For this first debate, we've heard from 10 of them last night. We're hearing from 10 more tonight. Break down for each night was selected at random. Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer direct questions, 30 seconds for follow ups if necessary. Because of this large field of candidates, not every person will be able to comment on everything. But the less audience reaction there is, the more time they will own. Yes. Over the course of the next hour, we will hear from all of these candidates, but we are going to begin this hour with mayor.
But again, in the last five years, civil rights activists in our country have led a national debate over race and the criminal justice system. Your community of South Bend, Indiana, has recently been in uproar over an officer involved. Shooting the police force in South Bend is now 6 percent black in a city that is 26 percent black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor? Because I couldn't get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer involved shooting a black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer.
I'm not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer said he was attacked with a knife, but he didn't have his body camera on. It's a mess and we're hurting. And I could walk you through all the things that we have done as a community. All of the steps that we took from biased training to de-escalation. But it didn't save the life of Eric Logan. And when I look into his mother's eyes, I have to face the fact and nothing that I say will bring him back.
This is an issue that is facing our community and so many communities around the country. And until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we will be left with. The bigger problem was the fact that there is a wall of mistrust. Put up one racist act at a time, not just from what's happened in the past, but from what's happening around the country in the present. It threatens the well-being of every community.
And I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle when they see a police officer approaching feels the exact same thing, a feeling not of fear, but of safety. I'm determined to bring that day about.
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. If I could ask one question just because I think. Governor, I'll give you 30 seconds. I think that the question they're asking in South Bend, I think in cities across the country is why has it taken so long? We've got a shooting. When I first became mayor 10 years before Ferguson and the community came together to create an office of the Independent Moderate Civilian Oversight Commission. We diversified the police force in two years.
We actually did de-escalation training. I think the real question that Americans should be asking is why five years after Ferguson, every city doesn't have this level of police accountability.
Governor Hickenlooper, we got to respond to that. Look, we've taken so many steps toward police accountability that, you know, the FFP just denounced me for too much accountability. We're obviously not there yet. And I accept responsibility for that. And I'm sure I'll see you should fire the chief. So under Indiana law, this will be investigated and there will be accountability for the officer. And you're the marriage by the chief. If that's the policy and someone died, all of these issues are extremely important.
But there are specifics. There are symptoms. And the underlying cause has to do with deep, deep, deep realms of racial injustice, both in our criminal justice system and in our economic system. And the Democratic Party should be on the side of reparations for slavery for this very reason. I do not believe. I do not believe that the average American is a racist. But the average American is woefully educated about the history of race in the United.
I was thinking. Vice President Biden. We're going to get to you. Hang out. We're going to get on stage. I would like to speak up on the. So here's what I would say, is that we will give you 30 seconds. We're going to come back to you on it on this again in just a moment. Go for 30 seconds. OK. So on the issue of race, I couldn't agree more that this is an issue that is still not being talked about truthfully and honestly, I.
There is not a black man I know. Be he a relative or a friend or co-worker who has not been the subject of some form of profiling or discrimination. Growing up, my sister and I had to deal with the neighbor who told us her parents couldn't play with us because because we were black. And I will say also that that in this campaign we've also heard and I'm going to now direct this of Vice President Biden. I do not believe you are a racist.
And I agree with you. When you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe and it is personal. And I was actually very. It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day.
And that little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly. As Attorney General California, I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on.
Senator, thank you. Vice President Biden. You have been invoked. You are going to give you a chance to respond. Vice President. Mischaracterizing my position across the board. I did not praise racist. That is not true. Number one. Number two, if we want to have this campaign litigated. Who supports civil rights? And whether I did or not, I'm happy to do that. I was a public defender. I didn't become a prosecutor.
I came out. I left a good law firm to become a public defender when in fact, when, in fact. When in fact, my city was in flames because of the assassination of Dr. King. Number one, not number two. As the U.S. as excuse me, as the vice president, nine states, I work with a man who in fact, we work very hard to see to it. We dealt with these issues in a major, major way.
The fact is that in terms of busing, the busing, I never you have been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council. That's fine. That's one of things argued for that. We should not be. We should be breaking down these lines. But so the bottom line here is, look, everything I've done in my career, I ran because of civil rights. I continue to think we have to make fundamental changes in civil rights.
And those civil rights, by the way, include not just only African-Americans, but the LGBT community.
But Vice President Biden. Do you agree today? Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America, though? Do you agree? I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That's what I oppose. Well, it was not a failure of states to integrate public schools in America. I was part of the second class to integrate. Berkeley, California public schools almost two decades after Brown v.
Board of Education, because your city council made that decision, it was that federal government must step in. We have the voting rights and the civil rights. That's why we need to pass the Equality Act. That's why we need to pass the VRA, because there are moments in history where states fail to preserve the civil rights of lives. Supported the VRA from the very beginning when I was about 30 seconds. But I want to bring other Lincoln supported bringing you all right from the very beginning.
I'm the guy that extended the Voting Rights Act for twenty five years. We got to the place where we got 98 on a 98 votes, the United States Senate doing it. I've also argued very strongly that we, in fact, deal with the notion of denying people access to the ballot box. I agree that everybody wants stay and fight. My time's up.
Thank you, Vice President, all of these things. Senator Sanders, Senator Sanders, I'm going to go to you on this. You said on the day you launched her campaign that voters should focus on what people stand for, not a candidate's race or age or sexual orientation. Many Democrats are very excited by the diversity of this field on the stage and on last night's stage and the perspective that diversity brings to this contest and to these issues. Are you telling Democratic voters that diversity shouldn't matter when they make this decision?
No, absolutely not. Unlike the Republican Party. We encourage diversity. We believe in diversity. That's what America is about. But in addition to diversity, in terms of having more women, more people from the G.B. LGBT community, we also have to do something else. And that is, we have to ask ourselves a simple question. And how come today the worker in the middle of our economy is making no more money than he or she made forty five years ago, and that in the last 30 years, the top 1 percent has seen a 20 1 trillion dollar increase in their wealth.
We need a party that it's the first, but we need a party that has the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests who have so much power over the economic and political life of this country. Senator Gellibrand, I want to give you 30 seconds on this. First of all, where Bernie left off. We've heard a lot of good ideas on this stage tonight and a lot of plans. But the truth is, until you go to the root of the corruption, the money in the in politics, the fact that Washington is run by the special interests, you are never going to solve any of these problems.
I have the most comprehensive approach that experts agree is the most transformative plan to actually take on political corruption, to get money out of public politics through publicly funded elections, to have clean elections. If we do that and get money out of politics, we can guarantee health care is a right, not a privilege. We can deal with institutional racism. We can take on income inequality. And we can take on the corporate corruption that runs Washington first constitution.
To do that was introduced by me when I was a young senator.
Thank you, vice president. We want to shift topics here. Senator Bennett, the next question is for you on the issue of partisan gridlock. President Obama promised in 2012 that after his re-election, Republicans would want to work with Democrats. Fever would break. That did not happen. Now, Vice President Biden is saying the same thing, that if he is elected in 2020, both parties will want to work together. Should voters believe that somehow if there's a Democratic president in twenty twenty one, that gridlock is going to magically disappear?
Gridlock will not magically disappear as long as Mitch McConnell is there.
First, second, second, second. That's why it is so important for us to win not just the presidency, to have somebody that can run in all 50 states, but to but to win the Senate as well. And that's why we have proposed policies that can be supported like Medicare X, so that we can build a broad coalition of Americans to overcome broken Washington, D.C.. I agree with what Senator Gillibrand was saying, as sure a lot of her views.
We need to end gerrymandering and watch it. We needed political gerrymandering. A in the court today said they couldn't do anything about it. We need to overturn Citizens United. The court was the one that gave us Citizens United in the attack on voting rights in Shelby vs. Holder is something we need to deal with. All of those things has happened since then. Vice President Biden was in the Senate and we face structural problems and we have to overcome with a broad coalition.
It's the only way we can do it. We need to root out the corruption in Washington. Expand people's right to get to the polls. And I think that we can succeed. Vice President Biden, you know, 30 seconds. I want. I want. It does sound as if you haven't seen what's been happening in the United States Senate over the last 12 years. It didn't happen. Why? I have seen what happened just since we were vice president.
We needed three votes to pass an eight hundred billion dollar recovery act that kept us from going into a depression. I got three votes change. We needed to be able to keep the government from shutting down and going bankrupt. I got Mitch McConnell to raise taxes. Six hundred billion dollars by raising the top rate. And as recently as after president got elected, I was able to put together a coalition of the Cures Act that billions of dollars go into cancer research.
Bipartisan. But sometimes you can't do that. Sometimes just have to gotten beaten. I went into 20 states, over 60 candidates. I guess what we beat. We want to back the Senate like you, Chuck. They could have a problem with what I know, 30 seconds, but sometimes you do have to beat them.
But. But the deal that he talked about with Mitch McConnell was a complete victory for the Tea Party. It extended the Bush tax cuts permanently. The Democratic Party had been running against that for 10 years. We lost that economic argument because that deal extending almost all those Bush tax cuts permanently and put in place the mindless cuts that we still are dealing with today that are called the sequester. That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell. It was a terrible deal for America.
Said thank you, Senator Bennett. Great reason why the Trump tax cut had to be passed. It's because they had to pay back their donors. You heard it, they actually said those words. So the corruption in Washington is real and it is something that makes every one of the plans we've heard about over the last several months. Impossible. And I have the most comprehensive approach to do it with clean elections, publicly fund elections. So we restore the power of our democracy into the hands of the voters, not into the Koch brothers.
We were talking about issues. Imagine we're in Florida. Imagine the Parkland kids having as much power in our democracy as the Koch brothers or the NRA. Imagine their voices carry farther and wider than anyone else. Their voice is needed. Send our children. I'm. But it's the first thing to do because nothing else is possible. Whether it's education or health care or ending institute. Thank you very much. fender's. I'd like to put a different question to you.
Roe vs. Wade has been the law of the land since 1973. Now that there is a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, several Republican controlled states have passed laws to severely restrict or even ban abortion. One of those laws could very well make it to the Supreme Court. During your presidency, if you're elected president, what is your plan? If Roe is struck down in the court while you're president? Well, my plan is somebody who believes for a start that a woman's right to control her own body is a constitutional right, that government and politicians should not infringe on that right.
We will do everything we can to defend or Roe vs. Wade. Second of all, let me make let me make let me make a promise to you. You ask about litmus test. My litmus test is I will never appoint any nominate any justice to the Supreme Court unless that justice is 100 percent clear. He or she will defend Roe v. Wade. Third of all, I do not believe in packing the court. We've got a terrible 5 4 majority conservative court right now.
But I do believe that constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to the courts. And that brings a new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority, I hope that will understand that a woman has the right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run to the United States. I'm going to give you 10 additional seconds, because the question is, what if the court has already overturned Roe and Roe is gone? All of the things you just described would be to try to preserve Roe.
If Roe is gone, what could you do as president? We could preserve abortion, right. Well, first of all, let me tell you, this didn't come up. You. But let's face this Medicare for all guarantees. Every woman in this country, the right to have an abortion if she wants it. Thank you, Senator.
And can I just address this for a seconds? And I want to talk directly, directly to America's women and to the men who love them. Women's reproductive rights are under assault by President Trump and the Republican Party. 30 states are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade right now. And it is mind boggling to me that we are debating this on this stage in twenty nineteen among Democrats whether women should have access to reproductive rights. I think we have to stop paying defense and start playing offense.
But let me tell you one thing about politics, because it goes to the corruption of the dealmaking. When the door is closed and the negotiations are made. There are conversations about women's rights and compromises have been made on our backs. That's how we got to hide. That's how the Hyde Amendment was created, a compromise by leaders of both parties. Then we have the ACA during the ACA. No better negotiation. I had to fight like heck with other women to make sure that contraception wasn't sold down the river or abortion services.
And so what we need to know is imagine this one question where do we beat President Trump and Mitch McConnell walks into the Oval Office, God forbid, to do negotiations. Who do you want? When that door closes to be sitting behind that desk to fight for women's rights, I have been the fiercest advocate for women's reproductive freedom for over a decade. And I promise you, as press senator, when that door closes, I will guarantee women's resort.
Not just that, no matter what. Thank you. We're moving to climate and moving the climate guy. Senator Harris, addressing you first on this. You live in a state that has been hit by drought, wildfires, flooding. Climate change is a major concern for voters in your state. That's pretty obvious. Obviously, this state as well. Last night, voters heard many of the candidates weigh in on their proposals. Explain specifically witnesses. Well, first of all, I don't even call it climate change.
It's the climate crisis and it represents an existential threat to us as a species. And the fact that we have a president of the United States who has embraced science fiction over science fact will be to our collective peril. I visited while the embers were smoldering. The wildfires in California. I spoke with firefighters who were in the midst of fighting a fire while their own homes were burning. And on this issue, it is it. It is a critical issue that is about what we must do to confront what is immediate and before us right now.
That is why I support a green new deal. It is why I believe on day one and as president will re-enter us in the Paris agreement, because we have to take these issues seriously. And frankly, we have a president, United States. We talked about you ask before, what is the greatest national security threat to the United States? It's Donald Trump. And I'm going to tell you why. And I'm going to tell you why. Because I agree.
Climate change represents an existential threat. He denies the science. You want to talk about North Korea? Real threat in terms of nuclear arsenal. But what does he do? He embraces Kim Jong un, a dictator for the sake of a photo op. Think Putin. You want to talk about. We're going to do makes the word of the Russian when all over the word of the American and tell us the quantity when it comes to a threat to our democracy and our election.
Thank you, Senator. Those are the issues that are before us. Chuck, I'm. I hear you. Thank you, Senator. In your climate plan. If you're elected president in your first term, how is this going to help farmers impacted by climate change in the Midwest? Well, the reality is we need to begin adapting right away. But we also can't skip a beat on preventing climate change from getting even worse. That's why we need aggressive and ambitious measures.
That's why we need to do a carbon tax and dividend. But I would propose we do it in a way that is rebated out to the American people in a progressive fashion so that most Americans are made more than whole. This isn't theoretical for us in south and eastern parts of California on fire right here in Florida. They're talking about sea level rise while in Indiana. I had to activate the emergency operations center of our city twice in less than two years.
First time was a thousand year flood and the next time was a 500 year flood. This is not just happening on the Arctic ice caps. This is happening in the middle of the country. And we've got to be dramatically more aggressive moving forward. Now, here's what very few people talk about. First of all, rural America can be part of the solution instead of being told they're part of the problem with the right kind of soil management and other kind of investments.
Rural America could be a huge part of how we get this done. And secondly, we've got to look to the leadership of local communities. It was networks of mayors and cities from around the world together. I'm not even waiting for our national governments to catch up. We should have a Pittsburgh summit where we bring them together as well as rejoining the IRS. Thank you, Mayor. But I want to bring Governor Hickenlooper into this for a moment. Governor, you have said that oil and gas companies should be a part of the solution on climate change.
Lots of your colleagues onstage tonight have talked about moving away from fossil fuels entirely. Can oil and gas companies be real partners in this fight? Well, I share the sense of urgency. I'm a scientist, so I I recognize that within 10 or 12 years of actually suffering Iraq, irreversible damage. But you're guaranteeing everybody a government job is not going to get us there. Socialism and in that sense is not the solution. We have to look at what really will make a difference in Colorado, closing a couple of coal plants, replace them with wind, solar and batteries in the monthly bills go down.
We've gone out building a network for electric vehicles. We are working with the oil and gas industry and we've created the first methane regulations in the country. Methane is 25 times worse than CO2. And then we've got to get to that last part. I mean, the industrial heavy industry, we haven't seen the plans yet. If you look at at at the real problem, CO2, the worst polluters and CO2 is China is the United States. And that's concrete and it's exhalation.
And beyond that, I think we've got to recognize that only by bringing people together, businesses, nonprofits. And we can't demonize every business. We've got to bring them together to be partners. Because ultimately, if we're not able to do that, we will be doomed to failure. We have no way of doing this. Governor, everyone. Yeah. Thank you. Vice President Biden on the issue of how you do this. Democrats are arguing robustly among themselves about what's the best way to tackle climate change.
But if we're honest, many Republicans, including the president, are still not sure if they believe it is even a serious problem. So are there significant ways you can cut carbon emissions if you have to do it with no support from Congress?
The answer is yes. Number one, media within our administration, we built the largest wind farm in the world, the largest solar energy facility in the world. We drove down the price, competitive price of both of those renewable and renewable sources. I would immediately insist that we in fact, Bill. Five hundred thousand recharging stations throughout the United States of America, working with governors, mayors and others so that we can go to a full electric vehicle future by the year 2020 or by the year 2030.
I would make sure that we invested four hundred billion dollars in new science and technology to be the exporter not only of the green economy, but a economy that can create millions of jobs. But I would immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. I would up the ante in that accord, which it calls for because we make up fifteen percent of the problem. Eighty five percent of the world makes up the rest. And so we have to have someone who knows how to corral the rest of the world, bring them together and get something done like we did in our.
Senator Sanders, I'm I'm to give you 30 seconds to follow up, but I'm gonna hold you to 30. Look, the old ways are no longer relevant. The scientists tell us we have 12 years before that is irreparable damage to this planet. This is a global issue. What the president of the United States should do is not deny the reality of climate change, but tell the rest of the world that instead of spending a trillion and a half dollars on weapons of destruction, let us get together for the common enemy and that it's to transform the world's energy system away from fossil fuel, energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
The future of the planet rests on us doing. Hey, guys, just before we leave this topic resolution, pass the torch. Pass the torch to the generation that's going to feel the effects of the fossil tortured generation which invented another. Are we like this topic something? You all want to weigh in on old one. Is there just ganpati? Hold on a moment. Just trust us on that. Somebody's got a younger body. Doesn't mean you don't have old ideas.
John Kennedy. John Kennedy did not say. John Kennedy did not say I have a plan to get a man to the moon. And so we're going to do it. And I think we can all work together and maybe even get a man on the moon. John Kennedy said by the end of this decade, we are going to put a man on the moon, because John Kennedy was back in the day when politics included the people and included imagination and included great dreams and included great plans.
And I have had a career not making the political plans, but I have had a career harnessing the inspiration and the motivation and the excitement of people thinking that people when we know that when we say we are going to turn from a dirty economy through a clean economy, we're going to have a great new deal. We're going to create millions of jobs. We're going to do this within the next twelve years because I'm not interested in just winning the next election.
We are in our grandchildren. We've got to say, we're going to sneak in a break in a minute. But before we go, I'm going to go down the line here and I'm asking you, please, for one or two words only. All right. Please. Really? President Obama in his first year wanted to address both health care and climate. And he could only get one signature issue accomplished. It was obviously health care. He didn't get to do climate change.
You may only get one shot in your first issue that you're going to push. You get one shot that it may be the only thing you get passed. What is that first issue for your presidency, Eric Swalwell, your first for Parkland, for Orlando, for every community affected by gun violence, ending gun violence. Senator Bennett.
Climate change and the lack of it cannot gnomic mobility. Bernie talks about Senator Joe passing a family bill of rights that includes a national paid leave plan, universal pre-K, affordable daycare and making sure that women and families can thrive in the workplace no matter who they are. Kidding. That said, so passing a middle class and working families tax cut. That's what Dacca guns didn't get credit for the first they get, said the tax guy. Senator Sanders, on the premise that there's only one or two issues out there that's saying there are two normies crises.
Senator Sanders, a political revolution. People have got to stand up and take on the special interests. We can transform this country. Vice President Biden, your first issue.
Mr. Vice President, I think you're so underestimating Barack Obama did. He's the first man to bring together the entire world. One hundred ninety six nations to commit to deal with climate change.
Immediate tried. I don't buy that. The first the first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump. Maybe it's your first priority, your first issue as president that you are going to block and tackle.
We've got to fix our democracy before it's too late. Get that right. Climate. Immigration. Taxes and every other issue gets better. Mr. Mr Gay. I would pass a $1000 a freedom dividend for every American adult starting at age 18, which would speed up on climate change because if you get the boot off of people's throats, they'll focus on climate change much more clearly. Governor Hickenlooper. I would do a collaborative approach to climate change and I would pronounce it well before the election to make sure we don't re-elect the worst president in American history.
And Ms. Williams, her last calls to prime minister of New Zealand, who said that her goal is to make New Zealand a place where it's the best place in the world for a child to grow up and to have a girlfriend or so on. Because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up. You know, you guys were close with the show. At least it was shorter.
Now, that response. Not at all. All right. C minus. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back with these candidates right after this. All right, well, on Election Day 2020, Donald Trump will be something he was not. On Election Day 2016, that is President Donald Trump. Any incumbent running for re-election in some ways a re-election campaign for president, of course, becomes a referendum on how folks feel the president did during his four years in office.
So what can we say about how voters have been reacting so far to the Trump presidency? Well, what you see here, this is his average approval rating, meaning you've always got these different polls out there. One day NBC will have one. The next day CNN will have one. They're always coming in from all over the place. This trend line is an average a day to day average of all of those polls put together. And what you see here in this trend.
It's a very narrow range that Trump is operating.
And what I mean by that is look at this. This is his high watermark, his peak as president, his average approval rating at its best. Forty six percent.
And when was this? Early February? Twenty seventeen. That was his honeymoon. He had just become president. That makes him different. Right there from every modern predecessor he has, because all of them have gotten to 60, 65, 70 percent, at least for a short period. They all had honeymoons. Trump's honeymoon, he couldn't even crack 50 percent. So already we see a lower ceiling for Trump than we've seen with past presidents. But that comes with a flip side.
And that is the basement for Trump. Look at this, 37 percent is the low point he's hit in his average approval rating as president. That is actually not as low as some of his predecessors have gone. We've seen Nixon, Bush, senior Carter. We saw them fall into the 20s at some point during their term. That has not happened to Trump either. 37 in the low in 46 on the high end right now, somewhere in between.
It's a very narrow range. It speaks to polarization. I'll tell you, it speaks to something else. Is this presidency really any different politically in terms of how it's being received than the campaign in 2016? Because compare this trend line 46 37, low high. Compare that to Trump's support against Hillary Clinton in the polls in the fall of 2016. Trump's average support at a low point, thirty six percent at a high point, about forty three and a half percent.
Course on election day. What was the number yet? Forty six percent, the same high watermark he's had in his approval rating. So Trump has been operating in the same range as a candidate as president. We say it speaks to polarization. It also speaks to, look, this is somebody who succeeded as a candidate in 2016 despite some very, very high negative numbers. What I mean by that is look at this, the exit poll on Election Day.
Do you think Donald Trump's qualified to be president? Only 38 percent said they thought he was qualified for the job. The clear majority said Trump wasn't qualified. Does he have the temperament? Thirty five percent said he had the temperament. Do you like him? You have a favorable view, only 40 percent. You're not supposed to be able to win with those numbers. Trump was one of the big reasons his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by Election Day 2016, almost as unpopular as he was, only 43 percent favorable.
It created that narrow path for Trump. And that becomes the question when you look at that approval rating now in twenty twenty. Can he make his opponent as unpopular on Election Day as Clinton was in 60?
Welcome back to the Democratic candidates debate in Miami. We're going to continue the questioning now with Lester in the audience.
We are. We are in a second. Are going to have a question from Lester. Yes, but that was just a fake out. Let's go. We're going to go to the issue of guns. And Congressman Swalwell, among this field of candidates, you have a unique position on gun reform. You're proposing that the government should buy back every assault weapon in America and it should be mandatory. How do you envision that working, especially in states where gun rights are a strong flashpoint?
Keep your pistols, keep your rifles, keep the shotguns. But we can take the most dangerous weapons from the most dangerous people. We have the NRA on the ropes because of the moms, because of the Brady group, because of Giffords, because of March for our lives.
But I'm the only candidate on this stage calling for a ban and buyback of every single assault weapon in America. I've seen the plans of the other candidates here. They were all the 15 million assault weapons in our communities. They wouldn't do a single thing to save a single life in Parkland. I'll approach this issue as a prosecutor. I'll approach it is the only person on this stage was voted in, passed background checks, but also is a parent of a generation who sends our children to school where we look at what they're wearing so we can remember it in case we have to identify them later.
A generation who has seen thousands of black children killed in our streets and a generation who goes to the theater and we actually look where the fire exits are. We don't have to live this way. We must be a country who loves our children more than we love our guns. Senator Sanders.
Senator Sanders of Vermont newspaper recently released portions of an interview you gave in 2013 in which you said, quote, My own view on guns is everything being equal. States should make those decisions. No. Has your thinking changed since then? Do you now think there's a federal role? That's a mischaracterization of my said look. Quote, If we have a gun, we have a gun crisis right now. Forty thousand people a year are getting killed in eighty eight.
Rachel, when it wasn't popular, I ran on a platform of banning assault weapons and in fact, more stuff. Race for Congress. I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA. And I believe that what we need is comprehensive gun shot gun legislation that, among other things, provides universal background. We end the gun show loophole. We end the straw man provision. And I believed in 1988 and I believe today. Why would you get all these weapons?
Why assault weapons, all the weapons you leave home from the military and that they should not be on wider the streets of America? You would leave your plane, leaves them on the streets. You leave 15 million. We ban the sale. We ban the sale when you and. You should. And that's what I believed. We looked many years. We you buying back. People want to buy. If the government wants to do that to people, you're going to be the government.
You buy them back. Yes. Senator Harris, we're gonna give you 30 seconds. You. I think your idea is a great one. Congressman Swallow. And I'll say that there are a lot of great ideas. The problem is Congress has not had the courage to act, which is why when elected president of the United States, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to pull their act together, bring all these good ideas together, and put a bill on my desk for signature.
And if they do not, I will take executive action and I will put in place the most comprehensive background check policy we've had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law. And I will ban by executive order the importation of assault weapons, because I'm a tell you, as a prosecutor, I have seen more autopsy photographs than I care to tell you. I have hugged more mothers who are the mothers of homicide victims.
And I have attended more police officer funerals. It is enough. It is enough. There've been plenty of good ideas from members, the United States Congress. There's been no action. As president, I will take action there. But a judge I want to bring you. A lot of discussion about assault rifles that are often shorthanded as military style weapons. You're the only person on this stage tonight with military experience as a veteran of the Afghanistan war. Will military families.
Does that inform your thinking on this view? Do you believe that military families are America's veterans will at large have a different take on this than the other Americans who we've been talking about? Who? Congressman Swalwell is appealing to with his buyback program? Yeah, of course, because we trained on some of these kinds of weapons. Look, every part of my life experience informs us, being the mayor of a city where the worst part of the job is dealing with violence.
We lose a as many as we're lost at Parkland every two or three years in my city alone. And this is tearing communities apart. If more guns made us safer, we'd be the safest country on earth. It doesn't work that way.
And common sense measures like universal background checks can't seem to get delivered by Washington, even when most Republicans, let alone most Americans, agree it's the right thing to do. And as somebody who trained on weapons of war, I can tell you that there are weapons that have absolutely no place in American cities or neighborhoods in peacetime ever.
Vice President Biden, 30 seconds, real 30 seconds, a real 30 seconds.
I'm the only person that beat the NRA nationally. I'm the guy that got the Brady Bill, passed the background checks. Number one. Number two, we increased that background check. When? During the Obama-Biden administration, I'm also the only guy that got assault weapons ban banned and the number of clips in a gun band. And so, folks, look, and I would buy back those weapons. We already started talking about that. We tried to get it done.
I think it can be done and it should be demanded that we do it. And that's a good expenditure money. And lastly, we should have smart guns. No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull that trigger. It's within our right to do that. We can't do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA. The gun manufacturers, vice president. The NRA is taking. All right. That's our whole row has our next question, Lester.
All right, Chuck. This is a question from our viewers. We put some suggestions that maybe they could share some. Here's one that came from Kathleen from Can Be Oregon, who writes. Many fear the current administration has inflicted irrevocable harm on our governing institutions and norms and the process on our reputation abroad. The question is, what do you see as important early steps in reversing the damage done? And we'll put this one to Senator Bennett. Thank you very much.
What an excellent question. First of all, we have to restore our democracy at home. The rest of world is looking for us for leadership. We have a president who doesn't believe in the rule of law. He doesn't believe in freedom of the press. He doesn't believe in independent judiciary. He believes in the corruption that he's brought to Washington, D.C. And that is what we have to change. And that's why everybody is up here tonight. And I appreciate the fact that they're up here for that reason.
Second, we've got it. We've got to restore the relationships that he's destroyed with our allies, not just in Europe. He flew to the G-20 last night and attacked Japan, Germany and a third ally of ours without saying anything about North Korea or Russia. And when you've got a situation where you have a president who says something happened in the Straits of Hormuz and the whole world doesn't know whether to believe it or not, that is a huge problem when it comes to the national security of the United States of America, the perfect time.
So thank you, Senator Biden, is a perfect time for me to do another one of these down the line. And this is what this question is, which is you're gonna have to read. You're likely going to have to reset a relationship between America and another country or entity if you become president because of perhaps because of some relationship that you just mentioned about President Trump. What is the first relationship you like to reset as president? Go down the line and I'll start with Miss Waynes.
Well, one of my first phone calls would be to call the European leaders and say, we're back. Because I totally understand how important it is that the United States be part of the Western alliance. I went and I'm trying to get one, one or two words here. I hear Governor Hickenlooper, you know, I talk about constant engagement. And I think the first thing the first country I would go to. Yeah, I understand they've been cheating and and stealing and property poverty would be China, because if they're gonna do to us public health and we're going to deal with all the challenges of the globe.
We've got to have relationships with everyone. Mr. Yang, we're trying to squeeze in a couple more things before we go to another break, Mr. China. We need to cooperate with them on climate change and other issues. North Korea, thanks for the quickness.
But we have no idea which of our most important allies he will have pissed off worse between now and then. What we know is that our relationship with the entire world needs to change and it starts by. Modelling American values at home. OK. Mr. Vice President, I'm trying to be quick. We know NATO will fall apart if he's elected four more years as the single most consequential alliance against the United States. Senator Sanders.
It's not one country. I think it is rebuilding trust in the United Nations. And understand that we can solve conflicts without war, but with diplomacy.
Senator Harris, all the members of the NATO alliance. Senator Gillibrand. President Trump is hell bent on starting a war with Iran. I first will be to engage Iran to stabilize the Middle East and make sure we do not start an unwanted, never ending war. Senator Bennett, quickly. Our European allies in every Latin American country that's willing to have a conversation about how to deal with the refugees. Congressman Swalwell, I first act and foreign policy.
We're breaking up with Russia and making up with NATO.
Thank you all. Thank you all. We have one last question for Vice President Biden tonight. You have made your decades of experience in foreign policy a pillar of your campaign. But when the time came to say yes or no on one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of the last century, you voted for the Iraq war. You have since said you regret that vote. But why should voters trust your judgment when it comes to making a decision about taking the country to war the next time?
Because once we once Bush abused that power, what happened was we got elected. After that, I'd made sure the president turned to me and said, Joe, get our combat troops out of Iraq. I was responsible for getting one hundred and fifty thousand combat troops out of Iraq. And my son was one of them. I also think we should not have combat troops in Afghanistan. It's long overdue. It should end. And thirdly, I believe that you're not going to find anybody who has pulled together more of our alliances to deal with what is the real stateless threat out there.
We cannot go it alone in terms of dealing with terrorism. So I'd eliminate the the the act that allowed us to go into war and not the EU IMF and make sure that it could only be used for what it's intended. What was intense was and that is to go after terrorists but never do it alone. That's why we have to repair our alliances. We've put together sixty five countries and make sure we dealt with ISIS in Iraq and other places.
That's what I would do. That's what I have done and I know how to do it. Senator Sanders, 30 seconds.
The difference is one of the differences that Joe it I have no record is Joe voted for that war. He helped lead the opposition to that war, which is a total disaster. Second, the war I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of the Saudi led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster. And thirdly, let me be very clear. I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, which will be far worse than disastrous war with Sanders.
All right, guys. Form consent of the very people. Good news is you get more time to talk, but I have to sneak in one more break. You might be right back with more debate.
Well, here it is. This is the month to start looking at on your calendar, February 2020. That's when all the talk ends and the voting begins and that massive, gigantic, enormous Democratic presidential field, it gets thinned down. And maybe by the end of that month we'll even have a pretty good sense who the nominee's going to be. You know, Iowa always in that leadoff position, the Iowa caucuses. There it is Monday, February 3rd.
The race begins in Iowa. And then traditionally it is an eight day stretch from Iowa to New Hampshire. First caucuses in Iowa. First primary in New Hampshire eight days later. So you can expect, however, many candidates are left when they get to the starting line in Iowa. There's probably going to be far fewer eight days later between Iowa and New Hampshire. You can expect a lot of winnowing to take place. You'll have some clear candidates who are out in front as well.
The next stop, this is a new one on the Democratic, a relatively new one. Only the last couple of cycles, Nevada caucuses in Nevada. That's the next one. Then the big one, obviously, the South Carolina primary, the first in the south primary at the end of the month. And of course, South Carolina very important because this is the first state where you're going to have a really substantial black population voting 60 percent. More than 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in the 2016 South Carolina primary was African-American.
So a key test there for individual contests. We'll talk only about these states the night they come in. That's going to be February. But then flip the counter from the last day of February. Look at this. Go into March. Just a couple days later. Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday. Let me give you a sense what that looks like. Massive. Enormous. You go from one contest at a time, all the same. You got California.
You've got Texas. You've got a bunch in the south. Got Massachusetts, Minnesota. All of these states all at once. So February is going to produce some clarity in terms of who's a contender. Super Tuesday mega primary. I could give us some real answers potentially in early March. Now each candidate will have a final chance to make their case to the voters. Forty five seconds each. We begin with Congressman Swalwell. We can't be a forward looking party if we look to the past for our leadership.
I'm a congressman, but also a father of a 2 year old and an infant. I'm not changing diapers. I'm changing Washington. Most the time the diaper smell better. I went to Congress at 31 and I found a Washington that doesn't work for people like you and me. It's made of the rich and the disconnected. I was the first in my family to go to college and have student loan debt. So I have led the effort to elect the next generation of members of Congress.
And we have a moment to seize. This is a can do generation. This is the generation that will end climate chaos. This is the generation that will solve student loan debt. And this is the generation that will say enough is enough. An end gun violence. This generation demands bold solutions. That's why I'm running for president. Gardner Smith, thank you.
And 20 seconds here. I'm sorry we haven't talked more tonight about how we're going to beat Donald Trump. I have an idea about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is not going to be beaten just by insider politics. He's not going to be beaten just by somebody who has plans. He's going to be beaten by somebody who has an idea what this man has done. This man has reached into the psyche of the American people, and he's harness fear for political purposes.
So, Mr. President, if you're listening, I want you to hear me, please. You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out. So I sir, I have a feeling you know what you're doing. I'm going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And, sir, love will win.
Thank you, Senator Bayh. Thank you. Thank you. My mom and her parents came to the United States to rebuild their shattered lives. Three in the only country that they could 300 years before that. My parents family came searching religious freedom here. The ability for one generation to do better than the next is now severely at risk in the United States, especially among children living in poverty, like the ones I used to work for in the Denver public schools.
That's why I'm running for president. I've had two tough races in Colorado by bringing people together, not by making empty promises. And I believe we need to build a broad coalition of Americans to beat Donald Trump in the corruption in Washington and build a new era of the American democracy and American opportunity. This is going to be hard to do, but it's what our parents would have expected. It's what our kids deserve. I hope you join me in this effort.
Thank you, Governor Hickenlooper. I'm a small business owner who brought that same scrappy spirit to Big Colorado, one of the most progressive states in America. We expanded reproductive health to to reduce teenage abortion by 64 percent. We're the first state to legalize marijuana and we transformed our justice system in the process. We passed universal background checks in a purple state. We got to near universal health care coverage. We attacked climate change with the toughest Bethan regulations in the country.
And for the last three years, we've been the number one economy in America. You don't need big government to do big things. I know that because I'm the one person up here who's actually done the big progressive things everyone else is talking about. If we turn towards socialism, we run the risk of helping to re-elect the worst president in American history. Thank you, Governor. Senator Gillibrand, you have before 45 women in America. Women in America are on fire.
We've marched, we've organized, we've run for office and we've won. But our rights are under attack like never before by President Trump and the Republicans who want to repeal Roe v. Wade, which is why I went to the front lines in Georgia to fight for them as president. I will take on the fights that no one else will. I stood up to the Pentagon and repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I've stood up to the banks and voted against the bailout twice.
I've stood up to Trump more than any other senator in the U.S. Senate, and I have the most comprehensive approach for getting money out of politics with publicly funded elections to deal with political corruption. Now is not the time to play it safe. Now is not the time to be afraid of. First, we need a president who will take on the big challenges, even if she stands alone. Join me in fighting for this. Senator Gillibrand, thank you.
This year, you have 45 seconds for your closing. First, I want to thank everyone who put me on the stage tonight. I am proof that our democracy still works. Democrats and Americans around the country have one question for their nominee, and that is who can beat Donald Trump in 2020? That is the right question. And the right candidate to beat Donald Trump will be solving the problems. I got Donald Trump elected and we'll have a vision of a trickle up economy that is already drawing thousands of disaffected Trump voters, conservatives, independents and libertarians, as well as Democrats and progressives.
I am that candidate. I can build a much broader coalition to beat Donald Trump. It is not left. It is not a right. It is forward. And that is where I'll take the country in 2020. Mr. Young, thank you.
Senator Harris Parker. Thank you.
I just want to leave you with a couple of things. One, we need a nominee who has the ability to prosecute the case against four more years of Donald Trump. And I will do that. Second. This election is about you. This is about your hopes and your dreams and your fears and what wakes you up at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. And that's why I have what I call a 3:00 a.m. agenda. That is about everything from what we need to do to deliver health care to how you will be able to pay the bills by the end of the month.
And when I think about what our country needs, I promise you I will be a president who leads with a sense of dignity, with honesty, speaking the truth and giving the American family all that they need to get through the end of the month in a way that allows them to prosper. So I hope to earn your support. Please join us. Kamala Harris, York Senator, thank you. Hey, Rudy. Forty five seconds. Nothing about politics is theoretical for me.
I've had the experience of writing a letter to my family, putting it in an envelope, Mark. Just in case. And leaving it where they would know where to find it. In case I didn't come back from Afghanistan. The experience of being in a marriage that exists by the grace of a single vote on the US Supreme Court. I have the experience of guiding a community where the per capita income was below twenty thousand dollars when I took office into a brighter future.
I'm running because the decisions we make in the next three or four years are going to decide how the next 30 or 40 go. And when I get to the current age of the current president in the year 2050 5, I want to be able to look back on these years and say my generation delivered. Climate solutions, racial equality and an end to endless war helped me deliver that new generation to Washington before it's too late. Thank you.
Five seconds ago. I suspect people all over the country who are watching this debate are saying these are good people. They have great ideas. But how come nothing really changes? How come for the last forty five years, wages have been stagnant for the middle class? How come we have the highest rate of childhood poverty? How come? Forty five million people still have student debt. How come three people own more wealth than the bottom half of America? And here is the answer.
Nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street. The insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military industrial complex and the fossil fuel industry. If we don't have the guts to take them on, we'll continue to have plans. We'll continue to have a talk. And the rich will get richer and everybody else will be struggling.
Thank you, Senator. We'll hear from Vice President Biden. So you have 45 seconds. Thank you very much. I'm going to lead this country because I think it's important to restore the soul of this nation. This president has ripped it out, only present our history. Who equated racist and white supremacist with ordinary decent people. He's the only president who has backed, engaged and embraced dictators and thumbed his nose at our allies. Secondly, running for president, because I think we have to restore the backbone of America, the poor and hardworking middle class people.
You can't do that without replacing them with the dignity they once had. Lastly, we've got to unite United States, America as much as anybody says we can't. If we do, there's not a single thing the American people can't do. This is the United States of America. We can do anything if we're together together. So God bless you all and may God protect our troops by.
We want to thank our candidates. We've had the two nights of spirited debate on a range.