Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Making Sense Podcast #190 – How should we respond to Coronavirus? A Conversation with Nicholas Christakis

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Sam Harris:
Welcome to the Making Sense Podcast. This is Sam Harris. Okay. So, it is all coronavirus all the time now. In my world. I’m actually gonna be releasing two podcasts on coronavirus this week. This has preempted the other things I have in the pipeline because I think you know, if you’ve been listening, I’ve been doing a series on nuclear war, and I also have a podcast on child sexual abuse. The podcast seems have taken a dark turn, and I find that I can not drop either of those podcasts into the current environment when we need to be thinking about coronavirus and its resultant disease, COVID-19. So, I will try to find some good cheer for you at some point, but let’s talk about the problem at hand.

Sam Harris:
So, this the first of two podcasts I’ll do this week, if everything holds together. I just wanna say a couple of things upfront, lest they get lost. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time focusing on this, as many of you have. I’ve been frankly alarmed by several encounters I’ve had with very smart people, both in person and online, which have revealed a mismatch between what I think is true and what many smart people believe. Here are a few statements which I think are true. COVID-19 is worse than the flu in every way. So, comparisons with the flu are highly misleading. And it is not just bad if you catch it and you’re over 70 or you’re immunocompromised. There are healthy, fit people getting killed by this virus.

Sam Harris:
Another point I want to make upfront, which we make at some length in this podcast, is that even if we’re all destined to catch this virus, eventually, social distancing at this point is essential. So-called flattening the curve is actually a very big deal, right? So, just think about this – to get the worst flu in your life is bad, but to get it when the health care system has collapsed under the pressure of everyone else getting this flu is very different than getting it when hospitals are functioning normally. And the only lever within reach right now in the absence of a vaccine, the only thing we can do is delay the spread of this by changing our behavior. So, the time for hugging people and shaking hands is over. You are not being friendly by shaking someone’s hand. In fact, you’re being quite rude. You’re advertising your obliviousness to the risk you’re posing to others.

Sam Harris:
And wherever you are on earth at the moment, if you can work from home, you should work from home. And this should be a company policy, right. If you have a company where some percentage of the work can be accomplished by telecommuting, you should implement that policy right now. And this is also true for schools. Stanford, two days ago, announced that all their classes would be moved online. Schools everywhere should implement that policy as quickly as they can. Now, there’s an obvious tradeoff between economic incentives and containing the spread of this disease. We should be privileging the latter. This is absolutely the time to avoid social gatherings and public transport as much as possible. And anyone who has taken his or her cues from President Trump at this point is dangerously out of contact with reality.

Sam Harris:
Anyway, all of that and more will be made clear in this episode. And there’s no paywall for this one, obviously. This was yet another public service announcement. Today, I’m speaking with Nicholas Christakis. Nicholas is an Md PhD and a professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University, where he directs the Human Nature Lab and is the co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017. And his New York Times bestselling book, which is just coming out in paperback, is Blueprint, which I’ve read and discussed before in this podcast with Nicholas. And I highly recommend it.

Sam Harris:
And so, here, Nicholas and I cover this emerging epidemic – now, certainly a pandemic from many sides. And again, whatever we don’t cover here, if you have remaining questions, please direct them to me on Twitter because I’ll be recording another episode with a doctor from Johns Hopkins. As you know, things are changing very quickly here, but this conversation was a very good snapshot of what we knew on March 8th. And now, I bring you Nicholas Christakis.

Sam Harris:
I am here with Nicholas Christakis. Nicholas, thanks for joining me.

Nicholas Christakis:
Thank you so much for having me, Sam.

Sam Harris:
We are going to talk about coronavirus, which is if you’re in my particular bubble, it is all that anyone is thinking about it. I don’t know how wide that bubble extends. I am noticing that it doesn’t extend perfectly across the political spectrum. On social media, I’m noticing many people who seem to be in Trumpistan thinking that this is much ado about nothing. And we’ll talk about the political implications of this as well. But how much of your bandwidth is being taken up by a coronavirus at the moment?

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, a huge amount of my a scientific bandwidth around January 25, a longstanding collaboration with a group of scientists from Hong Kong, who in turn are connected to some other scientists in China, and around January 24th or 25th, we started emailing about the situation there and what kind of work we might be able to do. And I began to think more deliberately about how I might turn my laboratory over to trying to help with a pandemic, which was, for me, at least, obviously, going to happen.

Nicholas Christakis:
And I had done some research with the H1N1 pandemic 10 years ago related to using social networks as a way of forecasting the course of the epidemic. So, I began to resurrect that work and some other work and began these new collaborations with my Chinese colleagues. And I haven’t slept much honestly in the last month because we’ve been working nonstop on a number of fronts. So, my scientific bandwidth is totally devoted to that right now; although, we have a few other projects going on. And my personal bandwidth is I’m concerned. I’m monitoring the situation.

Sam Harris:
Right. We should just remind people who you are. You’ve been on the podcast before. Last time, we spoke about your wonderful book, Blueprint, which I believe is just now coming out in paperback. Is that right?

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah. By coincidence, this week.

Sam Harris:
Okay, cool. So, if people want to hear that podcast, it’s in the archive. And I certainly encourage that people get the book. You have a great background for this conversation because you are an MD PhD, who has also focused of late primarily on networks and the way really anything spreads in a network. You want to give a potted bio here to get us rolling?

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, I have become obsessed over the last 15 years with the study of networks in general. And of course, there are networks of computers, and networks of neurons, and networks of genes, and, of course, networks of people. And it is through these networks that everything from germs, to ideas, to norms, to behaviors spread. And they are not the only lens with which we can understand spreading processes, but they’re very powerful and important lens. And right now, we have, for example, what I would consider to be a dueling contagion between biological contagion, namely the coronavirus, which is spreading on this network from person to person to person. And in parallel with that, we have another set of social contagions, which is, for example, ideas about whether people should be vaccinated or whether people should self-isolate. And those spread, your probability of vaccinating depends on whether your friends get vaccinated, for example. So, we have these parallel biological and social sociological contagions. And in some sense, the fate of what happens in our country will depend in part, not completely, but in part on who wins in those contagions.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, okay. So, our goal here is to spread some good and useful contagious ideas. And I think before we dove into the details, I went out on Twitter asking for questions and suggested topics. And I got close to a thousand responses so far. So-

Nicholas Christakis:
Oh, my God

Sam Harris:
…. there’s no want of interest here. But I think I should just mention that I see some obvious ways in which people can fail to absorb what we’re saying in good faith here. And one variable is certainly political. I think that any criticism of the government’s response to this crisis, thus far, will be interpreted by many, many people as both of us or one of us, I mean, certainly, in my case, trying to score a partisan political point against the president. And I can just assure you, dear listener, this isn’t the case. I’ve made no secret about how unfit I believe Trump is to be leading this country. And he has proven that to me in spades in the last few weeks. But everything I’m going to say at any point in this conversation that touches on what seems to be political obfuscation and general cluelessness from this administration, I would say about any administration that was responding this way in the face of a clear public health emergency.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah. I mean, the virus is wholly apolitical. And I think there is a biology, and a sociology, and an epidemiology to the virus that doesn’t really care what politicians say or do. And I think it’s important to remember that we can speak about plain facts, about the epidemiology of coronavirus. And in doing so, says nothing about our political leadership. Now, it is the case that the political leadership may also be failing, and that’s a distinct topic. But merely discussing facts about the epidemic is not an indictment of the administration per se.

Sam Harris:
Or discussing facts like the fact that the Trump administration cut the US Pandemic Response Team in 2018 because they thought we didn’t need it. And this is, at best, a shortsighted view of reality. I mean, one of the most prescient and relevant things that’s been said in recent weeks about this whole moment is that whether or not coronavirus is as bad as the most alarmed people think it is or whether it might just be a dress rehearsal for some coming pandemic that really is as bad as people fear.

Sam Harris:
Two things are true. One is we’re failing the dress rehearsal to an impressive degree. And the we in particular, the United States and that should matter to us. And two, some pandemic, whether this is the one or not, is guaranteed to come. Bill Gates made this point. Like this is the most predictable emergency you could possibly name. This was guaranteed to happen. And if this isn’t it, let’s learn all the lessons we can from our missteps here. But this was a gift courtesy of evolution that we knew was coming. And the fact that we have an administration that seems to think that a pandemic response team is optional is pretty depressing.

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, I agree with much of that in the sense that I totally agree that the predictability of these pandemics, and this can also be reassuring to listeners. We have pandemics of viral pathogens, including in the category of coronaviruses, which is a category we’re facing now every 10 or 15 years. People will remember the SARS outbreak and the H1N1 outbreaks of the last decade. We can talk about the ways in which this virus is different than those outbreaks. And people who’ve studied history know that there was a major global pandemic in 1918. So, every century or so, there is like a major pandemic like that in which the pathogen is both very deadly and very transmissible.

Nicholas Christakis:
In other times, we have passengers that are very transmissible and not so deadly. And those proved to burn out very quickly, like the pandemic in 2006-2007. In other times, we have pandemics of diseases that are very deadly, but not so transmissible, for example, SARS. And then, when the disease is too deadly, it actually works against itself. If it kills its victims, it doesn’t transmit as much. So, in a way, right now, we have a disease that’s moderately deadly and moderately transmissible, and that could be quite a perfect storm. It could be a condition that, let’s say, in every 50-year event.

Nicholas Christakis:
But the main point is that these influenza pandemics come every 10 or 15 years. And sometimes, they fizzle out. And sometimes, they don’t. Sometimes, they’re very serious. And when they’re very serious, they wreak havoc not only in terms of the health and people’s lives, but they can wreak economic havoc as well, which is another thing that many observers are beginning to be concerned about.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, yeah. And there really is a tension between the focus on the epidemiology, and the straightforward health concerns, and this other concern about the economics, and the the social implications of people not going to restaurants, and closing schools, and all the rest.

Nicholas Christakis:
Those are the first order effects. So, the travel industry is being devastated even as we speak. And it’s unclear how long that will last. But then, we’ll begin to have second order effects. So, breakdowns in the supply chain and factories not working. And if those things begin to happen, this epidemic could tip us into a significant recession. But that’s another whole thing. And it’s still a little bit early to forecast that and be certain about that. But it is the case that major epidemics, for example, the 1918 pandemic definitely played a role in the global depression. So, I think it’s too early to know that for sure, but it’s not crazy to think about the economic implications.

Nicholas Christakis:
And incidentally, on the economic issue, and I’m no expert on this, this is not a demand shock. This is potentially a supply shock. So, a demand shock is when a recession due to declining demand, and then a stimulus might work, for example, a dropping interest rates, as the Fed recently did. But a supply shock is more like the Arab oil crisis of the 1970s that many listeners may remember. And that’s when you have a shock to the supply on the supply side. And there, lowering interest rates doesn’t really help. So, if for the sake of argument, you begin to get disruption in the global supply chain, this could be a very difficult thing to address until you get the factories working, producing the goods and distributing them. So, it’s too early to know for sure what’s going to happen in that regard. But I know that many sophisticated observers of this, including many economists and many extremely wealthy individuals who are tracking this, are unsure still what’s going to happen.

Sam Harris:
Except the one thing we can be sure about here is that-

Nicholas Christakis:
On the economic side, I mean, I’m sure.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, I know, but I mean, we can be sure that the incentives aren’t aligned here. And this is what has been worrying me for now, at least, I would say two weeks, the moment I recognize that the health incentives, the reason, say, to close schools seemed fairly straightforward; and yet, the economic reasons to keep them open were and are incredibly powerful and pointing in the opposite direction. And my concern is that because the economic incentives are so powerful, I mean, to just take school closure as one variable, the fact that once you close the schools, then you have almost every working adult faced with the problem of what to do with their children. How do you get to work? How do you care for your children? Do you homeschool them? Does that cut the workforce more or less in half? I mean, this is just a huge hassle with economic implications.

Sam Harris:
And so, the reasons not to have the epiphany that we should close the schools yesterday are legion. And yet, the health wisdom of closing the schools has been fairly obvious for some time. We’re gonna get to lots of specific questions in a minute, but let’s just touch this topic of school closure just to give a sense of the problem in microcosm. What are your thoughts on that?

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, first of all, with school closures, we have to make a distinction between reactive and proactive school closures. So, let’s talk first about reactive school closures. A reactive school closure is a school closure in which there’s a case at the school. And when that happens, typically, everyone is alarmed and is quite eager and willing to close the school. It sort of makes sense to the man on the street or the woman on the street that, well, there’s an epidemic raging, and there’s a case at the school, and we should close the school.

Nicholas Christakis:
The problem is by the time you do reactive school closures, many, many analysis show that it doesn’t delay the overall epidemic or doesn’t help the overall epidemic very much. For example, an analysis of reactive school closures in the last influenza epidemic in Italy showed that a policy of reactive school closures, I think, reduced the epidemic by like 24% or 25%, the ultimate number of people afflicted, which is good but not as good as you might want. So, you can postpone the peak of the epidemic in your community and reduce the number of people ultimately infected if you close schools once someone gets sick in the school.

Nicholas Christakis:
A similar analysis done in Japan found, basically, the same conclusions. And modeling exercise as sort of mathematical models, sophisticated models, including a paper published in the Journal of Nature in 2006, also found that a policy of reactive school closure delayed – I’m just going to look the numbers up because I have them somewhere here. For a moderately transmissible disease, reduce the cumulative attack rate by about 24%, and delayed the peak by about 13 days. So, the models and the empirical results of prior school closures in Japan and Italy, which is the literature I am familiar with, I’m sure there’s even vaster literature on this, suggests that reactive school closures help.

Nicholas Christakis:
But the real problem or the real dilemma is whether we should have proactive school closures. And this is a much more difficult decision, but from my eye, something we should be doing, frankly. And the reason is that if you imagine you’re in a — let’s not pick a major, let’s not pick New York or Miami yet, because that’s another whole kettle of fish. Let’s pick a mid-sized town for the sake of argument. If you believe that the moment someone in your school gets sick, you are going to close the school. Probably, what you really should do is the moment someone gets sick in your community or in what is known as the epidemiologically relevant region, so if you believe that the moment someone gets sick in the epidemiologically relevant region, your town, that it eventually will afflict your school, then the more rational policy is, as soon as someone gets sick in your community, shut the school. You’re going to shut it anyway in a week because your school’s going to be afflicted, but if you jump the gun and shot it, you actually might radically improve the course of the epidemic in your community.

Nicholas Christakis:
And there is actually amazing evidence about this. So, again, just to crystallize the point, let’s say you set some threshold, and we can discuss what the threshold is, some number of cases in some specified area in your town, or in an adjoining town, or a case that you know is not an imported case, it’s not like someone flew from Italy to your town and presented with the disease, but instead you find what is known as a community transmission, someone who has the disease, and you don’t know where they got it, that means the disease is loose in your community. If you set as a threshold one such case or two such cases in your town or in a nearby town, you could then proactively close your school. And then, you would have much bigger benefit than the reactive closure.

Nicholas Christakis:
And there was a wonderful analysis that was done of 43 cities in the United States during the 1918 epidemic, which very carefully examined across these cities when did they close their schools with respect to the pace of the epidemic and for how long were they closed. And it found, for example, if you use as a threshold how far in advance of the epidemic reaching — if you create the standard of you have twice the level of respiratory deaths as you usually have in prior years, you have excess deaths, how far in advance of hitting that twice the amount level did you close your schools, it found that actually districts that closed your schools in advance proactively had dramatically lower death rates in the end.

Nicholas Christakis:
And so, for example, there is a comparison between St. Louis and Pittsburgh. St. Lewis close the schools in the 1918 influenza pandemic earlier and longer, and it had less than half the death rate of Pittsburgh, for example, ultimately. Many fewer people died. So, this is the issue and this is what’s hard. But in general, my own bias, my own opinion is that proactive school closures makes sense.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. I completely agree with you there. And there’s one meme being spread, which is perhaps entirely factual, but I would argue misinterpreted and that is giving people comfort around this idea that we can just keep the schools humming along. This idea that kids aren’t getting this or if they’re getting it, they’re not getting a bad case of it. And that’s great. That seems to be true thus far. But it also seems true that they could still carry it and pass it to the rest of the community.

Nicholas Christakis:
Correct.

Sam Harris:
So, your kid is coming home from school and hugging grandma and-

Nicholas Christakis:
Correct.

Sam Harris:
… this is a very different disease when grandma gets us.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes, that’s exactly right. And in fact, it is the case that everything we just said about school closure is especially important when kids themselves might die, but the requirement that kids be sick is not the critical point. Schools are areas of congregation, of large numbers of people, including all the adults, the parents at the drop-offs, the teachers, and the kids are little vectors here. And incidentally, as long as you’re talking about like how to school closure work, one of the ironies about one of the ways that school closures work, paradoxically, is precisely because they compel adults to stay home. So, modelers that have modeled this have said, “Okay, what happens when we require the kids to stay home, so we reduce social clumping in our society, because we’re requiring the kids to stay home, but let’s assume that 10% of the parents, or 50% of the parents, or 90% the parents are staying home as a result of the school closure?” And unsurprisingly, that also has a further effect, the number of parents that stay home.

Sam Harris:
And so much of this is psychological. I mean, just take that fact I just mentioned that some comfort is being taken in this idea that this is not preferentially targeting kids; rather, it’s targeting old people. But if you flip that around, if this were a flu that had an inordinately high mortality rate that was targeting kids preferentially, well, we would have closed the schools already. I don’t think we would be debating school closure.

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, we might. Yes, we might have. But there’s another kind of moral issue here. You’re right. That very good data we now have on the mortality rate and how it varies by age. So, young people, one study of 5000 Koreans shows that basically nobody under the age of 30 afflicted with a condition died in that study. And another study of 44,000 Chinese, I think, showed a case fatality ratio of 0.2%. So, two out of a thousand young people might die. Now, that’s still bad. I mean, that’s a high risk of death for a young person, but the number rises quite dramatically. So, by middle age, it’s 1% to 2% of people die. And by over the age 80, it’s let’s say roughly 20% of people die.

Nicholas Christakis:
So, yes, you’re correctly summarizing the situation. But one of the things that distressed me in reading all this is that I, too, like most people, would prefer that the young be spared and the old the afflicted. But the older members of our society too, they are our neighbors, our parents, they’re our teachers. I mean, I hate this idea that, “Oh, well, it’s just like afflicting old people. Who cares?” It’s ridiculous. I mean, they’re human beings. So, this is, again, a situation which we can talk about the epidemiology of the condition, but I don’t think we should lose sight of what’s happening, which is that people will die from this condition.

Sam Harris:
Right. Well, let’s tackle another meme here, which seems to be doing an inordinate amount of work in people’s reaction to this. And it does seem, at this point, frankly, misleading, which is the idea that this is essentially just like the flu. Here are some of them factoids that come in this cluster. One is 50,000 people die every year in the United States from flu. In 2018, it was something like 80,000, which I think is the worst year in recent memory. So, comparatively, only about 4000 people, just nearly 4000 people have died worldwide from coronavirus thus far.

Sam Harris:
This really is a tempest in a teapot. If we were tracking the flu with the same paranoia that we’re tracking this, well, then we would be alarmed every day of our lives. And then, also there’s the fact that though the mortality rate of this seems higher than the flu, it also seems clear that we’re not testing widely enough to know what the actual denominator is to properly calculate the case fatality rate. So, it’s been reported that it’s as high as 3.5%.

Nicholas Christakis:
No, it won’t be that high.

Sam Harris:
It won’t be that high, but then, they’re estimates. It seems like the most sober estimates are more like half that, between 1% and 2%. But there seems to be the expectation on the part of many people that, at the end of the day, we’re going to recognize, this is just another flu essentially running in parallel with the flu that we deal with year after year, and nobody freaks out about it, and nobody closes the schools. What are your thoughts on that?

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah, I think that’s all wrong. And I can explain why. So, first of all, let me back up and say a couple things, a bunch of things. First of all, if I told you that motor vehicle accidents were leading killer in our society, and they are, about 35,000 of people die of motor vehicle accidents every year, and our society is very gravely concerned about these deaths. We invest huge resources in improving the safety of our roads and cars. We have enormous campaigns and penalties for people who drive under the influence. We cry and are sad when we read about motor vehicle deaths. And the public health community, and our government, and the people on the street expend enormous resources and attention in driving down one of these leading killers in our society.

Nicholas Christakis:
And if I told you that I could wave a magic wand and remove that cause of death tomorrow, many people would be amazed, and excited, and incredibly proud. Well, right now, we’re in the midst of adding such a cause of death in the case of the coronavirus, that is to say, our best estimates, the most optimistic estimate is that only 35,000 Americans are going to die of this condition. So, we’ve just added a whole other extra cause of death to the list of things that kill us right now in our society. So, I just don’t see the reason for nonchalance or optimism with respect to a new condition, a new killer that might kill us. Imagine if instead of being, “something that sounded so benign as influenza or the flu,” imagine instead if I said it was Ebola, imagine the panic that people would feel if I said we now have Ebola loose in our country killing 35,000 people. So, I totally reject that.

Nicholas Christakis:
Furthermore, there is a wide range of estimates as to how many people will get infected and/or die. And this is, still, we’re in early days and it’s difficult. And it’s difficult for people. It’s difficult for me, just I’ll speak for myself, because I don’t want to be alarmist, and I don’t want to overestimate it, and then have people call me to task and say, “Oh, you were Chicken Little, and you were an alarmist,” and then maybe lose some credibility, let’s say. In the other hand, I don’t want to minimize it and underestimate it, and then people say, “Why didn’t you warn us? Why didn’t you tell us? You should have been in a position to know. You’ve been studying this topic and related topics for so long.” And, of course, there’s only going to be one outcome. It’s not like I’m making a thousand predictions and on average, I’m correct or other experts who are similarly situated as I am. There’s gonna be one outcome. And so, we have to speak in terms of a range of outcomes.

Nicholas Christakis:
So, at the most optimistic end, I think, we’ll have over a million Americans infected with this pathogen and perhaps 35,000 dead, but that’s just at the most optimistic end. The much more likely scenarios, or equally likely, or other possible scenarios move up the range. So, for example, Mark Lipschitz, a very famous epidemiologist at Harvard who’s an expert in this area, estimates, and he’s revising his estimates as more data comes in, but he estimates as of last week that perhaps 20% to 60% of Americans will ultimately, over the course of a year, be infected with this pathogen. And if we use the lower bound of his current estimate, 20%, that means 60 millions Americans will be infected. And if we use a lower bound of the case fatality ratio, which is 0.5%, that means 300,000 Americans are going to die of this condition. And that is like one of the top three killers in the United States.

Nicholas Christakis:
And that’s within the realm of the possible. I’m not saying that’s going to happen. I’m saying we need to sit up and pay attention because that is possible. It’s not an extremely unlikely event, and it could even be worse than that, honestly. I don’t think, if you forced me to predict, do I think 300,000 Americans? It seems so inconceivable to me. But look what’s happening in Italy, 16 million Italians are now under lockdown. Their hospitals are full to the brim. What makes us think we’re so special? We think we’re different than the Italians or than the Chinese? We’re not.

Sam Harris:
The truth is we are different from the Chinese. And this is another meme that is doing some mad work in the brains of otherwise very smart people. I even saw a Stanford doctor reference China as a source of optimism. And China has the spread of the disease, has been fairly well contained, it seems at the moment. The fatalities are dropping off, so far as we can trust the information come out of China but-

Nicholas Christakis:
That’s true.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, it seems to be true, but what is also true is that China just executed the most draconian quarantine, perhaps in human history. And we are not poised to be poised to do anything like that ever.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes, I’m actively writing about just that. And according to New York Times reports, 700 million Chinese have been in under some form of house arrest basically since January the 25th. So, these people are basically homebound. And that’s extraordinary. I mean, that’s just an extraordinary dimension. And it is the case the Chinese have, miraculously, driven their cases down to about a hundred a day, which is unbelievable in the whole nation. But it’s through the imposition of such a cordon sanitaire. Technically, it’s not a quarantine. A quarantine is when you put sick people in quarantine. When you put healthy and sick people, it’s a cordon sanitaire, which is what they’ve done.

Sam Harris:
Right, right. So, the lesson to draw from that, I mean, it seems to me that we can draw no real comfort from that because-

Nicholas Christakis:
Not reproducible.

Sam Harris:
Something miraculous would have to happen in our society for us to emulate that in any way. And again, it seems the kind of thing that need not be accomplished at the point of a rifle as in China. But the idea that we’re going to accomplish it just by getting it into our thick heads that we should practice social distancing to that degree, it seems very far fetched. So, what we should anticipate is a much freer spread of this contagion in our society.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah, yes. And we’ll come back to this, I’m sure as what can people do. And I absolutely think we Americans should be practicing social distancing. On Twitter, I’ve been talking about this for quite a while. Sensible policies of not engaging in any nonessential travel, not going to meetings, washing your hands, not hugging, instead bowing or doing namaste or something, not touching people, not handshaking, which is very instinctive in our society. These are all basic things all Americans, in my view, should be implementing now.

Nicholas Christakis:
And the reason we do this, incidentally, just to be very clear, it’s not just so that you don’t get sick. When we do these things, we interrupt the contagion chains that flow through the network. In other words, we’re stopping the virus in its tracks by interrupting the means with which it spreads from person to person. So, the reason I don’t shake your hand is not just that I don’t get sick, but that in not having shaken your hand, I block all paths of the virus from you to anyone else I might meet in the future. And that’s extremely effective. And social distancing repeatedly has been shown to be an effective so-called non-pharmaceutical intervention.

Nicholas Christakis:
But I want to I want to tackle one other thing which relates to, perhaps, another meme on your list, I don’t know which. This claim that the Trump administration cessation of international flights was effective. And this has been studied for an extremely long time by scientists of all stripes. And just to quote one analysis, typically, countries are not aware of the emergence of a pandemic until, let’s say, the 30th day of the disease, which is, again, roughly what happened in this country with this coronavirus epidemic. By the time the disease emerges in Wuhan around late December, it’s spreading throughout the district, in the prefecture, in Hubei for at least a month or so. And before, let’s say, no more flights from China or something. But again, here, economics weighs against it. People are reluctant to do this. But the point is that it’s been studied repeatedly how effective is cessation of international flights on day 30 of a pandemic.

Nicholas Christakis:
And I’ll just read you some numbers. So, if you stop 90% of the flights on day 30 of a pandemic, you delay the peak in the epidemic in your country by about 10 or 12 days. If you stop 99% of the flights, you delay the peak of your epidemic by, let’s say, 26 days. And if you stop 99.9% of the flights, you only have one out of a thousand flights still coming into the country, you only delay the peak by 42 days. Now, that’s good. Delaying the peak is good, but it’s not this panacea that, “Oh, we’re gonna stop the thing at our border,” because it’s still going to come to us. Either it already came to us by the time we stopped the flights, and it’s now brewing, or we cannot totally hermetically seal our country, so it’s going to afflict us. So, this fantasy that we can somehow, in an age of pandemics, stop them at our border is not justified by the epidemiological modeling.

Sam Harris:
Right. Well, let me just say, in defense of Trump, that’s the one decision or one utterance attributable to him that I don’t fault him for. I mean, it seemed like it was worth a shot. Why not try to delay it that way if you can? But yeah, I mean, I take all your points.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes. But earlier, we were talking about how economic considerations might lead us to not close down schools. But here, economic considerations do not lead us to abandon the effort to stop flights. And yet, the school stoppage is known to be effective; whereas, the flight stoppage is known not to be effective.

Sam Harris:
No, no, no, no. Point taken. I mean, I think, we should be firing on all cylinders here. But let’s talk about the timeline for a second because I want to just get our bearings here. And it’s interesting to consider my own psychological timeline as these events unfold. So, as you said, at the end of December, actually, December 31st, the World Health Organization reported that there was this mysterious pneumonia in China that seemed to be associated with the Wuhan live animal market. Perhaps, we can just cut through all political partisanship here and agree that eating bats and pangolins is a bad idea. Can we agree on that?

Nicholas Christakis:
We don’t think people are eating bats. We do think they were eating pangolins. And the pangolin thing is still a little bit — well,, first all, yes, I don’t think we should be eating those things. Correct. But just to be clear for your listeners, it’s not necessarily the case that people were eating those animals. It seems like it’s still a little bit unclear that the virus spent part of its time in pangolins although, top my knowledge, that’s still not been resolved, but it’s fairly clear that it originated in bats, and this is also a bit of a mystery. Like even in the movie Contagion, the disease begins in a bat that drops and spit on a pig. I think it’s sort of what is setup in that movie. But one speculation is that the immune system of bats is maybe very similar to the immune system of humans. After all, bats are mammals. And that when viruses adjust to the immune systems of bats, when they then somehow leap to us, they’re already well adjusted to infect us. That’s a theory.

Sam Harris:
So, all of you who are against cultural appropriation, I think I’m with you here because it’s culture that we should not appropriate. So, I’ll get back to a timeline here. So, January 11th, China announced the first death in Wuhan. And then, January 21st, we had the first confirmed case in the US. It was a man in his 30s, I believe, who actually traveled from Wuhan and came ashore here. So, that was 10 days after we heard about the first death.

Nicholas Christakis:
Genetic studies now, reconstruction using genetic fila-dynamics or suggesting that there was some transit. And this goes back to stopping the air travel example you were discussing, that we can use the genetics of the cases in Seattle and what we know about mutation rates to reason backwards and discern how many introductions were there in Seattle and roughly when. And my understanding of the status of that science right now is that, roughly, in the middle of January, someone came from Wuhan to Seattle. And then, the disease started having what we call community spread. That person, we don’t know who they are, but the disease was then transmitted to other people, and then still to others. And then, eventually, the epidemic broke a couple of weeks ago.

Sam Harris:
And so, by January 30th, the World Health Organization had declared a global health emergency, which they’ve only done six times since 1948. So, January 30th is when those people whose job it is to keep watch over these things decided that this thing was going global, and we had to worry about it now. Then, it seems like we had at least a month. I mean, some people would say we had two full months, but we had at least a month here to get our bearings and prepare, assuming that community spread was already happening, and that things like school closure would be more things we need to think about.

Sam Harris:
And now, I have a couple of timelines here. I have a timeline of Trumpian insights. At the end of February, February 24th, Trump announced that the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. And then, he said, “Crying Chuck Schumer is complaining for publicity purposes only that I should be asking for more money than $2.5 billion to prepare for coronavirus.” And there was just an absolutely transparent layer of political obfuscation and messaging essentially to the stock market rather than providing real information about this virus. February 26th, we had the first case of community transmission in the US that was acknowledged. I’m sure it happened before that, but this is when we were talking about it. And on that same day, we’ve got Trump saying, “I don’t think it’s going to come to closing the schools, especially the fact that we’re going down,” meaning that the rates of transmission and death are going down, not up. And then, this is more of a quote. “We’re going very substantially down, not up. We have it so well under control. I mean, we’ve really done a very good job.”

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah, that’s just really irresponsible. I mean, it’s a lie. That’s a lie. It’s not true and it’s really irresponsible.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. Okay. So, that’s-

Nicholas Christakis:
Two things are irresponsible – not doing anything or not doing enough is irresponsible, and then misrepresenting the situation is irresponsible.

Sam Harris:
Right, yeah. So, this is where I come to my own psychological timeline because it’s been fascinating for me to watch my own mind here and watch my sense of the situation change and cease to second guess my emotional reaction to it. And so, I actually went back and looked at my emails and texts over the last few weeks. So, I can see that on February 22nd, I was thinking about canceling some upcoming trips and still feeling fairly crazy about even thinking that way. And by February 27th, five days later, I canceled everything. And so, that was exactly 10 days ago. We’re recording now on March 8th. So, for instance, 10 days ago, Tim Ferriss and I, who we were both supposed to speak at South by Southwest, he was going to interview me for an episode of his podcast, he and I decided to pull out of the conference. And it was widely perceived at that moment, again, just 10 days ago, to be slightly paranoid. And it was perceived among my circle of friends to be slightly paranoid.

Nicholas Christakis:
Sam is being an alarmist again.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And yet, eight days later, that is two days ago, the whole conference got canceled.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes.

Sam Harris:
So, I’ve been watching this unfold, and I’ve been feeling more or less a week ahead of where everybody is or, at least, most of the people who I’m communicating with and most of what society is mirroring back to me, and way ahead of where the president is. On March 2nd, Trump said, “We had a great meeting today with a lot of great companies and we’re going to have vaccines, I think, relatively soon.” Okay. So, he’s promising a vaccine soon-

Nicholas Christakis:
That’s not true.

Sam Harris:
… whereas, the the only rational promises that, maybe, by the first quarter of next year. What’s the most aggressive timeline that we could have a widely distributed vaccine?

Nicholas Christakis:
I would say 18 months. And we don’t have any other vaccines against coronaviruses. I mean, the common cold is a coronavirus. If we if we could stop the common cold, people would make billions of dollars for a common cold vaccine. You think that pharmaceutical companies haven’t been trying? I’m sorry. The common cold is many viruses. There are some coronaviruses-

Sam Harris:
Like 25%, yeah.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah.

Sam Harris:
Okay. So, I mean, I’ve heard that the most optimistic timeline is a year from now.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah. And it, probably, would ne some kind of inactive virus vaccine that we’ll have. So, there are difficulties. There’s a lot of steps involved in being able to produce such a vaccine. That’s correct.

Sam Harris:
Right. So, Trump, six days ago, is saying, “There’s only one hotspot, and that’s pretty much in a home, as you know, in a nursing home,” but this is obviously a point after which the CDC had already announced community spread in Oregon and California, at least. It’s just useful to keep reiterating how unreliable the administration’s talking points have been. So, here again, six days ago, we have Trump saying, “So, if we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better by just sitting around or even going to work, some even go to work, but they get better,” right? And this is Trump talking so sloppily – I believe this was an interview on Fox – that it seemed like he was saying that it was okay to go to work even if you have this virus, right?

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes, which is wrong.

Sam Harris:
Right. And then, the final, this was truly phantasmagorical, on March 6th, just a few days ago, we have him at the CDC wearing a Keep America Great hat. And he’s saying things like, “I love this stuff. I really get it. People are really surprised I understand this stuff.” Every one of these doctors said, “How do you know so much about this?” “Maybe I have a natural ability.” Now, pause for a moment. And this is maybe rightly perceived as point scoring against the president, but I mean, just pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that it is extraordinarily unlikely that even a single doctor said anything like that to him. He’s standing in front of all these doctors, almost certainly lying about what they said to him in the middle of a press conference.

Nicholas Christakis:
But even if they syncophantically said something like that to him, the real problem is the narcissism in believing that. For example, I know a lot about certain things, and I know what I don’t know, especially in my field. I’m extremely aware of my ignorance in my own field, but there are things I know about. But when I take my car to the mechanic, or when I need to have thyroid surgery, I trust those people. Like, I don’t think I know more about how to fix a car than my mechanic. That would be just the height of arrogance and presumption. Or when I go to my surgeon, I say, “What do you think we should do?” And I trust that that person has devoted their life to acquiring this expertise, and that’s the whole reason I’m going to an expert.

Nicholas Christakis:
So, the idea that President Trump, who may be a skilled businessman and maybe a skilled politician, that he would think that he knows as much about epidemiology as the people at the CDC, the real problem there is the narcissism in this individual, not even what the syncophantic behavior that may have led him to that conclusion. So, it’s astonishing to me that someone would — and I think this is a broader problem in our society right now, both on the far right and on the far left, this sort of denigration of expertise, this idea that the right doesn’t trust experts because they know they want to think that everything is a political decision. And the far left to actually feel similarly actually about experts. They don’t like the hierarchy. They don’t like the idea that someone knows more than you do.

Nicholas Christakis:
But this is absurd. In our society, there’s some of the best scientists, if not the best scientists in the world. We feel we have the best soldiers in the world. Aren’t those guys experts at doing battle? We feel we have all these people that are really terrific. We feel we have the least corrupt judges in the world. We have expert judges. You pick, we think we’re great at it. Are we really going to throw that out or are we really going to think that there’s nothing to say about the role of expertise? I think that’s just misguided.

Sam Harris:
I think this is a a moment where most people are going to acquire a taste for expertise because-

Nicholas Christakis:
A healthy respect for expertise, yes.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, because we’re waiting for experts to produce a vaccine for this thing.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes. Yes, correct. That’s right. Joe Schmo is not going to be producing a vaccine in his garage. I can assure you. Like that religious figure, I’ve blocked in his name that was saying that he was literally hawking some kind of substance that would cure coronavirus, he said. And it was like that awful character in Contagion that was selling for-

Sam Harris:
Right.

Nicholas Christakis:
I mean, this is-.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. I mean, it’s this thing. The analogy to a movie is disconcerting here because this is playing out a bit like a movie. I mean, you can feel like, at several points here along the way, I felt like, okay, I’m the guy in the first act of the movie who’s having an inappropriately sanguine response to facts that should be fairly alarming.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes.

Sam Harris:
And still, who knows what part of the movie we’re in here, but it’s a disconcerting comparison. So, anyways. So, the last thing that Trump said at this press conference, which was truly appalling was, “Anybody who needs a test gets a test. Anybody that needs a test as of right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test can get one.”

Nicholas Christakis:
That’s not true.

Sam Harris:
Now, he was saying that at the moment when the most glaring feature of this crisis was the utter failure of the government to provide tests at scale. So, I think there’d been something like 2000 tests performed in the country at that point. And the CDC wasn’t even answering the questions from the press about how many tests had been performed. I mean, it had to be reconstructed by asking everyone at the state level what had happened. So, I mean, perhaps people who only follow the president, and his Twitter feed, and watch Fox News can be forgiven for not understanding what the situation really is.

Sam Harris:
But we have to break out of this political bubble and just encounter the facts here insofar as we can understand them. And I’ve had a slightly weird angle on just what we were not finding out about this in real time because I’m in Los Angeles. For the longest time, the number of cases in LA, according to the Johns Hopkins website, were reported to be at seven. But I happened to know a person who was skiing in Italy with five friends, and they all got it, and they all got on a plane, and probably infected half the plane, and they got back here. And now, at least, two of them are hospitalized. I only know one member of this group. He’s not a close friend, but he’s a very close friend of a very close friend. So, I have a very close friend talking to his very close friend on a daily basis who has this thing. And this is at a moment where I’m hearing that there’s seven cases in Los Angeles. And apparently, I know five of them. That seems very unlikely.

Sam Harris:
We’re also hearing that this thing is in reasonably healthy people, people who are not immunocompromised, or people who are not 80 years old, this is just like the flu. Well, this friend of a friend is now hospitalized and on a ventilator. And his other friend is hospitalized and in an induced coma, I think, because the coughing associated with it was so bad. And so, again, I’m well aware that these are two anecdotes, and this is not really data, but from this sort of ground level experience of just hearing these stories once removed, this isn’t seeming like an ordinary flu. I mean, these guys are both extreme skiers, they’re fit, and 50 years old. They’re not in the cohort that you’d think would be on death’s door associated with a flu. And so, let’s just linger on this claim that, honestly, I’ve heard this from doctors in social situations. I had a doctor say to me, “Well, maybe we should all get this thing. We’re gonna get it anyway and we’ll be fine. You’re fit, Sam. You’ll be fine.” What do you say to this notion that this is basically the flu?

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, it’s not the flu. We know it’s not the flu. We know it’s more severe than the flu, first of all. Second, I’ve been thinking about this issue, which is like if you’re gonna get it anyway, is it better to get it sooner rather than later? And it’s definitely better to get it later because this relates to another topic, which I can’t remember if we’ve discussed already, but I’ve been talking about this notion of flattening the epidemic here. So, imagine that you have a pulse of disease that’s hitting our society, so that a million people are gonna get sick. Those million people could get sick in a very peaked way like over the course of a month, but if we implement social distancing and other procedures like school closures, then we flatten the epidemic. So, we still get a million people sick but, now, they’re sick over six months, so that we have a smaller number of cases on any given day. It decompresses as the demand on our health care system and on our supply chain, so that we can actually cope with the people who are sick and need ventilation.

Nicholas Christakis:
So, flattening the epidemic is a really important fundamental idea in epidemiology, which is one of the reasons we engage in what is called non-pharmaceutical interventions like social distancing, and school closures, and all of that stuff. That’s why we need to do it, to flatten the epidemic, so that if anyone gets sick, they get sick, fewer people are sick on any given day, and we push the cases out into the future, so that some fraction of those cases occur at a time in which we’ve discovered, perhaps, some drugs that could treat the disease or have a vaccine available, so we never get those cases because we’ve postponed them so far.

Nicholas Christakis:
So, there are many benefits to flattening the epidemic. Now, when you flatten epidemic, it’s also the case that the people at the beginning, they also aren’t putting heavy demands on the health care system. So, maybe if you’re gonna get it, if you get sick sooner, that might be a sensible strategy. But actually neither from the individual nor from the collective point of view have I been able to discern any wisdom in that because first of all, you might not actually get sick anyway. So, rushing to get sick now is sort of stupid. Not everyone is gonna get the disease. And second, from a public health point of view, if you encourage people to get sick now, you might actually compress the epidemic. You’re going to create a pulse upon a pulse of disease. So, no, I don’t agree with your friend for multiple reasons in what they said.

Sam Harris:
Just to be clear, a disease that has a 5, or 10, or 15, or 20x higher mortality rate than the flu is very unlikely to be just like the flu.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes. And we haven’t seen this pathogen before. It’s a new pathogen for us. And there’s a whole other list to telegraph. There’s a whole other debate about whether the pathogen — typically, these pathogens mutate and get milder as they adapt to our species and as we fight it off. Also, they tend to kill off the more vulnerable members of our species to this pathogen. It’s all very sad in clinical, honestly. But we also, to recognize, there are likely to be waves of this condition. So, we’re right now at the beginning of the first wave of COVID-19. But probably, we’re going to see a second wave, and even a third wave perhaps. And that’s very common for these types of pathogens.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. So, I just want to reiterate the point that you just made, but I just don’t want it to get lost because it’s probably the most important point here, which is even if we’re all destined to get this thing or even if 75% of us are destined to get it, getting it later is absolutely better when you consider the implications for our health care system.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes.

Sam Harris:
Because here are just the numbers, and we have something like a million hospital beds speaking now about the United States. There’s something like 2.5 beds for every thousand people.

Nicholas Christakis:
2.8 in our country. Just to put some numbers in perspective. In Japan, it’s like 13.8 beds per thousand people. So, we have we have bed capacity that’s much lower than many other countries. Australia has more beds than we do. We have about as many beds as England does per capita, but we don’t have a great number of beds per capita. That’s correct.

Sam Harris:
Right. And so, just imagine, in a situation where everyone gets this more or less all at once, it’s just a tsunami of illness, you have the breakdown of the health care system. You have-

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes.

Sam Harris:
Figure out just the lack of beds. You have doctors and nurses also getting sick, right, and unable to work.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes. And that’s also true. And we can look to China for what the health care professionals in Wuhan have been doing. And I have friends there, or friends of friends there, let’s say, I have reports from there via indirectly. And it’s unbelievable what those doctors did, but they’ve been working around the clock, taking great personal risks, many of them have died, and they’re exhausted. So, it’s serious. And if you even look at Seattle right now, there is concerns in Seattle they’re going to run out of medical supplies to care for their patients there. We have a regional sharing system and setup in our society, so that if a hospital has a crisis and needs many dialysis machines or respirators, they can be loaned regionally. But when you have a pandemic situation where they’re needed everywhere, we don’t have the excess capacity for, for example, respirators. So, it’s a very serious situation we’re facing. And I hope and pray that we do not run out of respirators in our society, but we need to consider the possibility we do that we don’t have enough of them. And the fact that we are in that situation is alarming.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. So, let’s talk practically about what people can do and what is likely to await us in the future. And just a few more questions about the disease or about the virus. And these this is some questions we’ve gotten from Twitter.

Nicholas Christakis:
I’m on Twitter, obviously, and I follow other people, and I’ve been trying to send out rational information for weeks now to help people. Part of me, as I noticed the breakdown, I noticed this interesting phenomenon, which many of my scientific colleagues have been sort of stepping up. Like earlier, we talked about how they’re redirecting their laboratories to see how they could help the nation. But I’ve also noticed that many people are like tweeting out more information. And I think they’re trying to fill the vacuum, the lack of information or the spread lies. So, for weeks now, I’ve been trying to send out the most precise, scientifically accurate information that I can, partly to help educate the public about different things like social distancing, like why does hand-washing work, like what’s the latency period for the virus, how does it spread, what are reservoirs of the virus, what about school closures? These are all topics that I think the American public needs to be educated about.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, yeah. Okay. So, what about the prospect of acquiring immunity for this once you have it?

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah, I think there was some concerns that people could be reinfected. The best data that I’ve seen so far suggests that that either doesn’t occur or it’s extremely unlikely. So, let’s just say once you’re infected and recover, you have immunity for some period of time, at least a few months, probably a few years. That’s still not fully known. But the fears that you could be reinfected rapidly, and there’s been some case reports of this, those case reports were probably false negative tests. So, in other words, you had the condition, you had positive tests, then you had a negative test, you think, “Oh, you’re cured,” and then you have a positive test afterwards, probably what happened is that negative test was a false negative, now that you were reinfected.

Sam Harris:
Right, right.

Nicholas Christakis:
I mean, even the fact that we’re doing this podcast is a noble or makes me happy because I think you have like a million listeners or some huge number of people. And you could think of it as a public service to try to get out some basically accurate information. I hope people listening to this will think, what’s the harm in my engaging in social distancing? I could do it for a week, or two, or three. If it turns out that the epidemic fizzles out, well, I just didn’t shake people’s hands for a week and canceled a few meetings. On the other hand, if it turns out the epidemic is large, I’ve done some stuff to protect myself, and I’ve made a contribution to the well-being of our society. When you social distance, when you engage in these basic practices, you are interrupting the flow of the pathogen through our society. You are part of a super organism. I argued this in my book. You’re part of a collective that’s engaged in a battle with this virus, and you’re doing your part.

Sam Harris:
Let’s put a fine point on that recommendation because this is advice that I have taken as of two days ago. So, we decided to pull our girls out of school on Friday. So, spring break is not for three more weeks, but we’re starting now and we’re going to homeschool them and just to wait and see what happens because it just seemed like the school was the weak link in our world and we have, at least, one person in our family who’s got chronic lung disease who really can’t afford to get this virus. So, we decided we’re just going to pull up the drawbridge, and we’re now going to practice fairly extreme social distancing. I mean, we’re not going to restaurants. I cut all travel. The TED conference is probably going to get canceled anyway on the 27th of February, I pulled out of everything I was supposed to do, and we’re just going to lie low, but I’m half expecting this is going to be a fairly long experiment in social distancing. I’m wondering whether I just pulled my girls out of school for the rest of the year here, but-

Nicholas Christakis:
It’s hard to know for sure. But let me do a thought experiment with you. If, in fact, your girls were going to be pulled out of the school for the whole year, you’ve just added a couple of weeks to pulling them out, and those weeks may have been the wisest weeks in the whole period.

Sam Harris:
Right, yeah. So, I’ve been following your tweets, and I took them to heart. And frankly, I felt a little late. And the only thing standing between me and doing it several days earlier was just a sense of social stigma. It’s like I didn’t want to be the first-

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah, and you don’t want to be alarmist, right? You do want to be like — but that’s the problem. These are type 1/type 2 error.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. Everyone everyone’s feeling some version of that.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes.

Sam Harris:
They’re feeling paranoid and yet ineffectual even when they’re taking steps, which seem fairly extreme.

Nicholas Christakis:
But what I want to emphasize is that it’s like so much else in our society has become polarized and dichotomized, and people think in terms of dichotomies. There are shades of behavior. So, we are not. I don’t want anyone listening to this podcast to think that you and I think that people need to go to the woods to their bunkers or something. It’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that there there’s a range of behaviors from proceed as if there’s no epidemic and go about your business, the usual social interactions, to total social isolation, sail off on a sailboat or something or whatever and in between. So, what I’m recommending is adopt some simple practices already that are in between that will reduce your own personal risk and help our society. Don’t shake hands. Wash your hands several times a day for what is that, the word isn’t out till you sing happy birthday twice, avoid all non-essential travel and meetings. Just do those things. It helps you, it helps our society, and we’ll know more in a few weeks as to what the situation is really like. That’s a reasonable thing to do.

Sam Harris:
I mean, the other way to think about it is just probabilistically, if there are a thousand ways you might get this thing, if you cut out 900 of them, you’ve reduced your risk by 90%. And as you say, you’ve blocked that path through society to all the other people you’re gonna be in contact with. So, the reason why most people can’t do that is just the health argument is straightforward. It’s just there’s an economic and social argument that’s pressing for so many people.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yeah, but no, But hold on. I’m not saying that people — the things that I was recommending did not include you stay home yet. What I’m saying is things that you can do right now are non-essential travel, non-essential meetings, hand-washing, avoid handshaking and physical contact. Those are things people can do and still go to work.

Sam Harris:
Right. Anything that can be done from home probably should be done from home, right? There are many companies where people can telecommute and-

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes, yes, that’s right.

Sam Harris:
I would imagine many have not pulled the trigger on that yet as a matter of policy.

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes, that’s right. That’s exactly right. And also, in the past, let’s say you shopped for food three times a week, now might be a time to consolidate all of your shopping list and go once a week. There are different sorts of ways you can manage your life to reduce social contact for a while until we see what’s happening with this thing. That’s correct. And I don’t see that as alarmist. I think that’s just common sense you can do and that doesn’t require you to quit your job or lose your income yet.

Sam Harris:
Right. So, a related question there. It’s just, what about panic and-

Nicholas Christakis:
Panic is bad.

Sam Harris:
What alarms me is that when government is clearly — like in any of these press conferences, when the purpose is transparently to reassure without actually giving good information, they’re just trying to dampen panic, that is in the uncanny valley of reassurance and it actually is just frankly alarming to see people obfuscating for the purpose of dampening emotional or arousal. So, how do you think the government and scientists should speak about this, given that panic and the reality of social contagion is also worth worrying about?

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes. So, how do you think we’ve been speaking about it? Do you think that when I agreed to come on, I was trying to make sure that I communicated factual information, that I was balanced, and that I was not alarmist? And I hope I have not been alarmist, and I hope I’ve communicated factual information in a balanced way. That’s my objective. And your listeners and you can decide that. But we have very sober-minded scientists that speak in calm and rational ways. For example, Dr. Anthony Fauci. And these are the sorts of people that if I were president, I would be putting before the public. These people will, sort of like when they’re of military importance, the generals that speak, they may be misinformed, they may not know everything, but they speak in measured and serious ways about the matters of military operations. And I think that’s what we need right now. And we have such people in our government and in our society. And I think we should be listening to them and we should be allowing them to speak.

Sam Harris:
It would be a related benefit to social distancing, if we had a new norm around how people behaved when they were sick with anything, with anything infectious, a cold or a flu, if people simply did not go to work sick, that would exert an evolutionary pressure on all these bugs to become less symptomatic, right?

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, I mean, that’s another thing, relatedly, that we should be doing in our society. If you don’t have an essential health problem, you should not be seeking medical care right now. Not only because you don’t want to go to a health care and be exposed to other people, but in order to unburden the health care system. What the Chinese did, which was unbelievable, is they moved 50% of their medical care online when the epidemic struck. Anyone that just needed a prescription refill, for example, they just started doing that online. You don’t have to go see your doctor to get your heart medication. Just call your doctor and say, “Okay, we’re going to do that.” So, it decompress as the health system, frees the doctors up and nurses up to do other stuff that’s more important, and it reduces the risk of exposure, the social mixing, especially of sick patients. So, people listening to this, they should say, “If I’m not seriously ill or I have routine health care stuff, I should help my country by not seeking medical care right now.” Now is not the time to do that.

Sam Harris:
Yeah. But the point I was making is that if social distancing were the norm whenever people got sick, personally, if you just didn’t go to work when sick, that would exert evolutionary pressure on all of these bugs, whether bacteria or viruses to mitigate their symptoms, so that like colds wouldn’t be as bad if you only spread them when they were truly almost undetectable, from your point of view. So, what do you do with the fact though that it seems that people are infectious prior to being asymptomatic and perhaps for as long as two weeks? I mean, that seems like a-

Nicholas Christakis:
No, I don’t think it’s that long. I mean, we don’t know yet exactly. That’s still unknown. So, there are two epidemiologically relevant facts here. There’s something known as the incubation period. That’s from the time you’re infected to the time you’re symptomatic. And then, there’s something known as the latent period. And that’s from the time you’re not infectious to the time you become infectious. And the difficult thing is if the latent period ends before the incubation period ends. In other words, if you transition to being infectious before you transition to being symptomatic. We don’t know for a fact yet whether asymptomatic coronavirus patients can transmit the disease. And if so, for how long? But there are people actively working on it. But it’s not more than a couple of days, even if it is. But if that’s the case, that’s worrisome because that means people are out there spreading the disease, they can’t even use their own symptoms as a heuristic for staying at home.

Sam Harris:
Right. What do you see as the possibility of our taking extreme steps of the sort that China or even Italy have taken at this point to contain the spread in any given city or any given region?

Nicholas Christakis:
Well, I don’t think it’s culturally or politically viable for us to do what the Chinese have done. I don’t know how similar we are to the Italians. My understanding of the authority that governors of our States have, and I don’t know what the federal authorities are, but I’m pretty sure the State Governors have authorities to basically shut stuff down in the public interest and enforce it with the State National Guard sort of power. So, rightly, the power of quarantine exists in our society. And I’m not a legal expert, so I don’t know the details of where those powers are vested and how they’re enforced. But I can imagine that there would be a lot of political will to do such things if the situation got really bad. There would be checkpoints on roads to reduce transit. The president can order the flights not to fly, and this has been modeled. Internal restrictions on an on air traffic have been modeled as a way to reduce the epidemic. So, I don’t know, I can’t forecast what would happen. But I do believe the government at multiple levels has the authority to do such things as it should. As a society, if we’re trying to confront this, we need to do it in an ordered cooperative way.

Sam Harris:
There’s a point that I think we might have made, although perhaps we dropped it in differentiating this from influenza. From everything we know, coronavirus is more infectious than influenza.

Nicholas Christakis:
It’s difficult to measure. So, the so-called R nought or, actually, more precisely, something called the effective reproductive rate, which is the number in a steady state, the number of new cases for every old case, people are estimating is between 2 and 4. So, we don’t know yet exactly how it is. And just to be clear, that number is related to intrinsic properties of the virus, but it’s not solely determined by that. So, for example, the transmission rate of a pathogen depends, for example, on the extent of social mixing. If I suddenly obliged everyone to sit in a prison cell, if one person got sick, they wouldn’t transmit it to anyone else. So, it’s something about how we’re organized socially that determines the RE, the effective reproductive rate.

Nicholas Christakis:
And so, we estimate right now that it’s around between 2 and 4, which is high. The Chinese, at the beginning of the epidemic, there was a nice paper that was just written by a group of Chinese scholars in collaboration with some investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health, at the beginning of the epidemic, if I’m remembering these numbers correctly, they estimated the effective reproductive rate at around 3.8. So, for every sick person, 3.8 new sick people were created. But because of their social engineering in China, where they, as we discussed earlier, had this incredible quarantine basically that’s nationwide, they have driven that down to like below one. And when you get the number below one, that’s when the epidemic peters out because cases aren’t replacing themselves.

Sam Harris:
What about the prospect that this is essentially always gonna be with us once it’s a pandemic?

Nicholas Christakis:
Yes, that’s what’s going to happen.

Sam Harris:
So, if it’s always with us, and it’s much worse than flu — I mean, flu, we need a new flu vaccine every year because the old one didn’t do the trick because it’s mutated. What’s a rational picture of the future if, in fact, this just keeps circling the globe and mutating, either getting worse or getting better depending? What do we expect is harder here?

Nicholas Christakis:
It’s hard to know for sure. Many experts believe that this will join the existing corona viruses that afflict humans or be like another common cold type virus. We’ve just now added a pathogen to the list of pathogens that circulates in human beings. It’ll become what’s known as endemic. Always there in us. It’s a little unclear still. Earlier, we discussed how the virus might become less problematic as time goes by, as it adapts to us, and we modify it with our collective immune systems fighting it off. So, I don’t think it’s going to disappear completely. I think it will remain in the human population. It’s hard, very hard. I’m not willing to forecast how serious it will remain as time goes by. But I think we’re going to have this current wave, which I think there’s a good chance it will be serious. And then, we will have another wave or two. And in a few years, we’ll know what is the status of this virus with respect to us, like other viruses that affect us.

Sam Harris:
Can you think of something we haven’t touched that you think we should be hitting?

Nicholas Christakis:
No. I mean, I think we’ve covered a lot of things. We’ve covered some basic facts about the virus and what it is that we can do. We’ve talked about the prospects for pharmaceutical interventions versus non-pharmaceutical interventions, which we clearly need to implement as a society. We’ve sort of benchmark the severity of the condition. We’ve talked about flattening the epidemic, which is really important. We’ve covered, I think, the gamut of sort of basic epidemiology as such as it is of epidemic or pandemic influenza. I think I’d like to end on an optimistic note. I mean, I think our species, this is not the first time-

Sam Harris:
It’s already not sounding optimistic if you’re going to the species level.

Nicholas Christakis:
Okay, yes. Good point.

Sam Harris:
It’s really bad.

Nicholas Christakis:
Our society, it’s not the first time America has been afflicted with a pandemic disease. And I think we will see the other side of this. But I think it’s going to take a lot of working together to address it. I think it’ll take the full attention of our political leaders and of our scientific establishment. Our commercial sector is going to have to rise to the occasion to build more respirators, and more masks, and whatever else we need in order to confront the condition. And I think people on the street are going to have to adjust their lifestyle for a while in order to contribute to our society, in order to confront this disease. And I hope that it is much milder than it could be. And there’s a range of outcomes, as we’ve discussed, and I hope it’s on the milder end of that range.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, yeah. As do I. I certainly hope that my current state of mind seems like an overreaction in retrospect. I mean, the only point in my life that had an analogous feeling was 9/11, where it’s just like, “Okay, this is a moment in history. This is not life as you have taken it for granted year after year.”

Nicholas Christakis:
I think this could be a moment in history. I think in a few months, we’ll know, whether in in the early spring or early winter of 2020, the world was afflicted with a pandemic and a serious pandemic. I mean, pandemic, by the way, just means an epidemic that strikes multiple region. And you could have a mild pandemic or a severe pandemic. That’s a different topic. And so, I think we’ll know within a few months how serious this is. And we’ll all remember where we were when we first heard about it. Or if it’s mild, we’ll forget. Nobody remembers very much about SARS and H1N1. And maybe, it’ll go that way. And I hope it does.

Sam Harris:
Okay. Well, I will be touching this topic again, no doubt. And-

Nicholas Christakis:
Thank you.

Sam Harris:
… you and I will be talking about happier things at some point. I trust.

Nicholas Christakis:
Thank you for having me again, Sam. And thank you so much.

Sam Harris:
Yeah, yeah. To be continued.

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Announcements, Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Coronavirus explained

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: Coronavirus explained transcript powered by Sonix—the best automated transcription service in 2020. Easily convert your video to text with Sonix.

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Coronavirus explained was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your video to text. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular video file formats.

Claire Reilly:
The Coronavirus outbreak is spreading across the world and it's got a lot of people asking questions. How bad is this? Is there a vaccine and what can we do to protect ourselves? Well, step one, don't panic. We're going to break it down.

Claire Reilly:
First of all what is Coronavirus? Well, for starters, it's a whole family of viruses, SARS, which first hit Hong Kong in 2002, was an outbreak. That was caused by a type of Coronavirus. But the Coronavirus family also includes the common cold. This Coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019 and it's a whole new strain.

Claire Reilly:
It's officially known as SARS COV2. Now, the SARS part is confusing. It's not actually the same virus that caused that 2002 outbreak, but it's related. The disease you get when you catch the virus that's called COVID19. Coronavirus, COVID19, SARS I know it's all incredibly confusing, but for a long time health officials didn't actually know what they were even looking at.

Claire Reilly:
They now suspect that it was an animal virus that crossed over into humans potentially at a live animal market. We've seen that kind of thing before with swine flu and avian influenza. It gives us a whole new mutated strain of the virus that health officials have never seen before.

Claire Reilly:
We now know that the incubation period, the time between when someone gets infected and when they start showing symptoms, that could be as long as 14 days. And that's a problem because you could have people that are not showing outward signs of the virus, but are walking around and infecting other people without even knowing it.

Claire Reilly:
And that's why we've seen so many travel lockdowns. In early 2020, countries like the US enforced a compulsory 14 day quarantine. That's the same time as the incubation period. That applied to anyone traveling from known problem areas like China.

Claire Reilly:
And before we start scaremongering, no, it doesn't mean that all the people coming from those places are infected. It's just a really easy way to minimize the spread. You keep the people who may have been exposed away from the people who definitely haven't been exposed.

Claire Reilly:
The only problem is now we're starting to see cases of COVID19 in people who haven't been to China and haven't been in contact with people who have. And that's got public health officials worried.

Claire Reilly:
So what happens to those people who contract COVID19? Well, it's a respiratory illness. So think things like coughing, fever, shortness of breath. It also spreads like other respiratory illnesses. So sneezing and coughing on people.

Claire Reilly:
We don't know how long it survives on hard surfaces, but it's safe to say you shouldn't go around licking handrails. But it's also not a sudden death disease.

Anne Schuchat:
It doesn't seem to be as severe as we first feared, but it does seem to be quite transmissible. And some people have very mild symptoms or possibly even no symptoms at all.

Claire Reilly:
So for some people, it might just feel like a really, really bad cold. But in severe cases, it can lead to things like pneumonia. People have been hospitalized, put on respirators, and according to data from China, 2.3 percent of patients have died.

Claire Reilly:
So who's at risk here? Well, think about like regular flu season. It's the immunocompromised. Elderly people, people who have lung conditions or chronic illnesses. In fact, elderly people with COVID19, they're particularly at risk.

Claire Reilly:
But unlike regular flu season, it doesn't seem to be affecting young people, which is good news. The other difference with flu season, we don't have a vaccine and we probably won't have one for a while because we're dealing with a new strain here, scientists need time to develop the vaccine and put it through tests and trials to make sure it's safe and that it's actually effective.

Anthony S. Fauci:
Although this is the fastest we have ever gone from a sequence of a virus to a trial, it still would not be any applicable to the epidemic unless we'd really wait about a year.

Claire Reilly:
So no vaccine anytime soon, but it's not all bad news. Remember, the CDC said that not all cases will be severe and 2 percent is a low mortality rate, especially when you consider it to things like the most recent Ebola outbreak where 50 percent of people infected died.

Claire Reilly:
But the problem is just how transmissible it is and therefore how many people could become infected. When we start to get into pandemic territory where large parts of the population are getting infected and the virus is spreading across international borders, then that 2 percent mortality figure gets really terrifying.

Claire Reilly:
Not only that, but our hospitals will be incredibly stretched. They will be dealing with a lot of severe cases and they may not have the resources to cope.

Claire Reilly:
So what's the hope here? Well, no, you don't need to go and stockpile six months worth of food. Nobody wants to be eating sardines that long. No, the answer is kind of basic and it's also within our reach. And that's standard public health measures, hygiene, things like washing your hands, do it way more than you think you need to. Soap and water and for at least 20 seconds. And if you can't wash your hands, well, use hand sanitizer. At least 60 percent alcohol and rub it on.

Claire Reilly:
And if you start to feel sick, don't be a hero. Stay at home. Don't go to work. Don't go out in public. Don't catch transport. Yes, you will get very bored. But that's better than being patient zero in your neighborhood.

Claire Reilly:
Isolate yourself at home and make sure you clean high touch surfaces, things like door handles, bathroom fixtures, your phone. And if you do need to go to the doctor, make sure you call ahead so that they can protect themselves.

Claire Reilly:
And one last thing. I can't emphasize this enough. Cover your coughs and sneezes and not with your hand. Just remember to destroy all bacteria (DAB). Door handles, laptops, benches like everything in the bathroom. Sorry, I'm just making a list. We got more videos you can watch here. Couches. I'm going have to wash all the sheets and towels.

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Eminem #GodzillaChallenge

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Eminem:
Fill 'em with the venom and eliminate 'em. Other words, I Minute Maid 'em. I don't wanna hurt 'em, but I did, I'm in a fit of rage. I'm murderin' again, nobody will evade. I'm fittin' to kill 'em and dumpin' their fuckin' bodies in the lake. Obliterating everything, incinerate a renegade. I'm here to make anybody who want it with the pen afraid. But don't nobody want it, but they're gonna get it anyway 'cause I'm beginnin' to feel like I'm mentally ill. I'm Attila, kill or be killed, I'm a killer bee, the vanilla gorilla. You're bringin' the killer within me outta me. You don't wanna be the enemy of the demon who entered me or be on the receivin' end of me, what stupidity it'd be. Every bit of me's the epitome of a spitter. When I'm in the vicinity, motherfucker, you better duck. Or you finna be dead the minute you run into me. A hundred percent of you is a fifth of a percent of me. I'm 'bout to fuckin' finish you, bitch, I'm unfadable. You wanna battle, I'm available, I'm blown up like an inflatable.

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Announcements Sonix gets highest rating in recent G2 software review

We’re more than delighted to share that Sonix has achieved the highest Net Promoter Score among competing services like IBM, Google, and Amazon in natural language processing.

The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. A score or NPS above 0 is considered “good”, +50 is “Excellent,” and above 70 is considered “world class.”

Sonix has achieved an NPS score of 96 which is WORLD CLASS!! ????

The G2 Crowd Grid Report is a biannual report that highlights the leading solutions in the natural language processing field. G2 Crowd uses a scoring methodology that blends data from user reviews and a variety of other factors to highlight the best in class.

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry transcript powered by Sonix—the best video to text transcription service

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Nancy Pelosi:
Good afternoon. Last Tuesday, we observed the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution on September 17th. Sadly on that day, the intelligence community inspector general formally notified the Congress that the administration was forbidding him from turning over a whistle blower complaint. On Constitution Day. This is a violation of the law.

Nancy Pelosi:
Shortly thereafter, press reports began to break of a phone call by the President of the United States calling upon a foreign power to intervene in his election. This is a breach of his constitutional responsibilities.

Nancy Pelosi:
The facts are these. The intelligence community inspector general, who was appointed by President Trump, determined that the complaint is both of urgent concern and credible. And its disclosure, he went on to say, relates to one of the most significant important of the director of national intelligence and his responsibility to the American people.

Nancy Pelosi:
On Thursday, the inspector general testified before the House Intelligence Committee stating that the acting director of national intelligence blocked him from disclosing the whistleblower complaint. This is a violation of law. The law is unequivocal. The DNI staff. It says DNI DNI, director of National Intelligence shall provide Congress the full whistleblower complaint.

Nancy Pelosi:
For more than 25 years, I've served on the Intelligence Committee as a member, as the ranking member as part of the gang of four, even before I was in the leadership. I was there when we created the office of the Director of National Intelligence. That did not exist before 2004. I was there even earlier in the 90s when we wrote the whistleblower laws and continue to write them to improve them, to ensure the security of our intelligence and the safety of whistleblowers.

Nancy Pelosi:
I know what their purpose was and we proceeded with balance and caution as we wrote the laws. I can say with authority, the Trump administration's actions undermine both our national security and our intelligence and our protections of the whistleblowers more than both.

Nancy Pelosi:
This Thursday, the acting DNI will appear before the House Intelligence Committee at that time. He must turn over the whistleblowers full complaint to the committee. He will have to choose whether to break the law or honor his responsibility to the Constitution.

Nancy Pelosi:
On the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when our Constitution was adopted, Americans gather on the steps of Independence Hall to await the news of the government our founders had crafted. They asked Benjamin Franklin, What do we have? A republic or a monarchy? Franklin replied a republic, if you can keep it. Our responsibility is to keep it.

Nancy Pelosi:
Republican doors, because of the wisdom of our Constitution, enshrined in three coequal branches of government serving as checks and balances on each other. The actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution, especially when the president says. Article 2 says, I can do whatever I want.

Nancy Pelosi:
For the past several months, we have been investigating and our committees and litigating in the courts. So the House can gather all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity. Approval of articles of impeachment.

Nancy Pelosi:
And this week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The action of the Trump, the actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the president's betrayal, of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.

Nancy Pelosi:
Therefore, today, I'm announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I'm directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

Nancy Pelosi:
Getting back for our founders. In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, the times have found us. The times found them to fight for and establish our democracy. The times have found us today. Not to place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our founders. But to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And the words of Ben Franklin to keep our republic.

Nancy Pelosi:
I thank our chairman, chairman, chairman, Nather, chairman, Schiff for another judiciary chairmanship of intelligence, chairman Engle of Foreign Affairs, Chairman Cummings of Oversight and Chairman Cummings, I've been in touch with constantly. He is the master of of so much, but including inspectors general and and whistleblowers. Congresswoman Richie Neal of the of the Ways and Means Committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters of the Financial Services Committee. And I commend all of our members, our colleagues, for their thoughtful, thoughtful approach to all of this, for their careful statements.

Nancy Pelosi:
God bless them and God bless America. Thank you.

Anonymous:
Now, of course, you've been convicted by the Senate. What does this accomplish? If the Senate doesn't convict?

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Popular Transcripts The 4th edition of “Phireside with Phil”, Justin Thomas threw shade at Phil Mickelson

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Phil Mickleson:
Welcome to another edition of Phireside with Phil with my special guest, JT, when we played together before he was known as JT. He was just Justin. You have a story to share.

Justin Thomas:
I do Phil. It was the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. I was on the web.com, now the KornFerry tour at the time. So the crowds are a little overwhelming, to start, but we had a little match, myself and Jordan, versus you and Ricky and kind of just came right into the lion's den.

Justin Thomas:
And playing the fourth hole, I forget what the status of the match was, that's irrelevant to the story. But a fourth hole, I think it is. It's a hard dogleg left. I remember do whatever he hit the drive down there, a long iron and the green's kind of sitting in a bowl.

Justin Thomas:
And just to the right of the greens, just a little crevice. And we both hit it right next to each other. Not bad shot, just right of the green. All sloped away from us. Couldn't really figure out. I couldn't figure out how to play it. If I wanted to kind of skip one and spin and go up, putt it whatever. Tight, sandy, grainy…how Pinehurst is.

I decide to putt it. Hit a nice putt up there about like this far. You go after me and bones at the time. Look right at him. He's just grabbed the 64. It took a full swing. Just took a full earth bunker divot all over the green, straight up in the air, pop down about like this.

Justin Thomas:
Just a little outside of mine. And, you know, like we knew each other, but weren't quite as close as we are now. But I know that you like to talk smack. And I was like, nice shot Phil just a little bit outside of mine.

Justin Thomas:
Without batting an eye, you just look at me. You go, yeah my dad probably would've putted that one, too, and then just walked up there.

Justin Thomas:
I love it when you send shade because it allows me to bring the heat. And you all we all know you don't sit Phireside unless you can handle the heat.

Justin Thomas:
That's exactly right.

Phil Mickleson:
Thanks for being on.

Justin Thomas:
Absolutely.

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Democratic Primary Debate – Night 2

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Dana Bash:
Let's start with opening statements. You will each receive one minute. Mayor Bill de Blasio, please begin.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
To the working people of America, tonight, I bring you a message of hope. We can make change in this country. I know from personal experience it can be done. When I became the mayor of the nation's largest city, I set us on a path of bold change. They said it couldn't be done, but we gave pre-K to every child for free. We got rid of stop and frisk, and we lowered crime. We raised the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. Yes, it can be done.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Now, tonight, we have to get to the heart and soul of who we are as Democrats. There are good people on the stage, but there are real differences. Joe Biden told wealthy donors that nothing fundamentally would change if he were president. Kamala Harris said she's not trying to restructure society. Well, I am. For 40 years, working people have taken it on the chin in this country. For 40 years, the rich have gotten richer, and they paid less and less in taxes. It cannot go on this way. When I'm president, we will even up the score, and we will tax the hell out of the wealthy to make this a fairer country and to make sure it's a country that puts working people first.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mayor de Blasio. Senator Michael Bennet.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Thank you. Last week, I saw one of those Trump signs that says, "America, Love it or Leave it." It was on the outside of a church. I love America, and I know we can make it better. Before coming to the Senate, I ran a large urban 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.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
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. They deserve something better than a bully in the White House. Let's end this three-ring circus in Washington, and let's make this election about reclaiming our future for our kids and our democracy. Empty promises won't beat Donald Trump. I can.

Dana Bash:
Governor Jay Inslee.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
Good evening. I'm Jay Inslee. I am running for president, because the people in this room and the Democrats watching tonight are the last best hope for humanity on this planet. If we make defeating the climate crisis the top priority of the United States, we will have a fighting chance to save ourselves and our children's future. It has to be our top priority. My plan is one of national mobilization, quickly bringing 100-percent clean energy to Americans, creating 8 million good union jobs.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
This is a big, bold, ambitious plan for clean energy for a big, bold, ambitious nation. Middle ground approaches are not enough. We must confront the fossil fuel industry. I've been working on this for 25 years. Now, we know this. We are at a tipping point, and whether we shrink from this challenge or rise to it is the vital question of our time. We, Democrats, believe we can still do big things in this nation. We can defeat the climate crisis. Let's get to work.

Dana Bash:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
My grandmother taught me that nothing's impossible. She spent two generations organizing women in Upstate New York. My mother taught me nothing is impossible. She was one of only three women in her law school class and worked with gay couples for basic rights. If you want to get something done, just tell me it's impossible. As a freshman senator, I was told you couldn't repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Even members of my own party told me it wasn't convenient. When are civil rights ever convenient? We stood up to the Pentagon, and we got it done. Not impossible.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
10 years ago, I was told you couldn't pass healthcare for our 9/11 first responders, those heroes who raced up the towers when others were coming down. Even when Congress turned its back on them, we kept fighting. Just last week, we made the 9/11 health bill permanent. Beating Donald Trump, definitely not impossible. We need a nominee who will take on the big fights and win. We need a nominee who doesn't know the meaning of impossible.

Dana Bash:
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
I love our country. It's why I enlisted after 9/11, why I've served as a soldier for over 16 years, deployed twice to the Middle East, and served in Congress now for almost seven years. I know what patriotism is, and I've known many great patriots throughout my life. Let me tell you this – Donald Trump is not behaving like a patriot.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
As president, I will bring this spirit of real patriotism to the White House, serving the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful. I'll fight for our rights and freedoms of all Americans, upholding these principles in our Constitution upon which our country was founded, fighting for justice and equality for all; fighting for every single American, regardless of race or religion, as we strive towards that more perfect union. As president, I'll bring this unifying spirit of love for country and the soldier's values of service above self to the White House, truly leading a government of, by, and for the people.

Dana Bash:
Secretary Julián Castro.

Sec. Julián Castro:
Thank you, Dana, and good evening. Just a few days ago, we were reminded and inspired by our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico that public service is not fundamentally about any of us. It's about you and your family. I want you to know that if I'm elected president, that I will work hard every single day, so that you and your family can have good healthcare when you need it, so that your children and grandchildren can get a good education so that they can reach their dreams, and that you can have good job opportunities, whether you live here in a big city, like Detroit, or in a small town in our country.

Sec. Julián Castro:
I know we have a wonderful, special nation, but that too many people are struggling. I know what that's like, too. I grew up with a single mom in a poor neighborhood. But like many of you, I don't wanna make America anything again. I don't want us to go backward. We're not going back to the past. We're not going back where we came from. We're gonna move forward. We're gonna make America better than it's ever been in the years to come. Let's do that together.

Dana Bash:
Andrew Yang.

Andrew Yang:
If you've heard anything about me in my campaign, you've heard that someone is running for president who wants to give every American $1,000 dollars a month. I know this may sound like a gimmick, but this is a deeply American idea, from Thomas Paine, to Martin Luther King, to today. Let me tell you why we need to do it and how we pay for it. Why do we need to do it? We already automated away millions of manufacturing jobs. Chances are your job could be next. If you don't believe me, just ask an autoworker here in Detroit.

Andrew Yang:
How do we pay for it? Raise your hand in the crowd, if you've seen stores closing where you live. It is not just you. Amazon is closing 30 percent of America's stores and malls, and paying zero in taxes while doing it. We need to do the opposite of much of what we're doing right now. The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math. So, let me share the math. $1,000 a month for every adult would be $461 million every month right here in Detroit alone. The automation of our jobs is a central challenge facing us today. It is why Donald Trump is our president and any politician not addressing it is failing the American people.

Dana Bash:
Senator Cory Booker.

Sen. Cory Booker:
Thank you, Dana. Last week, the President of the United States attacked an American city, calling it "a disgusting, rat-infested rodent mess." We need a nation that understands that these tired old language, the …

Don Lemon:
Stand by, Senator.

Sen. Cory Booker:
I will stand by.

Don Lemon:
Please stand by. Please continue, Senator.

Sen. Cory Booker:
Thank you very much. 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 its self. We know who Donald Trump is. But in this election, the question is: "Who are we as a people?" We have serious problems in America. We have deep wounds and seriously deeply-rooted challenges.

Sen. Cory Booker:
We desperately need to heal as a nation and move forward, because we know in this country that our fates are united; that we have a common destiny. The call of this election is the call to unite in common cause and common purpose. That's how we will beat Donald Trump. That's how I will beat Donald Trump, and as your president, that's how I will govern and move us forward together.

Dana Bash:
Senator Kamala Harris.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
This is an inflection moment in the history of our country. I think we all know that. This is a moment in time that is requiring us each as individuals and collectively to look in a mirror and ask a question. That question being "Who are we?" I think most of us know that part of the answer to that question is we are better than this. So, this then becomes a moment that we must fight for the best of who we are. And fight, of course, we will. This is not a new fight for us as Americans.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
We have always been prepared to fight for our ideals. We have always been a nation that fights for the best of who we are. I'll tell you. I come from fighters. My parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement. My sister, Maya, and I joke we grew up surrounded by a bunch of adults who spent full-time marching and shouting about this thing called justice. I am prepared to march with you, to fight with you for the best of who we are and to successfully prosecute the case of four more years of Donald Trump and against him.

Dana Bash:
Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Tonight, I think Democrats are expecting some more engagement here. And I expect we'll get it. I'm running for president to restore the soul of this country. We have a president, as everybody's acknowledged here, that every day is ripping at the social fabric of this country. But no one man has the capacity to rip that apart. It's too strong. We're too good.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Just look at this stage, made up of very diverse people from diverse backgrounds, went on to be mayors, senators, governors, congresswomen, members of the cabinet, and yes, even a vice president. Mr. President, this is America. We are stronger and great because of this diversity, Mr. President. Not in spite of it, Mr. President. So, Mr. President, let's get something straight. We love it. We are not leaving it. We are here to stay. And we're certainly not gonna leave it to you.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Vice President Biden. I wanna start the debate with one of the top priorities for Democratic voters, and that is healthcare. Senator Harris, this week you released a new healthcare plan, which would preserve private insurance and take 10 years to phase in. Vice President Biden's campaign calls your plan "a have-it-every-which-way-approach" and says it's just part of a confusing pattern of equivocating about your healthcare stance. What do you say to that?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
They're probably confused because they've not read it. But the reality is that I have been spending time in this campaign listening to American families, listening to experts, listening to healthcare providers. And what I came away with is a very clear understanding that I needed to create a plan that was responsive to the needs of the American people; responsive to their needs, understanding that insurance companies have been jacking up the prices for far too long, that American families have to be held down by deductibles, and copays, and premiums that can cause them bankruptcy.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I listened to the American families who said four years is just not enough to transition into this new plan, so I devised a plan where it's gonna be 10 years of a transition. I listened to American families who said "I want an option that will be under your Medicare system, that allows a private plan," so I designed a plan where, yes, responsive to the needs of American families, there will be a public plan under my plan for Medicare and a private plan under my plan for Medicare. Because the bottom line is this – we must agree that access to healthcare must be a right and not just a privilege of those who can afford it. And in America today, far too many people – in fact, 30 million people – are going without access to healthcare.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Harris. Vice President Biden, your response?

Vice President Joe Biden:
My response is that the senator has had several plans so far. And any time someone tells you you're gonna get something good in 10 years, you should wonder why it takes 10 years. If you notice, there's no talk about the fact that the plan, in 10 years, will cost $3 trillion. You will lose your employer-based insurance. In fact, this is the single most important issue facing the public. To be very blunt and to be very straightforward, you can't beat President Trump with double-talk on this plan.

Dana Bash:
Your response, Senator Harris?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Absolutely. Unfortunately, Vice President Biden, you're just simply inaccurate in what you're describing. The reality is that our plan will bring healthcare to all Americans under a Medicare for All system. Our plan will allow people to start signing up on the first day. Babies will be born into our plan. Right now, four million babies almost are born every day in America- or every year in America. Under our plan, we will ensure that everyone has access to healthcare. Your plan, by contrast, leaves out almost 10 million Americans. So, I think that you should really think about what you're saying, but be reflective and understand that the people of America want access to healthcare and do not want costs to be their barrier to getting it.

Dana Bash:
Senator Harris, thank you. Vice President Biden, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
The plan, no matter how you cut it, cost $3 trillion when it is, in fact, employed, number one. 10 years from now, after two terms of the senator being president, after her time. Secondly, it will require middle class taxes to go up, not down. Thirdly, it will eliminate employer-based insurance. And fourthly, what happens in the meantime?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I'd like to respond. First of all, the cost of doing nothing is far too expensive. Second, we are now paying $3 trillion a year for healthcare in America. Over the next 10 years, it's probably going to be $6 trillion. We must act.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
My plan is about immediately allowing people to sign up and get into coverage. Right now in America, we have seniors who, every day – millions of seniors – are going into the Medicare system, and they are getting full coverage and the kind of coverage they need. All people should have access to healthcare and cost should not be [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Harris. Mayor de Blasio, let's bring you in here. What's your response?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Thank you. I don't know what the Vice President and the Senator are talking about. The folks I talked to about health insurance say that their health insurance isn't working for them. There's tens of millions of Americans who don't even have health insurance, tens of millions more who have health insurance they can barely make work, because of the copays, the deductibles, the premiums, the out-of-pocket expenses.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
There's this mythology that somehow all these folks are in love with their insurance in America. What I hear from union members and from hard-working middle-class people is they wish they had better insurance. They're angry at private insurance companies that skim all the profits off the top and make it impossible for everyday people to get coverage like mental healthcare, dental care-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
-the things that would be full coverage for all Americans.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Vice President Biden, you just heard Mayor de Blasio. He said in the past that Democrats who want to keep the private insurance industry are defending a healthcare system that is not working. What's your response?

Vice President Joe Biden:
My response is Obamacare is working. The way to build this and get to it immediately is to build on Obamacare. Go back and do … Take back all the things that Trump took away, provide a public option, meaning every single person in America would be able to buy into the option, if they didn't like their employer plan, or if they're on Medicaid, they'd automatically be in the plan. It would take place immediately, it would move quickly, and it would insure the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans. In the meantime, what happens? Did anybody tell you how much their plans cost? My plan costs $750 billion. That's what it cost. Not $30 trillion.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Senator Gillibrand, you support Medicare for All. How do you feel about Senator Harris continuing to call her health proposal Medicare for All when it includes a far more significant role for private insurance than the bill you co-sponsored?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I think for the viewers in the audience right now, they're at risk of losing the forest through the trees, because the truth is healthcare in America should be a right. When I was a young mother and had Theo as an infant, he had an allergic reaction to eggs and his whole body turned red and puffy. I had to rush him to the emergency room. My heart is palpitating, because I'm worried that his throat will close. I am not worried about not having an insurance card or a credit card in my wallet. I know whatever they're gonna prescribe, whether it's an EpiPen or an inhaler, I can afford it. The truth about healthcare in America today is people can't afford it. They cannot afford-

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
The insurance companies for these plans that rely on insurance companies … I'm sorry. They're for-profit companies. They have an obligation to their shareholders. They pay their CEO millions of dollars. They have to have quarterly profits. They have fat in the system. It's real, and it should be going to healthcare. So let's not lose the forest for the trees. Last, let's not forget what the Republicans are doing. Because the truth is the Republicans and Trump, their whole goal is to take away your healthcare-

Dana Bash:
Thank you.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
-to make it harder for you to afford it, even if you have pre-existing conditions.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Gillibrand. Senator Harris, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
In response to Senator Biden about the Affordable Care Act, it is important that you understand that our Medicare for All plan has actually, by the architect of the Obama Affordable Care Act, been described as one of the most effective ways to bring healthcare to all. Kathleen Sebelius has endorsed our plan as being something that will get us to where we need to go. In terms of the point that Senator Gillibrand is raising, I couldn't agree more. Senator Biden, your plan will keep and allow insurance companies to remain with status quo, doing business as usual. That's gonna be about jacking up copays, jacking up deductibles-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-it will still be the situation that people going to an emergency room-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Harris. Vice President Biden, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-have to come out $5,000.

Vice President Joe Biden:
My plan makes the limit of copay to be $1,000, because we further support the ability to buy into the Obamacare plan. Secondly, the idea that this is somehow a bad idea … No one has to keep their private insurance, but if they would like their insurance, they should be able to keep it. Nothing is demanded in my plan that there be private insurance. It says if the 160 million people who have it say they like their employer insurance, they should have a right to have it. If they don't, they can buy into the Biden plan, which is Obamacare-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you. Senator Booker, let me bring you in here. You say you support Medicare for All. You also say you are not going to pull private health insurance from more than 150 million Americans in exchange for a government plan, but that's what Medicare for All would do. So, how do you square that?

Sen. Cory Booker:
First of all, let me just say that the person who's enjoying this debate most right now is Donald Trump, as we pit Democrats against each other, while he is working right now to take away Americans' healthcare. There is a court case working through the system that's going to gut the Affordable Care Act and actually gut protections on preexisting conditions. I was raised by two civil rights parents who told me to always keep your eyes on the prize. And that is that in the United States of America, every Democrat should stand with the belief that everyone should have access to healthcare. That it's a human right.

Sen. Cory Booker:
How we get there, it has to be to end this broken system, because we are on our way, in just a handful of years, of literally spending 20 percent of our economy, one out of every $5 spent on healthcare. And we spend more in every other nation, on everything from MRIs to insulin drugs, multiple more than other countries. So, you wanna know what I'm gonna do? I'm going to work to get us to a point where Medicare for All- where everyone is covered. But this pitting against progressives, against moderates, saying one is unrealistic and the other doesn't care enough, that to me is dividing our party and demoralizing us in face of the real enemy here-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Cory Booker:
And I'm gonna keep fighting for that end-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Booker. Congressman Gabbard, what's your response?

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
The reality is, right now, we don't have a healthcare system. We have a sick care system. There are far too many people in this country who are sick and unable to get the care that they need, because they cannot afford it. The core of this problem is the fact that big insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies who've been profiting off the backs of sick people have had a seat at the table, writing this legislation.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
Now, Kamala Harris just talked about Kathleen Sebelius, who helped write her bill. This just pointed to the fatal flaw in her proposal. Sebelius works for Medicare Advantage, a private insurance company who will stand to profit under her plan. If we're seeking to really reform our healthcare system, we've got to shut out big insurance and big pharma out of the drafting process, so they cannot continue to profit off the backs of the sick people in this country who are searching and in desperate need of care.

Dana Bash:
Senator Harris, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Unfortunately, Representative Gabbard got it wrong. Kathleen Sebelius did not write my plan. She endorsed it as being one of the plans that is the best to get us to a place where everyone is gonna have access to healthcare in America. When we talk about this- again, I'm gonna go back to Vice President Biden, because your plan does not cover everyone in America by your staff's and your own definition. 10 million people- as many as 10 million people will not have access to healthcare. In 2019, in America, for a Democrat to be running for president with a plan that does not cover everyone, I think is without excuse. Our plan covers everyone and gives people choice.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden, your response?

Vice President Joe Biden:
My plan does- will cover everyone, number one. Number two, the fact is that my plan also calls for controlling drug prices. The biopharma is now where things are gonna go. It's no longer chemicals. It's about all these breakthroughs we have with the whole- excuse me, immune system. What we have to do now is we have to have a forum that sits in the HHS and says, "As you develop a drug, you've gotta come to us and decide what you can sell it for. We will set the price." Secondly, it says that you cannot raise that price beyond the cost of inflation from this point on-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I wanna bring in Senator Bennet. Last night, on this stage, one of your Democratic rivals suggested that running on Medicare for All would get Donald Trump reelected. Do you agree with that, sir?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
I agree that it makes it much more likely. Unlike others on this stage, I've been crystal clear of where I've been for a decade, through two tough races in Colorado. I believe we should finish the job we started with the Affordable Care Act with a public option that gives everybody in this audience the chance to pick for their family whether they want private insurance or public insurance. It requires drug companies to be negotiated with by Medicare and it provides competition.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
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, as Joe Biden said. We don't need to do that. It doesn't make sense for us to take away insurance from half the people in this room and put huge taxes on almost everybody in this room, when we can pass a public option, trust the American people to make the right decision, and have universal healthcare in this country in two years, not 10 years.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Secretary Castro, I want to bring you in [cross talk]

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I need to respond.

Jake Tapper:
-your response. I'll come to you right after Secretary Castro. Secretary Castro?

Sec. Julián Castro:
I know that this is something very personal for all Americans. I grew up with a grandmother that had diabetes, and I watched as her condition got worse and worse. That whole time she had Medicare. I want to strengthen Medicare for the people who are on it, and then expand it to anybody who wants it.

Sec. Julián Castro:
I also believe, though, that if somebody has a private health insurance plan that is strong, that they wanna hold on to, that they should be able to do that. What I don't believe is that the profit motive of big pharma or big insurance companies should ever determine in our great nation whether somebody gets healthcare or not.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Secretary Castro. Senator Harris, Senator Bennet had suggested that you support banning employer-based health insurance. Is that true?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
First of all, with all due respect to my friend, Michael Bennet, my plan does not offer anything that is illegal. What it does is it separates the employer from healthcare, meaning that where you work will not be a- the kind of healthcare you get will not be a function of where you work. I have met so many Americans who stick to a job that they do not like, where they are not prospering, simply because they need the healthcare that that employer provides. It's time that we separate employers from the kind of healthcare people get. Under my plan, we do that, as it relates to the insurance and the pharmaceutical companies who will not be called in and who will not be taken to task by Senator Biden or Senator Bennett's plan-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-we will do that.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Bennet, I want to bring you back.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Senator Harris is my friend, as well. But I have to say, if we can't admit tonight what's in the plan, which is banning employer-based insurance, we're not gonna be able to admit that when Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of doing that, as well. 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.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
We don't need to do that [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
-Governor Inslee, I'm gonna come to you in a second, but I do wanna-

Sen. Michael Bennet:
-we can have a public option to have universal healthcare in this country.

Jake Tapper:
I do wanna- I do wanna bring in Senator Harris, because he just suggested you were not being honest.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
He … We cannot keep with the Republican talking points on this. You gotta stop. The reality is that what- under my Medicare for All plan, yes, employers are not gonna be able to dictate the kind of healthcare that their employees get. They will be able to make that decision. Private insurance companies and private carriers, if they comply by our rules and play by our rules, will be able to offer those employees healthcare coverage under a private Medicare plan, or they can have the option of a public Medicare plan. But it is misleading to suggest that employees want what their employer is offering only. They want choice, and my plan gives that to them.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Governor Inslee, I want to bring you in. You recently signed a public option into law, which allows Washington state residents to purchase a state-backed plan if they want to, but this may only save families in Washington state as little as five percent off premiums. Is five percent really the kind of relief that the American people need?

Gov. Jay Inslee:
No, we need universal coverage. And I'm proud of our state that has done less squabbling and actually getting things done. And I am proud that we are the first state to offer a publicly sanctioned offer of healthcare to our citizens. I'm also proud that we didn't stop there. We're also the first state that has taken care of our elders, our seniors. We have a looming retirement wave coming up. I'm proud that our state has made them eligible to retire in dignity.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I'm also proud of this, and I think we need to talk more about this as Democrats – it is time to give people adequate mental healthcare in this country. And we are having … We've had some success in integrating mental health with physical health. There's no reason we should distinguish between your physiological and your mental health. The last thing we're doing, I think, it's very instructive for the nation. We know we're being eaten alive by pharmaceutical costs. We've had one of, if not the most innovative way, to drive down pharmaceuticals for life-saving medications in the United States. That's a record of Washington state I'd like take to Washington, D.C..

Jake Tapper:
Thank you. Thank you, Governor Inslee. Mr. Yang, I want to bring you in. You support a Medicare for All system. How do you respond to Governor Inslee?

Andrew Yang:
I just want to share a story. When I told my wife I was running for president, you know the first question she asked me? What are we gonna do about our healthcare? That's a true story. It's not just us. Democrats are talking about healthcare in the wrong way. As someone who's run a business, I can tell you flat out, our current healthcare system makes it harder to hire. It makes it harder to treat people well, and give them benefits, and treat them as full-time employees. It makes it harder to switch jobs, as Senator Harris just said, and it's certainly a lot harder to start a business. If we say, "Look, we're gonna get healthcare off the backs of businesses and families," then watch American entrepreneurship recover, and bloom. That's the argument we should be making to the American people.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Yang. Mayor de Blasio?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Yeah. I don't understand why Democrats on this stage are fear-mongering about universal healthcare. It makes no sense. Ask the American people. They are sick of what the pharmaceutical companies are doing to them. Ask them what they feel about the health insurance companies. They feel it's holding back their families, because they can't get the coverage they need. They get a lot of nos. They don't get a lot help from health insurance companies.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Why are we not going to be the party that does something bold, that says we don't need to be dependent on private insurance? We can have a system that actually covers everyone. You know what? Donald Trump won the state of Michigan by saying he was gonna disrupt the status quo. How about we be the party that's gonna disrupt the status quo for working people?

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Mayor, just a 15-second point of clarification. Who are you talking about? Who's fear-mongering?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Certainly, with all due respect to Senator Bennet, what he's saying is absolutely inaccurate about taxes. Americans right now are paying so much money for their healthcare. Ask people about the reality of premiums, deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket expenses.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
That's worse than any tax.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
And people are paying that right now.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Senator Bennet?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
This has nothing to do with Republican talking points or the pharmaceutical industry. This has to do with having faith in the American people that they can make the right decisions for their families, and they can choose a public option. Bernie Sanders, who said last night he wrote the damned bill, and he did, just like I wrote the damned public option bill, is the guy who says it'll cost $32 trillion and that we're gonna have to raise those taxes to pay for it. He says that; Republicans don't say it. Don't try to distract from the truth.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
You can't hide from the truth, here.

Jake Tapper:
I wanna let Mayor Bill de Blasio, and then I'm gonna come to you, Vice President Biden.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
We need to be for universal healthcare.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Senator, if we as Democrats say we're done with private insurance that has only hurt the American people in so many ways; we're gonna give them something that works for their families, full coverage that they can depend on … If we say that, then there's an election. The American people get to decide. The ultimate choice, Senator, is an election. And this should be the party that stands for universal healthcare and says we're not gonna accept anything less. Right now, in America, so many people don't have the healthcare they need. That is a fact. Tens of millions of people, including middle class people-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mayor.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Give them a chance to make their decision through an election.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Vice President Biden, your response, sir?

Vice President Joe Biden:
This is not a Republican talking point. The Republicans are trying to kill Obamacare. Obamacare took care of 20 million people right off the bat, 100 million people with pre-existing conditions. And in fact, what we got is a public option that, in fact, would allow anybody to buy in. No one has to keep their private insurance. They can buy into this plan, and they can buy into it with $1,000 deductible and never have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income when they do it. And if they don't have any money, they'll get in free.

Vice President Joe Biden:
So, this idea is a bunch of malarkey, which we're talking about here. The fact of the matter is that there will be a deductible. It will be a deductible on your paycheck. Bernie acknowledges it. Bernie acknowledges it. $30 trillion has to ultimately be paid, and I don't know what math you do in New York, I don't know what math you do in California, but I tell you, that's a lot of money, and there will be a deductible. The deductible will be out of your paycheck, because that's what will be required.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Harris, I want to bring you in here. Your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Yeah. Let's talk about math. Let's talk about math. Let's talk about the fact that the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies last year alone profited $72 billion. And that is on the backs of American families. Under your plan, status quo, you do nothing to hold the insurance companies to task for what they have been doing to American families. In America today, diabetes patients, one in four, cannot afford their insulin. In America today-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-for those people who have overdosed from an opioid, there is a syringe that cost $4,000 that will save their life.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
It is immoral. It is untenable-.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-and it must change with Medicare for All.

Jake Tapper:
Your time is up, Senator. Vice President Biden, your response?

Vice President Joe Biden:
I have the only plan that limits the ability of insurance companies to charge unreasonable prices, flat out, number one. Number two, we should put some of these insurance executives who would totally oppose my plan in jail for the nine billion opioids they sell out there. They are misrepresenting to the American people what needs be done. And lastly, here's the deal. The deal is let's figure out how this works. We immediately are able to cover everybody who wants to get off of their insurance plan they don't like, no matter what one it is, and buy into a Medicare option. They can buy the gold plan, and they're not going to have to pay- anyway …

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you. Let's move now to immigration, please. Secretary Castro, you think it should no longer be a crime to cross a U.S. border illegally. President Obama's Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, whom you served with, says that is a public declaration, that the border is "effectively open to all." How is he wrong?

Sec. Julián Castro:
Thank you for that question. If you elect me president, you're not electing me to follow. You're electing me to lead. Open borders is a right-wing talking point. And frankly, I'm disappointed that some folks, including some folks on this stage, have taken the bait. The only way that we're gonna guarantee that we don't have family separations in this country again is to repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration Nationality Act. That is the law that this president, this administration, is using to incarcerate migrant parents and then physically separate them from their children.

Sec. Julián Castro:
My immigration plan would also make sure that we put undocumented immigrants who haven't committed a serious crime on a pathway to citizenship; that we do a 21st century Marshall Plan with Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, so that we can get to the root of this challenge, so people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to come to the United States. That's how we can be smarter, more effective, and more humane when it comes to immigration policy.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Secretary Castro. Senator Bennet, what's your response?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
I disagree that we should decriminalize our border. This is personal for me. My mom is an immigrant, and she was separated from her parents during the Holocaust in Poland. For those reasons, I was part of the Gang of Eight that wrote … I wrote the immigration bill, in 2013 with John McCain, 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-

Don Lemon:
Senator …

Sen. Michael Bennet:
-and a lot of Republicans. That should be our position.

Don Lemon:
Thank you. Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
That is our position as Democrats.

Don Lemon:
Senator Harris, you have indicated that you don't think it should be a criminal offense punishable by jail to cross the U.S. border illegally. How do you respond to Senator Bennet?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Again, with all due respect. After the last debate, for example, I went to a place in Florida called Homestead. There is a private detention facility being paid for by your taxpayer dollars, a private detention facility that currently houses 2,700 children. And by the way, there were members of us- Julián was there, members of Congress. They would not let us enter the place, members of the United States Congress. So I walked down the road. I climbed a ladder, and I looked over the fence. And I'm going to tell you what I saw. I saw children lined up, single file, based on gender, being walked into barracks. The policies of this administration had been facilitated by laws on the books-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-that allow them to be incarcerated as though they've committed crimes.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
These children have not committed crimes and should be not treated like criminals.

Don Lemon:
Senator Bennet, what's your response?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
I think this is one in the end that we agree with. There is not a single person on this stage who, if we were president, would ever separate a child from their parents at the border. And that is what this is … That is what this administration has done in the American people's name. They have turned our border into a symbol of nativist hostility. The symbol of this country before Donald Trump was president was the Statue of Liberty. That should be the symbol of the United States of America, not Donald Trump's words.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator Bennet. Senator Gillibrand, I want to bring you in. What's your response?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I think when you talk about whether there should be a crime, you have to remember who we're talking about. When I was at the Texas border, I visited with women who had fled violence. A woman from El Salvador owned a small business. Gangs came to her and said, "If you don't give us all your money, we're going to kill your family." That's why she fled. Another woman was raped. That's why she fled. So this is who we're talking about. And they're not criminals. So I believe that we should have a civil violation.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
No president before President Trump enforce the law in the way he has enforced it, because he's using it as the crutch to lock up women and children, to separate mothers and babies, to put them behind bars. So I don't think we should have a law on the books that can be so misused. It should be a civil violation and we should make sure that we treat people humanely.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden, in the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly 800,000 immigrants were deported, far more than during President Trump's first two years. Would the higher deportation rates resume if you were president?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Absolutely not, number one. Number two, everything landed on the president's desk but locusts. I found that Julián- excuse me, the Secretary, we sat together in many meetings. I never heard him talk about any of this when he was the Secretary.

Don Lemon:
Please be respectful. Please be respectful in the crowd. Please continue. Mr. Vice President.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The fact is- I don't know you can hear. I can hear, but anyway-

Don Lemon:
We can hear fine, Mr. Vice President.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Okay.

Don Lemon:
Please continue, if you will.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The fact is what the senator from New York talked about is seeking asylum. That woman, the women she spoke to, are entitled to asylum. That is not crossing the border illegally. What we should do is flood the zone to make sure we have people to make those decisions quickly. With regard to the secretary's point, I already proposed and passed $750 dollars for Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to be able to change the circumstance why people fled in the first place.

Vice President Joe Biden:
In addition to that, we're in a circumstance where if, in fact, you say you can just cross the border, what do you say to all those people around the world who, in fact, want the same thing, to come to United States and make their case. That they don't … That they have to wait in line. The fact of the matter is you should be able to- if you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It's a crime. It's a crime, and it's not one that in fact-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Secretary Castro, please, your response?

Sec. Julián Castro:
First of all, Mr. Vice President, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't. Let me begin by telling you … Let me just start out by answering that question. My immigration plan would also fix the broken legal immigration system, because we do have a problem with that.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I agree.

Sec. Julián Castro:
Secondly, the only way that we're going to guarantee that these kinds of family separations don't happen in the future is that we need to repeal this law. There's still gonna be consequences if somebody crosses the border. It's a civil action. Also, we have 654 miles of fencing. We have thousands of personnel at the border. We have planes. we have boats, we have helicopters, we have security cameras …

Don Lemon:
Secretary Castro, thank you.

Sec. Julián Castro:
What we need are politicians that actually-

Don Lemon:
Your time is up.

Sec. Julián Castro:
-have some guts on this issue.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Secretary. Mr. Vice President, your response.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I have guts enough to say his plan doesn't make sense. Here's the deal. The fact of the matter is that, in fact, when people cross the border illegally, it is illegal to do it unless they're seeking asylum. People should have to get in line. That's the problem. And the only reason this particular part of the law is being abused because of Donald Trump. We should defeat Donald Trump and end this practice.

Don Lemon:
Thank you. Congresswoman Gabbard, what's your response.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
Our hearts break when we see those children at these detention facilities who've been separated from their parents, when we see human beings crowded into cages in abhorrent, inhumane conditions. This is about leadership and understanding that we can and should have both secure borders, as well as humane immigration policies.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
We will have to stop separating children from their parents, make it so that it's easier for people to seek asylum in this country, make sure that we are securing our borders and making it so that people are able to use our legal immigration system by reforming those laws.

Don Lemon:
Mr. Yang, your response?

Andrew Yang:
I'm the son of immigrants myself. My father immigrated here as a graduate student and generated over 65 U.S. patents for G.E. and IBM. I think that's a pretty good deal for the United States. That's the immigration story we need to be telling. We can't always be focusing on some of the distressed stories. And if you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants. You will find wall-to wall robots and machines. Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mr. Yang. Senator Booker, you have a plan that would "virtually eliminate immigration detention." Does that mean that the roughly 55,000 migrants currently in detention would be released into the United States?

Sen. Cory Booker:
First of all, I just want to say again, tonight, we are playing into Republican hands, who have a very different view, and they're trying to divide us against each other. I'm listening to the language of my colleagues. No, Mr. Vice President, 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 if you do it through the criminal courts. But the criminal courts is what is giving Donald Trump the ability to truly violate the human rights of people coming to our country, who no one surrenders their human rights.

Sen. Cory Booker:
Doing it through the civil courts means that you won't need these awful detention facilities that I've been to, seeing children sleeping on pavement, people being put in cages, nursing mothers, small children. This is not necessary. We have seen, using the civil system, piloted programs that have 100 percent compliance with the civil courts, where people are evaluated. If they have no justifiable reason to be here, they are returned. If they are like the people I met in Juarez who were survivors of sexual assault, who we wouldn't even let come at present for asylum, we are butchering our values-

Don Lemon:
Senator-

Sen. Cory Booker:
-and making ourselves less safe.

Don Lemon:
Senator Booker, thank you very much. Mr. Vice President, your response?

Vice President Joe Biden:
I agree with the senator. The asylum process is a real process, and this president is ruining it. It has nothing to do with that section of law. That's what he's doing, number one. Number two, we should, in fact — and we have proposed and we tried to get past our administration, I proposed, significantly increasing the number of legal immigrants who are able to come.

Vice President 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. Immigrants built this country. That's why we're so special. It took courage. It took resolve and resilience. It took absolute confidence from the come. And we should be encouraging these people.

Don Lemon:
Thank you.

Vice President Joe Biden:
And by the way, anybody across the stage with a PhD, you should get a green card for seven years. We should keep them here.

Don Lemon:
Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Governor Inslee, what's your response?

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I think we're missing two central statements we need to make. Number one, we can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House, number one. Number two, we have to make America what it's always been, a place of refuge. We got to boost the number of people we accept. I'm proud of being the first governor saying send us your Syrian refugees. I'm proud of being the first governor to stand up against Donald Trump's Muslim ban. I'm proud to have sued him 21 times and beat him 21 times in a row. I'm ready for November 2020.

Don Lemon:
Go ahead, Mayor de Blasio, please. Your response?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Two points. One, it's all kind of a charade because, there's 11 million people here, and everyone, in theory has broken the law. But they're part of our communities now. They're part of our economy. They're our neighbors. Why are we even discussing on one level whether it's a civil penalty or a criminal penalty when it's an American reality? And what we need is comprehensive immigration reform, once and for all, to fix it.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Second, Vice President Biden, I didn't hear your response when the issue came up of all those deportations. You were Vice President of United States. I didn't hear whether you tried to stop them or not using your power, your influence in the White House. Do you think it was a good idea or do you think it was something that needed to be stopped?

Don Lemon:
Mr. Vice President-

Vice President Joe Biden:
The president came along, and he's the guy that came up with the idea first time ever, dealing with the dreamers. He put that in the law. He had talked about a comprehensive plan, which he put on the — laid before the Congress, saying that we should find a pathway to citizenship for people.

Vice President Joe Biden:
He said we should up the number of people that were able to bring in this country. Lastly, he also pointed out that we should go to the source of the problem and fix it, where people were leaving in the first place. So he did- to compare him to Donald Trump, I think, is absolutely bizarre.

Don Lemon:
Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Congresswoman Gabbard, you're a co-sponsor of the College for All Act, which would make public colleges and universities free for all Americans. One of the authors of that plan, Senator Sanders, believes colleges should be tuition free for undocumented immigrants, as well. Do you?

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
I don't. I think it's important for us to fix our legal immigration system and look at the millions of undocumented immigrants in this country who have been suffering as they've been living in the shadows. And instead of putting a Band-Aid on this problem, fix our legal immigration system to provide them with that pathway to legal residency or citizenships, that they're no longer treated as second-class citizens in this country.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
We've got to look at the challenge that people all across this country are facing, under crushing student debt. This is something that is impacting my generation in a huge way. And I believe that it is our generation that has the bold, creative solutions to be able to solve it. This is about promise for our future, and we've got to make those kinds of investment.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Congresswoman. Mayor de Blasio, what's your response?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Yeah, I agree with the congress member, but I don't hear an answer from the vice president. I'm confused. I asked the vice president point blank. "Did he use his power to stop those deportations?". He went right around the question. Mr. Vice President, you want to President of the United States. You need to be able to answer the tough questions. I guarantee you, if you're debating Donald Trump, he's not going to let you off the hook. So, did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the president say, "This is a mistake. We shouldn't do it?" Which one?

Vice President Joe Biden:
I was vice president. I am not the president. I keep my recommendation to him in private. Unlike you, I expect you would go ahead and say whatever was said privately with him. That's not what I do. What I do say to you is he moved to fundamentally change the system. That's what he did. That's who did. But much more has to be done.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
I still don't hear an answer.

Don Lemon:
Senator Booker, please respond.

Sen. Cory Booker:
A couple of things. First of all, Mr. Vice President, you can't have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can't do it when it's convenient, and then dodge it when it's not. And the second thing … This really irks me because I heard the vice president say that if you've 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 shithole 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. Don't let the Republicans divide this party against itself.

Don Lemon:
Senator, thank you. Mr. Vice President, your response.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The fact is that's what I said about this country. We are a country of immigrants. All of us. All of us. Some here came against their will. Others came, because they, in fact, thought they could fundamentally change their lives. And they did.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The Statue of … "Send us your" … That's what we're talking about. That's what made us great. And the fact of the matter is, I think the President of the United States, Barack Obama, went out of his way to try to change the system. And he got pushed back significantly.

Don Lemon:
Senator Gillibrand, what's your response?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
Again, President, Trump under his administration, seven children died in his custody. Under his administration, families have been torn apart. This party is talking about real ideas for the future. We're talking about what we will do to change America. But we must not forget about our values. We used to believe, in this country, you should treat others the way you want to be treated. We used to be believe, in this country, we should care about the least among us. Let's remind the American people who we are. Why are we are Democrats and why we're running for president?

Don Lemon:
Senator Gillibrand, thank you very much. Mr. Vice President, Senator Booker called your new criminal justice reform plan "an inadequate solution to what is a raging crisis in our country." Why is Senator Booker wrong?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Well, I think he is wrong. I think we should work together. He has a similar plan. I think that we should change the way we look at prisons. Right now, we're in a situation where, when someone is convicted of a drug crime, they end up going to jail and to prison. They should be going to rehabilitation. They shouldn't be going to prison. When in prison, they should be learning to read and write, and not just sit in there and learn how to be better criminals.

Vice President Joe Biden:
And when they get out of prison, they should be in a situation where they have access to everything they would have had before, including Pell grants for education, including making sure that they're able to have housing, public housing, including they have all the opportunities that were available to them, because we want them to become better citizens.

Vice President Joe Biden:
That's the essence of what my plan, in detail, lays out. I'm happy to discuss it more in detail if the senator would want to. I looked … Anyway, that's what I think my plan- I know what my plan does, and I think it's not dissimilar to what the Senator said – we should be working together on getting things done.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Booker, your response?

Sen. Cory Booker:
My response is that 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. And Mr. Vice President has said that, since the 1970s, every major crime bill – every crime bill, major and minor – has had his name on it. And, sir, those are your words, not mine. And this is one of those instances where the house was set on fire and you claimed responsibility for those laws. 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-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Cory Booker:
-marijuana justice, which means that we legalize it on a federal level-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Cory Booker:
-and reinvest the profits in communities that have been-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Booker.

Sen. Cory Booker:
-disproportionately targeted by marijuana enforcement.

Jake Tapper:
Vice President Biden, I want to give you chance to respond.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The fact is that the bills that the president that- excuse me, the future president here- that the Senator is talking about are bills that were passed years ago, and they're passed overwhelming. Since 2007, I, for example, tried to get the crack-powder-cocaine totally disparity totally eliminated.

Vice President Joe Biden:
In 2007, you became mayor and you had a police department that was — you went out and you hired Rudy Giuliani's guy and engaged in stop-and-frisk. You had 75 percent of those stops reviewed as illegal. You found yourself in a situation where three times as many African American kids were caught in that chain and caught up. The Justice Department came after you for saying you were you were engaging in behavior that was inappropriate. And then, in fact, nothing happened the entire time you were mayor.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you. Senator Booker, you want to respond?

Sen. Cory Booker:
First of all, I'm grateful that he endorsed my presidency already. But I'll tell you this. It's no secret that I inherited a criminal- a police department with massive problems and decades-long challenges. But the head of the ACLU has already said – the head of New Jersey ACLU – that I put forth national standard-setting accountability.

Vice President Joe Biden:
That's-

Sen. Cory Booker:
Mr. Vice President, I didn't interrupt you. Please show me respect, sir.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I'm sorry [cross talk]

Sen. Cory Booker:
We have a system right now that's broken. And if you want to compare records, and, frankly, I'm shocked that you do, I am happy to do that. Because all of the problems that he is talking about, that he created, I actually led the bill that got passed into law that reverses the damage that your bills that you were frankly – to correct you, Mr. Vice President – you were bragging, calling it the Biden crime bill up to 2015.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Vice President Biden?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Number one, the bill he talks about is a bill that in my- our administration, we passed. We passed that bill that you added on to. That's the bill, in fact, passed. And the fact of the matter is, secondly, that there was nothing done for the entire eight years he was mayor. There is nothing done to deal with the police department that was corrupt. Why did you announce in the first day a zero tolerance policy of stop-and-frisk and hire Rudy Giuliani's guy in 2007, when I was. trying to get rid of the crack cocaine disparity?

Sen. Cory Booker:
Mr. Vice President, there's a saying in my community, you're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor. You need to come to the city of Newark and see the reforms that we put in place. The New Jersey head of the ACLU has said that I embrace reforms, not just in action, but in deeds. Sir, you are trying to shift the view from what you created. There are people right now in prison for life for drug offenses, because you stood up and used that "tough on crime" phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed communities like mine. This isn't about the past. This is about the present right now. I believe in redemption making dinner.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Cory Booker:
I'm happy you evolved. [cross talk] no redemption to the people in prison right now, for life-

Jake Tapper:
I want to bring in Secretary- I wanna bring in Secretary Castro. Your response, sir?

Sec. Julián Castro:
I agree with Senator Booker that a lot of what Vice President helped author in '94 was a mistake. He has flip-flopped on these things and that's clear. But let me say, when we talk about criminal justice reform, there are a lot of things that we can talk about – sentencing reform, cash bail reform, investing in public defenders diversion programs.

Sec. Julián Castro:
I'm proud that I'm the only candidate that has put forward a police reform plan, because we have a police system that is broken and we need to fix it. Whether it's the case of someone like Tamir Rice or Michael Brown or Eric Garner, where the Trump Justice Department just decided not to pursue charges, we need to ensure we have a national use of force standard and that we end qualified immunity for police officers, so that we can hold them accountable for using excess.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Secretary Castro [cross talk] I want to bring in Governor Inslee. Governor Inslee, your response?

Gov. Jay Inslee:
Let me suggest that people come out to the state of Washington and see what criminal justice reform looks like, our effort to reduce racial disparity. I'm proud that I was the first governor to offer pardons to thousands of people with drug crimes. Now we're vacating more, tens of thousands. We've eliminated the death penalty.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
And importantly, we've done this. When people come out of the legal system and they've done their responsibility to the citizens, we need to make sure they get a job. We have banned the box, so that people can actually get a job when they come out. And I've got to argue with my friend, Secretary Castro. We've just put forth a plan. We have adopted probably one of the best police accountability measures and train our police officers in de-escalation tech techniques, so we have less violence.

Jake Tapper:
Secretary Castro, your response to Governor Inslee?

Sec. Julián Castro:
That it's much more than that, because what we see – and this was a good example, the other day, of the Department of Justice not going after Officer Pantaleo that – Officer Pantaleo used a chokehold that was prohibited by NYPD. He did that for seven seconds. 11 different times. Eric Garner said that he couldn't breathe. He knew what he was doing, that he was killing Eric Garner. And yet he has not been brought to justice. That police officer should be off the street.

Jake Tapper:
Mayor de Blasio. Why is that police officer still on the force, The one who killed Eric Garner? Please respond.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Let me tell you. I know the Garner family. They've gone through extraordinary pain. They are waiting for justice and are going to get justice. There's finally going to be justice. I have confidence in that, in the next 30 days, in New York. You know why? Because for the first time, we are not waiting on the federal Justice Department, which told the city of New York that we could not proceed because the Justice Department was pursuing their prosecution. And years went by. and a lot of pain accrued. In The meantime, what I'm working on is making sure — and I have for five years — there will never be another tragedy, there will never be another Eric Garner, because we're changing fundamentally how we police.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mayor.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
But there's one last point I have to say about the Justice Department. The Vice President for two and a half of those years. Mr. Vice President, tell us, what did you do to try and spur on the Justice Department to act in the Garner case?

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mayor de Blasio. Vice President Biden, you can respond to that.

Vice President Joe Biden:
We did a lot. Number one, we made sure we reduced the federal prison population by 38,000 people, number one. Number two, we, in fact, insisted that we change the rules that police engage in. They had to have- we provided for body cameras. We made sure that there are a lot of things that were changed in the process, but 38,000 people with federal system were released under the system.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The fact is that there's a lot we've done. But here's the deal. The fact is that we're talking about things that occurred a long, long time ago. And now all of a sudden … I find it fascinating. Everybody's talking about how terrible I am on these issues. Barack Obama knew exactly who I was. He had 10 lawyers do a background check and everything about me on civil rights and civil liberties. And he chose me. He said it was the best decision he made.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Andrew Yang:
May I please?

Jake Tapper:
Mr. Yang, your response?

Andrew Yang:
I speak for just about everyone watching when I say I would trust anyone on this stage much more than I would trust our current president on matters of criminal justice. We cannot tear each other down. We have to focus on beating Donald Trump in 2020. I want to share a story that a prison guard, a corrections officer in New Hampshire, said to me. He said we should pay people to stay out of jail, because we spend so much when they're behind bars. Right now, we think we're saving money. We just end up spending the money in much more dark and punitive ways. We should put money directly into people's hands, certainly when they come out of prison, but before they go to prison.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Yang. I want to bring in Senator Gillibrand. You heard earlier Mayor de Blasio respond to Secretary Castro on the question of why the police officer who killed Eric Garner is still on the NYPD. Was that response adequate? Please respond.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
No, he should be fired. He should be fired now. I sat down with Eric Garner's mother. And I can tell you, when you've lost your son, when he begged for breath, when you know because you have a video, when you know he said "I can't breathe" so many times over and over again, when you know he used an illegal chokehold, that person should be fired. If I was the mayor, I'd fire him. But as president, I would make sure that we had a full investigation, that the report would be made public, and if I wasn't satisfied, we would have a consent decree.

Jake Tapper:
I want to bring in Senator Harris now. Senator Harris, you have also been quite critical of Vice President Biden's policies on race, specifically on the issue of busing in the 1970s, having benefited from busing when you were a young child. Vice President Biden says that your current position on busing, you're opposed to federally mandated busing, that that position is the same as his position. Is he right?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
That is simply false. And let's be very clear about this. When Vice President Biden was in the United States Senate, working with segregationists to oppose busing, which was the vehicle by which we would integrate America's public schools, had I been in the United States Senate at that time, I would have been completely on the other side of the aisle. Let's be clear about this. Had those segregationist their way, I would not be a member of the United States Senate. Corey Booker would not be a member of the United States Senate. And Barack Obama would not have been in a position to nominate him to the title he now holds.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
On that issue, we could not be more apart, which is that the Vice President has still failed to acknowledge that it was wrong to take the position that he took at that time. Now, I would like to also talk about this conversation about Eric Garner, because I, too, met with his mother. One of the things that we've got to be clear about is that this President of the United States, Donald Trump, while he has been in office, has quietly been allowing the United States Department of Justice to shut down consent decrees, to stop pattern and practice investigations. On that case, we also know that Civil Rights Division…

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
This is important. The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice said charges should have been filed, but this United States Department of Justice was usurped. And I believe it is because that president did not want those charges to go forward. And they overrode a decision by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Under my administration, the Civil Rights Division will reign and there will be no independent investigations.

Jake Tapper:
Vice President, I want to give you a chance to respond to what Senator Harris just said.

Vice President Joe Biden:
When Senator Harris was attorney general for eight years in the state of California, there were two of the most segregated school districts in the country, in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. And she did not- I didn't see a single solitary time she brought a case against them to desegregate. Secondly, she also was in a situation where she had a police department when she was there that, in fact, was abusing people's rights.

Vice President Joe Biden:
And the fact was that she, in fact, was told by her own people that her own staff that she should do something about and disclose to defense attorneys like me, that you, in fact, have been … The police officer did something that did not give you information, would exculpate your client. She didn't do that. She never did. And so what happened. Along came a federal judge and said, enough, enough. And he freed 1,000 of these people. If you doubt me, Google '1,000 prisoners freed – Kamala Harris'-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Vice President Biden. Senator Harris, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
That is simply not true. As attorney general of California, where I ran the second largest Department of Justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice, I am proud of the work we did, work that has received national recognition for what has been the important work of reforming a criminal justice system and cleaning up the consequences of the bills that you passed when you are in the United States Senate for decades. It was the work of creating the- one of the first in the nation initiatives around reentering former offenders and getting them jobs and counseling.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I did the work as attorney general of putting body cameras on special agents in the State of California-

Jake Tapper:
I want to bring in Congresswoman Gillibrand-

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-and I'm proud of that work.

Jake Tapper:
I want to bring in Congresswoman Gabbard. Congresswoman Gabbard, you took issue with Senator Harris confronting Vice President Biden at the last debate. You called it a "false accusation" that Joe Biden is a racist. What's your response?

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
I want to bring the conversation back to the broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately negatively impacting black and brown people all across this country today. Senator Harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a prosecutor president. But I'm deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she fought to keep cash system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Harris, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
As the elected Attorney General of California, I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of a state of 40 million people, which became a national model for the work that needs to be done. And I am proud of that work. And I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor, but actually doing the work of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform. That is why we created initiatives that were about reentering former offenders and getting them counseling. It is why and because I know that criminal justice is broken-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-that I am an advocate for what we need to do to not only decriminalize, but legalize marijuana in the United States.

Jake Tapper:
I want to bring in Congresswoman Gabbard back in. Your response, please.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people's lives, you did not. And worse yet, in the case of those who were on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so. There is no excuse for that. And the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Harris.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
My entire career I have been opposed — personally opposed to the death penalty, and that has never changed. And I dare anybody who is in a position to make that decision, to face the people I have faced to say I will not seek the death penalty. That is my background. That is my work.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I am proud of it. I think you can judge people by when they are under fire. And it's not about some fancy opinion on a stage, but when they are in the position to actually make the decision, what do they do? When I was in the position of having to decide whether or not to seek a death penalty on cases I prosecuted, I made a very difficult decision that was not popular to not seek the death penalty. History shows that and I am proud of those decisions.

Don Lemon:
Senator Harris, thank you very much. Senator Bennet, a question for you. Why are you the best candidate to heal the racial divide that exists in this country today, which has been stoked by the president's racist rhetoric?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Yes. First of all, the president's racist rhetoric should be enough grounds for everybody in this country to vote him out of office. That one thing alone should be enough. Second, Don, I want to answer your question by tagging on the conversation we were just having. This is the fourth debate that we have had and the second time that we've been debating what people did 50 years ago with busing when our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
We need a conversation about what's happening now. And when there's a group of kids in this country that don't get pre-school through no fault of their own and another group does, equal is not equal. And we've got a group with -12 schools that are good, because families can spend a million bucks, and you've got the Detroit public schools that are as segregated as they were. Equal is not equal.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
And let me tell you something else, Don. I believe you can draw a straight line from slavery through Jim Crow, through the banking and the redlining to the mass incarceration that we were talking about on this stage a few minutes ago. But you know what other line I can draw? 88 percent of the people in our prisons dropped out of high school. Let's fix our school system and maybe we can fix the prison pipeline that we have.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator Bennet. Governor Inslee, what's your response? Governor Inslee, please respond.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I approach this question with humility, because I have not experienced what many Americans have. I've never been a black teenager pulled over in a white neighborhood. I have never been a woman talked over in a meeting. I've never been an LGBTQ member subject to a slur. And so I have believed I have an added responsibility, a double responsibility, to deal with racial disparity.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
We've talked on the way we do it, including ending the school to prison pipeline in my state. But I want to say this, and this is a common error that every single senator on this stage, as much as I respect them all- they all have an enormous error, which is going to prevent our party from making any progressive progress in the United States.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
And it is this. We are all going to work like the dickens to get more Democrats elected to the Senate, right. We are going to do that. And I hope we're going to succeed. But if we get a majority in the U.S. Senate, because of the position of the senators, not a damn thing's gonna get done.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
And I'll tell you why. With all their good intentions – and I know they're very sincere and passionate and I respect them enormously – but because they embraced this anteduluvinal super-majority thing called the filibuster, Mitch McConnell is going to run the U.S. Senate, even if we take a majority.

Don Lemon:
Thank you.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
We've got to get rid of the filibusters, so we can govern the United States.

Don Lemon:
Mr. Yang, why are you the best candidate to heal the racial divide in America? Your response?

Andrew Yang:
I spent seven years running a nonprofit that helped create thousands of jobs, including hundreds right here in Detroit, as well as Baltimore, Cleveland, New Orleans. And I saw that the racial disparities are much, much worse than I'd ever imagined. They're even worse still.

Andrew Yang:
A study just came out that projected the average African-American median net worth will be zero by 2053. You have to ask yourself: "How is that possible?" It's possible because we're in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in our history. Artificial intelligence is coming. It's going to displace hundreds of thousands of call center workers, truck drivers – the most common job in twenty nine states, including this one.

Andrew Yang:
And you know who suffers most in a natural disaster? It's people of color, people who have lower levels of capital and education and resources. So what are we going to do about it? We should just go back to the writings of Martin Luther King, who in 1967, his book "Casts Our Community," said we need a guaranteed minimum income in the United States of America. That is the most effective way for us to address racial inequality in a genuine way and give every American a chance in the 21st century economy.

Don Lemon:
Mr. Yang, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, after the president's racist tweets attacking Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings, the mayor of Baltimore slammed the tweets and said to the president, and I quote here, "Help us. Send the resources that we need to rebuild America." So what would you do for Baltimore and other cities that need help?

Sec. Julián Castro:
First of all, the president is a racist, and that was just one more example of it. We know that, whether it's Baltimore or cities like Detroit, they have- they're tremendously rich in history and culture and also in possibility. Here's what I would do if I'm president.

Sec. Julián Castro:
Number one, I would invest in tremendous educational opportunity. Invest in universal pre-K for three- and four-year-olds. Invest in improving K-12 education and also making higher education available to everyone through tuition-free public state universities, community colleges and job training and certification programs. I would follow up on the work that I did at HUD. We passed the most sweeping rule to further desegregate our communities in the United States. This Trump administration set that back. I would put that back in order.

Sec. Julián Castro:
I would also invest in housing that is affordable, because folks know that the rent is going through the roof. And we need to make sure that you don't have to get out of West Baltimore or Inner City Detroit or the west side of San Antonio or anywhere if you want to reach your American dream. I want you to be able to accomplish it in your great neighborhood where you are.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Secretary Castro. Senator Gillibrand, what's your response?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I don't believe that it's the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional racism, systemic racism in our country. I think as a white woman of privilege, who is a U.S. senator running for President of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren't being listened to.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is, that when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot. When their child has a car that breaks down and he knocks on someone's door for help, and the door opens and the help is given, it's his whiteness that protects him from being shot. That is what white privilege in America is today.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
So my responsibility is to not only lift up those stories, but explain to communities across America, like I did in Youngstown, Ohio, to a young mother, that this is all of our responsibilities and that together we can make our community stronger.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Gillibrand. Let's now turn to the issue of the climate crisis. The United Nations says the world needs to cut all carbon emissions by 2050 or risk facing disastrous consequences. Governor Inslee, many of your fellow Democratic candidates say climate change is the biggest existential threat facing the country. You, though, are calling it the number one priority in your campaign. What do you know that the others don't?

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I know the firsthand terrific impact of climate change on Americans across the country already. The family who I saw, with their aluminum home now just a pile of molten aluminum. They lost everything in the Paradise fires; the nonprofit in Davenport, Iowa that was washed away in the floods. We have to act now. Look, climate change is not a singular issue. It is all the issues that we Democrats care about. It is health. It is national security. It is our economy. We know this.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
Middle ground solutions, like the vice president has proposed, or sort of middling average-sized things, are not going to save us. Too little, too late is too dangerous. And we have to have a bold plan. Mine has been called the gold standard. Now, we also need to embed environmental justice. I was in zip code 48217 in the Detroit neighborhood the other day, right next to an oil refinery, where the kids have asthma and they have cancer clusters. And after talking to these folks, I believe this …

Dana Bash:
Thank you.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I believe this. It doesn't matter what your zip code is-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Governor.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
-it doesn't matter what your color is, you ought to have clean air and water in America. That's what I believe.

Dana Bash:
Vice President Biden, I would like to get your response. Governor Inslee just said that your plan is middling.

Vice President Joe Biden:
There is no middle ground about my plan. The fact of the matter is I call for the immediate action to be take. First of all, one of the things that- we're responsible for 15 percent of all the pollution in the country. He's right about how it affects people and it affects neighborhoods, particularly poor neighborhoods.

Vice President Joe Biden:
But here's the deal. In that area, there's also another piece. 85 percent of it is something I helped negotiate. And that is the Paris Climate Accord. I would immediately rejoin that Paris Accord. I would make sure that we up the ante, which it calls for. I would be able to bring those leaders together who I know. I'd convene them in the White House, like we did the nuclear summit, and I would raise the standard.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I also invested $400 billion-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, sir.

Vice President Joe Biden:
-in research for new alternatives to deal with climate change-

Dana Bash:
Mr. Yang, your response?

Vice President Joe Biden:
-and that's bigger than any other person.

Andrew Yang:
The important number in Vice President Biden's remarks just now is that the United States is only 15 percent of global emissions. We like to act as if we're 100 percent. But the truth is, even if we were to curb our emissions dramatically, the earth is still going to get warmer. And we can see it around us this summer.

Andrew Yang:
The last four years have been the four warmest years in recorded history. This is going to be a tough truth, but we are too late. We are 10 years too late. We need to do everything we can to start moving the climate in the right direction, but we also need to start moving our people to higher ground. And the best way to do that is to put economic resources into your hands, so you can protect yourself and your families.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I was challenged by the Vice President.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator-

Gov. Jay Inslee:
May I be heard on this for a moment?

Dana Bash:
Go ahead, Governor.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
Thank you very much. Look, we have … These deadlines are set by science. Mr. Vice President, your argument is not with me, is with science. And unfortunately, your plan is just too late. The science tells us we have to get off coal in 10 years. Your plan does not do that. We have to have off of fossil fuels in our electrical grid in 15. Your plan simply does not do that. I've heard you say that we need a realistic plan. Here's what I believe.

Vice President Joe Biden:
No, I didn't say that.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
Here's what I believe. I believe that survival is realistic, and that's the kind of plan we need. And that's the kind I have.

Vice President Joe Biden:
My plan calls for 500,000 charging stations around the country, so by 2030, we're all electric vehicles. My plan calls for making sure that we have $400 billion invested in technologies to learn how to contain what we're doing, creating 10 million new jobs. We will double offshore wind. We will end any subsidies for coal or any other fossil fuel. But we have to also engage the world while we're doing it. We have to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking in a Biden administration?

Vice President Joe Biden:
No. We would work it out. We would make sure it's eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either … Any fossil fuel.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
We can't-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, sir.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
We cannot work it out. We cannot work this out. The time is up. Our house is on fire. We have to stop using coal in 10 years, and we need a president to do it or it won't get done. Get off coal. Save this country and the planet. That's what I'm for.

Dana Bash:
Senator Harris, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I have to agree with Governor Inslee, and I'm going to just paraphrase one of your great sayings, Governor, which is we currently have a president in the White House who obviously does not understand the science. He's been pushing science fiction instead of science fact. The guy thinks that wind turbines cause cancer, but what, in fact, they cause is jobs. And the reality is that I would take any Democrat on this stage over the current President of the United States, who is rolling it back to our collective peril. We must have and adopt a Green New Deal. On day one, as president, I would re-enter us in the Paris Agreement today-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-and put in place so we would be carbon neutral by 2030.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. I want to talk about that with Senator Gillibrand. You are a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, which includes the guarantee of a job with medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security for everyone in America. Explain how that's realistic.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
The first thing that I'm going to do when I'm president is I'm going to Clorox the Oval Office. The second thing I'm going to do is I will re-engage on global climate change. And I will not only sign the Paris Global Climate Accords, but I will lead a worldwide conversation about the urgency of this crisis.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
The greatest threat to humanity is global climate change. I visited a family in Iowa who, water spewed into her home, Fran Parr … It tossed her refrigerator up and all the furniture was broken, all the dishes were broken and mud was everywhere. That is the impact of severe weather right now on families' lives. And so the truth is we need a robust solution.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
When John F. Kennedy said, I want to put a man on the moon in the next 10 years, not because it's easy, but because it's hard, he knew it was going to be a measure of our innovation, our success, our ability to galvanize worldwide competition. He wanted to have a space race with Russia. Why not have a green energy race with China? Why not have clean air and clean water for all Americans? Why not rebuild our infrastructure? Why not actually invest in the green jobs? That's what the Green New Deal is about.

Dana Bash:
Thank you.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
Not only will I pass up, but I will put a price on carbon to make market forces help us.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. Congresswoman Gabbard, you are not a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. Please respond.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
First of all, this is personal. You can imagine I grew up in Hawaii, which is the most remote island chain in the world. So for us, growing up there, protecting our environment was not a political issue. It's a way of life. It's part of our culture. It's part of who we are. This is why, as a member of Congress, long before there was ever a Green New Deal, I introduced the most ambitious climate change legislation ever in Congress called the " Off Fossil Fuels Act." That actually laid out an actionable plan to take us from where we are today to transition off of fossil fuels and invest in green renewable energy, invest in workforce training, invest in the kinds of infrastructure that we need to deal with the problems and the challenges that climate is posing to us today.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Booker, what's your response? Is the job guarantee in the Green New Deal realistic?

Sen. Cory Booker:
I just want to take, first of all, a step back and say that I agree wholeheartedly with Governor Inslee. It's one of the reasons why Greenpeace ranks me and him at the top of this entire field of candidates.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
Second, Cory. That's close. Second, but close. You're just close.

Sen. Cory Booker:
I'm … Hey … I want to say very clearly, thank you, man. Thank you. I'll try harder. Look, the reason why is because, first of all, this problem didn't start yesterday. Science didn't become a reality yesterday. This has been going on for years. There was another president that would not join an international accord. Then it was the Kyoto accords. I was mayor of them, and I stood up and national leadership joining with other mayors to say climate change is not a separate issue. It must be the issue and the lens with which you view every issue. Nobody should get applause for rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. That is kindergarten.

Sen. Cory Booker:
We have to go to far advances and make sure that everything from our trade deals, everything from the billions of dollars we spend to foreign aid, everything must be sublimated to the challenge and the crisis that is existential, which is dealing with the climate threat. And 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.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. Mayor de Blasio, your administration has come under fire after hundreds of children living in New York City public housing tested positive for elevated levels of lead. As you know, we're not far from Flint, Michigan, where residents are still dealing with the consequences of having lead in their drinking water. How can you assure the people of Flint and across the nation that you are the right person to handle such a problem?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
We have a huge problem, and it's decades old in New York. But here's what we've done about it. We've declared the eradication of all lead, literally ending the notion of lead poisoning once and for all as the goal of our administration and we're doing something about it. Lead poisoning has gone down 90 percent since 2005. And we're going to literally bring it down to zero because we're going to go into every place, buildings, schools, public housing and take out that lead remediate that led once and for all. And that needs to be done all over this country.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Now, the federal government used to not take any responsibility for our public housing. For decades, they've been disinvesting in the public housing that was supposed to be a federal responsibility. That's part of why we have this lead prices to begin with. But I'll tell you what you do when you're actually in charge of something. I'm in charge of the largest city in this nation. You do not accept the status quo. You fix it. And so we are going into every one of those apartments to make sure those children and those families are safe. And then we are going to eradicate that lead once or for all. And there should be a federal mandate to do the same for Flint, for Detroit, for every place in this country-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mayor.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
-and it can be done.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Secretary Castro, why are you the right candidate to solve this problem? Please respond.

Sec. Julián Castro:
Because people don't have to wonder what I would do. I've actually done it. I was secretary of Housing and Urban Development when Flint had its water crisis. I went to Flint. We did what we could to help folks get water filters, and then, we didn't stop there. We improved the standard of how we deal with elevated blood lead levels in children. A lot of Americans don't know that this is still a major problem out there. I was back in Flint about six weeks ago, and I released a plan to invest 50 billion dollars so that we remove lead as a major public health threat. We need to do it. We can do it. And I will do it if I'm president.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Secretary Castro.

Unidentified:
May I get in on this?

Jake Tapper:
Donald Trump won independents here in Michigan by 16 percentage points, which was critical to Donald Trump winning the state's 16 electoral votes. Now, there is a big debate within the Democratic Party here and around the country about the best way the Democrats can win back Michigan.

Jake Tapper:
Vice President Biden, last night on this stage, Senator Elizabeth Warren said, "We're not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. We're going to solve them by being the Democratic Party of big, structural change." What do you say to progressives who worry that your proposals are not ambitious enough to energize the progressive wing of your party, which you will need to beat Donald Trump?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Because we did it. I was asked to manage an $87 billion plan to be spent in a total of 18 months that revived this state and many others, because it kept us out of a depression with two-tenths of one percent waste or fraud. Secondly, I was part of the organization – and within our administration – that pushed bailing General Motors out, saving tens of thousands of jobs here in this state.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Number three, I also was asked, as the mayor of Detroit can tell you, by the President of the United States to help Detroit get out of bankruptcy and get back on its feet. I spent the better part of two years out here working to make sure that it did exactly that. We invested significantly in this city and transportation only … Anyway, the point is we've made significant investments in this state. I expect in this city- I suspect that's why the mayor endorsed me.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Vice President Biden. Senator Gillibrand, what's your response?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
To the people of Michigan, I know exactly how I'd beat President Trump. I've already done it. I took a bus tour to talk about Trump's broken promises here in Michigan. He promised no bad trade deals. Not only did he not have bad trade deals, he started a trade war with China. And he just signed on to another bad trade agreement with NAFTA 2.0, give away to drug companies in Mexico.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I took the bus to Michigan, to Ohio and to Pennsylvania, telling people that he has broken his promises to them. I lifted up their voices. I listened to their concerns, and I offered real solutions. And I've done this before. My first house district I ran in was a two to one Republican district. I won it twice. And I haven't lost an election since-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
-so I can bring people together in red, purple and blue areas. But more than that, I can get things done.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Gillibrand. Mr. Yang, in poll after poll, Democratic voters saying that having a nominee who can beat President Trump is more important to them than having a nominee who agrees with him on major issues. And right now, according to polls, they say the candidate who has the best chance of doing that, of beating President Trump is Vice President Biden. Why are they wrong?

Andrew Yang:
I'm building a coalition of disaffected Trump voters, independents, libertarians and conservatives, as well as Democrats and progressives. I believe I'm the candidate best suited to beat Donald Trump. As for how to win in Michigan, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania, the problem is that so many people feel like the economy has left them behind? What we have to do is we have to say, look, there's record high GDP and stock market prices.

Andrew Yang:
You know what else are at record highs? Suicides, drug overdoses, depression, anxiety. It's gotten so bad that American life expectancy has declined for the last three years. And I'd like to talk about my wife was at home with our two boys right now, one of whom is autistic. What is her work count out in today's economy? Zero. We know that's the opposite of the truth.

Andrew Yang:
We know that her work is among the most challenging and vital. The way we win this election is we redefine economic progress to include all the things that matter to the people in Michigan and all of us like our own health, our well-being, our mental health, our clean air and clean water, how our kids are doing. If we change the measurements for the 21st century economy to revolve around our own well-being, then we will win this election.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Yang. Congresswoman Gabbard, your response.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
Donald Trump won this election because far too many people in this country felt like they'd been left behind by both political parties, by self serving politicians on both sides who are more interested in partisan politics than they are in actually fighting for the people.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
I'm speaking the truth to people all across this country about the fact that people in Flint, Michigan are still being left behind, still being poisoned by the water in their system because every single month we are spending $4 billion on a continuing war in Afghanistan, $4 billion every single month rather than ending that war, bringing our troops home, and using those precious resources into serving the needs of the people here in this country. People, communities, like-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congresswoman.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
-that's the kind of leadership that I'll bring.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Booker, your response?

Sen. Cory Booker:
I'm grateful. I'm grateful. Jake, look, this is one of those times where we're not staring at the truth and calling it out. And this is a case for the Democratic Party, the truth will set us free. We lost the state of Michigan because everybody from republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African American voters.

Sen. Cory Booker:
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 the state of Michigan. We need to have a campaign that is ready for what's coming. And all out of salt especially on the most valuable voter group in our- in fact, the highest performing voter group in our coalition, which is black women. I will be a person that tries to fight against voter suppression and to activate and engage the kind of voters and coalitions who are going to win states like Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Harris.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
First of all, Donald Trump came in making a whole lot of promises to working people that he did not keep. He said he was going to help farmers. He said he was going to help autoworkers. Farmers are now looking at bankruptcy, soybeans rotting in bills. Auto workers we expect perhaps hundreds of thousands will be out of jobs by the end of the year. Jerome Powell just dropped the interest rates and he admitted why?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Because of this so called trade policy that this president has that has been nothing more than the Trump trade tax that has resulted in American families spending as much as $1.4 billion more on everything from shampoo to washing machines. He betrayed the American people, he betrayed American families, and he will lose this election because folks are clear-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-that he has done nothing except try to beat people down instead of lift people up. And that's what we want in the next president of the United States.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Harris.

Dana Bash:
Secretary Castro, this is for you. Wage growth is up. Stocks are rising. Unemployment is near historic lows, including for Latinos and African-Americans. You have all outlined plans, but you in particular, that could end up raising taxes. How can you guarantee that won't hurt the economy?

Sec. Julián Castro:
First of all, there are a lot of Americans right now that are hurting. Just go and ask the folks that just received notice that they're getting laid off by General Motors, or ask the many folks who are sleeping on the streets in big cities and small towns across the United States, or ask fast food workers that I joined a couple of weeks ago that are working for minimum wage and can't provide for their families or pay the rent.

Sec. Julián Castro:
So idea that America is doing just fine is wrong. Not only that, this president always likes to take credit, like he did this. We have now had about 105 straight months of positive job growth, the longest streak in American history. Over 80 months of that was due to President Barack Obama. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you, Barack Obama. I believe that we need to invest in what will ensure that Americans can prosper in the years to come, making sure they have the knowledge and skills to compete in the 21st century economy, ensuring that they can afford the rent where they live and that they have healthcare so that they don't have to worry about going homeless because they can't afford a medical procedure.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Secretary Castro. I want to turn now to a question about trade and for Congresswoman Gabbard. Many saw the Trans-Pacific Partnership issue as something that would be a critical tool to deal with the rise of China. You were against it. How would you ensure that the United States is able to remain competitive against China on the world stage?

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
By pushing for fair trade, not trade deals that give away the sovereignty of the American people and our country, that give away American jobs, and that threaten our environment. These are the three main issues with that massive trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think the central one was the fact that it gave away our sovereignty to a panel of international corporations whose rulings would supersede any domestic law that we would pass, either a federal law or a state or a local law. This is extremely dangerous and goes against the very values that we have as a country. What- to speak of the fact that it would have a negative impact on domestic jobs and that it lacked clear protections for our environment. These are the things that we have to keep at the forefront as we look to enact fair trade deals with other countries to make sure that we continue to be a thriving part of our global economy.

Dana Bash:
So to be clear, Congresswoman, would you keep President Trump's tariffs on China in place?

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
I would not, because the approach that President Trump has taken has been extremely volatile without any clear strategic plan, and it has a ravaging and devastating effect on our domestic manufacturers, on our farmers, who are already struggling and now failing to see the light of day because of the plan that Trump has taken.

Dana Bash:
Vice President Biden, would you rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which, of course, President Trump withdrew from? Please respond.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I've renegotiate. We make up 25 percent of the world's economy. In order- either China is going to write the rules of the road for the 21st century on trade or we are. We have to join with the 40 percent of the world that we had with us, and this time make sure that there's no one sitting at that table doing the deal unless environmentalists are there and labor is there, and to make sure we equip our workers first to compete by investing in them now, in the things that make them more competitive. That's what we have to do. Otherwise, they are going to write the rules of the road. We must have the rest of the world join us to keep them in check from abusing.

Dana Bash:
Thank you. Vice President Biden, just to be clear – would you or would you not re-join the TPP? Yes or no?

Vice President Joe Biden:
I would not rejoin the TTP as it was initially put forward. I would insist that we renegotiate pieces of that with the Pacific nations that we had in South America and North America, so that we could bring them together to hold China accountable for the rules of us setting the rules of the road as to how trade should be conducted. Otherwise, they're going to do exactly what they're doing, fill the vacuum and run the — and run the table.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, sir. Mayor de Blasio, you also oppose the deal. Please respond.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Yeah. And I just want to ask this question of all the candidates, but particularly of Vice President Biden. President Trump is trying to sell NAFTA 2.0. He's got a new name for it. It's just as dangerous as the old NAFTA. It's going to take away American jobs like the old NAFTA, like it did to Michigan. And we cannot have Democrats be party to a new NAFTA.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Vice President, I believe you're the only person on the stage who voted for the original NAFTA. Are you ready to say here and now that you will oppose a new NAFTA and that what you will believe in, which is a lot of us hope for, is trade treaties that empower organized labor across the boundaries of the world and give working people power again, not just multinational corporations.

Dana Bash:
Mr. Vice President?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Yes.

Dana Bash:
Your response. Your response, sir?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Yes.

Dana Bash:
That's it?

Vice President Joe Biden:
No, he said, would I insist that labor be engaged. The answer is yes.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
I consider that a victory.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I love your affection for me. You spend a lot of time with me.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
You know what? We believe in redemption, Joe. We believe in redemption of this party.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I tell you what, I hope you're part of it.

Dana Bash:
Okay. I want to ask a question of Senator Bennet now. Senator, CNN reached out to Michigan Democratic primary voters for their most pressing question. Farris from Flint, Michigan, has this question: "Here in Detroit, our economy has seen firsthand how technology and automation can displace workers and create uncertainty around human job security. How would you balance these disruptions created by technology with the beneficial impact of technology on our economy?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Dana, this goes to the last question you asked, as well, which is, how are we going to remain competitive? It's not just about trade, which we were talking about earlier. It's about whether we're going to invest in this country anymore. Since 2001, we have cut $5 trillion worth of taxes. Almost all of that has gone to the wealthiest people in America.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
We have made the income inequality worse, not better, through the policies of the federal government. We've spent $5.6 trillion in the Middle East. That's $12 trillion or $13 trillion that from the point of view of driving the economy in Michigan, or anywhere else in America, we might as well just have lit that money on fire. We've got to stop doing that.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
And we need to invest in America again. For the money that we've spent that I just described, 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-

Dana Bash:
Thank you.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
-we could have made Social Security solvent for my children-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
-but we did none of it because of self-serving politicians in Washington, D.C., who voted for deals that were good for them but not for Michigan, or the American people.

Dana Bash:
Senator Bennet, thank you very much. Your time is up, sir.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Thank you.

Dana Bash:
Mr. Yang- Mr. Yang, women, on average, earn 80 cents, about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. Senator Harris wants to fine companies that don't close their gender pay gaps. As an entrepreneur, do you think a stiff fine will change how companies pay their female employees?

Andrew Yang:
I have seen firsthand the inequities in the business world where women are concerned, particularly in start-ups and entrepreneurship. We have to do more at every step. And if you're a woman entrepreneur, the obstacles start not just at home, but then when you seek a mentor or an investor, often they don't look like you and they might not think your idea is the right one.

Andrew Yang:
In order to give women a leg up, what we have to do is we have to think about women in every situation, including the ones who are in exploitive and abusive jobs and relationships around the country. I'm talking about the waitress who's getting harassed by her boss at the diner who might have a business idea, but right now is stuck where she is.

Andrew Yang:
What we have to do is we have to give women the economic freedom to be able to improve their own situations and start businesses, and the best way to do this is by putting a dividend of $1,000 a month into their hands. It would be a game-changer for women around the country, because we know that women do more of the unrecognized and uncompensated work in our society. It will not change unless we change it. And I say that's just what we do.

Dana Bash:
Senator Harris, your response?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I think that's support of my proposal, which is this. Since 1963, when we passed the Equal Pay Act, we have been talking about the fact women are not paid equally for equal work. Fast forward to the year of our lord 2019, and women are paid 80 cents on the dollar, black women 61 cents, Native American woman 58 cents, Latinas 53 cents.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I'm done with the conversation. So, yes, I am proposing in order to deal with this, one, I'm going to require corporations to post on their website whether they are paying women equally for equal work. Two, they will be fined for every one percent differential between what they're paying men and women, they will be fined one percent of their previous year's profit. That will get everybody's attention.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Time for action.

Dana Bash:
Senator Gillibrand, what's your response? Will fining companies help solve the problem.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I think we have to have a broader conversation about whether we value women and whether we want to make sure women have every opportunity in the workplace. And I want to address Vice President Biden directly. When the Senate was debating middle-class affordability for childcare, he wrote an op-ed.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
He voted against it, the only vote, but what he wrote in an op-ed was that he believed that women working outside the home would "create the deterioration of family." He also said that women who were working outside the home were "avoiding responsibility."

Sen. Kamala Harris:
And I just need to understand as a woman who's worked my entire career as the primary wage earner, as the primary caregiver, in fact, the second- my second son, Henry, is here, and I had him when I was a member of Congress. So under Vice President Biden's analysis, am I serving in Congress resulting in the deterioration of the family, because I had access to quality affordable day care? I just want to know what he meant when he said that.

Vice President Joe Biden:
That was a long time ago, and here’s what it was about. It would have given people making today $100,000 a year a tax break for childcare. I did not want that. I wanted the childcare to go to people making less than $100,000. And that’s what it was about.

Vice President Joe Biden:
As a single father who in fact raised three children for five years by myself, I have some idea what it cost. I support making sure that every single solitary person needing childcare get an $8,000 tax credit now. That would put 700,000 women back to work, increase the GDP by almost 8/10 of one percent. It's the right thing to do if we can give tax breaks to corporations for these things, why can't we do it this way?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
But Mr. Vice President, you didn't answer my question. What did you mean when you said when a woman works outside the home, it's resulting in, "the deterioration of family"-

Vice President Joe Biden:
No. What I …

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
-and that we are avoiding … These are quotes. It was the title of the op-ed and that just causes concern for me because we know America's women are working. Four out of 10 moms have to work. They're the primary or sole wagers. They actually have to put food on the table.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
Eight out of 10 moms are working today. Most women have to work to provide for their kids. Many women want to be working to provide for their communities and to help people.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. Let the Vice President respond now. Thank you.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
So either you don't believe it today or what did you mean when you said it, then?

Vice President Joe Biden:
The very beginning, my deceased wife worked when we had children. My present wife has worked all the way through raising our children. The fact of the matter is the situation is one that I don't know what's happened.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I wrote the Violence against Women Act. Lilly Ledbetter. I was deeply involved in making sure the equal pay amendments. I was deeply involved on all these things. I came up with the it's on us proposal to see to it that women were treated more decently on college campuses.

Vice President Joe Biden:
You came to Syracuse University with me and said it was wonderful. I'm passionate about the concern making sure women are treated equally. I don't know what's happened except that you're now running for president.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
So I understand- Mr. Vice President … Mr. Vice President, I respect you deeply. I respect you deeply but those words are very specific. You said women working outside the home would lead to the deterioration of family.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
My grandmother worked outside the home. My mother worked outside the home. And-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Gillibrand. I want to bring Senator Harris into this conversation.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
-either he no longer believes it … I just think he needs to-

Vice President Joe Biden:
I never believed it.

Dana Bash:
Thank you. Senator Harris, please respond.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I just … Listen … Talk about now running for president. You change your position on the Hyde Amendment, Vice President, where you made a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to have access to reproductive healthcare and including women who were the victims of rape and incest.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Do you now say that you have evolved and you regret that? Because you have only, since you've been running for president this time, said that you had — you in some way would take that back or you didn't agree with the decision that you made over many, many years. And this directly impacted so many women in our country and I personally prosecuted rape cases and child molestation cases; and the experience that those women have, those children have and that they would then be denied the resources-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. Let the Vice President-

Sen. Kamala Harris:
-I think is unacceptable.

Vice President Joe Biden:
The fact is that the senator knows that that's not position. Everybody on this stage has been in the Congress and the Senate or House has voted for the Hyde Amendment at some point. The Hyde Amendment in the past was available because there was other access for those kinds of services provided privately.

Vice President Joe Biden:
But once I wrote the legislation, making sure that every single woman would in fact be have an opportunity to have healthcare paid for by the federal government, everyone that — that could no longer stand. I support a woman's right to choose. I support it's a constitutional right. I've supported it and I will continue to support it and I will, in fact, move as president to see to it that the Congress legislates that that is the laws, as well.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Governor Inslee, your response.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
Why did it take you so long to change your position in the Hyde Amendment. Why did it take so long until you were running for president to change your position on the Hyde?

Vice President Joe Biden:
Because there was not full federal funding for all reproductive services prior to this point.

Dana Bash:
Okay. Thank you. Governor Inslee, your response?

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I would suggest we need to broaden our discussion. I would suggest we need to think about a bigger scandal in America, which is that in professions and careers where women have been more than the majority, they have been almost always under paid. And that is why this year I'm proud to be the governor who won the largest pay increase for our educators in the United States. And I believe that that is long, long overdue. I think it is true for nursing staff as well. And I'm glad that we've now passed in measures. And I'm glad that we've increased our union membership 10 percent [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
So unions can stand up for women.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor Inslee. I want to turn to foreign policy, if we can. Senator Booker, there are about 14,000 U.S. services members in Afghanistan right now. If elected, will they still be in Afghanistan by the end of your first year in office?

Sen. Cory Booker:
First of all, I want to say very clearly that I will not do foreign policy by tweet as Donald Trump seems to do all the time. A guy that literally tweets out that we're pulling our troops out before his generals even know about it is creating a dangerous situation for our troops in places like Afghanistan. And so I will bring our troops home and I will bring them home as quickly as possible, but I will not set during a campaign an artificial deadline. I will make sure we do it, we do it expeditiously, we do it safely, to not create a vacuum that's ultimately going to destabilize the Middle East and perhaps create the environment for terrorism and for extremism to threaten our nation.

Jake Tapper:
Congresswoman Gabbard, you're the only veteran on the stage. Please respond.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
This is real in a way that's very difficult to convey in words. I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 during the height of the war where I served in a field medical unit where every single day I saw the high cost of war. Just this past week, two more of our soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
My cousin is deployed to Afghanistan right now. Nearly 300 of our Hawaii National Guard soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, 14,000 service members are deployed there. This is not about arbitrary deadlines. This is about leadership, the leadership I will bring to do the right thing to bring our troops home, within the first year in office, because they shouldn't have been there this long.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
For too long, we've had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll that it takes on our service members, on their families. We have to do the right thing, end these wasteful regime change wars, and bring our troops home.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you. Thank you, Congresswoman. Mr. Yang, Iran has now breached the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal, and that puts Iran closer to building a nuclear weapon, the ability to do so, at the very least. You've said if Iran violates the agreement, the U.S. would need to respond "very strongly." So how would a President Yang respond right now?

Andrew Yang:
I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran, because they're responding to the fact that we pulled out of this agreement. And it wasn't just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We'd have to try and re-enter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don't make as much sense.

Andrew Yang:
But I've signed a pledge to end the forever wars. Right now, our strength abroad reflects our strength at home. What's happened, really? We've fallen apart at home, so we elected Donald Trump, and now we have this erratic and unpredictable relationship with even our longstanding partners and allies.

Andrew Yang:
What we have to do is we have to start investing those resources to solve the problems right here at home. We've spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives in conflicts that have had unclear benefits. We've been in a constant state of war for 18 years. This is not what the American people want. I would bring the troops home, I would de-escalate tensions with Iran, and I would start investing our resources in our own communities.

Jake Tapper:
Governor Inslee, your response?

Gov. Jay Inslee:
I think that these are matters of great and often difficult judgment. And there is no sort of primer for presidents to read. We have to determine whether a potential president has adequate judgment in these decisions. I was only one of two members on this panel today who were called to make a judgment about the Iraq war. I was a relatively new member of Congress, and I made the right judgment, because it was obvious to me that George Bush was fanning the flames of war. Now we face similar situations where we recognize we have a president who would be willing to beat the drums of war. We need a president who can stand up against the drums of war and make rational decisions. That was the right vote, and I believe it.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you. Thank you, Governor. Vice President Biden, he was obviously suggesting that you made the wrong decision and had bad judgment when you voted to go to war in Iraq as a U.S. senator.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I did make a bad judgment, trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in. From the moment "shock and awe" started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Secondly, I was asked by the president in the first meeting we had on Iraq, he turned and said, Joe, get our combat troops out, in front of the entire national security team. One of the proudest moment of my life was to stand there in Al-Faw Palace and tell everyone that we're coming- all our combat troops are coming home.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you.

Vice President Joe Biden:
I opposed the surge in Afghanistan, this long overdue. We should have not, in fact, gone into Afghanistan the way [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I want to bring in-

Unidentified:
Mr. Vice President, I'd like to comment.

Jake Tapper:
I would like to bring in the person on the stage who served in Iraq. Governor- I'm sorry, Congresswoman Gabbard, your response to what Vice President Biden just said?

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
We were all lied to. This is the betrayal. This is the betrayal to the American people, to me, to my fellow servicemembers. We were all lied to, told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was working with Al-Qaeda, and that this posed a threat to the American people.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
So I enlisted after 9/11 to protect our country, to go after those who attacked us on that fateful day, who took the lives of thousands of Americans. The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us. We were supposed to be going after Al-Qaeda. But over years now, not only have we not gone after Al-Qaeda, who is stronger today than they were in 9/11, our president is supporting Al-Qaeda.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Congresswoman.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
We didn't talk about Iran.

Don Lemon:
Let's talk about … Thank you, please.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
We didn't talk about Iran.

Don Lemon:
Please-

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
We're on a march to war in Iran right now, and we blew by it.

Don Lemon:
Please, Mayor. The rules, please follow the rules.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
I respect the rules, but we have to stop this march to war in Iran.

Don Lemon:
Mayor, thank you very much. We're going on-

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
And the Democratic Party has to stand up for it.

Don Lemon:
-and we're going to talk about another subject. Mayor, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Let's talk about now the former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appearance in front of Congress last week. When asked whether or not the president could be charged with a crime after leaving office, his answer was yes.

Don Lemon:
Senator Harris, you have criticized President Trump for interfering with the Justice Department, and just last month you said if you were elected president, your Justice Department would, quote, "have no choice and should go forward with obstruction of justice charges against former President Trump." Why is it OK for you to advocate for the Justice Department to prosecute somebody, but President Trump, not him?

Sen. Kamala Harris:
I would never direct the Department of Justice to do whatever it believes it should do. But, listen, look, we all watched his testimony. I've read the report. There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this president, and he needs to be held accountable. I have seen people go to prison for far less. And the reality of it is that we have a person in the White House right now who has been shielded by a memo in the United States Department of Justice that says a sitting president cannot be indicted. I believe the American people are right to say there should be consequence and accountability for everyone and no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.

Don Lemon:
Senator Booker, your response?

Sen. Cory Booker:
My response is exactly that. 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.

Sen. Cory Booker:
And I'll tell you this, Debbie Stabenow now has joined my call for starting impeachment proceedings, because he is now stonewalling Congress, not allowing- subjecting himself to the checks and balances. We swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. The politics of this be dammed. 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.

Don Lemon:
Senator Booker, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, what's your response?

Sec. Julián Castro:
I agree. I was the first of the candidates to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. There are 10 different incidents that Robert Mueller has pointed out where this president either obstructed justice or attempted to obstruct justice. And I believe that they should go proceedings. As to the question of what my Department of Justice would do, I agree with those who say that a president should not direct an attorney general specifically to prosecute or not prosecute. However, I believe that the evidence is plain and clear and that if it gets that far, that you're likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Secretary. Mayor de Blasio, I'm going to bring you in. What's your response?

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
I think it's obvious at this point in our history that the president has committed the crimes worthy of impeachment. But I want to caution my fellow Democrats, while we move in every way we can for impeachment, we have to remember at the same time the American people are out there looking for us to do something for them in their lives. And what they see when they turn on the TV or go online is just talk about impeachment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
We need more talk about working people and their lives. For example, are we really ready- and I ask people on this stage this question – are we ready to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes? That's something every American wants to know about. That's something they want answers to right now. So, yeah, move for impeachment, but don't forget to do the people's business and to stand up for working people, because that's how we're actually going to beat Donald Trump. The best impeachment is beating him in the election of 2020.

Don Lemon:
Mayor, thank you very much. Senator Bennet, how do you respond to this conversation?

Sen. Michael Bennet:
I think, look, as we go forward here, we need to recognize a very practical reality, which is that we are four months – we've got the August recess. Then 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.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
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 our — his hands. We were talking earlier about climate up here. It's so important. Donald Trump should be the last climate denier that's ever in the White House.

Don Lemon:
Senator Bennet, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, please respond.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
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.

Don Lemon:
Secretary, please, your turn.

Sec. Julián Castro:
Let me first say that I really do believe that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. All of us have a vision for the future of the country that we're articulating to the American people. We're going to continue to do that. We have an election coming up. At the same time, Senator, you know, I think that too many folks in the Senate and in the Congress have been spooked by 1998. I believe that the times are different. And in fact, I think that folks are making a mistake by not pursuing impeachment. The Mueller Report clearly details that he deserves it.

Sec. Julián Castro:
And what's going to happen in the fall of next year, of 2020, if they don't impeach him, is he's going to say, "You see? You see? The Democrats didn't go after me on impeachment, and you know why? Because I didn't do anything wrong." These folks that always investigate me, they're always trying to go after me. When it came down to it, they didn't go after me there because I didn't do anything wrong. Conversely, if Mitch McConnell is the one that lets him off the hook, we're going to be able to say …

Don Lemon:
Secretary-

Sec. Julián Castro:
"Well, sure, they impeached him in the House, but his friend, Mitch McConnell, Moscow Mitch, let him off the hook."

Don Lemon:
Senator Bennet, please respond.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
I don't disagree with that. You just said it better than I did. We have to walk and chew gum at the same time. It is incredibly unusual for members of Congress to be able to do that. And I'm glad that Secretary Castro has the ambition …

Sec. Julián Castro:
My brother can. He's here tonight.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Ah, that's what I was going to say. It's your brother that's given you that good feeling about the Congress. That's what we should do.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator. Thank you, gentlemen.

Jake Tapper:
It is time now for closing statements. You will each receive one minute. Mayor de Blasio, let's begin with you.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Thank you. For the last three years, we’ve watched Donald Trump pit working people against each other, black versus white, citizen versus immigrant. And why? So that the wealthy and the powerful he represents can hold the American dream hostage from everyone else. We can't let them get away with it. If we're going to beat Donald Trump, this has to be a party that stands for something. This has to be the party of labor unions. This has to be the party of universal healthcare. This has to be the party that's not afraid to say out loud we're going to tax the hell out of the wealthy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
And when we do that, Donald Trump right on cue will call us socialists. Well, here's what I'll say to him. Donald, you're the real socialist. The problem is, it's socialism for the rich. We, here in this country, we don't have to take that anymore. We can fight back. If you agree that we can stand up to Donald Trump and we can stand up to the wealthy, then go to taxthehell.com and join us, so we can build a country that puts working people first.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Bennet.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
Thank you. Thank you very much. What I want to say to all of you tonight is, we have been here before as a country. We have faced challenges that we've — we actually even forget some of us tonight how hard the people fought, how hard they worked, how hard they organized, the votes they had to take, the people they had to get to the polls to make this country more democratic, more fair, and more free. And now we have a person in the White House who has no appreciation of that history, who doesn't believe in the rule of law, who doesn't believe in the independence of the judiciary, who doesn't believe that climate change is real.

Sen. Michael Bennet:
I think that we have an incredible opportunity in front of us, all of us, to come together just as our parents and grandparents did before them, and face challenges even harder than the ones that we face, but the only way we're going to be able to do it is to put the divisive politics of Donald Trump behind us and the divisive politics of the last 10 years behind us. We need to come together united against a broken Washington, make Donald Trump a one-term president, and begin to govern this country again for our kids and our grandkids who cannot do it for themselves. We have to do it for them. Please join me at michaelbennet.com. Thanks for being here tonight.

Jake Tapper:
Governor Inslee.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
For decades, we have kicked the can down the road on climate change. And now under Donald Trump, we face a looming catastrophe. But it is not too late. We have one last chance. And when you have one chance in life, you take it. Think about this – literally the survival of humanity on this planet and civilization as we know it is in the hands of the next president. And we have to have a leader who will do what is necessary to save us. And that includes making this the top priority of the next presidency.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
And I alone on this panel am making a commitment that this will be the organizing principle of my administration not the first day, but every day. And if you share my view of the urgency of this matter, I hope you'll join me, because we are up against powerful special fossil fuel interests. And it is time to stand up on our legs and confront the fossil fuel special interests. Because that is our salvation, what it depends upon.

Gov. Jay Inslee:
So I hope you will consider going to jayinslee.com and joining this effort. And I will close with this: I am confident and optimistic tonight, even in the face of this difficulty, because I know we can build a clean energy economy, I know we can save our children and our grandchildren. I know that we can defeat climate change and we will defeat Donald Trump. This is our moral responsibility and we will fulfill it. Thank you very much.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Gillibrand.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Donald Trump has really torn apart the moral fabric of this country, dividing us on every racial line, every religious line, every socioeconomic line he can find. I'm running for president because I want to help people, and I actually have the experience and the ability to do that. I've brought Congress together and actually made a difference in people's lives.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I also know how to beat Donald Trump. He has broken his promises to the American people. I've taken this fight directly to his backyard in Michigan and Ohio and in Pennsylvania, and I'll go to all the places in this country. I will fight for your family. It doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter where you live, it doesn't matter who you love, because that's my responsibility.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
I've done this before. I started out in a 2-to-1 Republican district. I won it twice. I've never lost an election since. And I not only bring people together electorally, but also legislatively. I get things done. So we need a president who's not afraid of the big challenges, of the big fights. There is no false choice. We don't need a liberal or progressive with big ideas or we don't need a moderate who can win back Trump-Obama voters. You need someone who can do both. And that's who I am. Please go to kirstengillibrand.com so I can make the next debate stage.

Jake Tapper:
Congresswoman Gabbard.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
Thank you. Donald Trump and war-mongering politicians in Washington have failed us. They continue to escalate tensions with other nuclear armed countries like Russia and China and North Korea, starting a new Cold War, pushing us closer and closer to the brink of nuclear catastrophe. Now, as we stand here tonight, there are thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at us. And if we were to get an attack right here tonight, you'd have 30 minutes, 30 minutes before we were hit and you would receive an alert like the one we received in Hawaii last year that would say, "Incoming missile. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill." Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill, and you would see, as we did, as my loved ones in what you did. There is no shelter. This is the war-mongers hoax. There is no shelter.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard:
It's all a lie. As president, I will end this insanity because it doesn't have to be this way. I will end these wasteful regime change wars work to end this new Cold War through the use of diplomacy, to de-escalate these tensions and take the trillions of dollars that we've been wasting on these wars and on these weapons and redirect those resources into serving the needs of our people right here at home. Things like healthcare for all, making sure everyone in this country has clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. Investing in education, investing in our infrastructure. The needs are great. As your president, I will put your interests above all else.

Jake Tapper:
Secretary Castro.

Sec. Julián Castro:
First of all, let me say thank you to you, Jake, Dana, and Don and everybody here and those watching. This election is all about. What kind of nation we're gonna become? You and I, we stand on the shoulders of folks who have made beds and made sacrifices. People that fought in wars and fought discrimination. Folks that pick crops and stood in picket lines and they helped build the wonderful nation that we live in today. Donald Trump has not been bashful in his cruelty. And I'm not going to be bashful in my common sense and compassion.

Sec. Julián Castro:
I believe that we need leadership that understands that we need to move forward as one nation with one destiny, our destiny. In the years to come is to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on earth. If you want to help me build that America for the future, I hope you'll go to JuliánCastro.com. And on January 20th, 2021, we'll say together, "Adios to Donald Trump."

Jake Tapper:
Mr. Yang.

Andrew Yang:
You know what the talking heads couldn't stop talking about after the last debate? It's not the fact that I'm somehow number four on the stage in national polling. It was the fact that I wasn't wearing a tie. Instead of talking about automation and our future, including the fact that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs, hundreds of thousands right here in Michigan, we're up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show.

Andrew Yang:
It's one reason why we elected a reality TV star as our president. We need to be laser-focused on solving the real challenges of today, like the fact that the most common jobs in America may not exist in a decade, or that most Americans cannot pay their bills. My flagship proposal, the freedom dividend, would put $1,000 a month into the hands of every American adult. It would be a game-changer for millions of American families.

Andrew Yang:
If you care more about your family and your kids than my neckwear, enter your zip code at yang2020.com and see what $1,000 a month would mean to your community. I have done the math. It’s not left; it’s not right. It’s forward. And that is how we’re going to beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Harris.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
So in my background as attorney general of California, I took on the big banks who preyed on the homeowners, many of whom lost their homes and will never be able to buy another. I've taken on the for profit colleges who preyed on students, put them out of business. I've preyed on transnational criminal organizations that have preyed on women and children. And I will tell you, we have a predator living in the White House. And I'm going to tell you something. Donald Trump has predatory nature and predatory instincts. And the thing about predators is this. By their very nature, they prey on people they perceive to be weak. They prey on people they perceive to be vulnerable. They prey on people who are in need of help, often desperate for help. And predators are cowards.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
What we need is someone who is going to be on that debate stage with Donald Trump and defeat him by being able to prosecute the case against four more years. And let me tell you, we've got a long rap sheet. We're looking at someone who passed a tax bill benefiting the top one percent and the biggest corporations in this country when he said he would help working families.

Sen. Kamala Harris:
We've got a person who has put babies in cages and separated children from their parents. We have someone who passed his so-called trade policy. That was trade policy by tweet and has resulted in attacks on American families. So we must defeat him. And then in turning the page, write the next chapter for our country. And that has to be written in a way that recognizes what wakes people up at 3:00 in the morning. And that is my agenda. The 3:00 a.m. agenda that is focused on giving folks the jobs they need, getting their children the education they need. Making sure they have the healthcare they need and the future they deserve. So please join me at Kamala Harris.org. And I thank you for your time.

Jake Tapper:
Vice President Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for Detroit hosting this. Look, I've said it many times and I think everyone agrees with this. We're in a battle for the soul of America. This most consequential election, any one of you, no matter how old or young you are, as ever, ever participated in four more years of Donald Trump will go down as an aberration. Hard to overcome. The damage is done. But we can overcome it. Eight more years of Donald Trump will change America in a fundamental way. The America, we know, will no longer exist.

Vice President Joe Biden:
Everybody knows who Donald Trump is. We have to let him know who we are. We choose science over fiction. We choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division. And we choose. We choose the idea that we can, as Americans, when we do act together, do anything. This is the United States of America. We've acted together. We have never, never, never been unable to overcome whatever the problem was. If you agree with me, go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight. Thank you very much.

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: 2019 Democratic Primary Debate – Night 1

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Democratic Primary Debate – Night 1 transcript powered by Sonix—the best video to text transcription service

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Dana Bash:
Time now for opening statements. You'll each receive one minute? Governor Steve Bullock, please begin.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Thanks, Dana. I come from a state where a lot of people voted for Donald Trump. Let's not kid ourselves. He will be hard to beat. Yet watching that last debate, folks seem more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish-list economics than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Look, I'm a pro-choice, pro-union Populist Democrat that won three elections in a red state, not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done. That's how we win back the places we lost – showing up, listening, focusing on the challenges of everyday Americans. That farmer getting hit right now by Trump's trade wars, that teacher working a second job just to afford her insulin, they can't wait for a revolution. Their problems are in the here and now. I'm a Progressive, emphasis on progress, and I'm running for president to get stuff done for all those Americans Washington has left behind.

Dana Bash:
Marianne Williamson.

Marianne Williamson:
Thank you. In 1776, our founders brought forth on this planet an extraordinary new possibility. It was the idea that people, no matter who they were, would simply have the possibility of thriving. We have not ever totally actualized this ideal, but at the times when we have done best, we have tried. And when forces have opposed them, generations of Americans have risen up and pushed back against those forces. We did that with abolition, and with women's suffrage, and with civil rights.

Marianne Williamson:
Now, it is time for a generation of Americans to rise up again, for an amoral economic system has turned short-term profits for huge multinational corporations into a false god. This new false god takes precedence over the safety, and the health, and the well-being of we, the American people, and the people of the world, and the planet on which we live. Conventional politics will not solve this problem because conventional politics is part of the problem. We, the American people, must rise up, and do what we do best, and create a new possibility. Say no to what we don't want and yes to what we know can be true. I'm Marianne Williamson, and that's why I'm running for president.

Dana Bash:
Congressman John Delaney.

Congressman John Delaney:
Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren want to take us with bad policies like Medicare for All, free, everything, and impossible promises that'll turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected. That's what happened with McGovern. That's what happened with Mondale. That's what happened with Dukakis. Or we can nominate someone with new ideas to create universal healthcare for every American with choice; someone who wants to unify our country, and grow the economy, and create jobs everywhere. Then we win the White House.

Congressman John Delaney:
I'm the product of the American dream. I believe in it. I'm the grandson of immigrants, the son of a construction worker. My wife, April, and I have four amazing daughters. I was the youngest CEO in the history of New York Stock Exchange, created thousands of jobs, and then served in Congress. That's the type of background, and my platform is about real solutions, not impossible promises that can beat Trump and govern. Thank you,

Dana Bash:
Congressman Tim Ryan.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
America is great, but not everyone can access America's greatness. The systems that were built to lift us up are now suffocating the American people. The economic system that used to create $30-, $40-, $50-an-hour jobs that you could have a good solid middle-class living now force us to have two or three jobs just to get by. Most families, when they go to sit at the kitchen table to do their bills, they get a pit in the middle of their stomach. We deserve better.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
The political system is broken, too, because the entire conversation is about left or right – where're you at on the political system? I'm here to say this isn't about left or right, this is about new and better. And it's not about reforming old systems, it's about building new systems. Tonight, I will offer solutions that are bold, that are realistic, and that are a clean break from the past.

Dana Bash:
Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Last year, Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front runners at center stage. Now I share their progressive values, but I'm a little more pragmatic. I was out of work for two whole years until I started what became the largest brewpub in America. I learned the small, best- small business lessons of how to provide service, and teamwork, and became a top mayor, and as Governor of Colorado, became the number-one economy in the country. We also expanded healthcare and reproductive rights. We attacked climate change head on. We beat the NRA. We did not build massive government expansions.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Some will promise a bill tonight, or a plan for tonight. What we focused on was making sure that we got people together to get things done, to provide solutions to problems, to make sure that we worked together and created jobs. That's how we're gonna beat Donald Trump. That's how we're gonna win Michigan and the country.

Dana Bash:
Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Let's get real. Tonight we debate, but ultimately, we have to beat Donald Trump. My background, it's a little different than his. I stand before you today as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as the daughter of a union teacher, and a newspaperman, as a first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the State of Minnesota, and a candidate for president of the United States. That's because we come from a country of shared dreams.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I have had it with the racist attacks. I have had it with a president that says one thing on TV that has your back, and then you get home, and you see those charges for prescription drugs, and cable, and college. You're gonna hear a lot of promises up here, but I'm gonna tell you this – yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality, and yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this. I'm from the Midwest, and I have won every race, every place, every time. I will govern with integrity, the integrity worthy of the extraordinary people of this nation.

Dana Bash:
Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I'm running for president because I believe that America discovers its greatness at its moments of greatest need. This moment will define us forever, and I believe that in this test, America will be redeemed. In the face of cruelty and fear from a lawless president, we will choose to be the nation that stands up for the human rights of everyone, for the rule of law – for everyone – and a democracy that serves everyone.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
Whatever our differences, we know that before we are anything else, we are Americans first, and we will ensure that each one of us is well enough, and educated enough, and paid enough to realize our full potential. We will meet these challenges here at home, and we will lead the world in those that we face abroad, successfully confronting endless war and climate change. At this moment of truth, let us pursue our national promise and make a more perfect union of everyone, by everyone, and for everyone.

Dana Bash:
Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I'm running for president because our country is running out of time. It is even bigger than the emergency of the Trump presidency. Ask yourself how somebody like Donald Trump ever gets within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place. It doesn't happen unless America is already in a crisis. An economy that's not working for everyone. Endless war. Climate change. We have lived this in my industrial Midwestern hometown. My generation has lived this as long as we have been alive, and it's only accelerating.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
Science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe, when it comes to our climate. By 2030, the average house in this country will cost half a million bucks, and a woman's right to choose may not even exist. We are not going to be able to meet this moment by recycling the same arguments, policies, and politicians that have dominated Washington for as long as I have been alive. We've got to summon the courage to walk away from the past and do something different. This is our shot. That is why I'm running for president.

Dana Bash:
Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Donald Trump disgraces the office of Presidents every single day. Anyone on this stage tonight or tomorrow night would be a far better president. I promise, no matter who our candidate is, I will work my heart out to beat Donald Trump and to elect a Democratic Congress. But our problems didn't start with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is part of a corrupt, rigged system that has helped the wealthy, and the well-connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
We're not gonna solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. We're gonna solve them by being the Democratic Party of big structural change. We need to be the party that fights for our democracy and our economy to work for everyone. I know what's broken in this country, I know how to fix it, and I will fight to make it happen.

Dana Bash:
Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Tonight in America, as we speak, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, but the healthcare industry made a hundred billion dollars in profits last year. Tonight, as we speak, right now, 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street, and yet companies like Amazon that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax. Tonight, half of the American people are living paycheck to paycheck, and yet 49 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Tonight, the fossil fuel industry continues to receive hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks while they destroy this planet. We have got to take on Trump's racism, his sexism, xenophobia and come together in an unprecedented grassroots movement to not only defeat Trump, but to transform our economy and our government.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Sanders. Let's start the debate with the number-one issue for Democratic voters – healthcare. Senator Sanders let's start with you. You support Medicare for All, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans in exchange for government-sponsored healthcare for everyone. Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy, and previously, he has called the idea political suicide that will just get President Trump re-elected. What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
You're wrong. Right now, we have a dysfunctional healthcare system – 87 million uninsured or underinsured; 500,000 Americans every year going bankrupt because of medical bills; 30,000 people dying while the healthcare industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Five minutes away from here, John, is a country. It's called Canada. They guarantee healthcare to every man, woman, and child as a human right. They spend half of what we spend. By the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all. Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that. I will fight for that.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Sanders. Congressman Delaney?

Congressman John Delaney:
Well, I'm right about this. We can create a universal healthcare system to give everyone basic healthcare for free, and I have a proposal to do it, but we don't have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country who has private health insurance that their health insurance is illegal. My dad, the union electrician, loved the healthcare he got from the IBEW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance or supplemental plans. It's also bad policy. It'll underfund the industry. Many hospitals will close-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressmen. Senator Sanders, I wanted-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, my name was also mentioned in this-

Jake Tapper:
-we're gonna come to you in one second but let me go to Senator Sanders right now. Senator Sanders?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
The fact of the matter is tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs, or their employer changes that insurance. If you want stability in the healthcare system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to doctor or hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-and the insurance companies-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, sir [cross talk]

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-and move to Medicare for All.

Congressman John Delaney:
But now he's talking about a different issue. What I'm talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of the uninsured and give everyone healthcare as a right, but why do we gotta be the party of taking something away from people?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
No- no one is the party [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Hold on one second, Senator-

Congressman John Delaney:
That's what they're running on-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
No!

Congressman John Delaney:
They're running on telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill-

Jake Tapper:
All right, thank you-

Congressman John Delaney:
We don't have to do that. We can give everyone healthcare and allow people to have choice. That's the American way.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Look-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren?

So, look, let's be clear about this. We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away healthcare from anyone. That's what the Republicans are trying to do. We should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that healthcare. Now, I want to have a chance to tell the story about my friend Eddie Barkan. Eddie is 35 years old. He has a wife, Rachel. He has a cute little boy named Carl. He also has ALS, and it's killing him. Eddie has health insurance; good health insurance, and-

Jake Tapper:
Senator … I'm coming right- I'm staying with you. I'm staying with you, but you exceeded your time. Let me just stay with you on Medicare for All.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
All right.

Jake Tapper:
At the last debate, you said you're, "with Bernie on Medicare for All." Now, Senator Sanders has said that people in the middle class will pay more in taxes to help pay for Medicare for All, though that will be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums and other costs. Are you also, "with Bernie on Medicare for All," when it comes to raising taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for it?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more; middle class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their healthcare. I'd like to finish talking about Eddie, the guy who has ALS- this isn't funny. This is somebody who has health insurance, and he's dying. Every month, he has about $9,000 in medical bills that his insurance company won't cover. His wife, Rachel, is on the phone for hours, and hours, and hours, begging the insurance company, "Please cover what the doctors say he needs." He talks about what it's like to go online with thousands of other people to beg friends, family, and strangers for money so he can cover his medical expenses. The basic profit model of an insurance company is take in as much money as you can in premiums and pay out as little as possible in healthcare coverage. That is not working for Americans across this country-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you- thank you, Senator.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Medicare for All will fix that, and that's why I'll fight for it.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Just a point of clarification and 15 extra seconds – would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, offset obviously by the elimination of insurance premiums, yes or no?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations. For middle class families, costs – total costs- will go down [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Governor Bullock, I wanna bring you in. You do not support Medicare for All. How do you respond to Senator Warren?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
No. Healthcare is so personal to all of us. Never forget when my 12-year-old son had a heart attack within 24 hours of his life; had to be life flighted to Salt Lake City. But because we had good insurance, he's here with me tonight. At the end of the day, I'm not gonna support any plan that rips away quality healthcare from individuals. This is an example of wish-list economics. It used to be just Republicans wanted to repeal and replace. Now, many Democrats do, as well. We can get there with a public option, negotiated drug prices, indeed-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor Bullock. I wanna bring in Mayor Buttigieg on the topic of whether or not the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for guaranteed healthcare and the elimination of insurance premiums. How do you respond, Mayor?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
So, we don't have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better than- or a Medicare for All environment will be better than the corporate options. We can put it to the test. That's the concept of my 'Medicare for All Who Want It' proposal. That way, if people like me are right that the public alternative is going to be not only more comprehensive, but more affordable than any of the corporate options around there, we'll see Americans walk away from the corporate options into that Medicare option, and it will become Medicare for All [cross talk] without us having to kick anybody off of their insurance-

Jake Tapper:
Just 15 seconds on the clarification. You are willing to raise taxes on middle-class Americans in order to have universal coverage with the disappearance of insurance premiums, yes or no?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I think you can buy into it. That's the idea of 'Medicare for All Who Want It.' Look, this is a distinction without a difference, whether you're paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums. In this country, if you have health coverage … If you don't have healthcare coverage, you're paying too much for care, and if you do have health coverage, you're paying too much for care-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. I want to bring in Congressman O'Rourke on the topic of whether the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for universal coverage and the elimination of insurance premiums. What's your response?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
The answer is no. The middle class will not pay more in taxes in order to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class healthcare. I think we're being offered a false choice; some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins; others who want a Medicare for All program that will force people off of private insurance. I have a better path – Medicare for America. Everyone who is uninsured is enrolled in Medicare tomorrow. Those who are insufficiently insured [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Congressman-

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
-are enrolled in Medicare-

Jake Tapper:
Just to 15 seconds-

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
-and those who have employer-sponsored insurance [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Who is offering a false choice here?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
Jake, this is important. You have some- Governor Bullock, who's said that we will improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins with a public option. You have others to my right, who are talking about taking away people's choice for the private insurance they have, or members of unions … I was listening to [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
-Taylor in Nevada. His members [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
-let me bring in Governor Bullock, he just [cross talk]

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
-want the healthcare they're offering up for [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
-he just said you're offering a false choice, sir.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Congressman, not at all. It took us decades of false starts to get the Affordable Care Act. So, let's actually build on it – a public option allowing anyone to buy in. We pay more for prescription drugs than any place, actually, in the world. We've got nothing to show for it. Negotiate prescription drug prices, end surprise medical billings. That's the way that we can get there without disrupting the lives of 160 million people to elect their employer-sponsored health insurance.

Jake Tapper:
Congressman O'Rourke, you can respond.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
Every estimate that I've seen of expanding ACA, even through a public option, still leaves millions of people uninsured and also means that people are not guaranteed the healthcare that they need, as the examples that Senator Warren showed us. Our plan ensures that everyone is enrolled in Medicare or can keep their employer-sponsored insurance. When we listened to the American people, and this is what they want us to do – they want everyone covered, but they want to be able to maintain choice-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
-and our plan does that.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. I wanna bring in Senator Klobuchar. Senator Warren, at the beginning of the night, said that Democrats cannot bring- cannot win the White House with small ideas and spinelessness. In the last debate, she said the politicians who are not supporting Medicare for All simply lack the will to fight for it. You do not support Medicare for All. Is Senator Warren correct? Do you just not lack the will to fight for it?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
That is incorrect. I just have a better way to do this. In one of my first debates, Jake, I was called a street fighter from the Iron Range by my opponent. When she said it, I said thank you. This is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option. That's what Barack Obama wanted, and it would bring healthcare costs down for everyone.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
By the way, I just don't buy this. I've heard some of these candidates say that it's somehow not moral if you- not moral to not have that public option. Well, Senator Sanders was actually on a public option bill last year, and that was, Bernie, the Medicaid public option bill that Senator Schatz introduced. Clearly this is the easiest way to move forward quickly, and I wanna get things done. People can't wait. I've got my friend Nicole out there, whose son actually died trying to ration his insulin, as a restaurant manager. He died because he didn't have enough money to pay for it. Bernie and I have worked on pharmaceutical issues together-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-and we can get less expensive drugs-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
As the author of-

Jake Tapper:
Senator Sanders- I'm going to go to Senator Sanders, then Senator Warren, because you both were mentioned. Senator Sanders?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
As the author … As the author of the Medicare Bill, let me clear up one thing. As people talk about having insurance, there are millions of people who have insurance. They can't go to the doctor, and when they come out of the hospital, they go bankrupt. All right? What I am talking about and others up here are talking about is no deductibles and no copayments. Jake, your question is a Republican talking point. At the end of the day … By the way, and by the way … By the way, the healthcare industry will be advertising tonight on this program.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Senator Warren, it's your turn.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Oh, can I complete that, please?

Jake Tapper:
Your time was up. 30 seconds.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
They will be advertising tonight with that talking point.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Warren.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, we have to think of this in terms of the big frame. What's the problem in Washington? It works great for the wealthy. It works great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. And it keeps working great for the insurance companies and the drug companies. What it's going to take is real courage to fight back against them. These insurance companies do not have a God-given right to make $23 billion dollars in profits and suck it out of our healthcare system.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
They do not have a God-given right-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Unidentified:
On page eight of the bill, it said that [cross talk]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-to put forms in place [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
I wanna let Congressman Delaney-

Unidentified:
-it will kick everyone off of their insurance [cross talk]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
so that people cannot – they want to deny coverage.

Jake Tapper:
-thank you, Senator. If we could all just stick to the rules of the time, that would be great. Congressman Delaney?

Congressman John Delaney:
So, I was the only- I'm the only one on the stage who actually has experience in the healthcare business, and with all due respect, I don't think my colleagues understand the business. We have the public option-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
It's not a business-

Congressman John Delaney:
-which is great. The public option is great, but it doesn't go far enough. It doesn't go far enough. I'm proposing universal healthcare, where everyone gets healthcare, as a basic human right, for free, but they have choices. My plan, 'Better Care,' is fully paid for without raising middle-class tax options. So, when we think about this debate-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman John Delaney:
-there's Medicare for All, which-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman John Delaney:
-is extreme.

Jake Tapper:
I wanna bring in Governor [cross talk] I wanna bring in Governor Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, I'd like to hear what you have to say about Senator Warren's suggestion that those people on the stage who are not in favor of Medicare for All lack the political will to fight for it.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Well, obviously, I disagree with that, as much as I respect both of the senators to my right. You know, I think it comes down to that question of Americans being used to being able to make choices; to have the right to make a decision. And I think proposing a public option that allows some form of Medicare that maybe is a combination of Medicare Advantage and Medicare, but people choose it … If enough people choose, it expands. The quality improves; the cost comes down; more people choose it. Eventually, in 15 years, you could get there, but it would be an evolution, not a revolution.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
You know, we have tried this experiment with the insurance companies. And what they've done is they've sucked billions of dollars out of our healthcare system and they've forced people to have to fight to try to get the healthcare coverage that their doctors and nurses say that they need. Why does everybody- why does every doctor, why does every hospital have to fill out so many complicated forms? It's because it gives insurance companies a chance to say no and to push that cost back on the patient-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Warren-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-that's what we have to fight.

Jake Tapper:
-I wanna bring in Marianne Williamson. Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to the criticism from Senator Warren that you're not willing to fight for Medicare for All?

Marianne Williamson:
I don't know if Senator Warren said that about me specifically. I admire very much what Senator Warren has said, and what Bernie has said, but I have to say, I have a … I'm normally way over there with Bernie and Elizabeth on this one. I hear the others. I have some concern about that, as well. And I do have concern about what the Republicans would say, and that's not just a Republican talking point. I do have concern that it will be difficult. I have concern that it will make it harder to win. And I have a concern that it will make it harder to govern, because if that's our big fight-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Ms. Williamson-

Marianne Williamson:
-then the Republicans will so shut us down on everything else.

Jake Tapper:
I'm gonna bring in Mayor Buttigieg. Mayor, Buttigieg, your response?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say. Look, if it's true that if we embrace a far-left agenda, they're gonna say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they're gonna do? They're gonna say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. So, let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there, and defend it. That's the policy I'm putting forward. Not because I think it's the right triangulation between Republicans here and Democrats here; because I think it's the right answer for people like my mother-in-law, who is here, whose life was saved by the ACA, but who is still far too vulnerable to the fact that the insurance industry does not care about her-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Sanders, your response?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Let's be clear what this debate is about. Nobody can defend the dysfunctionality of the current system. What we are taking on is the fact that over the last 20 years, the drug companies and the insurance companies have spent $4.5 billion of your health insurance money on lobbying and campaign contributions. That is why, when I went to Canada the other day, people paid one tenth the price in Canada for insulin-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-that they're paying in the United States.

Jake Tapper:
I want to bring in Congressman Tim Ryan. Congressman Ryan, your response?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Here we are in Detroit, home of the United Auto Workers. We have all our union friends here tonight. This plan that's being offered by Senator Warren and Senator Sanders will tell those union members who gave away wages in order to get good healthcare that they're going to lose their healthcare because Washington's gonna come in and tell them they've got a better plan. This is the left and right thing. New and better is this – move Medicare down the 50, allow people to buy in. Kaiser Permanente said that if those 60 million people do that, they will see a 40-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
-percent reduction in their healthcare costs. Let businesses buy in, Jake, and-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. So, Senator, let's talk about that. If Medicare for All is enacted, there are more than 600,000 union members here in Michigan who would be forced to give up their private healthcare plans. Now, I understand that it would provide universal coverage, but can you guarantee those union members that the benefits under Medicare for All will be as good as the benefits that their representatives, their union reps, fought hard to negotiate?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Well, two things. They will be better, because Medicare for All is comprehensive. It covers all healthcare needs for senior citizens. It will finally include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses-

Congressman Tim Ryan:
But you don't know-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Second of all-

Congressman Tim Ryan:
You don't know that, Bernie.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Second of all [cross talk] I do know, and I wrote the damned bill. Second of all, second of all, many of our union brothers and sisters – nobody wore pro-union than me up here – are now paying high deductibles and copayments. And when we do Medicare for All, instead of having the company putting money into healthcare, they can get decent wage increases, which they're not getting today [cross talk]

Jake Tapper:
I wanna bring in Congressman Ryan to respond to what Senator Sanders has said.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
I mean, Senator Sanders does not know all of the union contracts in the United States. I'm trying to explain that these union members are losing their jobs. Their wages have been stagnant. The world is crumbling around them. The only thing they have is possibly really good healthcare. And the Democratic message is gonna be, "We're gonna go in, and the only thing you have left, we're gonna take it, and we're gonna do better." I do not think that's a recipe for success for us. It's bad policy, and it's certainly bad politics.

Jake Tapper:
Congressman Delaney?

Congressman John Delaney:
So, the bill that Senator Sanders drafted, by definition, will lower quality in healthcare, because it says specifically that the rates will be the same as current Medicare rates. And the data is clear, Medicare does not cover the cost of healthcare. It covers 80 percent of the costs of healthcare in this country, and private insurance covers 120 percent.

Congressman John Delaney:
So, if you start underpaying all the healthcare providers, you're gonna create a two-tier market where wealthy people buy their healthcare with cash, and the people who are forced, like my dad, the union electrician, who will have that healthcare plan taken away from him-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman.

Congressman John Delaney:
-they will be forced into an underfunded system.

Jake Tapper:
I want to give Senator Sanders- I wanna give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
All right, on the Medicare for All, the hospitals will save substantial sums of money because they're not gonna be spending a fortune doing billing and the other bureaucratic things that they have to do today-

Congressman John Delaney:
I've done the math. It doesn't add up.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-second of all … Maybe you did that and made money off the healthcare, but our job is to run a non-profit healthcare system. Furthermore, furthermore, when we save $500 billion a year by ending all of the incredible complexities that are driving every American crazy, trying to deal with the health insurance companies-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-hospitals will be better off than they are today-

Jake Tapper:
Congressman Delaney, I wanna let you have a chance to respond.

Congressman John Delaney:
Listen, his math is wrong. That's all I'm saying. If his math is wrong, it's been well-documented that if all the bills were paid at Medicare rate, which is specifically – I think it's in Section 1200 of their bill, then many hospitals in this country would close. I've been going around rural America, and I asked rural hospital administrators one question – if all your bills were paid at the Medicare rate last year, what would happen? They all look at me and say, "We would close." But the question is why do we have to be so extreme? Why can't we just give everyone healthcare as a right and allow them to have choice?

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman.

Congressman John Delaney:
I'm starting to think this is not about healthcare-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman John Delaney:
This is an anti-private-sector strategy.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman. We're gonna move on- we're gonna move on to the issue of immigration now. There is widespread agreement on this stage on the need for immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including dreamers, but there are some areas of disagreement. Mayor Buttigieg, you're in favor of getting rid of the law that makes it a crime to come across the U.S. border illegally. Why won't that just encourage more illegal immigration?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
When I am president, illegally crossing the border will still be illegal. We can argue over the finer points of which parts of this ought to be handled by civil law, and which parts ought to be handled by criminal law, but we've got a crisis on our hands. And it's not just a crisis of immigration, it's a crisis of cruelty and incompetence that has created a humanitarian disaster on our southern border. It is a stain on the United States of America.

Americans want comprehensive immigration reform. And frankly, we've been talking about the same framework for my entire adult lifetime – protections for dreamers, making sure that that we have a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, cleaning up lawful immigration. We know what to do. We know the border security can be part of that package, and we can still be a nation of laws. The problem is we haven't had the will to get it done in Washington. And now, we have a president who could fix it in a month, because there is that bipartisan agreement, but he needs it to be a crisis rather than an achievement. That will end on my watch.

Dana Bash:
Just point of clarification. You did raise your hand in the last debate. You do want to decriminalize crossing the border illegally-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
In my view, if fraud is involved, then that's suitable for the criminal statute. If not, then it should be handled under civil law. But these show of hands are exactly what is wrong with the way that this race is being [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
We're not- we're not doing that here.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I appreciate that.

Dana Bash:
Congressman- thank you. Congressman O'Rourke, you live near the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso. You disagree with Mayor Buttigieg on decriminalizing illegal border crossings. Please respond.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I do, because in my administration, after we have waived citizenship fees for green card holders, more than nine million of our fellow Americans, free dreamers … For many, fear of deportation, and stopped criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge, and for-profit detention in this country. Then assist those countries in Central America so that no family ever has to make that 2,000-mile journey. Then I expect that people who come here follow our laws, and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them if they do not.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren, you say the provision making illegal border crossings a crime is totally unnecessary. Please respond.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, the problem is that, right now, the criminalization statute is what gives Donald Trump the ability to take children away from their parents. It's what gives him the ability to lock up people at our borders. We need to continue to have border security and we can do that, but what we can't do is not live our values. I've been down to the border. I have seen the mothers. I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that every day lives our values, and that means we cannot make-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren, just to clarify-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-a crime, when someone comes here.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator. Just to clarify, would you decriminalize illegal border crossings?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Yes. The point is not about criminalization. That has given Donald Trump the tool to break families apart.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator [cross talk] Governor Hickenlooper, your response?

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
No, I agree that we need secure borders. There's no question about that. The frustration with what's going on in Washington is they're kicking the ball back and forth. Secure the borders; make sure whatever law we have doesn't allow children to be snatched from their parents and put in cages. How hard can that be? We've got … I know, on the two debate nights, we've got 170 years of Washington experience. Somehow it seems like that should be fairly fixable.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Well, and one way to fix it is to decriminalize. That's the whole point. What we're looking for here is a way to take away the tools that Donald Trump has used-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-to break up families.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I would say there is the will to change this in Congress. What's missing is the right person in the White House. I believe that immigrants don't diminish America. They are America. And if you wanna do something about border security, you first of all change the rules, so people can seek asylum in those [inaudible] countries. Then, you pass the bill, and what the bill will do is it'll rightly reduce the deficit and give us some money for border security, and for border- help processing the cases. Most of all, it will allow for a path to citizenship, because this is not just about the border. Donald Trump-

Dana Bash:
Thank you-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-wants to use these people as political pawns-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Klobuchar-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-when we have people all over our country that simply want to work and obey the law.

Dana Bash:
Thank you. Senator Sanders, you want to provide undocumented immigrants free healthcare and free college. Why won't this drive even more people to come to the U.S. illegally?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Because we'll have a strong border protection. But the main point I want to make is that what Trump is doing, through his racism and his xenophobia, is demonizing a group of people. And as president, I will end that demonization. If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view, they are not criminals. They are people fleeing violence.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
I think the main thing that we've gotta do, among many others, and Beto made this point, we've got to ask ourselves, why are people walking 2,000 miles to a strange country where they don't know the language? What we will do, the first week we are in the White House, is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, so people do not have to flee their own country.

Dana Bash:
Thank you- Thank you, Senator. Governor Bullock, about two-thirds of Democratic voters and many of your rivals here for the nomination support giving health insurance to undocumented immigrants. You haven't gone that far. Why not?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Look, I think this is part of the discussion that shows how often these debates are detached from people's lives. We've got 100,000 people showing up at the border right now. If we decriminalize entry, if we give healthcare to everyone, we'll have multiples of that. Don't take my word. That was President Obama's Homeland Security Secretary that said that.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
The biggest problem right now that we have with immigration, it's Donald Trump. He's using immigration to not only rip apart families but rip apart this country. We can actually get to the point where we have safe borders, where we have a path to citizenship, where we have opportunities for dreamers, and you don't have to decriminalize everything. What you have to do is have a president in there with the judgment and the decency to treat someone that comes to the border like one of our own.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
You know, I'd [cross talk] just like to add on this-

Dana Bash:
Senator, he just said your plan is unrealistic. How do you respond?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
You know, I think that what we have to do is we have to be an America that is clear about what we want to do with immigration. We need to expand legal immigration. We need to create a path for citizenship, not just for dreamers, but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas. We need to fix the crisis at the border. And a big part of how we do that is we do not play into Donald Trump's hands. He wants to stir up the crisis at the border, because that's his overall message. "If there's anything wrong in your life, blame them!"

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren. Governor Bullock, your response.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
But you are playing into Donald Trump's hands. The challenge isn't that it's a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president and using this to rip families apart. A sane immigration system needs a sane leader, and we can do that without decriminalize providing healthcare for everyone. And it's not me saying that. That's Obama's Homeland Security Secretary that said you'll cause further problems at the border, not making it better.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
What you're saying is ignore the law. Laws matter, and it matters if we say our law is that we will lock people up who come here seeking refuge, who come here seeking asylum. That is not a crime. As Americans, what we need to do is have a sane system that keeps us safe at the border, but does not criminalize the-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
activity of a mother fleeing [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
-Thank you. Congressman Ryan, are Senator Sanders' proposals going to incentivize undocumented immigrants to come into this country illegally?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Yes. And right now, if you want to come into the country, you should at least ring the doorbell. We have asylum laws. I saw the kids up in Grand Rapids, not far from here. It is shameful what's happening, but Donald Trump is doing it. Even if you decriminalize, which we should not do, you still have statutory authority. The president could still use his authority to separate families. So, we've got to get rid of Donald Trump. But you don't decriminalize people just walking into the United States, if they're seeking asylum. Of course, we want to welcome them. We're a strong enough country to be able to welcome them. And as far as the healthcare goes, undocumented people can buy healthcare, too. I mean, everyone else in America is paying for their healthcare. I don't think it's a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country to also pay for healthcare.

Dana Bash:
Senator Sanders, your response?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Well, two things. A sane immigration policy moves to comprehensive immigration reform. It moves to a humane border policy in which, by the way, we have enough administrative judges, so that we don't have incredible backlogs that we have right now. But to answer your question, I happen to believe that when I talk about healthcare as a human right, that applies to all people in this country, and under Medicare for All single-payer system, we could afford to do that.

Dana Bash:
Senator Sanders, thank you, Ms. Williamson, your response?

Marianne Williamson:
Everything that we're talking about here tonight is what's wrong with American politics. And the Democratic Party needs to understand that we should be the party that talks not just about symptoms, but also about causes. When we're talking about healthcare, we need to talk about more than just the healthcare plan. We need to realize we have a sickness-care rather than a healthcare system. We need to be the party talking about why so many of our chemical policies, and our food policies, and our agricultural policies, and our environmental policies, and even our economic policies are leading to people getting sick to begin with-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you-

Marianne Williamson:
-that's what the Democratic … But I want to say more about immi-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Ms. Williamson.

Marianne Williamson:
Okay, I hope you'll come back to me this time.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Go ahead.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Miss Williamson. Let's turn now to the issue of gun violence. There were three large-scale shootings this past weekend in America – at a park in Brooklyn, on the streets of Philadelphia, and one that left three dead and 12 injured at a food festival in Gilroy, California. Governor- excuse me, Mayor Buttigieg, other than offering words of comfort, what are you specifically going to do to stop this epidemic of gun violence?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
Well, this epidemic of gun violence has hit my community, too, far too many times. It's the worst part of being mayor, getting the phone call, consoling grieving parents. And we have a mass shootings' worth of killings every day in this country. What we're doing hasn't worked, because we haven't had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people have told us they want. 80 to 90 percent of Republicans want universal background checks, not to mention the common-sense solutions, like red flag laws that disarm domestic abusers and flag mental-health risks, and an end to assault weapons, things like what I carried overseas in uniform that have no business in American neighborhoods, in peacetime, let alone anywhere near a school.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I was at an event a few days ago, and a 13-year-old asked me what we were gonna do about school safety, and then he began shaking, and then began crying. We could talk about these policies, but we already know the policies. The only thing I could think of, looking into the eyes of this child, is we're supposed to be dealing with this, so you don't have to. High school is hard enough without having to worry about whether you're going to get shot-

Don Lemon:
Thank you-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
-and when 90 percent of Americans want something to happen-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
-and Washington can't deliver, we can't expect the same [cross talk]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I disagree-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I- I dis

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor. Governor Hickenlooper, your response, please?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I disagree. I disagree with his diagnosis-

Don Lemon:
Please stand by, Senator. Please stick to the rules.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Okay.

Don Lemon:
We'll get to you. We'll come to you in just a minute. Governor Hickenlooper, please respond.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Well, this is the fundamental nonsense of government. Another thing- another place where, despite our best efforts, we can't seem to make any progress. When I went to the movie theater in Aurora, in 2012, and saw that footage of what happened, that crime scene, I'll never forget it. And we decided that we were gonna go out and take on the NRA, and we passed- as a purple state, we passed universal background checks. We limited magazine capacity. We did the basic work that, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to be able to get done in Washington.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Yes. This isn't just about a system or it's not just about words. This is about the NRA. I sat across from the President of the United States after Parkland, because I've been a leader on these issues and have the will to close the boyfriend loophole. I watched and wrote down, when nine times, he said he wanted universal background checks. The next day he goes, and he meets with the NRA, and he folds. As your president, I will not fold. I will make sure that we get universal background checks passed, the assault weapon ban; that we do something about magazines, and that we understand when that sixth little- little six-year-old boy died, Stephen Romero, when his dad said, "He's only six years old," all I can say-

Don Lemon:
Thank- thank you, Senator. Mayor Buttigieg, please respond.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
is he's six years old. We have to remember that.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
This is the exact same conversation we've been having, since- since I was in high school. I was a junior, when the Columbine shooting happened. I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school-shooting generation in this country. We dare not allow there to be a third. Something is broken, if it is even possible for the same debate around the same solutions that we all know are the right thing to do. They won't prevent every incident. They won't save every life. But we know what to do, and it has not happened.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Yes. What is broken is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for it. The people are with us now. After Parkland, those students just didn't march. They talk to their dads, and their grandpas, and the hunters in their family. And they said, "There must be a better way." Then we elected people in the House of Representatives, and guess what? It changed, and they passed universal background checks. Now that bill is sitting on Mitch McConnell's doorstep, because of the money and the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-this is not about systems and words.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety, when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
You know, like 40 percent of American households, I'm a gun owner. I hunt. Like far too many people in America, I've been personally impacted by gun violence. Had an 11-year-old nephew, Jeremy, shot and killed on a playground. We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar. It is the NRA, and it's not just gun violence. It's when we talk about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs … Washington, D.C. is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
That's been the fight of my career. Kicking the Koch brothers out of Montana. Taking the first case after Citizens United up to the Supreme Court, making it so that elections are about people. That's the way we're actually going to make a change on this, Don, is by changing that system. Most the things that folks are talking about on this stage, we're not going to address until we kick dark money, and the post-Citizens United corporate spending out of these elections.

Don Lemon:
Congressman O'Rourke, your response?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
How else can we explain that we lose nearly 40,000 people in this country to gun violence? A number that no other country comes even close to; that we know what all the solutions are and yet, nothing has changed. It is because, in this country, money buys influence, access, and, increasingly, outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control prevented from actually studying the issue in the first place. As president, we will make sure that we ban political action committee contributions to any member of Congress or any candidate for federal office. We will listen to people, not PACs; people, not corporations; people, not special interests [cross talk]

Don Lemon:
Congressman, thank you very much. Senator Sanders, you said this in 2013, just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, and I quote here, "If you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don't think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen." Do you still agree with that statement today?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
I think we have got to do … I think what I meant is what President Obama said, and that nobody up here is gonna tell you that we have a magical solution to the crisis. Now, I come from one of the most rural states in America. I have a D- voting record from the NRA; and as president, I suspect it will be an F record. What I believe we have got to do is have the guts to finally take on the NRA.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
You asked me about my record. Back in 1988, coming from a state that had no gun control, I called for the ban of the sale and distribution of assault weapons. I lost that election. I will do everything I can not only to take on the NRA, but to expand the great universal background checks, do away with the straw man provision, do away with the gun show loophole, and do away with the loopholes that now exist for gun manufacturers, who are selling large amounts of weapons into communities that are going to gangs.

Don Lemon:
Yeah. Mayor Buttigieg, your response?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
Still, the conversation that we've been having for the last 20 years. Of course, we need to get money out of politics. But when I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference in the Electoral College, amend the Constitution, if necessary, to clear up Citizens United, have D.C. actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform, people look at me funny; as if this country were incapable of structural reform. Does anybody really think we're gonna overtake Citizens United without constitutional action? This is a country that once changed its constitution so you couldn't drink, and then changed it back, because we changed our minds about that-

Don Lemon:
Thank you. Thank you, Mayor-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
-and you're telling me we can't reform our democracy in our time?

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
We have to, or we'll be having the same argument 20 years from now [cross talk]

Don Lemon:
Please respond, Governor Bullock.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
You can make changes. Even in Montana with a two-thirds Republican legislature, we passed a law that said if you're gonna spend money in our elections, I don't care if you call yourself Americans for America for America, you're gonna have to disclose every one of those dollars in the last 90 days. I'll never forget running for re-election in 2016. Even we stopped the Koch brothers from spending at that time. If we can kick the Koch brothers out of Montana, we can do it in D.C., and we can do it everywhere-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, I'd like to be heard on this-

Gov. Steve Bullock:
-and we are also taking steps, additional steps that we've taken … I've passed an executive order, if you're even in a contract with the state, you have to disclose-

Don Lemon:
Thank you- Governor Bullock, thank you very much. Ms. Williamson, how [cross talk]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, I'd like to have a chance on this.

Don Lemon:
-do you respond to this issue of gun safety?

Marianne Williamson:
The issue of gun safety, of course, is that the NRA has us in a chokehold, but so do the pharmaceutical companies, so do the health insurance companies, so do the fossil fuel companies, and so do the defense contractors. And none of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns. But for politicians, including my fellow candidates, who, themselves, have taken tens of thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars from these same corporate donors to think that they now have the moral authority to say we're gonna take them on …

Marianne Williamson:
I don't think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe yada, yada, yada. It is time for us to start over with people who have not taken donations from any of these corporations and can say with real moral authority, that is over. We are going to establish public funding for federal campaigns. That's what we need to stand up to. We need to have a constitutional amendment. We need to have legislation to do it, and until we do it, it's just the same old, same old-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Miss Williamson.

Jake Tapper:
In poll after poll, Democratic voters say that they want a candidate who can beat President Trump more than they want a candidate who agrees with them on major issues. Governor Hickenlooper, you ran a Facebook ad that warned, quote, "Socialism is not the answer." The ad also said, "Don't let extremes give Trump four more years." Are you saying that Senator Sanders is too extreme to beat President Trump?

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
I'm saying the policies of this notion that you're gonna take private insurance away from 180 million Americans, who, many of them don't want to give it; many of them do wanna get rid of it, but some don't. Many don't. Or you're gonna … The Green New Deal – make sure that every American's guaranteed a government job, if they want. That is a disaster at the ballot box. You might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
I think we've gotta focus on where Donald Trump is failing. You know, the word malpractice- and this is interesting, I always thought it was doctors or lawyers. It's negligent, improper, illegal professional activity for doctors, lawyers, or public officials. Google it. Check it out. Donald Trump is malpractice personified. We've gotta point that out. Why is it soybean farmers in Iowa need 10 good years to get back to where they were two years ago, or it's the small manufacturing jobs that are supposed to come back? Why are we lurching from one international crisis to another? All things that he promised American voters. We've gotta focus on that, and the economy, and jobs, and training, so that we can promise a future for America that everybody wants to invest in.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Sanders, you are a proud democratic socialist. How do you respond to Governor Hickenlooper?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Well, the truth is that every credible poll that I have seen has me beating Donald Trump, including- including the battleground states of Michigan, where I won the Democratic primary, Wisconsin, where I won the Democratic primary, and Pennsylvania. And the reason we are gonna defeat Trump, and beat him badly, is that he took a fraud and a phony, and we're gonna expose him for what he is.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
The American people want to have a minimum wage, which is a living wage, 15 bucks an hour. I've helped lead that effort. The American people want to pay reasonable prices for prescription drugs, not the highest prices in the world-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
I've helped lead the effort to that, as well.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper. I want to bring you back to respond.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
So, again, I think if we're gonna force Americans to make these radical changes, they're not gonna go along … Throw your hands up.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
I will!

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
But you haven't. Whoa-ho, I can do it! But you haven't implemented the plans. Us governors and mayors are the ones that we have to pick up all the pieces, when suddenly the government's supposed to take over all these responsibilities. There's no preparation, the details on what … You can't just spring a plan on the world and expect it to succeed.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
John-

Jake Tapper:
Senator Sanders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
John, I was a mayor, and I helped transform my city [cross talk] I have some practical experience. Second of all, interestingly enough, today is the anniversary of Medicare. Fifty-four years ago, under Lyndon Johnson, and the Democratic Congress, they started a new program. After one year, 19 million elderly people in it. Please don't tell me that, in a four-year period, we cannot go from 65 down to 55, to 45, to 35. This is not radical. This is what virtually every other country on earth does-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-we are the odd guy out.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. I wanna bring- I wanna bring in Congressman Ryan. You're from the state of Ohio. It's a state that voted twice for Obama, and then went to President Trump in 2016. Please respond to Senator Sanders.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
I would just say Hillary Clinton was winning in the polls, too. To take a snapshot in the polls today, and apply it 16 months from now, or whenever it is, I don't think is accurate. Now, in this discussion already tonight, we've talked about taking private health insurance away from union members in the industrial Midwest. We've talked about decriminalizing the border, and we've talked about giving free healthcare to undocumented workers, when so many Americans are struggling to pay for their healthcare. I, quite frankly, don't think that that is an agenda that we can move forward on and win. We've got to talk about the working-class issues, the people that take a shower after work, who haven't had a raise in 30 years.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you [cross talk]

Congressman Tim Ryan:
-if we focus on that, we'll win the election.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. I wanna bring in Congressman O'Rourke. Your response, sir?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
Bernie was talking about some of the battleground states in which we compete. There's a new battleground state, Texas, and it has 38 Electoral College votes. And the way that we put it in play was by going to each one of those 254 counties. No matter how red or rural, we did not write you off; no matter how blue or urban, we did not take you for granted. And we didn't trim our sails either. We had the courage of our convictions, talking about universal healthcare, comprehensive immigration reform, and confronting the challenge of climate before it is too late. We brought everyone in, and now we have a chance to beat Donald Trump within Texas.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman, I'm wondering, Governor Bullock, we're talking about whether Democrats are moving too far to the left to win the White House. President Trump won your home state of Montana by 20 points. How do you respond, sir?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Yeah, as the only one of the field of 37 that actually won a Trump state, 25 to 30 percent of my voters voted for Donald Trump. I know that we do have to win back some of those places we lost and get those Trump voters back, if we're ever going to win. But this isn't just a choice between the left and the center. It's not a choice just between these wishlist economics or thinking that we have to sacrifice our values to actually win. What folks want is a fair shot. The way I won, the way we can win is to actually focus on the economy and democracy aren't working for most people-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
-that's how I win. That's how we can take back the office.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, you make it a point to say that you're a capitalist. Is that your way of convincing voters that you might be a safer choice than Senator Sanders?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
No, it is my way of talking about I know how to fight, and I know how to win. I took on giant banks, and I beat them. I took on Wall Street, and CEOs, and their lobbyists, and their lawyers, and I beat them. I took on a popular Republican incumbent senator, and I beat him. I remember when people said Barack Obama couldn't get elected. Shoot, I remember when people said Donald Trump couldn't get elected. But here is where we are. I get it. There is a lot at stake, and people are scared, but we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in, just because we're too scared to do anything else. We can't ask other people to vote for a candidate we don't believe in. Democrats win when we figure out what is right, and we get out there and fight for it. I am not afraid. And for Democrats to win, you can't be afraid either.

Jake Tapper:
Congressman Delaney, your response?

Congressman John Delaney:
So, I think Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises; when we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics. Look at this story of Detroit – this amazing city that we're in. This city is turning around because the government and the private sector are working well together. That has to be our model going forward. We need to encourage collaboration between the government, the private sector, and the non-profit sector and focus on those kitchen table pocketbook issues that matter to hardworking Americans – building infrastructure, creating jobs, improving their pay-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman John Delaney:
-creating universal healthcare and lowering drug prices. We can do it.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
You know, I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for. I don't get it. Our biggest problem in Washington is corruption. It is giant corporations that have taken our government and that are holding it by the throat. And we need to have the courage to fight back against that. Until we're ready to do that, it's just more of the same. Well, I'm ready to get in this fight. I'm ready to win this fight.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney?

Congressman John Delaney:
When we created Social Security, we didn't say pensions were illegal. We can have big ideas to transform the lives … I mean, I started two companies and took them public before I was 40. I'm as big of a dreamer and an entrepreneur as anyone, but I also believe we need to have solutions that are workable. Can you imagine if we tried to start Social Security now, but said private pensions are illegal? That's the equivalent of what Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are proposing with healthcare. That's not a big idea. That's an idea that's dead on arrival. That will never happen. So why don't we actually talk about things, big ideas that we can get done? The stakes are too high-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren? [cross talk] We'll come to you right after that. Senator Warren?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
He talks about solutions that are workable. We have tried the solution of Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. What have the private insurance companies done? They've sucked billions of dollars out of our healthcare system. They've made everybody fill out dozens, and dozens of forms. Why? Not because they're trying to track your healthcare. They just want one more excuse to say no. Insurance companies do not have a God-given right to suck money out of our healthcare system-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-and 2020 is our chance to stop that.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Senator Sanders?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Detroit was mentioned, and I'm delighted that Detroit is rebounding, but let us understand, Detroit was nearly destroyed because of awful trade policy, which allowed corporations to throw workers in this community out on the street as they moved to low-wage countries. To win this election, and to defeat Donald Trump, which, by the way, in my view, is not gonna be easy, we need to have a campaign of energy, and excitement, and a vision. We need to bring millions of young people into the political process in a way that we have never seen, by, among other things, making public colleges and universities tuition free and canceling student debt-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. I wanna bring in … I wanna bring in Senator Klobuchar. At the beginning of the night, you said, "You're gonna hear a lot of promises on the stage," and previously you have said, when asked about your primary opponents, "A lot of people are making promises, and I'm not gonna make promises just to get elected." Who on this stage is making promises just to get elected?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Everyone wants to get elected, but my point is this – I think when we have a guy in the White House that has now told over 10,000 lies that we better be very straightforward with the American people. And, no, do I think that we are gonna end up voting for a plan that kicks half of America off of their current insurance in four years? No, I don't think we're gonna do that. I think there is a better way to get what we all want to see, which is lower costs for healthcare.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Do I think that we're gonna vote to give free college to the wealthiest kids? No, I don't think we're gonna do that. That's what I'm talking about. But what I don't like about this argument right now, what I don't like about it at all, is that we are more worried about winning an argument than winning an election. I think how we win an election is to bring everyone with us. Yes, I have won, in a state, every single time statewide … I have won those congressional districts that Donald Trump won by over 20 points. He just targeted Minnesota last week. I've done it by getting out there and talking to people, by knowing rural issues, and farm issues-.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Klobuchar-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-and bringing metro people with me in this state that had the highest voter turnout in this country. That's what we want.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator [cross talk] I wanna bring Congressman O'Rourke … Congressman O'Rourke, please respond.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I think a big part of leadership and showing our commitment to the American people is delivering on our commitments. As a member of Congress, when I learned that the El Paso V.A. had the worst wait times for mental healthcare in the country, meaning that care delayed functionally became care denied and was related to the suicide epidemic, we made it our priority, and we turned around the V.A. in El Paso. We took that lesson nationally, and I worked with Republican and Democratic colleagues to expand mental healthcare to veterans, and we got it signed into law by the one person with whom I agree on almost nothing – Donald Trump – to show that, at the end of the day, we will put the American people first before party, before any other concern.

Dana Bash:
Thank you- Thank you, Congressman O'Rourke. We've been asking voters to weigh in on what they'd most like to hear Democrats debate. Among the topics they told us they're most interested in – the climate crisis. Congressman Delaney, I'll start with you. You say the Green New Deal is about as realistic as Trump saying Mexico is going to pay for the wall, but scientists say we need essentially to eliminate fossil fuel pollution by 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic consequences. Why isn't this sweeping plan to fight the climate crisis realistic?

Congressman John Delaney:
Well, first of all, because it ties its progress to other things that are completely unrelated to climate, like universal healthcare, guaranteed government jobs, and universal basic income. So that only makes it harder to do. My plan, which gets us to Net Zero by 2050, which we absolutely have to do for our kids and our grandkids, will get us there. I put a price on carbon. Take all the money, give it back to the American people in a dividend. That was introduced by me on a bipartisan basis. It's the only significant bipartisan climate bill in the Congress.

Congressman John Delaney:
I'm gonna increase the Department of Energy research budget by fivefold, because we fundamentally have to innovate our way out of this problem. I'm gonna create a market for something called direct air capture, which are machines that actually take carbon out of the atmosphere, because I don't think we'll get to Net Zero by 2050 unless we have those things. I'm gonna increase investment in renewables, and I'm gonna create something called the Climate Corps. That is a plan that's realistic. It's a bet on the U.S. private innovation economy and creates the incentives to get us to Net Zero by 2050 for our kids-

Dana Bash:
Thank you- thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren, you're a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. Your response to Congressman Delaney.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, climate crisis is the existential crisis for our world. It puts every living thing on this planet at risk. I have a plan for a green industrial policy that takes advantage of the fact that we do what we do best and that is innovate and create. So I proposed putting $2 trillion in, so we do the research. We then say anyone in the world can use it, so long as you build it right here in America. That will produce about 1.2 million manufacturing jobs right here in Michigan, right here in Ohio, right here in the industrial Midwest. The second thing we will do is we will then sell those products all around the world. Right now, for every one dollar the United States-

Dana Bash:
Thank you.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-spends trying to market around the world-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-China's spending $100-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren. Governor Hickenlooper, you take issue with the Green New Deal. Please respond.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Well, I think the guarantee for a public job for everyone who wants one is a classic part of the problem. It's a distraction. I share the urgency of everyone up here. We have to recognize … I mean, everyone's got good ideas. What we do in this country is no better than just a best practice. What we do here is a best practice and a template, but it's gotta be done all over the world. So, we've gotta be building bridges right now with people, like China, who are cheating on international agreements and stealing intellectual property. We need to work on that, but not with a tariff system. We need every country working together, if we're gonna really deal with climate change in a realistic way.

Dana Bash:
Thank you. Senator Warren, your response?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Look, I put a real policy on the table to create 1.2 million new jobs in green manufacturing. It's gonna be a $23 trillion worldwide market for this. This could revitalize huge cities across this country, and no one wants to talk about it. What you wanna do instead is find the Republican talking point of a made-up piece of some other part and say, "Oh, we don't really have to do anything." That's the problem we've got in Washington right now.

Dana Bash:
Thank you-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
It continues to be a Washington that works great for oil companies, just not for people worried about climate change.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Warren. Congressman Ryan, we are here in Michigan, where there are about 180,000 workers in auto manufacturing. Your state of Ohio has around 96,000 workers in that industry. Senator Sanders is cosponsoring a bill that would eliminate new gas-powered car sales by 2040. Given the number of auto manufacturing workers in your state, how concerned are you about Senator Sanders' plan?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Well, if we get our act together, we won't have to worry about it. My plan is to create a chief manufacturing officer, so we could actually start making things in the United States again that would pool the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation; work with the private sector, work with investors, emerging tech companies to dominate the electric vehicle market. China dominates it now, 50 to 60 percent. I want us to dominate the battery market, make those here in the United States, and cut the workers in on the deal. The charging stations, solar panels, same thing. China dominates 60 percent of the solar panel market. This person will work in the White House, report directly to me, and we're gonna start making things again.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
But you cannot get there on climate, unless we talk about agriculture. We need to convert our industrial agriculture system over to a sustainable and regenerative agriculture system that actually sequesters carbon into the soil – you can go ask Gabe Brown and Alan Williams, who actually make money off of regenerative agriculture – so we can move away from all the subsidies that we're giving the farmers. They haven't made a profit in five years, and we could start getting good food into our schools and into our communities. That's gonna drive healthcare down. That's another part of the healthcare conversation that we didn't even have. How do we start talking about health, instead of just disease care?

Dana Bash:
Thank you. Thank you, Congressman Ryan. Senator Sanders, your response?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas. They could give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to billionaires and profitable corporations. They could bail out the crooks on Wall Street. So, please don't tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry, and nothing happens unless we do that. Here is the bottom line. We've gotta ask ourselves a simple question – what do you do with an industry that knowingly, for billions of dollars in short-term profits, is destroying this planet? I say that it's criminal activity that cannot be allowed to continue-

Dana Bash:
Thank you- Thank you, Senator Sanders. Congressman, your response?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Well, yeah, I would just say … I didn't say we couldn't get there til 2040, Bernie. You don't have to yell. I mean, all I'm saying is- all I'm saying is we have to invent our way out of this thing. If we're waiting for 2040 for a ban to come in on gasoline vehicles, we're screwed. So, we'd better get busy now. That's why I'm saying get a chief manufacturing officer; align the environmental incentives with the financial incentives and make sure that people can actually make money off of the new technologies that are moving forward. Then, here's what I'll do as president-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
-cut the worker in on the deal, make sure these are union jobs, and I will double union membership to make sure that these new jobs pay what the old fossil fuel jobs paid.

Dana Bash:
Senator Sanders, your response.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Look, on this issue, my friends, there is no choice. We have got to be super-aggressive, if we love our children and if we want to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable. So, I don't disagree with Tim. What that means is we gotta, A) take on the fossil fuel industry; B) it means we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, and a hell of a lot of good union jobs as we do that. We've gotta transform our transportation system-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
-and we have to lead the world, because this is not just an American issue.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Sanders. Governor Bullock, your response?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
You know, all of us agree that we have to address climate change. No one on this stage is talking about, though, the Republicans won't even acknowledge that climate change is real, Dana, and that's because of the corrupting influence of money. That has been the fight of my career. And second of which, as we transition to this clean energy economy, you gotta recognize there are folks that have spent their whole life powering our country. Far too often, Democrats sound like they're part of the problem. We gotta make sure to aid in those transitions as we get to a carbon neutral world, which I think we can do by 2040-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Governor. Just to clarify, who is part of the problem?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Who? Oh, no. I think Democrats often, when they're saying, "Oh, these fossil fuel industries, these workers, those coal mining workers …" Look, the world is changing. We gotta make it change, but I think Democrats often sound like the people that, as Congressman Ryan would say, shower at the end of the day; that they're part of the problem. Far too many communities are being left behind as we make this transition.

Dana Bash:
Thank you.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Look, we're having this discussion, and we can talk about competing plans-.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Governor. I want to give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Look, Steve, ain't nobody in the Congress who's more strongly for workers than I am. So, when I talk about picking on the fossil fuel industry, what I am also talking about is a just transition. We can create, and what the Green New Deal is about- it's a bold idea. We can create millions of good paying jobs. We can rebuild communities in rural America that have been devastated. We are not anti-worker. We are gonna provide, and make sure that those workers have a transition – new jobs, healthcare, and education [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator.

Unidentified:
Dana-

Dana Bash:
-Governor Bullock, your response?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
And look, Bernie, I was a union side labor lawyer. I fought day after day, and I know- But we set this up as a false choice far too often. Are we gonna actually address climate change? Fire seasons are 80 days longer in the West now … Or are we going to give people a better shot at a better life? You can do both. Let's actually have the scientists drive this. Let's not just talk about plans that are written for press releases that will go nowhere else, if we can't even get a Republican to acknowledge that the climate's changing-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Governor. Congressman O'Rourke, your response.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I've listened to scientists on this, and they're very clear. We don't have more than 10 years to get this right. We won't meet that challenge with half steps, or half measures, or only half the country. We've gotta bring everyone in. The people of Detroit and those that I listened to in Flint last week, they want the challenge. They want those jobs. They wanna create the future for this country and the world. Those community college students that I met in Tucumcari, New Mexico understand that wind and solar jobs are the fastest growing jobs in the country. Those farmers in Iowa say, "Pay me for the environmental services of planting cover crops and keeping more land in conservation easements." That's how we meet the challenge. We do it with everyone in this country. We bring everyone into the solution.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
We have all put out highly similar visions on climate. It is all theoretical. We will deal with climate, if and only if we win the presidency, if and only if we beat Donald Trump. Nominate me, and you get to see the President of the United States stand next to an American war veteran and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was his chance to serve. Nominate me, and we will have a different conversation with American voters about why the President of the United States thinks you're a sucker when the problem in your life is your paycheck is not going up nearly as fast as the cost of housing, or the cost of education, or the cost of prescription drugs.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
-and he has done nothing about it except make tax cuts for the corporations [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
Senator Klobuchar, I wanna ask you about something that CNN heard from a Michigan Democratic primary voter. We've been reaching out and getting their questions. Kimber from Birmingham, Michigan, has this question – what is your plan to address infrastructure, including the water issues, so another Flint, Michigan, does not happen again?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Thank you, Dana. I was just in Flint, and they are still drinking bottled water in that town, and that is outrageous. My plan, and I am the first one that came out with an infrastructure plan – and I did that because this is a bread-and-butter issue … It's a bread-and-butter issue for people that are caught in traffic jams. I think the governor here in Michigan smartly ran on the slogan, "Fix the damned roads." It is an issue for union jobs. I think what we need to do is not have a president that's promised he was gonna do that, on election night, if anyone remembers, and then he hasn't followed through. He has done nothing. He blew up a meeting at the White House.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I would put a trillion dollars into this, and I would pay for it by, first of all, changing the capital gains rate; by doing something when it comes to that regressive tax bill that left everyone behind, but really made his Mar-a-lago friends richer, as he promised, and I would take that money and put it into rural broadband and green infrastructure, so you won't have what you just saw in Detroit with the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, the African neighborhood that was- African-American neighborhood that was most hit, when you had those recent rainstorms. I truly believe that if we're gonna move on infrastructure-

Dana Bash:
Thank you-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-on climate change, you need a voice from the heartland [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Ms. Williamson, what's your response on the Flint water crisis?

Marianne Williamson:
My response on the Flint water crisis is that Flint is just the tip of the iceberg. I was recently in Denmark, South Carolina, where it is … There is a lot of talk about it being the next Flint. We have an administration that has gutted the Clean Water Act. We have communities, particularly communities of color, and disadvantaged communities all over this country who are suffering from environmental injustice. I assure you – I lived in Grosse Pointe – what happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe.

Marianne Williamson:
This is part of the dark underbelly of American society – the racism, the bigotry … And the entire conversation that we're having here tonight, if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I'm afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days. We need to say it like it is. It's bigger than Flint. It's all over this country. It's particularly people of color; it's particularly people who do not have the money to fight back. And if the Democrats don't start saying it, then why would those people feel that they're there for us? And if those people don't feel it, they won't vote for us, and Donald Trump will win.

Don Lemon:
Thank you very much, Ms. Williamson.

Marianne Williamson:
Thank you.

Don Lemon:
We wanna turn now to the issue of race in America. Congressman O'Rourke, President Trump is pursuing a re-election strategy based in part on racial division. How do you convince primary voters that you'd be the best nominee to take on President Trump and heal the racial divide in America?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
We'll call his racism out for what it is and also talk about its consequences. It doesn't just offend our sensibilities to hear him say, "Send her back," about a member of Congress, because she's a woman of color, because she's a Muslim-American. Doesn't just offend our sensibilities when he calls Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals or seeks to ban all Muslims from the shores of a country that's comprised of people from the world over from every tradition of faith.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
It is also changing this country. Hate crimes are on the rise, every single one of the last three years. On the day that he signed his executive order attempting to ban Muslim travel, the mosque in Victoria, Texas, was burned to the ground. So we must not only stand up against Donald Trump and defeat him in this next election, but we must also ensure that we don't just tolerate or respect our differences, but we embrace them. That's what we've learned in El Paso, Texas, my hometown – one of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite, but because it's a city of immigrants, and asylum seekers, and refugees. We will show that diversity is our strength in my administration.

Don Lemon:
Thank you- Congressman O'Rourke, thank you very much. Governor Hickenlooper, why are you the best nominee to heal the racial divide in America? Please respond.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Well, the core value behind this entire country's history is working towards a more perfect union – that all people are created equal. And we've fallen far away from that. I think the job is incumbent on any one of us to make the convincing case that we can deliver an urban agenda that represents progress in schools.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
In Colorado, when I was mayor, we got to universal pre-K for every kid in the urban city. We did major police reform 10 years before Ferguson. Why is it now that five years after Ferguson, we still don't have anything? How did we get affordable housing? We create a scholarship fund for every kid. You've gotta deliver a vision like that for the whole country.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, I'm coming to you now.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Yes.

Don Lemon:
Last week, the FBI director, Christopher Wray, said that the majority of domestic terrorism cases this year had been motivated by white supremacy. In fact, the alleged shooter in this weekend's attack in Gilroy, California referenced a well-known white supremacist book on social media. How are you going to combat the rise of white supremacy?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
We need to call out white supremacy for what it is – domestic terrorism. It poses a threat to the United States of America. We live in a country now where the president is advancing environmental racism, economic racism, criminal justice racism, healthcare racism. The way we do better is to fight back and show something better.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, I have a plan, for example, on education that says we have to build a better education system for all our kids, but we've got to acknowledge what's happened on race. My plan has universal tuition-free college for all of our kids, but also increases the Pell Grants and levels the playing field by putting $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities. It cancels student loan debt for 95 percent of the kids with student loan debt and helps close the black-white wealth gap in America.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator, very much. Mayor Buttigieg, you've been criticized for your handling of racial issues in your home city of South Bend – from diversity in the police force to housing policy. Given your record, how can you convince African-Americans that you should be the Democratic nominee?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me. I'm not saying that I became mayor, and racism, or crime, or poverty ended on my watch, but in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing. We directed it to a historically underinvested African-American neighborhood. Right now, in the wake of a police-involved shooting, our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy and making sure there are community voices on the board of safety that handles police matters.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I've proposed a Douglas plan to tackle this issue nationally, because mayors have hit the limits of what you can do unless there is national action. Systemic racism has touched every part of American life, from housing, to health, to homeownership. If you walk into an emergency room, and you are Black, your reports of pain will be taken less seriously. If you apply for a job, if you are Black, you are less likely to be called, just because of the name on the resume. It's why I've proposed that we do everything from investing in historically red-lined neighborhoods to build Black wealth in homeownership-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor-

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
-to supporting entrepreneurship for Black Americans.

Thank you very much. Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the president's bigotry?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Well, first of all, there are people that voted for Donald Trump before that aren't racist. They just wanted a better shake in the economy, so I would appeal to them. But I don't think anyone can justify what this president is doing. Little kids literally woke up this weekend, turned on the TV, and saw their president calling their city – the town of Baltimore – nothing more than a home for rats. I can tell you, as your president, that will stop.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
The second thing I would say is that economic opportunity means economic opportunity for everyone in this country. I know that, because I have lived it. And that means when we put out there better childcare, and a better education, and we pay teachers more, and we make sure there's a decent retirement system in place, yes, we help the African-American community. We must, because they have been the ones that have been most hurt by what we've seen in the last decade, but we help everyone. What I say to the people in my rural parts of my state, just like I say to them in the city and bring them together, is that economic opportunity must be there for everyone.

Don Lemon:
Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much. Congressman O'Rourke, please respond.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I want to acknowledge something that we're all touching on, which is the very foundation of this country. The wealth that we have built, the way we became the greatest country on the face of the planet was literally on the backs of those who were kidnapped and brought here by force. The legacy of slavery, and segregation, and Jim Crow, and suppression is alive and well in every aspect of the economy, and in the country today. As president, I will sign into law a new voting rights act. I will focus on education, address healthcare disparities, but I will also sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee's reparations bill, so that we can have the national conversation we have waited too long in this country to have.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Congressman O'Rourke. Speaking of reparations, Ms. Williamson, many of your opponents support a commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery, but you are calling for up to $500 billion in financial assistance. What makes you qualified to determine how much is owed in reparations?

Marianne Williamson:
Well, first of all, it's not $500 billion in financial assistance. It's $500 billion- $200 to $500 billion payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is. We need some deep truth telling, when it comes … We don't need another commission to look at evidence. I appreciate what Congressman O'Rourke has said. It is time for us to simply realize that this country will not heal … All that a country is, is a collection of people. People heal when there's some deep truth telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery, followed by another 100 years of domestic terrorism.

Marianne Williamson:
What makes me qualified to say $200 to $500 billion? I'll tell you what makes me qualified. If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there was 4 to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War … They were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four. If you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. I believe in anything less than $100 billion is an insult, and I believe that $200 to $500 billion is politically feasible today, because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, and emotional turbulence that only reparations [cross talk]

Don Lemon:
Ms. Williamson, thank you very much. Senator Sanders … Senator Sanders, you don't think cash payments are the best way to address this issue, but according to a new Gallup poll, 73 percent of African-Americans are in favor of cash payments to Black Americans who are descendants of slaves. How do you respond to them?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Well, I respond to that by saying that I am supportive of Jim Clyburn's legislation, which is called 10-20-30. What that understands is that, as a result of slavery, and segregation, and the institutional racism we see now in healthcare, in education, in financial services, we are going to have to focus big time on rebuilding distressed communities in America, including African-American communities.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
In terms of education, I also have a plan. It's called the Thurgood Marshall Plan, and it would focus on ending the growth of segregated schools in America. It would triple funding for Title I schools. It would make sure that teachers in this country earned at least $60,000 a year.

Don Lemon:
Senator Sanders, thank you very much. Congressman Ryan, President Trump's tariffs have boosted the U.S. steel industry, but hurt auto manufacturers, like those here in Michigan, which could drive up the cost of cars. As president, would you continue President Trump's steel tariffs?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Look, I think President Trump was onto something when he talked about China. China has been abusing the economic system for a long time. They steal intellectual property. They subsidize goods coming into this country. They've displaced steelworkers, autoworkers, across the board, eroded our manufacturing, and we basically transferred our wealth of our middle class either up to the top one percent or to China for them to build their military.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
I think we need some targeted response against China. But you know how you beat China? You outcompete them. That's why I'd put a chief manufacturing officer in place to make sure that we rebuild the manufacturing base. We've gotta fill these factories in Detroit, and Youngstown that used to make cars and steel … We've gotta fill them with workers who are making electric vehicles, batteries, charging stations; make sure they're making solar panels.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
As I said earlier, China dominated 60 percent of the solar panel market. They dominate 50 to 60 percent of the electric vehicle market. We're gonna make 10 million electric vehicles somewhere in the world in the next 10 years. I wanna make it the United States. That's why I have a chief manufacturing officer that will sit in the White House and help drive this agenda-

Don Lemon:
Congressman, thank you. Just as a point of clarification, as president, would you continue President Trump's steel tariffs? Yes or no?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Well, I would have to re-evaluate. I think some of them are effective, but he's bungled the whole thing, obviously. He has … See, here's the problem with President Trump. He has a tactical move, one of many. He has a tactical move. What's the grand strategy for the United States? China has a 100-year plan, a 50-year plan, a 30-year plan, a 20-year plan. We live in a 24-hour news cycle. That spells disaster for our economy and disaster for our global policies.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Congressman. Congressman Delaney, your response?

Congressman John Delaney:
So, listen, this is what I don't understand. President Trump wants to build physical walls and beats up on immigrants. Most of the folks running for president want to build economic walls to free trade and beat up on President Obama. I'm the only one running for president who actually supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Obama was right about that. We should be getting back in that. Senator Warren just issued a trade plan that would prevent the United States from trading with its allies. We can't go and- we can't isolate ourselves from the world. We have to engage with fair rules-based trade-

Don Lemon:
Thank you. Thank you, Congressman Delaney, Senator Warren, please respond.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
For decades, we have had a trade policy that has been written by giant multinational corporations to help giant multinational corporations. They have no loyalty to America. They have no patriotism. If they can save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico, they'll do it in a heartbeat. If they can continue a polluting plant by moving it to Vietnam, they'll do it in a heartbeat. I have put out a new comprehensive plan that says we're not gonna do it that way. We're gonna negotiate our deals with unions at the table, with small businesses at the table, with small farmers at the table with environmentalists at the table with, human rights activists at the table. Then, we're gonna use the fact that everybody in the world wants to get to America's markets. They wanna sell to you [cross talk] I'll finish-

Don Lemon:
Congressman Delaney-

Congressman John Delaney:
Sorry.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-is everyone wants to get to America's markets.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
No … The question is how we need to raise our standards-

Don Lemon:
Senator, thank you, please abide by the rules. Congressman Delaney, it's your turn. Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney?

Congressman John Delaney:
So, that was the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think President Obama was right. He did include environmental standards. He did include labor standards. We would be in an entirely different position with China, if we had entered the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We can't isolate ourselves from the world. We can't isolate ourselves from Asia. Senator Warren's plan, basically, that she put out, we would not be able to trade with the United Kingdom. We would not be able to trade with the EU.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
No, what this is about-

Congressman John Delaney:
It is so extreme that it'll isolate the American economy against the world-

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Thank you, Congressman. Senator [cross talk] Senator Warren? [cross talk] Senator Sanders, please let Senator Warren respond.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Oh, I'm sorry.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
What the Congressman is describing as extreme is having deals that are negotiated by American workers for American workers. American workers want those jobs, and we can build the trade deals that do it. People want access to our markets all around the world? Then the answer is let's make them raise their standards. Make them pay their workers more. Let their workers unionize; raise their environmental standards before they come to us and say they wanna be able to sell their products. Right now, the whole game is working for the big multinationals. It's just not working for the people here in the United States, and we can change that-

Don Lemon:
Senator, thank you very much. Congressman O'Rourke, your response.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
The question was about tariffs, and they're a huge mistake. They constitute the largest tax increase on the American consumer, hitting the middle class, and the working poor especially hard. Farmers in Iowa and across the country are bearing the brunt of the consequences. When have we ever gone to war, including a trade war, without allies, and friends, and partners?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
As president, we will hold China accountable, but we will bring our allies and friends, like the European Union, to bear. We'll also negotiate trade deals that favor farmers, and American workers, and protect human rights, and the environment, and labor, not just here in the United States, but in [cross talk]

Don Lemon:
Congressman O'Rourke, thank you very much. Senator Sanders, please respond to Congressman O'Rourke.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
I'd like to respond to this.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Yeah, okay. You're looking, I believe, at the only member of Congress who not only voted against these disastrous trade agreements, after PNTR with China, which cost us over 4 million jobs, but also helped lead the effort against these agreements. Elizabeth is absolutely right. If anybody here thinks that corporate America gives one damn about the average American worker, you're mistaken. If they can save five cents by going to China, Mexico, or Vietnam or anyplace else, that's exactly what they would do. As president, let me tell you what I will do. These guys line up at the federal troughs. They want military contracts. They want all kinds of contracts. Well, under my administration, you ain't gonna get those contracts, if you throw American workers out on the street-

Don Lemon:
Senator Sanders, thank you very much [cross talk] Governor Hickenlooper, your response?

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Again, I think Congressman Delaney has got a point here, and there is a way of looking at a trade that is therapeutic. The bottom line is you talk to any economist, there is not a single example in history where a trade war had a winner. Trade wars are for losers. The bottom line is we've gotta recognize- let's negotiate a better trade deal, but you're not gonna win against China in a trade war, when they've got 25 percent of our total debt.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Step back and look at- here's Trump gives that giant tax cut. And at the same time, so we're paying in tariffs about $800 to $1,200 per household, and then we give this incredible tax cut to the rich. Essentially, what's happening now – he's transferred that tax obligation onto the middle class. That's what's outrageous, but tariffs are not the solution.

Don Lemon:
Governor, thank you, Senator Warren?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Anyone who thinks that these trade deals are mostly about terrorists just doesn't understand what's going on. Look at the new NAFTA 2.0. What's the central feature? It's to help pharmaceutical companies get longer periods of exclusivity so they can charge Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans more money and make more profits. That's what trade deals have become. They have become a way for giant multinationals to change the regulatory environment, so they can suck more profits out for themselves and to leave the American people behind. We have to have the courage to fight back against that corruption.

Don Lemon:
Senator, thank you. Governor Bullock, your response?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
A farmer in [Rippey] said to me, "Every time that Trump tweets, we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars." If Montana had to eat all the wheat that we produce, every Montanan would have to eat 40 loaves of bread a day. But by the same token, what we have is- I actually agree with Senator Warren on this, in part. Corporations can move capital easy. Workers can't move. Going forward, we need to make sure that our trade deals actually are protecting- thinking about the workers. They can't be the stepchild. But the way to do it with his blunt instrument of tariffs that the president is doing, that's not how we get a fair deal for farmers anywhere or the manufacturers here in Detroit [cross talk]

Don Lemon:
Governor, thank you very much. Mayor, stand by, please. Stand by, please. Please abide by the rules. Mayor Buttigieg, on Thursday of this week, a GM plant in Michigan will stop production – the latest auto plant to cease operations in the industrial Midwest. This comes as part of the company's modernization plans, which will eventually result in 6,000 hourly workers losing their jobs or being reassigned to other plants. What is your plan for retraining workers whose jobs are at risk?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
Well, this happened in my community 20 years before I was born. When I was growing up, we were still picking up the pieces. Empty factories, empty houses, poverty. I know exactly what happens to a community when these closures take place, and there will be more. It's why we actually need to put the interests of workers first. Of course, we need to do retraining. We're doing it now in South Bend. We should continue to do it. But this is so much bigger than a trade fight. This is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in the gig economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in their lifetime. It's why I've proposed that we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job, and a worker is a worker.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
We have to respond to all of these changes, and, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by doubling unionization, as I proposed to do, some of this is low tech, too, like the minimum wage is just too low. So-called conservative Christian senators, right now in the Senate, are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.

Don Lemon:
Mayor, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney, I'm coming to you now. Your estimated net worth is more than $65 million. That would make you subject to Senator Warren's proposed wealth tax on the assets of the richest 75,000 homes, households, or so in the United States. Do you think Senator Warren's wealth tax is a fair way to fund childcare and education?

Congressman John Delaney:
I think wealthy Americans have to pay more. Listen, I grew up in a blue-collar family; first in my family to go to college; became a successful entrepreneur, created thousands of jobs, supported thousands of entrepreneurs all around this country. And I've done well financially. I think I should pay more in tax. I think wealthy Americans should pay more in tax. But we have to have a real solution.

Congressman John Delaney:
The real solution is to raise the capital gains rates. There is no reason why people who invest for a living should pay less than people who work for a living. That's ridiculous. It's the biggest loophole in our tax code. We act like wealthy individuals are endangered species, and if we raise their taxes, they won't invest. That's crazy. That's how we get more revenues from wealthy individuals – we roll back the Trump tax cuts to wealthy individuals. I think the wealth tax will be fought in court forever. It's arguably unconstitutional, and the countries that have had it have largely abandoned it because it's impossible to implement. But here again, real solutions, not impossible promises-

Don Lemon:
Congressman, thank you very much-

Congressman John Delaney:
-raise the capital gains tax, roll back the taxes on wealthy Americans-

Don Lemon:
Congressman- Thank you, Congressman-

Congressman John Delaney:
-that we could do in our first few months as president.

Don Lemon:
Senator Warren, please respond.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
So, I have proposed a wealth tax. It's now time to do that. It's time to tax the top one-tenth of one percent of fortunes in this country. Your first $50 million you can keep, free and clear, but your 50 millionth and first dollar, you've gotta pitch in two cents. Two cents. What can America do with two cents? We can provide universal childcare for every baby, age zero to five. We can provide universal pre-K for every three-year-old, and four-year-old. We can raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in this country. We can provide universal tuition-free college. We can expand Pell. We can put $50 billion into our historically Black colleges and universities, and we can cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the people who have it and start to close the wealth gap in America. It tells you how badly broken this economy is-

Don Lemon:
Senator, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney, please-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
-that two cents from the wealthiest in this country would let us invest in the rest of America.

Don Lemon:
-thank you, Senator. Congressman- Senator, please. Congressman, please respond.

Congressman John Delaney:
This is not about whether wealthy- this is not about whether wealthy Americans should pay more. I think we're all in agreement on that. It's a question of do you have a real solution to make it happen? We can raise the capital gains rate to match the ordinary income. You know the last president to do that was actually Ronald Reagan. We can do that in our first year. I've called for that to be done, and it'll double the earned income tax credit. I've called for the expansion of universal pre-K so that every American has pre-K, and I do it through an additional tax on high-net-worth individuals-

Dana Bash:
Thank you-

Congressman John Delaney:
-but we don't need to come up with new taxes that are arguably unconstitutional-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman Delaney-

Congressman John Delaney:
-will be fought in court for years-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Congressman. We wanna turn to the issue [cross talk] of student debt-

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Can I just respond to that, please? [cross talk]

Dana Bash:
We're gonna turn to the issue of student debt now. Mayor Buttigieg, you've talked about how you and your husband are paying down six figures of student loan debt. Under Senator Sanders' proposal to cancel all student loan debt, yours would immediately be wiped away. Why wouldn't you support that?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
That'd be great for us. And then the next day, there would be a student loan program, and people would be out taking student loans, wondering why they weren't lucky enough in timing to get theirs wiped away completely, too. We can have debt-free college for low- and middle-income students by expanding Pell grants and compelling states to pick up more of the burden. And, on the back end, for those of us who do have a lot of debt, we can make it more affordable, and we can expand a public service loan forgiveness program, which is an excellent program that is almost impossible to actually get access to, right now. We can take these steps and have an approach that is actually fair.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
If we wanna start wiping away student debt, here's where I would start. I would start with the for-profit colleges that took advantage of people, especially veterans, by the way. The moment I redeployed, my Facebook ad feed started filling with ads from these for-profit colleges. Under President Obama, they were held accountable for whether they delivered results. President Trump, under a Secretary of Education who regrettably is from this state, did away with those rules. There is no accountability. On my watch, those colleges that turned the Department of Education into a predatory lender, that's where we would begin, when it came to getting rid of loans.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Sanders, you wanna forgive all student loan debt? Your response?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Matter of fact, I do, but before I get into that, the major issue that we don't talk about in Congress, we don't talk about in the media, is the massive level of income and wealth inequality in America. You've got three people who own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent; you've got top one percent that owns more wealth than the bottom 92 percent; 49 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent.

Companies like Amazon, and billionaires out there do not pay one nickel in federal income tax, and we've got 500,000 people sleeping out on the street. What we need is a political revolution that tells these billionaires and corporate America that they are Americans. They'll participate in our society. But they have got to start paying their fair share of taxes, period-

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Senator Sanders. Ms. Williamson [cross talk] you are proposing to make college free for all qualified students. Should the government pay for children from wealthier families to go to college?

Marianne Williamson:
I think that all domestic and international policy should be based on the idea that anything we do to help people thrive is a stimulation to our economy. That's how you stimulate your economy. So, if a few people take advantage, but there are four or five people who are going to take the money that they then have in the bank … When you look at this $1.5 trillion college debt … This is why I agree with Bernie, or I would be okay … Why don't we swap it? We had a $2 trillion tax cut, where 83 cents of every dollar goes to the very, very richest among us that does not stimulate the economy.

Marianne Williamson:
If we get rid of this college debt, think of all the young people who will have the discretionary spending. They'll be able to start their business. The best thing you could do to stimulate the U.S. economy is to get rid of this debt. This is not just about a plan to do it. It's about a philosophy of governing. I've heard some people here, tonight; I almost wonder why you're Democrats. You seem to think there's something wrong about using- about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. It should- all policy should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace, and that is how we will have prosperity.

Dana Bash:
Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Congressman O'Rourke, you don't support free four-year college. Your response to Ms. Williamson?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I support free two-year college. Earn that associates degree, realize your full potential … Debt free four-year college … But unlike some of the other candidates on the stage, that's not just for tuition. That is room, and books, and board – the full cost of being able to better yourself so that you can better this country. Then, for that school teacher, who, in many places, like Texas, is working a second or a third job, full forgiveness for her outstanding student loan debt. Forgiveness for that person willing to work at the V.A. and serve our former service members, and we do not do that at the expense of unions. We elevate them, as well, and make it easier to join an apprenticeship, to learn a skill or a trade that you can command for the rest of your life.

Dana Bash:
Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Klobuchar. Your response?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I want to make it easier for kids to go to college. And I think we do it by focusing our resources on the people that need it most. My problem with some of these plans is they literally would pay for wealthy kids, for Wall Street kids, to go to college. There's no difference. It says everyone is free. I don't think that makes sense. I'm very concerned, if we do things like that, the debt we're gonna pass on to the next generation, and the next generation. So, what I would do about student loan debt is that I would allow people to refinance it at a better rate, and I would make sure that we improve those student loan repayment programs for our teachers and expand them so that you literally, over 5-10 years, can get it paid for, if you go into occupations where we don't have enough workers. I think we need to mesh what we were just talking about with the economy with our education policy.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. I want to turn to foreign policy now. Senator Sanders, President Trump has argued that the United States cannot continue to be the, "policeman of the world." You said the exact same thing on a debate stage in 2016. If voters are hearing the same message from you and President Trump on the issue of military intervention, how should they expect that you will be any different from him?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Trump is a pathological liar. I tell the truth. We have been in Afghanistan, I think, 18 years; in Iraq, 16 or 17 years. We have spent $5 trillion on the war on terror, and there are probably more terrorists out there now than before it began. We're gonna spend- the Congress passed, and I will not vote for, a $750 billion military budget, more than the 10 next countries combined.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
What we need is a foreign policy that focuses on diplomacy, ending conflicts by people sitting at a table, not by killing each other. As president of the United States, I will go to the United Nations and not denigrate it, not attack the U.N., but bring countries together in the Middle East and all over the world to come to terms with their differences and solve those problems peacefully. The United States cannot be the policemen of the world.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, how do you respond to Senator Sanders' vision for America's role in the world?

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Well, we share the recognition of the incredible cost. People don't realize that half the soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were National Guard. So I went and sent them off in their deployments. Big, noisy hangers. But I also mourned with their families, when they didn't come back.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
We are able now to- I call it constant engagement, but we should have an international diplomatic approach, where we're talking to everybody, because if we're gonna deal with climate change, and cybersecurity, and nuclear proliferation, we've gotta be talking to everybody. Tariff wars don't work. They're for losers.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you. Governor, I want to go to Congressman Ryan, and I wanna turn to the subject of North Korea, which, just hours ago, launched two short-range ballistic missiles for the second time in less than a week. Congressman, you've said that you would not meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un unless you were at least close to a deal. Now, Senator Klobuchar says that she would, "Always be willing to meet with leaders to discuss policies." Is that a view wrong?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
Yeah, I think so. I love Amy Klobuchar, but I think she's wrong on this one. I don't think presidents of the United States meet with dictators. We saw what just happened with President Trump. He goes to the demilitarized zone with the leader of North Korea, gives him a huge photo op, gives him global credibility, because the most powerful person in the world is sitting there meeting with him. Weeks later, he's lobbing more missiles. That doesn't make any sense.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
We've got to demilitarize our foreign policy. We've gotta make sure that we are engaging these countries all the time. This is very difficult work. I've been in Congress 17 years. I sit on the Defense Appropriations Committee. I sat on the Armed Services Committee. This is a long, tedious work. Much of it done outside of the eye of the TV camera. And as president, you've got to monitor that and be very disciplined every day. Don't go give a dictator a huge win. Sit down and do your job. The same thing with what's happening in Central America. He's cutting the State Department budget … Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, where the migrants are coming from. Go fix the problem at its source and use diplomacy to do it.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Klobuchar, your response?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I think we agree. I just think you have to leave open the possibility of meeting with anyone at any place. What I don't like is how this president has handled it. You've heard of the Truman Doctrine, the Monroe Doctrine. He's done the Go it Alone doctrine with the rest of the world. He's taken us out of the climate change agreement, out of the Iran nuclear agreement, out of the Russian nuclear agreement. I don't agree with that.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
When he was just with Vladimir Putin at the G20, when he was asked about invading our democracy, he made a joke. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives on the battlefield to protect our democracy and our right to vote.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama lost their life in a church at the height of the civil rights amendment. So, I do believe you meet with people, but you better have an agenda-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator-

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
-and you'd better put our interests of our country first, not the Russians.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Mayor Buttigieg, you served in Afghanistan, where, just yesterday, two U.S. service members were killed. There are currently about 14,000 U.S. service members in Afghanistan. You've said, "One thing everybody can agree on is that we're getting out of Afghanistan." Will you withdraw all U.S. service members by the end of your first year in office?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
We will withdraw. We have to.

Jake Tapper:
In your first year?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
Yes. Look, around the world, we will do whatever it takes to keep America safe. But I thought I was one of the last troops leaving Afghanistan, when I thought I was turning out the lights years ago. Every time I see news about somebody being killed in Afghanistan, I think about what it was like to hear an explosion over there and wonder whether it was somebody that I served with, somebody that I knew – a friend, roommate, colleague. We're pretty close to the day when we will wake up to the news of a casualty in Afghanistan who was not born on 9/11.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I was sent into that war by a congressional authorization, as well as the President. And we need to talk not only about the need for a president committed to ending endless war, but the fact that Congress has been asleep at the switch. On my watch, I will propose that any authorization for the use of military force have a three-year sunset and have to be renewed, because if men and women in the military have the courage to go serve, members of Congress ought to have to summon the courage to vote on whether they oughta be there.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Mayor. I wanna bring in Congressman O'Rourke. Congressman O'Rourke, responding- returning, rather, to the question of whether you would withdraw all U.S. service members from Afghanistan during your first year in office as president, how do you respond, sir?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
I would, in my first term in office, agree that there is nothing about perpetuating this war, already in its 18th year, that will make it any better. We've satisfied the reasons for our involvement in Afghanistan in the first place. And it's time to bring those service members back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen, and Somalia, and Libya, and Syria. There is no reason for us to be at war all over the world tonight. As president, I will in those wars, and we will not start new wars. We will not send more U.S. service members overseas to sacrifice their lives and to take the lives of others in our name. We can resolve these challenges peacefully, and diplomatically-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Congressman. Governor Hickenlooper, you disagree. You've said that you're open to keeping some service members in Afghanistan beyond your first term. Please respond.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
I look at it as a humanitarian issue. And with all due respect, you're looking at the condition of women … If we completely pull our troops out of there, you're gonna see a humanitarian disaster that will startle and frighten every man, woman, and child in this country. I don't think … We have troops in over 400 different locations around the world. Most of them are small; they're peacekeeping; they're not greatly at risk. We're gonna have to be an Afghanistan. Look at the progress that's happened in that country. We're gonna turn our backs and walk away from people that have risked their lives to help us and build a different future for Afghanistan and that part of the world?

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, you wanna make it U.S. policy that the U.S. will never use a nuclear weapon unless another country uses one first. Now, President Obama reportedly considered that policy, but ultimately decided against it. Why should the U.S. tie its own hands with that policy?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Because it makes the world safer. The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively, and we need to say so to the entire world. It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands. Our first responsibility is to keep ourselves safe. What's happening right now with Donald Trump, as they keep expanding the different ways that we have nuclear weapons, the different ways that they could be used, puts us all at risk.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
You know, we talk about what's happening around the world. I have three older brothers who served in the military. I see that they would do anything. Our military is the best on earth, but we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution. We need to use our diplomatic tools, our economic tools. If we're gonna send someone into war, we better have a plan for how we're gonna get them out on the other end.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator- Thank you, Senator. Governor Bullock, your response to Senator Warren's proposal to the U.S. never using a nuclear weapon first?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
I wouldn't wanna take that off the table. I think America's strength- we have to be able to say that. Look. Never, I hope … Certainly in my term, or anyone else, would we really even get close to pulling that trigger, but by the same token, America's strength … Look, this president's made it America versus America alone. Our allies no longer trust us; our adversaries are with us, but going from a position of strength, we should be negotiating down so there aren't nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand, at this point, I wouldn't do.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, your response?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
We don't expand trust around the world by saying we might be the first ones to use a nuclear weapon. That puts the entire world at risk and puts us at risk, right in the middle of this, at a time when Donald Trump is pulling out of our nuclear negotiations, expanding the opportunities for nuclear proliferation around the world; has pulled us out of the deal in Iran. And Iran is now working on its nuclear weapon. The world gets closer and closer to nuclear warfare [cross talk] we have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with. We need to make that clear. We will respond if somebody else does, but not first-

Jake Tapper:
Thank you, Senator. Governor Bullock, please respond.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Part I agree with, but by the same token, we need to get back to nuclear proliferation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Why?

Gov. Steve Bullock:
But when you have folks … De-proliferation, reducing it. But, at the same time, when you actually have Korea, when you have others, I don't wanna turn around and say, "Well, Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that …" When so many crazy folks are getting closer to having a nuclear weapon, I don't want them to think, "I could strike this country, and I, and we, as the United States of America wouldn't do a thing." Part of the strength really is the ability to deter [cross talk]

Don Lemon:
Governor, thank you very much. Moving on now [cross talk] Moving on now- please, Senator. Senator, please. Moving on now, as you know, to serve as president of the United States – all of you know this – you have to be at least 35 years old. So, Mayor Buttigieg, you just qualified. You're 37. The youngest candidate in this field. Standing next to you is the oldest candidate, Bernie Sanders, at age 77. Should voters take into consideration age when choosing a presidential candidate?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
I don't care how old you are, I care about your vision. But I do think it matters that we have a new generation of leaders stepping up around the world; leaders like the … I actually think it's good that the prime minister of New Zealand's gotten a lot of attention in Democratic debates. She's masterful. She is younger than I would be when I take office. This is the kind of trying to America might be leading, instead of following, but only if it's actually backed by the right vision. We can have great presidents at any age.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
What I will say is we need the kind of vision that's gonna win. We cannot have a vision that amounts to back to normal. The only reason we got this president is that normal didn't work. We have to be ready to take on this president, and – by the way, something that hasn't been talked about as much, tonight – take on his enablers in Congress. When David Duke- when David Duke ran for Congress- ran for governor, the Republican Party, 20 years ago, ran away from him. Today, they are supporting naked racism in the White House, or are, at best, silent about it.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
If you were watching this at home and you are a Republican member of Congress, consider the fact that when the sun sets on your career and they are writing your story of all the good and bad things you did in your life, the thing you will be remembered for is whether, in this moment, with this president, you found the courage to stand up to him or you continued to put party over country.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Mayor. Senator Sanders, as a senior statesman of the group, please respond to Mayor Buttigieg.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Pete is right. It's a question of vision. That's what it is, whether you're young, whether you're old, whether you're in between. My vision, among other things, says that if we're gonna fight for healthcare, we don't take money from the drug companies or the insurance companies. I have asked all of the candidates who are running to say they will not accept money from those entities who, in my view, are going to war against the American people in terms of healthcare. That's a new vision. A new vision says that we must cancel completely student debt, because the younger generation in this country today, for the first time in modern American history, will have a lower standard of living than their parents.

Don Lemon:
Thank you, Senator Sanders.

Jake Tapper:
We have covered a lot of ground tonight. Now it is time for closing statements. You will each receive one minute. Governor Bullock, we're gonna begin with you.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
Thanks, Jake. I was raised in a single parent household, at times, paycheck to paycheck. Only knew there was a governor's house in town, because I delivered newspapers to it. So, I've made it about four blocks in life. Worked my way through college, paid my way through law school, but, you know, I had a chance to actually go from delivering newspapers to the governor's house, as a kid, to now raising our three kids in it. We've gotta recognize, for far too many people now, in America, that shot no longer exists, and for far too many in this country, it never happens.

Gov. Steve Bullock:
I'm running for president to beat Donald Trump, win back the places we lost, and make sure that Americans know that where Washington's left them behind in their economy, and their political system, I'll be there. This isn't a choice just between center and left, or about … We don't have to choose between what we don't want and what we can't afford. Folks want a different way. They want to believe the economy and our democracy can work for us. That's why I'm running for president.

Jake Tapper:
Thank you. Ms. Williamson?

Marianne Williamson:
Yes. Our problem is not just that we need to defeat Donald Trump. We need a plan to solve institutionalized hatred, collectivized hatred, and white nationalism. In order to do that, we need more than political insider game, and wonkiness, and intellectual argument. Those things will not defeat Donald Trump. We need some radical truth telling, not just to talk about healthcare, but talk about why we're so sick all the time. We need to have a serious conversation about race and what is truly owed.

Marianne Williamson:
Even on the subject of foreign policy, it's all about symptoms and not about cause. We need to talk about the fact that the United States is sacrificing our moral leadership. The fact that countries see us not only domestically, but internationally with policies that simply support our corporate overlords. The fact that our national defense agenda is driven more by short-term profits for defense contractors than by genuine peace building.

Marianne Williamson:
There is some corruption that is so deep, ladies and gentlemen, and until the Democratic Party is ready to speak to the deeper corruption, knowing that we ourselves, sometimes, because of our own corporate donations, have participated, then I'm afraid those who vote for Trump will continue to vote for Trump, and those who might not like Donald Trump will continue to stay home.

Marianne Williamson:
I want a politics that goes much deeper. I want a politics that speaks to the heart, because the only way to fight … You keep talking about how we're gonna fight Donald Trump. You can't fight dog whistles; you have to override them. The only way you can override them is with new voices, voices of energy that only come from the fact that America has been willing to live up to our own mistakes, atone for our own mistakes, make amends for our own mistakes. Love each other. Love our democracy. Love future generations. Something emotional and psychological that will not be emerging from anything on this stage. It will emerge from something I'm the one who's qualified to bring forth.

Jake Tapper:
Congressman Delaney.

Congressman John Delaney:
Thank you, Jake. John F. Kennedy famously said we should not seek the Republican answer. We should not seek the Democratic answer. We should seek the right answer. He was right when he said it, and he's right today, as well. Donald Trump is the symptom of a disease and the disease is divisiveness. I'm the only one on the stage talking about curing that disease, with big ideas like national service, by focusing on actually solving problems.

Congressman John Delaney:
If we work together, we can fix healthcare and build infrastructure. We can invest in not just technology, but people, and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa, or Detroit, Michigan, or Baltimore, Maryland. We can fight climate change and reimagine our education system, but we have to do it with real solutions, not impossible promises. Isn't it time we had a president who was a leader in both the private sector and in government to lead us into the future? I promise, as president, I will restore vision, unity, and leadership, and decency to this country. That's why I'm running for president. Thank you.

Jake Tapper:
Congressman Ryan?

Congressman Tim Ryan:
So, in a few minutes, all of the pundits are gonna be looking at this debate and saying, "Well, who captured the left lane? Who captured the center lane? Who captured the moderate lane?" I hope tonight, at some level, I captured your imagination – your imagination about what this country could be like if we united, if we put together real policies that weren't left or right, but new and better. That's how we win the future.

Congressman Tim Ryan:
It's new and better – a new and better economy; a new and better education system; a new and better healthcare system that focuses on prevention; an education system that focuses on the trauma of our kids. There's not gonna be a savior. Not gonna be a superstar that's gonna fix all this. It's gonna be you and me. It's gonna be us. That's how we fix this country – you and I coming together to do big things, to imagine the new country that we want by coming together. Not left or right. New and better.

Jake Tapper:
Governor Hickenlooper.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
Thank you, and what a night. I've loved it. I'd like to ask every American to imagine that you are facing life-threatening surgery tomorrow. Would you choose a doctor who had a track record of proven success, who's actually done the work, or someone who had just talked about it? That's the question we're facing in this primary.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
I've actually got a track record as a small business owner, as a mayor, and as a governor. We expanded healthcare in Colorado and got near universal coverage. We fought climate change directly. We beat the NRA. For the last three years, we've been the number-one economy in the country. We can ramp all that out.

Gov. John Hickenlooper:
I'm as progressive as anybody up on this stage, but I'm also pragmatic, and I've done the things that most these other people are just talking about, and I know I can get results. I can lead the people of this country toward a stronger, a healthier, and a more secure future; defeat Donald Trump and return this country to its glory. Thank you.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Klobuchar?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Well, thank you, Detroit. To win, we have to listen to people, and out there today is Casey Jo's mom, Casey Jo was a champion high school swimmer from a small town. She got sick, went to the emergency room, and got hooked on opioids. The last thing that she said to her mom was, "Mama, it's not my fault," and she died. A lot of Americans say the same thing every day. That is what I will stand up for.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
What I will stand up against are companies like those pharma companies that got her hooked on those opioids and didn't tell the doctors, or the patients what was gonna happen. We need someone that has people's back. We also need someone that can win. I have won in these red districts. I win in the Midwest. I can win in states like Wisconsin, and Michigan, and Iowa.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
I also will do my job without fear, or favor, just like I did as a prosecutor and get through the gridlock, like I've done as a senator, where I've passed over 100 bills, where I've been the lead Democrat. Last, yes, I will govern with integrity. We have a president where people turn off their TV when they see him. Not me. I will make you proud, as your president.

Jake Tapper:
Congressman O'Rourke?

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
We are as divided and polarized as a country as we have ever been. Right now, we have a president who uses fear to try to drive us further apart. To meet this challenge, we have to have hope in one another and a faith in a future of this country that includes everyone. My whole life, I've been including people in the success of this country; starting a small business with high value, high wage, high skill jobs in the third poorest urban county in America; serving on the city council and holding town hall meetings every single week to remind myself who it is that I serve at the end of the day.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke:
In Congress, being in the minority, but working with Democrats and Republicans alike to deliver for my constituents and this country. Then in Texas, this last year, traveling to every county, not writing anybody off, not taking anyone for granted, and, at the end of the day, winning more votes than any Democrat had in the history of the state, winning independents for the first time in decades, and winning nearly half a million Republicans. Those 38 Electoral College votes in Texas are now in play, and I can win them. That is how we defeat Donald Trump in November of 2020 and how we bring this divided country together again in January of 2021. Thank you.

Jake Tapper:
Mayor Buttigieg?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
There's good news and bad news. I'm gonna start with the bad news. Our country is in trouble. GDP is going up and life expectancy is going down. Think about what that means. It's only getting tougher. By 2030, we will have passed the point of no return on climate. There are gonna be 130 million more guns on our streets. I'll be in my 40s then. If you have kids, think about how old they will be then.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
Here's the good news – it's not too late. We can tell our kids that before we ran out of time, just before we ran out of time, in 2020, we did what it took to deliver a climate that we didn't have to wonder if it could support us; to deliver a society where race has no bearing on your health, or your wealth, or your relationship with law enforcement; that we did what it took to deliver an economy where a rising tide actually does lift all boats.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
We can do this, if, and only if we are ready to walk away from what hasn't worked with bold action and win; not only defeat this president, but defeat his congressional allies with a defeat so big that it reunites the Republican Party with its conscience, as well as bringing Democrats to office. Join me and let's make it happen.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Warren?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
From the time I was seven years old, I had a dream. I wanted to be a public-school teacher, but my daddy ended up as a janitor, and by the time I graduated from high school, my family didn't have the money to send me off to college. My big chance was what was then a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. For me, what this election is all about is opportunity. Every budget, every policy that we talk about is about who's going to get opportunity. Is it gonna go to the billionaires, or is it gonna go to our kids?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Right now, for decades, we have had a government that has been on the side of the rich and the powerful. It has been on the side of the wealthy. And that means it has not been on the side of everyone else, not on the side of people living on our Native American reservations, people living in inner cities, people living in small farms and small communities across this country.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
How do we beat it? We beat it by being the party of big structural change. Give people a reason to show up and vote. We beat it by building a grassroots movement across this country, not showing up behind closed doors with millionaires, but actually building it, person by person, across this country with small dollar donations, with volunteers, with people who show up and say, "I have a stake in this democracy." I will not only beat Donald Trump in 2020, I'll start to make real change, come 2021.

Jake Tapper:
Senator Sanders?

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
As somebody who grew up in a family that lived in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and lived paycheck to paycheck, I'm running for president not just to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country – a guy who's a racist, and a sexist, and a homophobe – I'm running to transform this country and to stand with the working class of America, which for the last 45 years has been decimated.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Two days ago, I had a remarkable experience, which should tell you everything you need to know about what's going on in America. I took 15 people with diabetes from Detroit a few miles into Canada, and we bought insulin for one-tenth the price being charged by the crooks who run the pharmaceutical industry in America today. But it's not just the price fixing, and the corruption, and the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. It's what's going on in the fossil fuel industry. It's what's going on in Wall Street. It's what's going on with the prison industrial complex.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
We need a mass political movement. Please go to BernieSanders.com, become one of our million volunteers. Stand up and take on the greed, and corruption of the ruling class of this country. Let's create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent.

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Education How to record great audio on your mobile phone for accurate transcription

With a mobile phone, you’ll always be able to record video and audio whenever and wherever you are. It’s the fastest and easiest way to capture an interview or a spontaneous conversation.

Unfortunately, the sound quality on a mobile phone can be sub-optimal. This is problematic if you want to transcribe that interview as you may miss words and phrases.

So what can you do? Good news! There are several options and they don’t require you to carry around a full sound studio with you. 

These three simple changes you can make a huge difference to your phone’s ability to capture high-quality sound.  

1) Capture better audio

The mics in mobile phones aren’t studio-grade as you would expect, but you can take a few steps to maximize the quality of the incoming audio.

First, make sure you know where the mic is located. It is usually at the bottom of the phone where you speak. 

Second, make sure that no mobile phone cases, fingers, or other stuff is in the way of these inputs when you are recording. You want a clear space between the mic and your subject.

Third, try your best to record in a quiet space. If there’s any way to reduce interfering sounds like wind noise or car traffic, do it. It will certainly help with the audio quality.

Lastly, make sure you mute the mobile phone or put it in airplane mode before recording. You don’t want notifcations or other apps interrupting your recording.

2) Tweak your mobile audio sound settings

Some automated transcription services provide an app to capture audio, but they don’t have the advanced audio quality features. If you want the best audio quality, then download an app that specializes in audio capture.

For iOS devices, you can download Voice Recorder. To adjust and optimize sounds settings you simply select the settings wheel in the bottom right.

For Android devices, you can download Titanium Recorder. To adjust the settings you simply select the menu button (three dots) and go to Settings.

3) Use a microphone

Using an external microphone when recording is the single most significant way to improve the quality of the sound your phone captures. The better the quality the audio, the better quality the transcription.  If you’re serious about your videos and voice recording, you’ll need to invest in a microphone.

The most versatile microphone is a lavalier mic like this one: Rode smartLav+ Omnidirectional microphone. It works great for interviews and allows you to attach it to a shirt or hold it without being intrusive. If you primarily plan to save the sound of a person speaking, this lavalier mic is a great option. 

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek – TED

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How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek – TED transcript powered by Sonix—the best video to text transcription service

How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek – TED was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your video to text in 2019.

Simon Sinek:
How do you explain when things don't go as we assume, or better, how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions? For example, why is Apple so innovative? Year, after year, after year, after year, they're more innovative than all their competition. And yet, they're just a computer company. They're just like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media. Then, why is it that they seem to have something different?

Simon Sinek:
Why is it that Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement? He wasn't the only man who suffered in a pre-civil rights America, and he certainly wasn't the only great orator of the day. Why him? Why is it that the Wright brothers were able to figure out controlled powered manned flight when there were certainly other teams who were better qualified, better funded, and they didn't achieve powered manned flight? The Wright brothers beat them to it.

Simon Sinek:
There's something else at play here. About three-and-a-half years ago, I made a discovery, and this discovery profoundly changed my view on how I thought the world worked. It even profoundly changed the way in which I operate in it. As it turns out, there's a pattern. As it turns out, all the great and inspiring leaders and organizations in the world, whether it's Apple, or Martin Luther King, or the Wright brothers, they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way, and it's the complete opposite to everyone else. All I did was codify it.

Simon Sinek:
It's probably the world's simplest idea. I call it the Golden Circle – Why How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren't. Let me define the terms really quickly. Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiating value proposition, or your proprietary process, or a USP.

Simon Sinek:
Very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. By 'why,' I don't mean to make a profit. That's a result. It's always a result. By 'why,' I mean, what's your purpose? What's your cause? What's your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning, and why should anyone care?

Simon Sinek:
Well, as a result, the way we think, the way we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. It's obvious, we go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. The inspired leaders and the inspired organizations, regardless of their size, regardless of their industry, all think, act, and communicate from the inside out.

Simon Sinek:
Let me give you an example. I use Apple, because they're easy to understand and everybody gets it. If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this. "We make great computers. They're beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. Wanna buy one?" Meh … That's how most of us communicate. That's how most marketing is done, that's how most sales is done, and that's how most of us communicate interpersonally.

Simon Sinek:
We say what we do. We say how we're different or how we're better, and we expect some sort of behavior – a purchase, a vote, something like that. "Here's our new law firm. We have the best lawyers with the biggest clients. We always perform for our clients. Do business with us." "Here's our new car. It gets great gas mileage. It has no leather seats. Buy our car," but it's uninspiring.

Simon Sinek:
Here's how Apple actually communicates. "Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?" Totally different, right? You're ready to buy a computer from me. All I did was reverse the order of the information.

Simon Sinek:
What it proves to us is that people don't buy what you do, people buy why you do it. People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This explains why every single person in this room is perfectly comfortable buying a computer from Apple, but we're also perfectly comfortable buying an MP3 player from Apple, or a phone from Apple, or a DVR from Apple.

Simon Sinek:
As I said before, Apple's just a computer company. There's nothing that distinguishes them structurally from any of their competitors. Their competitors are all equally qualified to make all of these products. In fact, they tried. A few years ago. Gateway came out with flat screen TVs. They're eminently qualified to make flat screen TVs. They've been making flat screen monitors for years. Nobody bought one.

Simon Sinek:
Dell came out with MP3 players and PDAs, and they make great quality products, and they can make perfectly well-designed products, and nobody bought one. In fact, talking about it now, we can't even imagine buying an MP3 player from Dell. Why would you buy an MP3 player from a computer company? But we do it every day. People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.

Simon Sinek:
Here's the best part – none of what I'm telling you is my opinion. It's all grounded in the tenets of biology; not psychology, biology. If you look at a cross section of the human brain, looking from the top down, what you see is the human brain is actually broken into three major components that correlate perfectly with the Golden Circle.

Simon Sinek:
Our newest brain, our homo sapiens brain, our neocortex, corresponds with the 'what' level. The neocortex is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains. Our limbic brains are responsible for all of our feelings, like trust and loyalty. It's also responsible for all human behavior, all decision making, and it has no capacity for language.

Simon Sinek:
In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, like features, and benefits, and facts, and figures. It just doesn't drive behavior. When we communicate from the inside out, we're talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do.

Simon Sinek:
This is where gut decisions come from. Sometimes, you can give somebody all the facts and your figures, and he said, "I know what all the facts and details say, but it just doesn't feel right." Why do we use that verb? It doesn't 'feel' right? Because the part of the brain that controls decision making doesn't control language. The best we can muster up is, "I don't know. It just doesn't feel right." Sometimes, you say you're leading with your heart, or you're leading with your soul. Well, I hate to break it to you, those aren't other body parts controlling your behavior. It's all happening here in your limbic brain; the part of the brain that controls decision making and not language.

Simon Sinek:
If you don't know why you do what you do, and people respond to why you do what you do, then how will anybody … How will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal, and want to be a part of what it is that you do? Again, the goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have. The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.

Simon Sinek:
The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it's to hire people who believe what you believe. I always say that if you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money, but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they work for you with blood, and sweat, and tears. Nowhere else is there a better example of this than with the Wright brothers.

Simon Sinek:
Most people don't know about Samuel Pierpont Langley. Back in the early 20th century, the pursuit of powered manned flight was like the Dot-Com of the day. Everybody was trying it. Samuel Pierpont Langley had what we assume to be the recipe for success. Even now, when you ask people, "Why did your product, or why did your company fail?" People always give you the same permutation of the same three things – undercapitalized, the wrong people, bad market conditions. It's always the same three things.

Simon Sinek:
Let's explore that. Samuel Pierpont Langley was given $50,000 by the War Department to figure out this flying machine. Money was no problem. He held a seat at Harvard and worked at the Smithsonian and was extremely well-connected. He knew all the big minds of the day. He hired the best minds money could find and the market conditions were fantastic. The New York Times followed him around everywhere, and everyone was rooting for Langley.

Simon Sinek:
How come we've never heard of Samuel Pierpont Langley? A few hundred miles away in Dayton, Ohio, Orville, and Wilbur Wright … They had none of what we consider to be the recipe for success. They had no money. They paid for their dream with the proceeds from their bicycle shop. Not a single person on the Wright Brothers team had a college education; not even Orville or Wilbur. The New York Times followed them around nowhere.

Simon Sinek:
The difference was Orville and Wilbur were driven by a cause, by a purpose, by a belief. They believed that if they could figure out this flying machine, it'll change the course of the world. Samuel Pierpont Langley was different. He wanted to be rich, and he wanted to be famous. He was in pursuit of the result. He was in pursuit of the riches.

Simon Sinek:
Lo and behold, look what happened. The people who believed in the Wright brothers' dream worked with them with blood, and sweat, and tears. The others just worked for the paycheck. They tell stories of how every time the Wright brothers went out, they would have to take five sets of parts, because that's how many times they would crash before they came in for supper. Eventually, on December 17th, 1903, the Wright brothers took flight, and no one was there to even experience it. We found out about it a few days later.

Simon Sinek:
Further proof that Langley was motivated by the wrong thing, the day the Wright brothers took flight, he quit. He could have said, "That's an amazing discovery, guys, and I will improve upon your technology," but he didn't. He wasn't first. He didn't get rich. He didn't get famous. He quit.

Simon Sinek:
People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe. Well, why is it important to attract those who believe what you believe? Something called the law of diffusion of innovation. If you don't know the law, you definitely know the terminology.

Simon Sinek:
The first 2.5 percent of our population are our innovators. The next 13.5 percent of our population are our early adopters. The next 34 percent are your early majority, your late majority, and your laggards. The only reason these people buy touch-tone phones is because you can't buy rotary phones anymore.

Simon Sinek:
We all sit at various places at various times on this scale, but what the law of diffusion of innovation tells us is that if you want mass-market success, or mass-market acceptance of an idea, you cannot have it until you achieve this tipping point between 15- and 18-percent market penetration. Then the system tips.

Simon Sinek:
I love asking businesses, "What's your conversion on new business?" They love to tell you, "Oh, it's about 10 percent," proudly. Well, you can trip over 10 percent of the customers. We all have about 10 percent who just get it. That's how we describe them, right? That's like that gut feeling. They just get it. The problem is, how do you find the ones that just get it before you're doing business with them versus the ones who don't get it?

Simon Sinek:
It's this here, this little gap that you have to close; as Geoffrey Moore calls it, crossing the chasm. Because, you see, the early majority will not try something until someone else has tried it first. These guys, the innovators, and the early adopters, they're comfortable making those gut decisions. They're more comfortable making those intuitive decisions that are driven by what they believe about the world and not just what product is available.

Simon Sinek:
These are the people who stood on line for six hours to buy an iPhone when they first came out, when you could have just walked into the store the next week and bought one off the shelf. These are the people who spent $40,000 dollars on flat screen TVs when they first came out, even though the technology was substandard. By the way, they didn't do it because the technology was so great; they did it for themselves, because they wanted to be first.

Simon Sinek:
People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. What you do simply proves what you believe. In fact, people will do the things that prove what they believe. The reason that person bought the iPhone in the first six hours, and stood in second in line for six hours, was because of what they believed about the world and how they wanted everybody to see them. They were first. People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

Simon Sinek:
Let me give you a famous example – a famous failure and a famous success – of the law of diffusion of innovation. First, the famous failure. It's a commercial example. As we said before, a second ago, the recipe for success is money, and the right people, and the right market conditions, right? You should have success then.

Simon Sinek:
Look at TiVo. From the time TiVo came out, about eight or nine years ago, to this current day, they are the single highest-quality product on the market, hands down. There is no dispute. They were extremely well-funded. Market conditions were fantastic. I mean, we used TiVo as a verb. I TiVo-ed stuff on my piece-of-junk Time Warner DVR all the time. But TiVo is a commercial failure. They've never made money. When they went IPO, their stock was at about $30 or $40 and then plummeted, and it's never traded above $10. In fact, I don't even think it's traded above $6, except for a couple of little spikes.

Simon Sinek:
Because, you see, when TiVo launched their product, they told us all what they had. They said, "We have a product that pauses live TV, skips commercials, rewinds live TV, and memorizes your viewing habits without you even asking." The cynical majority said, "We don't believe you. We don't need it. We don't like it. You're scaring us." What if they had said, "If you're the kind of person who likes to have total control over every aspect of your life, boy, do we have a product for you. It pauses live TV, skips commercials, memorizes your viewing habits," et cetera, et cetera? People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it, and what you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe.

Simon Sinek:
Now, let me give you a successful example of the law of diffusion of innovation. In the summer of 1963, 250,000 people showed up on the Mall in Washington to hear Dr. King speak. They sent out no invitations, and there was no website to check the date. How do you do that? Well, Dr. King wasn't the only man in America who was a great orator. He wasn't the only man in America who suffered in a pre-civil rights America. In fact, some of his ideas were bad, but he had a gift.

Simon Sinek:
He didn't go around telling people what needed to change in America. He went around and told people what he believed. "I believe. I believe. I believe," he told people. People who believed what he believed took his cause, and they made it their own, and they told people. Some of those people created structures to get the word out to even more people, and lo and behold, 250,000 people showed up on the right day, on the right time, to hear him speak.

Simon Sinek:
How many of them showed up for him? Zero. They showed up for themselves. It's what they believed about America that got them to travel in a bus for eight hours to stand in the sun in Washington in the middle of August. It's what they believed. It wasn't about black versus white; 25 percent of the audience was white.

Simon Sinek:
Dr. King believed that there are two types of laws in this world – those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by man. Not until all the laws that are made by men are consistent with the laws that are made by the higher authority, will we live in a just world. It just so happens that the civil rights movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We followed, not for him, but for ourselves. By the way, he gave the 'I Have a Dream' speech, not the 'I Have a Plan' speech. I listen to politicians now with their comprehensive 12-point plans. They're not inspiring anybody.

Simon Sinek:
There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us, whether they're individuals or organizations. We follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. It's those who start with 'why' that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them. Thank you very much.

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