Cory Booker in Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Michigan, July 30-31, 2019

On Drugs: Don't lock people up for drugs & poverty; lift them up

Q [to Biden]: Sen. Booker called your new criminal justice reform plan, "an inadequate solution to what is a raging crisis in our country."

BIDEN: He has a similar plan. When someone is convicted of a drug crime, they should be going to rehabilitation. They shouldn't be going to prison.

BOOKER: This is a crisis in our country because we have treated issues of race and poverty, mental health and addiction with locking people up and not lifting them up. The V.P. has said that, since the 1970s, every crime bill, major and minor, has had his name on it. Sir, those are your words, not mine. The house was set on fire and you claimed responsibility for those laws. And you can't just now come out with a plan to put out that fire. We have got to have far more bold action on criminal justice reform, like having true marijuana justice in communities that have been disproportionately targeted by marijuana enforcement.

BIDEN: Those bills were passed years ago and they were passed overwhelming.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Climate change is the lens through which we view every issue

[Like President Trump exiting the Paris Climate Accord], there was another president that would not join an international accord. Then it was the Kyoto accords [under President Bush]. I was mayor then. And I stood up in national leadership joining with other mayors to say climate change is not a separate issue. It must be the lens with which we view every issue. Nobody should get applause for rejoining the Paris climate accords. We have to make sure that everything from our trade deals, everything from the billions of dollars we spend to foreign aid, everything must be sublimated to dealing with the climate threat.

Yes, the majority of this problem is outside the United States, but the only way we're going to deal with this is if the United States leads.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Government Reform: Must lead the fight against voter suppression

We lost the state of Michigan because everybody from Republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African American voters. We need to say that. If the African American vote in this state had been like it was four years earlier, we would have won. We need to have a campaign that is ready for what's coming. An all-out assault, especially on the highest performing voter group in our coalition, which is black women. I will be a person that tries to fight against voter suppression.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Health Care: We spend multiple times what other countries do on health

Everyone should have access to healthcare, it's a human right. It has to end this broken system, because we are on our way, just a handful of years of literally spending 20% of our economy, one out of every $5 spent, on healthcare. We spend more than every other nation, on everything from MRIs to insulin drugs, multiple mores than other countries. I'm going to work to get us to a point where everyone is covered.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Immigration: Decriminalize border crossings and treat people humanely

Rep. Julian Castro: Repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration Nationality Act [which is the legal basis for criminalizing border crossings instead of treating them as a civil violation].

V.P. Joe Biden: If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It's a crime.

Booker: No, 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 the criminal courts. The criminal courts is what is giving Donald Trump the ability to violate the human rights of people coming to our country. Doing it through the civil courts means that you won't need these awful detention facilities that I have been to; seeing children sleeping on pavement, people being put in cages, nursing mothers, small children.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Immigration: We should not pit some immigrants against others

Joe Biden: This country can tolerate a heck of a lot more people. And the reason we're the country we are is we've been able to cherry pick from the best of every culture. Anybody that crosses the [border] with a PhD, you should get a green card for seven years. We should keep them here.

Booker: This really irks me because I heard the vice president say that if you got a PhD., you can come right into this country. That's playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against other immigrants. Some are from sh-thole countries and some are from worthy 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.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Principles & Values: Trump divides America; we need to heal and move forward

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 itself. This election, the question is who are we as a people? We have serious problems in America. We have deep wounds and deeply rooted challenges. We desperately need to heal as a nation and move forward. The call of this election is the call to unite in common cause and common purpose.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Principles & Values: Understand our common purpose to address our common pain

The way we beat Donald Trump is not just focusing on him. It's when we start focusing on each other, and understanding that our common bonds, and our common purpose to address our common pain is what has saved us before. It's what's gonna save us now. That is the kind of leader that I am going to be as President of the United States. Not just uniting the Democratic Party but making sure that we put more indivisible back into this one nation under God.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Principles & Values: Trump is acting as an authoritarian against the Constitution

Q: Your reaction to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appearance in front of Congress?

BOOKER: I've read the report. I've read the redacted versions of the report. We have something that is astonishing going on in the United States of the America. We have a president that is not acting like the leader of the free world. He's acting like an authoritarian against the actual Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold. And so this is a difference with a lot of us on this debate stage. I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings immediately. He is now stonewalling Congress, not subjecting himself to the checks and balances. We swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. When we look back in history at what happened when a president of the United States started acting more like an authoritarian leader than the leader of the free world, the question is, is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate, on impeaching Trump Jul 31, 2019

On War & Peace: No military action by Tweet; out of Afghanistan later

I will not do foreign policy by tweet. A guy that literally tweets that we're pulling our troops out before his generals even know is creating a dangerous situation in places like Afghanistan. I will bring our troops home as quickly as possible, but I will not set an artificial deadline. I will make sure we do it safely, to not create a vacuum that's going to destabilize the Middle East and perhaps create the environment for terrorism and extremism to threaten our nation.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

The above quotations are from Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Michigan, July 30-31, 2019.
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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2019