Transcript from Night 2 of the First 2019 June Democratic Debates
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[00:00:00.00]
Today with Senator Sanders. Good evening to you. You've called for a big new government benefits like universal healthcare and free college. In a recent interview, you said you suspected that Americans would be, quote, delighted to pay more taxes for things like that. My question to you is, will taxes go up for the middle class in a Sanders administration? And if so, how do you sell that to voters?

[00:00:24.09]
Well, you're quite right. We have a new vision for America. And at a time when we have three people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of America, while five hundred thousand people are sleeping out on the streets today, we think it is time for change, real change. And by that, I mean that health care, in my view, is a human right. And we have got a path to a Medicare for all single payer system.

[00:00:55.06]
Under that system, by the way, that's majority of the people in this country will be paying significantly less for health care than they all right. Now. I believe that education is the future for this country. And that is why I believe that we must make public colleges and universities tuition free and eliminate student debt. And we do that by placing a tax on Wall Street. Every proposal that I have brought forth is fully paid for.

[00:01:30.00]
Senator Sanders, I'll give you 10 seconds just to ask the answer, the very direct question. Will you raise taxes for the middle class in a Sanders administration?

[00:01:39.08]
People who have health care on the Medicare for all will have no premiums, no deductibles, no co-payments, no out of out of pocket expenses. Yes, they will pay more in taxes, but less in health care for what they get.

[00:01:53.07]
Thank you, Senator. Senator Brown, if we're going to get to everybody, I don't let go. Senator Biden promised everybody's gonna get in here. Promise. Vice President Biden Senator Sanders, as you know, has been calling for a revolution recently in remarks to a group of wealthy donors. As you were speaking about the problem of income inequality in this country, you said we shouldn't, quote, demonize the rich. You said nobody has to be punished.

[00:02:21.03]
No one standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change. What did you mean by that?

[00:02:26.08]
What I meant by that is Donald Trump thinks Wall Street of America, ordinary middle class Americans build America. My dad used to have an expression, said Joe. A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect. It's being able to look your kid in the eye and said, this is gonna be OK. To many people who are in the middle class and poor have had the bottom fall out under this proposal.

[00:02:49.09]
What I'm saying is that we've got to be straightforward. We have to make sure we understand that the return dignity to the middle class. They have to have insurance that is covered and they can afford it. They have to make sure that we have in a situation where there's continuing education and they're able to pay for it. They have to make sure that they're able to breed there. That is clean. And they they have water that they can drink blood.

[00:03:13.05]
Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation. We do have enormous income inequality. And the one thing I agree on is we can make massive cuts in the 1.6 trillion dollars in tax loopholes out there. And I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy.

[00:03:31.02]
Vice President Biden. Thank you, Senator Kerry. There's a lot of talk in this primary about new government benefits such as student loan cancellation, free college health care and more. Do you think that Democrats have a responsibility to explain how they will pay for every proposal they make along those lines? Well, let me tell you something. I hear that question. But where was that question when the Republicans and Donald Trump passed a tax bill that benefits the top 1 percent and the biggest corporate?

[00:04:05.04]
Contributing at least one trillion dollars to the debt of America, which middle class families will pay for. One way or another. Working families need support and need to be lifted up. And frankly, this economy is not working for working people. For too long, the rules have been written in the favor of the people who have the most and not in favor of the people who work the most. Which is why I am proposing that we change the tax code.

[00:04:31.05]
So for every family that is making less than one hundred thousand dollars a year, they will receive a tax credit that they can collect at five hundred dollars a month, which will make all the difference between those families being able to get through the end of the month with dignity and with support or not. And on day one, I will repeal that tax bill that benefits the top 1 percent and the biggest corporations. Thank you, Governor Hickenlooper. Let me get you in on this.

[00:04:55.07]
You've warned that Democrats will lose in 2020 if they embrace socialism, as you put it. You were booed at the California Democratic Convention when you said that only one candidate on this stage. Senator Sanders identifies himself as a democratic socialist. What are the policies or positions of your opponents that you think are veering towards socialism?

[00:05:18.01]
Well, I think that the bottom line is, if we don't clearly define that we are not socialists. The Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and and call us socialists. And if you look at the Green New Deal, which I admire, the sense of urgency and how important it is to do climate change, I'm a scientist. But we can't promise every American a government job. If you want to get universal health care coverage.

[00:05:40.07]
I believe that health care is a right and not a privilege. But you can expect to eliminate private insurance for one hundred and eighty million people, many of whom you don't want to give it up. In Colorado, we've brought businesses and nonprofits together. We got a new universal health care coverage. We were the first state in America to to bring the environmental community and the oil and gas industry to address aggressively address methane emissions. And we were also the first place to to expand reproductive rights on a scale basis.

[00:06:09.07]
And we reduce teen pregnancy by 54 percent. We've done the big progressive things that people said couldn't be done. I've done what pretty much everyone else up here is still talking about doing. Governor, thank you. Senator Sanders, I'll give you a chance to weigh in here. What is your response to those who say nominating a socialist would re-elect Donald Trump?

[00:06:30.09]
Well, I think the responses that the polls last poll I saw had 10 points ahead of Donald Trump, because the American people understand that Trump is a phony, that Trump is a pathological liar and a racist, and that he lied to the American people during his campaign. He said he was going to stand up for working families. Well, President Trump, you're not standing up for working families when you're trying to throw thirty two million people off the health care that they have and that eighty three percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent.

[00:07:09.01]
That's how we'd be Trump. We expose them to the fraud that is. Senator Joe Biden, treasury secretary, with both their perspectives. The debate we're having in our party right now is confusing because the truth is there's a big difference between capitalism on the one hand and greed on the other. And so all the things that we're trying to change is when companies care more about profits, when they do about people. So if you're talking about ending gun violence, it's the greed of the NRA and the gun manufacturers that make any progress in the possible.

[00:07:47.08]
It's the greed of the insurance companies and the drug companies. When we want to try to get health care is a right, not a privilege. So there need not be disagreement in the party, because in truth, we want healthy holidays. We don't want corrupted capitalism. I want to be fair to every Senator Bennett. You have said, quote, It's possible to write policy proposals that have no basis in reality. You might as well call them Candy.

[00:08:13.03]
Were you referring to any candidate or proposal in particular when you said that he was a. Yeah, that was clever. That sounded like me. Thank you. I appreciate it. Well, look, first of all, I agree completely with Bernie about what the fundamental challenge we're facing as a country is 40 years of no economic growth for 90 percent of the American people. One hundred and sixty thousand families in the top 0.1 percent have the same. Wealth is the bottom 90 percent.

[00:08:40.02]
And we've got the worst in income inequality that we've had in 100 years. Where I disagree is on his solution. Medicare for all. You know, I have proposed getting to universal health care, which we need to do. It is a right. Health care is a right. We need to get you as a virtual health care. I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with Obamacare and creating a public option that every family and every person in America can make a choice for their family about whether they want a public option, which for them would be like having Medicare for all or whether they want to keep their private insurance.

[00:09:15.00]
I believe we will get there much more quickly if we do that. But wait a minute, Bernie, if I could just finish. Bernie mentioned that the taxes that we would have to pay because of those taxes. Vermont rejected Medicare for all. Senator. Well, Senator, I read are going to talk about health care at length, Senator. But at the moment, my colleague, I really the heart in senators land will fill. I wrote the part and Senator Sanders is Bill.

[00:09:44.00]
That is the transition which merges what the two senators said. Senator, the truth is, if you have a buy in over a four or five year period, you move us to single payer more quickly. Senator, we will get to this. We will get to it. Before we do, I want to say hello and good evening. What not just to mayor, but a judge does not just get his name written down better locally. Many of your colleagues on state support free college.

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You do not. Why not? Sure.

[00:10:13.01]
So college affordability is personal for us. Chester and I have six figures. Student debt. I believe in reducing student debt. It's logical to me that if you can refinance your house, you ought to be able to refinance your student debt. I also believe in free college for low and middle income students for whom costs could be a barrier. I just don't believe it makes sense to ask working class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires. I think the children of the wealthiest Americans can pay at least a little bit of tuition.

[00:10:45.07]
And while I want tuition costs to go down, I don't think we can buy down every last penny for that. Now, there's something else that doesn't get talked about in the college affordability debate. Yes, it needs to be more affordable in this country to go to college. It also needs to be more affordable in this country to not go to college. You should be able to live well, afford rent. Be generous to your church and little league.

[00:11:08.04]
Whether you went to college or not. That's one of many reasons we need to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. I've got a thousand dollars in student loan debt myself. Let me get to you count on the people who've been in government for the last 30 years, who were around when this problem was created to be the ones to solve it. It's going to be the next generation. The 40 million of us who can't start a family can't take a good idea and start a business and can't buy our first home.

[00:11:32.04]
This is the generation that's going to be able to solve student loan debt. This generation is ready to lead. Mr. Yang, you're your signature policy is to give every adult in the United States $1000 a month. No questions asked. That's right. I think that's like 3.2 trillion dollars a year. How would you do that? Sorry. How would you do that? Oh, so it's difficult to do if you have companies like Amazon, trillion dollar tech companies paying literally zero in taxes while they're closing 30 percent of our stores.

[00:12:06.01]
Now we need to put the American people in position to benefit from all these innovations and other parts of the economy. And if we had a value added tax, even half the European level, it would generate over 800 billion in new revenue, which combined with the money in our hands, it would be the trickle up economy from our people, families and communities up. We would spend the money and would circulate through our regional economies and neighborhoods, creating millions of jobs, making our families stronger and healthier.

[00:12:29.02]
We'd save money on things like incarceration, homelessness services, emergency room, health care, and just the value gains from having a stronger, healthier, mentally healthier population would increase GDP by 700 billion dollars. This is the move that we have to make, particularly as technology is now automating away millions of American jobs. It's why Donald Trump is our president today. That we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, and were about to do the same thing to millions of retail jobs, call center jobs, fast food jobs, truck driving jobs, slow down through the economy.

[00:13:01.03]
If I get you understand a little bit better. So you're saying a thousand dollars a month for everyone over 18, but a value added tax so you can spend that thousand dollars on value added tax while the value added tax would end up, you'd still be increasing the buying power of the bottom. Ninety four percent of Americans. You have to spend a lot of money for a mild value added tax to eat up twelve thousand dollars a year per individual.

[00:13:28.02]
So for the average family with two or three adults, it'd be twenty four to thirty six thousand dollars a year. OK. Congressman, it's well, I talk a little bit about what Mr. Young is talking about. And you just actually mentioned it. Many Americans are worried that things like self-driving cars, robots, drones, artificial intelligence will cost them their jobs. What would you do to help people get the skills they need to adapt to this new world?

[00:13:50.05]
We must always be a country where technology creates more jobs than it displaces. And I've seen the anxiety across America where the manufacturing floor is go from a thousand to one hundred to one. So we have to modernize our schools, value the teachers who prepare our kids, wipe the student debt from any teacher that goes into a community that needs it. Invest in America's communities, especially where places where the best exports are people who move away to get skills. But it was a I was six years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.

[00:14:29.06]
That candidate was then Senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. Thirty two years ago, he's still alive today. If we're going to solve the issues of automation, pass the torch, we're going to solve the issues of climate chaos. Pass the torch. If we're going to solve the issue of student loan debt. Pass the torch if we're going to end gun violence for families who are fearful of sending their kids to school.

[00:14:53.01]
Pass the torch. Vice President, would you like to sing a torch?

[00:14:59.00]
I'd still hold on to that torch. I want to make it clear to you. Look, the fact of the matter is we have to do is make sure that everybody is prepared better to go on to educate for an education. The fact is that that's why I proposed focusing on schools that are in distress. That's why I think we should triple the amount of money we spend for Title 1 schools. That's why I think we should have universal pre-K. That's why I think every single person who graduate from high school.

[00:15:25.02]
Sixty five out of a hundred now need something beyond high school. And we should provide for them to be able to get that education. That's why there should be free community college. Cutting half the cost of college. That's why we should be in a position where we do not have anyone have to pay back a student debt when they get out. They making less than twenty five thousand dollars a year. Their debt is frozen. No interest payment until they get beyond that.

[00:15:48.05]
We can't put people in a position where they aren't able to go on and move on. And so, folks, there's a lot we can do. But we have to make continuing education available for everyone so that everyone can compete in the 21st century. We're not doing that now. Senator says as a young guy, I feel like I'm probably out of Joe's generation. I'm all part of Joe's generation. Leslie, respond before we move the issue. If.

[00:16:17.03]
Let's please. Please. You know, that's generational issue is who has got the summit to take on Wall Street, to take on the fossil fuel industry, to take on the big money interests who have unbelievable influence over the economic and political life of this country? Yes, you're better, Senator. Senator Hatch, we will let Senator Harris or her. Thirdly, we'll will let you all speak, Senator, on this issue. Hey, guys, you know what?

[00:16:52.06]
America does not want to witness a food fight. They want. You know how we're gonna put food on their table. On that point, part of the issue that is at play in America today and we've all been traveling around the country, I certainly have. I'm meeting people who are working two and three jobs. You know, this president walks around talking about and flouting his great economy, right? My great economy. My great economy. Yes.

[00:17:24.01]
How are you measuring this greatness of this economy of yours? And he talks about the stock market. Well, that's fine if you own stocks. So many families in America do not. You ask them, how are you measuring the greatness of this economy of yours? And they point to the jobless numbers and the unemployment numbers. We have people in America working. They're working two and three jobs. So when we talk about jobs, let's be really clear.

[00:17:45.09]
In our America, no one should have to work more than one job to have a roof over their head and food. Vested interest in talking about health care. Let's let's talk about health care. And this is gonna be a show of hands. QUESTION We asked a question about health care last night that spurred a lot of discussion. As you know, we're gonna do it again. Now, many people watching it at home have health insurance through their employer who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government run plan.

[00:18:20.05]
All right. Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Joyce, I know it's my turn. Good. So this is a very important issue. So the plan that Senator Sanders and I and others support Medicare for all is how you get to single payer. But it has a buy in transition period, which is really important. In 2005, when I ran for Congress in a two to one Republican district. I actually ran on Medicare for all. And I won that two to one Republican district twice.

[00:18:49.05]
And the way I formulated it was simple. Anyone who doesn't have access to insurance they like, they could buy in a percentage of income they could afford. So that's what we put into the transition period for our Medicare for all plan. I believe we need to get to universal health care as a right, not a privilege to single payer. The quickest way you get there is you create competition with the insurers. God bless the insurers if they want to compete.

[00:19:12.04]
They can certainly try, but they'd never put people over their profits and I doubt they ever will. So what will happen is people will choose Medicare. You will transition. We will get to Medicare for all. And then your step to single payer is so short, I would make it an earned benefit. Just like Social Security so that you buy in your whole life. It is always there for you and it's permanent. And it's universality in times that I want to put that same question to me.

[00:19:37.05]
Or British. Yeah, we've taught look, everybody who says Medicare for all every person in politics who allows that phrase to escape their lips has a responsibility to explain how you're actually supposed to get from here to there. Here's how I would do it. It's very similar. I would call it Medicare for all who want it. You take something like Medicare, a flavor of that. You make it available on the exchanges. People can buy it. And then if people like us are right, that that will be not only a more inclusive plan, but a more efficient plan than any of the corporate answers out there, then it will be a very natural glide path to the single payer environment.

[00:20:13.09]
But let's remember, even in countries that have outright socialized medicine like England, even there, there's still a private sector. That's fine. It's just that for our primary care, we can't be relying on the tender mercies of the corporate system. This was very personal for me. I started out this year dealing with a terminal illness and my father. I make decisions for a living and nothing could have prepared me for the kind of decisions our family faced.

[00:20:36.04]
But the thing we had going for us was that we never had to make those decisions based on whether it was going to bankrupt our family because of Medicare. And I want every family to have that same freedom to do what is medically right. Your time is complete. Vice President Biden, I want to put the question, do you were an arcane one of the architects of Obamacare? So where do we go from here? Look, this is a very personal to me.

[00:21:00.06]
When my wife and daughter were killed, no real actually, my two boys were really very badly injured. I couldn't imagine what it would be like, had not had adequate health care available to me. And then when my son came home from Iraq after a year was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he was given months to live, I can't fathom what would have happened if, in fact, they said, by the way, the last six months of your life, you're on your own.

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Could you know if you've used up your time? The fact of the matter is that the quickest, fastest way to do it is build on Obamacare to build on what we did.

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Secondly, secondly, to make sure that everyone does have an option. Everyone, whether they have private insurance, employer insurance or no insurance, they fact could buy it in the exchange to a Medicare like plan. And the way to do that, we can do it quickly. Look, urgency matters. There's people right now facing what I've faced and what we've faced without any help I had. We must move now. I'm against any Democrat who opposes it, but takes vows, Obamacare and then a Republican who wants to get rid of.

[00:22:07.04]
Let me let me turn to Senator Sanders. Senator Sanders, you have basically basically you want to scrap the private health insurance system as we know it and replace it with a government run plan. None of the states that have tried something like that, California, Vermont, New York has struggled with it have been successful. Its politicians can't make it work in those states. How would you implement it on a national level? How does this work? Let's say I find it hard to believe that every other major country on earth, including my neighbor 50 miles north, would make Canada somehow has figured out a way to provide health care to every man, woman and child.

[00:22:44.00]
And in most cases, they're spending 50 percent per capita. What we are spending. Let's be clear. Let us be very clear. The function of health care today from the insurance and drug company perspective is not to provide quality care to all in a cost effective way. The function of the health care system today is to make billions in profits for the insurance companies. And last year, if you could believe it, while we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and I will lower prescription drug prices in half in this country, top 10 companies make sixty nine billion dollars in profit.

[00:23:25.08]
They will spend hundreds of millions of dollars lying to the American people, telling us why we cannot send a Medicare. I just don't go. I just have to follow up. How do you implement it on a national scale? How do you implement it on any level, given the fact that it's not succeeded and other states have tried? I will tell you how we'll do it. We'll do it the way real change has always taken place, whether it was the labor movement, the civil rights movement or the women's movement.

[00:23:54.04]
We will have Medicare for all. When tens of millions of people are prepared to stand up and tell the insurance companies and the drug companies that their day is gone, that health care is a human right, not something to make huge profits. This is a question for you. Help me choose where I'm addressing the question. Mr. Williamson, we've been talking a lot about access to health insurance, but for many Americans, are most pressing concern is the high cost of health care.

[00:24:25.05]
How would you lower the cost of prescription drugs? Well, first of all, the government should never have made the deal with Big Pharma that they couldn't negotiate. That was just part of the regular corruption by which multinational corporations have their way with us. You know, I want to say that while I agree with that, I'm I'm with Senator Bennett and others, but I agree with almost everything here. I'll tell you one thing. It's really nice that we got all these plans.

[00:24:47.03]
But if you think we're going to beat Donald Trump by just having all these plans, you've got another thing coming because he didn't win. I think he had a plan. He won by simply saying make America great again. We've got to get deeper than just the superficial fixes as important as they are, even if we're just talking about the superficial fixes. Ladies and gentlemen, we don't have a health care system in the United States. We have a sickness care system in the United States.

[00:25:11.08]
We just wait till somebody gets sick and then we talk about who's going to pay for the treatment and how they're going to be treated. Well, we need to talk about is why so many Americans have unnecessary chronic illnesses, so many more compared to other countries. And that gets back into not just the big pharma, not just health insurance companies. It has to do with chemical policy. It has to do with the environment. The entire. Senator Biden, Senator Bennett, a question for you.

[00:25:42.05]
You want to keep this system that we have in place with Obamacare and build on it. You mentioned that a moment ago. Is that enough to get us to universal care? I believe that will get us the quickest way there and thought the vice president was very moving about this and may repeat as well. I had prostate cancer recently, as you may know. And why is a little late getting in the race? The same week my kid had reppin checking out.

[00:26:03.06]
And I feel very strongly that families ought to be able to have this choice. I think that's what the American people want. I believe it will get us there quickly. There are millions of people in America that do not have health insurance today because they can't. They're too wealthy, wealthy. They make too much money to be on Medicaid. They can't afford health insurance. When Senator Sanders says that Canada's single payer there are 35 billion people in Canada.

[00:26:28.05]
There are three hundred and thirty million people in the United States. Easily, the number of people on a public option, that could easily be thirty five million. And for them, that would be Medicare for all. As Mayor Bhuta Judd says. But for others who want to keep it, they should be able to keep it. And I think that we'll be the fastest way to get where we need to go. And so I will say Bernie is a very honest person.

[00:26:53.02]
He has said over and over again, unlike others that have supported this legislation over and over again, that this will ban make illegal all insurance except cosmetic except insurance for I guess that's for plastic surgery. Everything else is banned under the Medicare fraud. You're opposed. I'd like to go a little longer. But what I need say, Senator Sanders, you're gonna like under these entities are just like, you know, Mike, Medicare is the most popular health insurance program in the country.

[00:27:26.07]
People don't like their private insurance companies. They like their doctors and hospitals. Under our plan, people go to any doctor they want. Any hospital they want. We will substantially lower the cost of health care in this country because we'll stop the greed of the insurance company. The biggest problem we have right now, Senator Harris, for all the reality of how this affects real people, is captured in a story that many of us heard. And I will pair front phrase, there is any night in America a parent who's seeing that their child has a temperature that is out of control calls 9-1-1.

[00:28:06.02]
What should I do? And they say, take the child to the emergency room. And so they get on their car and they drive and they're sitting in the parking lot outside of the emergency room looking at those sliding glass doors while they have the hand on the floor ahead of their child, knowing that if they walk through those sliding glass doors, even though they have insurance, they will be out of five thousand deductible, five thousand dollar deductible when they walk through those under, which we're going to think about it.

[00:28:43.09]
And one of those parents, I was just the emergency room. I'm Tanya Smith. Thank you. We fight health insurance companies every single week. We stand in line and pay expensive prescription drugs. We have to have a health care guarantee. If you're sick, you're seen. And in America, you never go broke because of it. OK.

[00:29:00.06]
Without a lot of you have been talking tonight about these government health care plans that you've proposed in one form or another. This is a show of hands. Question and hold them up for a moment so people can see. Raise your hand if covered. If your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants. Why? Because our country is healthier when everybody is healthier. And remember, we're talking about something. People are giving a given a chance to buy into.

[00:29:36.06]
In the same way that there are undocumented immigrants in my community who pay. They pay sales taxes. They pay property taxes directly or indirectly. This is not about a handout. This is an insurance program. And we do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access health care. But of course, the real problem is we shouldn't have 11 million undocumented people with no pathway to citizenship. It makes no sense.

[00:30:05.03]
And the American people, the American people agree on what to do. This is a crazy thing. If leadership consists of forming a consensus around a divisive issue, this White House has divided us around a consensus issue. The American people want a pathway to citizenship. They want the protections for dreamers. We need to clean up the lawful immigration system like how my father immigrated to this country. And as part of a compromise, we can do whatever commonsense measures are needed at the border.

[00:30:31.03]
But Washington can't deliver on something the American people want. What does that tell you about the system we're living in? It tells you it profound structural reform. Vice President Biden, I believe you said that your health care plan would not cover undocumented immigrants. Could you explain your position? And I beg your pardon. I believe with a show of hands, you did not raise your hand. Did you raise your hand? I did. OK. Sorry.

[00:30:54.06]
Sorry. So you said that they would be covered under your plan, which is different than Obamacare? Yes. But here here it is plain that change. Yes. You cannot let as. As the mayor said, you cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status. Go uncovered. You can't do that. It's just going to be taken care of. Period. You have to. It's a humane thing to do.

[00:31:15.06]
But here's the deal. The deal is that he's right about three things. Number one, they, in fact, contribute to the well-being of the country. But they also, for example, they increased the lifespan of Social Security because they have a job. They're paying the Social Security tax. That's what they're doing is increase the lifespan. They would do the same thing in terms of reducing the overall cost of health care by them being able to be treated and not wait till they're in extremis.

[00:31:41.00]
The other thing is, folks. Look, we can deal with these insurance companies. We can deal with the insurance companies by no one putting insurance executives in jail for their misleading or misleading advertising. What they're doing on opioids, what they're doing. Paying doctors to prescribe, which we could be doing this by making sure everyone who is on Medicare that the government should be able to negotiate the price for whatever whatever the drug costs are.

[00:32:06.07]
We can do this by making sure that we're in a position that we, in fact, allow people so often that we need to take a short break here. We got a lot more. We need to talk to all of you about some sticking with us. We're just getting started. We'll be back with more from Miami right after.

[00:34:24.04]
Thank you very much, Senator Harris. Last month, more than one hundred and thirty thousand migrants were apprehended at the southern border. Many of them are being detained, including small children in private detention centers in Florida and throughout our country. Most of the candidates on this stage say the conditions at these facilities are abhorrent.

[00:34:49.02]
On January 20th, 2021, if you are president, what specifically would you do with the thousands of people who try to reach the United States every day and want a better life through asylum immediately?

[00:35:05.01]
On January 20th of twenty twenty one, I will. First of all, we cannot forget that our DACA recipients. And so I'm going to start there. I will immediately by executive action, reinstate DACA status and dock a protection to those young people. I will further extend protection for deferral of deportation for their parents and for veterans who we have so many who are undocumented and have served our country and fought for our democracy. I will also immediately put in place a meaningful process for reviewing the cases for asylum.

[00:35:40.09]
I will release children from cages. I will get rid of the private detention centers. And I will ensure that this microphone that the president of the United States holes in her hand is used in a way that is about our country and not about locking children up. Separating them from their parents. And I have to just say that we have to think about this issue in terms of real people. A mother who pays a coyote. To transport her trial through their country of origin, through the entire country of Mexico, facing unknown peril.

[00:36:22.07]
To come here. Why would that mother do that? I will tell you, because she has decided for that child to remain where they are is worse. But what does Donald Trump do? He says, go back to where you came from. That is not reflective of our America and our values. And it's gotta go to Hickenlooper's day one. If you are day one at the White House.

[00:36:52.04]
Well, how do you really on what he's told it? I let me get to you in just a second. And government day one. Thousands of men, women and children crossed the border asking for asylum for a better life. What do you do one day, one hour one?

[00:37:13.09]
Well, certainly the images we've seen this week just compound the emotional impact that the world is judging us by. If you'd ever told me any time in my life that this country would sanction federal agents to take children from the arms of their parents, put them in cages, actually put them up for adoption. In Colorado, we call that kidnapping. I would've told you. I would've told you is unbelievable. And the first thing we have to do is recognize the humanitarian crisis on the border, what it is.

[00:37:50.03]
Make sure that there are sufficient filt facilities in place so that women and children not separated from their families. The children are with their families. We have to make sure that that ice is completely reformed and they begin looking at their job in a humanitarian way where they're addressing the whole needs of the people that they are engaged with along the border. And we have to make sure ultimately that we provide not just shelter, but food, clothing and access to medical care.

[00:38:19.05]
Ms. Williamson. What Donald Trump has done to these children and it's not just in Colorado. Governor, you're right. It is kidnapping. And it's extremely important for us to realize that if you forcibly take a child from their parents arms, you are kidnapping them. And if you take a lot of children and you put the minute detainment center, thus inflicting chronic trauma upon them, that's called child abuse. This is collective child abuse. And with this crime, both of those things are a crime.

[00:38:47.06]
And if your government does it, that doesn't make it less of a crime. These are state sponsored crimes. Congressman, what President Trump has done is not only attack these children, not only demonizes immigrants. He is attacking a basic principle of America's moral core. We open our hearts to the stranger. This is extremely important and it's also important for all of us. Remember, and I have great respect for everyone who is on this, on this on this stage.

[00:39:16.05]
But we're going to talk about what to do about health care. Well, where have you been, guys? Because if it's it's not just the matter of a plant. And I haven't heard anybody on this day to his talked about American foreign policy in Latin America and how we might have in the last few decades, something better children. What would you do as president with a reality?

[00:39:37.08]
Well, one of the worst things about President Trump that he's done to this country is he's torn apart the moral fabric of who we are. When he started separating children at the border from their parents, the fact that seven children have died in his custody, the fact that dozens of children have been separated from their parents and they have no plan to reunite them. So I would do a few things. First, I would fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.

[00:40:04.08]
Second, I would reform how we treat asylum seekers at the border. I would have a community based treatment center where you're doing within the communities where asylum seekers are given lawyers, where there is real immigration judges, not employees of the attorney general, but appointed for life and have a community based system. I would fund border security. But the worst thing President Trump has done, he he's diverted the funds away from cross-border terrorism, cross-border human trafficking, drug trafficking and gun trafficking.

[00:40:34.08]
And he's given that money to the for profit prisons. I would not be spending money in for profit to lock up children and asylum seekers.

[00:40:44.04]
We had a very spirited debate on this stage last night on the topic of decriminalization of the border. If you'd be so kind. Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation. Can we keep the hands up so we could see them?

[00:41:03.06]
You know, let's remember, that's not just a theoretical exercise, that criminalization. That is the basis for family separation. You do away with that. It's no longer possible. Of course, it wouldn't be possible anyway in my presidency because it is dead wrong. We don't talk about one other thing, because the Republican Party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion. Now, our party doesn't talk about that as much, largely for a very good reason, which was we are committed to the separation of church and state and we stand for people of any religion and people of no religion.

[00:41:34.04]
But we should call out hypocrisy when we see it. And for a party that associates itself with Christianity, to say that it is OK to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language. Vice President. As a vice president, I don't know if you raise your hand or we're just asking to speak. What would you.

[00:42:05.04]
First criminalize crossing the border without documents.

[00:42:08.05]
The first thing I would do is unite families. I'd surge immediately billions of dollars worth of help to the region, immediately learn to talk about foreign policy. I'm the guy who got a bipartisan agreement at the very end of the campaign, at the very end of our term to spend seven hundred and forty million dollars to deal with the problem. And that was to go to the root cause of why people are leaving in the first place. It was working.

[00:42:36.06]
We saw, as you know, a net decrease in the number of children were coming. The crisis was abating. And along came this president, he said. He immediately discontinued that. We all talk about these things. I did it. I did it.

[00:42:50.01]
$749 second thing. Secondly, we have to do the law now requires the reuniting of those families. We would reunite those families, period. And if not, we put those children in a circumstance where they were safe until we could find their parents. And lastly, the idea that he's in court with his Justice Department saying children in cages do not need a bed, do not need a blanket, do not need a toothbrush. That is outrageous. Vice President Obama Biden administration was the Obama Biden administration deported more than 3 million Americans?

[00:43:28.05]
My question to you is, if an individual is living in the United States of America without documents and that is his only offense, should that person be deported? Depending if they committed a major crime, they should be deported and the president was left in. President Obama, I think, did a heck of a job to compare him to what what this guy's doing is absolutely fine and moral. But the fact is that, look, we should not be locking people up.

[00:43:56.07]
We should be making sure we change the circumstance as we did why they would leave in the first place. And those who come seeking asylum, we should immediately have the capacity to absorb them, keep them safe until they could be hurt a 15 second if you could. If you wish to answer, should someone who is here without documents and that is his only offense, should that person be deported? That person should not be the focus of deportation.

[00:44:24.08]
We should fundamentally change the way we deal with it.

[00:44:28.08]
Senator Morton suggests that I agree with a lot of what tablas has just said, and that is on day one we take out our executive order pen and we rescind every damn thing on this issue that Trump has done.

[00:44:42.07]
Number two. Number two, picking up on the point. The job we've got to look at the root causes and you have a situation where Honduras, among other things, is a failing state. Massive corruption. You've got gangs who was telling families that if a 10 year old does not join that gang, that family is going to be killed. What we have got to do on day one is invite the presidents and the leadership of Central America and Mexico together.

[00:45:08.08]
This is a hemispheric IQ problem that we have got to swallow. What do you do day one? No. If someone is here without documents and that is their only offense, is that person to be deported? No. That person can be a part of this great American experience. That person can contribute. My congressional district was one of the most diverse in America, and we see the benefits when people contribute and they become a part of the community and they're not in the shadow economy.

[00:45:40.03]
Day one for me. Families are reunited. This president, though, for immigrants, there's nothing he will not do to separate a family cage, a child or a race, their existence by weaponizing the census. And there is nothing that we cannot do in the courts and that I will not do as president to reverse that and to make sure that families always belong together.

[00:46:04.05]
Senator Harris. Well, thank you. I will say no, absolutely not. They should not be deported. And I actually this was one of the very few issues with which I disagreed with the admissions administration, with whom I had always had a great relationship and a great deal of respect. But on the Secure Communities issue, I was attorney general. California led the second largest department of Justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice in a state of 40 million people.

[00:46:35.01]
And on this issue, I disagreed with my president because the policy was to allow deportation of people who, by ISIS own definition, were non criminals. So as attorney general and the chief law officer of the state of California, I issued a directive to the sheriffs of my state that they did not have to comply with detainers. And instead should make decisions based on the best interest of public safety of their community. Because what I saw in I was tracking it every day, I was tracking it and saw that parent that parents, people who had not committed a crime, even by ISIS own definition, were being deported.

[00:47:14.01]
And I have to add a point here. The problem with this kind of policy, and I know it as a prosecutor, I want a rape victim to be able to run in the middle of a run in the middle of the street and wave down a police officer and report the crime against her. I want anybody who has been the victim of any real crime to be able to do that and not be afraid that if they do that, they will be deported because the.

[00:47:44.05]
We're going to turn to the issue of trade now if we can't, last night we asked the candidates on this stage to name the greatest geopolitical threat facing the U.S. Four of them mentioned China.

[00:47:54.04]
U.S. businesses say China steals our intellectual property and party leaders on both sides accuse China of manipulating their currency to keep the cost of goods artificially low. Last this to Senator Bennett to start off with, how would you stand up to China? I think that, first of all, the biggest job, the biggest threat to our national security right now is Russia, not China. And second on China, we've got competent because of what they've done with our election in China.

[00:48:22.09]
I think the president's been right to push back on China, but he's done it in completely the wrong way. We should mobilize the entire rest of the world who will have a shared interest in pushing back on China's mercantilist trade policies. And I think we can do that. I'd like to answer the other question before this as well. Do you have the time? When I when I when I see these kids at the border, I see my mom because I know she sees herself because she was separated from her parents for years during the Holocaust in Poland.

[00:48:52.02]
And for Donald Trump to be doing what he's doing to children and their families at the borders, I say this is somebody who wrote the immigration bill in 2013 that created a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in this country that had the most progressive Dream Act that's ever been conceived. Much less pass to get 68 votes in the Senate that had forty six billion dollars of border security in it. That was sophisticated 21st century border security, not a medieval wall.

[00:49:20.06]
And his term, the border of the United States into a symbol of nativist hostility that the whole world is looking at. When what we should be represented by you is the Statue of Liberty, which has brought my here to this country to begin with. We need to make a change. Mr. Yang, let me bring you in on this on the issue of China. You've expressed a lot of concerns about technology and taking jobs. Are you worried about China?

[00:49:45.04]
And if so, how would you stand up against it? Well, I just want to agree that I think Russia is our greatest geopolitical threat because they've been hacking our democracy successfully. They've been laughing their asses off about it for the last couple of years. So we should focus on that before we start worrying about other threats. Now, China. They do they do pirate our intellectual property. It's a massive problem. But the tariffs and the trade war are just punishing businesses and producers and workers on both sides.

[00:50:11.08]
I met with a farmer in Iowa who said he spent six years building up a buying relationship in China that's now disappeared and gone forever. And the beneficiaries have not been American workers or people in China. It's been Southeast Asia and other producers that have been stepped into the void. So we need to crack down on Chinese malfeasance in the trade relationship with the tariffs and the trade war. The wrong way to go make. That's a huge problem. How would you stand up against China?

[00:50:36.01]
I mean, first of all, we've got to recognize that the China challenge really is a serious one. This is not something to dismiss or wave away. And if you look at what China is doing, they're using technology for the perfection of dictatorship. But their fundamental economic model isn't gonna change because it's some tariffs. I live in the industrial Midwest. What you folks who aren't in the shadow of a factory are somewhere near a soy field where I lift.

[00:51:02.09]
And manufacturers and especially soy farmers are hurting. Tariffs are taxes and Americans are going to pay on average eight hundred dollars more a year because of these terrorists. Meanwhile, China is investing so that they could soon be able to run circles around us in artificial intelligence. And this president is fixated on the final relationship as if all that mattered was the export balance on dishwashers. We've got a much bigger issue on our hands, but at a moment when their authoritarian model is being held up as an alternative to ours because ours looks so chaotic compared to theirs right now because of our internal divisions.

[00:51:36.04]
The biggest thing we've got to do is invest in our own domestic competitiveness. If we disinvest in our own infrastructure education, we're never going to be able to compete. And if we really want to be an alternative, a democratic alternative, we actually have to demonstrate that we care about democratic values at home.

[00:51:53.06]
You're so high right here. Candidates, when we come back, the questioning continues. Our colleagues, no matter what, they're smiling. That candidate. Straight ahead.