Steve Bullock in Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Michigan, July 30-31, 2019


On Gun Control: Must address dark money to take on NRA

Q: Why can't Congress pass common-sense gun reforms?

Sen. Amy KLOBUCHAR: [The problem] 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. The people are with us now [against] the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.

Q: 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?

BULLOCK: Like 40% of American households, I'm a gun-owner. I hunt. 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 talked about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others. We're not going to address [the NRA's power] until we kick dark money and out of these elections.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) Jul 30, 2019

On Health Care: Medicare-for-All is wish-list economics

Q: Opening statement?

BULLOCK: Watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about outdoing each other with wish-list economics, than making sure Americans know we will help their lives. I won 3 elections in a red state--not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done. That teacher working a second job, just to afford her insulin. They can't wait for a revolution.

Q [to Warren]: You support Medicare-for-All. Does that include raising taxes on middle-class Americans?

WARREN: Giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more. Middle-class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their health care.

Q [to Bullock]: You do not support Medicare-for-All?

BULLOCK: I'm not going to support any plan that rips away quality health care from individuals. This is an example of wish-list economics. It used to be just Republicans who wanted to repeal and replace. Now many Democrats do, as well. We can get there with a public option, and negotiating drug prices.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) Jul 30, 2019

On Homeland Security: Keep first use of nuclear weapons on the table

Q [to Sen. Elizabeth Warren]: You want to 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?

WARREN: Because it makes the world safer. The US 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.

BULLOCK: I wouldn't want to take that off the table. Never, I hope, certainly in my term or anyone else's, would we really even get close to pulling that trigger. But going from the 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.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) Jul 30, 2019

On Immigration: Healthcare for immigrant means more border crossers

Q: You oppose giving health insurance to undocumented immigrants. Why not?

BULLOCK: We've got 100,000 people showing up at the border right now. If we decriminalize entry, if we give health care to everyone, we'll have multiples of that. Don't take my word: that was President Obama's Homeland Security secretary that said that. 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.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) Jul 30, 2019

On War & Peace: We need nuclear deterrence against North Korea and others

Sen. Elizabeth WARREN [to Bullock]: We don't expand trust around the world by saying [like Bullock], "You know, we might be the first ones to use a nuclear weapon." That puts the entire world at risk. At a time when Donald Trump is pulling out of our nuclear negotiations, expanding the opportunities for nuclear proliferation around the world, the world gets closer and closer to nuclear warfare.

BULLOCK: I agree [that] we need to get back to nuclear de-proliferation. But at the same time, when you actually have Korea; when you have others, I don't want to 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.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) Jul 30, 2019

The above quotations are from Democratic candidates debate in Detroit Michigan, July 30-31, 2019.
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Page last updated: Aug 10, 2019
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