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Quick Facts
Personal Details

John Delaney (b. April 16, 1963, in Wood-Ridge, NJ) is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. On July 28, 2017, Delaney announced that he would run for president rather than seek re-election to his House seat in 2018.

He is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Maryland's 6th Congressional District. Delaney was first elected to the House on November 6, 2012.

Delaney suspended his presidential campaign on January 31, 2020.

Prior to his congressional career, Delaney founded two New York Stock Exchange companies, as well as Blueprint Maryland, a nonprofit organization focused on the creation of jobs in Maryland's private sector.

Delaney was born in 1963 and grew up in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. His father was a union electrician, and Delaney has credited scholarships from the union and other community organizations with allowing him to attend Columbia University. He graduated with a B.S. from Columbia in 1985 and went on to receive a J.D. from Georgetown University in 1988.

After graduating from Georgetown, Delaney worked as a lawyer at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge. From 1990 to 1992, he co-owned and ran a healthcare firm, and in 1993, he co-founded HealthCare Financial Partners, a publicly-traded company that provided loans to healthcare companies. In 2000, Delaney co-founded another publicly-traded lending company, CapitalSource. He was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. Delaney founded Blueprint Maryland, a nonprofit organization focused on economic development and job creation, in 2011.

On November 6, 2012, Delaney defeated incumbent Roscoe Bartlett (R) for Maryland's 6th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2016. Delaney did not run for re-election in 2018.

In 2018, he published a book titled, The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Delaney's academic, professional, and political career:

  • 2013-2019: U.S. Representative from Maryland's 6th Congressional District
  • 2011: Founded Blueprint Maryland
  • 2000: Founded CapitalSource
  • 1993: Founded Healthcare Financial Partners

Education

  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1988
  • BS, Columbia University, 1985

Professional Experience

  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1988
  • BS, Columbia University, 1985
  • Founder/Co-Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Partners, 2011-present
  • Founder/Chair Emeritus, CapitalSource, 2000-present
  • Chair/Chief Executive Officer, HealthCare Financial Partners, 1993-1999

Political Experience

  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1988
  • BS, Columbia University, 1985
  • Founder/Co-Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Partners, 2011-present
  • Founder/Chair Emeritus, CapitalSource, 2000-present
  • Chair/Chief Executive Officer, HealthCare Financial Partners, 1993-1999
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2020
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, District 6, 2012-2019

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Financial Services Committee, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Joint Economic Committee, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigators, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, United States House of Representatives

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1988
  • BS, Columbia University, 1985
  • Founder/Co-Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Partners, 2011-present
  • Founder/Chair Emeritus, CapitalSource, 2000-present
  • Chair/Chief Executive Officer, HealthCare Financial Partners, 1993-1999
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2020
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, District 6, 2012-2019
  • Founder/Chair, Blueprint Maryland, 2011-present
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Potomac School, present
  • Member, Little Flower Parish, Bethesda, present
  • Former Board Member, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Founder, Delaney Family Professorship, Georgetown University
  • Member, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Georgetown University
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, International Center for Research on Women
  • Former Member, National Advisory Council of Bridges of Understanding
  • Member, Board of Directors, National Symphony Orchestra
  • Former Chair, Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Day School Board
  • Former Mentor, Visible Men

Other Info

— Awards:

  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner, 2005
  • Outstanding Philanthropists, 2007

Spouse's Occupation:

Attorney, education and children's advocate

2019


Policy Positions

2020

China

How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?

- It is critical that United States foreign policy be based on a solid foundation of moral principles; that foundation is what has always distinguished the U.S. on the world stage. Within that context, we must place a high priority on defending human rights of all people globally and when confronted with human rights abuses by countries with whom we have relations, we must make the resolution of those abuses an important part of our engagement with that country. There should be no exception to this bedrock foundational policy, not in China, not anywhere and the well documented abuses by the Chinese government that are occurring with respect to the Uighurs demand a U.S. and global response. My administration would work closely with appropriate United Nations agencies – and the U.S. Congress - to investigate human rights abuses which have been committed against the Uighur people. I would place this issue front and center in diplomatic discussions with the Chinese government and would urge them to accord human rights protections to all peoples under their domain. With regard to Hong Kong, while I respect the Chinese government's right to govern within its borders, I will voice strong support for Hong Kong's right to autonomy awarded to the city by its status as a special administration region. Hong Kong's ability to manage its own affairs is important to U.S. policy since thousands of U.S. businesses operate out of Hong Kong because of the economic and political protections.

Iran

Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What changes to the existing agreement, if any, would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?

- Yes, I would rejoin, but I would insist on a longer duration. The JCPOA was the best arrangement that six of the leading nations in the world, plus the European Union, could reach to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. At the time the Trump Administration withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran was in compliance with the terms. U.S. withdrawal has become a provocation for the Iranians to not feel constrained to abide by the JCPOA, which has made the situation with Iran inherently more dangerous. The most significant weakness of the JCPOA was the tenor- it was not long enough in duration to provide hope for a successor Iranian regime to confirm long-term compliance. I would seek a longer term - 20 years - as a condition for rejoining the JCPOA. In addition, I would make clear to the Iranians that, while the JCPOA does not address Iranian ICBM developments or Iranian complicity in terrorist activities, the United States will independently of the nuclear deal take strong measures to respond to any such conduct. Iran is a bad actor, and the JCPOA with a longer duration is an important part of eliminating the threat that Iran can possess a nuclear weapon, a situation that must not be accepted.

North Korea

Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?

- It is impossible to predict what agreements could be in the best interests of our national security, and that of our allies, short of a full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. As president, I will always consider options that best serve our national security interest. Negotiations with North Korea seeking to achieve nuclear disarmament have been one of the most challenging issues facing successive U.S. administrations for decades. Progress will be incremental, and we need to be patient yet firm in our approach to this relationship. Direct negotiations with North Korea are essential to achieving agreement on the important issues surrounding nuclear disarmament and normalizing relations. While we must be clear that our ultimate objective will be full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, we should be willing to accept a meaningful and verifiable agreement that takes steps towards denuclearization. We must make clear the path towards our ultimate goal and be steadfast in demanding verified progress before we roll back sanctions. I fear the Trump Administration may agree to removing sanctions against empty measures on the part of North Korea.

Ukraine

What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?

- The United States should take a leading role in demanding Russia’s return to its established borders. I would provide leadership within NATO to deliver a unified message to Moscow that such aggression will not be tolerated. I would engage with elected Ukrainian leaders to support their efforts to push Russia back, including military aide, training and support as appropriate. Russian aggression against Ukraine has become a lost issue since the beginning of the Trump Administration. President Putin has led Russia with an antagonistic and predatory foreign policy, including the invasion into the Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, which are unacceptable. I would not walk away from this challenge as the Trump Administration has done. I would also pursue targeted sanctions against Russian interests to drive this point home.

Afghanistan

Would you commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of your first term, or would you require certain conditions be met before doing so?

- When Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in September 2001 after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, the mission was clear in its purpose, to hold accountable those who attacked the United States, and those who harbored the terrorists. Eighteen years later, we are still in Afghanistan, but the mission has since been muddled. Congress needs to pass a new AUMF to update and clarify the mission of U.S. forces. While I support dramatically reducing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, I presently do not believe that a full withdrawal is in our best interests and therefore I envision keeping a small contingency of U.S. forces with a specific focus to train and support local security forces.

Saudi Arabia

Given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, what changes, if any, would you make to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia?

- The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocious act and should cause a reset in our overall relationship with Saudi Arabia. I would demand a clearer accounting than what we have received to date from the Saudi government. While I would not completely cut ties and would continue to do essential business with the country, I would not receive any Saudi official in the White House, and I would not extend high-level U.S. official visits to Saudi Arabia. I would impress upon Saudi officials the importance of respecting human rights at home and abroad. Additionally, I support ending U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of carrying out their military operations in Yemen. My approach to foreign policy will include protection of journalists, wherever they may serve.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?

- I do support a two-state solution but do not think it should be the position of the U.S. to predetermine what that agreement looks like. The only way that lasting peace can be achieved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is if there are direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties. The U.S. president can and should be a facilitator and mediator in helping parties come to an agreement, which we have seen done successfully in the past. To help achieve a successful agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, the U.S. can work with regional partners including Egypt and Jordan to provide stability in the conflict. This includes providing Israel – one of our most important and enduring allies - with the necessary resources to defend themselves while also providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population to promote human development and humanitarian services such as education and medical services in ways that reach the people directly.

Venezuela

What, if any, additional steps should the United States take to remove Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela?

- It is up to the people of Venezuela to decide who will lead their government. I support the elevation of Juan Guaidó to president following the Venezuelan constitution and will continue to speak out in favor of his leadership. I would not, however, favor any direct intervention in Venezuelan power struggles by the United States, but do support our approach to sanctions. I would provide substantial humanitarian support via USAID and through our participation in multilateral agencies such as the OAS and InterAmerican Development Bank.

Africa

By 2050, Africa will account for 25 percent of the world’s population according to projections by the United Nations. What are the implications of this demographic change for the United States, and how should we adjust our policies to anticipate them?

- Africa’s expected population boom will bring new challenges and opportunities to the continent. With half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa expected to be under 21 years old by 2035, there will be a need to create educational and job opportunities for the young population. If jobs are not created, a rise in unemployment could lead to social and political instability and increase the chance of unrest.

The United States can become a key partner in supporting economic growth in Africa by expanding trade agreements (such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act) and increasing U.S. foreign direct investment to promote manufacturing, infrastructure, and innovation of local industry. U.S. economic investment is critical as China is heavily investing in the continent through its Belt and Road Initiative, often through predatory behavior. The U.S. can adjust policies to (1) offer the U.S. as an alternative option (as opposed to China) for countries looking for foreign investment to create jobs, (2) support democratic initiatives and good governance policies, including election monitoring in support of free and fair elections, improving revenue collection, effective policymaking and implementation, and (3) be a helpful partner in providing resources to support economic growth that is less dependent on fossil fuels. With the stakes as high as they currently are for our climate, we must anticipate the growing population’s effect on the environment. A larger population and rapidly developing economy are both common causes for negative environmental outcomes.

Trade

1. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

- I would seek to reenter the TPP on day one of my administration. In response to the emergence of China as a dominant economic power on the international stage – which does not always adhere to accepted trade and economic norms and rules – 12 leading Pacific Rim countries reached agreement on a set of protocols for a rules-based trade deal covering 40% of the global economy to counter Chinese economic misconduct. I was one of a handful of Democrats who voted in favor of Trade Promotion Authority to give President Obama the ability to effectively negotiate TPP because I felt we needed a strong strategic response to China. I believed that the United States alone could not stand against China, that it would take a multilateral and strategic effort to counter China. The Trump Administration has abandoned this approach in favor of a trade war with China, a trade war that has had a serious negative impact on hard working Americans and several sectors of the United States economy.

Climate

How would you discourage the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in developing countries?

- As populations grow in the developing world, it is easiest to turn to cheap, dirty energy sources to meet increasing energy needs. Developing countries often don’t have the luxury of choosing more expensive, but cleaner, energy sources and greener infrastructure. This is where U.S. global leadership is so incredibly important. There are several policies that the U.S. can lead on to support global renewable energy efforts and many of them center on a key U.S. advantage – innovation which is why I have called for a five-fold increase in Department of Energy basic research to unleash the potential in our scientific community. We must continue to invest in renewable energy sources that can be built and operated for cheaper costs to make these energy sources more economically viable around the world. Additionally, we must invest in direct air capture and negative emissions technologies which suck carbon out of the atmosphere like a vacuum. The UNIPCC report stated that if we want to meet the global emissions reductions goals, we must invest in technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The U.S. can become a leader in advancing and exporting this technology for it to be used more widely and at a cheaper cost. The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, which was the first global effort where almost all countries around the world committed to addressing climate change, was a mistake. As president, I would rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one.

U.S. Foreign Policy

What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?

- Our steady and substantial support for and adherence to multilateralism has been our greatest foreign policy accomplishment since World War II. The United Nations and all its agencies, NATO, the IMF, the World Bank, The Asia Development Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other multilateral initiatives have all collectively and individually made enormous and crucial contributions to world peace, economic development and poverty alleviation since World War II. The continued financial and political support of the U.S., in particular the U.S. commitment to the economic model of free enterprise and international engagement, was the most important cornerstone of these multinational efforts.

The Iraq War was the most disastrous foreign policy action of the United States since World War II. The most sacred responsibility of the President of the United States, hopefully in concert with the Congress, is to send our young men and women into combat. That decision should only be made in defense of the citizens of the United States or in defense of our allies or in rare circumstances in favor of crucial humanitarian objectives. In the case of our invasion of Iraq in 2003 there was no clear case made that the United States was threatened in any way by the Republic of Iraq. No unequivocal evidence was presented to support such a threat and the Bush Administration relied on faulty and highly-suspicious reporting regarding weapons of mass destruction. They had no clear plan on what to do following the invasion and the resulting chaos in Iraq led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi citizens as well as the destabilization of Iraq and the region. U.S. credibility around the world was undermined by our decisions in Iraq. Looking forward, we must be judicious in when we deploy troops to avoid a similar a catastrophic action.

Presidential Election 2020 Political Courage Test

Abortion

1. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-choice

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Budget

1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
- Yes

2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
- Yes

3. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Campaign Finance

1. Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Defense

1. Do you support increasing defense spending?
- Unknown Position

2. Other or expanded principles
- It would be irresponsible to promise changes to the national security budget absent a full evaluation of threats and challenges facing the United States in the future. Before setting a budget for the Department of Defense, we need to reassess what we are asking our military to do and ensure they have the resources needed to successfully accomplish the mission. As threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, the U.S. Armed Forces need to be able to adapt and make the necessary investments. If we underinvest in our national security, it will leave the U.S. vulnerable.

Economy

1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- No

3. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Education

1. Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- Every state will need to meet high standards to make our public school system as strong as possible and provide every student with a high-quality education, but I believe it is important that states maintain some flexibility to design their own curriculums.

Energy & Environment

1. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
- Yes

2. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Yes

3. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Guns

1. Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Health Care

1. Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- No

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Immigration

1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
- No

2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
- No

3. Other or expanded principles
- I support funding for border security, which could include physical barriers, if experts say it is necessary.

National Security

1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
- Yes

2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
- Yes

3. Other or expanded principles
- The United States should use military force only as a last resort and instead focus on diplomatic and economic tools to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to begin with.

Trade

1. Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
- Yes

2. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Administrative Priorities

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.
- As president, I would focus on passing my climate change, infrastructure, and trade agendas. My $4 trillion climate plan includes a carbon fee and dividend, increased investment in basic research and negative emissions technology, the creation of a Climate Corps, and building a Carbon Throughway to transport captured carbon for reuse and permanent sequestration. My infrastructure plan includes the creation of an infrastructure bank, an increase in the Highway Trust Fund, and new matching funds to focus on specific infrastructure needs. Lastly, I would reject Trump's isolationist ideology and reenage in rules-based trade, including rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Debates/Survey

CNN Democratic Party Presidential Debate Day 1

July 30, 2019

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

TAPPER: Live from Detroit, it's the Democratic presidential debate.

BASH: The stage is set. The candidates are waiting in the wings.

LEMON: And this audience is eager to hear what they have to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Right now, the road to the White House drives through Detroit. The Democrats are in Michigan for a premiere two-night event, a defining moment that will determine who gets left behind and who takes on President Trump.

WARREN: This is our chance.

SANDERS: There is no middle ground.

BUTTIGIEG: Don't let anybody tell you that freedom is a conservative value. It is an American value.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, a fight for the heart of the party. Senator Bernie Sanders, determined to seize his second chance at the nomination.

SANDERS: It is a question of getting our priorities right.

ANNOUNCER: Going head-to-head with Senator Elizabeth warren, long- time friends fighting for the same cause and the same voters.

WARREN: We should dream big, fight hard, and win.

ANNOUNCER: The progressives at center stage defending their ideals against a crowd of more moderate challengers. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke look to translate fresh fame into national support.

O'ROURKE: I'm running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America.

ANNOUNCER: Four candidates will put their heartland values on display. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: Let's get to work and win this election.

ANNOUNCER: Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

HICKENLOOPER: I'm an optimist.

ANNOUNCER: Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan.

RYAN: It's time for us to unify this country.

ANNOUNCER: And Montana Governor Steve Bullock in his first presidential debate.

BULLOCK: We're here to make sure that Donald Trump is a one-term president.

ANNOUNCER: It's a critical test for former Congressman John Delaney.

DELANEY: We can do it.

ANNOUNCER: And Washington outsider Marianne Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: This time we will win with love.

ANNOUNCER: Now the stage is set for the biggest presidential field in history to campaign for change in a state they want to take back from Trump.

BUTTIGIEG: There is no such thing as a permanently red state.

O'ROURKE: This democracy must come together. We must repair it.

SANDERS: There is nothing that will stop us.

WARREN: Democracy is not for sale.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Good evening from the historic Fox Theater in downtown Detroit, Michigan. This is the CNN Democratic presidential debate. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world watching us on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, CNN.com, and listening on SiriusXM and the Westwood One Radio Network.

And a special welcome to the U.S. military members, diplomatic corps, and their families serving overseas and watching on the American Forces Network.

I'm Jake Tapper, anchor of "The Lead" and "State of the Union," along with CNN's chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and Don Lemon, anchor of "CNN Tonight."

BASH: We are looking forward to moderating one of the largest gatherings of Democratic presidential candidates. In back-to-back debates, 20 candidates were divided in two groups by random draw earlier this month. The second group of 10 will appear on the stage at this time tomorrow night. The first 10 will make their entrance right now.

LEMON: So please welcome, from Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders.

(APPLAUSE)

From Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

(APPLAUSE)

From South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

(APPLAUSE)

From Texas, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

(APPLAUSE)

From Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar.

(APPLAUSE)

From Colorado, former Governor John Hickenlooper.

(APPLAUSE)

From Ohio, Congressman Tim Ryan.

(APPLAUSE)

From Maryland, former Congressman John Delaney.

(APPLAUSE)

From Texas, author Marianne Williamson.

(APPLAUSE)

From Montana, Governor Steve Bullock.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Democratic candidates for president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: We are looking forward to moderating one of the largest gatherings of Democratic presidential candidates. In back-to-back debates, 20 candidates were divided in two groups by random draw earlier this month. The second group of 10 will appear on the stage at this time tomorrow night. The first 10 will make their entrance right now.

LEMON: So please welcome, from Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders.

(APPLAUSE)

From Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

(APPLAUSE)

From South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

(APPLAUSE)

From Texas, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

(APPLAUSE)

From Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar.

(APPLAUSE)

From Colorado, former Governor John Hickenlooper.

(APPLAUSE)

From Ohio, Congressman Tim Ryan.

(APPLAUSE)

From Maryland, former Congressman John Delaney.

(APPLAUSE)

From Texas, author Marianne Williamson.

(APPLAUSE)

From Montana, Governor Steve Bullock.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Democratic candidates for president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Now please rise for the presentation of colors from the James Europe VFW Post 2233 and District Four Honor Guard. And please remain standing for our national anthem, performed by Detroit's own Pastor Marvin Winans and the Perfecting Church Choir.

CHOIR: (SINGS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM)

LEMON: The stage is set. The debate will begin right after this short break.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic presidential debate candidates. We're about to begin opening statements. But first, a review of the ground rules that your campaigns agreed to earlier this month to ensure a fair debate. As moderators, we will attempt to guide the discussion.

You will each receive one minute to answer questions, 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals and 15 additional seconds if a moderator asks for a clarification. The timing lights will remind you of these limits. Please respect that and please refrain from interrupting your fellow candidates during their allotted time. A candidate infringing on another candidate's time will have his or her time reduced.

We also want to ask our audience inside the historic Fox Theater to remain silent when the candidates are actively debating. The candidates need to be able to hear the questions and hear one another.

BASH: Time, now, for opening statements. You'll each receive one minute.

Governor Steve Bullock, please begin.

BULLOCK: Thanks, Dana,

I come from a state where a lot of people voted for Donald Trump. Let's not kid ourselves. He will be hard to beat. Yet watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish-list economics, than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives.

Look, I'm a pro-choice, pro-union, populist Democrat who won three elections in a red state. Not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done. That's how we win back the places we lost: showing up, listening, focusing on the challenges of everyday Americans. That farmer getting hit right now by Trump's trade wars, that teacher

working a second job, just to afford her insulin. They can't wait for a revolution. Their problems are in the here and now.

I'm a progressive, emphasis on progress, and I'm running for president to get stuff done for all those Americans Washington has left behind.

BASH: Marianne Williamson?

WILLIAMSON: Thank you.

In 1776 our founders brought forth on this planet an extraordinary new possibility. It was the idea that people, no matter who they were, would simply have the possibility of thriving. We have not ever totally actualized this ideal. But at the times when we have done best, we have tried. And when forces have opposed them, generations of Americans have risen up and pushed back against those forces.

We did that with abolition and with women's suffrage and with civil rights. And now it is time for a generation of Americans to rise up again, for an amoral economic system has turned short-term profits for huge multi-national corporations into a false god. And this new false god takes precedence over the safety and the health and the well-being of we the American people and the people of the world and the planet on which we live.

Conventional politics will not solve this problem because conventional politics is part of the problem. We the American people must rise up and do what we do best and create a new possibility, say no to what we don't want and yes to what we know can be true.

I'm Marianne Williamson, and that's why I'm running for president.

BASH: Congressman John Delaney?

DELANEY: Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren want to take us, which is with bad policies like Medicare for all, free everything and impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected. That's what happened with McGovern. That's what happened with Mondale. That's what happened with Dukakis. Or we can nominate someone with new ideas to create universal health care for every American with choice, someone who wants to unify our country and grow the economy and create jobs everywhere. And then we win the White House.

I'm the product of the American dream. I believe in it. I'm the grandson of immigrants, the son of a construction worker. My wife April and I have four amazing daughters. I was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange, created thousands of jobs and then served in Congress. That's the type of background -- and my platform is about real solutions, not impossible promises, that can beat Trump and govern. Thank you. BASH: Congressman Tim Ryan?

RYAN: America is great, but not everyone can access America's greatness. The systems that were built to lift us up are now suffocating the American people. The economic system that used to create $30, $40, $50 an hour jobs that you can have a good, solid middle-class living now force us to have two or three jobs just to get by.

Most families, when they go to sit at the kitchen table to do their bills, they get a pit in the middle of their stomach. We deserve better. And the political system is broken, too, because the entire conversation is about left or right, where are you at on the political system? And I'm here to say this isn't about left or right. This is about new and better. And it's not about reforming old systems. It's about building new systems.

And tonight, I will offer solutions that are bold, that are realistic and that are a clean break from the past.

BASH: Governor John Hickenlooper?

HICKENLOOPER: Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House, and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front-runners at center stage.

Now, I share their progressive values, but I'm a little more pragmatic. I was out of work for two whole years until I started what became the largest brew pub in America. And I learned the small -- small business lessons of how to provide service and teamwork and became a top mayor, and as governor of Colorado created the number one economy in the country.

We also expanded health care and reproductive rights. We attacked climate change head-on. We beat the NRA. We did not build massive government expansions.

Now, some will promise a bill tonight or a plan for tonight. What we focused on was making sure that we got people together to get things done, to provide solutions to problems, to make sure that we -- that we worked together and created jobs. That's how we're going to beat Donald Trump. That's how we're going to win Michigan and the country.

BASH: Senator Amy Klobuchar?

KLOBUCHAR: Let's get real. Tonight we debate, but ultimately, we have to beat Donald Trump. My background, it's a little different than his. I stand before you today as a granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as a daughter of a union teacher and a newspaper man, as the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota and a candidate for president of the United States.

That's because we come from a country of shared dreams, and I have had it with the racist attacks. I have had it with a president that says one thing on TV that has your back and then you get home and you see those charges for prescription drugs and cable and college. You're going to hear a lot of promises up here, but I'm going to tell

you this. Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality. And, yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this. I'm from the Midwest. And I have won every race, every place, every time. And I will govern with integrity, the integrity worthy of the extraordinary people of this nation.

BASH: Congressman Beto O'Rourke?

O'ROURKE: I'm running for president because I believe that America discovers its greatness at its moments of greatest need. This moment will define us forever, and I believe that in this test America will be redeemed.

In the face of cruelty and fear from a lawless president, we will choose to be the nation that stands up for the human rights of everyone, for the rule of law for everyone, and a democracy that serves everyone. Whatever our differences, we know that, before we are anything else, we are Americans first, and we will ensure that each one of us is well enough and educated enough and paid enough to realize our full potential.

We will meet these challenges here at home, and we will lead the world in those that we face abroad, successfully confronting endless war and climate change. At this moment of truth, let us pursue our national promise and make a more perfect union of everyone, by everyone, and for everyone.

BASH: Mayor Pete Buttigieg?

BUTTIGIEG: I'm running for president because our country is running out of time. It is even bigger than the emergency of the Trump presidency. Ask yourself how somebody like Donald Trump ever gets within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place.

It doesn't happen unless America is already in a crisis -- an economy that's not working for everyone, endless war, climate change. We have lived this in my industrial Midwestern hometown. My generation has lived this as long as we have been alive.

And it's only accelerating. Science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe when it comes to our climate. By 2030, the average house in this country will cost half a million bucks and a women's right to choose may not even exist.

We are not going to be able to meet this moment by recycling the same arguments, policies, and politicians that have dominated Washington for as long as I have been alive. We've got to summon the courage to walk away from the past and do something different. This is our shot. That is why I'm running for president.

BASH: Senator Elizabeth Warren?

WARREN: Donald Trump disgraces the office of president every single day. And anyone on this stage tonight or tomorrow night would be a far better president. I promise, no matter who our candidate is, I will work my heart out to beat Donald Trump and to elect a Democratic Congress.

But our problems didn't start with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is part of a corrupt, rigged system that has helped the wealthy and the well- connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else.

We're not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. We're going to solve them by being the Democratic Party of big structural change. We need to be the party that fights for our democracy and our economy to work for everyone.

You know, I know what's broken in this country, I know how to fix it, and I will fight to make it happen.

BASH: Senator Bernie Sanders?

SANDERS: Tonight in America, as we speak, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, but the health care industry made $100 billion in profits last year.

Tonight, as we speak, right now, 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street, and yet companies like Amazon that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax.

Tonight, half of the American people are living paycheck to paycheck, and yet 49 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.

SANDERS: Tonight, the fossil fuel industry continues to receive hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks while they destroy this planet. We have got to take on Trump's racism, his sexism, xenophobia and come together in an unprecedented grassroots movement, to not only defeat Trump but to transform our economy and our government.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

Let's start the debate with the number-one issue for Democratic voters, health care. And Senator Sanders, let's start with you. You support Medicare for all, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored health care for everyone.

Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy. And previously, he has called the idea "political suicide that will just get President Trump re-elected." What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

SANDERS: You're wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Right now, we have a dysfunctional health care system: 87 million uninsured or underinsured, $500,000 -- 500,000 Americans every year, going bankrupt because of medical bills, 30,000 people dying while the health care industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit. Five minutes away from me and John is a country, it's called Canada.

They guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a human right. They spend half of what we spend. And by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all. Health care is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: Well, I'm right about this. We can create a universal health care system to give everyone basic health care for free, and I have a proposal to do it. But we don't have to go around and be the party of subtraction, and telling half the country, who has private health insurance, that their health insurance is illegal.

My dad, the union electrician, loved the health care he got from the IBEW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance, or supplemental plans. It's also bad policy. It'll underfund the industry, many hospitals will close...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: ... and it's bad policy.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, I want to -- I...

WARREN (?): My name was also mentioned in this.

TAPPER: We're going to come to you in one second, but let me go to Senator Sanders right now.

Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: The fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs or their employer changes that insurance. If you want stability in the health care system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to a doctor or a hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANDERS: ... and the insurance companies, move to Medicare for all.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: But now he's talking about a different issue. What I'm talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of the (ph) uninsured and give everyone health care as a right. But why do we got to be the party of taking something away from people?

WARREN: No. No one is the party...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Hold on one second, Senator.

DELANEY: That's what they're running on. They're running on...

WARREN: No.

DELANEY: ... telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill.

TAPPER: All right, thank you.

DELANEY: We don't have to do that. We can give everyone health care...

TAPPER (?): OK.

DELANEY: ... and allow people to have choice. That's the American way.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

Senator Warren?

WARREN: So, look. Let's -- let's be clear about this. We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That's what the Republicans are trying to do.

(APPLAUSE)

And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care.

Now, I want to have a chance to tell the story about my friend Ady Barkan. Ady is 35 years old. He has a wife, Rachael, he has a cute little boy named Carl. He also has ALS and it's killing him. Ady has health insurance, good health insurance...

TAPPER: Senator?

WARREN: ... and it's not nearly enough.

TAPPER: Senator? I want to -- I'm coming right...

WARREN: No, this is important.

TAPPER: ... I'm staying with you, I'm staying with you. But you exceeded your time. So let me just stay with you on Medicare for all.

WARREN: All right.

TAPPER: At the last debate, you said you're, quote, "with Bernie on Medicare for all." Now, Senator Sanders has said that people in the middle class will pay more in taxes to help pay for Medicare for all, though that will be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums and other costs. Are you also, quote, "with Bernie" on Medicare for all when it comes to raising taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for it?

WARREN: So giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more. Middle-class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their health care. And I'd like to finish talking about Ady, the guy who has ALS...

(CROSSTALK)

WARREN: This isn't funny. This is somebody who has health insurance and is dying. And every month, he has about $9,000 in medical bills that his insurance company won't cover. His wife, Rachael, is on the phone for hours and hours and hours, begging the insurance company, "Please cover what the doctors say he needs."

He talks about what it's like to go online with thousands of other people to beg friends, family, and strangers for money so he can cover his medical expenses.

The basic profit model of an insurance company is taking as much money as you can in premiums and pay out as little as possible in health care coverage. That is not working for Americans...

TAPPER: Thank you.

WARREN: ... across this country...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: Medicare for All will fix that, and that's why I'll fight for it.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Just a point of clarification...

(APPLAUSE)

... in 15 extra seconds, would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, offset, obviously, by the elimination of insurance premiums, yes or no?

WARREN: Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations. For middle-class families, costs -- total costs -- will go down.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Governor Bullock, I want to bring you in. You do not support Medicare for All. How do you respond to Senator Warren?

BULLOCK: No, health care is so personal to all of us. Never forget when my 12-year-old son had a heart attack within 24 hours of his life. Had to be life-flighted to Salt Lake City. But because we had good insurance, he's here with me tonight. At the end of the day, I'm not going to support any plan that rips

away quality health care from individuals. This is an example of wish list economics. It used to be just Republicans who wanted to repeal and replace. Now many Democrats do, as well. We can get there with a public option, negotiating drug prices, ending...

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor Bullock.

I want to bring in Mayor Buttigieg. On the topic of whether or not the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for guaranteed health care and the elimination of insurance premiums, how do you respond, Mayor?

BUTTIGIEG: So we don't have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better or a Medicare for All environment will be better than the corporate options. We can put it to the test.

That's the concept of my Medicare for All Who Want It proposal. That way, if people like me are right that the public alternative is going to be not only more comprehensive, but more affordable than any of the corporate options around there, we'll see Americans walk away from the corporate options into that Medicare option, and it will become Medicare for All without us having to kick anybody off their insurance.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Just 15 seconds on the clarification. You are willing to raise taxes on middle-class Americans in order to have universal coverage with the disappearance of insurance premiums, yes or no?

BUTTIGIEG: I think you can buy into it. That's the idea of Medicare for All Who Want It. Look, this is a distinction without a difference, whether you're paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums. Look, in this country, if you have health coverage -- if you don't have health coverage, you're paying too much for care, and if you do have health coverage, you're paying too much for care.

TAPPER: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. I want to bring in Congressman O'Rourke on the topic of whether the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for universal coverage and the elimination of insurance premiums. What's your response?

O'ROURKE: The answer is no. The middle class will not pay more in taxes in order to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class health care. I think we're being offered a false choice, some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins, others who want a Medicare for All program that will force people off of private insurance, I have a better path.

Medicare for America. Everyone who is uninsured is enrolled in Medicare tomorrow. Those who are insufficiently insured are enrolled...

TAPPER: Congressman...

O'ROURKE: ... in Medicare...

TAPPER: Just a 15 seconds...

O'ROURKE: And those who have employer-sponsored insurance...

TAPPER: Who is offering -- who is offering a false choice here?

O'ROURKE: Jake, this is important.

TAPPER: Who's offering a false choice here?

O'ROURKE: You have some. Governor Bullock, who's said that we will improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins with a public option. You have others to my right who are talking about taking away people's choice for the private insurance they have or members of unions. I was listening to Dee Taylor (ph) in Nevada...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. Governor Bullock...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: ... he just said you're offering a false choice, sir.

BULLOCK: Congressman, not at all. You know, it took us decades and false starts to get the Affordable Care Act. So let's actually build on it. A public option, allowing anyone to buy in.

You know, we pay more for prescription drugs than any place actually in the world. We got nothing to show for it. Negotiate prescription drug prices. End surprise medical billing. That's the way that we can get there without disrupting the lives of 160 million people that like their employer-sponsored health insurance.

TAPPER: Congressman O'Rourke, you can respond. Congressman O'Rourke, you can respond.

O'ROURKE: Every estimate that I've seen of expanding ACA even through a public option still leaves millions of people uninsured and also means that people are not guaranteed the health care that they need, as the example that Senator Warren showed us.

Our plan ensures that everyone is enrolled in Medicare or can keep their employer-sponsored insurance. When we listen to the American people -- and this is what they want us to do -- they want everyone covered, but they want to be able to maintain choice...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

O'ROURKE: ... and our plan does that.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. I want to bring in Senator Klobuchar.

Senator Warren at the beginning of the night said that Democrats cannot bring -- cannot win the White House with small ideas and spinelessness. In the last debate, she said the politicians who are not supporting Medicare for All simply lack the will to fight for it. You do not support Medicare for All. Is Senator Warren correct? Do you just not lack the will to fight for it?

KLOBUCHAR: That is incorrect. I just have a better way to do this. And in one of my first debates, Jake, I was called a street fighter from the iron range by my opponent. And when she said it, I said thank you.

So this is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option. That's what Barack Obama wanted, and it would bring health care costs down for everyone.

And by the way, I just don't buy this. I've heard some of these candidates say that it's somehow not moral if you -- not moral to not have that public option. Well, Senator Sanders was actually on a public option bill last year, and that was, Bernie, the Medicaid public option bill that Senator Schatz introduced.

Clearly, this is the easiest way to move forward quickly, and I want to get things done. People can't wait. I've got my friend, Nicole, out there whose son was actually died trying to ration his insulin as a restaurant manager. And he died because he didn't have enough money to pay for it.

TAPPER: Senator...

SANDERS: Jake.

KLOBUCHAR: And Bernie and I have worked on pharmaceutical issues together.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: We can get less expensive drugs.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders -- I'm going to go to Senator Sanders, then Senator Warren, because you both were mentioned. Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: As the author -- as the author of the Medicare bill, let me clear up one thing. As people talk about having insurance, there are millions of people who have insurance, they can't go to the doctor, and when they come out of the hospital, they go bankrupt. All right?

(APPLAUSE)

What I am talking about and others up here are talking about is no deductibles and no co-payments. And, Jake, your question is a Republican talking point. At the end of the day...

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way -- and by the way -- by the way -- the health care industry will be advertising tonight on this program.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Senator Warren, it's your turn.

SANDERS: Oh, can I complete that, please? TAPPER: Your time is up. Thirty seconds.

SANDERS: They will be advertising tonight with that talking point.

TAPPER: Senator Warren?

WARREN: So we have to think of this in terms of the big frame. What's the problem in Washington? It works great for the wealthy. It works great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. And it keeps working great for the insurance companies and the drug companies.

What it's going to take is real courage to fight back against them. These insurance companies do not have a God-given right to make $23 billion in profits and suck it out of our health care system.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: They do not have a God-given right...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: On page eight of the bill it says...

WARREN: ... to put...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: I want to let Congressman Delaney in.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. If we could all just stick to the rules of the time, that would be great. Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: So I was -- I'm the only one on this stage who actually has experience in the health care business. And with all due respect, I don't think my colleagues understand the business. We have the public option, which is great.

SANDERS: It's not a business!

(APPLAUSE)

DELANEY: The public option is great, but it doesn't go far enough. It doesn't go far enough. I'm proposing universal health care, where everyone gets health care as a basic human right for free, but they have choices. My plan, BetterCare, is fully paid for without raising middle class tax options. So when we think about this debate...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: There's Medicare for All, which is extreme...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: I was interrupted.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: I want to bring in -- I want to bring in Governor Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, I'd like to hear what you say about Senator Warren's suggestion that those people on the stage who are not in favor of Medicare for All lack the political will to fight for it.

HICKENLOOPER: Well, obviously, I disagree with that as much as I respect both of the senators to my right. You know, it comes down to that question of Americans being used to being able to make choices, to have the right to make a decision. And I think proposing a public option that allows some form of Medicare that maybe is a combination of Medicare Advantage and Medicare, but people choose it, and if enough people choose it, it expands, the quality improves, the cost comes down, more people choose it, eventually, in 15 years, you could get there, but it would be an evolution, not a revolution.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren?

WARREN: You know...

(UNKNOWN): Jake?

WARREN: ... we have tried this experiment with the insurance companies. And what they've done is they've sucked billions of dollars out of our health care system. And they force people to have to fight to try to get the health care coverage that their doctors and nurses say that they need.

Why does everybody -- why does every doctor, why does every hospital have to fill out so many complicated forms? It's because it gives insurance companies a chance to say no and to push that cost back on the patients.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: That's what we have to fight.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Marianne Williamson. Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to the criticism from Senator Warren that you're not willing to fight for Medicare for All?

WILLIAMSON: I don't know if Senator Warren said that about me specifically. I admire very much what Senator Warren has said and what Bernie has said.

But I have to say, I have -- I'm normally way over there with Bernie and Elizabeth on this one. I hear the others. And I have some concern about that, as well. And I do have concern about what the Republicans would say. And that's not just a Republican talking point. I do have concern that it will be difficult. I have concern that it will make it harder to win, and I have a concern that it'll make it harder to govern. Because if that's our big fight, then --

TAPPER: Thank you Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: The Republicans will so shut us down on everything else.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Mayor Buttigieg -- Mayor Buttigieg, your response?

BUTTIGIEG: It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say. Look, if --

(APPLAUSE)

If it's true that if we embrace a far-left agenda they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they're going to do? They're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists.

So let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there and defend it. That's the policy I'm putting forward, not because I think it's the right triangulation between Republicans here and Democrats there -- because I think it's the right answer for people like my mother-in- law who is here -- whose life was saved by the ACA, but who is still far too vulnerable to the fact that the insurance industry does not care about her --

TAPPER: Thank you Mayor Buttigieg, Senator Sanders your response?

SANDERS: Let's be clear what this debate is about. Nobody can defend the dysfunctionality of the current system. What we are taking on is the fact that over the last 20 years the drug companies and the insurance companies have spent $4.5 billion of your health insurance money on lobbying and campaign contributions.

That is why when I went to Canada the other day, people paid one-tenth the price in Canada for insulin that they're paying in the United States --

TAPPER: Thank you Senator. I want to bring in Congressman Tim Ryan, Congressman Ryan your response?

RYAN: So here we are in Detroit, home of the United Auto workers. We have all our union friends here tonight. This plan that's being offered by Senator Warren and Senator Sanders will tell those Union members who gave away wages in order to get good healthcare that they're going to lose their healthcare because Washington's going to come in and tell them they got a better plan.

This is the left and right thing -- new and better is this, move Medicare down to 50. Allow people to buy-in, Kaiser Permanente said that if they -- those 60 million people do that, they will see --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman.

RYAN: A 40 percent reduction --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman.

RYAN: In their healthcare cost, let businesses buy-in, Jake --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman. So Senator, let's talk about that. If Medicare for all is enacted, there are more than 600,000 union members here in Michigan who would be forced to give up their private healthcare plans.

Now, I understand that it would provide universal coverage -- but, can you guarantee those union members that the benefits under Medicare for all will be as good as the benefits that they're representatives -- their union reps fought hard to negotiate?

SANDERS: Well two things, they will be better because Medicare for all is comprehensive -- it covers all healthcare needs. For senior citizens it will finally include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses.

RYAN: But you don't know that -- you don't know that, Bernie.

SANDERS: Second of all --

TAPPER: I'll come to you in a second, Congressman.

SANDERS: I do know it, I wrote the damn bill. And second of all, second of all -- many of our union brothers and sisters, nobody more pro-union than me up here, are now paying high deductibles and copayments when we do Medicare for all, instead of having the company putting money in to healthcare, they can get decent wage increases, which they're not getting today.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Congressman Ryan to respond to what Senator Sanders just said.

RYAN: I mean, Senator Sanders does not know all of the union contracts in the United States. I'm trying to explain that these union members are losing their jobs, their wages have been stagnant, the world is crumbling around them -- the only thing they have is possibly really good healthcare.

And the Democratic message is going to be, we're going to go in and the only thing you have left we're going to take it and we're going to do better. I do not think that's a recipe for success for us, it's bad policy and it's certainly bad politics.

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney.

DELANEY: So the bill that Senator Sanders drafted, by definition will lower quality in healthcare, because it says specifically that the rates will be the same as current Medicare rates. And the data is clear, Medicare does not cover the cost of healthcare, it covers 80 percent of the costs of healthcare in this country. And private insurance covers 120 percent, so if you start underpaying

all the healthcare providers, you're going to create a two tier market where wealthy people buy their healthcare with cash, and the people who are forced -- like my dad, the union electrician --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman.

DELANEY: Will have that healthcare plan taken away from him --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman --

DELANEY: They will be forced into an underfunded system.

TAPPER: I want to give Senator Sanders -- I want to give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

SANDERS: On the Medicare for all, the hospitals will save substantial sums of money because they're not going to be spending a fortune doing billing and the other bureaucratic things that they have to do today.

Second of all --

DELANEY: I've done the math, it doesn't add up.

SANDERS: Maybe you did that and made money off of healthcare, but our job is to run a nonprofit healthcare system. Furthermore -- furthermore, when we say $500 billion a year by ending all of the incredible complexities that are driving every American crazy trying to deal with the health insurance companies --

TAPPER: Thank you Senator.

SANDERS: Hospitals will be better off than they are today.

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney, I want to let you have a chance to respond.

DELANEY: Listen, his math is wrong. That's all I'm saying -- that his math is wrong, it's been well-documented that if all the bills were paid at Medicare rate, which is specifically -- I think it's in section 1,200 of their bill, then many hospitals in this country would close.

I've been going around rural America, and I ask rural hospital administrators one question, "If all your bills were paid at the Medicare rate last year, what would happen?"

And they all look at me and say, "We would close."

But the question is, why do we have to be so extreme? Why can't we just give everyone health care as a right, and allow them to have choice?

BASH: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: I'm starting to think this is not about health care...

BASH: Thank you, Congressman...

DELANEY: This is an anti-private-sector...

BASH: Thank you Congressman. We're going to move on.

DELANEY: ... strategy.

BASH: We're going to move on to the issue of immigration now. There is...

(APPLAUSE)

... widespread agreement on this stage on the need for immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including dreamers. But there are some areas of disagreement.

Mayor Buttigieg, you're in favor of getting rid of the law that makes it a crime to come across the U.S. border illegally. Why won't that just encourage more illegal immigration?

BUTTIGIEG: When I am president, illegally crossing the border will still be illegal. We can argue over the finer points of which parts of this ought to be handled by civil law and which parts ought to be handled by criminal law. But we've got a crisis on our hands. And it's not just a crisis of immigration; it's a crisis of cruelty and incompetence that has created a humanitarian disaster on our southern border. It is a stain on the United States of America.

Americans want comprehensive immigration reform. And frankly, we've been talking about the same framework for my entire adult lifetime, protections for DREAMers; making sure that -- that we have a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented; cleaning up lawful immigration.

We know what to do. We know that border security can be part of that package and we can still be a nation of laws. The problem is we haven't had the will to get it done in Washington. And now we have a president who could fix it in a month, because there is that bipartisan agreement, but he needs it to be a crisis rather than an achievement. That will end on my watch.

BASH: But just a point of clarification, you did raise your hand in the last debate. You do want to decriminalize crossing the border illegally?

BUTTIGIEG: So in my view, if fraud is involved, then that's suitable for the criminal statute. If not, then it should be handled under civil law. But these show of hands are exactly what is wrong with the way that this race is being covered.

BASH: Well, we're not -- we're not doing that here.

BUTTIGIEG: And we appreciate that.

BASH: Congressman -- thank you. Congressman... (APPLAUSE)

... O'Rourke, you live near the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso. You disagree with Mayor Buttigieg on decriminalizing the border crossings. Please respond.

O'ROURKE: I do, because, in my administration, after we have waived citizenship fees for green card holders, more than 9 million of our fellow Americans; freed DREAMers from any fear of deportation; and stopped criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge; end for-profit detention in this country; and then assist...

(APPLAUSE)

... those countries in Central America so that no family ever has to make that 2,000-mile journey, than I expect that people who come here follow our laws, and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them if they do not.

BASH: Thank you, Congressman.

Senator Warren, you say the provision making illegal border crossings a crime is totally unnecessary. Please respond.

WARREN: So the problem is that, right now, the criminalization statute is what gives Donald Trump the ability to take children away from their parents. It's what gives him the ability to lock up people at our borders.

We need to continue to have border security, and we can do that, but what we can't do is not live our values. I've been down to the border. I have seen the mothers. I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that every day lives our values. And that means we cannot...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... make it a crime...

BASH: Just to clarify...

WARREN: ... when someone...

BASH: Thank you, Senator. Just to clarify, would you decriminalize...

WARREN: Yes.

BASH: ... illegal border crossings?

WARREN: The point is not about criminalization. That has given Donald Trump the tool to break families apart.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: We need...

BASH: Governor Hickenlooper, your response?

HICKENLOOPER: I agree that we need secure borders. There's no question about that. And the frustration with what's going on in Washington is they're kicking the ball back and forth. Secure the borders, make sure whatever law we have doesn't allow children to be snatched from their parents and put in cages. How hard can that be?

We've got -- I don't know -- on the two debate nights, we've got 170 years of Washington experience. Somehow it seems like that should be fairly fixable.

WARREN: Well, and one way to fix it is to decriminalize. That's the whole point. What we're...

(APPLAUSE)

... looking for here is a way to take away the tool that Donald Trump has used...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... to break up families.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

KLOBUCHAR: I would say there is the will to change this in Congress. What's missing is the right person in the White House. I believe that immigrants don't diminish America; they are America. And if you want to do something...

(APPLAUSE)

... about border security, you first of all change the rules so people can seek asylum in those Northern Triangle countries.

Then, you pass the bill. And what the bill will do is, it will greatly reduce the deficit and give us some money for border security and for border processing the cases. And most of all, it will allow for a path to citizenship.

Because this is not just about the border...

BASH: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: ... Donald Trump wants to use these people as political pawns, when we have people...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: ... all over our country that simply want to work...

BASH: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: ... and obey the law.

BASH: Senator Sanders, you want to provide undocumented immigrants free health care and free college. Why won't this drive even more people to come to the U.S. illegally?

SANDERS: Because we'll have strong border protections. But the main point I want to make is that what Trump is doing through his racism and his xenophobia, is demonizing a group of people. And as president, I will end that demonization.

If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view, they are not criminals.

(APPLAUSE)

They are people fleeing violence. And I think the main thing that we've got to do -- among many others, and Beto made this point -- we've got to ask ourselves, "Why are people walking 2,000 miles to a strange country where they don't know the language?"

So what we will do, the first week we are in the White House, is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras...

BASH: Thank...

SANDERS: ... Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Bullock, about two-thirds of Democratic voters and many of your rivals here for the nomination, support giving health insurance to undocumented immigrants. You haven't gone that far. Why not?

BULLOCK: Look, I think this is the part of the discussion that shows how often these debates are detached from people's lives. We've got 100,000 people showing up at the border right now. If we decriminalize entry, if we give health care to everyone, we'll have multiples of that. Don't take my word, that was President Obama's Homeland Security secretary that said that.

The biggest problem right now that we have with immigration, it's Donald Trump. He's using immigration to not only rip apart families, but rip apart this country. We can actually get to the point where we have safe borders, where we have a path to citizenship, where we have opportunities for Dreamers.

And you don't have to decriminalize everything. What you have to do is have a president in there with the judgment and the decency to treat someone that comes to the border like one of our own.

WARREN: You know, I just wanted (ph) to...

BASH: Senator...

WARREN: ... add on this...

BASH: ... he just said your plan in unrealistic. How do you respond? WARREN: You know, I think that what we have to do, is we have to be an

America that is clear about what we want to do with immigration. We need to expand legal immigration. We need to create a path for citizenship, not just for Dreamers but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas...

(APPLAUSE)

... we need to fix the crisis at the border. And a big part of how we do that, is we do not play into Donald Trump's hands.

BULLOCK: But...

WARREN: He wants to stir up the crisis at the border because that's his overall message. It's -- if there's anything wrong in your life, blame them.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

Governor Bullock, your response?

BULLOCK: But you are playing into Donald Trump's hands. The challenge isn't that it's a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president, and using this to rip families apart.

A sane immigration system needs a sane leader. And we can do that without decriminalizing and providing health care for everyone.

And it's not me saying that, that's Obama's Homeland Security secretary...

WARREN: No.

BULLOCK: ... that said you'll cause further problems at the border, not making it better.

WARREN: What -- what you're saying is ignore the law. Laws matter. And it matters if we say our law is that we will lock people up who come here, seeking refuge, who come here, seeking asylum, that is not a crime. And as Americans, what we need to do is have a sane system that keeps us safe at the border, but does not criminalize the activity...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... of a mother fleeing here for safety.

(CROSSTALK)

BULLOCK: Dana, I must correct (ph) the (ph) record (ph)

BASH: Congressman Ryan, are Senator Sanders' proposals going to incentivize undocumented immigrants to come into this country illegally? RYAN: Yes. And right now, if you want to come into the country, you should at least ring the doorbell. We have asylum laws. I saw the kids up in Grand Rapids, not far from here. It is shameful what's happening. But Donald Trump is doing it.

And even if you decriminalize, which we should not do, you still have statutory authority. The president could still use his authority to separate families. So we've got to get rid of Donald Trump. But you don't decriminalize people just walking into the United States. If they're seeking asylum, of course, we want to welcome them. We're a strong enough country to be able to welcome them.

And as far as the healthcare goes, undocumented people can buy healthcare too. I mean everyone else in America is paying for their healthcare. I think - I don't think it's a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country to also pay for healthcare.

BASH: Senator Sanders, your response?

SANDERS: Well, I have two things. A sane immigration policy moves the comprehensive immigration reform. It moves to a humane border policy, and which, by the way, we have enough administrative judges, so that we don't have incredible backlogs that we have right now.

But to your answer your question, I happen to believe that when I talk about healthcare as a human right that applies to all people in this country, and under a Medicare for All single payer system, we could afford to do that.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: Senator Sanders, thank you. And Ms. Williamson, your response?

WILLIAMSON: Everything that we're talking about here tonight is what's wrong with American politics, and the Democratic Party needs to understand that we should be the party that talks, not just about symptoms, but also about causes. When it - when we're talking about healthcare, we need to talk about more than just the healthcare plan.

We need to realize, we have a sickness care rather than a healthcare system. We need to be the party talking about why so many of our chemical policies and our food policies and our agricultural policies and our environment policies and even our economic policies are leading to people sick to begin with.

LEMON: Thank you --

WILLIAMSON: That's what the democratic -- but I want to say more --

LEMON: Thank you, Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: -- about. OK.

LEMON: Thank you, Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: I hope you'll come back to me this time (ph). LEMON: Go ahead. Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Let's turn now to the issue of gun violence. There were three large-scale shootings this past week in America, at a park in Brooklyn, on the streets on Philadelphia and one that left three dead and 12 injured at a food festival in Gilroy, California. Governor - excuse me, Mayor Buttigieg, other than offering words of comfort, what're you specially going to do to stop this epidemic of gun violence?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, this epidemic of gun violence has hit my community too, far too many times. It's the worst part of being there, getting the phone call, consoling, grieving parents. And we have a mass shooting's worth of killings everyday in this country. What we're doing hasn't worked because we haven't had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people have told us they want.

Eighty, 90 percent of Republicans want universal background checks, not to mention the common sense solutions like red flag laws that disarmed domestic abusers and flag mental health risks and an end to assault weapons, things like what I carried overseas in uniform, that have no business in American neighbors in peace time (ph), let alone anywhere near a school.

I was at an event a few days ago, and a 13-year-old asked me what we're going to do about school safety, and then began shaking and then began crying. And we can talk about these policies, but we already know the policies. I only thing I could think of, looking into the eyes of this child, is we're supposed to be dealing with this so you don't have to. High school is hard enough, without having to worry about whether you're going to get shot.

LEMON: Thank you.

BUTTIGIEG: And when 90 percent of Americans want something to happen --

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: -- and Washington --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor. Governor Hickenlooper, your response please?

KLOBUCHAR: I disagree - I disagree with his diagnosis of the problem.

LEMON: Please standby, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: OK.

LEMON: Please stick to the rules. We'll get to you - we'll come to you in a just a minute. Governor Hickenlooper, please respond.

HICKENLOOPER: Well, this is the fundamental nonsense of government, another thing - another place where, despite our best efforts, we can't seem to make any progress. You know, when I went to the - to the movie theater in Aurora in 2012, and saw that footage of what happened at that crime scene, I'll never forget it.

And we decided, you know, that we were going to go out and take on the NRA, and we passed as a purple state. We passed universal background checks. We limited magazine capacity. We did the basic work that for whatever reason doesn't seem to be able to get done in Washington.

LEMON: Thank you, Governor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, this isn't just about a system, or it's not just about words. This is about the NRA. I sat across from the president of the United States after Parkland, because I've been a leader on these issues and have the will to close to a boyfriend loophole.

And I watched and wrote down when, nine times, he said he wanted universal background checks. The next day, he goes and he meets with the NRA, and he folds. As your president, I will not fold. I will make sure that we get universal background checks passed, the assault weapon ban (ph), that we do something about magazines, and that we understand when 6 little - little 6-year-old boy died, Stephen Romero, when his dad said he's only 6 years old, all I can -

LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: - say is he's 6 years old.

LEMON: Mayor Buttigieg, please respond.

KLOBUCHAR: We have to remember that.

BUTTIGIEG: This is the exact same conversation we've been having since - since I was in high school. I was a junior when the Columbine shooting happened. I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country. We better not allow there to be a third. Something is broken if it is even possible for the same debate around the same solutions that we all know are the right thing to do. They won't prevent every incident. They won't save every life. But we know what to do, and it has not happened.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

KLOBUCHAR: Yes. What is broken is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for. The people are with us now.

After Parkland, those students just didn't march. They talked to their dads and their grandpas and the hunters in their family, and they said there must be a better way. Then we elected people in the House of Representatives. And guess what? It changed, and they passed universal background checks. And now that bill is sitting on Mitch McConnell's doorstep because of the money and the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator. KLOBUCHAR: This is not about systems and words.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

(APPLAUSE)

Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?

BULLOCK: You know, like 40 percent of American households, I'm a gun- owner. I hunt. Like far too many people in America, I've been personally impacted by gun violence. Had an 11-year-old nephew, Jeremy, shot and killed on a playground.

We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar. It is the NRA. And it's not just gun violence. It's when we talked about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington, D.C., is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others.

That's been the fight of my career. Kicking the Koch brothers out of Montana, taking the first case after Citizens United up to the Supreme Court, making it so that elections are about people. That's the way we're actually going to make a change on this, Don, is by changing that system. And most of the things that folks are talking about on this stage we're not going to address until we kick dark money and the post-Citizens United corporate spending out of these elections.

LEMON: Congressman O'Rourke, your response?

O'ROURKE: How else can we explain that we lose nearly 40,000 people in this country to gun violence, a number that no other country comes even close to, that we know what all the solutions are, and yet nothing has changed? It is because, in this country, money buys influence, access, and, increasingly, outcomes.

The Centers for Disease Control prevented from actually studying the issue in the first place. As president, we will make sure that we ban political action committee contributions to any member of Congress or any candidate for federal office. We will listen to people, not PACs, people, not corporations, people, not special interests.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Congressman, thank you very much.

Senator Sanders, you said this in 2013, just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, and I quote here: "If you pass the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don't think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen." Do you still agree with that statement today?

SANDERS: I think we have got to do -- I think what I meant is what President Obama said, in that nobody up here is going to tell you that we have a magical solution to the crisis. Now, I come from one of the most rural states in America. I have a D-

minus voting record from the NRA. And as president I suspect it will be an F record. What I believe we have got to do is have the guts to finally take on the NRA.

You asked me about my record. Back in 1988, coming from a state that had no gun control, I called for the ban of the sale and distribution of assault weapons. I lost that election. I will do everything I can not only to take on the NRA, but to expand and create universal background checks, do away with the strawman provision, do away with the gun show loophole, and do away with the loopholes that now exist for gun manufacturers who are selling large amounts of weapons into communities that are going to gangs.

LEMON: Yeah. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

BUTTIGIEG: Still the conversation that we've been having for the last 20 years. Of course we need to get money out of politics. But when I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference, end the Electoral College, amend the Constitution, if necessary, to clear up Citizens United, have D.C. actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform, people look at me funny, as if this country were incapable of structural reform.

Does anybody really think we're going to overtake Citizens United without constitutional action? This is a country that once changed its Constitution so you couldn't drink and then changed it back because we changed our minds about that.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: And you're telling me we can't reform our democracy in our time?

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: We have to or we'll be having the same argument 20 years from now.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Please respond, Governor Bullock.

BULLOCK: You can make changes. Even in Montana, with a two-thirds Republican legislature, we passed a law that said, if you're going to spend money in our elections, I don't care if you call yourselves Americans for America for America, you're going to have to disclose every one of those dollars in the last 90 days.

I'll never forget running for re-election in 2016. Even we stopped the Koch brothers from spending it that time. If we can kick the Koch brothers out of Montana, we can do it in D.C., we can do it everywhere.

And we're also taking steps, additional steps that we've taken -- I passed an executive order. If you're even going to contract with the state...

LEMON: Governor Bullock, thank you very much.

WARREN: I'd like to have a chance on this.

LEMON: Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to this issue of gun safety?

WILLIAMSON: The issue of gun safety, of course, is that the NRA has us in a chokehold, but so do the pharmaceutical companies, so do the health insurance companies, so do the fossil fuel companies, and so do the defense contractors, and none of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns.

But for politicians, including my fellow candidates, who themselves have taken tens of thousands -- and in some cases, hundreds of thousands -- of dollars from these same corporate donors to think that they now have the moral authority to say we're going to take them on, I don't think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe yada, yada, yada.

(APPLAUSE)

It is time for us to start over with people who have not taken donations from any of those corporations and can say with real moral authority: That is over. We are going to establish public funding for federal campaigns. That's what we need to stand up to.

We need to have a constitutional amendment. We need to have -- we need to have legislation to do it.

LEMON: Thank you.

WILLIAMSON: And until we do it, it's just the same old, same old.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Williamson. The debate will be right back right after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Good evening from the historic Fox Theater in downtown Detroit, Michigan. This is the CNN Democratic presidential debate. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world watching us on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, CNN.com, and listening on SiriusXM and the Westwood One Radio Network.

And a special welcome to the U.S. military members, diplomatic corps, and their families serving overseas and watching on the American Forces Network.

I'm Jack Tapper, anchor of "The Lead" and "State of the Union," along with CNN's chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and Don Lemon, anchor of "CNN Tonight."

BASH: We are looking forward to moderating one of the largest gatherings of Democratic presidential candidates. In back-to-back debates, 20 candidates were divided in two groups by random draw earlier this month. The second group of 10 will appear on the stage at this time tomorrow night. The first 10 will make their entrance right now.

LEMON: So please welcome, from Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders.

(APPLAUSE)

From Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

(APPLAUSE)

From South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

(APPLAUSE)

From Texas, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

(APPLAUSE)

From Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar.

(APPLAUSE)

From Colorado, former Governor John Hickenlooper.

(APPLAUSE)

From Ohio, Congressman c.

(APPLAUSE)

From Maryland, former Congressman John Delaney.

(APPLAUSE)

From Texas, author Marianne Williamson.

(APPLAUSE)

From Montana, Governor Steve Bullock.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Democratic candidates for president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Now please rise for the presentation of colors from the James Europe VFW Post 2233 and District Four Honor Guard. And please remain standing for our national anthem, performed by Detroit's own Pastor Marvin Winans and the Perfecting Church Choir.

CHOIR: (SINGS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM)

LEMON: The stage is set. The debate will begin right after this short break.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic presidential debate candidates. We're about to begin opening statements. But first, a review of the ground rules that your campaigns agreed to earlier this month to ensure a fair debate. As moderators, we will attempt to guide the discussion.

You will each receive one minute to answer questions, 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals and 15 additional seconds if a moderator asks for a clarification. The timing lights will remind you of these limits. Please respect that and please refrain from interrupting your fellow candidates during their allotted time. A candidate infringing on another candidate's time will have his or her time reduced.

We also want to ask our audience inside the historic Fox Theater to remain silent when the candidates are actively debating. The candidates need to be able to hear the questions and hear one another.

BASH: Time, now, for opening statements. You'll each receive one minute.

Governor Steve Bullock, please begin.

BULLOCK: Thanks, Dana,

I come from a state where a lot of people voted for Donald Trump. Let's not kid ourselves. He will be hard to beat. Yet watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish-list economics, than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives.

Look, I'm a pro-choice, pro-union, populist Democrat who won three elections in a red state. Not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done. That's how we win back the places we lost: showing up, listening, focusing on the challenges of everyday Americans.

That farmer getting hit right now by Trump's trade wars, that teacher working a second job, just to afford her insulin. They can't wait for a revolution. Their problems are in the here and now.

I'm a progressive, emphasis on progress, and I'm running for president to get stuff done for all those Americans Washington has left behind. BASH: Marianne Williamson?

WILLIAMSON: Thank you.

In 1776 our founders brought forth on this planet an extraordinary new possibility. It was the idea that people, no matter who they were, would simply have the possibility of thriving. We have not ever totally actualized this ideal. But at the times when we have done best, we have tried. And when forces have opposed them, generations of Americans have risen up and pushed back against those forces.

We did that with abolition and with women's suffrage and with civil rights. And now it is time for a generation of Americans to rise up again, for an amoral economic system has turned short-term profits for huge multi-national corporations into a false god. And this new false god takes precedence over the safety and the health and the well-being of we the American people and the people of the world and the planet on which we live.

Conventional politics will not solve this problem because conventional politics is part of the problem. We the American people must rise up and do what we do best and create a new possibility, say no to what we don't want and yes to what we know can be true.

I'm Marianne Williamson, and that's why I'm running for president.

BASH: Congressman John Delaney?

DELANEY: Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren want to take us, which is with bad policies like Medicare for all, free everything and impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected. That's what happened with McGovern. That's what happened with Mondale. That's what happened with Dukakis. Or we can nominate someone with new ideas to create universal health care for every American with choice, someone who wants to unify our country and grow the economy and create jobs everywhere. And then we win the White House.

I'm the product of the American dream. I believe in it. I'm the grandson of immigrants, the son of a construction worker. My wife April and I have four amazing daughters. I was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange, created thousands of jobs and then served in Congress. That's the type of background -- and my platform is about real solutions, not impossible promises, that can beat Trump and govern. Thank you.

BASH: Congressman Tim Ryan?

RYAN: America is great, but not everyone can access America's greatness. The systems that were built to lift us up are now suffocating the American people. The economic system that used to create $30, $40, $50 an hour jobs that you can have a good, solid middle-class living now force us to have two or three jobs just to get by.

Most families, when they go to sit at the kitchen table to do their bills, they get a pit in the middle of their stomach. We deserve better. And the political system is broken, too, because the entire conversation is about left or right, where are you at on the political system? And I'm here to say this isn't about left or right. This is about new and better. And it's not about reforming old systems. It's about building new systems.

And tonight, I will offer solutions that are bold, that are realistic and that are a clean break from the past.

BASH: Governor John Hickenlooper?

HICKENLOOPER: Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House, and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front-runners at center stage.

Now, I share their progressive values, but I'm a little more pragmatic. I was out of work for two whole years until I started what became the largest brew pub in America. And I learned the small -- small business lessons of how to provide service and teamwork and became a top mayor, and as governor of Colorado created the number one economy in the country.

We also expanded health care and reproductive rights. We attacked climate change head-on. We beat the NRA. We did not build massive government expansions.

Now, some will promise a bill tonight or a plan for tonight. What we focused on was making sure that we got people together to get things done, to provide solutions to problems, to make sure that we -- that we worked together and created jobs. That's how we're going to beat Donald Trump. That's how we're going to win Michigan and the country.

BASH: Senator Amy Klobuchar?

KLOBUCHAR: Let's get real. Tonight we debate, but ultimately, we have to beat Donald Trump. My background, it's a little different than his. I stand before you today as a granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as a daughter of a union teacher and a newspaper man, as the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota and a candidate for president of the United States.

That's because we come from a country of shared dreams, and I have had it with the racist attacks. I have had it with a president that says one thing on TV that has your back and then you get home and you see those charges for prescription drugs and cable and college.

You're going to hear a lot of promises up here, but I'm going to tell you this. Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality. And, yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this. I'm from the Midwest. And I have won every race, every place, every time. And I will govern with integrity, the integrity worthy of the extraordinary people of this nation.

BASH: Congressman Beto O'Rourke?

O'ROURKE: I'm running for president because I believe that America discovers its greatness at its moments of greatest need. This moment will define us forever, and I believe that in this test America will be redeemed.

In the face of cruelty and fear from a lawless president, we will choose to be the nation that stands up for the human rights of everyone, for the rule of law for everyone, and a democracy that serves everyone. Whatever our differences, we know that, before we are anything else, we are Americans first, and we will ensure that each one of us is well enough and educated enough and paid enough to realize our full potential.

We will meet these challenges here at home, and we will lead the world in those that we face abroad, successfully confronting endless war and climate change. At this moment of truth, let us pursue our national promise and make a more perfect union of everyone, by everyone, and for everyone.

BASH: Mayor Pete Buttigieg?

BUTTIGIEG: I'm running for president because our country is running out of time. It is even bigger than the emergency of the Trump presidency. Ask yourself how somebody like Donald Trump ever gets within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place.

It doesn't happen unless America is already in a crisis -- an economy that's not working for everyone, endless war, climate change. We have lived this in my industrial Midwestern hometown. My generation has lived this as long as we have been alive.

And it's only accelerating. Science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe when it comes to our climate. By 2030, the average house in this country will cost half a million bucks and a women's right to choose may not even exist.

We are not going to be able to meet this moment by recycling the same arguments, policies, and politicians that have dominated Washington for as long as I have been alive. We've got to summon the courage to walk away from the past and do something different. This is our shot. That is why I'm running for president.

BASH: Senator Elizabeth Warren?

WARREN: Donald Trump disgraces the office of president every single day. And anyone on this stage tonight or tomorrow night would be a far better president. I promise, no matter who our candidate is, I will work my heart out to beat Donald Trump and to elect a Democratic Congress.

But our problems didn't start with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is part of a corrupt, rigged system that has helped the wealthy and the well- connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else.

We're not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. We're going to solve them by being the Democratic Party of big structural change. We need to be the party that fights for our democracy and our economy to work for everyone. You know, I know what's broken in this country, I know how to fix it,

and I will fight to make it happen.

BASH: Senator Bernie Sanders?

SANDERS: Tonight in America, as we speak, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, but the health care industry made $100 billion in profits last year.

Tonight, as we speak, right now, 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street, and yet companies like Amazon that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax.

Tonight, half of the American people are living paycheck to paycheck, and yet 49 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.

SANDERS: Tonight, the fossil fuel industry continues to receive hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks while they destroy this planet. We have got to take on Trump's racism, his sexism, xenophobia and come together in an unprecedented grassroots movement, to not only defeat Trump but to transform our economy and our government.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

Let's start the debate with the number-one issue for Democratic voters, health care. And Senator Sanders, let's start with you. You support Medicare for all, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored health care for everyone.

Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy. And previously, he has called the idea "political suicide that will just get President Trump re-elected." What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

SANDERS: You're wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Right now, we have a dysfunctional health care system: 87 million uninsured or underinsured, $500,000 -- 500,000 Americans every year, going bankrupt because of medical bills, 30,000 people dying while the health care industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit.

Five minutes away from me and John is a country, it's called Canada. They guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a human right. They spend half of what we spend. And by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all. Health care is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Sanders. Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: Well, I'm right about this. We can create a universal health care system to give everyone basic health care for free, and I have a proposal to do it. But we don't have to go around and be the party of subtraction, and telling half the country, who has private health insurance, that their health insurance is illegal.

My dad, the union electrician, loved the health care he got from the IBEW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance, or supplemental plans. It's also bad policy. It'll underfund the industry, many hospitals will close...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: ... and it's bad policy.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, I want to -- I...

WARREN (?): My name was also mentioned in this.

TAPPER: We're going to come to you in one second, but let me go to Senator Sanders right now.

Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: The fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs or their employer changes that insurance. If you want stability in the health care system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to a doctor or a hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANDERS: ... and the insurance companies, move to Medicare for all.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: But now he's talking about a different issue. What I'm talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of the (ph) uninsured and give everyone health care as a right. But why do we got to be the party of taking something away from people?

WARREN: No. No one is the party...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Hold on one second, Senator.

DELANEY: That's what they're running on. They're running on...

WARREN: No.

DELANEY: ... telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill.

TAPPER: All right, thank you.

DELANEY: We don't have to do that. We can give everyone health care...

TAPPER (?): OK.

DELANEY: ... and allow people to have choice. That's the American way.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

Senator Warren?

WARREN: So, look. Let's -- let's be clear about this. We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That's what the Republicans are trying to do.

(APPLAUSE)

And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care.

Now, I want to have a chance to tell the story about my friend Ady Barkan. Ady is 35 years old. He has a wife, Rachael, he has a cute little boy named Carl. He also has ALS and it's killing him. Ady has health insurance, good health insurance...

TAPPER: Senator?

WARREN: ... and it's not nearly enough.

TAPPER: Senator? I want to -- I'm coming right...

WARREN: No, this is important.

TAPPER: ... I'm staying with you, I'm staying with you. But you exceeded your time. So let me just stay with you on Medicare for all.

WARREN: All right.

TAPPER: At the last debate, you said you're, quote, "with Bernie on Medicare for all." Now, Senator Sanders has said that people in the middle class will pay more in taxes to help pay for Medicare for all, though that will be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums and other costs. Are you also, quote, "with Bernie" on Medicare for all when it comes to raising taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for it?

WARREN: So giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more. Middle-class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their health care. And I'd like to finish talking about Ady, the guy who has ALS...

(CROSSTALK)

WARREN: This isn't funny. This is somebody who has health insurance and is dying. And every month, he has about $9,000 in medical bills that his insurance company won't cover. His wife, Rachael, is on the phone for hours and hours and hours, begging the insurance company, "Please cover what the doctors say he needs."

He talks about what it's like to go online with thousands of other people to beg friends, family, and strangers for money so he can cover his medical expenses.

The basic profit model of an insurance company is taking as much money as you can in premiums and pay out as little as possible in health care coverage. That is not working for Americans...

TAPPER: Thank you.

WARREN: ... across this country...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: Medicare for All will fix that, and that's why I'll fight for it.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Just a point of clarification...

(APPLAUSE)

... in 15 extra seconds, would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, offset, obviously, by the elimination of insurance premiums, yes or no?

WARREN: Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations. For middle-class families, costs -- total costs -- will go down.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Governor Bullock, I want to bring you in. You do not support Medicare for All. How do you respond to Senator Warren?

BULLOCK: No, health care is so personal to all of us. Never forget when my 12-year-old son had a heart attack within 24 hours of his life. Had to be life-flighted to Salt Lake City. But because we had good insurance, he's here with me tonight.

At the end of the day, I'm not going to support any plan that rips away quality health care from individuals. This is an example of wish list economics. It used to be just Republicans who wanted to repeal and replace. Now many Democrats do, as well. We can get there with a public option, negotiating drug prices, ending...

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor Bullock.

I want to bring in Mayor Buttigieg. On the topic of whether or not the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for guaranteed health care and the elimination of insurance premiums, how do you respond, Mayor?

BUTTIGIEG: So we don't have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better or a Medicare for All environment will be better than the corporate options. We can put it to the test.

That's the concept of my Medicare for All Who Want It proposal. That way, if people like me are right that the public alternative is going to be not only more comprehensive, but more affordable than any of the corporate options around there, we'll see Americans walk away from the corporate options into that Medicare option, and it will become Medicare for All without us having to kick anybody off their insurance.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Just 15 seconds on the clarification. You are willing to raise taxes on middle-class Americans in order to have universal coverage with the disappearance of insurance premiums, yes or no?

BUTTIGIEG: I think you can buy into it. That's the idea of Medicare for All Who Want It. Look, this is a distinction without a difference, whether you're paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums. Look, in this country, if you have health coverage -- if you don't have health coverage, you're paying too much for care, and if you do have health coverage, you're paying too much for care.

TAPPER: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. I want to bring in Congressman O'Rourke on the topic of whether the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for universal coverage and the elimination of insurance premiums. What's your response?

O'ROURKE: The answer is no. The middle class will not pay more in taxes in order to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class health care. I think we're being offered a false choice, some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins, others who want a Medicare for All program that will force people off of private insurance, I have a better path.

Medicare for America. Everyone who is uninsured is enrolled in Medicare tomorrow. Those who are insufficiently insured are enrolled...

TAPPER: Congressman...

O'ROURKE: ... in Medicare...

TAPPER: Just a 15 seconds...

O'ROURKE: And those who have employer-sponsored insurance...

TAPPER: Who is offering -- who is offering a false choice here?

O'ROURKE: Jake, this is important.

TAPPER: Who's offering a false choice here? O'ROURKE: You have some. Governor Bullock, who's said that we will

improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins with a public option. You have others to my right who are talking about taking away people's choice for the private insurance they have or members of unions. I was listening to Dee Taylor (ph) in Nevada...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. Governor Bullock...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: ... he just said you're offering a false choice, sir.

BULLOCK: Congressman, not at all. You know, it took us decades and false starts to get the Affordable Care Act. So let's actually build on it. A public option, allowing anyone to buy in.

You know, we pay more for prescription drugs than any place actually in the world. We got nothing to show for it. Negotiate prescription drug prices. End surprise medical billing. That's the way that we can get there without disrupting the lives of 160 million people that like their employer-sponsored health insurance.

TAPPER: Congressman O'Rourke, you can respond. Congressman O'Rourke, you can respond.

O'ROURKE: Every estimate that I've seen of expanding ACA even through a public option still leaves millions of people uninsured and also means that people are not guaranteed the health care that they need, as the example that Senator Warren showed us.

Our plan ensures that everyone is enrolled in Medicare or can keep their employer-sponsored insurance. When we listen to the American people -- and this is what they want us to do -- they want everyone covered, but they want to be able to maintain choice...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

O'ROURKE: ... and our plan does that.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. I want to bring in Senator Klobuchar.

Senator Warren at the beginning of the night said that Democrats cannot bring -- cannot win the White House with small ideas and spinelessness. In the last debate, she said the politicians who are not supporting Medicare for All simply lack the will to fight for it. You do not support Medicare for All. Is Senator Warren correct? Do you just not lack the will to fight for it?

KLOBUCHAR: That is incorrect. I just have a better way to do this. And in one of my first debates, Jake, I was called a street fighter from the iron range by my opponent. And when she said it, I said thank you.

So this is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option. That's what Barack Obama wanted, and it would bring health care costs down for everyone. And by the way, I just don't buy this. I've heard some of these

candidates say that it's somehow not moral if you -- not moral to not have that public option. Well, Senator Sanders was actually on a public option bill last year, and that was, Bernie, the Medicaid public option bill that Senator Schatz introduced.

Clearly, this is the easiest way to move forward quickly, and I want to get things done. People can't wait. I've got my friend, Nicole, out there whose son was actually died trying to ration his insulin as a restaurant manager. And he died because he didn't have enough money to pay for it.

TAPPER: Senator...

SANDERS: Jake.

KLOBUCHAR: And Bernie and I have worked on pharmaceutical issues together.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: We can get less expensive drugs.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders -- I'm going to go to Senator Sanders, then Senator Warren, because you both were mentioned. Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: As the author -- as the author of the Medicare bill, let me clear up one thing. As people talk about having insurance, there are millions of people who have insurance, they can't go to the doctor, and when they come out of the hospital, they go bankrupt. All right?

(APPLAUSE)

What I am talking about and others up here are talking about is no deductibles and no co-payments. And, Jake, your question is a Republican talking point. At the end of the day...

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way -- and by the way -- by the way -- the health care industry will be advertising tonight on this program.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Senator Warren, it's your turn.

SANDERS: Oh, can I complete that, please?

TAPPER: Your time is up. Thirty seconds.

SANDERS: They will be advertising tonight with that talking point.

TAPPER: Senator Warren?

WARREN: So we have to think of this in terms of the big frame. What's the problem in Washington? It works great for the wealthy. It works great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. And it keeps working great for the insurance companies and the drug companies.

What it's going to take is real courage to fight back against them. These insurance companies do not have a God-given right to make $23 billion in profits and suck it out of our health care system.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: They do not have a God-given right...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: On page eight of the bill it says...

WARREN: ... to put...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: I want to let Congressman Delaney in.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. If we could all just stick to the rules of the time, that would be great. Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: So I was -- I'm the only one on this stage who actually has experience in the health care business. And with all due respect, I don't think my colleagues understand the business. We have the public option, which is great.

SANDERS: It's not a business!

(APPLAUSE)

DELANEY: The public option is great, but it doesn't go far enough. It doesn't go far enough. I'm proposing universal health care, where everyone gets health care as a basic human right for free, but they have choices. My plan, BetterCare, is fully paid for without raising middle class tax options. So when we think about this debate...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: There's Medicare for All, which is extreme...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: I was interrupted.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: I want to bring in -- I want to bring in Governor Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, I'd like to hear what you say about Senator Warren's suggestion that those people on the stage who are not in favor of Medicare for All lack the political will to fight for it.

HICKENLOOPER: Well, obviously, I disagree with that as much as I respect both of the senators to my right. You know, it comes down to that question of Americans being used to being able to make choices, to have the right to make a decision. And I think proposing a public option that allows some form of Medicare that maybe is a combination of Medicare Advantage and Medicare, but people choose it, and if enough people choose it, it expands, the quality improves, the cost comes down, more people choose it, eventually, in 15 years, you could get there, but it would be an evolution, not a revolution.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren?

WARREN: You know...

(UNKNOWN): Jake?

WARREN: ... we have tried this experiment with the insurance companies. And what they've done is they've sucked billions of dollars out of our health care system. And they force people to have to fight to try to get the health care coverage that their doctors and nurses say that they need.

Why does everybody -- why does every doctor, why does every hospital have to fill out so many complicated forms? It's because it gives insurance companies a chance to say no and to push that cost back on the patients.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: That's what we have to fight.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Marianne Williamson. Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to the criticism from Senator Warren that you're not willing to fight for Medicare for All?

WILLIAMSON: I don't know if Senator Warren said that about me specifically. I admire very much what Senator Warren has said and what Bernie has said.

But I have to say, I have -- I'm normally way over there with Bernie and Elizabeth on this one. I hear the others. And I have some concern about that, as well. And I do have concern about what the Republicans would say. And that's not just a Republican talking point. I do have concern that it will be difficult. I have concern that it will make it harder to win, and I have a concern that it'll make it harder to govern. Because if that's our big fight, then --

TAPPER: Thank you Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: The Republicans will so shut us down on everything else. TAPPER: I want to bring in Mayor Buttigieg -- Mayor Buttigieg, your

response?

BUTTIGIEG: It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say. Look, if --

(APPLAUSE)

If it's true that if we embrace a far-left agenda they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they're going to do? They're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists.

So let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there and defend it. That's the policy I'm putting forward, not because I think it's the right triangulation between Republicans here and Democrats there -- because I think it's the right answer for people like my mother-in- law who is here -- whose life was saved by the ACA, but who is still far too vulnerable to the fact that the insurance industry does not care about her --

TAPPER: Thank you Mayor Buttigieg, Senator Sanders your response?

SANDERS: Let's be clear what this debate is about. Nobody can defend the dysfunctionality of the current system. What we are taking on is the fact that over the last 20 years the drug companies and the insurance companies have spent $4.5 billion of your health insurance money on lobbying and campaign contributions.

That is why when I went to Canada the other day, people paid one-tenth the price in Canada for insulin that they're paying in the United States --

TAPPER: Thank you Senator. I want to bring in Congressman Tim Ryan, Congressman Ryan your response?

RYAN: So here we are in Detroit, home of the United Auto workers. We have all our union friends here tonight. This plan that's being offered by Senator Warren and Senator Sanders will tell those Union members who gave away wages in order to get good healthcare that they're going to lose their healthcare because Washington's going to come in and tell them they got a better plan.

This is the left and right thing -- new and better is this, move Medicare down to 50. Allow people to buy-in, Kaiser Permanente said that if they -- those 60 million people do that, they will see --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman.

RYAN: A 40 percent reduction --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman.

RYAN: In their healthcare cost, let businesses buy-in, Jake --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman. So Senator, let's talk about that. If Medicare for all is enacted, there are more than 600,000 union members here in Michigan who would be forced to give up their private healthcare plans.

Now, I understand that it would provide universal coverage -- but, can you guarantee those union members that the benefits under Medicare for all will be as good as the benefits that they're representatives -- their union reps fought hard to negotiate?

SANDERS: Well two things, they will be better because Medicare for all is comprehensive -- it covers all healthcare needs. For senior citizens it will finally include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses.

RYAN: But you don't know that -- you don't know that, Bernie.

SANDERS: Second of all --

TAPPER: I'll come to you in a second, Congressman.

SANDERS: I do know it, I wrote the damn bill. And second of all, second of all -- many of our union brothers and sisters, nobody more pro-union than me up here, are now paying high deductibles and copayments when we do Medicare for all, instead of having the company putting money in to healthcare, they can get decent wage increases, which they're not getting today.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Congressman Ryan to respond to what Senator Sanders just said.

RYAN: I mean, Senator Sanders does not know all of the union contracts in the United States. I'm trying to explain that these union members are losing their jobs, their wages have been stagnant, the world is crumbling around them -- the only thing they have is possibly really good healthcare.

And the Democratic message is going to be, we're going to go in and the only thing you have left we're going to take it and we're going to do better. I do not think that's a recipe for success for us, it's bad policy and it's certainly bad politics.

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney.

DELANEY: So the bill that Senator Sanders drafted, by definition will lower quality in healthcare, because it says specifically that the rates will be the same as current Medicare rates. And the data is clear, Medicare does not cover the cost of healthcare, it covers 80 percent of the costs of healthcare in this country.

And private insurance covers 120 percent, so if you start underpaying all the healthcare providers, you're going to create a two tier market where wealthy people buy their healthcare with cash, and the people who are forced -- like my dad, the union electrician --

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman.

DELANEY: Will have that healthcare plan taken away from him -- TAPPER: Thank you Congressman --

DELANEY: They will be forced into an underfunded system.

TAPPER: I want to give Senator Sanders -- I want to give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

SANDERS: On the Medicare for all, the hospitals will save substantial sums of money because they're not going to be spending a fortune doing billing and the other bureaucratic things that they have to do today.

Second of all --

DELANEY: I've done the math, it doesn't add up.

SANDERS: Maybe you did that and made money off of healthcare, but our job is to run a nonprofit healthcare system. Furthermore -- furthermore, when we say $500 billion a year by ending all of the incredible complexities that are driving every American crazy trying to deal with the health insurance companies --

TAPPER: Thank you Senator.

SANDERS: Hospitals will be better off than they are today.

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney, I want to let you have a chance to respond.

DELANEY: Listen, his math is wrong. That's all I'm saying -- that his math is wrong, it's been well-documented that if all the bills were paid at Medicare rate, which is specifically -- I think it's in section 1,200 of their bill, then many hospitals in this country would close.

I've been going around rural America, and I ask rural hospital administrators one question, "If all your bills were paid at the Medicare rate last year, what would happen?"

And they all look at me and say, "We would close."

But the question is, why do we have to be so extreme? Why can't we just give everyone health care as a right, and allow them to have choice?

BASH: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: I'm starting to think this is not about health care...

BASH: Thank you, Congressman...

DELANEY: This is an anti-private-sector...

BASH: Thank you Congressman. We're going to move on.

DELANEY: ... strategy.

BASH: We're going to move on to the issue of immigration now. There is...

(APPLAUSE)

... widespread agreement on this stage on the need for immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including dreamers. But there are some areas of disagreement.

Mayor Buttigieg, you're in favor of getting rid of the law that makes it a crime to come across the U.S. border illegally. Why won't that just encourage more illegal immigration?

BUTTIGIEG: When I am president, illegally crossing the border will still be illegal. We can argue over the finer points of which parts of this ought to be handled by civil law and which parts ought to be handled by criminal law. But we've got a crisis on our hands. And it's not just a crisis of immigration; it's a crisis of cruelty and incompetence that has created a humanitarian disaster on our southern border. It is a stain on the United States of America.

Americans want comprehensive immigration reform. And frankly, we've been talking about the same framework for my entire adult lifetime, protections for DREAMers; making sure that -- that we have a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented; cleaning up lawful immigration.

We know what to do. We know that border security can be part of that package and we can still be a nation of laws. The problem is we haven't had the will to get it done in Washington. And now we have a president who could fix it in a month, because there is that bipartisan agreement, but he needs it to be a crisis rather than an achievement. That will end on my watch.

BASH: But just a point of clarification, you did raise your hand in the last debate. You do want to decriminalize crossing the border illegally?

BUTTIGIEG: So in my view, if fraud is involved, then that's suitable for the criminal statute. If not, then it should be handled under civil law. But these show of hands are exactly what is wrong with the way that this race is being covered.

BASH: Well, we're not -- we're not doing that here.

BUTTIGIEG: And we appreciate that.

BASH: Congressman -- thank you. Congressman...

(APPLAUSE)

... O'Rourke, you live near the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso. You disagree with Mayor Buttigieg on decriminalizing the border crossings. Please respond.

O'ROURKE: I do, because, in my administration, after we have waived citizenship fees for green card holders, more than 9 million of our fellow Americans; freed DREAMers from any fear of deportation; and stopped criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge; end for-profit detention in this country; and then assist...

(APPLAUSE)

... those countries in Central America so that no family ever has to make that 2,000-mile journey, than I expect that people who come here follow our laws, and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them if they do not.

BASH: Thank you, Congressman.

Senator Warren, you say the provision making illegal border crossings a crime is totally unnecessary. Please respond.

WARREN: So the problem is that, right now, the criminalization statute is what gives Donald Trump the ability to take children away from their parents. It's what gives him the ability to lock up people at our borders.

We need to continue to have border security, and we can do that, but what we can't do is not live our values. I've been down to the border. I have seen the mothers. I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that every day lives our values. And that means we cannot...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... make it a crime...

BASH: Just to clarify...

WARREN: ... when someone...

BASH: Thank you, Senator. Just to clarify, would you decriminalize...

WARREN: Yes.

BASH: ... illegal border crossings?

WARREN: The point is not about criminalization. That has given Donald Trump the tool to break families apart.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: We need...

BASH: Governor Hickenlooper, your response?

HICKENLOOPER: I agree that we need secure borders. There's no question about that. And the frustration with what's going on in Washington is they're kicking the ball back and forth. Secure the borders, make sure whatever law we have doesn't allow children to be snatched from their parents and put in cages. How hard can that be?

We've got -- I don't know -- on the two debate nights, we've got 170 years of Washington experience. Somehow it seems like that should be fairly fixable.

WARREN: Well, and one way to fix it is to decriminalize. That's the whole point. What we're...

(APPLAUSE)

... looking for here is a way to take away the tool that Donald Trump has used...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... to break up families.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

KLOBUCHAR: I would say there is the will to change this in Congress. What's missing is the right person in the White House. I believe that immigrants don't diminish America; they are America. And if you want to do something...

(APPLAUSE)

... about border security, you first of all change the rules so people can seek asylum in those Northern Triangle countries.

Then, you pass the bill. And what the bill will do is, it will greatly reduce the deficit and give us some money for border security and for border processing the cases. And most of all, it will allow for a path to citizenship.

Because this is not just about the border...

BASH: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: ... Donald Trump wants to use these people as political pawns, when we have people...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: ... all over our country that simply want to work...

BASH: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: ... and obey the law.

BASH: Senator Sanders, you want to provide undocumented immigrants free health care and free college. Why won't this drive even more people to come to the U.S. illegally?

SANDERS: Because we'll have strong border protections. But the main point I want to make is that what Trump is doing through his racism and his xenophobia, is demonizing a group of people. And as president, I will end that demonization.

If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view, they are not criminals.

(APPLAUSE) They are people fleeing violence. And I think the main thing that we've got to do -- among many others, and Beto made this point -- we've got to ask ourselves, "Why are people walking 2,000 miles to a strange country where they don't know the language?"

So what we will do, the first week we are in the White House, is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras...

BASH: Thank...

SANDERS: ... Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Bullock, about two-thirds of Democratic voters and many of your rivals here for the nomination, support giving health insurance to undocumented immigrants. You haven't gone that far. Why not?

BULLOCK: Look, I think this is the part of the discussion that shows how often these debates are detached from people's lives. We've got 100,000 people showing up at the border right now. If we decriminalize entry, if we give health care to everyone, we'll have multiples of that. Don't take my word, that was President Obama's Homeland Security secretary that said that.

The biggest problem right now that we have with immigration, it's Donald Trump. He's using immigration to not only rip apart families, but rip apart this country. We can actually get to the point where we have safe borders, where we have a path to citizenship, where we have opportunities for Dreamers.

And you don't have to decriminalize everything. What you have to do is have a president in there with the judgment and the decency to treat someone that comes to the border like one of our own.

WARREN: You know, I just wanted (ph) to...

BASH: Senator...

WARREN: ... add on this...

BASH: ... he just said your plan in unrealistic. How do you respond?

WARREN: You know, I think that what we have to do, is we have to be an America that is clear about what we want to do with immigration. We need to expand legal immigration. We need to create a path for citizenship, not just for Dreamers but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas...

(APPLAUSE)

... we need to fix the crisis at the border. And a big part of how we do that, is we do not play into Donald Trump's hands. BULLOCK: But...

WARREN: He wants to stir up the crisis at the border because that's his overall message. It's -- if there's anything wrong in your life, blame them.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

Governor Bullock, your response?

BULLOCK: But you are playing into Donald Trump's hands. The challenge isn't that it's a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president, and using this to rip families apart.

A sane immigration system needs a sane leader. And we can do that without decriminalizing and providing health care for everyone.

And it's not me saying that, that's Obama's Homeland Security secretary...

WARREN: No.

BULLOCK: ... that said you'll cause further problems at the border, not making it better.

WARREN: What -- what you're saying is ignore the law. Laws matter. And it matters if we say our law is that we will lock people up who come here, seeking refuge, who come here, seeking asylum, that is not a crime. And as Americans, what we need to do is have a sane system that keeps us safe at the border, but does not criminalize the activity...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... of a mother fleeing here for safety.

(CROSSTALK)

BULLOCK: Dana, I must correct (ph) the (ph) record (ph)

BASH: Congressman Ryan, are Senator Sanders' proposals going to incentivize undocumented immigrants to come into this country illegally?

RYAN: Yes. And right now, if you want to come into the country, you should at least ring the doorbell. We have asylum laws. I saw the kids up in Grand Rapids, not far from here. It is shameful what's happening. But Donald Trump is doing it.

And even if you decriminalize, which we should not do, you still have statutory authority. The president could still use his authority to separate families. So we've got to get rid of Donald Trump. But you don't decriminalize people just walking into the United States. If they're seeking asylum, of course, we want to welcome them. We're a strong enough country to be able to welcome them. And as far as the healthcare goes, undocumented people can buy

healthcare too. I mean everyone else in America is paying for their healthcare. I think - I don't think it's a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country to also pay for healthcare.

BASH: Senator Sanders, your response?

SANDERS: Well, I have two things. A sane immigration policy moves the comprehensive immigration reform. It moves to a humane border policy, and which, by the way, we have enough administrative judges, so that we don't have incredible backlogs that we have right now.

But to your answer your question, I happen to believe that when I talk about healthcare as a human right that applies to all people in this country, and under a Medicare for All single payer system, we could afford to do that.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: Senator Sanders, thank you. And Ms. Williamson, your response?

WILLIAMSON: Everything that we're talking about here tonight is what's wrong with American politics, and the Democratic Party needs to understand that we should be the party that talks, not just about symptoms, but also about causes. When it - when we're talking about healthcare, we need to talk about more than just the healthcare plan.

We need to realize, we have a sickness care rather than a healthcare system. We need to be the party talking about why so many of our chemical policies and our food policies and our agricultural policies and our environment policies and even our economic policies are leading to people sick to begin with.

LEMON: Thank you --

WILLIAMSON: That's what the democratic -- but I want to say more --

LEMON: Thank you, Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: -- about. OK.

LEMON: Thank you, Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: I hope you'll come back to me this time (ph).

LEMON: Go ahead. Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Let's turn now to the issue of gun violence. There were three large-scale shootings this past week in America, at a park in Brooklyn, on the streets on Philadelphia and one that left three dead and 12 injured at a food festival in Gilroy, California. Governor - excuse me, Mayor Buttigieg, other than offering words of comfort, what're you specially going to do to stop this epidemic of gun violence?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, this epidemic of gun violence has hit my community too, far too many times. It's the worst part of being there, getting the phone call, consoling, grieving parents. And we have a mass shooting's worth of killings everyday in this country. What we're doing hasn't worked because we haven't had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people have told us they want.

Eighty, 90 percent of Republicans want universal background checks, not to mention the common sense solutions like red flag laws that disarmed domestic abusers and flag mental health risks and an end to assault weapons, things like what I carried overseas in uniform, that have no business in American neighbors in peace time (ph), let alone anywhere near a school.

I was at an event a few days ago, and a 13-year-old asked me what we're going to do about school safety, and then began shaking and then began crying. And we can talk about these policies, but we already know the policies. I only thing I could think of, looking into the eyes of this child, is we're supposed to be dealing with this so you don't have to. High school is hard enough, without having to worry about whether you're going to get shot.

LEMON: Thank you.

BUTTIGIEG: And when 90 percent of Americans want something to happen --

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: -- and Washington --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor. Governor Hickenlooper, your response please?

KLOBUCHAR: I disagree - I disagree with his diagnosis of the problem.

LEMON: Please standby, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: OK.

LEMON: Please stick to the rules. We'll get to you - we'll come to you in a just a minute. Governor Hickenlooper, please respond.

HICKENLOOPER: Well, this is the fundamental nonsense of government, another thing - another place where, despite our best efforts, we can't seem to make any progress. You know, when I went to the - to the movie theater in Aurora in 2012, and saw that footage of what happened at that crime scene, I'll never forget it.

And we decided, you know, that we were going to go out and take on the NRA, and we passed as a purple state. We passed universal background checks. We limited magazine capacity. We did the basic work that for whatever reason doesn't seem to be able to get done in Washington.

LEMON: Thank you, Governor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, this isn't just about a system, or it's not just about words. This is about the NRA. I sat across from the president of the United States after Parkland, because I've been a leader on these issues and have the will to close to a boyfriend loophole.

And I watched and wrote down when, nine times, he said he wanted universal background checks. The next day, he goes and he meets with the NRA, and he folds. As your president, I will not fold. I will make sure that we get universal background checks passed, the assault weapon ban (ph), that we do something about magazines, and that we understand when 6 little - little 6-year-old boy died, Stephen Romero, when his dad said he's only 6 years old, all I can -

LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: - say is he's 6 years old.

LEMON: Mayor Buttigieg, please respond.

KLOBUCHAR: We have to remember that.

BUTTIGIEG: This is the exact same conversation we've been having since - since I was in high school. I was a junior when the Columbine shooting happened. I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country. We better not allow there to be a third. Something is broken if it is even possible for the same debate around the same solutions that we all know are the right thing to do. They won't prevent every incident. They won't save every life. But we know what to do, and it has not happened.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

KLOBUCHAR: Yes. What is broken is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for. The people are with us now.

After Parkland, those students just didn't march. They talked to their dads and their grandpas and the hunters in their family, and they said there must be a better way. Then we elected people in the House of Representatives. And guess what? It changed, and they passed universal background checks. And now that bill is sitting on Mitch McConnell's doorstep because of the money and the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: This is not about systems and words.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

(APPLAUSE)

Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?

BULLOCK: You know, like 40 percent of American households, I'm a gun- owner. I hunt. Like far too many people in America, I've been personally impacted by gun violence. Had an 11-year-old nephew, Jeremy, shot and killed on a playground.

We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar. It is the NRA. And it's not just gun violence. It's when we talked about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington, D.C., is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others.

That's been the fight of my career. Kicking the Koch brothers out of Montana, taking the first case after Citizens United up to the Supreme Court, making it so that elections are about people. That's the way we're actually going to make a change on this, Don, is by changing that system. And most of the things that folks are talking about on this stage we're not going to address until we kick dark money and the post-Citizens United corporate spending out of these elections.

LEMON: Congressman O'Rourke, your response?

O'ROURKE: How else can we explain that we lose nearly 40,000 people in this country to gun violence, a number that no other country comes even close to, that we know what all the solutions are, and yet nothing has changed? It is because, in this country, money buys influence, access, and, increasingly, outcomes.

The Centers for Disease Control prevented from actually studying the issue in the first place. As president, we will make sure that we ban political action committee contributions to any member of Congress or any candidate for federal office. We will listen to people, not PACs, people, not corporations, people, not special interests.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Congressman, thank you very much.

Senator Sanders, you said this in 2013, just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, and I quote here: "If you pass the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don't think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen." Do you still agree with that statement today?

SANDERS: I think we have got to do -- I think what I meant is what President Obama said, in that nobody up here is going to tell you that we have a magical solution to the crisis.

Now, I come from one of the most rural states in America. I have a D- minus voting record from the NRA. And as president I suspect it will be an F record. What I believe we have got to do is have the guts to finally take on the NRA.

You asked me about my record. Back in 1988, coming from a state that had no gun control, I called for the ban of the sale and distribution of assault weapons. I lost that election. I will do everything I can not only to take on the NRA, but to expand and create universal background checks, do away with the strawman provision, do away with the gun show loophole, and do away with the loopholes that now exist for gun manufacturers who are selling large amounts of weapons into communities that are going to gangs.

LEMON: Yeah. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

BUTTIGIEG: Still the conversation that we've been having for the last 20 years. Of course we need to get money out of politics. But when I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference, end the Electoral College, amend the Constitution, if necessary, to clear up Citizens United, have D.C. actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform, people look at me funny, as if this country were incapable of structural reform.

Does anybody really think we're going to overtake Citizens United without constitutional action? This is a country that once changed its Constitution so you couldn't drink and then changed it back because we changed our minds about that.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: And you're telling me we can't reform our democracy in our time?

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: We have to or we'll be having the same argument 20 years from now.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Please respond, Governor Bullock.

BULLOCK: You can make changes. Even in Montana, with a two-thirds Republican legislature, we passed a law that said, if you're going to spend money in our elections, I don't care if you call yourselves Americans for America for America, you're going to have to disclose every one of those dollars in the last 90 days.

I'll never forget running for re-election in 2016. Even we stopped the Koch brothers from spending it that time. If we can kick the Koch brothers out of Montana, we can do it in D.C., we can do it everywhere.

And we're also taking steps, additional steps that we've taken -- I passed an executive order. If you're even going to contract with the state...

LEMON: Governor Bullock, thank you very much.

WARREN: I'd like to have a chance on this.

LEMON: Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to this issue of gun safety?

WILLIAMSON: The issue of gun safety, of course, is that the NRA has us in a chokehold, but so do the pharmaceutical companies, so do the health insurance companies, so do the fossil fuel companies, and so do the defense contractors, and none of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns.

But for politicians, including my fellow candidates, who themselves have taken tens of thousands -- and in some cases, hundreds of thousands -- of dollars from these same corporate donors to think that they now have the moral authority to say we're going to take them on, I don't think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe yada, yada, yada.

(APPLAUSE)

It is time for us to start over with people who have not taken donations from any of those corporations and can say with real moral authority: That is over. We are going to establish public funding for federal campaigns. That's what we need to stand up to.

We need to have a constitutional amendment. We need to have -- we need to have legislation to do it.

LEMON: Thank you.

WILLIAMSON: And until we do it, it's just the same old, same old.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Williamson. The debate will be right back right after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Presidential Debate, we are live from Detroit, Michigan. In poll after poll Democratic voters say that they want a candidate who can beat President Trump, more than they want a candidate who agrees with them on major issues.

Governor Hickenlooper, you ran a Facebook ad that warned "socialism is not the answer." The ad also said, "don't let extremes give Trump four more years," are you saying that Senator Sanders is too extreme to beat President Trump?

HICKENLOOPER: I'm saying the policies of -- this notion that you're going to take private insurance away from 180 million Americans who, many of them don't want to give -- many of them do want to get rid of it, but some don't -- many don't.

Or you're going to -- the Green New Deal make sure that every American's guaranteed a government job if they want, that is a disaster at the ballot box, you might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump.

I think we've got to focus on where Donald Trump is failing, you know, the world malpractice, and this is interesting -- I always thought it was doctors or lawyers, it's -- you know negligent, improper, illegal professional activity for doctors, lawyers or public officials, Google it, check it out.

Donald Trump is malpractice personified, we've got to point that out. Why is it soybean farmers in Iowa need 10 good years to get back to where they were 2 years ago? Where's the small manufacturing jobs that are supposed to come back?

Why are we lurching from one international crisis to another? All things that he promised American voters, we've got to focus on that -- and the economy, and jobs, and training, so that we can promise a future for America that everybody wants to invest it.

TAPPER: Thank you Governor. Senator Sanders you are a proud Democratic-Socialist, how do you respond to Governor Hickenlooper?

SANDERS: Well the truth is that every credible poll that I have seen has me beating Donald Trump -- including the battleground states of Michigan, where I won the Democratic primary -- Wisconsin where I won the Democratic primary, and Pennsylvania.

And the reason we are going to defeat Trump, and beat him badly is that he is a fraud and a phony and we're going to expose him for what he is. The American people want to have a minimum wage which is a living wage, $15 an hour. I've helped lead that effort.

The American people want to pay reasonable prices for prescription drugs, not the highest prices in the world --

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANDERS: I've helped lead the effort for that as well.

TAPPER: Thank you Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, I want to bring you back to respond?

HICKENLOOPER: So again, I think if we're going to force Americans to make these radical changes, they're not going to go along -- throw your hands up --

SANDERS: All right (ph) --

HICKENLOOPER: Oh-ho, I can do it. But you haven't (ph) implemented the plans, us governors and mayors are the ones, we have to pick up all the pieces when suddenly the government's supposed to take over all these responsibilities, and there's no preparation, the details aren't worked (ph). You can't just spring a plan on the world and expect it to succeed --

SANDERS: John --

TAPPER: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: John, I was a mayor and I helped transform my city -- I have some practical experience. Second of all, interestingly enough today is the anniversary of Medicare -- 54 years ago under Linda Johnson of the Democratic Congress they started a new program after one year 19 million elderly people in it.

Please don't tell me that in a four year period we cannot go from 65 down to 55, to 45, to 35 -- this is not radical. This is what virtually every other country on Earth runs (ph) --

TAPPER: Thank you Senator.

SANDERS: We are the odd dog out (ph).

TAPPER: I want to bring in -- I want to bring in Congressman Ryan. You're from the state of Ohio, it's a state that voted twice for Obama and then went to President Trump in 2016, please respond to Senator Sanders.

RYAN: Well I would just say Hillary Clinton was winning in the polls too, to take a snapshot in the polls today and apply it 16 months from now or whenever it is, I don't think is accurate.

Now in this discussion already tonight we've talked about taking private health insurance away from union members in the industrial Midwest, we've talked about decriminalizing the border, and we've talked about giving free healthcare to undocumented workers when so many Americans are struggling to pay for their healthcare.

I quite frankly don't think that that is an agenda that we can move forward on and win. We've got to talk about the working class issues, the people that take a shower after work, who haven't had a raise in 30 years --

TAPPER: Thank you -- thank you Congressman --

RYAN: If we focus on that, we'll win the election.

TAPPER: Thank you Congressman, I want to bring Congressman O'Rourke, your response, sir?

O'ROURKE: Bernie was talking about some of the battleground states in which we compete -- there is a new battleground state, Texas and it has 38 electoral college votes. And the way that we put it in play was by going to each one of those 254 counties. No matter how red or rural, we did not write you off. No matter how blue, or urban -- we did not take you for granted.

And we didn't trim our sails, either. We had the courage of our convictions, talking about universal health care, comprehensive immigration reform, and confronting the challenge of climate before it is too late. We brought everyone in...

TAPPER: Thank you.

O'ROURKE: ... and now we have a chance to beat Donald Trump with Texas.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. I want to bring in Governor Bullock. We're talking about whether Democrats are moving too far to the left to win the White House. President Trump won your home state of Montana by 20 points. How do you respond, sir? BULLOCK: Yeah, as the only one of the field of 37 that actually won a Trump state -- 25 percent to 30 percent of my voters voted for Donald Trump -- I know that we do have to win back some of those places we lost and get those Trump voters back if we're ever going to win.

But this isn't just a choice between the left and the center. It's not a choice just between sort of these wish list economics or thinking that we have to sacrifice our values to actually win. What folks want is a fair shot. The way I won, the way we can win is to actually focus on the economy and the democracy aren't working for most people.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

BULLOCK: That's how I win. That's how we can take back the office.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, you make it a point to say that you're a capitalist. Is that your way of convincing voters that you might be a safer choice than Senator Sanders?

WARREN: No. It is my way of talking about I know how to fight and I know how to win. I took on giant banks, and I beat them. I took on Wall Street, and CEOs, and their lobbyists, and their lawyers, and I beat them. I took on a popular Republican incumbent senator, and I beat him.

I remember when people said Barack Obama couldn't get elected. Shoot, I remember when people said Donald Trump couldn't get elected. But here's where we are.

I get it. There is a lot at stake, and people are scared. But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in just because we're too scared to do anything else. And we can't ask other people to vote for a candidate we don't believe in.

Democrats win when we figure out what is right and we get out there and fight for it. I am not afraid. And for Democrats to win, you can't be afraid, either.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney, your response?

DELANEY: So -- so I think Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises, when we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics.

Look at the story of Detroit, this amazing city that we're in. This city is turning around because the government and the private sector are working well together. That has to be our model going forward. We need to encourage collaboration between the government, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector, and focus on those kitchen table, pocketbook issues that matter to hard-working Americans: building infrastructure, creating jobs, improving their pay...

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: ... creating universal health care, and lowering drug prices.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren?

DELANEY: We can do it.

WARREN: You know, I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for.

(APPLAUSE)

I don't get it.

(APPLAUSE)

Our biggest problem in Washington is corruption. It is giant corporations that have taken our government and that are holding it by the throat. And we need to have the courage to fight back against that. And until we're ready to do that, it's just more of the same.

Well, I'm ready to get in this fight. I'm ready to win this fight.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: When we created Social Security, we didn't say pensions were illegal, right? We can have big ideas to transform the lives. I mean, I started two companies and took them public before I was 40. I'm as big of a dreamer and an entrepreneur as anyone.

But I also believe we need to have solutions that are workable. Can you imagine if we tried to start Social Security now but said private pensions are illegal? That's the equivalent of what Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are proposing with health care. That's not a big idea. That's an idea that's dead on arrival. That will never happen. So why don't we actually talk about things, big ideas that we can get done? The stakes are too high.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren?

WARREN: So, look, he talks...

SANDERS: He just mentioned my name.

TAPPER: We'll come to you right after that.

TAPPER: Senator Warren?

WARREN: He talks about solutions that are workable. We have tried the solution of Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. And what have the private insurance companies done? They've sucked billions of dollars out of our health care system. They've made everybody fill out dozens and dozens of forms. Why? Not because they're trying to track your health care. They just want one more excuse to say no. Insurance companies do not have a God-given right to suck money out of our health care system.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: And 2020 is our chance to stop it.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: Detroit was mentioned. And I'm delighted that Detroit is rebounding. But let us understand, Detroit was nearly destroyed because of awful trade policy which allowed corporations to throw workers in this community out on the streets as they moved to low-wage countries.

To win this election, and to defeat Donald Trump -- which, by the way, in my view, is not going to be easy -- we need to have a campaign of energy and excitement and of vision. We need to bring millions of young people into the political process in a way that we have never seen by, among other things, making public colleges...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANDERS: ... and universities tuition-free and canceling student debt.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to bring in -- I want to bring in Senator Klobuchar. At the beginning of the night, you said you're going to hear a lot of promises on the stage. And previously you have said, when asked about your primary opponents, quote, "A lot of people are making promises, and I'm not going to make promises just to get elected." Who on this stage is making promises just to get elected?

KLOBUCHAR: Everyone wants to get elected. But my point is this: I think when we have a guy in the White House that has now told over 10,000 lies, that we'd better be very straightforward with the American people.

And, no, do I think that we are going to end up voting for a plan that kicks half of America off of their current insurance in four years? No, I don't think we're going to do that. I think there is a better way to get what we all want to see, which is lower costs for health care.

Do I think that we're going to vote to give free college to the wealthiest kids? No, I don't think we're going to do that. So that's what I'm talking about.

But what I don't like about this argument right now, what I don't like about it at all, is that we are more worried about winning an argument than winning an election.

(APPLAUSE)

And I think how we win an election is to bring everyone with us. And, yes, I have won in a state every single time statewide. I have won those congressional districts that Donald Trump won by over 20 points. He just targeted Minnesota last week. And I have done it by getting out there and talking to people, by knowing rural issues and farm issues...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: ... and bringing metro people with me in the state that had the highest voter turnout in the country.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: That's what we want.

TAPPER: I want to bring in Congressman O'Rourke. Congressman O'Rourke, please respond.

O'ROURKE: You know, I think a big part of leadership and showing our commitment to the American people is delivering on our commitments. As a member of Congress, when I learned that the El Paso V.A. had the worst wait times for mental health care in the country, meaning that care delayed functionally became care denied, and was related to the suicide epidemic, we made it our priority and we turned around the V.A. in El Paso.

We took that lesson nationally and I worked with Republican and Democratic colleagues to expand medical health care to veterans, and we got it signed into law by the one person with whom I agree on almost nothing -- Donald Trump -- to show that, at the end of the day, we will put the American people first...

BASH: Thank you.

O'ROURKE: ... before party, before any other concern.

BASH: Thank you, Congressman O'Rourke.

We've been asking voters to weigh in on what they'd most like to hear Democrats debate. Among the topics they told us they're most interested in, the climate crisis.

Congressman Delaney, I'll start with you. You say the Green New Deal is about as realistic as Trump saying Mexico is going to pay for the wall. But scientists say we need essentially to eliminate fossil fuel pollution by 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic consequences. Why isn't this sweeping plan to fight the climate crisis realistic?

DELANEY: Well, first of all, because it ties its progress to other things that are completely unrelated to climate, like universal health care, guaranteed government jobs, and universal basic income. So that only makes it harder to do.

My plan, which gets us to net zero by 2050, which we absolutely have to do for our kids and our grandkids, will get us there. I put a price on carbon, take all the money, give it back to the American people in a dividend. That was introduced by me on a bipartisan basis. It's the only significant bipartisan climate bill in the Congress. I'm going to increase the Department of Energy research budget by

fivefold, because we fundamentally have to innovate our way out of this problem. I'm going to create a market for something called direct air capture, which are machines that actually take carbon out of the atmosphere, because I don't think we'll get to net zero by 2050 unless we have those things. I'm going to increase investment in renewables and I'm going to create something called the Climate Corps.

That is a plan that's realistic. It's a bet on the U.S. private innovation economy and creates the incentives to get us to net zero by 2050 for our kids.

BASH: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren, you're a cosponsor of the Green New Deal. Your response to Congressman Delaney?

WARREN: So, climate crisis is the existential crisis for our world. It puts every living thing on this planet at risk. I have a plan for a green industrial policy that takes advantage of the fact that we do what we do best, and that is innovate and create.

So I've proposed putting $2 trillion in so we do the research. We then say anyone in the world can use it, so long as you build it right here in America. That will produce about 1.2 million manufacturing jobs right here in Michigan, right here in Ohio, right here in the industrial Midwest.

And the second thing we will do is we will then sell those products all around the world. Right now, for every $1 the United States...

BASH: Thank you.

WARREN: ... spends trying to market around the world...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

WARREN: ... China is spending $100.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren.

Governor Hickenlooper, you take issue with the green new deal (ph). Please respond.

HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think the guarantee for a public job for everyone who wants one is a classic part of the problem. It's a distraction.

I share the urgency of everyone up here. We have to recognize -- I mean, everyone's got good ideas. What we do in this country is no better than just a best practice, right? It's what we do here is a best practice and a template, but it's got to be done all over the world.

So we've got to be building bridges right now with people like China, who were cheating on international agreements and stealing intellectual property. We need to work on that, but not with a tariff system. We need every country working together if we're going to really deal with climate change in a realistic way.

BASH: Thank you. Senator Warren, your response?

WARREN: Look, I put a real policy on the table to create 1.2 million new jobs in green manufacturing. There's going to be a $23 trillion worldwide market for this. This could revitalize huge cities across this country. And no one wants to talk about it. What you want to do instead is find the Republican talking point of a made-up piece of some other part and say, "Oh, we don't really have to do anything."

That's the problem we've got in Washington right now.

(APPLAUSE)

It continues to be a Washington that works great for oil companies, just not for people worried about climate change.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Warren. Congressman Ryan, we are here in Michigan, where there are about 180,000 workers in auto manufacturing. Your state of Ohio has around 96,000 workers in that industry.

Senator Sanders is co-sponsoring a bill that would eliminate new gas- powered car sales by 2040. Given the number of auto manufacturing workers in your state, how concerned are you about Senator Sanders' plan?

RYAN: Well, if we get our act together, we won't have to worry about it. I -- my plan is to create a chief manufacturing officer so we could actually start making things in the United States again, that would pull the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, work with the private sector, work with investors, emerging tech companies, to dominate the electric vehicle market.

China dominates it now, 50 percent to 60 percent. I want us to dominate the battery market, make those here in the United States and cut the workers in on the deal. The charging stations, solar panels, same thing; China dominates 60 percent of the solar panel market.

So this person will work in the White House, report directly to me, and we're going to start making things again.

But you cannot get there on climate unless we talk about agriculture. We need to convert our industrial agriculture system over to a sustainable and regenerative agriculture system...

KLOBUCHAR (?): I agree.

RYAN: ... that actually sequesters carbon...

(APPLAUSE)

... into the soil. And you can go ask -- you can go ask Gabe Brown and Allen Williams, who actually make money off of regenerative agriculture. So we can move away...

(APPLAUSE) ... from all the subsidies that we're giving the farmers. They haven't made a profit in five years. And we could start getting good food into our schools and into our communities. And that's going to drive health care down. That's another part of the health care conversation...

BASH: Thank you.

RYAN: ... that we didn't even have. How do we start talking about health...

BASH: Thank you, Congressman Ryan.

RYAN: ... instead of just disease care?

BASH: Thank you. Senator Sanders, your response?

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas. They could give $1 trillion in tax breaks to billionaires and profitable corporations. They could bail out the crooks on Wall Street. So please don't tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry. And nothing happens unless we do that.

(APPLAUSE)

Here is the bottom line. We've got to ask ourselves a simple question, "What do you do with an industry that knowingly, for billions of dollars in short-term profits, is destroying this planet?" I say that is criminal activity that cannot be allowed to continue.

BASH: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

(APPLAUSE)

Congressman, your response?

RYAN: Well, I would just say -- I didn't say we couldn't get there until 2040, Bernie. You don't have to yell. I mean, all I'm saying is...

(LAUGHTER)

All I'm saying is we have to invent our way out of this thing. And if we're waiting for 2040 for a ban to come in on gasoline vehicles, we're screwed. So we better get busy now. And that's why I'm saying get a chief manufacturing officer, align the environmental incentives with the financial incentives, and make sure that people can actually make money off of the new technologies that are moving forward.

And then here's what I'll do as president...

BASH: Thank you, Congressman.

RYAN: ... cut the worker in on the deal. Make sure these are union jobs. And I will double union membership to make sure these new jobs pay what the old fossil fuel jobs pay.

BASH: Senator Sanders, your response?

SANDERS: On this issue, my friends, there is no choice. We have got to be super aggressive if we love our children and if we want to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable, so I don't disagree with Tim. What that means is we got to, A, take on the fossil fuel industry, B, it means we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, at a hell of a lot (ph) of good union jobs, as we do that. We got to transform our transportation ...

BASH: Thank you, Senator ...

SANDERS: ... system, and we have to lead the world ...

BASH: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

SANDERS: ... because this is not just an American issue.

BASH: Governor Bullock, your response?

BULLOCK: You know, all of us agree that we have address climate change. No one on this stage is talking about it. The Republicans won't even acknowledge that climate change is real, Dana, and that's because of the corrupting influence and money. That has been the fight of my career.

And second of which, as we transition to this clean energy economy, you've got to recognize, there are folks that have spent their whole life powering our country, and far too often, Democrats sound like they're part of the problem. We got to make sure to aid in those transition as we get to a carbon neutral world, which I think we can do by 2020.

BASH: Thank you, Governor. Just to clarify, who is part of the problem?

BULLOCK: Who - oh, no, I - I think Democrats often, when they're saying, oh, these fossil fuel industries, these workers, those coal miner workers. Look, the world's changing. We got to make a change, but I think Democrats often sound like the people that, as Congressman Ryan would say, shower at the end of the day, that they're part of the problem. And far too many communities are being left behind, as we make this transition.

BASH: Thank you.

BULLOCK: Look, we're having this discussion, and we can talk about competing plans (ph) ...

BASH: Thank you, Governor. I want to give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

SANDERS: Look, Steve, there ain't nobody in the Congress who's more strongly pro-worker than I am. So when I talk about taking on the fossil fuel industry, what I am also talking about is a just transition. All right. We can create what the Green New Deal is about. It's a bold idea. We can create millions of good-paying jobs. We can rebuild communities in rural America that have been devastated. So we are not anti-worker. We are going to provide and make sure that those workers have a transition, new jobs, healthcare and education.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

BULLOCK: And look ...

BASH: Governor Bullock, your response?

BULLOCK: And look, Bernie, I was a union side labor lawyer. I fought day after day, and I know - but we've set this is a false choice far too often. Are we going to actually address climate change? Fire seasons are 80 days longer in the west now. Or are we going to give people a better shot at a better life?

You can do both, but let's actually have the scientists drive this. Let's not just talk about plans that are written for press releases that will go nowhere else if we can't get a Republican to acknowledge ...

BASH: Thank you, Governor.

BULLOCK: ... that the climate's changing.

BASH: Congressman O'Rourke, your response?

O'ROURKE: I've listen to the sciences on this, and they're very clear. We don't have more than 10 years to get this right, and we won't meet that challenge with half-steps or half-measures or only half the country. We've got to bring everyone in. The people of Detroit and those that I listened to in Flint last week, they want the challenge. They want those jobs. They want to create the future for this country and the world.

Those community college students that I met in Tucumcari, New Mexico understand that wind and solar jobs are the fastest-growing jobs in the country. And those farmers in Iowa say pay me for the environmental services of planting cover crops and keeping more land in conservation easements. That's how we meet the challenge. We do it with everyone in this country. We bring everyone in to the solution.

BASH: Thank you, Congressman. Mayor Buttigieg, your response?

BUTTIGIEG: We have all put out highly similar visions on climate. It is all theoretical. We will deal with climate, if and only if we win the presidency, if and only if we beat Donald Trump. Nominate me, and you get to see the president of the United States stand next to an American war veteran and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was chance to serve.

Nominate me, and we will have a different conversation with American voters about why the president of the United States thinks you're a sucker, when the problem in your life is your paycheck is not going up nearly as fast as the cost of housing or the cost of education ...

BASH: Thank you.

BUTTIGIEG: ... or the cost of prescription drugs. And he has done nothing about it except ...

BASH: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg.

BUTTIGIEG: ... the tax cuts for the corporations.

BASH: Hi, Senator Klobuchar. I want to ask you about something that CNN heard from a Michigan Democratic primary voter, but we're reaching out and getting their questions.

Kimber (ph) from Birmingham, Michigan has this question, "what is your plan to address infrastructure, including the water issue so another Flint, Michigan does not happen again?"

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you Dana, and I was just in Flint. And they are still drinking bottled water in that town and that is outrageous. So my plan, and I am the first one that came out with an infrastructure plan and I did that because this is a bread and butter issue. It's a bread and butter issue for people that are caught in traffic jams.

I think the Governor here in Michigan smartly ran on the slogan, "fix the damn roads," and it is an issue for union jobs. And so I think what we need to do is not have a president that's promised he was going to do that on election night, if anyone remembers. And then he hasn't followed through -- he has done nothing, he blew up a meeting at the White House.

I would put $1 trillion in to this, and I would pay for it by first of all changing the capital gains rate by doing something when it comes to that regressive tax bill that left everyone behind, but really made his Mar-a-Lago friends richer as he promised.

And I would take that money and put it in to rural broadband and green infrastructure so you won't have what you just saw in Detroit with the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, the African neighborhood -- that was African-American neighborhood that was most-hit when you had those recent rainstorms.

And I truly believe that if we're going to move on infrastructure --

BASH: Thank you --

KLOBUCHAR: And climate change, you need a voice from the Heartlands.

BASH: Is this -- thank you Senator Klobuchar, Ms. Williamson, what's your response on the Flint water crisis?

WILLIAMSON: My response on the Flint water crisis is that Flint is just the tip of the iceberg. I was recently in Denmark, South Carolina where it is -- there is a lot of talk about it being the next Flint.

We have an administration that has gutted the Clean Water Act. We have communities, particularly communities of color and disadvantaged communities all over this country who are suffering from environmental injustice.

I assure you, I lived Grosse Pointe -- what happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe. This is part of the dark underbelly of American society. The racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we're having here tonight -- if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic (ph) force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I'm afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.

We need to say it like it is, it's bigger than Flint -- it's all over this country, it's particularly people of color -- it's particularly people who do not have the money to fight back. And if the Democrats don't start saying it, then why would those people feel that they're there for us and if those people don't feel it, they won't vote for us, and Donald Trump will win.

LEMON: Thank you very much Ms. Williamson.

WILLIAMSON: Thank you.

LEMON: We want to turn now to the issue of race in America. Congressman O'Rourke, President Trump is pursuing a reelection strategy based in part, on racial division. How do you convince primary voters that you'd be the best nominee to take on President Trump and heal the racial divide in America?

O'ROURKE: We'll call his racism out for what it is, and also talk about its consequences. It doesn't just offend our sensibilities to hear him say "send her back," about a member of Congress, because she's a woman color, because she's a Muslim-American doesn't just offend our sensibilities when he calls Mexican immigrants "rapists and criminals," or seeks to ban all Muslims from the shores of a country that's comprised of people from the world over, from every tradition of faith.

It is also changing this country. Hate crimes are in the rise -- every single one of the last three years, on the day that he signed his executive order attempting to ban Muslim travel, the mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground.

So we must not only stand up against Donald Trump and defeat him in this next election, but we must also ensure that we don't just tolerate or respect our differences, but we embrace them. That's what we've learned in El Passo, Texas -- my hometown. One of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite, but because it's a city of immigrants and asylum seekers, and refugees.

We will show that our diversity --

LEMON: Thank you.

O'ROURKE Is our strength in my administration. LEMON: Congressman O'Rourke, thank you very much. Governor

Hickenlooper, why are you the best nominee to heal the racial divide in America, please respond.

HICKENLOOPER: Well the core value behind this entire country's history is working towards a more perfect union, that all people are created equal. And we've fallen far away from that. I think the job is incumbent on any one of us to make the convincing case that we can deliver an urban agenda that represents progress in schools.

In Colorado when I was Mayor we got universal pre-K for every kid in the urban city. We did major police reform 10 years before Ferguson -- why is it now that five years after Ferguson we still don't have anything?

How do we get affordable housing? We created a scholarship fund for every kid -- you've got to deliver a vision like that for the whole country.

LEMON: Thank you Governor. Senator Warren, I'm coming to you now. Last week the FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the majority of domestic terrorism cases this year have been motivated by white supremacy. In fact, the alleged shooter in this weekend's attack in Gilroy, California referenced a well-known white supremacist book on social media. How are you going to combat the rise of white supremacy?

WARREN: We need to call out white supremacy for what it is: domestic terrorism. And it poses a threat to the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

We live in a country now where the president is advancing environmental racism, economic racism, criminal justice racism, health care racism. The way we do better is to fight back and show something better.

So I have a plan, for example, on education that says we have to build a better education system for all our kids, but we've got to acknowledge what's happened on race. So my plan has universal, tuition-free college for all of our kids, but also increases the Pell Grants and levels the playing field by putting $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities.

(APPLAUSE)

It cancels student loan debt for 95 percent of the kids with student loan debt and helps close the black-white wealth gap in America.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Thank you, Senator, very much.

Mayor Buttigieg, you have been criticized for your handling of racial issues in your home city of South Bend, from diversity in the police force to housing policy. Given your record, how can you convince African-Americans that you should be the Democratic nominee? BUTTIGIEG: As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial

divide lives within me. I'm not saying that I became mayor and racism or crime or poverty ended on my watch.

But in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges, like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing and so we directed it to a historically underinvested African-American neighborhood.

Right now, in the wake of a police-involved shooting, our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy and making sure there are community voices on the board of safety that handles police matters.

I've proposed a Douglass plan to tackle this issue nationally, because mayors have hit the limits of what you can do unless there is national action.

Systemic racism has touched every part of American life, from housing to health to homeownership. If you walk into an emergency room and you are black, your reports of pain will be taken less seriously. If you apply for a job and you are black, you are less likely to be called just because of the name on the resume.

It's why I've proposed that we do everything from investing in historically red-lined neighborhoods...

LEMON: Mayor...

BUTTIGIEG: ... to build black wealth in homeownership...

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: ... to supporting entrepreneurship for black Americans.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the president's bigotry?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, there are people that voted for Donald Trump before that aren't racist; they just wanted a better shake in the economy. And so I would appeal to them.

But I don't think anyone can justify what this president is doing. Little kids literally woke up this weekend, turned on the TV, and saw their president calling their city, the town of Baltimore, nothing more than a home for rats. And I can tell you, as your president, that will stop.

The second thing I would say is that economic opportunity means economic opportunity for everyone in this country. I know that because I have lived it. And that means when we put out there better childcare and better education, and we pay teachers more, and we make sure there's a decent retirement system in place, yes, we help the African- American community and we must, because they have been the ones that have been most hurt by what we've seen in the last decades, but we help everyone.

So what I say to the people in my rural parts of my state, just like I say to them in the city and bring them together, is that economic opportunity must be there for everyone.

LEMON: Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much.

Congressman O'Rourke, please respond.

O'ROURKE: I want to acknowledge something that we're all touching on, which is the very foundation of this country, the wealth that we have built, the way we became the greatest country on the face of the planet was literally on the backs of those who were kidnapped and brought here by force.

(APPLAUSE)

The legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression is alive and well in every aspect of the economy and in the country.

Today, as president, I will sign into law a new Voting Rights Act. I will focus on education, address health care disparities, but I will also sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee's reparations bill so that we can have the national conversation we've waited too long in this country to have.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Thank you, Congressman O'Rourke. Speaking of reparations, Ms. Williamson, many of your opponents support a commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery. But you are calling for up to $500 billion in financial assistance. What makes you qualified to determine how much is owed in reparations?

WILLIAMSON: Well, first of all, it's not $500 billion in financial assistance. It's $500 billion, $200 billion to $500 billion payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is.

(APPLAUSE)

We need some deep truth-telling when it comes. We don't need another commission to look at evidence. I appreciate what Congressman O'Rourke has said. It is time for us to simply realize that this country will not heal.

All that a country is, is a collection of people. People heal when there's some deep truth-telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with.

(APPLAUSE) That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery followed by another hundred years of domestic terrorism.

What makes me qualified to say $200 billion to $500 billion? I'll tell you what makes me qualified. If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there was 4 million to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War, four to five -- and they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four, if you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. And I believe that anything less than $100 billion is an insult.

And I believe that $200 billion to $500 billion is politically feasible today, because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will heal.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, you don't think cash payments are the best way to address this issue, but according to a new Gallup poll, 73 percent of African-Americans are in favor of cash payments to black Americans who are descendants of slaves. How do you respond to them?

SANDERS: Well, I respond to that by saying that I am supportive of Jim Clyburn's legislation, which is called 10-20-30. And what that understands is that as a result of slavery, and segregation, and the institutional racism we see now in health care, in education, in financial services, we are going to have to focus big time on rebuilding distressed communities in America, including African- American communities.

In terms of education, I also have a plan. It's called the Thurgood Marshall Plan. And it would focus on ending the growth of segregated schools in America. It would triple funding for Title I schools. It would make sure that teachers in this country earned at least $60,000 a year.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. The debate continues right after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic presidential debate, live from Detroit.

Let's turn now to the economy.

Congressman Ryan, President Trump's tariffs have boosted the U.S. steel industry but hurt auto manufacturers like those here in Michigan, which could drive up the cost of cars. As president, would you continue President Trump's steel tariffs?

RYAN: Look, I think President Trump was onto something when he talked about China. China has been abusing the economic system for a long time. They steal intellectual property. They subsidize goods coming into this country. They've displaced steel workers, auto workers, across the board, eroded our manufacturing. And we basically transferred our wealth of our middle class either up to the top 1 percent or to China for them to build their military.

So I think we need some targeted response against China. But you know how you beat China? You out-compete 'em. And that's why I'd put a chief manufacturing officer in place to make sure that we rebuild the manufacturing base.

We've got to fill these factories that -- in Detroit, in Youngstown, that used to make cars and steel. We've got to fill them with workers who are making electric vehicles, batteries, charging stations, make sure they're making solar panels.

As I said earlier, China dominates 60 percent of the solar panel market. They dominate 50 percent to 60 percent of the electric vehicle market. We're going to make 10 million electric vehicle somewhere in the world in the next 10 years. I want them made in the United States. That's why I have a chief manufacturing officer that will sit in the White House and help drive this agenda.

LEMON: Congressman, thank you. Just as a point of clarification, as president, would you consider President Trump's steel tariffs, yes or no?

RYAN: Well, I would have to re-evaluate. I think some of them are effective. But he's bungled the whole thing, obviously. He has -- see, here's the problem with President Trump. He has a tactical move -- one of many -- he has a tactical move. What's the grand strategy for the United States? China has 100-year plan, a 50-year plan, a 30-year plan, a 20-year plan. We live in a 24-hour news cycle. That spells disaster for our economy and disaster for our global politics.

LEMON: Thank you, Congressman. Congressman Delaney, your response?

(APPLAUSE)

DELANEY: So, listen. This is what I don't understand. President Trump wants to build physical walls and beats up on immigrants. Most of the folks running for president want to build economic walls to free trade and beat up on President Obama. I'm the only one running for president who actually supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Obama was right about that. We should be getting back in that.

Senator Warren just issued a trade plan...

WARREN: You bet (ph) I did.

DELANEY: ... that would prevent the United States from trading with its allies. We can't go and -- we can't isolate ourselves from the world. We have to engage...

LEMON: Thank you.

DELANEY: ... with fair, rules-based trade.

LEMON: Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Senator Warren, please respond.

WARREN: You know, for decades, we have had a trade policy that has been written by giant multi-national corporations to help giant multi- national corporations. They have no loyalty to America. They have no patriotism. If they can save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico, they'll do it in a heartbeat. If they can continue a polluting plant by moving it to Vietnam, they'll do it in a heartbeat.

I have put out a new comprehensive plan that says we're not going to do it that way. We're going to negotiate our deals with unions at the table, with small businesses at the table, with small farmers at the table, with environmentalists at the table, with human rights activists at the table. And then, we're going to use the fact that everybody in the world wants to get to America's markets. They want to sell to you...

DELANEY: That was the TPP.

WARREN: I'll finish.

LEMON: Congressman Delaney...

WARREN: ... is everyone wants to get to America's markets.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: No. So the question is...

LEMON: Senator, thank you. Please abide by the rules.

WARREN: ... how we need to raise our standards.

LEMON: Congressman Delaney, it's your turn. Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: So that was the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think President Obama was right. He did include environmental standards. He did include labor standards. We would be in an entirely different position with China if we had entered the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

We can't isolate ourselves from the world. We can't isolate ourselves from Asia. Senator Warren's plan, basically, that she put out, we would not be able to trade with the United Kingdom.

WARREN: No, what this is about...

DELANEY: We would not be able to trade with the E.U. It is so extreme that it will isolate...

LEMON: Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Thank you, Congressman. DELANEY: ... the American economy from the world.

LEMON: Senator? Senator Warren. Senator Warren.

SANDERS: I was...

WARREN: I think he said...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Senator Sanders, please let Senator Warren respond.

SANDERS: Oh, I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

WARREN: What the congressman is describing as extreme is having deals that are negotiated by American workers for American workers. American workers want those jobs, and we can build the trade deals that do it.

People want access to our markets all around the world. Then the answer is, let's make them raise their standards. Make them pay workers more. Let their workers unionize. Raise their environmental standards before they come to us and say they want to be able to sell their products.

Right now, the whole game is working for the big multinationals. It's just not working for the people here in the United States, and we can change that.

LEMON: Senator, thank you very much. Congressman O'Rourke, your response?

(APPLAUSE)

O'ROURKE: You know, the question was about tariffs. And they're a huge mistake. They constitute the largest tax increase on the American consumer, hitting the middle class and the working poor especially hard, and farmers in Iowa and across the country are bearing the brunt of the consequences.

When have we ever gone to war, including a trade war, without allies and friends and partners? As president, we will hold China accountable, but we will bring our allies and friends, like the European Union, to bear, and we'll also negotiate trade deals that favor farmers and American workers and protect human rights and the environment and labor, not just here in the United States...

LEMON: Congressman O'Rourke, thank you so much. Senator Sanders, please respond to Congressman O'Rourke.

WARREN: I'd like to respond to this.

SANDERS: Yeah, OK. You're looking, I believe, at the only member of Congress who not only voted against these disastrous trade agreements, NAFTA, PNTR with China, which cost us over 4 million jobs, but also helped lead the effort against these agreements.

Now, Elizabeth is absolutely right. If anybody here thinks that corporate America gives one damn about the average American worker, you're mistaken. If they can save five cents by going to China, Mexico, or Vietnam, or anyplace else, that's exactly what they will do.

As president, let me tell you what I will do. These guys line up at the federal trough. They want military contracts. They want all kinds of contracts. Well, under my administration, you ain't going to get those contracts if you're throwing American workers out on the street.

LEMON: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. Governor Hickenlooper, your response?

WARREN: I'd like a chance to respond.

HICKENLOOPER: So -- so I think -- again, I think Congressman Delaney has got a point here. And there is a way of looking at trade that is therapeutic.

The bottom line is, you talk to any economist, there is not a single example in history where a trade war had a winner. Trade wars are for losers. And the bottom line is we've got to recognize, let's negotiate a better trade deal. But you're not going to win against China in a trade war when they've got 25 percent of our total debt.

And step back and look it. Here's Trump gives a giant tax cut and at the same time -- so we're paying in tariffs about $800 to $1,200 per household and then we give this incredible tax cut to the rich. Essentially what's happening is now he's transferred that tax obligation onto the middle class. That's what's outrageous. But tariffs are not the solution.

LEMON: Governor, thank you. Senator Warren?

WARREN: Anyone who thinks that these trade deals are mostly about tariffs just doesn't understand what's going on. Look at the new NAFTA 2.0. What's the central feature? It's to help pharmaceutical companies get longer periods of exclusivity so they can charge Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans more money and make more profits.

That's what trade deals have become. They have become a way for giant multinationals to change the regulatory environment so they can suck more profits out for themselves and to leave the American people behind. We have to have the courage to fight back against that corruption.

LEMON: Senator, thank you. Governor Bullock, your response?

BULLOCK: You know, a farmer in Rippy (ph) said to me, every time that Trump tweets, we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. If Montana had to eat all the wheat that we produce, every Montanan would have to eat 40 loaves of bread a day.

But by the same token, what we have is -- I actually agree with Senator Warren on this in part. Corporations can move capital easy. Workers can't move. So going forward, we need to make sure that our trade deals actually are protecting -- thinking about the workers. They can't be the stepchild. But the way to do it, with this blunt instrument of tariffs that the president is doing, that's not how we get a fair deal for farmers anywhere or the manufacturers here in Detroit.

LEMON: Governor, thank you very much.

(CROSSTALK)

Mayor -- standby, please. Standby, please. Please abide by the rules. Mayor Buttigieg, on Thursday of this week, a GM plant in Michigan will stop production, the latest auto plant to cease operations in the industrial Midwest. This comes as part of the company's modernization plans, which will eventually result in 6,000 hourly workers losing their jobs or being reassigned to other plants.

What is your plan for retraining workers whose jobs are at risk?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, this happened in my community 20 years before I was born. And when I was growing up, we were still picking up the pieces. Empty factories, empty houses, poverty. I know exactly what happens to a community when these closures take place. And there will be more.

It's why we actually need to put the interests of workers first. Of course we need to do retraining. We're doing it now in South Bend. We should continue to do it. But this is so much bigger than a trade fight. This is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes.

There are people in the gig economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in their lifetime. It's why I've proposed that we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job and a worker is a worker.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

BUTTIGIEG: We have to respond to all of these changes. And, you know, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by double unionization, as I propose to do, some of this is low-tech, too, like the minimum wage is just too low. And so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Mayor, thank you very much.

Congressman Delaney, I'm coming to you now. Your estimated net worth is more than $65 million. That would make you subject to Senator Warren's proposed wealth tax on the assets of the richest 75,000 homes, households, or so, in the United States. Do you think Senator Warren's wealth tax is a fair way to fund child care and education?

DELANEY: I think wealthy Americans have to pay more. Listen, I grew up in a blue-collar family. First in my family to go to college. Became a successful entrepreneur. Created thousands of jobs. Supported thousands of entrepreneurs all around this country. And I've done well financially. I think I should pay more in tax. I think wealthy Americans should pay more in tax. But we have to have a real solution.

The real solution is to raise the capital gains rates. There is no reason why people who invest for a living should pay less than people who work for a living. That's ridiculous. It's the biggest loophole in our tax code.

(APPLAUSE)

We act like wealthy individuals are endangered species and if we don't raise -- if we raise their taxes, they won't invest. That's crazy. That's how we get more revenues from wealthy individuals, we roll back the Trump tax cuts to wealthy individuals.

I think the wealth tax will be fought in court forever. It's arguably unconstitutional. And the countries that have had it have largely abandoned it because it's impossible to implement. But here again, real solutions, not impossible promises.

LEMON: Congressman, thank you very much.

DELANEY: Raise the capital gains tax. Roll back the taxes on wealthy Americans.

LEMON: Thank you, Congressman.

DELANEY: That we can do in our first few months as president.

LEMON: Senator Warren, please respond.

WARREN: So I have proposed a wealth tax. It's now time to do that. It's time to tax the top one tenth of one percent of fortunes in this country. Your first $50 million, you can keep free and clear. But your 50 millionth and first dollar, you got to pitch in two cents. Two cents.

What can America do with two cents? We can provide universal childcare from zero to five. We can provide universal pre-K for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old. We can raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in this country. We can provide universal tuition- free college. We can expand Pell. We can put $50 billion into our historically black colleges and universities. And we can cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the people who have it and start to close the wealth gap in America.

It tells you how badly broken this economy is...

LEMON: Senator, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney...

WARREN: ... that two cents from the wealthiest in this country... LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

WARREN: ... would let us invest in the rest of America.

LEMON: Senator, please. Congressman, please respond.

(APPLAUSE)

DELANEY: This is not about whether wealthy -- this is not about whether wealthy Americans should pay more. I think we're all in agreement on that. It's a question of, do you have a real solution to make it happen?

We can raise the capital gains rate to match the ordinary income. You know the last president to do that was actually Ronald Reagan. We can do that in our first year. I've called for that to be done (inaudible). I've called for the expansion of universal pre-K so that every American has pre-K. And I do it through a -- through an additional tax on high net worth individuals.

BASH: Thank you.

But we don't need to come up with new taxes that are arguably unconstitutional...

BASH: Thank you, Congressman Delaney.

DELANEY: ... will be fought in court for years.

BASH: Thank you, Congressman. I want to turn to the issue of student debt.

WARREN: This is...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Can I just respond to that?

BASH: I'm going to turn to the issue of student debt now. Mayor Buttigieg, you've talked about how you and your husband are...

(APPLAUSE)

... paying down six figures of student loan debt. Under Senator Sanders' proposal to cancel all student loan debt, yours would immediately be wiped away. Why wouldn't you support that?

BUTTIGIEG: That would be great for us. And then the next day, there would be a student loan program and people would be out taking student loans wondering they weren't -- why they weren't lucky enough in timing to get theirs wiped away completely, too.

We can have debt-free college for low and middle-income students by expanding Pell Grants and compelling states to pick up more of the burden. And on the back end, for those of us who do have a lot of debt, we can make it more affordable and we can expand a public service loan forgiveness program, which is an excellent program that is almost impossible to actually get access to right now.

We can take these steps and have an approach that is actually fair. If we want to start wiping away student debt, here's where I would start. I would start with the for-profit colleges that took advantage of people, especially veterans, by the way. The moment I redeployed, my Facebook add feed started filling with ads from these for-profit colleges. Under President Obama, they were held accountable for whether they delivered results. President Trump, under a secretary of education who regrettably is from this state, did away with those rules. There's no accountability.

On my watch, those colleges that turned the Department of Education into a predatory lender, that's where we would begin when it came to getting rid of loans.

BASH: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg.

Senator Sanders, you want to forgive all student loan debt. Your response?

SANDERS: Matter of fact, I do. But before I get into that, the major issue that we don't talk about in Congress; you don't talk about in the media, is the massive level of income and wealth inequality in America.

You've got three people who own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. You have a top 1 percent that owns more wealth than the bottom 92 percent. Forty-nine percent of all new (ph) income goes to the top 1 percent. Companies like Amazon and billionaires out there do not pay one nickel in federal income tax. And we've got 500,000 people sleeping out on the street.

What we need is a political revolution that tells these billionaires and corporate America that they are Americans; they'll participate in our society, but they have got to start paying their fair share of taxes, period.

(APPLAUSE)

BASH: Thank you, Senator Sanders. Ms. Williamson?

WILLIAMSON: I'd like to respond.

BASH: You are proposing to make college free for all qualified students. Should the government pay for children from wealthier families to go to college?

WILLIAMSON: I think that all domestic and international policy should be based on the idea that anything we do to help people thrive is a stimulation to our economy. That's how you stimulate your economy. So if a few people take advantage, but there are four or five people who were going to take the money that they then have in the bank -- when you look at this $1.5 trillion college debt -- this is why I agree with Bernie, or I would be -- OK, why don't we swap it? We had a $2 trillion tax cut, where 83 cents of every dollar goes to the very, very richest among us, that does not stimulate the economy. If we get rid of this college debt, think of all the young people who

will have the discretionary spending; they'll be able to start their business. The best thing you could do to stimulate the U.S. economy is to get rid of this debt.

(APPLAUSE)

This is not just about a plan to to do it. It's about a philosophy of governing. And I've heard some people here tonight, I almost wonder why you're Democrats. You seem to think there's something wrong about using...

(APPLAUSE)

... about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. It should -- all policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace...

BASH: Thank you.

WILLIAMSON: ... and that is how we will have prosperity.

BASH: Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Congressman O'Rourke, you don't support free four-year college. Your response to Ms. Williamson?

O'ROURKE: I support free two-year college, earn that associate's degree, realize your full potential, debt-free four-year college. But unlike some of the other candidates on the stage, that's not just for tuition. That is room and books and board, the full cost of being able to better yourself so that you can better this country, and then for that schoolteacher who, in many places like Texas, is working a second or a third job, full forgiveness for her outstanding student loan debt, forgiveness for that person willing to work at the V.A. and serve our former service members.

And we do not do that at the expense of unions. We elevate them as well and make it easier to join an apprenticeship to learn a skill or a trade that you can command for the rest of your life.

BASH: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

(APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: I want to make it easier for kids to go to college. And I think we do it by focusing our resources on the people that need it most. And my problem with some of these plans is they literally would pay for wealthy kids, for Wall Street kids to go to college. There's no difference. It says everyone is free.

I don't think that makes sense. And I'm very concerned if we do things like that, the debt we're going to pass on to the next generation and the next generation. So what I would do about student loan debt is that I would allow people to refinance it at a better rate and I would make sure that we improve those student loan repayment programs for our teachers and expand them so that you literally -- over 5, 10 years -- can get it paid for if you go into occupations where we don't have enough workers.

I think we need to mesh what we were just talking about with the economy with our education policy.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. I want to turn to foreign policy now.

Senator Sanders, President Trump has argued that the United States cannot continue to be the, quote, "policeman of the world." You said the exact same thing on a debate stage in 2016. If voters are hearing the same message from you and President Trump on the issue of military intervention, how should they expect that you will be any different from him?

SANDERS: Trump is a pathological liar. I tell the truth.

(APPLAUSE)

We have been in Afghanistan I think 18 years, in Iraq 16 or 17 years. We have spent $5 trillion on the war on terror. And there are probably more terrorists out there now than before it began. We're going to spend -- the Congress passed -- and I will not vote for -- a $715 billion military budget, more than the 10 next countries combined.

What we need is a foreign policy that focuses on diplomacy, ending conflicts by people sitting at a table, not by killing each other. As president of the United States, I will go to the United Nations and not denigrate it, not attack the U.N., but bring countries together in the Middle East and all over the world to come to terms with their differences and solve those problems peacefully.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

SANDERS: The United States cannot be the policeman of the world.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, how do you respond to Senator Sanders' vision for America's role in the world?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, we share the recognition of the incredible costs. People don't realize that half the soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were National Guard. And so I went and sent them off on their deployments, big, you know, noisy hangers, but I also mourned with their families when they didn't come back.

We are able now to -- I call it constant engagement. But we should have an international diplomatic approach where we're talking to everybody, because if we're going to deal with climate change and cyber security and nuclear proliferation, we've got to be talking to everybody. And tariff wars don't work.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

HICKENLOOPER: They're for losers.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. I want to go to Congressman Ryan and I want to turn to the subject of

North Korea, which just hours ago launched two short-range ballistic missiles for the second time in less than a week. Congressman, you've said that you would not meet with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un unless you were at least close to a deal. Now, Senator Klobuchar says that she would, quote, "always be willing to meet with leaders to discuss policies." Is that view wrong?

RYAN: Yeah, I think so. I love Amy Klobuchar, but I think she's wrong on this one. I don't think presidents of the United States meet with dictators.

We saw what just happened with President Trump. He goes to the demilitarized zone with the leader of North Korea, gives him a huge photo op, gives him global credibility, because the most powerful person in the world is sitting there meeting with him, and weeks later, he's lobbing more missiles. That doesn't make any sense.

We've got to demilitarize our foreign policy. We've got to make sure that we are engaging these countries all the time. This is very difficult work. I've been in Congress 17 years. I've sat on the Defense Appropriations Committee. I've sat on the Armed Services Committee. This is long, tedious work, much of it done outside of the eye of the TV camera.

And as president, you've got to monitor that and be very disciplined every day. Don't go give a dictator a huge win. Sit down and do your job.

And the same thing with what's happening in Central America. He's cutting the State Department budget, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, where the migrants are coming from.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman.

RYAN: Go fix the problem at its source and use diplomacy to do it.

TAPPER: Senator Klobuchar, your response?

KLOBUCHAR: I think we agree. I just think you have to leave open the possibility of meeting with anyone at any place. What I don't like is how this president has handled it. You've heard of the Truman doctrine, the Monroe doctrine. He's done the go-it-alone doctrine with the rest of the world.

He's taking us out of the climate change agreement, out of the Iran nuclear agreement, out of the Russian nuclear agreement, and I don't agree with that.

And when he was just with Vladimir Putin at the G20, when he was asked about invading our democracy, he made a joke. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives on the battlefield to protect our democracy and our right to vote.

TAPPER: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama, lost their life in a church at the height of the civil rights amendment.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: So I do believe you meet with people, but you'd better have an agenda...

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: ... and you better put our interests of our country first, not the Russians'.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

Mayor Buttigieg, you served in Afghanistan where just yesterday two U.S. servicemembers were killed. There are currently about 14,000 U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan. You've said, quote, "One thing everybody can agree on is that we're getting out of Afghanistan." Will you withdraw all U.S. servicemembers by the end of your first year in office?

BUTTIGIEG: We will withdraw. We have to.

TAPPER: In your first year?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes. Look, around the world, we will do whatever it takes to keep America safe. But I thought I was one of the last troops leaving Afghanistan when I thought I was turning out the lights years ago.

Every time I see news about somebody being killed in Afghanistan, I think about what it was like to hear an explosion over there and wonder whether it was somebody that I served with, somebody that I knew, a friend, roommate, colleague.

We're pretty close to the day when we will wake up to the news of a casualty in Afghanistan who was not born on 9/11.

I was sent into that war by a congressional authorization, as well as a president. And we need to talk not only about the need for a president committed to ending endless war, but the fact that Congress has been asleep at the switch.

And on my watch, I will propose that any authorization for the use of military force have a three-year sunset and have to be renewed, because if men and women in the military have the courage to go serve, members of Congress ought to have to summon the courage to vote on whether they ought to be there.

TAPPER: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to bring in Congressman O'Rourke. Congressman O'Rourke, responding -- returning, rather, to the question of whether you would withdraw all U.S. servicemembers from Afghanistan during your first year in office as president, how do you respond, sir? O'ROURKE: I would in my first term in office. Agree that there is nothing about perpetuating this war, already in its 18th year, that will make it any better. We've satisfied the reasons for our involvement in Afghanistan in the first place. And it's time to bring those servicemembers back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen, and Somalia, and Libya, and Syria.

There is no reason for us to be at war all over the world tonight. As president, I will end those wars, and we will not start new wars. We will not send more U.S. servicemembers overseas to sacrifice their lives and to take the lives of others in our name. We can resolve these challenges peacefully and diplomatically.

TAPPER: Thank you, Congressman. Thank you, Congressman.

Governor Hickenlooper, you disagree. You've said that you're open to keeping some servicemembers in Afghanistan beyond your first term.

HICKENLOOPER: I look at it as a...

TAPPER: Please respond.

HICKENLOOPER: ... humanitarian issue. And with all due respect, you're looking at the condition of women...

WILLIAMSON: Thank you.

HICKENLOOPER: ... if we completely pull our troops out of there, you're going to see a humanitarian disaster that will startle and frighten every man, woman, and child in this country. And I don't think -- I mean, we have troops in over 400 different locations around the world. Most of them are small, they're peacekeeping, they're not greatly at risk.

We're going to have to be in Afghanistan. Look at the progress that's (ph) happened in that country. We're going to turn our backs and walk away from people that have risked their lives to help us and build a different future for Afghanistan and that part of the world?

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Governor.

Senator Warren, you want to make it U.S. policy that the U.S. will never use a nuclear weapon unless another country uses one first. Now, President Obama reportedly considered that policy, but ultimately decided against it. Why should the U.S. tie its own hands with that policy?

WARREN: Because it makes the world safer. The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively, and we need to say so to the entire world. It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands.

Our first responsibility is to keep ourselves safe. And what's happening right now with Donald Trump is they keep expanding the different ways that we have nuclear weapons, the different ways that they could be used puts us all at risk. You know, we talk about what's happening around the world. I have

three older brothers who served in the military. I see that they would do anything. Our military is the best on Earth. But we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution. We need to use our diplomatic tools, our economic tools, and if we're going to send someone into war, we better have a plan for how we're going to get them out on the other end.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator.

Governor Bullock, your response to Senator Warren's proposal to the U.S. never use a nuclear weapon first?

BULLOCK: I wouldn't want to take that off the table. I think America's strength -- we have to be able to say that. Look, never, I hope, certainly in my term or anyone else, would we really even get close to pulling that trigger.

But by the same token, America's strength -- and, look, this president has made America first as America alone. Our allies no longer trust us. Our adversaries are with us. But going from the position of strength, we should be negotiating down so there aren't nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand, at this point I wouldn't do.

LEMON: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren. your response?

WARREN: Look, we don't expand trust around the world by saying, "You know, we might be the first ones to use a nuclear weapon." That puts the entire world at risk and puts us at risk, right in the middle of this. At a time when Donald Trump is pulling out of our nuclear negotiations, expanding the opportunities for nuclear proliferation around the world, has pulled us out of the deal in Iran, and Iran is now working on its nuclear weapon, the world gets closer and closer to nuclear warfare.

BULLOCK: Senator, that...

WARREN: We have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with. We need to make that clear. We will respond if someone else does, but not first.

LEMON: Governor Bullock, please respond.

BULLOCK: Part, I agree with. But by the same token, like, we need to get back to nuclear proliferation.

WARREN: Why?

BULLOCK: But when you have folks -- de-proliferation, reducing it. But at the same time, when you actually have Korea; when you have others, I don't want to turn around and say, "Well, Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that." When so many crazy folks are getting closer to having a nuclear weapon, I don't want them to think I could strike this country and I and we as the United States of America wouldn't do a thing. Part of the strength really is the ability to deter.

LEMON: Governor Bullock...

WARREN: So...

LEMON: Governor, thank you very much.

Moving on now...

SANDERS: Could I add something to that...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Senator, please -- moving on now. As you know, to serve as president of the United States -- all of you know this -- you have to be at least 35 years old.

So Mayor Buttigieg, you just qualified. You're 37, the youngest candidate in this field. Standing next to you is the oldest candidate, Bernie Sanders, at age 77. Should voters take into consideration age when choosing a presidential candidate?

BUTTIGIEG: I don't care how old you are. I care about your vision. But I do think it matters that we have a new generation of leaders stepping up around the world, leaders like the...

(APPLAUSE)

I actually think it's good that the prime minister of New Zealand's gotten a lot of attention in Democratic debates. She's masterful. She is younger than I would be when I take office.

This is the kind of trend America might be leading, instead of following, but only if it's actually backed by the right vision. And we can have great presidents at any age. What I will say is we need the kind of vision that's going to win. We cannot have a vision that amounts to back to normal. Because the only reason we got this president is that normal didn't work. We have to be ready to take on this president and, by the way, something that hasn't been talked about as much tonight, take on his enablers in Congress.

You know, when...

(APPLAUSE)

... when David Duke -- when David Duke ran for Congress -- ran for governor, the Republican Party, 20 years ago, ran away from him. Today they are supporting naked racism in the White House, or at best silent about it. And if you are watching this at home and you are a Republican member of Congress, consider the fact that, when the sun sets on your career and they are writing your story, of all the good and bad things you did in your life, the thing you will be remembered for is whether, in this moment, with this president, you found the courage to stand up to him or you continued to put party over country.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: Thank you, Mayor.

Senator Sanders, as the senior statesman of the group, please respond to Mayor Buttigieg.

SANDERS: Well, Pete is right. It's a question of vision. That's what it is, whether you're young, whether you're old, whether you're in between. And my vision, among other things, says that if we're going to fight for health care, we don't take money from the drug companies or the insurance companies.

And I have asked all of the candidates who are running to say they will not accept money from those entities who, in my view, are going to war against the American people in terms of health care. That's a new vision.

A new vision says that we must cancel completely student debt because the younger generation in this country today, for the first time in modern American history, will have a lower standard of living than their parents.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

WARREN: I'd like to respond on that, too.

LEMON: The debate continues right after this -- please.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Thank you. The debate continues right after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic presidential debates. We have covered a lot of ground tonight. Now it is time for closing statements. You will each receive one minute.

Governor Bullock, we're going to begin with you.

BULLOCK: Thanks, Jake.

I was raised in a single-parent household, at times paycheck to paycheck. Only knew there was a governor's house in town because I delivered newspapers to it, so I've made it about four blocks in life. Worked my way through college, paid my way through law school.

But, you know, I had a chance to actually go from delivering newspapers to the governor's house as a kid to now raising our three kids in it. We got to recognize for far too many people now in America that shot no longer exists. And for far too many in this country, it never has.

I'm running for president to beat Donald Trump, win back the places we lost, and make sure that Americans know that where Washington has left them behind in the economy, in the political system, I'll be there. This isn't a choice just between center and left or about -- we don't

have to choose between what we don't want and what we can't afford. Folks want a different way. They want to believe the economy and our democracy can work for us. That's why I'm running for president.

TAPPER: Thank you. Ms. Williamson?

WILLIAMSON: Yes, our problem is not just that we need to defeat Donald Trump. We need a plan to solve institutionalized hatred, collectivized hatred, and white nationalism.

And in order to do that, we need more than political insider game and wonkiness and intellectual argument. Those things will not defeat Donald Trump. We need some radical truth-telling, not just to talk about health care, but talk about why are we so sick all the time. We need to have a serious conversation about race and what is truly owed.

Even on the subject of foreign policy, it's all about symptoms and not about cause. We need to talk about the fact that the United States has sacrificed our moral leadership. The fact that countries see us, not only domestically but internationally, with policies that simply support our corporate overlords. The fact that our national defense agenda is driven more by short-term profits for defense contractors than by genuine peace-building.

There's some corruption that is so deep, ladies and gentlemen. And until the Democratic Party is ready to speak to the deeper corruption, knowing that we ourselves sometimes because of our own corporate donations have participated, than I'm afraid those who vote for Trump will continue to vote for Trump and those who might not like Donald Trump will continue to stay home.

I want a politics that goes much deeper. I want a politics that speaks to the heart, because the only way to fight -- you keep talking about how we're going to fight Donald Trump. You can't fight dog whistles. You have to override them.

And the only way you can override them is with new voices, voices of energy that only come from the fact that America has been willing to live up to our own mistakes, atone for our mistakes, make amends for our own mistakes, love each other, love our democracy, love future generations, something emotional and psychological that will not be -- be emerging from anything on this stage. It will emerge from something I'm the one who's qualified to bring forth.

TAPPER: Congressman Delaney?

DELANEY: Thank you, Jake.

John F. Kennedy famously said we should not seek the Republican answer, we should not seek the Democratic answer, we should seek the right answer. He was right when he said it and he's right today, as well.

Donald Trump is the symptom of a disease. And the disease is divisiveness. And I'm the only one on the stage talking about curing that disease, which -- with big ideas like national service, by focusing on actually solving problems.

If we work together, we can fix health care and build infrastructure. We can invest in not just technology, but people and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa, or Detroit, Michigan, or Baltimore, Maryland. We can fight climate change and reimagine our education system. But we have to do it with real solutions, not impossible promises.

Isn't it time we had a president who was a leader in both the private sector and in government, to lead us into the future? I promise, as president, I will restore vision, unity, and leadership, and decency to this country. And that's why I'm running for president.

Thank you.

TAPPER: Congressman Ryan?

RYAN: So in a few minutes, all of the pundits are going to be looking at this debate and saying, well, who captured the left lane and who captured the center lane and who captured the moderate lane?

I hope tonight at some level I captured your imagination, your imagination about what this country could be like if we united, if we put together real policy that weren't left or right, but new and better. That's how we win the future. It's new and better.

A new and better economy, a new and better education system, a new and better health care system that focuses on prevention, an education system that focuses on the trauma of our kids.

There's not going to be a savior. Not going to be a superstar that's going to fix all this. It's going to be you and me. It's going to be us. That's how we fix this country, you and I coming together to do big things, to imagine the new country that we want by coming together, not left or right. New and better.

TAPPER: Governor Hickenlooper?

HICKENLOOPER: Thank you. And what a night. I've loved it.

I'd like to ask every American to imagine that you are facing life- threatening surgery tomorrow. Would you choose a doctor who had a track record of proven success, who'd actually done the work, or someone who had just talked about it? That's the question we're facing in this primary.

I've actually got a track record as small-business owner, as a mayor, and as a governor. We expanded health care in Colorado. We got near universal coverage. We fought climate change directly. We beat the NRA. And for the last three years, we've been the number-one economy in the country. We can wrap all that out.

I'm as progressive as anybody up on this stage, but I'm also pragmatic. And I've done the things that most of these other people are just talking about. And I know I can get results. And I can lead the people of this country towards a stronger, a healthier, and a more secure future, and defeat Donald Trump and return this country to its glory.

Thank you.

TAPPER: Senator Klobuchar?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, thank you, Detroit. To win, we have to listen to people. And out there today is Casey Jo's mom. Casey Jo was a champion high school swimmer from a small town. She got sick, went to the emergency room, and got hooked on opioids. The last thing that she said to her mom was, "Mama, it's not my fault." And she died.

A lot of Americans say the same thing every day. And that is what I will stand up for and what I will stand up against are companies like those pharma companies that got her hooked on those opioids and didn't tell the doctors or the patients what was going to happen.

We need someone that has people's back. We also need someone that can win. And I have won in these red districts. I win in the Midwest. I can win in states like Wisconsin and Michigan and Iowa.

I also will do my job without fear or favor, just like I did as a prosecutor, and get through the gridlock like I've done as a senator, where I've passed over 100 bills where I've been the lead Democrat.

And last, yes, I will govern with integrity. We have a president where people turn off their TV when they see him. Not me. I will make you proud as your president.

TAPPER: Congressman O'Rourke?

O'ROURKE: We are as divided and polarized as a country as we have ever been. And right now we have a president who uses fear to try to drive us further apart. To meet this challenge, we have to have hope in one another and a faith in a future of the country that includes everyone.

My whole life, I've been including people in the success of this country, starting a small business with high-value, high-wage, high- skilled jobs in the third poorest urban county in America, serving on City Council and holding town hall meetings every single week to remind myself who it is that I serve at the end of the day, and in Congress, being in the minority but working with Democrats and Republicans alike to deliver for my constituents and this country.

And then in Texas, this last year, traveling to every county, not writing anybody off, not taking anyone for granted, and at the end of the day, winning more votes than any Democrat had in the history of the state, winning independents for the first time in decades, and winning nearly half-a-million Republicans, and those 38 Electoral College votes in Texas are now in play and I can win them.

That is how we defeat Donald Trump in November of 2020 and how we bring this divided country together again in January of 2021. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Mayor Buttigieg?

BULLOCK: There's good news and bad news. I'm going to start with the bad news. Our country is in trouble. GDP is going up and life expectancy is going down. Think about what that means. And it's only getting tougher.

By 2030, we will have passed the point of no return on climate, there are going to be 130 million more guns on our streets. I'll be in my forties then. If you have kids, think about how old they will be then.

But here's the good news: It's not too late. We can tell our kids that before we ran out of time, just before we ran out of time, in 2020, we did what it took to deliver a climate that we didn't have to wonder if it could support us, to deliver a society where race has no bearing on your health or your wealth or your relationship with law enforcement, that we did what it took to deliver an economy where a rising tide actually does lift all boats.

We can do this, if and only if we are ready to walk away from what hasn't worked with bold action and win, not only defeat this president, but defeat his congressional allies with a defeat so big that it reunites the Republican Party with its conscience as well as bringing Democrats to office.

Join me, and let's make it happen.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Senator Warren?

WARREN: From the time I was 7 years old, I had a dream. I wanted to be a public schoolteacher. But my daddy ended up as janitor. And by the time I graduated from high school, my family didn't have the money to send me off to college. My big chance was what was then a commuter college that cost $50 a semester.

For me, what this election is all about is opportunity. Every budget, every policy that we talk about is about who's going to get opportunity. Is it going to go to the billionaires? Or is it going to go to our kids?

Right now, for decades, we have had a government that has been on the side of the rich and the powerful. It has been on the side of the wealthy. And that means it has not been on the side of everyone else, not on the side of people living on our Native American reservations, people living in inner cities, people living in small farms, and small communities across this country.

How do we beat it? We beat it by being the party of big, structural change. Give people a reason to show up and vote. And we beat it by building a grassroots movement across this country, not showing up behind closed doors with millionaires, but actually building it person by person across this country, with small-dollar donations, with volunteers, with people who show up and say, "I have a stake in this democracy."

I will not only beat Donald Trump in 2020, I'll start to make real change come 2021.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: As somebody who grew up in family that lived in a rent- controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and lived paycheck to paycheck, I'm running for president not just to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country, a guy who's a racist and a sexist and a homophobe. I'm running to transform this country and to stand with the working class of America, which for the last 45 years has been decimated.

Two days ago, I had a remarkable experience which should tell you everything you need to know about what's going on in America. I took 15 people with diabetes from Detroit a few miles into Canada, and we bought insulin for one-tenth the price being charged by the crooks who run the pharmaceutical industry in America today.

(APPLAUSE)

But it's not just the price-fixing and the corruption and the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. It's what's going on in the fossil fuel industry. It's what's going on in Wall Street. It's what's going on with the prison industrial complex.

(APPLAUSE)

We need a mass political movement. Please go to berniesanders.com. Become one of our million volunteers. Stand up and take on the greed and corruption of the ruling class of this country. Let's create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.

(APPLAUSE)

TAPPER: Candidates, thank you so much. That completes tonight's debate. Join us tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time for round two, 10 more Democratic candidates for president, right back here in Detroit.

Now stay tuned for special coverage of tonight's debate with Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo. That begins right now.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


NBC Democratic Party Presidential Debate Day 1

June 26, 2019

LESTER HOLT:

Good evening, everyone. I'm Lester Holt, and welcome to the first Democratic debate to the 2020 race for president.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE:

Hi, I'm Savannah Guthrie. And tonight, it's our first chance to see these candidates go head to head on stage together.
We'll be joined in our questioning time by our colleagues, Jose Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow.
HOLT:

Voters are trying to nail down where the candidates stand on the issues, what sets them apart, and which of these presidential hopefuls has what it takes.
GUTHRIE:

Well, now it's time to find out.
ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, round one. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan. And Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
From NBC News, "Decision 2020," the Democratic candidates debate, live from the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, Florida.
HOLT:

And good evening again, everyone. Welcome to the candidates and to our audience here in Miami here in the Arts Center and all across the country. Tonight we're going to take on many of the most pressing issues of the moment, including immigration, the situation unfolding at our border, and the treatment of migrant children.
GUTHRIE:

And we're going to talk about the tensions with Iran, climate change, and of course, we'll talk about the economy, those kitchen table issues so many Americans face every day.
DIAZ-BALART:

And some quick rules of the road. Before we begin, 20 candidates qualified for this first debate. We'll hear from 10 tonight and 10 more tomorrow. The breakdown for each was selected at random. The candidates will have 60 seconds to answer and 30 seconds for any follow-ups.
HOLT:

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

All right. So with that business out of the way, we want to get to it. And we'll start this evening with Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Senator, good evening to you.
ELIZABETH WARREN:

Thank you. Good to be here.
GUTHRIE:

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

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

Senator Klobuchar, you've called programs like free college something you might do if you were, quote, "a magic genie." To be blunt, are the government programs and benefits that some of your rivals are offering giving your voters, people, a false sense of what's actually achievable?
AMY KLOBUCHAR:

Well, first, the economy. We know that not everyone is sharing in this prosperity. And Donald Trump just sits in the White House and gloats about what's going on, when you have so many people that are having trouble affording college and having trouble affording their premiums.
So I do get concerned about paying for college for rich kids. I do. But I think my plan is a good one. And my plan would be to, first of all, make community college free and make sure that everyone else besides that top percentile gets help with their education.
My own dad and my sister got their first degrees with community college. There's many paths to success, as well as certifications.
Secondly, I'd used Pell grants. I'd double them from $6,000 to $12,000 a year and expand it to the number of families that get covered, to families that make up to $100,000.
And then the third thing I would do is make it easier for students to pay off their student loans. Because I can tell you this: If billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.
GUTHRIE:

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

This economy has got to work for everyone. And right now, we know that it isn't. And it's going to take all of us coming together to make sure that it does.
O'ROURKE:

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

Congressman O'Rourke…
O'ROURKE:

That's how we each have a voice in our democracy and make this economy work for everybody.
GUTHRIE:

Congressman, that's time, sir. I'll give you 10 seconds to answer if you want to answer the direct question. Would you support a 70 percent individual marginal tax rate? Yes, no, or pass?
O'ROURKE:

I would support a tax rate and a tax code that is fair to everyone. Tax capital at the same right...
GUTHRIE:

Seventy percent?
O'ROURKE:

... that you -- you tax ordinary income. Take that corporate tax rate up to 28 percent. You would generate the revenues...
GUTHRIE:

OK, that's time.
O'ROURKE:

... you need to pay for the programs we're talking about.
GUTHRIE:

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

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

But quickly, Senator Booker, you did say that you didn't think it was right to name names, to name companies and single them out, as Senator Warren has. Briefly, why is that?
BOOKER:

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

That's time, sir.
BOOKER:

We need to have someone that's a champion for them.
GUTHRIE:

Thank you, Senator. Senator Warren, I mentioned you...
GUTHRIE:

Are you picking winners and losers?
WARREN:

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

Thank you.
HOLT:

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

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

All right, thank you. I want to put the same question to Congresswoman Gabbard. Your thoughts on equal pay?
TULSI GABBARD:

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

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

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

Congressman Delaney, do you agree?
JOHN DELANEY:

I think we have to do real things to help American workers and the American people. Right? This is the issue that all of us hear on the campaign trail. We need to make sure everyone has a living wage. And I've called for a doubling of the earned income tax credit, raising the minimum wage, and creating paid family leave. That will create a situation where people actually have a living wage. That gets right to workers.
Then we've got to fix our public education system. It's not delivering the results our kids needs, nor is college and post high school career and technical training programs doing that. You know, I'm very different than everyone else here on the stage. Prior to being in Congress, I was an entrepreneur. I started two businesses. I created thousands of jobs. I spent my whole career helping small- to mid-sized businesses all over the country, 5,000 of them I supported. The Obama administration gave me an award for lending to disadvantaged communities.
I know how to create jobs. We need a short-term strategy which is to put money in the pockets of workers with the earned income tax credit, raising the minimum wage, and creating family leave, and then we need to have a long-term strategy to make sure this country is competitive and we're creating jobs everywhere in this country.
DIAZ-BALART:

Thank you. Governor Inslee, how would you address income inequality?
JAY INSLEE:

Well, I'm a little bit surprised. I think plans are great, but I'm a governor. And we've got to realize the people who brought us the weekend, unions, need -- are going to bring us a long overdue raise in America.
And I'm proud of standing up for unions. I've got a plan to reinvigorate collective bargaining so we can increase wages finally. I marched with the SEIU folks. It is not right that the CEO of McDonald's makes 2,100 times more than the people slinging cash at McDonald's.
And the next thing I'll do is put people to work in the jobs of the present and the future. Look it, Donald Trump is simply wrong. He says wind turbines cause cancer. We know they cause jobs. And we know that we can put millions of people to work in the clean energy jobs of the future.
IBEW members, machinists, we're doing it in my state today. And then we can do what America always does: lead the world and invent the future and put people to work. That's what we're going to do...
DIAZ-BALART:

So, Congressman Ryan, President Trump, and you just referred to him, promise of manufacturing jobs were all coming back to places like your home state of Ohio. Can you make that same promise?
TIM RYAN:

Yes, I believe you can, but, first, let's say the president came, he said don't sell your house to people in Youngstown, Ohio. And then his administration just in the last two years, we lost $4,000 -- 4,000 jobs at a General Motors facility. That rippled throughout our community. General Motors got a tax cut. General Motors got a bailout. And then they have the audacity to move a new car that they're going to produce to Mexico.
I've had family members that have to unbolt a machine from the factory floor, put it in a box, and ship it to China. My area where I come from in northeast Ohio, this issue we're talking about here, it's been going on 40 years. This is not a new phenomenon in the United States of America.
The bottom 60 percent haven't seen a raise since 1980. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent control 90 percent of the wealth. We need an industrial policy saying we're going to dominate building electric vehicles, there's going to be 30 million made in the next 10 years. I want half of them made in the United States. I want to dominate the solar industry...
DIAZ-BALART:

Thank you.
RYAN:

... and manufacture those here in the United States.
DIAZ-BALART:

Senator Warren, are they coming back? Are these jobs coming back?
WARREN:

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

Thank you.
WARREN:

We can do this.
HOLT:

All right. We're going to turn to the issue of health care right now and really try to understand where there may or may not be daylight between you. Many people watching at home have health insurance coverage through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? Just a show of hands, start off with.
All right, well, Senator Klobuchar, let me put the question to you. You're one of the Democrats who wants to keep private insurance in addition to a government health care plan. Why is an incremental approach in your view better than a sweeping overhaul?
KLOBUCHAR:

Well, I think it's a bold approach. It's something that Barack Obama wanted to do when we were working on the Affordable Care Act. And that is a public option. I am just simply concerned about kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years, which is exactly what this bill says. So let me go on beyond that. There is a much bigger issue in addition to that, and that is pharmaceuticals. The president literally went on TV, on Fox, and said that people's heads would spin when they see how much he would bring down pharmaceutical prices. Instead, 2,500 drugs have gone up in double-digits since he came into office. Instead, he gave $100 billion in giveaways to the pharma companies.
For the rest of us, for the rest of America, that's what we call at home all foam and no beer. We got nothing out of it.
And so my proposal is to do something about pharma, to take them on, to allow negotiation under Medicare, to bring in less expensive drugs from other countries. And pharma thinks they own Washington? Well, they don't own me.
HOLT:

Your time is up. Thank you. Senator Warren, you signed on to Bernie Sanders' Medicare for all plan. It would put essentially everybody on Medicare and then eliminate private plans that offer similar coverage. Is that the plan or path that you would pursue as president?
WARREN:

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

Congressman O'Rourke, when you ran for Senate, you also praised a bill that would replace private insurance. This year, you're saying you're no longer sure. Can you explain why?
O'ROURKE:

My goal is to ensure that every American is well enough to live to their full potential because they have health care. In Laredo, Texas, I met a young man, 27 years old, told me that he'd been to a doctor once in his life. And on that visit, he was told he had diabetes, he was told he had glaucoma, and he was told untreated -- because he doesn't have health care -- he'll be dead before the age of 40.
So getting to guaranteed, high-quality, universal health care as quickly and surely as possible has to be our goal. The ability to afford your prescriptions and go to a primary care provider, to be -- the ability to see a mental health care provider. In Texas, the single largest provider of mental health care services is the county jail system today. And health care also has to mean that every woman can make her own decisions about her own body and has access to the care that makes that possible.
Our plan says that if you're uninsured, we enroll you in Medicare. If you're insufficiently insured, you can't afford your premiums, we enroll you in Medicare. But if you're a member of a union that negotiated for a health care plan that you like because it works for you and your family, you're able to keep it.
HOLT:

Your time is up.
O'ROURKE:

We preserve choice by making sure everybody has care.
HOLT:

Your time is up, Congressman, but I do want to ask a follow-up on this. Just to be very clear -- I'll give you 10 seconds -- would you replace private insurance?
O'ROURKE:

No. I think the choice is fundamental to our ability to get everybody cared for...
DE BLASIO:

Wait, wait, wait. Congressman O'Rourke, Congressman O'Rourke, private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans when you talk about the co-pays, the deductibles, the premiums, the out of pocket expenses. It's not working. How can you defend a system that's not working?
O'ROURKE:

That's right. So for those for whom it's not working, they can choose Medicare. For the...
DE BLASIO:

Congressman...
O'ROURKE:

... who I listen to...
DE BLASIO:

... you've got to start by acknowledging the system is not working for people.
O'ROURKE:

... they're able to keep them.
DE BLASIO:

Why are you defending private insurance to begin with?
DELANEY:

... 100 million Americans say they like their private health insurance, by the way. It should be noted that 100 million Americans -- I mean, I think we should be the party that keeps what's working and fixes what's broken.
I mean, doesn't that make sense? I mean, we should give everyone in this country health care as a basic human right for free, full stop. But we should also give them the option to buy private insurance. Why do we have to stand for taking away something from people? And also it's bad policy. If you go to every hospital in this country and you ask them one question, which is how would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate? Every single hospital administrator said they would close.
And the Medicare for all bill requires payments to stay at current Medicare rates. So to some extent, we're supporting a bill that will have every hospital closing. I mean, my dad was a union electrician, right? I actually grew up in a working-class family. He loved the health care that the IBEW gave him. And I just always think about my dad in anything I would do from a policy perspective. He'd look at me and he'd say, good job, John, for getting health care for every American. But why are you taking my health care away?
HOLT:

I've let this -- I've let this play out a little bit because I'm fascinated to hear the daylight between you. Congresswoman Gabbard, why don't you weigh in here?
GABBARD:

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

Senator...
GABBARD:

... if you -- if you look at other countries in the world who have universal health care, every one of them has some form of a role of private insurance, so I think that's what we've got to look at, taking the best of these ideas, but making sure unequivocally that no sick American goes without getting the care that they need, regardless of how much or little money they have in their pocket.
HOLT:

Congresswoman, Congresswoman, thanks.
HOLT:

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

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

Your time is up, Senator.
BOOKER:

... which is every American having health care.
HOLT:

Time is up, Senator. I want to...
HOLT:

I want to move back, if I can, to Congresswoman Gabbard...
WARREN:

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

It's time for us to make families come first.
INSLEE:

It should not be an option in the United States of America for any insurance company to deny a woman coverage for their exercise of their right of choice.
And I am the only candidate here who has passed a law protecting a woman's right of reproductive health in health insurance, and I'm the only candidate who has passed a public option. And I respect everybody's goals and plans here, but we do have one candidate that's actually advanced the ball. And we've got to have access for everyone. I've done it as a public option.
HOLT:

Your time...
HOLT:

Senator Klobuchar, I want to get you...
UNKNOWN:

That's a false claim.
HOLT:

I am fascinated by this. Senator -- Senator Klobuchar?
KLOBUCHAR:

I just want to say, there's three women up here that have fought pretty hard for a woman's right to choose. I'll start with that.
And then I just want to make very clear, I think we share the goal of universal health care. And the idea I put out there, the public option, which the governor was just talking about, this idea is that you use Medicare or Medicaid without any insurance companies involved, you can do it either way. And the estimates are 13 million people would see a reduction in their premiums, 12 more million people would get covered.
So I think it is a beginning and the way you start and the way you move to universal health care.
HOLT:

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

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

Senator Warren, would you put limits on -- any limits on abortion?
WARREN:

I would make certain that every woman has access to the full range of reproductive health care services, and that includes birth control, it includes abortion, it includes everything for a woman.
And I want to add on that. It's not enough for us to expect the courts to protect us. Forty-seven years ago, Roe v. Wade was decided, and we've all looked to the courts all that time, as state after state has undermined Roe, has put in exceptions, has come right up to the edge of taking away protections...
HOLT:

Your time is up, Senator.
WARREN:

We now have an America where most people support Roe v. Wade. We need to make that a federal law.
HOLT:

Senator, thank you. Jose?
DIAZ-BALART:

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

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

Congressman O'Rourke, how would you deal with it?
O'ROURKE:

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

I know immigration is on a lot of your minds here. And I want to talk about it. We're going to talk about it in a moment. We need to take a break. We'll be back with more from Miami after this.
DIAZ-BALART:

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

Thank you very much, Jose. I'm very proud that in April I became the first candidate to put forward a comprehensive immigration plan. And we saw those images, watching that image of Oscar and his daughter, Valeria, is heartbreaking. It should also piss us all off.
If I were president today -- and it should spur us to action. If I were president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid of Trump's zero-tolerance policy, the remain in Mexico policy, and the metering policy -- this metering policy is basically what prompted Oscar and Valeria to make that risky swim across the river. They had been playing games with people who are coming and trying to seek asylum at our ports of entry. Oscar and Valeria went to a port of entry, and then they were denied the ability to make an asylum claim, so they got frustrated and they tried to cross the river, and they died because of that.
DIAZ-BALART:

On day one. Sorry, I'm just going to ask...
CASTRO:

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

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

Yes. On day one, I will make sure that, number one, we end the ICE policies and the Customs and Border Policies that are violating the human rights. When people come to this country, they do not leave their human rights at the border.
Number two... I will make sure that we reinstate DACA, that we reinstate pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients, and to make sure that people that are here on temporary protective status can stay and remain here.
And then, finally, we need to make sure that we address the issues that made Oscar and Valeria come in the first place, by making major investments in the Northern Triangle, not like this president is doing, by ripping away the resources we need to actually solve this problem. We cannot surrender our values and think that we're going to get border security. We actually will lose security and our values. We must fight for both.
CASTRO:

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

Thank you.
(UNKNOWN):

Jose...
CASTRO:

And so I want to challenge every single candidate on this stage to support the repeal of Section 1325.
DIAZ-BALART:

Thirty seconds.
BOOKER:

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

We have to change the discussion about in this country...
DIAZ-BALART:

Mayor?
DE BLASIO:

... because look at the bottom line here. Those tragic -- that tragic photo of those -- that parent, that child -- and I'm saying this as a father. Every American should feel that in their heart, every American should say that is not America, those are not our values.
But we have to get under the skin of why we have this crisis in our system, because we're not being honest about the division that's been fomented in this country. The way that American citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery and their pain and their challenges, for all the American citizens out there who feel you're falling behind or feel the American dream is not working for you, the immigrants didn't do that to you.
(APPLAUSE) The big corporations did that to you. The 1 percent did that to you. We need to be the party of working people, and that includes a party of immigrants. But first we have to tell working people in America who are hurting that we're going to be on their side every single time against those big corporation who created this mess to begin with. And remind people we're all in this together.
If we don't change that debate, that politics that's holding us back, we won't get all these reforms people are talking about. That's what we need to do as Democrats.
DIAZ-BALART:

If I could, I'm sorry. What would you do, Congressman, day one at the White House??
O'ROURKE:

We would not turn back Valeria and her father, Oscar. We would accept them into this country and follow our own asylum laws. We would not build walls. We would not put kids in cages. In fact, we would spare no expense to reunite the families that have been separated already... and we would not criminally prosecute any family who is fleeing violence and persecution...
CASTRO:

... repeal of Section 1325.
O'ROURKE:

We would make sure...
DIAZ-BALART:

Secretary, let him finish. And I will give you... But let him finish. Let him finish.
O'ROURKE:

We would not detain any family fleeing violence, in fact, fleeing the deadliest countries on the face of the planet today. We would implement a family case management program so they could be cared for in the community at a fraction of the cost. And then we would rewrite our immigration laws in our own image, free Dreamers forever from any fear of deportation by making them U.S. citizens here in this country, invest in solutions in Central America, work with regional stakeholders so there's no reason to make that 2,000 mile journey to this country.
DIAZ-BALART:

Thank you. Secretary, I'll give you 30 seconds.
CASTRO:

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

I just think it's a mistake, Beto. I think it's a mistake. And I think that -- that if you truly want to change the system, that we've got to repeal that section. If not...
DIAZ-BALART:

Thank you.
CASTRO:

... then it might as well be the same policy.
O'ROURKE:

Let me respond to this very briefly. As a member of a Congress, I helped to introduce legislation that would ensure that we don't criminalize those who are seeking asylum and refuge in this country.
CASTRO:

I'm not talking about -- I'm not talking about the ones that are seeking asylum.
O'ROURKE:

If you're fleeing -- if you're fleeing desperation, then I want to make sure...
CASTRO:

I'm talking about -- I'm talking about everybody else.
O'ROURKE:

... I want to make sure you are treated with respect.
CASTRO:

I'm still talking about everybody else.
O'ROURKE:

But you're looking at just one small part of this. I'm talking about a comprehensive rewrite of our immigration laws.
CASTRO:

That's not true.
O'ROURKE:

And if you do that, I don't think it's asking too much for people to follow our laws when they come to this country.
CASTRO:

That's actually not true. I'm talking about millions of folks -- a lot of folks that are coming are not seeking asylum. A lot of them are undocumented immigrants, right? And you said recently that the reason you didn't want to repeal Section 1325 was because you were concerned about human trafficking and drug trafficking.
But let me tell you what: Section 18, title 18 of the U.S. code, title 21 and title 22, already cover human trafficking.
I think that you should do your homework on this issue. If you did your homework on this issue, you would know that we should repeal this section.
DIAZ-BALART:

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

Can we talk about the conditions about why people are coming here?
DIAZ-BALART:

Let's -- Lester -- Lester -- I'm sorry, Savannah -- I know, it's just -- we could go on.
DELANEY:

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

You'll get your chance.
DELANEY:

... and what we're going to do to actually make a difference in these countries.
GUTHRIE:

Congressman, you'll get your chance. Let's continue the discussion.
Senator Klobuchar...
KLOBUCHAR:

Yes.
GUTHRIE:

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

Immigrants, they do not diminish America. They are America. And I am happy to look at his proposal. But I do think you want to make sure that you have provisions in place that allow you to go after traffickers and allow you to go after people who are violating the law.
What I really think we need to step back and talk about is the economic imperative here. And that is that 70 of our Fortune 500 companies are headed by people that came from other countries. Twenty-five percent of our U.S. Nobel laureates were born in other countries.
We have a situation right now where we need workers in our fields and in our factories. We need them to start small businesses. We need their ideas.
And this president has literally gone backwards at a time when our economy needs immigrants. And so my proposal is to look at that 2013 bill that passed the Senate with Republican support, to upgrade that bill, to make it as good as possible and get it done. It brings the debt down by $158 billion.
GUTHRIE:

Senator...
KLOBUCHAR:

It gives a path for citizenship for citizen -- for people who can become citizens. And it will be so much better for our economy in America.
GUTHRIE:

Senator, that's time. Thank you. Congressman Ryan, same question. Should it be a crime to illegally cross the border? Or should it be a civil offense only?
RYAN:

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

Senator Booker -- a lot of people -- they asked the question, if you're president on day one, what will you do with the fact that you will have families here? There's been a lot of talk about what you'll do in the first 100 days about legislation. What will you actually do with these families? How will you care for them? Will they be detained or will they not be?
BOOKER:

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

All right, Senator, thank you. Let me go to Governor Inslee on this. What would you do on day one? Same question I just asked Cory Booker. I have yet to hear an answer from anyone on this stage.
INSLEE:

There is no reason...
GUTHRIE:

What will you do with the families that will be here?
INSLEE:

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

We're going to switch to another topic now. We've got a lot to get to. Let's...
DELANEY:

My grandfather was actually separated from his family when he came to this country.
HOLT:

We're going to -- we're going to talk about Iran right now, because we're working against the clock. Tankers have been attacked. A U.S. drone has been shot down. There have been disturbing threats issued by both the U.S. and Iranian leadership.
I'd like if you can, just for a moment, to put aside how you think we may have gotten here, but what I want to know is, how do you dial it back? So a show of hands. Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated? That's every -- well, Senator Booker, why not?
BOOKER:

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

All right, Senator Klobuchar, I'd like to ask you to answer that question, because you've said -- you've said you would negotiate yourself back into the Iranian agreement. Can you argue that that nuclear pact as it was ratified was a good deal?
(UNKNOWN):

Yes, it was.
KLOBUCHAR:

It was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment. I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that's something we could negotiate, to get back in the deal.
But the point is, Donald Trump told us when he got out of it that he was going to give us a better deal. Those were his words. And now we are a month away from the Iranians, who claim now that they're going blow the caps on enriching uranium. And the Iranians have told us this.
And so that's where we are now. He has made us less safe than we were when he became president. So what I would do is negotiate us back into that agreement, is stand with our allies, and not give unlimited leverage to China and Russia, which is what he has done.
And then, finally, I would make sure that if there is any possibility of a conflict -- and we're having this debate in Congress right now -- that he comes to Congress for an authorization of military force. I would do that.
And this president is literally every single day 10 minutes away from going to war, one tweet away from going to war. And I don't think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at 5:00 in the morning, which is what he does.
HOLT:

Congresswoman Gabbard, Congresswoman Gabbard, you've said you would sign back on to the 2015 deal. Would you -- would you insist, though, that it address Iran's support for Hezbollah?
GABBARD:

Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran.
I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran. We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it.
It was an imperfect deal. There are issues, like their missile development, that needs to be addressed. We can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war.
HOLT:

Your time is up. And this is a very quick follow-up. But what would your red line be that would -- for military action against Iran?
GABBARD:

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

Hey, but wait a minute...
GUTHRIE:

... we will have much more -- Mayor De Blasio, we'll have more. The commercial is coming, when we'll continue our questioning next with Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow. Stick around. We'll have a lot more with some very anxious candidates, just ahead.
HOLT:

And welcome back, everyone, to the first Democratic presidential debate from the Arsht Center in Miami.
GUTHRIE:

And as we continue the questioning, time to get more members of our team in the mix.
DIAZ-BALART:

So right now, let's turn it over to Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow. Take it away.
MADDOW:

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

We can do that. (LAUGHTER) By the way, hi, Rachel.
MADDOW:

Hi, Chuck.
TODD:

How are you doing?
MADDOW:

Good.
TODD:

And we've got a lot of ground to cover. We're going to be talking about guns and climate here up top. A whole lot more in this hour. Obviously, because of the size of the field, not every person will be able to weigh in on everything, but over the course of this next hour, we will hear from everyone, I promise, everybody.
TODD:

And to begin with, we're going to go with guns, and, Senator Warren, I want to start with you. We are less than 50 miles from Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a school shooting last year and where there has been significant activism on gun violence ever since. Many of you are calling for a restoration of an assault weapons ban, but even if implemented, there will still be hundreds of millions of guns in this country. Should there be a role for the federal government?
(UNKNOWN):

Their mikes are on.
TODD:

Everybody's mikes are on. I think we have a -- I heard that, too. That's OK. I think we had a little mike issue in the back.
MADDOW:

Control room, we've got...
TODD:

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

What's happening?
TODD:

We are hearing our colleague's audio. If the control room could turn off the mikes...
TODD:

Yeah, if the control room could turn off the mikes of our previous moderators, we will...
MADDOW:

You know, we've prepared for everything.
TODD:

Guess what, guys? We are going to take a quick break. We're going to get this technical situation fixed. We will be right back.
TODD:

We believe we have the technical difficulties fixed.
MADDOW:

Never say that.
TODD:

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

So, in this period of time that I have been running for president, I've had more than 100 town halls. I've taken more than 2,000 unfiltered questions. And the single hardest questions I've gotten, I got one from a little boy and I got one from a little girl, and that is to say, when you're president, how are you going to keep us safe?
That's our responsibility as adults. Seven children will die today from gun violence, children and teenagers. And they won't just die in mass shootings. They'll die on sidewalks, they'll die in playgrounds, they'll die in people's backyards.
Gun violence is a national health emergency in this country. And we need to treat it like that.
So what can we do? We can do the things that are sensible. We can do the universal background checks. We can ban the weapons of war. But we can also double down on the research and find out what really works, where it is that we can make the differences at the margins that will keep our children safe. We need to treat this like the virus that's killing our children.
TODD:

OK, thank you, Senator Warren. You didn't address -- do you think the federal government needs to go and figure out a way to get the guns that are already out there?
WARREN:

What I think we need to do is we need to treat it like a serious research problem, which we have not done. You know, guns in the hands of a collector who's had them for decades, who's never fired them, who takes safety seriously, that's very different from guns that are sold and turned over quickly.
We can't treat this as an across-the-board problem. We have to treat it like a public health emergency. That means bring data to bear and it means make real change in this country, whether it's politically popular or not.
TODD:

Thank you, Senator. Senator Booker, you have a program...
WARREN:

We need to fight for our children.
TODD:

Senator Booker, you have a federal government buyback program in your plan. How is that going to work?
BOOKER:

Well, first of all, I want to say, my colleague and I both have been hearing this on the campaign trail. But what's even worse is I hear gunshots in my neighborhood. I think I'm the only one -- I hope I'm the only one on this panel here that had seven people shot in their neighborhood just last week. Someone I knew, Shahad Smith, was killed with an assault rifle at the top of my block last year.
For millions of Americans, this is not a policy issue. This is an urgency. And for those that have not been directly affected, they're tired of living in country where their kids go to school to learn about reading, writing, and arithmetic, and how to deal with an active shooter in their school.
This is something that I'm tired of. And I'm tired of hearing people all, they have to offer is thoughts and prayers.
In my faith, people say faith without works is dead. So we will find a way. But the reason we have a problem right now is we've let the corporate gun lobby frame this debate. It is time that we have bold actions and a bold agenda. I will get that done as president of the United States because this is not about policy. This is personal.
TODD:

Thank you, Senator Booker.
MADDOW:

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

You know, Rachel, I am the dad of a 10-year-old girl, Carina, who's here tonight. And the worst thing is knowing that your child might be worried about what could happen at school, a place that's supposed to be safe.
The answer to your question is no. We don't have to accept that. And I believe that, on January 20, 2021, at 12:01 p.m., we're going to have a Democratic president, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate.
And the activists of Parkland, folks from Moms Demand who have risen up across the United States and inspired so many people... you know, we may not have seen yet legislative action, but we're getting closer. The House took a vote. In the Senate, the question often is, if the decision is between 60 votes, a filibuster, or passing commonsense gun reform, I'm going to choose commonsense gun reform. So I believe that we're going to be able to get that done in 2021.
TODD:

Secretary Castro, thank you.
RYAN:

Rachel, I have something to add to this briefly, because...
MADDOW:

We'll give you -- it'll be 30 seconds for a follow-up on that question -- on that answer from Secretary Castro. Congressman Ryan?
RYAN:

You're talking about in the schools. These kids are traumatized. I support all the gun reforms here. We need to start dealing with the trauma that our kids have. We need trauma-based care in every school. We need social and emotional learning in every school.
Ninety percent of the shooters who do school shootings come from the school they're in, and 73 percent of them feel shamed, traumatized, or bullied. We need to make sure that these kids feel connected to the school. That means a mental health counselor in every single school in the United States. We need to start playing offense. If our kids are so traumatized that they're getting a gun and going into our schools, we're doing something wrong, too, and we need reform around trauma-based care.
MADDOW:

Thank you, Congressman Ryan.
TODD:

Congressman O'Rourke, you're a Texan who's campaigned -- you campaigned all over the state in 2018 in the most conservative parts there. What do you tell a gun owner who may agree with you on everything else, OK, but says, you know what, the Democrats, if I vote for them in there, they're going to take my gun away, and even though I agree with you on all these other issues -- how do you have that conversation?
O'ROURKE:

Here's how we have that conversation in Texas. I shared with them what I learned from those students who survived the Santa Fe high school shooting, a young student named Bree. Her friend, Marcel, who survived another shooting, the mother of a victim who lost her life, Rhonda Hart, they talked about universal background checks, where you close every loophole. We know that they save lives.
We talked about ending the sales of assault weapons into our communities. Those weapons of war were designed to kill people as effectively and as efficiently as possible. They should belong on the battlefield and not in our communities.
Red flag laws, so if someone poses a danger to themselves or to someone else, they're stopped before it's too late. And what I found in each one of those 254 counties is that Democrats and independents and Republicans, gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike, agreed. But this effort must be led by the young people that you referenced at the beginning of this issue. Those students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas led the charge here in Florida, and they've been able to change those laws. They're making our democracy work, ensuring that our values and our interests and our priorities are reflected in the laws that we pass.
(CROSSTALK) TODD:

Thank you, Congressman O'Rourke.
Hang on. Let me give 30 seconds, Senator Klobuchar, the iron range. I'm curious. Gun confiscation, right? If the government is buying back, how do you not have that conversation?
KLOBUCHAR:

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

All right, Senator, thank you.
KLOBUCHAR:

... it's the best thing that ever happened. We need to get...
TODD:

Senator, thank you. Senator, thank you.
MADDOW:

Senator Booker, let me go to you on another matter actually.
TODD:

We've got to...
MADDOW:

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

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

Mayor De Blasio...
DELANEY:

Rachel, we have to actually...
MADDOW:

Congressman Delaney, you'll have some time in a moment on this issue.
DELANEY:

This issue is related...
MADDOW:

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

Rachel, I am chief executive of the nation's largest city, and I also wanted to just say something quick on the gun issue and come to your question.
Look, I run the largest police force in America, too, and if we're going to stop these shootings, we want to get these guns off the street, we have to have a very different relationship between our police and our community.
I also want to say there's something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running in this race, and that is, for the last 21 years, I have been raising a black son in America. And I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over this country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police, too, as we saw recently in Indiana.
So we need to have a different conversation in this country about guns, but also a different conversation about policing that brings policing community together. We've done that in New York City and we've driven down crime while we've done it. But to your question about Mitch McConnell, there is a political solution that we have to come to grips with. If the Democratic Party would stop acting like the party of the elites and be the party of working people again, and go into states, including red states, to convince people we're on their side, we can put pressure on their senators to actually have to vote for the nominees that are put forward...
MADDOW:

That's time.
TODD:

Senator Warren -- I'm going to get you -- I will get you 30 seconds, I promise. Let me get -- let me get this question. We're trying. I know you guys -- we've got other issues we're trying to get to, including a big one coming up in a minute. But, Senator Warren, I want to continue on the Mitch McConnell thing, because you have a lot of ambitious plans.
WARREN:

I do.
TODD:

You have a plan for that. OK. We talked about the Supreme Court. Do you have a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell if you don't beat him in the Senate, if he's still sitting there as the Senate majority leader? It's very plausible you be elected president with a Republican Senate. Do you have a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell?
WARREN:

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

I'm going to get to -- I'm going to get a couple of you in here.
I'm going to get a couple of you in here. Thirty seconds, Congressman Delaney, you seem to believe you can do everything in a bipartisan manner. Mitch McConnell doesn't operate that way. He operates differently. Why do you think he is going to conform to your style?
DELANEY:

I think we need to get things done. That's why I believe we need to operate in a bipartisan manner.
Listen, I will sign into law bills that come to the White House that are passed on a party-line basis, absolutely. But all the big transformative things we've ever done in this country's history have happened when huge majorities of the American people get behind them, which is why we need real solutions, not impossible promises.
We need to put forth ideas that work, whether it's on health care, creating universal health care so that every American gets health care, but not running on making private insurance illegal.
The gun issue is related. The gun safety issue is related, because I can't tell you how many times I've been with folks in Western Maryland, and they've said to me, you know, Democrats don't do anything for us, Republicans don't do anything for us. You fight all the time, so they vote on that single issue.
TODD:

OK.
DELANEY:

If we become the party of getting things done for the American people, with real solutions and not impossible promises, we'll be able to get all these things done.
TODD:

I promised...
TODD:

Senator Booker, 30 seconds. You -- how do you deal with Mitch? You've been in the Senate. You can't get bills on the floor right now with Mitch McConnell. Presidents can't do it. Is President Booker going to get his bills on the floor with Senator McConnell?
BOOKER:

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

Thank you, Senator Booker. Rachel has got the next question.
MADDOW:

We are going to -- hold on. Governor, you're going to be happy with where we go.
TODD:

Just give us a second.
MADDOW:

Governor Inslee, the next question is to you. You got me?
INSLEE:

Rachel.
MADDOW:

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

Yes, first by taking away the filibuster from Mitch McConnell, to start with. We have to do that.
Look it, look it, we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last that can do something it. Our towns are burning. Our fields are flooding. Miami is inundated.
And we have to understand, this is a climate crisis, an emergency (OFF-MIKE) this is our last chance in the administration, next one, to do something about it. And we need to do what I've done in my state. We've passed a 100 percent clean electrical grid bill. We now have a vision statement. And my plan has been called the gold standard of putting people to work.
But the most important thing on this, in the biggest decision for the American public is, who is going to make this the first priority? And I am the candidate and the only one who's saying this has to be the top priority of the United States, the organizing principle to mobilize the United States, so that we can do what we've always done, lead the world and invent the future and put 8 million people to work. That's what we're going to do.
MADDOW:

Governor Inslee, thank you.
TODD:

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

I think you've got to bring everybody in to the decisions and the solutions to the challenges that we face. That's why we're traveling everywhere, listening to everyone.
We were in Pacific Junction, a town that had never meaningly flooded before, just up against the Missouri River in Iowa. And every home in that community had flooded. There were farms just outside of Pacific Junction that were effectively lakes, those farmers already underwater in debt, their markets closed to them by a trade war under this administration, and now they don't know what to do.
We in our administration are going fund resiliency in those communities, in Miami, in Houston, Texas, those places that are on the front lines of climate change today. We're going to mobilize $5 trillion in this economy over the next 10 years. We're going to free ourselves from a dependence on fossil fuels, and we're going to put farmers and ranchers in the driver's seat, renewable and sustainable agriculture, to make sure that we capture more carbon out of the air and keep more of it in the soil, paying farmers for the environmental services that they want to provide.
If all of us does all that we can, then we're going to be able to keep this planet from warming another 2 degrees Celsius, and ensure that we match what this country can do and live up to our promise and our potential.
TODD:

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

Well, I don't think that that represents the vast majority of the issue. In fact, you know, my first visit after I announced my candidacy wasn't to Iowa or New Hampshire. It was to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Because people should know that if I'm elected president, everybody will count. And, you know, I'm one of the few candidates in this race with executive experience, with a track record of getting things done. When I was mayor of San Antonio, we moved our local public utility, we began to shift it from coal-fired plants to solar and other renewables, and also created more than 800 jobs doing that.
And when I was HUD secretary, we worked on the National Disaster Resilience Competition to invest in communities that were trying to rebuild from natural disasters in a sustainable way. That's the way that we're going to help make sure that we're all safer in the years to come and that we combat climate change.
TODD:

Thank you.
CASTRO:

And if I'm elected president, the first thing that I would do, like Senator Klobuchar also has said, is sign an executive order recommitting us to the Paris Climate Accord so that we lead again...
TODD:

All right. Congressman Ryan, I got a full question for you here, which is simply this. There are -- a lot of the climate plans include pricing carbon, taxing carbon in some way. This type of proposal has been tried in a few places, whether it's Washington state where voters voted it down, you've had the Yellow Vest Movement, we had in Australia one party get rejected out of fear of the cost of climate change sort of being put on the backs of the consumer. If pricing carbon is just politically impossible, how do we pay for climate mitigation?
RYAN:

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

Thank you, Congressman Ryan.
RYAN:

All I'm saying here...
TODD:

Thank you, Congressman Ryan.
CASTRO:

So, Chuck, Chuck...
RYAN:

All I'm saying is here, if we don't address that fundamental problem with our connection to workers -- white, black, brown, gay, straight -- working-class people...
TODD:

Thank you, Congressman.
RYAN:

... none of this is going to get done, Chuck.
TODD:

Thank you very much.
(UNKNOWN):

Chuck...
TODD:

I want to you -- we're going to keep moving. Congressman Delaney, I'm going to get to you...
DELANEY:

This is -- I introduced the only bipartisan carbon tax bill...
TODD:

Thirty seconds -- all right, 30 seconds, go.
DELANEY:

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

Thank you, Congressman.
DELANEY:

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

Thank you. Congressman, thank you.
DELANEY:

Because Republicans in Florida, they actually care about this issue.
TODD:

OK. Thank you very much.
DELANEY:

This has got to be our way forward if we're actually serious about this issue.
TODD:

Thank you.
Congresswoman Gabbard, we're going to move here. One of the first things you did after launching your campaign was to issue an apology to the LGBT community about your past stances and statements on gay rights. After the Trump administration's rollbacks of civil rights protections for many in that community, why should voters in that community or voters that care about this issue in general trust you now?
GABBARD:

Let me say that there is no one in our government at any level who has the right to tell any American who they should be allowed to love or who they should be allowed to marry.
My record in Congress for over six years shows my commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality. I serve on the Equality Caucus and recently voted for passage of the Equality Act.
Maybe many people in this country can relate to the fact that I grew up in a socially conservative home, held views when I was very young that I no longer hold today.
I've served with LGBTQ servicemembers, both in training and deployed downrange. I know that they would give their life for me and I would give my life for them. It is this commitment that I'll carry through as president of the United States, recognizing that there are still people who are facing discrimination in the workplace, still people who are unable to find a home for their families. It is this kind of discrimination that we need to address.
BOOKER:

But it's not enough.
TODD:

Thank you, Congresswoman Gabbard.
BOOKER:

It's not enough. If I can add to this, it's very important.
TODD:

Thirty seconds, Senator.
BOOKER:

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

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

My life and my career and my work in the Senate has been about economic opportunity. And to me, this means better childcare for everyone in this country. And when you want an economy that works, you need to have retirement that works, you need to have public schools that work. And you also need to make sure that those communities are able to get those jobs of the future, the STEM jobs.
In fact, Donald Trump, one of the first bills that he signed of the 34 he signed where I was the lead Democrat -- OK, that's a first up here -- was one that was about that, making sure minority community members could share in those jobs.
So to me, this is about a few things. It's about an African-American woman that goes to a hospital in New Orleans, says her hands are swollen, and then doctor ignores her and her baby dies. It's about the fact that African-American women make 61 cents for every dollar a white man makes.
So in short, we need, one -- and I will do this in my first 100 days as president -- we will work to make sure everyone can vote at this table, everyone can vote in this country...
MADDOW:

That's time, Senator.
KLOBUCHAR:

... and we will also go to the next step of criminal justice reform. Senator Booker and I worked on that First Step Act, but we should go to the second step act, which is to help all our communities across our country.
MADDOW:

Senator, thank you very much. Thirty-second follow-up to you, Secretary Castro. This is a 70 percent Latino city here in Miami. You are the only Latino Democrat who is running here this year in the presidential race.
Is that enough of an answer, what Senator Klobuchar is describing there, an economic justice agenda? Is that enough to mobilize Latino voters to stand with the Democratic Party in a big way?
CASTRO:

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

Secretary Castro, thank you.
TODD:

Let me go over to Lester Holt, who's got a question, I believe a viewer question.
HOLT:

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

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

But what about the War Powers Act?
MADDOW:

Congressman O'Rourke, thank you.
DE BLASIO:

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

I'm going to pick up -- I want to pick up this point, and I want to put this to Congressman Ryan. Today the Taliban claimed responsibility for killing two American servicemembers in Afghanistan. Leaders as disparate as President Obama and President Trump have both said that they want to end U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, but it isn't over for America. Why isn't it over? Why can't presidents of very different parties and very different temperaments get us out of there? And how could you?
RYAN:

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

Congresswoman Gabbard, I'm going to give you 30 seconds, actually, to jump off what he said. He described engagement as the problem.
GABBARD:

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

Listen, I'm going to go down the line -- I'm going to go down -- I'm going to go down -- I'm going to go down the line here. You know what, you felt -- you felt like she was rebutting you. Get 30 seconds, go.
RYAN:

Thank you. You're a very good man. I appreciate that.
TODD:

Fair enough. I hear what you're saying. She invoked your name.
RYAN:

I would just say, I don't want to be engaged. I wish we were spending this money in places that I've represented that have been completely forgotten and we were rebuilding. But the reality of it is, if the United States isn't engaged, the Taliban will grow. And they will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts. We have got to have some presence there...
GABBARD:

The Taliban was there long before we came in. They're going to be there long before we leave.
RYAN:

And they were -- yeah, exactly. Well, we were.
GABBARD:

We cannot keep U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan thinking that we're going to somehow squash this Taliban that's been there, that every other country that's tried has failed.
RYAN:

I didn't say -- I didn't say squash them. I didn't say squash them. When we weren't in there, they started flying planes into our buildings. So I'm just saying right now we have an obligation...
GABBARD:

The Taliban didn't attack us on 9/11. Al Qaida did.
RYAN:

Well, I -- I understand...
GABBARD:

Al Qaida attacked us on 9/11. That's why I and so many other people joined the military, to go after Al Qaida, not the Taliban.
RYAN:

I understand that. The Taliban...
TODD:

Go ahead, Congressman. Finish up, 10 seconds.
RYAN:

The Taliban was protecting those people who were plotting against us. All I'm saying is, if we want to go into elections, and we want to say that we've got to withdraw from the world, that's what President Trump is saying. We can't. I would love for us to.
GABBARD:

You know who's protecting Al Qaida right now? It's Saudi Arabia.
TODD:

I want to go down the line here, finish up foreign policy. It's a simple question. What is our -- what is the biggest threat -- what is -- who is the geopolitical threat to the United States? Just give me a one-word answer, Congressman Delaney.
DELANEY:

Could you repeat the question?
TODD:

Greatest geopolitical threat to the United States right now. Congressman Delaney?
DELANEY:

Well, the biggest geopolitical challenge is China. But the biggest geopolitical threat remains nuclear weapons.
TODD:

OK.
DELANEY:

Right, so those are -- you know, those are different questions.
TODD:

I got you. Totally get it. Go ahead. Governor Inslee?
INSLEE:

The biggest threat to the security of the United States is Donald Trump. And there's no question about it.
TODD:

Congresswoman Gabbard?
GABBARD:

The greatest...
TODD:

Greatest geopolitical threat.
GABBARD:

The greatest threat that we face is the fact that we're in a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history.
TODD:

Senator Klobuchar?
KLOBUCHAR:

Two threats, economic threat, China, but our major threat right now is what's going in the Mideast with Iran, if we don't get...
TODD:

OK, try to keep it at one -- slimmer than what we've been going here. One or two words.
O'ROURKE:

Our existential threat is climate change. We have to confront it before it's too late.
TODD:

Senator Warren?
INSLEE:

Climate change.
TODD:

Yeah. Senator Booker?
BOOKER:

Nuclear proliferation and climate change.
TODD:

Secretary Castro?
CASTRO:

China and climate change.
TODD:

Congressman Ryan?
RYAN:

China, without a question. They're wiping us around the world economically.
TODD:

And Mr. Mayor?
DE BLASIO:

Russia, because they're trying to undermine our democracy and they've been doing a pretty damn good job of it, and we need to stop them.
TODD:

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

Yes, and I'll tell you why.
TODD:

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

Thank you, Congressman O'Rourke.
MADDOW:

Congressman Delaney, because of the accountability issues that Congressman O'Rourke was just describing there and the real political landscape in which Nancy Pelosi is saying that impeachment will not be pursued in the House, it raises the prospect -- and the Mueller Report raises the prospect that President Trump could be prosecuted for some of those potential crimes down the line. No U.S. president has ever been prosecuted for crimes after leaving office. Do you believe that President Trump could or should be the first?
DELANEY:

I guess there's always a first.
MADDOW:

Should he be?
DELANEY:

I don't think anyone is above the law. I don't think anyone is above the law, including a president. I support Speaker Pelosi's decisions that she is making in the House of Representatives right now as speaker. I think she knows more about the decision as to whether to impeach the president than any of the 2020 candidates combined.
MADDOW:

Conceded. On the issue of prosecution...
DELANEY:

So -- but I do think -- I do think the -- no one is above the law, and this president, who is lawless, should not be above the law. But I will tell you, Rachel, the one thing when you're out doing as much campaigning as I've done, 400 events, all 99 counties in Iowa, this is not the number-one issue the American people ask us about.
It's not. They want to know what we're going to do for health care, how we're going to lower pharmaceutical prices, how we're going to build infrastructure, what we're going to do to create jobs in their communities.
You know, last year in our country, 80 percent of the money for start-up businesses went to 50 counties in this country.
There's over 3,000 counties in this country. That's what they care about. They care about what's going on in the public schools. They care about what's going on with jobs in their communities, with their pay, with their health care, with infrastructure. These are the issues, these kind of kitchen-table, pocket-book issues...
MADDOW:

Understood.
DELANEY:

... are actually what most Americans care about. They never ask about the Mueller Report.
(CROSSTALK) MADDOW:

Congressman, thank you. Your time is up.
DELANEY:

They never ask about it. They want to know how we're going to solve these problems.
MADDOW:

Your time's...
TODD:

Here's the thing. I still -- Senator...
KLOBUCHAR:

... but if we let the Republicans run our elections and if do not do something about Russian interference in the election and we let Mitch McConnell stop all the backup paper ballots, then we're not going to get what we want to do.
TODD:

I've got to sneak in -- we blew through a break, which was good news, to give you more time, so I got to sneak one in now. More of this debate. It's picking up here. It continues right after this.
HOLT:

We are back from Miami, and it's time now for closing statements. Each candidate has 45 seconds. We want to begin with former Congressman Delaney.
DELANEY:

Closing now?
HOLT:

Closing, 45 seconds. We could make -- we could go on.
DELANEY:

Together we are on a mission. We're on a mission to find the America that's been lost, lost through infighting, lost through inaction. We're so much better than this. We're a country that used to do things. We saved the world. We created the American dream for millions of people like myself, the grandson of immigrants, the son of a union electrician who went on to become a successful business leader and create thousands of jobs.
But we did these things with real solutions, not with impossible promises. And those are the roots that we have to get back to. I'm running for president to solve these problems, to build infrastructure, to fix our broken health care system, to invest in communities that have been left behind, to improve public education.
HOLT:

Your...
DELANEY:

I just don't want to be your president to be your president.
HOLT:

Congressman, your 45 seconds is over.
DELANEY:

I want to be your president to do the job.
HOLT:

Thank you, sir.
DELANEY:

This is not about me. This is about getting America working again.
HOLT:

Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) GUTHRIE:

Mayor De Blasio. Mayor, your closing statement.
DE BLASIO:

It matters. It matters in this fight for the heart and soul of our party that we nominate a candidate who has seen the face of poverty and didn't just talk about it, but gave people $15 minimum wage.
It matters that we nominate a candidate who saw the destruction wrought by a broken health care system and gave people universal health care. It matters that we choose someone who saw the wasted potential of our children denied pre-K and gave it to every single one of them for free.
These things really matter. And these are the things that I've done in New York and I want to do the same for this whole country, because putting working people first, it matters. We need to be that party again. Let's work together. With your help, we can put working people first again in America.
GUTHRIE:

Thank you, Mayor De Blasio. Right on time.
(APPLAUSE) DIAZ-BALART:

Governor Inslee, 45 seconds.
INSLEE:

(OFF-MIKE) grandchildren, we love them all. And when I was thinking about whether to run for president, I made a decision. I decided that on my last day on Earth, I wanted to look them in the eye and tell them I did everything humanly possible to protect them from the ravages of the climate crisis.
And I know to a moral certainty, if we do not have the next president who commits to this as the top priority, it won't get done. And I am the only candidate -- frankly, I'm surprised. I'm the only candidate who's made this commitment to make it the top priority.
If you join me in that recognition of how important this is, we can have a unified national mission. We can save ourselves. We can save our children. We can save our grandchildren. And we can save literally the life on this planet. This is our moment.
DIAZ-BALART:

Governor, thank you.
TODD:

Congressman Ryan, your 45 seconds.
RYAN:

There's nothing worse than not being heard. Nothing worse than not being seen. And I know that because I've represented for 17 years in Congress a forgotten community.
They've tried to divide us, who's white, who's black, who's gay, who's straight, who's a man, who's a woman. And they ran away with all the gold because they divided the working class. It's time for us to come together.
I don't know how you feel, but I'm ready to play some offense. I come from the middle of industrial America, but these problems are all over our country. There's a tent city in L.A. There's homeless people and people around our country who can't afford a home. It's time for us to get back on track. The teacher in Texas, the nurse in New Hampshire, the waitress in Wisconsin, all of us coming together, playing offense with an agenda that lifts everybody up.
TODD:

Thank you, Congressman.
RYAN:

I will only promise you one thing. When I walk into that Oval Office every morning, you will not be forgotten.
TODD:

Thank you, Congressman.
RYAN:

Your voice will be heard. Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) MADDOW:

Congresswoman Gabbard, you have 45 seconds for your closing.
GABBARD:

Our nation was founded on the principles of service above self, people who fled kings, who literally prospered on the backs and the sacrifices of people, coming here to this country, instead putting in place a government that is of, by, and for the people.
But that's not what we have. Instead, we have a government that is of, by, and for the rich and powerful. This must end. As president, our White House -- our White House will be a beacon of light, providing hope and opportunity, ushering in a new century where every single person will be able to get the health care they need, where we will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, where we will have good-paying jobs and a new green economy. Join me in ushering in this new century with peace, prosperity, opportunity, and justice for all.
MADDOW:

Congresswoman, thank you.
(APPLAUSE) HOLT:

Secretary Castro, you have 45 seconds, sir.
CASTRO:

Me llamo Julian Castro, y estoy postolando por presidente de los Estados Unidos.
The very fact that I can say that tonight shows the progress that we have made in this country. Like many of you, I know the promise of America. My grandmother came here when she was 7 years old as an immigrant from Mexico, and just two generations later, one of her grandsons is serving in the United States Congress and the other one is running for president of the United States.
(APPLAUSE) If I'm elected president, I will work hard every single day so that you and your family can get good health care, your child can get a good education, and that you can have good job opportunities, whether you live in a big city or a small town. And on January 20, 2021, we'll say adios to Donald Trump.
(APPLAUSE) GUTHRIE:

Senator Klobuchar, the floor is yours.
KLOBUCHAR:

Three things to know about me. First, I listen to people and that's how I get things done. That is my focus. I have a track record of passing over 100 bills where I'm the lead Democrat. And that is because I listened and I acted. And I think that's important in a president. Everything else just melts away.
Secondly, I'm someone that can win and beat Donald trump. I have won every place, every race, and every time. I have won in the reddest of districts, ones that Donald Trump won by over 20 points. I can win in states like Wisconsin and Iowa and in Michigan.
And finally, yeah, I am not the establishment party candidate. I've got respect, but I'm not that person. I am the one that doesn't have a political machine, that doesn't come from money. And I don't make all the promises that everyone up here makes.
But I can promise you this. I am going to govern with integrity. I'm going to (OFF-MIKE) I'm going to govern for you.
GUTHRIE:

Thank you, Senator.
DIAZ-BALART:

(SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
BOOKER:

Gracias. Fifty years ago this month, my family moved into the town I grew up in because after being denied a house because of the color of their skin, it was activists, mostly white activists, that stood up and fought for them. That's the best of who we are as America and why when I got out of law school, I moved into the inner city of Newark to fight as a tenant lawyer for other people's rights.
I've taken on bullies and beat them. I've taken on tough fights and we've won. And we win those fights not by showing the worst of who we are, by rising to who's best.
Donald Trump wants us to fight him on his turf and his terms. We will beat him, I will beat him by calling this country to a sense of common purpose again. This is a referendum on him and getting rid of him, but it's also a referendum on us, who we are, and who we must be to each other.
It's time we win this election. And the way I'll govern is by showing the best of who we are because that's what this country needs and deserves.
DIAZ-BALART:

Senator, thank you.
TODD:

Congressman O'Rourke, 45 seconds.
Our daughter, Molly, turned 11 this week. I'm on this stage for her, for children across this country, including some her same age who've been separated from their parents and are sleeping on concrete floors under aluminum blankets tonight.
If we're going to be there for them, if we're going to confront the challenges that we face, we can't return to the same old approach. We're going to need a new kind of politics, one directed by the urgency of the next generation, those climate activists, who are fighting not just for their future but for everyone's, those students marching not just for their lives but for all of ours.
We'll need a movement like the one that we led in Texas. It renewed our democracy by bringing everyone in and writing nobody off. That's how we beat Donald Trump. That's how we bring this great country together again. Join us. This is our moment. And the generations that follow are counting on us to meet it.
TODD:

Thank you, Congressman.
MADDOW:

Senator Warren, you have 45 seconds for the final, final statement of the evening.
WARREN:

Thank you. It's a great honor to be here. Never in a million years did I think I would stand on a stage like this. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I have three older brothers. They all joined the military.
I had a dream growing up. And my dream was to be a public school teacher. By the time I graduated from high school, my family -- my family didn't have the money for a college application, much less a chance for me to go to college.
But I got my chance. It was a $50 a semester commuter college. That was a little slice of government that created some opportunity for a girl. And it opened my life.
I am in this fight because I believe that we can make our government, we can make our economy, we can make our country work not just for those at the top. We can make it work for everyone. And I promise you this: I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family.
(APPLAUSE) GUTHRIE:

We would like to thank all of the candidates who participated with us tonight. And that will do it for night one of this two-night event. And guess what? We've got 10 more candidates tomorrow night.
HOLT:

We certainly hope you will join us then. But for now, that concludes our coverage of this first Democratic debate from Miami. For Savannah, Jose, Chuck, and Rachel, I'm Lester Holt. Have a good night, everyone.


Congress Bills
Elections

2020

Presidency

An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Delaney filed to run for president on August 10, 2017. He suspended his campaign on January 31, 2020.

2018

John Delaney did not file to run for re-election.

2016

rated this race as safely Democratic. In Maryland's 6th Congressional District, incumbent John Delaney (D) defeated Amie Hoeber (R), David Howser, George Gluck (G), and Ted Athey (Write-in) in the general election on November 8, 2016. Delaney defeated Tony Puca in the Democratic primary, while Hoeber defeated seven other Republican challengers to win the Republican nomination. The primary elections took place on April 26, 2016.

U.S. House, Maryland District 6 General Election, 2016

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Delaney Incumbent 56% 185,770
Republican Amie Hoeber 40.1% 133,081
Libertarian David Howser 2.1% 6,889
Green George Gluck 1.8% 5,824
N/A Write-in 0.1% 409
Total Votes 331,973
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

U.S. House, Maryland District 6 Democratic Primary, 2016

Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Delaney Incumbent 84.9% 69,343
Tony Puca 15.1% 12,317
Total Votes 81,660
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

U.S. House, Maryland District 6 Republican Primary, 2016

Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAmie Hoeber 29.3% 17,967
Terry Baker 22.6% 13,837
Frank Howard 17.4% 10,677
Robin Ficker 11.4% 7,014
David Vogt 9.4% 5,774
Christopher Mason 4.2% 2,590
Scott Cheng 3.8% 2,303
Harold Painter 1.8% 1,117
Total Votes 61,279
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

2014

Delaney ran for re-election in Maryland's 6th Congressional District in the general election on November 4, 2014. He ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014. The general election took place on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Maryland District 6 General Election, 2014

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Delaney Incumbent 49.7% 94,704
Republican Dan Bongino 48.2% 91,930
Green George Gluck 2% 3,762
Write-in Others 0.1% 140
Total Votes 190,536
Source: Maryland Secretary of State Official Results

He addressed rumors of a possible gubernatorial bid on January 25, 2015.

“Many people I trust and respect have asked me to consider running for governor, and of course I always think about where I may best serve,” Delaney said. “But I love my job, and my expectation is that I will continue to serve in Congress and represent my district.”

2012

Delaney ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Maryland's 6th District. He defeated Milad Pooran, Robert Garagiola, Charles Bailey, and Ron Little in the Democratic primary on April 3, 2012. He defeated incumbent Roscoe Bartlett (R) and Nickolaus Mueller (L) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run was January 11, 2012.

U.S. House, Maryland District 6 General Election, 2012

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Delaney 58.8% 181,921
Republican Roscoe Bartlett Incumbent 37.9% 117,313
Libertarian Nickolaus Mueller 3.2% 9,916
N/A Other Write-ins 0.1% 399
Total Votes 309,549
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections "Representative in Congress"

U.S. House, Maryland District 6 Democratic Primary, 2012

Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Delaney 54.2% 20,414
Charles Bailey 4.2% 1,572
Rob Garagiola 29.1% 10,981
Ron Little 3% 1,131
Milad Pooran 9.5% 3,590
Total Votes 37,688
Speeches
Articles

John Delaney says he opposes decriminalizing border crossings, unlike other Democrats

Jul. 7, 2019

By CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ | CBS NEWS Breaking with other Democrats running for the presidential nomination, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney said he does not support a proposal to decriminalize illegal border crossings.   Pledges to repeal Section 1325 of Title 8 of the U.S. code — which makes "improper entry" into the U.S. a federal crime — have gained traction among some of the more progressive candidates in the large Democratic primary field, who say illegal entry into the country should be considered a civil offense instead. During the first night of the Democratic debate in Miami, Obama administration Housing Secretary Julián Castro pressed fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke on his opposition to repealing the law. On the second night, all but one of the candidates indicated they backed a move to decriminalize border crossings.  Although he disagrees with that proposal, Delaney, considered a moderate during his brief time in Congress, said he would it make it "illegal" for the government to separate migrant children from their parents. Under the controversial and now discontinued "zero tolerance" policy, the Trump administration used Section 1325 to prosecute thousands of migrant parents who crossed the southern border and forcibly separate them from their children.  Delaney said migrant families and children should not be detained for protracted periods of time — or even at all. "I don't want children to be detained long at all. I want to go the other way. We have to treat people who cross our borders with a measure of dignity. Right? It has to be reflective of our values," he said.  But the Maryland Democrat said the only way to solve the current surge of Central American families and unaccompanied children heading north — which is expected to dwindle during the hot summer months — is to provide long-term assistance to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, collectively known as the "Northern Triangle." The region has been plagued by deep-rooted political instability, suffocating poverty and rampant violence for decades. Recently, agriculture crops — the main livelihoods for many poor and working-class citizens — have also been destroyed in many areas due to severe weather made worse by climate change.  Delaney said he would reverse President Trump's decision to end U.S. foreign aidto these Central American countries, and organize a new initiative to tackle the most pressing issues in the region so people have the economic opportunities and safety necessary to sustain their families in their homeland.  "When you listen to the stories from these people, you realize that everyone is leaving for the right reason," he added. "They feel threatened, their children are threatened, and unless we do things to rebuild civil society in the three Central American countries, we're going to continue to have this refugee crisis."

John Delaney’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained

Jun. 26, 2019

Delaney is waging a long-shot bid for the White House. By Dylan Scott | Vox John Delaney is running for president in the 2020 campaign.  Scott Olson/Getty Images John Delaney was the first notable 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and, nearly two years later, he’s still waging a long-shot bid for the White House. Delaney has secured a spot on the first 2020 debate stage, a validation of sorts for his candidacy. The joke is that the former Maryland congressman stepped away from Congress in 2018 so he could go live in Iowa, the first caucus state, and while he hasn’t ascended very far in the polls, he has done enough to get a voice in the debate. The closest thing to a star moment for Delaney so far was his appearance at the California Democratic Convention, in which he disavowed socialism and major left-wing policies like Medicare-for-all. He was booed by the California crowd, but that wasn’t necessarily a loss for Delaney: he is a former health care financier and clearly wants to position himself as a more moderate candidate who believes in capitalism and pragmatic solutions to policy problems. “We’ve got to be able to have a robust policy debate out in the open, that’s what this primary process should be about. A few boos aren’t a big deal; making a really bad mistake on health care is,” Delaney said after the debate. “We can’t be dedicated to slogans and must ensure that a real debate happens. Most of the Democrats in this field either don’t want to take this on or are trying to play it both ways, but I don’t think that’s responsible.” Delaney sees himself as the adult in the room on a major issue — health care — for the Democratic primary debate. He has a universal health care plan, though it is more limited in benefits and scope than single payer plans. (He is also, notably, still heavily invested in the health care industry; about $3.2 million of his $280 million fortune comes from the health care sector, per Sludge.) It doesn’t necessarily seem like a winning strategy to tell an excited young progressive base that their trademark policy idea is a loser — and Delaney isn’t leaving much of a mark on the 2020 polls. But he is still trying to leave a mark on the policy debate. It’s a project two years in the making. John Delaney has a plan for universal health care — but don’t call it “Medicare-for-all” The former Maryland lawmaker — he was in Congress for six years and was a health care finance executive before entering politics — launched his presidential bid in 2017. In his time in Congress, Delaney regularly had a bipartisan voting record; putting an end to partisan gerrymandering was one of his pet projects. As a presidential candidate, he has promised to spend as much time in Iowa as was necessary to build a credible base in that critical primary state. On foreign policy, Delaney has laid out a free-trade, global engagement agenda, and he doesn’t want to cut military spending, a departure from most of the other Democrats in the field. But health care is arguably his hallmark. Delaney has cooked up his own plan for universal coverage. The plan sticks out for two reasons: He is a former health care financier, so he brings an unusual amount of expertise to the issue, and while his plan is a path to universal coverage, he is going out of his way not to call it Medicare-for-all. Granted, there are a lot of details Delaney still needs to fill in, but the bones are pretty simple: Every American under 65 would be enrolled in a new public plan that covers a certain set of basic medical services, comparable to the essential health services covered by Obamacare. Employers and individuals could purchase supplemental insurance. Medicare for people over 65 would be untouched. The plan would be paid for mostly by maintaining the shared state-federal payments for Medicaid and by ending the unlimited tax break for employer health benefits. He openly defends the role of private insurance in the health care market. As Delaney told Vox in a recent interview: If you think about Medicare, which is an incredibly successful program, its success is in part based on the fact that there is private insurance mixed in with Medicare in terms of these supplemental plans. When I do events with seniors and I say how many of you have Medicare, pretty much all the hands go up. When I say how many have a supplemental plan, most of the hands go up. Why do we want to go around most of those supplement plans that are legal? I think in an effort to try to say I’m gonna move the goalposts further than anyone else, we have created a proposal that actually is really bad economics and also is not what people want. He wants to leave Medicare as it currently exists alone, to avoid rousing the fears of American seniors who worry a dramatic expansion of the program would mean their own benefits might get worse. That’s a line Donald Trump and Republicans are running with, though the current Medicare-for-all proposals would actually improve the benefits and the cost-sharing requirements of the existing Medicare program. “If a Republican was running against Medicare-for-all, they would look at seniors in this country and say, ‘Let me tell you what these Democrats want to do, they want to take the Medicare that you paid for, yes, you paid for, and they want to give it to everyone else,’” he told Vox. “Leave Medicare alone, which doesn’t mean you don’t try to improve it. But it stays as an independent thing. Maybe in 50 years, these programs merge together.” It’s a very specific pitch Delaney is making, both on health care and for his candidacy: Progressive goals are admirable, but Democrats have to be practical about getting there. It’s not dissimilar to the more moderate messages of Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, or Amy Klobuchar. Delaney’s candidacy still looks like a long shot for the time being, but he is clearly intent on continuing to make his case.  

John Delaney on Universal Health Care

Jun. 26, 2019

By Maggie Astor | The New York Times John Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, has proposed a universal health care system based on a combination of government coverage and private insurance. The context Every American under 65 would be automatically enrolled in a government-run health care program that would cover all “essential health benefits,” including pre-existing conditions. Once they turned 65, they would transition to Medicare. People could forfeit their government coverage and receive a credit to buy private insurance instead. Private insurers could offer “supplemental” plans for services not covered by the public program. How he uses it He argues that it would guarantee universal coverage without forcing people to use a government health plan. “We believe in everyone making their own decisions, so I don’t see why we want to be insisting upon one source of health care for everyone,” he said in an interview last summer. He has made opposition to a single-payer system like “Medicare for all” a central component of his campaign recently, directly challenging Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Obstacles The plan would cost trillions of dollars. Mr. Delaney says he would pay for it by, among other steps, letting the government negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies and requiring wealthy Americans to cover part of the cost of their health care. Even with the inclusion of private insurance, the plan would face some of the same political obstacles as “Medicare for all” among conservatives who oppose more government involvement in the health care system.

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Financial Summary October 23, 2020 01:37 ET

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Source:Federal Election Commission
Events

2020

Jan. 30
Dinner in Cedar Rapids with John Delaney

Thur 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM CST

Granite City, Cedar Rapids

Jan. 30
Lunch in Muscatine with John Delaney

Thur 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM CST

Muscatine's Family Style Restaurant Muscatine, IA

Jan. 27
Lunch in Cedar Falls with John Delaney

Mon 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST

Mulligan's Brick Oven Cedar Falls, IA