Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Kickoff in Brooklyn – #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Kickoff in Brooklyn announcement speech. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.


00:00 Bernie Sanders: Brooklyn, thank you.

[applause]

00:08 BS: What an incredible crowd, thank you so much. Let me… Let me thank Akila for her wonderful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Let me thank Scott Chason who is standing up not just for the workers in Erie, Pennsylvania, against corporate greed, but for every worker in America. Scott, thank you very much.

[applause]

00:45 BS: And let me thank representative Terry Alexander of South Carolina. And Terry is right, this is going to be a 50-state campaign. We’re not gonna concede one state to Donald Trump.

[applause]

01:11 BS: And let me thank my very good friend, Nina Turner. Nina has been with me all across this country. Nina has helped develop one of the great grassroots organizations in this country, Our Revolution. And Nina is mobilizing people from one end of this country to the other… [01:44] ____ Nina, thank you very much. And let me thank Shaun King. All over this country, and I’m gonna say a few words about it today and more tomorrow, people understand we have a broken criminal justice system. And there are few people in American more than Shaun who are fighting to change that system. Shaun, thank you.

[applause]

02:27 BS: And, lastly, let me thank my wife and my family. Thank you, Jane, and Levi, and David, and Heather, and Karina, and all my beautiful seven grandchildren for the support you’ve given me. Thank you all for coming out today.

[applause]

03:00 BS: So, you let me thank the weatherman for giving us Vermont weather, thank you. And thank you all for being part of a political revolution which is going to transform America.

[applause]

03:23 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

03:29 BS: No! No! No! It is not Bernie, it is you! It’s us together! And I want to thank all of you for being part of a campaign which is not only going to win the democratic nomination, which is not only going to defeat Donald Trump, who is the most dangerous president in modern American history, but with your help we are going to transform this country and finally create an economy and a government which works for all of us, not just the 1%.

[applause]

04:34 BS: Today, at our very first rally, I want to welcome you to a campaign, which says loudly and clearly that the underlying principles of our government will not be greed, hatred, and lies. It will not be racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry. It will not be tax breaks for billionaires and efforts to throw millions off the healthcare that they currently have. This campaign is going to end all of that. The principles of our government will be based on justice: On economic justice, on social justice, on racial justice, on environmental justice. Today, I welcome you to a campaign which tells the powerful special interests who control so much of our economic and political life, that we will no longer tolerate the greed of corporate America and the billionaire class. Greed which has resulted in this country having more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth.

[applause]

06:49 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

06:49 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

06:53 BS: No, we will no longer stand idly by and allow three families in this country to own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people. And while these families become richer, over 20% of our children live in poverty, veterans sleep out on the streets, and senior citizens cannot afford their prescription drugs. We are here to tell the 1% that we will no longer tolerate 46% of all new income going to the very richest people in this country, while millions of Americans are working two or three jobs just to survive and pay the bills.

[applause]

08:02 BS: Today we launch our fight for a political revolution and we say to the private health insurance companies, whether you like it or not, the United States is going to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. And you can spend all the money you want against us, we will have a Medicare for all, single-payer system. And today we say to the pharmaceutical industry, that you will no longer charge the American people the highest prices in the world by far for the medicine they desperately need. Whether you like it or not, your greed is gonna end and we are gonna low the cost of prescription drugs in this country. Today we say to Walmart, to the fast food industry and to other low wage employers, stop paying your workers starvation wages. Yes, we are going to raise the minimum wage in this country to at least 15 bucks an hour and we are gonna make it easier for workers to join unions.

10:05 BS: Today we say to the American people that we will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, and our bridges, and our rail system, our water systems, our waste water plants, and our airports. And when we do that, we’re gonna create up to 13 million decent paying jobs. And today we say to the parents in our country that you and your children deserve quality affordable child care. And today, here at Brooklyn college, we say the young people all over this country, we want you to get the best education you can regardless of your income. Good jobs require a good education, and that is why we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition free. And why we are going to substantially lower the outrageous level of student debt in this country.

11:48 BS: America once had… Once had the best educated workforce in the world, and we are going to make that happen again. And today we say to our senior citizens in Vermont, in Brooklyn, in California, we know you cannot survive with dignity on 14,000 dollars a year social security. My republican colleagues in the senate wanna cut social security benefits. Well, we’ve got some bad news for them, we’re going to raise social security benefits.

12:43 BS: Today we say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry, that climate change is not a hoax. But it is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet, and we intend to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. And when we do that, we’re gonna create millions of good paying jobs. All of us, and every person in this country, has a moral responsibility to make certain that the planet we leave our kids and our grandchildren is a planet that is healthy and habitable.

[applause]

14:01 BS: And today we say to the prison industrial complex that we are going to achieve real criminal justice reform in this country. We are going to end the international embarrassment of the United States having more people in jail than any other country on Earth. Instead of spending 80 billion a year in jails and incarceration, we are going to invest in jobs and education for our young people. No more private prisons, no more profiteering from locking people up, no more war on drugs that has destroyed so many lives.

15:13 BS: No more keeping people in jail because they are too poor to afford cash bail. And by the way, when we talk about criminal justice reform we’re gonna change a system in which tens of thousands of Americans every year get criminal records for possessing marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive went to jail for destroying our economy in 2008. No, they didn’t go to jail, they got a trillion dollar bail out. Today we say to the American people that instead of demonizing the undocumented immigrants in this country, we’re gonna pass comprehensive immigration reform and provide a path toward citizenship.

16:42 BS: We’re gonna provide legal status to the 1.8 million young people eligible for the DACA program and develop a humane border policy for those who seek asylum. The United States will no longer snatch babies from the arms of their mothers. Today we say to the 1% and the large, profitable corporations in America, listen up because this applies to you. We say to the 1% in large corporations that under a Bernie Sanders administration, you’re not gonna be getting more tax breaks. Quite the contrary, we’re gonna end your tax breaks and your loop holes, you are gonna start paying your fair share of taxes.

17:56 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

[applause]

18:02 BS: We will no longer… We will no longer accept the absurd situation where large multi-billion dollar corporations like Amazon, Netflix, and General Motors pay nothing in federal income taxes. And we’re not gonna allow these corporations and the billionaires to stash their money in the Cayman Islands and in other tax havens. Yes, the wealthy and multinational corporations will start paying their fair share of taxes. We’re going to end austerity for working families and bring a little austerity for the wealthy and the powerful.

18:58 BS: Today we say to the military industrial complex that we will not continue to spend 700 billion dollars a year on the military, more than the top 10 nations combined. We’re gonna invest in affordable housing, we’re gonna invest in public education, and we’re going to invest in our crumbling infrastructure. No more major major investments in never ending wars.

[applause]

19:49 BS: Brothers and sisters, we are going to win this election not because we have a super PAC funded by billionaires. We’re gonna win this election because we are putting together the strongest grassroots campaign in the history of American politics.

[applause]

20:25 BS: Donald Trump wants to divide us up based on the color of our skin, based on where we were born, based on our gender, based on our religion or our sexual orientation. What we are about is doing exactly the opposite, we’re gonna bring our people together.

[applause]

21:06 BS: Black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American, gay and straight, young and old, men and women, native-born and immigrant, we are together and together we will transform this country.

[applause]

21:35 BS: If I might take a moment, as I return here to the area that I was born, let me say a few personal words. As we launch this campaign for president, you deserve to know where I came from because family history, obviously, heavily influences the values that we develop as adults. I was born, literally, a few miles away from here on East 26th Street in King’s Highway. And my family and I lived in a three and a half room, rent-controlled apartment. My father was a paint salesman who worked hard his entire life but never made much money. And my mother raised my brother and me. I learned a great deal about immigration as a child because my father came from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, without knowing one word of English. He came to the United States to escape the crushing poverty that existed in his community and to escape widespread anti-semitism.

23:10 BS: And it was a good thing that he came to this country because virtually his entire family was wiped up by Hitler and Nazi barbarism. I am not going to tell you that I grew up in a home of desperate poverty, that would not be true. But what I will tell you is that coming from a lower middle-class family, I will never forget about how money or really, lack of money was always a point of stress in our family. My mother’s dream was that some day our family would move out of that rent-controlled apartment to a home of our own. That dream was never fulfilled. She died young, while we still lived in that rent-controlled apartment. My experience as a child living in a family that struggled economically powerfully influenced my life and my values. I know where I came from. And that is something I will never forget. Unlike Donald Trump, who shut down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay their bills, I know what it’s like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck.

24:58 BS: Now it is true, I did not have a father who gave me millions of dollars to build luxury skyscrapers, casinos, and country clubs. I did not come from a family that gave me a $200,000 allowance every year, beginning at the age of three. As I recall, my allowance was 25 cents a week. But I had something more valuable. I had the role model of a father who had unbelievable courage in journeying across an ocean, with no money in his pocket, to start a new and better life. I did not come from a family of privilege that prepared me to entertain people on television by telling workers, “You’re fired.” I came from a family who knew all too well the frightening power employers can have over every day workers.

26:24 BS: I did not come from a family that could afford to send my brother and me to an elite boarding school. In fact, I was educated proudly in high quality public schools here in Brooklyn. And began my higher education right here on this campus.

[applause]

26:54 BS: I should also mention that my brother Larry graduated from Brooklyn College. I did not come from a family that taught me to build a corporate empire through housing discrimination, I protested housing discrimination, was arrested for protesting school segregation. And one of the proudest days of my life was attending the March on Washington for jobs and freedom led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

[applause]

27:45 BS: Brothers and sisters, over the last two years and before that, you and I and millions of Americans have stood up and fought for justice in every part of our society, and we’ve had some successes. Together as billionaires and large corporations have attacked unions, destroyed pensions, deregulated the banks, and slashed wages, we have succeeded in raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour in states and cities all across this country. And together, we forced Amazon and the Disney Corporation to do the same.

[applause]

28:35 BS: And together, we have stood with teachers all across this country who went out on strike to fight for better schools for their kids. Together, as the forces of militarism have kept us engaged in never ending wars, we have stored together and fought back. For the first time in 45 years, we have utilized the War Powers Act to move us forward to end the horrific Saudi-led war in Yemen.

[applause]

29:21 BS: Together, as so many of our young people have received criminal records for non-violent offenses, we have fought to end the war on drugs and have seen state after state decriminalize the possession of marijuana. And are beginning to see states and communities expunge the records of those who are arrested for marijuana.

[applause]

29:54 BS: We have won some victories but, clearly, we have a long, long way to go. And I am here to tell you that because all of the work we have done together, we are on the brink of not just winning an election but transforming our country.

[applause]

30:24 BS: And let me tell you a little of what that means. When we are in the White House, we will enact a federal jobs guarantee to ensure that everyone in this country is guaranteed a job. There is more than enough work to be done in this country, let’s get it done.

[applause]

30:58 BS: When we are in the White House, we will attack the problem of urban gentrification and build the affordable housing this country desperately needs. When we are in the White House, we will end the decline of rural America. We will re-open rural hospitals that I’ve been closed. And we will make sure that the young people in rural communities have decent jobs so that they can remain in the communities that they love.

[applause]

31:47 BS: When we are in the White House, we’re gonna end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. And we are gonna pass the common sense gun safety legislation that the overwhelming majority of Americans wanna see.

[applause]

32:10 BS: When we are in the White House, we’re going to address not only the national disparities of wealth and income, but the racial disparities of wealth and income. We are going together to root out institutional racism wherever it exists. Not only will we end the cowardly outrage of voter suppression, we’re gonna make it easier for people to vote, not harder.

[applause]

32:52 BS: When we are in the White House, we are going to protect a woman’s right to control her own body.

[applause]

33:04 BS: That decision is a woman’s decision, not the federal government, not the state government, not the local government. Please make no mistake about it. The struggle that we are undertaking is not just about defeating Donald Trump. This struggle is about taking on the incredibly powerful institutions that control the economic and political life of our nation. And I am… And let me be very specific, I’m talking about Wall Street, I’m talking about the insurance companies, the drug companies, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, the fossil fuel industry, and a corrupt campaign finance system that enables billionaires to buy elections.

[applause]

34:23 BS: Brothers and sisters, we have…

34:29 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

[applause]

34:41 BS: Brothers and sisters, we have an enormous amount of work in front of us and the path forward will not be easy. The wealthy and powerful elite who decade after decade have gotten everything they want will do all that they can to defend their financial interests, and they have an unlimited amount of money at their disposal. But we have something that they do not have, we have the people together.

[applause]

35:37 BS: So this is what I believe. This is what I believe from the bottom of my heart, if we do not allow Trump and his friends to divide us up, if we stand together, black and white, and Latino, Asian-American, Native-American. If we stand together, urban and rural, north, south, east and west. If we stand together not as red state and blue state, but as working people fighting for dignity. If we stand together believing in justice and human dignity, if we stand together believing in love and compassion, if we stay together, brothers and sisters, the future of this country is extraordinary and there is nothing we will not be able to accomplish. Thank you all very much.

Democratic Presidential Debate – June 27 #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of night 2 of the Democratic Presidential Debate held on June 27th. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.


0:00:01 Lester Holt: Good evening, I’m Lester Holt, and welcome to night two of the first Democratic debate in the 2020 race for President.

0:00:07 Savannah Guthrie: Good evening, I’m Savannah Guthrie. Last night, we heard from 10 candidates, and now 10 more take the stage.

0:00:12 LH: And again tonight, we’ll be joined in the questioning by our colleagues, Jose Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow.

0:00:19 SG: The candidates are in position, so let’s get started.

0:00:22 Speaker 3: Tonight, round two, Colorado senator Michael Bennet, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California senator Kamala Harris, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, California Congressman Eric Swalwell, author Marianne Williamson, and former tech executive Andrew Yang. From NBC News, Decision 2020, the Democratic Candidates Debate, live from the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, Florida.

[music]

0:01:15 LH: And good evening once again. Welcome to the candidates and our spirited audience here tonight in the Arsht Center and across America. Tonight, we continue the spirited debate about the future of the country, how to tackle our most pressing problems and getting to the heart of the biggest issues in this Democratic primary.

0:01:32 SG: Tonight, we’re gonna talk about healthcare, immigration. We’re also gonna dive into the economy, jobs, climate change as well.

0:01:38 Jose Diaz-Balart: And some quick rules of the road before we begin, and they may sound familiar, 20 candidates qualified for this first debate. As we said, we heard from 10 last night and we’ll hear from 10 more tonight. The breakdown for each night was selected at random. The candidates will have 60 seconds to answer, 30 seconds for any follow-ups.

0:01:56 LH: And because of the large field of candidates, not every person is going to be able to weigh in on every topic, but over the course of the next two hours, we will hear from everyone.

0:02:06 SG: And we love our audience, but we’d like to ask them to keep their reactions to a minimum, and we’re not gonna hold back in making sure the candidates stick to time. So with that business taken care of, let’s get to it. And we’re gonna start today with Senator Sanders. Good evening to you. You’ve called for big new government benefits like universal healthcare and free college. In a recent interview, you said you suspected that Americans would be “delighted to pay more taxes for things like that.” My question to you is, will taxes go up for the middle class in a Sanders administration? And if so, how do you sell that to voters?

0:02:44 Bernie Sanders: Okay. Well, you’re quite right, we have a new vision for America. And at a time when we have three people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of America, while 500,000 people are sleeping out on the streets today, we think it is time for change, real change. And by that I mean that healthcare, in my view, is a human right and we have gotta pass a Medicare for All single-payer system. Under that system, by the way, vast majority of the people in this country will be paying significantly less for healthcare than they are right now. I believe that education is the future for this country and that is why I believe that we must make public colleges and universities tuition-free and eliminate student debt, and we do that by placing a tax on Wall Street. Every proposal that I have brought forth is fully paid for.

0:03:49 SG: Senator Sanders, I’ll give you 10 seconds just to ask the… Answer the very direct question, will you raise taxes for the middle class in a Sanders administration?

0:04:00 LH: People who have healthcare under Medicare for All will have no premiums, no deductibles, no co-payments, no out-of-pocket expenses. Yes, they will pay more in taxes but less in healthcare for what they get.

0:04:13 SG: Thank you, Senator.

0:04:14 Michael Bennet: Senator Sanders. I would… I wanna ask just a…

0:04:16 SG: Senator Bennet, we’re gonna get to everybody, I promise. But let me just…

0:04:19 Joe Biden: No, I’d like to say some…

0:04:20 SG: Senator Biden, promise everybody’s gonna get in here, promise. Vice President Biden, Senator Sanders, as you know, has been calling for a revolution. Recently, in remarks to a group of wealthy donors, as you were speaking about the problem of income inequality in this country you said, we shouldn’t “demonize the rich.” You said, “Nobody has to be punished, no one’s standard of living would change, nothing would fundamentally change.” What did you mean by that?

0:04:46 JB: What I meant by that is… Look, Donald Trump thinks Wall Street built America. Ordinary middle-class Americans built America. My dad used to have an expression. He said, “Joe, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck; it’s about your dignity, it’s about respect, it’s being able to look your kid in the eye and say everything’s gonna be okay.” Too many people who are in the middle class and poor have had the bottom fall out under this proposal. What I am saying is that we’ve gotta be straightforward. We have to make sure we understand that to return dignity to the middle class, they have to have insurance that is covered and they can afford it. They have to make sure that we’re here in a situation where there’s continuing education and they’re able to pay for it and they have to make sure that they’re able to breathe air that is clean and they have water that they can drink. Look, Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation. We do have enormous income inequality. And the one thing I agree on is we can make massive cuts in the $1.6 trillion in tax loopholes out there and I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

0:05:50 SG: Vice President Biden, thank you. Senator Harris, there’s a lot of talk in this primary about new government benefits such as student loan cancellation, free college, healthcare and more. Do you think that Democrats have a responsibility to explain how they will pay for every proposal they make along those lines?

0:06:12 Kamala Harris: Well, let me tell you something. I hear that question, but where was that question when the Republicans and Donald Trump passed a tax bill that benefits the top 1% and the biggest corporations in this country, contributing at least a $1 trillion to the debt of America, which middle-class families will pay for, one way or another. Working families need support and need to be lifted up, and frankly this economy is not working for working people. For too long the rules have been written in the favor of the people who have the most and not in favor of the people who work the most. Which is why I am proposing that we change the tax code. For every family that is making less than $100,000 a year, they will receive a tax credit that they can collect up to $500 a month, which will make all the difference between those families being able to get through the end of the month with dignity and with support or not. And on day one, I will repeal that tax bill that benefits the top 1% and the biggest corporations of America.

0:07:12 SG: Senator Harris, thank you. Governor Hickenlooper, let me get to you in on this. You’ve warned that democrats will lose in 2020 if they embrace socialism as you put it. You were booed at the California Democratic convention when you said that. Only one candidate on this stage, Senator Sanders, identifies himself as a democratic socialist. What are the policies or positions of your opponents that you think are veering towards socialism?

0:07:37 John Hickenlooper: Well, I think that the bottom line is, if we don’t clearly define that we are not socialists, the Republicans are gonna come at us every way they can, and call us socialists. And if you look at the Green New Deal, which I admire the sense of urgency and how important it is to deal with climate change, I’m a scientist, but we can’t promise every American a government job if you wanna get universal healthcare coverage. I believe that healthcare is a right and not a privilege. But you can’t expect to eliminate private insurance for 180 million people, many of whom who don’t wanna give it up. In Colorado, we brought businesses and non-profits together. We got near universal healthcare coverage, we were the first state in America to bring the environmental community and the oil and gas industry to address, aggressively address, methane emissions. And we were also the first place to expand reproductive rights on a scale basis, and we reduced teen pregnancy by 54%. We’ve done the big progressive things that people said couldn’t be done. I’ve done what pretty much everyone else up here is still talking about doing.

0:08:40 SG: Governor, thank you. Senator Sanders, I’ll give you a chance to weigh in here.

[applause]

0:08:44 SG: What is your response to those who say nominating a socialist would re-elect Donald Trump?

0:08:51 BS: Well, I think the responses at the polls, last poll I saw had us 10 points ahead of Donald Trump… Because the American people understand that Trump is a phony, that Trump is a pathological liar and a racist, and that he lied to the American people during his campaign. He said he was gonna stand up for working families. Well, President Trump, you’re not standing up for working families, when you try to throw 32 million people off the healthcare that they have. And that 83% of your tax benefits go to the top 1%. That’s how we beat Trump, we expose him for the fraud that he is.

[applause]

0:09:35 Kirsten Gillibrand: In answer, I wanna talk about…

0:09:35 SG: Senator, Senator Gillibrand, 30 seconds.

0:09:38 KG: I disagree with both their perspectives. The debate we’re having in our party right now is confusing because the truth is, there’s a big difference between capitalism on the one hand and greed on the other. And so all the things that we’re trying to change is when companies care more about profits when they do about people. So if you’re talking about ending gun violence, it’s the greed of the NRA and the gun manufacturers that make any progress impossible. It’s the greed of the insurance companies and the drug companies when we wanna try to get healthcare as a right and not a privilege.

0:10:13 SG: Senator Gillibrand, thank you.

0:10:15 KG: So there may not be disagreement in the party because in truth, we want healthy capitalism…

0:10:19 SG: Senator, thank you.

0:10:20 KG: We don’t want corrupted capitalism…

0:10:21 SG: Thank you, I wanna be fair to all the candidates. Thank you.

0:10:22 KG: Which is the definition of greed.

0:10:23 SG: Senator Bennet. You have said, “It’s possible to write policy proposals that have no basis in reality, you might as well call them candy.” Were you referring to any candidate or proposal in particular when you said that?

0:10:37 MB: Was that directed to me?

0:10:38 SG: Yes, that was your quote.

0:10:38 MB: Well, thank you. That sounded like me. Thank you.

0:10:40 SG: It was you.

0:10:41 MB: No, I appreciate it. First of all, I agree completely with Bernie about what the fundamental challenge we’re facing as a country is. Forty years of no economic growth for 90% of the American people, 160,000 families in the top 1% have the same wealth as the bottom 90%, and we’ve got the worst income inequality that we’ve had in 100 years. Where I disagree is on his solution on Medicare for all. I have proposed getting to universal healthcare, which we need to do. It is a right. Healthcare is a right. We need to get to universal healthcare. I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with Obamacare and creating a public option that every family and every person in America can make a choice for their family, about whether they want a public option, which for them would be like having Medicare for all, or whether they wanna keep their private insurance. I believe we will get there much more quickly if we do that. Bernie… If I could just finish, Bernie mentioned that the taxes that we would have to pay, because of those taxes, Vermont rejected Medicare for all.

[overlapping conversation]

0:11:49 KG: In Bernie’s bill, In Bernie’s bill, I wrote…

0:11:50 SG: Senator. Senators, please.

[applause]

0:11:53 SG: We are going to talk about healthcare at length, Senator, but for the moment, my colleague Jose wants to continue the question on the economy.

0:11:58 JD: Thank you very much. We will…

0:11:58 KG: I wrote the part in Senator Sanders’s bill, I wrote the part in Senator Sanders’s bill, that is the transition which merges what the two senators said. Because the truth is, if you have a buy-in over a four or five period, you move us to single-payer more quickly.

0:12:14 JD: Senator, we will get to this. We will get to this.

[applause]

0:12:16 BS: I understand…

0:12:17 JD: Before we do, I wanna say hello and good evening, Buena noches to Mayor Buttigieg.

[foreign language]

0:12:25 JD: Many of your colleagues on stage support free college. You do not. Why not?

0:12:32 Pete Buttigieg: Sure. College affordability is personal for us. Chasten and I have six figure student debt, I believe in reducing student debt. It’s logical to me that if you can refinance your house, you ought to be able to refinance your student debt. I also believe in free college for low and middle income students for whom cost could be a barrier.

[applause]

0:12:54 PB: I just don’t believe it makes sense to ask working class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires. I think the children of the wealthiest Americans can pay at least a little bit of tuition. And while I want tuition costs to go down, I don’t think we can buy down every last penny for them. Now, there’s something else that doesn’t get talked about in the college affordability debate. Yes, it needs to be more affordable in this country to go to college. It also needs to be more affordable in this country to not go to college. You should be able to live well, afford rent, be generous to your church and little league, whether you went to college or not. That’s one of many reasons we need to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.

0:13:33 Eric Swalwell: Jose, I’ve got $100,000 in student loan debt myself.

0:13:36 JD: Let me get to you in a… If I…

0:13:37 ES: And I’ll tell you, you can’t count on the people who’ve been in government for the last 30 years who were around when this problem was created to be the ones to solve it. It’s gonna be the next generation, the 40 million of us who can’t start a family, can’t take a good idea and start a business, and can’t buy our first home. This is the generation that’s gonna be able to solve student loan debt. This generation is ready to lead.

0:13:57 JD: Mr. Yang, your signature policy is to give every adult in the United States $1,000 a month, no questions asked.

0:14:06 Andrew Yang: That’s right.

0:14:08 JD: I think that’s $3.2 trillion a year. How would you do that?

0:14:15 AY: Sorry?

0:14:16 JD: How would you do that?

0:14:16 AY: Oh, so, it’s difficult to do if you have companies like Amazon, trillion dollar tech companies, paying literally zero in taxes while they’re closing 30% of our stores. Now, we need to put the American people in position to benefit from all of these innovations in other parts of the economy. And if we had a value-added tax at even half the European level, it would generate over $800 billion in new revenue, which combined with the money in our hands, it would be the trickle-up economy from our people, families, and communities up. We would spend the money and it would circulate through our regional economies and neighborhoods, creating millions of jobs, making our families stronger and healthier. We’d save money on things like incarceration, homelessness services, emergency room healthcare. And just the value gains from having a stronger, healthier, mentally healthier population would increase GDP by $700 billion. This is the move that we have to make, particularly as technology is now automating away millions of American jobs, it’s why Donald Trump is our President today, that we automated away 400 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And we’re about to do the same thing to millions of retail jobs, call center jobs, fast food jobs, truck driving jobs and on and on through the economy.

0:15:20 JD: So, Mr. Yang, if I get to understand a little bit better. So you’re saying $1,000 a month for everyone over 18 but a value-added tax so you can spend that $1,000 on value-added tax?

0:15:35 AY: Well, the value-added tax would end up… You would still be increasing the buying power of the bottom 94% of Americans. You have to spend a lot of money for a mild value-added tax to eat up $12,000 a year per individual. So for the average family with two or three adults, it would $24,000 to $36,000 a year.

0:15:53 JD: Okay. Congressman Swalwell, I wanna talk a little bit about what Mr. Yang is talking about, and you just actually mentioned it. Many Americans are worried that things like self-driving cars, robots, drones, artificial intelligence will cost them their jobs. What would you do to help people get the skills they need to adapt to this new world?

0:16:10 ES: We must always be a country where technology creates more jobs than it displaces. And I’ve seen the anxiety across America, where the manufacturing floors go from 1,000 to 100 to one. So we have to modernize our schools, value the teachers who prepare our kids, wipe the student debt from any teacher that goes into a community that needs it. Invest in America’s communities, especially where places… Where the best exports are people who move away to get skills. But, Jose, I was six years old when a Presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said, it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then Senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time the pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He’s still right today. If we’re gonna solve the issues of automation, pass the torch. If we’re gonna solve the issues of climate chaos, pass the torch. If we’re gonna solve the issue of student loan debt, pass the torch. If we’re gonna end gun violence for families who are fearful of sending their kids to school, pass the torch.

0:17:13 JD: Vice President, would you like to sing a torch song?

0:17:17 JB: I would.

[laughter]

0:17:18 JB: I’m still holding on to that torch. I wanna make it clear to you, look, the fact of the matter is… What we have to do is make sure that everybody is prepared better to go on to educate… For an education. The fact is that that’s why I propose us focusing on schools that are in distress. That’s why I think we should triple the amount of money we spend for Title I schools. That’s why I think we should have universal Pre-K. That’s why I think every single person who graduates from high school, 65 out of 100 now need something beyond high school, and we should provide for them to be able to get that education. That’s why there should be free community college, cutting in half the cost of college. That’s why we should be in a position where we do not have anyone have to pay back a student debt when they get out… They’re making less than $25,000 a year. Their debt is frozen, no interest payment until they get beyond that. We can’t put people in a position where they aren’t able to go on and move on. And so, folks, there’s a lot we can do, but we have to make continuing education available for everyone so that everyone can compete in the 21st century. We’re not doing that now.

0:18:22 JD: Senator, Senators.

0:18:24 PB: As the youngest guy on the stage, I feel like I probably oughta contribute to the generation.

0:18:29 KG: Before we move on…

0:18:29 BS: As part of Joe’s generation…

0:18:30 PB: I’m all for generational change.

0:18:31 KG: Before we move on…

0:18:31 BS: As part of Joe’s generation, let me respond.

0:18:33 KG: Before we move on from…

0:18:34 BS: The issue, if I may say, is not generational.

0:18:35 KG: Before we move on from education…

0:18:36 JD: Let’s… Please, please, Senator Sanders, and I’ll let… We will.

0:18:38 BS: The issue is not generational.

[overlapping conversation]

0:18:41 Marianne Williamson: We forgive you for your young and immature comment though.

0:18:43 BS: The issue is who has the guts to take on Wall Street, to take on the fossil fuel industry, to take on the big money interests who have unbelievable influence over the economic and political life of this country.

0:18:56 JD: These issues…

[overlapping conversation]

0:18:57 ES: These issues still persist.

0:18:57 JD: Senator Harris. Senator Harris. I’m so sorry.

[overlapping conversation]

0:18:58 KG: Marianne, you have a turn. You should have a turn with all the men speaking over you. Marianne, you have a turn. All the men are speaking over her.

0:19:01 SG: We will let you all speak. Senator Harris. Senator Harris. We will let you all speak. Senator Harris.

0:19:05 ES: We can’t afford to wait for evolution on these issues.

[overlapping conversation]

0:19:10 KH: Hey, guys, you know what? America does not wanna witness a food fight. They wanna know how we’re gonna put food on their table.

[applause]

0:19:25 KH: So on that point, part of the issue that is at play in America today, and we’ve all been traveling around the country; I certainly have, I’m meeting people who are working two and three jobs. This President walks around talking about and flouting his great economy, right? My great economy, my great economy. You ask him, “Well how are you measuring this greatness of this economy of yours?” And he talks about the stock market. Well, that’s fine if you own stocks. So many families in America do not. You ask him, “How are you measuring the greatness of this economy of yours?” And they point to the jobless numbers and the unemployment numbers. Well, yeah, people in America are working; they’re working two and three jobs. So, when we talk about jobs, let’s be really clear, in our America no one should have to work more than one job to have a roof over their head and food on the table.

[applause]

0:20:12 JD: Thank you very much Senator. Thank you.

0:20:15 LH: You’ve all expressed an interest in talking about healthcare.

0:20:19 MW: I’d like to say something if I might.

0:20:19 LH: So, let’s talk about healthcare, and this is going gonna be a show of hands question. We asked a question about healthcare last night that spurred a lot of discussion, as you know. We’re gonna do it again now. Many people watching at home have health insurance at their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government run plan?

0:20:38 S?: Yeah.

[applause]

0:20:40 LH: Alright. Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator Gillibrand.

0:20:44 KG: Yeah, so now it’s my turn.

0:20:45 MB: Go ahead.

0:20:46 KG: So, this is a very important issue. So, the plan that Senator Sanders and I and others support, Medicare for All, is how you get to single payer. But it has a buy-in transition period, which is really important. In 2005, when I ran for Congress in a two to one Republican district, I actually ran on Medicare for All and I won that two to one Republican district twice. And the way I formulated it was simple. Anyone who doesn’t have access to insurance they like, they could buy in at a percentage of income they could afford. So, that’s what we’ve put into the transition period for our Medicare for All plan. I believe we need to get to universal healthcare as a right and not a privilege, to single payer. The quickest way you get there is you create competition with the insurers.

0:21:29 KG: God bless the insurers if they wanna compete. They can certainly try, but they’ve never put people over their profits and I doubt they ever will. So what will happen is people will choose Medicare, you will transition, we will get to Medicare for All, and then your step to single payer is so short. I would make it an earned benefit, just like social security, so that you buy in your whole life, it is always there for you. And it’s permanent and it’s universal.

0:21:54 LH: Senator, your time is up. I wanna put that same question to Mayor Buttigieg.

0:21:58 PB: Yeah, we’ve talk… Look, everybody who says Medicare for All, every person in politics who allows that phrase to escape their lips has a responsibility to explain how you’re actually supposed to get from here to there.

[applause]

0:22:13 PB: Now, here’s how I would do it. It’s very similar, I would call it Medicare for All Who Want It. You’d take something like Medicare, a flavor of that, and you make it available on the exchanges. People can buy in. And then, if people like us are right, that that will be not only a more inclusive plan, but a more efficient plan than any of the corporate answers out there, then it will be a very natural glide path to the single payer environment. But let’s remember, even in countries that have outright socialized medicine, like England, even there there’s still a private sector; that’s fine. It’s just that for our primary care, we can’t be relying on the tender mercies of the corporate system. This one is very personal for me. I started out this year dealing with the terminal illness of my father. I make decisions for a living, and nothing could have prepared me for the kind of decisions our family faced. But the thing we had going for us, was that we never had to make those decisions based on whether it was gonna bankrupt our family, because of Medicare.

0:23:04 LH: Alright Mayor.

0:23:04 PB: And I want every family to have that same freedom to do what is medically right, not live in financial fear.

[applause]

0:23:09 LH: Thank you. Your time is complete. Vice President Biden, I want to put the question to you. You were one of the architects of Obamacare. So, where do we go from here?

0:23:16 JB: Look, this is very personal to me. When my wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident, my two boys were really very badly injured, I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like had I not had adequate healthcare available immediately. And then, when my son came home from Iraq after a year, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he was given months to live. I can’t fathom what would have happened if in fact they said, “By the way, the last six months of your life you’re on your own. We’re cutting off. You’ve used up your time.” The fact of the matter is that the quickest, fastest way to do it is build on Obamacare, to build on what we did. And secondly, secondly, to make sure that everyone does have an option. Everyone, whether they have private insurance or employer insurance or no insurance, they in fact could buy in in the exchange to a Medicare-like plan. And the way to do that, we can do it quickly. Look, urgency matters. There’s people right now facing what I faced and what we faced without any of the help I had. We must move now. I’m against any Democrat who opposes…

0:24:21 LH: Alright, Vice President Biden, your time is…

0:24:23 JB: That takes down Obamacare and any Republican who wants to get rid of Obamacare.

0:24:28 LH: Let me turn to Senator Sanders. Senator Sanders, you basically wanna scrap the private health insurance system as we know it and replace it with a government-run plan. None of the states that have tried something like that, California, Vermont, New York has struggled with it, have been successful. If politicians can’t make it work in those states, how would you implement it on a national level? How does this work?

0:24:48 BS: I find it hard to believe that every other major country on Earth, including my neighbor 50 miles north of me, Canada, somehow has figured out a way to provide healthcare to every man, woman and child, and in most cases, they’re spending 50% per capita what we are spending. Let’s be clear, let us be very clear. The function of healthcare today, from the insurance and drug company perspective, is not to provide quality care to all in a cost effective way. The function of the healthcare system today is to make billions in profits for the insurance companies. And last year, if you could believe it, while we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and I will lower prescription drug prices in half in this country, top 10 companies made $69 billion in profit. They will spend hundreds of million of dollars lying to the American people, telling us why we cannot have a Medicare for All single payer program.

0:25:52 LH: Senator Sanders, I just have to follow up there. How do you implement it on a national level?

[applause]

0:26:00 BS: I’m sorry?

0:26:00 LH: How do you implement it on a national level…

0:26:01 BS: I’ll tell you.

0:26:02 LH: Given the fact it’s not succeeded in other states that have tried it?

0:26:04 BS: I will tell you how we’ll do it. We’ll do it the way real change has always taken place, whether it was the Labor Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, or the Women’s Movement. We will have Medicare for All when tens of millions of people are prepared to stand up and tell the insurance companies and the drug companies that their day is gone, that healthcare is a human right, not something to make huge profits off of.

[applause]

[overlapping conversation]

0:26:30 LH: Thank you. Alright. Ms. Williamson, Ms. Williamson, this is a question for you. We have been talk… Excuse me, excuse me. I’m addressing the question to Ms. Williamson. We’ve been talking a lot about access to health insurance, but for many Americans their most pressing concern is the high cost of health care. How would you lower the cost of prescription drugs?

0:26:48 MW: Well first of all, the government should never have made the deal with the Big Pharma that they couldn’t negotiate. That was just part of the regular corruption by which multi-national corporations have their way with us. You know, I want to say that while I agree with… I’m with Senator Bennet and others, but I agree with almost everything here. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s really nice that we’ve got all these plans, but if you think we’re gonna beat Donald Trump by just having all these plans, you’ve got another thing coming. Because he didn’t win by saying he had a plan; he won by simply saying, “Make America Great Again.” We’ve gotta get deeper than just these superficial fixes, as important as they are. Even if we’re just talking about the superficial fixes, ladies and gentlemen, we don’t have a healthcare system in the United States, we have a sickness care system in the United States. We just wait till somebody gets sick, and then we talk about who’s gonna pay for the treatment and how they’re gonna be treated. What we need to talk about is why so many Americans have unnecessary chronic illnesses, so many more compared to other countries. And that gets back into not just the Big Pharma, not just health insurance companies, it has to do with chemical policies, it has to to with environmental policies…

0:27:53 LH: All right. Ms. Williamson, your time has expired.

[applause]

0:27:54 MW: It has to do with food policies, it has to do with drug policies…

0:27:58 LH: Thank you. Thank you.

0:27:58 MW: Even has to do with environmental policies.

0:28:00 LH: Senator Bennet, a question for you. You want to keep the system that we have in place with Obamacare and build on it; you mentioned that a moment ago. Is that enough to get us to universal coverage?

0:28:08 MB: I believe that will get us the quickest way there, and I thought the Vice President was very moving about this, and Mayor Pete as well. I had prostate cancer recently, as you may know, and it’s why I was a little late getting in the race. The same week, my kid had her appendectomy out, and I feel very strongly that families ought to be able to have this choice. I think that’s what the American people want. I believe it will get us there quickly. There are millions of people in America that do not have health insurance today because they can’t… They’re too wealthy-wealthy. They make too much money to be on Medicaid; they can’t afford health insurance. When Senator Sanders says that Canada is single-payer, there are 35 million people in Canada. There are 330 million people in the United States. Easily the number of people on a public option, it could easily be 35 million, and for them it would be Medicare for All, as Mayor Buttigieg says, but for others that want to keep it they should be able to keep it. And I think that will be the fastest way to get where we need to go.

0:29:09 KH: I’d like to add a point.

0:29:11 MB: Also I will say, Bernie is a very honest person. He has said over and over again, unlike others that have supported this legislation, over and over again that this will ban, make illegal, all insurance except cosmetic. Except insurance for… I guess that’s for plastic surgery. Everything else is banned under the Medicare for All proposal that he has put forward.

0:29:31 LH: I let you go a little longer there…

0:29:33 KH: I’d like to add a point here.

0:29:33 LH: But obviously Senator Sanders, you get a response.

0:29:35 KH: I’d like to add a point here.

0:29:36 LH: Senator Sanders needs to respond to that.

0:29:37 BS: Just real briefly. You know Mike, Medicare is the most popular health insurance program in the country. People don’t like their private insurance companies, they like their doctors and hospitals. Under our plan, people go to any doctor they want, any hospital they want. We will substantially lower the cost of healthcare in this country because we’ll stop the greed of the insurance companies.

[overlapping conversation]

0:30:03 ES: The biggest part of this debate that we’re missing, we need to find cures, in our lifetime, cures for all. And today…

0:30:03 SG: One at a time. One at a time, Senator Harris.

[overlapping conversation]

0:30:04 KH: On this issue, we have to think about how this affects real people. And the reality of how this affects real people is captured in a story that many of us heard, and I will paraphrase. There is any night in America, a parent who’s seeing that their child has a temperature that is out of control, calls 911, “What should I do?” And they say, “Take the child to the Emergency Room.” And so they get in their car and they drive, and they’re sitting in the parking lot outside of the Emergency Room, looking at those sliding glass doors while they have the hand on the forehead of their child, knowing that if they walk through those sliding glass doors, even though they have insurance they will be out a $5,000 deductible, $5,000 deductible when they walk through those doors.

0:30:51 LH: Alright, Senator Harris, thank you.

0:30:53 KH: That’s what Insurance companies are doing in America today.

[overlapping conversation]

0:30:57 SG: We’re gonna continue this discussion. I wanted to put it in…

[overlapping conversation]

0:31:01 SG: Candidates please. Candidates please.

0:31:02 ES: I’m one of those parents. I was just in the Emergency Room with my eight month old. I’m one of those parents, I was just in the emergency room and I’m telling you…

0:31:06 SG: Congressman, thank you.

0:31:07 ES: We fight health insurance companies every single week.

0:31:10 SG: Thank you.

0:31:11 ES: We stand in line and pay expensive prescription drugs. We have to have a healthcare guarantee; if you’re sick, you’re seen, and in America you never go broke because of it.

0:31:19 SG: Okay.

0:31:20 MW: With all due respect…

0:31:20 SG: A lot of you have been talking tonight about these government healthcare plans that you’ve proposed in one form or another. This is a show-of-hands question, and hold them up for a moment so people can see. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants?

[applause]

0:31:40 SG: Okay. Let me start with you, Mayor Buttigieg; why? Mayor Buttigieg, why?

0:31:47 PB: Because our country is healthier when everybody is healthier. And remember, we’re talking about something people are given a chance to buy in to. In the same way that there are undocumented immigrants in my community who pay. They pay sales taxes, they pay property taxes directly or indirectly. This is not about a hand out, this is an insurance program, and we do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access healthcare. But of course the real problem is we shouldn’t have 11 million undocumented people with no pathway to citizenship. It makes no sense. And the American people…

[applause]

0:32:27 PB: The American people agree on what to do. This is the crazy thing, if leadership consists of forming a consensus around a divisive issue. This White House has divided us around a consensus issue. The American people want a pathway to citizenship, they want a protections for dreamers. We need to clean up the lawful immigration system, like how my father immigrated to this country. And as part of a compromise we can do whatever common sense measures are needed at the border.

0:32:50 SG: Mayor.

0:32:50 PB: But Washington can’t deliver on something the American people want. What does that tell you about the system we’re living in? It tells you it needs profound structural reform.

0:33:00 SG: Mayor, thank you. Vice President Biden, I believe you said that your healthcare plan would not cover undocumented immigrants. Could you explain your position?

0:33:06 JB: I’m sorry, beg your pardon, I didn’t hear.

0:33:08 SG: I believe at the show of hands, you did not raise your hand. Did you raise your hand?

0:33:12 JB: No, I did.

0:33:13 SG: Okay, sorry, sorry. So you said that they would be covered under your plan, which is different than Obamacare…

0:33:19 JB: Yes, but here’s the thing.

0:33:20 SG: Can you explain that change?

0:33:22 JB: Yes, you cannot let… As the Mayor said, you cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered. You can’t do that, it’s just gonna be taken care of, period. You have to, it’s a humane thing to do. But here’s the deal. The deal is that he’s right about three things. Number one, they in fact contribute to the wellbeing of the country. But they also for example, they’ve increased the lifespan of social security, because they’ve a job, they’re paying a social security tax. That’s what they’re doing, it’s increased the lifespan, they would do the same thing in terms of reducing the overall cost of healthcare by them being able to be treated, and not wait till they are in extremis.

0:34:00 JB: The other thing is, folks, look, we can deal with these insurance companies. We can deal with these insurance companies by number one, putting insurance executives in jail for their misleading… Their misleading advertising, what they’re doing on opioids, what they’re doing, paying doctors to prescribe. We could be doing this by making sure everyone who is on Medicare, that the government should be able to negotiate the price for whatever the drug costs are. We can do this by making sure that we’re in a position that we in fact allow people…

0:34:30 LH: Your time’s up.

0:34:31 SG: Yeah, your time is up, Vice President Biden, thank you.

0:34:32 KG: I just wanna address a point, there’s one point…

0:34:34 LH: Actually, if you can hold off a minute. We need to take a short break here. We got a lot more we need to talk to all of you about. So stick with us, we’re just getting started, we’ll be back with more from Miami right after this.

[applause]

[music]

[pause]

[applause]

0:36:39 LH: Welcome back from Miami. Jose is gonna lead off the questioning in this round.

0:36:44 JD: Thank you very much. Senator Harris, last month more than 130,00 migrants were apprehended at the southern border, many of them are being detained, including small children, in private detention centers in Florida and throughout our country. Most of the candidates on this stage say the conditions at these facilities are abhorrent. On January 20th, 2021, if you are President, what specifically would you do with the thousands of people who try to reach the United States every day and want a better life through asylum?

0:37:23 KH: Immediately on January 20th of 2021, I will first of all… We cannot forget our DACA recipients and so I’m gonna start there. I will immediately, by executive action, reinstate DACA status and DACA protection to those young people.

[applause]

0:37:39 KH: I will further extend protection for deferral of deportation for their parents and for veterans who we have so many who are undocumented and have served our country and fought for our democracy. I will also immediately put in place a meaningful process for reviewing the cases for asylum, I will release children from cages, I will get rid of the private detention centers, and I will ensure that this microphone that the President of the United States holds in her hand is used in a way that is about reflecting the values of our country and not about locking children up, separating them from their parents. And I have to just say that we have to think about this issue in terms of real people. A mother, who pays a coyote to transport her child through their country of origin, through the entire country of Mexico, facing unknown peril to come here, why would that mother do that? I will tell you, because she has decided for that child to remain where they are is worse, but what does Donald Trump do? He says, “Go back to where you came from.” That is not reflective of our America and our values, and it’s gotta end.

[applause]

0:39:02 JD: Governor Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, day one, if you are… Day one at the White House, how do you respond?

0:39:14 MW: Deal with these children?

0:39:15 JD: Let me get to you in just a second.

0:39:18 MW: I’m sorry.

0:39:19 JD: Governor, day one, thousands of men, women and children cross the border asking for asylum for a better life. What do you do? Day one, hour one.

0:39:33 JH: Well certainly, the images we’ve seen this week just compound the emotional impact that the world is judging us by. If you’d ever told me any time in my life that this country would sanction federal agents to take children from the arms of their parents, put them in cages, actually put them up for adoption… In Colorado, we call that kidnapping. I would have told you…

[applause]

0:40:02 JH: I would have told you it was unbelievable. And the first thing we have to do is recognize the humanitarian crisis on the border for what it is and we make sure that there are the sufficient facilities in place so that women and children are not separated from their families. The children are with their families. We have to make sure that ICE is completely reformed and they begin looking at their job in a humanitarian way where they’re addressing the whole needs of the people that they are engaged with along the border. And we’d have to make sure, ultimately, that we provide, not just shelter, but food, clothing and access to medical care.

0:40:39 JD: Miss Williamson.

0:40:40 MW: Yeah. What Donald Trump has done to these children, and it’s not just in Colorado, Governor you’re right, it is kidnapping. And it’s extremely important for us to realize that. If you forcibly take a child from their parent’s arms, you are kidnapping them. And if you take a lot of children and you put them in a detainment center, thus inflicting chronic trauma upon them, that’s called child abuse. This is collective child abuse. And when this is crime, both of those things are a crime, and if your government does it, that doesn’t make it less of a crime. These are state-sponsored crimes.

[applause]

0:41:12 JD: Congressman.

0:41:14 MW: And what President Trump has done is not only attack these children, not only demonize these immigrants, he is attacking a basic principle of America’s moral core. We open our hearts to the stranger. This is extremely important and it’s also important for all of us remember, and I have great respect for everyone who is on this stage, but we’re gonna talk about what to do about healthcare. Where have you been, guys? Because it’s not just a matter of a plan. And I haven’t heard anybody on this stage who has talked about American foreign policy in Latin America and how we might have in the last few decades contributed to something being more [0:41:51] ____.

[applause]

0:41:51 JD: Senator Gillibrand, what would you do as President with a reality?

0:41:57 KG: Well, one of the worst things about President Trump that he’s done to this country is he’s torn apart the moral fabric of who we are. When he started separating children at the border from their parents, the fact that seven children have died in his custody, the fact that dozens of children have been separated from their parents and they have no plan to reunite them… So I would do a few things. First, I would fight for comprehensive immigration reform, with a pathway to citizenship. Second, I would reform how we treat asylum seekers at the border. I would have a community-based treatment center where you’re doing it within the communities, where asylum seekers are given lawyers, where there’s real immigration judges, not employees of the Attorney General, but appointed for life, and have a community-based system. I would fund border security, but the worst thing President Trump has done is he has diverted the funds away from cross-border terrorism, cross-border human trafficking, drug trafficking and gun trafficking and he’s given that money to the for-profit prisons. I would not be spending money in for-profit prisons to lock up children and asylum seekers.

0:43:04 JD: We had a very spirited debate on this stage last night on the topic of decriminalization of the border. If you’d be so kind, raise your head if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation? Can we keep the hands up so we can see them?

0:43:23 PB: Let’s remember, that’s not just a theoretical exercise, that criminalization, that is the basis for family separation. You do away with that, it’s no longer possible, of course it wouldn’t be possible anyway in my Presidency because it is dead wrong. We gotta talk about one other thing because the Republican party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion. Now, our party doesn’t talk about that as much, largely for a very good reason, which was we’re committed to the separation of church and state and we stand for people of any religion and people of no religion, but we should call out hypocrisy when we see it, and for a party that associates itself with Christianity, to say that it is okay to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.

[applause]

0:44:14 JD: Vice President. Mr. Vice President I don’t know if you raised your hand or were just asking to speak. Would you decriminalize crossing the border without documents?

0:44:28 JB: The first thing I would do is unite families. I’d surge immediately billions of dollars worth of help to the region immediately. Look, I talk about foreign policy, I’m the guy that got a bipartisan agreement at the very end of the campaign, at the very end of our term, to spend $740 million to deal with the problem, and that was to go to the root cause of why people are leaving in the first place. It was working, we saw, as you know, a net decrease in the number of children who were coming, the crisis was abated and along came this President and he said, he immediately discontinued that. We all talk about these things, I did it, I did it, $740 million…

[applause]

0:45:10 JB: Now look, second thing, second thing we have to do. The law now requires the reuniting of those families, we would reunite those families, period. And if not, we put those children in a circumstance where they were safe until we could find their parents. And lastly, the idea that he’s in court with his Justice Department saying, children in cages do not need a bed, do not need a blanket, do not need a toothbrush, that is outrageous, and we’ll stop.

[applause]

0:45:37 JD: Vice President, the Obama-Biden administration deported more than 3 million Americans. My question to you is, if an individual is living in the United States of America without documents and that is his only offense, should that person be deported?

0:45:58 S?: No.

0:45:58 JB: Depending if they committed a major crime, they should be deported. And the President was left… President Obama, I think did a heck of a job, and to compare him to what this guy is doing is absolutely, I find, close to immoral. But the fact is that, look, we should not be locking people up, we should be making sure we change the circumstance as we did, why they would leave in the first place, and those who come seeking asylum we should immediately have the capacity to absorb them, keep them safe until they could be heard.

0:46:31 JD: Fifteen second, if you could, if you wish to answer, should someone who is here without documents and that is his only offense, should that person be deported?

0:46:42 JB: That person should not be the focus of deportation. We should fundamentally change the way we deal with them.

[applause]

0:46:48 JD: Senator…

0:46:49 MW: I think it’s important…

0:46:50 BS: I wanna suggest that I agree with a lot of what Kamala has just said, and that is on day one, we take out our Executive Order pen and we we rescind every damn thing on this issue that Trump has done.

0:47:01 SG: Absolutely.

[applause]

0:47:02 BS: Number two: Picking up on the point that Joe made. We gotta look at the root causes and you have a situation where Honduras among other things is a failing state, massive corruption. You got gangs who are telling families that if a 10-year-old does not join that gang, that family is gonna be killed. What we have got to do on day one is invite the presidents and the leadership of Central America and Mexico together, this is a hemisphere problem that we got to deal with.

[applause]

0:47:30 JD: Thank you. Congressman Swalwell, what do you do?

0:47:34 ES: Day one?

0:47:35 JD: No, if someone is here without documents and that is their only offense, is that person to be deported?

0:47:45 ES: No, that person can be a part of this great American experience, that person can contribute. My Congressional District is one of the most diverse in America and we see the benefits when people contribute and they become a part of the community and they’re not in the shadow economy. Day one for me families are reunited. This President though, for immigrants, there’s nothing he will not do to separate a family, cage a child or erase their existence by weaponizing the census. And there is nothing that we cannot do in the courts and that I will not do as President to reverse that and to make sure that families always belong together.

0:48:24 JD: Senator Harris.

[applause]

0:48:27 KH: Well thank you. I will say, no, absolutely not, they should not be deported. And I actually, this was one of the very few issues with which I disagreed with the administration, with whom I otherwise had a great relationship and a great deal of respect, but on the Secure Communities issue, I was Attorney General of California, I led the second largest department of justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice in a state of 40 million people. And on this issue I disagreed with my President because the policy was to allow deportation of people who by ICE’s own definition were non-criminals. So as Attorney General and the Chief Law Officer of the State of California, I issued a directive to the sheriffs of my state that they did not have to comply with detainers and instead should make decisions based on the best interest of public safety of their community. Because what I saw, and I was tracking it every day, I was tracking it and saw that parents, people who had not committed a crime even by ICE’s own definition, were being deported.

0:49:34 KH: But I have to add a point here, the problem with this kind of policy, and I know it as a prosecutor, I want a rape victim to be able to run in the middle of the street and wave down a police officer and report the crime against her. I want anybody who’s been the victim of any real crime to be able to do that and not be afraid that if they do that they will be deported because the abuser will tell them it is they who is the criminal. It is wrong. It is wrong.

[applause]

0:50:04 LH: We’re gonna turn to the issue of trade now, if we can. Last night we asked the candidates on this stage to name the greatest geopolitical threat facing the US. Four of them mentioned China. US businesses say China steals our intellectual property and party leaders on both sides accuse China of manipulating their currency to keep the cost of goods artificially low. I’ll ask this to Senator Bennet to start off with. How would you stand up to China?

0:50:29 MB: I think that, first of all, the biggest threat to our national security right now is Russia, not China. And second, on China we’ve got competi… Because of what they’ve done with our election. In China, I think the President’s been right to push back on China, but he’s done it in completely the wrong way. We should mobilize the entire rest of the world, who all have a shared interest in pushing back on China’s mercantilist trade policies and I think we can do that. I’d like to answer the other question before this as well.

0:51:00 LH: You have the time, you do it.

0:51:01 MB: When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom because I know she sees herself, because she was separated from her parents for years during the Holocaust in Poland. And for Donald Trump to be doing what he’s doing to children and their families at the borders, I say this as somebody who wrote the immigration bill in 2013, that created a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in this country, that had the most progressive Dream Act that’s ever been conceived, much less passed. It got 68 votes in the Senate; that had $46 billion of border security in it that was sophisticated 21st century border security, not a medieval wall.

0:51:40 LH: Senator, your time. Sorry.

0:51:40 MB: And the President has turned the border of the United States into a symbol…

0:51:44 LH: Senator, thank you.

0:51:45 MB: Of nativist hostility that the whole world is looking at, when what we should be represented by…

0:51:50 LH: Senator, thank you.

0:51:51 MB: Is the Statue of Liberty, which has brought my parents to this country to begin with. We need to make a change.

0:51:57 LH: Mr. Yang, let me bring you in on this, on the issue of China. You have expressed a lot of concerns about technology and taking jobs. Are worried about China, and if so, how would you stand up against it?

0:52:07 AY: Well, I just wanna agree that I think Russia is our greatest geopolitical threat, because they’ve been hacking our democracy successfully, and they’ve been laughing their asses off about it for the last couple of years. So we should focus on that before we started worrying about other threats. Now China, they do pirate our intellectual property. It’s a massive problem, but the tariffs and the trade war are just punishing businesses and producers and workers on both sides. I met with a farmer in Iowa who said he spent six years building up a buying relationship in China that’s now disappeared and gone forever. And the beneficiaries have not been American workers or people in China. It’s been Southeast Asia and other producers that have then stepped into the void. So we need to crack down on Chinese malfeasance in the trade relationship, but the tariffs and the trade war are the wrong way to go.

0:52:54 LH: Alright, Mayor Buttigieg, how would you stand up against China?

0:52:56 PB: First of all, we’ve got to recognize that the China challenge really is a serious one. This is not something to dismiss or wave away. And if you look at what China is doing, they’re using technology for the perfection of dictatorship. But their fundamental economic model isn’t gonna change because of some tariffs. I live in the industrial Midwest, folks who aren’t in the shadow of a factory or somewhere near a soy field where I live, and manufacturers, and especially soy farmers, are hurting. Tariffs are taxes, and Americans are gonna pay on average $800 more a year because of these tariffs. Meanwhile, China is investing so that they could soon be able to run circles around us in artificial intelligence. And this President is fixated on the China relationship as if all that mattered was the export balance on dishwashers. We’ve got a much bigger issue on our hands. But at a moment when their authoritarian model is being held up as an alternative to ours, because ours looks so chaotic compared to theirs right now, because of our internal divisions, the biggest thing we’ve got to do is invest in our own domestic competitiveness.

0:54:00 LH: Alright Mayor. Thank you.

0:54:00 PB: If we disinvest in our own infrastructure, education, we are never gonna be able to compete, and if we really wanna be an alternative, a democratic alternative, we actually have to demonstrate that we care about democratic values at home and around the world.

0:54:13 LH: Mayor, thank you. Thank you for your answer.

0:54:15 SG: We’ve got a good debate so far. We’re gonna take a quick break here, candidates. When we come back, the questioning continues with our colleagues. Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow will be here, much more with our candidates straight ahead.

[applause]

[pause]

0:54:56 Steve Kornacki: Alright, let’s take a look at the electoral college in 2020. The place to start obviously is where the last election ended; 2016. And remember of course, by the popular vote, Hillary Clinton had almost three million more of those than Donald Trump, but we don’t elect the President by national popular vote. We do it by the Electoral College, and there, Donald Trump had the right combination of votes in the right states, enough to win 306 electoral votes for him. So how is that map looking for 2020? Well, first of all, I think one thing you need to do, just understand how narrow that Trump path was in the Electoral College in 2016. And you can start by looking at Wisconsin.

0:55:36 SK: Look at that margin there, fewer than 25,000 votes separated Clinton from Trump in Wisconsin. This was a state that had not gone for a Republican in a Presidential election since 1984. By a margin of fewer than 25,000 votes, Trump becomes the first in over three decades, he gets Wisconsin. The margin in Michigan even closer, barely 10,000 votes Trump over Clinton. And again, that was the first time since ’88 that a Republican carried Michigan, and then there was Pennsylvania. Here about 44,000 votes; that’s the margin for Trump over Clinton in Pennsylvania. Trump wins all three of those states. Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, by a combined total of about 75,000 votes, that’s it. But that’s enough to win the electoral college.

0:56:22 SK: So for Democrats, if they wanna reverse the result of 2016, that is the easiest and most direct path, at least on paper. You flip those states where Trump’s margin was the narrowest, those states that had been voting Democratic before 2016, you flip them back, you win the electoral college, if everything else stays the same. So that’s the most direct path for Democrats, at least on paper. But hey, things can change over the course of a few years. There are other states to be keeping an eye on as well. I give you an example. A perfect one right here, Florida. We always talk about Florida, right? Remember, Florida, Florida, Florida, from back in 2000. Well, here’s one. Again, Donald Trump, somewhat of a surprise on election night. I think the Clinton campaign had been feeling decent about Florida, but Trump pulled out Florida in 2016, 29 electoral votes right there.

0:57:08 SK: We obviously expect it to be very competitive in 2020. If the Democrats can flip Florida, just given the size of the state, that is a massive change. The one cautionary note for Democrats though, they had a big year in the 2018 mid-terms, it was not big enough to carry over to Florida. In Florida, in the 2018 mid-terms, a Republican won the Governor’s race, a Republican won the Senate race, ousted a Democratic incumbent in fact in that Senate race. So Florida, it’s tantalizing on paper for Democrats, it’s always tantalizing on paper for Democrats. But does 2018 tell you that maybe there’s a little bit more Republican strength there in Florida?

0:57:45 SK: And of course, Arizona, this is one Democrats have been talking about now. A long time red state that Democrats think demographically might be trending in their favor, this is a state Democrats did do well in in the 2018 mid-terms, winning a Senate race there, Clinton got within three points. Democrats hope that there’s some momentum there, some demographics, some political momentum and they could flip Arizona, that could change things too.

[pause]

[music]

0:58:47 LH: Welcome back to the Democratic Presidential Debate from the Arsht Center in Miami.

0:58:51 SG: As we continue the questioning, we wanna bring in more members of our team.

0:58:55 JD: So let’s turn it over to Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow.

[applause]

0:59:00 Chuck Todd: Well, Rachel, I had a dream that we’ve done this before.

0:59:04 Rachel Maddow: No.

0:59:04 CT: No.

0:59:05 RM: No.

0:59:05 CT: No, didn’t happen.

0:59:05 RM: This is definitely the first time.

0:59:07 CT: Definitely the first time. Thank you, Lester, Savannah and Jose. Let’s quickly recap the rules one more time. Twenty candidates qualified for this first debate, we’ve heard from 10 of them from last night. We’re hearing from 10 more tonight. Breakdown for each night was selected at random, candidates will have 60 seconds to answer direct questions, 30 seconds for follow-ups if necessary.

0:59:25 RM: Because of this large field of candidates, not every person will be able to comment on everything. But the less audience reaction there is, the more time they will all get.

[applause]

0:59:34 RM: Over the course of the next hour, we will hear from all of these candidates. But we are going to begin this hour with Mayor Buttigieg. In the last five years, civil rights activists in our country have led a national debate over race and the criminal justice system. Your community of South Bend, Indiana has recently been in uproar over an officer-involved shooting. The police force in South Bend is now 6% black in a city that is 26% black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

1:00:05 PB: Because I couldn’t get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting. A black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer. And I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer said he was attacked with a knife, but he didn’t have his body camera on. It’s a mess and we’re hurting. And I could walk you through all of the things that we have done as a community. All of the steps that we took from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan. And when I look into his mother’s eyes, I have to face the fact that nothing that I say will bring him back. This is an issue that is facing our community and so many communities around the country. And until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we will be left with the bigger problem of the fact that there’s a wall of mistrust, put up one racist act at a time, not just from what’s happened in the past, but from what’s happening around the country in the present, it threatens the wellbeing of every community. And I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle, when they see a police officer approaching, feels the exact same thing. A feeling not of fear, but of safety. I’m determined to bring that day about.

1:01:26 RM: That’s time. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

[applause]

1:01:28 JH: Mayor Buttigieg, Mayor Buttigieg, if I could ask one question just because I think…

1:01:34 RM: Governor, I’ll give you 30 seconds.

1:01:35 JH: I think that the question they’re asking in South Bend, and I think it seems across the country, is why has it taken so long? We had a shooting when I first became mayor 10 years before Ferguson and the community came together. We created an Office of the Independent Monitor, a civilian oversight commission, we diversified the police force in two years, we actually did de-escalation training. I think the real question that America should be asking is, why five years after Ferguson, every city doesn’t have this level of police accountability?

1:02:04 RM: Governor Hickenlooper, thank you.

1:02:05 PB: I’ve gotta respond to that. Look, we’ve taken so many steps toward police accountability that the FOP just denounced me for too much accountability. We’re obviously not there yet. And I accept responsibility for that because I’m in charge.

1:02:17 ES: If the camera wasn’t on, and that was the policy, then you should fire the chief.

1:02:20 PB: So under Indiana law, this will be investigated and there will be accountability for the officer involved.

1:02:25 ES: But you’re the mayor, you should fire the chief if that’s the policy and someone died.

1:02:28 MW: All of these issues are extremely important, but there are specifics, there are symptoms. And the underlying cause has to do with deep, deep, deep realms of racial injustice, both in our criminal justice system and in our economic system. And the Democratic Party should be on the side of reparations for slavery for this very reason. I do not believe that the average American is a racist, but the average American is woefully under-educated about the history of race in the United States.

1:02:56 RM: Ms. Williamson, thank you very much.

1:02:56 KH: I would like to speak…

[overlapping conversation]

1:02:56 CT: Vice President Biden, we’re gonna get to you, hang on. We’re gonna get…

1:03:00 KH: As the only black person on this stage, I would like to speak on the issue of race.

[applause]

1:03:06 RM: Senator Harris…

[overlapping conversation]

1:03:07 KH: And so what I will say is that I agree, I agree…

1:03:08 RM: If I could preface this, we will give you 30 seconds at this, we’re gonna come back to you on this again in just a moment. Go for 30 seconds.

1:03:15 KH: Okay. So, on the issue of race, I couldn’t agree more that this is an issue that is still not being talked about truthfully and honestly. There is not a black man I know, be he a relative, a friend or a co-worker who has not been the subject of some form of profiling or discrimination. Growing up, my sister and I had to deal with the neighbor who told us her parents couldn’t play with us because we were black. And I will say also that in this campaign, we’ve also heard and I’m gonna now direct this at Vice President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe, and it’s personal, and I was actually very… It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.

1:04:18 KH: And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously we have to act swiftly. As Attorney General of California, I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on.

[applause]

1:05:00 RM: Senator Harris, thank you. Vice president Biden, you have been invoked. We are going to give you a chance to respond. Vice President Biden.

[applause]

1:05:16 JB: It’s a mis-characterization of my position across the board, I did not praise racist. That is not true, number one. Number two, if we wanna have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that. I was a public defender, I didn’t become a prosecutor. I came out, and I left a good law firm to become a public defender when in fact my city was in flames because of the assassination of Dr. King. Number one. Now number two, as the Vice President of the United States, I worked with a man who in fact we worked very hard to see to it, we dealt with these issues in a major, major way. The fact is that in terms of busing, the busing I never… You would have been able to go to school, the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council. That’s fine, that’s one of the things I argued for, that we should not be… We should be breaking down these lines, but so the bottom line here is, look, everything I’ve done in my career, I ran because of civil rights. I continue to think we have to make fundamental changes in civil rights and those civil rights by the way, include not just only African-Americans but the LGBT community.

[applause]

1:06:27 KH: But Vice President Biden, do you agree today… Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America, then? Do you agree?

1:06:37 JB: No. I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed. I did not oppose…

1:06:46 KH: Well there was a failure of states to integrate public schools in America. I was part of the second class to integrate, Berkeley, California public schools, almost two decades after Brown v. Board of Education.

1:07:00 JB: Because your city council made that decision, it was a local decision.

1:07:02 KH: So that’s where the federal government must step in.

1:07:05 JB: No, the federal government must…

[applause]

1:07:05 KH: That’s why we have the voting rights act and the civil rights act. That’s why we need to pass the equality act, that’s why we need to pass the ERA. Because there are moments in history where states fail to preserve the civil rights of our people.

1:07:19 JB: I have supported the ERA from the very beginning when I ran for…

1:07:20 CT: Okay, hang on. Vice president Biden, 30 seconds ’cause I wanna bring other people into this. I wanna bring other people in.

1:07:23 JB: I have supported the ERA from the very beginning. I’m the guy that extended the voting rights act for 25 years. We got to the place where we got 98 out of 98 votes in the United States senate doing it. I’ve also argued very strongly that we, in fact, deal with the notion of denying people access to the ballot box. I agree that everybody… Once they in fact they should… Anyway, my time’s up, I’m sorry.

1:07:47 CT: Thank you, Vice President.

1:07:48 KH: All of these things have to do…

1:07:49 CT: Senator Sanders, Senator Sanders, I’m gonna go to you on this. You said on the day you launched your campaign that voters should focus on what people stand for, not a candidate’s race or age or sexual orientation. Many Democrats are very excited by the diversity of this field, on this stage and on last night’s stage, and the perspective that diversity brings to this contest and to these issues. Are you telling Democratic voters that diversity shouldn’t matter when they make this decision?

1:08:17 BS: No, absolutely not. Unlike the Republican Party, we encourage diversity, we believe in diversity, that’s what America is about. But in addition to diversity, in terms of having more women, more people from the LGBT community, we also have to do something else, and that is, we have to ask ourselves a simple question in that, how come today, the worker in the middle of our economy is making no more money than he or she made 45 years ago, and that in the last 30 years, the top 1% has seen a $21 trillion increase in their wealth. We need a party that is diverse, but we need a party that has the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests who have so much power over the economic and political life of this country.

1:09:13 CT: Senator Gillibrand, I wanna give you 30 seconds on this.

1:09:15 KG: Well, first of all where Bernie left off, we’ve heard a lot of good ideas on this stage tonight and a lot of plans, but the truth is, until you go to the root of the corruption, the money in politics, the fact that Washington is run by the special interests, you are never gonna solve any of these problems. I have the most comprehensive approach that experts agree is the most transformative plan to actually take on political corruption, to get money out of politics through publicly funded elections, to have clean elections. If we do that and get money out of politics we can guarantee healthcare is a right, not a privilege, we can deal with institutional racism, we can take on income inequality, and we could take on the corporate corruption that runs Washington.

1:09:56 JB: The first constitutional member to do that was introduced by me when I was a young senator.

1:10:01 CT: Thank you, Vice President. And we wanna shift topics here. Senator Bennet, the next question is for you. On the issue of partisan gridlock, President Obama promised in 2012, that after his re-election, Republicans would wanna work with Democrats, fever would break, that did not happen. Now, Vice President Biden is saying the same thing. That if he is elected in 2020, both parties will wanna work together. Should voters believe that, somehow, if there’s a Democratic President in 2021, that gridlock is gonna magically disappear?

1:10:29 MB: Gridlock will not magically disappear as long as Mitch McConnell is there, first.

[applause]

1:10:35 MB: Second, second, second, that’s why it is so important for us to win, not just the presidency, to have somebody that can run in all 50 States, but to win the senate as well. And that’s why we have to propose policies that can be supported like Medicare-X so that we can build a broad coalition of Americans to overcome broken Washington DC. I agree with what Senator Gillibrand was saying, I share a lot of her views. We need to end gerrymandering in Wash… We need to end political gerrymandering in Washington. The court today said they couldn’t do anything about it. We need to overturn Citizens United. The court was the one that gave us Citizens United, and the attack on voting rights in Shelby versus Holder, is something we need to deal with. All of those things has happened since Vice President Biden was in the Senate. And we face structural problems that we have to overcome with a broad coalition. It’s the only way we can do it, we need to root out the corruption in Washington, expand people’s right to get to the polls, and I think then we can succeed.

1:11:40 CT: Vice President Biden…

1:11:41 JB: Can I respond?

1:11:41 CT: 30 seconds, I want… What… It does sound as if you haven’t seen what’s been happening in the United States Senate over the last 12 years. It didn’t happen, why?

1:11:52 JB: I have seen what happened just since we were Vice President. We needed three votes to pass an $800 billion recovery act that kept us from going into a depression. I got three votes changed. We needed to be able to keep the government from shutting down and going bankrupt. I got Mitch McConnell to raise taxes, $600 billion by raising the top rate. And as recently as after President got elected, I was able to put together a coalition of the Cures Act that billions of dollars go into cancer research, bi-partisan, but sometimes you can’t do that. Sometimes you just have to go out and beat them. I went into 20 states over 60 candidates and guess what, we beat them, we won back the Senate.

1:12:32 CT: Okay, thank you.

[applause]

1:12:36 MB: Chuck, the problem with what the Vice President…

1:12:38 CT: Thirty seconds, 30 seconds, go ahead.

[applause]

1:12:41 MB: Sometimes you do have to beat them but the deal that he talked about with Mitch McConnell was a complete victory for the Tea Party, it extended the Bush tax cuts, permanently. The Democratic Party had been running against that for 10 years. We’ve lost that economic argument because that deal extended almost all those Bush tax goods permanently and put in place the mindless cuts that we still are dealing with today that are called the sequester. That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell, it was a terrible deal for…

1:13:13 CT: Thank you Senator, thank you Senator.

[applause]

1:13:15 KG: You heard from the Republicans. You heard from the Republicans.

1:13:18 S3: Go ahead, 30 seconds.

1:13:19 KG: The reason why the Trump tax cut had to be passed is because they had to pay back their donors. You heard it, they actually said those words. So the corruption in Washington is real and it is something that makes every one of the plans we’ve heard about over the last several months impossible. And I have the most comprehensive approach to do it with clean elections, publicly funded elections, so we restore the power of our democracy into the hands of the voters. Not into the Koch Brothers. We were talking about issues. Imagine we’re in Florida… Imagine the Parkland kids having as much power in our democracy as the Koch Brothers or the NRA, imagine their voices carrying farther and wider than anyone else, because their voice is needed.

1:13:55 CT: Thank you, Senator Gillibrand, thank you. Senator Gillibrand, I’m trying to get everybody in here. Thank you.

1:14:03 KG: And as President it’s the first thing I’m gonna do because nothing else is possible, whether it’s education or healthcare or ending institutional racism.

1:14:10 CT: Thank you very much.

1:14:10 RM: Senator Sanders, I’d like to put a different question to you. Roe versus Wade has been the law of the land since 1973. Now that there is a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, several Republican controlled States have passed laws to severely restrict or even ban abortion. One of those laws could very well make it to the Supreme Court during your presidency, if you’re elected President. What is your plan if Roe is struck down in the court while you’re President?

1:14:35 BS: Well, my plan is somebody who believes for a start that a woman’s right to control her own body is a constitutional right, that government and politicians should not infringe on that right, we will do everything we can to defend our Roe versus Wade. Second of all, let me make…

[applause]

1:14:54 BS: Let me make… Let me make a promise here. You ask about litmus test. My litmus test is I will never appoint any, nominate any Justice to the Supreme Court unless that Justice is 100% clear he or she will defend Roe v Wade.

[applause]

1:15:11 BS: Third of all, I do not believe in packing the court. We got a terrible 5:4 majority conservative court right now. But I do believe that constitutionally, we have the power to rotate judges to other courts. And that brings in new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority, I hope, that will understand that a woman has the right to control her own body and the corporations cannot run the United States of America.

1:15:41 KG: Chuck…

1:15:42 RM: Senator, I’m gonna give you 10 additional…

1:15:43 KG: Can I please address this issue?

1:15:43 RM: Hold on. I’m gonna give 10 additional seconds…

1:15:44 BS: I’m sorry.

1:15:45 RM: ‘Cause the question is what if the court has already overturned Roe, and Roe is gone. All of the things you just described would be to try to preserve Roe. If Roe is gone, what could you do as President to preserve abortion rights?

1:15:57 BS: Well, first of all, let me tell you this, didn’t come up here, but let’s face this, Medicare for All guarantees every woman in this country the right to have an abortion if she wants it.

1:16:11 RM: Thank you, Senator.

1:16:12 KG: Can I just address this for a second? And I wanna talk directly, directly, to America’s women and to the men who love them. Women’s reproductive rights are under assault by President Trump and the Republican Party. Thirty states are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade right now, and it is mind-boggling to me that we are debating this on this stage in 2019 among Democrats, whether women should have access to reproductive rights. I think we have to stop playing defense and start playing offense. But let me tell you one thing about politics, ’cause it goes to the corruption and the deal making.

1:16:46 KG: When the door is closed and the negotiations are made, there are conversations about women’s rights and compromises have been made on our backs, that’s how we got to Hyde, that’s how the Hyde Amendment was created, a compromise by leaders of both parties. Then we have the ACA. During the ACA negotiation, I had to fight like heck with other women to make sure that contraception wasn’t sold down the river or abortion services. And so what we need to know is, imagine this one question, when we beat President Trump, and Mitch McConnell walks into the Oval Office, God forbid, to do negotiations, who do you want when that door closes, to be sitting behind that desk to fight for women’s rights? I have been the fiercest advocate for women’s reproductive freedom for over a decade, and I promise you as President, when that door closes, I will guarantee women’s reproductive freedom no matter what.

1:17:38 RM: Senator Gillibrand, thank you.

1:17:40 CT: Thank you, we’re moving to climate, we’re moving to climate, guys. Senator Harris, I’m addressing you first on this, you live in a state that has been hit by drought, wildfires, flooding. Climate change is a major concern for voters in your state, that’s pretty obvious. Obviously, in this state as well. Last night voters heard many of the candidates weigh in on their proposals, explain specifically what yours is.

1:18:00 KH: Well, first of all, I don’t even call it climate change, it’s a climate crisis, it represents an existential threat to us as a species, and the fact that we have a President of the United States who has embraced science fiction over science fact will be to our collective peril. I visited while the embers were smoldering, the wildfires in California, I spoke with firefighters who were in the midst of fighting a fire while their own homes were burning. And on this issue, it is a critical issue that is about what we must do to confront what is immediate and before us right now, that is why I support a Green New Deal, it is why I believe on day one, and as President, will re-enter us in the Paris Agreement, because we have to take these issues seriously, and frankly we have a President in United States… We talked about, you asked before, what is the greatest national security threat to the United States? It’s Donald Trump. And I’m gonna tell you why. And I’m gonna tell you why, because I agree, climate change represents an existential threat. He denies the science. You wanna talk about North Korea, real threat in terms of nuclear arsenal but what does he do? He embraces Kim Jong-un, a dictator for the sake of a photo op. Putin, you wanna talk about Russia? He takes the word of the Russian President over the word of the American intelligence community when it comes to a threat to our democracy in our elections. These are the issues that are before us, Chuck.

1:19:26 CT: Thanks you, Senator Harris. I hear you, thank you Senator Harris. Mayor Buttigieg. In your climate plan, if you’re elected President in your first term, how is this going to help farmers impacted by climate change in the midwest?

1:19:44 PB: Well, the reality is we need to begin adapting right away, but we also can’t skip a beat on preventing climate change from getting even worse. It’s why we need aggressive and ambitious measures, it’s why we need to do a carbon tax and dividend, but I would propose we do it in a way that is rebated out to the American people, in a progressive fashion so that most Americans are made more than whole. This isn’t theoretical for us in South Bend either. Parts of California on fire, right here in Florida they’re talking about sea level rise. Well, in Indiana, I had to activate the emergency operations center of our city, twice in less than two years. First time was a 1000-year flood, and the next time was a 500-year flood.

1:20:22 PB: This is not just happening on the Arctic ice caps, this is happening in the middle of the country, and we’ve got to be dramatically more aggressive moving forward. Now, here’s what very few people talk about, first of all, rural America can be part of the solution instead of being told they’re part of the problem. With the right kind of soil management and other kind of investments, rural America could be a huge part of how we get this done. And secondly, we gotta look to the leadership of local communities. It was networks of mayors and cities from around the world who have come together, not even waiting for our national governments to catch up, we should have a Pittsburgh Summit where we bring them together as well as rejoining the Paris…

1:20:58 CT: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg.

1:21:00 RM: I wanna bring Governor Hickenlooper into this for a moment. Governor, you have said that oil and gas companies should be a part of the solution on climate change. Lots of your colleagues on stage tonight have talked about moving away from fossil fuels entirely. Can oil and gas companies be real partners in this fight?

1:21:16 JH: Well, I share the sense of urgency. I’m a scientist, so I recognize we’re within 10 or 12 years of actually suffering irreversible damage, but guaranteeing everybody a government job is not gonna get us there. Socialism, and in that sense, is not the solution, we have to look at what really will make a difference. In Colorado, we’re closing a couple of coal plants, replacing it with wind, solar, and batteries, and the monthly bills go down. We’re building a network for electric vehicles, we are working with the oil and gas industry, and we created the first methane regulations in the country. Methane is 25 times worse than CO2. And then we gotta get to that last part, the industrial heavy industry, we haven’t seen the plans yet. If you look at the real problem, CO2, the worst polluters in CO2 was China, is the United States, and then it’s concrete in its exhalation. And beyond that, I think we’ve gotta recognize that only by bringing people together, businesses, non-profits and… We can’t demonize every business, we’ve gotta bring them together, be part of this thing, because ultimately, if we’re not able to do that, we will be doomed to failure, we have no way of doing this without bringing everyone together.

1:22:28 RM: Governor, thank you. Vice President Biden, on the issue of how you do this, Democrats are are arguing robustly among themselves about what’s the best way to tackle climate change, but if we’re honest, many Republicans including the President, are still not sure if they believe it is even a serious problem. Are there significant ways you can cut carbon emissions if you have to do it with no support from Congress?

1:22:51 JB: The answer is yes. Number one, in our administration, we built the largest wind farm in the world, the largest solar energy facility in the world. We’ve drove down the price, competitive price of both of those renewable sources. I would immediately insist that we, in fact, build 500,000 recharging stations throughout the United States of America, working with the governors, mayors and others so that we can go to a full electric vehicle future by the year 2020… Or by the… 2030.

1:23:22 JB: I would make sure that we invested $400 million in new science and technology to be the exporter, not only of the green economy but economy that can create millions of jobs. But I would immediately join the Paris Climate Accord. I would up the ante in that accord which it calls for because we make up 15% of the problem, 85% of the world makes up the rest. And so, we have to have someone who knows how to corral the rest of the world, bring them together and get something done like we did in our administration.

1:23:55 RM: Senator Sanders, I wanna give you 30 seconds to follow-up but I’m gonna hold you to 30.

1:24:00 BS: Look, the old ways are no longer relevant. The scientists tell us we have 12 years before there is irreparable damage to this planet. This is a global issue. What the President of the United States should do is not deny the reality of climate change but tell the rest of the world that instead of spending a trillion and a half dollars on weapons of destruction, let us get together for the common enemy and that is to transform the world energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. The future of the planet rests on us doing that.

[overlapping conversation]

1:24:34 CT: Before we go, hang on.

1:24:36 RM: Before we leave this topic…

1:24:38 PB: Here’s a solution, pass the torch. Pass the torch to the generation that’s gonna feel the effects.

1:24:43 BS: Take all the fossil fuels [1:24:44] ____ is the solution.

[overlapping conversation]

1:24:45 RM: Before we leave this topic, here’s something you’ll all wanna weigh in on, hold one moment. Hold one moment.

1:24:53 CT: Just trust us on this.

1:24:54 MW: The fact that somebody has a younger body, doesn’t mean you don’t have old ideas.

1:24:58 PB: No, we have new ideas. We have real new ideas.

1:25:00 MW: John Kennedy did not say, “I have a plan to get a man to the moon and so, we’re gonna do it and I think we can all work together and maybe we can get a man on the moon.” John Kennedy said, “By the end of this decade, we are going to put a man on the moon,” because John Kennedy was back in the day when politics included the people and included imagination and included great dreams and included great plans. And I have had a career, not making the political plans but I have had a career harnessing the inspiration and the motivation and the excitement of people, masses of people.

1:25:33 CT: Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Thank you.

1:25:34 MW: When we know that when we say we are going to turn from a dirty economy to a clean economy, we’re gonna have a Green New Deal. We’re gonna create millions of jobs. We’re gonna do this within the next 12 years because I’m not interested in just winning the next election. We are interested in our grandchildren.

1:25:48 CT: Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Alright. We’re gonna sneak in a break in a minute but before we go, I’m gonna go down the line here and I’m asking you, please, for one or two words only, alright, please. [laughter]

1:26:01 RM: Really.

1:26:02 CT: President Obama, in his first year, wanted to address both healthcare and climate, and he could only get one signature issue accomplished. It was obviously healthcare. He didn’t get to do climate change. You may only get one shot and your first issue that you’re going to push, you get one shot, that it may be the only thing you get passed. What is that first issue for your presidency? Eric Swalwell, you’re first.

1:26:31 ES: For Parkland, for Orlando, for every community affected by gun violence, ending gun violence.

1:26:36 CT: Senator Bennet.

[applause]

1:26:41 MB: Climate change and the lack of economic mobility Bernie talks about.

1:26:45 CT: Senator Gillibrand.

1:26:46 KG: Passing a family Bill of Rights that includes a national paid leave plan, universal pre-K, affordable day care and making sure that women and families can thrive in the workplace, no matter who they are.

1:26:56 CT: Alright.

1:26:57 KH: Ooh, I like that.

1:26:58 CT: That was pretty… Senator Harris.

1:27:00 KH: So, passing a middle class and working families tax cut.

1:27:03 CT: That’s one.

1:27:04 KH: DACA, guns. [laughter]

1:27:06 CT: I’m giving you credit for the first thing you said, the tax cut. I got you. Senator Sanders, first thing.

1:27:13 BS: The premise, that there’s only one or two issues out there.

1:27:16 CT: I’m not saying there isn’t one or two. Senator Sanders.

1:27:18 BS: This country faces enormous crises. We need a political revolution, people have got to stand up and take on the special interests. We can transform this country.

1:27:27 CT: Vice President Biden, your first issue, Mr. Vice President.

1:27:31 JB: I think you’re so underestimating what Barack Obama did. He’s the first man to bring together the entire world, 196 nations, to commit to deal with climate change immediately.

[applause]

1:27:43 JB: I don’t buy that, but the first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump, period.

[applause]

1:27:53 CT: Mayor Buttigieg, your first priority, your first issue as President that you are going to block and tackle.

1:28:00 PB: We’ve gotta fix our democracy before it’s too late. Get that right, climate, immigration, taxes and every other issue gets better.

1:28:06 CT: Mr. Yang.

1:28:07 AY: I would pass a $1000 freedom dividend for every American adult starting at age 18 which would speed us up on climate change because if you get the boot off of people’s throats, they’ll focus on climate change much more clearly.

1:28:17 CT: Governor Hickenlooper?

1:28:19 JH: I would do a collaborative approach to climate change and I would pronounce it well before the election to make sure we don’t re-elect the worst President in American history.

1:28:28 CT: And Ms. Williamson with the last word.

1:28:29 MW: My first call is to the Prime Minister of New Zealand who said that her goal is to make New Zealand the place where it’s the best place in the world for a child to grow up. And I would tell her, “Girlfriend, you are so wrong because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up.” We are going to have…

1:28:45 RM: Ms. Williamson.

1:28:46 CT: Thank you. You guys were close with the… At least, it was shorter responses.

1:28:50 RM: No, they weren’t, not at all. [laughter]

1:28:51 CT: Alright. C-minus. [laughter]

1:28:53 RM: We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back with these candidates right after this.

[applause]

[music]

[pause]

1:29:32 SK: Alright, well, on Election Day 2020, Donald Trump will be something he was not on Election Day 2016, that is President Donald Trump, an incumbent running for re-election. In some ways, a re-election campaign for a President of course becomes a referendum on how folks feel the President did during his four years in office. So what can we say about how voters have been reacting so far to the Trump presidency? Well, what you see here, this is his average approval rating. Meaning you’ve always got these different polls out there, one day NBC will have one, the next day CNN will have one. They’re always coming in from all over the place, this trendline is an average, a day-to-day average, of all of those polls put together. And what you see here in this trendline, it’s a very narrow range that Trump is operating. And what I mean by that is, look at this, this is his high watermark, his peak as President, his average approval rating at its best, 46%. And when was this? Early February 2017. That was his honeymoon, he had just become President.

1:30:31 SK: That makes him different right there from every modern predecessor he has, because all of them have gotten to 60, 65, 70%, at least for a short period, they all had honeymoons. Trump’s honeymoon, he couldn’t even crack 50%. So already we see a lower ceiling for Trump than we’ve seen with past Presidents. But that comes with a flip-side, and that is the basement for Trump. Look at this, 37% is the low point he’s hit in his average approval rating as President. That is actually not as low as some of his predecessors have gone. We’ve seen Nixon, Bush senior, Carter, we saw them fall into the 20s, at some point during their term. That has not happened to Trump either, 37 on the low-end, 46 on the high-end, right now, somewhere in between, it’s a very narrow range, it speaks to polarization, I’ll tell you, it speaks to something else. Is this presidency really any different politically in terms of how it’s being received than the campaign in 2016? ‘Cause compare this trendline, 46-37 low-high, compare that to Trump support against Hillary Clinton in the polls in the fall of 2016.

1:31:35 SK: Trump’s average support at a low point 36%, at a high point about 43.5%. Of course, on Election Day, what was the number he hit? 46%, the same high watermark he’s had in his approval rating. So Trump has been operating in the same range as a candidate, as President. We say it speaks to polarization, it also speaks to, look, this is somebody who succeeded as a candidate in 2016 despite some very, very high negative numbers. What I mean by that is, look at this, the exit poll on Election Day, do you think Donald Trump’s qualified to be President? Only 38% said they thought he was qualified for the job. The clear majority said Trump wasn’t qualified. Does he have the temperament? 35% said he had the temperament. Do you like him? Do you have a favorable view? Only 40% did. You’re not supposed to be able to win with those numbers. Trump was one of the big reasons his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by Election Day 2016 almost as unpopular as he was, only 43% favorable, it created that narrow path for Trump, and that becomes the question, when you look at that approval rating now, in 2020, can he make his opponent as unpopular on Election Day as Clinton was in ’16?

[pause]

[music]

1:33:13 RM: Welcome back to the Democratic candidates debate in Miami, we’re gonna continue the questioning now with Lester in the audience. We are? We in a second are going to have a question from Lester in the audience, but that was just a fake out. [laughter]

1:33:31 CT: Let’s cut out. We’re gonna go to the issue of guns, and…

1:33:34 RM: Congressman Swalwell, among this field of candidates, you have a unique position on gun reform, you’re proposing that the government should buy back every assault weapon in America, and it should be mandatory. How do you envision that working, especially in states where gun rights are a strong flash point?

1:33:51 ES: Keep your pistols, keep your rifles, keep your shotguns, but we can take the most dangerous weapons from the most dangerous people. We have the NRA on the ropes, because of the moms, because of the Brady Group, because of Giffords, because of March for Our Lives. But I’m the only candidate on this stage calling for a ban and buyback of every single assault weapon in America. I’ve seen the plans of the other candidates here. They would all leave 15 million assault weapons in our communities. They wouldn’t do a single thing to save a single life in Parkland. I’ll approach this issue as a prosecutor, I’ll approach it as the only person on the stage who has voted and passed background checks. But also as a parent of a generation who sends our children to school, where we look at what they’re wearing, so we can remember it in case we have to identify them later. A generation who has seen thousands of black children killed in our streets, and a generation who goes to the theater and we actually look where the fire exits are. We don’t have to live this way, we must be a country who loves our children more than we love our guns.

1:34:57 RM: Senator Sanders, a Vermont newspaper recently released portions of an interview you gave in 2013, in which you said, “My own view on guns is everything being equal, states should make those decisions.”

1:35:13 BS: No.

1:35:13 RM: Has your thinking changed since then? Do you now think there’s a Federal role to play?

1:35:17 BS: No, that’s a mischaracterization of my take.

1:35:20 RM: It’s a quote of you.

[laughter]

1:35:21 BS: Look, we have a gun crisis right now, 40,000 people a year are getting killed. In 1988, Rachel, when it wasn’t popular, I ran on a platform of banning assault weapons, and in fact lost that race for Congress. I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA. And I believe that what we need is comprehensive gun legislation, that among other things provides universal background. We end the gun show loophole, we end the straw man provision, and I believed in 1988, and I believe today, that assault weapons are weapons, are from the military.

1:36:01 ES: Why would you leave 15 million on the streets? Why would you leave… Senator, you leave 15 million on the streets though.

1:36:09 BS: And that they should not be on the streets of America.

1:36:12 ES: Your plan leaves them on the streets. You’d leave 15 million on the streets.

1:36:14 BS: We ban the sale, distribution and that’s what I believe for many years.

1:36:17 ES: Will you buy them back? Will you buy them back?

1:36:20 BS: If people wanna buy… If the government wants to do that, if people want to…

1:36:24 ES: You’re gonna be the government, will you buy them back?

1:36:25 BS: Yes.

1:36:26 RM: Senator Harris, we’re gonna give you 30 seconds.

1:36:27 KH: Thank you. I think your ideas are great, Congressman Swalwell, and I will say that there are a lot of great ideas. The problem is Congress has not had the courage to act, which is why when elected as President of the United States, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to pull their act together, bring all these good ideas together, and put a bill on my desk for signature. And if they do not, I will take Executive Action and I will put in place…

[applause]

1:36:51 KH: The most comprehensive background check policy we’ve had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law, and I will ban by Executive Order, the importation of assault weapons ’cause I’m gonna tell you, as a prosecutor, I have seen more autopsy photographs than I care to tell you. I have hugged more mothers who are the mothers of homicide victims and I have attended more police officer funerals. It is enough, it is enough. There have been plenty of good ideas for members of the United States Congress. There’s been no action. As President, I will take action.

1:37:24 RM: Mayor Buttigieg. I wanna bring you on this, sir.

[applause]

1:37:28 RM: A lot of discussion about assault rifles that are often short-handed as military style weapons. You’re the only person on this stage tonight with military experience as veteran of the Afghanistan War.

[applause]

1:37:39 RM: Will military families… Does that inform your thinking on this view? Do you believe that military families or America’s veterans will at large have a different take on this than the other Americans who we’ve been talking about and who Congressman Swalwell is appealing to with his buyback program?

1:37:55 PB: Yeah, of course, because we trained on some of these kinds of weapons. Look, every part of my life experience informs this. Being the mayor of a city where the worst part of the job is dealing with violence. We lose as many as were lost at Parkland every two or three years in my city alone, and this is tearing communities apart. If more guns made us safer, we’d be the safest country on Earth, it doesn’t work that way.

[applause]

1:38:24 PB: And common sense measures like universal background checks can’t seem to get delivered by Washington, even when most Republicans, let alone most Americans, agree it’s the right thing to do. And as somebody who trained on weapons of war, I can tell you that there are weapons that have absolutely no place in American cities or neighborhoods in peacetime, ever.

[applause]

1:38:45 RM: Vice President Biden, 30 seconds.

[applause]

1:38:48 JB: A real 30 seconds?

1:38:49 RM: A real 30 seconds.

1:38:50 JB: Okay. I’m the only person that’s beaten the NRA nationally. I’m the guy that got the Brady bill passed, the background checks, number one. Number two, we increased that background check during the Obama-Biden administration. I’m also the only guy that got assault weapons banned and the number of clips in a gun banned, and so, folks, look… And I would buy back those weapons. We already started talking about that. We tried to get it done. I think it can be done. And it should be demanded that we do it, and that’s a good expenditure of money. And lastly, we should have smart guns, no gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull that trigger. It’s within our right to do that. We can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA, the gun manufacturers.

1:39:37 RM: Mr. Vice President, thank you.

1:39:38 ES: But the NRA is taking over from the gun manufacturers, that’s the problem.

1:39:40 CT: Lester Holt has our next question. Lester, take it away.

1:39:42 LH: Alright Chuck, this is a question from our viewers, we put some suggestions they’ve asked maybe they could share some… Here’s one that came from Kathleen, from Canby, Oregon, who writes, “Many fear the current administration has inflicted irrevocable harm on our governing institutions and norms, and the process on our reputation abroad. The question is, what do you see as important early steps in reversing the damage done? And we’ll put this one to Senator Bennet.

1:40:09 MB: Thank you very much. What an excellent question. First of all, we have to restore our democracy at home. The rest of the world is looking for us for leadership. We have a President who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, he doesn’t believe in freedom of the press, he doesn’t believe in independent judiciary. He believes in the corruption that he’s brought to Washington DC. And that is what we have to change and that’s why everybody is up here tonight and I appreciate the fact that they’re up here for that reason. Second, we’ve gotta restore the relationships that he’s destroyed with our allies, not just in Europe. He flew to the G-20 last night and attacked Japan, Germany and a third ally of ours, without saying anything about North Korea or Russia. And when you’ve got a situation where you have a President who says something happened in the Straits of Hormuz and the whole world doesn’t know whether to believe it or not, that is a huge problem when it comes to the national security of the United States of America and we need to change that.

[applause]

1:41:12 CT: This is a perfect time. Thank you Senator Bennet, that is a perfect time for me to do another one of these down the line, and this is what this question is, which is, you’re likely gonna have to reset a relationship between America and another country or entity if you become President, perhaps because of some relationship that you just mentioned about President Trump. What is the first relationship you’d like to reset as President? I’m gonna go down the line and I’ll start with Ms. Williamson.

1:41:37 MW: Well, one of my first phone calls would be to call the European leaders and say, “We’re back.” Because I totally understand how important it is that the United States be part of the Western Alliance.

1:41:47 CT: I’m trying to get one or two words here. I hear you. Governor Hickenlooper.

1:41:51 JH: I talk about constant engagement, and I think that the first country I would go to… But I understand they’ve been cheating and stealing in ultra poverty would be China because if we’re gonna deal with public health pandemics and we’re gonna deal with all the challenges of the globe, we gotta have relationships with everyone.

1:42:06 CT: Mr. Yang, we’re trying to squeeze in a couple more things before we go to another break. Mr. Yang.

1:42:10 AY: China, we need to cooperate with them on climate change, AI and other issues, North Korea.

1:42:14 CT: Thanks for the quickness. Mayor Buttigieg.

1:42:16 PB: We have no idea which of our most important allies he will have pissed off worse between now and then. What we know is that our relationship with the entire world needs to change, and it starts by modeling American values at home.

[applause]

1:42:28 CT: Okay, Mr. Vice President. I’m trying to be quick.

1:42:30 JB: We know NATO will fall apart if he’s elected four more years. There’s a single most consequential Alliance in the history of United States.

1:42:36 CT: Senator Sanders.

[applause]

1:42:38 BS: It’s not one country. I think it is rebuilding trust in the United Nations and understand that we can solve conflict without war but with diplomacy.

1:42:47 CT: Senator Harris.

1:42:48 KH: All the members of the NATO alliance.

1:42:51 CT: Senator Gillibrand.

1:42:52 KG: President Trump is hell-bent on starting a war with Iran, my first act will be to engage Iran to stabilize the Middle East and make sure we do not start an unwanted neverending war.

1:43:03 CT: Senator Bennet, quickly.

1:43:04 MB: Our European allies in every Latin American country that’s willing to have a conversation about how to deal with the refugees crisis will be…

1:43:11 CT: And Congressman Swalwell.

1:43:13 ES: My first act in foreign policy, we’re breaking up with Russia and making up with NATO.

1:43:17 RM: Thank you all, thank you all. We have one last question for Vice President Biden tonight. You have made your decades of experience in foreign policy a pillar of your campaign, but when the time came to say yes or no on one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of the last century, you voted for the Iraq war. You have since said you regret that vote, but why should voters trust your judgment when it comes to making a decision about taking the country to war, the next time?

1:43:44 JB: Because once we… Once Bush abused that power, what happened was, we got elected after that, I made sure… The President turned to me and said, “Joe, get our combat troops out of Iraq.” I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq, and my son was one of them. I also think we should not have combat troops in Afghanistan. It’s long overdue, it should end. And thirdly, I believe that you’re not gonna find anybody who has pulled together more of our alliances to deal with what is the real stateless threat out there. We cannot go it alone in terms of dealing with terrorism. So I’d eliminate the act that allowed us to go into war and not the AUMF. And make sure that it could only be used for what its intent was. And that is, to go after terrorists, but never do it alone, that’s why you have to repair our alliances. We put together 65 countries to make sure we dealt with ISIS in Iraq and other places. That’s what I would do, that’s what I have done, and I know how to do it.

1:44:50 RM: Senator Sanders, 30 seconds.

1:44:52 BS: One of the differences… One of the differences that Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for that war, I helped lead the opposition to that war, which is a total disaster. Second of all, I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of the Saudi led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on earth. And thirdly, let me be very clear, I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, which would be far worse than the disastrous war with Iraq.

1:45:28 RM: Senator Sanders, thank you.

1:45:29 JB: You can’t go to war without the informed consent of the American people.

[applause]

1:45:30 CT: Alright guys, we got… The good news is you get more time to talk, but I have to sneak in one more break. We will be right back with more debate.

1:45:36 RM: Be right back.

[applause]

[music]

[pause]

1:46:03 SK: Well, here it is, this is the month to start looking at on your calendar, February 2020. That’s when all the talk ends and the voting begins and that massive, gigantic, enormous Democratic presidential field, it gets thinned down, and maybe by the end of that month, we’ll even have a pretty good sense who the nominee is gonna be. You know, Iowa always in that lead off position, the Iowa caucus is there, it is Monday, February 3, the race begins in Iowa, and then traditionally, it is an eight-day stretch from Iowa to New Hampshire. First caucus is in Iowa, first primary in New Hampshire eight days later. So you can expect, however many candidates are left when they get to the starting line in Iowa, there’s probably gonna be far fewer eight days later between Iowa and New Hampshire. You can expect a lot of winnowing to take place, you’ll have some clear candidates who are out in front as well. The next stop… This is a new one on the Democratic, a relatively new one, only the last couple of cycles in Nevada, caucuses in Nevada, that’s the next one.

1:47:00 SK: And then the big one, obviously the South Carolina primary. The first in the South primary at the end of the month. And of course, South Carolina, very important because this is the first state where you’re gonna have a really substantial black population voting. 60%, more than 60% of the democratic electorate in the 2016 South Carolina primary was African-American. So a key test there, four individual contests, we’ll talk only about these states, the nights they come in. That’s gonna be February, but then flip the calendar, from the last day of February. Look at this, go into March, just a couple of days later, Super Tuesday, Super Tuesday. Let me give you a sense what that looks like, massive! Enormous! You go from one contest at a time, all in the same… You got California, you got Texas, you got a bunch in the South, you got Massachusetts, Minnesota, all of these states all at once. So February is gonna produce some clarity in terms of who’s a contender. Super Tuesday, mega primary, that could give us some real answers potentially in early March.

[pause]

[music]

[applause]

1:48:27 LH: We are back from Miami. Now each candidate will have a final chance to make their case to the voters, 45 seconds each. We begin with Congressman Swalwell.

1:48:39 ES: We can’t be a forward-looking party if we look to the past for our leadership. I’m a congressman, but also a father of a 2-year-old and an infant. When I’m not changing diapers, I’m changing Washington. Most of the time, the diapers smell better. I went to Congress at 31 and I found a Washington that doesn’t work for people like you and me. It’s made of the rich and the disconnected. I was the first in my family to go to college and have student loan debt. And so I have led the effort to elect the next generation of members of Congress and we have a moment to seize, this is a can-do generation, this is the generation that will end climate chaos, this is the generation that will solve student loan debt, and this is the generation that will say, “Enough is enough” and end gun violence, this generation demands bold solutions. That’s why I’m running for President.

1:49:25 LH: Congressman, thank you.

[applause]

1:49:27 SG: Ms. Williamson, 45 seconds for your closing statement.

1:49:29 MW: I’m sorry we haven’t talked more tonight about how we’re going to beat Donald Trump. I have an idea about Donald Trump, Donald Trump is not going to be beaten just by insider politics talk, he’s not going to be beaten just by somebody who has plans, he’s going to be beaten by somebody who has an idea what this man has done. This man has reached into the psyche of the American people, and he has harnessed fear for political purposes. So Mr. President, if you’re listening, I want you to hear me please. You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out. So I sir, I have a feeling you know what you’re doing, I’m going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field, and sir, love will win.

1:50:11 SG: Ms. Williamson, thank you.

1:50:12 JD: Senator Bennet.

1:50:15 MB: Thank you, thank you. My mom and her parents came to the United States to rebuild their shattered lives, in the only country that they could. Three-hundred years before that, my parents’ family came, searching religious freedom here. The ability for one generation to do better than the next is now severely at risk in the United States, especially among children living in poverty like the ones I used to work for in the Denver public schools, that’s why I’m running for President. I’ve had two tough races in Colorado by bringing people together, not by making empty promises. And I believe we need to build a broad coalition of Americans to beat Donald Trump and the corruption in Washington, and build a new era of American democracy and American opportunity. This is going to be hard to do, but it’s what our parents would have expected, it’s what our kids deserve. I hope you join me in this effort, thank you.

1:51:09 JD: Senator. Thank you.

1:51:12 CT: Governor Hickenlooper.

1:51:14 JH: I’m a small business owner who brought that same scrappy spirit to make Colorado one of the most progressive states in America, we expanded reproductive health to reduce teenage abortion by 64%. We were the first state to legalize marijuana, and we transformed our justice system in the process. We passed universal background checks in a purple state, we got to near universal health care coverage, we attacked climate changed with the toughest method and regulations in the country, and for the last three years we’ve been the number one economy in America. You don’t need big government to do big things. I know that because I’m the one person up here who’s actually done the big progressive things everyone else is talking about. If we turn towards socialism, we run the risk of helping to re-elect the worst President in American history.

1:52:04 CT: Thank you, Governor.

1:52:05 RM: Senator Gillibrand, you have the floor for 45 seconds.

1:52:10 KG: Women in America are on fire. We’ve marched, we’ve organized, we’ve run for office, and we’ve won. But our rights are under attack like never before, by President Trump and the Republicans who want to repeal Roe v. Wade, which is why I went to the front lines in Georgia to fight for them. As President, I will take on the fights that no one else will. I stood up to the Pentagon and repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” I’ve stood up to the banks and voted against the bailout twice. I’ve stood up to Trump more than any other senator in the US Senate, and I have the most comprehensive approach for getting money out of politics with publicly funded elections to deal with political corruption. Now is not the time to play it safe, now is not the time to be afraid of first. We need a President who will take on the big challenges, even if she stands alone. Join me in fighting for this.

1:53:04 RM: Senator Gillibrand, thank you.

1:53:05 LH: Mr. Yang, you have 45 seconds for your closing.

1:53:09 AY: First, I wanna thank everyone who put me on this stage tonight, I am proof that our democracy still works. Democrats and Americans around the country have one question for their nominee. And that is, “Who can beat Donald Trump in 2020?” That is the right question, and the right candidate to beat Donald Trump will be solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected, and we’ll have a vision of a trickle-up economy that is already drawing thousands of disaffected Trump voters, conservatives, independents and libertarians, as well as Democrats and progressives. I am that candidate, I can build a much broader coalition to beat Donald Trump. It is not left, it is not right, it is forward, and that is where I’ll take the country in 2020.

1:53:46 LH: Mr. Yang, thank you.

1:53:46 SG: Senator Harris, Senator Harris the floor is yours.

1:53:52 KH: Thank you, I just wanna leave you with a couple of things. One, we need a nominee who has the ability to prosecute the case against four more years of Donald Trump, and I will do that. Second, this election is about you, this is about your hopes and your dreams and your fears, and what wakes you up at 3 o’clock in the morning. And that’s why I have what I call a 3:00 AM agenda, that is about everything from what we need to do to deliver healthcare, to how you will be able to pay the bills by the end of the month. And when I think about what our country needs, I promise you, I will be a President who leads with a sense of dignity, with honesty, speaking the truth, and giving the American family all that they need to get through the end of the month in a way that allows them to prosper. So I hope to earn your support, please join us at kamalaharris.org.

1:54:51 SG: Senator, thank you.

1:54:52 JD: Mayor Buttigieg, 45 seconds.

1:54:56 PB: Nothing about politics is theoretical for me, I’ve had the experience of writing a letter to my family, putting it in an envelope marked “just in case”, and leaving it where they would know where to find it in case I didn’t come back from Afghanistan. I have the experience of being in a marriage that exists by the grace of a single vote on the US Supreme Court. I have the experience of guiding a community where the per capita income was below $20,000 when I took office into a brighter future. I’m running because the decisions we make in the next three or four years are gonna decide how the next 30 or 40 go. And when I get to the current age of the current President, in the year 2055, I wanna be able to look back on these years and say, “My generation delivered climate solutions, racial equality and an end to endless war.” Help me deliver that new generation to Washington before it’s too late.

1:55:46 JD: Thank you.

1:55:48 CT: Senator Sanders, 45 seconds, the floor is yours.

1:55:53 BS: I suspect people all over the country who are watching this debate are saying, “These are good people, they have great ideas.” But how come nothing really changes? How come for the last 45 years wages have been stagnant for the middle class? How come we have the highest rate of childhood poverty? How come 45 million people still have student debt? How come three people own more wealth than the bottom half of America? And here is the answer, nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military industrial complex, and the fossil fuel industry. If we don’t have the guts to take them on, we’ll continue to have plans, we’ll continue to have talk, and the rich will get richer, and everybody else will be struggling.

1:56:46 CT: Thank you Senator.

1:56:48 RM: And lastly, we’ll hear from Vice President Biden, sir you have 45 seconds.

1:56:53 JB: Thank you very much. I’m running to lead this country because I think it’s important we restore the soul of this nation. This President has ripped it out. He’s the only president in our history who has equated racist and white supremacist with ordinary and decent people. He’s the only President who has backed, engaged and embraced dictators and thumbed our nose at our allies. I’m secondly running for President because I think we have to restore the backbone of America, the poor and hard-working middle class people. You can’t do that without replacing them with the dignity they once had. Lastly, we gotta unite the United States of America as much as anybody says we can’t. If we do, there’s not a single thing the American people can’t do. This is the United States of America. We can do anything if we’re together, together. So God bless you all and may God protect our troops.

1:57:43 RM: Vice President Biden, thank you.

1:57:46 SG: We wanna thank our candidates, we’ve had two nights of spirited debate on a range of issues, 20 candidates in all. We wanna thank all of the candidates last night and tonight.

1:57:56 CT: Seriously, it takes gut to run and stick your neck out like this, to you guys and to the 10 last night, thanks for having the guts to do this.

1:58:03 RM: I would also like to thank the audience for completely ignoring our suggestion not to react, you made it a lot more fun.

[applause]

1:58:09 JD: Also, thanks to the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party.

1:58:15 LH: And of course, thank you to everyone at the Adrienne Arsht Center for hosting us here and our terrific audiences. [1:58:19] ____.

1:58:20 RM: Over terrific.

1:58:22 LH: For Savannah, Jose, Chuck and Rachel, I’m Lester Holt. Good night everyone from Miami.

Democratic Presidential Debate – June 26 #Transcripts2020

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


[music]

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

0:05:22 SG: That’s time. Thank you.

[applause]

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

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

[foreign language]

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

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

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

0:07:11 SG: 70%?

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

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

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

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

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

0:09:26 SG: That’s time sir…

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

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

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

0:10:36 SG: Thank you.

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

0:14:10 JD: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0:17:44 JD: Thank you.

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

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

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

0:18:57 JD: Thank you.

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[laughter]

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

0:22:02 LH: Thank you.

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

0:25:45 LH: Yeah, Senator…

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

0:27:50 JI: It should not… It is not…

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

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

[applause]

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

[applause]

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

0:28:30 S?: That’s a false claim.

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

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

[applause]

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

[music]

[applause]

[background conversation]

[music]

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

[music]

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

[applause]

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

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

0:37:25 CB: Yes.

[foreign language]

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

[applause]

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

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

0:39:09 JD: Thank you.

[overlapping conversation]

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

[applause]

0:39:17 JD: Thirty seconds.

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

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

0:39:41 JD: Mayor?

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

[applause]

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

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

[foreign language]

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

[foreign language]

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

0:42:42 JD: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

0:43:06 JC: That’s not true.

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

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

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

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

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

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

0:44:02 SG: You’ll get your chance.

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

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

[applause]

0:44:10 SG: Senator Klobuchar…

0:44:10 AK: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0:52:19 LH: Congresswoman Gabbard.

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

[applause]

0:54:13 BB: Hey but wait a minute…

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

[applause]

[music]

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

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

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

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

[background conversation]

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

0:59:27 RM: Hi, Chuck.

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

0:59:28 RM: Good.

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

[background conversation]

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

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

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

[background conversation]

[laughter]

1:01:03 RM: What’s happening?

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

[background conversation]

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

[background conversation]

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

1:01:21 CT: Yes.

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

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

[music]

[laughter]

[background conversation]

[music]

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

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

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

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

[background conversation]

[music]

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

1:07:44 CT: Okay.

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

[applause]

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

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

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

[applause]

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

1:14:25 CT: Senator thank you.

1:14:26 AK: We need to get to…

1:14:26 CT: Senator thank you…

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

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

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

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

1:15:48 RM: Mayor De Blasio I wanna…

[overlapping conversation]

1:15:52 JD: We have to actually…

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

1:15:56 JD: This issue is related…

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

1:17:50 EW: I do.

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

1:18:09 EW: I do.

[applause]

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

[applause]

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

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

1:20:08 CT: Okay.

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

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

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

1:20:27 CT: I understand.

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

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

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

[background conversation]

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

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

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

[laughter]

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

1:21:39 JI: Rachel…

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

1:26:11 CT: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

1:28:03 TR: All I’m saying here…

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

1:28:05 TR: All I’m saying here is…

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:28:25 CT: 30 second…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

[applause]

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

[applause]

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

1:30:24 CB: But it’s not enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:38:05 TG: Congressman Ryan…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:39:07 CT: She invoked it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:39:52 TR: Well, I understand…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:40:52 TG: The greatest…

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

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

1:41:02 CT: Senator Klobuchar.

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

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

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

1:41:17 CT: Senator Warren.

1:41:18 EW: Climate change.

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

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

1:41:22 CT: Secretary Castro.

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

1:41:26 CT: Congressman Ryan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

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

[overlapping conversation]

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

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

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

1:45:25 CT: We got to…

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

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

[music]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:49:27 JD: Closing now?

1:49:29 LH: Closing.

1:49:29 JD: Okay.

1:49:29 LH: 45 seconds.

[laughter]

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

[laughter]

1:49:34 JD: Together, we are on a mission. We’re on a mission to find the America that’s been lost. Lost through in-fighting, lost through inaction. We’re so much better than this. We’re a country that used to do things. We saved the world. We created the American dream for millions of people like myself; the grandson of immigrants, the son of a union electrician who went on to become a successful business leader and create thousands of jobs. But we did these things with real solutions, not with impossible promises, and those are the roots that we have to get back to. I’m running for president to solve these problems, to build infrastructure, to fix our broken health care system, to invest in communities that have been left behind, to improve public education. I just don’t wanna be your president, to be your president.

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

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

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

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

1:50:31 LH: Thank you.

[applause]

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

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

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

[applause]

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

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

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

1:52:26 CT: Congressman Ryan, you have 45 seconds.

[applause]

1:52:31 TR: There’s nothing worse than not being heard; nothing worse than not being seen. And I know that because I’ve represented, for 17 years in Congress, a forgotten community. They’ve tried to divide us, who’s white, who’s black, who’s gay, who’s straight, who’s a man, who’s a woman, and they ran away with all the gold, because they divided the working class. It’s time for us to come together. I don’t know how you feel, but I’m ready to play some offense. I come from the middle of industrial America, but these problems are all over our country. There’s a tent city in LA, there’s homeless people and people around our country who can’t afford a home. It’s time for us to get back on track. The teacher in Texas, the nurse in New Hampshire, the waitress in Wisconsin, all of us coming together, playing offense with an agenda that lifts everybody up.

1:53:23 CT: Thank you, Congressman Ryan.

1:53:23 TR: I will only promise you one thing. When I walk into that Oval Office every morning, you will not be forgotten. Your voice will be heard.

1:53:33 CT: Thank you, Congressman.

1:53:33 TR: Thank you.

[applause]

1:53:34 RM: Congresswoman Gabbard, you have 45 seconds for your closing.

1:53:37 TG: Our nation was founded on the principles of service above self, people who fled kings who literally prospered on the backs and the sacrifices of people, coming here to this country, instead putting in place a government that is of, by, and for the people. But that’s not what we have. Instead, we have a government that is of, by, and for the rich and powerful. This must end. As President, our White House, our White House will be a beacon of light, providing hope and opportunity, ushering in a new century, where every single person will be able to get the health care they need, where we will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, where we will have good paying jobs and a new green economy. Join me in ushering in this new century with peace, prosperity, opportunity and justice for all.

1:54:32 RM: Congresswoman, thank you.

[applause]

1:54:33 LH: Secretary Castro, you have 45 seconds, sir.

[foreign language]

1:54:36 JC: Me llamo Julián Castro, y estoy postulando por presidente de los Estados Unidos.

[applause]

1:54:42 JC: The very fact that I can say that tonight shows the progress that we have made in this country. Like many of you, I know the promise of America. My grandmother came here when she was seven years old as an immigrant from Mexico, and just two generations later, one of her grandsons is serving the United States Congress and the other one is running for President of the United States.

[applause]

1:55:03 JC: If I am elected president, I will work hard every single day, so that you and your family can get good health care, your child can get a good education, and that you can have good job opportunities, whether you live in a big city or a small town. And on January 20th, 2021, we’ll say adios to Donald Trump.

[applause]

[laughter]

1:55:23 S?: [1:55:23] ____.

1:55:23 SG: Senator Klobuchar, the floor is yours.

1:55:26 AK: Three things to know about me. First, I listen to people, and that’s how I get things done. That is my focus. I have a track record of passing over 100 bills where I’m the lead Democrat and that is because I listened and I acted, and think that’s important in a President. Everything else just melts away. Secondly, I’m someone that can win and beat Donald Trump. I have won every place, every race, and every time. I have won in the reddest of districts, ones had Donald Trump won by over 20 points. I can win in states like Wisconsin and Iowa, and in Michigan.

1:56:01 AK: And finally, yeah, I am not the establishment party candidate. I’ve got respect, but I’m not that person. I am the one that doesn’t have a political machine that doesn’t come from money, and I don’t make all the promises that everyone up here makes, but I can promise you this, I am going to govern with integrity, I’m gonna have your back and I’m gonna govern for you.

1:56:20 SG: Thank you, Senator.

[applause]

[foreign language]

1:56:26 CB: Gracias. 50 years ago this month, my family moved into the town I grew up in, because after being denied a house because of the color of their skin, it was activists, mostly white activists, that stood up and fought for them. That’s the best of who we are as America and why, when I got out of law school, I moved into the inner city of Newark to fight as a tenant lawyer for other people’s rights. I’ve taken on bullies, and beat them. I’ve taken on tough fights and we’ve won, and we win those fights, not by showing the worst of who we are, but rising to who’s best. Donald Trump wants us to fight him on his turf and his terms. We will beat him. I will beat him by calling this country to a sense of common purpose again. This is a referendum on him and getting rid of him, but it’s also a referendum on us, who we are, and who we must be to each other. It’s time we win this election, and the way I’ll govern is by showing the best of who we are because that’s what this country needs and deserves. Thank you.

1:57:23 JD: Senator, thank you.

[applause]

1:57:23 CT: Congressman O’Rourke. 45 seconds.

1:57:27 BO: Our daughter Molly turned 11 this week. I’m on this stage for her, for children across this country, including some her same age who’ve been separated from their parents and are sleeping on concrete floors under aluminum blankets tonight. If we’re gonna be there for them, if we’re gonna confront the challenges that we face, we can’t return to the same old approach. We’re gonna need a new kind of politics, one directed by the urgency of the next generation. Those climate activists who are fighting, not just for their future, but for everyone’s. Those students marching, not just for their lives, but for all of ours. We’ll need a movement like the one that we led in Texas. It renewed our democracy by bringing everyone in and writing nobody off. That’s how we beat Donald Trump. That’s how we bring this great country together again. Join us. This is our moment and the generations that follow are counting on us to meet it.

1:58:20 CT: Thank you, Congressman.

[applause]

1:58:23 RM: Senator Warren, you have 45 seconds for the final, final statement of the evening.

1:58:27 EW: Thank you. It’s a great honor to be here. Never in a million years did I think I would stand on a stage like this. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I have three older brothers; they all joined the military. I had a dream growing up, and my dream was to be a public school teacher. By the time I graduated from high school, my family… My family didn’t have the money for a college application, much less a chance for me to go to college. But I got my chance. It was a $50 a semester commuter college. That was a little slice of government that created some opportunity for a girl and it opened my life. I am in this fight because I believe that we can make our government, we can make our economy, we can make our country work, not just for those at the top. We can make it work for everyone. And I promise you this, I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family.

[applause]

1:59:24 RM: Senator, thank you.

1:59:26 SG: We would like to thank all of the candidates who participated with us tonight and that will do it for night one of this two night event, and guess what? We’ve got 10 more candidates tomorrow night.

[chuckle]

1:59:37 LH: We certainly hope you will join us then, but for now, that concludes our coverage of this first democratic debate from Miami. For Savannah, Jose, Chuck, and Rachel, I’m Lester Holt. Have a good night, everyone.