O'ROURKE: I want to acknowledge something what we're all touching on, which is the very foundation of this country, the wealth that we have built, was literally on the backs of those who were kidnapped and brought here by force. The legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression is alive and well in every aspect of the economy and in the country. As president, I will sign into law a new Voting Rights Act. I will focus on education, address health care disparities, but I will also sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee's reparations bill so that we can have the national conversation we've waited too long in this country to have.
O'ROURKE: We'll call his racism out for what it is, and also talk about its consequences. It is changing this country. Hate crimes are in the rise--every single one of the last three years. We must ensure that we don't just tolerate or respect our differences, but we embrace them. That's what we've learned in El Paso, my hometown. One of the safest cities in the US, not despite, but because it's a city of immigrants & asylum seekers & refugees.
O'ROURKE: I support free two-year college, earn that associate's degree, realize your full potential, debt-free four-year college. But that's not just for tuition. That is room and books and board, the full cost of being able to better yourself so that you can better this country. For that schoolteacher who is working a second or a third job, full forgiveness for her outstanding student loan debt, forgiveness for that person willing to work at the V.A. and serve our former service members. And we do not do that at the expense of unions. We make it easier to join an apprenticeship to learn a skill or a trade that you can command for the rest of your life.
RYAN: I would have to re-evaluate. I think some of them are effective. But he's bungled the whole thing, obviously. Here's the problem with President Trump. He has a tactical move. What's the grand strategy for the United States? China has 100-year plan, a 50-year plan, a 20-year plan. We live in a 24-hour news cycle. That spells disaster for our economy and disaster for our global politics.
O'ROURKE: You know, the question was about tariffs. And they're a huge mistake. They constitute the largest tax increase on the American consumer, hitting the middle class and the working poor especially hard, and farmers in Iowa and across the country are bearing the brunt of the consequences. When have we ever gone to war, including a trade war, without allies and friends and partners? As president, we will hold China accountable, but we will bring our allies and friends, like the European Union, to bear.
O`ROURKE: The answer is no. The middle class will not pay more in taxes in order to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class health care. I think we're being offered a false choice, some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins, others who want a Medicare for All program that will force people off of private insurance, I have a better path. Medicare for America. Everyone who is uninsured is enrolled in Medicare tomorrow.
Q: Who's offering a false choice?
Beto O`ROURKE: Governor Bullock, who's said that we will improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins with a public option.
BULLOCK: Congressman, not at all. It took us decades and false starts to get the Affordable Care Act. Let's actually build on it. A public option, allowing anyone to buy in.
O`ROURKE: Every estimate that I've seen of expanding ACA even through a public option still leaves millions of people uninsured.
BUTTIGIEG: We will withdraw. We have to.
Q: In your first year?
Q [to Rep. beto O'Rourke]: Would you withdraw all 14,000 U.S. servicemembers from Afghanistan during your first year in office as president?
O'ROURKE: I would in my first term in office. Agree that there is nothing about perpetuating this war, already in its 18th year, that will make it any better. We've satisfied the reasons for our involvement in Afghanistan in the first place. And it's time to bring those servicemembers back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen, and Somalia, and Libya, and Syria.
The above quotations are from Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Michigan, July 30-31, 2019.
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