Full Democratic Presidential Debate Night One July 30 – #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of night 1 of the Democratic Presidential Debate held on July 30, 2019. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.

0:00:00 Jake: And 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 that and please refrain from interrupting your fellow candidates during their allotted time. A candidate infringing on another candidate’s time will have his or her time reduced. We also want to ask our audience inside the historic Fox Theatre to remain silent when the candidates are actively debating. The candidates need to be able to hear the questions and hear one another.

0:00:37 Dana: Time now for opening statements. You’ll each receive one minute. Governor Steve Bullock, please begin.

0:00:43 Governor Steve Bullock: Thanks Dana. I come from a state where a lot of people voted for Donald Trump. Let’s not kid ourselves, he will be hard to beat. Yet, watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish list economics, than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives. Look, I’m a pro-choice, pro-union, populous democrat that won three elections in a red state, not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done. That’s how we win back the places we lost; showing up, listening, focusing on the challenges of every day Americans. That farmer getting hit right now by Trump’s trade wars, that teacher working a second job just to afford her insulin, they can’t wait for a revolution. Their problems are in the here and now. I’m a progressive, emphasis on progress, and I’m running for President to get stuff done for all of those Americans Washington has left behind.

0:01:48 Dana: Marianne Williamson.

0:01:50 Marianne Williamson: Thank you. In 1776 our founders brought forth on this planet an extraordinary new possibility. It was the idea that people, no matter who they were, would simply have the possibility of thriving. We have not ever totally actualized this ideal, but at the times when we have done best we have tried, and when forces have opposed them, generations of Americans have risen up and pushed back against those forces. We did that with abolition and with women’s suffrage and with civil rights, and now it is time for a generation of Americans to rise up again, for an amoral economic system has turned short-term profits for huge multinational corporations into a false god, and this new false god takes precedence over the safety and the health and the well-being of we the American people and the people of the world and the planet on which we live. Conventional politics will not solve this problem, because conventional politics is part of the problem. We, the American people must rise up and do what we do best and create a new possibility, say no to what we don’t want, and yes to what we know can be true. I’m Marianne Williamson, and that’s why I’m running for President.

0:03:05 Dana: Congressman John Delaney.

0:03:08 Congressman John Delaney: Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren wanna take us, with bad policies like Medicare for All, free everything and impossible promises that’ll turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected. That’s what happened with McGovern. That’s what happened with Mondale. That’s what happened with Dukakis. Or we can nominate someone with new ideas to create universal healthcare for every American, with choice, someone who wants to unify our country and grow the economy and create jobs everywhere, and then we win the White House. I’m the product of the American Dream. I believe in it. I’m the grandson of immigrants, the son of a construction worker. My wife April and I have four amazing daughters. I was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange, created thousands of jobs, and then served in Congress. That’s the type of background, and my platform is about real solutions, not impossible promises, that can beat Trump and govern. Thank you.

0:04:09 Dana: Congressman Tim Ryan.

0:04:12 Congressman Tim Ryan: America is great, but not everyone can access America’s greatness. The systems that were built to lift us up are now suffocating the American people. The economic system that used to create $30, $40, $50 an hour jobs, that you can have a good solid, middle class living now force us to have two or three jobs just to get by. Most families, when they go to sit at the kitchen table to do their bills, they get a pit in the middle of their stomach. We deserve better. And the political system is broken too, because the entire conversation is about left or right. Where are you at on the political system. And I’m here to say, this isn’t about left or right. This is about new and better, and it’s not about reforming old systems, it’s about building new systems. And tonight I will offer solutions that are bold, that are realistic and that are a clean break from the past.

0:05:18 Dana: Governor John Hickenlooper.

0:05:20 Governor John Hickenlooper: Last year, Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the house, and not one of those 40 Democrats support the policies of our front runners at center stage. Now, I share their progressive values, but I’m a little more pragmatic. I was out of work for two whole years until I started what became the largest brewpub in America, and I learned the small business lessons of how to provide service and teamwork, and became a top Mayor, and as Governor of Colorado, created the number one economy in the country. We also expanded healthcare reproductive rights. We attacked climate change head on. We beat the NRA. We did not build massive government expansions, as some will promise at will tonight, or a plan for tonight. What we focused on was making sure that we got people together to get things done, to provide solutions to problems, to make sure that we work together and created jobs. That’s how we’re gonna beat Donald Trump. That’s how we’re gonna win Michigan and the country.

0:06:26 Dana: Senator Amy Klobuchar.

0:06:28 Senator Amy Klobuchar: Let’s get real. Tonight we debate, but ultimately we have to beat Donald Trump. My background, it’s a little different than his. I stand before you today as a granddaughter of an iron ore miner. As a daughter of a union teacher and a newspaperman man. As the first woman elected to the US Senate from the State of Minnesota, and a candidate for president of the United States. That’s because we come from a country of shared dreams, and I have had it with the racist attacks. I have had it with the President that says one thing on TV that has your back, and then you get home and you see those charges for prescription drugs and cable, and college. You’re gonna hear a lot of promises up here, but I’m gonna tell you this. Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality. And yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this. I’m from the Midwest and I have won every race, every place, every time. And I will govern with integrity, the integrity worthy of the extraordinary people of this nation.

0:07:32 Dana: Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

0:07:35 Congressman Beto O’Rourke: I’m running for president because I believe that America discovers its greatness at its moments of greatest need. This moment will define us forever, and I believe that in this test America will be redeemed. In the face of cruelty and fear from a lawless president, we will choose to be the nation that stands up for the human rights of everyone, for the rule of law for everyone, and a democracy that serves everyone. Whatever our differences, we know that before we are anything else, we are Americans first. And we will ensure that each one of us is well enough and educated enough and paid enough to realize our full potential. We will meet these challenges here at home, and we will lead the world in those that we face abroad, successfully confronting endless war and climate change. At this moment of truth, let us pursue our national promise and make a more perfect union of everyone, by everyone and for every one.

0:08:41 Dana: Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

0:08:44 Mayor Pete Buttigieg: I’m running for president because our country is running out of time. It is even bigger than the emergency of the Trump presidency. Ask yourself how somebody like Donald Trump ever gets within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place. It doesn’t happen unless America is already in a crisis. An economy that’s not working for everyone. Endless war, climate change, we have lived this. In my industrial midwestern hometown, my generation has lived this, as long as we have been alive, and it’s only accelerating. Science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe, when it comes to our climate. By 2030, the average house in this country will cost half a million bucks, and a woman’s right to choose may not even exist. We are not going to be able to meet this moment by recycling the same arguments, policies and politicians that have dominated Washington for as long as I have been alive. We’ve got to summon the courage to walk away from the past, and do something different. This is our shot. That is why I’m running for president.

0:09:50 Dana: Senator Elizabeth Warren.

0:09:52 Senator Elizabeth Warren: Donald Trump disgraces the office of presidents every single day. And anyone on this stage tonight or tomorrow night would be a far better president. I promise no matter who our candidate is, I will work my heart out to beat Donald Trump and to elect a Democratic Congress. But our problems didn’t start with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is part of a corrupt rigged system that has helped the wealthy and the well-connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else. We’re not gonna solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. We’re gonna solve them by being the Democratic Party of big structural change. We need to be the party that fights for our democracy and our economy to work for everyone. Now, I know what’s broken in this country. I know how to fix it, and I will fight to make it happen.

0:10:58 Dana: Senator Bernie Sanders.

0:11:01 Senator Bernie Sanders: Tonight in America, as we speak, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. But the healthcare industry made $100 billion in profits last year. Tonight, as we speak right now, 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street. And yet, companies like Amazon that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax. Tonight, half of the American people are living paycheck to paycheck, and yet 49% of all new income goes to the top 1%. Tonight, the fossil fuel industry continues to receive hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks, while they destroy this planet. We have got to take on Trump’s racism, his sexism, xenophobia and come together in an unprecedented grassroots movement, to not only defeat Trump, but to transform our economy and our government.

0:12:11 Jake: Thank you Senator Sanders. Let’s start the debate with the number one issue for Democratic voters, healthcare. And Senator Sanders, let’s start with you. You support Medicare for all, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored health care for everyone. Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy and previously, he has called the idea political suicide, that will just get President Trump re-elected. What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

0:12:43 SS: You’re wrong.


0:12:49 SS: Right now we have a dysfunctional healthcare system, 87 million uninsured or underinsured, $500,000, 500,000 Americans every year going bankrupt because of medical bills, 30,000 people dying, while the healthcare industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit. Five minutes away from here John is a country. It’s called Canada. They guarantee healthcare to every man, woman and child as a human right, they spend half of what we spend. And by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all. Healthcare is a human right. It’s not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that.


0:13:35 Jake: Thank you Senator Sanders. Congressman Delaney?

0:13:38 CD: Well, I’m right about this. We can create a universal healthcare system to give everyone basic healthcare for free, and I have a proposal to do it, but we don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country who has private health insurance, that their health insurance is illegal. My dad, the union electrician, loved the healthcare he got from the IBW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance or supplemental plans. It’s also bad policy. It’ll under-fund the industry. Many hospitals will close…

0:14:09 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:14:12 CD: And it’s bad policy.

0:14:12 Jake: Senator Sanders, I wanna…

0:14:12 S?: Sir, my name was also mentioned in this.

0:14:14 Jake: We’re gonna come to you in one second, but let me go to Senator Sanders right now. Senator Sanders?

0:14:19 SS: The fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs, when their employer changes that insurance. If you want stability in the healthcare system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to doctor or hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering…

0:14:45 Jake: Thank you sir.

0:14:45 SS: Of the drug companies and the insurance companies…

0:14:48 Jake: Thank you Sir.

0:14:48 SS: Move to Medicare for all.

0:14:49 Jake: Congressman Delaney?

0:14:49 CD: But now he’s talking about a different issue. What I’m talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of being uninsured and give everyone healthcare as a right, but why do we gotta be the party of taking something away from people?

0:15:00 SW: No, no one is the party…

0:15:01 Jake: Hold on one second sir.

0:15:01 CD: That’s what they’re running on.

0:15:02 SW: No…

0:15:03 CD: They’re running on telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill.

0:15:09 Jake: Alright. Thank you…

0:15:09 CD: We don’t have to do that. We can give everyone healthcare and allow people to have a choice. That’s the American way.

0:15:15 SW: Look…

0:15:16 Jake: Thank you Congressman. Senator Warren?

0:15:17 SW: So look, let’s be clear about this. We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away healthcare from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do.


0:15:27 SW: And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that healthcare.


0:15:37 SW: Now, I wanna have a chance to tell the story about my friend Eddie Barkin. Eddie is 35 years old, he has a wife, Rachel. He has a cute little boy named Carl. He also has ALS and it’s killing him. Eddie has health insurance, good health insurance…

0:15:53 Jake: Senator…

0:15:54 SW: And it’s not nearly enough. Look, this isn’t for…

0:15:55 Jake: Senator, I want us to… I’m coming right… I’m staying with you, I’m staying with you, but you’ve exceeded your time and so let me just stay with you on Medicare for All.

0:16:04 SW: Alright.

0:16:05 Jake: At the last debate you said you’re “with Bernie” on Medicare for All. Now Senator Sanders has said, the people in the middle class will pay more in taxes to help pay for Medicare for All, though that will be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums and other costs. Are you also “with Bernie” on Medicare for All when it comes to raising taxes on middle class Americans to pay for it?

0:16:26 SW: So, giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more, middle class families are going to pay less out-of-pocket for their healthcare. And I’d like to finish talking about Eddie, the guy who has ALS. This isn’t funny. This is somebody who has health insurance and is dying. And every month he has about $9000 in medical bills that his insurance company won’t cover. His wife Rachel is on phone for hours and hours and hours begging the insurance company, please cover what the doctors say he needs. He talks about what it’s like to go online with thousands of other people to beg friends, family, and strangers for money, so he can cover his medical expenses. The basic profit model of an insurance company is take in as much money as you can in premiums and pay out as little as possible in healthcare coverage. That is not working for Americans…

0:17:27 Jake: Thank you.

0:17:27 SW: Across this country.

0:17:29 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:17:29 SW: Medicare for All will fix that and that’s why I’ll fight for it.

0:17:32 Jake: Thank you Senator. Just a point of clarification in 15 extra seconds…


0:17:36 Jake: Would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, offset obviously by the elimination of insurance premiums. Yes or no?

0:17:42 SW: Costs will go up for billionaires, and go up for corporations, for middle class families costs, total costs will go down. But I…

0:17:51 GB: Let me…

0:17:51 Jake: Governor Bullock, Governor Bullock I wanna bring you in. You do not support Medicare for All. How do you respond to Senator Warren?

0:17:58 GB: No, healthcare is so personal to all of us. Never forget when my 12-year-old son had a heart attack within 24 hours of his life. Had to be life-flighted to Salt Lake City, but because we had good insurance, he’s here with me tonight. At the end of the day I’m not gonna support any plan that rips away quality healthcare from individuals. This is an example of wishlist economics. It used to be just Republicans wanted to repeal and replace, now, many Democrats do as well. We can get there with a public option, negotiating drug prices. Ending…

0:18:31 Jake: Thank you Governor Bullock. I wanna bring in Mayor Buttigieg on the topic of whether or not the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for guaranteed healthcare and the elimination of insurance premiums? How do you respond, mayor?

0:18:42 MB: So, we don’t have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better than… Or a Medicare for All environment will be better than the corporate options. We can put it to the test. That’s the concept of my Medicare for All Who Want It proposal. That way, if people like me are right, that the public alternative is going to be not only more comprehensive, but more affordable than any of the corporate options around there, we’ll see Americans walk away from the corporate options into that Medicare option, and it will become Medicare for All without us having to kick anybody off…

0:19:11 Jake: So just…

0:19:12 SW: We have…

0:19:13 Jake: 15 Seconds on the clarification. You are willing to raise taxes on middle class Americans in order to have universal coverage, with the disappearance of insurance premiums. Yes or no?

0:19:24 MB: I think you can buy into it. That’s the idea of Medicare for All Who Want it. Look, this is a distinction without a difference whether you’re paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums. Look, in this country, if you have health coverage… If you don’t have health coverage you’re paying too much for care. And if you do have health coverage you’re paying too much for care.

0:19:41 Jake: Thank you Mayor Buttigieg.

0:19:41 S?: Jake.

0:19:41 Jake: I want ot bring in Congressman O’Rourke on the topic of whether the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for universal coverage and the elimination of insurance premiums. What’s your response?

0:19:49 CO: The answer is no, the middle class will not pay more in taxes in order to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class healthcare. I think we’re being offered a false choice. Some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins, others who want a Medicare for All program that will force people off of private insurance. I have a better path. Medicare for America, everyone who’s uninsured is enrolled in Medicare tomorrow. Those who are insufficiently insured are enrolled in Medicare.

0:20:19 Jake: Congressman… Just in 15 seconds.

0:20:21 CO: And those who have employer-sponsored insurance.

0:20:21 Jake: Who’s offering… Who’s offering a false choice here?

0:20:23 CO: Jake, this is important.

0:20:24 Jake: Who’s offering a false choice here?

0:20:25 CO: You have some, Governor Bullock who said that we will improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins with a public option. You have others to my right, who are talking about taking away people’s choice for the private insurance they have, or members of unions. I was listening to Dee Taylor…

0:20:41 Jake: Thank you Congressman. And to bring in Governor Bullock…

0:20:44 CO: His numbers.

[overlapping conversation]

0:20:44 Jake: He just said you’re offering a false choice, sir.

0:20:47 GB: Congressman, not at all. You know, it took us decades of false starts to get the Affordable Care Act. So let’s actually build on it, a public option allowing anyone to buy in. We pay more for prescription drugs than any place actually in the world, we’ve got nothing to show for it. Negotiate prescription drug prices. End surprise medical billing. That’s the way that we can get there without disrupting the lives of 160 million people…

0:21:16 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, you can respond.

0:21:16 GB: That like their employer sponsored health insurance.

0:21:19 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, you can respond.

0:21:19 CO: Every estimate that I’ve seen of expanding ACA even through a public option still leaves millions of people uninsured and also means that people are not guaranteed the healthcare that they need, as the example, that Senator Warren showed us. Our plan ensures that everyone is enrolled in Medicare or can keep their employer-sponsored insurance. When we listen to the American people, and this is what they want us to do, they want everyone covered, but they want to be able to maintain choice.

0:21:46 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:21:47 CO: And our plan does that.

0:21:48 Jake: Thank you Congressman. I wanna bring in Senator Klobuchar. Senator Warren, at the beginning of the night, said that “Democrats can not bring, cannot win the White House with small ideas and spinelessness”. In the last debate you said, “The politicians who are not supporting Medicare for All, simply lack the will to fight for it.” You do not support Medicare for All. Is Senator Warren correct? Do you just not lack the will to fight for it?

0:22:10 SK: That is incorrect. I just have a better way to do this. And in one of my first debates, Jake, I was called a street fighter from the Iron Range by my opponent, and when she said it, I said, “Thank you.” So this is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option. That’s what Barack Obama wanted. And it would bring health care costs down for everyone. And by the way, I just don’t buy this. I’ve heard some of these candidates say that it’s somehow not moral, if you… Not moral to not have that public option. Well Senator Sanders was actually on a public option bill last year, and that was, Bernie, the Medicaid public option bill that Senator Schatz introduced. Clearly this is the easiest way to move forward quickly. And I wanna get things done. People can’t wait. I’ve got… My friend, Nicole, out there who’s son who has actually died trying to ration his insulin as a restaurant manager, and he died because he didn’t have enough money to pay for it.

0:23:06 Jake: Senator…

0:23:06 SK: And Bernie and I have worked on pharmaceuticals issues together.

0:23:09 Jake: Thank you senator.

0:23:10 SK: We can get less expensive drugs.

0:23:10 SS: As the author of…

0:23:11 Jake: Senator Sanders. I gotta go to Senator Sanders then Senator Warren because you both were mentioned. Senator Sanders?

0:23:14 SS: As the author of the Medicare Bill, let me clear up one thing. People talk about having insurance. There are millions of people who have insurance, they can’t go to the doctor, and when they come out of the hospital, they go bankrupt. Alright?


0:23:30 SS: What I am talking about, and others up here are talking about is no deductibles and no co-payments. And Jake, your question is a Republican talking point. At the end of the day, and by the way…


0:23:43 SS: And by the way, by the way, the health care industry will be advertising tonight on this program.

0:23:50 Jake: Thank you Senator. Senator Warren, it’s your turn.

0:23:52 SS: Oh, could I complete that please?

0:23:54 Jake: Your time is up, 30 seconds.

0:23:55 SS: They will be advertising tonight with that talking point.

0:24:00 Jake: Senator Warren.

0:24:00 SW: So we have to think of this in terms of the big frame, what’s the problem in Washington, it works great for the wealthy, it works great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers, and it keeps working great for the insurance companies and the drug companies. What it’s going to take is real courage to fight back against them. These insurance companies do not have a God-given right to make $23-billion in profits and suck it out of our healthcare system.


0:24:26 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:24:27 SW: They do not have a God-given right…

0:24:27 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:24:30 SW: To put forms in place so that…

0:24:32 SK: On page 8 of the bill it says that…

0:24:32 Jake: I wanna let congressman Delaney in.

0:24:33 SK: It will kick everyone off of their insurance. No, that is what it says on page 8.

0:24:34 SW: They want to deny coverage.

[overlapping conversation]

0:24:35 Jake: Thank you senator. If we could all just stick to the rules of the time, that would be great. Congressman Delaney?

0:24:39 CD: I’m the only one on this stage who actually has experience in the healthcare business, and with all due respect, I don’t think my colleagues understand the business. We have the public option…

0:24:47 SS: It’s not a business!

0:24:47 CD: Which is great. The public option is great, but it doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t go far enough. I’m proposing universal healthcare, where everyone gets healthcare as a basic human right for free, but they have choices. My plan Better Care is fully paid for without raising middle class tax options.

0:25:06 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:25:06 CD: So when we think about this debate, there’s Medicare for All, which is extreme…

0:25:09 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:25:09 CD: I was interrupted, one second here.

0:25:11 Jake: I wanna bring in Governor Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, I’d like to hear what you have to say about Senator Warren’s suggestion that those people on the stage who are not in favor of Medicare for All, lack the political will to fight for it.

0:25:23 GH: Well, obviously, I disagree with that as much as I respect both of the Senators to my right. It comes down to that question of Americans being used to being able to make choices, to have the right to make a decision, and I think proposing a public option that allows some form of Medicare that maybe is a combination of Medicare Advantage and Medicare but people choose it and if enough people choose it, it expands, the quality improves, the cost comes down, more people choose it, eventually in 15 years, you could get there but it would be an evolution, not a revolution.

0:25:55 Jake: Thank you Governor. Senator Warren?

0:25:57 SW: We have tried this experiment with the insurance companies and what they’ve done is, they’ve sucked billions of dollars out of our healthcare system, and they force people to have to fight to try to get the health care coverage that their doctors and nurses say that they need. Why does everybody, why does every doctor, why does every hospital have to fill out so many complicated forms? It’s because it gives insurance companies a chance to say no, and to push that cost back on the patients. That’s what we have to…

0:26:28 Jake: Thank you Senator Warren. I wanna bring in Marianne Williamson. Miss Williamson, how do you respond to the criticism from Senator Warren that you’re not willing to fight for Medicare for all?

0:26:38 MW: [chuckle] I don’t know if Senator Warren said that about me specifically. I admire very much what Senator Warren has said and what Bernie has said, but I have to say I have a… I’m normally way over there with Bernie and Elizabeth on this one. I hear the others and I have some concern about that as well, and I do have concern about what the Republicans would say, and that’s not just a Republican talking point. I do have concern that it will be difficult, I have concern that it will make it harder to win, and I have a concern that it will make it harder to govern because if that’s our big fight…

0:27:09 Jake: Thank you Miss Williamson.

0:27:09 MW: Then the Republicans will so shut us down on everything else.

0:27:12 Jake: I wanna bring in Mayor Buttigieg. Mayor Buttigieg. Your Response?

0:27:12 MB: It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say.

0:27:16 MW: Yes.

0:27:17 MB: Look if…


0:27:18 MB: If it’s true, that if we embrace a far left agenda, they’re gonna say, we’re a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re gonna do? They’re gonna say, we’re a bunch of crazy socialists. So, let’s just stand up for the right policy, go out there, and defend it.


0:27:34 MB: That’s the policy I’m putting forward, not ’cause I think it’s the right triangulation between Republicans here and Democrats here, because I think it’s the right answer for people like my mother-in-law, who is here, whose life was saved by the ACA, but who is still far too vulnerable to the fact that the insurance industry does not care about her.

0:27:47 Jake: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Sanders your response?

0:27:50 SS: Let’s be clear, what this debate is about. Nobody can defend the dysfunctionality of the current system. What we are taking on is the fact that over the last 20 years, the drug companies and the insurance companies have spent $4.5 billion of your health insurance money on lobbying, and campaign contributions. That is why when I went to Canada the other day, people paid one-tenth the price in Canada for insulin that they’re paying in the United States.


0:28:20 Jake: Thank you Senator. I wanna bring in Congressman Tim Ryan. Congressman Ryan, your response?

0:28:26 CR: So here we are in Detroit, home of the United Auto Workers, we have all our union friends here tonight. This plan that’s being offered by Senator Warren and Senator Sanders will tell those union members who gave away wages in order to get good healthcare that they’re gonna lose their healthcare ’cause Washington’s gonna come in and tell them they got a better plan. This is the left and right thing. New and better is this: Move Medicare down to 50, allow people to buy in. Kaiser Permanente said that if those 60 million people do that, they will see a 40% reduction in their healthcare cost.

0:28:57 Jake: Thank you Congressman. Thank you Congressman.

0:29:02 CR: Let businesses buy in, Jake…

0:29:04 Jake: Senator, let’s talk about that. If Medicare for all was enacted, there are more than 600,000 union members here in Michigan who would be forced to give up their private health care plans. Now I understand that it would provide universal coverage, but can you guarantee those union members that the benefits under Medicare for All will be as good as the benefits that their representatives, their union reps, fought hard to negotiate?

0:29:26 SS: Well, two things: They will be better because Medicare for all is comprehensive. It covers all healthcare needs for senior citizens. It will finally include dental care, hearing aids, and eye glasses.

0:29:38 CR: But you don’t know that.

0:29:38 SS: Second of all…

0:29:39 CR: You don’t know that, Bernie.

0:29:40 SS: Second of all…

0:29:40 Jake: We’ll come to you in a second congressman…

0:29:42 SS: I do know it, I wrote the damn bill.



0:29:45 SS: And second of all, second of all, many of our union brothers and sisters… Nobody more pro-union than me up here… Are now paying high deductibles and co-payments and when we do Medicare for All instead of having the company putting money into health care, they can get decent wage increases, which they’re not getting today.

0:30:05 S?: I just wanted to…

0:30:06 Jake: I wanna bring in Congressman Ryan to respond to what Senator Sanders has said.

0:30:09 CR: I mean, Senator Sanders does not know all of the union contracts in the United States. I’m trying to explain that these union members are losing their jobs, their wages have been stagnant, the world is crumbling around them, the only thing they have is possibly really good healthcare and the democratic message is gonna be, “we’re gonna go in and the only thing you have left, we’re gonna take it and we’re gonna do better.” I do not think that’s a recipe for success for us, it’s bad policy and it’s certainly bad politics.

0:30:38 Jake: Congressman Delaney?

0:30:40 CD: So, the bill that Senator Sanders drafted by definition will lower quality in healthcare because it says specifically that the rates will be the same as current Medicare rates and the data is clear, Medicare does not cover the cost of healthcare. It covers 80% of the cost of healthcare in this country, and private insurance covers 120%. So if you start under paying all the healthcare providers, you’re gonna create a two-tier market, where wealthy people buy their healthcare with cash and the people who are forced, like my dad, the union electrician…

0:31:12 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:31:12 CD: Will have that healthcare plan taken away from him.

0:31:14 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:31:15 CD: They will be forced to be in an under funded system…

0:31:17 Jake: I wanna give Senator Sanders… I wanna give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

0:31:19 SS: On the Medicare for all the hospitals will save substantial sums of money because they’re not gonna be spending a fortune doing billing and the other bureaucratic things that they have to do today.

0:31:30 CD: I’ve done the math it doesn’t add up.

0:31:31 SS: Second of all… Maybe you did that and made money off of healthcare but our job is to run a nonprofit healthcare system. Furthermore, furthermore, when we save 500 billion dollars a year by ending all of the incredible complexities that are driving every American crazy trying to deal with the health insurance company hospitals will be better off…

0:31:52 Jake: Thank you Senator. Congressman Delaney, I wanna let you have a chance to respond.

0:31:56 CD: Listen, his math is wrong. That’s all I’m saying. That his math is wrong. It’s been well-documented that if all the bills were paid at Medicare rate, which is specifically, I think it’s in section 1200 of their bill, then many hospitals in this country would close. I’ve been going around rural America, and I asked rural hospital administrators one question, if all your bills were paid at the Medicare rate last year, what would happen? And they all look at me and say, “We would close.” But the question is, why do we have to be so extreme, why can’t we just give everyone healthcare as a right and allow them to have choice? I’m starting to think this is not about healthcare, this is an anti-private sector strategy.

0:32:33 Dana: Thank you congressman, so… Thank you congressman, thank you congressman. We’re gonna move on to the issue of immigration, now. There is widespread agreement on this stage on the need for immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including dreamers, but there are some areas of disagreement. Mayor Buttigieg, you’re in favor of getting rid of the law that makes it a crime to come across the US border illegally. Why won’t that just encourage more illegal immigration?

0:33:01 MB: When I’m President, illegally crossing the border will still be illegal. We can argue over the finer points of which parts of this ought to be handled by civil law and which parts ought to be handled by criminal law. But we’ve got a crisis on our hands and it’s not just a crisis of immigration, it’s a crisis of cruelty and incompetence that has created a humanitarian disaster on our Southern border. It is a stain on the United States of America. Americans want comprehensive immigration reform and frankly, we’ve been talking about the same framework for my entire adult lifetime. Protections for Dreamers, making sure that we have a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, cleaning up lawful immigration. We know what to do, we know the border security can be part of that package and we can still be a nation of laws. The problem is, we haven’t had the will to get it done, in Washington. And now we have a president who could fix it in a month because there is that bipartisan agreement. But he needs it to be a crisis, rather than an achievement. That will end on my watch.

0:34:00 Dana: Just a point of clarification, you did raise your hand in the last debate, you do want to decriminalize crossing the border illegally.

0:34:07 MB: So in my view, if fraud is involved, then that’s suitable for the criminal statute. If not, then it should be handled under civil law. But these show of hands are exactly what is wrong with the way that this race is being played.

0:34:17 Dana: We’re not doing that here. Congressman…

0:34:18 MB: We appreciate that.

0:34:19 Dana: Thank you. Congressman O’Rourke, you live near the US-Mexico border in El Paso. You disagree with Mayor Buttigieg on de-criminalizing illegal border crossings, please respond.

0:34:29 CO: I do, because in my administration after we have waived citizenship fees for Green Card holders, more than 9 million of our fellow Americans, freed dreamers from any fear of deportation and stopped criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge. End for-profit detention in this country, and then assist those countries in Central America so that no family ever has to make that 2,000 mile journey. Then I expect that people who come here follow our laws and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them if they do not.

0:35:02 Dana: Thank you Congressman. Senator Warren, you say the provision making illegal border crossings a crime is totally unnecessary, please respond.

0:35:10 SW: So the problem is that right now the criminalization statute is what gives Donald Trump the ability to take children away from their parents, it’s what gives him the ability to lock up people at our borders. We need to continue to have border security, and we can do that, but what we can’t do is not live our values. I’ve been down to the border. I have seen the mothers, I have seen the cages of babies, we must be a country that everyday lives our values and that means we cannot make it a crime…

0:35:45 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren, just to clarify…

0:35:47 SW: When someone comes here.

0:35:47 Dana: Thank you senator, just to clarify, would you decriminalize…

0:35:50 SW: Yes.

0:35:50 Dana: Illegal border crossings?

0:35:51 SW: The point is not about criminalization, that has given Donald Trump the tool to break families apart.

0:36:00 Dana: Thank you senator.

0:36:00 S?: That’s not true.

0:36:00 SW: We need…

0:36:00 Dana: Governor Hickenlooper, your response.

0:36:03 GH: No, I agree that we need secure borders. There’s no question about that. The frustration with what’s going on in Washington, is they’re kicking the ball back and forth. Secure the borders make sure whatever law we have doesn’t allow children to be snatched from their parents and put in cages, how hard can that be? We’ve got… On the two debate nights we’ve got 107 years of Washington experience, somehow it seems like that should be fairly fixable.

0:36:27 SW: Well, and one way to fix it is to decriminalize, that’s the whole point. What we’re looking for here is a way to take away the tool that Donald Trump…

0:36:37 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren.

0:36:37 SW: Has used to break up families.

0:36:38 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren. Senator Klobuchar, your response.

0:36:41 SK: I would say there is the will to change this in Congress. What’s missing is the right person in the White House. I believe that immigrants don’t diminish America, they are America. And if you wanna do something about border security, you first of all, change the rules so people can seek asylum in those northern triangle countries. Then you pass the bill and what the bill will do is it’ll rightly reduce the deficit and give us some money for border security and for border help processing the cases. And most of all, it will allow for a path to citizenship because this is not just about the border.

0:37:16 Dana: Thank you.

0:37:16 SK: Donald Trump wants to use these people as political pawns.

0:37:19 Dana: Thank you Senator Klobuchar.

0:37:19 SK: When we have people all over our country, that simply wanna work and obey the law.

0:37:24 Dana: Thank you. Senator Sanders, you want to provide undocumented immigrants free healthcare and free college. Why won’t this drive even more people to come to the US illegally?

0:37:34 SS: We’ll have strong border protections. But the main point I wanna make is that what Trump is doing, through his racism and his xenophobia is demonizing a group of people. And as President, I will end that demonization. If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view they are not criminals.


0:38:00 SS: They are people fleeing violence and I think the main thing that we’ve got to do, among many others, Beto made this point. We’ve gotta ask ourselves, “Why are people walking 2000 miles to a strange country where they don’t know the language?” So what we will do, the first week we are in the White House is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras…

0:38:22 Dana: Thank You.

0:38:23 SS: Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.

0:38:26 Dana: Thank you Senator. Governor Bullock, about two-thirds of Democratic voters, and many of your rivals here for the nomination support giving health insurance to undocumented immigrants. You haven’t gone that far, why not?

0:38:38 GB: Look, I think this isn’t part of the discussion that shows how often these debates are detached from people’s lives. We got 100,000 people showing up the border right now. If we de-criminalize entry, if we give health care to everyone, we’ll have multiples of that. Don’t take my word. That was President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, that said that. The biggest problem right now that we have with immigration, it’s Donald Trump. He’s using immigration to not only rip apart families, but rip apart this country. We can actually get to the point where we have safe borders, where we have a path to citizenship, where we have opportunities for Dreamers. And you don’t have to de-criminalize everything. What you have to do is have a president in there with the judgement and the decency to treat someone that comes to the border, like one of our own.

0:39:33 SW: You know, I just…

0:39:34 Dana: Senator add on this. He just said your plan is unrealistic, how do you respond?

0:39:39 SW: I think that what we have to do is we have to be an America that is clear about what we wanna do with immigration. We need to expand legal immigration. We need to create a path for citizenship, not just for Dreamers, but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas. We need to fix the crisis at the border. And a big part of how we do that is we do not play into Donald Trump’s hands. He wants to stir up the crisis of the border because that’s his overall message. It’s if there’s anything wrong in your life, blame them.

0:40:14 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren. Governor Bullock, your response.

0:40:17 GB: But you are playing into Donald Trump’s hands. The challenge isn’t, that it’s a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president and using this to rip families apart. A sane immigration system needs a sane leader and we can do that without decriminalizing and providing healthcare for everyone. And it’s not me saying that, that’s Obama’s Homeland Security secretary that said, “You’ll cause further problems at the border, not making it better”.

0:40:50 SW: What you’re saying is ignore the law. Laws matter, and it matters if we say, “Our law is that we will lock people up who come here seeking refuge, who come here seeking asylum”, that is not a crime. And as Americans, what we need to do is have a sane system that keeps us safe at the border, but does not criminalize the activity of a mother fleeing here for safety.

[overlapping conversation]

0:41:19 Dana: Thank you senator Warren. Thank you. Congressman Ryan, are senator Sanders proposals going to incentivize undocumented immigrants to come into this country illegally?

0:41:27 CR: Yes. And right now, if you wanna come into the country, you should at least ring the door bell. We have asylum laws. I saw the kids up in Grand Rapids, not far from here. It is shameful what’s happening, but Donald Trump is doing it. And even if you decriminalize, which we should not do, you still have statutory authority. The president could still use his authority to separate families. So we’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump. But you don’t decriminalize people just walking into the United States if they’re seeking asylum. Of course, we wanna welcome them. We’re a strong enough country to be able to welcome them. And as far as the healthcare goes, undocumented people can buy healthcare too. Everyone else in America is paying for their health care. I don’t think it’s a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country, to also pay for healthcare.

0:42:17 Dana: Senator Sanders, your response.

0:42:19 SS: Well, I, two things, a sane immigration policy moves the comprehensive immigration reform. It moves to a humane border policy in which, by the way, we have enough administrative judges, so that we don’t have incredible backlogs that we have right now. But to answer your question, I happen to believe that when I talk about healthcare it’s a human right that applies to all people in this country and under a Medicare for All single-payer system, we could afford to do that.

0:42:52 Dana: Senator Sanders, thank you. Ms. Williamson your response.

0:42:54 MW: Everything that we’re talking about here tonight is what’s wrong with American politics. And the democratic party needs to understand that we should be the party that talks not just about symptoms, but also about causes. When we’re talking about health care, we need to talk about more than just the healthcare plan. We need to realize we have a sickness care rather than a healthcare system. We need to be the party talking about, why so many of our chemical policies and our food policies and our agricultural policies and our environmental policies and even our economic policies are leading to people getting sick to begin with.

0:43:23 Jake: Thank you.

0:43:23 MW: That’s what the democratic… But I want to say more about immigration…

0:43:26 Jake: Thank you Ms. Williamson. Thank you Ms. Williamson.

0:43:27 MW: Okay. I hope you’ll come back to me this time.

0:43:28 Jake: Go ahead. Thank you Ms. Williamson. Let’s turn now to the issue of gun violence. There were three large-scale shootings this past weekend in America, at a park in Brooklyn, on the streets of Philadelphia and one that left three dead and 12 injured at a food festival in Gilroy, California. Governor Buttigieg, excuse me, Mayor Buttigieg other than offering words of comfort, what are you specifically going to do to stop this epidemic of gun violence?

0:43:52 MB: Well, this epidemic of gun violence has hit my community too, far too many times. It’s the worst part of being Mayor. Getting the phone call. Consoling grieving parents. And we have a mass shootings worth of killings every day in this country. What we’re doing hasn’t worked, because we haven’t had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people have told us they want. 80, 90% of Republicans want universal background checks. Not to mention the common sense solution… Laws, that disarm domestic abusers, and flag mental health risks and an end to assault weapons, things like what I carried overseas in uniform that have no business in American neighborhoods in peacetime, let alone anywhere near a school. I was at an event a few days ago, and a 13-year-old asked me what we we’re gonna do about school safety and then began shaking and then began crying. And we could talk about these policies, but we already know the policies. The only thing I could think of looking into the eyes of this child is, we’re supposed to be dealing with this, so you don’t have to. High school is hard enough, without having to worry about whether you’re going to get shot.

0:45:00 Jake: Thank you.

0:45:00 MB: And when 90% of Americans want something to happen…

0:45:02 Jake: Thank you, Mayor.

0:45:03 MB: And Washington can’t deliver, we can’t expect the same…

0:45:04 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor. Governor Hickenlooper, your response please?

0:45:06 SK: I disagree. I disagree with his diagnosis of the problem.

0:45:08 Jake: Please standby, Senator. Please stick to the rules. We’ll get to you, we’ll come to you in a just a minute. Governor Hickenlooper, please respond.

0:45:14 GH: Well, this is the fundamental nonsense of government, another thing, another place where, despite our best efforts, we can’t seem to make any progress. When I went to the movie theater in Aurora in 2012, and saw that footage of what happened at that crime scene, I’ll never forget it. And we decided that we were gonna go out and take on the NRA, and we passed, as a purple state, we passed universal background checks, we limited magazine capacity. We did the basic work that, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to be able to get done in Washington.

0:45:48 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

0:45:50 SK: Yes, this isn’t just about a system, or it’s not just about words. This is about the NRA. I sat across from the president of the United States after Parkland, because I’ve been a leader on these issues and have the will to close the boyfriend loophole. And I watched and wrote down when, nine times, he said he wanted universal background checks. The next day, he goes and he meets with the NRA, and he folds. As your president, I will not fold. I will make sure that we get universal background checks passed, the assault weapon ban, that we do something about magazines, and that we understand when that six little… Little six-year-old boy died, Stephen Romero, when his dad said, “He’s only six years old.” all I can say…

0:46:33 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Mayor Buttigieg, please respond.

0:46:33 SK: Is he’s six years old. We have to remember that.

0:46:36 MB: This is the exact same conversation we’ve been having since I was in high school. I was a junior when the Columbine shooting happened. I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country. We’d better not allow there to be a third. Something is broken if it is even possible for the same debate around the same solutions that we all know are the right thing to do. They won’t prevent every incident, they won’t save every life, but we know what to do, and it has not happened.

0:47:08 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

0:47:10 SK: Yes. What is broken is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for it. The people are with us now. After Parkland, those students just didn’t march. They talked to their dads and their grandpas and the hunters in their family, and they said, “There must be a better way.” Then we elected people in the House of Representatives, and guess what? It changed. And they passed universal background checks. And now that bill is sitting on Mitch McConnell’s doorstep because of the money and the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.

0:47:44 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

0:47:44 SK: This is not about systems and words.

0:47:47 Jake: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.


0:47:47 Jake: Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?

0:47:58 GB: 40% of American households… I’m a gun-owner. I hunt. Far too many people in America… I’ve been personally impacted by gun violence. Had an 11-year-old nephew, Jeremy, shot and killed on a playground. We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar, it is the NRA. And it’s not just gun violence, it’s when we talk about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington, DC is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others. That’s been the fight of my career. Kicking the Koch brothers out of Montana, taking the first case after Citizens United up to the Supreme Court, making it so that elections are about people. That’s the way we’re actually gonna make a change on this, Don, is by changing that system. And most of the things that folks are talking about on this stage. We’re not going to address until we kick dark money and the post-Citizens United corporate spending out of these elections.

0:49:00 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, your response?

0:49:03 CO: How else can we explain that we lose nearly 40,000 people in this country to gun violence, a number that no other country comes even close to, that we know what all the solutions are, and yet nothing has changed? It is because, in this country, money buys influence, access, and, increasingly, outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control prevented from actually studying the issue in the first place. As president, we will make sure that we ban political action committee contributions to any member of Congress or any candidate for federal office. We will listen to people, not PACs, people, not corporations, people, not special interests. It’s not…

0:49:40 Jake: Congressman, thank you very much.


0:49:42 Jake: Senator Sanders, you said this in 2013, just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, and I quote here: “If you pass the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.” Do you still agree with that statement today?

0:49:56 SS: I think we have got to do… I think what I meant is what President Obama said, in that nobody up here is gonna tell you that we have a magical solution to the crisis. Now, I come from one of the most rural states in America. I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA. And as president, I suspect it will be an F record. What I believe we have got to do is have the guts to finally take on the NRA. You asked me about my record. Back in 1988, coming from a state that had no gun control, I called for the ban of the sale and distribution of assault weapons. I lost that election. I will do everything I can not only to take on the NRA, but to expand and create universal background checks, do away with the Straw Man provision, do away with the gun show loophole, and do away with the loopholes that now exist for gun manufacturers who are selling large amounts of weapons into communities that are going to gangs.

0:50:56 Jake: Yeah. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

0:50:57 MB: Still the conversation that we’ve been having for the last 20 years. Of course we need to get money out of politics. But when I propose the actual structural Democratic reforms that might make a difference, end the Electoral College, amend the constitution, if necessary, to clear up Citizens United, have DC actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform, people look at me funny, as if this country were incapable of structural reform. Does anybody really think we’re gonna overtake Citizens United without constitutional action? This is a country that once changed its constitution so you couldn’t drink, and then changed it back because we changed our minds about that.

0:51:32 Jake: Thank you. Thank you, Mayor.

0:51:32 MB: And you’re telling me we can’t reform our democracy in our time?

0:51:35 Jake: Thank you, Mayor.

0:51:35 MB: We have to or we’ll be having the same argument 20 years from now.

0:51:38 Jake: Please respond, Governor Bullock.

0:51:41 GB: You can make changes. Even in Montana with a two-thirds Republican legislature, we passed a law that said if you’re gonna spend money in our elections. I don’t care if you call yourself Americans for America for America. You’re gonna have to disclose every one of those dollars in the last 90 days. I’ll never forget, run for re-election in 2016, even we stopped the Koch brothers from spending at that time. If we can kick the Koch brothers out of Montana, we can do it in DC, we can do it everywhere. And we’re also taking steps, additional steps, so we’ve taken, I passed an executive order. If you’re even in a contract with the state, you have to disclose.

0:52:15 Jake: Thank you. Governor Bullock, thank you very much. Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to this issue of gun safety?

0:52:17 MW: I want to have a chance on this. The issue of gun safety, of course, is that the NRA has us in a chokehold. But so does the pharmaceutical companies, so do the health insurance companies, so do the fossil fuel companies, and so do the defense contractors. And none of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment, or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns. But for politicians, including my fellow candidates who themselves have taken tens of thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars from these same corporate donors, to think that they now have the moral authority to say we’re gonna take them on. I don’t think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe, “yada, yada, yada”. It is time for us to start over with people who have not taken donations from any of these corporations and can say with real moral authority, “that is over”. We are going to establish public funding for federal campaigns, that’s what we need to stand up to. We need to have a constitutional amendment, we need to have have legislation to do it, and until we do it, it’s just the same old, same old.

0:53:15 Jake: Thank you. Thank you Ms. Williamson. The debate will be right back, right after this short break.


0:53:23 Jake: We are live from Detroit, Michigan. In poll after poll, Democratic voters say that they want a candidate who can beat President Trump more than they want a candidate who agrees with them on major issues. Governor Hickenlooper, you ran a Facebook ad that warned, quote: “Socialism is not the answer”. The ad also said, “Don’t let extremes give Trump four more years”. Are you saying that Senator Sanders is too extreme to beat President Trump?

0:53:53 GH: I’m saying the policies of this notion that you’re gonna take private insurance away from a 180 million Americans, who many of them don’t wanna give it… Many of them do wanna get rid of it but some don’t, many don’t. Or you’re gonna… The Green New Deal, make sure that every American is guaranteed the government job that they want. That is a disaster at the [0:54:11] ____ you might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump. I think we gotta focus on where Donald Trump is failing. The word malpractice, and this is interesting, I always thought it was doctors or lawyers. It’s negligent improper, illegal professional activity for doctors, lawyers, or public officials. Google it, check it out. Donald Trump is malpractice personified. We’ve gotta point that out. Why is it soybean farmers in Iowa need 10 good years to get back to where they were two years ago? Where is the small manufacturing jobs that are supposed to come back? Why are we lurching from one international crisis to another? All things that he promised American voters, we gotta focus on that. And the economy and jobs and training, so that we can promise a future for America, that everybody wants to invest in.

0:55:00 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Sanders, you are a proud democratic socialist. How do you respond to Governor Hickenlooper?

0:55:04 SS: Well, the truth is that every credible poll that I have seen has me beating Donald Trump, including the battleground states of Michigan, where I won the Democratic primary. Wisconsin, where I won the Democratic primary and Pennsylvania. And the reason we are gonna defeat Trump, and beat him badly, is that he is a fraud and a phoney and we’re gonna expose him for what he is. The American people want to have a minimum wage, which is a living wage, 15 bucks an hour. I’ve helped lead that effort. The American people want to pay reasonable prices for prescription drugs, not the highest prices in the world. I’ve helped lead the effort for that as well.

0:55:47 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, I want to bring you back to respond.

0:55:49 GH: So again, I think if we’re gonna force Americans to make these radical changes, they’re not gonna go along. Throw your hands up, but you have it in… Whoa I can do it, but you haven’t implemented the plans. Us governors and mayors are the ones that we have to pick up all the pieces. When suddenly the government’s supposed to take over all these responsibilities, and there’s no preparation, the details aren’t worked. You can’t just spring a plan on the world, and expect it to succeed.

0:56:15 SS: John.

0:56:15 Jake: Senator Sanders.

0:56:17 SS: John, I was a mayor, and I helped transform my city. I have some practical experience. Second of all, on… Interestingly enough, today is the anniversary of Medicare, 54 years ago, under Linda Johnson of the Democratic Congress, they started a new program. After 1 year, 19 million elderly people in it. Please don’t tell me that in a four-year period, we cannot go from 65 down to 55 to 45 to 35. This is not radical. This is what virtually every other country on earth wants. We are the odd dog out.

0:56:50 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. I wanna bring in Congressman Ryan. You’re from the state of Ohio. It’s a state that voted twice for Obama and then went to President Trump in 2016. Please respond to Senator Sanders.

0:57:00 CR: I would just say, Hillary Clinton was winning in the polls, too. To take a snapshot in the polls today, and apply it 16 months from now, whenever it is, I don’t think it’s accurate. Now, in this discussion already tonight, we’ve talked about taking private health insurance away from union members in the industrial Midwest. We’ve talked about decriminalizing the border, and we’ve talked about giving free healthcare to undocumented workers when so many Americans are struggling to pay for their healthcare. I quite frankly don’t think that that is an agenda that we can move forward on and win. We’ve gotta talk about the working class issues, the people that take a shower after work, who haven’t had a raise in 30 years. If we focus on them, we will win the election.

0:57:39 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. I wanna bring in Congressmen O’Rourke, your response, sir.

0:57:42 CO: Bernie was talking about some of the battleground states, in which we compete. There’s a new battleground state, Texas. And it has 38 electoral college votes. And the way that we put it in play was by going to each one of those 254 counties, no matter how red or rural, we did not write you off. No matter how blue or urban, we did not take you for granted and we didn’t trim our sales either. We had the courage of our convictions, talking about universal healthcare, comprehensive immigration reform, and confronting the challenge of climate before it is too late. We brought everyone in and now we have a chance to beat Donald Trump with Texas.

0:58:16 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. I wanna bring in Governor Bullock. We’re talking about whether Democrats are moving too far to the left to win the White House. President Trump won your home state of Montana by 20 points. How do you respond, sir?

0:58:26 GB: Yeah, it’s the only one of the field of 37 that actually won a Trump state. 25 to 30% of my voters voted for Donald Trump. I know that we do have to win back some of those places we lost and get those Trump voters back if we’re ever going to win. But this isn’t just a choice between the left and the center, it’s not a choice just between sort of these wish list economics or thinking that we have to sacrifice our values to actually win. What folks want is a fair shot. The way I won, the way we can win, is actually focusing on the economy and democracy aren’t working for most people.

0:59:01 Jake: Thank you, Governor.

0:59:01 GB: That’s how I win, that’s how we can take back the office.

0:59:04 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, you make it a point to say that you’re a capitalist. Is that your way of convincing voters that you might be a safer choice than Senator Sanders?

0:59:11 SW: No, it is my way of talking about I know how to fight and I know how to win. I took on giant banks and I beat them. I took on Wall Street, and CEOs and their lobbyists and their lawyers and I beat them. I took on a popular Republican incumbent senator and I beat him. I remember when people said Barack Obama couldn’t get elected. Shoot, I remember when people said Donald Trump couldn’t get elected. But here’s where we are. I get it. There is a lot at stake and people are scared, but we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else. And we can’t ask other people to vote for a candidate we don’t believe in. Democrats win when we figure out what is right and we get out there and fight for it. I am not afraid. And for Democrats to win you can’t be afraid either.

1:00:11 Jake: Congressman Delaney, your response?


1:00:15 CD: So I think Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises. When we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics. Look at the story of Detroit, this amazing city that we’re in. This city is turning around because the government and the private sector are working well together. That has to be our model going forward. We need to encourage collaboration between the government, the private sector and the non-profit sector, and focus on those kitchen table pocketbook issues that matter to hard-working Americans, building infrastructure, creating jobs, improving their pay, creating universal health care…

1:00:51 Jake: Thank you, Congressman.

1:00:51 CD: And lowering drug prices. We can do it!

1:00:52 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren?

1:00:53 SW: I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. I don’t get it. Our biggest problem in Washington is corruption. It is giant corporations that have taken our government and that are holding it by the throat, and we need to have the courage to fight back against that. And until we’re ready to do that, it’s just more of the same. Well, I’m ready to get in this fight, I’m ready to win this fight.

1:01:29 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney?

1:01:31 CD: When we created Social Security, we didn’t say pensions were illegal, right? We can have big ideas to transform the lives. I started two companies and took them public before I was 40. I’m as big of a dreamer and an entrepreneur as anyone. But I also believe we need to have solutions that are workable. Can you imagine if we tried to start Social Security now, but said private pensions are illegal? That’s the equivalent of what Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are proposing with healthcare. That’s not a big idea, that’s an idea that’s dead on arrival, that will never happen. So, why don’t we actually talk about things, big ideas that we can get done.

1:02:07 Jake: Thank you, Congressman.

1:02:07 CD: The stakes are too high.

1:02:09 Jake: Senator Warren?

1:02:10 SS: He just mentioned my name.

1:02:11 Jake: We’ll come to you right after that. Senator Warren?

1:02:14 SW: He talks… He talks about solutions that are workable. We have tried the solution of Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. And what have the private insurance companies done? They’ve sucked billions of dollars out of our healthcare system, they’ve made everybody fill out dozens and dozens of forms. Why? Not because they are trying to track your healthcare. They just want one more excuse to say no. Insurance companies do not have a God-given right to suck money out of our healthcare system.

1:02:47 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:02:47 SW: And 2020 is our chance to stop that.

1:02:49 Jake: Senator Sanders?

1:02:50 SS: Well, Detroit was mentioned, and I’m delighted that Detroit is rebounding, but let us understand Detroit was nearly destroyed because of awful trade policy which allowed corporations to throw workers in this community out on the street, as they moved to low wage countries. To win this election and to defeat Donald Trump, which by the way, in my view, it’s not gonna be easy, we need to have a campaign of energy and excitement and of vision. We need to bring millions of young people into the political process in a way that we have never seen, by and among other things.

1:03:27 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:03:28 SS: Making public colleges and universities tuition free. And cancelling student debt.

1:03:35 Jake: Thank you, Senator.


1:03:39 Jake: I wanna bring in Senator Klobuchar. At the beginning of the night, you said, “You’re gonna hear a lot of promises on the stage.” And previously, you have said, when asked about your primary opponents, “A lot of people are making promises and I’m not gonna make promises just to get elected.” Who on this stage is making promises just to get elected?

1:03:57 SK: Everyone wants to get elected. But my point is this, I think, when we have a guy in the White House that has now told over 10,000 lies, that we better be very straightforward with the American people. And no, do I think that we are gonna end up voting for a plan that kicks half of America off of their current insurance in four years? No, I don’t think we’re gonna do that. I think there is a better way to get what we all wanna see which is lower costs for healthcare. Do I think that we’re gonna vote to give free college to the wealthiest kids? No, I don’t think we’re gonna do that. So that’s what I’m talking about. But what I don’t like about this argument right now, what I don’t like about it at all, is that we are more worried about winning an argument than winning an election.

1:04:43 SK: And I think how we win an election is to bring everyone with us. And yes, I have won in a state, every single time, statewide, I have won those congressional districts that Donald Trump won by over 20 points. He just targeted Minnesota last week, and I’ve done it by getting out there and talking to people, by knowing rural issues and farm issues and bringing metro people with me in this state that had the highest voter turnout in the country. That’s what we want.

1:05:05 Jake: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Thank you, Senator. I wanna bring in Congressman O’Rourke. Congressman O’Rourke, please respond.

1:05:14 CO: I think a big part of leadership and showing our commitment to the American people is delivering on our commitments. As a member of Congress, when I learned that the El Paso VA had the worst wait times for mental health care in the country, meaning that care delayed functionally became care denied, and was related to the suicide epidemic, we made it our priority, and we turned around the VA in El Paso. We took that lesson nationally, and I worked with Republican and Democratic colleagues to expand mental health care to veterans, and we got it signed into law by the one person with whom I agree on almost nothing, Donald Trump. To show that, at the end of the day, we will put the American people first before party, before any other concern.

1:05:53 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman O’Rourke. We’ve been asking voters to weigh in on what they’d most like to hear Democrats debate. Among the topics they told us they’re most interested in, the climate crisis. Congressman Delaney, I’ll start with you. You say the Green New Deal is about as realistic as Trump saying Mexico was going to pay for the wall. But scientists say we need, essentially, to eliminate fossil fuel pollution by 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic consequences. Why isn’t this sweeping plan to fight the climate crisis realistic?

1:06:25 CD: Well, first of all, because it ties its progress to other things that are completely unrelated to climate, like universal healthcare, guaranteed government jobs and universal basic income. So that only makes it harder to do. My plan, which gets us to net zero by 2050, which we absolutely have to do for our kids and our grandkids, will get us there. I put a price on carbon, take all the money, give it back to the American people in a dividend. That was introduced by me on a bipartisan basis. It’s the only significant bipartisan climate bill in the Congress. I’m gonna increase the Department of Energy Research budget by five-fold because we fundamentally have to innovate our way out of this problem. I’m gonna create a market for something called direct air capture, which are machines that actually take carbon out of the atmosphere. Because I don’t think we’ll get to net zero by 2050 unless we have those things. I’m gonna increase investment in renewables, and I’m gonna create something called the Climate Corps. That is a plan that’s realistic. It’s a bet on the US private innovation economy and creates the incentives to get us to net zero by 2050 for our kids.

1:07:29 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren, you’re a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. Your response to Congressman Delaney?

1:07:34 SW: So climate crisis is the existential crisis for our world. It puts every living thing on this planet at risk. I have a plan for a green industrial policy that takes advantage of the fact that we do what we do best, and that is innovate and create. So I’ve proposed putting $2 trillion in so we do the research. We then say, anyone in the world can use it so long as you build it right here in America. That will produce about 1.2 million manufacturing jobs right here in Michigan, right here in Ohio, right here in the industrial Midwest. And the second thing we will do is we will then sell those products all around the world. Right now, for every $1 the United States spends trying to market around the world, China’s spending $100.

1:08:20 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Senator Warren. Thank you, Senator Warren. Governor Hickenlooper, you take issue with the Green New Deal. Please respond.

1:08:29 GH: Well, I think the guarantee for a public job for everyone who wants one is a classic part of the problem. It’s a distraction. I share the urgency of every one up here. We have to recognize, I mean, everyone’s got good ideas. What we do in this country is no better than just a best practice, right? It’s what we do here is the best practice and a template, but it’s gotta be done all over the world. So we’ve gotta be building bridges right now with people like China, who were cheating on international agreements and stealing intellectual property. We need to work on that, but not with the tariff system. We need every country working together if we’re gonna really deal with climate change in a realistic way.

1:09:08 Dana: Thank you. Senator Warren, your response?

1:09:09 SW: Look, I put a real policy on the table to create 1.2 million new jobs in green manufacturing. There’s gonna be a $23 trillion worldwide market for this. This could revitalize huge cities across this country, and no one wants to talk about. What you wanna do instead is find the Republican talking point of a made-up piece of some other part and say, “Oh we don’t really have to do anything.” That’s the problem we’ve got in Washington right now. It continues to be a Washington that works great for oil companies, just not for people worried about climate change.

1:09:44 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Senator Warren. Congressman Ryan, we are here in Michigan where there are about 180,000 workers in auto manufacturing. Your state of Ohio has around 96,000 workers in that industry. Senator Sanders is co-sponsoring a bill that would eliminate new gas power car sales by 2040. Given the number of auto manufacturing workers in your state, how concerned are you about Senator Sanders’ plan?

1:10:14 CR: Well, if we get our act together, we won’t have to worry about it. My plan is to create a chief manufacturing officer so we could actually start making things in the United States again, that would pull the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, work with the private sector, work with investors, emerging tech companies to dominate the electric vehicle market. China dominates it now, 50 to 60%. I want us to dominate the battery market and make those here in the United States and cut the workers in on the deal. The charging stations, solar panel, same thing. China dominates 60% of the solar panel market. So this person will work in the White House, report directly to me, and we’re gonna start making things again.

1:10:52 CR: But you cannot get there on climate unless we talk about agriculture. We need to convert our industrial agriculture system, over to a sustainable and regenerative agriculture system that actually sequesters carbon into the soil. And you can go ask Gabe Brown and Allen Williams, who actually make money off of regenerative agriculture, so we can move away from all the subsidies that we’re giving the farmers. They haven’t made a profit in five years. And we could start getting good food into our schools and into our communities. That’s gonna drive healthcare down. That’s another part of the healthcare conversation that we didn’t even have. How do we start talking about health instead of just disease care?

1:11:28 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman Ryan. Thank you. Senator Sanders, your response?

1:11:35 SS: I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas. They could give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to billionaires and profitable corporations. They could bail out the crooks on Wall street. So please don’t tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry, and nothing happens unless we do that. Here is the bottom line. We’ve gotta ask ourselves a simple question, what do you do with an industry that knowingly, for billions of dollars in short-term profits, is destroying this planet? I say that is criminal activity.

1:12:18 Dana: Thank you.

1:12:18 SS: That can not be allowed to continue.

1:12:20 Dana: Thank you Senator Sanders. Congressman, your response.

1:12:22 CR: Well, yeah, I would just say, I didn’t say we couldn’t get there till 2040, Bernie. You don’t have to yell. All I’m saying is we have to invent our way out of this thing and if we’re waiting for 2040 for a ban to come in on gasoline vehicles, we’re screwed. So we better get busy now. And that’s why I’m saying get a chief manufacturing officer. Align the environmental incentives with the financial incentives, and make sure that people can actually make money off of the new technologies that are moving forward. And then, here’s what I’ll do as president…

1:12:57 Dana: Thank you, Congressman.

1:12:57 CR: Cut the worker in on the deal. Make sure these are union jobs and I will double union membership to make sure that these new jobs pay what the old fossil fuel jobs paid.

1:13:06 Dana: Senator Sanders, your response.

1:13:07 SS: Look, on this issue, my friends, there is no choice. We have got to be super aggressive if we love our children and if we want to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable. So I don’t disagree with Tim. What that means is we gotta A, take on the fossil fuel industry. B, it means we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and a hell of a lot of good union jobs as we do that. We gotta transform our transportation system.

1:13:46 Dana: Thank you Senator.

1:13:47 SS: And we have to lead the world.

1:13:47 Dana: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

1:13:49 SS: Because this is not just an American issue.

1:13:51 Dana: Governor Bullock, your response.

1:13:53 GB: You know, all of us agree that we have to address climate change. No one on this stage is talking about it, the Republicans won’t even acknowledge that climate change is real, Dana. And that’s because of the corrupting influence of money. That has been the fight of my career. And second of which, as we transition to this clean energy economy, you gotta recognize there are folks that have spent their whole life powering our country. And far too often, Democrats sound like they’re part of the problem. We gotta make sure to aid in those transitions as we get to a carbon neutral world, which I think we can do by 2040.

1:14:32 Dana: Thank you, Governor. Just to clarify, who is part of the problem?

1:14:38 GB: Who? Oh, no, I think Democrats, often, when they’re saying, “Oh, these fossil fuel industries, these workers, those coal miner workers.” Look, the world’s changing, we gotta make it change. But I think Democrats often sound like the people, that as Congressman Ryan would say, shower at the end of the day, that they’re part of the problem. And far too many communities are being left behind as we make this transition.

1:15:01 Dana: Thank you.

1:15:01 GB: Look, we’re having this discussion and we can talk about competing plans.

1:15:06 Dana: Thank you, Governor. I wanna give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

1:15:09 SS: Look Steve, ain’t nobody in the Congress who’s more strongly pro worker than I am. So when I talk about taking on the fossil fuel industry, what I am also talking about is a just transition. Alright, we can create… And what the Green New Deal is about, it’s a bold idea. We can create millions of good paying jobs. We can rebuild communities in rural America that have been devastated. So we are not anti worker.

1:15:36 S?: No.

1:15:37 SS: We are gonna provide, make sure that those workers have a transition.

1:15:40 S?: Yeah.

1:15:40 SS: New jobs.

1:15:40 Dana: Thank you, Senator.

1:15:41 SS: Healthcare and education.

1:15:42 Dana: Governor Bullock, your response.

1:15:44 GB: And look… And look, Bernie, I was a union side labor lawyer. I fought day after day, and I know, but we’ve set this up as a false choice far too often. Are we gonna actually address climate change? Fire seasons are 80 days longer in the West now. Or are we going to give people a better shot at a better life? You can do both.

1:16:06 S?: Yes.

1:16:06 GB: So let’s actually have the scientists drive this. Let’s not just talk about plans that are written for press releases that will go nowhere else if we can’t get a Republican to acknowledge that the climate’s changing.

1:16:18 Dana: Thank you Governor. Congressman O’Rourke, your response.

1:16:18 CO: I’ve listened to the sciences on this and they’re very clear. We don’t have more than 10 years to get this right. And we won’t meet that challenge with half steps or half measures or only half the country. We’ve gotta bring everyone in. The people of Detroit and those that I listened to in Flint last week, they want the challenge, they want those jobs, they wanna create the future for this country and the world. Those community college students that I met in Tucumcari, New Mexico understand that wind and solar jobs are the fastest growing jobs in the country. And those farmers in Iowa say, “Pay me for the environmental services of planting cover crops and keeping more land in conservation easements.” That’s how we meet the challenge. We do it with everyone in this country. We bring everyone into the solution.

1:17:03 Dana: Thank you Congressman. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

1:17:05 MB: We have all put out highly similar visions on climate. It is all theoretical. We will deal with climate, if and only if, we win the presidency. If and only if we beat Donald Trump. Nominate me and you get to see the President of the United States stand next to an American war veteran, and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was his chance to serve. Nominate me and we will have a different conversation with American voters about why the President of the United States thinks you’re a sucker, when the problem in your life is your paycheck is not going up nearly as fast as the cost of housing, or the cost of education.

1:17:44 Dana: Thank you.

1:17:45 MB: Or the cost of prescription drugs. And he has done nothing about it except a tax cut for the corporations.

1:17:47 Dana: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Klobuchar, I wanna ask you about something that CNN heard from a Michigan Democratic primary voter. We were reaching out and getting their questions. Kimber from Birmingham, Michigan has this question, “What is your plan to address infrastructure including the water issues so another Flint, Michigan does not happen again?”

1:18:09 SK: Thank you, Dana, and I was just in Flint and they are still drinking bottled water in that town and that is outrageous. So my plan, and I am the first one that came out with an infrastructure plan, and I did that because this is a bread and butter issue. It’s a bread and butter issue for people that are caught in traffic jams. I think the governor here in Michigan smartly ran on the slogan, “Fix the damn roads.”

1:18:32 SK: And it is an issue for union jobs. And so I think what we need to do is not have a president that’s promised he was going to do that on election night, if anyone remembers. And then he hasn’t followed through. He has done nothing. He blew up a meeting at the White House. I would put $1 trillion into this, and I would pay for it by, first of all, changing the capital gains rate by doing something when it comes to that regressive tax bill that left everyone behind, but really made his Mar-a-Lago friends richer, as he promised. And I would take that money and put it in to rural broadband and green infrastructure so you won’t have what you just saw in Detroit with the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, the African neighborhood, that was African-American neighborhood that was most hit when you had those recent rainstorms. And I truly believe that if we’re gonna move on infrastructure and climate change, you need a voice from the heartland.

1:19:23 Dana: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Ms. Williamson, what’s your response on the Flint water crisis?

1:19:27 MW: My response on the Flint water crisis is that Flint is just the tip of the iceberg. I was recently in Denmark, South Carolina where it is… There is a lot of talk about it being the next Flint. We have an administration that has gutted the Clean Water Act. We have communities, particularly communities of color and disadvantaged communities all over this country, who are suffering from environmental injustice. I assure you, I lived in Grosse Pointe, what happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe. This is part of the dark underbelly of American society.


1:20:00 MW: The racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight, if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days. We need to say it like it is, it’s bigger than Flint. It’s all over this country, it’s particularly people of color, it’s particularly people who do not have the money to fight back. And if the Democrats don’t start saying it, then why would those people feel that they’re there for us, and if those people don’t feel it, they won’t vote for us, and Donald Trump will win.


1:20:32 Jake: Thank you very much, Ms. Williamson.

1:20:32 MW: Thank you.

1:20:33 Jake: We wanna turn now to the issue of race in America. Congressman O’Rourke, President Trump is pursuing a re-election strategy based in part, on racial division. How do you convince primary voters that you’d be the best nominee to take on President Trump and heal the racial divide in America?

1:20:51 CO: We’ll call his racism out for what it is, and also talk about its consequences. It doesn’t just offend our sensibilities to hear him say “Send her back” about a member of Congress, because she’s a woman color, because she’s a Muslim-American, doesn’t just offend our sensibilities when he calls Mexican immigrants “rapists and criminals,” or seeks to ban all Muslims from the shores of a country that’s comprised of people from the world over, from every tradition of faith. It is also changing this country. Hate crimes are on the rise, every single one over the last three years. On the day that he signed his executive order attempting to ban Muslim travel, the mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground. So we must not only stand up against Donald Trump and defeat him in this next election, but we must also ensure that we don’t just tolerate or respect our differences, but we embrace them. That’s what we’ve learned in El Paso, Texas, my hometown. One of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite, but because it’s a city of immigrants and asylum seekers, and refugees. We will show that our diversity is our strength in my administration.

1:22:00 Jake: Thank you. Congressman O’Rourke, thank you very much. Governor Hickenlooper, why are you the best nominee to heal the racial divide in America? Please respond.

1:22:06 GH: Well, the core value behind this entire country’s history is working towards a more perfect union, that all people are created equal. And we’ve fallen far away from that. I think the job is incumbent on any one of us to make the convincing case that we can deliver an urban agenda that represents progress in schools. In Colorado, when I was mayor, we got to universal pre-K for every kid in the urban city. We did major police reform 10 years before Ferguson. Why is it now that five years after Ferguson, we still don’t have anything? How do we get affordable housing? We created a scholarship fund for every kid. You’ve gotta deliver a vision like that for the whole country.

1:22:47 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, I’m coming to you now. Last week, the FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the majority of domestic terrorism cases this year have been motivated by white supremacy. In fact, the alleged shooter in this weekend’s attack in Gilroy, California referenced a well-known white supremacist book on social media. How are you gonna combat the rise of white supremacy?

1:23:08 SW: We need to call out white supremacy for what it is, “domestic terrorism.” And it poses a threat to the United States of America.


1:23:15 SW: We live in a country now where the president is advancing environmental racism, economic racism, criminal justice racism, health care racism. The way we do better is to fight back and show something better. So I have a plan, for example, on education, that says we have to build a better education system for all our kids, but we’ve got to acknowledge what’s happened on race. So my plan has universal, tuition-free college for all of our kids, but also increases the Pell Grants and levels the playing field by putting $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities.


1:23:58 SW: It cancels student loan debt for 95% of the kids with student loan debt and helps close the black-white wealth gap in America.


1:24:10 Jake: Thank you, Senator, very much. Mayor Buttigieg, you have been criticized for your handling of racial issues in your home city of South Bend, from diversity in the police force to housing policy. Given your record, how can you convince African-Americans that you should be the Democratic nominee?

1:24:25 MB: As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me. I’m not saying that I became mayor and racism or poverty ended on my watch. But in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges, like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing and so we directed it to a historically underinvested African-American neighborhood. Right now, in the wake of a police-involved shooting, our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy and making sure there are community voices on the Board of Safety that handles police matters.

1:25:07 MB: I’ve proposed a Douglass plan to tackle this issue nationally, because mayors have hit the limits of what you can do unless there is national action. Systemic racism has touched every part of American life, from housing to health to homeownership. If you walk into an emergency room and you are black, your reports of pain will be taken less seriously. If you apply for a job and you are black, you are less likely to be called, just because of the name on the resume. It’s why I’ve proposed that we do everything from investing in historically red-lined neighborhoods, to build black wealth in homeownership, to supporting entrepreneurship for black Americans.

1:25:41 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you very much. Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the president’s bigotry?

1:25:51 SK: Well, first of all, there are people that voted for Donald Trump before that aren’t racist, they just wanted a better shake in the economy. And so I would appeal to them. But I don’t think anyone can justify what this president is doing. Little kids literally woke up this weekend, turned on the TV, and saw their president calling their city, the town of Baltimore, nothing more than a home for rats. And I can tell you, as your president, that will stop. The second thing I would say is that economic opportunity means economic opportunity for everyone in this country. I know that because I have lived it. And that means when we put out there better childcare and better education, and we pay teachers more, and we make sure there’s a decent retirement system in place… Yes, we help the African-American community and we must, because they have been the ones that have been most hurt by what we’ve seen in the last decades, but we help everyone. So what I say to the people in my rural parts of my state, just like I say to them in the city and bring them together, is that economic opportunity must be there for everyone.

1:27:00 Jake: Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much. Congressman O’Rourke, please respond.

1:27:03 CO: I wanna acknowledge something that we’re all touching on, which is the very foundation of this country, the wealth that we have built, the way we became the greatest country on the face of the planet was literally on the backs of those who were kidnapped and brought here by force. The legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression is alive and well in every aspect of the economy and in the country. Today, as president, I will sign into law a new voting rights act, I will focus on education, address health care disparities, but I will also sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations bill so that we can have the national conversation we have waited too long in this country to have.

1:27:41 Jake: Thank you, Congressman O’Rourke. Speaking of reparations, Ms. Williamson, many of your opponents support a commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery. But you are calling for up to $500 billion in financial assistance. What makes you qualified to determine how much is owed in reparations?

1:27:57 MW: Well, first of all, it’s not $500 billion in financial assistance. It’s $500 billion, $200 billion to $500 billion payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is. We need some deep truth-telling when it comes, we don’t need another commission to look at evidence. I appreciate what Congressman O’Rourke has said. It is time for us to simply realize that this country will not heal. All that a country is, is a collection of people. People heal when there’s some deep truth-telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery followed by another 100 years of domestic terrorism.

1:28:45 MW: What makes me qualified to say $200 billion to $500 billion? I’ll tell you what makes me qualified. If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there was 4 million to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War, four to five… And they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four, if you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. And I believe that anything less than $100 billion is an insult. And I believe that $200 billion to $500 billion is politically feasible today because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will heal.

1:29:25 Jake: Ms. Williamson, thank you very much. Senator Sanders…


1:29:28 Jake: Senator Sanders, you don’t think cash payments are the best way to address this issue, but according to a new Gallup poll, 73% of African Americans are in favor of cash payments to black Americans who are descendants of slaves. How do you respond to them?

1:29:43 SS: Well, I respond to that by saying that I am supportive of Jim Clyburn’s legislation, which is called “10-20-30.” And what that understands is that as a result of slavery and segregation and the institutional racism we see now in health care, in education, in financial services, we are gonna have to focus big time on rebuilding distressed communities in America, including African-American communities. In terms of education, I also have a plan, it’s called the Thurgood Marshall Plan. And it would focus on ending the growth of segregated schools in America, it would triple funding for title one schools, it would make sure that teachers in this country earned at least $60,000 a year.

1:30:33 Jake: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. The debate continues right after this short break. Welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, live from Detroit.

1:30:43 Jake: Let’s turn now to the economy. Congressman Ryan, President Trump’s tariffs have boosted the US steel industry but hurt auto manufacturers like those here in Michigan, which could drive up the cost of cars. As president, would you continue President Trump’s steel tariffs?

1:30:58 CR: Look, I think President Trump was on to something when he talked about China. China has been abusing the economic system for a long time. They steal intellectual property, they subsidize goods coming into this country, they’ve displaced steel workers, auto workers across the board, eroded our manufacturing. And we basically transfered our wealth of our middle class either up to the top 1% or to China, for them to build their military. So I think we need some targeted response against China. But you know how you beat China, you out-compete them. And that’s why I put a chief manufacturing officer in place to make sure that we rebuild the manufacturing base. We’ve gotta fill these factories, that in Detroit and Youngstown that used to make cars and steel, we’ve gotta fill them with workers who are making electric vehicles, batteries, charging stations, make sure they’re making solar panels.

1:31:48 CR: As I said earlier, China dominates 60% of the solar panel market. They dominate 50 to 60% of the electric vehicle market. We’re gonna make 10 million electric vehicles somewhere in the world in the next 10 years. I want them made in the United States, that’s why I have a chief manufacturing officer that will sit in the White House and help drive this agenda.

1:32:05 Jake: Congressman. Thank you. Just as a point of clarification. As president, would you continue President Trump’s steel tariffs? Yes or no?

1:32:11 CR: Well, I would have to re-evaluate. I think some of them are effective, but he’s bungled the whole thing, obviously. See, here’s the problem with President Trump, he has a tactical move, one of many. He has a tactical move. What’s the grand strategy for the United States? China has a 100-year plan, a 50-year plan, a 30-year plan, a 20-year plan. We live in a 24-hour news cycle. That spells disaster for our economy and disaster for our global policies.

1:32:36 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. Congressman Delaney, your response.

1:32:40 CD: So listen. This is what I don’t understand. President Trump wants to build physical walls and beats up on immigrants. Most of the folks running for president wanna build economic walls to free trade and beat up on President Obama. I’m the only one running for president who actually supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Obama was right about that. We should be getting back in that. Senator Warren just issued a trade plan that would prevent the United States from trading with its allies. We can’t isolate ourselves from the world. We have to engage with fair, rules-based trade.

1:33:17 Jake: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Senator Warren, please respond.

1:33:20 SW: For decades, we have had a trade policy that has been written by giant multinational corporations to help giant multinational corporations. They have no loyalty to America, they have no patriotism. If they can save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. If they can continue a polluting plant by moving it to Vietnam, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. I have put out a new comprehensive plan that says we’re not gonna do it that way. We’re gonna negotiate our deals with unions at the table, with small businesses at the table, with small farmers at the table, with environmentalists at the table, with human rights activists at the table. And then we’re gonna use the fact that everybody in the world wants to get to America’s markets. They wanna sell to you.

1:34:10 CD: That was the TPP.

1:34:11 Jake: Congressman Delaney.

[overlapping conversation]

1:34:13 SW: Is everyone wants to get to America’s markets.

1:34:16 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:34:17 SW: No. So the question is how…

1:34:18 Jake: Senator, thank you. Please abide by the rules.

1:34:19 SW: We need to raise our standards.

1:34:20 Jake: Congressman Delaney, it’s your turn. Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney.

1:34:24 CD: So, that was the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think President Obama was right. He did include environmental standards, he did include labor standards. We would be in an entirely different position with China if we had entered the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We can’t isolate ourselves from the world. We can’t isolate ourselves from Asia. Senator Warren’s plan basically that she put out… We would not be able to trade with the United Kingdom, we would not be able to trade with the EU.

1:34:50 SW: No. What this is about…

1:34:51 CD: It is so extreme that it’ll isolate the American economy from the rest of the world.

1:34:56 Jake: Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Thank you, Congressman. Senator. Senator Warren. Senator Warren.

[overlapping conversation]

1:35:01 SW: I think he said Warren.

1:35:01 Jake: Senator Sanders, please let Senator Warren respond.

1:35:03 CD: Oh, I’m sorry.


1:35:05 SW: What the Congressman is describing as extreme is having deals that are negotiated by American workers for American workers. American workers want those jobs and we can build the trade deals that do it. People want access to our markets all around the world. Then the answer is, let’s make them raise their standards. Make them pay their workers more, let their workers unionize, raise their environmental standards before they come to us and say they wanna be able to sell their products. Right now, the whole game is working for the big multinationals. It’s just not working for the people here in the United States, and we can change that.

1:35:49 Jake: Senator, thank you very much. Congressman O’Rourke, your response.

1:35:51 CO: The question was about tarrifs, and they’re a huge mistake. They constitute the largest tax increase on the American consumer, hitting the middle class and the working poor especially hard. And farmers in Iowa and across the country are bearing the brunt of the consequences. When have we ever gone to war, including a trade war, without allies and friends and partners? As president, we will hold China accountable, but we will bring our allies and friends like the European Union to bear. And we’ll also negotiate trade deals that favor farmers and American workers and protect human rights and the environment and labor. Not just here in the United States but in the…

[overlapping conversation]

1:36:30 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, thank you so much. Senator Sanders, please respond to Congressman O’Rourke.

1:36:31 SW: I would like to respond to this.

1:36:32 SS: Yeah, okay. You’re looking, I believe, at the only member of Congress who not only voted against these disastrous trade agreements, NAFTA, PNTR with China, which cost us over 4 million jobs, but also help lead the effort against these agreements. Now, Elizabeth is absolutely right. If anybody here thinks that corporate America gives one damn about the average American worker, you’re mistaken. If they can save $0.05 cents by going to China, Mexico, or Vietnam, or any place else, that’s exactly what they will do. As president, let me tell you what I will do. These guys line up at the federal trough, they want military contracts, they want all kinds of contracts. Well, under my administration, you ain’t gonna get those contracts if you throw American workers out on the streets.

1:37:23 Jake: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. Governor Hickenlooper, your response.

1:37:26 GH: I think… Again, I think Congressman Delaney has got a point here, and there is a way of looking at trade that is therapeutic. The bottom line is, you talk to any economist, there is not a single example in history where a trade war had a winner. Trade wars are for losers, and the bottom line is we gotta recognize, let’s negotiate a better trade deal, but you’re not gonna win against China in a trade war when they’ve got 25% of our total debt. And step back and look at it. Here’s Trump, gives that giant tax cut. And at the same time, we’re paying in tarrifs about $800 to $1,200 per household, and then we give this incredible tax cut to the rich. Essentially, what’s happening is now he’s transferred that tax obligation on to the middle class. That’s what’s outrageous, but tarrifs are not the solution.

1:38:13 Jake: Governor, thank you. Senator Warren.

1:38:14 SW: Anyone who thinks that these trade deals are mostly about tarrifs just doesn’t understand what’s going on. Look at the new NAFTA 2.0, what’s the central feature? It’s to help pharmaceutical companies get longer periods of exclusivity so they can charge Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans more money and make more profits. That’s what trade deals have become. They have become a way for giant multi-nationals to change the regulatory environment so they can suck more profits out for themselves and to leave the American people behind. We have to have the courage to fight back against that corruption.

1:38:56 Jake: Senator, thank you. Governor Bullock, your response.

1:39:00 GB: A farmer in Rippy said to me, “Every time that Trump tweets, we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. If Montana had to eat all the wheat that we produce, every Montanan would have to eat 40 loaves of bread a day.” But by the same token, what we have is… I actually agree with Senator Warren on this in part. Corporations can move capital easy, workers can’t move, so going forward we need to make sure that our trade deals actually are protecting… Thinking about the workers, they can’t be the step-child, but the way to do it with this blunt instrument of tarrifs that the president’s doing, that’s not how we get a fair deal for farmers anywhere, or the manufacturers here in Detroit.

1:39:43 Jake: Governor, thank you very much.

[overlapping conversation]

1:39:44 Jake: Mayor… Stand by please, stand by please, please abide by the rules. Mayor Buttigieg, on Thursday of this week, a GM plant in Michigan will stop production, the latest auto plant to cease operations in the industrial Midwest. This comes as part of the company’s modernization plans, which will eventually result in 6,000 hourly workers losing their jobs or being reassigned to other plants. What is your plan for retraining workers whose jobs are at risk?

1:40:10 MB: This happened in my community, 20 years before I was born, and when I was growing up, we were still picking up the pieces. Empty factories, empty houses, poverty. I know exactly what happens to a community when these closures take place, and there will be more. It’s why we actually need to put the interests of workers first. Of course, we need to do retraining, we’re doing it now in South Bend, we should continue to do it. But this is so much bigger than a trade fight, this is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in the gig economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in their lifetime. It’s why I’ve proposed that we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job, and a worker is a worker.


1:40:52 Jake: Thank you, Mayor.

1:40:52 MB: We have to respond to all of these changes, and, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by doubling unionization, as I propose to do. Some of this is low-tech too, like the minimum wage is just too low, and so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.


1:41:18 Jake: Mayor, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney, I’m coming to you now. Your estimated net worth is more than $65 million. That would make you subject to Senator Warren’s proposed wealth tax on the assets of the richest 75,000 homes, households, or so in the United States. Do you think Senator Warren’s Wealth Tax is a fair way to fund childcare and education?

1:41:40 CD: I think wealthy Americans have to pay more. Listen, I grew up in a blue-collar family, first in my family to go to college, became a successful entrepreneur, created thousands of jobs, supported thousands of entrepreneurs all around this country, and I’ve done well financially. I think I should pay more in tax, I think wealthy Americans should pay more in tax, but we have to have a real solution. The real solution is to raise the capital gains rates. There is no reason why people who invest for a living should pay less than people who work for a living. That’s ridiculous.


1:42:14 CD: It’s the biggest loophole in our tax code. We act like wealthy individuals are endangered species, and if we raise their taxes, they won’t invest. That’s crazy. That’s how we get more revenues from wealthy individuals. We roll back the Trump tax cuts to wealthy individuals. I think the wealth tax will be fought in court forever. It’s arguably unconstitutional, and the countries that have had it have largely abandoned it ’cause it’s impossible to implement. But here again, real solutions, not impossible promises.

1:42:45 Jake: Congressman, thank you very much.

1:42:45 CD: Raise the capital gains tax. Roll back the taxes on wealthy Americans.

1:42:48 Jake: Thank you, Congressman.

1:42:49 CD: That we can do in our first few months as president.

1:42:51 Jake: Senator Warren, please respond.

1:42:53 SW: I have proposed a wealth tax, it’s now time to do that. It’s time to tax the top 1/10th of 1% of fortunes in this country. Your first $50 million you can keep free and clear, but your 50 millionth and first dollar, you gotta pitch in $0.02. Two cents. What can America do with $0.02? We can provide universal childcare for every baby in this country aged zero to five. We can provide universal pre-K for every three-year-old and four-year-old. We can raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in this country. We can provide universal tuition-free college. We can expand Pell. We can put $50 billion into our historically black colleges and universities. And we can cancel student loan debt for 95% of the people who have it and start to close the wealth gap in America. It tells you how badly broken this economy is…

1:43:52 Jake: Senator, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney…

1:43:53 SW: That $0.02 from the wealthiest in this country would let us invest in the rest of America.

1:43:58 Jake: Senator, please. Congressman, please respond.

1:44:01 CD: This is not about whether wealthy Americans should pay more. I think we’re all in agreement on that. It’s a question of, do you have a real solution to make it happen? We can raise the capital gains rate to match the ordinary income. The last president to do that was actually Ronald Reagan. We can do that in our first year. I’ve called for that to be done and it’ll double the earned income tax credit. I’ve called for the expansion of universal pre-K so that every American has pre-K. And I do it through an additional tax on high net worth individuals.

1:44:29 Dana: Thank you.

1:44:30 CD: But we don’t need to come up with new taxes that are arguably unconstitutional, will be fought in court for years.

1:44:35 Dana: Thank you, Congressman Delaney. I want to turn to the issue of student debt.

[overlapping conversation]

1:44:39 SS: Can I just respond to that, please?

1:44:40 SW: I’d like to respond to this.

1:44:40 Dana: I’m gonna turn to the issue of student debt now. Mayor Buttigieg, you’ve talked about how you and your husband are paying down six figures of student loan debt. Under Senator Sanders’ proposal, to cancel all student loan debt, yours would immediately be wiped away. Why wouldn’t you support that?

1:44:54 MB: That’d be great for us. And then the next day, there would be a student loan program, and people would be out taking student loans wondering why they weren’t lucky enough, in timing, to get theirs wiped away completely too. We can have debt-free college for low and middle-income students by expanding Pell Grants and compelling states to pick up more of the burden. And on the back end, for those of us who do have a lot of debt, we can make it more affordable and we can expand a public service loan forgiveness program, which is an excellent program that is almost impossible to actually get access to right now. We can take these steps and have an approach that is actually fair.

1:45:30 MB: If we wanna start wiping away student debt, here’s where I would start. I would start with the for-profit colleges that took advantage of people, especially veterans, by the way. The moment I redeployed, my Facebook add feed started filling with ads from these for-profit colleges. Under President Obama, they were held accountable for whether they delivered results. President Trump, under a secretary of education, who regrettably is from this state, did away with those rules. There’s no accountability. On my watch, those colleges that turned the Department of Education into a predatory lender, that’s where we would begin when it came to getting rid of loans.

1:46:06 Dana: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Sanders, you want to forgive all student loan debt. Your response?

1:46:11 SS: Matter of fact, I do. But before I get into that, the major issue that we don’t talk about in Congress, we don’t talk about in the media, is the massive level of income and wealth inequality in America. You got three people who own more wealth than the bottom 90%. You have a top 1% that owns more wealth than the bottom 92%. 49% of all income goes to the top 1%. Companies like Amazon and billionaires out there do not pay one nickel in federal income tax. And we’ve got 500,000 people sleeping out on the street. What we need is a political revolution that tells these billionaires and corporate America that they are Americans, they’ll participate in our society, but they have got to start paying their fair share of taxes, period.

1:47:01 Dana: Thank you, Senator Sanders. Ms. Williamson?

1:47:03 MW: I want to respond.

1:47:04 Dana: You are proposing to make college free for all qualified students. Should the government pay for children from wealthier families to go to college?

1:47:13 MW: I think that all domestic and international policy should be based on the idea that anything we do to help people thrive is a stimulation to our economy. That’s how you stimulate your economy. So if a few people take advantage, but there are four or five people who were going to take the money that they then have in the bank… When you look at this $1.5 trillion college debt… This is why I agree with Bernie, or I would be, “Then okay, why don’t we swap it?” We had a $2 trillion tax cut, where $0.83 of every dollar goes to the very, very richest among us, that does not stimulate the economy. If we get rid of this college debt, think of all the young people who will have the discretionary spending, they’ll be able to start their business. The best thing you could do to stimulate the US economy is to get rid of this debt.

1:47:58 MW: This is not just about a plan to do it. It’s about a philosophy of governing. And I’ve heard some people here tonight, I almost wonder why you’re Democrats. You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. It should… All policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace and that is how we will have prosperity.

1:48:20 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Congressman O’Rourke, you don’t support free four-year college. Your response to Ms. Williamson?

1:48:25 CO: I support free two-year college, earn that associate’s degree, realize your full potential, debt-free four-year college. But unlike some of the other candidates on the stage, that’s not just for tuition. That is room and books and board, the full cost of being able to better yourself so that you can better this country. And then for that schoolteacher who, in many places like Texas, is working a second or a third job, full forgiveness for her outstanding student loan debt, forgiveness for that person willing to work at the VA and serve our former service members. And we do not do that at the expense of unions. We elevate them as well and make it easier to join an apprenticeship to learn a skill or a trade that you can command for the rest of your life.

1:49:05 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

1:49:10 SK: I wanna make it easier for kids to go to college. And I think we do it by focusing our resources on the people that need it most. And my problem with some of these plans is they literally would pay for wealthy kids, for Wall Street kids to go to college. There’s no difference. It says, “Everyone is free.” I don’t think that makes sense. And I’m very concerned if we do things like that. The debt we’re gonna pass on to the next generation and the next generation. So what I would do about student loan debt, is that I would allow people to refinance it at a better rate. And I would make sure that we improve those student loan repayment programs for our teachers and expand them, so that you literally over five, 10 years, can get it paid for if you go into occupations where we don’t have enough workers. I think we need to mesh what we were just talking about with the economy, with our education policy.

1:50:00 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. I wanna turn to foreign policy now. Senator Sanders, President Trump has argued that the United States cannot continue to be the quote: “policeman of the world”. You said the exact same thing on a debate stage in 2016. If voters are hearing the same message from you and President Trump on the issue of military intervention, how should they expect that you will be any different from him?

1:50:23 SS: Trump is a pathological liar. I tell the truth. We have been in Afghanistan, I think 18 years, in Iraq 16 or 17 years. We have spent $5 trillion on the war on terror, and there are probably more terrorists out there now than before it began. We’re gonna spend the Congress’s past and I will not vote for a $715 billion military budget, more than the 10 next countries combined. What we need is a foreign policy that focuses on diplomacy, ending conflicts like people sitting at a table, not by killing each other. As president of the United States, I will go to the United Nations and not denigrate it, not attack the UN, but bring countries together in the Middle East and all over the world, to come to terms with their differences and solve those problems peacefully. The United States cannot be the policemen of the world.

1:51:27 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, how do you respond to Senator Sanders’ vision for America’s role in the world?

1:51:36 GH: Well, we share the recognition of the incredible cost. People don’t realize that half the soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were National Guard. And so, I went and sent them off on their deployments, big, noisy hangars. But I also mourned with their families when they didn’t come back. We are able now to… I call it constant engagement, but we should have an international diplomatic approach where we’re talking to everybody, ’cause if we’re gonna deal with climate change and cyber security and nuclear proliferation, we gotta be talking to everybody. And tariff wars don’t work, they’re for losers.

1:52:12 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Governor. I wanna go to Congressman Ryan, and I wanna turn to the subject of North Korea, which just hours ago launched two short-range ballistic missiles for the second time in less than a week. Congressman, you’ve said that you would not meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, unless you were at least close to a deal. Now, Senator Klobuchar says that she would quote: “Always be willing to meet with leaders to discuss policies”. Is that view wrong?

1:52:41 CR: Yeah, I think so. I love Amy Klobuchar, but I think she’s wrong on this one. I don’t think Presidents of the United States meet with dictators. We saw what just happened with President Trump. He goes to the demilitarized zone with the leader of North Korea, gives him a huge photo op. Gives him global credibility, because the most powerful person in the world is sitting there meeting with him, and weeks later, he’s lobing more missiles. That doesn’t make any sense. We’ve got to demilitarize our foreign policy, we’ve gotta make sure that we are engaging these countries all the time. This is very difficult work. I’ve been in Congress 17 years. I’ve sit on the Defense Appropriations Committee. I sat on the Armed Services Committee. This is long, tedious work, much of it done outside of the eye of the TV camera, and as president, you’ve gotta monitor that and be very disciplined every day. Don’t go give a dictator a huge win. Sit down and do your job and the same thing with what’s happening in Central America. He’s cutting the State Department budget. Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, where the migrants are coming from. Go fix the problem at its source, and use diplomacy to do it.

1:53:45 Jake: Thank you Congressman. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

1:53:52 SK: I think we agree. I just think you have to leave open the possibility of meeting with anyone at any place. What I don’t like is how this president has handled it. You’ve heard of the Truman Doctrine, the Monroe Doctrine. He’s done the go-it-alone Doctrine with the rest of the world. He’s taken us out of the climate change agreement, out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, out of the Russian Nuclear Agreement and I don’t agree with that. And when he was just with Vladimir Putin at the G20, when he was asked about invading our democracy, he made a joke. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives on the battlefield to protect our democracy and our right to vote. Four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama, lost their life in a church at the height of the Civil Rights Amendment. So I do believe you meet with people, but you better have an agenda, and you better put our interest of our country first, not the Russians.

1:54:39 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator, Klobuchar. Mayor Buttigieg, you served in Afghanistan, where just yesterday two US service members were killed. There are currently about 14,000 US service members in Afghanistan. You’ve said, “One thing everybody can agree on is that we’re getting out of Afghanistan”. Will you withdraw all US service members by the end of your first year in office?

1:55:05 MB: We will withdraw. We have to.

1:55:07 Jake: In your first year?


1:55:09 MB: Yes. Look, around the world, we will do whatever it takes to keep America safe. But I thought I was one of the last troops leaving Afghanistan, when I thought I was turning out the lights, years ago. Every time I see news about somebody being killed in Afghanistan, I think about what it was like. To hear an explosion over there and wonder whether it was somebody that I served with, somebody that I knew, a friend, roommate, colleague. We’re pretty close to the day when we will wake up to the news of a casualty in Afghanistan, who was not born on 9/11.

1:55:44 MB: I was sent into that war by a congressional authorization as well as the President. And we need to talk not only about the need for a President committed to ending endless war but the fact that Congress has been asleep at the switch. And on my watch I will propose that any authorization for the use of military force have a three-year sunset and have to be renewed. Because if men and women in the military have the courage to go serve, members of Congress oughta have to summon the courage…

1:56:11 Jake: Thank you mayor.

1:56:11 MB: To vote on whether they oughta be there.

1:56:12 Jake: Thank you mayor.


1:56:12 Jake: I wanna bring in Congressman O’Rourke, congressman O’Rourke. Responding… Returning rather to the question of whether you would withdraw all US service members from Afghanistan during your first year in office as president, how do you respond sir?

1:56:25 CO: I would, in my first term in office, agree that there is nothing about perpetuating this war already in its 18th year, that will make it any better. We’ve satisfied the reasons for our involvement in Afghanistan in the first place, and it’s time to bring those service members back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen and Somalia and Libya and Syria. There’s no reason for us to be at war all over the world tonight. As president, I will end those wars and we will not start new wars. We will not send more US service members overseas, to sacrifice their lives and to take the lives of others in our name, we can resolve these challenges…

1:57:04 Jake: Thank you, congressman.

1:57:04 CO: Peacefully and diplomatically.

1:57:05 Jake: Thank you, congressman. Governor Hickenlooper, you disagree, you’ve said that you’re open to keeping some service members in Afghanistan, beyond…

1:57:12 GH: Look at it as a…

1:57:14 Jake: Please respond.

1:57:14 GH: Humanitarian issue and with all due respect, you’re looking at the condition of women. If we completely…

1:57:19 S?: Thank you.

1:57:19 GH: Pull our troops out of there, you’re gonna see a humanitarian disaster that will startle and frighten every man, woman and child in this country. And I don’t think… We have troops in over 400 different locations around the world, most of them are small, they’re peace keeping, they’re not greatly at risk. We’re gonna have to be in Afghanistan… Look at the progress that’s happened in that country. We’re gonna turn our backs and walk away from people that have risked their lives to help us and build a different future for Afghanistan and that part of the world?

1:57:49 Jake: Thank you governor. Thank you governor. Senator Warren, you wanna make it US policy, that the US will never use a nuclear weapon, unless another country uses one first. Now, President Obama reportedly considered that policy, but ultimately decided against it. Why should the US tie its own hands with that policy?

1:58:08 SW: Because it makes the world safer. The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively and we need to say so to the entire world. It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands. Our first responsibility is to keep ourselves safe. And what’s happening right now with Donald Trump as they keep expanding the different ways that we have nuclear weapons, the different ways that they could be used, puts us all at risk. We talk about what’s happening around the world. I have three older brothers who served in the military, I see that they would do anything. Our military is the best on earth but we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution. We need to use our diplomatic tools, our economic tools and if we’re gonna send someone into war, we better have a plan for how we’re gonna get them out on the other end.

1:59:09 Jake: Thank you, senator. Governor Bullock, your response to Senator Warren’s proposal to the US never use a nuclear weapon first.

1:59:17 GB: I wouldn’t wanna take that off the table. I think America’s strength, we have to be able to say that. Look, never I hope. Certainly in my term, or anyone else would we really even get close to pulling that trigger. But by the same token, America’s strength… And look this President’s made America versus America alone. Our allies no longer trust us, our adversaries are with us. But going from a position of strength we should be negotiating down, so there aren’t nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand at this point, I wouldn’t do it.

1:59:53 Jake: Thank you, governor. Senator Warren your response.

1:59:55 SW: We don’t expand trust around the world by saying, “You know, we might be the first ones to use a nuclear weapon.” That puts the entire world at risk and puts us at risk, right in the middle of this. At a time when Donald Trump is pulling out of our nuclear negotiations expanding the opportunities for nuclear proliferation around the world, has pulled us out of the deal in Iran and Iran is now working on its nuclear weapon. The world gets closer and closer to nuclear warfare.

2:00:29 Jake: Senator that… Senator.

2:00:29 SW: We have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with, we need to make that clear. We will respond if someone else does but not first.

2:00:39 Jake: Thank you Senator Warren. Governor Bullock please respond.

2:00:41 GB: Part I agree with, but by the same token, we need to get back to nuclear proliferation.

2:00:47 SW: Why?

2:00:47 GB: But when you have de-proliferation, reducing them. But at the same time. When you actually have Korea, when you have others, I don’t wanna turn around and say, “Well Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that.” When so many crazy folks are getting closer to have a nuclear weapon. I don’t want them to think I could strike this country. And I, and we as the United States of America wouldn’t do a thing. Part of the strength really is the ability to deter.

2:01:18 Jake: Governor Bullock.

2:01:19 SW: So don’t…

2:01:20 Jake: Governor thank you very much.

2:01:21 SS: Could I add something to that…

2:01:21 Jake: Moving on now, please senator. Senator please. Moving on now. As you know to serve as President of United States, all of you know this, you have to be at least 35 years old. So, Mayor Buttigieg you just qualified you’re 37, the youngest candidate in this field. Standing next to you is the oldest candidate, Bernie Sanders at age 77. Should voters take into consideration age, when choosing a presidential candidate?

2:01:48 MB: I don’t care how old you are, I care about your vision. But I do think it matters that we have a new generation of leaders stepping up around the world. Leaders like the… I actually think it’s good that the Prime Minister of New Zealand’s gotten a lot of attention in democratic debate. She’s masterful, she is younger than I would be when I take office. This is the kind of trend America might be leading instead of following. But only if it’s actually backed by the right vision. And we can have great presidents at any age. What I will say is, we need the kind of vision that’s gonna win. We cannot have a vision that amounts to back to normal. Because the only reason we got this president is that normal didn’t work. We have to be ready to take on this president. And by the way, something that hasn’t been talked about as much tonight, take on his enablers in Congress. When David Duke…


2:02:40 MB: When David Duke ran for Congress… Ran for governor, the Republican Party, 20 years ago, ran away from him. Today they are supporting naked racism in the White House, or at best silent about it. And if you are watching this at home and you are a Republican member of Congress, consider the fact that, when the sun sets on your career and they are writing your story, of all the good and bad things you did in your life, the thing you will be remembered for is whether, in this moment, with this president, you found the courage to stand up to him or you continued to put party over country.


2:03:11 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Senator Sanders, as the senior statesman of the group, please respond to Mayor Buttigieg.

2:03:19 SS: Well, Pete is right. It’s a question of vision, that’s what it is, whether you’re young, whether you’re old, whether you’re in between. And my vision, among other things, says that if we’re gonna fight for health care, we don’t take money from the drug companies or the insurance companies. And I have asked all of the candidates who are running to say they will not accept money from those entities who, in my view, are going to war against the American people in terms of health care. That’s a new vision. A new vision says that we must cancel completely student debt because the younger generation in this country today, for the first time in modern American history, will have a lower standard of living than their parents.

2:04:10 Jake: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

2:04:11 S?: I’d like to respond on that, too.

[overlapping conversation]

2:04:15 Jake: The debate continues right after this, please. Thank you. The debate continues right after this short break.


2:04:18 Jake: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate. We have covered a lot of ground tonight. Now it is time for closing statements. You will each receive one minute. Governor Bullock, we’re gonna begin with you.

2:04:30 GB: Thanks, Jake. I was raised in a single-parent household, at times paycheck to paycheck. Only knew there was a governor’s house in town ’cause I delivered newspapers to it, so I’ve made it about four blocks in life. Worked my way through college, paid my way through law school. But I had a chance to actually go from delivering newspapers to the governor’s house as a kid to now raising our three kids in it. We gotta recognize, for far too many people now in America, that shot no longer exists. And for far too many in this country, it never has. I’m running for president to beat Donald Trump, win back the places we lost, and make sure that Americans know that where Washington has left them behind in their economy, in the political system, I’ll be there. This isn’t a choice just between center and left, or about, “We don’t have to choose between what we don’t want and what we can’t afford.” Folks want a different way, they wanna believe the economy and our democracy can work for us. That’s why I’m running for president.

2:05:36 Jake: Thank you. Ms. Williamson?

2:05:39 MW: Yes, our problem is not just that we need to defeat Donald Trump. We need a plan to solve institutionalized hatred, collectivized hatred, and white nationalism. And in order to do that, we need more than political insider game and wonkiness and intellectual argument. Those things will not defeat Donald Trump. We need some radical truth-telling, not just to talk about health care, but talk about why are we so sick all the time. We need to have a serious conversation about race and what is truly owed. Even on the subject of foreign policy, it’s all about symptoms and not about cause. We need to talk about the fact that the United States has sacrificed our moral leadership. The fact that countries see us, not only domestically but internationally, with policies that simply support our corporate overlords. The fact that our national defense agenda is driven more by short-term profits for defense contractors than by genuine peace-building.

2:06:32 MW: There’s some corruption that is so deep, ladies and gentlemen. And until the Democratic Party is ready to speak to the deeper corruption, knowing that we ourselves, sometimes, because of our own corporate donations, have participated, then I’m afraid those who vote for Trump will continue to vote for Trump and those who might not like Donald Trump will continue to stay home. I want a politics that goes much deeper, I want a politics that speaks to the heart because the only way to fight… You keep talking about how we’re gonna fight Donald Trump. You can’t fight dog whistles, you have to override them. And the only way you can override them is with new voices, voices of energy that only come from the fact that America has been willing to live up to our own mistakes, atone for our own mistakes, make amends for our own mistakes, love each other, love our democracy, love future generations. Something emotional and psychological that will not be emerging from anything on this stage, it will emerge from something I’m the one who’s qualified to bring forth.

2:07:31 Jake: Congressman Delaney?

2:07:32 CD: Thank you, Jake. John F. Kennedy famously said, “We should not seek the Republican answer, we should not seek the Democratic answer, we should seek the right answer.” He was right when he said it and he’s right today as well. Donald Trump is the symptom of a disease, and the disease is divisiveness. And I’m the only one on this stage talking about curing that disease, which… With big ideas like national service, by focusing on actually solving problems. If we work together, we can fix health care and build infrastructure. We can invest in not just technology, but people and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa, or Detroit, Michigan, or Baltimore, Maryland. We can fight climate change and reimagine our education system. But we have to do it with real solutions, not impossible promises. Isn’t it time we had a president who was a leader in both the private sector and in government to lead us into the future? I promise, as president, I will restore vision, unity, and leadership, and decency to this country. And that’s why I’m running for president. Thank you.

2:08:46 Jake: Congressman Ryan.

2:08:49 CR: So in a few minutes all of the pundits are gonna be looking at this debate and saying, “Well, who captured the left lane? And who captured the center lane? And who captured the moderate lane? I hope tonight at some level I captured your imagination. Your imagination about what this country could be like if we united, if we put together real policies that weren’t left or right, but new and better. That’s how we win the future. It’s new and better. A new and better economy, a new and better education system, a new and better healthcare system that focuses on prevention, an education system that focuses on the trauma of our kids. There’s not gonna be a savior. Not gonna be a superstar that’s gonna fix all this. It’s gonna be you and me. It’s gonna be us, that’s how we fix this country. You and I coming together to do big things to imagine the new country that we want by coming together. Not left or right, new and better.

2:10:00 Jake: Governor Hickenlooper?

2:10:02 GH: Thank you, and what a night. I’ve loved it. I’d like to ask every American to imagine that you are facing life-threatening surgery tomorrow, would you choose a doctor who had a track record with proven success who’d actually done the work? Or someone who had just talked about it? That’s the question we’re facing in this primary. I’ve actually got a track record as a small business owner, as a mayor and as a governor. We expanded healthcare in Colorado and got near universal coverage. We fought climate change directly. We beat the NRA. And for the last three years, we’ve been the number one economy in the country. We can wrap all that out. I’m as progressive as anybody up on this stage, but I’m also pragmatic. And I’ve done the things that most these other people are just talking about and I know I can get results, and I can lead the people of this country toward a stronger, a healthier, and a more secure future, and defeat Donald Trump and return this country to its glory. Thank you.

2:11:11 Jake: Senator Klobuchar?

2:11:11 SK: Well, thank you, Detroit. To win we have to listen to people, and out there today is Casey Joe’s mom. Casey Joe was a champion high school swimmer from a small town. She got sick, went to the emergency room and got hooked on opioids. The last thing that she said to her mom was, “Mama, it’s not my fault” and she died. A lot of Americans say the same thing every day. And that is what I will stand up for, and what I will stand up against are companies like those pharma companies that got her hooked on those opioids, and didn’t tell the doctors or the patients what was gonna happen. We need someone that has people’s back, we also need someone that can win. And I have won in these red districts. I win in the Midwest. I can win in states like Wisconsin, and Michigan, and Iowa. I also will do my job without fear or favor, just like I did as a prosecutor; and get through the grid lock like I’ve done as a Senator, where I’ve passed over 100 bills where I’ve been the lead Democrat. And last yes, I will govern with integrity. We have a President where people turn off their TV when they see him. Not me. I will make you proud as your president.

2:12:24 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke?

2:12:26 CO: We are as divided and polarized as a country as we have ever been, and right now we have a President who uses fear to try to drive us further apart. To meet this challenge we have to have hope in one another and a faith in a future of this country that includes everyone. My whole life, I’ve been including people in the success of this country. Starting a small business with high value, high wage, high skilled jobs in the third poorest urban county in America. Serving on the city council and holding town hall meetings every single week to remind myself who it is that I serve at the end of the day. And in Congress being in the minority, but working with Democrats and Republicans alike to deliver for my constituents and this country. And then in Texas, this last year. Traveling to every county. Not writing anybody off, not taking anyone for granted. And at the end of the day, winning more votes than any Democrat had in the history of the State. Winning independence for the first time in decades, and winning nearly half a million Republicans. And those 38 electoral college votes in Texas are now in play, and I can win them. That is how we defeat Donald Trump in November of 2020 and how we bring this divided country together again in January of 2021. Thank you.


2:13:45 Jake: Mayor Buttigieg?

2:13:48 MB: There’s good news and bad news. I’m gonna start with the bad news. Our country is in trouble. GDP is going up and life expectancy is going down. Think about what that means. It’s only getting tougher. By 2030 we will have passed the point of no return on climate; there are gonna be 130 million more guns on our streets. I’ll be in my 40s then. If you have kids, think about how old they will be then. But here’s the good news, it’s not too late. We can tell our kids that before we ran out of time, just before we ran out of time. In 2020, we did what it took to deliver a climate that we didn’t have to wonder if it could support us. To deliver a society where race has no bearing on your health or your wealth or your relationship with law enforcement. That we did what it took to deliver an economy where a rising tide actually does lift all boats. We can do this. If and only if we are ready to walk away from what hasn’t worked with bold action, and win. Not only defeat this President, but defeat his Congressional allies. With a defeat so big that it reunites the Republican Party with its conscience, as well as bringing Democrats to office. Join me and let’s make it happen.

2:14:58 Jake: Senator Warren?

2:15:01 SW: From the time I was seven years old, I had a dream. I wanted to be a public school teacher, but my daddy ended up as a janitor and by the time I graduated from high school, my family didn’t have the money to send me off to college. My big chance, was what was then, a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. For me, what this election is all about, is opportunity. Every budget, every policy that we talk about, is about who’s going to get opportunity. Is it gonna go to the billionaires or is it gonna go to our kids? Right now for decades, we have had a government that has been on the side of the rich and the powerful. It has been on the side of the wealthy. And that means it has not been on the side of everyone else. Not on the side of people living on our Native American reservations, people living in inner cities, people living in small farms, and small communities across this country. How do we beat it? We beat it by being the party of big structural change. Give people a reason to show up and vote, and we beat it by building a grassroots movement across this country. Not showing up behind closed doors with millionaires, but actually building it person-by-person across this country. With small dollar donations, with volunteers, with people who show up and say, “I have a stake in this democracy” I will not only beat Donald Trump in 2020, I’ll start to make real change come 2021.


2:16:39 Jake: Senator Sanders?

2:16:44 SS: As somebody who grew up in a family that lived in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and lived paycheck to paycheck. I’m running for president, not just to defeat the most dangerous President in the history of this country. A guy who’s a racist, and a sexist, and a homophobe. I’m running to transform this country, and to stand with the working class of America, which for the last 45 years has been decimated. Two days ago I had a remarkable experience, which should tell you everything you need to know about what’s going on in America. I took 15 people with diabetes from Detroit, a few miles into Canada, and we bought insulin for one-tenth the price being charged by the crooks who run the pharmaceutical industry in America today. But it’s not just the price-fixing, and the corruption, and the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s what’s going on in the fossil fuel industry, it’s what’s going on in Wall Street, it’s what’s going on with the prison industrial complex. We need a mass political movement. Please go to berniesanders.com, become one of our million volunteers. Stand up and take on the greed…

Third Presidential Debate Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Full Transcript

2016 Final Debate Transcript


Wallace: Good evening. From the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I’m Chris Wallace of Fox News. And I welcome you to the third and final of the 2016 presidential debates between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald J Trump. This debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission has designed the format, six roughly, 15-minute segments with two-minute answers to the first question, then open discussion for the rest of each segment. Both campaigns have agreed to those rules. For the record, I decided the topics and the questions in each topic. None of those questions has been shared with the commission or the two candidates. The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent. No cheers, boos, or other interruptions, so we and you can focus on what the candidates have to say. No noise except right now, as we welcome the Democratic nominee for President, Secretary Clinton and the Republican nominee for President, Mr Trump. Continue reading “Third Presidential Debate Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Full Transcript”

Clinton vs. Trump: The First U.S. Presidential Debate Full Transcript

Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton

Monday, Sep 27, 2016


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Holt: The Commission drafted tonight’s format and the rules have been agreed to by the campaigns. The 90-minute debate is divided into six segments, each 15 minutes long. We’ll explore three topic areas tonight; Achieving Prosperity, America’s Direction and Securing America. At the start of each segment, I will ask the same lead-off question to both candidates and they will each have up to two minutes to respond. From that point until the end of the segment, we’ll have an open discussion. The questions are mine and have not been shared with the Commission or the campaigns. The audience here in the room has agreed to remain silent, so that we can focus on what the candidates are saying. I will invite you to applaud, however, at this moment as we walk in the candidates. Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.


[background conversation]

Holt: Well, I don’t expect us to cover all the issues of this campaign tonight, but I remind everyone there are two more presidential debates scheduled. We are gonna focus on many of the issues that voters tell us are most important and we’re gonna press for specifics. I am honored to have this role, but this evening belongs to the candidates and just as important to the American people. Candidates, we look forward to hearing you articulate your policies and your positions, as well as your visions and your values. So, let’s begin.

Holt: We’re calling this opening segment, ‘Achieving Prosperity’, and central to that is jobs. There are two economic realities in America today. There’s been a record six straight years of job growth and new census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation. However, income inequality remains significant and nearly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?

Clinton: Well, thank you, Lester, and thanks to Hofstra for hosting us. The central question in this election is really, what kind of country we wanna be and what kind of future we’ll build together? Today is my granddaughter’s second birthday, so I think about this a lot. First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means, we need new jobs, good jobs with rising incomes. I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean renewable energy and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business.

Clinton: We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also, guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work. I also wanna see more companies do profit sharing. If you help create the profits, you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top. And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work. I’ve heard from so many of you about the difficult choices you face and the stresses that you’re under. So, let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days. Let’s be sure we have affordable child care and debt-free college. How’re we gonna do it? We’re gonna do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.

Clinton: Finally, we, tonight, are on the stage together, Donald Trump and I. Donald, it’s good to be with you. We’re going to have a debate where we are talking about the important issues facing our country. You have to judge us, who can shoulder the immense awesome responsibilities of the Presidency? Who can put into action the plans that will make your life better? I hope that I will be able to earn your vote on November 8th.

Holt: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, the same question to you. It’s about putting more money into the pockets of American workers. You have up to two minutes.

Trump: Thank you, Lester. Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product. They’re devaluing their currency and there’s nobody in our government to fight them, and we have a very good fight and we have a winning fight, because they’re using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China and many other countries are doing the same thing. So, we’re losing our good jobs, so many of them. When you look at what’s happening in Mexico, a friend of mine who builds plants said, “It’s the eighth wonder of the world.” They’re building some of the biggest plants anywhere in the world, some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants. With the United States, as he said, “Not so much.” So, Ford is leaving, you see that their small car division leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They’re all leaving. And we can’t allow it to happen anymore.

Trump: As far as child care is concerned and so many other things, I think Hillary and I agree on that. We probably disagree a little bit as to numbers and amounts and what we’re going to do, but perhaps we’ll be talking about that later. But we have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us, we have to stop our companies from leaving the United States, and with it, firing all of their people. All you have to do is take a look at Carrier Air Conditioning in Indianapolis. They fired 1,400 people. They’re going to Mexico. So many, hundreds and hundreds of companies are doing this. We cannot let it happen. Under my plan, I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35% to 15% for companies, small and big businesses. That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch. Companies will come, they will build, they will expand, new companies will start. And I look very, very much forward to doing it. We have to renegotiate our trade deals, and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs.

Holt: Secretary Clinton, would you like to respond?

Clinton: Well, I think that trade is an important issue. Of course, we are 5% of the world’s population, we have to trade with the other 95%. And we need to have smart, fair trade deals. We also, though, need to have a tax system that rewards work and not just financial transactions. And the kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percents of the people in this country than we’ve ever had. I call it ‘trumped-up trickle-down’, because that’s exactly what it would be. That is not how we grow the economy. We just have a different view about what’s best for growing the economy, how we make investments that will actually produce jobs and rising incomes.

Clinton: I think we come at it from somewhat different perspectives. I understand that. Donald was very fortunate in his life, and that’s all to his benefit. He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father, and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we’ll be and that everything will work out from there. I don’t buy that. I have a different experience. My father was a small businessman. He worked really hard. He printed drapery fabrics on long tables, where he pulled out those fabrics and he went down with a silkscreen and dumped the paint in and took the squeegee and kept going. And so what I believe is the more we can do for the middle class, the more we can invest in you, your education, your skills, your future, the better we will be off and the better we’ll grow. That’s the kind of economy I want us to see again.

Holt: Let me follow up with Mr. Trump, if I can. You’ve talked about creating 25 million jobs, and you’ve promised to bring back millions of jobs for Americans. How are you going to bring back the industries that have left this country for cheaper labor overseas? How, specifically, are you gonna tell American manufacturers that you have to come back?

Trump: Well, for one thing, and before we start on that, my father gave me a very small loan in 1975 and I built it into a company that’s worth many, many billions of dollars, with some of the greatest assets in the world, and I say that only because that’s the kind of thinking that our country needs. Our country’s in deep trouble. We don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to devaluations, and all of these countries all over the world, especially China. They’re the best, the best ever at it. What they’re doing to us is a very, very sad thing. So, we have to do that. We have to renegotiate our trade deals. And, Lester, they’re taking our jobs, they’re giving incentives, they’re doing things that, frankly, we don’t do.

Trump: Let me give you the example of Mexico. They have a VAT tax, we’re on a different system. When we sell into Mexico, there’s a tax. When they sell in… Automatic, 16% approximately. When they sell into us, there’s no tax. It’s a defective agreement. It’s been defective for a long time, many years, but the politicians haven’t done anything about it. Now, in all fairness to Secretary Clinton, yes, is that okay? Good. I want you to be very happy. [chuckle] It’s very important to me. But in all fairness to Secretary Clinton, when she started talking about this, it was really very recently. She’s been doing this for 30 years. And why hasn’t she made the agreements better? The NAFTA agreement is defective. Just because of the tax and many other reasons, but just because of the fact…

Holt: Let me interrupt just a moment, but…

Trump: Secretary Clinton and others, politicians, should’ve been doing this for years, not right now, because of the fact that we’ve created a movement. They should’ve been doing this for years. What’s happened to our jobs and our country and our economy generally is… Look, we owe $20 trillion. We cannot do it any longer, Lester.

Holt: Back to the question, though. How do you bring back, specifically bring back jobs? American manufacturers, how do you make them bring the jobs back?

Trump: Well, the first thing you do is don’t let the jobs leave. The companies are leaving. I could name, I mean, there are thousands of them. They’re leaving, and they’re leaving in bigger numbers than ever. And what you do is you say, “Fine, you wanna go to Mexico or some other country, good luck. We wish you a lot of luck. But if you think you’re going to make your air conditioners or your cars or your cookies or whatever you make and bring them into our country without a tax, you’re wrong.” And once you say you’re gonna have to tax them coming in, and our politicians never do this, because they have special interests and the special interests want those companies to leave, because in many cases, they own the companies. So what I’m saying is, we can stop them from leaving, we have to stop them from leaving. And that’s a big, big factor.

Holt: Let me let Secretary Clinton get in here.

Clinton: Well, let’s stop for a second and remember where we were eight years ago. We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off the Wall Street, and created a perfect storm. In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said, back in 2006, “Gee, I hope it does collapse, ’cause then I can go in and buy some and make some money.” Well, it did collapse.

Trump: That’s called business by the way.

Clinton: Nine million people lost their jobs, five million people lost their homes, and $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out. Now, we have come back from that abyss and it has not been easy. So we’re now on the precipice of having a potentially much better economy, but the last thing we need to do, is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place. Independent experts have looked at what I’ve proposed and looked at what Donald’s proposed, and basically, they’ve said this, that if his tax plan, which would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion, and would, in some instances, disadvantage middle class families compared to the wealthy, were to go into effect, we would lose three-and-a-half million jobs and maybe have another recession.

Clinton: They’ve looked at my plans, and they’ve said, “Okay, if we can do this,” and I intend to get it done, “we will have 10 million more new jobs.” Because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.

Trump: I did not, I did not. I do not say that. I do not say that.

Clinton: I think science is real, and I think it’s important that we grip this and deal with it both at home, and abroad. And here’s what we can do, we can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new, modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs, that’s a lot of new economic activity. So, I’ve tried to be very specific about what we can and should do. And I am determined that we’re going to get the economy really moving again, building on the progress we’ve made over the last eight years, but never going back to what got us in trouble in the first place.

Holt: Mr. Trump.

Trump: She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster, they lost plenty of money on that one. Now look, I’m a great believer in all forms of energy, but we’re putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies are a disaster. Our country is losing so much in terms of energy, in terms of paying off our debt. You can’t do what you’re looking to do with $20 trillion in debt. The Obama administration, from the time they’ve come in, is over 230 years worth of debt. And he’s topped it, he’s doubled it in the course of almost eight years, seven-and-a-half years to be semi-exact. So I will tell you this, we have to do a much better job at keeping our jobs. And we have to do a much better job at giving companies incentive to build new companies or to expand, because they’re not doing it.

Trump: And all you have to do is look at Michigan, and look at Ohio, and look at all of these places where so many of their jobs and their companies are just leaving, they’re gone. And Hillary, I just ask you this. You’ve been doing this for 30 years, why are you just thinking about these solutions right now? For 30 years, you’ve been doing it, and now, you’re just starting to think of solutions.

Clinton: Well, actually that…

Trump: Excuse me. I will bring back jobs, you can’t bring back jobs.

Clinton: Well, actually, I have thought about this quite a bit. And I have…

Clinton: Yeah, for 30 years.


Clinton: Well, not quite that long. I think my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s. So, I think a lot about what worked and how we can make it work again.

Trump: Well, he approved NAFTA.

[overlapping conversation]

Clinton: 23 million new jobs, a balanced budget…

Trump: He approved NAFTA, which is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.

Clinton: And incomes went up for everybody. Manufacturing jobs went up also in the 1990s, if we’re actually gonna look at the facts. When I was in the Senate, I had a number of trade deals that came before me, and I held them all to the same test: Will they create jobs in America? Will they raise incomes in America, and are they good for our national security? Some of them I voted for. The biggest one, a multinational one known as CAFTA, I voted against, and because I hold the same standards as I look at all of these trade deals. But, let’s not assume that trade is the only challenge we have in the economy. I think it is a part of it and I’ve said what I’m going to do. I’m gonna have a special prosecutor. We’re going to enforce the trade deals we have and we’re going to hold people accountable. When I was Secretary of State, we actually increased American exports globally 30%, we increased them to China 50%. So, I know how to really work to get new jobs and to get exports that help to create more new jobs.

Trump: Well, you haven’t done in 30 years or 26 years, or any number you wanna…

Clinton: Well, I’ve been a Senator Donald…

Trump: You haven’t done it, you haven’t done it.

Clinton: And I’ve been a Secretary of State and I have done a lot.

Trump: And excuse me, you’re husband signed NAFTA, which was one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry.

Clinton: Well, that’s your opinion. That is your opinion.

Trump: You go to New England, you go to Ohio, Pennsylvania, you go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton, and you will see devastation where manufacture is down 30, 40, sometimes 50%. NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country. And now, you want to approve Trans-Pacific partnership. You were totally in favor of it, then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, “I can’t win that debate.” But you know that if you did win, you would approve that, and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA. Nothing will ever top NAFTA.

Clinton: Well, that is just not accurate. I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out. I wrote about that in…

Trump: You called it the ‘gold standard’.

Clinton: I wrote about… Well, I hope…

Trump: You called it the ‘gold standard of trade deals.’

Holt: And, you know what…

Trump: You said it’s the finest deal you’ve ever seen. And then, you heard what I said about it, and all of a sudden you were against it.

Clinton: Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, [chuckle] but that is not the facts. The facts are, I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal, but when it was negotiated, which I was not responsible for, I concluded it wasn’t. I wrote about that in my book…

Trump: So is it President Obama’s fault? Is it President Obama’s fault?

Clinton: Before you even announced… Look, there are different…

Trump: Secretary, is it President Obama’s fault?

Clinton: There are different…

Trump: Because he’s pushing it.

Clinton: There are different views about what’s good for our country, our economy and our leadership in the world. And I think it’s important to look at what we need to do to get the economy going again. That’s why I said, new jobs with rising incomes, investments, not in more tax cuts that would add $5 trillion to the debt…

Trump: But you have no plan.

Clinton: But in educa… Oh, I do.

Trump: Secretary, you have no plan.

Clinton: In fact, I have written a book about it. It’s called ‘Stronger Together,’ you can pick it up tomorrow…

Trump: That’s about all you…

Holt: Folks, we’re gonna…

Clinton: At the bookstore or at an airport near you.

Holt: We’re gonna move to…

Clinton: But it’s because I see this, we need to have strong growth, fair growth, sustained growth. We also have to look at how we help families balance the responsibilities at home and the responsibilities at business. So we have a very robust set of plans, and people who have looked at both of our plans, have concluded that mine would create 10 million jobs and yours would lose us three-and-a-half million jobs and explode the debt, which would have a recession.

[overlapping conversation]

Trump: You are going to approve one of the biggest tax cuts in history. You are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history. You are gonna drive business out. Your regulations are a disaster and you’re gonna increase regulations all over the place. And by the way, my tax cut is the biggest since Ronald Reagan, I’m very proud of it. It will create tremendous numbers of new jobs. But, regulations, you are going to regulate these businesses out of existence. When I go around, Lester, I tell you this. I’ve been all over. And when I go around, despite the tax cut, the things that business as in people like the most, is the fact that I’m cutting regulation. You have regulations on top of regulations and new companies cannot form and old companies are going out of business, and you wanna increase the regulations and make them even worse. I’m gonna cut regulations. But I’m going to cut taxes big league and you’re gonna raise taxes big league, end of story.

Holt: Let me get you to pause right there, ’cause we’re gonna move into the next segment. We’re gonna talk taxes.

Clinton: That can’t be left to stand…

Trump: Please take 30 seconds and then we’re gonna go on.

Clinton: I kind of assumed that there would be a lot of these charges and claims, and so…

Trump: Facts.

Clinton: We have taken the homepage of my website, hillaryclinton.com and we’ve turned it into a fact checker. So if you wanna see in real time what the facts are, please go and take a look, because…

Trump: And take a look at mine also and you’ll see…

Clinton: What I have proposed does not add a penny to the debt and your plans would add $5 trillion to the debt. What I have proposed would cut regulations and streamline them for small businesses. What I have proposed would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy, because they have made all the gains in the economy and I think it’s time that the wealthy incorporations paid their fair share to support this country.

Holt: Well, you just opened the next segment…

Trump: Well, could I just finish? I think I should…

[overlapping conversation]

Holt: I’m gonna give you a chance right here.

Trump: You go to her website…

Holt: With the new 15-minute segment it’s gonna be…

Trump: And you take a look at her website. She’s gonna raise taxes $1.3 trillion.

Holt: Mr. Trump, I’m gonna…

Trump: And look at her website. You know what? It’s no different than this. She’s telling us how to fight ISIS, just go to her website. She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don’t think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.


Holt: Alright. The next segment we’re continuing the subject of achieving prosperity…

Clinton: Well, at least I have a plan to fight ISIS.

Trump: No, no. You’re telling the enemy everything you wanna do.

Clinton: No, we’re not.

Trump: See, you’re telling the enemy everything you wanna do. No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.


Holt: Folks, let me…

Clinton: That’s… Go to the… Please, the fact checkers, get to work.

Holt:  Okay. You are unpacking a lot here and we’re still in the issue of achieving prosperity and I wanna talk about taxes. The fundamental difference between the two of you concerns the wealthy. Secretary Clinton, you’re calling for a tax increase in the wealthiest Americans. I’d like you to further defend that. And Mr. Trump, you’re calling for tax cuts for the wealthy. I’d like you to defend that, and this next two-minute answer goes to you, Mr. Trump.

Trump: Well, I’m really for major jobs, because the wealthy are going to create tremendous jobs. They’re gonna expand their companies, they’re gonna do a tremendous job. I’m getting rid of the carried interest provision, and if you really look, it’s not a tax… It’s really not a great thing for the wealthy, it’s a great thing for middle class, it’s a great thing for companies to expand. And when these people are gonna put billions and billions of dollars into companies, and when they’re gonna bring two-and-a-half trillion dollars back from overseas, where they can’t bring the money back, because politicians like Secretary Clinton won’t allow them to bring the money back, because the taxes are so onerous, and the bureaucratic red tape. So what… Is so bad. So what they’re doing is, they’re leaving our country, and they’re, believe it or not, leaving because taxes are too high, and because some of them have lots of money outside of our country. And instead of bringing it back and putting the money to work, because they can’t work out a deal to… And everybody agrees it should be brought back. Instead of that, they’re leaving our country to get their money. Because they can’t bring their money back into our country, because of bureaucratic red tape. Because they can’t get together. ‘Cause we have a president that can’t sit them around the table, and get them to approve something.

Trump: And here’s the thing, Republicans and Democrats agree that this should be done. Two-and-a-half trillion, I happen to think it’s double that. It’s probably $5 trillion that we can’t bring into our country, Lester. And with a little leadership you’d get it in here very quickly, and it could be put to use on the inner cities and lots of other things, and it would be beautiful. But we have no leadership, and honestly that starts with Secretary Clinton.

Holt: Alright, you have two minutes on the same question to defend tax increases on the wealthiest Americans, Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: I have a feeling that by the end of this evening I’m gonna be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.

Trump: Why not?

Clinton: Why not? Yeah, why not?


Clinton: Just join the debate by saying more crazy things. Now let me say this.

Trump: There’s nothing crazy…

Clinton: It is absolutely the case.

Trump: About not letting our companies bring their money back into their country.

Holt: This is Secretary Clinton’s two minutes please.

Trump: Yes.

Clinton: Yeah, well let’s start the clock again Lester. We’ve looked at your tax proposals, I don’t see changes in the corporate tax rates, or the kinds of proposals you’re referring to that would cause the repatriation, bringing back of money that’s stranded overseas. I happen to support that.

Trump: Then you didn’t read it.

Clinton: I happen to support that in a way that will actually work to our benefit. But when I look at what you have proposed, you have what is called now the ‘Trump loophole’, because it would so advantage you and the business you do. You’ve proposed…

Trump: Who gave them that name? The first ever…

Clinton: An approach that has a…

Trump: Who gave it that…

Holt: This is, sorry, this is Secretary Clinton’s two minutes.

Clinton: $4 billion tax benefit for your family. And when you look at what you are proposing…

Trump: How much, how much for my family? Lester, how much?

Clinton: It is, as I said, trumped up, trickle down. Trickle down did not work. It got us into the mess we were in in 2008 and ’09. Slashing taxes on the wealthy hasn’t worked, and a lot of really smart wealthy people know that. And they are saying, “Hey, we need to do more to make the contributions we should be making to rebuild the middle class.” I don’t think top down works in America. I think building the middle class, investing in the middle class, making college debt-free, so more young people can get their education, helping people refinance their tax… Their debt from college at a lower rate. Those are the kinds of things that will really boost the economy. Broad-based, inclusive growth is what we need in America. Not more advantages for people at the very top.

Holt: Mr. Trump, we’re…

Trump: Typical politician. All talk, no action, sounds good, doesn’t work, never gonna happen. Our country is suffering, because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs and in terms of what’s going on. Now look, we have the worst revival of an economy since the Great Depression. And believe me, we’re in a bubble right now. And the only thing that looks good is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s gonna come crashing down. We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble, and we’d better be awfully careful. And we have a Fed that’s doing political things. This Janet Yellen of the Fed. The Fed is doing political by keeping the interest rates at this level. And believe me, the day Obama goes off, and he leaves, and he goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf, when they raise interest rates, you’re gonna see some very bad things happen. Because the Fed is not doing their job. The Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.

Holt: Mr. Trump we’re talking about the burden that American’s have to pay, yet you have not released your tax returns. And the reason nominees have released their returns for decades is so that voters will know if their potential president owes money to… Who he owes it to, and any business conflicts. Don’t Americans have a right to know if there are any conflicts of interest?

Trump: I don’t mind releasing. I’m under a routine audit, and it’ll be released, and as soon as the audit’s finished it’ll be released. But you will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a 104-page essentially financial statement of sorts, the forms that they have. It shows income… In fact the income… I just looked today. The income is filed at $694 million for this past year, $694 million. If you would have told me I was gonna make that 15 or 20 years ago, I would have been very surprised. But that’s the kind of thinking that our country needs. When we have a country that’s doing so badly, that’s being ripped off by every single country in the world, it’s the kind of thinking that our country needs. Because everybody, Lester, we have a trade deficit with all of the countries that we do business with, of almost $800 billion a year. You know what that is? That means, who’s negotiating these trade deals? We have people that are political hacks negotiating our trade deals.

Holt: The IRS says an audit of your taxes…

Trump: Excuse me.

Holt: You’re perfectly free to release your taxes during an audit. And so the question is, does the public’s right to know outweigh your personal…

Trump: Well, I told you, I will release them as soon as the audit… Look, I’ve been under audit almost for 15 years. I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited. I said, “Do you get audited?” I get audited almost every year. And in a way, I should be complaining. I’m not even complaining. I don’t mind it. It’s almost become a way of life. I get audited by the IRS. But other people don’t. I will say this. We have a situation in this country that has to be taken care of. I will release my tax returns, against my lawyer’s wishes, when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted. As soon as she releases them, I will release.


Trump: I will release my tax returns. And that’s against… My lawyers, they say, “Don’t do it.” I will tell you this. No… In fact, watching shows, they’re reading the papers. Almost every lawyer says, “You don’t release your returns until the audit’s complete.” When the audit’s complete, I’ll do it. But I would go against them if she releases her emails.

Holt: So it’s negotiable?

Trump: It’s not negotiable. No, let her release the e… Why did she delete 33,000 emails?

Holt: Well, I’ll let her answer that, but let me just admonish the audience one more time. There was an agreement. We did ask you to be silent, so it would be helpful for us. Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: Well, I think you’ve just seen another example of bait-and-switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns. You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it. We know the IRS has made clear, there is no prohibition on releasing it when you’re under audit. So you’ve got to ask yourself, why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed, he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

Trump: That makes me smart.

Clinton: So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he’s not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he’s trying to hide. And the financial disclosure statements, they don’t give you the tax rate. They don’t give you all the details that tax returns would. And it just seems to me that this is something that the American people deserve to see. And I have no reason to believe that he’s ever going to release his tax returns, because there’s something he’s hiding. And we’ll guess. We’ll keep guessing at what it might be that he’s hiding. But I think the question is, were he ever to get near the White House, what would be those conflicts? Who does he owe money to? Well, he owes you the answers to that, and he should provide them.

Holt: He also raised the issue of your emails. Do you wanna respond to that?

Clinton: I do. You know, I made a mistake using a private email.

Trump: That’s for sure.

Clinton: And if I had to do it over again, I would, obviously, do it differently. But I’m not gonna make any excuses. It was a mistake, and I take responsibility for that.

Holt: Mr. Trump?

Trump: That was more than a mistake. That was done purposely. OKay? That was not a mistake. That was done purposely. When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment… Taking the Fifth, so they’re not prosecuted. When you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth, I think it’s disgraceful. And believe me, this country thinks it’s… Really thinks it’s disgraceful also. As far as my tax returns, you don’t learn that much from tax returns, that I can tell you. You learn a lot from financial disclosure. And you should go down and take a look at that. The other thing, I’m extremely under-leveraged. Thee report that said, 650, which by the way, a lot of friends of mine that know my business say, “Boy, that’s really not a lot of money.” It’s not a lot of money relative to what I had. The buildings that were in question, they said in the same report, which was… Actually, it wasn’t even a bad story, to be honest with you, but the buildings are worth $3.9 billion. And the 650 isn’t even on that. But it’s not 650, it’s much less than that. But I could give you a list of banks, if that would help you, I would give you a list of banks. These are very fine institutions, very fine banks. I could do that very quickly. I am very under-leveraged. I have a great company. I have a tremendous income.

Trump: And the reason I say that is not in a braggadocios way, it’s because it’s about time that this country had somebody running it that has an idea about money. When we have $20 trillion in debt, and our county’s a mess… You know, it’s one thing to have 20 trillion in debt and our roads are good, and our bridges are good, and everything’s in great shape, our airports… Our airports are like from a third world country. You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible… You come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land… We’ve become a third world country. So, the worst of all things has happened, we owe $20 trillion and we’re a mess. We haven’t even started. And we’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, according to a report that I just saw, whether it’s six or five, but it looks like it’s six. $6 trillion in the Middle East, we could have rebuilt our country twice, and it’s really a shame. And it’s politicians like Secretary Clinton that have caused this problem. Our country has tremendous problems. We’re a debtor nation, we’re a serious debtor nation, and we have a country that needs new roads, new tunnels, new bridges, new airports, new schools, new hospitals. And we don’t have the money, because it’s been squandered on so many of your ideas.

Holt: Let you respond and we’ll move to the next…

Clinton: And maybe because you haven’t paid any federal income tax for a lot of years.


Clinton: And the other thing I think is important to point out is…

Trump: It would be squandered too, believe me.

Clinton: If your main claim to be president of the United States is your business, then I think we should talk about that. You know, your campaign manager said that you built a lot of businesses on the backs of little guys. And indeed, I have met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald. I’ve met dishwashers, painters, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers, like my dad was, who you refused to pay when they finished the work that you asked them to do. We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses. It’s a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you wouldn’t pay what the man needed to be paid, what he was charging you to do…

Trump: Maybe he didn’t do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work.

Clinton: Well, do thousands…

Trump: Which our country should do too.

Clinton: Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed over the course of your business not deserve some kind apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods that they produced, and then refused to pay them? I can only say that I’m certainly relieved that my late father never did business with you. He provided a good middle-class life for us, but the people he worked for, he expected the bargain to be kept on both sides. And when we talk about your business, you’ve taken business bankruptcy six times. There are a lot of great business people that have never taken bankruptcy once. You call yourself the king of debt, you talk about leverage. You even at one time suggested that you would try to negotiate down the…

Trump: Wrong. Wrong.

Clinton: The national debt of the United States. Well, sometimes there’s not a direct transfer of skills from business to government, but sometimes what happened in business would be really bad for government…

Holt: Let’s let Mr. Trump…

Trump: So, yeah, I think it’s… I do think it’s time.

Clinton: And we need to be very clear about that.

Trump: Look, it’s all words, it’s all sound bites. I built an unbelievable company, some of the greatest assets anywhere in the world, real estate assets anywhere in the world beyond the United States, in Europe, lots of different places. It’s an unbelievable company. But on occasion, four times, we used certain laws that are there. And when Secretary Clinton talks about people that didn’t get paid, first of all, they did get paid a lot, but taking advantage of the laws of the nation, now if you wanna change the laws you’ve been there a long time, change the laws. But I take advantage of the laws of the nation, because I’m running a company, my obligation right now is to do well for myself, my family, my employees, for my companies, and that’s what I do. But, what she doesn’t say is the tens of thousands of people that are unbelievably happy and that love me. I’ll give you an example. We’re just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue, right next to the White House, so if I don’t get there one way, I’m gonna get to Pennsylvania Avenue another.

Trump: But we’re opening the old post office, under budget, ahead of schedule, saved tremendous money, I’m a year ahead of schedule, and that’s what this country should be doing. We build roads and they cost two and three and four times what they’re supposed to cost. We buy products for our military and they come at costs that are so far above what they were supposed to be, because we don’t have people that know what they’re doing. When we look at the budget, the budget is bad to a large extent, because we have people that have no idea as to what to do and how to buy. The Trump International is way under budget and way ahead of schedule, and we should be able to do that for our county.

Holt: Well, we’re well behind schedule, so I wanna move to our next segment. We move into our next segment talking about America’s direction, and let’s start by talking about race. The share of Americans who say race relations are bad in this country is the highest it’s been in decades, much of it amplified by shootings of African-Americans by police, as we’ve seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa. Race has been a big issue in this campaign and one of you is gonna have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap. So how do you heal the divide? Secretary Clinton you get two minutes on this.

Clinton: Well you’re right, race remains a significant challenge in our country. Unfortunately race still determines too much. Often determines where people live, determines what kind of education in their public schools they can get, and yes, it determines how they’re treated in the criminal justice system. We’ve just seen those too tragic examples in both Tulsa and Charlotte. And we’ve gotta do several things at the same time. We have to restore trust between communities and the police. We have to work to make sure that our police are using the best training, the best techniques, that they’re well prepared to use force only when necessary. Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law. Right now, that’s not the case in a lot of our neighborhoods.

Clinton: So I have, ever since the first day of my campaign called for criminal justice reform. I’ve laid out a platform that I think would begin to remedy some of the problems we have in the criminal justice system. But we also have to recognize in addition to the challenges that we face with policing, there are so many good brave police officers who equally want reform. So we have to bring communities together in order to begin working on that as a mutual goal. And we’ve got to get guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. The gun epidemic is the leading cause of death of young African-American men, more than the next nine causes put together. So we have to do two things as I said, we have to restore trust, we have to work with the police, we have to make sure they respect the communities and the communities respect them, and we have to tackle the plague of gun violence, which is a big contributor to a lot of the problems that we’re seeing today.

Holt: Alright Mr. Trump, you have two minutes. How do you heal the divide?

Trump: Well first of all, Secretary Clinton doesn’t want to use a couple of words and that’s “law and order”. And we need law and order. If we don’t have it, we’re not gonna have a country. And when I look at what’s going on in Charlotte, the city I love, the city where I have investments. When I look at what’s going on throughout various parts of our country whether it’s… I mean, I can just keep naming them all day long. We need law and order in our country. And I just got today, as you know, the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. It just came in. We have endorsements from I think almost every police group, very… I mean, a large percentage of them in the United States. We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics, are living in hell, because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street you get shot.

Trump: In Chicago, they’ve had thousands of shootings, thousands, since January 1st, thousands of shootings. And I’m saying, “Where is this? Is this a war-torn country? What are we doing?” And we have to stop the violence, we have to bring back law and order in a place like Chicago, where thousands of people have been killed, thousands over the last number of years. In fact, almost 4,000 have been killed since Barack Obama became President. Over four… Almost 4,000 people in Chicago have been killed. We have to bring back law and order. Now whether or not in a place like Chicago you do stop-and-frisk, which worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down. But you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn’t be having it. We have gangs roaming the street, and in many cases they’re illegally here, illegal immigrants, and they have guns, and they shoot people. And we have to be very strong, and we have to be very vigilant. We have to know what we’re doing. Right now, our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything. We have to protect our inner cities, because African-American communities are being decimated by crime.

Holt: Your two minutes has expired, but I do wanna follow up. Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.

Trump: No, you’re wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal. If you look at it throughout the country there are many places…

Holt: The argument is that it’s a form of racial profiling.

Trump: No. The argument is that we have to take the guns away from these people that have them, and that are bad people that shouldn’t have them. These are felons, these are people that are bad people that shouldn’t be… When you have 3000 shootings in Chicago from January first, when you have 4000 people killed in Chicago by guns from the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama, his hometown. You have to have stop-and-frisk. You need more police, you need a better community relation. You don’t have good community relations in Chicago. It’s terrible. I have property there, it’s terrible what’s going on in Chicago. But when you look… And Chicago is not the only… You go to Ferguson, you go to so many different places. You need better relationships, I agree with Secretary Clinton on this, you need better relationships between the communities and the police, because in some cases it’s not good.

Trump: But you look at Dallas, where the relationships were really studied. The relationships were really a beautiful thing. And then five police officers were killed one night very violently. So there’s some bad things going on, some really bad things. But we need…

Holt: Secretary Clinton…

Trump: Lester, we need law and order. And we need law and order in the inner cities, because the people that are most affected by what’s happening are African-American and Hispanic people. And it’s very unfair to them what our politicians are allowing to happen.

Holt: Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: Well, I’ve heard Donald say this at his rallies. And it’s really unfortunate that he paints such a dire negative picture of black communities in our country.

Trump: Uh.

Clinton: You know, the vibrancy of the black church, the black businesses that employ so many people, the opportunities that so many families are working to provide for their kids. There’s a lot that we should be proud of, and we should be supporting and lifting up. But we do always have to make sure we keep people safe. There are the right ways of doing it, and then there are ways that are ineffective. Stop-and-frisk was found to be unconstitutional. And in part, because it was ineffective. It did not do what it needed to do.

Clinton: Now, I believe in community policing. And in fact, violent crime is one-half of what it was in 1991. Property crime is down 40%. We just don’t wanna see it creep back up. We’ve had 25 years of very good cooperation, but there were some problems, some unintended consequences. Too many young African-American and Latino men ended up in jail for non-violent offenses. And it’s just a fact that if you’re a young African-American man, and you do the same thing as a young white man, you are more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated. So we’ve got to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. We cannot just say, “Law and order.” We have to say… We have to come forward with a plan that is going to divert people from the criminal justice system, deal with mandatory minimum sentences, which have put too many people away for too long for doing too little. We need to have more second-chance programs. I’m glad that we’re ending private prisons in the federal system. I wanna see them ended in the state system. You shouldn’t have a profit motivation to fill prison cells with young Americans.

Clinton: So, there are some positive ways we can work on this. And I believe strongly that common sense gun safety measures would assist us right now. And this is something Donald has supported along with the gun lobby. Right now, we’ve got too many military-style weapons on the streets. In a lot of places our police are outgunned. We need comprehensive background checks, and we need to keep guns out of the hands of those who will do harm. And we finally need to pass a probation on anyone who’s on the terrorist watch list for being able to buy a gun in our country. If you’re too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun. So there are things we can do, and we ought to do it in a bipartisan way.

Holt: Secretary Clinton, last week you said, “We’ve got to do everything possible to improve policing to go right at implicit bias.” Do you believe that police are implicitly biased against black people?

Clinton: Lester, I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone not just police. I think unfortunately, too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other. And therefore, I think we need all of us to be asking hard questions about, “Why am I feeling this way?” But when it comes to policing, since it can have, literally, fatal consequences, I have said in my first budget, we would put money into that budget to help us deal with implicit bias by retraining a lot of our police officers. I’ve met with a group of very distinguished experienced police chiefs a few weeks ago. They admit it’s an issue. They’ve got a lot of concerns. Mental health is one of the biggest concerns, because now police are having to handle a lot of really difficult mental health problems on the street. They want support. They want more training. They want more assistance. And I think the federal government could be in a position where we would offer and provide that.

Holt: Mister…

Trump: I’d like respond to that.

Holt: Please.

Trump: First of all, I agree and a lot of people even within my own party want to give certain rights to people on watch lists and no-fly lists. I agree with you. When a person is on a watch list or a no-fly list, and I have the endorsement of the NRA, which I’m very proud of. These, are very, very good people, and they are protecting the Second Amendment. But I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists, and watch lists, and when people are on there, even if they shouldn’t be on there, we’ll help them, we’ll help them legally, we’ll help them get off. But I tend to agree with that quite strongly. I do wanna bring up the fact that you were the one that brought up the word ‘super predator’ about young black youth. And that’s a term that I think was a… It’s been horribly met, as you know. I think you’ve apologized for it. But I think it was a terrible thing to say. And, when it comes to stop-and-frisk, you’re talking about taking guns away. Well, I’m talking about taking guns away from gangs and people that use them. And I don’t think… I really don’t think you disagree with me on this, if you wanna know the truth.

Trump: I think, maybe there’s a political reason why you can’t say it, but I really don’t believe… In New York City stop-and-frisk, we had 2,200 murders and stop-and-frisk brought it down to 500 murders. 500 murders is a lot of murders. Hard to believe 500, is it supposed to be good? But we went from 2,200 to 500. And it was continued on by Mayor Bloomberg and it was terminated by our current mayor. But stop-and-frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City, tremendous beyond belief. So when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very, very big impact.

Clinton: Well it’s also fair to say if we’re gonna talk about mayors that under the current mayor, crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is…

Trump: You’re wrong. You’re wrong.

Clinton: No, I’m not.

Trump: Murders are up. Alright, you check.

Clinton: New York has done an excellent job, and I give credit. I give credit across the board going back two mayors, two police chiefs, because it has worked, and other communities need to come together to do what will work as well. Look, one murder is too many. But it is important that we learn about what has been effective and not go to things that sound good that really did not have the kind of impact that we would want. Who disagrees with keeping neighborhoods safe? But let’s also add, no one should disagree about respecting the rights of young men who live in those neighborhoods. And so we need to do a better job of working, again, with the communities, faith communities, business communities, as well as the police to try to deal with this problem.

Holt: This conversation is about race. And so Mr. Trump I have to ask you, for five…

Trump: But I’d like to just respond, if I might?

Holt: Please, 20 seconds.

Trump: I’d just like to respond.

Holt: Please respond, then I’ve got a follow-up for you.

Trump: I will. Look, the African-American community has been let down by our politicians. They talk good around election time, like right now, and after the election they said, “See you later, I’ll see you in four years.” The African-American… Look, the community within the inner cities has been so badly treated. They’ve been abused and used in order to get votes by Democrat politicians, because that’s what it is. They’ve controlled these communities for up to 100 years.

Holt: Mr. Trump, let me…

Trump: Well, I do…

Trump: Unbroken, and I will tell you, you look at the inner cities and I just left Detroit and I just left Philadelphia, and I just… You know, you’ve seen me. I’ve been all over the place. You decided to stay home and that’s okay. [chuckle] But I will tell you, I’ve been all over and I’ve met some of the greatest people I’ll ever meet within these communities, and they are very, very upset with what their politicians have told them and what their politicians have done.

Holt: Mr. Trump…

Clinton: I think that… I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president, and I think that’s a good thing.


Holt: Mr. Trump, for five years you perpetuated a false claim that the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple of weeks you acknowledge what most Americans have accepted for years, the president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?

Trump: I’ll tell you very… Well, just very simple to say. Sidney Blumenthal works for the campaign and very close friend of Secretary Clinton, and her campaign manager, Patti Doyle, went to… During the campaign, her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard, and you can go look it up and you can check it out. And if you look at CNN this past week, Patti Solis Doyle was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened. Blumenthal sent McClatchy, a highly-respected reporter at McClatchy, to Kenya to find out about it. They were pressing it very hard. She failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn’t fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I’m satisfied with it, and I’ll tell you why I’m satisfied with it.

Holt: That was in 2011.

Trump: Because I wanna get on to defeating ISIS. Because I wanna get on to creating jobs. Because I wanna get on to having a strong border. Because I wanna get on to things that are very important to me and that are very important to the country.

Holt: I will let you respond, it’s important, but I just wanna get the answer here. The birth certificate was produced in 2011. You continued to tell the story and question the President’s legitimacy in 2012, ’13, ’14, ’15…

Trump: Yeah.

Holt: As recently as January. So the question is, what changed your mind?

Trump: Well, nobody was pressing it. Nobody was caring much about it. I figured you’d ask the question tonight of course, but nobody was caring much about it. But I was the one that got them to produce the birth certificate, and I think I did a good job. Secretary Clinton also fought it. I mean, you know, now everybody in the mainstream is gonna say, “Oh, that’s not true.” Look, it’s true. Sidney Blumenthal sent the reporter. You just have to take a look at CNN last week, the interview with your former campaign manager, and she was involved. But just like she can’t bring back jobs, she can’t produce.

Holt: I’m sorry, I’m just gonna follow up and I will let you respond to that, because there’s a lot there, but we’re talking about racial healing in this segment. What do you say to Americans, especially people of color who…

[overlapping conversation]

Trump: Well it was very… I say nothing. I say nothing, because I was able to get him to produce it. He should have produced it a long time before. I say nothing. But let me just tell you, when you talk about healing, I think that I’ve developed very, very good relationships over the last little while with the African-American community. I think you can see that. And I feel that they really wanted me to come to that conclusion, and I think I did a great job and a great service, not only for the country, but even for the President in getting him to produce his birth certificate.

Holt: Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: Well, just listen to what you heard. [laughter] And clearly, as Donald just  admitted he knew he was gonna stand on this debate stage and Lester Holt … Holt was gonna be asking us questions, so he tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed. But it can’t be dismissed that easily, he has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted, he persisted year after year, because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it. But remember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination, because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior, and the birther lie was a very hurtful one. You know, Barack Obama is a man of great dignity and I could tell how much it bothered him and annoyed him that this was being touted and used against him. But I like to remember what Michelle Obama said in her amazing speech at our Democratic National Convention, “When they go low, we go high,” and Barack Obama went high despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to bring him down.

Holt: Mr. Trump, you can respond and then we’re gonna move on to the next segment.

Trump: I would love to respond. First of all I got to watch, in preparing for this, some of your debates against Barack Obama, you treated him with terrible disrespect. And I watch the way you talk now about how lovely everything is and how wonderful you are. Doesn’t work that way. You were after him, you were trying to… You even sent out, or your campaign sent out, pictures of him in a certain garb, very famous pictures, I don’t think you can deny that. But just last week your campaign manager said it was true. So when you try to act holier than thou, it really doesn’t work, it really doesn’t. Now as far as the lawsuit, yes, when I was very young I went into my father’s company, he had a real estate company in Brooklyn and Queens. And we along with many, many other companies throughout the country, it was a federal lawsuit, were sued. We settled the suit with zero, with no admission of guilt, it was very easy to do, but they sued many people.

Trump: I notice you bring that up a lot, and I also noticed the very nasty commercials that you do on me in so many different ways, which I don’t do on you. Maybe I’m trying to save the money. But frankly, I look at that and I say, “Isn’t that amazing?” Because I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt, but that was a lawsuit brought against many real estate firms, and it’s just one of those things. I’ll go on one step further. In Palm Beach, Florida, tough community, a brilliant community, a wealthy community, probably the wealthiest community there is in the world, I opened a club and really got great credit for it. No discrimination against African-Americans, against Muslims, against anybody. And it’s a tremendously successful club and I’m so glad I did it. And I have been given great credit for what I did and I’m very, very proud of it. And that’s the way I feel. That is the true way I feel.

Holt: Our next segment is called ‘Securing America.’ We wanna start with a 21st-century war happening every day in this country. Our institutions are under cyber attack and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is, who’s behind it and how do we fight it? Secretary Clinton, this answer goes to you.

Trump: Well, I think cybersecurity, cyberwarfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president, because clearly we’re facing at this point two different kinds of adversaries. There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons, to try to steal information that they then can use to make money. But increasingly, we are seeing cyber attacks coming from states, organs of states. The most recent and troubling of these has been Russia. There’s no doubt now that Russia has used cyber attacks against all kinds of organizations in our country, and I am deeply concerned about this. I know Donald’s very praiseworthy of Vladimir Putin, but Putin is playing a really tough, long game here. And one of the things he’s done, is to let loose cyber attackers to hack in to government files, to hack in to personal files, hack in to the Democratic National Committee. And we recently have learned that this is one of their preferred methods of trying to wreak havoc and collect information.

Clinton: We need to make it very clear, whether it’s Russia, China, Iran, or anybody else, the United States has much greater capacity, and we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private sector information or our public sector information. And we’re going to have to make it clear that we don’t want to use the kinds of tools that we have, we don’t want to engage in a different kind of warfare. But we will defend the citizens of this country, and the Russians need to understand that. I think they’ve been treating it as almost a probing, how far would we go, how much would we do? And that’s why I was so shocked when Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans. That is just unacceptable, it’s one of the reasons why 50 national security officials, who served in republican information… Administration…

Holt: Your two minutes has expired.

Clinton: Have said that Donald is unfit to be the commander-in-chief. It’s comments like that, that really worry people who understand the threats that we face.

Holt: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes on the same question. Who’s behind it, and how do we fight it?

Trump: Yeah. I do want to say that I was just endorsed and more are coming next week. It’ll be over 200 admirals, many of them are here, admirals and generals endorsed me to lead this country. That just happened and many more are coming, and I’m very proud of it. In addition, I was just endorsed by ICE, they’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE. I was just recently endorsed, 16,500 border patrol agents. So, when Secretary Clinton talks about this, I mean, I’ll take the admirals, and I’ll take the generals any day over the political hacks that I see, that have led our country so brilliantly over the last 10 years with their knowledge. Okay? Because look at the mess that we’re in. Look at the mess that we’re in. As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said, we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC, she’s saying “Russia, Russia, Russia”, but I don’t… Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed, that weights 400 pounds. Okay? You don’t know who broke in to DNC. But what did we learn with DNC?

Trump: We learned that Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of by your people, by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, look what happened to her. But Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of, that’s what it is. Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don’t know. Because the truth is, under President Obama, we’ve lost control of things that we used to have control of. We came in with the Internet, we came up with the Internet. And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the Internet, they’re beating us at our own game, ISIS. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyberwarfare. It is a huge problem. I have a son, he’s 10 years old, he has computers, he is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough, and maybe it’s hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing. But that’s true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester, and certainly cyber is one of them.

Holt: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, I think there are a number of issues that we should be addressing. I have put forth a plan to defeat ISIS. It does involve going after them online. I think we need to do much more with our tech companies to prevent ISIS and their operatives from being able to use the Internet, to radicalize even direct people in our country, in Europe and elsewhere. But we also have to intensify our air strikes against ISIS. And eventually support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to actually take out ISIS in Raqqah, and their claim of being a caliphate. We’re making progress, our military is assisting in Iraq, and we’re hoping that within the year, we’ll be able to push ISIS out of Iraq, and then really squeeze them in Syria.

Clinton: But we have to be cognizant of the fact that they’ve had foreign fighters coming to volunteer for them, foreign money, foreign weapons. So we have to make this the top priority, and I would also do everything possible to take out their leadership. I was involved in a number of efforts to take out Al-Qaeda leadership when I was Secretary of State, including of course, taking out Bin Laden. And I think we need to go after Baghdadi as well, make that one of our organizing principles. Because, we’ve got to defeat ISIS, and we’ve got to do everything we can to disrupt their propaganda efforts online.

Holt: You mentioned ISIS, and we think of ISIS certainly as over there. But there are American citizens who have been inspired to commit acts of terror on American soil. And the latest incident, of course, the bombings we just saw in New York and New Jersey, the knife attack at a mall in Minnesota, in the last year, deadly attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. I’ll ask this to both of you, tell us specifically how you would prevent homegrown attacks by American citizens? Mr. Trump.

Trump: Well, first I have to say one thing, very important, Secretary Clinton is talking about taking out ISIS, “We will take out ISIS.” Well, President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum, the way they got out of Iraq. Because they got out what they shouldn’t had been in, but once they got in, the way they got out was a disaster. And ISIS was formed. So, she talks about taking them out, she’s been doing it a long time, she’s been trying to take them out for a long time. But they wouldn’t have even been formed if they left some troops behind, like 10,000 or maybe, something more than that, and then, you wouldn’t have had them. Or, as I’ve been saying for a long time and I think you’ll agree, ’cause I said it to you once, had we taken the oil and we should have taken the oil, ISIS would not have been able to form either, because the oil was their primary source of income. And now, they have the oil all over the place, including the oil, a lot of the oil, in Libya, which was another one of her disasters.

Holt: Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: Well, I hope the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard. Donald supported the invasion of Iraq.

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: That is absolutely proved over and over again.

Trump: Wrong. Wrong.

Clinton: He actually advocated for the actions we took in Libya and urged that Gaddafi be taken out after actually doing some business with him one time. But the larger point, he says this constantly, is George W. Bush made the agreement about when American troops would leave Iraq, not Barack Obama. And the only way that American troops could have stayed in Iraq is to get an agreement from the then Iraqi government that would have protected our troops and the Iraqi government would not give that.

Clinton: But, let’s talk about the question you asked, Lester. The question you asked is what do we do here in the United States? That’s the most important part of this. How do we prevent attacks? How do we protect our people? And I think, we’ve got to have an intelligence surge where we are looking for every scrap of information. I was so proud of law enforcement in New York, in Minnesota, in New Jersey. They responded to quickly, so professionally to the attacks that occurred by Rahami, and they brought him down. And we may find out more information, because he is still alive, which may prove to be an intelligence benefit.

Clinton: So, we’ve got to do every thing we can to vacuum up intelligence from Europe, from the Middle East. That means we’ve got to work more closely with our allies. And that’s something that Donald has been very dismissive of. We’re working with NATO, the longest military alliance in the history of the world, to really turn our attention to terrorism. We’re working with our friends in the Middle East, many of which as you know are Muslim-majority nations. Donald has consistently insulted Muslims abroad, Muslims at home when we need to be cooperating with Muslim nations and with the American Muslim community. They’re on the front lines. They can provide information to us that we might not get anywhere else. They need to have close working cooperation with law-enforcement in these communities, not be alienated and pushed away, as some of Donald’s rhetoric, unfortunately, has led to.

Holt: Mister…

Trump: Well, I have to respond.

Holt: Please respond.

Trump: The Secretary said very strongly about working with… We’ve been working with them for many years, and we have the greatest mess anyone’s ever seen. You look at the Middle East. It’s a total mess, under your direction to a large extent, but you look at the Middle East. You started the Iran deal. That’s another beauty where you have a country that was ready to fall. I mean, they were doing so badly, they were choking on the sanctions and now, they’re gonna be actually probably a major power at some point pretty soon, the way they’re going.

Trump: But when you look at NATO, I was asked on a major show, “What do you think of NATO?” Now, you’ve to understand, I’m a business person. I did really well, but I have common sense. And I said, “Well, I’ll tell you. I haven’t given lots of thought to NATO, but two things. Number one, the 28 countries of NATO, many of them aren’t paying their fair share. Number two, and that bothers me, because we should be ask… We’re defending them and they should at least be paying us what they’re supposed to be paying by treaty and contract. And number two, I said, and very strongly, NATO could be obsolete, because… And I was very strong on this and it was actually covered very accurately in the New York Times, which is unusual for the New York Times, to be honest. But I said, “They do not focus on terror.” And I was very strong, and I said it numerous times. And about four months ago, I read it on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that NATO is opening up a major terror division, and I think that’s great. And I think we should get… Because we pay approximately 73% of the cost of NATO, it’s a lot of money to protect other people. But, I’m all for NATO. But I said they have to focus on terror also. And they’re gonna do that. And that was… Believe me, I’m sure not gonna get credit for it, but that was largely because of what I was saying and my criticism of NATO.

Trump: It’s NATO. I think we have to get NATO to go into the Middle East with us, in addition to surrounding nations, and we have to knock the hell out of ISIS, and we have to do it fast. When ISIS formed in this vacuum created by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton, and believe me, you were the ones that took out the troops. Not only that, you’ve named the day. They couldn’t believe it. They sat back probably and said, “I can’t believe it.” They said…

Clinton: Lester, we’ve covered…

Trump: No, wait a minute.

Clinton: We’ve covered this ground.

Trump: When they formed, when they formed… This is something that never should have happened. It should have never happened. Now you’re talking about taking out ISIS. But you were there, and you were Secretary of State when it was a little infant. Now it’s in over 30 countries. And you’re going to stop them? I don’t think so.

Holt: Mr. Trump, a lot of these are judgment questions. You had supported the war in Iraq before the invasion. What makes your judgement…

Trump: I did not support the war in Iraq.

Holt: In 2002…

Trump: That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by her, because she… Frankly, I think the best person in her campaign is mainstream media.

Holt: My question is, since you supported it…

Trump: Would you like to hear…

Holt: Why is your judgment…

Trump: Wait a minute. I was against the war in Iraq. Just so you put it out.

Holt: The record shows otherwise, but why was…

Trump: The record does not show that.

Holt: Is your judgment any…

Trump: The record shows that I’m right. When I did an interview with Howard Stern, very lightly, first time anyone’s asked me, that I said very lightly, “I don’t know. Maybe. Who knows?” Essentially. I then did an interview with Neil Cavuto. We talked about the economy is more important. I then spoke to Sean Hannity, which everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity. I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox. And Sean Hannity said… And he called me the other day… And I spoke to him about it… He said, “You were totally against the war.” ‘Cause he was for the war.

Holt: Why is your judgment better than…

Trump: And when he… Excuse me. And that was before the war started. Sean Hannity said very strongly to me and other people… He’s willing to say it, but nobody wants to call him. I was against the war. He said, “You used to have fights with me.” ‘Cause Sean was in favor of the war. And I understand that side also. Not very much ’cause we should’ve never been there.

Trump: But nobody called Sean Hannity. And then they did an article in a major magazine shortly after the war started, I think in ’04, but they did an article which had me totally against the war in Iraq. And one of your compatriots said, “You know, whether it was before or right after, Trump was definitely”… ‘Cause if you read this article there’s no doubt. But if somebody, and I’ll ask the press, if somebody would call up Sean Hannity, this was before the war started. He and I used to have arguments about the war. I said, “it’s a terrible and a stupid thing. It’s going to destabilize the Middle East”, and that’s exactly what it’s done. It’s been a disaster.

Holt: My reference was to what you had said in 2002.

Trump: No, no. You didn’t hear what I said.

Holt: And my question was why is your judgment any different than Mrs. Clinton’s?

Trump: Well I have much better judgment than she does. There’s no question about that. I also have a much better temperament than she has. I have a much better… She spent… Let me tell you. She spent hundreds of millions of dollars on an advertising… They get Madison Avenue into a room, they put names… Oh temperament. Let’s go after… I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament. I have a winning temperament. I know how to win. She does not… How to win…

Holt: Secretary Clinton…

Trump: Wait. The AFL-CIO, the other day behind the blue screen. I don’t know who you were talking to, Secretary Clinton, but you were totally out of control. I said, “There’s a person with a temperament that’s got a problem.”

Holt: Secretary Clinton.

Clinton: Whew! Okay. Let’s talk about two important issues that were briefly mentioned by Donald. First, NATO. NATO as a military alliance has something called Article 5, and basically it says this “An attack on one is an attack on all.” And you know the only time it’s ever been invoked, after 9/11, when the 28 nations of NATO said that they would go to Afghanistan with us, to fight terrorism.

Clinton: Something that they still are doing by our side. With respect to Iran, when I became Secretary of State, Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away.

Clinton: And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent a year and a half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran. And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor, John Kerry, and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. That’s diplomacy.

Clinton: That’s coalition-building. That’s working with other nations. The other day, I saw Donald saying that there were some Iranian sailors on a ship in the waters off of Iran, and they were taunting American sailors who were on a nearby ship. He said, “You know, if they taunted our sailors, I’d blow them out of the water and start another war.” That’s not good judgment.

Trump: That would not start a war.

Clinton: That is not the right temperament to be commander in chief, to be taunted. And the worst part…

Trump: No, they were taunting us.

Clinton: Of what we heard Donald say, has been about nuclear weapons. He has said repeatedly that he didn’t care if other nations got nuclear weapons: Japan, South Korea, even Saudi Arabia. It has been the policy of the United States, Democrats and Republicans, to do everything we could to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He even said well, “You know if there were nuclear war in the east Asia, well that’s fine.”

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: “Have a good time, folks.”

Trump: That’s ____.

Clinton: And in fact, his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the number one threat we face in the world, and it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material. So a man who can be provoked by a Tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes, as far as I think anyone with any sense about this should be concerned.

Trump: That line’s getting a little bit old, I must say. Listen, I would like to…

Clinton: It’s a good one though. Well describes the problem.

Trump: It’s not an accurate one at all. It’s not an accurate one. So I just wanna give a lot of things and just to respond. I agree with her on one thing. The single greatest problem the world has is nuclear armament, nuclear weapons. Not global warming like you think and your president thinks. Nuclear is the single greatest threat. Just to go down the list.

Trump: We defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service, and we’re losing a fortune. That’s why we’re losing. We’re losing everything. I say who makes these, we lose on everything.

Trump: Well, I said that it’s very possible that if they don’t pay a fair share, because this isn’t 40 years ago where we could do what we’re doing. We can’t defend Japan, a behemoth selling us cars by the millions.

Holt: We need to move on.

Trump: But wait, but it’s very important. All I said was they may have to defend themselves, or they have to help us out. We’re a country that owes $20 trillion. They have to help us out. As far as the nuclear is concerned, I agree. It is the single greatest threat that this country has.

Holt: Which leads to my next question as we enter our last segment here, and we’re still in the subject of securing America on nuclear weapons. President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation’s long standing policy on first use. Do you support the current policy? Mr. Trump, you have two minutes on that.

Trump: Well I have to say that for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia. She’s very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries. But Russia’s been expanding. They have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint. I looked the other night, I was seeing B52s there old enough that your father, your grandfather could be flying them. We are not keeping up with other countries. I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it. But I would certainly not do first strike. I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over.

Trump: At the same time we have to be prepared. I can’t take anything off the table. Because you look at some of these countries, you look at North Korea. We’re doing nothing there. China should solve that problem for us. China should go into North Korea. China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea. And by the way, another one powerful is the worst deal I think I’ve ever seen negotiated that you started is the Iran deal.

Trump: Iran is one of their biggest trading partners. Iran has power over North Korea. And when they made that horrible deal with Iran, they should’ve included the fact that they do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen, and all these other places. And when asked to Secretary Kerry, “Why didn’t you do that, why didn’t you add other things into the deal?” One of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including $400 million in cash. Nobody’s ever seen that before. That turned out to be wrong, it was actually $1.7 billion in cash. Obviously I guess for the hostages, it certainly looks that way.

Trump: So you say to yourself, “Why didn’t they make the right deal?” This is one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history. The deal with Iran will lead to nuclear problems. All they have to do is sit back 10 years, and they don’t have to do much, and they’re gonna end up getting nuclear. I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day, believe me, he is not a happy camper.

Holt: Mrs. Clinton, Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes.

Clinton: Let me start by saying, words matter. Words matter when you run for president, and they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America’s word be good.

Clinton: And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning, and some worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I’ve talked with a number of them. But I want to, on behalf of myself, and I think on behalf of a majority of the American people, say that our word is good. It’s also important that we look at the entire global situation.

Clinton: There’s no doubt that we have other problems with Iran, but personally, I’d rather deal with the other problems having put that lid on their nuclear program than still to be facing that. And Donald never tells you what he would do. Would he have started a war? Would he have bombed Iran? If he’s going to criticize a deal that has been very successful in giving us access to Iranian facilities that we never had before, then he should tell us what his alternative would be.

Clinton: But it’s like his plan to defeat ISIS, he says it’s a secret plan, but the only secret is that he has no plan. So we need to be more precise in how we talk about these issues. People around the world follow our presidential campaigns so closely, trying to get hints about what we will do.

Clinton: Can they rely on us? Are we gonna lead the world with strength, in accordance with our values? That’s what I intend to do. I intend to be a leader of our country that people can count on both here at home, and around the world to make decisions that will further peace and prosperity, but also stand up to bullies, whether they’re abroad or at home. We cannot let those who would try to destabilize the world to interfere with American interest and security…

Holt: Your two minutes is…

Clinton: To be given any opportunities at all.

Holt: Is expired. Mr. Trump…

Trump: Lester, one thing I’d like to say.

Holt: Very quickly…

Trump: I will go very quickly, but I will tell you that Hillary will tell you to go to her website and read all about how to defeat ISIS, which she could have defeated by never having it get going in the first place. Right now it’s getting tougher and tougher to defeat them because they are in more and more places, more and more states, more and more nations, and it’s a big problem. And as far as Japan is concerned, I wanna help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policeman of the world. We cannot protect countries all over the world where they’re not paying us what we need.

Holt: We have just a few final questions here.

Trump: And she doesn’t say that because she’s got no business ability. We need heart, we need a lot of things, but you have to have some basic ability, and sadly, she doesn’t have that. All of the things that she’s talking about could have been taken care of during the last 10 years, let’s say, while she had great power. But they weren’t taken care of, and if she ever wins this race, they won’t be taken care of.

Holt: Mr. Trump, this year, Secretary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major party. Earlier this month, you said she doesn’t have, “a presidential look.” She’s standing here right now. What did you mean by that?

Trump: She doesn’t have the look, she doesn’t have the stamina. I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.

Holt: The quote was, “I just don’t think she has a presidential look.”

Trump: Wait a minute, you asked me a question. Did you ask me a question? You have to be able to negotiate our trade deals. You have to be able to negotiate… That’s right… With Japan, with Saudi Arabia. I mean, can you imagine we’re defending Saudi Arabia, and with all of the money they have, we’re defending them and they’re not paying. All you have to do is speak to them. Wait. You have so many different things you have to be able to do, and I don’t believe that Hillary has the stamina.

Holt: Let’s let her respond.

Clinton: Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidence and opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk about stamina. [laughter]


Trump: Let me tell you. Hillary has experience, but it’s bad experience. We have made so many bad deals during the last…


Trump: So she’s got experience, that I agree. But it’s bad, bad experience. Whether it’s the Iran deal that you’re so in love with, where we gave them $150 billion back; Whether it’s the Iran deal, whether it’s… Anything you can… You almost can’t name a good deal. I agree, she’s got experience but it’s bad experience. And this country can’t afford to have another four years of that kind of experience.


Holt: We are the final question. Very quickly, because we’re at the final question now.

Clinton: One thing, Lester, is he tried to switch from looks to stamina. But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs, and dogs, and someone who has said, “Pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers.”

Trump: I never said that.

Clinton: Who has said, “Women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job…

Trump: Didn’t say that.

Clinton: As men.” And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them, and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Ms. Piggy.” Then he called her “Ms. Housekeeping” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.

Trump: Where did you find this?

Clinton: Her name is Alicia Machado and she has become a US citizen and you can bet, she’s going to vote this November.


Trump: Oh, really? Okay, okay, good. Let me just tell you.

Holt: Mr. Trump, just take 10 seconds and then we’re gonna have the final question.

Trump: Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials, some of it said in entertainment, some of it said… Somebody who’s been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell. I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.

Trump: But do you wanna know the truth? I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, “I can’t do it, I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate. It’s not nice.” But she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue. They’re untrue and they’re misrepresentations.

Trump: And I will tell you this Lester, it’s not nice and I don’t deserve that. But it’s certainly not a nice thing that she’s done. It’s hundreds of millions of ads and the only gratifying thing is, I saw the polls come in today, and with all of that money over…

Holt: We have to move on to the final question.

Trump: $200 million is spent, and I’m either winning or tied.

Holt: One of you…

Trump: And I spent practically nothing.


Holt: One of you will not win this election, so my final question to you tonight: Are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters? Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I certainly will support the outcome of this election. And I know Donald’s trying very hard to plant doubts about it, but I hope the people out there understand, this election’s really up to you. It’s not about us so much as it is about you and your families, and the kind of country and future you want. So I sure hope you will get out and vote as though your future depended on it, because I think it does.

Holt: Mr. Trump, very quickly, same question. Will you accept the outcome as the will of the voters?

Trump: I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We’re losing our jobs, people are pouring into our country. The other day we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they passed the wrong button, they pressed the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption. But these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800 and now it turns out it might be 1,800 and they don’t even know.

Holt: Will you accept the outcome of the election?

Trump: Look here’s the story… I want to make America great again. I’m gonna be able to do it I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is if she wins, I will absolutely support her.


Holt: Alright. Well, that is going to do it for us. That concludes our debate for this evening, a spirited one.


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