Marianne Williamson is a Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2020.
Williamson is a lecturer and author who has published 13 books. She previously ran for office in 2014 as an independent candidate to represent California's 33rd Congressional District.
Williamson also founded Project Angel Food, a meal delivery service for homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and the nonprofit Peace Alliance.
Williamson was born in 1952 and grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended Ponoma College in California for two years. Williamson read the book A Course in Miracles in her mid-20s, which she has credited with launching her career as an author and lecturer.
Williamson lectured on the book throughout the 1980s. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a program delivering food to homebound individuals with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. She co-founded The Peace Alliance in 2004. The nonprofit says it aims to educate and advocate around peacebuilding, including a campaign for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace.
As of the beginning of her presidential campaign, Williamson had published 13 books, including four New York Times #1 best sellers. She also had appeared as a guest on television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and Real Time With Bill Maher.
Williamson ran as an independent to represent California's 33rd Congressional District in the U.S. House in 2014. She placed fourth in an 18-candidate field, receiving 13 percent of the vote in the top-two primary election.
An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Williamson announced that she was running for president on January 28, 2019.
Williamson ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent California's 33rd District. Williamson was defeated in the blanket primary. She came in fourth with roughly 13 percent of the vote.
|U.S. House, California District 33 Primary, 2014|
|Source: California Secretary of State|
Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
1. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
2. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
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)?
- Unknown Position
2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
- Unknown Position
Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
- Unknown Position
Do you support increasing defense spending?
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT COOPER: After her debate performance here on CNN on Tuesday night, the self-help author and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson was the most searched person on Google in 49 out of 50 states. There's a lot more interest in her, also of course, that comes many more scrutiny of her positions and the push to make it into the next debate. Marianne Williamson joins me now. Thanks you so much for being with us. Appreciate it. MARIANNE WILLIAMSON (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so much for having me. COOPER: You're definitely getting more scrutiny now and obviously that's just part of the process. And so I want to ask you about some of the statements that you've made about vaccinations and antidepressants, because that's been coming out. [20:40:05] WILLIAMSON: OK. COOPER: You've often brought up very legitimate concerns about doctors overprescribing antidepressants and other drugs. You've brought up concerns about which are legitimate about aggressive marketing by big pharmaceutical companies and possible harmful side effects of antidepressant drugs. To me those all seem very legitimate concerns to raise. I've never heard you express the real concern for the stigma surrounding depression. And I know there are some people who would say that you're actually contributing to that stigma by repeatedly saying that antidepressant drugs, you've used the word numb or mask you. That-- isn't it the fact here is that depression numbs you and masks you and that while some drugs have dangers (INAUDIBLE) and side effects, not all drugs numb you or mask you and telling a seriously depressed person if they take an antidepressant they're going to be numbed, isn't that not a good message? WILLIAMSON: I think that would be a not good message and I've never given that message. That's just never the way I have spoken and it's a complete mischaracterization of my commentary. What I have talked about is a normal spectrum of human despair, normal human despair, which traditionally was seen as the purview of spirituality and religion, that which gave people comfort and gave people hope and inspiration in their times of pain. And with the advent of modern psychotherapy, a lot of the batons sort of passed from religion and spirituality to modern psychotherapy, which was an interesting transition. And then over the last few years, very, very quickly, the baton was passed again to psychopharmacology. And so a nuance conversation was lost regarding the nature of human despair, regarding the real phenomenon of human despair. This is what I have spoken about. And I have spoken -- COOPER: But you have used the word numb many times and mask. WILLIAMSON: Yes. COOPER: You said, in fact, "Feds say 1 in 10 Americans on antidepressants. Not a good sign. This is not a time in American history for any of us to be numbing our pain." If you're on an antidepressant, you're not numbing your pain, you're actually trying to feel again, no? WILLIAMSON: Well, some people would argue that and some people not. But the issue here for me is the difference between normal human despair. And if you are going through something like grief, for instance -- COOPER: Right, that's normal -- there's -- you write very eloquently about -- WILLIAMSON: And about that -- COOPER: -- normal universal sadness. WILLIAMSON: Right. COOPER: But do you acknowledge -- you have raised questions, though, about clinical depression in the past. I know in our podcast with Russell Brand, I think you called clinical depression such a scam. 33And then you backtracked with "The New York Times" saying you regretted saying that, but you went on to say, "It's not always such a scam at all." It does seem like, again, you're suggesting that clinical depression is a scam. WILLIAMSON: No. Do you want to let me like tell you what I think? COOPER: Yes. WILLIAMSON: Because I'll be glad to do that. What I believe is that when we go through these issues of normal human despair, when we go through a divorce, when we have a pain over a breakup, when someone that we love has died, when we have been through a financial loss or failure, there is value sometimes in feeling the sadness, feeling that dark night of the soul. COOPER: I agree with you. WILLIAMSON: We have over -- well, then let me explain how I feel about that in relationship to antidepressants, if I may. We have over the last few years taken this kind of cheap yellow smiley face, put it over all of human emotion, like happy, happy, happy. We have lost our sense that there are times when sadness is part of life. There is one of my favorite lines from the poet Rilke (ph) where he says, let me not squander the hours of my pain. And so what I speak to is not serious -- what is today called clinical depression, although I have questioned sometimes how that is looked at. You know, Anderson, how many women -- COOPER: You said it was a scam. WILLIAMSON: No. And I have said when I made that comment, oh, that's a scam too, in a podcast with Russell Brand, that was a glib comment. And you're right, Anderson, I have said that was wrong of me to say. This is very important that we -- do you know how many women in America are prescribed their antidepressants by their gynecologists? Do you know how many people are prescribed to antidepressants after having talked to, even if it is a mental health professional by -- for 10 minutes? COOPER: Right. But you also know that suicides among women have gone up dramatically. You know that suicides nationwide among men and women have gone up 30 percent over the last 10 or so years. I mean this is -- WILLIAMSON: Yes. And also what I know, Anderson, is that the use of antidepressants if you look at the statistics about the suicide rate and the use of antidepressants, there's no real argument there that necessarily the use of antidepressants statistically across the board has helped with the suicide. COOPER: No, I agree. There's -- I mean, it's -- mental health is in its infancy in terms of doctors understanding how to deal with clinical chemical depression. But it does seem like there are many people helped by antidepressants and -- WILLIAMSON: And that's a good thing. [20:45:00] COOPER: Right. But you -- WILLIAMSON: I have never -- COOPER: But you -- I mean you -- a few months after Robin Williams died by suicide, you posted -- I think I'm putting on the screen, implying that antidepressants were the cause of William's death. And you wrote, "The truth about antidepressants, helpful for some, harmful for others." And then you lean to this article that was clearly suggesting antidepressants played a role in his death. Do you know who wrote that article? That was by an organization funded by the Church of Scientology, which doesn't even believe in psychiatry, doesn't believe in any psychiatric medicine, even for very serious mental illness. They even have a museum in Hollywood called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death. WILLIAMSON: Anderson, if somebody is helped by an antidepressant, I'm happy for them. And I have never argued that anybody who is on an antidepressant should get off an antidepressant. And not only that, I have always made it very clear, always made it very clear that if anything in my conversation makes people think twice about it, if, in fact they are on it, that the last thing they should ever do is throw it away, because getting off them must -- people must get off them -- if they get off them, very, very carefully. So this ides that I, like I'm some Tom Cruise about antidepressants, I'm not and I never have been. COOPER: But if somebody is depressed and they are reading your tweets or reading your books, they're not hearing you speak in a nuance way, in a seminar -- WILLIAMSON: No. Have you read my book "Tears to Triumph" about this? COOPER: Yes, I have. I mean, I enjoyed your writing. And, you know, I find it really fascinating. WILLIAMSON: Thank you. COOPER: But it does worry me that you seemed to be sending a message by raising such concerns about antidepressants in such a blanket way or clinical depression. It just doesn't seem like -- you're saying you're happy for somebody if it helps them. I don't hear you saying, I encourage you, everybody, to talk with a medical provider and see if this is just a regular sadness that's understandable or -- WILLIAMSON: Well, but I -- what I would say, I'm sorry. I believe that a medical professional -- talking to someone about their sadness, I believe that someone who is clergy, someone who is a psychotherapist who is not coming from a psychopharmacological perspective -- COOPER: I agree with you. WILLIAMSON: -- someone who is a spiritual person is just as qualified an expert to talk about issues of deep sadness, even depression. It is only been in the last few years that this idea of the medicalization of depression has come up. Why are we pretending what we all know is not true? We are living in a society now where somebody is going through just a normal breakup and somebody said, do you think you should be on something? Once, again, let's talk about how many times it's the -- gynecologist, this is not a mental health professional. And how many times people say that the doctor who gave it to them -- COOPER: But you're relying on the Church of Scientology for factual background to your argument and that's really not -- I mean, would you point that someone from the Church of Scientology to be head of your CDC if you were president? WILLIAMSON: No, I would not. No, I would not. Also, I had my one glib comment that I have said I was sorry about. It was a podcast with Russell Brand where I talked about something being a scam and that was a mistake about that -- COOPER: Yes, but you also -- I mean, with due respect, when Kate Spade died, you tweeted out, how many public personalities have to hang themselves before the FDA does -- or excuse me, "How many public personalities on antidepressants have to hang themselves before the FDA does something, Big Pharma cops to what it know, and the average person stops falling for this? The tragedies keep compounding. The awakening should begin." You do seem to be implying, A, that Kate Spade was on antidepressants, which we -- I don't think we have any knowledge of, and nor is it anybody's business. But you seem to be linking, again, famous people with antidepressants and suicide. And many people who are on under that antidepressants have had suicidal ideation long before they were taking antidepressants. WILLIAMSON: And the FDA, there is a black box warning -- COOPER: Sure, yes. WILLIAMSON: -- on antidepressants that for people 25 years old and younger the risk of suicidal ideation is increased rather than decreased. Do you know how many teenagers and young people -- COOPER: Right, but not for people over 24. WILLIAMSON: -- excuse me. You know what Anderson -- COOPER: And, but not for people over 25. And, again, just putting out a blanket tweet when in the wake -- you know, on the day somebody has died, implying that they were on antidepressants and that's what caused their suicide, that just seems irresponsible. WILLIAMSON: Well, Anderson, I could say the same thing to you given how many pharmaceutical companies advertised on your show. So, you know, when you say to me -- COOPER: I don't know. I've never seen the ads on my show, so I don't know what pharmaceutical companies. WILLIAMSON: Well, you might want to look at it. COOPER: But I got to be telling you, I'm not impacted. WILLIAMSON: You might want to look at it. So when you say to me -- COOPER: I'm not impacted by who advertises on my show. I don't even know who advertises on my show. It's not any interest to me. I'm sure it is to people in this company, but I don't care. What I care about is people who are dying and there's a stigma for people actually seeking medical help for something that could save their life and, you know, that can save my life. And I think it's important that, you know, when I read people saying, well, all these drugs cause suicide, I mean, that's just not true. [20:50:00] WILLIAMSON: I don't say that. And, Anderson, I'm sorry, you said some -- (CROSSTALK) WILLIAMSON: You have not -- on this program, I'm sorry, you said to me a few minutes ago, with all due respect, I felt very little respect here. I thought very little opportunity to say what I believe and I feel the person who's had some blank statements said about them on this program is me. I have simply never had the blanket conversation that you are now suggesting that I've had. And when it comes to people who are suicidal, I have a 35-year career working with people in despair. I have had a 35-year career working with people in crisis. I've had a 35-year career working with people in pain. I have people whose psychiatrists send to me to have worked with them. I have been up close and personal with people in their pain and in their despair for decades. And the idea that I am glib about that conversation -- COOPER: No, I never said that you were glib. WILLIAMSON: -- is a complete mischaracterization and misrepresentation of my career. And I'm sorry that you would choose to -- COOPER: I'm not casting aspersions on your career or saying you're glib in any way. You are deadly serious about this and you have very strong beliefs and I'm discussing it with you. WILLIAMSON: But I am not saying -- COOPER: I just don't understand some of your public statements and you've addressed them. WILLIAMSON: Then let me speak. Anderson, let me speak. This is not a conversation that we're having. COOPER: Well, I think it is. I just -- I need to, you know, try to -- you say you didn't say stuff and then I read you quotes and -- I mean, this is a conversation. WILLIAMSON: But you don't let me explain. When people are taking antidepressants who have had serious, serious pain and serious depression in their lives, and they are helped by them, I'm happy for them. COOPER: OK. Yes, I agree with that. WILLIAMSON: I am happy for them. When I meet young people, and I meet them all the time, once again, I'm the one here who has had a lot of experience with people in pain. When I meet -- COOPER: But I just don't think telling people that it's going to numb them is a good idea. WILLIAMSON: Oh, well, that's your belief. COOPER: OK. WILLIAMSON: I believe that to tell a person under the age -- may I speak? When I believe that a person under 25, and I meet them all the time -- COOPER: Well, you're not specifying this in your comments. You're saying one in 10 are on antidepressant is not a good sign, not a time in American history for us to be numbing our pain. Tell me if a person is depressed and he's 40 years old and thinking about suicide that it they're taking antidepressant that it's going to numb them, that's not -- WILLIAMSON: I'm not talking about people -- excuse me, I'm not -- may I please speak? I'm not talking about people who are suicidal. I'm talking about people who are depressed about the world today, given the fact that the world is depressing. COOPER: OK. I'm talking about clinically depressed people or not depressed just because the world is depressing, they have a chemical imbalance. WILLIAMSON: But, excuse me, where -- but you are the one making some blanket statements here that there is no particular scientific evidence to prove. You are talking about clinical depression as though there is a blood test. COOPER: No, there's not. WILLIAMSON: Now, you can talk about chemical imbalance but you can also talk about chemical changes that come about through yoga. COOPER: I agree. WILLIAMSON: Chemical balance that's come about through prayer. COOPER: Right, I agree. WILLIAMSON: Chemical changes that come about through sugar and that come about through nutrition. COOPER: I'm with you on that. WILLIAMSON: Given that what my conversation has been, particularly that I am very concerned about is teenagers and people in their early 20s, that underage, who are told, and I meet them all the time. And they go and they go and some young woman. You know, the 20s are hard. They're not a mental illness. Divorce is hard. It's not a mental illness. Losing someone that you love is hard. It's not a mental illness. COOPER: We're on the same page -- WILLIAMSON: A bankruptcy is hard. It's not a mental illness. COOPER: We're on the same page about over prescription of drugs and, you know, aggressive marketing campaigns by big pharmaceutical companies and that people, especially young people, should know dangerous side effects of some of these very powerful drugs. I think we're on the same page about that. And, you know, I think you have expressed your opinion tonight. You know, some of the language you've used, it has raised concerns and I think it's fair that I ask those questions and I think you've addressed them very well. So -- WILLIAMSON: Well, I don't -- I think it would also be fair for me to have a little more opportunity to answer them. But perhaps at some point you'll -- COOPER: I would love that. I would like the conversation to continue. WILLIAMSON: Thank you. COOPER: And I don't mean to make you feel disrespected, because that's really honestly not my intention. Marianne Williamson, I appreciate it. We'll be right back. WILLIAMSON: Thank you. BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT MACCALLUM: So, here now exclusively, 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. Marianne, thank you. I know the weather is crazy out there and you've been traveling a lot. So, thank you so much. It's great, great to have you with us. WILLIAMSON: Thank you for having me. MACCALLUM: You know, we started off the program tonight showing the president's visit to El Paso and to Dayton. Do you think that it was the right thing for him to go to those two places as president? WILLIAMSON: Well, of course. That's I think part of the job of the presidency, and I think it would have been wrong of him not to go. MACCALLUM: Absolutely. Yes, I mean, there's a lot of discussion that, you know, the protesters -- there was Representative Escobar came out and said, you know, I spoke with people in the hospital, no one wants him here. The mayor of Dayton came out and said, you know, people don't want him here. You know, as president, it would be -- if he didn't go, the criticism would be that he didn't go. Right? WILLIAMSON: Well, I was not aware. I knew that there were voices that did not want him to go. But I didn't know that the mayor's had actually asked him not to go. So, that is relevant -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: Well, she -- just to clarify, the mayor said he could come. They had, I guess a good conversation on the phone when all of this happened. But she's been quite critical of him since then. When you look at some of the other candidates who are running for the Democratic nomination along with you, they were very outspoken today. Sort of -- one of the major themes was that they believe that the president is fanning the flames of white supremacy and that there's a direct link between the act that we saw in El Paso, at least. Because we know that in Dayton, that killer supported -- and you know, another candidate, Democratic candidate, they are drawing a direct link between the president and this white supremacy movement. Do you think that's fair? WILLIAMSON: I think there are two different things. Fanning the flames is different than a direct link. Do I feel he's fanned the flames? Absolutely. Do I think there's a direct link? No. (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: How so? Tell me how. WILLIAMSON: He has from the beginning of his candidacy. From the day he walked down the elevator talking about Mexicans the way he did, he has talked very disparagingly of people. Now, let's be very clear here. To me, this should not be a right-left issue, it should not be a Democratic or Republican issue. He has spoken in a way George Bush would not have, neither George Bush would have. (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: He's a totally different person. WILLIAMSON: He's a totally different person, but my point is that this criticism is not based on his politics. This criticism is based on the way he speaks about fellow American. So, absolutely, I believe that he has found the flames of some of the worst aspects of the American character. That is not, however, to say there's a direct link. That would be unfair. MACCALLUM: OK. This is -- you know, I think that the supporters of the president would say that he is blunt, that he is not as -- you know, sort of not as elegant in his speech, as some of the people that you mentioned - - prior presidents. But that his motivation has been pretty clear in terms of wanting to make the border a place where you can come through legally but not illegally. Here is -- here is what he said when he was asked about that this morning. Let's play that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. I think you have to come in legally. Ideally, you have to come in through merit. We need people coming in because we have many companies coming into our country. They are pouring in. (END VIDEO CLIP) MACCALLUM: What do you disagree with in that statement? WILLIAMSON: I don't disagree with anything that he made in that statement, and I don't disagree with anything that he said in his speech, which was quite beautiful. The problem is how often his words and his actions have not been the same as statements that he just made. Legal immigration, you know, I heard your former guest talk about how lefties want open borders. No, we don't. I think that a place where there is a reasonable consensus on both left and right is that we want legal immigration. So what is -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: That's what the president wants. WILLIAMSON: That's what he just said. But when you look at some of his actual policies, there were many of us who have found them extraordinarily. MACCALLUM: Like what policy? WILLIAMSON: Such a separation at the -- at the -- at the border of parents from children. MACCALLUM: I mean, we saw that under the Obama administration as well. WILLIAMSON: No, we didn't see anything like what he has done as stated policy. MACCALLUM: Look, we did. I mean, you know, even some of the pictures that were used by the media were pictures that were dated back to the Obama administration. I think that it's correct that it's there are more of them now because what's happened is we've seen a flood of people coming across the border with children. In some cases they're not even they're own. And some cases they've grabbed the wrist of a child and brought that child in. WILLIAMSON: That's all the more reason why you don't just separate the child from the adult because we have -- we have agency -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: In some cases, you're helping the child by separating them because that child has no connection to that family in some cases. WILLIAMSON: But we have -- we have trained -- we have trained agents within our police agencies at the border who know how to vet that, who know how to ask the questions of the child than the adult. So, you need -- you need that agent there with the child and the adult to ask the kind of questions that would actually let them know for sure. Also, the president closing so many of the point -- that ports of entry. So, actually, yes, there are those of us who feel that we have very legitimate points -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: They are pouring through the ports of entry and they're being housed, and they're not close. The ports of entry are not closed. WILLIAMSON: He has closed some of them, he absolutely has. And he -- and this flooding as you -- the pouring through is because of humanitarian crisis in Guatemala, in Honduras, in El Salvador, and traditionally Americans cared. Traditionally, when there -- when there's a huge humanitarian crisis somewhere and people are coming because they're in such desperate circumstances, traditionally American policy -- immigration policy has been -- you know, give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, kind of where we've been there in the past. MACCALLUM: You're right. Legally. WILLIAMSON: Of course, legally. But there are ways -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: But you say, of course, legally, but people are coming through illegally. WILLIAMSON: And yet we are making -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: Hundreds of thousands of them in months. WILLIAMSON: And all that -- that's all the more reason why we need more agents. (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: So, do you think he should just let them through? WILLIAMSON: No, I did not say that. Please don't (INAUDIBLE). (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: OK. So, all right. I don't want you. What would you do? WILLIAMSON: OK. So, I'll be (INAUDIBLE) (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: So, there all those people come to the border, and -- (CROSSTALK) WILLIAMSON: We definitely need more agents, we definitely need more ports of -- ports of entry that are open. We definitely need more technology, we need -- we definitely need more ways to handle. (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: All those things that you just mentioned are all in the president's -- and what he is wanted to do. WILLIAMSON: But the president, it's not about some of the things that he has said that he has wanted to do. The problem is with many of the things that the president has already done. I do not agree with you, and I don't think facts bear out that the kind of stated policy of separating children from their parents in such a cruel way which -- (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: Nobody likes -- I don't -- I don't think anybody -- I agree with you. I mean that that's not something that anybody want to see. (CROSSTALK) WILLIAMSON: And it has continued. Hundreds of these cases have been reported since he said he was stopping them. (CROSSTALK) MACCALLUM: But the reason that is happening -- Right. So -- I want to move on to some other issues. WILLIAMSON: OK. MACCALLUM: But if you were president, you know, what -- how would you get both sides to come together because I think there's a lot of Americans in this country who are in the middle on this issue and think that there are reasonable solutions? And even the president has said, you know, let's get Democrats and Republicans into the room. We can solve this in 45 minutes. But politically it behooves both sides to stay dug in. How would you bring them together? WILLIAMSON: I think Americans need to be aware of what our history is. You know, Ronald Reagan gave eight million people amnesty. And until 1973, if people were undocumented they simply went to a registry office. I want what I want as president is to end one chapter and begin a new one. I think the only answer is to say to every undocumented person who is not committed a crime, whose committed some crime of transgression or felony against an American citizen, I think there should be a path to citizenship, there should be the kind of efforts that we need to make at the border from this point forward and let us move on to a new chapter of American life. MACCALLUM: All right, I want to speak to you one -- about another topic that you brought up recently which is reparations. You say that there should be a $200 to $500 billion fund that would be dispersed over 20 years, and you want to have a council that just decides how the money is dispersed. How would that work? WILLIAMSON: Well, the stipulation on the part of the United States government should be very clear, and that is for purposes of economic and educational renewal. But I believe that within that, although that stipulation is extremely important it must be strictly adhered to, I think that there's a -- there's a moral principle here. If I owe you money, I don't get to tell you how to spend it. So I believe that it's very important that this reparations council, 30 to 50 people is what I've recommended which obviously should be very carefully chosen, people from academia, culture, politics, etcetera, who are known for their connection to this issue, for their research on this issue, etcetera who make the kinds of decisions whether it has to do with historical black colleges, whether it has to do with housing, whether it has to do -- whatever it has to do whit, but I believe part of the power here is that it would be the black community deciding how they wish to spend that money. MACCALLUM: Before I let you go -- and you know, you got a lot of attention in the debates as you were speaking out I think a lot of more people became familiar with you. What's your sort of -- you know, what's your cut off point -- you know, at what point would you say -- you know, how do you grow your campaign? How do you get from one or two percent to you know, seven, or eight, or nine, or ten percent? Do you see that happening? What's your vision for the future of your campaign real quick? WILLIAMSON: Well, listen, if you're in a debate and the only state that doesn't put you as number one Google search the next day is Montana because the Montana governor was there, and you're the one that's talked about all over the place is the breakout, I think that's kind of a sign to continue. So it's a good sign to continue. MACCALLUM: Are you going to get into the next debate? Will you make that cut off? WILLIAMSON: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Anybody listening can go to Marianne2020.com and I need about 16,000 more unique donors, even one dollar by August 28th. And yes, I need to get up in the polls. But you know, this is democracy. I think it's healthy for our country. I think it's healthy for the Democratic Party. A lot of voices you had in the Republican Party last time, it was good for you. I think it's good. Let Americans hear. I think it involves more people in the process. I think it's exciting. MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, Republicans, you're right. They had a lot of candidates on the stage and now you guys have beaten the other side with the 20-something. Thank you for coming in and for taking the questions. WILLIAMSON: Thank you for having me. Thank you. BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: I'm sure a lot of you guys could. I mean on your response on reparations, let me just read this for you because the Duke professor who is largely leading the research on slavery reparations. Sandy Darity said that you were quote, extremely strong. I mean, there you were up on a stage, just happened to be a stage full of white candidates, why do you think you were the one that really stood out on the answer on race? MARIANNE WILLIAMSON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because of what I said. Because I feel strongly, that we have to have a deeper conversation than the political establishment is having, about a lot of issues, and race is one of them. Sandy Darity -- BALDWIN: But it's how you said it. WILLIAMSON: I think it was how I said it. Well I think that once you have the what you're saying, the passion comes along with it. Because if you're taking a deep look at racial issues in the United States and you're looking at the history. You're looking at 250 years of slavery, followed by another 100 years of institutionalized violence against black people. 350 years of institutionalized violence which is longer than this country has been in existence, passion kind of comes along pretty naturally, once you really look at the facts and put the dots together. BALDWIN: So when I was listening to you last night and you were trying to explain some of how you arrived at the numbers, right. You said it should be in the trillions, but maybe it should be at least 100 billion. But perhaps somewhere between 200 and 500 billion. What wasn't addressed last night, is how you pay for that? WILLIAMSON: Oh well, of course they say that about any progressive issue, don't they? BALDWIN: But it's a fair question, that's a lot of money, how do you pay for it? WILLIAMSON: Well, first of all, $2 trillion went into the tax cut as we know, 83 cents of every dollar went to the very richest Americans. And the whole thing was the ruse of it being an economic stimulant, it actually wasn't. I think something like what we're talking about now, reparations for slavery, among other things would be an economic stimulant. Because anything that helps people thrive. To me the idea of a reparation's council -- and by the way, Professor Darity is someone who has taught me a lot. And has informed me and I think that he would be a perfect person to be on such a council. My idea is that money would be dispersed over a period of 20 years and people such as Professor Darity, such as those on this council would make those decisions. The stipulation on the part of the U.S. government would be for projects of economic and educational renewal. By definition, projects of economic and educational renewal goes into the lives of people. It increases their educational potential which increases financial potential. Anything which helps people thrive is a -- is money placed into the economy. So when you say -- I mean, the whole economic idea. BALDWIN: You have to understand why people are saying, OK, it sounds wonderful and it felt authentic, where does she, poof, get this money from? It sounds like maybe you don't entirely know. WILLIAMSON: Well I don't even think it's about that. You repeal the 2017 tax cut, you put back in the middle-class tax cut. You make it that the United States government in fact can negotiate with big pharma. You have you the $15 an hour minimum wage. You have the 3 percent tax on billionaires, you have the 2 percent tax on 50 million or more. You start having some cash on hand. And also, you remember that this is where money comes from, the more you educate a child, and the more you unleash the spirit of people by uncapping their dreams, the more creative people can become, the more productive people become. The better the employers will be, the more they'll be entrepreneurial. If you want money, help people live their dreams. Because people want to do amazing things that in fact create money. BALDWIN: I need to keep talking to you, will you stick by through the commercial break? I have a few more questions for you. Marianne Williamson, live here in Detroit after her big debate performance last night. We will be right back. You're watching CNN. [15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Welcome back, we are live in Detroit. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Sitting next to me, Marianne Williamson, fresh off her debate last night, thank you for sticking around. WILLIAMSON: Thank you. BALDWIN: So let's talk next just about health care, right. So on health care you've mentioned you can see both sides. WILLIAMSON: Well, I'm -- BALDWIN: What's your plan? WILLIAMSON: I want "Medicare For All". I definitely want "Medicare For All". BALDWIN: Do you want a private option? WILLIAMSON: I want a public option. BALDWIN: Public option, private insurance. WILLIAMSON: I want a public option. Bernie's plan says there's a four-year transitional period. Congresswoman Jayapal's plan says a two-year period. BALDWIN: Kamala Harris says 10. WILLIAMSON: Yes. BALDWIN: What. WILLIAMSON: To me that's too long. BALDWIN: Too long. WILLIAMSON: The only issue, it's still a sticking point for me. And where I'm still processing in my heart, has to do with private insurance. Not because I'm a fan of the health insurance companies at all. But because as a friend of mine said, Americans want to put mustard on their hot dog if they want to put mustard on their hot dog. Now I know that my very progressive friends -- BALDWIN: Are you going to give people the option to put mustard on the hot dog? WILLIAMSON: Well, that's what -- BALDWIN: That's what you're figuring out. WILLIAMSON: Well, that's I'm figuring out. Because that's what keeping your private insurance, if you want to, allows you to do. Now I know my very progressive friends, even now I'm sure I'll get all kinds of texts, no. But I think I have to be honest and say, on that issue I'm still a little -- I get that -- I even get the numbers, I even get economically it's better if we completely get rid of private health insurance. But I'm just -- BALDWIN: Sounds like this and this. WILLIAMSON: But I don't -- in that case, I -- but you know, I think it's OK sometimes for a politician to say I'm still thinking about that one. BALDWIN: Would you raise taxes on the middle class? WILLIAMSON: No, I want to put the middle-class tax cut back in. I want to repeal the 2017 tax cut, put the middle-class tax cut. BALDWIN: As we discussed a second ago. Can I ask you about Orpah? [15:40:00] Because she was -- you were her spiritual adviser. I read a quote this morning, that she said she'd never been more personally moved by a return to love, which was your 1992, self-help book. Can you just share what your relationship with Oprah is like? She's someone who people hoped would run for President, you're running for President. Has she offered up any words of wisdom to you? WILLIAMSON: First of all, no, I can't share with you what my relationship with her is about. And I I'm sure you can appreciate as a person in the public -- BALDWIN: People are curious, I had to ask. WILLIAMSON: Yes, part of being your friend is I'm not going to say things. BALDWIN: Of course. WILLIAMSON: But I think also, I -- I don't think of myself as her spiritual adviser. BALDWIN: How would you characterize it? WILLIAMSON: Well, I am very grateful, because she has supported my books at various times, and I'm grateful for every word she's ever spoken to me, and every conversation I've ever had with her. But I -- she's never said to me, you're my spiritual adviser, you know, she's a spiritual adviser. BALDWIN: Is she advising you at all, and taking all of this on? WILLIAMSON: No, no, no, no, no. Oprah, no, no, absolutely not. And Oprah is a very a serious woman and I would never wish to exploit whatever that contact is in anyway shape or form. BALDWIN: I had read that Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, they had invited you to Camp David in 1994. And certainly this is something she is familiar with. Have you been in touch with her at all? About -- WILLIAMSON: No. BALDWIN: No. WILLIAMSON: I certainly admire her greatly. BALDWIN: OK. The folks -- just quickly -- you know, some people, obviously, you were the most Googled. WILLIAMSON: Well, except Montana. What's in Montana? BALDWIN: Everybody's like, who's Steve Bullock. Steve Bullock. WILLIAMSON: What about Montana? BALDWIN: You had said, whoever wins needs to not just water the leaves, but water the roots of our democracy. After last night, do you think the Democrats are in a better position or a worse position to beat Donald Trump? BALDWIN: Well, I hope that my voice has contributed something to the conversation already. And I believe that it has. The very fact that you just mentioned that line. I think that people understand that we have to go deeper, the issue is are they prepared to go deeper, that's a very different question. I think that there's an -- you know, I believe that when it am comes to political establishments, sometimes people are more interested in their club than their cause. And I think -- BALDWIN: So what does that mean for Democrats beating Donald Trump? WILLIAMSON: What it means is there's an entrenched way of seeing and doing things that did not work last time, and it will not work this time. BALDWIN: Unless? WILLIAMSON: Unless people are open to some ideas that maybe aren't the ideas they're already carrying. And to be honest, when it comes to my candidacy, it's going to take a little more than just, oh, we have to listen to her. I have spent 35 years learning how to discern what's really going on inside people. And learning how to articulate what those things are in way that helps them change. That's a skill set in and of itself, you can't just paste it on, all you want is my advice, read my books. BALDWIN: No, I think your moment last night I think spoke for itself. Marianne Williamson -- WILLIAMSON: Thank you. Thank you so much. BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
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