Cory Booker in September Democratic candidates debate


On Civil Rights: Question isn't "who's a racist?", but "what to do about it?"

Q: You have said, "The real question isn't who is or isn't a racist. It's who is going to do something about it." What do you plan to do about it?

BOOKER: Racism exists. And this is not just an issue that started yesterday. It's not just an issue that we hear a president that can't condemn white supremacy. We have systemic racism that is eroding our nation from health care to the criminal justice system. We have to come at this issue attacking systemic racism, having the courage to call it out, and having a plan to do something about it. If I am president of the United States, we will create an office in the White House to deal with the problem of white supremacy and hate crimes. And we will make sure that systemic racism is dealt with in substantive plans, from criminal justice reform to the disparities in health care to even one that we don't talk about enough, which is the racism that we see in environmental injustice in communities of color.

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

On Crime: Clemency to 17,000 people who are jailed for outdated crimes

I led in the United States Senate the only major bipartisan bill to pass under this president, for criminal justice reform, that has already led to thousands of people coming out of jail.

If 87 members of the United States Senate says that these sentences are way too long, and we changed it, but we didn't make it retroactive, we could literally point to the people that are in jail unjustly right now.

Everyone on this stage should say that we are going to give clemency to these 17,000 people. And I challenge you. Don't just say a big statement; back it up with details of the people in prison right now looking for one of the most sacrosanct ideals of this nation, which is liberty and freedom. We need to reform this system and we must do it now. Every day we wait is too long.

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

On Crime: Broken criminal justice system kindest to rich and guilty

There's no difference in America between blacks, whites and Latinos for using drugs or dealing drugs. But if you are African-American, you are almost four times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated. So much comes down to privilege. We have a criminal justice system that treats you better if you're˙rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. We can demonstrably show that there are 17,000 people unjustly incarcerated in America.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Drugs: Release 17,000 who are unjustly incarcerated for drug use

Our criminal justice system is so savagely broken. There's no difference in America between blacks, whites and Latinos for using drugs or dealing drugs. But if you are African-American, you are almost four times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated, destroying your lives.

So much of this comes down to privilege. We have a criminal justice system that treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent.

We can specifically and demonstrably now show that there are 17,000 people unjustly incarcerated in America, and all of us should come forward and say, when I am president of the United States, we will release them.

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

On Gun Control: More people die from gun violence than from wars

Q: Do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate who would be onboard with your idea to get gun licensing done like automobile licensing?

BOOKER: You know, if that was the attitude when Strom Thurmond had the longest filibuster ever on civil rights, if it was this idea that we can't get it done because of the situation in the Senate--

The #1 reason why governments are formed is to protect the citizenry. Think about this. We have had more people die due to gun violence in my lifetime than every single war in this country combined, from the Revolutionary War until now. This is not a side issue to me. It is a central issue to me.

We must awaken a more courageous empathy in this country so that we stand together and fight together and overwhelm those Republicans who are not even representing their constituency. Because the majority of Americans, the majority of gun-owners agree with me, not the corporate gun lobby. It is time for a movement on this issue, and I will lead it.

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

On Gun Control: More people die from gun violence than from wars

Q: Do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate on board with your idea to get gun licensing done like automobile licensing?

BOOKER: 83% of Americans agree with licensing. It was about 20 years ago that I witnessed the aftermath of a shooting. It's why I was the first person to come out for gun licensing. We are never going to solve this crisis if we have to wait for it to personally affect us or our neighborhood or our community before we demand action. I will bring a fight to the NRA and the corporate gun lobby like they have never seen before.

Q: What about getting a Republican colleague in the Senate on board?

BOOKER: The #1 reason why governments are formed is to protect the citizenry. Think about this. We have had more people die due to gun violence in my lifetime than every single war in this country combined, from the Revolutionary War until now. We must awaken a more courageous empathy so we overwhelm Republicans who are not even representing their constituency.

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

On Health Care: We cannot sacrifice progress for purity

I'm clear in what I believe. I believe in Medicare-for-All. I believe it's the best way to rationalize the system. But dear God, [candidates in favor of other forms of] universal health coverage come at this with the best of intentions.

As a person who has an ideal, I know we cannot sacrifice progress on the altar of purity, because people in my community, they need help right now. They have high blood pressure right now. They have unaffordable insulin right now.

We as Democrats can begin to show that we cannot only stake and stand our ground, but find common ground. And we cannot lose it by the way we talk about each other or demonize and degrade each other. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. If I am the leader, I will work towards the ideal of health insurance, health coverage being a right for all Americans. But every single day, I'll join with other Democrats to make progress happen in our nation for the people that are struggling and suffering today.

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

On Principles & Vales: Unity of purpose leads to transformative change

If you can put forth a vision that can unify people, then we can make transformative change. We created extraordinary unity in our community, and we did things that other people think-thought was impossible. At our best, we unify, we find common cause and common purpose. The differences amongst us Democrats on the stage are not as great as the urgency for us to unite as a party, not just to beat Donald Trump, but to unite America in common cause and common purpose.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

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