Bill de Blasio in June Democratic candidates debate in Miami FL

On Corporations: Immigrants didn't create mess; the top 1% did that to you

We have to get under the skin of why we have this [immigration] crisis in our system. The way that American citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery and their pain and their challenges, for all the American citizens out there who feel you're falling behind or feel the American dream is not working for you, the immigrants didn't do that to you.

The big corporations did that to you. The 1 percent did that to you. We need to be the party of working people, and that includes a party of immigrants. But first we have to tell working people in America who are hurting that we're going to be on their side every single time against those big corporations who created this mess to begin with. And remind people we're all in this together.

If we don't change that debate, that politics that's holding us back, we won't get all these reforms people are talking about. That's what we need to do as Democrats.

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

On Crime: Bringing police & community together drives down crime

There's something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running in this race, and that is, for the last 21 years, I have been raising a black son in America. And I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over this country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police, too, as we saw recently in Indiana.

So we need to have a different conversation in this country about guns, but also a different conversation about policing that brings police and community together. We've done that in New York City and we've driven down crime while we've done it.

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

On Health Care: Don't defend private health insurance; it's not working

Q [to Rep. O'Rourke]: Would you replace private insurance?

O'ROURKE: No. I think the choice is fundamental to our ability to get everybody cared for. Our plan says that if you're insufficiently insured, we enroll you in Medicare. But if your health care plan works for you and your family, you're able to keep it.

DE BLASIO: Wait, Congressman O'Rourke; private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans when you talk about the co-pays, the deductibles, the premiums, the out of pocket expenses. It's not working. How can you defend a system that's not working?

O'ROURKE: That's right. So for those for whom it's not working, they can choose Medicare.

DE BLASIO: You've got to start by acknowledging the system is not working for people. You are defending private insurance.

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

On Immigration: Immigration policy & crisis does not reflect our values

We have to change the discussion about in this country because look at the bottom line here. That tragic photo of that parent [Oscar Martinez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who died trying to cross the Rio Grande seeking asylum], that child-- and I'm saying this as a father. Every American should feel that in their heart, every American should say that is not America, those are not our values.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On War & Peace: No military action without approval of Congress

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

Rep. Beto O'Rourke: Yes, but that action should always be undertaken with allies and partners and friends.

DeBlasio: What about the War Powers Act being a part of that equation? With deep respect to the congressman, look, we've learned painful lessons as Americans that we've gone to war without congressional authorization. Even in the humanitarian crisis--and I think we should be ready, Congressman, to intervene, God forbid there is genocide--but not without congressional approval. Democrats and Republicans both in the Congress have not challenged presidents and have let them get away with running the military without that congressional approval. We learned a lesson in Vietnam we seem to have forgotten, that decisions have to be made by the United States Congress.

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

On Welfare & Poverty: We need a president who has seen the face of poverty

It matters in this fight for the heart and soul of our party that we nominate a candidate who has seen the face of poverty and didn't just talk about it but gave people $15 minimum wage. It matters that we nominate a candidate who saw the destruction wrought by a broken health care system and gave people universal health care. It matters that we choose someone who saw the wasted potential of our children denied pre-K and gave it to every single one of them for free. These are the things that I've done in New York and I want to do the same for this whole country, because putting working people first, it matters. We need to be that party again.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) Jun 26, 2019

On Welfare & Poverty: There's plenty of money to invest; it's in the wrong hands

This is supposed to be the party of working people. Yes, we're supposed to be for a 70 percent tax rate on the wealthy. This Democratic Party has to be strong and bold and progressive. Every time you talk about investing in people and their communities, you hear folks say there's not enough money. What I say to them every single time is, there's plenty of money in this world, there's plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands. Democrats have to fix that.
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..
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Page last updated: Jul 19, 2019