Pete Buttigieg in September Democratic candidates debate


On Civil Rights: We need a systemic approach to replace racist system

Q: You've said that anyone who votes to re-elect President Trump is, at best, looking the other way on racism.

BUTTIGIEG: Look, systemic racism preceded this president, and even when we defeat him, it will be with us. That's why we need a systemic approach to dismantle it. It's not enough to just take a racist policy, replace it with a neutral one and expect things will just get better on their own.

I have proposed the most comprehensive vision to tackle systemic racism in every one of these areas, marshaling as many resources as went into the Marshall plan that rebuilt Europe, but this time, a Douglass plan that we invest right here at home, to make sure that we're not only dealing with things like the overincarceration of black Americans, but also black solutions, entrepreneurship, raising to 25% the target for the federal government to do business with minority-owned businesses, investing in HBCUs that are training and educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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

On Free Trade: Trump tariffs come down on us, without any bigger strategy

Q: President Trump tweets that the Chinese are just going to wait him out so that they can get a Democrat who they can take advantage of. How do you think about China? We've seen President Trump call President Xi both an enemy and a friend.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, the president clearly has no strategy. You know, when I first got into this race, I remember President Trump scoffed and said he'd like to see me making a deal with Xi Jinping. I'd like to see HIM making a deal with Xi Jinping! Is it just me, or was that supposed to happen in, like, April?

Q: Would you repeal the tariffs?

BUTTIGIEG: I would have a strategy that would include the tariffs as leverage, but it's not about the tariffs. Look, what's going on right now is a president who has reduced the entire China challenge into a question of tariffs, when what we know is that the tariffs are coming down on us more than anybody else and there's a lack of a bigger strategy.

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

On Health Care: Trust people to know what health plan is best for them

I trust you to choose what makes the most sense for you. Not my way or the highway. We do have to go far beyond tinkering with the ACA. I propose Medicare for all who want it. We take a version of Medicare, we make it available for the American people, and if we're right, as progressives, that that public alternative is better, then the American people will figure that out.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Homeland Security: Put an end to endless war; require 3-year sunset for wars

Today, 9/12/2019, means that today you could be 18 years old, old enough to serve, and had not been alive on 9/11. We have got to put an end to endless war. if there's one thing we've learned from Afghanistan, it's that the best way not to be caught up in endless war is to avoid starting one in the first place.

And so when I am president, an authorization for the use of military force will have a built-in three-year sunset. Congress will be required to vote and a president will be required to go to Congress to seek an authorization. Because if our troops can summon the courage to go overseas, the least our members of Congress should be able to do is summon the courage to take a vote on whether they ought to be there.

I'll tell you, as a military officer, the very first thing that goes through your mind, the first time you ever make eye contact with somebody that you are responsible for in uniform, is do not let these men and women down. This president is doing exactly that. I will not.

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

On Immigration: Rural residents know immigrants help revitalize small towns

In some of the most conservative, rural areas of Iowa, I have seen communities that embraced immigration grow. And that's why part of my plan for revitalizing the economies of rural America includes community renewal visas that would allow cities and towns and counties that are hurting not only for jobs but for population to embrace immigration as we have in my city.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Immigration: Values of faith and welcome should be cultivated

We have to engage the American majority around the opportunities for not just growth in small communities, but our values. Values of welcome, values of faith that all argue for us to manage this humanely and in a way that marries our values with our laws.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On Principles & Values: Unity and bold ideas will solve our challenges

We keep sending politicians to Washington asking them to fight for us, but they seem more interested in fighting than the part about us. We just marked the anniversary of 9/11. I've been thinking about September 12th, the way it felt when for a moment we came together as a country. Imagine if we had been able to sustain that unity. Imagine what would be possible with ideas that are bold enough to meet the challenges of our time, but big enough that they could unify the American people.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston Sep 12, 2019

On War & Peace: No open-ended commitment to ground troops in Afghanistan

Q: We heard in recent days from General Joseph Dunford, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said in recent days, "I'm not going to use the word withdrawal right now. It's our judgment the Afghans need support to deal with the level of violence." Would you withdraw?

BUTTIGIEG: I served under General Dunford, way under General Dunford, in Afghanistan. And today, September 12, 2019, means that today you could be 18 years old, old enough to serve, and had not been alive on 9/11. We have got to put an end to endless war. And the way we do it is see to it that that country will never again be used for an attack against our homeland, and that does not require an open-ended commitment of ground troops. Let me say something else, because if there's one thing we've learned from Afghanistan, it's that the best way not to be caught up in endless war is to avoid starting one in the first place.

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

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