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The fifth Democratic presidential candidate debates took place Wednesday in Atlanta. The candidates answered questions on a range of issues, including the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, foreign policy and health care.
Here are some comments from each candidate:
Former Vice President Joe Biden, in answering a question about recent “Lock him up!” chants directed at Trump, said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea that we mock that, that we that we model ourselves after Trump and say, lock him up.’ … It’s about civility. We have to restore the soul of this country. That’s not who we are. That’s not who we have been. That’s not who we should be.”
Senator Cory Booker, in arguing against a “wealth tax” being pitched by Senator Elizabeth Warren, said, “I don’t agree with the wealth tax the way Elizabeth Warren puts it,” saying the Democratic Party should discuss how to “give people opportunities to create wealth, to grow businesses. … That’s what our party has to be about as well.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in talking about climate change, said, “American farming should be one of the key pillars of how we combat climate change. I believe that the quest for the carbon-negative farm could be as big a symbol of dealing with climate change as the electric car in this country. And it’s an important part of how we make sure that we get a message out around dealing with climate change that recruits everybody to be part of the solution, including conservative communities where a lot of people have been made to feel that admitting climate science would mean acknowledging they’re part of the problem.”
How (Historically) Presidential Are the Democratic Candidates?
Here’s how the candidates’ experiences stack up against each other as well as U.S. presidents throughout history.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, in criticizing the Democratic Party, said, “It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others’ foreign policy, by the military industrial complex and other greedy corporate interests. I’m running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic party, takes it out of their hands and truly puts it in the hands of the people of this country.”
Senator Kamala Harris, in answering whether she would make concessions to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said, “In all due deference to the fact this is a presidential debate, Donald Trump got punk’d. He has conducted foreign policy since day one borne out of a very fragile ego.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar, in addressing Saudi Arabia and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said, “When the president did not stand up the way he should to that killing and that dismemberment of a journalist with an American newspaper, that sent a signal to dictators … and that’s wrong.”
Senator Bernie Sanders, says he’s “pro-Israel “but that he is concerned about conditions for the Palestinians. “I am pro-Israel, but we must treat the Palestinian people as well with respect and dignity that they deserve,” he said. “What is going on in Gaza right now where youth employment is 70 or 80% is unsustainable.”
Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and environmentalist, discussed his plan to implement “structural reforms” to put power back in the hands of the American people through election reform and break the corporate stranglehold over government. “It’s time to push power back to the American people and take power away from the corporations who bought our government,” he said. “And I’m talking about structural reform in Washington, D.C. — term limits. You’re going to have to have new and different people in charge. I’m the only person on this stage who will talk about term limits.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren, in discussing her proposed “wealth tax,” a tax on the country’s wealthiest people to pay for, among other things, her health care plan, said, “Doing a wealth tax is not about punishing anyone. It’s about saying, You built something great in this country? Good for you’ … All of us helped pay for it.”
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, in answering a question about child care and paid family leave, said, “There are only two countries in the world that don’t have paid family leave for new moms: the United States of America and Papua New Guinea. That is the entire list and we need to get off this list as soon as possible.”