Welcome back. The presidential candidates were about to begin opening statements.
But first, a quick review of the ground rules that your campaigns agreed to earlier this month to try to ensure a fair debate as moderators. We will attempt to guide the discussion. You will each receive one minute to answer questions, 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals, and 15 additional seconds. If a moderator asks for clarification, the timing lights will remind you of these limits. Please respect them and please refrain from interrupting other candidates during their allotted time. A candidate infringing on another candidate's time will have his or her time reduced.
We again remind our audience inside the Fox Theater to try to remain silent. When candidates are actively debating, the candidates need to be able to properly hear the questions and each other. Let's start with opening statements.
You will ease each receive one minute.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, please begin to the working people of America. Tonight, I bring you a message of hope we can make change in this country. I know from personal experience it can be done. When I became the mayor of the nation's largest city. I set us on a path of bold change. They said it couldn't be done, but we gave pre-K to every child for free. We got rid of stop and frisk and we lowered crime.
We raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Yes, it can be done now.
Tonight we have to get to the heart and soul of who we are as Democrats. There are good people on this stage, but there are real differences.
Joe Biden told wealthy donors that nothing fundamentally would change if he were president. Kamala Harris said she's not trying to restructure society. Well, I am. For 40 years, working people have taken it on the chin in this country. For 40 years, the rich have gotten richer and they paid less and less in taxes. It cannot go on this way. When I'm president, we will even up the score and we will tax the hell out of the wealthy to make this a fairer country and to make sure it's a country that puts working people first.
Thank you, Mayor de Blasio. Senator Michael Bennet, thank you.
Last week, I saw one of those Trump signs that says America love it or leave it. And it was on the outside of a church. I love America. And I know we can make it better. Before coming to the Senate, I ran a large urban school district where most kids live in poverty. Those kids have exactly the same hopes that I had.
Their parents have exactly the same hopes for them that my parents had for me. And that's Jewsand I had for our three children. But for the last three years, we've been consumed by a president who frankly, doesn't give a damn about your kids or mine. Mr President, kids belong in classrooms, not cages. And they deserve something better than a bully in the White House. Let's end this three ring circus in Washington and make it let's make this election about reclaiming our future for our kids and our democracy.
Empty promises won't beat Donald Trump. I can.
Governor Jay Inslee. Good evening. I'm Jay Inslee. I am running for president because the people in this room and the Democrats watching tonight are the last best hope for humanity on this planet. If if we make defeating the climate crisis a top priority, the United States, we will have a fighting chance to save ourselves and our children's future.
It has to be our top priority. My plan is one of national mobilization, quickly bringing 100 percent clean energy to Americans, creating eight million good union jobs.
This is a big, bold, ambitious plan for clean energy, for a big, bold, ambitious nation. Middle ground approaches are not enough.
We must confront the fossil fuel industry. I've been working on this for 25 years and now we know that we are at a tipping point. And whether we shrink from this challenge or rise to it is the vital question of our time. We Democrats leave.
We can still do big things in this nation.
We can defeat the climate crisis. Let's get to work.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, my grandmother taught me that nothing is impossible. She spent two generations organizing women in upstate New York. My mother taught me nothing. Nothing's impossible. She was one of only three women her law school class and worked with gay couples for basic rights. If you want to get something done, just tell me it's impossible. As a freshman senator, I was told you couldn't repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Even members of my own party told me it wasn't convenient.
When our civil rights ever convenient. We stood up to the Pentagon. We got it done. Not impossible. Ten years ago, I was told you could pass health care for our 9/11 first responders, those heroes who raced up the towers when others were coming down. Even when Congress turned its back on them, we kept fighting. Just last week, we made the 9/11 health bill permanent. Eating Donald Trump, definitely not impossible. We need a nominee who will take on the big fights and win.
We need a nominee who doesn't know the meaning of impossible.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. I love our country. It's why I enlisted after 9/11. I've served as a soldier for over 16 years, deployed twice to the Middle East and serve in Congress now for almost seven years.
I know what patriotism is and I've known many great patriots throughout my life.
And let me tell you this. Donald Trump is not behaving like a patriot.
As president, I will bring this spirit of real patriotism to the White House, serving the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.
I'll fight for our rights and freedoms of all Americans.
Upholding these principles in our Constitution upon which our country was founded, fighting for justice and equality for all, fighting for every single American, regardless of race or religion, as we strive towards that more perfect union.
As president, I'll bring this unifying spirit of love for country and the soldiers values of service above self to the White House truly leading a government of, by and for the people.
Secretary Julian Castro.
Thank you, Dana. And good evening. You know, just a few days ago, we were reminded and inspired by our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico that public service is not fundamentally about any of us. It's about you and your family. I want you to know that if I'm elected president, that I will work hard every single day so that you and your family can have good health care when you need it, so that your children and grandchildren can get a good education so that they can reach their dreams and that you can have good job opportunities, whether you live here in a big city like Detroit or a small town in our country.
I know we have a wonderful special nation, but that too many people are struggling. And I know what that's like to grow. I grew up with a single mom in a poor neighborhood. But like many of you, I don't want to make America anything again. I don't want us to go backward. We're not going back to the past. We're not going back where we came from. We're going to move forward. We're going to make America better than it's ever been in the years to come.
Let's do that together.
And here again, if you've heard anything about me and my campaign, you've heard that someone is running for president who wants to give every American $1000 a month. I know this may sound like a gimmick, but this is a deeply American idea from Thomas Paine to Martin Luther King to today. Let me tell you why we need to do it and how we pay for it. Why do we need to do it? We already automated away millions of manufacturing jobs, and chances are your job could be next.
If you don't believe me, just ask an auto worker here in Detroit. How do we pay for it? Raise your hand in the crowd if you've seen stores closing where you live. It is not just you. Amazon is closing 30 percent of America's stores and malls and paying zero in taxes while doing it. We need to do the opposite of much of what we're doing right now. And the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.
So let me share the math. A thousand dollars a month for every adult would be four hundred sixty one million dollars every month right here in Detroit alone. The automation of our jobs is a central challenge facing us today. It is why Donald Trump is our president. And any politician not addressing it is failing the American people. Senator Cory Booker. Thank you, Dana. Last week, the president of the United States attacked an American city, calling it a disgusting, rat infested rodent mess.
We need a nation that understands that these tired old language, the. Emberson Simbi Simba. Thank you, Senator. Thank you very much. Donald Trump from Charleston to Baltimore to even the border is using the tired old language of demagogues, of fear mongers, of racists to try to divide our country against its self. We know who Donald Trump is.
But in this election, the question is, who are we as a people? We have serious problems in America. We have deep wounds and seriously deeply rooted challenges.
We desperately need to heal as a nation and move forward because we know in this country that our fates are united.
That we have a common destiny. The call of this election is the call to unite in common cause and common purpose. That's how we will beat Donald Trump. That's how I will beat Donald Trump. And as your president. That's how I will govern and move us forward together.
Senator Kamala Harris. This is an inflection moment in the history of our country. I think we all know this is a moment in time that is requiring us each as individuals and collectively to look in a mirror and ask a question. That question being, who are we? And I think most of us know that part of the answer to that question is we are better than this.
So this then becomes a moment that we must fight for the best of who we are and fight. Of course we will. And this is not a new fight for us as Americans. We have always been prepared to fight for our ideals. We have always been a nation that fights for the best of who we are. And I'll tell you, I come from fighters.
My parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement. My sister, my and I joke. We grew up surrounded by a bunch of adults who spent full time marching and shouting about this thing called justice.
And I am prepared to march with you, to fight with you for the best of who we are and to successfully prosecute the case of four more years of Donald Trump and against him.
Vice President Joe Biden tonight. I think Democrats are expecting some engagement here and I expect we'll get it. I'm running for president through store.
The soul of this country.
You know, we have a president who's everybody's acknowledged every day is ripping into the social fabric of this country. But no one man has the capacity to rip that apart.
It's too strong. We're too good.
Just look at this stage, made up of very diverse people from diverse backgrounds, went on to be mayors, senators, governors, congresswomen, members of the cabinet and, yes, even a vice president.
Mr. President, this is America. And we are strong and great because of this diversity, not.
In spite of it, Mr. President. So, Mr. President, let's get something straight. We love it. We are not leaving it. We are here to stay, and we're certainly not going to leave it to you.
Thank you, Vice President Biden. I want to start the debate with one of the top priorities for Democratic voters, and that is health care, Senator Harris. This week you released a new health care plan which would preserve private insurance and take 10 years to phase in. Vice President Biden's campaign calls your plan, quote, a habit every which way approach and says it's just part of a confusing pattern of equivocating about your health care stance. What do you say to that?
Well, they're probably confused because they've not read it. But the reality is that I have been spending time in this campaign listening to American families, listening to experts, listening to health care providers. And what I came away with is a very clear understanding that I needed to create a plan that was responsive to the needs of the American people, responsive to their needs, understanding that insurance companies have been jacking up the prices for far too long, that American families have to be held down by deductibles and co-pays and premiums that can cause them bankruptcy.
I listened to the American families who said four years is just not enough to transition into this new plan. So I devised a plan where it's going to be 10 years of a transition. I listened to American families who said I want an option that will be under your Medicare system that allows a private plan. So I designed a plan where, yes, responsive to the needs of American families. There will be a public plan under my plan for Medicare and a private plan under my plan for Medicare.
Because the bottom line is this. We must agree that access to health care must be a right and not just a privilege of those who can afford it. And in America today, far too many people, in fact, 30 million people are going without access to health care. Thank you, Senator. Here's Vice President Biden. Your response?
My response is that the senators have several plans for. And any time someone tells you're going to get something good in 10 years, you should wonder why it takes 10 years. If you notice, there's no talk about the plan. The plan in 10 years will cost three trillion dollars. You will lose your employer based insurance. And in fact, you know, this is the single most important issue facing the public. And to be very blunt and to be very straightforward.
You can't beat President Trump with double talk on this plan. No response center.
Absolutely, unfortunately. Vice President Biden, you're just simply an accurate in what you're describing.
The reality is that our plan will bring health care to all Americans under a Medicare for all system. Our plan will allow people to start signing up on the first day. Babies will be born into our plan. And right now, four million babies almost are born every day in America or every year in America. Under our plan, we will ensure that everyone has access to health care. Your plan, by contrast, leaves out almost 10 million Americans. So I think that you should really think about what you're saying, but be reflective and understand that the people of America want access to health care and do not want costs to be their barrier to getting it.
Senator Harris, thank you.
Vice President Biden, your response plan, no matter how you cut it, cost three trillion dollars when it is, in fact. Number one, 10 years from now after two terms of the senator being president after her term. Secondly, it will require middle class taxes to go up, not does.
Thirdly, it will eliminate employer based insurance. And fourthly, what happens in the meantime, I'd like to respond.
First of all, the cost of doing nothing is far too expensive. Second, we are now paying three bill a trillion dollars a year for health care in America over the next 10 years is probably going to be six trillion dollars. We must act. My plan is about immediately allowing people to sign up and get into coverage. Right now in America, we have seniors who every day millions of seniors are going into the Medicare system and they are getting full coverage and the kind of coverage they need.
All people should have access to health care and it costs nine-piece Amber Harris.
Mayor de Blasio, let's bring you in here. What's your response? Thank you. I don't know what the vice president, senator, are talking about. The folks I talked to about health insurance say that their health insurance isn't working for them. There's tens of millions. Americans don't even have health insurance. Tens of millions more have health insurance. I can barely make work because of the co-pays and deductibles, the premiums, the out-of-pocket expenses. There's this mythology that somehow all these folks are in love with their insurance in America.
What I hear from union members and from hardworking middle class people as they wish they had better insurance. And they're angry at private insurance companies that skim all the profits off the top and make it impossible for everyday people to get coverage like mental health care. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. But things that would be full. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Vice President Biden, you just heard Mayor de Blasio. He said in the past that Democrats who want to keep the private insurance industry are defending a health care system that is not working.
What's your response?
My response is Obamacare is working. The way to build this and get to it immediately is to build on Obamacare. Go back and do take you take back all the things that Trump took away, provide a public option, meaning every single person in America would be able to buy into the option if they didn't like their water plan or if they're on Medicaid, they'd automatically in the plan. It would be take place immediately, it would move quickly and it would insure the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans.
In the meantime, what happens? Did anybody tell you how much their plans cost? My plans cost 750 billion dollars. That's what it cost, not 30 train.
The president, Senator Gellibrand, you support Medicare for all. How do you feel about Senator Harris continuing to call her health proposal Medicare for all when it includes a far more significant role for private insurance than the bill you co-sponsored? I think for the viewers in the audience right now, they're at risk of losing the forest through the trees because the truth is, health care in America should be a right. When I was a young mother and had Theo as an infant, he had an allergic reaction to eggs and his whole body turned red and puffy.
I had to rush him to the emergency room. My heart is palpitating because I'm worried that his throat will close. I am not worried about not having an insurance card or a credit card in my wallet. I know whatever they're going to prescribe, whether it's an EpiPen or an inhaler, I can afford it. The truth about health care in America today is people can't afford it. They cannot afford and the insurance companies for these plans that rely on insurance companies I'm sorry, there for profit companies.
They have an obligation to their shareholders. They pay their CEO millions of dollars. They have to have quarterly profits. They have fat in the system. That's real. And it shouldn't be going to health care. So let's not lose the forest for the trees. And last, let's not forget what the Republicans are doing, because the truth is, the Republicans and Trump, their whole goal is to take away your health care, to make it harder for you to afford it.
Thank you. Fields, I think, is a shared sacrifice. In response to Senator Biden about the Affordable Care Act. It is important that you understand that our Medicare for All plan has actually, by the architect of the Obama Affordable Care Act, been described as one of the most effective ways to bring health care to all. Kathleen Sebelius has endorsed our plan as being something that will get us to where we need to go in terms of the point that Senator Gillibrand is raising.
I couldn't agree more. Senator Biden, your plan will keep and allow insurance companies to remain with status quo, doing business as usual. And that's going to be about jacking up co-pays, jacking up time. It will still be this today. We're going to see that robots have to come out five thousand dollars.
My plan makes a limit of co-pay to be $1000 because we freeze further support the ability to buy into the Obamacare plan. Secondly, the idea that this is somehow a bad idea, no one has to keep their private insurance, but if they would like their insurance, they should be able to keep it. Nothing is demanded in my plan that there be private insurance. It says if the 160 million people who Abbott say they like their employer insurance, they should have a right to have it.
If they don't, they can buy in to the Biden plan, which is Obamacare.
Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Senator Booker. Let me bring you in here. You say you support Medicare for all. You also say you are not going to pull private health insurance from more than 150 million Americans in exchange for a government plan. But that's what Medicare for all would do. So how do you square that?
Well, first, let me just say that the person is enjoying this debate. Most right now is Donald Trump as we pit Democrats against each other while he is working right now to take away Americans health care.
There is a court case working through the system that's going to gut the Affordable Care Act and actually good protections on preexisting conditions.
And so I was raised by two civil rights parents who told me to always keep your eyes on the prize.
And that is that the United States of America, every Democrat, should stand with the belief that every one should have access to health care, that it's a human right and how we get there.
It has to be to end this broken system, because we are on our way, just a handful of years of literally spending 20 percent of our economy, one out of every five dollars spent on health care. And we spend more than every other nation on everything from MRI eyes to insulin drugs, multiple wars in other countries, multiple more than other countries. And so you want to know what I'm going to do? I'm going to work to get us to a point where Medicare for all where everyone is covered.
But this pitting against progressives, against moderates being one is unrealistic and the other doesn't care enough. That to me, is dividing our party and demoralizing us in the face of the real enemy here and fighting for.
Thank you, Senator Boxer. Been gathered. What's your response? The reality is right now, we don't have a health care system.
We have a sick care system. And there are far too many people in this country who are sick and unable to get the care that they need because they cannot afford it.
So the core of this problem is the fact that big insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies have been profiting off the backs of sick people, have had to see the table writing this legislation.
Now, Kamala Harris just talked about Kathleen Sebelius, who helped write her bill. This just pointed to the fatal flaw in her proposal. Sebelius works for Medicare Advantage private insurance company who will stand to profit under her plan. If we're seeking to really reform our health care system, we've got to shut out big insurance and big pharma out of the drafting process that they cannot continue to profit off the backs of the sick people in this country who are searching and in desperate need of care.
Senator Harris, your response? Well, unfortunately, Representative Gabber got it wrong. Kathleen Sebelius did not write my plan. She's endorsed it as being one of the plans that is the best to get us to a place where everyone is going to have access to health care in America. And when we talk about this, again, I'm going to go back to Vice President Biden, because your plan does not cover everyone in America by your staffs and your own definition.
10 million people, as many as 10 million people will not have access to health care. And in twenty nineteen in America, for a Democrat to be running for president with a plan that does not cover everyone, I think is without excuse.
Our plan covers everyone and gives people choice. Thank you, Senator.
Vice President Biden, nervous about when those come, will cover everyone. Number one. Number two, the fact is that my plan also calls for controlling drug prices. The biopharma is now worried things are going to go. It's no longer chemicals. It's about all these breakthroughs, rehab with a dent in the whole immune system. And what we have to do now is we have to have a form that sits in the HHS and says, as you develop a drug, you've got to come to us and decide what you can sell it for.
We will set the price. And secondly, it says that you cannot raise that price beyond the cost of inflation from this point on. Take your mandate, resident.
I want to bring in Senator Bennett. Last night on this stage, one of your Democratic rivals suggested that running on Medicare for all would get Donald Trump reelected. Do you agree with that, sir?
I agree that it makes it much more likely. Unlike others on this stage, I've been crystal clear where I've been for a decade through two tough races in Colorado. I believe we should finish the job. We started with the Affordable Care Act with a public option that gives everybody in this audience the chance to pick for their family whether they want private insurance or public insurance. It requires drug companies to be negotiated with by Medicare and it provides competition that is totally different from the plan that Senator Warren and Senator Sanders and Senator Harris have proposed, which would make illegal employer based health insurance in this country and massively raise taxes on the middle class to the tune of 30 trillion dollars.
As Joe Biden said, we don't need to do that. It doesn't make sense for us to take away insurance from half the people in this room and and put huge taxes on almost everybody in this room.
When we can pass a public option, trust the American people to make the right decision and have universal health care in this country in two years, not 10 years.
Secretary Castro, I want to bring you in mind your response. I'll come to you right after Secretary Castro. Secretary Castro.
Well, you know that this is something very personal for all Americans. You know, I grew up with a grandmother, had diabetes, and I watched as her condition got worse and worse. That whole time she had Medicare. I want to strengthen Medicare for the people who were on it and then expand it to anybody who wants it. I also believe, though, that if somebody has a private health insurance plan that is strong, that they want to hold on to, that they should be able to do that.
What I don't believe is that the profit motive of big pharma or big insurance companies should ever determine in our great nation whether somebody gets health care or not.
Thank you, Secretary Castro, Senator Harris. Senator Bennett had suggested that you support banning employer based health insurance. Is that true?
Well, first of all, with all due respect to my friend Michael Bennett, plant does not offer anything that is illegal. What it does is it separates the employer from health care, meaning that where you work will not be if you wear the kind of health care you get will not be a function of where you work. I have met so many Americans who stick to a job that they do not like, where they are not prospering simply because they need the health care that that employer provides.
It's time that we separate employers from this kind of health care people get. And under my plan, we do that as it relates to the insurance and the pharmaceutical companies who will not be called in and who will not be taken to task by Senator Biden or Senator her hand. We will do that. Senator Bennett, I want to bring you back. Senator Harris is my friend as well. But I have to say, if we can't admit if we can't admit tonight what's in the plan, which is banning employer based insurance, we're not going to be able to admit that when Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of doing that as well.
We need to be honest about what's in this plan. It bans employer based insurance and taxes the middle class to the tune of 30 trillion dollars. Do you know how much that is? That is 70 percent of what the government will collect in taxes over the next 10 years.
They don't need to do that. That's a good come. But I do want to your health care in this country. I do want to bring in Senator Harris, because he just suggested you were not being honest here.
We cannot. Keep with the Republican talking points on this. You got to stop. The reality is that what undermined Medicare for all plan. Yes. Employers are not going to be able to dictate the kind of health care that their employees get. They will be able to make that decision. Private insurance companies and private carriers, if they comply by our rules and play by our rules, will be able to offer those employees health care coverage under a private Medicare plan where they can have the option of a public Medicare plan.
But it is misleading to suggest that employees want what their employer is offering, only they want choice in my program gives that. Thank you, Senator. Governor Inslee, I want to bring you in.
You recently signed a public option into law which allows Washington state residents to purchase a state backed plan if they want to. But this many only save families in Washington state, as little as 5 percent off premiums is 5 percent really the kind of relief that the American people need?
No, we need universal coverage. And I'm proud of our state that has done less squabbling and actually getting things done. And I am proud that we were the first state to offer a publicly sanctioned authors offer of health care to our citizens. I'm also proud that we didn't stop there. We're also the first state that is taking care of our elders or seniors. We have a looming retirement wave coming up. I'm proud that our city or state has made them eligible to retire in dignity.
I'm also proud of this. And I think we need to talk more about this as Democrats. It is time to give people adequate mental health care in this country.
And we are we are we are having.
We've had some success in integrating mental health with physical health. There's no reason we should distinguish between your physiological and your mental health. The last thing we're doing, I think it's very instructive for the nation. We know we're being eaten alive by pharmaceutical costs. We've had one of, if not the most innovative way to drive down pharmaceuticals for lifesaving medications in the United States. That's a record of Washington state. I'd like to take to Washington, D.C. Thank you.
Thank you, Governor Inslee. Mr. Yang, I want to bring you in. You support a Medicare for all system. How do you respond to Governor Inslee? I just want to share a story.
When I told my wife I was running for president, you know, the first question she asked me, what are we going to do about our health care? That's a true story. And it's not just us. Democrats are talking about health care in the wrong way. As someone who's run a business, I can tell you flat out, our current health care system makes it harder to hire. It makes it harder to treat people well and give them benefits and treat them as full time employees.
It makes it harder to switch jobs. Senator Harris just said and it's certainly a lot harder to start a business if we say, look, we're gonna get health care off the backs of businesses and families, then watch American entrepreneurship recover and bloom. That's the argument we should be making the American people.
Thank you, Mr. Guy. Mayor de Blasio.
Yeah, I don't understand why Democrats on this stage are fear mongering about universal health care. It makes no sense. Ask the American people. They are sick of what the pharmaceutical companies are doing to them. Ask them what they feel about the health insurance companies they feel is holding back their families because I can't get the coverage they need. They get a lot of no's. They don't get a lot of help from health insurance companies. Why are we not going to be the party that does something bold that says we don't need to be dependent on private insurance?
We can have a system that actually covers everyone. You know what? Donald Trump won this state of Michigan by saying he was going to disrupt the status quo. How about we be the party that's going to disrupt the status quo, thinking of working people?
Mr. Mayor, just a just a 15 second point of clarification. Who are you talking about? Who's fearmongering?
Certainly, with all due respect to Senator Bennett, what he's saying is absolutely accurate about taxes.
Americans right now are paying so much money for their health care. Ask people about the reality of premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses. That's worse than any tax. Thank you. And people are paying that right now. Mr. Mayor.
Senator Bennett, this this is this has nothing to do with the republic, Republican talking points or the pharmaceutical industry. This has to do with having faith in the American people that they can make the right decisions for their families and they can choose a public option. Bernie Sanders, who said last night he wrote the damn bill and he did just like I wrote the damn public option. Bill is the guy who says it'll cost thirty two trillion dollars and that we're going to have to raise those taxes to pay for it.
He says that Republicans don't say don't try to distract from the true center kid, hide from the truth.
I want to marry you because you're going to go to Vice President Biden. Senator. If we as Democrats say we're done with private insurance, there's only hurt the American people in so many ways. We're gonna give them something that works for their families phone coverage that they can depend on. If we say that, then there's no election. The American people get to decide the ultimate choice centre is an election. And this should be the party that stands for universal health care.
Aaron says we're not going to accept anything less right now in America, so many people don't have that health care they need. That is a fact.
Tens of millions of people, including middle Tennessee, better give them a chance to make their decision through an elected vice president by your response. It is not a recovering talking point. The Republicans are trying to kill Obamacare. Obamacare took care of 20 million people right off the bat. One hundred million people with pre-existing conditions. And in fact, what we got is a public option. That, in fact, would allow anybody to buy it. No one has to keep their private insurance.
They can buy into this plan and they can buy into it with a thousand dollar deductible and never have to pay more than eight point five percent of their income when they do it. And if they don't have any money, they're getting free. So this idea is a bunch of malarkey.
What we're talking about here. The fact of the matter is, the fact of the matter is there will be a deductible. It will be a deductible in your paycheck.
Bernie acknowledges Bernie acknowledged his three trips to 30 trillion dollars hash to all. Let me be paid. And I don't know what math you do in New York. I don't know what math you do. Learn your California. But I tell you, that's a lot of money. And there will be a deductible. The deduction will be out of your paycheck because that will be required. Senator Harris, I want to bring you in.
Yeah, let's talk about math. Let's talk about math. Let's talk about the fact that the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies last year alone profits 72 billion dollars, and that is on the backs of American families. And under your plan, status quo, you do nothing to hold the insurance companies to task for what they have been doing to American families in America today, a diabetes patients, one in four cannot afford their insulin in America today. Thank you.
For those people who have overdosed from an opioid. There is a syringe that cost four thousand dollars. That will save their life. It is a moral look. It isn't. It's an animal. And it must. It was Medicare for all. Vice President Biden, your response, your friend?
I have the only plan that limits the ability of insurance companies to charge unreasonable prices. Flat out number one.
Number two, we should put some of these insurance executives who totally oppose my plan in jail for those nine billion opioids they sell out there. They are misrepresenting. The American people need to be done. And lastly, here's the deal. The deal is let's figure out how this works. We immediately are able to cover everybody who wants to get off of their insurance plan they don't like, no matter what one it is, and buy into a Medicare option that they can buy the gold plan and they're not going to have to pay anyway.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you. Let's move now to immigration, please. Secretary Castro, you think it should no longer be a crime to cross a U.S. border illegally? President Obama's Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, whom you served with, says that is a public declaration, that the border is, quote, effectively open to all. How is he wrong? Thank you for that question. You know, if you elect me president, you're not electing me to follow.
You're elected me to lead. An open borders is a right wing talking point. And frankly, I'm disappointed that some folks, including some folks on this stage, have taken the bait. The only way that we're going to guarantee that we don't have family separations in this country, again, is to repeal Section 13. Twenty five, the Immigration Nationality Act. That is the law that this president, this administration is using to incarcerate migrant parents and then physically separate them from their children.
My immigration plan would also make sure that we put undocumented immigrants who haven't committed a serious crime on a pathway to citizenship, that we do a 21st century Marshall Plan with Honduras, El Salvador and what the mullah. So that we can get to the root of this challenge so people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to come to the United States. That's how we can be smarter, more effective and more humane when it comes to immigration policy.
Thank you, Secretary Castro.
Senator Bennett, what's your response? All right. I do. I just agree that we should decriminalize our border. This is personal for me. My mom's an immigrant and she was separated from her parents during the Holocaust in Poland.
And for those reasons, I was part of the Gang of Eight that wrote I wrote the immigration bill in 2013 with John McCain that passed the Senate with 68 votes that gave a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people that are here that would pass the most progressive dream act that had ever been conceived, much less passed on the floor of the Senate and had forty six billion dollars of border security.
Every single Democrat voted for that senator and a water Republican.
That should be like accusation. Thank you. Sam is out. Thank you, Senator. Senator Harris, you have indicated that you don't think it should be a criminal offense punishable by jail to cross a U.S. border illegally. How do you respond to Senator Bennett?
Well, again, with all due respect, you know, after the last debate, for example, I went to place in Florida called Homestead, and there is a private detention facility being paid for by your taxpayer dollars, a private detention facility that currently houses 20, 700 children. And by the way, there were members of us. Hoolihan was there. Members of Congress. They would not let us enter the place. Members of the United States Congress.
So I walked down the road. I climbed the ladder, and I looked over the fence. And I'm a tell you what I saw. I saw children lined up, single file based on gender being walked into barracks. The policies of this administration have been facilitated by laws on the books that allow them to be incarcerated as though they've committed crimes. These children have not their mission and should be not treated like somebody which I was born. I think this is one in the end that we agree with.
There's not a single person on this stage who, if we were president, would ever separate a child from their parents at the border.
And that is what that is what this administration has done in the American people's name.
They have turned our border into a symbol of nativist hostility. The symbol of this country before Donald Trump was president was the Statue of Liberty. That should be the symbol of the United States of America. Not Donald Trump's.
Ten minutes into Judge Joe Brown to bring in such a response.
So I think when you talk about whether there should be a crime, you have to remember who we're talking about. When I was at the Texas border, I visited with women who had fled violence. A woman from El Salvador owned a small business. Gangs came to her and said, if you don't give us all your money, we're going to kill your family. That's why she fled. Another woman was raped. That's why she fled. So this is who we're talking about.
And they're not criminals. So I believe that we should have a civil violation. No president before President Trump. Enforce the law in the way he is enforced because he's using it as the crutch to lock up women and children, to separate mothers and babies, to put them behind bars. So I don't think we should have a law on the books that can be so misused. It should be a civil violation and we should make sure that we treat people humanely.
Thank you, Senator.
Vice President Biden, in the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly 800000 immigrants were deported, far more than during President Trump's first two years with the higher deportation rates resume.
If you're president, absolutely not. Number one. Number two, everything landed on the president's desk. The. I found that point. Excuse me, Secretary. We sat together in many meetings. I never heard him talk about any of this when he was the secretary.
Please be respectful, please. Very small hole in the ground.
Please continue. Mr. Vice President. The fact is, the fact is, I know you can hear I can hear it. You can hear. Fine. Please continue.
The fact is, what the senator from New York talked about is seeking asylum. That woman, the women she spoke to, are entitled to asylum. That is not crossing the border illegally. What we should do is flood the zone to make sure we have people to make those decisions quickly. With regard to 7, with regards to the secretary's point, I already proposed and passed seven hundred and fifty million dollars for Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to be able to change the circumstance.
Why people fled in the first place. In addition to that, we're in a circumstance where if in fact you say you can just cross the border. What do you say to all those people around the world who, in fact want the same thing to come to the United States and make their case? But they don't that they have to wait in line. The fact of the matter is, you should be able to if you've crossed the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back.
It's a crime. It's a crime. And it's not one that, in fact, you.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President, Secretary Kastrup. First of all, Mr. Vice President. It looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't.
Let me begin by telling you. Let me just start off by answering that question. My immigration plan would also fix the broken legal immigration system because we do have a problem with that.
Secondly, the only way that we're going to guarantee that these kinds of family separations don't happen in the future is that we need to repeal this law. There's still gonna be consequences if somebody crosses the border. It's a civil action. Also, we have six hundred and fifty four miles of fencing. We have thousands of personnel at the border. We have planes. We have boys. We have helicopters. We have a security staff cast. What we need are politicians have some guts on this issue.
Thank you, Secretary.
Mr. Vice President. Joe, he's got guts enough to say his plan doesn't make sense.
Here's the deal. The fact of the matter is that, in fact, when people cross the border illegally, it is illegal to do it unless they're seeking asylum. People should have to get in line. That's the problem.
And the only reason in this particular part of the law is being abused because of Donald Trump. We should defeat Donald Trump and end this practice.
Thank you. Congressman, I gather your response.
Our hearts break when we see those children at these detention facilities who've been separated from their parents, when we see human beings crowded into cages in abhorrent, inhumane conditions.
This is about leadership and understanding that we can and should have both secure borders as well as humane immigration policies.
We will have to stop separating children from their parents, make it so it's easier for people to seek asylum in this country, make sure that we are securing our borders and making it so that people are able to use our legal immigration system by reforming those laws.
Mr. Yang, your response? I'm the son of immigrants myself. My father immigrated here as a graduate student and generated over sixty five U.S. patents for G.E. and IBM. I think that's a pretty good deal for the United States. That's the immigration story we need to be telling. We can't always be focusing on some of the the the distressed stories. And if you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants. You will find wall-to-wall robots and machines.
Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy.
Thank you, Mr. Yang. Senator Booker, you have a plan that would virtually eliminate immigration detention.
Does that mean that the roughly fifty five thousand migrants currently in detention would be released into the United States?
First of all, I just want to say again, tonight we are playing into Republican hands who have a very different view and they're trying to divide us against each other. I'm listening to the language of my colleagues, though, Mr. Vice President, we are not going to just let people cross the border. An unlawful crossing is an unlawful crossing. If you do it in the civil courts or if you do it through the criminal courts. But the criminal courts is what is giving Donald Trump the ability to truly violate the human rights of people coming to our country who no one surrenders their human rights.
And so doing it through the civil courts means that you won't need these awful detention facilities that I've been to, seeing children sleeping on pavement, people being put in cages, nursing mothers, small children. This is not necessary.
We have seen using the civil system pilot programs that have one hundred percent compliance with the civil courts where people are evaluated. If they have no justifiable reason to be here, they are returned.
If they are the people I met in Juarez who were survivors of sexual assault, we wouldn't even let come at present for asylum. We are butchering our values and making ourselves better. But thank you very much, Mr. Vice President.
Your response? I agree with the sentiment.
Asylum process is a real process and this president is ruining it has nothing to do with that section of law. That's what he's doing. Number one. Number two, we should, in fact, and we have proposed and we tried to get past our administration. I propose significantly increasing the number of legal immigrants are able to come. This country can tolerate a heck of a lot more people. The reason we're the country we are is we've been able to cherry pick from the best of every culture immigrants built this country.
That's why we're so special. It took courage. It took resolve and resilience.
It took absolute confidence from the calm. And we should be encouraging.
And by the way, anybody who crosses the stage with a words, the p_h_d_ should get a green card for seven years. We should keep them here. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Governor. What's your response?
I think we're missing two central statements.
We need to make number one, we can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House. Number one.
Number two. Number two, we have to make America what it's always been a place of refuge. We're going to boost the number of people we accept. I'm proud of being the first governor saying send us your Syrian refugees. I'm proud of being the first governor to stand up against Donald Trump's Muslim ban. I'm proud of Sudan 21 times and beat him 21 times in a row.
I'm ready for November 20. Go ahead. Mayor de Blasio, please. A response? Two points.
One, it's all kind of a charade because there's eleven million people here and everyone, in theory has broken the law. But they're part of our communities now. They're part of our economy. They're our neighbors. Why are we even discussing on one level whether it's a civil penalty or criminal penalty when it's an American reality? And what we need is comprehensive immigration reform once and for all to fix it.
Second, Vice President Biden, I didn't hear your response when the issue came up of all those deportations. You were vice president, Untied States. I didn't hear whether you tried to stop them or not. Using your power, your influence in the White House. Did you think it was a good idea or do you think it was something that needed to be stopped? Mr. President came along and he's the guy that came up with the idea. First time ever dealing with the dreamers.
He put that in the law. He and he talked about a comprehensive plan which he put on laid before the Congress, saying that we should find a pathway to citizenship for people. We should. He said we should up the number of people that we're able to bring into this country. Lastly, he also pointed out that we should go to the source of the problem and fix it where people were leaving in the first place. So he did compare him to Donald Trump.
I think it's absolutely bizarre.
Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President.
Congresswoman Gabby, you are a co-sponsor of the College for All Act, which would make public colleges and universities free for all Americans. One of the authors of that plan. Senator Sanders believes college should be tuition free for undocumented immigrants as well. Do you? I don't.
I think it's important for us to fix our legal immigration system and look at the millions of undocumented immigrants in this country who have been suffering as they've been living in the shadows.
And instead of putting a Band-Aid on this problem, fix our legal immigration system to provide them with that pathway to legal residency or citizenship so that they are no longer treated as second class citizens in this country. We've got to look at the challenge that people all across this country are facing under crushing student debt. This is something that is impacting my generation in a huge way.
And I believe that it is our generation that has the bold, creative solutions to be able to solve it. This is about promise for our future. And we've got to make those kinds of investment. Thank you, Congresswoman. Mayor de Blasio, what's your response?
Yeah, I agree with Congressman. But I don't hear an answer from the vice president. I'm confused. I asked the vice president point blank, did he use his power to stop those deportations? He went right around the question. Mr. Vice President, you want be president United States. You need to be able to answer the tough questions. I guarantee you, if you're debating Donald Trump, he's not gonna let you off the hook. So did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the president saying this is a mistake, we shouldn't do it?
Which one? I was vice president.
I am not the president. I keep my recommendation in private. Unlike you, I expect you would go ahead and say whatever was said privately with him. That's not what I do. What I do say to you is he. Move to fundamentally change the system. That's what he did. That's some day. But much more has to be done.
Much more has done here tonight in her book. Please respond. Well, a couple of things. First of all, Mr. Vice President, you can't have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign.
You can't do it when it's convenient. They dodge it when it's not.
And the second thing and this really irks me because I heard the vice president say that if you've got a p._h._d. You can come right into this country. Well, that's playing into what the Republicans want to pit some immigrants against other immigrants. Some are from shithole countries and some are from wealthy countries.
We need to reform this whole immigration system and begin to be the country that says everyone has worth and dignity.
And this should be a country that honors for everyone. Don't let the Republicans divide this party against itself. Senator, thank you.
Mr. Vice. President-Elect, is this what I said about this country? We are a country of immigrants. All of us. All of us. Some here came against their will. Others came because they, in fact, thought they could fundamentally change their lives. And they did the statue. And to send us your. That's what we're talking about. That's what made us great. And the fact of the matter is, I think the present United States, Barack Obama went out of his way to try to change the system.
And he got pushed back significantly. Senator Gellibrand, what's your response?
Well, again, President Trump under his administration. Seven children died in his custody in. Under his administration, families have been torn apart. This party is talking about real ideas for the future. We're talking about what we will do to change America. But we must not forget about our values. We used to believe in this country. You should treat others the way you want to be treated. We used to be believed in this country. We should care about the least among us.
Let's remind the American people who we are. Why are we are Democrats and why we're running for president and our children?
Thank you very much for the debate. We'll be right back right after this short break.