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Welcome back. A quick reminder of the rules for this debate. Each candidate has one minute and 15 seconds to answer direct questions from the moderators and 45 seconds to answer rebuttal and follow up questions. Tonight's podium order on the stage was determined by an average of recent polls. And let's begin.
To the candidates last night at this hour, the House of Representatives voted for only the third time in American history to impeach a president. Every one of you was in favor of this action. But unlike 1974 and President Nixon. Congressional Democrats have so far not convinced a strong majority of Americans to support impeachment of President Trump. Why do you think that is? And what can you say or do differently in the coming weeks to persuade more Americans that this is the right thing to do?
I want to ask all of you to respond, but to begin with, Vice President Biden.
You know, Judy, it was a constitution necessity for the House tax, as it did. And, you know, Trump's response to suggest that only half of the American people want to see him thrown out of office. Now, I find is dumbing down the presidency beyond what I even thought he would do, you know? Is it any wonder that if you look at the international polling that's been done, that the Chinese leader is rated above American, the American president, or that Vladimir Putin congratulated him, saying stand fast and in fact, it was a mistake to impeach him?
You know, we need to restore the integrity of the presidency if the office of the presidency. And it's about time we get that underway. My job and I think the job of all of us up here is to in fact. Well, that's not true. Some are going to be actually voting in the Senate. But my job is to just go out and make the case why he doesn't deserve to be president United States for another four years.
Senator Sanders, why do you think more people are not in support of impeachment? And what else can you do?
Well, Judy, what I would say is that. We have a president who is a pathological liar. We have a president who is running the most corrupt administration in the modern history of this country. And we have a president who is a fraud because during this campaign he told working people one thing and he ended up doing something else. I believe it. I will personally be doing this in the coming weeks and months is making the case that we have a president who has sold out the working families of this country, but wants to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid after he promised he would not do that.
And who has documented Lee lied thousands of times since he is president and the case to be made, as you know, shortly. I disagree with Trump on virtually all of his policies. But what conservatives I think understand is that we cannot have a president with that temperament. Was this honoring the presidency of the United States, Senator Warren?
Why do you think? Why do you think more Americans don't agree that this is the right thing to do and what Martin said? So I see this as a constitutional moment. Last night, the president was impeached and everyone now in the Senate has taken a constitutional oath to uphold our Constitution. And that doesn't mean loyalty to an individual. It doesn't a loyalty to a political party. It means loyalty to our country. And that vote will play out over the next several weeks.
But the way I see this is we've now seen the impact of corruption. And that's what's clearly on stage in twenty twenty is how we are going to run against the most corrupt president in living history. You know, this president has made corruption originally. His argument that he would drain the swamp and yet he came to Washington, broke that promise and has done everything he can for the wealthy and the well-connected from tax breaks to ambassadorships. We have to prosecute the case against him.
And that means we need a candidate for president who can draw the sharpest distinction between the corruption of the Trump administration and a Democrat who is willing to get out and fight not for the wealthy and well-connected, but to fight for everyone else. That's why I'm in this race.
Senator, for. kohver Shah, what argument can you make to persuade more Americans this is the right thing? Let me make the case to the American people. As a wise judge said, the president is not king in America. The law is king. And what James Madison once said when he was speaking out at the constitutional convention and by the way, I think he's a pretty good size for a president. He was 5 foot 4. And what he said.
He said the reason that we have these impeachment articles in the Constitution that the provisions are in there is because he feared that a president would betray the trust of the American people for a foreign power. That is what happened here. Watergate, this is a global Watergate. In the case of Watergate, a paranoid president facing election look for dirt on a political opponent. He did it by getting people to break in. This president did it by calling a foreign leader to look for dirt on a political opponent.
And I would make this case as we face his trial in the Senate, if the president claims that he is so innocent, then why doesn't he have all the president's men testify?
Richard Nixon had his top people testify. We should be hearing from Mulvany, who is the one under oath.
Witnesses have said that Mulvany is the one that said, OK, we're going to withhold this aid to a fledgling democracy to get dirt on a political opponent. We should hear from Boldon, who told his own staff to go see a lawyer after they met with the president. That is the case. If President Trump thinks that he should not be impeached. He should be not scared to put forward his own witnesses. Mayor.
Bhuta, Judge. But again, what additional argument can you make to the American people at the end of the day? This is beyond public opinion. This is beyond polls. This is beyond politics. The president left the House with no choice. And I think a lot of us are watching this process, watching Washington go through the motions and not expecting much, but a foregone conclusion when it gets to the Senate. We cannot give in to that sense of helplessness, because that's what they want.
They want us to be taken in by that cynicism where we give up on the process altogether. Meanwhile, their allies are laughing all the way to the bank as we see policies that let giant corporations, some of which made billions in profits, pay not just zero, but as we've recently learned. Negative taxes, all while they block policies, would actually boost wages for working Americans. Here's the good news. It's up to us no matter what happens in the Senate.
It is up to us in 2020. This is our chance to refuse to be taken in by the helplessness, to refuse and reject the cynicism. That is what this presidential election is about. It is what my campaign is about our opportunity in 2020. No matter what happens in Washington as a country to change the course of this nation for the better.
Mr. Yang, what more? Come over here.
Mr. Yang, what more do you think, Judy? I'm sorry, Mr. Stier. I'm sorry.
Well, let me remind everyone that I'm the person who started the need to impeach movement over two years ago because I because I believed what counts here is actually the American people's opinion. Over eight and a half million signed that petition and dragged Washington into the idea that actually the most corrupt president in American history. It's not a question of political expediency. It's not a question of political tactics. It's a question of right and wrong. So now when we look what's going on.
I actually agree with Senator kilo-bits. Right. The question here is, if we want the American people to understand what's going on, we need to have the administration officials testify on TV so we can judge the court that counts. Here is the court of public opinion. The American people deserve to see the truth of these administration officials testifying under oath so we can make up our mind if we want Republican senators to do the right thing. We need their constituents to see the truth on TV and tell them, get rid of this guy or we'll get rid of you.
That's what I believe in. I'm a believer in the grassroots. As an outsider, getting the American people's voice to count, that's who I trust and that's who I trust.
Now, Mr. Yang, it's clear why Americans can't agree on impeachment. We're getting our news from different sources and it's making it hard for us even to agree on basic facts. Congressional approval rating last I checked was something like 17 percent. And Americans don't trust the media networks to tell them the truth. The media networks didn't do us any favors by missing a reason why Donald Trump became our president in the first place. If you turn on cable network news today, you would think he's our president because of some combination of Russia racism, Facebook, Hillary Clinton and emails all mixed together.
But Americans around the country are no different. We blasted away four million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa. We blasted forty thousand manufacturing jobs there. The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all of our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what's going on in our communities and solve those problems. Well, we have to do is we have to stop being obsessed over impeachment, which unfortunately strikes many Americans like a ball game or, you know, what the score is going to be and start actually digging in and solving the problems that God Donald Trump elected in the first place.
We have to take every opportunity to present a new positive vision for the country, a new way forward to help beat him in twenty twenty. Because make no mistake, he'll be there at the ballot box for us to defeat. Thank you, Mr.. Let's turn now to an issue that is on the minds of all Americans and that is the economy. Senator Sanders, today the House of Representatives voted for a new bipartisan trade agreement among the United States, Canada and Mexico.
It was supported by union friendly leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and big labor groups like the AFL CIO. They say it is going to be a big job creator. Senator, my question is, will you support this deal? And if not, why not?
Judy, you're talking to somebody who, unlike some of my colleagues here. Voted against Moftah, voted against PNTR with China. Two agreements, the causeless over four million decent paying jobs. Now, I don't agree with the your statement that people think this is going to be a great job creator. This is a modest improvement over what we have right now. It would allow hopefully Mexican workers to organize into unions, independent unions and be able to globally negotiate decent contracts.
But at the end of the day, in my view, it is not going to stop outsourcing. It is not going to stop corporations from moving to Mexico. We are manufacturing workers make less than $2 an hour. What we need is a trade policy that stands up for workers, stands up for farmers. And by the way, the word climate change, to the best of my knowledge, is not discussed in this. No, not the agreement at all, which is an outrage.
So, no, I will not be voting for this agreement, although it makes some modest improvements. Senator Klobuchar, I have a different view.
I'll go with my friend Sherrod Brown, who has voted against every trade agreement that's come in front of him. And he's voting for this. And I am, too. And the reason I am voting for it is that I believe that we have a change with this agreement. I would not have voted for the agreement that President Trump put forward, but we've got better labor standards, better environmental standards and a better deal when it comes to the pharmaceutical provision, which I also oppose.
Ninety five percent of our customers are outside of our borders, and we have to make sure that we have trade agreements that are more fair, because if we can encourage work made in America, every time you hold something in your hand that says Made in America, it is the ingenuity of our workers. It is a quality of a product. It is a quality of our workers. And it is the hopes and dreams of the American people. I think this agreement, while Senator Sanders is correct, there are some issues with it, is much better than the one originally proposed.
And for those farmers in the Midwest and for those people that have been hurt by the fact that we will not have a trade segment with Mexico and with Canada and the United States, I think that this is a much better deal.
We can pull some of here. I see some other hands up. I want to move to the next question, and you can bring in, I think, your points with this and this one I'm going to initially address to Vice President Biden.
And that is the overall U.S. economy right now looks strong. The unemployment rate is at historic lows. Unemployment among African-Americans is down. The markets are booming. Wages, while not growing as much as many would like. They're still doing about as well as they were in the Obama Biden era. My question to you, Mr. Vice President, is what is your argument to the voter watching this debate tonight? You may not like everything President Trump does, but they really like this economy and they don't know why they should make a change.
Well, I don't think they really do like the economy. Go back and talk to the old neighbors in the middle class neighborhood you grew up in. Middle class is getting killed. Middle class is getting crushed in. The working class has no way up as a consequence of that. You have, for example, farmers in the Midwest, 40 percent could pay couldn't pay their bills last year. You have most Americans, if they received the bill for four hundred dollars or more, they'd have to sell something or borrow the money.
The middle class is not as behind the eight ball. We have to make sure that they have an even shot. We have to eliminate a significant number of these god awful tax cuts that were given to the very wealthy. We have to invest in education. We have to invest in health care. We have to invest in those things that make a difference in the lives of middle class people so they can maintain their standard of living. That's not being done.
And the idea that we're growing, we're not growing the wealthy, very wealthy or growing. Ordinary people are not growing. They are not happy with where they are. And that's why we must change this presidency.
Now, I go to Judge Hatcher, if that's your assessment. Yes.
Where I live. Folks aren't measuring the economy by how the Dow Jones is looking, measuring the economy, by how they're doing. When you're doing the bills at the end of the month at your kitchen table and you find that even if your wages have gone up, it's not nearly going as fast as the cost to health and a house. This economy is not working for most of us for the middle class. And I know you're only ever supposed to say middle class and not poor in politics.
But we've got to talk about poverty in this country. There is not one county in the United States of America where someone working full time at the minimum wage can afford a two bedroom apartment in most places, not even a one bedroom part. The biggest problem in our economy is simple. People are not getting paid enough. That is not the result of some mysterious cosmic force. It's the result of bad policy. And we've got to change it by raising wages and empowering workers.
Mr. Lang, GDP and corporate profits are at record highs in America today, also at record highs, depression, financial insecurity, student loan debt. Even suicides and drug overdoses. It has gotten so bad that our life expectancy as a country has declined for the last three years because suicides and drug overdoses have overtaken vehicle deaths for the first time in American history. The fact is this unemployment rate and GDP have very little relationship with people's lived experience on the ground.
If you're a recent college graduate, you have a 40 percent chance of doing a job that doesn't require a college degree. That doesn't show up in the headline unemployment rate, nor does all of the families that are working two or three jobs to get by. Senator Warren, you have your hand up. I do, and I have a question for you. Well, I want to ask. Go ahead. Question. Go ahead. Because here's the problem.
I'm proud to stand on a stage with Democrats. Understand that a rising GDP, rising corporate profits is not being felt by millions of families across this country. I'm proud to stand on a stage with people who see that America's middle class is being hollowed out and the working families and poor people are being left behind. What we need to talk about, though, is why that has happened. And the answer is we've got a government that works great for those with money and doesn't work for much of anyone else.
We have a government that works great for giant drug companies, just not for someone trying to fill a prescription, works great for people who want to make money at private prisons and private detention centers at our border, just not for the people whose lives are torn apart. Works great for giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere, but not the rest of us who see climate change bearing down upon us. And when you see a government that works great for the wealthy and the well-connected and for no one else, that is corruption, pure and simple.
And we need to call it out for what it is.
I want. I want I want Senator Sanders, if you got a brief response and then I have another question. OK, his response. Trump goes around saying the economy is doing great. You know what? Real inflation accounted for, wages went up last year. One point one percent had a great tonight. Well, three people own more wealth than the bottom half of America. Five hundred thousand Americans, including thirty thousand veterans, are sleeping out on the streets today.
In America, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth. More income and wealth inequality since that since the 1920s. We need an economy that works for working families, not just the 1 percent. That is what our campaign is about. Senator Warren, I have a question for you.
Every candidate on this stage has proposed tax increases on the wealthy, but you have especially ambitious plans that, apart from health care, would hike taxes an additional eight trillion dollars over the decade. The biggest tax increase since World War 2. How do you answer top economists who say taxes of this magnitude would stifle growth and investment?
Oh, they're just wrong.
Let's start with a wealth tax, the idea of a two cent tax on the great fortunes in this country. Fifty million dollars and above for two cents. What can we do? We can invest in the rest of America. We can provide universal child care, early childhood education for every baby in this country, age 0 to 5, universal pre-K for every 3 year olds and 4 year old and raise the wages of every child care worker and preschool teacher.
We can do even more for our public schools, for college graduates. We can cancel student loan debt. But think about the economic impact of that. You'll live to sense with the billionaires. They're not eating more pizzas. They're not buying more cars. We invest that 2 percent in early childhood education and child care. That means those babies get top notch care. It means their moms can finish their education. It means their mom is in. Their daddies can take on real jobs, harder jobs, longer hours.
And we can increase productivity in this country and we can start building this economy from the ground up. That's how we build it in small towns. That's how we build it in rural America. And that's how we build it in urban America. An economy that works brief non-Serbs. Wall Street works from great responses from Mr. Stier.
And it's a brutal day. So let me say that I agree with Senator Warren and much of what she says.
I've been for a wealth tax for over a year. I'm in favor of undoing all the tax breaks for rich people and big corporations.
This administration is put through. And in addition, I've talked about a quick liberating the taxes on passive investment income, which would allow us to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans by 10 percent. But there's something else going on here that I think is really important. And that's this. We know Mr. Trump's going to run on the economy. I built a business over 30 years from scratch. We're going to have to take him on on the economy in terms of growth as well as economic justice.
We're gonna have to be able to talk about growth, prosperity across the board for everyone in America. My experience building a business, understanding how to make that happen means I can go toe to toe with Mr. Trump and take him down on the economy and expose him as a fraud and a failure. And I think that's different from the other people on this stage. I think we need a different unconventional way of attacking a different unconventional president who actually went after the mayor, best prepared candidate in American history, and Beder mayor.
But yet we're also being right now, I think we're being offered a false choice. You either have to go all the way to the extreme or it's business as usual. Yes, we must deliver big ideas. And, yes, taxes on wealthy individuals and on corporations are going to have to go up. We can also be smart about the promises we're making, make sure their promises that we can keep without the kind of taxation that economists tell us could hurt the economy.
It's why, for example, I propose that we make college free for 80 percent of Americans, but it doesn't have to be free for the top. If you're in that top 10 percent, how about you pay your own tuition and we save those dollars for something else that we could spend them on that would make a big difference, whether it's infrastructure, child care, housing, health on issue after issue, we've got to break out of the Washington mindset that measures the bigness of an idea by how many trillions of dollars it adds to the budget or the boldness of an idea by how many fellow Americans it can antagonize.
We're going to take a short break and we'll be right back in two minutes with questions from my former moderator.
Welcome back, everyone. We are here back at the break in this debate, the first of three breaks. This is a short one. I'm joined by, of course, our fantastic panel of analysts and journalists. And I want to first ask you, Stephanie Stein, Amy Walter. We hit the two big topics right off the top. Impeachment, basically, President Trump, how do you deal with him and the economy? Let's start with the economy.
That's you. That's the number one issue for voters here. All of these candidates want $15 an hour minimum wage, at least eventually. But what differences did we hear? Anything significant? The difference we heard was at the very end there with people at a judge saying, you know, we got to make sure that there are promises that we can keep and going back. Something we talked about before as the debate began, this sense of breaking away from Elizabeth Warren by saying, we can be big, we can be bold, we can have really progressive ideas.
But if we look like we are measuring our boldness just in how high the tax, how much how much tax we are putting on Americans, how big the programs are going to be, that's just going to come back and hurt the Democratic nominee. Stephanie side. So first of all, Elizabeth Warren's answer to Judy's question, she didn't answer it directly. She just said, no, those models are wrong. There are different economic models of what impact?
What about the economic doubts about your plan? You said they're just wrong. Yeah. And you know, the fact is, Wharton added University of Pennsylvania came out with a budget model just last week. And and it's say that her model in the next 10 years could constrain GDP growth. There are different models out there. She's going to have to continue to explain that question. If she makes it into the general policy equations. Yes. Also, they have some details.
That's all right. Looks like candidates might have gotten their drinks of water. I hope you did, too. And we're going to go back to the stage momentarily again for the PBS NewsHour Politico Democratic debate. Many more big issues to come. Stay tuned. Live from Los Angeles. The PBS NewsHour political Democratic debate continues once again, Judy Woodruff.
Welcome back to the PBS NewsHour Politico. Democratic presidential debate. The next question is from Tim Alberta of Politico. Thanks, Judy.
Candidates, good evening. We're going to talk about climate. Now, Senator Klobuchar. Many scientists say that even if the US reduced its carbon footprint to zero by the year 2050, the damage will have been done. Climate change will have made certain places in the U.S. unlivable. So knowing this, would you support a new federal program to subsidize the relocation of American families and businesses away from places like Miami or Paradise, California, perhaps Davenport, Iowa? Because we know these places are going to be hit.
Time and time again.
Well, I don't. I very much hope we're not going to have to relocate entire cities, but we will probably have to relocate some individual residents. And the problem right now is that this climate change is an existential crisis. And you are seeing it here in California with the fires that you just had. You saw it in northern California, as was mentioned, with paradise. And the most moving video from that to me is a 30 second video of that dad driving his little girl through the lapping fires with the neighborhood burning behind him and singing to her to calm her down.
We cannot wait to act. There's an Ojibway saying that great leaders make decisions not for this generation, but seven generations from now. This president doesn't keep his decisions for seven minutes.
So I think we need to do is get back into the international climate change agreement. I will do that on day one on day to bring back the clean power rules. On day three, the gas mileage standards. I see the governor of California. He's been working so hard to get those done, defied every step of the way by the Trump administration and then introduce sweeping legislation to put a price on carbon and build a bridge to the next century. Thank you, Senator.
Swellings. We must upgrade our buildings and our buildings stand. Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.
Mr. Starr, would you support such a new federal program again to help subsidize the relocation of these families? Look, I am hoping that we, in fact, will do what I'm suggesting, which is declare a state of emergency on day one of my presidency.
I have made this I believe I'm the only person here who will say unequivocally this is my number one priority.
I know that we have to deal with this crisis. I know that we have to deal with it from the standpoint of environmental justice. I've been working on this for more than a decade. I've taken on oil companies and beaten them on environmental laws. I pushed clean energy across this country. I've prevented pipelines and I've prevented fossil fuel plants. But what I know is this not only can we clean up the air and water in the black and brown communities where our pollution is concentrated.
This is also the opportunity to create literally millions of middle class union jobs well-paid across the United States of America. Our biggest crisis is our biggest opportunity. And if we don't declare a state of emergency on day one, I don't understand how we go to the people around the world to lead the coalition. That has to happen and that only America can lead. Look, this is a generational question. I have a lot of respect for the people on this stage.
I know everybody is worried about this. But for instance, I would call on Mayor Bhuta Judge to prioritize this hire because the people in his generation understand that this is a crisis that we have to go on right now. But it's also the greatest opportunity to rebuild and reinvent America. Mr. Starr. Mr. Bhuta Judge, 45 seconds to respond.
Well, I've made clear that this will be a topic they day one action and this is not theoretical for me. I live in one of those river cities that you're talking about. Not only that, I live right by the river. My neighborhood flooded in the second of two once in a millennium floods that we had in two years. Do the math on that. So I know what's at stake. And it's why I insist that we act with a carbon tax and dividend, with massive increases in renewable research on renewable energy, energy storage and carbon storage.
But bigger than that. I have to summon the energies of the entire country to deal with this. I've seen politicians in Washington saying the right thing about climate change as long as I've been alive, all these plans, we have to get carbon neutral by 2050. And I think most or all of us have one. Their impact is multiplied by zero unless something actually gets done. We'd like to say that is why I want to make sure that our vision for climate includes people from the autoworker down the block from me and SBN to a farmer.
A few minutes away so that they understand that we are asking. Recruiting them to be part of the solution. Mr. Meyer, reading them over the head and counting them. We'd like to switch gears slightly. Vice President Biden would like to ask you, three consecutive American presidents have enjoyed stints of explosive economic growth due to a boom in oil and natural gas production as president. Would you be willing to sacrifice some of that growth, even knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue collar workers in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?
The answer is yes. The answer is yes, because the opportunity, the opportunity for those workers to transition to high paying jobs, Tom said, is real. We're the only country world has ever taken great, great crises in tournaments, enormous opportunities. I've met with the union leaders, for example. We should, in fact, be making not making sure right now that every new building built is energy contained, that it doesn't leak energy, that in fact, we we should be providing tax credits for people to be able to make their homes turn to solar power, where there's all kinds of folks out here right here in California.
We're now on the verge of having batteries that are about the size of the top of this podium that you can store energy when in fact the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. We have enormous opportunities. For example, you talked about would we relocate people who, in fact, were in a position where they lost their homes? We have to not rebuild with the standard that existed before. When we talk about we've been committed and help people, we have to rebuild to the standard that exist today.
For example, we shouldn't build another new highway in America that doesn't have charging stations on it. We have an opportunity to put five hundred fifty thousand charging stations so that we own the electric vehicle market, creating millions of jobs for people and installing them, as well as making sure that we own the electric vehicle market. There's so many things we can do and we have to make sure we explain it to those people who are displaced that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunity.
Thank you, Vice President Biden.
Senator Sanders. Tim, and in all due respect, your question misses the mark.
It is on an issue of relocating people in towns. The issue now is whether we save the planet for our children and our grandchildren. The issue is you should know what the scientists are telling us is they have underestimated the threat and severity of climate change. You're talking about the Paris agreement. That's fine. Ain't enough. We have got to. And I've introduced legislation to do this, declare a national emergency. The United States has got to lead the world.
And maybe, just maybe, instead of spending one point a trillion a year globally on weapons of destruction, maybe an American president, i.e. Bernie Sanders, can lead the world instead of spending. Well, buddy, they're killing each other. Maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy said, which is climate change. Thank you, Senator Sanders.
To Senator Warner, a new question to you, Senator Warren. Many of our Western allies rely heavily on nuclear energy because it's efficient, affordable and virtually carbon free. And many climate experts believe that it's impossible to realize your goal of net zero emissions by the year 2050 without utilizing nuclear energy. So can you have it both ways on this issue?
So I see it right now. We've got to get carbon. We've got to stop putting more carbon into the air. We've got to get the carbon out of the air and out of the water. And that means that we need to keep some of our nuclear in place. I will not build more nuclear. I want to put the energy literally and the money and the resources behind clean energy. And by increasing by tenfold what we put into science, what we put into research and development, we need to do what we do best.
And that is innovate our way out of this problem and be a world leader. But understand, the biggest climate problem we face is the politicians in Washington who keep saying the right thing, but continue to take money from the oil industry, continue to bow down to the lobbyists, to the lawyers, to the think tanks, to the bought and paid for experts. America understands that we've got to make change and we're running out of time. That climate change threatens every living thing on this planet.
But getting Congress to act, you know, they just don't want to hear it. And if we don't attack the corruption first, if we don't attack the corruption head on, then we're not going to be able to make the changes we need to make on climate, on gun safety, on drug pricing, on all of the big problems that face. We need a Washington that doesn't just work for the rich and the powerful. We need one that works for our families.
Thank you, Senator.
Senator Coburn. Sure. And then I'd like to bring in Senator Yang, Yangon. Mr. Stier.
Well, I wanted to add to what Elizabeth said. So the way we tackle this corruption is by winning big in this election. And the way we take on climate change in a big way is by. Yes, talking about what's happening on the coasts, as I just did, but also talking about what's happening in the Midwest where I'm from. It's not flyover country to me. I live there. And what we are seeing there is unprecedented flooding. We're seeing an increased 50 percent increase in homeowner's insurance over the last few years.
And when we make these changes, we have to make clear to people that when we put a price on carbon, that that money is going to come back to those areas where people are going to be hurt, where jobs are going to change, and to make them whole with their energy bills. When you make that case like that, you bring in the mystic Midwestern votes. You win big. And I think the best way to do it is by putting someone at the top of the ticket who is from the Midwest.
Mr. Yang Yang, 45 seconds on the issue of nuclear energy.
Well, first, we should obviously be paying to relocate Americans away from places that are hit by climate change. We're already doing it. We relocated a town in Louisiana that became uninhabitable because the sea levels rose and we know that town is not alone. That's playing out in coastal areas around the country. The question is, do you leave that town on its own to fend for itself or you come together as a country and say we need to protect our people from climate change?
Part of my plan is literally called move people to higher ground, because that's what we need to do. And that's literal and figurative here in California. It's forest fires and forest management, a nuclear power. I agree with the research. We need to have everything on the table in a crisis situation, which this is other countries have had success with nuclear power and the next generation thorium reactors have a wealth of potential. Thorium is not radioactive the way uranium is.
It doesn't last as long. And you can't make a weapon out of it. Whereas if we're going to innovate our way out of this, as Elizabeth is saying, then we have to have nuclear on the table. Thank you, Mr. Yang. The last the last word on climate change is the fire.
But the point about nuclear power is it's not at this stage in the United States where it's competitive on price. It has a lot of risks to it in terms of disasters. And we have no ability to store the toxins that come out of it. And last one hundred thousand years, we actually have the technology that we need. It's called wind and solar and batteries. So, in fact, what we need to do, we can do. We've got to stop taking a look at this as something that we can't do, because we can do this and we can do it in a way that creates rebuilds this country on an accelerated basis, creates millions of union jobs.
And we come at it from the standpoint of environmental justice. This is our greatest opportunity to reinvent this country, to actually take on the biggest challenge in history and succeed together. You want to pull the country together with all this partisanship. Take on the biggest challenge in history and succeed together as a nation. That's what pulls people. Thank you, Mr. Stier. President Biden. Yes.
You've been reassuring voters that things will return to normal once President Trump leaves office. That Republicans will have what you call an epiphany and come to the table to work with a Biden administration. But given everything that you have seen from current Republicans, what evidence is there that things will change?
Look, I didn't say return to normal. Normal is not enough normal. In fact, we've got to move beyond normal, whether it's health care, the environment, whatever it is, we have to build on what we had started in our administration. And that's been interrupted very badly. Number one. Number two, with Trump out of the way, it's not going to change things in a fundamental way. But what it will do is it will mean that we're in a position where he's not going to be able intimidate the base, his base, and not intimidate those half a dozen Republicans we may need and other things.
I refuse to accept the notion as some on this stage do, that we can never, never get to a place where we have cooperation again. If that's the case, we're dead as a country. We need to be able to reach consensus. If anyone has reason to be angry with the Republicans and not want to cooperate, it's me the way they've attacked me, my son and my family.
I have no, no, no, no. But the fact is, we have to we have to be able to get things done.
And when we can't convince them, we go out and beat them like we did in the 2018 election. In red states and in purple states, they can survive it.
Mr. Gang, I want to switch topics for you. Mr. Yang, a new question.
The Democratic Party relies on black, Hispanic and Asian voters. But you are the only candidate of color on the stage tonight, and the entire field remains overwhelmingly white. What message do you think this sends to voters of color?
It's both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on the stage tonight. I miss Kamala. Miss Corey, you know, I think. Corey, I'll be back.
I grew up the son of immigrants, and I had many racial epithets used against me as a kid. But Black and Latinos have something much more powerful working against them than words. They have numbers. The average net worth of a black household, only 10 percent out of a white household. For Latinos, it's twelve percent. If you're a black woman, you're three hundred twenty percent more likely to die from complications in childbirth. These are the numbers that define race in our country.
And the question is, why am I the lone candidate of color on this stage? Fewer than 5 percent of Americans donate to political campaigns. You know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income.
The way we fix this is we take Martin Luther King's message of a guaranteed minimum income, a freedom dividend of $1000 a month for all Americans. I guarantee if we had a freedom dividend of $1000 a month, I would not be the only candidate of color on this stage tonight.
Thank you, Mr. Yang. Senator Sanders, I do want to put the same question to Senator Sanders. What do you think of that question?
Well, I wanted to get back to your issue of climate change for a moment, because I do believe this is the existential issue.
Senator, with all respect, this question is about race. Can you answer the question as it with. People of color, in fact, are going to be people suffering most if we do not deal with climate change.
And by the way, we have an obligation up here if there are not any of our African-American brothers and sisters up here to speak about an economy. In which African-Americans are exploited, where black women die three times at a higher rate than white women. Where we have a criminal justice system which is racist and broken, disproportionately made up of African-Americans and Latinos and Native Americans who are in jail. So we need an economy that focuses on the needs of oppressed, exploited people, and that is the African-American community.
Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Here in California, people who identify as Hispanic, black, Asian or multiracial represent a majority of the population outnumbering white residents. The United States is expected to be majority non-white within a generation. What do you say to white Americans who are uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a racial minority, even if you don't share their concerns?
I'd say this is America. You're looking at it and we are not going to be able to succeed in the world if we do not invite everyone to be part of our economy. Our Constitution says that we strive for a more perfect union. Well, that's what we are in doing right now. And to me, that means one that everyone can vote and that includes our communities of color. This action that's been taken by this president and his people and his governors all over the country is wrong.
They have made it harder for African-Americans to vote, as one court said, discriminated with surgical precision. What would I do as a one of the leaders on voting in the U.S. Senate? One stop the purging. Stacey Abrams said, you know, you do not stop having your right to assemble if you don't go to a meeting for a year because you don't go to church or synagogue or a mosque for three months. You don't lose your right to worship.
You shouldn't lose your right to vote.
I would pass as president my bill to register every every kid in this country when they turn 18 to vote. That would make all of these discriminatory actions in these states go away. And I would stop the gerrymandering in addition to the agenda of economic opportunity, because as Martin Luther King says, what good is it to integrate a lunch counter if you can't afford a hamburger? Thank you, Senator.
Let's now turn to the issue of foreign policy and the Middle East.
Senator Sanders, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently declared that the United States believes Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law.
That broke decades long U.S. precedent. How would you respond to Israeli expansion of settlements? Would you link that to foreign aid to Israel? Israel has and I say this is somebody who lived in Israel as a kid, proudly Jewish. Israel has the right not only to exist but to exist in peace and security.
But what? But what U.S. foreign policy must be about is not just being pro-Israel. We must be pro Palestinian as well.
And whether, in my view. We must understand that right now in Israel, we have leadership under Netanyahu, who has recently, as you know, been in dieted for bribery, who in my view is a racist. What we need is a level playing field in terms of the Middle East, which addresses the terrible crisis in Gaza, where 60 or 70 percent of the young people are unemployed. So what my foreign policy will be about is human rights.
Is democracy is bringing people together in a peaceful way, trying to negotiate agreements, not endless wars with trillions of dollars of expenses. Thank you, Senator.
I've been a judge for year.
We are seeing in the Middle East and around the world are the consequences of this president's failure. This president's refusal to lead is particularly disturbing in the case of Israel because he has infused domestic politics, making U.S. foreign policy choices in order to effectively interfere in Israeli domestic politics. Acting as though that somehow makes him pro-Israel and pro Jewish while welcoming white nationalists into the White House, is not only in the Middle East that we see the consequences of the disappearance of U.S.
leadership. We see among our allies and among our adversaries case after case, where the world is making plans on what to do. Ignoring the United States because we're no longer considered reliable. It's not just the mockery at a cocktail party.
On the sidelines of the conference was the looks on the faces of the leaders at the U.N. as they looked at the United States president with a mixture of contempt and pity. As an American, I never again want to see the American president looked at that way by the leaders of the world. The world needs America right now, but it can't be just any America. It has to be one that is actually living up to the values that make us who we are supporting peace, supporting democracy, supporting human rights and supporting stability around the world.
Thank thank you, Mayor Boobage as Senator Warren. President Obama pledged to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, but could not 40 prisoners remain there? Last year, U.S. taxpayers paid five hundred and forty million dollars to keep Guantanamo open. Would you pledge to finally close the detention facility and if elected. How would you do it?
Yes, it's time to close this detention facility. It not only costs us money, it is an international embarrassment. We have to be an America that lives our values every single day. We can't be an America that stands up and asks people to fight alongside us, as we did with the Kurds in fighting ISIS and then turn around in the blink of a tweet and say that we're turning our backs on the people who stood beside us after that. Who wants to be an ally of the United States?
We have to be an America that understands the difference and recognizes the difference between our allies, the people who will work alongside us and the dictators who would do us harm. And we need to treat our allies better than we treat the dictators. That needs to be our job as an America.
We have we have the finest military on Earth. All three of my brothers serve and we have people on the stage who have served. And I'm deeply grateful for that. Our military is strong and important, but we need to be an America that relies on our State Department, that relies on diplomacy, that relies on our economic power, and that relies on working together with the rest of the world to build a world that is sustainable environmentally and economically forever.
Thank you, Senator Warren.
Vice President Biden, why couldn't you close Guantanamo Bay?
Why couldn't the Obama administration close to close Guantanamo Bay? But you have to have congressional authority to do it. They've kept it open. And the fact is that we, in fact, think it's the greatest. It is an advertisment for to creating terror. Look what we have done around the world in terms of keeping Guantanamo open or what Trump has done by no longer being an honest broker in Israel. There's no solution for Israel other than a two state solution.
It does not exist. It's not possible to have a Jewish state in Middle East without there being a two state solution. And he has played to all the same fears and all the prejudices that exist in this country and Israel. Bibi Netanyahu and I know one another well. He knows that. I think what he's doing is outrageous. What we do is we have to put pressure constantly on the Israelis to move to a two state solution, not withdrawal of physical aid from them in terms of their security.
And lastly, I think that Senator Warner is correct. We have led by not the example of our power, but the power of our example. And the example we did demonstrating now is horrible. It's hurting us better. Thank you. Vice President Biden duty.
I want to turn to another part of the world, and that's China. But a judge, you have said that you think China presents more of a challenge than do your fellow candidates believe. The U.S. clearly wants China's cooperation on human rights, on on climate change, on North Korea, on terrorism. And yet Americans are appalled by China's record on human rights, including the detention of over a million Muslim winger's. Should the US, as my question, do more than protest and issue sanctions?
Should the U.S., for example, boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics?
I think that any tool ought to be on the table, especially diplomatic, economic and social tools like what you're describing. Look for the president to let it be known that his silence, whether it's on the rounding up of Muslim workers in Shenyang, put him into camps or the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong for democracy, for him to let us let China know that his silence can be purchased is trashing American values.
Reality is that there's a lot more to the relationship with China than who's selling more dishwashers. Yes, we need a much smarter trade policy. Also to acknowledge what's going on over there. The use of technology for the perfection of dictatorship that is going to require a stronger than ever response from the US in defense of democracy. But when folks out there standing up for democracy here, not a peep from the president of the United States, what message is that sending to the Chinese Communist Party?
The message I will send is that if they perpetrate a repeat of anything like tenements, where when it comes to Hong Kong, they will be isolated from the free world and we will lead that isolation diplomatically and economically.
Mr.. This is dire. Many Americans have been moved in the last months by the protests of the people of Hong Kong. It is Chinese territory. But what could you would you do as president if the Chinese government moved in militarily?
Look, there is a temptation, particularly for this president to try and answer that on a bilateral in a bilateral way. The way the United States should be reacting in Hong Kong is by gathering our coalition of democracy and freedom loving partners and allies to push back. In fact, when we're making moral statements around the world, it should not be us threatening and trying to be the world's policeman. It should be us leading on a value driven basis with the other people who share our values and want to change the world.
We actually can't isolate ourselves from China. In fact, we have to work with them as a frenemy. People who disturb us, who we disagree with, but who in effect we are linked to in a world that is ever getting closer. And in fact, if we are going to treat climate as the threat that it is, we are going to have to partner with the Chinese. They are going to have to come along with us. They're gonna have to trust us.
And together, we're gonna have to solve this problem. So the ability to say your style is off the table. We need a good relationship with them. We're gonna have to work with them going forward. Under all circumstances. Thank you, Mr. Starr.
Vice President Biden on China. We we now know that China is engaged in an unprecedented military buildup. They have just launched a new aircraft carrier. There are new signs of their disturbing espionage campaign here inside the United States. There are a number of disturbing signs in the Chinese. National security scholars have long warned about the historical precedent that when there's a ruling power and a rising power is likely to be a war. Is the US on a collision course with China?
What steps could you take a collision course with China, but not for war? We have to make clear is that we, in fact, are not going to abide by what they've done. A million wiggers, as you pointed out. Muslims are in concentration camps. That's what they are right now. They're being abused or in concentration camps. And what we started in our administration. Trump stopped. We should be moving 60 percent of our sea power to that area of the world to let, in fact, the Chinese understand that they're not going to go any further.
We are going to be there to protect other folks. Secondly, we, in fact, should make sure that we begin to rebuild our alliances, which Trump has demolished with Japan and South Korea, Australia and all, and Indonesia. We, in fact, need to have allies who understand that we're going to stop the Chinese from their actions. We should be gone to the U.N. immediately. And so it's sanctions against them in the United Nations for what they did.
We have to be firm. We don't have to go to war. But we have to make it clear this is as far as you go, China. And in terms of their military buildup, it's real. But it would take them about 17 years to build up. There we are. We're not looking for a war. But we've got to make clear we are a Pacific power and we are not going to back away.
Mr. Yang and then Senator Klobuchar, I have family in Hong Kong. I spent four months there and seeing what's happening on the streets. It's shocking. They banned face masks in Hong Kong. Why? Because they have a technology that now is using facial recognition to identify protesters if they so much as do anything on the street so they can follow up with them and detain them later. This is the rivalry that we have to win where China is concerned. They're in the process of leapfrogging us in A.I.
because they have more data than we do and their government is subsidizing it to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. I have sat with our leading technologists and they say they cannot match the Chinese resources. China just produced its first major smartphone that does not have Google Apps and it is now trying to export its technology to the rest of the world. What we have to do is build an international coalition to set technology standards and then you can bring the Chinese to the table in a very real way, because this is their top priority and this is where we need to outcompete them and win Santa Claus.
Sha. When it comes to foreign policy, I think we need to keep our promises and keep our threats. And this president has done neither. And a country like China. Their leaders. They watch that and they know he has stood with dictators over innocence. He has stood with tyrants over free leaders. He does it all the time. And I have a little different take than some of my colleagues when it comes to what happened at that conference with NATO.
Yeah, they were making fun of him, some of the foreign leaders. I've heard senators make more fun of other senators than that. The point of it was that he couldn't even tolerate it. He is, though, thin skinned that he walked, he quit. America doesn't quit. So if we want to send a message to the Chinese, we stand with our allies. We stand with them firmly. We have a very clear and coherent foreign policy when it comes to human rights.
Check out my Web site, Amy Clover's Starcom. I have the five hours of our foreign policy about reasserting our values, rejoining international agreements like the Iranian nuclear agreement. But it all comes down to one are returning to sanity. Mayor, good judge you. We're going to take a break. I'm really not worried about the president's bad sense of humor when it comes to being made fun of. I'm worried about the fact that he is echoing the vocabulary of dictators around the world.
When the American president refers to unfavorable press coverage as the product of the enemy of the people, democracy around the world gets weak. Freedom of the press, not just here at home, but around the world, gets weaker. It's one more reminder of what is at stake, not just here at home, but for world history in the imperative that we win. This will let I respond. This is our chance. Go back. I just want to make very clear, Mayor, that the freedom of the press is deep in my heart.
My dad was a newspaper man, and I am the one that asked every attorney general candidate we've had under Donald Trump, both of whom I opposed, about their respect for the First Amendment. And they have refused. They have refused to follow the rules that Attorney General Holder put in place when it came to protecting our journalists. They would not permit that. They wouldn't put a journalists in jail for doing their job. So this is not just talking points to me.
This is the real world. And I think that experience that I will bring to the White House with protecting the First Amendment is worth more than any talking points.
We are going to take a short break and we will be. We'll be.