Bernie Sanders in September Democratic candidates debate

On Education: Make HBCUs debt-free, and cancel all student debt

What we will do is not only have universal pre-K, we will make public colleges and universities and HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] debt-free. And what we will always also do, because this is an incredible burden on millions and millions of young people who did nothing wrong except try to get the education they need, we are going to cancel all student debt in this country. And we are going to do that by imposing a tax on Wall Street speculation.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Foreign Policy: Venezuela's Madura is a vicious tyrant

Q: You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro a dictator--Can you explain why?

SANDERS: Well, first of all, let me be very clear. Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make-can create their own future.

Secretary Julian CASTRO: I'll call Maduro a dictator, because he is a dictator.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Government Reform: Power to the people, not the billionaires

We have to recognize that this country is moving into an oligarchic society where a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life. As president, I am prepared to take them on. Yes, we will raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Yes, we will finally make sure that every American has health care as a human right, not a privilege. And, yes, we will address the catastrophic crisis of climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Government Reform: Keep filibuster and use other ways to pass laws

Q: Senator Warren, What can you get done on gun control?

WARREN: The mass shootings are terrible, but they get all the headlines. We have a gun violence problem. The question is when 90 percent of Americans want to see us do background checks, want to get assault weapons off the streets, why doesn't it happen? The answer is corruption. We have a Congress that is beholden to the gun industry. Unless we're willing to roll back the filibuster, we're not going to get anything done on guns.

Q: Senator Sanders, you've said if Donald Trump supports ending the filibuster, you should be nervous. Would you support ending the filibuster?

SANDERS: No. But what I would support is passing major legislation, the gun legislation, Medicare for all, climate change legislation that saves the planet. I will not wait for 60 votes to make that happen, and you can do it in a variety of ways. You can do that through budget reconciliation law.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Health Care: No deductibles or co-payments; $200 a year for prescriptions

Q [to V.P. Biden and Sens. Sanders and Warren]: Are single-payer plans such as those by Senators Warren and Sanders pushing too far?

SANDERS: Every study done shows that Medicare for All is the most cost-effective approach to providing health care to every man, woman, and child in this country. I intend to eliminate all out-of-pocket expenses, all deductibles, all co-payments. Nobody in America will pay more than $200 a year for prescription drugs, because we're going to stand up to the greed and corruption and price-fixing of the pharmaceutical industry.

Vice President Joe BIDEN: Anyone who can't afford it gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare-type option we have. But guess what? Of the 160 million people who like their health care now, they can keep it.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Homeland Security: We spend $750B on military & don't know who our enemy is

As the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, we cannot express our gratitude to all of the men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend us, who have responded to the call of duty. But I think, also, I am the only person up here to have voted against all three of Trump's military budgets.

I don't think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don't even know who our enemy is.

I think that what we have got to do is bring this world together-bring it together on climate change, bring it together in fighting against terrorism. And make it clear that we as a planet, as a global community, will work together to help countries around the world rebuild their struggling economies and do everything that we can to rid the world of terrorism. But dropping bomb on Afghanistan and Iraq was not the way to do it.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Principles & Values: Democratic socialism means like Canada, not Venezuela

Q: What are the main differences between your kind of socialism and the one being imposed in Venezuela by Nicolas Maduro?

SANDERS: To equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair. I'll tell you what I believe in terms of democratic socialism. I agree with goes on in Canada and in Scandinavia, guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right. I believe that the US should not be the only major country on earth not to provide paid family and medical leave. I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage & that we expand the trade union movement. I happen to believe also that what, to me, democratic socialism means, is we deal with an issue we do not discuss enough--You've got a handful of billionaires controlling what goes on in Wall Street, the insurance companies and in the media. Maybe, just maybe, what we should be doing is creating an economy that works for all of us, not 1 percent. That's my understanding of democratic socialism.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On War & Peace: I never made the huge mistake of voting for Iraq AUMF

Q [to VP Joe BIDEN]: Obama turned to you to bring the troops home from Iraq. There was a major drawdown, but you then had to send thousands of troops back in to fight ISIS. Was it wrong to pull out of Iraq that quickly?


BIDEN: No, it wasn't wrong to pull out. I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do in the AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq]. The big mistake that was made, which we predicted, was that you would not have a circumstance where the Shia and the Kurds would work together to keep ISIS from moving in.

SANDERS: The truth is, the big mistake, the huge mistake, and one of the big differences between you and me, I never believed what Cheney and Bush said about Iraq...

BIDEN: You're right.

SANDERS: I voted against the war in Iraq, and helped lead the opposition. And it's sad to say--I kind of had the feeling that there would be massive destabilization in that area if we went into that war.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Welfare & Poverty: U.S. is wealthy, but have highest child poverty rate

Guess what? We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. And yet, we have the highest child poverty rate of almost any country on earth. We have teachers in this country who are leaving education because they can't work two or three jobs to support themselves. Which is why, under my legislation, we'll move to see that every teacher in America makings at least $60,000 a year.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

The above quotations are from ABC News and Univision Democratic candidates debate.
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Page last updated: Oct 19, 2019