaken with allies and partners and friends. When the United States presents a united front, we have a much better chance of achieving our foreign policy aims and preventing the kind of genocide to which you refer, the kind of genocide that we saw in Rwanda, the kind of genocide we wanna stop going forward. But unfortunately, under this administration, President Trump has alienated our allies and our friends and our alliances. He’s diminished our standing in the world, and he’s made us weaker as a country, less able to confront challenges whether it’s Iran, or North Korea, or Vladimir Putin in Russia who attacked and invaded our democracy in 2016, and who President Trump has offered another invitation to do the same. He’s embraced strong men and dictators at the expense of the great democracies. As president, I will make sure that we live our values in our foreign policy. I will ensure that we strengthen those alliances and partnerships and friendships and meet any challenge that we face together. That makes America stronger.

1:35:35 BB: But what about the War Powers Act?

1:35:37 RM: Congressman O’Rourke. Thank you.

1:35:38 BB: Okay, what about the War Powers Act being a part of that equation with deep respect to the congressman? Look, we’ve learned painful lessons as Americans that we’ve gone to war without congressional authorization. Look, this is very personal for me. I know the cost of war. My dad served in the Pacific in World War II in the US Army, Battle of Okinawa, had half his leg blown off, and he came home with scars, both physical and emotional, and he did not recover. He spiraled downward, and he ultimately took his own life. And that battle didn’t kill him, but that war did. And look, even in the humanitarian crisis, and I think we should be ready, congressmen, to intervene. God forbid, there is a genocide, but not without congressional approval. Democrats and Republicans both in the Congress have not challenged presidents and have let them get away with running the military without the congressional approval. We learned a lesson in Vietnam we seem to have forgotten. The decisions have to be made by the United States Congress in the name of the people.

1:36:36 RM: I’m gonna pickup… I wanna pickup this point, and I wanna put this to Congressman Ryan. Today, the Taliban claimed responsibility for killing two American service members in Afghanistan. Leaders as disparate as President Obama and President Trump have both said that they want to end US involvement in Afghanistan, but it isn’t over for America. Why isn’t it over? Why can’t presidents of very different parties and very different temperaments get us out of there, and how could you?

1:37:00 TR: I appreciate that question. So I’ve been in Congress 17 years and 12 of those years, I’ve sat on the Armed Services Committee. They’re the Defense Appropriations Committee or the Armed Services Committee, and the lesson that I’ve learned over the years is that you have to stay engaged in these situations. Nobody likes it, it’s long, it’s tedious. But right now, we have… So I would say we must be engaged in this, we must have our State Department engage, we must have our military engaged to the extent they need to be. But the reality of it is this president doesn’t even have people appointed in the state department to deal with these things whether we’re talking about Central America, whether we’re talking about talking about Iran, whether we’re talking about Afghanistan, we’ve gotta be completely engaged and here’s why, because these flare-ups distract us from the real problems in the country. If we’re getting a drone shot down for $130 million because the President is distracted, that’s $130 million that we could be spending in places like Youngstown, Ohio, or Flint, Michigan, or rebuilding…

1:38:05 TG: Congressman Ryan…

1:38:06 RM: Congresswoman Gabbard, I’m gonna give you 30 seconds actually to jump off what he said. He described engagement as the problem.

1:38:12 TG: Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan. “Well, we just have to be engaged.” As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable. We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. We are in a place in Afghanistan where we have lost so many lives, we’ve spent so much money, money that’s coming out of every one of our pockets, money that should be going into communities here at home, meeting the needs of the people here at home. We are no better off in Afghanistan today than we were when this war began. This is why it’s so important to have a President Commander-in-Chief who knows the cost of war and who’s ready to do the job on day one. I am ready to do that job when I walk into the Oval Office.

1:38:55 RM: Congresswoman, thank you very much.

1:38:57 TR: Hold on, hold on… Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

1:39:00 CT: Listen, I’m gonna go down the line here. You know what, you felt like she was responding to you, you get 30 seconds, go.

1:39:04 TR: Thank you, you’re a very good man, I appreciate that.

1:39:05 CT: Fair enough, I hear what you’re saying.

1:39:06 TR: I would just say, I don’t wanna be…

1:39:07 CT: She invoked it.

1:39:08 TR: I don’t wanna be engaged. I wish we were spending all this money in places that I’ve represented that have been completely forgotten and we were rebuilding. But the reality of it is if the United States isn’t engaged, the Taliban will grow, and they will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts. We have got to have some present there, as long as [1:39:28] ____.

1:39:28 TG: The Taliban was there long before we came in, they’ll be there long before we leave.

1:39:31 TR: Yeah, exactly. Well, they were. And they were flying…

1:39:33 TG: We cannot keep US troops deployed to Afghanistan, thinking that we’re going to somehow squash this Taliban, that has been there, that every other country that’s tried has failed.

1:39:40 TR: I didn’t say squash them, I didn’t say squash them. When we weren’t in there, they started flying planes into our buildings. So I’m just saying right now, we have an obligation…

1:39:50 TG: The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11, Al-Qaeda did.

1:39:52 TR: Well, I understand…

1:39:54 TG: Al-Qaeda attacked us on 911, that’s why I and so many other people joined the military to go after Al-Qaeda, not the Taliban.

1:40:02 TR: I understand that. The Taliban…

1:40:02 CT: Go ahead, Congressman, finish up 10 seconds.

1:40:02 TR: The Taliban was protecting those people who were plotting against us. All I’m saying is, if we wanna go into elections and we wanna say that we gotta withdraw from the world, that’s what President Trump is saying. We can’t, I would love for us to.

1:40:17 TG: You know who’s protecting Al-Qaeda right now, it’s Saudi Arabia.

1:40:19 CT: I wanna go down the line here, finish up foreign policy, it’s a simple question, what is our… What is the biggest threat to… Who is the geo-political threat to the United States? Just give me a one word answer Congressman Delaney.

1:40:30 JD: Could you repeat the question.

1:40:31 CT: Greatest geo-political threat to the United States right now. Congressman Delaney.

1:40:34 JD: Well, the biggest geo-political challenge is China, but the biggest geo-political threat remains nuclear weapons. So those are different questions.

1:40:42 CT: Okay, I gotcha, totally get it. Go ahead, Governor Inslee.

1:40:45 JD: The biggest threat to the security of the United States is Donald Trump, there’s no question.

1:40:50 CT: Okay. Congresswoman Gabbard.

1:40:52 TG: The greatest…

1:40:54 CT: Greatest geo-political threat.

1:40:56 TG: The greatest threat that we face, is the fact that we are at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history.

1:41:02 CT: Senator Klobuchar.

1:41:03 AK: Two threats, economic threat China. But our major threat right now is what’s going on in the Mid East with Iran, if we don’t get our act together.

1:41:10 CT: Okay, try to keep it at one… Slimmer than what we’ve been going here, one or two words.

1:41:13 BO: Our existential threat is climate change, we have to confront it before it’s too late.

1:41:17 CT: Senator Warren.

1:41:18 EW: Climate change.

1:41:19 CT: Yeah, Senator Booker.

1:41:20 CB: Nuclear proliferation and Climate Change.

1:41:22 CT: Secretary Castro.

1:41:23 JC: It’s China and climate change.

1:41:26 CT: Congressman Ryan.

1:41:27 TR: China without a question. They’re wiping us around the world economically.

1:41:32 CT: And Mr. Mayor.

1:41:33 BB: Russia, because they’re trying to undermine our democracy and they’ve been doing a pretty damn good job of it and we need to stop them.

1:41:39 CT: All right, well, thank you for that wide variety of answers. And I mean that. No, I mean that in a… That’s what this debate is about, this is the best part of a debate like this. Congressman O’Rourke, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlines multiple instances of potential criminal behavior by President Trump, how speaker Pelosi has publicly and privately resisted any move toward impeachment in the house. If the House chooses not to impeach, as president, would you do anything to address the potential crimes that were outlined in Mr. Mueller’s report?

1:42:17 BO: Yes, and I’ll tell you why.

1:42:18 CT: How by the way? If the answer is yes.

1:42:23 BO: One of the most powerful pieces of art in the United States capital is the Trumbull painting of General George Washington resigning his commission to the Continental Congress, at the height of his power submitting to the rule of law and the will of people. That has withstood the test of time for the last 243 years. If we set another precedent now, that a candidate who invited the participation of a foreign power, a President who sought to obstruct the investigation into the invasion of our democracy, if we allow him to get away with this with complete impunity, then we will have set a new standard. And that is that some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold, are above the law. And we cannot allow that to stand. So we must begin impeachment now, so that we have the facts and the truth and we follow them as far as they go, and as high up as they reach, and we save this democracy. And if we’ve not been able to do that in this year or the year that follows, and under my administration, our Department of Justice will pursue these facts and ensure that there are consequences, there’s accountability and there’s justice, it’s the only way that we save this country.

1:43:25 CT: Thank you, Congressman O’Rourke.

1:43:27 RM: Congressman Delaney, because of the accountability issues that Congressman O’Rourke was just describing there, and the real political landscape in which Nancy Pelosi is saying that impeachment will not be pursued in the house, it raises the prospect, and the Mueller report raises the prospect that President Trump could be prosecuted for some of those potential crimes down the line. No US President has ever been prosecuted for crimes after leaving office, do you believe that President Trump could or should be the first?

1:43:56 JD: I guess there’s always a first.

1:44:00 RM: Should he be the first?

1:44:00 JD: I don’t think anyone’s above the law. I don’t think anyone is above the law, including a President. I support speaker Pelosi’s decisions that she’s making in the House of Representatives right now, as speaker… I think she knows more about the decision as to whether to impeach the president than any of the 2020 candidates, combined.

1:44:17 RM: Conceded. On the issue of prosecution…

[overlapping conversation]

1:44:18 JD: But I do think… I do think that no one’s above the law. And this president, who is lawless, should not be above the law. But I will tell you, Rachel, the one thing when you’re out doing as much campaigning as I’ve done. 400 events, all 99 counties in Iowa, this is not the number one issue the American people ask us about. It’s not. They wanna know what we’re gonna do for health care, how we’re gonna lower pharmaceutical prices, how we’re gonna build infrastructure, what we’re gonna do to create jobs in their communities?

1:44:46 JD: You know, last year in our country, 80% of the money for start-up businesses went to 50 counties in this country. There’s over 3000 counties in this country. That’s what they care about, they care about what’s going on in the public schools, they care about what’s going on with jobs in their communities… With their pay, with their health care, with infrastructure… These are the issues, these kind of kitchen table pocketbook issues are actually what most Americans care about. They never ask about the Mueller report… They never ask about it. They want to know, how we’re gonna solve these problems?

[overlapping conversation]

1:45:11 RM: Understood. Congressman thank you. Congressman, thank you. Your time is up. Your time is up. You’ve hit time sir.

1:45:20 CT: Here is the thing… I still, Senator we get…

1:45:23 AK: But if we let the Republicans run our elections…

1:45:25 CT: We got to…

1:45:25 AK: And if we do not do something about Russian interference in the election, and we let Mitch McConnell stop all the backup paper ballots, then we’re not gonna get what we want to do.

1:45:34 CT: I gotta sneak it up… But we blew through a break. Which is good news to give you more time. So I got a sneak one in now… More of this debate, it’s picking up here. It continues right after this.


1:45:55 RM: We are going to start with something different tonight. This is one of those things that you have not been otherwise hearing about in the news, but stick with me.

1:46:02 S3: Feed your mind with fresh perspective, get your favorite MSNBC shows. Now, as podcasts.

1:46:11 SK: Well, here it is… This is the month to start looking at, on your calendar February 2020 that’s when all the talk ends, and the voting begins. And that massive, gigantic, enormous democratic presidential field, it gets thinned down, and maybe by the end of that month we’ll even have a pretty good sense who the nominee is gonna be. Iowa always in that lead-off position. The Iowa caucus, there it is Monday, February 3rd, the race begins in Iowa. And then traditionally, it is an eight-day stretch from Iowa to New Hampshire. First caucus is in Iowa, first primary in New Hampshire eight days later. So you can expect however many candidates are left when they get to the starting line in Iowa, there’s probably gonna be far fewer eight days later, between Iowa and New Hampshire. You can expect a lot of winnowing to take place, you’ll have some clear candidates who are out in front as well.

1:47:00 SK: Next up, this is a new one on the Democratic, a relatively new one. Only the last couple of cycles in Nevada, caucuses in Nevada. That’s the next one, and then the big one, obviously the South Carolina primary, the first in the south, primary at the end of the month. And of course, South Carolina very important because this is the first state where you’re gonna have a really substantial black population voting, 60%. More than 60% of the democratic electorate in the 2016 South Carolina primary, was African-American, so a key test there. Four individual contests, we’ll talk only about these states the nights they come in. That’s gonna be February. But then flip the calendar, from the last day of February. Look at this. Go into March, just a couple of days later, Super Tuesday.

1:47:43 SK: Super Tuesday, let me give you a sense of what that looks like, massive, enormous. You go from one contest at a time, all the same… You got California, you got Texas, you got a bunch in the south, you got Massachusetts, Minnesota, all of these states. All at once. So, February is gonna produce some clarity in terms of who’s a contender. Super Tuesday, mega primary. That could give us some real answers potentially in early March.


1:48:41 S3: The first Presidential debate of the 2020 election, a two-night event. Wednesday, June 26th, and Thursday, June 27th. Live from Miami on NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo and NBC News Now.

1:49:00 S3: Don’t miss night-two of the Democratic debate, as 10 more candidates battle it out. Tomorrow at 9:00 Eastern on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

1:49:17 LH: We are back from Miami and it’s time now for closing statements. Each candidate has 45 seconds. We wanna begin with former Congressman Delaney.

1:49:27 JD: Closing now?

1:49:29 LH: Closing.

1:49:29 JD: Okay.

1:49:29 LH: 45 seconds.


1:49:32 LH: We could go on.


1:49:34 JD: Together, we are on a mission. We’re on a mission to find the America that’s been lost. Lost through in-fighting, lost through inaction. We’re so much better than this. We’re 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 that we have to get back to. I’m running for president to solve these problems, to build infrastructure, to fix our broken health care system, to invest in communities that have been left behind, to improve public education. I just don’t wanna be your president, to be your president.

1:50:23 LH: Congressman, your 45 seconds is over.

1:50:23 JD: I wanna be your president to do the job.

1:50:26 LH: Thank you, sir.

1:50:27 JD: This is not about me. This is about getting America working again.

1:50:31 LH: Thank you.


1:50:33 SG: Mayor de Blasio. Mayor, your closing statement.

1:50:37 BB: It matters. It matters in this fight for the heart and soul of our party that we nominate a candidate who has seen the face of poverty and didn’t just talk about it, but gave people $15 minimum wage. It matters that we nominate a candidate who saw the destruction wrought by a broken health care system and gave people universal health care. It matters that we choose someone who saw the wasted potential of our children denied Pre-K and gave it to every single one of them for free. These things really matter. And these are the things that I’ve done in New York, and I wanna do the same for this whole country, because putting working people first; it matters. We need to be that party again. Let’s work together. With your help, we can put working people first again in America.

1:51:26 SG: Thank you, Mayor De Blasio. Right on time.


1:51:29 JD: Governor Inslee, 45 seconds.

1:51:31 JI: Trudi and I have three grandchildren, and we love them all. And when I was thinking about whether to run for President, I made a decision. I decided that on my last day on Earth, I wanted to look them in the eye and tell them I did everything humanly possible to protect them from the ravages of the climate crisis. And I know to a moral certainty, if we do not have the next President who commits to this as the top priority, it won’t get done. And I am the only candidate; frankly, I’m surprised. I’m the only candidate who has made this commitment to make it the top priority. If you join me in that recognition of how important this is, we can have a unified national mission. We can save ourselves. We can save our children. We can save our grandchildren. And we can save, literally, the life on this planet. This is our moment.

1:52:26 JD: Governor, thank you.

1:52:26 CT: Congressman Ryan, you have 45 seconds.


1:52:31 TR: There’s 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, a 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’s 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 offense with an agenda that lifts everybody up.

1:53:23 CT: Thank you, Congressman Ryan.

1:53:23 TR: 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.

1:53:33 CT: Thank you, Congressman.

1:53:33 TR: Thank you.


1:53:34 RM: Congresswoman Gabbard, you have 45 seconds for your closing.

1:53:37 TG: Our nation was founded on the principles of service above self, people who fled kings who literally prospered on the backs and the 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 health care they need, where we will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, where we will have good paying jobs and a new green economy. Join me in ushering in this new century with peace, prosperity, opportunity and justice for all.

1:54:32 RM: Congresswoman, thank you.


1:54:33 LH: Secretary Castro, you have 45 seconds, sir.

[foreign language]

1:54:36 JC: Me llamo Julián Castro, y estoy postulando por presidente de los Estados Unidos.


1:54:42 JC: The very fact that I can say that tonight shows the progress that we have made in this country. Like many of you, I know the promise of America. My grandmother came here when she was seven years old as an immigrant from Mexico, and just two generations later, one of her grandsons is serving the United States Congress and the other one is running for President of the United States.


1:55:03 JC: If I am elected president, I will work hard every single day, so that you and your family can get good health care, your child can get a good education, and that you can have good job opportunities, whether you live in a big city or a small town. And on January 20th, 2021, we’ll say adios to Donald Trump.



1:55:23 S?: [1:55:23] ____.

1:55:23 SG: Senator Klobuchar, the floor is yours.

1:55:26 AK: 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’m the lead Democrat and that is because I listened and I acted, and think that’s important in a President. Everything else just melts away. Secondly, I’m someone that 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 had Donald Trump won by over 20 points. I can win in states like Wisconsin and Iowa, and in Michigan.

1:56:01 AK: And finally, yeah, I am not the establishment party candidate. I’ve got respect, but I’m not that person. I am the one that doesn’t have a political machine that doesn’t come from money, and I don’t make all the promises that everyone up here makes, but I can promise you this, I am going to govern with integrity, I’m gonna have your back and I’m gonna govern for you.

1:56:20 SG: Thank you, Senator.


[foreign language]

1:56:26 CB: Gracias. 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, that stood up and fought for them. That’s the best of who we are as America and 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 rising to who’s best. Donald Trump wants us to fight him 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’s 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’s what this country needs and deserves. Thank you.

1:57:23 JD: Senator, thank you.


1:57:23 CT: Congressman O’Rourke. 45 seconds.

1:57:27 BO: Our daughter Molly turned 11 this week. I’m on this stage for her, for children across this country, including some her same age who’ve been separated from their parents and are sleeping on concrete floors under aluminum blankets tonight. If we’re gonna be there for them, if we’re gonna confront the challenges that we face, we can’t return to the same old approach. We’re gonna need a new kind of politics, one directed by the urgency of the next generation. Those climate activists who 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 that we led in Texas. It renewed our democracy by bringing everyone in and writing nobody off. That’s how we beat Donald Trump. That’s how we bring this great country together again. Join us. This is our moment and the generations that follow are counting on us to meet it.

1:58:20 CT: Thank you, Congressman.


1:58:23 RM: Senator Warren, you have 45 seconds for the final, final statement of the evening.

1:58:27 EW: Thank you. It’s a great honor to be here. Never in a million years did I think I would stand on a stage like this. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I have three older brothers; they all joined the military. I had a dream growing up, and my dream was to be a public school teacher. By the time I graduated from high school, my family… My family didn’t have the money for a college application, much less a chance for me to go to college. But I got my chance. It was a $50 a semester commuter college. That was a little slice of government that created some opportunity for a girl and it opened my life. I am in this fight because I believe that we can make our government, we can make our economy, we can make our country work, not just for those at the top. We can make it work for everyone. And I promise you this, I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family.


1:59:24 RM: Senator, thank you.

1:59:26 SG: We would like to thank all of the candidates who participated with us tonight and that will do it for night one of this two night event, and guess what? We’ve got 10 more candidates tomorrow night.


1:59:37 LH: We certainly hope you will join us then, but for now, that concludes our coverage of this first democratic debate from Miami. For Savannah, Jose, Chuck, and Rachel, I’m Lester Holt. Have a good night, everyone.

Full Second Presidential Debate Transcript – Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton

2016 Debate Transcript

Raddatz: Nominee for President, Donald J. Trump and the Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton.


Cooper: Thank you very much for being here. We’re gonna begin with a question from one of the members in our town hall. Each of you will have two minutes to respond to this question. Secretary Clinton, you won the coin toss, so you’ll go first. Our first question comes from Patrice Brock. Patrice? Continue reading “Full Second Presidential Debate Transcript – Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton”