Michael Bennet in Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Michigan, July 30-31, 2019

On Families & Children: Kids belong in classrooms not cages

I love America. I know we can make it better. Before coming to the Senate I ran Denver school district where most of the 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 Susan and I have 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.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Health Care: Don't make employer-based health insurance illegal

Q: One of your rivals suggested that running on Medicare-for-All would get Donald Trump reelected.

BENNET: I agree that it makes it much more likely. I believe we should finish the job we started with the Affordable Care Act with a public option that gives everybody the chance to pick whether they want private insurance or public insurance. [My plan] requires the 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. We don't need to do that. It doesn't make sense for us to take away insurance from half the people and put huge taxes on almost everybody. When we pass a public option, [we] trust the American people to make the right decision, and have universal healthcare in this country in two years.

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

On Health Care: Against higher taxes & banning employer-based insurance

Q: What about Medicare-for-All?

Bennet: 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. Do you know how much that is? That is 70 percent of what the government will collect in taxes over the next 10 years.

NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio: What he's saying is absolutely inaccurate 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.

Bennet: Bernie Sanders says it will cost $32 trillion and that we're going to have to raise those taxes to pay for it. You can't hide from the truth.

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

On Homeland Security: $5T spent in Mideast could've fixed all our infrastructure

Since 2001, we have cut $5 trillion worth of taxes. Almost all of that has gone to the wealthiest people in America. We've spent $5.6 trillion in the Middle East. We might as well just lit that money on fire. We could have fixed every road and bridge in this country. We could have fixed every airport that needs to be fixed. We could have fixed not just Flint, but every water system in this country. We could have made Social Security solvent for my children.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) Jul 31, 2019

On Immigration: Don't decriminalize border; it's Trump's nativist hostility

Q: Should we decriminalize the border?

BENNET: I disagree that we should decriminalize our border. I was part of the Gang of Eight, with John McCain, that wrote the 2013 immigration bill 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 $46 billion of border security. Every single Democrat voted for that bill.

HARRIS: Laws on the books allow [kids of border crossers] to be incarcerated as though they've committed crimes. These children have not committed crimes and should be not treated like criminals.

BENNET: There's not a single person on this stage who would ever separate a child from their parents at the border. That is what this administration has done in the American people's name. They have turned our border into a symbol of nativist hostility.

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

On Principles & Values: Moral obligation to beat Trump, but don't impeach

Q: Should President Trump be impeached?

BENNET: We are four months away from the Iowa Caucuses. And I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn't end up with an acquittal by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, which it surely would. And then President Trump would be running saying that he had been acquitted by the United States Congress. I believe we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single-term president. And we can't do anything that plays into his hands. We need to be smart about how we're running or we're going to give him a second term. We can't do it.

Secretary Julian CASTRO: Senator, I think that folks are making a mistake by not pursuing impeachment. The Mueller Report clearly details that he deserves it. And what's going to happen in the fall of 2020, if they don't impeach him, is that he's going to say, "You see? The Democrats didn't go after me on impeachment, and you know why? Because I didn't do anything wrong."

Source: July Democratic Primary debate, on impeaching Trump 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