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Democratic Debates: Top Quotes by Each Candidate

Former Vice President Joe Biden waves after the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN, July 31, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Former Vice President Joe Biden waves after the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN, July 31, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

The second night of the second round of Democratic presidential candidate debates took place in Detroit Wednesday. The candidates answered questions on a range of issues, including health care, immigration, crime and race.

Here are quotes from each candidate:

Michael Bennet, on the connection between education and the criminal justice system, saying: "Let's fix our school system, and then maybe we can fix the prison pipeline."

Joe Biden, in his closing statement, said: "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 the idea that we can as Americans — when we act together — we can do anything."

Cory Booker, during a heated argument about criminal justice with Biden, said: "Mr. Vice President has said that since the 1970s, 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. And you can't just now come out with a plan to put out that fire."

Bill de Blasio, in explaining why voters should vote for him, said: "If we're going to beat Donald Trump, this has to be a party that stands for something. The party of labor unions. This has to be the party of universal health care. 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. And when we do that, Donald Trump right on cue will call us socialists. Here's what I'll say to him: 'Donald, you're the real socialist.'"

Julian Castro, on security at the southern U.S. border with Mexico, said: "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."

Tulsi Gabbard, in criticizing the U.S foreign policy establishment, said: "For too long, we had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll it takes on our service members, on their families. We have to do the right thing. End the wasteful regime change wars and bring our troops home. ... We were all lied to (about Iraq). The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us."

Kirsten Gillibrand, in saying the discussion about race shouldn't fall on Booker or Senator Kamala Harris, said: "I don't believe it's the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to take this on. I think as a white woman running for president of the United States, it is my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren't being listened to. ... I can talk to those white women in the suburbs and explain to them what white privilege is. When their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&M's in his pocket wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot."

Kamala Harris, in a discussion about equal pay for women, said: "Women are paid 80 cents on the dollar. Black women: $0.61. Native American women: $0.58. Latinas: $0.53. ... Since 1963, when we passed the Equal Pay Act, we have been talking about the fact that women are not paid equally for equal work. ... I'm done with the conversation. Under my plan, companies will be fined if they're not paying men and women equally."

Jay Inslee, who is running on a platform of addressing climate change, said: "Under Donald Trump, we face a looming catastrophe, but it is not too late, we have one last chance. The survival of humanity on this planet and civilization as we know it is in the hands of the next president."

Andrew Yang, in saying robots have displaced more workers than immigrants, said: "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."

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