Democratic Debates: Comments by Each Candidate

The sixth Democratic presidential candidate debates took place Thursday in Los Angeles. The candidates were peppered with questions on a range of issues, including the impeachment of President Donald Trump, climate change and foreign policy.

Here are some comments from each of the seven  candidates:

Former Vice President Joe Biden, in a discussion about foreign policy regarding issues such as Hong Kong and China, said, “We should be going to the U.N. immediately and seek sanctions against [China]. … We have to be firm. We don’t have to go to war [for Hong Kong]. But we have to make it clear this is as far as you go, China.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in responding to a comment about Trump’s leadership abroad, said, “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.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, in stopping a quarrel between Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren over fundraising, said, “I did not come here to listen to this argument. I came here to make a case for progress. … So what is making a case for progress about? That is what unites us up here instead of what divides us, which is campaign finance reform. That means passing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. It means making the first bill we pass when I am president will be H.R. 1, which is the ethics reform passed in the House,  which is currently sitting on (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell’s desk with 400 bills.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, in answering a question about climate change, said, “The issue now is whether we save the planet for our children and our grandchildren. … Just maybe, instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year globally on weapons of destruction, maybe an American president, i.e. Bernie Sanders, can lead the world, instead of spending money to kill each other, maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy, which is climate change.”

Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and environmentalist, when asked about the impeachment of President Trump and a likely trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, said, “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.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, in a heated exchange with Buttigieg over campaign financing and wealthy donors, said, “We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States. … I do not sell access to my time. I don’t spend time with millionaires and billionaires. I don’t meet behind closed doors with big dollar donors,” referring to a Buttigieg fundraiser held in a wine cave in Napa Valley, California.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, in response to the fact he is the only person of color at the debate, said, “It is both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on the stage tonight. … And the question is why am I the lone candidate of color on this stage? Fewer than 5% of Americans donate to political campaigns. You know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income. The way we fix it, the way we fix this is we take Martin Luther King’s message of a guaranteed minimum income.”


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