The fourth Democratic presidential candidate debates took place Tuesday in Ohio. The candidates answered questions on a range of issues, including the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, the developments in the Syrian conflict, and the U.S. economy.
Here are some comments from each candidate:
Former Vice President Joe Biden, during a discussion of Trump's outreach to Ukraine to investigate Biden's son, Hunter, said, "My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, and that's what we should be focusing on."
Senator Cory Booker, talking about the need to put in check Russian President Vladimir Putin's power on the world stage, said, "We cannot allow the Russians to continue to grow in influence by abandoning the world stage. We cannot allow Russia to not only interfere in the democracies of Ukraine and Latvia and Lithuania, but even not calling them out for their efforts to interfere in this democracy are unacceptable."
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, while promoting the need to depoliticize the U.S. Supreme Court, said, "We can't go on like this where every single time there is a vacancy we have this apocalyptic ideological firefight over what to do next. Now one way to fix this is to have a 15-member court where five of the members can only be appointed by unanimous agreement by the other 10."
Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, discussing the need for the country to be reliable in foreign relations, said, "If you're Kim Jong Un, for example, why in the world would you believe anything that this president says to contain your nuclear weapons program when he tore up an Iran nuclear agreement we just signed four years ago, which was the strongest agreement to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program, and now he's abandoned the very people we've given our word to."
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, when asked about her desire to pull U.S. troops from Syria, said, "The slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war that we've been waging in Syria. Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand. But so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war."
Senator Kamala Harris, talking about the impeachment probe against Trump, said, "He has consistently, since he won, been selling out the American people, he's been selling out working people, he's been selling out our values, he's been selling out national security, and on this issue with Ukraine he has been selling out our democracy."
Senator Amy Klobuchar, on the issue of what Democrats must do to defeat Trump, brought up campaigning in key swing states from the last election, saying, "I do it not by going just where it's comfortable, but by going where it's uncomfortable. And that's why I have been in Pennsylvania, and in Michigan, and in Wisconsin, and all over Ohio and in Iowa. Because I believe we need to build a blue Democratic wall around those states and make Donald Trump pay for it."
Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, talking about gun control and plans for buybacks and seizures of high-powered weapons, said, "If the logic begins with those weapons being too dangerous to sell, then it must continue by acknowledging with 16 million AR-15s and AK-47s out there they are also too dangerous to own. Every single one of them is a potential instrument of terror."
Senator Bernie Sanders, addressing his recent heart attack and questions about running for president at age 78, said, "We are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country. That is how I think I can reassure the American people. But let me take this moment if I might to thank so many people from all over this country including many of my colleagues up here for their love, for their prayers, for their well-wishes."
Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, connecting U.S. cooperative foreign policy with addressing climate change, said, "Any problem that we're going to do, but specifically climate, we're going to have to lead the world morally, we're going to have to lead it technologically, financially and commercially. This is the proof that this kind of America first, go it alone, trust nobody and be untrustworthy, is the worst idea that I've ever heard and I would change it on day one in every single way."
Senator Elizabeth Warren, on the topic of her health care plan amid challenges she has not made its costs clear, said, "I have made clear what my principles are here, and that is costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle class families costs will go down."
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, discussing big tech companies and whether they have become too powerful, said, "There are absolutely excesses in technology and in some cases having them divest parts of their business is the right move. But we also have to be realistic that competition doesn't solve all the problems. It's not like any of us wants to use the 4th best navigation app. That would be like cruel and unusual punishment.