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Thread: The 2019-2020 Demmyctwat Debates

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Granby, State of Missery, ZOG

    Default Pastor Lindstedt's Live Commentary 2d Democrat Candidate Debates, Part 2

    Pastor Lindstedt's Live Commentary 2d Democrat Candidate Debates, Part 2


    The Great whigger Hope/Dope Gropin’ Joe Biden surrounded by mamzers with lesser whigger betas on the ends.

    The cutest hapa is Tulsi, the stupidest whigger is upstate jew yawkess Kristin Gillebrand.

    Now the debate is fighting the Great Whigger Dope Gropin’-Joe about how GJ is a moderate, how to let in all the beaners cum-cum cum-cum to AmurriKwa to live off the Whigger Mans.

    Gropin’ Joe is the Lone Whigger against the [w]hordes wanting to stay ahead as the front-runner.

    8:07 pm CST

    Pastor Lindstedt (@PastorLindstedt)
    JULY 31, 2019 AT 9:07 PM




    Pastor Lindstedt (@PastorLindstedt)
    JULY 31, 2019 AT 9:30 PM

    Criminal jewstice:

    Gropin’ Joe: We must let all them nigger dopers loose so they can learn to read and shit

    Cory the Gay Nigger: Gropin’ Joe passed legistreason in the 1980s, 90’s to put us niggers where wez belong — in jail.

    Gropin’ Joe: Niggers in jail passed under Clinton and Obongo. And Cory the Gay nigger believed in stop & frisking Newark niggers.

    Cory the Gay Nigger: I’m a nigger, a gay nigger, and you have been mean to niggers. The ACLU sez I’m a Wonder Nigger from Newark.

    Castro the Lizard-Greaser: I’ve passed Piglice Reform for San Antone gang-beaners.

    Insleee the Washington State Whigger: I’m a good whigger and have pardoned niggers like crazy.

    Castro Greaser: You let Pig Pantaleo off.

    Baal DeBlazio: I’ll fire the pig that choked fat nigger Garner. Gropin’ Joe didn’t do nothing about it.

    Gropin’ Joe: We turned loose 38,000 criminals, mainly niggers. And Obongo often massaged my prostate.

    Yanger the Great Yellow Hope: Something

    Kristen the jew Yawk Whiggress: Fire Pantaloadfull for killing a pore fat nigger.

    Senatard Hairass: About busing, you were at the back of the bus except you were not. And Gropin’ Joe was nice to the Klan Senatards, who were mean to us niggers back then. Under my reign niggers will run wild, cum-cum, cum-cum.

    Gropin’ Joe: Senatard Hairass as Attorney jeweral didn’t stop anti-nigger racism because she was too busy sucking Willie Brown off.

    Tulsi the Wonder Hapa: The criminal jewstice system is broken. Hairass as Attorney jewrnal was a crooked bitch who laughed at pore nigger criminals in chain gangs.

    Kammy Hairass: I was good for niggers as Attorney jewrnal.

    Tulsi Hapa: You were a real bitch, Kammy.

    Kammy: Not so. Frying niggers was hard.

    8:30 pm




    Pastor Lindstedt (@PastorLindstedt)
    JULY 31, 2019 AT 9:55 PM

    Two minor whiggers on the end (Bennet, Inslee): We love niggers, faggots and other Demmyctwat voters.

    Yanger: I can heal the racial divide because I’m a gook and I have a bag fool of cash for niggers and beaners. Nigger Looter Kang wrote somethang about this shit.

    Castro-Beaner: Drumpf is a racist. And an Orange asshole. I’d give that Whigger Man’s loot to invest in gibs for niggers.

    Gilligoof: I can talk to whiggress who voted for Drumpf who don’t understand how theys’ whigger male spawn don’t get shot because theys’ whigger in Whiggerville.

    Climate Change:

    Inslee: We must panic right now because the Republicans won’t, Neither will Gropin’ Joe.

    Gropin’ Joe: There is no middling ground in my plans for climate change. Evil Orange Racist foiled me and Obongo’s plans.

    Yanger: Us gooks emit a lot more carbon and flatulence than Amurrikwan whiggers.

    Inslee: The sky is falling, Gropin’ Joe. You need to listen to me because I won’t make the September debates.

    Gropin’ Joe: No more fossile fuel subsidies.

    Kammy Hairass: I agree with Inslee and against Gropin’ Joe who is ahead of me in the polls.

    Kristin Gillygoof: I’ll lead a coonversation on globull warming. The weather is bad. Somethang about JFK.

    Tulsi the Hapa: I’m a Hawaiian Hapa. I actually want off fossil fuels. I don’t need a vibrator.

    Cory the Gay Nigger: As Newark mayor I was against climate change.

    Baal DeBlazio: Niggers have lots of lead in jew yawk and not only from bullets. I’m going in pub[l]ic housing to end lead poisoning by trying to coonvince niglets to stop eating paint chips.

    Castro Greaser-Lizzard: As Secretary of Housing I did something.

    Anderspawn Pooper: Orange Devilman won Michigan. How do you beat Drumpf?

    Gropin’ Joe: As Obango VP I did something. Like let Hillary steal the primaries.

    Kristin Gillygoof: Drumpf did some bad shit. I have rode the short-bus around everywhere.

    Yanger: Gropin’ Joe might be ahead but I’m offering a $1000 bag of ZOGbux. My gookling is autistic.

    Tulsi: Donald Trump won because the politicians were politicians. I’m cute and I’ll end the Afghan War.

    Cory the Gay Nigger: We lost Michigan because the Russkis and Drumpf were suppressing nigger and especially sheboon voters.

    Kammi Hairass: Drumpf lied a lot and won. We need to promise non-whites the White Man’s shit.

    Debate break: 900pm CST




    Pastor Lindstedt (@PastorLindstedt)
    JULY 31, 2019 AT 10:15 PM

    Can you guarantee raising taxes won’t hurt the economy?

    Castro Greaser-Lizard: To tax is Demmyctwat.

    Tulsi: We need good fair trade deals & end tariffs

    Gropin’ Joe: We must invest in workers.Renegotiate the TPP.

    Baal DeBlazio: I am against TPP and the new NAFTA. Gropin Joe voted for NAFTA I.

    Gropin’ Joe: Yes, yes, yes. I’m easy.

    Bennett Mischling: The tax cuts have helped the rich. I’ll print up more ZOGbux and spend it.

    To Yanger The girleys earn less ZOGbux. Will you give the girleys more money?

    Yanger: I’ll give out 1,000 ZOGbux for the girleys and they won’t even have to suck.

    Kammi Hairass: I’ll fine every company which doesn’t pay niggresses more ZOGbux than male whiggers.

    Kristen Gillygoof: Gropin’ Joe did somethang in the 1980s about child care credit. Like what?

    Gropin’ Joe: Mumble, mumble.

    Kristen Gillygoof: You didn’t answer my question according to the limits of my intellect.

    Gropin’ Joe: mumble, mumble.

    Kammi Hairass: You went back on the Hyde Amendment.

    Gropin’ Joe: I went back on that now because its my turn now.

    Inslee Whigger: Skanks don’t get paid as much. I did a lot of shit as Governor of Washington state.

    9:15 pm




    Pastor Lindstedt (@PastorLindstedt)
    JULY 31, 2019 AT 10:30 PM

    Foreign Wars:

    Cory Nogger: I’ll pull out of Afghanistan.

    Tulsi Warrior Hapaess: I’ve actually been there. So’s my hubby. I’ll pull out yesterday.

    About Iran

    Yanger: Trump rejected Iran deal. We need to be nice to Iran. And we need to give everyone 1000 ZOGbux per month.

    Bennett Mischling: Gropin’ Joe voted to invade Iraq.

    Gropin’ Joe: When the war turned bad I chickenshitted out.

    Tulsi: We were all lied to. Saddam had weapons of ass-destruction. Trump is still in Afghanistan, probably humping the prime whore-pussy there.

    Baal DeBlazio: We need to stop the Iran war.

    Fagot Nigger Lemon: Trump got away with a lot of shit.

    Kammi Hairass: Trump needs to be lynched.

    Corty the Gay Nigger: We need to impeach Drumpf yesterday.

    Castro Lizard-Beaner: Yes, impeach Trump

    Baal DeBlazio: We need to impeach Trump but at the same time give the AmurriKwa Piss-pul get a reach-around from taxing the rich.

    Bennet Mischling: Mitch McConnel will ass-rape us Demmyctwats on impeachment in the Senate.

    Castro Greaser: Clinton didn’t get coonvicted. We need to impeach Trump. Congress can fart and chew gum at the same time.

    Bennet Mischling: Juan Valdez Castro can fart and chew gum at the same time. That greaser can father muh Holohoax survivor baby cum September when I won’t be in the debates.

    9:30 pm debate break.




    Pastor Lindstedt (@PastorLindstedt)
    JULY 31, 2019 AT 10:49 PM

    Jake Yapper: Closing statements — Biggest losers first

    Baal DeBlazio: Us Democrats will tax the hell out of the wealthy. We need Socialism for the poor not rich.

    Bennett Mischling: Donald Trump is really fucking up ZOG. We need to save ZOG. We must all cum-cum cum-cum together like dogs under one whip, jewnited.

    Inslee: The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Join me & Turkey-Lurkey at Foxy-Loxy’s processing plant and end using fossil fuel use and cook us up in solar ovens.

    Krissy Gillygoof: Donald Trump is bad, very bad. And I can change this by beating Trump by Sheer Whiggeress Pussy-Power. I cum from upstate jew yawk and lied until Swillery left me her Senate seat.

    Tulsi the Wonder Hapa: Like I told the General, we need to pull out. We need to stop the wars and make sure niglets are not drinking from lead pipes.

    Castro the Lizzard-Greaser: Greasers and niggers made AmurriKwa Grate. If you select me you all will fart through silk, except whiggers.

    Yanger: The robots are cumming. Cum-cum, cum-cum cumming. And so we need to give every Amurrikwan $1000 ZOGbux to spend on love dolls and shit.

    Cory the Gay Nigger: Detroit looks a lot like Newark. Probably because of all the niggers in town. The AmurriKwan Dream is under threat. We need to all love each other and I’ve popped a load of Viagra for that reason.

    Kammy Hairass: As Cali Attorney General I was mean to sex perverts. Donald Trump is a sex predator who has bought an awful lot of high priced whore pussy and paid off jews to cover it up and put beaner-babies in cages. I will wipe off and win.

    Gropin’ Joe Biden: Four years of Drumpf is a wakeable nightmare, sort of like the Obango Administration. We need a senile whigger who can win. So you need to vote for me, not them other pinko faggots and niggers.

    9:50 pm Debate end


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Granby, State of Missery, ZOG

    Default Understanding Texass Alt-Kike Lamer as a gamma incel Finckbot

    Understanding Texass Alt-Kike Lamer as a gamma incel Finckbot


    Denise, Ironsides, you got to understand Texass Alt-kike Lamer the gamma incel Finckbot.

    This little critter has been tasked by Rabbi Baal Finck to chase after me on Brad’s blog. The gamma-incel Finckbot got itz orders.

    Reminds me of when this Aussie poofter with gender-identity issues showed up to fight with me back in Feb 2010. Self-righteous, smarmy, winner of the “Scarlet H” for hypocrisy it left us all wondering whether it had a pole or a hole under itz tail so we all demanded to look. It begged off but loved to show up as a girl in its avatard over on Rabbi Linder’s Virtual Colostomy Bag BBF and at jewronomo Pisser-Possum’s Cherokee Piss-Pul Mamzeries. it called itself Obadiah 1:18, after the Bible verse about Edom being burnt to a crisp. We called the perverted critter “Oba-gender-bender-pissers-poofter-possum-666”. Obie-gender-bender for short.

    All was well until Obie-gender-bender gave the Cherokee Sephardic melungeon itz real name of Robert Hancock working in a Mitsubishi warehouse in Melbourne. Then in June 2013 Obie-gender-bender turned on Brother Gary, who admitted to being 2% Souix when Jeromy Visser was at least “25% Cherokee, lol, what of it.” Brother Gary was the only one who gave the Pisser-Possum a plane ticket and ZOGbux to collect Bridget Da Idjit and four lil pisser-possums in Seattle and take them back to Atlanta. Brother Gary gave out money, Obie nothing but smarm and so Obie-gender-bender was going down. Never cum between a Great Bowel Movement Tard and ZOGbux from ZOGtards. Obie-gender-bender got outed and now is a Lone Mamzer on the former Two & A Half Mamzers Forum, i.e. TheChristianIdentityforum.net

    This critter is a gamma incel because it has nothing worth while to say, assumes that anyone wants to listen to it, and is nothing but a stalker with a mission to whine about how it can’t stand to read my posts here on Brad’s Blog. Oh well.

    What this Democrat “debate” was about is clear. Senile old Gropin’ Joe Biden is the last whigger Boomer who can stand against Trump. The younger muds and mongrels have no other options than to call for the declining whiggers to hand over what they got in terms of retirement wealth for niggers and beaners and gooks to coonsume, but they need to have the gliberal whiggers gladly hand it over. If there are no gliberal whiggers left, then right-wing whiggers will go out shooting, destroy the diminishing margins necessary for the survival of most all ZOGlings and in the civil war / collapse there will be nothing left to loot or even eat.

    What will save The Whigger Race is a collapse in which 80% of the whiggers and all of the jews and muds die of war, pestilence, famine and the fact that there isn’t a whigger infrastructure left to support 7.5 billion worldwide or a third of a billion in the ZOGland.

    Which is why the cry for “unity” to keep it all running — for a while. What to do when it all falls apart? Who knows !!! The jews and muds can’t maintain the System much less keep it running enough to support them. This “Demockracy” is merely a show to keep things running as long as possible.

    My making fun of these tards was easy once you know what they really want and need. Their lies and evasions are certainly not new but rather threadbare and moth-eaten now towards the end . . .

    But getting back to this gamma incel Texass Alt-Kike Lamer: What does it coontribute to Brad’s Blog or anything? Nothing! What to do about it? Nothing, except doxxing it if it does somethang stupid like letting us look under itz tail.

    A likely Finckbot. Definitely a gamma incel too chickenshit to go postal.

    Hail Victory !!!

    Pastor Martin Lindstedt
    Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations of Missouri


  4. #14
    Democrat Debates is offline Bunch of Commies Yapping Member Democrat Debates is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    Jul 2019

    Default 3d Democrat Debates 12 Sept 2019

    3d Democrat Debates 12 Sept 2019


    All the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates gathered on one stage Thursday night in Houston for third Democratic presidential debate. Below is a transcript of the debate.

    Introduce the Candidates

    FORMER HUD SECRETARY JULIÁN CASTRO: Good evening, y bienvenidos a Texas. Welcome to Texas.


    It’s great to be here at TSU, home of the Tigers. You know, on Jan. 20, 2021, at 12:01 p.m., we’re going to have a Democratic president, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate.


    There will be life after Donald Trump. But the truth is that our problems didn’t start just with Donald Trump, and we won’t solve them by embracing old ideas. We need a bold vision: universal pre-K and universal health care, unleashing millions of new jobs in the clean energy economy, a tax system that rewards people who have to work for a living.

    But first, we have to win. And that means exciting a young, diverse coalition of Americans who are ready for a bold future. That’s what Kennedy did, it’s what Carter did, it’s what Clinton did, it’s what Barack Obama did, and it’s what I can do in this race. Get back Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and Arizona, and finally turn Texas blue and say goodbye to Donald Trump.



    SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: Good evening, Texas Southern. I believe that what unites us up here, the 10 of us, is much stronger than what divides us. And I think that’s true of our country, too.

    Now, I may not be the loudest person up here, but I think we've already got that in the White House.


    Houston, we have a problem. This — we have a guy there that is literally running our country like a game show. He would rather lie than lead. I think we need something different.

    I am someone that tells the truth. I don’t make promises that I can’t keep. I have people’s back. And I believe that to win, you bring people with you and that is how you govern, as well.

    So, you’re going to hear a lot of ideas up here. Some will be great. But if you see that some of them seem a little off-track, I’ve got a better way. If you feel stuck in the middle of the extremes in our politics and you are tired of the noise and the nonsense, you’ve got a home with me, because I don’t want to be the president for half of America. I want to be the president for all of America.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Beto O'Rourke?

    O’ROURKE: It’s an honor to be on this debate stage. It is wonderful to be back in Texas, in Houston, back here at TSU.

    On Aug. 3, in El Paso, Texas, two things became crystal clear for me, and I think produced a turning point for this country. The first is just how dangerous Donald Trump is, the cost and the consequence of his presidency.

    A racism and violence that had long been a part of America was welcomed out into the open and directed to my hometown of El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed, dozens more grievously injured by a man carrying a weapon he should never have been able to buy in the first place, inspired to kill by our president.

    The second is how insufficient our politics is to meet the threat that we have right now. The bitterness, the pettiness, the smallness of the moment, the incentives to attack one another and try to make differences without distinctions, mountains out of mole hills, we have to be bigger. We have to see clearly, we have to speak honestly, and we have to act decisively. That's what I want to do for you as president of the United States. Thank you.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Cory Booker?

    BOOKER: It was over 20 years ago that I was a law student and moved to inner-city Newark, New Jersey, to serve as a tenants rights lawyer to try to address the challenges in my community. And I was sobered by them — the gun violence, the substandard housing.

    But it was my greatest mentor, a woman named Ms. Virginia Jones, who challenged me. She said, “Boy, if all you see in this neighborhood is problems, that’s all there’s ever going to be. But if you’re stubborn and defiant and can put forth a vision that can unify people, then we can make transformative change.” She was a church woman that said, “Without vision, the people will perish.”

    Well, that’s exactly what we did. We created extraordinary unity in our community, and we did things that other people think — thought was impossible.

    That’s the story of America. At our best, we unify, we find common cause and common purpose. The differences among us Democrats on the stage are not as great as the urgency for us to unite as a party, not just to beat Donald Trump, but to unite America in common cause and common purpose. That’s why I’m running for president, and that’s how I will lead this nation.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Entrepreneur Andrew Yang?

    YANG: In America today, everything revolves around the almighty dollar — our schools, our hospitals, our media, even our government. It’s why we don’t trust our institutions anymore. We have to get our country working for us again, instead of the other way around. We have to see ourselves as the owners and shareholders of this democracy rather than inputs into a giant machine.


    When you donate money to a presidential campaign, what happens? The politician spends the money on TV ads and consultants and you hope it works out. It’s time to trust ourselves more than our politicians.

    That’s why I’m going to do something unprecedented tonight. My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families, someone watching this at home right now. If you believe that you can solve your own problems better than any politician, go to yang2020.com and tell us how $1,000 a month will help you do just that. This is how we will get our country working for us again, the American people.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Pete Buttigieg?

    BUTTIGIEG: It’s original, I’ll give you that.

    The American people are divided and doubtful at the very moment we need to rise to some of the greatest challenges we’ve ever seen. As a mayor of an industrial city coming back from the brink, as a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, I know what’s at stake in our national leadership.

    We keep sending politicians to Washington asking them to fight for us, but then when they get there, they seem more interested in the part about fighting than the part about us. Good politics is supposed to be not about the day-to-day fights of the politicians, but about the day-to-day lives of Americans.

    We just marked the anniversary of 9/11. All day today, I’ve been thinking about Sept. 12, the way it felt when for a moment we came together as a country. Imagine if we had been able to sustain that unity. Imagine what would be possible right now with ideas that are bold enough to meet the challenges of our time, but big enough, as well, that they could unify the American people. That’s what presidential leadership can do. That’s what the presidency is for. And that is why I’m asking for your vote.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Kamala Harris?

    HARRIS: Thank you. It’s great to be back at TSU.

    So I plan on spending tonight talking with you about my plans to address the problems that keep you up at night. But first, I have a few words for Donald Trump, who we all know is watching.


    So, President Trump, you’ve spent the last two-and-a-half years full time trying to sow hate and division among us, and that is why we’ve gotten nothing done. You have used hate, intimidation, fear, and over 12,000 lies as a way to distract from your failed policies and your broken promises. The only reason you’ve not been indicted is because there was a memo in the Department of Justice that says a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.

    But here’s what you don’t get: What you don’t get you is that the American people are so much better than this. And we know that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us, regardless of our race, where we live, or the party with which we’re registered to vote. And I plan on focusing on our common issues, our common hopes and desires, and in that way, unifying our country, winning this election, and turning the page for America.

    And now, President Trump, you can go back to watching Fox News.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Bernie Sanders? Senator Sanders?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Let me be blunt and tell you what you don’t hear much about in Congress or in the media, and that is, it goes without saying that we must and will defeat Trump, the most dangerous president in the history of this country.


    But we must do more. We must do more. We have got to recognize that this country is moving into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of this country. And as president, I am prepared to take them on.

    Yes, we will raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Yes, we will finally make sure that every American has health care as a human right, not a privilege. And, yes, we will address the catastrophic crisis of climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Elizabeth Warren?

    SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: So, I was born and raised in Oklahoma, but I’m sure glad to be in Texas tonight.


    All three of my brothers served in military bases here in Texas. That was their ticket to the middle class. Me, I got my big opportunity about a half-mile down the road from here at the University of Houston, back when it cost $50 a semester.


    For a price that I could pay for, on a part-time waitressing job, I got to finish my four-year degree and I became a special-needs teacher. And after law school, my first big job was back here in Houston.

    By then, I had two little kids, and when child care nearly brought me down, my Aunt Bee moved in and saved us all.

    The paths to America’s middle class have gotten a lot smaller and a lot narrower. Today, service members are preyed upon by predatory lenders. Students are crushed by debt. And families cannot afford child care.


    I know what’s broken. I know how to fix it. And I’m going to lead the fight to get it done.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Vice President Joe Biden.

    JOE BIDEN: You know, when President Kennedy announced the moon shot, he used a phrase that sticks with me my whole life. He said, we’re doing it because we refuse to postpone. Well, I refuse to postpone one more minute spending billions of dollars on curing cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases which, if we invest in them, we can find cures.

    I refuse to postpone giving single child in America, no matter their Zip code, pre-K all the way through high school and beyond. I refuse to postpone any longer taking on climate change and leading the world in taking on climate change.

    Look, this is the United States of America. There has never been a single solitary time when we’ve set our mind to something we’ve been unable to do it. We’re walking around with our heads down like woe is me. We’re the best-equipped nation in the world to take this on. It’s no longer time to postpone. We should get moving. There’s enormous, enormous opportunities once we get rid of Donald Trump.


    Health Care:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Candidates, thank you. Several of you said you are more united than divided, and that is certainly true. All of you agree on one big thing, the goal of defeating President Trump, driving the country in a new direction. But out on the campaign trail, you have outlined big differences over how far to go and how fast to go.

    And, Vice President Biden, the differences between you and the senators on either side of you tonight strike at the heart of this primary debate. Both senators Warren and Sanders want to replace Obamacare with Medicare-for-all. You want to build on Obamacare, not scrap it. They propose spending far more than you to combat climate change and tackle student loan debt. And they would raise more in taxes than you to pay for their programs.

    Are Sens. Warren and Sanders pushing too far beyond where Democrats want to go and where the country needs to go?

    BIDEN: That will be for the voters to decide that question. Let me tell you what I think. I think we should have a debate on health care. I think — I know that the senator says she’s for Bernie, well, I’m for Barack. I think the Obamacare worked. I think the way we add to it, replace everything that has been cut, add a public option, guarantee that everyone will be able to have affordable insurance, number one.

    Number two, I think we should be in a position of taking a look at what costs are. My plan for health care costs a lot of money. It costs $740 billion. It doesn’t cost $30 trillion, $3.4 trillion a year, it turns out, is twice what the entire federal budget is. That’s before — exists now, without interest on the debt. How are we going to pay for it? I want to hear that tonight how that’s happened.

    Thus far, my distinguished friend, the senator on my left, has not indicated how she pays for it. And the senator has, in fact, come forward and said how he’s going to pay for it, but it gets him about halfway there. There’s a lot of other things that need to be done.

    I have a bold plan to deal with making sure we triple the money for at-risk schools that are Title I schools, from 15 to $45 billion a year. But I go down the line and these are things we’re talking about, I lay out how I can pay for it, how I can get it done, and why it’s better.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Sen. Warren, let me take that to you, particularly on what Sen. Biden was saying there about health care. He has actually praised Bernie Sanders for being candid about his health care plan, that senator — says that Sanders has been candid about the fact that middle class taxes are going to go up and most of private insurance is going to be eliminated. Will you make that same admission?

    WARREN: So, let’s be clear about health care. And let’s actually start where vice president did. We all owe a huge debt to President Obama, who fundamentally transformed health care in America and committed this country to health care for every human being.


    And now the question is, how best can we improve on it? And I believe the best way we can do that is we make sure that everybody gets covered by health care at the lowest possible cost. How do we pay for it? We pay for it, those at the very top, the richest individuals and the biggest corporations, are going to pay more. And middle-class families are going to pay less. That’s how this is going to work.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Direct question. You said middle-class families are going to pay less. But will middle-class taxes go up to pay for the program? I know you believe that the deductibles and the premiums will go down. Will middle-class taxes go up? Will private insurance be eliminated?

    WARREN: Look, what families have to deal with is cost, total cost. That’s what they have to deal with. And understand, families are paying for their health care today. Families pay every time an insurance company says, “Sorry, you can’t see that specialist.” Every time an insurance company says, “Sorry, that doctor is out of network. Sorry, we are not covering that prescription.

    Families are paying every time they don’t get a prescription filled because they can’t pay for it. They don’t have a lump checked out because they can’t afford the co-pay. What we’re talking about here is what’s going to happen in families’ pockets, what’s going to happen in their budgets.

    And the answer is on Medicare-for-all, costs are going to go up for wealthier individuals and costs are going to go up for giant corporations. But for hard-working families across this country, costs are going to go down and that’s how it should work under Medicare-for-all in our health care system.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Sen. Sanders, you were invoked by the vice president, also take on that question about taxes.

    SANDERS: Well, Joe said that Medicare-for-all would cost over $30 trillion.

    That's right, Joe.

    Status quo over 10 years will be $50 trillion. Every study done shows that Medicare-for-all is the most cost-effective approach to providing health care to every man, woman, and child in this country. I, who wrote the damn bill, if I may say so...


    ... intend to eliminate all out-of-pocket expenses, all deductibles, all co-payments. Nobody in America will pay more than $200 a year for prescription drugs, because we're going to stand up to the greed and corruption and price-fixing of the pharmaceutical industry.


    We need — we need a health-care system that guarantees health care to all people as every other major country does, not a system which provides $100 billion a year in profit for the drug companies and the insurance companies.

    And I’ll tell you how absurd the system is tonight on ABC, the health-care industry will be advertising, telling you how bad Medicare-for-all is, because they want to protect their profits. That is absurd.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Vice president Biden...

    KLOBUCHAR: If I could respond, George.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: You get a response and then we're going to broaden out the discussion.

    BIDEN: Okay, number one, my health care plan does significantly cut the costs of — the largest out-of-pocket payment you’ll pay is $1,000. You’ll be able to get into a — anyone who can’t afford it gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare-type option we have, et cetera.

    But guess what? Of the 160 million people who like their health care now, they can keep it. If they don't like it, they can leave. Number one.

    Number two, the fact of the matter is, we're in a situation where, if you notice, he hasn't answered the question. This is about candor, honesty, big ideas. Let's have a big idea. The tax of 2 percent that the senator is talking about, that raises about $3 billion. Guess what? That leaves you $28 billion short.

    The senator said before, it’s going to cost you in your pay — there will be a deductible, in your paycheck. You’re going to — the middle class person, someone making 60 grand with three kids, they’re going to end up paying $5,000 more. They’re going to end up paying 4 percent more on their income tax. That’s a reality. Now, it’s not a bad idea if you like it. I don’t like it.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, now I want everybody to keep to the time, but you did invoke both senators. I have to get responses from them...

    BIDEN: Sure, no, that's good.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: ... and then we will broaden it out.

    Senator Warren, you go first.

    WARREN: So, let's be clear, I've actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company.


    I've met people who like their doctors. I've met people who like their nurses. I've met people who like their pharmacists. I've met people who like their physical therapists. What they want is access to health care. And we just need to be clear about what Medicare-for-all is all about.

    Instead of paying premiums into insurance companies and then having insurance companies build their profits by saying no to coverage, we're going to do this by saying, everyone is covered by Medicare-for-all, every health care provider is covered. And the only question here in terms of difference is where to send the bill?

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders.

    SANDERS: Let us be clear, Joe, in the United States of America, we are spending twice as much per capita on health care as the Canadians or any other major country on earth.

    BIDEN: This is America.

    SANDERS: Yes, but Americans don't want to pay twice as much as other countries. And they guarantee health care to all people. Under my Medicare-for-all proposal, when you don't pay out-of-pocket and you don't pay premiums, maybe you've run into people who love their premiums, I haven't.

    What people want is cost-effective health care, Medicare-for-all will save the average American substantial sums of money on his or her health care bill.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Klobuchar, you said in your opening statement you don't — you want to represent the people stuck in the middle of the extremes. Who represents the extreme on this stage?

    KLOBUCHAR: I think you know that I don't agree with some of these proposals up here, George, so I'm talking about...

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Which ones?

    KLOBUCHAR: If I could — if I could respond to some of the proposals from my friends. First of all, Senator Sanders and I have worked valiantly to bring down the cost of pharmaceuticals. That was a Klobuchar-Sanders Amendment to allow for drugs to come in from less expensive countries like Canada.

    We have worked to bring down the cost by fighting to allow 43 million seniors, that's a bill I lead, to negotiate for better prices under Medicare. I figure that's a lot of seniors and they should be allowed to get a better price.

    But when it comes to our health care and when it comes to our premiums, I go with the doctor's creed, which is, do no harm. And while Bernie wrote the bill, I read the bill. And on page eight — on page eight of the bill, it says that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it. And that means that 149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their current insurance.

    That's in four years. I don't think that's a bold idea, I think it's a bad idea. And what I favor is something that what Barack Obama wanted to do from the very beginning. And that is a public option. A non-profit choice that would bring down the cost of insurance, cover 12 million more people, and bring down the prices for 13 million more people. That is a bold idea.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Warren, page eight of the bill, she says, 149 people will lose their health insurance.

    WARREN: I'm sorry.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: She said, page eight of the bill, 149 million people will lose their health insurance.

    KLOBUCHAR: Current health insurance.

    BIDEN: One hundred forty-nine million.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Million, excuse me.

    WARREN: So let's be clear about this. People will have access to all of their doctors, all of their nurses, their community hospitals, their rural hospitals. Doctors won't have to hire people to fill out crazy forms. They won't have to spend time on the phone arguing with insurance companies. People who have sick family members won't have to get into these battles.

    What this is about is making sure that we have the most efficient way possible to pay for health care for everyone in this country. Insurance companies last year sucked $23 billion in profits out of the system. How did they make that money? Every one of those $23 billion was made by an insurance company saying no to your health care coverage.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Buttigieg?

    BUTTIGIEG: The problem, Senator Sanders, with that damn bill that you wrote, and that Senator Warren backs, is that it doesn't trust the American people. I trust you to choose what makes the most sense for you. Not my way or the highway.

    Now look, I think we do have to go far beyond tinkering with the ACA. I propose Medicare-for-all who want it. We take a version of Medicare, we make it available for the American people, and if we're right, as progressives, that that public alternative is better, then the American people will figure that out for themselves. I trust the American people to make the right choice for them. Why don't you?

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders, 45 seconds.

    SANDERS: George, you talked about, was it 150 million people on private insurance? Fifty million of those people lose their private insurance every year when they quit their jobs or they go unemployed or their employer changes their insurance policy. Medicare-for-all is comprehensive health care. Covers all basic needs, including home health care.

    It allows you to go to any doctor you want, which many private insurance company programs do not. So, if you want comprehensive health care, freedom of choice regarding doctor or hospital, no more than $200 a year for prescription drugs, taking on the drug companies and the insurance companies, moving to Medicare-for-all is the way to go.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Harris, you startled out co-sponsoring Senator Sanders's bill, you now say you're uncomfortable with it. Why?

    HARRIS: I want to give credit first to Barack Obama for really bringing us this far. We would not be here if he hadn't the courage, the talent, or the will to see us this far.

    I want to give credit to Bernie. Take credit, Bernie. You know, you brought us this far on Medicare-for-all. I support Medicare-for-all, I always have, but I wanted to make the plan better, which I did.

    Which is about offering people choice, not taking that from them.

    So, under my Medicare-for-all plan, people have the choice of a private plan or a public plan, because that's what people want. And I agree, we shouldn't take choice from people.

    But here's the thing. Everybody on this stage, I do believe, is well intentioned and wants that all Americans have coverage and recognizes that right now 30 million Americans don't have coverage. But at least five people have talked, some repeatedly on this subject, and not once have we talked about Donald Trump.

    So let's talk about the fact that Donald Trump came into office and spent almost the entire first year of his term trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. We all fought against it. And then the late, great John McCain, at that moment at about 2 o'clock in the morning, killed his attempt to take health care from millions of people in this country.


    Fast forward to today, and what is happening? Donald Trump's Department of Justice is trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump's administration is trying to get rid of the ban that we placed on denying people who have pre-existing conditions coverage. Donald Trump is trying to say that our kids up to the age of 26 can no longer be on our plans.

    And frankly, I think this discussion has given the American public a headache. What they want to know is that they're going to have health care and cost will not be a barrier to getting it. But let's focus on the end goal. If we don't get Donald Trump out of office, he's going to get rid of all of it.

    BIDEN: George, 15 seconds? Fifteen seconds?


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me get to Congressman O'Rourke and then bring you — go ahead, Mr. Vice President.

    BIDEN: Fifteen seconds. Look, everybody says we want an option. The option I'm proposing is Medicare-for-all — Medicare for choice. If you want Medicare, if you lose the job from your insurance — from your employer, you automatically can buy into this. You don't have — no pre-existing condition can stop you from buying in. You get covered, period.

    And if you notice, nobody's yet said how much it's going to cost the taxpayer. I hear this large savings, the president thinks — my friend from Vermont thinks that the employer's going to give you back if you negotiated as a union all these years, got a cut in wages because you got insurance. They're going to give back that money to the employee?

    SANDERS: As a matter of fact, they will in our bill.

    BIDEN: Well, let me tell you something. For a socialist, you've got — for a socialist, you've got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders?

    SANDERS: Okay, one minute, George?


    SANDERS: All right. Two points. You got to defend the fact that today not only do we have 87 million people uninsured and underinsured, you got to defend the fact that 500,000 Americans are going bankrupt. You know why they're going bankrupt? Because they suffered a terrible disease — cancer or heart disease.

    Under my legislation, people will not go into financial ruin because they suffered with a diagnosis of cancer. And our program is the only one that does that.

    BIDEN: I know a lot about cancer, let me tell you something. It's personal to me. Let me tell you something. Every single person who is diagnosed with cancer or any other disease can automatically become part of this plan. They will not go bankrupt because of that. They will not go bankrupt because of that. They can join immediately.

    And we're talking four, six, eight, ten years, depending on who you talk about, before we get to Medicare-for-all. Come on. I've been there. You've been there. You know what it's like. People need help now, hope now, and do something now.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman O'Rourke?

    O'ROURKE: Yeah. Thank you. Listen, I'm grateful that we all agree about the urgency of this challenge and the fact that Donald Trump is undermining the limited protections that we have right now.

    But I also think we're being offered a false choice between those who propose an all-or-nothing gambit, forcing tens of millions off of insurance that they like, that works for them, to force them onto Medicare, and others who want to, as the vice president does, incrementally improve what we have, which will still leave many, maybe millions uninsured and uncared for.

    In a state like Texas, where the largest provider of mental health care services is the county jail system, we've got to do better. In my proposal, Medicare for America, says everyone who's uninsured will be enrolled in Medicare. Everyone who's insufficiently insured, cannot afford it, can move over to Medicare. And those, like members of unions who've fought for the health care plans that work for them and their families, are able to keep them. This is the best possible path forward.

    BIDEN: You just described my plan.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: This is — health care is the top issue for everyone in the country. I want to make sure everyone gets one minute to respond. So, Secretary Castro, Andrew Yang, and then Senator Booker, you will get a minute.

    CASTRO: Thank you. And, you know, I also want to recognize the work that Bernie has done on this. And, of course, we owe a debt of gratitude to President Barack Obama. Of course, I also worked for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I know that the problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered.

    Now, on the last debate stage in Detroit, you said that wasn’t true, when Senator Harris brought that up. There was a fact check of that, and they said that was true.

    You know, I grew up with a grandmother who had type 2 diabetes, and I watched her condition get worse and worse. But that whole time, she had Medicare. I want every single American family to have a strong Medicare plan available.

    If they choose to hold on to strong, solid private health insurance, I believe they should be able to do. But the difference between what I support and what you support, Vice President Biden, is that you require them to opt in and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled. They wouldn't have a buy in.

    That's a big difference, because Barack Obama's vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that. Your plan would not.

    BIDEN: They do not have to buy in. They do not have to buy in.

    CASTRO: You just said that. You just said that two minutes ago. You just two minutes ago that they would have to buy in.

    BIDEN: Do not have to buy in if you can't afford it.

    CASTRO: You said they would have to buy in.

    BIDEN: Your grandmother would not have to buy in. If she qualifies for Medicaid, she would automatically be enrolled.

    CASTRO: Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I mean, I can't believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in and now you're saying they don't have to buy in. You're forgetting that.

    BIDEN: I said anyone like your grandmother who has no money.

    CASTRO: I mean, look, look, we need a health care system...

    BIDEN: She — you're automatically enrolled.

    CASTRO: It automatically enrolls people regardless of whether they choose to opt in or not. If you lose your job, for instance, his health care plan would not automatically enroll you. You would have to opt in. My health care plan would. That's a big difference. I'm fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama, and you're not.

    BIDEN: That'll be a surprise to him.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Andrew Yang?

    YANG: Come on, guys.

    BUTTIGIEG: This is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable.

    KLOBUCHAR: Yeah.

    BUTTIGIEG: This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington, scoring points against each other, poking at each other, and telling each other that — my plan, your plan. Look, we all have different visions for what is better...

    CASTRO: Yeah, that's called the Democratic primary election, Pete. That's called an election.


    That's an election. You know? This is what we're here for. It's an election.

    KLOBUCHAR: Yes, but a house — a house divided cannot stand. And that is not how we're going to win this.


    YANG: Look, everyone, we know we're on the same team here. We know we're on the same team. We all have a better vision for health care than our current president.

    And I believe we're talking about this the wrong way. As someone who has run a business, I know that our current health care system makes it harder to hire people, makes it harder to give them benefits and treat them as full-time employees. You instead pretend their contractors. It's harder to change jobs. It's certainly harder to start a business.

    The pitch we have to make to the American people is, we will get the health care weight off of your backs and then unleash the hopes and dreams of the American people.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Booker...

    YANG: Now, I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors, and they tell me that they spend a lot of time on paperwork, avoiding being sued, and navigating the insurance bureaucracy. We have to change the incentives so instead of revenue and activity, people are focused on our health in the health care system.

    And the Cleveland Clinic, where they're paid not based upon how many procedures they prescribe — shocker — they prescribe fewer procedures, and patient health stays the same or improves. That is the pitch to the American people.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Booker, close out this discussion.

    BOOKER: Thank you very much. Look, there are a lot of people watching at home right now, listening to us that are afraid because they are in crisis. They don’t have health insurance. Their health insurance doesn’t go far enough. They can’t afford their prescription drugs.

    Look, I'm clear in what I believe. I believe in Medicare-for-all. I believe it's the best way to rationalize the system. But dear God, I know every one of my colleagues on this stage is in favor of universal health coverage and comes at this with the best of intentions.

    And I'll tell you, there is an urgency right now in this nation. Everybody feels it. And as a person who has an ideal, I know we cannot sacrifice progress on the altar of purity, because people in my community, they need help right now. They have high blood pressure right now. They have unaffordable insulin right now.

    And this must be a moment where we as Democrats can begin to show that we cannot only stake and stand our ground, but find common ground, because we've got one shot to make Donald Trump a one-term president.


    And we cannot lose it by the way we talk about each other or demonize and degrade each other. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. If I am the leader, I will work towards the ideal of health insurance, health coverage being a right for all Americans. But every single day, I'll join with other Democrats to make progress happen in our nation for the people that are struggling and suffering today.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Candidates, thank you. Linsey Davis?


    DAVIS: Thanks, George. Since we're here at an HBCU, I'd like to start with young black voters. Several recent polls indicate their number-one concern is racism. This campus, this state, and this nation are still raw from that racially motivated attack on Latinos in El Paso.

    Now, we know that the racial divide started long before President Trump and President Obama, but each of you on this stage has said that President Trump has made that divide worse. Congressman O'Rourke, coming to you first, why are you the most qualified candidate to address this divide?

    O'ROURKE: You know, I called this out in no uncertain terms on August 3rd and every day since then. And I was talking about it long before then, as well.

    Racism in America is endemic. It is foundational. We can mark the creation of this country not at the Fourth of July, 1776, but August 20, 1619, when the first kidnapped African...


    ... was brought to this country against his will and in bondage and as a slave built the greatness and the success and the wealth that neither he nor his descendants would ever be able to fully participate in and enjoy.

    We have to be able to answer this challenge. And it is found in our education system, where in Texas, a 5-year-old child in kindergarten is five times as likely to be disciplined or suspended or expelled based on the color of their skin.


    In our health care system, where there's a maternal mortality crisis three times as deadly for women of color, or the fact that there's 10 times the wealth in white America than there is in black America.

    I'm going to follow Sheila Jackson Lee's lead and sign into law a reparations bill that will allow us to address this at its foundation.


    But we will also call out the fact that we have a white supremacist in the White House and he poses a mortal threat to people of color all across this country.


    DAVIS: Secretary Castro, 45 seconds to respond.

    CASTRO: Look, you know, I want to commend Beto for how well he has spoken to the passion and the frustration and the sadness after what happened in his hometown of El Paso. He's done a great job with that.

    Look, a few weeks ago, a shooter drove 10 miles inspired by this — 10 hours inspired by this president to kill people who look like me and people who look like my family. White supremacy is a growing threat to this country, and we have to root it out.

    I'm proud that I put forward a plan to disarm hate. I'm also proud that I was the first to put forward a police reform plan, because we're not going to have any more Laquan McDonalds or Eric Garners or Michael Browns or Pamela Turners or Walter Scotts or Sandra Bland, here from the Houston area. We need to root out racism, and I believe that we can do that, because that doesn't represent the vast majority of Americans who do have a good heart. They also need a leader to match that, and I will be a president that matches that.

    DAVIS: Senator Booker, you have said, quote, "The real question isn't who is or isn't a racist. It's who is going to do something about it." Senator, what do you plan to do about it?

    BOOKER: Well, first and foremost, I want to hit that point, because we know Donald Trump’s a racist, but there is no red badge of courage for calling him that. Racism exists. The question isn’t who isn’t a racist. It’s who is and isn’t doing something about racism.

    And this is not just an issue that started yesterday. It's not just an issue that we hear a president that can't condemn white supremacy. We have systemic racism that is eroding our nation from health care to the criminal justice system. And it's nice to go all the way back to slavery, but dear God, we have a criminal justice system that is so racially biased, we have more African-Americans under criminal supervision today than all the slaves in 1850.

    We have to come at this issue attacking systemic racism, having the courage to call it out, and having a plan to do something about it. If I am president of the United States, we will create an office in the White House to deal with the problem of white supremacy and hate crimes.


    And we will make sure that systemic racism is dealt with in substantive plans, from criminal justice reform to the disparities in health care to even one that we don't talk about enough, which is the racism that we see in environmental injustice in communities of color all around this country.


    DAVIS: Mayor Buttigieg, you've been struggling with issues around race in your own community. You've also said that anyone who votes to re-elect President Trump is, at best, looking the other way on racism. Does that sort of talk alienate voters and potentially deepen divisions in our country?

    BUTTIGIEG: I believe what’s deepened divisions in the country is the conduct of this president, and we have a chance to change all of that.

    Look, systemic racism preceded this president, and even when we defeat him, it will be with us. That's why we need a systemic approach to dismantle it. It's — it's not enough to just take a racist policy, replace it with a neutral one and expect things will just get better on their own. Harms compound. In the same way that a dollar saved compounds, so does a dollar stolen.

    And we know that the generational theft of the descendants of slaves is part of why everything from housing to education to health to employment basically puts us in two different countries.

    I have proposed the most comprehensive vision to tackle systemic racism in every one of these areas, marshaling as many resources as went into the Marshall plan that rebuilt Europe, but this time, a Douglass plan that we invest right here at home, to make sure that we’re not only dealing with things like the over-incarceration of black Americans, but also black solutions, entrepreneurship, raising to 25 percent...


    ... the target for the federal government to do business with minority-owned businesses, investing in HBCUs that are training and educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.


    We can and must do that. But that means transcending this framework that pits us against each other, that pits a single black mother of three against a displaced auto worker. Because when I — where I come from, a lot of times that displaced auto worker is a single black mother of three. We've got to say that...


    ... and bring people together.

    DAVIS: Also a concern for people of color is criminal justice reform.

    Senator Harris, you released your plan for that just this week. And it does contradict some of your prior positions. Among them, you used to oppose the legalization of marijuana; now you don't. You used to oppose outside investigations of police shootings; now you don't. You've said that you changed on these and other things because you were, quote, "swimming against the current, and thankfully the currents have changed."

    But when you had the power, why didn’t you try to effect change then?


    HARRIS: So, there have been — there have been — I'm glad you asked me this question, and there have been many distortions of my record.

    Let me be very clear. I made a decision to become a prosecutor for two reasons. One, I've always wanted to protect people and keep them safe. And second, I was born knowing about how this criminal justice system in America has worked in a way that has been informed by racial bias. And I could tell you extensively about the experiences I and my family members have personally had. But I made a decision that, if I was going to have the ability to reform the system, I would try to do it from the inside.

    And so I took on the position that allowed me, without asking permission, to create one of the first in the nation initiatives that was a model and became a national model around people who were arrested for drugs and getting them jobs.

    I created one of the first in the nation requirements that a state law enforcement agency would have to wear cameras and keep them on full-time.

    I created one of the first in the nation trainings for a police officer on the issue of racial bias and the need to reform the system.

    Was I able to get enough done? Absolutely not. But my plan has been described by activists as being a bold and comprehensive plan that is about ending mass incarceration, about taking the profit out of the criminal justice system. I plan on shutting down for-profit prisons on day one.


    It will be about what we need to do to hold law enforcement, including prosecutors, accountable.

    And finally, my plan is about making sure that, in America's criminal justice system, we de-incarcerate women and children, that we end solitary confinement and that we work on keeping families intact.

    And as president of the United States, knowing the system from the inside, I will have the ability to be an effective leader and get this job complete.

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator Harris.


    Senator Klobuchar, during your eight years as a prosecutor in Minnesota, there were dozens of incidents where black men were killed by police. Critics say that too often you sided with police in these cases.

    The ACLU's legal director in Minnesota has said that you showed no interest in racial justice. Do you wish now that you had done more?

    KLOBUCHAR: That's not my record.

    (UNKNOWN): (inaudible)

    KLOBUCHAR: We are here at a historically black college. And I think of an alum of that college, Barbara Jordan, and something that she once said. She said, "What the people want is simple; they want a country as good as its promise."

    And that same can be said of the criminal justice system. So when I was there, the way we handled these police shootings, I actually took a stand to make sure outside investigators handled them. I took on our major police chief in Minneapolis.

    But in the prosecutor's office, they were handled with a grand jury. That's how they were all handled across our state. I now believe it is better for accountability if the prosecutor handles them and makes those decisions herself.

    That aside, I am proud of the work our staff did, 400 people in our office. The cases that came to us, the African-American community that came to us, they said there was no justice for their little kids.

    There was a kid named Byron Phillips that was shot on his front porch. No one had bothered to figure out who did it. When I came into that office, we worked with the community groups; we put up billboards; we found the shooter and we put him in jail. We did the same for the killer of a little girl named Tyesha Edwards who was doing her homework at her kitchen table and was shot through the window.

    What changes did we make? Go after white-collar crimes in a big way, diversity the office in a big way, work with the Innocence Project to make sure we do much better with eyewitness ID.

    And as a senator and as your president, I will make sure that we don't just do the First Step Act when it comes to criminal sentencing, that we move to the Second Step Act, which means the 90 percent of people that are incarcerated in local and state jails, let's reduce those sentences for nonviolent offenders and let's get them jobs and let them vote when they get out of prison.


    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

    You all believe that the war on drugs has put too many Americans behind bars.

    Vice President Biden, you have a plan to release many nonviolent drug offenders from prison. Senator Booker says that your plan is not ambitious enough. Your response?

    BIDEN: Well, first of all, let me say that, when I came back from law school, I had a job with a great — a big-time law firm. I left and became a public defender because my state was under siege when Dr. King was assassinated. We were occupied by the National Guard for 10 months.

    I've been involved from the beginning. As a young congressman — as a young councilman, I introduced legislation to try to keep them from putting a sewer plant in a poor neighborhood. I made sure that we dealt with redlining; banks should have to lend where they operate, et cetera.

    The fact of the matter is that what's happened is that we're in a situation now where there are so many people who are in jail and shouldn't be in jail. The whole means by which this should change is the whole model has to change. We should be talking about rehabilitation.

    Nobody should be in jail for a nonviolent crime. As — when we were in the White House, we released 36,000 people from the federal prison system. Nobody should be in jail for a drug problem. They should be going directly to a rehabilitation. We build more rehabilitation centers, not prisons.


    We — I'm the guy that put in the drug courts to divert people from the criminal justice system. And so we have to change the whole way we look at this. When we put people in prison, we have to equip them that when they get out — nobody who got in prison for marijuana, for example, immediately upon being released — they shouldn't be in there; that should be a misdemeanor. They should be out and their record should be expunged. Every single right should be returned.

    When you finish your term in prison, you should be able not only to vote but have access to Pell grants, have access to be able to get housing...


    ... have access to be able to move along the way. I've laid out a detailed plan along those lines. And the fact is, we've learned so much more more...

    DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

    BIDEN: Thank you.

    DAVIS: Senator Booker, 45 seconds to respond.

    BOOKER: Our criminal justice system is so savagely broken. There’s no difference in America between blacks, whites and Latinos for using drugs or dealing drugs. But if you are African-American, you are almost four times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated, destroying your lives.

    And so much of this comes down to privilege. We have a criminal justice system that Brian Stephenson says treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.

    And so I have challenged this whole field. We can specifically and demonstrably now show that there are 17,000 people unjustly incarcerated in America, and all of us should come forward and say, when we are president of the United States; when I am president of the United States, we will release them.

    And let me be specific. I joined together and led in the United States Senate the only major bipartisan bill to pass under this president, for criminal justice reform, that has already led to thousands of people coming out of jail.

    If 87 members of the United States Senate says that these sentences are way too long, and we changed it, but we didn't make it retroactive, we could literally point to the people that are in jail unjustly right now.

    Everyone on this stage should say that we are going to give clemency to these 17,000 people. And I challenge you. Don't just say a big statement; back it up with details of the people in prison right now looking for one of the most sacrosanct ideals of this nation, which is liberty and freedom. We need to reform this system and we must do it now. Every day we wait is too long.

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator Booker.



    MUIR: Thank you, Linsey.

    Mass Shootings & Gun Control:
    I want to turn to the deadly mass shootings here in this country. And of course we are all mindful tonight of where we stand. We are here in Texas tonight, where 29 people have lost their lives in just the last month alone, El Paso, which we've discussed; in Odessa. And I know there are survivors from El Paso right here in the hall tonight.

    Vice President Biden, I do want to direct this to you, because we all remember Sandy Hook. Twenty-six people died in that school, 20 of them children. Those first graders would be in eighth grade today.

    MUIR: At the time, there was a groundswell in this country to get something done. President Obama asked you to lead the push for gun control.

    You have often pointed to your ability to reach across the aisle to get things done, but four months after Sandy Hook, a measure to require expanded background checks died on the Senate floor.

    If you couldn't get it done after Sandy Hook, why should voters give you another chance?

    BIDEN: Because I got it done before. I'm the only one up here that's ever beat the NRA —only one ever to beat the NRA nationally. I'm the guy that brought the Brady bill into — into focus and became law.

    And so that's number one. Number two, after Sandy Hook, a number of things happened. It went from a cause to a movement. Look what's happened now. Mothers — the organization — mothers against violence — gun violence. We've seen what's happened again. Now we have all these young people marching on Washington, making sure that things are going to change.

    There has been a sea change. Those proposals I put forward for the president had over 50 percent of gun — of gun — of members of the NRA supporting them, and overwhelmingly the rest of the people supporting them. Now the numbers are much higher, because they realize what I've been saying and we've all been saying is correct.

    Over 90% of the American people think we have to get assault weapons off the street — period. And we have to get buy-backs and get them out of their basements.


    So the point is, things have changed. And things have changed a lot. And now what's happening is — and, by the way, the way Beto handled — excuse me for saying Beto. What the congressman...

    O'ROURKE: That's all right. Beto's good.


    BIDEN: The way he handled what happened in his hometown is meaningful, to look in the eyes of those people, to see those kids...


    ... to understand those parents, you understand the heartache.

    (UNKNOWN): But this is the problem.

    BIDEN: We are ready to do this.


    MUIR: Mr. Vice President...

    (UNKNOWN): This is the problem.

    O'ROURKE: Thank you.


    MUIR: ... you did bring up assault weapons here.


    You did bring up assault weapons here, and many of you on this stage have talked about executive order.

    Senator Harris, you have said that you would take executive action on guns within your first 100 days...

    HARRIS: Correct.

    MUIR: ... including banning imports of AR-15 assault weapons.

    HARRIS: That's right.

    MUIR: President Obama, after Sandy Hook, more than 23 executive actions, and yet here we all are today.

    In recent days former Vice President Biden has said about executive orders, "Some really talented people are seeking the nomination. They said 'I'm going to issue an executive order.'" Biden saying, "There's no constitutional authority to issue that executive order when they say 'I'm going to eliminate assault weapons,'" saying, "you can't do it by executive order any more than Trump can do things when he says he can do it by executive order."

    Does the vice president have a point there?

    BIDEN: Some things you can. Many things you can't.

    MUIR: Let's let the senator answer.

    HARRIS: Well, I mean, I would just say, hey, Joe, instead of saying, no, we can't, let's say yes, we can.



    BIDEN: Let's be constitutional. We've got a Constitution.

    HARRIS: And yes, we can, because I'll tell you something. The way that I think about this is, I've seen more autopsy photographs than I care to tell you. I have attended more police officer funerals than I care to tell you. I have hugged more mothers of homicide victims than I care to tell you.

    And the idea that we would wait for this Congress, which has just done nothing, to act, is just — it is overlooking the fact that every day in America, our babies are going to school to have drills, elementary, middle and high school students, where they are learning about how they have to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner if there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school.

    I was talking about this at one of my town halls, and — and this child who was eight years old, probably, came up to me — it was like it was a secret between the two of us, and he tugged on my jacket and he said, "I had to have one of those drills."

    It is traumatizing our children. El Paso — and, Beto, God love you for standing so courageously in the midst of that tragedy. You know, people asked me...


    ... in El Paso — they said, you know, because I have a long-standing record on this issue. They said, "Well, do you think Trump is responsible for what happened?"

    And I said, "Well, look, I mean, obviously, he didn't pull the trigger, but he's certainly been tweeting out the ammunition."


    MUIR: Senator Harris, thank you.

    Vice President Biden, do you still stand by what you said on an executive order?

    BIDEN: No, what I said was — the question — speak to constitutional scholars. If in fact we could say, "By the way, you can't own the following weapons, period; they cannot be sold anymore" — check with constitutional scholars. Now, you can say...

    MUIR: Mr. Vice President, thank you.

    Congressman O'Rourke, I want to get to you on this.


    HARRIS: John, could I tell you what you could do in 100 days?

    MUIR: I'm going to — I'm going to work down the row here. But I do want to come to Congressman O'Rourke, because I know this is personal to you. El Paso is your hometown. Some on this stage have suggested a voluntary buy-back for guns in this country.

    You've gone further. You've said, quote, "Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell them to the government, all of them." You know that critics call this confiscation. Are you proposing taking away their guns? And how would this work?

    O'ROURKE: I am, if it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield...


    If the high impact, high velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body, because it was designed to do that, so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers.

    When we see that being used against children, and in Odessa, I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15, and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa and Midland, there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in time, hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.


    We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.


    MUIR: Congressman, thank you.

    O'ROURKE: And I want to say this. I'm listening to the people of this country. The day after I proposed doing that, I went to a gun show in Conway, Arkansas, to meet with those who were selling AR-15s and AK-47s and those who were buying those weapons. And you might be surprised, there was some common ground there, folks who said, I would willingly give that up, cut it to pieces, I don't need this weapon to hunt, to defend myself. It is a weapon of war.

    So, let's do the right thing, but let's bring everyone in America into the conversation, Republicans, Democrats, gun-owners, and non-gun owners alike.

    (UNKNOWN): May I make a point?

    MUIR: Congressman, thank you. I want to bring in Senator Klobuchar on this, because you've often talked about your uncle and the proud hunters back home in Minnesota. So I wanted to get your response to Congressman O'Rourke tonight. Where do you stand on mandatory gun buybacks?

    KLOBUCHAR: I so appreciate what the congressman's been doing. And I want to remind people here that what unites us is so much bigger than what divides us.

    Everyone up here favors an assault weapon ban. Everyone up here favors magazine limitations, which, by the way, would have made a huge difference if that was in place in El Paso, in that store, where all those ordinary people showed such extraordinary courage. And certainly in Dayton, Ohio, where in 30 seconds, one man guns down innocent people. The cops got there in one minute, and it still wasn't enough to save those people. That's what unites us.

    You know what else unites us? And I'll tell you this. What unites us is that right now, on Mitch McConnell's desk, are three bills — universal background checks, closing the Charleston loophole, and passing my bill to make sure that domestic abusers don't get AK-47s.


    MUIR: Senator Klobuchar?

    KLOBUCHAR: So if we want to get something done — and I personally think we should start with a voluntary buyback program. That's what I think, David. But I want to finish this, because if you want action now, if you want action now, we got to send a message to Mitch McConnell. We can't wait until one of us gets in the White House. We have to pass those bills right now to get this done.

    MUIR: Senator Klobuchar...

    KLOBUCHAR: Because we cannot spare another innocent life.

    MUIR: Thank you. Thank you.

    I want to turn to Senator Booker, because you have said just this week about guns and about the candidates on this stage, that the differences do matter. Those were your words.

    You have argued, if you need a license to drive a car in this country, you should have a license to buy a gun. Gun-owners would not only have to pass a background check, they would have to obtain a federal license to buy a gun. This would require, as you know, Congress to pass legislation.

    If Democrats can't get universal background checks, how would you get this done? And can you name one Republican colleague of yours in the Senate right now who would be onboard with this idea?

    BOOKER: So, background checks and gun licensing, these are agreed to by overwhelmingly the majority of Americans. Eighty-three percent of Americans agree with licensing. This is the issue.

    Look, I grew up in the suburbs. It was about 20 years ago that I came out of my home when I moved to inner city Newark, New Jersey, and witnessed the aftermath of a shooting. It's one of the reasons why shooting after shooting after shooting in neighborhoods like mine for decades, this has been a crisis for me. It's why I was the first person to come out for gun licensing. And I'm happy that people like Beto O'Rourke are showing such courage now and coming forward and also now supporting licensing.

    But this is what I'm sorry about. I'm sorry that it had to take issues coming to my neighborhood or personally affecting Beto to suddenly make us demand change. This is a crisis of empathy in our nation. We are never going to solve this crisis if we have to wait for it to personally affect us or our neighborhood or our community before we demand action.

    You want to know how we get this done? We get this done by having a more courageous empathy, where people don't wait for this hell to visit upon their communities. They stand up and understand the truth of what King said, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    I will lead change on this issue, because I have seen what the carnage creates in communities like mine, because we forget, national shootings, these mass shootings are tragedies, but the majority of the homicide victims come from neighborhoods like mine. Nobody has ascended to the White House that will bring more personal passion on this issue. I will fight this and bring a fight to the NRA and the corporate gun lobby like they have never seen before.


    MUIR: Senator Booker, thank you. A quick follow-up, though, because Americans watching tonight know the reality of Congress in Washington. I asked do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate who would be onboard with this idea to get this done?

    BOOKER: You know, if that was the attitude when Strom Thurmond had the longest filibuster ever on civil rights, if it was this idea that we can’t get it done because of the situation in the Senate, I’m looking to lead a movement. The number-one reason why governments are formed is to protect the citizenry.

    Think about this. We have had more people die due to gun violence in my lifetime than every single war in this country combined, from the Revolutionary War until now. This is not a side issue to me. It is a central issue to me.

    That is the kind of fight — because the majority of homicide victims — we have a mass shooting every single day in communities like mine. We must awaken a more courageous empathy in this country so that we stand together and fight together and overwhelm those Republicans who are not even representing their constituency. Because the majority of Americans, the majority of gun-owners agree with me, not the corporate gun lobby. It is time for a movement on this issue, and I will lead it.


    BIDEN: Go beat them.

    MUIR: Senator Booker, thank you. Senator Warren, I want to come to you next, because you have actually said in recent days that there are things you can get done with Republicans in the Senate. What can you get done on gun control?

    WARREN: So let’s start by framing the problem the right way. We have a gun violence problem in this country. The mass shootings are terrible, but they get all the headlines. Children die every day on streets, in neighborhoods, on playgrounds. People die from violence, from suicide and domestic abuse. We have a gun violence problem in this country.

    And we agree on many steps we could take to fix it. My view on this is, we're going to — it's not going to be one and done on this. We're going to do it, and we're going to have to do it again, and we're going to have to come back some more until we cut the number of gun deaths in this country significantly.

    But here's the deal. The question we need to ask is, when we've got this much support across the country, 90 percent of Americans want to see us do — I like registration — want to see us do background checks, want to get assault weapons off the streets, why doesn't it happen? And the answer is corruption, pure and simple.


    We have a Congress that is beholden to the gun industry. And unless we're willing to address that head-on and roll back the filibuster, we're not going to get anything done on guns. I was in the United States Senate when 54 senators said let's do background checks, let's get rid of assault weapons, and with 54 senators, it failed because of the filibuster.

    Until we attack the systemic problems, we can't get gun reform in this country. We've got to go straight against the industry and we've got to change Congress, so it doesn't just work for the wealthy and well-connected, so it works for the people.


    MUIR: Senator Warren, thank you. You bring up eliminating the filibuster, which means you would need simply a simple majority in a Republican Senate to get something done. I want to turn to Senator Sanders on this, because you've said before of this, if Donald Trump supports ending the filibuster, which he's talked about himself, you should be nervous. Would you support ending the filibuster?

    SANDERS: No. But what I would support, absolutely, is passing major legislation, the gun legislation the people here are talking about, Medicare-for-all, climate change legislation that saves the planet. I will not wait for 60 votes to make that happen, and you can do it in a variety of ways. You can do that through budget reconciliation law. You have a vice president who will, in fact, tell the Senate what is appropriate and what is not, what is in order and what is not.

    But I want to get back to a point that Elizabeth made and that, in fact, in terms of gun issues, picking up on Cory and Beto and everybody else, what we are looking at is a corrupt political system, and that means whether it is the drug companies or the insurance companies or the fossil fuel industry determining what's happening in Washington or, in this case, you've got an NRA which has intimidated the president of the United States and the Republican leadership.


    I am proud — I am proud that, year after year, I had an "F" rating from the NRA. And as president, I will not be intimidated by the NRA.

    MUIR: Senator Sanders, thank you.

    HARRIS: May I respond...

    RAMOS: We've been hearing a lot about what's been happening here in Texas. Only a few weeks ago, the deadliest massacre of Latinos, Latinos, in modern U.S. history happened in this state, in El Paso. So the fear among Latinos — and you know this — is very real.


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    RAMOS: We've been hearing a lot about what's been happening here in Texas. Only a few weeks ago, the deadliest massacre of Latinos, Latinos, in modern U.S. history happened in this state, in El Paso. So the fear among Latinos — and you know this — is very real.

    So let me start with an issue that is causing a lot of division in this country: immigration. Vice President Biden, as a presidential candidate, in 2008, you supported the border wall, saying, "Unlike most Democrats, I voted for 700 miles of fence." This is what you said.

    Then you served as vice president in an administration that deported 3 million people, the most ever in U.S. history. Did you do anything to prevent those deportations? I mean, you've been asked this question before and refused to answer, so let me try once again. Are you prepared to say tonight that you and President Obama made a mistake about deportations? Why should Latinos trust you?

    BIDEN: What Latinos should look at is — comparing this president to the president we have is outrageous, number one. We didn't lock people up in cages. We didn't separate families. We didn't do all of those things, number one.

    Number two — number two, by the time — this is a president who came along with the DACA program. No one had ever done that before. This is the president that sent legislation to the desk saying he wants to find a pathway for the 11 million undocumented in the United States of America. This is a president who's done a great deal. So I'm proud to have served with him.

    What I would do as president is several more things, because things have changed. I would, in fact, make sure that there is — we immediately surge to the border. All those people who are seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard. That's who we are. We're a nation who says, if you want to flee, and you're freeing oppression, you should come.

    I would change the order that the president just changed, saying women who were being beaten and abused could no longer claim that as a reason for asylum.

    And by the way, retrospectively, you know, the 25th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act is up. The Republican Congress has not reauthorized it. Let's put pressure on them to pass the Violence Against Women Act. Now (inaudible) back...

    RAMOS: Yeah, but you didn't answer the question.

    BIDEN: Well, I did answer the question.

    RAMOS: No, did you make a mistake with those deportations?

    BIDEN: The president did the best thing that was able to be done at the time.

    RAMOS: How about you?

    BIDEN: I'm the vice president of the United States.

    RAMOS: Secretary Castro, would you want to respond to Vice President Biden?

    CASTRO: I mean, look...

    RAMOS: And let me put this in context, because your party controlled the White House and Congress in 2009 and didn't pass immigration reform, and this broke a promise made by President Barack Obama to Latinos. So why should voters trust Democrats now? I mean, now it is even more difficult, as you know, because you need Republican votes in the Senate. So are you willing, for instance, to give up DACA or give up a path to citizenship or even agree to build a wall in order to legalize 10.5 million undocumented immigrants?

    CASTRO: Jorge, thank you very much for that question. And, look, I agree that Barack Obama was very different from Donald Trump. Donald Trump has a dark heart when it comes to immigrants. He built his whole political career so far on scapegoating and fearmongering and otherizing migrants, and that's very different from Barack Obama.

    But my problem with Vice President Biden — and Cory pointed this out last time — is every time something good about Barack Obama comes up, he says, oh, I was there, I was there, I was there, that's me, too, and then every time somebody questions part of the administration that we were both part of, he says, well, that was the president. I mean, he wants to take credit for Obama's work, but not have to answer to any questions. I mean...


    RAMOS: Vice President Biden, you have — you have 45 seconds.

    CASTRO: Let me just say...

    BIDEN: That's not what I said.

    CASTRO: Let me just say...

    BIDEN: That's not what I said.

    CASTRO: Jorge, let me just say that I would — I was the first candidate in early April to put forward an immigration plan. You know why? Because I'm not afraid of Donald Trump on this issue. I'm not going to back pedal. I'm not going to pretend like I don't have my own vision for immigration.

    So we're not going to give up DACA. We're not going to give up protections for anybody. I believe that on January 20, 2021, we're going to have a Democratic president, we're going to throw out Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and have a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic House, and we're going to pass immigration reform within the first 100 days.

    RAMOS: Vice President, 45 seconds.

    BIDEN: I did not say I don't — I stand with Barack Obama all eight years, good, bad and indifferent. That's where I stand. I did not say I did not stand with him.

    RAMOS: Okay, Senator Warren, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents at the border. And recently, in Mississippi, we saw the largest immigration raid in a decade.

    You want ICE, the agency in charge of rounding up undocumented immigrants.

    So how would you deal with the millions of immigrants who arrive legally but overstay their visas? And how would you stop hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who want to migrate to the U.S.?

    WARREN: Well, I start with a statement of principles, and that is, in this country, immigration does not make us weaker, immigration makes us stronger.


    I want to see us expand legal immigration and create a pathway to citizenship for our DREAMers, but also for their grandparents, and for their cousins, for people who have overstayed student visas, and for people who came here to work in the fields. I want to have a system that is a path to citizenship that is fair and achievable.

    Down at the border, we've got to rework this entirely. A system right now that cannot tell the difference in the threat posed by a terrorist, a criminal, and a 12-year-old girl is not a system that is keeping us safer, and it is not serving our values.


    RAMOS: Mr. Yang...

    WARREN: We need — I want to add one more part on this, because I think we have to look at all the pieces. Why do we have a crisis at the border? In no small part because we have withdrawn help from people in Central America who are suffering.


    We need to restore that help. We need to help establish and re-establish the rule of law so that people don't feel like they have to flee for their lives. We have a crisis that Donald Trump has created and hopes to profit from politically. We have to have the courage to stand up and fight back.


    RAMOS: Mr. Yang? It is true that in the last few years we have seen the most severe anti-immigrant measures, from putting kids in cages to limiting asylum for people fleeing gangs and domestic violence. But it is also true about 1 million immigrants enter the U.S. legally every year. So, are you willing to raise the number of legal immigrants from 1 million to 2 million per year? And should there be a merit system, as President Trump wants?

    WARREN: So, yes — oh, I'm sorry. Did you me or...

    YANG: It was me.

    WARREN: Oh, he said it. Okay. Sorry.

    YANG: My — my father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor and now his son is running for president. That is the immigration story that we have...


    ... to be able to share with the American people.

    If you look at our history, almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by either immigrants or children of immigrants. And rates of business formation are much higher in immigrant communities. We have to say to the American people, immigrants are positive for our economic and social dynamism, and I would return the level of legal immigration to the point it was under the Obama-Biden administration.

    I think we have to compete for talent and I am the opposite of Donald Trump in many ways. He says, build a wall. I'm going to say to immigrants, come to America, because if you come here, your son our daughter can run for president. The water is great. And this is where you want to build a company, build a family, and build a life.

    This country has been a magnet for human capital for generations. If we lose that, we lose something integral to our continued success. And that is where I would lead as president.



    BUTTIGIEG: Gracias.

    RAMOS: (INAUDIBLE) Pete, eight out of 10 Latinos in Texas for another mass shooter targeting them. This is according to a new Univision poll. President Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists and killers, tried to ban Muslims from entering the country separated children from their parents.

    He supporters have chanted, build a wall and send her back. Do you think that people who support President Trump and his immigration policies are racist?

    BUTTIGIEG: Anyone who supports this is supporting racism.



    The only people, though, who actually buy into this president’s hateful rhetoric around immigrants are people who don’t know any. We have an opportunity to build an American majority around immigration reform. In my community, a group of conservative Republicans rallied around an individual, a beloved local individual who was deported when he went into ICE to try to get his paperwork sorted out, because they never thought it would happen to him.

    In some of the most conservative, rural areas of Iowa, I have seen communities that embraced immigration grow. And that's why part of my plan for revitalizing the economies of rural America includes community renewal visas that would allow cities and towns and counties that are hurting not only for jobs but for population to embrace immigration as we have in my city.

    You know, the only reason that South Bend is growing right now, after years of shrinking, is immigration. It's one of the reasons we acted, not waiting for Washington, to create city-issued municipal IDs, so that people, regardless of immigration status in our city, had the opportunity to have the benefits of identification.

    We have an opportunity to actually get something done. But we cannot allow this continue to be the same debate with the same arguments and the same clever lines often among the same people since the last real reform happened in the 1980s. We have to actually engage the American majority around the opportunities for not just growth in small communities, but our values. Values of welcome, values of faith that all argue for us to manage this humanely and in a way that marries our values with our laws.


    In an interview eight months ago, you were asked to asked what to do with the so-called "over-stayers," people who come with a visa and then stay. And you said, I don't know. Do you have an answer now?

    O'ROURKE: I do. And if you read the rest of that article in The Washington Post, I talked about harmonizing our entry/exit system with Mexico in the same way that we do with Canada. I think that could help us to keep a handle on visa over-stays.

    But I think the larger question that we're trying to get at is, how do we rewrite this country's immigration laws in our own image? In the image of Houston, Texas, the most diverse city in the United States of America.


    In the image of El Paso, Texas, one of the safest cities in the United States of America. Safe, not despite the fact that we are a city of immigrants, safe because we are a city of immigrants.



    I will lead an effort to make sure that we rewrite our immigration laws in that way. Never cage another child. Make sure that there is accountability and justice for the seven lives lost under our care and our custody, but also face the fact that Democrats and Republicans alike voted to build a wall that has produced thousands of deaths of people trying to cross to join family or to work a job.

    That we have been part of deporting people, hundreds of thousands just in the Obama administration alone, who posed no threat to this country, breaking up their families. Democrats have to get off the back foot, we have to lead on this issue, because we know it is right.

    Legalize America, begin with those more than 1 million DREAMers, make them U.S. citizens right now in this, their true home country...


    ... and extend that to their parents, their sisters and their brothers, and ensure that we have a legal, safe, orderly system to come to this country and add to our greatness here.

    RAMOS: Thank you. George.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Jorge, thank you.

    We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, national security, foreign policy, homeland security, the impact on American jobs and U.S. troops.


    Tariffs and China Policy:

    ANNOUNCER: Live from Texas Southern University in Houston, the "Democratic Debate."

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Welcome back. We want to turn now to national security and the foreign policy issue that has such a direct impact here at home. The U.S. relationship with China, trade, and President Trump's tariffs. We received more than 100 questions from viewers wanting to know how all of you are going to handle these tariffs.

    And, Mr. Yang, let me begin with you. Would you repeal the tariffs on your first day in office? And if so, would you risk losing leverage in our trade relationship with China?

    YANG: I would not repeal the tariffs on day one, but I would let the Chinese know that we need to hammer out a deal, because right now, the tariffs are pummeling producers and farmers in Iowa who have absolutely nothing to do with the imbalances that we have with China.

    A CEO friend of mine was in China recently and he said that he saw pirated U.S. intellectual property on worker workstations to the tune of thousands of dollars per head. And he said, one, how can my workers compete against that? And, two, think about all the lost revenue to American companies.

    So, the imbalances are real. But we have to let the Chinese know that we recognize that President Trump has pursued an arbitrary and haphazard trade policy that has had victims on both sides.

    So, no to repealing the tariffs immediately, but yes to making sure we come to a deal that addresses the concerns of American companies and American producers.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Pete, let me take that question — let me take that question to you, because you've seen President Trump's tweets. He says what's going to happen here is the Chinese are just going to wait him out so that they can get a Democrat who they can take advantage of.

    How do you think about China? We've seen President Trump call President Xi both an enemy and a friend.

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, the president clearly has no strategy.

    You know, when I first got into this race, I remember President Trump scoffed and said he'd like to see me making a deal with Xi Jinping. I'd like to see him making a deal with Xi Jinping.


    Is it just me, or was that supposed to happen in, like, April? It's one more example of a commitment not made. When that happens on the international stage, people take note, not just our competitors, our adversaries, but also our allies take note of the inability of the United States to keep its word or follow through on its plans. And when that happens, there are serious consequences.

    We saw it at the G7. The leaders of some of the greatest powers and economies of the world sitting to talk about one of the greatest challenges in the world, climate change, and there was literally an empty chair where American leadership could have been.

    The problem is, this is a moment when American leadership is needed more than ever, whether it's in Hong Kong, where those protesters for democracy need to know that they have a friend in the United States, or anywhere around the world where increasingly we see dictators throwing their weight around. The world needs America, but it can't be just any America.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Would you repeal the tariffs?

    BUTTIGIEG: I would have a strategy that would include the tariffs as leverage, but it's not about the tariffs. Look, what's going on right now is a president who has reduced the entire China challenge into a question of tariffs, when what we know is that the tariffs are coming down on us more than anybody else and there's a lack of a bigger strategy.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Klobuchar, you've actually supported the tariffs on steel.

    KLOBUCHAR: What we've got right now, though, George, it's not a focused tariff on steel. What he has done here, he has assessed these tariffs on our allies. He has put us in the middle of this trade war and he is treating our farmers and our workers like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos. And if we are not careful, he is going to bankrupt this country.

    One forecast recently says that it has already cost us 300,000 jobs, all right? There is soybeans that are mounting up in bins all over the Midwest, in my state of Minnesota and in Iowa.

    So what I think we need to do is to go back to the negotiating table — that's what I would do. I wouldn't have put all these tariffs in place. And I wouldn't have had a trade policy where on August 1st he announces he's going to have tariffs on $300 billion of goods, on August 13th, he cuts it in half, a week later, he says he's going to reduce taxes, the day after that, he says he's going to do it.

    The leaders of the world are watching this, and it undermines our strength as a nation. And, yes, we want fair trade, but we must work with the rest of the world. And he has made a mockery of focused trade policy, which I think means enforcement, like we've done in northern Minnesota, passing bills, getting President Obama to do more on that, so that our workers can benefit, so we are importing, exporting goods and making sure that it's a competitive policy where our goal is that we are making things, inventing things, and exporting to the world. He is defeating that goal.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Castro, you actually, in one of the previous debates, identified China as the most serious national security threat to our country. I want to pick up on what Senator Klobuchar was saying. She said she would go back to the negotiating table. The question is, what do you do for leverage? Where do you get it?

    CASTRO: Well, look, I agree with those who have said that this erratic, haphazard trade war is hurting American families. As Senator Klobuchar said, 300,000 American jobs. It's estimated that it's cost $600 to the average American family. Just a couple of days ago, 60 percent of Americans said that they believe that we're in for a recession next year.

    So when I become president, I would immediately begin to negotiate with China to ratchet down that trade war. We have leverage there. I also believe, though, that we need to return to a leader when it comes to things like human rights.

    We have millions of Uighurs, for instance, in China that right now are being imprisoned and mistreated.


    And in North Korea, this president is elevating a dictator. We need to stop that. We need to return to ensuring that America leads again on human rights. When it comes to this trade war, I would immediately begin ratcheting that trade war down. We have leverage in that discussion.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Warren, let me bring you in on this conversation. President Obama signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In part, it was designed to rein in China, to bring China into some kind of regulation. What do you think he got wrong?

    WARREN: So our trade policy in America has been broken for decades, and it has been broken because it works for giant multinational corporations and not for much of anyone else. These are giant corporations that, shoot, if they can save a nickel by moving a job to a foreign country, they'll do it in a heartbeat.

    And yet for decades now, who's been whispering in the ears of our trade negotiators? Who has shaped our trade policy? It's been the giant corporations. It's been their lobbyists and their executives.

    The way we change our trade policy in America is, first, the procedures. Who sits at the table? I want to negotiate trade with unions at the table. I want to negotiate it with small farmers at the table. I want to negotiate it with environmentalists at the table. I want to negotiate with human rights activists at the table.

    And you asked the question about leverage. If I can just respond to that one, the leverage, are you kidding? Everybody wants access to the American market. That means that we have the capacity to say right here in America, you want to come sell goods to American consumers? Then you got to raise your standards. You've got to raise your labor standards. You've got to raise your environmental standards...


    ... so our companies can compete on a level playing field. We can use trade not to undermine American workers and not to undermine American farms and not to undermine small businesses in this country. We can use trade to help build a stronger economy.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Harris, how would your trade policy differ from President Obama's?

    HARRIS: Well, first of all, I have no criticism of that more than just looking at where we are now, which is we've got a guy in the White House who has been erratic on trade policy. He conducts trade policy by tweet, frankly born out of his fragile ego. It has resulted in farmers in Iowa with soybeans rotting in bins, looking at bankruptcy.

    When we look at this issue, my trade policy, under a Harris administration, is always going to be about saying, we need to export American products, not American jobs. And to do that, we have to have a meaningful trade policy.

    I am not a protectionist Democrat. Look, we need to sell our stuff. And that means we need to sell it to people overseas. That means we need trade policies that allow that to happen.

    You asked earlier about China. It's a complicated relationship. We have to hold China accountable. They steal our products, including our intellectual property. They dump substandard products into our economy. They need to be held accountable.

    We also need to partner with China on climate and the crisis that that presents. We need to partner with China on the issue of North Korea. I am on — and I think the only person on this stage — the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee. We need a partner on the issue of North Korea.

    But the bottom line is this. Donald Trump in office on trade policy, you know, he reminds me of that guy in "The Wizard of Oz," you know, when you pull back the curtain, it's a really small dude?


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay. I’m not even going to take the bait, Senator Harris. But I am going to take...

    HARRIS: Oh, George, it wasn't about you.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm going to take this to Senator Sanders right now.

    SANDERS: Well, there is a reason — there is a reason why, in the last 45 years, the average American today, despite an explosion of technology and worker productivity, is not making a penny more than he or she made 45 years ago. And one of the reasons is that, for decades, we have had disastrous trade policies.

    I got to say to my good friend, Joe Biden, Joe and I strongly disagree on trade. I helped lead the opposition to NAFTA and PNTR, which cost this country over 4 million good-paying jobs.


    And what happened is people who had those jobs ended up getting other jobs making 50 percent of what they made in manufacturing.

    So Trump, obviously, hasn't a clue. Trump thinks that trade policy is a tweet at 3 o'clock in the morning. What we have got to do is develop a trade policy that represents workers, represents the farmers in the Midwest and elsewhere, who are losing billions right now because of Trump's policy, a trade policy which understands that if a company shuts down in America and goes abroad, and then thinks they're going to get online to get a lucrative federal contract, under Bernie Sanders, they got another guess coming.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Vice President Biden, he invoked your name.

    BIDEN: Yeah, well, look, we're either going to make policy or China's going to make the rules of the road. We make up 25 percent of the world economy. We need another 25 percent to join us.

    And I think Elizabeth — Senator Warren is correct. At the table has to be labor and at the table have to be environmentalists. The fact of the matter is, China — the problem isn't the trade deficit, the problem is they're stealing our intellectual property. The problem is they're violating the WTO. They're dumping steel on us. That's a different issue than whether or not they're dumping agricultural products on us.

    In addition to that, we're in a position where, if we don't set the rules, we, in fact, are going to find ourselves with China setting the rules. And that's why you need to organize the world to take on China, to stop the corrupt practices that are underway.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Booker, close out this round.

    BOOKER: Sure. There’s one point we’re really missing on the stage right now, which is the fact that Donald Trump’s America first policy is actually an America isolated, an America alone policy.

    BIDEN: Exactly right.

    BOOKER: From trade to battling China to the global crisis of climate change, the challenges in the Middle East, he is pulling us away from our allies, out of the Iran deal, out of the Paris climate accords.

    And on trade, he's deciding to take on China, while at the same time taking on tariff battles with all of our allies. You literally have him using a national security waiver to put tariffs on Canada. Now, look, I'm the only person on this stage that finds Trudeau's hair very menacing, but they are not a national security threat.


    We cannot go up against China alone. This is a president that has a better relationship with dictators, like Duterte and Putin, than he does with Merkel and Macron. We are the strongest nation on the planet Earth, and our strength is multiplied and magnified when we stand with our allies in common cause and common purpose. That's how we beat China. That's how we beat climate change on the planet Earth, and that's how American values are the ones that lead on issues of trade and workers' rights.




    MUIR: George, thank you. I want to turn now to our troops overseas and to America's longest war in Afghanistan. U.S. talks with the Taliban are dead, according to the president. Secret talks at Camp David have been canceled before they could happen. Many of you have weighed in on that already, so I want to move past that tonight to what all of you have promised on the campaign trail.

    Many of you on this stage have said you'd bring the troops home in your first term. Others have said in your first year. Senator Warren, we all know the presidency is much different from the campaign trail. President Obama wanted to bring the troops home. President Trump promised to bring the troops home. And you have said of Afghanistan, let's help them reach a peace settlement. It is time to bring our troops home, in your words, starting right now. Would you keep that promise to bring the troops home starting right now with no deal with the Taliban?

    WARREN: Yes. And I'll tell you why. What we're doing right now in Afghanistan is not helping the safety and security of the United States. It is not helping the safety and security of the world. It is not helping the safety and security of Afghanistan. We need to bring our troops home.

    And then we need to make a big shift. We cannot ask our military to keep solving problems that cannot be solved militarily.


    We're not going to bomb our way to a solution in Afghanistan. We need to treat the problem of terrorism as a worldwide problem, and that means we need to be working with all of our allies, our European allies, our Canadian allies, our Asian allies, our allies in Africa and in South America. We need to work together to root out terrorism.

    It means using all of our tools. It means economic investment. It means expanding our diplomatic efforts instead of hollowing out the State Department and deliberately making it so we have no eyes and ears in many of these countries. We need a foreign policy that is about our security and about leading on our values.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Warren, a quick follow on that, because top U.S. leaders, military leaders on the ground in Afghanistan told me you can't do it without a deal with the Taliban. You just said you would, you would bring them home. What if they told you that? Would you listen to their advice?

    WARREN: I was in Afghanistan with John McCain two years ago this past summer. I think it may have been Senator McCain's last trip before he was sick. And I talked to people — we did — we talked to military leaders, American and local leaders, we talked to people on the ground and asked the question, the same one I ask on the Senate Armed Services Committee every time one of the generals comes through: Show me what winning looks like. Tell me what it looks like.

    And what you hear is a lot of, "Uh," because no one can describe it. And the reason no one can describe it is because the problems in Afghanistan are not problems that can be solved by a military.

    I have three older brothers who all served in the military. I understand firsthand the kind of commitment they have made. They will do anything we ask them to do. But we cannot ask them to solve problems that they alone cannot solve.

    We need to work with the rest of the world. We need to use our economic tools. We need to use our diplomatic tools. We need to build with our allies. And we need to make the whole world safer, not keep troops bombing in Afghanistan.

    MUIR: Senator Warren, thank you.


    I do want to stay on this, and I want to turn to Mayor Buttigieg, because you're the only veteran on this stage. You served in Afghanistan. We heard in recent days from General Joseph Dunford, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said in recent days, "I'm not going to use the word withdrawal right now. It's our judgment the Afghans need support to deal with the level of violence." If he's not even using the word withdrawal, would you put your promise to bring troops home in the first year on hold to follow the advice?

    BUTTIGIEG: You know, I served under General Dunford, way under General Dunford, in Afghanistan.


    And today, September 12, 2019, means that today you could be 18 years old, old enough to serve, and had not been alive on 9/11. We have got to put an end to endless war.

    And the way we do it is see to it that that country will never again be used for an attack against our homeland, and that does not require an open-ended commitment of ground troops.

    Let me say something else, because if there's one thing we've learned about Afghanistan, from Afghanistan, it's that the best way not to be caught up in endless war is to avoid starting one in the first place.


    And so when I am president, an authorization for the use of military force will have a built-in three-year sunset. Congress will be required to vote and a president will be required to go to Congress to seek an authorization. Because if our troops can summon the courage to go overseas, the least our members of Congress should be able to do is summon the courage to take a vote on whether they ought to be there.


    By the way, we also have a president right now who seems to treat troops as props, or worse, tools for his own enrichment. We saw what's going on with flights apparently being routed through Scotland just so people can stay at his hotels?

    I'll tell you, as a military officer, the very first thing that goes through your mind, the first time you ever make eye contact with somebody that you are responsible for in uniform, is do not let these men and women down. This president is doing exactly that. I will not.


    MUIR: Mayor Buttigieg, thank you.

    I want to turn to Vice President Biden, because the concerns about any possible vacuum being created in Afghanistan, if you pulled the U.S. troops out, has been heightened by what we've seen in recent days on the ground in Iraq.

    When you were vice president, President Obama turned to you to bring the troops home from Iraq. You have said on the campaign trail, quote, "I made sure the president turned to me and said, Joe, get our combat troops out of Iraq." There was a major drawdown of U.S. troops, and then ISIS seized by some estimates 40 percent of the territory in Iraq. You then had to send thousands of troops back in. Was it wrong to pull out of Iraq that quickly? And did the move actually help ISIS take hold?

    BIDEN: No, it wasn't wrong to pull out. But I want to answer your Afghanistan question. I've been in and out of Afghanistan, not with a gun, and I admire my friend for his service. But I've been out of Afghanistan I think more than anybody on this — and it's an open secret, you reported a long time ago, George, that I was opposed to the surge in Afghanistan.

    The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency, meaning that we're going to put that country together. It cannot be put together. Let me say it again. It will not be put together. It's three different countries. Pakistan owns the three counties — the three provinces in the east. They're not any part of — the Haqqanis run it. I will go on and on.

    But here's the point. The point is that it's a counterterrorism strategy. We can prevent the United States from being the victim of terror coming out of Afghanistan by providing for bases — insist the Pakistanis provide bases for us to air lift from and to move against what we know.

    We don't need those troops there. I would bring them home. And Joe Dunford's a fine guy, but this has been an internal argument we've had for eight years.

    With regard to — with regard to Iraq, the fact of the matter is that, you know, I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do. The AUMF was designed, he said, to go in and get the Security Council to vote 15-0 to allow inspectors to go in to determine whether or not anything was being done with chemical weapons or nuclear weapons. And when that happened, he went ahead and went anyway without any of that proof.

    I said something that was not meant the way I said it.

    I said — from that point on — what I was argued against in the beginning, once he started to put the troops in, was that in fact we were doing it the wrong way; there was no plan; we should not be engaged; we didn't have the people with us; we didn't have our — we didn't have allies with us, et cetera.

    And it was later, when we came into office, that Barack turned — the president turned to me and said, "Joe" — when they said we've got a plan to get out, he turned to the whole security and said, "Joe will organize this. Get the troops home."

    My son spent a year in Iraq, and I understand. It made — and we were right to get the combat troops out. The big mistake that was made, which we predicted, was that you would not have a circumstance where the Shia and the Kurds would work together to keep ISIS from coming — from moving in.

    MUIR: Mr. Vice President, thank you.

    I want to turn to Senator Sanders on this. Because the concern over Afghanistan is very similar to what we saw in Iraq when the troops came out. ISIS filled that vacuum.

    What do you make of people out there who are worried that if we pull out U.S. troops too quickly from Afghanistan, it will create safe haven all over again, like the plotters of 9/11?

    SANDERS: David, let me answer that, but let me just comment on something that the vice president said.

    You talked about the big mistake in Iraq and the surge. The truth is, the big mistake, the huge mistake, and one of the big differences between you and me, I never believed what Cheney and Bush said about Iraq...


    BIDEN: You're right.

    SANDERS: I voted against the war in Iraq


    ... and helped lead the opposition. And it's sad to say — I mean, I, kind of, you know, had the feeling that there would be massive destabilization in that area if we went into that war.

    As the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, I want to pick up on what Pete said. We cannot express our gratitude to all of the men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend them — defend us, who have responded to the call of duty. But I think, also, I am the only person up here to have voted against all three of Trump's military budgets.


    I don't think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don't even know who our enemy is.


    I think that what we have got to do is bring this world together — bring it together on climate change, bring it together in fighting against terrorism. And make it clear that we as a planet, as a global community, will work together to help countries around the world rebuild their struggling economies and do everything that we can to rid the world of terrorism. But dropping bomb on Afghanistan and Iraq was not the way to do it.

    MUIR: Senator Sanders, thank you.


    I want to take this to Mr. Yang. You share the stage, as you know, when when we talk about troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the vice president, who was in the Situation Room, with senators who were on the Senate Armed Services, the Foreign Relations Committees, with an Afghanistan veteran who is on the stage tonight.

    As you share the stage with these candidates, what makes you the most qualified on this stage to be commander in chief?

    YANG: I've signed a pledge to end the forever wars. We've been in a state of continuous armed conflict for 18 years, which is not what the American people want. We have to start owning what we can and can't do. We're not very good at rebuilding countries.

    And if you want proof, all you have to do is look within our own country of Puerto Rico.


    We've spent trillions of dollars to unclear benefits, lost thousands of lives — and thank you, Pete, for your service. And the goal has to be to rebuild the relationships that have made America strong for decades.

    I would lead our armed forces with restraint and judgment. What the American people want is simply a president who has the right values and point of view and they can trust to make the right decisions when it comes to putting our young men and women into harm's way. And that's what I would do as president.

    MUIR: Mr. Yang, thank you.




    RAMOS: Thank you very much.


    You haven’t been asked about Latin America in the previous debates, so let’s begin. Senator Sanders, one country where many immigrants are arriving from is Venezuela. A recent U.N. fact-finding mission found that thousands have been disappeared, tortured and killed by government forces in Venezuela.

    You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro a dictator — a dictator. Can you explain why?

    And what are the main differences between your kind of socialism and the one being imposed in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua?

    SANDERS: Well, first of all, let me be very clear. Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make — can create their own future.

    In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair. I'll tell you what I believe in terms of democratic socialism. I agree with goes on in Canada and in Scandinavia, guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right.


    I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on earth not to provide paid family and medical leave.


    I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage and that we expand the trade union movement.


    I happen to believe also that what, to me, democratic socialism means, is we deal with an issue we do not discuss enough, Jorge — it's not in the media and not in Congress. You've got three people in America owning more wealth than the bottom half of this country. You've got a handful of billionaires controlling what goes on in Wall Street, the insurance companies and in the media.

    Maybe, just maybe, what we should be doing is creating an economy...

    RAMOS: Thank you.

    SANDERS: ... that works for all of us, not 1 percent. That's my understanding of democratic socialism.


    RAMOS: Secretary, you wanted to say a quick response — 45 seconds?

    CASTRO: Sure, thank you, Jorge. I'll call Maduro a dictator, because he is a dictator.


    And what we need to do is to, along with our allies, make sure that the Venezuelan people get the assistance that they need, that we continue to pressure Venezuela so that they'll have free and fair elections, and also, here in the United States, offer temporary protected status, TPS, to Venezuelans.


    That is something that the Trump administration has failed to do. For all of his big talk about supporting the Venezuelan-American community, he has failed. I will not.

    I also believe that we need to do things like a 21st century Marshall plan for Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala...


    ... so that people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to make the dangerous journey to the United States. And under my administration, we're going to put renewed focus on Latin America. It makes sense. They're our neighbors and we have a lot of things in common. It also makes sense that, because we have a country like China that is going around the world to places like Africa and Latin America, making their own relationships, strengthening those, the United States needs to strengthen its partnerships in Latin America immediately.

    RAMOS: Thank you, Senator.

    CASTRO: And I will

    RAMOS: Senator Booker, let me ask you about Brazil. After the recent fires in the Amazon, some experts suggested that eating less meat is one way to help the environment. You are a vegan since 2014. That's obviously a personal choice, but President Trump and Brazil's President Bolsonaro are concerned that climate change regulations could affect economic growth.

    So should more Americans, including those here in Texas, and in Iowa...


    ... follow your diet?


    BOOKER: Um, you know, first of all, I want to say no. Actually, I want to translate that into Spanish. No.



    Look, on — let's just be clear. The factory farming going on that's assaulting this corporate consolidation of the agricultural industry, one of the reasons why I have a bill to put a moratorium on this kind of corporate consolidation is because this factory farming is destroying and hurting our environment. And you see independent family farmers being pushed out of business because of the kind of incentives we are giving that don't line up with our values. That's what I'm calling for.


    But I want to — I want to switch, because we don’t have — a crowded debate stage, we were talking about Afghanistan and Iraq. It annoys me that we had a conversation about our troops overseas and we didn’t say one word about veterans in our country.


    We have a shameful reality in America that we send people off to war and they often come home with invisible wounds, hurts and harms. They're disproportionately homeless. You hear stories about women waiting for months for gynecological care through the VA. It is very important that, as we — as a country, understand that we are not going to solve every problem with this outrageous increased militarism, that we also make sure that we stand up for the people that stood for us.

    We end our national anthem with "home of the brave." It's about time we make this a better home for our bravest.


    Climate Change:

    Congressman O'Rourke, Hurricane Harvey hit this town two years ago. And not only is the Amazon burning, Greenland is melting at a record pace. The last five years have been the hottest ever recorded. And we have a viewer's question about this.

    What meaningful action will you take to reverse the effect of climate change? And can we count on you to follow through if your donors are against it?

    O'ROURKE: Yes, we will follow through, regardless of the political consequences or who it offends, because this is the very future of our planet and our ability for our children and grandchildren to be able to survive on it.

    We will make sure that we get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than the year 2050. That we are halfway there by 2030. That we mobilize $5 trillion over the next 10 years to do that. That we invest here in Houston, Texas, with pre-disaster mitigation grants to protect those communities that are vulnerable to flooding given the fact that this town has seen three 500-year floods in just five years, you'd like to think you're good for 1,500 years, but you're not. They're coming faster and larger and more devastating than ever.

    We're also going to make sure that we free ourselves from a dependence on fossil fuels and embrace renewable wind and solar energy technology, as well as the high-paying, high-skill, high-wage jobs that come along with that. And that we're going to pay farmers for the environmental services they want to provide. Planting cover crops, keeping more land under conservation, using no-till farming, regenerative agriculture can pull carbon out of the air and can drive it and sequester it into the soil.

    That's the way that we're going to meet this challenge and we're going to bring everyone into the solution.

    RAMOS: Many of you want to comment. Let's see if we can go very fast. Senator Klobuchar?

    KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

    This is the existential crisis of our time. It's — you know that movie "The Day after Tomorrow"? It's today. We have seen a warming in our world like never before. We're seeing flooding in the Midwest, flooding in Houston, fires in the West. And I think having someone leading the ticket from the Midwest will allow us to talk about this in a different way and get it done.

    On day one, I will get us back into the international climate change agreement. On day two, I will bring back the clean power rules that President Obama had worked on. On day three, I will bring back the gas mileage standards. You can do all that without Congress, which is good.

    On day four, five, and six I will, working with Congress and mayors and business people all over the country, introduce sweeping legislation to get at that 2050 goal. And on day seven, you're supposed to rest, but I won't. This is what we need to do if we're going to get at climate change. We have to take this on as a crisis that's happening right now.

    RAMOS: Senator Warren, should American foreign policy be based around the principle of climate change?

    WARREN: Yes. We need to work on every front on climate change. It is the threat to every living thing on this planet and we are running out of time. Every time the scientists go back, they say, we have less and less time than we thought we had.

    But that means we've got to use all the tools. One of the tools we need to use are our regulatory tools. I have proposed following Governor Inslee, that we, by 2028, cut all carbon emissions from new buildings. By 2030, carbon emissions from cars. And by 2035, all carbon emissions from the manufacture of electricity. That alone, those three, will cut our emissions here in the United States by 70 percent.

    We can do this. We also need to help around the world to clean, but understand this one more time. Why doesn't it happen? As long as Washington is paying more attention to money than it is to our future, we can't make the changes we need to make. We have to attack the corruption head-on so that we can save our planet.


    RAMOS: Sen. Harris, 45 seconds.

    HARRIS: When I think about this issue, it really is through the lens of my baby nieces who are one-and-a-half and 3 years old. When I look at what is going to be the world if we do nothing, when they turn 20, I am really scared. And when I’ve been in the United States Senate for now the last two-and-a-half years and I look at our counterparts, the Republicans in the United States Senate, they must be looking at their children and then when they look at the mirror, I don’t know what they see, but it’s a lack of courage.

    And this is an issue that, yes, it represents a existential threat. It is also something that we can do something about. This is a problem that was created by human behaviors. And we can change our behaviors in a way that saves our planet. I've seen it happen in California.

    I took on — as the attorney general of California, I ran the second-largest department of justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice. I took on the big oil companies and we saw progress. If any of you have been to Los Angeles, 20 years ago, you'll remember, that sky was brown. You go there now, the sky is blue and you know why? Because leaders decided to lead and we took on these big fossil fuel companies.

    We have some of the most important and strongest laws in the country and we made a difference. And my point being, I've done it before and I will lead as president on this issue because we have no time, the clock is ticking, but we need courage, and we need courageous leadership. We can get this done.

    RAMOS: Mr. Yang?

    YANG: So, to follow up on what Elizabeth said, why are we losing to the fossil fuel companies?

    WARREN: Yes.

    YANG: Why are we losing to the gun lobby and the NRA? And is answer is this, we all know, everyone on this stage knows that our government has been overrun by money and corporate interests. Now, everyone here has a plan to try to curb those corporate interests, but we have to face facts. Money finds a way.

    Money will find its way back in. So, what is the answer? The answer is to wash the money out with people-powered money.


    My proposal is that we give every American 100 "Democracy Dollars" that you can only give to candidates and causes that you like. This would wash out the lobbyist cash by a factor of eight to one. That is the only way we will win. And as someone running for president, I'll tell you, there's the people on one side and the money on the other, the only way for us to win is if we bring them together.


    RAMOS: Thank you, Mr. Yang.


    DAVIS: I'd like to have an academic discussion now about education.

    Mr. Yang, we'll stay with you. Here in Houston, the school district is facing yet another year of spending cuts. Like schools across the country, the system faces many challenges. One of them, thousands of students are leaving traditional public schools and going to charter schools.

    You're the most vocal proponent on this stage for charter schools. You have said that Democrats who want to limit them are, quote, "just jumping into bed with teachers unions and doing kids a disservice." Why isn't taxpayer money better spent on fixing traditional public schools?

    YANG: Let me be clear, I am pro-good school. I've got a kid, one of my little boys just started public school last week and I was not there because I was running for president.


    So, we need to pay teachers more, because the data clearly shows that a good teacher is worth his or her weight in gold.


    We need to lighten up the emphasis on standardized tests, which do not measure anything fundamental about our character or human worth.


    But here's the big one. The data clearly shows that 65 to 70 percent of our students outcomes are determined outside of the school. We're talking about time spent at home with the parents, words read to them when they're young, stress levels in the house, income, type of neighborhood.

    We're putting money into schools, and educators know this, we're saying you're 100 percent responsible for educating your kids but you can only control 30 percent. They all know this. The answer is to put money directly into the families and neighborhoods to give our kids a chance to learn and our teachers a chance to teach.


    DAVIS: Mayor Buttigieg, 45 seconds to respond.

    BUTTIGIEG: Step one is appoint a secretary of education who actually believes in public education.


    I believe in public education. And in order to strengthen it, some things are very complex, for preparing for a future where knowledge is at your fingertips, but we have got to teach more to do with critical thinking and social and emotional learning. Some of it is extremely simple, we have just got to pay teachers more. And we have got to lift up the teaching profession.

    I always think of a story from South Bend of friends who hosted exchange students from Japan. They had a student one year who wanted to be a teacher. And they kept in touch with her when she went back to Japan and to college. She took the exam to try to become a teacher in a society that really regards teachers and compensates teachers well. And she came up just short.

    So, you know what she did? Since she was academically good but couldn't quite make the cut to be a teacher, she had a fall-back plan, she became a doctor. That is how seriously some countries treat the teaching profession. If we want to get the results that we expect for our children, we have to support and compensate the teaching profession. Respect teachers the way we do soldiers and pay them more like the way we do doctors.


    DAVIS: Sen. Warren, to use Mr. Yang’s term, are you just jumping into bed with teachers unions?

    WARREN: You know, I think I'm the only person on this stage who has been a public school teacher.


    I had wanted to be a public school teacher since I was in second grade. And let's be clear in all the ways we talk about this, money for public schools should stay in public schools, not go anywhere else.


    I've already made my commitment. I will — we will have a secretary of education who has been a public school teacher.


    I think this is ultimately about our values. I have proposed a two-cent wealth tax on the top one-tenth of one percent in this country. That would give us enough money to start with our babies by providing universal child care for every baby age zero to five, universal pre-K for every three-year-old and four-year-old in this country...

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    WARREN: ... raise the wages of every child-care worker and preschool teacher in this country, cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the folks who’ve got it...


    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    WARREN: ... and strengthen our unions. This is how we build an America that reflects our values, not just where the money comes from with the billionaires and corporate executives.

    DAVIS: Sen. Harris, 45 seconds to respond.

    HARRIS: My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Frances Wilson, God rest her soul, attended my law school graduation. I think most of us would say that we are not where we are without the teachers who believed in us.

    I have offered in this campaign a proposal to deal with this, which will be the first in the nation, federal investment, in closing the teacher pay gap, which is $13,500 a year. Because right now, in our public schools, our teachers, 94 percent of them are coming out of their own pocket to help pay for school supplies. And that is wrong.

    I also want to talk about where we are here at TSU, and what it means in terms of HBCUs. I have, as part of my proposal that we will put $2 trillion into investing in our HBCUs for teachers, because...


    Because — because, one, as a proud graduate of a historically black college and university, I will say — I will say that it is our HBCUs that disproportionately produce teachers and those who serve in these may professions, but also...

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    HARRIS: But this is a critical point, if a black child has a black teacher before the end of third grade, they're 13 percent more likely to go to college.


    If that child has had two black teachers before the end of third grade, they're 32 percent more likely to go to college. So, when we talk about investing in our public education system, it is at the source of so much. When we fix it, that will fix so many other things. We must invest in the potential of our children...

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    Sen. Sanders, 45 seconds.

    HARRIS: ... and I strongly believe you can judge a society based on how it treats its children. And we are failing on this issue.

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.


    SANDERS: Guess what?


    You're guessing, all right, here's the answer. We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. And yet, we have the highest child poverty rate of almost any country on earth. We have teachers in this country who are leaving education because they can't work two or three jobs to support themselves.

    Which is why, under my legislation, we'll move to see that every teacher in America makings at least $60,000 a year.


    What we will also do is not only have universal pre-K, we will make public colleges and universities and HBCUs debt-free. And what we will always also do, because this is an incredible burden on millions and millions of young people who did nothing wrong except try to get the education they need, we are going to cancel all student debt in this country.


    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator.

    SANDERS: And we are going to do that by imposing a tax on Wall Street speculation.


    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    Mr. Vice president, I want to come to you and talk to you about inequality in schools and race. In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, "I don't feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather, I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I'll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago."

    You said that some 40 years ago. But as you stand here tonight, what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?

    BIDEN: Well, they have to deal with the — look, there's institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Red-lining banks, making sure that we are in a position where — look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount of money we spend from 15 to $45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise, the equal raise to getting out — the $60,000 level.

    Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need — we have one school psychologist for every 1,500 kids in America today. It’s crazy.

    The teachers are — I'm married to a teacher. My deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have — make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School. Not daycare. School. We bring social workers in to homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children.

    It's not want they don't want to help. They don't — they don't know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the — the — make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.

    DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

    BIDEN: There’s so much we — no, I’m going to go like the rest of them do, twice over, okay?


    Because here's the deal. The deal is that we've got this a little backwards. And by the way, in Venezuela, we should be allowing people to come here from Venezuela. I know Maduro. I've confronted Maduro.

    Number two, you talk about the need to do something in Latin America. I'm the guy that came up with $740 million to see to it those three countries, in fact, changed their system so people don't have to chance to leave. You're all acting like we just discovered this yesterday. Thank you very much.

    DAVIS: Thank you very much.

    Secretary Castro?

    CASTRO: Thank you very much. Well, that's — that's quite a lot.



    CASTRO: But, you know — I grew up in one of those neighborhoods that folks have talked about and a neighborhood that was grappling with the legacy of segregation. In fact, in two public school districts that were involved in a 1973 Supreme Court case challenging how Texas financed its schools.

    And I know that today our schools are segregated because our neighborhoods are segregated. Now, I have an education plan, like a lot of folks up here, that would pay teachers more, that would recruit diverse ranks of teachers, that would invest in our public schools, but I also believe that we have to connect the dots to uplift the quality of life to invest in housing opportunity, to invest in job opportunity, to invest in community schools that offer resources like parents able to go back and get their GED, and health care opportunities, and those things that truly ensure that the entire family can prosper.

    Those are the types of things that we need to do, in addition to lifting up our public schools. You asked a second ago about charter schools. Look, it is a myth that charter schools are better than public schools. They're not.


    DAVIS: Thank you, Secretary.

    CASTRO: And so while I'm not categorically against charter schools, I would require more transparency and accountability from them than is required right now.

    DAVIS: Senator Booker, coming to you now. It was 65 years ago this year that the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools. Yet for millions of students of color today, segregation remains a reality.

    Nonwhite districts typically receive $2,200 less per student than those in white districts. This means older books, less access to computers, and often worse outcomes. What is your plan to address segregation? And I'm not just talking about the achievement gap, but I'm talking about the opportunity gap in education.

    BOOKER: So, I’m hearing a lot of conversations on the stage that — and the way we talk about communities of color. Look, I live in a black and brown community below the poverty line. I’ve lived in public housing projects almost for a decade and saw the anguish of parents who are just so deeply frustrated that they don’t have a school that serves their genius.

    I think I'm the only person on the stage — even though I had no formal authority as mayor to run a school system — I stepped up and took responsibility for our schools, and we produced results. A lot of folks here are talking about raising teacher salary. We actually did it in Newark, New Jersey.

    And we didn't stop there. Yeah, we closed poor-performing charter schools, but, dagnabbit, we expanded high-performing charter schools. We were a city that said we need to find local solutions that work for our community. The results speak for themselves. We're now the number-one city in America for Beat the Odds schools, from high poverty to high performance.

    Strategies like investing in our children work. And I'll tell you this. I am tired of us thinking about these problems isolated, disconnected from other issues.

    That's why my friend, Secretary Castro, is 100 percent right. We are in the reality we are right now because, Mr. Vice President, of overtly racist policies, not 400 years ago, just in my lifetime, that were red-lining communities, disinvesting in communities, and more than just that, my kids are not only struggling with racial segregation and housing and the challenges of underfunded schools, but they're also struggling with environmental injustice.

    If you've talked to someone who's a parent of a child has had permanent brain damage because of lead, you'll know this is a national problem, because there's over 3,000 jurisdictions in America where children have more than twice the blood lead levels of Flint, Michigan.

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    BOOKER: And so if I’m president of the United States, it is a holistic solution to education, from raising teacher salary, fully funded special education, but combating the issues of poverty, combating the issues of racial segregation, combating the issues of a criminal justice system...

    DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

    BOOKER: ... that takes parents away from their kids, and dealing with environmental justice as a major pillar of any climate policy.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Linsey. One final question coming up. We'll be right back.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are now back now for a final round of questions. One question for each candidate. We're going to go in reverse order from the opening statement.

    And, candidates, the question is on the quality of resilience. No president can succeed without resilience. Every president confronts crises, defeats, and mistakes. So I want to ask each of you, what's the most significant professional setback you've had to face? How did you recover from it? And what did you learn from it?

    Vice President Biden?

    BIDEN: I — I never counted any professional setback like I have as a serious setback. There's things that are important. Things that are unimportant.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to clear the protesters now. Just one minute.

    Senator Biden, we'll start the clock again.


    BIDEN: I'm sorry.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: We're sorry. Go ahead.

    BIDEN: There's setbacks, and there's setbacks. And I think the most critical setback that can occur to anyone is to lose — well, my dad had an expression. He said, Joey, it's not a question of succeeding, whether you get knocked down, it's how quickly you get up. And he said, you never explain and never complain. And then he would go on to say that the only obligation that really matters, the most important thing, is family.

    And so I was raised to believe that that was the center of everything, family, and could be judged on based how you treatment your family and how you went from there. And I — it took — you know, Kierkegaard said faith sees best in the dark. Right after I got elected, my wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident, and my two sons were badly injured. And I just had been elected, not sworn in. And I lost my faith for a while. I came back.

    And then later, when my son Beau came home from Iraq and — with a terminal disease, and a year later, year-and-a-half later, losing him was like losing part of my soul.

    But the fact is that I learned that the way you deal with it is you deal with finding purpose, purpose in what you do. And that's why I hope — I hope he's proud of me today, because he wanted to make sure I didn't run for president, but I stayed engaged, because when you get hit badly, whether you're losing a job or you're raising a family like my dad, where you have to make that longest walk up the stairs to tell your kid you can't live here anymore, Dad lost his job, you know, we've all been through that, in some form or another.

    And it just takes — it just — for me, the way I've dealt with it is finding purpose. And my purpose is to do what I've always tried to do and stay engaged in public policy. And — but there's a lot of people been through a lot worse than I have who get up every single morning, put their feet one foot in front of another, without the help I had. There are real heroes out there. Some real heroes.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Senator Warren?


    WARREN: I mentioned earlier, I've known what I wanted to be since second grade. I wanted to be a public school teacher. And I invested early. I used to line my dollies up and teach school. I had a reputation for being tough but fair.


    By the time I graduated from high school, my family didn't have money for a college application, much less to send me off to four years at a university. And my story, like a lot of stories, has a lot of twists and turns. Got a scholarship, and then at 19, I got married, dropped out of school, took a minimum wage job, thought my dream was over.

    I got a chance down the road at the University of Houston. And I made it as a special needs teacher. I still remember that first year as a special needs teacher. I could tell you what those babies looked like. I had 4- to 6-year-olds.

    But at the end of that first year, I was visibly pregnant. And back in the day, that meant that the principal said to me — wished me luck and hired someone else for the job.

    So, there I am, I'm at home, I got a baby, I can't have a job. What am I going to do? Here's resilience. I said, I'll go to law school. And the consequence was — I practiced law for about 45 minutes and then went back to my first love, which was teaching.

    But it let me get into fights. It gave me new tools. And the reason I'm standing here today is because I got back up, I fought back. I know what's broken. I want to be in the fight to fix it in America. That's why I'm here.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Senator.


    Senator Sanders?

    SANDERS: Resilience, to me, means growing up in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York, the son of an immigrant who came to this country without a nickel in his pocket.

    Professional resilience means to me, George, running for U.S. Senate in Vermont and getting 1 percent of the vote, running for governor and getting 2 percent of the vote, finally becoming mayor of Burlington, Vermont, with a 10-vote margin.

    What resilience means to me is that throughout my political career, I have taken on virtually every powerful special interest in this country, whether it is Wall Street, whether it is the insurance industry, whether it is the pharmaceutical industry whose corruption and greed is killing people today, whether it is a military industrial complex or a prison industrial complex.

    And I feel confident that given a lifelong record of taking on powerful special interests, of standing up for the working families of this country, that I will be able to take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elite and create a government and an economy that work for all of us, not just the 1 percent.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

    Senator Harris?

    HARRIS: You know, every office I've run for, whether it be district attorney or attorney general, I was told each time, it can't be done. They said nobody like you has done it before, nobody's ready for you. When I ran for D.A., I won and became the first black woman elected D.A. in a state of 40 million people, in San Francisco.

    When I ran for attorney general of California, I was elected — because I didn't listen. And I was the only black elected — woman black elected attorney general in the state — in the country.

    And each time, people would say, it's not your time, it's not your turn, it's going to be too difficult, they're not ready for you, and I didn't listen. And a part of it probably comes from the fact that I was raised by a mother who said many things that were life lessons for me, including don't you let anybody ever tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.


    And when I look around the town halls that we do in this race for president of the United States, and I look at the — the meetings that we do and the community meetings, and I see these little girls and boys, sometimes even brought by their fathers, and they bring them to me and I talk to them during these events, and they smile and they're full of joy, and their fathers tell them, see, don't you ever listen and let anybody ever tell you what you can or cannot be. You have to believe in what can be unburdened by what has been.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Harris, thank you very much.

    Mayor Buttigieg?

    BUTTIGIEG: You know, as a military officer serving under "don't ask/don't tell," and as an elected official in the state of Indiana when Mike Pence was governor, at a certain point, when it came to professional setbacks, I had to wonder whether just acknowledging who I was, was going to be the ultimate career-ending professional setback.

    I came back from the deployment and realized that you only get to live one life.

    And I was not interested in not knowing what it was like to be in love any longer, so I just came out. I had no idea what kind of professional setback it would be, especially because inconveniently it was an election year in my socially conservative community.

    What happened was that, when I trusted voters to judge me based on the job that I did for them, they decided to trust me and re-elected me with 80 percent of the vote. And what I learned was that trust can be reciprocated and that part of how you can win and deserve to win is to know what's worth more to you than winning.

    And I think that's what we need in the presidency right now. We have to know what we are about. And this election is not about any of us up here. It is not about this president, even though it's hard to talk of anything else some days.

    It's about the people who trust us with their lives, a kid wondering if we're actually going to make their schools safe when they've learned active shooter drills before they've learned to read, a generation wondering we will actually get the job done on climate change. And if we hold to that, then it doesn't matter what happens to each of us professionally. Together, we will win a better era for our country.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Buttigieg, thank you.


    Mr. Yang?

    YANG: I was an unhappy lawyer for five whole months and I left to start a business. And I'm going to share with you all one of the secrets to entrepreneurship. If you want to start something, tell everyone you know you're going to do it. And then you don't have a choice. You put your heart and soul into that. And even though I did that, my company flopped, had its mini-rise and maximum fall.

    I lost investors, hundreds of thousands of dollars, still owed $100,000 in school debt. My parents still told people I was a lawyer. It was a little easier.

    So I remember lying on my floor looking up wondering, how did it come to this? Eventually, I picked myself back up. I kept working in small growth companies for another 10 years and eventually had some success.

    Then after I did have some success, I still remembered how hard it was, how isolating it was, how it feels like your friends no longer want to spend time with you. And so I spent seven years starting and running a nonprofit that helped train young entrepreneurs around the country, including Sean Nguyen, who’s here in the audience tonight, who left his gilded Wall Street job to become a food entrepreneur in San Antonio. Sean, I hope I made the process a little bit easier for you than it was for me.

    But the goal of my campaign is to make this an economy that allows us to live our human values and aspirations.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Yang.


    Senator Booker?

    BOOKER: So my biggest professional setback is embarrassing because a lot of folks know about it. I, with a bunch of tenant leaders in Newark, New Jersey, in 2002 took on the political machine and, boy, did they fight back. I had tires on my car slashed. Our campaign offices were broken into. My phones were tapped. It became a spectacle. And we lost that election.

    And here's a bit of advice to everybody. If you're going to have a spectacular failure, have a documentary team there to capture it, because it made for an Oscar-nominated documentary called "Street Fight." But then, unfortunately, another setback. It lost in the Oscars to a movie called "March of the Dagnab Penguins," for crying out loud.


    The people in my community, living in the projects, told me, don't give up on the people and the people won't give up on you. Create bigger and bolder coalitions, and you're going to win. And you know what? We came back four years later and won the largest lopsided victory in our city's history.

    But more than that, the lesson was there. We didn't give up. We were taking on America's toughest problems, from crime to poverty, and we transformed our city, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the biggest economic expansion in our city, and as I said before, turned around our school system.

    There's more work to do, but I haven't given up on the people. I still live in that community. But this is a big lesson. My staff and my friends and my community told me, if you want to go fast, you may have won the mayor's race, but that's not what life is about. There's an old African saying that says, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.

    The lesson I learned of resilience is to trust people, because the power of the people is always greater than the people in power. And the test of America right now is not a referendum on Donald Trump, it's a referendum on us and who we are and who we're going to be together. We need to use this moment in history to unite in common cause and common purpose, and then there's nothing we can't do together as a nation.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Booker, thank you.

    Congressman O'Rourke?

    O'ROURKE: Thank you, George. Everything that I've learned about resilience I've learned from my hometown of El Paso, Texas. In the face of this act of terror that was directed at our community, in large part by the president of the United States, that killed 22 people and injured many more, we were not defeated by that, nor were we defined by that.

    The very thing that drew that killer to us is the very thing that helps us set the example for the rest of this country. We don't see our differences as disqualifying or dangerous. We see them as foundational to our success, to our strength, and to our security, and to our safety.

    Yesterday, I was visiting with one of those victims. He's the head coach of the Fusion. This is a girls soccer team of 10- and 11-year-old girls. His name is Luis. He was shot in the legs multiple times. He was shot in the side multiple times. He's still healing from his wounds in the hospital, but from his hospital bed, he's still trying to coach the Fusion girls soccer team.

    Memo, his co-coach, is still fighting for his life right now at Del Sol Hospital. Those two men, Jessica and Marcella, their wives, they exemplify resilience to me. And when we end this scourge of gun violence in this country, when we finally confront the racism that exists in America, when we’re defined not by our fears, but instead by our aspirations and our ambitions, it will be, in large part, I think, thanks to the example that El Paso has set.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman, thank you.

    Senator Klobuchar?


    KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. My challenges and resilience have brought me up here. I grew up with a dad who struggled with alcoholism his whole life. And after his third DWI, he had a choice between jail and treatment. He chose treatment, with his faith, with his friends, with our family. And in his words, he was pursued by grace. And that made me interested in public service, because I feel like everyone should have that same right, to be pursued by grace.

    I then got married. My husband's out there somewhere, hopefully smiling, and our daughter. When our daughter was born, I had this expectation, we're going to have this perfect, perfect birth, and she was really sick, and she couldn't swallow. And she was in and out of hospitals for a year-and-a-half.

    But when she was born, they had a rule in place that you got kicked out of the hospital in 24 hours. She was in intensive care, and I was kicked out. And I thought, this could never happen to any other mom again.

    So I went to the legislature, our state legislator, not an elected official, a mom, and I advocated for one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48-hour hospital stay. And when they tried to delay the implementation of that law, I brought six pregnant friends to the conference committee so they outnumbered the lobbyists 2 to 1. And when they said, when should it take place, they all raised their hands and said now.

    That is what motivated me to go into public service. And when I got to that gridlock of Washington, D.C., I got to work and pass over 100 bills, and I know a lot of my friends here from the left, but remember, I am from the middle of the country. And I believe, if we're going to get things done, that we have to have someone leading the ticket with grit, someone who's going to not just change the policies, but change the tone in the country, and someone who believes in America and believes it from their heart because of where they came from, that everyone should have that same opportunity.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, thank you.

    Secretary Castro?

    CASTRO: And thank you, George, to Jorge, to Linsey, and to David, and to all of y’all for tuning in tonight. In many ways, I shouldn’t be here on this stage. You know, Castro is my mother’s name and was my grandmother’s name before her. I grew up in a single-parent household on the west side of San Antonio, going to the public schools. Eventually, my brother, Joaquin, and I became the first in our family to become professionals.

    And when I got home, I took a job at the biggest law firm in town. I was making $100,000 a year in the year 2000. A few months later, I got elected to the San Antonio City Council. And the city council at the time was only paying $1,040 a year, so everybody had another job. And my job was at the law firm.

    Well, a few months after I got elected, the law firm got a client and the client wanted those of us on the city council to vote for a land deal. The land deal was that they wanted to build a golf course over our water supply, because we relied on an underground aquifer. I didn't think the environmental protection plan was strong enough, so I wanted to vote against it and my constituents wanted me to vote against it.

    But under the ethics rules for lawyers in Texas — because believe it or not, lawyers have ethics rules — you can't just go against the interest of a client. So I was stuck.

    On the one hand, I wanted to do the right thing. On the other hand, my livelihood, my student loans, my new house payment, my car payment, depended on me shutting up, being conflicted out.

    So, one day, I walked into my law firm and I quit my job. And then I went and I voted against that land deal on the city council.


    And, you know, it was the first test that I had, and I think back to that, because oftentimes we think of politics and you think of politics as dirty or corrupting. I wondered, before I went in it, whether it was change who I was. And I was proud that when that first test came that I stood up for the people that I was there to represent, and not for big special interests.

    There's nobody that gets tested more in a position of public trust than the president of the United States. This president has failed that test. But I want you to know that if you elect me president, I won't. I won't serve anybody except you and your family. And together, we can create an American that's better than ever. Thank you very much.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Secretary Castro. Thank you to all of our candidates. It was a great debate. I think we learned a lot tonight thanks to you. Thanks to Texas Southern University for hosting us tonight. It was a great crowd, as well, tonight, thanks to you.


    Thanks to everyone at home. The debate is over. Our coverage continues with Tom Llamas.

    There Can Be Only One Head ZOGtard Left

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    The October Democratic debate transcript, Part 1

    By The Fix team
    Oct. 15, 2019 at 8:18 p.m. PDT


    A field of 12 candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are meeting onstage in Westerville, Ohio, for a fourth primary debate, this one hosted by CNN and the New York Times. Below is a transcript of the debate; we’ll update it throughout the night as the text becomes available.

    Live debate updates

    Speakers: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii); Tom Steyer; Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Andrew Yang; Beto O’Rourke; Former HUD secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); Anderson Cooper, CNN host; Erin Burnett, CNN host; Marc Lacey, New York Times national editor


    COOPER: And live from Otterbein University, just north of Columbus, Ohio, this is the CNN-New York Times Democratic presidential debate.

    We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and watching around the world, watching us on CNN, CNN International, CNN En Espanol, Cnn.com, thenewyorktimes.com, CNN’s Facebook page, and listening on the Westwood One radio network, SiriusXM satellite radio, NPR, and the American Forces Network.

    I'm Anderson Cooper moderating tonight's debate, along with CNN's Erin Burnett and New York Times national editor Mark Lacey. We are in Ohio tonight, because it's one of the most critical battleground states. Ohio has backed all but two presidential winners in every election since 1896.

    BURNETT: The top 12 Democratic presidential candidates are at their positions behind the podiums. This is a record number of candidates for a presidential primary debate, so to accommodate the large group, there are no opening statements tonight.

    LACEY: Before we begin, a reminder of the ground rules. You'll each receive 75 seconds to answer questions, 45 seconds for responses and rebuttals, and 15 seconds for clarifications. Please refrain from interrupting your fellow candidates, as that will count against your time.

    COOPER: And we remind our audience here in the Rike Center at Otterbein to be respectful so the candidates can hear the questions and each other. All right, let's begin.

    Impeach Trump

    Since the last debate, House Democrats have officially launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, which all the candidates on this stage support. Senator Warren, I want to start with you. You have said that there's already enough evidence for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office. But the question is, with the election only one year away, why shouldn't it be the voters who determine the president's fate?

    WARREN: Because sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics. And I think that's the case with this impeachment inquiry.

    When I made the decision to run for president, I certainly didn't think it was going to be about impeachment. But when the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 442 pages. And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown, too, a fare-thee-well, that this president had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly. And so at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry.

    Now, that didn't happen. And look what happened as a result. Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, broke it again this fall. You know, we took a constitutional oath, and that is that no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States.

    Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences. This is about Donald Trump, but, understand, it's about the next president and the next president and the next president and the future of this country. The impeachment must go forward.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator Warren. You’re all going to get in on this, by the way. Senator Sanders, do Democrats have any chance but to impeach President Trump? Please respond.

    SANDERS: No, they don't. In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of this country. It's not just that he obstructed justice with the Mueller Report. I think that the House will find him guilty of — worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause. This is a president who is enriching himself while using the Oval Office to do that, and that is outrageous.

    And I think in terms of the recent Ukrainian incident, the idea that we have a president of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies in order to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension. So I look forward, by the way, not only to a speedy and expeditious impeachment process, but Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.

    COOPER: Vice President Biden, during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, you said, and I quote, “The American people don't think that they've made a mistake by electing Bill Clinton, and we in Congress had better be very careful before we upset their decision.” With the country now split, have Democrats been careful enough in pursuing the impeachment of President Trump?

    BIDEN: Yes, they have. I said from the beginning that if, in fact, Trump continued to stonewall what the Congress is entitled to know about his background, what he did, all the accusations in the Mueller Report, if they did that, they would have no choice — no choice — but to begin an impeachment proceeding, which gives them more power to seek more information.

    This president — and I agree with Bernie, Senator Sanders — is the most corrupt president in modern history and I think all of our history. And the fact is that this president of the United States has gone so far as to say, since this latest event, that, in fact, he will not cooperate in any way at all, will not list any witnesses, will not provide any information, will not do anything to cooperate with the impeachment. They have no choice but to move.

    COOPER: Senator Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that members of Congress have to be, in her words, fair to the president and give him a chance to exonerate himself. You've already said that based on everything you've seen, you would vote to remove him from office. Is that being fair to the president?

    HARRIS: Well, it's just being observant, because he has committed crimes in plain sight. I mean, it's shocking, but he told us who he was. Maya Angelou told us years ago, listen to somebody when they tell you who they are the first time.

    During that election, Donald Trump told us he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. And he has consistently since he won been selling out the American people. He's been selling out working people. He's been selling out our values. He's been selling out national security. And on this issue with Ukraine, he has been selling out our democracy.

    Our framers imagined this moment, a moment where we would have a corrupt president. And our framers then rightly designed our system of democracy to say there will be checks and balances. This is one of those moments. And so Congress must act.

    But the reality of it is that I don't really think this impeachment process is going to take very long, because as a former prosecutor, I know a confession when I see it. And he did it in plain sight. He has given us the evidence. And he tried to cover it up, putting it in that special server. And there's been a clear consciousness of guilt. This will not take very long. Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. He is, indeed, the most corrupt and unpatriotic president we have ever had.

    COOPER: Senator Booker, you have said that President Trump's, quote, “moral vandalism” disqualifies him from being president. Can you be fair in an impeachment trial? Please respond.

    BOOKER: So, first of all, we must be fair. We are talking about ongoing proceedings to remove a sitting president for office. This has got to be about patriotism and not partisanship.

    Look, I share the same sense of urgency of everybody on this stage. I understand the outrage that we all feel. But we have to conduct this process in a way that is honorable, that brings our country together, doesn't rip us apart.

    Anybody who has criticisms about a process that is making all the facts bare before the American public, that works to build consensus, that's what this nation needs, in what is a moral moment and not a political one. So I swore an oath to do my job as a senator, do my duty. This president has violated his. I will do mine.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator Booker.

    Senator Klobuchar, you have — what do you say to those who fear that impeachment is a distraction from issues that impact people's day-to-day lives, health care, the economy, and could backfire on Democrats?

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    Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden raise their hands during the Democratic Presidential Debate on Oct. 15. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)
    Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden raise their hands during the Democratic Presidential Debate on Oct. 15. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)
    By The Fix team
    Oct. 15, 2019 at 8:18 p.m. PDT
    A field of 12 candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are meeting onstage in Westerville, Ohio, for a fourth primary debate, this one hosted by CNN and the New York Times. Below is a transcript of the debate; we’ll update it throughout the night as the text becomes available.

    Live debate updates

    Speakers: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii); Tom Steyer; Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Andrew Yang; Beto O’Rourke; Former HUD secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); Anderson Cooper, CNN host; Erin Burnett, CNN host; Marc Lacey, New York Times national editor

    COOPER: And live from Otterbein University, just north of Columbus, Ohio, this is the CNN-New York Times Democratic presidential debate.

    We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and watching around the world, watching us on CNN, CNN International, CNN En Espanol, Cnn.com, thenewyorktimes.com, CNN’s Facebook page, and listening on the Westwood One radio network, SiriusXM satellite radio, NPR, and the American Forces Network.

    I'm Anderson Cooper moderating tonight's debate, along with CNN's Erin Burnett and New York Times national editor Mark Lacey. We are in Ohio tonight, because it's one of the most critical battleground states. Ohio has backed all but two presidential winners in every election since 1896.

    BURNETT: The top 12 Democratic presidential candidates are at their positions behind the podiums. This is a record number of candidates for a presidential primary debate, so to accommodate the large group, there are no opening statements tonight.

    LACEY: Before we begin, a reminder of the ground rules. You'll each receive 75 seconds to answer questions, 45 seconds for responses and rebuttals, and 15 seconds for clarifications. Please refrain from interrupting your fellow candidates, as that will count against your time.

    COOPER: And we remind our audience here in the Rike Center at Otterbein to be respectful so the candidates can hear the questions and each other. All right, let's begin.

    Since the last debate, House Democrats have officially launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, which all the candidates on this stage support. Senator Warren, I want to start with you. You have said that there's already enough evidence for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office. But the question is, with the election only one year away, why shouldn't it be the voters who determine the president's fate?

    WARREN: Because sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics. And I think that's the case with this impeachment inquiry.

    When I made the decision to run for president, I certainly didn't think it was going to be about impeachment. But when the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 442 pages. And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown, too, a fare-thee-well, that this president had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly. And so at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry.

    Now, that didn't happen. And look what happened as a result. Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, broke it again this fall. You know, we took a constitutional oath, and that is that no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States.

    Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences. This is about Donald Trump, but, understand, it's about the next president and the next president and the next president and the future of this country. The impeachment must go forward.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator Warren. You’re all going to get in on this, by the way. Senator Sanders, do Democrats have any chance but to impeach President Trump? Please respond.

    SANDERS: No, they don't. In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of this country. It's not just that he obstructed justice with the Mueller Report. I think that the House will find him guilty of — worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause. This is a president who is enriching himself while using the Oval Office to do that, and that is outrageous.

    And I think in terms of the recent Ukrainian incident, the idea that we have a president of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies in order to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension. So I look forward, by the way, not only to a speedy and expeditious impeachment process, but Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.

    COOPER: Vice President Biden, during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, you said, and I quote, “The American people don't think that they've made a mistake by electing Bill Clinton, and we in Congress had better be very careful before we upset their decision.” With the country now split, have Democrats been careful enough in pursuing the impeachment of President Trump?

    BIDEN: Yes, they have. I said from the beginning that if, in fact, Trump continued to stonewall what the Congress is entitled to know about his background, what he did, all the accusations in the Mueller Report, if they did that, they would have no choice — no choice — but to begin an impeachment proceeding, which gives them more power to seek more information.

    This president — and I agree with Bernie, Senator Sanders — is the most corrupt president in modern history and I think all of our history. And the fact is that this president of the United States has gone so far as to say, since this latest event, that, in fact, he will not cooperate in any way at all, will not list any witnesses, will not provide any information, will not do anything to cooperate with the impeachment. They have no choice but to move.

    COOPER: Senator Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that members of Congress have to be, in her words, fair to the president and give him a chance to exonerate himself. You've already said that based on everything you've seen, you would vote to remove him from office. Is that being fair to the president?

    HARRIS: Well, it's just being observant, because he has committed crimes in plain sight. I mean, it's shocking, but he told us who he was. Maya Angelou told us years ago, listen to somebody when they tell you who they are the first time.

    During that election, Donald Trump told us he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. And he has consistently since he won been selling out the American people. He's been selling out working people. He's been selling out our values. He's been selling out national security. And on this issue with Ukraine, he has been selling out our democracy.

    Our framers imagined this moment, a moment where we would have a corrupt president. And our framers then rightly designed our system of democracy to say there will be checks and balances. This is one of those moments. And so Congress must act.

    But the reality of it is that I don't really think this impeachment process is going to take very long, because as a former prosecutor, I know a confession when I see it. And he did it in plain sight. He has given us the evidence. And he tried to cover it up, putting it in that special server. And there's been a clear consciousness of guilt. This will not take very long. Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. He is, indeed, the most corrupt and unpatriotic president we have ever had.

    COOPER: Senator Booker, you have said that President Trump's, quote, “moral vandalism” disqualifies him from being president. Can you be fair in an impeachment trial? Please respond.

    BOOKER: So, first of all, we must be fair. We are talking about ongoing proceedings to remove a sitting president for office. This has got to be about patriotism and not partisanship.

    Look, I share the same sense of urgency of everybody on this stage. I understand the outrage that we all feel. But we have to conduct this process in a way that is honorable, that brings our country together, doesn't rip us apart.

    Anybody who has criticisms about a process that is making all the facts bare before the American public, that works to build consensus, that's what this nation needs, in what is a moral moment and not a political one. So I swore an oath to do my job as a senator, do my duty. This president has violated his. I will do mine.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator Booker.

    Senator Klobuchar, you have — what do you say to those who fear that impeachment is a distraction from issues that impact people's day-to-day lives, health care, the economy, and could backfire on Democrats?

    KLOBUCHAR: We can do two things at once. That's our job. We have a constitutional duty to pursue this impeachment, but we also can stand up for America, because this president has not been putting America in front of his own personal interests.

    He has not been standing up for the workers of Ohio. He’s not been standing up for the farmers in Iowa. And I take this even a step further. You know, when he made that call to the head of Ukraine, he’s digging up dirt on an opponent. That’s illegal conduct. That’s what he was doing. He didn’t talk to him about the Russian invasion. He talked to him about that.

    So I'm still waiting to find out from him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again. I'd like to hear from him about how leaving the Kurds for slaughter, our allies for slaughter, where Russia then steps in to protect them, how that makes America great again. And I would like to hear from him about how coddling up to Vladimir Putin makes America great again.

    It doesn't make America great again. It makes Russia great again. And that is what this president has done. So whether it is workers' issues, whether it is farmers' issues, he has put his own private interests …

    COOPER: Thank you.

    KLOBUCHAR: … and I will not do that.

    COOPER: Thank you. Secretary Castro, is impeachment a distraction?

    CASTRO: Not at all. We can walk and chew gun at the same time. And all of us are out there every single day talking about what we're going to do to make sure that more people cross a graduation stage, that more families have great health care, that more folks are put to work in places like Ohio, where Donald Trump has broken his promises, because Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania actually in the latest jobs data have lost jobs, not gained them.

    Not only that, what we have to recognize is that not only did the Mueller Report point out 10 different instances where the president obstructed justice or tried to, and he made that call to President Zelensky of the Ukraine, but he is in ongoingly — in an ongoing way violating his oath of office and abusing his power.

    We have to impeach this president. And the majority of Americans not only support impeachment, they support removal. He should be removed.

    COOPER: Mayer Buttigieg, you have said that impeachment should be bipartisan. There's been, obviously, very little Republican support to date, yet Democrats are proceeding. Is that a mistake?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, it's a mistake on the part of Republicans, who enable the president whose actions are as offensive to their own supposed values as they are to the values that we all share.

    Look, the president has left the Congress with no choice. And this is not just about holding the president accountable, for not just the things emerging in these investigations, but actions that he has confessed to on television. It's also about the presidency itself, because a president 10 years or 100 years from now will look back at this moment and draw the conclusion either that no one is above the law or that a president can get away with anything.

    But everyone on this stage, by definition, is competing to be a president for after the Trump presidency. Remember, one way or the other, this presidency is going to come to an end. I want you to picture what it's going to be like, what it's actually going to feel like in this country the first day the sun comes up after Donald Trump has been president.

    It starts out feeling like a happy thought; this particular brand of chaos and corruption will be over. But really think about where we'll be: vulnerable, even more torn apart by politics than we are right now. And these big issues from the economy to climate change have not taken a vacation during the impeachment process.

    I'm running to be the president who can turn the page and unify a dangerously polarized country while tackling those issues that are going to be just as urgent then as they are now.

    COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Congresswoman Gabbard, you're the only sitting House member on this stage. How do you respond?

    GABBARD: If impeachment is driven by these hyperpartisan interests, it will only further divide an already terribly divided country. Unfortunately, this is what we're already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election. And as unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016.

    The serious issues that have been raised around this phone call that he had with the president of Ukraine and many other things that transpired around that are what caused me to support the inquiry in the House. And I think that it should continue to play its course out, to gather all the information, provide that to the American people, recognizing that that is the only way forward.

    If the House votes to impeach, the Senate does not vote to remove Donald Trump, he walks out and he feels exonerated, further deepening the divides in this country that we cannot afford.

    COOPER: Thank you, Congresswoman.

    Mr. Steyer, you've been calling for impeachment for two years. Does there need to be bipartisan support?

    STEYER: Well, Anderson, this is my first time on this stage, so I just want to start by reminding everybody that every candidate here is more decent, more coherent, and more patriotic than the criminal in the White House.


    But I also want to point out that Anderson's right. Two years ago, I started the Need to Impeach movement, because I knew there was something desperately wrong at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that we did have the most corrupt president in the country, and that only the voice and the will of the American people would drag Washington to see it as a matter of right and wrong, not of political expediency. So, in fact, impeaching and removing this president is something that the American people are demanding. They're the voice that counts, and that's who I went to, the American people.

    COOPER: Mr. Yang, do you think there's already enough evidence out there to impeach the president? Please respond.

    YANG: I support impeachment, but we shouldn't have any illusions that impeaching Donald Trump will, one, be successful or, two, erase the problems that got him elected in 2016. We're standing in the great state of Ohio, the ultimate purple state, the ultimate bellwether state.

    Why did Donald Trump win your state by eight points? Because we got rid of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in your towns. And we are not stopping there. How many of you have noticed stores closing where you work and live here in Ohio? Raise your hands.

    It's not just you. Amazon alone is closing 30 percent of America's stores and malls, soaking up $20 billion in business while paying zero in taxes. These are the problems that got Donald Trump elected, the fourth industrial revolution. And that is going to accelerate and grow more serious regardless of who is in the Oval Office.

    The fact is, Donald Trump, when we're talking about him, we are losing. We need to present a new vision, and that even includes talking about impeaching Donald Trump.

    COOPER: Congressman O'Rourke, on impeachment, please respond.

    O'ROURKE: You know, I think about everyone who's ever served this country in uniform. We have two examples here on this stage tonight in Mayor Buttigieg and Congresswoman Gabbard, those who have willingly sacrificed their lives to defend this country and our Constitution. We are the inheritors of their service and their sacrifice.

    And we have a responsibility to be fearless in the face of this president's criminality and his lawlessness. The fact that as a candidate for the highest office in the land, he invited the participation, the invasion of a foreign power in our democracy. As president, he lied to investigators, obstructed justice, fired James Comey, head of the FBI, tried to fire Mueller, head of the investigation, then invited President Zelensky to involve himself in our politics, as well as China, in exchange for favorable trade terms in an upcoming trade deal.

    COOPER: Thank you, Congressman.

    O'ROURKE: If we do not hold him to account, if there is not justice, not only have we failed this moment, our Constitution and our country, but we have failed everyone who has sacrificed and laid their lives down on the line.

    COOPER: Thank you.

    O'ROURKE: And we cannot do that.

    COOPER: Thank you, Congressman. The impeachment inquiry is centered on President Trump's attempts to get political dirt from Ukraine on Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter. Mr. Vice President, President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there's no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.

    Having said that, on Sunday, you announced that if you're president, no one in your family or associated with you will be involved in any foreign businesses. My question is, if it's not okay for a president's family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice president? Vice President Biden?

    BIDEN: Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. And that's what we should be focusing on.

    And what I wanted to make a point about — and my son's statement speaks for itself. He spoke about it today. My son's statement speaks for itself. What I think is important is we focus on why it's so important to remove this man from office.

    On the — look, the fact that George Washington worried on the first time he spoke after being elected president that what we had to worry about is foreign interference in our elections, it was the greatest threat to America. This president on three occasions — three occasions — has invited foreign governments and heads of government to get engaged in trying to alter our elections. The fact is that it is outrageous.

    Rudy Giuliani, the president, and his thugs have already proven that they, in fact, are flat lying. What we have to do now is focus on Donald Trump. He doesn't want me to be the candidate. He's going after me because he knows, if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum.

    (UNKNOWN): Anderson — Anderson …

    COOPER: Hold on, sorry, just to follow up. Mr. Vice President, as you said, your son, Hunter, today gave an interview, admitted that he made a mistake and showed poor judgement by serving on that board in Ukraine. Did you make a mistake by letting him? You were the point person on Ukraine at the time. You can answer.

    BIDEN: Look, my son's statement speaks for itself. I did my job. I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have. We've always kept everything separate. Even when my son was the attorney general of the state of Delaware, we never discussed anything, so there would be no potential conflict.

    My son made a judgment. I'm proud of the judgement he made. I'm proud of what he had to say. And let's focus on this. The fact of the matter is that this is about Trump's corruption. That's what we should be focusing on.

    COOPER: Senator Sanders, your response?

    SANDERS: Let me make a point. I think that it is absolutely imperative we go forward with impeachment. I hope that he is impeached. But I think what would be a disaster, if the American people believe that all we were doing is taking on Trump and we're forgetting that 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. We're forgetting about the existential threat of climate change. We are forgetting about the fact that half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck. So what we have got to do is end this corruption, set a precedent for future history that says presidents like this cannot behave this way.

    But we cannot and must not turn our backs on the pain of the working class of this country.

    COOPER: Senator Sanders, thank you. Mark?

    LACEY: We want to move now to the economy.

    (UNKNOWN): May I get in, please?

    LACEY: You've proposed some sweeping plans...


    LACEY: ... free public college...


    (UNKNOWN): It is wrong to move on.

    LACEY: Thank you. We're going to -- Senator Warren.

    (UNKNOWN): It is wrong to move on.

    LACEY: Senator Warren, we've proposed -- you've proposed some sweeping plans, free public college, free universal childcare, eliminating most Americans' college debt. And you've said how you're going to pay for those plans. But you have not specified how you're going to pay for the most expensive plan, Medicare for all. Will you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for it, yes or no?

    WARREN: So I have made clear what my principles are here, and that is costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down. You know, the way I see this is, I have been out all around this country. I've done 140 town halls now, been to 27 states and Puerto Rico. Shoot, I've done 70,000 selfies, which must be the new measure of democracy.

    And this gives people a chance to come up and talk to me directly. So I have talked with the family, the mom and dad whose daughter's been diagnosed with cancer. I have talked to the young woman whose mother has just been diagnosed with diabetes. I've talked to the young man who has MS.

    And here's the thing about all of them. They all had great health insurance right at the beginning. But then they found out when they really needed it, when the costs went up, that the insurance company pulled the rug out from underneath them and they were left with nothing.

    Look, the way I see this, it is hard enough to get a diagnosis that your child has cancer, to think about the changes in your family if your mom has diabetes, or what it means for your life going forward if you've been diagnosed with MS. But what you shouldn't have to worry about is how you're going to pay for your health care after that.

    LACEY: Senator Warren, to be clear, Senator Sanders acknowledges he's going to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for all. You've endorsed his plan. Should you acknowledge it, too?

    WARREN: So the way I see this, it is about what kinds of costs middle-class families are going to face. So let me be clear on this. Costs will go up for the wealthy. They will go up for big corporations. And for middle-class families, they will go down. I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle-class families.

    LACEY: Mayor Buttigieg, you say Senator Warren has been, quote, "evasive" about how she's going to pay for Medicare for all. What's your response?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, we heard it tonight, a yes or no question that didn't get a yes or no answer. Look, this is why people here in the Midwest are so frustrated with Washington in general and Capitol Hill in particular. Your signature, Senator, is to have a plan for everything. Except this.

    No plan has been laid out to explain how a multi-trillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for all plan that Senator Warren is putting forward is supposed to get filled in. And the thing is, we really can deliver health care for every American and move forward with the boldest, biggest transformation since the inception of Medicare itself.

    But the way to do it without a giant multi-trillion-dollar hole and without having to avoid a yes-or-no question is Medicare for all who want it. We take a version of Medicare. We let you access it if you want to. And if you prefer to stay on your private plan, you can do that, too. That is what most Americans want, Medicare for all who want it, trusting you to make the right decision for your health care and for your family. And it can be delivered without an increase on the middle-class taxes.

    LACEY: Thank you, Mayor. Senator, your response?

    WARREN: So, let's be clear. Whenever someone hears the term Medicare for all who want it, understand what that really means. It's Medicare for all who can afford it. And that's the problem we've got.

    Medicare for all is the gold standard. It is the way we get health care coverage for every single American, including the family whose child has been diagnosed with cancer, including the person who's just gotten an MS diagnosis. That's how we make sure that everyone gets health care.

    We can pay for this. I've laid out the basic principles. Costs are going to go up for the wealthy. They're going to go up for big corporations. They will not go up for middle-class families. And I will not sign a bill into law that raises their costs, because costs are what people care about.

    I've been studying this, you know, for the biggest part of my life...

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator. Can the -- can the...

    WARREN: ... why people go bankrupt.

    LACEY: ... mayor respond?

    WARREN: Sure.

    BUTTIGIEG: I don't think the American people are wrong when they say that what they want is a choice. And the choice of Medicare for all who want it, which is affordable for everyone, because we make sure that the subsidies are in place, allows you to get that health care. It's just better than Medicare for all whether you want it or not.

    And I don't understand why you believe the only way to deliver affordable coverage to everybody is to obliterate private plans, kicking 150 million Americans off of their insurance in four short years, when we could achieve that same big, bold goal -- and once again, we have a president -- we're competing to be president for the day after Trump. Our country will be horrifyingly polarized, even more than now, after everything we've been through, after everything we are about to go through, this country will be even more divided. Why unnecessarily divide this country over health care when there's a better way to deliver coverage for all?

    LACEY: Thank you. Thank you, Mayor. Senator Sanders?

    WARREN: I'd like to be able to respond...

    SANDERS: Well, as somebody who wrote the damn bill, as I said, let's be clear. Under the Medicare for all bill that I wrote, premiums are gone. Co-payments are gone. Deductibles are gone. All out-of-pocket expenses are gone. We're going to do better than the Canadians do, and that is what they have managed to do.

    At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people will save money on their health care bills. But I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up. They're going to go up significantly for the wealthy. And for virtually everybody, the tax increase they pay will be substantially less -- substantially less than what they were paying for premiums and out-of-pocket expansions.

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, at least that's a straightforward answer, but there's a better way.

    LACEY: Senator Warren, will you acknowledge what the senator just said about taxes going up?

    WARREN: So my view on this, and what I have committed to, is costs will go down for hardworking, middle-class families. I will not embrace a plan like Medicare for all who can afford it that will leave behind millions of people who cannot. And I will not embrace a plan that says people have great insurance right up until you get the diagnosis and the insurance company says, "Sorry, we're not covering your expensive cancer treatments, we're not covering your expensive treatments for MS."

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator. Senator Klobuchar...

    WARREN: "We're not covering what you need."

    KLOBUCHAR: At least Bernie's being honest here and saying how he's going to pay for this and that taxes are going to go up. And I'm sorry, Elizabeth, but you have not said that, and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we're going to send the invoice.

    I believe the best and boldest idea here is to not trash Obamacare but to do exactly what Barack Obama wanted to do from the beginning and that’s have a public option that would bring down the cost of the premium and expand the number of people covered and take on the pharmaceutical companies. That is what we should be doing instead of kicking 149 million people off their insurance in our years.

    And I’m tired of hearing, whenever I say these things, oh, it’s Republican talking points. You are making Republican talking points right now in this room by coming out for a plan that’s going to do that. I think there is a better way that is bold, that will cover more people, and it’s the one we should get behind.

    LACEY: Senator Warren?

    WARREN: You know, I didn’t spend most of my time in Washington. I spent most of my time studying one basic question, and that is why hardworking people go broke. And one of the principal reasons for that is the cost of health care.

    And back when I was studying it, two out of every three families that ended up in bankruptcy after a serious medical problem had health insurance. The problem we've got right now is the overall cost of health care. And, look, you can try to spin this any way you want. I've spent my entire life on working on how America's middle class has been hollowed out and how we fight back. I've put out nearly 50 plans on how we can fight back and how we can rebuild an America that works. And a part is that is we have got to stop...

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    WARREN: ... Americans from going bankrupt over health care costs.

    LACEY: Senator Klobuchar, do you want to respond?

    KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I do. And I appreciate Elizabeth’s work. But, again, the difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done. And we can get this public option done. And we can take on the pharmaceutical companies and bring down the prices.

    But what really bothers me about this discussion, which we've had so many times, is that we don't talk about the things that I'm hearing about from regular Americans. That is long-term care. We are seeing -- I once called it a silver tsunami. The aging -- and then someone told me that was too negative, so I call it the silver surge -- the aging of the population.

    We need to make easier to get long-term care insurance and strengthen Medicaid. In this state, the state of Ohio, that has been hit by the opioid epidemic, we need to take on those pharma companies and make them pay for the addictions that they have caused and the people that they have killed.

    LACEY: Thank you. Thank you, Senator.

    KLOBUCHAR: Those are the issues that I hear about when I'm in Toledo.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden...


    HARRIS: I'd like to be...

    LACEY: Let me -- let me bring you in here, Vice President, for your response. Are Senators Warren and Sanders being realistic about the difficulty of enacting their plans?

    BIDEN: First of all, the plan we're hearing discussed is the Biden plan, the one I built forward. Build on Obamacare, add a public option. We can go into that. I can talk about that if you'd like.

    But here's the deal. On the single most important thing facing the American public, I think it's awfully important to be straightforward with them. The plan is going to cost at least $30 trillion over 10 years. That is more on a yearly basis than the entire federal budget.

    And we talk about how we're going to pay for it. The study recently came out showing that, in fact, it will reduce costs. But for people making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, their taxes are going to go up about $5,000, because the fact is they'll pay more in new taxes, 7.4 percent plus, or 5 percent, plus a 4 percent income tax. If you're making -- if a fireman and a schoolteacher are making $100,000 a year, their taxes are going to go up about $10,000. That is more than they will possibly save on this health care plan. We have a plan put forward that will work.

    LACEY: Senator Sanders, do you want to respond to -- we were coming to you.

    WARREN: I get a little bit tired -- I must say -- of people defending a system which is dysfunctional, which is cruel, 87 million uninsured, 30,000 people dying every single year, 500,000 people going bankrupt for one reason, they came down with cancer.

    I will tell you what the issue is here. The issue is whether the Democratic Party has the guts to stand up to the health care industry, which made $100 billion in profit, whether we have the guts to stand up to the corrupt, price-fixing pharmaceutical industry, which is charging us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.


    And if we don't have the guts to do that, if all we can do is take their money, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

    BIDEN: We can stand up to them.

    LACEY: Senator Harris, your response?

    HARRIS: This is the sixth debate we have had in this presidential cycle and not nearly one word, with all of these discussions about health care, on women's access to reproductive health care, which is under full-on attack in America today.


    And it's outrageous. There are states that have passed laws that will virtually prevent women from having access to reproductive health care. And it is not an exaggeration to say women will die, poor women, women of color will die, because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with our bodies.

    Women are the majority of the population in this country. People need to keep their hands off of women's bodies and let women make the decisions about their own lives.


    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    HARRIS: And let's talk about that.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    HARRIS: That is a significant health care issue in America today.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    BURNETT: I want to turn now to jobs. According to a recent study, about a quarter of American jobs could be lost to automation in just the next 10 years. Ohio is one of the states likely to be hardest hit.

    Senator Sanders, you say your federal jobs guarantee is part of the answer to the threat from automation, but tens of millions of Americans could end up losing their jobs. Are you promising that you will have a job for every single one of those Americans?

    SANDERS: Damn right we will. And I'll tell you why. If you look at what goes on in America today, we have an infrastructure which is collapsing. We could put 15 million people to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our wastewater plants, airports, et cetera.

    Furthermore -- and I hope we will discuss it at length tonight -- this planet faces the greatest threat in its history from climate change. And the Green New Deal that I have advocated will create up to 20 million jobs as we move away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

    We need workers to do childcare. We need workers, great teachers to come in to school systems which don't have the teachers that we need right now. We need more doctors. We need more dentists. We need more carpenters. We need more sheet metal workers. And when we talk about making public colleges and universities tuition fee and cancelling student debt, we're going to give those people the opportunity to get those good jobs.

    BURNETT: Senator Sanders, thank you. Mr. Yang, your main solution to job loss from automation is a universal basic income. Why is giving people $1,000 a month better than Sanders' plan to guaranteeing them a job?

    YANG: I am for the spirit of a federal jobs guarantee, but you have to look at how it would actually materialize in practice. What are the jobs? Who manages you? What if you don't like your job? What if you're not good at your job?

    The fact is, most Americans do not want to work for the federal government. And saying that that is the vision of the economy of the 21st century to me is not a vision that most Americans would embrace.

    Also, Senator Sanders, the description of a federal jobs guarantee does not take into account the work of people like my wife, who's at home with our two boys, one of whom is autistic. We have a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month. It actually recognizes the work that is happening in our families and our communities. It helps all Americans transition.

    Because the fact is -- and you know this in Ohio -- if you rely upon the federal government to target its resources, you wind up with failed retraining programs and jobs that no one wants. When we put the money into our hands, we can build a trickle-up economy from our people, our families, and our communities up. It will enable us to do the kind of work that we want to do. This is the sort of positive vision in response to the fourth industrial revolution that we have to embrace as a party.

    BURNETT: Senator Booker, a federal jobs guarantee or $1,000 a month, are those the best solutions there? Please respond.

    BOOKER: Well, first of all, I'm happy to get in finally. And I just want to say, as a great -- as a great New Jersian, Yogi Berra, said, "I am having deja vu all over again."

    I'm having deja vu all over again, first of all, because I saw this play in 2016's election. We are literally using Donald Trump's lies. And the second issue we cover on this stage is elevating a lie and attacking a statesman. That was so offensive. He should not have to defend ourselves. And the only person sitting at home that was enjoying that was Donald Trump seeing that we're distracting from his malfeasance and selling out of his office.


    And I'm having deja vu all over again. And I'm having deja vu all over again because we have another health care debate, and we're not talking about the clear and existential threat in America that we're in a state that has had two Planned Parenthoods close. We are seeing all over this country women's reproductive rights under attack. And God bless Kamala, but you know what? Women should not be the only ones taking up this cause and this fight.


    And men...

    BURNETT: Thank you.

    BOOKER: It is not just because women are our daughters and our friends and our wives. It's because women are people. And people deserve to control their own bodies.

    BURNETT: Senator, thank you. We are going to get to that issue later on tonight.

    Senator Warren, you wrote that blaming job loss on automation is, quote, "a good story, except it's not really true." So should workers here in Ohio not be worried about losing their jobs to automation?

    WARREN: So the data show that we have had a lot of problems with losing jobs, but the principal reason has been bad trade policy. The principal reason has been a bunch of corporations, giant multinational corporations who've been calling the shots on trade, giant multinational corporations that have no loyalty to America. They have no loyalty to American workers. They have no loyalty to American consumers. They have no loyalty to American communities. They are loyal only to their own bottom line.

    I have a plan to fix that, and it's accountable capitalism. It says, you want to have one of the giant corporations in America? Then, by golly, 40 percent of your board of directors should be elected by your employees. That will make a difference when a corporation decides, gee, we could save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico, when there are people on the board in the boardroom saying, no, do you know what that does to our company, do you know what that does to our community, to what it does to our workers?

    We also need to make it easier to join a union and give unions more power when they negotiate.


    We need to restructure strength in this economy, and that’s where it starts.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator.

    Secretary Castro, what's your response to Senator Warren's claim that automation is a good story, except it's not really true?

    CASTRO: Well, I think -- I think what folks have said is that that is only part of the issue, right? You know, I believe that we need to address communities that are being impacted by automation. I'm even willing to pilot something like UBI and to see how that would work.

    But I think we need to focus on making sure that we spark job opportunity for people across this country. As I mentioned earlier, here in Ohio, in the latest job data, Ohio is losing jobs under Donald Trump. He has broken his promises to Ohio and the industrial Midwest. I would invest in infrastructure to put people back to work. I would invest in a Green New Deal to unleash millions of new jobs in a clean energy economy.

    I was in Newton, Iowa, a few weeks ago and I visited a place called TPI. Newton, Iowa, had a Maytag washing machine manufacturing facility, and then it closed down. TPI manufactures wind turbines. They're putting hundreds of people to work at decent-paying jobs and creating a better future for those families.

    On top of that, let me just say this. We need to support working families. We need to invest in things like...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    CASTRO: ... universal childcare, so that people can afford childcare instead of having to pay 20 percent of their income for it.

    YANG: Senator Warren, I just need -- I just need to address this.

    BURNETT: Go ahead, Mr. Yang.

    YANG: Senator Warren, I've been talking to Americans around the country about automation. And they're smart. They see what's happening around them. Their Main Street stores are closing. They see a self-serve kiosk in every McDonalds, every grocery store, every CVS. Driving a truck is the most common job in 29 states, including this one; 3.5 million truck drivers in this country. And my friends in California are piloting self-driving trucks.

    What is that going to mean for the 3.5 million truckers or the 7 million Americans who work in truck stops, motels, and diners that rely upon the truckers getting out and having a meal? Saying this is a rules problem is ignoring the reality that Americans see around us every single day.

    BURNETT: Senator Warren, respond, please.



    WARREN: So I understand that what we're all looking for is how we strengthen America's middle class. And actually, I think the thing closest to the universal basic income is Social Security. It's one of the reasons that I've put forward a plan to extend the solvency of Social Security by decades and add $200 to the payment of every person who receives Social Security right now and every person who receives disability insurance right now.

    That $200 a month will lift nearly 5 million families out of poverty. And it will sure loosen up the budget for a whole lot more. It also has a provision for your wife, for those who stay home to do caregiving for children or for seniors, and creates an opportunity for them to get credit on their Social Security.

    BURNETT: Thank you.

    WARREN: So after a lifetime of hard work, people are entitled to retire with dignity.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator Warren.

    WARREN: I see this as an important question about just -- I want to understand the data on this.

    BURNETT: Senator, thank you very much.

    WARREN: And I want to make sure we're responding to make this work.

    BURNETT: Your time is up.


    BURNETT: I want to give Congresswoman Gabbard a chance to respond.

    GABBARD: Thank you. You know, really what this is about is getting to the heart of the fear that is well founded. As people look to this automation revolution, they look to uncertainty. They don't know how this is going to affect their jobs and their everyday lives.

    And I agree with my friend, Andrew Yang. I think universal basic income is a good idea to help provide that security so that people can have the freedom to make the kinds of choices that they want to see.

    This has to do with bad trade deals that we've seen in the past that have also driven fear towards people losing the way that they provide for their families. Really what we need to do is look at how we can best serve the interests of the American people. I do not believe a federal jobs guarantee is the way to do that. The value that someone feels in themselves and their own lives is not defined by the job that they have but is intrinsic to who we all are as Americans, whatever we choose to do with our lives, and we can't forget that.

    BURNETT: Thank you very much.

    LACEY: One of the industries most at risk from a changing economy is the auto industry. General Motors used to be the largest employer in Ohio. Now it's 72nd. Today, thousands of GM workers here in Ohio and across the country are on strike. All of you on the stage have voiced support for these workers.

    Senator Booker, one of the latest impasses in negotiations involves bringing jobs back from Mexico. As president, how would you convince GM to return production to the United States?

    BOOKER: Well, first of all, the one point I wanted to make about the UBI conversation -- and I hope that my friend, Andrew Yang, will come out for this -- doing more for workers than UBI would actually be just raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It would put more money in people's pockets than giving them $1,000 a month.

    We have to start putting the dignity back in work. And, number one, you start having trade deals, not like this thing that the president is trying to push through Congress right now that gives pharmaceutical companies and other corporations benefits and doesn’t put workers at the center of every trade deal.

    We must make sure we are not giving corporate tax incentives for people to move jobs out of our country, but start to put the worker at the center of that and make sure that they have the resources to succeed.

    But it's more than that. I stood with these workers because we're seeing this trend all over our country. I stood with unions because, right now, unions in America are under attack. As union membership has gone down, we have seen a stratification of wealth and income in this country.

    So the other thing that I'll do as president of the United States is begin to fight again to see union strength in this country spread, to make sure we have sectoral bargaining so that unions from the auto workers all the way to fast food workers can ensure that we improve workers' conditions and make sure that every American has a living wage in this country.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    Congressman O'Rourke, same question for you. How would you convince GM to bring production back to the United States from Mexico?

    O'ROURKE: I've met with these members of the UAW who are striking outside of facilities in Cincinnati, in Lordstown, Ohio, which has just been devastated, decimated by GM and their malfeasance, paying effectively zero in taxes last year. The people of Ohio investing tens of millions of dollars in the infrastructure around there.

    What they want is a shot. And they want fairness in how we treat workers in this country, which they are not receiving today. Part of the way to do that is through our trade deals, making sure that if we trade with Mexico, Mexican workers are allowed to join unions, which they are effectively unable to do today. Not only is that bad for the Mexican worker, it puts the American worker at a competitive disadvantage.

    If we complement that with investment in world-class pre-K through 12 public education, get behind our world-class public school educators, if we make sure that cost is not an object to be able to attend college, and if we elevate the role of unions in this country, and create more than 5 million apprenticeships over the next eight years, we will make sure that every single American has a shot.

    They don't want a handout. They don't want a job guarantee. They just want a shot. And as president, I will give them that shot.

    LACEY: Thank you, Congressman.

    BURNETT: Income inequality is growing in the United States at an alarming rate. The top 1 percent now own more of this nation's wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Senator Sanders, when you introduced your wealth tax, which would tax the assets of the wealthiest Americans, you said, quoting you, Senator, "Billionaires should not exist." Is the goal of your plan to tax billionaires out of existence?

    WARREN: When you have a half-a-million Americans sleeping out on the street today, when you have 87 people -- 87 million people uninsured or underinsured, when you've got hundreds of thousands of kids who cannot afford to go to college, and millions struggling with the oppressive burden of student debt, and then you also have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society, that is a moral and economic outrage.

    And the truth is, we cannot afford to continue this level of income and wealth inequality. And we cannot afford a billionaire class, whose greed and corruption has been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years.

    So if you're asking me do I think we should demand that the wealthy start paying -- the wealthiest, top 0.1 percent, start paying their fair share of taxes so we can create a nation and a government that works for all of us? Yes, that's exactly what I believe.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator.


    Mr. Steyer, you are the lone billionaire on this stage. What's your plan for closing the income gap?

    STEYER: Well, first of all, let me say this. Senator Sanders is right. There have been 40 years where corporations have bought this government, and those 40 years have meant a 40-year attack on the rights of working people and specifically on organized labor. And the results are as shameful as Senator Sanders says, both in terms of assets and in terms of income. It's absolutely wrong. It's absolutely undemocratic and unfair.

    I was one of the first people on this stage to propose a wealth tax. I would undo every Republican tax cut for rich people and major corporations. But there's something else going on here that is absolutely shameful, and that's the way the money gets split up in terms of earnings.

    As a result of taking away the rights of working people and organized labor, people haven't had a raise -- 90 percent of Americans have not had a raise for 40 years. If you took the minimum wage from 1980 and just adjusted it for inflation, you get $11 bucks. It's $7.25. If you included the productivity gains of American workers, it would be over $20 bucks.

    There's something wrong here, and that is that the corporations have bought our government. Our government has failed. That's why I'm running for president, because we're not going to get any of the policies that everybody on this stage wants -- health care, education, Green New Deal, or a living wage...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: ... unless we break the power of these corporations.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.


    Vice President Biden, you have warned against demonizing rich people. Do you believe that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren's wealth tax plans do that?

    BIDEN: No, look, demonizing wealth -- what I talked about is how you get things done. And the way to get things done is take a look at the tax code right now. The idea -- we have to start rewarding work, not just wealth. I would eliminate the capital gains tax -- I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate, of 39.5 percent.

    I would double it, because guess what? Why in God's name should someone who's clipping coupons in the stock market make -- in fact, pay a lower tax rate than someone who, in fact, is -- like I said -- the -- a schoolteacher and a firefighter? It's ridiculous. And they pay a lower tax.

    Secondly, the idea that we, in fact, engage in this notion that there are -- there’s $1,640,000,000,000 in tax loopholes. You can’t justify a minimum $600 billion of that. We could eliminate it all. I could go into detail had I the time.

    Secondly -- I mean, thirdly, what we need to do is we need to go out and make it clear to the American people that we are going to -- we are going to raise taxes on the wealthy. We're going to reduce tax burdens on those who are not.

    And this is one of the reasons why these debates are kind of crazy, because everybody tries to squeeze everything into every answer that is given. The fact is, everybody's right about the fact that the fourth industrial revolution is costing jobs. It is. The fact is also corporate greed is they're going back and not investing in our employees, they're reinvesting and buying back their stock.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

    BIDEN: See, I'm doing the same thing.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.


    Senator Warren, your response.

    WARREN: So I think this is about our values as a country. Show me your budget, show me your tax plans, and we'll know what your values are.

    And right now in America, the top 0.1 percent have so much wealth -- understand this -- that if we put a 2 cent tax on their 50 millionth and first dollar, and on every dollar after that, we would have enough money to provide universal childcare for every baby in this country, age zero to five, universal pre-K for every child, raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in America, provide for universal tuition-free college, put $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator Warren.

    WARREN: ... and cancel -- no, let me finish, please, and cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the people who have it. My question is not why do Bernie and I support a wealth tax. It's why is it does everyone else on this stage think it is more important to protect billionaires than it is to invest in an entire generation of Americans?

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator Warren.

    BIDEN: No one is supporting billionaires.

    BURNETT: Mayor Buttigieg? Mayor Buttigieg, your response?

    BUTTIGIEG: I'm all for a wealth tax. I'm all for just about everything that was just mentioned in these answers. Let me tell, though, how this looks from the industrial Midwest where I live.

    Washington politicians, congressmen and senators, saying all the right things, offering the most elegant policy prescriptions, and nothing changes. I didn't even realize it was unusual to have empty factories that I would see out the windows of my dad's Chevy Cavalier when he drove me to school, I didn't know that wasn't every city until I went away to college. Now I drive my own Chevy. It's a Chevy Cruze. It used to be built right in Lordstown, which is now one more symbol of the broken promises that this president has made to workers.

    But why did workers take a chance on this president in the first place? It's because it felt like nobody was willing to actually do anything. And while he's unquestionably made it dramatically worse, this is time to realize that we're paying attention to the wrong things. We're paying attention...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg.

    BUTTIGIEG: ... to who sounded better on a debate stage or in a committee hearing...


    BURNETT: Senator Klobuchar -- Senator Klobuchar...

    BUTTIGIEG: This is what it's going to take to get something done.

    BURNETT: Will a wealth tax -- will a wealth tax work?

    KLOBUCHAR: It could work. I am open to it. But I want to give a reality check here to Elizabeth, because no one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires.


    We just have different approaches. Your idea is not the only idea. And when I look at this, I think about Donald Trump, the guy that after that tax bill passed went to Mar-a-Lago, got together with his cronies, and said, guess what, you guys all got a lot richer. That was the one time in his presidency he told the truth.

    So we have different ways -- I would repeal significant portions of that tax bill that help the rich, including what he did with the corporate tax rate, including what he did on international taxation. You add it all up, you got a lot of money that, one, helps pay for that childcare, protects that dignity of work, makes sure we have decent retirement, and makes sure that our kids can go to good schools.

    BURNETT: Thank you. Senator...

    KLOBUCHAR: It is not one idea that rules here.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Senator Warren, please respond.


    WARREN: So understand, taxing income is not going to get you where you need to be the way taxing wealth does, that the rich are not like you and me. The really, really billionaires are making their money off their accumulated wealth, and it just keeps growing. We need a wealth tax in order to make investments in the next generation.

    Look, I understand that this is hard, but I think as Democrats we are going to succeed when we dream big and fight hard, not when we dream small and quit before we get started.

    KLOBUCHAR: I would like to respond to that.

    BURNETT: Senator Klobuchar, respond, please.

    KLOBUCHAR: You know, I think simply because you have different ideas doesn't mean you're fighting for regular people. I wouldn't even be up on this stage if it wasn't for unions and the dignity of work. If my grandpa didn't have unions protecting him in those mines, he wouldn't have survived. If my mom didn't have unions as a teacher, she wouldn't have been able to make the wages she made when my parents got divorced.

    So just because we have different ideas, and get to the same place in terms of beating Donald Trump and taking this on, we are in Ohio. We can win Ohio in the presidency, but only if we unite, if we unite around ideals and don't go fighting against each other and instead take the fight to him.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator.

    Senator Harris, you want to give working families a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year to help close the income gap.

    HARRIS: Right.

    BURNETT: Is that a better solution than a wealth tax?

    HARRIS: Well, here's how I think about it. When I was growing up, my mother raised my sister and me. We would often come home from school before she came home from work. She'd come home, she'd cook dinner, and at some point we'd go to bed, and she'd sit up at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to make it all work.

    And when I think about where we are right now in 2020, I do believe justice is on the ballot. It's on the ballot in terms of impeachment, it's on the ballot in terms of economic justice, health justice, and so many other issues.

    So when I think about this issue, I'm thinking about that dad who tonight is going to be sitting at his kitchen table, after everyone's gone to sleep, and sitting there with his cup of tea or coffee trying to figure out how it's going to make -- how he's going to make it work. And he's probably sitting there deciding that on that minimum wage job that does not pay enough for him to meet the bills at the end of the month, he's going to have to start driving an Uber. And what does that mean? That means that with those two jobs, he's going to miss his kids' soccer games.

    That's the reality for Americans today, which is why, yes, when I get elected and pass this bill, which will give the American family who makes less than $100,000 a year a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year that they can take home at up to $500 a month, that's going to make a real difference in that man's life. And don't tell him that's not a big deal...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator.

    HARRIS: ... when he's trying to get through to the end of the month.

    BURNETT: Mr. Yang, your response. Would you impose a wealth tax?

    YANG: Senator Warren is 100 percent right that we're in the midst of the most extreme winner-take-all economy in history. And a wealth tax makes a lot of sense in principle. The problem is that it's been tried in Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, and all those countries ended up repealing it, because it had massive implementation problems and did not generate the revenue that they'd projected.

    If we can't learn from the failed experiences of other countries, what can we learn from? We should not be looking to other countries' mistakes. Instead, we should look at what Germany, France, Denmark, and Sweden still have, which is a value-added tax. If we give the American people a tiny slice of every Amazon sale, every Google search, every robot truck mile, every Facebook ad, we can generate hundreds of billions of dollars and then put it into our hands, because we know best how to use it.

    BURNETT: Thank you. Thank you.

    Congressman O'Rourke, do you think a wealth tax is the best way to address income inequality? Your response.

    O'ROURKE: I think it's part of the solution. But I think we need to be focused on lifting people up. And sometimes I think that Senator Warren is more focused on being punitive and pitting some part of the country against the other instead of lifting people up and making sure that this country comes together around those solutions.

    I think of a woman that I met in Las Vegas, Nevada. She's working four jobs, raising her child with disabilities, and any American with disabilities knows just how hard it is to make it and get by in this country already. Some of those jobs working for some of these corporations, she wants to know how we are going to help her, how we're going to make sure that her child has the care that she needs, that we strengthen protections for those with disabilities, that she just has to work one job because it pays a living wage.

    And Senator Warren said show me your budget, show me your tax plan, and you'll show me your values. She has yet to describe her tax plan and whether or not that person I met would see a tax increase. Under my administration, if you make less than $250,000 a year as a family, you will not see a tax increase. That family needs to know that.


    BURNETT: Thank you, Congressman.

    (UNKNOWN): Erin, let me say...

    BURNETT: I want to give Senator Warren a chance to respond.

    WARREN: So I'm really shocked at the notion that anyone thinks I'm punitive. Look, I don't have a beef with billionaires. My problem is you made a fortune in America, you had a great idea, you got out there and worked for it, good for you. But you built that fortune in America. I guarantee you built it in part using workers all of us helped pay to educate. You built it in part getting your goods to markets on roads and bridges all of us helped pay for. You built it at least in part protected by police and firefighters all of us help pay the salaries for.

    And all I'm saying is, you make it to the top, the top 0.1 percent, then pitch in two cents so every other kid in America has a chance to make it.

    BURNETT: Senator, thank you.

    WARREN: That's what this is about.

    BURNETT: Senator Castro, your response?

    O'ROURKE: There's no argument there. I just want to make sure that we're lifting up those families who are working and need help through an expanded earned income tax credit or child tax credit...

    WARREN: But that is...


    O'ROURKE: ... which we will do in my administration.

    BURNETT: Go ahead, Senator.

    WARREN: That is the point. This is universal childcare for every baby in this country, early educational opportunities for every child, universal pre-K no matter where you live for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old.

    O'ROURKE: But in addition to that, will they see a tax increase?

    WARREN: Raising the wages -- no, raising the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in this country. This is about universal college, about investment in our HBCUs, about making sure that we get rid of the student loan debt burden that is crushing...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator...


    O'ROURKE: ... I just want to know if working families are going to see a tax increase.


    BURNETT: I want to get Secretary Castro in here, please, Congressman. Go ahead, Secretary.

    CASTRO: Thanks a lot, Erin. And you see that everybody has their own plans. And let me just say that the way that I view this is born out of my own experience.

    I grew up like I bet a lot folks in this room grew up and folks that are watching on TV. I grew up with my twin brother, Joaquin, in a single-parent household where my mom was working hard to support us and also her mom, my grandmother. And we knew what it was like to wonder whether we were going to be able to pay the rent at the first of the month or sometimes have the electricity turned off.

    And when I was a kid, to look at the grocery list that seemed to get shorter and shorter, and that's what's happening to a lot of families these days. I was in Las Vegas a few months ago, and I visited people who were homeless, who are living in storm drainage tunnels under the Las Vegas strip in the shadow of hotels and casinos that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, where people from around the world are spending so much money on vacations.

    We can do better than that. I believe that wealth and equality tax, as I've proposed, is part of the answer, but also I've proposed an inheritance tax, raising the top marginal tax rate...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Secretary.

    CASTRO: ... and investing in things like universal childcare and affordable housing.

    BURNETT: All right. Senator Booker, please respond.

    BOOKER: Well, first of all, I just want to be respond by -- you know, we've got one shot to make Donald Trump a one-term president. And how we talk about each other in this debate actually really matters.

    I've had the privilege of working with or being friends with everybody on this stage, and tearing each other down because we have a different plan to me is unacceptable. I have seen this script before.


    It didn't work in 2016, and it will be a disaster for us in 2020. And so I have a different plan than Elizabeth Warren. I have a different plan than many people on this stage. And it involves, again, fair taxes for the richest. We have a lot of work to do there. But we've had 20 years of presidential debates, and we have never talked about the violence in America of child poverty.

    We have got to begin to talk more eloquently and persuasively and urgently about doing the things not just to make sure fair taxes are paid by people on the top, but that we deal with the moral obscenity of having the highest levels of child poverty in the industrial world.

    My plan will focus on that, and these are some of the issues we should be talking about, not defining ourselves just by what we're against, but we need to win this election by talking about who and what we are for.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator Booker.


    COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We've got to take a quick break right now. The CNN-New York Times debate live from Otterbein University in Ohio will be right back after this.


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    Default The October Democratic debate transcript, Part 2

    The October Democratic debate transcript, Part 2



    COOPER: And welcome back to the CNN-New York Times Democratic presidential debate live from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

    I want to turn now to foreign policy. President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all American forces from northern Syria, abandoning America's long-time Kurdish allies. As a result, Turkey has now evaded Syria, ISIS detainees have escaped, and the Kurds have announced a new deal with the government in Damascus, a victory for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and Russia, and Iran.

    Vice President Biden, we know you would not have withdrawn troops from northern Syria in this way, but that is already in process. So would you send American troops back into northern Syria to prevent an ISIS resurgence and protect our Kurdish allies?

    BIDEN: I would not have withdrawn the troops and I would not have withdrawn the additional thousand troops who are in Iraq, which are in retreat now, being fired on by Assad's people. And the president of the United States saying, if those ISIS folks escape from the prisons they're in, they'll only go to Europe and won't affect us.

    It has been the most shameful thing that any president has done in modern history -- excuse me, in terms of foreign policy. And the fact of the matter is, I've never seen a time -- and I've spent thousands of hours in the Situation Room, I've spent many hours on the ground in those very places, in Syria and in Iraq, and guess what? Our commanders across the board, former and present, are ashamed of what's happening here.

    What I would do is I would be making it real clear to Assad that, in fact, where he's going to have a problem -- because Turkey is the real problem here. And I would be having a real lockdown conversation with Erdogan and letting him know that he's going to pay a heavy price for what he has done now. Pay that price.

    COOPER: Just to clarify, Mr. Vice President, would you want American troops back in northern Syria?

    BIDEN: I would want those thousand troops to be protected by air cover, those thousand troops that are being -- having to withdraw under fire, make it clear that they're not going anywhere, and have them protected, and work my way back toward what, in fact, needs to be done, protecting those Kurds. They lost their lives. This is shameful, shameful what this man has done.


    COOPER: Congresswoman Gabbard, last week you said that American troops should get out of Syria now. You don't agree with how the president handled the withdrawal. What would you have done differently? How would you have pulled out troops without the bloodshed we're seeing now?

    GABBARD: Well, first of all, we've got to understand the reality of the situation there, which is that the slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war that we've been waging in Syria.

    Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war.

    Not only that, but the New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war. Just two days ago, the New York Times put out an article saying that I'm a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears. This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.

    As president, I will end these regime change wars by doing two things -- ending the draconian sanctions that are really a modern-day siege the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen, that have caused tens of thousands of Syrian civilians to die and to starve, and I would make sure that we stop supporting terrorists like Al Qaida in Syria who have been the ground force in this ongoing regime change war.

    COOPER: Thank you.

    GABBARD: I'd like to ask Senator Warren if she would join me in calling for an end to this regime change war in Syria, finally.

    WARREN: So, look, I think that we ought to get out of the Middle East. I don't think we should have troops in the Middle East. But we have to do it the right way, the smart way.

    What this president has done is that he has sucked up to dictators, he has made impulsive decisions that often his own team doesn't understand, he has cut and run on our allies, and he has enriched himself at the expense of the United States of America. In Syria, he has created a bigger-than-ever humanitarian crisis. He has helped ISIS get another foothold, a new lease on life.

    I sit on the Armed Services Committee. I talk with our military leaders about this.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator.

    WARREN: I was in Iraq and went through the neighborhoods that ISIS destroyed.

    COOPER: Thank you.

    WARREN: We need to get out, but we need to do this through a negotiated solution. There is no military solution in this region.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator. Mayor Buttigieg, Mayor Buttigieg, like many of your fellow candidates on the stage, you've been calling for an end to endless wars. What's your response on Syria?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, respectfully, Congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence. It's a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values.

    Look, I didn't think we should have gone to Iraq in the first place. I think we need to get out of Afghanistan. But it's also the case that a small number of specialized, special operations forces and intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we're seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide and the resurgence of ISIS.

    Meanwhile, soldiers in the field are reporting that for the first time they feel ashamed -- ashamed -- of what their country has done. We saw the spectacle, the horrifying sight of a woman with the lifeless body of her child in her arms asking, what the hell happened to American leadership?

    And when I was deployed, I knew one of the things keeping me safe was the fact that the flag on my shoulder represented a country known to keep its word. And our allies knew it and our enemies knew it.

    COOPER: Thank you, Mayor.

    BUTTIGIEG: You take that away, you are taking away what makes America America.

    COOPER: Thank you, Mayor.

    BUTTIGIEG: It makes our troops and the world a much more dangerous place.


    COOPER: Congresswoman Gabbard, your response?

    GABBARD: Yeah, absolutely. So, really, what you're saying, Mayor Pete, is that you would continue to support having U.S. troops in Syria for an indefinite period of time to continue this regime change war that has caused so many refugees to flee Syria, that you would continue to have our country involved in a war that has undermined our national security, you would continue this policy of the U.S. actually providing arms in support to terrorist groups in Syria, like Al Qaida, HTS, al-Nusra and others, because they are the ones who have been the ground force in this regime change war? That's really what you're saying?

    COOPER: Mayor Pete -- Mayor Buttigieg?

    BUTTIGIEG: No, you can embrace -- or you can put an end to endless war without embracing Donald Trump's policy, as you're doing.

    GABBARD: Will you end the regime change war, is the question.

    BUTTIGIEG: What we are doing...

    GABBARD: What is an endless war if it's not a regime change war?

    COOPER: Allow him to respond. Please allow him to respond.

    BUTTIGIEG: What we are doing -- or what we were doing in Syria was keeping our word. Part of what makes it possible for the United States to get people to put their lives on the line to back us up is the idea that we will back them up, too.

    When I was deployed, not just the Afghan National Army forces, but the janitors put their lives on the line just by working with U.S. forces. I would have a hard time today looking an Afghan civilian or soldier in the eye after what just happened over there. And it is undermining the honor of our soldiers. You take away the honor of our soldiers, you might as well go after their body armor next.

    This president has betrayed American values. Our credibility has been tattered.

    COOPER: Thank you.

    BUTTIGIEG: I will restore U.S. credibility before it is finally too late.

    COOPER: Senator Sanders, is Turkey still a U.S. ally? Should they remain in NATO?

    SANDERS: I'm sorry. Say that again?

    COOPER: Is Turkey still a U.S. ally? Should they remain in NATO?

    SANDERS: No, Turkey is not a U.S. ally when they invade another country and engage in mass slaughter.

    The crisis here, as I think Joe said and Pete said, is when you begin to betray people, in terms of the Kurds, 11,000 of them died fighting ISIS, 20,000 were wounded. And the United States said, “We’re with you, we’re standing with you.” And then suddenly, one day after a phone call with Erdogan, announced by tweet, Trump reverses that policy.

    Now, you tell me what country in the world will trust the word of the president of the United States. In other words, what he has done is wreck our ability to do foreign policy, to do military policy, because nobody in the world will believe this pathological liar.


    BUTTIGIEG: But this is really important, because what this president has done shows that American leadership shapes the behavior of our allies, or sometimes allies, too. Remember, the problem right now is not just that -- with our competitors. And, for example a place like China, the people of Hong Kong rise up for democracy and don't get a peep of support from the president. It's just not the behavior of adversaries like Russia.

    But our one-time allies, like Saudi Arabia, which the CIA just concluded was responsible, as we all knew, for murdering and dismembering an American resident and journalist.

    And Turkey, which was an American ally. That's the point. We had leverage. But when we abandon the international stage, when we think our only choices are between endless war or total isolation, the consequence is the disappearance of U.S. leadership...

    COOPER: Thank you, Mayor.

    BUTTIGIEG: ... from the world stage.

    COOPER: Senator...

    BUTTIGIEG: And that makes this entire world a more dangerous place.

    COOPER: Senator Klobuchar, should Turkey remain in NATO? Your response?

    KLOBUCHAR: We need to work with our allies, to work with Turkey and bring them out. This is an outrageous thing that happened here. And I think we need to talk about this not only in terms of the horror of what happened here with Turkey, but the fact that our president blew it and now he's too proud to say it.

    And what do we do now? We continue that humanitarian aid, but then we work with our allies to say come back, Turkey, and stop this, because what Mayor Pete has just said is true. Think about our other allies, Israel. How do they feel right now? Donald Trump is not true to his word when they are a beacon of democracy in the Mideast.

    Think about our allies in Europe when he pulls out of the Iranian agreement and gives them holding the bag and gives the power to China and Russia.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator.

    KLOBUCHAR: Think about the nuclear agreement with Russia that he precipitously pulled out of. This is part of a pattern. It's not an isolated incident.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator.

    Senator Harris, given that the U.S. abandoned our Kurdish allies, what would you do as president to convince the rest of the world that we can still be trusted?

    HARRIS: That's a great question, Anderson, because the commander-in-chief of the United States of America has as one of her greatest priorities and responsibilities to concern herself with the security of our nation and homeland.

    I serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee. I have over a period of time received classified information about the threats to our security and hot spots around the world.

    What has happened in Syria is yet again Donald Trump selling folks out. And in this case, he sold out the Kurds, who, yes, fought with us and thousands died in our fight against ISIS.

    And let's be clear. What Donald Trump has done, because of that phone call with Erdogan, is basically giving 10,000 ISIS fighters a "get out of jail free" card. And you know who the winner is in this? There are four: Russia, Iran, Assad, and ISIS.

    This is a crisis of Donald Trump’s making. And it is on a long list of crises of Donald Trump’s making. And that’s why dude got to go. And when I am commander-in-chief, we will stop this madness.

    COOPER: Secretary Castro, your response.


    CASTRO: Well, I mean, you asked the question of, how are we going to get people to trust us again? The first thing is we got to boot Donald Trump out of the Oval Office so that people will trust us again.

    You know, I also want people to think -- the folks this week that saw those images of ISIS prisoners running free to think about how absurd it is that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free.


    He has made a tremendous mistake, a total disaster there in Syria. And just to connect the dots for a second, if you're Kim Jong-un, for instance, why in the world would you believe anything that this president says to contain your nuclear weapons program, when he tore up an Iran nuclear agreement that we just signed four years ago, which was the strongest agreement to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program, and now he's abandoned the very people that we gave our word to?

    I would make sure that we work with our allies to pressure Syria to stop the aggression, and I support efforts at stronger sanctions than this president has announced.

    COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    LACEY: Senator Booker, the American intelligence community says that Russia is trying to capitalize on the power vacuums around the world as we're seeing right now in northern Syria. What specifically would you do as president to check Vladimir Putin's power on the world stage?

    BOOKER: So, first of all, understand that this president is turning the moral leadership of this country into a dumpster fire. We literally have great generals like Mattis who said on the world stage, the United States of America, there can be no better friend than the United States of America and no better -- no greater enemy than the United States of America. This president has turned that upside down and now is doing things to undermine our critical alliances and partner with Russia.

    And so clearly, to your question, number one, we cannot allow the Russians to continue to grow in influence by abandoning the world stage. We cannot allow Russia to not only interfere in the democracies of the Ukraine, and Latvia, and Lithuania, but even not calling them out for their efforts to interfere in this democracy are unacceptable.

    Russia and Putin understand strength, and this president time and time again is showing moral weakness. He makes promises to the American people that he's going to protect this nation. Well, instead of doing something to defeat ISIS, he's now given them a foothold again.

    This is an American president that even right now is lying to the American public and saying he's bringing our troops home, at the same time he's increasing troop presence with the Saudis, while they're involved in an unjust war that is killing tens of thousands of children in Yemen.

    This president is making us less safe. He is partnering more with Putin than he is with Merkel and Macron. And as president of the United States, I will stop this and restore American integrity abroad.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator. Vice President?

    BIDEN: I think I maybe -- it doesn't make me any better or worse, but maybe the only person who spent extensive time alone with Putin, as well as with Erdogan. And Erdogan understands that -- you talk about should he stay in or out of NATO -- he understands if he's out of NATO, he's in real trouble.

    But the fact of the matter is, we have been unwilling in this administration, because we have an erratic, crazy president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy and operates out of fear for his own re-election.


    Think what's happened. The fact of the matter is, you have Russia influencing and trying to break up NATO. What does the president do? He says, "I believe Vladimir Putin. I believe Vladimir Putin. I don't believe our intelligence community."

    SANDERS: You're suggesting I'm Vladimir Putin here.

    BIDEN: No, no, I'm not. No, I'm not. I'm not.

    SANDERS: I know.


    BIDEN: But here -- look, but here's the deal. Think what that did. He turns around and he questions whether or not he'll keep the sacred commitment of Article 5 for the NATO members. If he is re-elected, I promise you, there will be no NATO. Our security will be vastly underrated, under -- we will be in real trouble.

    And with regard to regime change in Syria, that has not been the policy we change the regime. It has been to make sure that the regime did not wipe out hundreds of thousands of innocent people between there and the Iraqi border.

    And lastly, and I apologize for going on, but lastly, what is happening in Iraq is going to -- I mean, excuse me, in Afghanistan, as well as all the way over to Syria, we have ISIS that's going to come here. They are going to, in fact, damage the United States of America. That's why we got involved in the first place and not ceded the whole area to Assad and to the Russians.

    LACEY: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

    Congressman O'Rourke, Senate Democrats put out a report last year on Russia's hostile actions around the world. They suggest the next president could fight back by publicly revealing what the U.S. knows about Putin's corruption and work with allies to freeze his bank accounts. Would you take either of those actions, even in the face of possible retaliation?

    O'ROURKE: Yes. We must be unafraid in ensuring that we hold Russia accountable for invading the world's greatest democracy and being able to do it thanks to Donald Trump functionally with impunity so far, so much so that they are invading this democracy right now as we speak, still at the invitation of this president. So if there are not consequences, we will continue to see this problem going forward.

    But in addition, y ademas, to answer the previous question that you asked, how do we stand up to Russia on the global stage, we do that by renewing our alliances and our friendships. That is what makes America stronger. There isn't enough money in this country, there aren't enough servicemembers as brave and courageous as they are to do everything that we want to accomplish militarily around the world.

    And the Kurds are case in point. In fact, because we turned our backs on them, those Kurds who fought for us in Syria, helped to defeat ISIS not just for themselves, but for the United States of America, it makes it more likely that we will have to send another generation of servicemembers to fight those battles there.

    And then lastly, as General Mattis, who was invoked earlier, has said, we have two powers, one of intimidation and one of inspiration. We need to now focus on that latter power and make sure that we invest in diplomacy and our State Department and peacefully and non-violently resolving our foreign policy goals not on the backs of 18-, and 19-, and 20-year-olds any more, but making sure that our diplomats are invested in, have the focus necessary by this next president to make that they can accomplish those goals for this country and for the world.

    LACEY: Thank you, Congressman. Thank you, Congressman.

    Mr. Steyer, would you publicly reveal what the U.S. knows about Putin's corruption or work to freeze his bank accounts? Please respond.

    STEYER: Absolutely. As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Trump's America first program, which involves having no plans, having no process, and having no partners, has proved to be a disaster in Syria, it's proved to be a disaster in terms of our response to Russia's attacking our democracy, and more than that, when we look at the problems around the world, the idea that the United States is going to act unilaterally against a country without the support of our traditional allies makes absolutely no sense.

    Let's go to the most important international problem that we're facing, which no one has brought up, which is climate. We can't solve the climate crisis in the United States by ourselves. It's an international crisis. I've been working on it for 10 years, taking on the corporations. But we have to work with our allies and our frenemies around the world.

    So if you look at what Mr. Trump is doing, of course he's been bought by the oil and gas companies. But any problem that we're going to do, but specifically climate, we're going to have to lead the world morally, we're going to have to lead it technologically, financially, and commercially.

    This is the proof that this kind of America first, go-it-alone, trust nobody and be untrustworthy is the worst idea I have ever heard and I would change it on day one in every single light.

    LACEY: Mr. Yang, your response to Putin and Russia.

    YANG: Of course. We have to look at the chain of events. How did we get here? The fact is, we were falling apart at home, so we voted in Donald Trump, and he's now led us down this dangerous path with erratic and unreliable foreign policy.

    We have to let Russia know, look, we get it. We've tampered with other elections, you've tampered with our elections. And now it has to stop. And if it does not stop, we will take this as an act of hostility against the American people. I believe most Americans would support me on this.

    But Russian hacking of our democracy is an illustration of the 21st century threats. Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, climate change, loose nuclear material, military drones, and non-state actors, these are the threats that are going to require our administration to catch up in terms of technology.

    We all know we are decades behind the curve on technology. We saw when Mark Zuckerberg testified at Congress the nature of the questioning. As commander-in-chief, I will help pull us forward...

    LACEY: Thank you.


    KLOBUCHAR: I want to respond to Mr. Yang.

    YANG: ... and that's going to be the responsibility of the next president.

    KLOBUCHAR: I want to respond to Mr. Yang. I don't see a moral equivalency between our country and Russia. Vladimir Putin is someone who has shot down planes over Ukraine, who has poisoned his opponent, and we have not talked about what we need to do to protect ourselves from Russia invading our election.

    This wasn't meddling. That's what I do when I call my daughter on a Saturday night and ask her what she's doing. Sorry.


    KLOBUCHAR: This was much more serious than that. This was actually invading our election. So to protect ourselves in 2020, what we need, one, backup paper ballots in every single state. That is a bill that I need, and we need to stop Mitch McConnell from stopping that from happening.

    And then we need to stop the social media companies from running paid political ads, including ones last time in rubles, without having to say where those ads came from and who paid for them. That's the Honest Ads Act. That's a bipartisan bill that I lead. And we can't wait...

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    KLOBUCHAR: ... to become president to get that done. We need to get it done now.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator.

    COOPER: We want to turn back to domestic issues and the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We're less than 100 miles from Dayton, Ohio, where two months ago a gunman killed nine people using an AR-15-style weapon with a high-capacity magazine.

    Congressman O'Rourke, in the last debate, you said, quote, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," but when you were asked how you'd enforce a mandatory buyback, you said police wouldn't be going door to door. So how exactly are you going to force people to give up their weapons? You don't even know who has those weapons.

    O'ROURKE: Look, we're going to make sure that the priority is saving the lives of our fellow Americans. I think almost everyone on this stage agrees that it's not right and as president would seek to ban the sale of AR-15s and AK-47s.

    Those are weapons of war. They were designed to kill people effectively, efficiently on a battlefield. You mentioned the massacre in Dayton. Nine people killed in under 40 seconds. In El Paso, Texas, 22 were killed in under three minutes. And the list goes on throughout the country.

    So if the logic begins with those weapons being too dangerous to sell, then it must continue by acknowledging, with 16 million AR-15s and AK-47s out there, they are also too dangerous to own. Every single one of them is a potential instrument of terror.

    Just ask Hispanics in Texas. Univision surveyed them. More than 80 percent feared that they would be a victim of a mass terror attack like the one in El Paso that was targeted at Mexican Americans and immigrants, inspired in part by this president's racism and hatred that he's directed at communities like mine in El Paso.

    COOPER: Congressman...

    O'ROURKE: So I expect my fellow Americans to follow the law, the same way that we enforce any provision, any law that we have right now.


    O'ROURKE: We don't go door to door to do anything in this country to enforce the law. I expect Republicans, Democrats, gun-owners, non-gun-owners alike to respect and follow the law.

    COOPER: Congressman, let me follow up. Just to follow up, your expectations aside, your website says you will fine people who don't give up their weapons. That doesn't take those weapons off the street. So to be clear, exactly how are you going to take away weapons from people who do not want to give them up and you don't know where they are?

    O'ROURKE: If someone does not turn in an AR-15 or an AK-47, one of these weapons of war, or brings it out in public and brandishes it in an attempt to intimidate, as we saw when we were at Kent State recently, then that weapon will be taken from them. If they persist, they will be other consequences from law enforcement.

    But the expectation is that Americans will follow the law. I believe in this country. I believe in my fellow Americans. I believe that they will do the right thing.

    COOPER: Thank you. Mayor Buttigieg, just yesterday, you referred to mandatory buybacks as confiscation and said that Congressman O'Rourke has been picking a fight to try to stay relevant. Your response on guns?

    BUTTIGIEG: Look, Congressman, you just made it clear that you don't know how this is actually going to take weapons off the streets. If you can develop the plan further, I think we can have a debate about it. But we can't wait. People are dying in the streets right now.

    We can't wait for universal background checks that we finally have a shot to actually get through. We can't wait to ban the sale of new weapons and high-capacity magazines so we don't wind up with millions more of these things on the street. We can't wait for red flag laws that are going to disarm domestic abusers and prevent suicides, which are not being talked about nearly enough as a huge part of the gun violence epidemic in this country. We cannot wait for purity tests. We have to just get something done.

    COOPER: Congressman O'Rourke, your response.

    O'ROURKE: This is not a purity test. This is a country that loses 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year to gun violence. This is a crisis. We've got to do something about it.

    And those challenges that you described are not mutually exclusive to the challenges that I'm describing. I want to make sure we have universal background checks and red flag laws and that we end the sale of these weapons of war, but to use the analogy of health care, it would be as though we said, look, we're for primary care, but let's not talk about mental health care because that's a bridge too far. People need that primary care now, so let's save that for another day.

    No, let's decide what we are going to believe in, what we're going to achieve. And then let's bring this country together in order to do that. Listening to my fellow Americans, to those moms who demand action, to those students who march for our lives, who, in fact, came up with this extraordinary bold peace plan...

    COOPER: Thank you, Congressman.

    O'ROURKE: ... that calls for mandatory buybacks, let's follow their inspiration and lead and not be limited by the polls and the consultants and the focus groups. Let's do what's right...


    COOPER: Mayor Buttigieg, your response? Mayor Buttigieg?

    BUTTIGIEG: The problem isn't the polls. The problems is the policy. And I don't need lessons from you on courage, political or personal. Everyone on this stage is determined to get something done. Everyone on this stage recognizes, or at least I thought we did, that the problem is not other Democrats who don't agree with your particular idea of how to handle this.

    The problem is the National Rifle Association and their enablers in Congress, and we should be united in taking the fight to them.


    O'ROURKE: That's a mischaracterization. Anderson, I've got to answer this. Never took you or anyone else on who disagrees with me on this issue. But when you, Mayor Buttigieg, described this policy as a shiny object, I don't care what that meant to me or my candidacy, but to those who have survived gun violence, those who've lost a loved one to an AR-15, an AK-47, marched for our lives, formed in the courage of students willing to stand up to the NRA and conventional politics and poll-tested politicians, that was a slap in the fact to every single one of those groups and every single survivor of a mass casualty assault with an AR-15 and an AK-47.

    COOPER: Thank you.

    O'ROURKE: We must buy them back.

    COOPER: Congressman...

    BUTTIGIEG: What we owe to those survivors is to actually deliver a solution. I'm glad you offered up that analogy to health care, because this is really important. We are at the cusp of building a new American majority to actually do things that congressmen and senators have been talking about with almost no impact for my entire adult life.

    COOPER: Thank you, Mayor.

    BUTTIGIEG: No, this is really important, OK? On guns, we are this close to an assault weapons ban. That would be huge. And we're going to get wrapped around the axle in a debate over whether it's "hell, yes, we're going to take your guns"? We have an opportunity...

    COOPER: Thank you, Mayor. Your time is up.

    BUTTIGIEG: ... to deliver health care to everybody, and some on this stage are saying it doesn't count unless we obliterate...


    COOPER: I want to give somebody -- I want to give other -- I want to give other candidates a chance. Senator Booker, what's your response to Mayor Buttigieg?

    BOOKER: Well, look, I again, worry about how we talk to each other and about each other and what this last week has shown. There was a young man in my neighborhood, I watched him grow up. I lived in some high-rise projects with him named Shahad, and he was murdered on my block last year with an assault rifle.

    I'm living with a sense of urgency on this problem, because when I go home to my community, like millions of Americans, we live in communities where these weapons, where these gun shots are real every single day.

    And I know where the American public is. This is not about leadership. This is why when I talk about things like gun licensing and point out the differences between us, I'm not attacking people or their character or their courage on these issues. We all have courage.

    But it’s frustrating that when the American people, 77 percent of Americans agree on licensing, we don’t need leadership right now. We just need folks that are going to stand up and follow where the people already are, because there are millions of Americans where this is a daily nightmare, where we’re surrendering our freedoms...

    COOPER: Thank you.

    BOOKER: ... to fear in this country. This is the first time in American history, this fall, where we have sent our children to school, the strongest nation on the Planet Earth, and said to them, "We can't protect you"...

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator.

    BOOKER: ... "so in school, we're going to teach you how to hide." There are more duck-and-cover drills and shelter-in-place drills in America now than fire drills.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator.

    BOOKER: If I'm president of the United States, I will bring an urgency to this issue and make sure that we end the scourge of mass violence in our country.

    COOPER: Senator Klobuchar -- Senator Klobuchar, Senator Warren -- Senator Warren supports a voluntary -- excuse me, Senator Klobuchar, you support a voluntary buyback, if I'm correct, right. What is wrong with a mandatory buyback? Your response.

    KLOBUCHAR: I just keep thinking of how close we are to finally getting something done on this. I'm looking at the mayor of Dayton. I met one of the survivors from that shooting, 30 seconds, nine people killed.

    The public is with us on this in a big way. The majority of Trump voters want to see universal background checks right now. The majority of hunters want to see us move forward with gun safety legislation. There are three bills right now on Mitch McConnell's desk, the background check bill, my bill to close the boyfriend loophole so domestic abusers don't get guns, the bill to make it easier for police to vet people before they get a gun. That's what we should be focusing on.

    And I just don't want to screw this up. When I'm president, I do want to bring in an assault weapon ban and I do want to put a limitation on magazines so what happened in Dayton, Ohio, will never happen again. But let's not mess this up with this fight.

    COOPER: Senator Warren, you support a voluntary gun buyback of assault-style weapons, as well. Why not a mandatory one?

    WARREN: So, look, I want to get what works done. I want to use the method we used, for example, with machine guns. We registered them, we put in a huge penalty if you didn't register them, and a huge tax on them, and then let people turn them in, and it got machine guns out of the hands of people.

    But the problem here that we need to focus on is, first, how widespread gun violence is. As you’ve rightly identified, it’s not just about mass shootings. It’s what happens in neighborhoods all across this country. It is about suicide, and it is about domestic violence.

    This is not going to be a one and done, that we do one thing or two things or three things and then we're done. We have to reduce gun violence overall. And the question we have to ask is, why hasn't it happened?

    You say we're so close. We have been so close. I stood in the United States Senate in 2013...

    COOPER: Thank you.

    WARREN: ... when 54 senators voted in favor of gun legislation and it didn't pass because of the filibuster.

    COOPER: Thank you, Senator. Senator...

    WARREN: We have got to attack the corruption and repeal the filibuster or the gun industry will always have a veto over what happens.

    COOPER: Senator Harris? Senator Harris, you disagree with Senator Warren. You think the buyback should be mandatory. Please respond.

    HARRIS: Five million assault weapons are on the streets of America today. During the course of this debate, eight people will die from gun violence. The leading cause of death of young black men in America is gun violence, more than the top other six reasons total.

    This is a serious matter. I have personally hugged more mothers of homicide victims than I care to tell you. I have looked at more autopsy photographs than I care to tell you. I have attended more police officer funerals than I care to tell you. I'm done. And we need action.

    And Congress has had years to act and failed because they do not have the courage. When I'm elected, I'll give them 100 days to pull their act together, put a bill on my desk for signature, and if they don't, I will take executive action and put in place a comprehensive background check requirement and ban the importation of assault weapons into our country because it is time to act.

    COOPER: Senator Biden -- Vice President Biden, your response.

    BIDEN: I'm the only one on this stage who has taken on the NRA and beat them, and beat them twice. We were able to get assault weapons off the streets and not be able to be sold for 10 years. Recent studies show that mass violence went down when that occurred.

    The way to deal with those guns and those AR-15s and assault weapons that are on the street -- or not on the street, that people own, is to do what we did with the National Firearms Act as it related to machine guns. You must register that weapon. You must register it. When you register it, the likelihood of it being used diminishes exponentially.

    I'm the only one that got -- got -- moved the -- to make sure that we could not have a magazine that had more than 10 rounds in it. I've done this. I know how to get it done. If you really want to get it done, go after the gun manufacturers and take back the exemption they have of not being able to be sued. That would change it.


    COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

    Secretary Castro, the vast majority of homicides committed with a gun in this country are from handguns, not assault-style weapons. What's your plan to prevent those deaths?

    CASTRO: Thank you very much for the question. You know, I grew up in neighborhoods where it wasn't uncommon to hear gunshots at night. And I can remember ducking into the back seat of a car when I was a freshman in high school, across the street from my school, my public school, because folks were shooting at each other.

    You know, in the neighborhoods -- let me answer this question about voluntary versus mandatory. There are two problems I have with mandatory buybacks. Number one, folks can't define it. And if you're not going door to door, then it's not really mandatory.

    But also, in the places that I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door. And you all saw a couple days ago what happened to Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth. A cop showed up at 2:00 in the morning at her house when she was playing video games with her nephew. He didn't even announced himself. And within four seconds, he shot her and killed her through her home window. She was in her own home.

    And so I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door in certain communities, because police violence is also gun violence, and we need to address that.


    COOPER: Secretary Castro, thank you.

    LACEY: Turning to another key issue here in Ohio and around the country, the opioid epidemic, Senator Klobuchar, CNN reached out to Ohio Democratic voters for their most pressing questions. Brie, a teacher in Proctorville, asks, in rural Ohio, the opioid epidemic has affected our communities and schools. I have many high school students who have lost one or both parents to heroin. Teachers are on the front lines daily, witnessing these tragedies. How will you tackle this problem in general, but specifically what will you offer people in rural communities where rehabilitation is not easily accessed and access to jobs is difficult?

    KLOBUCHAR: Well, I want to thank her for this question. This is something that should never have happened to begin with. I remember, when I was a prosecutor, these were not the kind of cases that were coming in our door. And it's gotten worse and worse. And we now know why.

    As the evidence is coming out of those lawsuits, probably one of the most horrible things that I saw was the e-mail from one of the pharma executives that actually said, "Keep pumping them out. They're eating them like Doritos."

    So my first answer to that question, and which is included in my plan, is that the people that should pay for this, that should pay for the treatment, are the very people that got people hooked and killed them in the first place. And that is the people that are manufacturing these opioids. That's the first way.

    And you can, with a 2 cents per milligram tax, bring in the money, plus with the federal master settlement, to help rural areas where they're so isolated, and also in urban areas, where it's, by the way, not just opiates. There are still mental health issues and crack cocaine issues.

    This is personal for me. My dad, he struggled with alcoholism his whole life. And by his third DWI, they said to him, the prosecutor, you've got to face jail or you got to go to treatment. He picked treatment, and he was pursued by grace. And he has been sober ever since. And now he's 91 and in assisted living, and he said to me last year, it's hard to get a drink around here, anyway. But he still has an AA group that visits him there.

    And so for me, I believe that everyone in this country, including the people in rural America, have that same right to be pursued by grace.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator. Mr. Steyer, how would you address the opioid epidemic that exists here in Ohio and around the country? Please respond.

    STEYER: Well, I think this is one of the most heartbreaking experiences that America has had, 72,000 people died of opioid overdoses last year, and that's not only a tragedy for them, it's a tragedy for their family and their communities.

    And so I think we have to treat this as a health citizens. We have to move the resources and the support there to try and help people.

    But I think that Senator Klobuchar makes a good point. The reason I'm running for president is that we have a broken government. And we have a broken government because corporations have bought it. And every single one of these conversations is about that broken government. It's about drug companies buying the government and getting what they want. It's about the gun manufacturers buying the government and get what we want.

    We need to break the corporate stranglehold on our government. I've put forward actual structural changes, including term limits, a natural referendum, the end to the idea that corporations are people and have the rights of American citizens politically, and make it a lot easier to vote

    These corporations have taken over our government. And 72,000 deaths...

    LACEY: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: ... last year are the tragic result.

    LACEY: Thank you, Mr. Steyer. Mr. Yang, you want to decriminalize the possession and use of small amounts of opioids, including heroin. How would that solve the crisis?

    YANG: That's exactly right. And we have to recognize this is a disease of capitalism run amok. There was a point when there were more opiate prescriptions in the state of Ohio than human beings in the state of Ohio. And for some reason, the federal government thought that was appropriate.

    They ended up levying a $600 million fine against Purdue Pharma, which sounds like a lot of money, until you realize that company made $30 billion. They got a 2 percent fine, and they killed tens of thousands of Americans, eight an hour.

    So if the government turned a blind eye to this company spreading a plague among its people, then the least we can do is put the resources to work in our community so our people have a fighting chance to get well, even though this is not a money problem. We all know this is a human problem.

    And part of helping people get the treatment that they need is to let them know that they're not going to be referred to a prison cell. They will be referred to treatment and counseling. I talked to an EMT in New Hampshire, and he said he saves the same addicts over and over again, because the fact is, after you save someone who's OD'ing, you just bring them back to their house and they OD again the following week.

    So we need to decriminalize opiates for personal use. We have to let the country know this is not a personal failing. This was a systemic government failing. And then we need to open up safe consumption and safe injection sites around the country, because they save lives.

    LACEY: Thank you, Mr. Yang. Congressman O'Rourke, is decriminalizing opioids part of the solution? Please respond.

    O'ROURKE: Yes, it is, for many of the reasons that Mr. Yang just described. And also just from some personal experiences I've had as a member of Congress where constituents of mine have come forward, in some cases publicly, at a town hall meeting to describe their addictions.

    I remember a veteran telling me that he bought heroin off the street because he was originally prescribed an opioid at the V.A. Now, imagine if that veteran, instead of being prescribe an opioid, had been prescribed marijuana because we made that legal in America, ensured the V.A....

    YANG: Yes, preach, Beto.

    O'ROURKE: ... could prescribe it, expunge the arrest records for those who've been arrested for possession, and make sure that he was not prescribed something to which he would become addicted.

    I also want to agree with Senator Klobuchar. Until we hold those responsible accountable for their actions, Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, we're going to continue to have this problem going on again. So that veteran that I met, and anyone with drug addiction today, is not a problem for the criminal justice system.

    LACEY: Thank you.

    O'ROURKE: They're an opportunity for our public health system in America.

    LACEY: Thank you, Congressman. Senator Harris, you want to hold the drug manufacturers that fueled the crisis accountable. Are you in favor of sending those drug company executives to jail?

    HARRIS: I am. And I will tell you, as a former prosecutor, I do think of this as being a matter of justice and accountability, because they are nothing more than some high-level dope dealers. They have been engaged...


    And I've seen it happen before. I've taken on the pharmaceutical companies when I was attorney general of California and led the second largest Department of Justice. I've seen what they do.

    The biggest pharmaceutical companies, the eight biggest pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies last year profited $72 billion on the backs of people like the families that we are talking about that have been overwhelmed by this crisis, which is a public health epidemic.

    And they knew what they were doing. They were marketing false advertising. They knew what they were pushing in communities and states like Ohio, without any concern about the repercussions because they were profiting and making big bucks. And, yes, they should be held accountable. This is a matter of justice.

    And so as president of the United States, I would ensure that the United States Department of Justice, understand that you want to deal with who is really a criminal? Let's end mass incarceration and end that failed war on drugs, and let's go after these pharmaceutical companies for what they've been doing to destroy our country and states like Ohio.

    LACEY: Thank you, Senator. Secretary Castro, are you in favor of sending those drug company executives to prison? Please respond.

    CASTRO: Yes, I am. They need to be held accountable, not only financially, but also with criminal penalties. And, you know, you can draw a straight line between making sure that we hold executives accountable, whether it's these drug manufacturers or Wall Street executives that should have been held accountable a decade-and-a-half ago.

    LACEY: Thank you.

    BURNETT: Now to the issue of candidates and their health. Senator Sanders, I want to start with you. We're moving on, Senator. I'm sorry.

    SANDERS: I'm healthy. I'm feeling great, but I would like to respond to that question.

    BURNETT: I want to -- I want start by saying...


    BOOKER: And Senator Sanders is in favor of medical marijuana. I want to make sure that's clear, as well.

    BURNETT: Senator Sanders, this debate does mark your...

    SANDERS: I do. I'm not on it tonight.


    BURNETT: This debate -- this debate, sir, does mark your return to the campaign trail. Go ahead and finish your point and then I'll ask my question, Senator.

    SANDERS: I'm more than happy to answer your question, but I wanted to pick up on what Kamala and Cory and others have said. Let's take a deep breath. Take a look at this opioid epidemic.

    You have executives, CEOs of major pharmaceutical companies, making tens of millions of dollars a year. And in this particular case with the opioids, they knew that they were selling a product to communities all over this country which were addicting people and killing them. And last year, the top 10 drug companies made $69 billion in profit.

    This is what unfettered capitalism is doing to this country. And it's not just the drug companies. Right now, the CEOs in the fossil fuel industry know full well that their product is destroying this world. And they continue to make huge profits.

    BURNETT: Senator...

    SANDERS: That is why we need a political revolution...

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator.

    SANDERS: ... that says enough is enough to this behavior.


    BURNETT: Senator, we are all very glad you're feeling well...

    SANDERS: Thank you.

    BURNETT: ... as you just said. But there is a question on a lot of people's minds, and I want to address it tonight. You're 78 years old, and you just had a heart attack. How do you reassure Democratic voters that you're up to the stress of the presidency?

    SANDERS: Well, let me invite you all to a major rally we’re having in Queens, New York, berniesanders.com. We’re going to have a special guest at that event. And we are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country. That is how I think I can reassure the American people.

    But let me take this moment, if I might, to thank so many people from all over this country, including many of my colleagues up here, for their love, for their prayers, for their well wishes. And I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I'm so happy to be back here with you this evening.


    BURNETT: Vice President Biden, if you're elected, you will turn 80 during your first term. Last month, former President Jimmy Carter said he could not have undertaken the duties of the presidency at 80 years old. Why are you so sure that you can?

    BIDEN: Because I've watched it. I know what the job is. I've been engaged.

    Look, one of the reasons I'm running is because of my age and my experience. With it comes wisdom. We need someone to take office this time around who on day one can stand on the world stage, command the respect of world leaders, from Putin to our allies, and know exactly what has to be done to get this country back on track.

    It is required now more than any time in any of our lifetimes to have someone who has that capacity on day one. That's one of the reasons why I decided to run, why I decided to run this time, because I know what has to be done. I've done it before. I've been there when we pulled the nation out of the worst financial recession in history. I've been there, and I've got so many pieces of legislation passed, including the Affordable Care Act, as well as making sure that we had the Recovery Act, which kept us from going into a depression.

    I know what has to be done. I will not need any on-the-job training the day I take office. And I will release my medical records, as I have 21 years of my tax records, which no one else on this stage has done, so that you can have full transparency as to my health and what I am doing.

    BURNETT: Just to be clear, Mr. Vice President, when will you release those records?

    BIDEN: Before the first vote.

    BURNETT: Before Iowa?

    BIDEN: Yes.

    BURNETT: Not by the end of this year?

    BIDEN: Well, before Iowa. I mean, look, I've released them before. I released 55 pages of my -- I'm the only guy that's released anything up here.

    BURNETT: Senator Warren, like Senator Sanders and Vice President Biden, if you win the presidency, you would be the oldest president ever inaugurated in a first term. You would be 71. Forty percent of Democratic primary voters say they think a candidate under the age of 70 is more likely to defeat President Trump. What do you say to them?

    WARREN: Well, I say, I will out-work, out-organize, and outlast anyone, and that includes Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or whoever the Republicans get stuck with.


    Look, the way I see this, the way we're going to win is by addressing head-on what millions of Americans know in their bones, and that is that the wealthy and the well-connected have captured our democracy, and they're making it work for themselves and leaving everyone else behind.

    And political pundits and Washington insiders and, shoot, people in our own party don't want to admit that. They think that running some kind of vague campaign that nibbles around the edges of big problems in this country is a winning strategy. They are wrong.

    If all Democrats can promise is after Donald Trump it will be business as usual, then we will lose. Democrats win when we call out what's broken and we show how to fix it. Democrats will win when we fight for the things that touch people's lives, things like childcare and health care and housing costs. Democrats will win when we give people a reason to get in the fight.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Senator Warren.

    Congresswoman Gabbard, you're 38 years old, and you would be the youngest president if elected. Should age matter when choosing a president?

    GABBARD: I'm glad you asked, because I was going to say it's not fair to ask these three about their health and their fitness to serve as president but not every other one of us. I am grateful to have been trained very well by the Army and do my best to stay in shape.

    But here's the real question I believe you should be asking is: Who is fit to serve as our commander-in-chief? This is the most important responsibility that the president has. What Donald Trump has been doing in Syria and what we have just seen with him, inviting Turkey to come in and slaughter the Kurds, show what an unfit president looks like. It highlights how critical it is that we have a president and commander-in-chief who is ready on day one, bringing experience and understanding in foreign policy and national security.

    Bringing the experience that I have, both serving in Congress now for nearly seven years, serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, serving on the Armed Services Committee, subcommittees related to terrorism and upcoming threats, serving on the Homeland Security Committee, the experience that I have as a soldier, serving for over 16 years in the Army National Guard, deploying twice to the Middle East, being able to serve in different capacities, joint training exercises, training the Kuwait National Guard.

    I understand the importance of our national security. I am prepared to do this job, to fulfill this responsibility as commander-in-chief on day one.

    BURNETT: Thank you, Congresswoman.

    GABBARD: I'd like to ask our other candidates this question. I'd like to start with Senator Warren...

    BURNETT: Sorry, Congressman, I'm sorry.

    GABBARD: ... what her experience and background is to serve as commander-in-chief.

    BURNETT: I'm sorry, thank you. We're going to take another break now. The CNN-New York Times debate live from Otterbein University here in Ohio will be back in just a few moments.


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    The November 19, 2019 Democratic debate transcript, Part 1

    By Fix staff
    November 20, 2019 at 9:46 p.m. PST


    Democratic presidential candidates squared off in Atlanta on Wednesday in a debate hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC. Below is a transcript of the debate.

    Candidates: Former Vice President Joe Biden.; Andrew Yang; Tom Steyer; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.); Sen. Kamala Harris, (D-Calif.); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.); Sen. Bernard Sanders, (I-Vt.)

    Moderators: Rachel Maddow, MSNBC anchor; Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent; Ashley Parker, Washington Post White House reporter


    ANNOUNCER: The MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic presidential debate, live from Atlanta, Georgia, and the Tyler Perry Studios. Here is Rachel Maddow.


    MADDOW: Hello, and welcome to the MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic maandidates debate. At least some of us are very, very happy to be here tonight. I’m Rachel Maddow here in Atlanta, Georgia, tonight with my fellow moderators. Andrea Mitchell is NBC news foreign affairs correspondent and the host of “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC. Ashley Parker is White House reporter for the Washington Post. And Kristen Welker is NBC News White House correspondent.

    MITCHELL: We'll be covering a wide range of topics tonight, including national security, race, and climate. Each candidate will have one minute and 15 seconds to answer our questions and 45 seconds if we need to follow up. And we ask the audience to respect the candidates and please don't interrupt.

    MADDOW: There's 10 candidates here tonight. No time to waste. Let's get right to it.


    We're in the middle of the fourth presidential impeachment proceedings in our nation's history. Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered testimony today in the House impeachment inquiry that buttressed the case that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting with President Zelensky because he wanted the Ukrainian president to announce investigations that would benefit President Trump politically.

    Senator Warren, you have said already that you've seen enough to convict the president and remove him from office. You and four of your colleagues on this stage tonight who are also U.S. senators may soon have to take that vote. Will you try to convince your Republican colleagues in the Senate to vote the same way? And if so, how?

    WARREN: Of course I will. And the obvious answer is to say, first, read the Mueller report, all 442 pages of it, that showed how the president tried to obstruct justice, and when Congress failed to act at that moment, and that the president felt free to break the law again and again and again. And that's what's happened with Ukraine.

    We have to establish the principle: no one is above the law. We have a constitutional responsibility, and we need to meet it.

    But I want to add one more part based on today's testimony, and that is, how did Ambassador Sondland get there? You know, this is not a man who had any qualifications, except one: He wrote a check for a million dollars. And that tells us about what's happening in Washington, the corruption, how money buys its way into Washington.

    You know, I raised this months ago about the whole notion that donors think they're going to get ambassadorships on the other side. And I've taken a pledge. Anyone who wants to give me a big donation, don't ask to be an ambassador, because I'm not going to have that happen.

    I asked everyone who's running for president to join me in that and not a single person has so far. I hope what we saw today during the testimony means lots of people will sign on and say we are not going to give away these ambassador posts to the highest bidder.

    MADDOW: Senator Warren, thank you.

    Senator Klobuchar, you've said that you support the impeachment inquiry but you want to wait for a Senate trial to hear the evidence and make a decision about convicting the president. After the bombshell testimony of Ambassador Sondland today, has that view changed for you?

    KLOBUCHAR: I have made it very clear that this is impeachable conduct and I've called for an impeachment proceeding. I just believe our job as jurors is to look at each count and make a decision.

    But let me make very clear that what this impeachment proceeding about is really our democracy at stake. This is a president that not only with regard to his conduct with Ukraine, but every step of the way puts his own private interests, his own partisan interests, his own political interests in front of our country's interest, and this is wrong.

    This is a pattern with this man. And it goes to everything from how he has betrayed our farmers and our workers to what he has done with foreign affairs, leaving the Kurds for slaughter, sucking up to Vladimir Putin every minute of the day. That is what this guy does.

    And I think it is very, very important that we have a president that's going to put our country first. I was thinking about this when I was at the Carter Presidential Museum. And on the wall are etched the words of Walter Mondale when he looked back at their four years, not perfect. And he said this: We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace. We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace. That is the minimum that we should expect in a president of the United States.

    MADDOW: Senator, thank you.

    Senator Sanders, I'd like to go to you. Americans are watching these impeachment hearings. At the same time, they're also focused on their more immediate, daily economic and family concerns. How central should the president's conduct uncovered by this impeachment inquiry be to any Democratic nominee's campaign for president? How central would it be to yours?

    SANDERS: Well, Rachel, sadly, we have a president who is not only a pathological liar, he is likely the most corrupt president in the modern history of America. But we cannot simply be consumed by Donald Trump, because if we are, you know what? We're going to lose the election.

    Right now, you've got 87 million people who have no health insurance or are underinsured. We're facing the great existential crisis of our time in terms of climate change. You've got 500,000 people sleeping out on the street and you've got 18 million people paying half of their limited incomes for housing.

    What the American people understand is that the Congress can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time. In other words, we can deal with Trump's corruption, but we also have to stand up for the working families of this country. We also have to stand up to the fact that our political system is corrupt, dominated by a handful of billionaires, and that our economy is rigged with three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of America. We can do it all when we rally the American people in the cause of justice.

    MADDOW: Mayor Buttigieg, let me put the same question to you. How central should the president's conduct uncovered by the impeachment inquiry be to a Democratic nominee's campaign? How central would it be to yours?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, the constitutional process of impeachment should be beyond politics. And it is not a part of the campaign. But the president's conduct is. The impeachable conduct that we have seen in the abuse of power that we're learning more about in the investigations -- but just to be clear, the president's already confessed to it on television. But that's just part of what we've seen.

    Under normal circumstances, a president would leave office after something that was revealed recently that barely got any attention at all, which was the president had to confess in writing, in court, to illegally diverting charitable contributions that were supposed to go to veterans. We are absolutely going to confront this president for his wrongdoing, but we're also each running to be the president who will lead this country after the Trump presidency comes to an end one way or the other.

    I'm running to be the president for that day the sun comes up and the Trump presidency is behind us, which will be a tender moment in the life of this country. And we are going to have to unify a nation that will be as divided as ever and, while doing it, address big issues that didn't take a vacation for the impeachment process or for the Trump presidency as a whole: a climate approaching the point of no return, the fact we've still got to act on health care, kids learning active shooter drills before they learn to read, and an economy where even when the Dow Jones is looking good, far too many Americans have to fight like hell just to hold on to what they've got.

    MADDOW: Mr. Mayor.

    BUTTIGIEG: Those are the crises that will be awaiting the next president and will be at the heart of our campaign.

    MADDOW: Mr. Mayor, thank you. Andrea?

    MITCHELL: Vice President Biden, you've suggested in your campaign that if you defeat President Trump, Republicans will start working with Democrats again. But right now, Republicans in Congress, including some of whom you've worked with for decades, are demanding investigations not only of you but also of your son. How would you get those same Republicans to work with you?

    BIDEN: Well, look, the next president of the United States is going to have to do two things. Defeat Donald Trump, that's number one. And, number two, going to have to be able make be -- be able to go into states like Georgia and North Carolina and other places and get a Senate majority. That's what I'll do.

    You have to ask yourself up here, who is most likely to be able to win the nomination in the first place, to win the presidency in the first place? And, secondly, who is most likely to increase the number of people who are Democrats in the House and in the Senate?

    And by the way, I learned something about these impeachment trials. I learned, number one, that Donald Trump doesn't want me to be the nominee. That's pretty clear. He held up aid to make sure that -- while at the same time innocent people in the Donbas are getting killed by Russian soldiers.

    Secondly, I found out that Vladimir Putin doesn't want me to be president. So I -- I've learned a lot about these things early on from these hearings that -- that are being held. But the bottom line is, I think we have to ask ourselves the honest question: Who is most likely to do what needs to be done, produce a Democratic majority in the United States Senate, maintain the House, and beat Trump?

    MITCHELL: Senator Harris, your thoughts about that?

    HARRIS: Well, first of all, we have a criminal living in the White House. And there is no question that in 2020 the biggest issue before us, until we get to that tender moment, is justice is on the ballot.

    And what we saw today is Ambassador Sondland by his own words told us that everyone was in the loop. That means it is a criminal enterprise engaged in by the president, from what we heard today, the vice president, the secretary of state, and the chief of staff.

    And so this not only points to the corrupt nature of this administration and the need for these impeachment proceedings to go forward, but it also points to another issue, and back to the question that you asked earlier, which is, what does this mean for the American people?

    Because what it means, when I watch this, is that there are clearly two different set of rules for two different groups of people in America: the powerful people who with their arrogance think they can get away with this and then everybody else.

    Because here's the thing. For those working people who are working two or three jobs, if they don't pay that credit card by the end of the month, they get a penalty. For the people who don't pay their rent, they get evicted. For the people who shoplift, they go to jail. We need the same set of rules for everybody. And part of the reason I'm running for president is to say that we have to bring justice back to America for all people, and not just for some.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator.

    Senator Warren, you have cast yourself as a fighter. If you were elected, though, you would be walking into an existing fight, a country that is already very divided over the Trump presidency, among other things. Do you see that divide as permanent? Or do you need to bring the country together if you become president to achieve your goals?

    WARREN: So I think the way we achieve our goals and bring our country together is we talk about the things that unite us, and that is that we want to build an America that works for the people, not one that just works for rich folks.

    You know, I have proposed a two cent wealth tax. That is a tax for everybody who has more than $50 billion in assets, your first $50 billion is free and clear. But your 50 billionth and first dollar, you've got to pitch in 2 cents. And when you hit a billion dollars, you've got to pinch in a few pennies more.

    Here's the thing. Doing a wealth tax is not about punishing anyone. It's about saying, you built something great in this country? Good for you. But you did it using workers all of us helped pay to educate. You did it using -- you're getting your goods on roads and bridges all of us helped pay for. You did it protected by police and firefighters all of us helped pay the salaries for.

    So when you make it big, when you make it really big, when you make it top one tenth of one percent big, pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance to make it.

    And here's the thing. That's something that Democrats care about, independents care about, and Republicans care about, because regardless of party affiliation, people understand across this country, our government is working better and better for the billionaires, for the rich, for the well-connected, and worse and worse for everyone else. We come together when we acknowledge that and say we're going to make real change.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator. Thank you.

    Senator Booker, do you agree with that strategy?

    BOOKER: Well, first of all, I think we all agree that we need to bring in a lot more revenue in this country. We actually have a real problem with the tax rates, tax loopholes, tax cheats. And I don't agree with the wealth tax, the way that Elizabeth Warren puts it, but I agree that we need to raise the estate tax. We need to tax capital gains as ordinary income. Real strategies will increase revenue.

    But here's the challenge. We as Democrats need to fight for a just taxation system. But as I travel around the country, we Democrats also have to talk about how to grow wealth, as well.

    When I stood in church recently and asked folks in a black church how many people here want to be entrepreneurs, half the church raised their hands. If we as a country don't start -- if we as a party don't start talking not just about how to tax wealth, but how to give more people opportunities to create wealth, to grow businesses, to have their American dream -- because, yeah, we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, $15 an hour.

    But the people in communities I frequent, they're not -- aspiration for their lives is not just to have those fair wages. They want to have an economy that provides not just equalities in wealth, but they want to have equalities in opportunity. And that's what our party has to be about, as well.

    MITCHELL: Senator Warren, you wanted to respond?

    WARREN: Sure. So let me just tell you what we can do with that two cent wealth tax. Two cents on the top one-tenth of one percent in this country, and we can provide universal child care for every baby in this country ages zero to five. That is transformative.

    We can provide universal pre-K for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in America. We can stop exploiting the women, largely black and brown women, who do this work. And we can raise the wages of every childcare worker and pre-schoolteacher in America.

    We can put $800 billion new federal dollars into all of our public schools. We can make college tuition-free for every kid. We can put $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities. And we can cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the folks who've got it. Two cent wealth tax and we can invest in an entire generation's future.

    MITCHELL: All right. Let me let Senator Booker respond.

    WARREN: Sure.

    BOOKER: You know, again, I agree with the need to do all of those things. We're all united in wanting to see universal preschool. And I'll fight for that. We're all united in wanting to fund HBCUs. Heck, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for two parents that went to HBCUs.

    But the tax the way we're putting it forward right now, the wealth tax, I'm sorry, it's cumbersome. It's been tried by other nations. It's hard to evaluate. We can get the same amount of revenue through just taxation.

    But, again, we as Democrats have got to start talking not just about how we tax from a stage, but how we grow wealth in this country amongst those disadvantaged communities that are not seeing it. Look at VC dollars in this country. Seventy-five percent of them go to three metropolitan areas. There is worth in the inner city. There is value in our rural areas.

    If I am president of the United States, we're going to have a fair, just taxation where millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share, but, dear God, we're going to have pathways to prosperity for more Americans. We're going to see a change in what we see right now. Small businesses, new startups are going down in this country.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator.

    BOOKER: We need to give more new entrepreneurs access to wealth.

    MITCHELL: Senator Warren, briefly, just your last thoughts on this.

    WARREN: So I just -- the idea behind what is fair, today, the 99 percent in America are on track to pay about 7.2 percent of their total wealth in taxes.

    BOOKER: I'm not disagreeing with that.

    WARREN: The top one-tenth of one percent that I want to say pay two cents more, they'll pay 3.2 percent in America. I'm tired of freeloading billionaires. I think it's time that we ask those at the very top to pay more so that every single one of our children gets a real...


    MITCHELL: ... Senator Booker, Senator Warren...

    BOOKER: Everybody's tired of corporations getting away with paying zero taxes.

    MITCHELL: Thank you.

    BOOKER: I'm not disagreeing with that.

    MITCHELL: Thank you very much, Senator Warren. Thank you.

    Mayor Buttigieg, you have said, quote, "I will never allow us to get so wrapped up in the fighting that we start to think fighting is the point." The Republican Party never stopped fighting President Obama in his eight years in office. So what would you do that President Obama didn't do to change that?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, as President Obama commented recently, we are now in a different reality than we were even 12 years ago. And to me, the extraordinary potential of the moment we're in right now is that there is an American majority that stands ready to tackle big issues that didn't exist in the same way even a few years ago.

    Even on issues where Democrats have been on defense, like immigration and guns, we have a majority to do the right thing, if we can galvanize, not polarize that majority. For example, on health care, the reason I insist on Medicare for all who want it as the strategy to deliver on that goal we share of universal health care is that that is something that as a governing strategy we can unify the American people around, creating a version of Medicare, making it available to anybody who wants it, but without the divisive step of ordering people onto it whether they want to or not.

    And I believe that commanding people to accept that option, whether we wait three years, as Senator Warren has proposed, or whether you do it right out of the gate, is not the right approach to unify the American people around a very, very big transformation that we now have an opportunity to deliver.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

    Health Care:

    Kristen Welker?

    WELKER: Let's talk about Medicare for all. Senator Warren, you are running on Medicare for all. Democrats have been winning elections even in red states with a very different message on health care: protecting Obamacare. Democrats are divided on this issue. What do you say to voters who are worried that your position on Medicare for all could cost you critical votes in the general election?

    WARREN: So I look out and I see tens of millions of Americans who are struggling to pay their medical bills, 37 million people who decided not to have a prescription filled because they just can't afford it, people who didn't take the tests the doctor recommended because they just can't afford it.

    So here is my plan. Let's bring as many people in and get as much help to the American people as we can as fast as we can. On day one as president, I will do -- bring down the cost of prescription drugs on things like insulin and EpiPens. That's going to save tens of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars for people. I'm going to defend the Affordable Care Act from the sabotage of the Trump administration.

    And in the first 100 days, I want to bring in 135 million people into Medicare for all at no cost to them. Everybody under the age of 18, everybody who has a family of four income less than $50,000. I want to lower the age of Medicare to 50 and expand Medicare coverage to include vision and dental and long-term care.

    And then in the third year, when people have had a chance to feel it and taste it and live with it, we're going to vote and we're going to want Medicare for all.

    WELKER: Thank you, Senator.

    Senator Sanders, let me bring you into this conversation and ask you the question...

    SANDERS: Thank you. I wrote the damn bill.


    WELKER: I want to ask you the question this way, Senator Sanders. You described your campaign, including your plans for Medicare for all, as a political revolution.

    SANDERS: Yes.

    WELKER: President Obama explicitly said the country is, quote, "less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement. The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it," end quote. Is President Obama wrong?

    SANDERS: No, he's right. We don't have to tear down the system, but we do have to do what the American people want. And the American people understand today that the current health care system is not only cruel, it is dysfunctional.

    Now, you tell me how we have a system in which we spend twice as much as do the people of any other country, and yet we've got 87 million uninsured, underinsured. In some cases, we pay 10 times more for prescription drugs as do the people of Canada or other countries. Five hundred thousand people go bankrupt because of medically related issues. They come down with cancer, and that's a reason to go bankrupt?

    Now, some of the people up here think that we should not take on the insurance industry, we should not take on the pharmaceutical industry. But you know what? If you think back to FDR and if you think back to JFK and Harry Truman and Barack Obama, as a matter of fact, people have been talking about health care for all. Well, you know what? I think now is the time.

    And in the first week of my administration, we will introduce Medicare for all. Medicare for all, that means no deductibles, no co-payments, no out-of-pocket expenses. That's where we've got to go.

    WELKER: Thank you, Senator Sanders. Vice President Biden?

    BIDEN: You know, we can do this without charging people -- raising $30 trillion, $40 trillion. The fact is that right now the vast majority of Democrats do not support Medicare for all.

    SANDERS: Not true.

    BIDEN: It couldn't pass the United States Senate right now with Democrats. It couldn't pass the House. Nancy Pelosi is one of those people who doesn't think it makes sense.

    We should build on Obamacare, provide the plan I put forward before anybody in here, adding a Medicare option in that plan, and not make people choose. Allow people to choose, I should say. If you go the route of my two friends on my right and my left, you have to give up your private insurance. A hundred and sixty million people like their private insurance. And if they don't like it, they can buy into a Medicare-like proposal in my plan. Drug prices go down, premiums go down across the board.

    But here's the deal, they get to choose. I trust the American people to make a judgment what they believe is in their interest and not demand of them what the insurance companies -- they want no -- no competition. And my friends say you have to only go Medicare for all.

    WELKER: Vice President Biden, thank you.


    PARKER: Congresswoman Gabbard, you have criticized Hillary Clinton as the, quote, "personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party." What is the rot you see in the Democratic Party?

    GABBARD: That our Democratic Party, unfortunately, is not the party that is of, by, and for the people. It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others' foreign policy, by the military industrial complex, and other greedy corporate interests.

    I'm running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, takes it out of their hands, and truly puts it in the hands of the people of this country. A party that actually hears the voices of Americans who are struggling all across this country and puts it in the hands of veterans and fellow Americans who are calling for an end to this ongoing Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime change wars, overthrowing dictators in other countries, needlessly sending my brothers and sisters in uniform into harm's way to fight in wars that actually undermine our national security and have cost us thousands of American lives.

    These are wars that have cost us as American taxpayers trillions of dollars since 9/11 alone, dollars that have come out of our pockets, out of our hospitals, out of our schools, out of our infrastructure needs. As president, I will end this foreign policy, end these regime change wars, work to end this new cold war and arms race, and instead invest our hard-earned taxpayer dollars actually into serving the needs of the American people right here at home.

    PARKER: Thank you, Congresswoman.

    Senator Harris, any response?

    HARRIS: Oh, sure.


    I think that it's unfortunate that we have someone on this stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama...

    GABBARD: That's ridiculous, Senator Harris. That's ridiculous.

    HARRIS: ... who has spent full time -- who has spent full time criticizing people on this stage as affiliated with the Democratic Party, when Donald Trump was elected, not even sworn in, buddied up to Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Donald Trump in the Trump Tower, fails to call a war criminal by what he is as a war criminal, and then spends full time during the course of this campaign, again, criticizing the Democratic Party.

    What we need on the stage in November is someone who has the ability to win. And by that, we need someone on that stage who has the ability to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump and someone who has the ability to rebuild the Obama coalition and bring the party and the nation together. I believe I am that candidate.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator.


    Congresswoman Gabbard, I'll give you a chance to respond.

    GABBARD: What Senator Harris is doing is unfortunately continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos because she cannot challenge the substance of the argument that I'm making, the leadership and the change that I'm seeking to bring in our foreign policy, which only makes me guess that she will as president continue the status quo, continue the Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy of regime change wars, which is deeply destructive.

    This is personal to me because I served in Iraq. I left my seat in the state legislature in Hawaii, volunteered to deploy to Iraq where I served in the medical unit where every single day I saw the terribly high human cost of war. I take very seriously the responsibility that the president has to serve as commander-in-chief, to lead our armed forces, and to make sure always -- no, I'm not going to put party interests first. I will put the interests of the American people above all else.

    PARKER: Thank you, Congresswoman. I want to -- I want to briefly give Senator Harris a final second to respond.

    HARRIS: I believe that what our nation needs right now is a nominee who can speak to all people. I've spent my entire career standing mostly in a courtroom speaking five words: Kamala Harris for the people. And it was about all the people, regardless of their race, regardless of their gender, regardless of where they lived geographically, regardless of the party with which they're registered to vote or the language their grandmother speaks.

    We need someone on this debate stage in November who has the ability to unify the country and to win the election. And I believe, again, I am that candidate.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator.

    HARRIS: Thank you.

    PARKER: Mr. Steyer, you have denounced the special interests that pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process to influence it. But, in fact, you have spent over $300 million of your own money in support of your political goals. How do you respond to critics who see you as the embodiment of a special interest?

    STEYER: What I've done over the last decade is to put together coalitions of ordinary American citizens to take on unchecked corporate power. We have a broken government in Washington, D.C. It's been purchased by corporations. Over the last decade, with the help of the American people, we have taken on and beaten the oil companies, we have taken on and beaten the tobacco companies, we have taken on and beaten utilities, we've taken on and beaten the drug companies.

    I’ve also built one of the largest grassroots organizations in the United States. Last year, NextGen America did the largest youth voter mobilization in American history, also, in partnership with seven national unions, knocked on 15 million doors in 2016 and 10 million in 2018.

    What I've done is to try to push power down to the America people, to take power away from the corporations who've bought our government. And I'm talking now about structural reform in Washington, D.C.

    Term limits. If you want bold change in the United States, you're going to have to have new and different people in charge. I'm the only person on this stage who will talk about term limits. Vice President Biden won't. Senator Sanders won't. Even Mayor Pete Buttigieg will not talk about term limits and structural change. I would let the American people pass laws themselves through direct democracy. It's time to push the power back to the people and away from D.C.

    PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Steyer. Mr. Steyer, thank you. Senator Klobuchar, a brief response.


    KLOBUCHAR: Well, I just -- I'm someone that doesn't come from money, and I appreciate the work of Mr. Steyer. But right now, we have a system that's not fair, and it's not just fair for money. And so I would do is start a constitutional amendment and pass it to overturn Citizens United. That's what we should do, so that we stop this dark money and outside money from coming into our politics.

    I have led the way on voting. And I can tell you right now, one solution that would make a huge difference in this state would be to allow every kid in the country to register to vote when they turn 18. If we had a system like this, and we did something about gerrymandering, and we stopped the voting purges, and we did something significant about making sure we don't have money in politics from the outside, Stacey Abrams would be governor of this state right now.


    PARKER: Thank you, Senator.

    KLOBUCHAR: And that's what should happen. So while I appreciate his work, I am someone that doesn't come from money. I see my husband out there. My first Senate race, I literally called everyone I knew and I set what is still an all-time Senate record. I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends.


    And I'd like to point out, it is not an expanding base.


    KLOBUCHAR: So I don't just think this with my head. I feel it in my heart.

    PARKER: Thank you. Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

    BUTTIGIEG: Since I was named, I'd like to have time...


    PARKER: Mr. Yang, I want to bring you in. Mr. Yang -- Mr. Yang, you've made a virtue of your outsider status. You've never served in military or in government. What has prepared you to respond to a terrorist attack or a major disaster?

    YANG: Well, first, I just want to stick up for Tom. We have a broken campaign finance system, but Tom has been spending his own money fighting climate change. You can't knock someone for having money and spending it in the right way, my opinion.


    STEYER: Thanks, Andrew.

    YANG: No problem.


    As commander-in-chief, I think we need to be focused on the real threats of the 21st century. And what are those threats? Climate change, artificial intelligence, loose nuclear material, military drones, and non-state actors.

    And if you look up, we're in the process of potentially losing the AI arms race to China right now, because they have more access to more data than we do, and their government is putting billions of dollars to work subsidizing the development of AI in a way that we are not.

    We are 24 years behind on technology. And I can say that with authority, because we got rid of the Office of Technology Assessment in 1995. Think about that timing. I guess they thought they'd invented everything.

    The next commander-in-chief has to be focused on the true threats of tomorrow. And that's what I will bring to the table as commander-in-chief.

    PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Yang.



    MITCHELL: Mayor Buttigieg, let's talk about your record as a candidate. You were elected mayor in a Democratic city receiving just under 11,000 votes. And in your only statewide race, you lost by 25 points. Why should Democrats take the risk of betting on you?

    BUTTIGIEG: Because I have the right experience to take on Donald Trump. I get that it's not traditional establishment Washington experience, but I would argue we need something very different right now.

    In order to defeat this president, we need somebody who can go toe-to-toe who actually comes from the kinds of communities that he's been appealing to. I don't talk a big game about helping the working class while helicoptering between golf courses with my name on them. I don't even golf.


    As a matter of fact, I never thought I'd be on a Forbes magazine list, but they did one of all the candidates by wealth, and I am literally the least wealthy person on this stage.

    I also wore the uniform of this country and know what is at stake in the decisions that are made in the Oval Office and in the Situation Room. And I know how to bring people together to get things done. I know that from the perspective of Washington, what goes on in my city might look small, but frankly, where we live, the infighting on Capitol Hill is what looks small. The usual way of doing business in Washington is what looks small.

    And I believe we need to send somebody in who has a different kind of experience, the experience on the ground, solving problems, working side by side with neighbors on some of the toughest issues that come up in government, recognizing what is required of executive leadership, and bringing that to Washington so that Washington can start looking a little more like our best-run communities in the heartland before the other way around starts to happen.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor.

    Senator Klobuchar, you've said this of Mayor Buttigieg, quote, "Of the women on the stage, do I think that we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience he had? No, I don't. Maybe we're held to a different standard." Senator, what did you mean by that?

    KLOBUCHAR: First of all, I've made very clear I think that Pete is qualified to be up on this stage, and I am honored to be standing next to him. But what I said was true. Women are held to a higher standard. Otherwise, we could play a game called name your favorite woman president, which we can't do, because it has all been men.


    And including all vice presidents being men. And I think any working woman out there, any woman that's at home knows exactly what I mean. We have to work harder, and that's a fact.

    But I want to dispel one thing, because for so long why has this been happening? I don't think you have to be the tallest person on this stage to be president. I don't think you have to be the skinniest person. I don't think you have the loudest voice on this stage. I don't think that means that you will be the one that should be president. I think what matters is if you're smart, if you're competent, and if you get things done.

    I am the one that has passed over a hundred bills as the lead Democrat in that gridlock of Washington in Congress on this stage. I think you've got to win. And I am the one, Mr. Vice President, that has been able to win every red and purple congressional district as a lead on a ticket every time. I govern both with my head and my heart. And if you think a woman can't beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.


    MITCHELL: Mr. Vice President, Mr. Vice President, just a quick response?

    BIDEN: I think a woman is qualified to be president, and there's no reason why -- if you think the woman is the most qualified person now, you should vote for them. The reason why I think I should be president and be the nominee is, number one, I have brought people together my entire career. In the United States Senate, I've passed more major legislation than everybody on this stage combined, from the Violence Against Women Act to making sure we have the chemical weapons treaty to dealing with Milosevic, the whole range of things that I've been engaged in my whole career.

    I've done it. I've brought people together. I'm always told by everybody around here things have changed, you can't do that anymore. If we can't -- I thought the question was initially asked of the senator, how do you unify this country? We have to unify this country. I have done it. I have done it repeatedly.

    And lastly, to be commander-in-chief, there's no time for on-the-job training. I've spent more time in the Situation Room, more time abroad, more time than anybody up here. I know every major world leader. They know me, and they know when I speak, if I'm the president of the United States, who we're for, who we're against, and what we'll do, and we'll keep our word.


    MITCHELL: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.


    PARKER: Senator Booker, one of the defining characters of the Trump presidency is that the American people hear from him directly all the time about everything, on Twitter and just about everywhere else. Setting aside your views of his tone, is that unfiltered communication something you as president would continue? Is this one of the norms broken by President Trump that needed to change?

    BOOKER: So, look, this president has broken norms, as you've said. He used his platforms to demean, degrade, and divide this country in ways that are repugnant and appalling. But the next president, whoever they are, is going to have to be someone who can heal and bring this nation together, this whole nation.

    So, absolutely, in that office I will do whatever it takes to make sure we bring this country together. But it's not for a Kumbaya moment. We are a nation that achieves great things when we stand together and work together and fight together. So, absolutely.

    When I was mayor of the largest city in my state -- and this is where I agree with Mayor Pete -- mayoral experience is very important. And I happen to be the other Rhodes Scholar mayor on this stage.


    And what I learned there is that you have to be an executive that can heal. In my city, we have racial divides, we have geographic divides that go from wealth to people that are struggling. The success of my city was because we brought us all together and did things that other people said couldn't be done.

    When I am president of the United States, my campaign from the very beginning has not changed. My charge is to see a nation right now which has so much common pain, to channel that back into a sense of common purpose. And I will do whatever it takes, bringing creativity to that office like has never been seen before.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator.


    MADDOW: Chants of "Lock Her Up" are still heard at President Trump's rallies today. Now some opponents of the president are turning the same slogan against him. They've chanted "Lock Him Up" at a recent World Series game in Washington and at a Veterans Day event in New York and, Senator Sanders, at at least two of your campaign events recently. Senator, should Democrats discourage this? Or are you OK with it?

    SANDERS: Well, I think the people of this country are catching on to the degree that this president thinks he is above the law. And what the American people are saying: Nobody is above the law. And I think what the American people are also saying is, in fact, that if this president did break the law, he should be prosecuted like any other individual who breaks the law.

    But at the end of the day, what we need to do is to bring our people together not just in opposition to Trump. The initial question I think that you wrote -- that somebody raised here was that we are a divided nation. You know what? I kind of reject that.

    I think when you talk about the pain of working families in this country, majority of the American people want to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. When you talk about the climate crisis, the overwhelming majority of the American people know that it is real, they know we have to take on the fossil fuel industry, they know we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy sufficiency and sustainable energy.

    Even on issues like guns, the American people are coming together to end the horrific level of gun violence. So I believe, yeah, we've got to deal with Trump, but we also have to have an agenda that brings our people together so that the wealth and income doesn't just go to the people on top but to all of us.

    MADDOW: Vice President Biden, let me ask you to pick up on the issue that Senator Sanders just raised about no one being above the law. When President Ford pardoned President Nixon, he said it was to heal the country. Would you support a potential criminal investigation into President Trump after he leaves office, even if you thought it might further inflame the country's divisions?

    BIDEN: Look, I would not direct my Justice Department like this president does. I'd let them make their independent judgment. I would not dictate who should be prosecuted or who should be exonerated. That's not the role of the president of the United States. It's the attorney general of the United States, not the president's attorney, private attorney.

    And so I would -- whatever was determined by the attorney general I supported, that I appointed, let them make an independent judgment. If that was the judgment that he violated the law and he should be, in fact, criminally prosecuted, then so be it. But I would not direct it.

    And I don't think it's a good idea that we mock -- that we model ourselves after Trump and say lock him up. Look, we have to bring this country together. Let's start talking civilly to people and treating -- you know, the next president starts tweeting should -- anyway.


    Look, it's just -- look, it's about civility. We have to restore the soul of this country. And that's not who we are, that's not who we've been, that's not who we should be. Follow the law, let the Justice Department make the judgment as to whether or not someone should be prosecuted, period.

    MADDOW: Senator Sanders, let me ask you briefly to respond to that, the difference of opinion there with Vice President Biden.

    SANDERS: Well, I think Joe is right. I think that it is the function of the attorney general. But what I am of the opinion is that the American people now do believe, and the more they see these impeachment hearings on television, they do believe that we have a president who thinks he's above the law. We have a president who has engaged in corruption. We have a president who has obstructed justice and, in my view, somebody who's violated the emoluments clause.

    I think Joe is right, that is the function of an independent Department of Justice. But my inclination is that the American people do believe that this president is in violation of the law.

    BIDEN: Can I respond very quickly?

    MADDOW: Briefly, Senator.

    BIDEN: Distinction, should he be impeached and should he be thrown out of office? That's one question. He's very close to -- he's indicted himself. Number two, after he's thrown out of office or after he's defeated, should he be then prosecuted? Should he be prosecuted for a criminal offense while he was president? That's a judgment to be made by an attorney general.

    MADDOW: Mr. Vice President, thank you.


    PARKER: We now focus on an issue facing many Americans, childcare and paid family leave. Here in Georgia, the average price of infant daycare can be as much as $8,500 per child per year. That's more than instate tuition at a four-year public college in Georgia. Mr. Yang, what would you do as president to ease that financial burden?

    YANG: There are only two countries in the world that don't have paid family leave for new moms, the United States of America and Papua New Guinea. That is the entire list. And we need to get off this list as soon as possible.


    I would pass paid family leave as one of the first things we do. I have two kids myself who are four and seven, one of whom is autistic and has special needs, and it's breaking families' backs. We need to start supporting our kids and families from the beginning, because by the time they're showing up to pre-K and kindergarten, in many cases, they're already years behind.

    Studies have shown that two-thirds of our kids' educational outcomes are determined by what's happening to them at home. This is stress levels, number of words read to them as children, type of neighborhood, whether a parent has time to spend with them.

    So we need to have a freedom dividend in place from day one, $1,000 a month for every American adult, which would put in many cases $2,000 a month into families' pockets, so that they can either pay for childcare or if they want stay home with the child. We should not be pushing everyone to leave the home and go to the workforce. Many parents see that tradeoff and say if they leave the home and work, they're going to be spending all the money on childcare anyway. In many cases, it would be better if the parent stays home with the child.

    PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Yang.


    Sticking with this topic, no parent in the United States is federally guaranteed a single day of paid leave when they have a new baby. A number of you on stage tonight have plans to address this. Senator Harris, you're one of the candidates proposing legislation to guarantee up to six months of paid family leave. And Senator Klobuchar, you're one of the candidates proposing up to three months. I want to hear from both of you on this, starting with you, Senator Klobuchar. Why three months?

    KLOBUCHAR: I've looked at this economically, and I want to make sure that we help people. Because as just pointed out, we are way behind the curve, our country is, when it comes to providing paid family leave and childcare. We must do this and we will do this if we have the right person heading up the ticket so we can win big.

    But what I have done with all of my plans is I have shown how I'm going to pay for them meticulously. I think that is really, really important when we have a president in the White House right now one who has told over 10,000 lies.

    So when you look at my website, at amyklobuchar.com, you will see my plans and you're also going to see how I'm going to pay for it. And I think that is so important, because this president is literally increasing the debt, treating our farmers and workers like poker chips in a bankrupt casino, and really putting this country in a worst financial situation every single day.

    So, yes, my plan is three months. I think that's good. I'd love to do more. As I've said before, I'd love to staple free diplomas under people's chairs. I just am not going to go for things -- and this is not -- I'm talking about Senator Harris' plan here, but I'm talking about some of the other ideas that have been out here. I am not going to go for things just because they sound good on a bumper sticker and then throw in a free car.

    I think that we have an obligation -- we have an obligation as a party to be, yes, fiscally responsible, yes, think big, but make sure we have people's backs and are honest with them about what we can pay for. And that is everything from sending rich kids to college for free, which I don't support, to kicking 149 million off their health insurance -- current health insurance in four years.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator. Thank you.

    KLOBUCHAR: I just think we have to be smart about how we do this.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator. And, Senator Harris, why six months? And also, how would you pay for that?

    HARRIS: Sure. And, everybody, please visit my website, kamalaharris.org, for the details on everything I talk about. Six months, so part of how I believe we’re going to win this election is, it is going to be because we are focused on the future, we are focused on the challenges that are presented today and not trying to bring back yesterday to solve tomorrow.

    So on paid family leave, it is no longer the case in America that people are having children in their 20s. People are having children in their 30s, often in their 40s, which means that these families and parents are often raising young children and taking care of their parents, which requires a lot of work, from traveling back and forth to a hospital to daycare to all of the activities that are required, much less the health care needs that are required.

    And what we are seeing in America today is the burden principally falls on women to do that work. And many women are having to make a very difficult choice whether they're going to leave a profession for which they have a passion to care for their family, or whether they are going to give up a paycheck that is part of what that family relies on. So six months paid family leave is meant to and is designed to adjust to the reality of women's lives today.

    The reality also is that women are not paid equal for equal work in America. We passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, but fast forward to the year of our lord 2019, and women are paid 80 cents on the dollar, black women 61 cents, Native American women 58 cents, Latinas 53 cents.

    PARKER: Thank you.

    HARRIS: So my policy is about -- there's a whole collection of the work that I am doing that is focused on women and working women in America and the inequities and, therefore, the injustice that women in America are facing that needs to be resolved and addressed.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator.


    WELKER: Mr. Steyer, millions of working Americans are finding that housing has become unaffordable, especially in metropolitan areas. It is particularly acute in your home state of California, in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Why are you the best person to fix this problem?

    STEYER: When you look at inequality in the United States of America, you have to start with housing. Where you put your head at night determines so many things about your life. It determines where your kids go to school. It determines the air you breathe, where you shop, how long it takes you to get to work.

    What we've seen in California is, as a result of policy, we have millions too few housing units. And that affects everybody in California. It starts with a homeless crisis that goes all through the state, but it also includes skyrocketing rents which affect every single working person in the state of California.

    I understand exactly what needs to be done here, which is we need to change policy and we need to apply resources here to make sure that we build literally millions of new units.

    But the other thing that's going to be true about building these units is, we're going to have to build them in a way that's sustainable, that, in fact, how we build units, where people live has a dramatic impact on climate and on sustainability.

    So we are going to have to direct dollars, we're going to have to change policy and make sure that the localities and municipalities who have worked very hard to make sure that there are no new housing units built in their towns, that they have to change that and we're going to have force it, and then we're going to have to direct federal dollars to make sure that those units are affordable so that working people can live in places and not be spending 50 percent of their income on rent.

    WELKER: Thank you, Mr. Steyer. Thank you, Mr. Steyer. Senator Warren, I see your hand raised.

    WARREN: Yes. Think of it this way. Our housing problem in America is a problem on the supply side, and that means that the federal government stopped building new housing a long time ago, affordable housing.

    Also, private developers, they've gone up to McMansions. They're not building the little two bedroom, one bath house that I grew up in, garage converted to be a bedroom for my three brothers.

    So I've got a plan for 3.2 million new housing units in America. Those are housing units for working families, for the working poor, for the poor poor, for seniors who want to age in place, for people with disabilities, for people who are coming back from being incarcerated. It's about tenants' rights.

    But there's one more piece. Housing is how we build wealth in America. The federal government has subsidized the purchase of housing for decades for white people and has said for black people you're cut out of the deal. That was known as red-lining.

    When I built a housing plan, it's not only a housing plan about building new units. It's a housing plan about addressing what is wrong about government-sponsored discrimination, how we need to address it, and we need to say we're going to reverse it.

    WELKER: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. Senator Booker?


    BOOKER: I'm so grateful, again, as a mayor who was a mayor during a recession, who was a mayor during a housing crisis, who started my career as a tenants' rights lawyer, these are all good points, but we're not talking about something that is going on all over America, which is gentrification and low-income families being moved further and further out, often compounding racial segregation.

    And so all these things we need to put more federal dollars in it, but we've got to start empowering people. We use our tax code to move wealth up, the mortgage interest deduction. My plan is very simple. If you're a renter who pays more than a third of your income in rent, then you will get a refundable tax credit between the amount you're paying and the area median rent. That empowers people in the same way we empower homeowners.

    And what that does is it actually slashes poverty, 10 million people out. And by the way, for those people who are facing eviction, it is about time that the only people when they show up in rentals court that have a lawyer is not the landlord, it is also low-income families struggling to stay in their homes.

    WELKER: Thank you, Senator.


    MADDOW: We're going to take a quick break, but we'll be right back with these candidates from the MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic candidates debate in Atlanta, Georgia. Stay with us.



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    Default The November 19, 2019 Democratic debate transcript, Part 2

    The November 19, 2019 Democratic debate transcript, Part 2

    By Fix staff
    November 20, 2019 at 9:46 p.m. PST


    American Farmers & Tariffs

    MADDOW: Welcome back to the MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic candidates debate. Let's get right back into it.

    American farmers are struggling under the effects of President Trump's trade war with China. The Trump administration's payments to farmers to offset those losses already have a price tag that is more than double what was spent on the Obama administration's auto bailout.

    Mayor Buttigieg, would you continue those farm subsidies?

    BUTTIGIEG: We shouldn't have to pay farmers to take the edge off of a trade war that shouldn't have been started in the first place. I will support farmers, but not long ago, I was in Boone, Iowa, a guy came up to me, he said I got my Trump bailout check, but I would have rather spent that money on conservation.

    By the way, this isn't even making farmers whole. If you're in soybeans, for example, you're getting killed. And it's not just what this president has done with the trade war. In a lot of parts of the country, the worst thing is these so-called small refinery waivers, which are killing those who are involved in ethanol.

    Look, I don't think this president cares one bit about farmers. He keeps asking them to take one for the team, but more and more I'm talking to people in rural America who see that they're not going to benefit from business as usual under this president.

    I believe that so many of the solutions lie with American farmers, but we have to stand up for them, not just with direct subsidies and support, but with making sure we do something about the consolidation, the monopolies that leave farmers with fewer places to purchase supplies from and fewer places to sell their product to.

    And American farming should be one of the key pillars of how we combat climate change. I believe that the quest for the carbon negative farm could be as big a symbol of dealing with climate change as the electric car in this country. And it's an important part of how we make sure that we get a message out around dealing with climate change that recruits everybody to be part of the solution, including conservative communities where a lot of people have been made to feel that admitting climate science would mean acknowledging they're part of the problem.

    MADDOW: Mr. Mayor, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I need you to answer the question. Would you continue those subsidies or not?

    BUTTIGIEG: Yes, but we won't need them because we're going to fix the trade war.

    MADDOW: Thank you, sir.

    Climate Change:

    The U.N. recently reported that what was once called climate change is now a climate crisis, with drastic results already being felt. Climate is also an issue important to our audience. We received thousands of questions from our viewers, and many of them were about climate.

    Calista from Minneapolis writes this. Leading the world in resolving the climate crisis will be a multi-decade project, spanning far beyond even a two-term presidency. If you are elected president, how would you ensure that there is secure leadership and bipartisan support to continue this project?

    Congresswoman Gabbard?

    GABBARD: This is an issue that impacts all of us as Americans and people all over the world. This is not a Democrat issue or a Republican issue. This is about the environmental threats that each and every one of us face. These are the kinds of conversations that we're having in our town hall meetings and house parties in different parts of the country where we have Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, and independents coming together, saying, hey, we are all concerned about making sure that we have clean water to drink for our families, that we have clean air to breathe, that we're able to raise our kids in a community that's safe.

    It is the hyper-partisanship in Washington, unfortunately, that has created this gridlock that has stood in the way of the kinds of progress that I would bring about as president, transitioning our country off of fossil fuels and ending the nearly $30 billion in subsidies that we as taxpayers are currently giving to the fossil fuel industry, instead investing in a green renewable energy economy that leads us into the 21st century with good-paying jobs, a sustainable economy, investing in infrastructure, and transitioning our agriculture -- that is a great contributor to the environmental threats we face -- towards an agriculture system that focuses on local and regional production of food, healthy food that will actually feed the health and well-being of our people, leading as a -- as a leader in the world to make the global change necessary to address these threats.

    MADDOW: Thank you. Thank you, Congresswoman. I want to bring in Mr. Steyer on this. You've made climate change a central point of your political career. To this issue of making change -- changes that last, making changes that are permanent, could you address that, sir?

    STEYER: Rachel, I'm the only person on this stage who will say that climate is the number-one priority for me. Vice President Biden won't say it. Senator Warren won't say it. It's a state of emergency, and I would declare a state of emergency on day one. I would use the emergency powers of the presidency.

    I know that we have to do this. I've spent a decade fighting and beating oil companies, stopping pipelines, stopping fossil fuel plants, ensuring clean energy across the country. I know that we have to do this. I also know that we can do this.

    I would make this the number-one priority of my foreign policy, as well. We can do this and create literally millions of good-paying union jobs across this country. I would make sure that my climate policy was led by environmental justice and members of the communities where this society has chosen to put our air and water pollution, which are low-income black and brown communities. And when we ask, how are we going to pull this country together, how about this: We take on the biggest challenge in history, we save the world, and we do it together. Do you think that would pull America together? I do.

    MADDOW: Quickly, Vice President Biden, you were name-checked there. I'd like to give you a chance to respond.

    BIDEN: Yeah, I was. I think it is the existential threat to humanity. It's the number-one issue. And I might add, I don't really need a kind of a lecture from -- from my friend. While I was passing the first climate change bill and that PolitiFact said was a game-changer, while I managed the $90 billion recovery plan, investing more money in infrastructure that related to clean energy than any time we've ever done it, my friend was introducing more coal mines and produced more coal around the world, according to the press, than all of Great Britain produces.

    Now, he's -- I welcome him back into the fold here, and he's been there for a long while. But the idea that we talk about where we started and how we are, let's get this straight. I think it is the existential threat of all time.


    STEYER: Can I respond to that, Rachel?

    MADDOW: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. You may respond, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: Look, I came to the conclusion over 10 years ago that climate was the absolute problem of our society and it was the unintended consequence of our whole country being based on fossil fuels. Everybody in this room has lived in an economy based on fossil fuels. And we all have to come to the same conclusion that I came to over a decade ago.

    If we're waiting for Congress to pass one of the bills -- and I know everybody on this stage cares about this. But Congress has never passed an important climate bill ever. This is a problem which continues to get worse. That's why I'm saying it's a state of emergency. That's why I'm saying it's priority one. If it isn't priority one, it's not going to get done.

    And this is something where we absolutely have to address it upfront. We have to make it the most important thing. And we can use it to rebuild and reimagine what the United States is. We can be the moral leaders of the world again, while we clean up our air and water and create millions of good-paying jobs.

    MADDOW: Senator Sanders, I'm going to ask you to jump in here.

    WARREN: I was also named in that.

    SANDERS: Tom, you stated...

    MADDOW: You were.

    SANDERS: You talked about the need to make climate change a national emergency. I've introduced legislation to just do that.

    Now, I disagree with the thrust of the original question, because your question has said, what are we going to do in decades? We don't have decades. What the scientists are telling us, if we don't get our act together within the next eight or nine years, we're talking about cities all over the world, major cities going underwater, we're talking about increased drought, talking about increased extreme weather disturbances.

    The United Nations is telling us that in the years to come there are going to be hundreds of millions of climate refugees causing national security issues all over the world.

    What we have got to do tonight, and I will do as president, is to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet. And by the way, the fossil fuel industry is probably criminally liable, because they have lied and lied and lied when they had the evidence that their carbon products were destroying the planet, and maybe we should think about prosecuting them, as well.

    MADDOW: Thank you, Senator Sanders.




    MITCHELL: President Trump has dramatically changed America's approach to our adversaries by holding summits with Kim Jong Un, getting out of the Iran nuclear deal, and at times embracing Vladimir Putin and other strongmen. So let's talk about what kind of commander-in-chief you would be.

    Senator Harris, North Korea is now threatening to cancel any future summits if President Trump does not make concessions on nuclear weapons. If you were commander-in-chief, would you make concessions to Kim Jong-un in order to keep those talks going?

    HARRIS: With all due deference to the fact that this is presidential debate, Donald Trump got punked. He was -- he has conducted foreign policy since day one born out of a very fragile ego that fails to understand that one of the most important responsibilities of the commander-in-chief is to concern herself with the security of our nation and homeland.


    And to do it in a way that understands that part of the strength of who we are as a nation -- and therefore, an extension of our ability to be secure -- is not only that we have a vibrant military, but that when we walk in any room around the globe, we are respected because we keep to our word, we are consistent, we speak truth, and we are loyal.

    What Donald Trump has done from pulling out of the Paris agreement to pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal to consistently turning a back on people who have stood with us in difficult times, including most recently the Kurds, points out that Donald Trump is the greatest threat to the national security of our nation at this moment.

    MITCHELL: But would you make concessions to North Korea to keep talks...

    HARRIS: Not at this point. There are no concessions to be made. They -- he has traded a photo-op for nothing. He has abandoned the -- by shutting down the operations with South Korea for the last year-and-a-half, so those operations, which should be -- and those exercises, which should be active, because they are in our best national security, the relationship that we have with Japan, he has in every way compromised our ability to have any influence on slowing down or at least having a check and balance on North Korea's nuclear program.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator.

    Mr. Vice President, President Trump inherited the North Korea problem from past presidents, over decades. What would a President Biden do that President Obama didn't do in eight years?

    BIDEN: Well, first of all, I'd go back in making sure we had the alliances we had before since he became president. He has absolutely ostracized us from South Korea. He has given North Korea everything they wanted, creating the legitimacy by having a meeting with Kim Jong-un, who's a thug -- although he points out that I'm a rabid dog who needs to be beaten with a stick, very recently was his comment.

    SANDERS: But other than that, you like him.

    BIDEN: Other than that, I like him.


    And in Japan and Australia, and being a Pacific power, and putting pressure on China in order -- for them to make sure that it is a non -- it is a nuclear-free peninsula. And the way we do that is, we make clear to China, which I have done personally with -- with the president of China, and that is we're going to move up our defenses, we're going to continue to make sure we increase our relationship with South Korea, and if they view that as a threat, it's an easy thing to respond to. They, in fact, can, in fact, put pressure on North Korea.

    But the fact is that we're in a position where he has done this across the world. He's embraced thugs. Look what Putin is doing in Europe. Putin is -- his whole effort is to break up NATO, to increase his power. Look what he's done to -- and so this guy has no idea what he's doing. He has no notion how to go about it. And we need a commander-in-chief who when he stands everybody knows what he or she is talking about.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

    Afghanistan & Foreign Policy:

    Two more U.S. soldiers were killed today in Afghanistan tragically in America's longest war. Senator Sanders, you've long said you wanted to bring the troops back home from Afghanistan. Would you cut a deal with the Taliban to end the war, even if it means the collapse of the Afghan government that America has long supported?

    SANDERS: Well, let me just say this. One of the big differences between the vice president and myself is he supported the terrible war in Iraq and I helped lead the opposition against it. And not only that, I voted against the very first Gulf War, as well.

    And I think we need a foreign policy which understands who our enemies are, that we don't have to spend ten -- more than -- more money on the military than the next 10 nations combined.

    But to answer your question, yeah, I think it is time after spending many trillions of dollars on these endless wars, which have resulted in more dislocation and mass migrations and pain in that region, it is time to bring our troops home.

    But unlike Trump, I will not do it through a tweet at 3 o'clock in the morning. I will do it working with the international community. And if it's necessary to negotiate with the Taliban, of course we will do that. But at the end of the day, we have to rethink the entire war on terror, which has caused so much pain and lost so many lives, not only for our own men and women in the armed forces, but for people in that region, as well.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator.

    Russia & Election Interference:


    PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Yang, if you win the 2020 election, what would you say in your first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin?


    YANG: Well, first, I'd say I'm sorry I beat your guy.



    WARREN: It's a sorry, not sorry.

    YANG: Or not sorry.


    And, second, I would say the days of meddling in American elections are over and we will take any undermining of our democratic processes as an act of hostility and aggression. The American people would back me on this. We know that they've found an underbelly and they've been clawing at it, and it's made it so that we can't even trust our own democracy.

    The third thing I would say is that we're going to live up to our international commitments. We're going to recommit to our partnerships and alliances, including NATO. And it was James Mattis that said that the more you invest in diplomats and diplomacy, the less you have to spend on ammunition.

    That has to be the path forward to help build an international consensus not just against Russia, but also to build a coalition that will help us put pressure on China, in terms of their treatment of their ethnic minorities, and what's going on in Hong Kong.

    I want to propose a new world data organization, like a WTO for data, because right now, unfortunately, we're living in a world where data is the new oil and we don't have our arms around it. These are the ways that we'll actually get Russia to the table and make it so they have to join the international community and stop resisting appeals to the world order.

    PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Yang.



    MADDOW: On the issue of China, Senator Booker, China is now using force against demonstrators in Hong Kong where millions have taken to the streets advocating for democratic reforms. Many of the demonstrators are asking the United States for help. If you were president, would the U.S. help their movement, and how?

    BOOKER: Well, first of all, this is president who seems to want to go up against China in a trade war by pulling away from our allies and, in fact, attacking them, as well. We used a national security waiver to put tariffs on Canada. And so at the very time that China is breaking international rules, is practicing unfair practices, stealing technology, forcing technology transfer, and violating human rights, this nation is pulling away from critical allies we would need to show strength against China.

    There's a larger battle going on, on the planet Earth right now between totalitarian, dictatorial countries and free democracies. And we see the scorecard under this president not looking so good, with China actually shifting more towards an authoritarian government, with its leader now getting rid of even his -- getting rid of term limits.

    And so I believe we need a much stronger policy, one that's not led, as President Trump seems to want to do, in a transactional way, but one that's led by American values. So, yes, we will call China out for its human rights violations.

    But not only that, we will stop engaging in things that violate American rights. Because it is a human rights violation when people at our border, children are thrown in cages. It's a human right violations without coming to the United States Congress for an authorization for the use of military force for us to refuel Saudi jets to bomb Yemeni children. It is about time that this country is led by someone who will say the values of freedom and democracy are what we are going to lead with and begin to check China, check Putin, and the other folks that are trying to undermine American values and democratic values around the globe.

    MADDOW: Thank you, Senator. Andrea?

    MITCHELL: Mr. Vice President, the CIA has concluded that the leader of Saudi Arabia directed the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The State Department also says the Saudi government is responsible for executing nonviolent offenders and for torture. President Trump has not punished senior Saudi leaders. Would you?

    BIDEN: Yes, and I said it at the time. Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince. And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are. There's very little social redeeming value of the -- in the present government in Saudi Arabia.

    And I would also, as pointed out, I would end -- end subsidies that we have, end the sale of material to the Saudis where they're going in and murdering children, and they're murdering innocent people. And so they have to be held accountable.

    And with regard to China, we should -- look, unless we make it clear that we stand for human rights, we should be going to the United Nations seeking condemnation of China, what they're doing with the million Uighurs that are there, essentially in concentration camps in the west. We should be vocally, vocally speaking out about the violation of the commitment they made to Hong Kong. We have to speak out and speak loudly about violations of human rights.

    MITCHELL: Senator Klobuchar, just to follow up, would you go against the Saudis, even though that would potentially help Iran, their adversaries?

    KLOBUCHAR: We need a new foreign policy in this country, and that means renewing our relationships with our allies. It means rejoining international agreements. And it means reasserting our American values.

    And so when the president did not stand up the way he should have to that killing and that dismemberment of a journalist with an American newspaper, that sent a signal to all dictators across the country that -- across the world that that was OK, and that's wrong.

    And I want to add a few things to what my colleagues have said, first of all, the question about Russia. When we look at international agreements, we must start negotiating back with Russia, which has been a horrible player on the international scene, but the president precipitously got out of the nuclear agreement with Russia and we must start negotiating, even though they were cheating, for the good of this world. And we must also start the negotiations for the New START Treaty.

    And when it comes to China, we need someone that sees the long term, like I do, just like the Chinese do, because we have a president that literally makes decisions based on his next tweet, and they are in it for the long game.

    MITCHELL: Senator Sanders?

    SANDERS: I think I may have been the first person up here to make it clear that Saudi Arabia not only murdered Khashoggi, but this is a brutal dictatorship which does everything it can to crush democracy, treats women as third-class citizens. And when we rethink our American foreign policy, what we have got to know is that Saudi Arabia is not a reliable ally.

    We have got to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together in a room under American leadership and say we are sick and tired of us spending huge amounts of money and human resources because of your conflicts.

    And by the way, the same thing goes with Israel and the Palestinians. It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel. I am pro-Israel. But we must treat the Palestinian people as well with the respect and dignity that they deserve.


    What is going on in Gaza right now, where youth unemployment is 70 percent or 80 percent, is unsustainable. So we need to be rethinking who our allies are around the world, work with the United Nations, and not continue to support brutal dictatorships.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator. Rachel?

    The Military

    MADDOW: Senator Warren, only about 1 percent of Americans serve in the United States military right now. Should that number be higher?

    WARREN: Yes, I think it should be. You know, all three of my brothers served in the military. One was career military. The other two also served. I think it's an important part of who we are as Americans. And I think the notion of shared service is important.

    It's how we help bring our nation together. It's how people learn to work together from different regions, people who grew up differently. It's also about how families share that sacrifice.

    I remember what it was like when I was a little girl. My brother, my oldest brother, who served five-and-a-half years off and on in combat in Vietnam, what it was like for my mother every day to check the mailbox, had we heard from Don Reed? How is he doing? And if there was a letter, she was brighter than the day. And if there wasn't, she would say, well, maybe tomorrow.

    This is about building for our entire nation. And I believe we should do that. I also believe we should have other service opportunities in this country. So, for example, what I want to do is for our federal lands, I want to bring in 10,000 people who want to be able to serve in our federal lands to be able to help rebuild our national forests and national parks as a way to express both their public service and their commitment to fighting back against climate change. We can do this as a nation.

    MADDOW: Thank you, Senator. In President Trump's first two years in office, the Pentagon budget ballooned. Mayor Buttigieg, would you cut military spending? Or would you keep it on the same upward trajectory?

    BUTTIGIEG: We need to re-prioritize our budget as a whole and our military spending in particular. It's not just how much, although we certainly need to look at the runaway growth in military spending. It's also where.

    Right now, we are spending a fraction of the attention and resources on things like the artificial intelligence research that China is doing right now. If we fall behind on artificial intelligence, the most expensive ships that the United States is building just turned into bigger targets.

    We do not have a 21st century security strategy coming from this president. After all, he's relying on 17th century security technologies, like a moat full of alligators or a big wall.


    There is no concept of strategic planning for how civilian, diplomatic, and military security work needs to take place for the future.

    BOOKER: Can I respond?

    MADDOW: Mayor Buttigieg, thank you.

    WARREN: Could I respond on this?

    WELKER: Coming up, we will have much more from the candidates. We're going to take a quick break, just a moment. Stay with us.


    Race in America

    WELKER: Welcome back, everyone, to the fifth Democratic debate. Let's move now to the issue of race in America. FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told Congress, quote, "The majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we've investigated are motivated by white supremacist violence."

    Congresswoman Gabbard, to you. As president, would you direct the federal government to do something about this problem that it is not currently doing?

    GABBARD: Yes, I would. We have seen for far too long the kind of racial bigotry, divisiveness, and attacks that unfortunately have taken the lives of our fellow Americans. Leadership starts at the top. It’s important that we set the record straight and correct the racial injustices that exist in a very institutional way in our country, beginning with things that have to do with our criminal justice system, where predominantly the failed war on drugs that has been continuing to be waged in this country has disproportionately impacted people of color and people in poverty.

    This is something that I'll do as president and commander-in-chief, is to overhaul our criminal justice system, working in a bipartisan way to do things like end the failed war on drugs, end the money bail system, enact the kinds of prison reforms and sentencing reforms that we need to see that will correct the failures of the past.

    The most important thing here is that we recognize that we have to treat each other with respect, all of us as fellow Americans, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and our politics. That kind of leadership starts at the top. As president, I will usher in a 21st century White House that actually represents the interests of all Americans, first and foremost.

    WELKER: Congresswoman Gabbard, thank you for that.

    Mr. Yang, what would you do about the issue of white supremacist violence?

    YANG: Well, first, we have to designate white supremacist terrorism as domestic terrorism so that the Department of Justice can properly measure it.


    I talked to an anti-hate activist named Christian Picciolini who told me about how he was radicalized over a 10-year period. He said he was a lonely 14-year-old and that he was reached out to by a hate group and he wound up joining it for a decade. Now he's out and he's helping convert people out of those hate groups and back into the rest of society.

    But what he told me was that if anyone had reached out to him when he was that hurt, broken 14-year-old boy, he would have gone with them. He said if it had been a coach, I would have gone with him, if it had been a mentor or a teacher, I would have gone with them, but instead it was a hate group.

    So what we have to do is we have to get into the roots of our communities and create paths forward for men in particular who right now are falling through the cracks. And when you look at gun violence in this country, 96 percent-plus of the shooters we're talking about are young boys and young men. We have to as a country start finding ways to turn our boys into healthy, strong young men who do not hate, but instead feel like they have paths forward in today's economy.

    WELKER: Mr. Yang, thank you for that.

    Vice President Biden, the "Me, Too" movement has forced a cultural reckoning around the issue of sexual violence and harassment against women in America. Are there specific actions that you would take early in your administration to address this problem?

    BIDEN: Yes. And by the way, it's one of the reasons -- the first thing I would do is make sure we pass the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, which I wrote. The fact -- I didn't write the reauthorization. I wrote the original act.

    The fact is that what happens now is that we, in fact, have to fundamentally change the culture, the culture of how women are treated. That's why as vice president -- and when I asked the president, I could start the movement on the college campuses to say it's on us. It's everyone's responsibility.

    We do not spend nearly enough time dealing with -- I was stunned when I did a virtual town meeting that told me 30,000 people were on the call, young people between 15 and 25, and found out I said, what do you need -- what do you need to make you safer on college campuses and on your schools? You know what they said? Get men involved, engage the rest of the community.

    And that's when we started this movement on the college campuses to fundamentally change the culture. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, other than in self-defense, and that's -- rarely ever occurs. And so we have to just change the culture, period, and keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it. It will be a big -- no, I really mean it. It's a gigantic issue. And we have to make it clear from the top, from the president on down, that we will not tolerate it. We will not tolerate this culture.

    WELKER: Mr. Vice President, thank you.

    Senator Harris, this week, you criticized Mayor Pete Buttigieg's outreach to African-American voters. You said, quote, "The Democratic nominee has got to be someone who has the experience of connecting with all of who we are, as the diversity of the American people," end quote. What exactly prompted you to say that, Senator Harris?

    HARRIS: Well, I was asked a question that related to a stock photograph that his campaign published. But, listen, I think that it really speaks to a larger issue, and I'll speak to the larger issue. I believe that the mayor has made apologies for that.

    The larger issue is that for too long I think candidates have taken for granted constituencies that have been the backbone of the Democratic Party and have overlooked those constituencies and have -- you know, they show up when it's, you know, close to election time and show up in a black church and want to get the vote, but just haven't been there before.

    I mean, you know, the -- there are plenty of people who applauded black women for the success of the 2018 election, applauded black women for the election of a senator from Alabama. But, you know, at some point, folks get tired of just saying, oh, you know, thank me for showing up and -- and say, well, show up for me.

    Because when black women...


    When black women are three to four times more likely to die in connection with childbirth in America, when the sons of black women will die because of gun violence more than any other cause of death, when black women make 61 cents on the dollar as compared to all women, who tragically make 80 cents on the dollar, the question has to be, where you been? And what are you going to do? And do you understand who the people are?


    And I'm running for president because I believe that we have to have leadership in this country who has worked with and have the experience of working with all folks. And we've got to re-create the Obama coalition to win. And that means about women, that's people of color, that's our LGBTQ community, that's working people, that's our labor unions. But that is how we are going to win this election, and I intend to win.

    WELKER: Senator Harris, thank you.

    Mayor Buttigieg, your response to that.

    BUTTIGIEG: My response is, I completely agree. And I welcome the challenge of connecting with black voters in America who don't yet know me.

    And before I share what's in my plans, let me talk about what's in my heart and why this is so important. As mayor of a city that is racially diverse and largely low income, for eight years, I have lived and breathed the successes and struggles of a community where far too many people live with the consequences of racial inequity that has built-up over centuries but been compounded by policies and decisions from within living memory.

    I care about this because my faith teaches me that salvation has to do with how I make myself useful to those who have been excluded, marginalized, and cast aside and oppressed in society.

    And I care about this because, while I do not have the experience of ever having been discriminated against because of the color of my skin, I do have the experience of sometimes feeling like a stranger in my own country, turning on the news and seeing my own rights come up for debate, and seeing my rights expanded by a coalition of people like me and people not at all like me, working side by side, shoulder to shoulder, making it possible for me to be standing here. Wearing this wedding ring in a way that couldn't have happened two elections ago lets me know just how deep my obligation is to help those whose rights are on the line every day, even if they are nothing like me in their experience.

    WELKER: Mayor Buttigieg, thank you very much.


    Senator Harris, quick response?

    HARRIS: Look, there's a lot at stake in this election, and I've said it many times, I think justice is on the ballot in 2020. And it's about economic justice. It's about justice for children. It's about justice for our teachers. I could go on down the list.

    And so the issue really is not what is the fight. The issue has to be, how are we going to win? And to win, we have to build a coalition and rebuild the Obama coalition. I keep referring to that because that's the last time we won.

    And the way that that election looked and what that coalition looked like was it was about having a leader who had worked in many communities, knows those communities, and has the ability to bring people together. And everyone is going to have to be judged on their experience and, therefore, ability to bring folks together around our commonalities, of which I believe there are many.

    WELKER: Thank you, Senator.

    Senator Warren, quickly?

    WARREN: So I think it is really important that we actually talk about what we're willing to get in the fight for. And I just want to give one example around this. Senator Harris rightly raised the question of economic justice.

    Let me give a specific example, and that is student loan debt. Right now in America, African-Americans are more likely to borrow money to go to college, borrow more money while they're in college, and have a harder time paying that debt off after they get out. Today in America, a new study came out, 20 years out, whites who borrowed money, 94 percent of them have paid off their student loan debt, 5 percent of African-Americans have paid it off.

    I believe that means everyone on this stage should be embracing student loan debt forgiveness. It will help close the black-white wealth gap. Let's do something tangible and real to make change in this country.

    WELKER: Senator Warren, thank you. Ashley?

    PARKER: Senator Warren, back to you. You've said that the border wall that President Trump has proposed is, quote, "a monument to hate and division." Would you ask taxpayers to pay to take down any part of the wall on the nation's southern border?

    WARREN: If there are parts of the wall that are not useful in our defense, of course we should do it. The real point here is that we need to stop this manmade crisis at the border.

    Trump is the one who has created this crisis, and he has done it in no small part by helping destabilize the governments even further in Central America. He has withdrawn aid. That means that families have to flee for their lives, have to flee for any economic opportunity.

    You know, when I found out that our government was actually taking away children from their families, I went down to the border. I went down there immediately. I was in McAllen, Texas, and I just hope everyone remembers what this looks like. There's like a giant Amazon warehouse filled with cages of women, cages of men, and cages of little girls and little boys.

    I spoke to a woman who was in the cage of nursing mothers, and she told me she'd given a drink to a police officer and that the word had come down from the gangs that she was helping the police. She knew what that meant. She wrapped up her baby and she ran for the border.

    We need to treat the people who come here with dignity and with respect. A great nation does not separate children from their families. We need to live our values at the border every single day.


    PARKER: Thank you, Senator.

    Senator Booker, a quick response.

    BOOKER: Look, I want to be quick on this because I'd like to get back to something I wasn't included in, is...

    WARREN: So would we all.

    BOOKER: Absolutely, if this is not effective, we see people cutting holes in this wall, his wall, the way he brags about it, it's just wrong. We need to have policies that respect dignity, keep us safe and strong.

    I wanted to return back to this issue of black voters. I have a lifetime of experience with black voters; I've been one since I was 18.


    Nobody on this stage should need a focus group to hear from African-American voters. Black voters are pissed off, and they're worried. They're pissed off because the only time our issues seem to be really paid attention to by politicians is when people are looking for their vote. And they're worried because the Democratic Party, we don't want to see people miss this opportunity and lose because we are nominating someone that doesn't -- isn't trusted, doesn't have authentic connection.

    And so that’s what’s on the ballot. And issues do matter. I have a lot of respect for the vice president. He has sworn me into my office as a hero. This week, I hear him literally say that I don’t think we should legalize marijuana. I thought you might have been high when you said it.


    And let me tell you, because -- because marijuana -- marijuana -- marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people. And it's -- the war on drugs has been a war on black and brown people.


    And so let me just -- let me just say this. With more African-Americans under criminal supervision in America than all the slaves since 1850, do not roll up into communities and not talk directly to issues that are going to relate to the liberation of children, because there are people in Congress right now that admit to smoking marijuana, while there are people -- our kids are in jail right now for those drug crimes.


    And so these are the kind of issues that mean a lot to our community. And if we don't have somebody authentically -- we lost the last election. Let me just give you this data example.

    PARKER: Quickly. Quickly, please.

    BOOKER: We lost in Wisconsin because of a massive diminution -- a lot of reasons, but there was a massive diminution in the African-American vote. We need to have someone that can inspire, as Kamala said, to inspire African-Americans to the polls in record numbers.

    PARKER: Thank you, Senator Booker. Vice President Biden, you can respond to that.

    BIDEN: I'll be very brief. Number one, I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period. And I think everyone -- anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.

    But I do think it makes sense, based on data, that we should study what the long-term effects are for the use of marijuana. That's all it is. Number one, everybody gets out, record expunged.

    Secondly, I'm -- you know, I'm part of that Obama coalition. I come out of a black community, in terms of my support. If you notice, I have more people supporting me in the black community that have announced for me because they know me, they know who I am. Three former chairs of the black caucus, the only African-American woman that's ever been elected to the United States Senate, a whole range of people...

    HARRIS: No, that's not true.

    BOOKER: That's not true.

    HARRIS: The other one is here.


    BIDEN: No, I said the first. I said the first African-American woman. The first African-American woman.


    So my point is -- my point is that one of the reasons I was picked to be vice president was because of my relationship, longstanding relationship with the black community. I was part of that coalition.

    PARKER: Thank you. Kristen?

    WELKER: And we do have to take another quick break, but we are going to hear much more from the candidates when we come right back here in Atlanta, Georgia. Stay with us.


    MADDOW: Welcome back to the MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic candidates debate. Many states, including right here where we are tonight in Georgia, have passed laws that severely limit or outright ban abortion. Right now, Roe v. Wade protects a woman's right to abortion nationwide. But if Roe gets overturned and abortion access disappears in some states, would you intervene as president to try to bring that access back?

    Senator Klobuchar?

    KLOBUCHAR: Well, of course. We should codify Roe v. Wade into law. That is what we should do.


    And this president indicated early on what he was going to do, and he's done it. When he was running for office, he literally said women should go to jail. Then he dialed it back and said doctors should go to jail. So no surprise that we're seeing these kinds of laws in Georgia, in Alabama, where his allies are passing these bills.

    And what we have to remember is that the people are with us. And I predict this will be a big election -- issue in the general election. And I just can't wait to stand across from Donald Trump and say this to him. You know what? The people are with us. Over 70 percent of the people support Roe v. Wade. Over 90 percent of the people support funding for Planned Parenthood and making sure that women can get the health care they need.


    He is off the track on this, and he will hear from the women of America, and this is how we're going to win this election.

    MADDOW: Just this weekend, Louisiana re-elected a Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards. He has signed one of the country's toughest laws restricting abortion. Is there room in the Democratic Party for someone like him, someone who can win in a deep red state but who does not support abortion rights?

    Senator Warren?

    WARREN: Look, I believe that abortion rights are human rights. I believe that they are also economic rights. And protecting the right of a woman to be able to make decisions about her own body is fundamentally what we do and what we stand for as a Democratic Party.

    Understand this. When someone makes abortion illegal in America, rich women will still get abortions. It's just going to fall hard on poor women. It's going to fall hard on girls, women who don't even know that they're pregnant because they have been molested by an uncle. I want to be an America where everybody has a chance.

    And I know it can be a hard decision for people. But here's the thing. When it comes down to that decision, a woman should be able to call on her mother, she should be able to call on her partner, she should be able to call on her priest or her rabbi. But the one entity that should not be in the middle of that decision is the government.


    MADDOW: Senator Warren, I'm going to push you on this a little bit for a specific answer to the question. Governor John Bel Edwards in Louisiana is an anti-abortion governor who has signed abortion restrictions in Louisiana. Is there room for him in the Democratic Party with those politics?

    WARREN: I have made clear what I think the Democratic Party stands for. I'm not here to try to drive anyone out of this party. I'm not here to try to build fences. But I am here to say, this is what I will fight for as president of the United States. The women of America can count on that.

    MADDOW: Senator Warren, thank you. Senator Sanders, I'll give you 30 seconds.

    SANDERS: Let me just -- Amy mentioned that women feel strongly on it. Well, let me just tell you that if there's ever a time in American history where the men of this country must stand with the women, this is the moment.


    And I get very tired, very tired of hearing the hypocrisy from conservatives who say get the government off our backs, we want small government. Well, if you want to get the government out of the backs of the American people, then understand that it is women who control their own bodies, not politicians.

    MADDOW: Senator Sanders, thank you.

    BOOKER: This is a voting issue.

    MADDOW: Senator Booker?

    BOOKER: This is a voting issue. This is a voter suppression issue. Right here in this great state of Georgia, it was the voter suppression, particularly of African-American communities, that prevented us from having a Governor Stacey Abrams right now.


    And that is, when you have undemocratic means, when you suppress people's votes to get elected, those are the very people you're going to come after when you're in office. And this bill, opposed by over 70 percent -- the heartbeat bill here -- opposed by over 70 percent of Georgians, is the result from voter suppression. This gets back to the issue about making sure we are fighting every single day, that whoever is the nominee, they can overcome the attempts to suppress the votes, particularly of low-income and minority voters, and particularly in the black community, like we saw here in Georgia.

    MADDOW: Senator Booker, thank you.

    And to that point, individual states, as you all know, set their own rules for voting and for elections. Depending on where you live, you may be required to show ID or not. You might have a lot of days for early voting or fewer days or none. You might have a polling place in walking distance or you might have to drive or take a bus to the edge of town.

    With that in mind, our next question comes from Jenna in Maryland, who asks, what will you do at the executive level to ensure that every American has equal access to the ballot box?

    Mayor Buttigieg?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, we need federal leadership to establish voting rights for the 21st century, because this affects every other issue that we care about. Now, the House of Representatives passed a pro-democracy, anti-corruption bill, which is one of many good bills to die in Mitch McConnell's hands in the United States Senate.

    We know that with the White House in the right hands, we can make, for example, Election Day a federal holiday. We can use carrots and sticks to induce states to do the right thing with automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, making it easier for people to vote and, in particular, recognizing that we cannot allow the kind of racially motivated or partisan voter suppression or gerrymandering that often dictates the outcome of elections before the voting even begins.

    Right now, we have politicians picking out their voters, rather than the other way around. That compounding with what is being done to restrict the right to vote means that our democracy is not worthy of the name.

    KLOBUCHAR: I just -- I want to add this...

    BUTTIGIEG: And while these process issues are not always fashionable, we must act to reform our democracy itself, including when it comes to choosing our presidency...


    MADDOW: Senator Klobuchar...

    BUTTIGIEG: ... like we do in every other election, giving it to the person who got the most votes.

    KLOBUCHAR: I want to point out...


    KLOBUCHAR: I agree with what the mayor has just said, but this is a good example where he has said the right words, but I actually have the experience and of leading 11 of the bills that are in that House-passed bill you just referred to.

    And I think this kind of experience matters. I have been devoted to this from the time that I've got to the Senate. And I think having that experience, knowing how you can get things done, leading the bills to take the social media companies to task, a bipartisan bill to say, yeah, you have to say where these ads come from and how they're paid for, and stop the unbelievable practice where we still have 11 states that don't have backup paper ballots. That is my bipartisan bill. And I am so close to getting it done. And the way I get it done is if I'm president.

    But just like I have won statewide and mayor, I have all appreciation for your good work as a local official, and you did not when you tried, I also have actually done this work. I think experience should matter.

    MADDOW: Mayor Buttigieg, I'll let you respond to that.

    BUTTIGIEG: So, first of all, Washington experience is not the only experience that matters. There's more than 100 years of Washington experience on this stage, and where are we right now as a country?

    I have the experience of bringing people together to get something done. I have the experience of being commanded into a war zone by an American president. I have the experience of knowing what is at stake as the decisions made in those big white buildings come into our lives, our homes, our families, our workplaces, and our marriages. And I would submit that this is the kind of experience we need, not just to go to Washington, but to change it before it is too late.

    MADDOW: Mr. Mayor, thank you. Congresswoman Gabbard, on the original question of voting rights, please.

    GABBARD: Thank you. I mean, voting rights are essential for our democracy. Securing our elections is essential for our democracy. I've introduced legislation called the Securing Americas Elections Act that mandates paper ballots to make sure that every single voter's voice is heard.

    But I want to get back to Pete Buttigieg and his comments about experience. Pete, you'll agree that the service that we both have provided to our country as veterans by itself does not qualify us to serve as commander-in-chief. I think the most recent example of your inexperience in national security and foreign policy came from your recent careless statement about how you as president would be willing to send our troops to Mexico to fight the cartels.

    As commander-in-chief, leader of our armed forces, I bring extensive experience, serving for seven years in Congress, on the Foreign Affairs Committee, on the Armed Services Committee, on the Homeland Security Committee, meeting with leaders of countries around the world, working with military commanders of different commands...

    MADDOW: Congresswoman, thank you.

    GABBARD: ... dealing with high-level national security briefings, understanding what's necessary, the preparation that I've gotten to walk in on day one to serve as commander-in-chief.

    MADDOW: Congresswoman, thank you. Mr. Mayor, I'll allow you to respond.

    BUTTIGIEG: So I've got to respond to that. I know that it's par for the course in Washington to take remarks out of context, but that is outlandish even by the standards of today's politics.

    GABBARD: Are you saying that you didn't say that?

    BUTTIGIEG: I was talking about U.S.-Mexico cooperation. We've been doing security cooperation with Mexico for years, with law enforcement cooperation and a military relationship that could continue to be developed with training relationships, for example. Do you seriously think anybody on this stage is proposing invading Mexico?


    GABBARD: That's not what I said. That's not what I said.

    BUTTIGIEG: I'm talking about building up -- I'm talking about building up alliances. And if your question is about experience, let's also talk about judgment. One of the foreign leaders you mentioned meeting was Bashar al-Assad. I have in my experience, such as it is, whether you think it counts or not since it wasn't accumulated in Washington, enough judgment that I would not have sat down with a murderous dictator like that.


    MADDOW: Congresswoman Gabbard, let me allow you to respond.

    GABBARD: Thank you. You were asked directly whether you would send our troops to Mexico to fight cartels and your answer was yes. The fact-checkers can check this out.


    GABBARD: But your point about judgment is absolutely correct. Our commander-in-chief does need to have good judgment. And what you've just pointed out is that you would lack the courage to meet with both adversaries and friends to ensure the peace and national security of our nation. I take the example of those leaders who have come before us, leaders like JFK, who met with Khrushchev, like Roosevelt, who met with Stalin.

    BUTTIGIEG: Like Donald Trump who met with Kim.

    GABBARD: Like Reagan, who met -- like Reagan, who met and worked with Gorbachev. These issues of national security are incredibly important. I will meet with and do what is necessary to make sure that no more of our brothers and sisters in uniform are needlessly sent into harm's way fighting regime change wars that undermine our national security. I'll bring real leadership and experience to the White House.


    MADDOW: Congresswoman Gabbard...

    BUTTIGIEG: I've got to respond to this. This is a direct...


    MADDOW: Senator Sanders, I'm going to have you respond.

    SANDERS: To your original point, the American people understand that the political system we have today is corrupt. And it is not just voter suppression, which cost the Democratic Party a governorship here in this state, not just denying black people and people of color the right to vote, but we also have a system through Citizens United which allows billionaires to buy elections.

    So what we need to do, simple and straightforward, in every state in this country through the federal government, if you are 18, you have a right to vote, end of discussion.


    We have to overturn Citizens United. We need to move toward public funding of elections.

    MADDOW: On this last point, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: I agree exactly with what Bernie said, but I want to talk about how we're going to win in 2020. I don't mean to change the subject, but I think it's sort of important that the Democratic Party not only beat Donald Trump in 2020 but have a sweeping victory across the country. And what that's going to mean is turnout.

    In the United States of America, the Democratic Party keeps talking about trying to persuade a few people who are Republicans to like us, when up to half the people don't vote at all because they think neither party tells the truth, no one deals with my issues, the system is broken, why would we vote?

    But what we've found at NextGen America is that is the start of a conversation about why votes are so important. And if you look at 2018 and flipping the House, what really happened was Democratic voting went up by three-quarters. In the 38 congressional districts where NextGen America was turning out young people, the turnout went up by more than 100 percent, more than double.

    MADDOW: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: So for us to win, for everybody on this stage, for whoever's the candidate, to have a Senate that's Democratic, for us to have the sweeping victory that we absolutely...

    MADDOW: Mr. Steyer, thank you.

    STEYER: ... are going to have next year, it's a turnout question. We're going to have to tell the truth and we're going to have organize across this country.

    MADDOW: Thank you very much.

    SANDERS: Exactly right. That's exactly right.

    MADDOW: It is time -- at this point, it is well past time, if I'm honest, to start closing statements. And we are going to start tonight with Senator Booker. The floor is yours.

    BOOKER: Thank you, Rachel. It's an honor to be here tonight.

    I have not yet qualified for the December stage and need your help to do that. If you believe in my voice and that I should be up here, please go to corybooker.com. Please help.

    I had a closing statement prepared, but I saw in the audience during the break a man named John Lewis. And perhaps it's interesting and important for me to mention why I'm so grateful to him.

    I've been calling in this whole election for our need to fight and fight the right way, by bringing people together to create transformative change, not just beat Donald Trump. That's the floor. We need to go to the ceiling. We need to go to the mountaintop.

    I am literally here on this stage right now because 50 years ago there was a lawyer on a couch who changed his life, changed his mind to get up and start representing families, one of them mine, who were discriminated against. The house I grew up in is because of that lawyer's activity.

    When I asked him why, why he did what he did, he told me that on March 7, 1965, he was watching a movie called "Judgment at Nuremberg" on TV and they interrupted that movie to show a bridge in Alabama called the Edmund Pettus Bridge. And there he saw John Lewis and other marchers who were beaten viciously by Alabama state troopers.

    We all owe a debt that we cannot repay. We all drink deeply from wells of freedom and liberty that we did not dig. This is the moment in America where we need a leader that can inspire us to get up and fight again, that we have truly a moral moment in America, like it was back in 1965.

    If you give me a chance to lead, I will cause what John Lewis says is good trouble. I will challenge us. I will ask more from you than any other president has ever asked before, because we...

    MADDOW: Thank you, Senator.

    BOOKER: ... need to mobilize a new American movement. Keep me on this stage. Keep me on this race. It is time we fight and fight together. Please go to corybooker.com.

    MADDOW: Senator Booker, thank you very much.


    MITCHELL: Mr. Steyer, your closing statement.

    STEYER: Last time I was on this stage, I started by saying that everybody here is more patriotic and more competent than the criminal in the White House. And I stand by that statement.

    But I'm different from everybody else on this stage. I know that the government in Washington, D.C., is broken. I know that it's been purchased by corporations. And I've spent a decade putting together coalitions of ordinary American citizens to beat those corporations.

    I'm the only one on this stage who's willing to talk about structural change in Washington itself, term limits, that if we're going to make bold changes, we're going to need new and different people in charge. I'm the only person on this stage who spent decades building an international business. Whoever of us is the Democratic nominee is going to have to face Mr. Trump or the Republican and talk about the economy, talk about growth, understand that we can make Mr. Trump what he is, a fraud and a failure, on the economy, which is his strong point.

    I'm the only person on this stage who will say that climate is my first priority, that it's our biggest challenge, but it's our biggest opportunity to recreate this country.

    If you want to beat Mr. Trump, if you want to break the corporate stranglehold on this government, if you want to pass all of the progressive policies that everyone on this stage wants, I'm the person who can do it.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: I have spent a decade trusting the American people...


    MITCHELL: Thank -- thank -- thank you, Mr. Steyer.

    STEYER: I'm asking you to trust me.

    MITCHELL: Thank you.


    PARKER: Congresswoman Gabbard, go ahead.

    GABBARD: My personal commitment to you, to all of my fellow Americans, is to treat you with respect and compassion, something that we in Hawaii called aloha. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of race, religion, or gender, or even your politics. Inclusion, unity, respect, aloha, these will be the operating principles for my administration.

    Now, Dr. Martin Luther King visited Hawaii first back in 1959, where he expressed his appreciation for what we call the aloha spirit. He said we look to you for inspiration as a bold example for what you have already succeeded in the areas of racial harmony and racial justice, where we are still struggling to achieve in other sections of the country. He later went on to say, as I looked out at the various faces and various colors mingled together like the waters of the sea, I see only one face, the face of the future.

    Working side by side, let's defeat the divisiveness of Donald Trump, come together and usher in a 21st century of racial harmony, of racial justice, peace, inclusion, and true equality, working side by side. Let's make Dr. King's dream our reality.

    PARKER: Thank you, Congresswoman.

    WELKER: Mr. Yang, your turn.

    YANG: I'm here with my wife, Evelyn, tonight. We have two young boys, Christopher and Damian. How many of you all are parents like us here in the room?

    So if you're a parent, you've had this thought. Maybe you've been afraid to express it. And it is this: Our kids are not all right. They're not all right because we're leaving them a future that is far darker than the lives that we have led as their parents.

    We are going through the greatest economic transformation in our country's history, the fourth industrial revolution, and it is pushing more and more of our people to the side. We talk as if Donald Trump is the cause of all of our problems. He is not. He is a symptom. And we need to cure the disease.

    Now, my first move was not to run for president of the United States, because I am not insane.


    My first move was to go to D.C., talk to our leaders and say technology is ripping us apart, immigrants are being scapegoated, our kids are being left behind, and the American dream that my parents came here to find is dying before our eyes. And the people in Washington, D.C., had nothing for this. They don't want to touch it. They don't want to talk about an issue they don't think they have a solution for.

    I'm not running for president because I fantasized about being president. I'm running for president because, like many of you here in this room tonight, I'm a parent and a patriot and I have seen the future that we're leaving for our kids, and it is not something I'm willing to accept.

    We need to create a new way forward for our people. If you want to join us in rewriting the rules of the 21st century economy, go to yang2020.com and make it so that we can look our kids in the eyes and say to them, and believe it: Your country loves you, your country values you, and you will be all right.

    WELKER: Thank you, Mr. Yang.

    MADDOW: Senator Klobuchar?

    KLOBUCHAR: The nation was riveted this week by the testimony in Washington. One of the people we heard from yesterday was Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. And what he said was -- as he spoke to his immigrant father and he said, in this country, you can tell the truth and it's going to be fine. It reminded me of Army counsel years and years ago in the McCarthy hearing, someone from Iowa, actually, Mr. Welch, who said, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

    I want us to remember that this election is, yes, an economic check on this president, and I have bold ideas that we can do to go forward as a country to make college more affordable and bring down the costs of health care, yes.

    But this is also a patriotism check, a value check, a decency check. And when you look at the people that turned out in Kentucky and turned out in Virginia, people turned out that didn't vote in 2016, African-Americans are turning out like we didn't see before. But we also -- and they must be with us, and we must get our fired-up Democratic base with us.

    But we also, let's get those independents and moderate Republicans who cannot stomach this guy anymore. This is how we build a coalition, so we don't just beat Donald Trump. We bring the U.S. Senate to some sense. We send Mitch McConnell packing. This is how we win.

    So if you want to join us -- and remember that this won't be for me a personal victory, it will be a national victory, of someone that wins in red districts and suburban, purple districts, and bright blue districts every single time. If you want to join us and if you believe that our work doesn't end on Election Day, but begins on Inauguration Day, join us, amyklobuchar.com.

    MADDOW: Senator Klobuchar, thank you.


    MITCHELL: Senator Harris?

    HARRIS: So, we're in a fight. This is a fight for our rule of law, for our democracy, and for our system of justice. And it's a fight we need to win.

    And to fight this fight, I believe we have to have the ability to not only have a nominee who can go toe to toe with Donald Trump -- and I have taken on Jeff Sessions, I've taken on Bill Barr, I have taken on Brett Kavanaugh. I know I have the ability to do that.

    We also need someone who can unify the party and the country and who has the experience of having done that. I've done that work. I believe we need someone who has the ability to speak to all the people regardless of their race, their gender, their party affiliation, where they live geographically or the language their grandmother speaks.

    My entire career has been spent having one client and one client only: the people. I have never represented a corporation. I've never represented a special interest. And in this election, justice and the various injustices people are facing regardless of where they live or their race or gender are very much on the ballot, from economic justice to reproductive justice to health care justice to educational justice.

    And I truly believe that when we overcome these injustices, we will then unlock the potential of the American people and the promise of America, and that's the America I believe in. That's the America I see. And that is why I'm running for president.

    MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator Harris.


    PARKER: Mayor Buttigieg, go ahead.

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, first of all, I want to remark that we're in the city of Atlanta, a city where a great local leader, Maynard Jackson, helped create the black middle class that Atlanta is known by, by ensuring that taxpayer dollars were spent in a way that reflected the need to expand opportunity to those who were excluded.

    And just as local leaders have shown great leadership, we need to use the powers of the presidency on challenges like this, expanding opportunity and expanding a sense of belonging to those who have been excluded in this country.

    I'm not only running to defeat Donald Trump. I am running to prepare for the day that begins when Donald Trump has left office, to launch the era that must come after Trump. That era must be characterized not by exclusion, but by belonging. And so must our campaign.

    I am inviting progressives who have agreed on these issues we've been talking about tonight all along, moderates who are ready to be part of this coalition, and a lot of future former Republicans, who I know are watching this, disgusted by what is happening in their own party and in this country. I want you to know that everybody is welcome in this movement that we're building and everybody is welcome in this future that we must create.

    I hope you go to peteforamerica.com, join this effort, and help us create a better era for the American people beginning in November 2020.

    PARKER: Thank you.

    WELKER: Senator Sanders?

    SANDERS: Thank you. Let me say a word about myself, unusual as it may seem.


    I am the son of an immigrant, young man of 17 who came to this country without a nickel in his pocket. I have some sense of the immigrant experience. I will stand with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.

    At the age of 21, as a member of a civil rights group at the University of Chicago, I was arrested, spent the night in jail, and I have been committed to the fight against all forms of discrimination -- racial discrimination, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and religious bigotry. I will lead an administration that will look like America, will end the divisiveness brought by Trump, and bring us together.

    During this campaign, I am proud to say that I have received more campaign contributions than any candidate at this point in an election in American history, over 4 million contributions, averaging $18 apiece.


    If you want to be part of a movement that is not only going to beat Trump, but transform America, that doesn’t have a super PAC, doesn’t do fundraisers at wealthy people’s homes, please join us at berniesanders.com. Thank you.


    MADDOW: Senator Warren, the floor is yours.

    WARREN: So, thank you. You know, I've listened to this debate tonight and I hear a lot of really good ideas. But I take a look at the issues we've talked about. We've talked about climate change. We've talked about defense spending. We've talked about private health insurance. We should have talked about gun violence.

    What do these issues have in common? Well, first, they touch people all over this country in their everyday lives. And what is the second thing they have in common? We know what we need to do. We have a lot of good ideas for how to fix it, and the majority of Americans are with us on it, and yet we don't make change. Why not?

    Because of corruption. Because we have a government that works better for big drug companies than it does for people trying to fill a prescription. It works better for a giant defense industry than it does for everyone who worries about the money that goes into arms instead of into our public schools. We have a government that works for those at the top and not for anyone else.

    I have the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. It involves ending lobbying as we know it, blocking the revolving door between industry and Washington, making everyone who runs for federal office put their tax returns online.


    We have to have the courage not to make just individual changes, not to fight for little pieces. We want to make real progress on climate. Then we have to start by attacking the corruption that gives the oil industry and other fossil fuel industries a stranglehold over this country.

    I am so grateful to be here and I am grateful to an America that gave the daughter of a janitor a chance to become a public school teacher, a chance to become a college professor, a chance to become a United States senator...

    MADDOW: Thank you, Senator.

    WARREN: ... and a chance to become candidate for president of the United States. Thank you.


    MITCHELL: Vice President Biden, your closing statement.

    BIDEN: I assume we're only talking about the corruption of the federal government. We weren't talking about Barack Obama and his spotless administration who made so much progress.

    But one thing we haven't talked about here today, we haven't talked -- we talked about everything, but we haven't talked about the one thing I think is most consequential.

    You know, the American people have an enormous opportunity. There's an incredible -- incredible -- I've never been more optimistic about our prospects in my entire career, and I got elected when I was a 29-year-old kid to the United States Senate.

    Folks, we are in a position where we have -- we're the wealthiest nation in the world, our workers are more productive than workers around the world, three times as productive as workers in Asia. We have more great research universities that the people own than all the rest of the world combined. We're in a position where we've led not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

    I'm so tired of everybody walking around like woe is me, what are we going to do? Let's remember, this is the United States of America. There has never, ever, ever been a time when we have set our mind to do something we've been unable to do it. Never. Never, never.

    So it's time to remember, get up, let's take back this country and lead the world again. It's within our power to do it. Get up and take it back.


    MADDOW: Vice President Biden, thank you.

    And let me take this opportunity to thank all of the candidates for a spirited and excellent debate. I want to thank all of you, and I want to tell you that on MSNBC tonight, my colleague, Brian Williams, is going to pick up our coverage in just a moment. I also, before we go, want to thank everybody here in the audience. I want to thank the city of Atlanta. And from all of us here at the dais, thank you so much for watching. Good night.


    There Can Be Only One Head ZOGtard Left

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Granby, State of Missery, ZOG

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