Beto O`Rourke in June Democratic candidates debate in Miami FL

On Crime: 2.3M Americans behind bars is most in the world

In this country, you have 2.3 million of our fellow Americans behind bars. It's the largest prison population on the face of the planet. Many are there for nonviolent drug crimes, including possession of marijuana, at a time that more than half the states have legalized it or decriminalized it.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Drugs: Opioid manufacturers should be held to account

Despite what Purdue Pharma has done, their connection to the opioid crisis and overdose deaths that we're seeing throughout this country, they've been able to act with complete impunity and pay no consequences, not a single night in jail. Unless there's accountability and justice, this crisis will continue. We will hold them to account. We will make sure that they pay a price, and we will help those who've been victims of this malfeasance in this country get them treatment and long-term care.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Unite to keep planet from warming another two degrees

You've got to bring everybody into the decisions and solutions. We're going to mobilize $5 trillion over the next 10 years. We're going to put farmers and ranchers in the driver's seat to make sure that we capture more carbon out of the air and keep more of it in the soil, paying farmers for the environmental services that they want to provide. If all of us does all that we can, then we're going to be able to keep this planet from warming another 2 degrees Celsius.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Foreign Policy: Trump embraces dictators at expense of great democracies

Q: Does the United States have a responsibility to protect in the case of genocide or crimes against humanity?

O'Rourke: Yes, but that action should always be undertaken with allies and partners and friends. When the United States presents a united front, we have a much better chance of achieving our foreign policy aims and preventing the kind of genocide to which you refer. Unfortunately, Trump has alienated our allies. He's diminished our standing in the world and he's made us weaker, less able to confront challenges, whether it's Iran or North Korea or Vladimir Putin in Russia, who attacked our democracy in 2016, and who Trump has offered another invitation to do the same. He's embraced strongmen and dictators at the expense of the great democracies. I will ensure that we strengthen those alliances.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Government Reform: New voting rights: automatic & same-day voter registration

Right now, we have a system that favors those who can pay for access and outcomes. That's how you explain an economy that is rigged to corporations and to the very wealthiest. A $2 trillion tax cut that favored corporations while they were sitting on record piles of cash and the very wealthiest in this country at a time of historic wealth inequality.

[SPEAKING IN SPANISH]: We need to include every person in the success of this economy. But if we want to do this we need to include every person in our democracy. Each vote, each voter needs the representation, and every voice needs to listen.

[SPEAKING IN ENGLISH]: [We need] a new democracy that is revived because we've returned power to the people, no PACs, no gerrymandering, automatic and same-day voter registration to bring in more voters, and a new Voting Rights Act to get rid of the barriers that are in place now. That's how we each have a voice in our democracy and make this economy work for everybody.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Gun Control: Weapons of war belong on battlefield, not in our communities

Q: You're a Texan who's campaigned all over the state. What do you tell a gun owner who says the Democrats are going to take my gun away, how do you have that conversation?

O`Rourke: We talked about ending the sales of assault weapons into our communities. Those weapons of war were designed to kill people as effectively and as efficiently as possible. They should belong on the battlefield and not in our communities. Red flag laws, so if someone poses a danger to themselves or to someone else, they're stopped before it's too late. And what I found is that Democrats and independents and Republicans, gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike, agreed.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Health Care: Biggest provider of mental healthcare in Texas are the jails

Q: When you ran for Senate, you praised a bill that would replace private insurance. This year, you're saying you're no longer sure?

O'ROURKE: My goal is to ensure that every American is well enough to live to their full potential because they have health care. Getting to guaranteed, high-quality, universal health care as quickly and surely as possible has to be our goal. The ability to afford your prescriptions and go to a primary care provider; the ability to see a mental health care provider. In Texas, the single largest provider of mental health care services is the county jail system today. And health care also has to mean that every woman can make her own decisions about her own body and has access to the care that makes that possible. Our plan says that if you're uninsured, we enroll you in Medicare. If you're insufficiently insured, you can't afford your premiums, we enroll you in Medicare. But if your health care plan works for you and your family, you're able to keep it.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Immigration: Asylum-seekers are fleeing deadliest countries in the world

Q: What would you do, day one at the White House?

O'ROURKE: We would not build walls. We would not put kids in cages. In fact, we would spare no expense to reunite the families that have been separated already. And we would not criminally prosecute any family who is fleeing violence and persecution. We would not detain any family fleeing violence, in fact, fleeing the deadliest countries on the face of the planet today. We would implement a family case management program so they could be cared for in the community at a fraction of the cost. And then we would rewrite our immigration laws in our own image, free Dreamers forever from any fear of deportation by making them U.S. citizens here in this country, invest in solutions in Central America, work with regional stakeholders so there's no reason to make that 2,000 mile journey to this country.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Principles & Values: New politics for the urgency of the next generation

Our daughter, Molly, turned 11 this week. I'm on this stage for her, for children across this country, including some her same age who've been separated from their parents and are sleeping on concrete floors under aluminum blankets tonight. If we're going to be there for them, we can't return to the same old approach. We're going to need a new kind of politics, one directed by the urgency of the next generation, those climate activists, who are fighting not just for their future but for everyone's, those students marching not just for their lives but for all of ours.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Principles & Values: Can't let Trump abuse power; must act to save democracy

Q: As president, would you do anything to address the potential crimes that were outlined in Mr. Mueller's report?

O'Rourke: Yes. If we set a precedent that a candidate who invited the participation of a foreign power, a president who sought to obstruct the investigation into the invasion of our democracy, if we allow him to get away with this with complete impunity, then we will have set a new standard, and that is that some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold, are above the law. And we cannot allow that to stand. So we must begin impeachment now so that we have the facts and save this democracy. And if we've not been able to do that, our Department of Justice will pursue these facts and ensure that there are consequences, there is accountability, and there is justice.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate on Mueller Report Jun 26, 2019

On Tax Reform: Tax capital at same rate as regular income

Q: Would you support a 70 percent individual marginal tax rate?

A: I would support a tax rate and a tax code that is fair to everyone. Tax capital at the same rate that you tax ordinary income. Take that corporate tax rate up to 28 percent. You would generate the revenues you need to pay for the programs we're talking about.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

The above quotations are from NBC News, "Decision 2020," the Democratic candidates debate,
live from the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, Florida, June 26-27, 2019..
Click here for main summary page.
Click here for a profile of Beto O`Rourke.
Click here for Beto O`Rourke on all issues.
Beto O`Rourke on other issues:
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jul 19, 2019