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TVU 21 PETE BUTTIGIEG WASHINGTON IA TOWN HALL ABC UNI120819 2020 GAGGLE 134803 You've been taking some heat from your rivals but what do you say to voters who are concerned about the transparency of your campaign? 134808 BUTG>> Well, I'd say that we are leading in many ways on this, including making sure that I've put out the tax records covering my entire time in the private sector, that even though that was my first job out of school, I have released information about the type, the location and the kinds of clients that I work with during my two, two and a half years as a consultant. And that I stand on my record, in particular when it comes to competing with President Trump, in terms of my public and private sector career. 134836 Matter of fact, given the destruction of his time in business, even though I spent a lot less time in business. Even on that front, I'd be happy compared to the current president. 134847 Q>> Mr Mayor yesterday you spoke to the Teamsters along with several other candidates and Joe Biden from the stage said, I have a better record than anybody here, that you're going to be talking to Bernie Sanders said I've been on more picket lines of striking workers and I suspect any or that all of my opponents combined. Is there any point at which you before this campaign, or on a picket line or are there any other instances in which you were on the front lines? 134909 PETE>> Oh you bet. Yeah, we had a lockout at Honeywell with UAW workers back home in South Bend. Again I started my career standing up for the UAW and running my campaign out of the basement of building trades Hall in South Bend, and of course during this campaign we've continued that, standing with Grocery workers, and with the not yet organized from Los Angeles to Charleston. So I'm very proud of my record. Certainly don't have the same longevity as someone of my competitors, but I would stack up the quality of my support for labor with anybody else. 134936 Q>> Can you talk about some of the early years like in 2010 and sort of sort of the sum of those efforts for folks that weren't there. PETE>>Yeah i mean i spent most of 2010 traveling around to different UAW halls, including ones that only had a retiree chapter because the plant had closed. But working with them to defend President Obama's policy of bringing back the auto industry because we knew what that meant. Not only to union members but to communities across my home state. 134958 Organized labor has always been there to stand for the very people that the President claims to be speaking for but invariably disappoints. And I think that's going to be a very important battlefield in the coming election to make sure that we demonstrate to everyone in organized labor that we're the ones who are serious about having their back. Q>> I don't think anyone thinks you're shy around the press I think at this point we spent approximately 10 days on a bus with you. To Rachel's question about transparency, what's the thought process behind not opening fundraisers up to press up until this point if you choose to do so? 135028 PETE>> So as you know, it is very rare for presidential candidates to do it, but I think it's a step that deserves to be taken seriously and we're looking into it. Q>> Oxford University, how did that shape you as a person and as a politician. 135042 BUTG>> Well, one of the things I learned was the rigor over there that if I ever put even one word wrong in an essay or on an exam that somebody would be there to question it and tear it up, and it learned me to be---taught me to be very mindful of precision, which I think is important right now because language matters and when you got a president abusing the English language in ways that lead to an abuse the values of the American people, it's something really important. 135107 I learned a lot about economics. I learned a lot about philosophy and I learned a lot about myself during my time in England. It was actually while I was there that I really found myself drawn to the Church of England and the Anglican Community that I'm now part of in Episcopal Church back home. Q: Lawrence O'donnell said you are pushing republican talking points that democrats don't care about the deficit. What is your response? 135126 BUTG>> Well, I've never said that Democrats are bad at managing the deficit. My point i, precisely because we're better at it than Republicans, we got to own the issue. Now I do think that it matters because sometimes folks say "well, you shouldn't even care about"---especially on Twitter, not so much democrats in office, but sometimes the Twitter left says that we should never even mentioned deficits. The reason I think that it matters is because if we allow them to grow, they wind up cutting out the lifeblood, the resources that go into programs that we believe in for everything from infrastructure to helping those in need to health. 135200 It doesn't mean that we should be absolutist about it, it does mean that, since the republican party has demonstrated, time and time again that they will not act to make deficits better, the Democratic Party ought to own this issue. And when I'm president we will. Q>> Mayor did Mayor Lightfoot's comments about transparency leave an impression on you, especially the way she phrased it in context with President Trump? 135221 I have enormous respect for Mayor Lightfoot. what I'll say is that President Trump is somebody who does not care about keeping his word. I'm somebody who does, and that's part of what's guiding my decisions to find a way to put out information about my private sector career, without violating my own word. Q: --the Pensacola shooting-- 135242 Well it's it's disturbing we're still waiting for more details to come out but to have two attacks impacting military facilities, and the Pearl Harbor one as well as we mark this anniversary of Pearl Harbor, thinking about the dangers that and loss of life that happened there today because we're not willing to face up to a gun violence epidemic that claims more lives every year than even the attack on Pearl Harbor shows you how we've got to improve our priorities when it comes to gun safety in the United States. Thanks, everyone. ### TOWN HALL [12:53:37] Thank you so much, first of all, thank you, Terry, for organizing veterans in the Democratic Party and reminding us that the flag of the United States America belongs to no political party. We love our country. [12:53:51] And part of that is doing right by those who have served during and after their service to this country. [12:54:01] I want to thank Mayor Rosie and fellow Midwestern millennial mayor, because obviously I happen to believe that's a good source of leadership right now. And I want to thank all of you for joining us on this Sunday. Perfectly good Sunday in hunting season and in this hall is full. That means a lot to me. I appreciate it. [12:54:22] And I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you about the road ahead and what our country is going to need for those who are supporting my campaign to urge you to continue reaching out and growing our base of support all the way to the caucuses. For those of you still making up your mind to ask you for your support in the caucuses, to share how I hope to earn it. I want to begin by asking you to visualize in as much detail as you can. [12:54:54] A day that lies in our future are not too distant future, a day that is going to come one way or the other. And I hope sooner rather than later. And that's the day that for the first time, the sun will come up over our country. And Donald Trump will no longer be the president of the United States. [12:55:23] A lot of us are ready to get to that day. Right. The sooner the better. [12:55:29] But part of why I'm asking you to picture that day is not only for us to think about what it will take to bring that about, to make sure we have a nominee who can build a coalition to engage the American people for change. [12:55:44] But also to ask you to think about what our country's really going to need on that day. Our problems don't end on that day. Far from it. Think about what it's really going to feel like on that day. First of all, our country will be divided, even more divided than we are now polarized, torn up over politics, worn out from fighting and in need of being healed and brought together. [12:56:10] And at the same time, it will also be true that our country will face enormous challenges. Emergencies really that have been with us for quite a while and are not going to take a vacation just for the impeachment process. Haven't taken a vacation during this presidency at all. The sun will be coming up in a climate where we are having more severe weather emergencies every year. And that is just a few years away from the point of no return. [12:56:39] Sun's gonna come up over an economy where the numbers on a page look good and it's nice to see the stock market growing. [12:56:47] But more and more Americans find it impossible to hold on to what they've got, let alone get ahead. [12:56:53] Because even when your income does grow, it doesn't do it fast enough compared to the cost of retirement. The cost to health. The costs of prescription drugs. And the cost of housing in this country. [12:57:03] So he's gonna be coming up over a country where kids are getting active shooter drills before they are old enough to learn how to read. These issues cry out for urgent action. And so the job of the next president. We'll be to resolve these issues, to step up and deliver bold, meaningful, real big reforms and to do it in a way that's actually going to leave our country more unified instead of further polarized as we work our way through those issues. And that is a tall order. But I believe that's what our presidency is for. For undertaking that level of work to guide this nation again, not only to bring an end to the era we're living through right now, but to launch the beginning of the era that has to come next. [12:57:52] That's why I'm running to be president. That's why I'm asking for your support. [12:58:00] So as we pick up the pieces, the good news is there is a very clear roadmap for what it's going to take to get there, and the way points that guide posts on that roadmap are the values that belong to us as Americans. [12:58:15] Values that don't belong to one political party or the other. And that guide us in a very specific direction when we pay attention to. Well, we need a president who can unite Americans around those values where right now we've got a divider in chief. I'm thinking about values like the way we feel when we see the American flag. Patriotism and love of country. [12:58:38] But I'm not talking about the small, cheap nationalism of a president who thinks all you got to do to be patriotic and in respect to Flag is is to hug it literally sometimes on your way to the stage or president who thinks it's somehow pro military to overthrow military justice and pardon war crimes as if there is no difference between an honorable soldier and war fighter and somebody who goes out there and dishonors the American people and the American flag. [12:59:09] That's not the kind of patriotism I'm talking about. [12:59:20] I'm talking about the love of country that motivated so many people. [12:59:24] I have seen people in this room and people I served with to raise their right hand and serve this nation, which begins with a love of country that recognizes our country is made of people who cannot love a country if you hate half of the people who are in. That's part of what's got to change right now. I'm talking about love of country. That means we uphold American values. We uphold America's honor. [12:59:50] As an American, I never again want to see the American president being laughed at by the leaders of the world. America will be respected when I am your commander in chief. But protecting our country also means we gotta do some stuff right here at home. It's got to start right here. [13:00:13] That is why, for example, if we're serious about protecting our country, serious about protecting each other, we've got to make sure that we don't allow the Second Amendment to be used as an excuse to get us off the hook when it comes to protecting our schools and our neighborhoods with background checks and red flag laws and other common sense gun measures that most Americans support. [13:00:40] And if we're serious about national security, we've got to be serious about protecting our country's future. That is why we must rise up here at home and lead the rest of the world in confronting climate change as the global security threat of our time. Our safety depends on it. And when we do, it'll be a good way to restore the credibility of the United States of America in the eyes of the world, because the world can't do it without it. So let us lead on that issue of global security and get something done. [13:01:14] So you see how that value patriotism can actually help us move forward if we take it seriously. [13:01:19] Problem is, they're they're carving us up and pitting us against each other across the very values that are supposed to unite us as Americans. That's how I feel about faith to. You know, first of all, this the country was built on the idea that our Constitution belongs to all of us, people of every religion and of no religion deserve equal protection under the laws of this land. It's also the case that those of us who are guided by the teachings of faith have a lot of questions for Washington today. [13:01:50] And for a White House that sometimes when it's convenient, cloaks itself in the language of religion to then turn around and cut food stamps for people in need has a lot of us wondering whatever happened to I was hungry and you fed me? When we see children being torn out the arms of their parents, I think it has a lot of us wondering what ever happened. I was a stranger and you welcomed me when I am your president. I will serve people of all traditions equally, but I can also promise that people of faith will not have to scratch their heads when they turn on the news and wonder whatever happened to the least of these. That is my promise to you. [13:02:29] When it comes to the moral bearing of our administration. [13:02:40] Something about values like democracy. Democracy isn't just a system. [13:02:44] Its value is the belief that it matters that the people are empowered, that the government works for the people and not the other way around. [13:02:54] It's why we have elections. But is it really a democracy when many of those elections take place in districts where the lines were drawn to where the politicians got to pick out their voters instead of voters picking out their politicians, we've got to fix that. If we're serious about being a democracy. [13:03:14] We're not really a democracy so long as Citizens United tells us that dollars count just as much as thoughts and that it's OK to try to buy an election that is not a democracy, we need to fix that system. [13:03:28] And if that means constitutional reform, that is why the founders, in their wisdom, gave us the option of constitutional reform. Let's do something real to get money out of politics and make sure that we have a true democracy in this country. [13:03:48] I think a lot about the American value of freedom, but not not the way it's sometimes been shrunken in today's Washington by those who think that all there is to freedom is cutting out every rule and every tax and every program you can find that doesn't make us free. I believe that it's true that sometimes freedom requires that we ensure that government get out of the way. [13:04:15] I believe, for example, that we must get government out of the business of dictating to women what their reproductive health care choices ought to be. [13:04:29] Other times, part of how we secure our freedom is by asking the public sector to step up. [13:04:36] That's why our local governments are expected to deliver clean, safe drinking water and pave the roads and plow the snow. It makes us more free when they do. They worry about that. So everybody else doesn't have to. We expect the public sector to step up and deliver quality schools. [13:04:52] Which is why in Washington we need a secretary of education who believes in public education and supports the work that's going on on the ground here. [13:05:08] It's why the time has come to insist that the public sector step up and deliver some solutions on health care. Because you're not free if you don't have health care, you can't live out a life of your choosing in this country if you don't know how you're gonna get treatments paid for when your lives depend on. [13:05:26] So it is in the name of enhancing our freedom to live well that the time has come to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and ensure that they can't jack up prices on folks just because they can't. And yes, it means making sure there's no such thing as an uninsured American. And that's why I proposed Medicare for all who want it would take a version of Medicare, a public plan. We make it available for everybody. We enroll anybody who's uninsured. So there is no such thing as somebody being uninsured. [13:06:00] But I say for all who want it, because I trust you to decide whether you want it. And if you'd rather be on some private plan that you've got, that's fine by me. The important thing is that everybody be covered one way or the other. And I respect your freedom to decide how that best works for you. [13:06:22] These are the values, freedom, democracy that guide our country in governing in the name of those freedoms, we can galvanize and not polarize an American majority that is ready to deliver big reforms, big ideas. Things we haven't thought possible in decades. [13:06:39] If we can hold that majority together and not divide it and polarize it, let it get blown up. That's the opportunity right here. That's why we can't get so caught up in fighting that fighting is all we've got. Sure. We got to fight sometimes for what we believe in. We've got to have it out. Tug of war. [13:06:56] Get something done. But I will never let us get so caught up that we start to confuse the fight for the point. The point is what's on the other side of the fight where we come together and have a better answer for one another and live better in this country. That's what leadership can deliver. And we need that right now. [13:07:19] Because we can't wait any longer on the issues that we face as a country. It can't wait 10 years. It can't wait for years. Climate can't wait. We are this close to the tipping point. [13:07:30] Gun violence can't wait. We're losing far too many people. We cannot wait. To save a million lives in this country over the course of this next decade from deaths, from despair. [13:07:42] By ensuring that at long last we treat addiction and mental health with as much urgency and openness as we do physical health and other medical conditions, that time has come and we can't wait. [13:07:58] We can't wait to do something about racial disparities in this country that are pulling down the entire American project that harm everybody. Which is why I'm going to talk about him in a majority white room, just as I will when we're sitting down with African-American leaders. We have got to act with as much intention as we brought into the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe. This time, we've got to do it right here at home with the Frederick Douglass plan to tear down systemic inequalities so that in this country, your race has nothing to do with your health, your wealth or your relationship with law enforcement. We can't wait to deliver those solutions. [13:08:40] And we can't wait to take steps that will bring this country together. This is why, for example, I believe in the power of service and I'm proposing that we create a million paid voluntary national service opportunities a year. [13:08:54] Because when I was deployed, I learned to trust my life to people who were so different from me. [13:09:01] Different stories from different parts of the country, very different politics. But we learn to trust each other, even though we had nothing in common besides a flag on our shoulder. [13:09:10] I want every American to have that experience without having to go to war in order to get it. [13:09:16] And I also know that there are so many Americans ready to serve. Ready to help on projects from weatherizing the homes of senior citizens with low income, to help with climate and to help with poverty to a community health corps that would help with issues of addiction and recovery to whatever communities feel they need most. And not all of the policy designs and answers have to come from Washington. But more of the funding should because we got to support communities doing the right thing and lifting one another up. That's the vision for national service that I have and it will help us bind together Americans who don't have nearly enough income. [13:09:49] We have got to build up a better sense of belonging in this country where people are being told that that they don't fit because of what you look like or your religion or disability or what you do for a living. Race, gender, you name it. There are so many ways people are being told they don't fit. And yet we are a nation whose very creed is that out of many, we are one. We need a president who understands. The matter of fact, I believe what's the that's what the presidency is for. [13:10:20] But the purpose of the office is not the glorification of the president. It is the empowerment and the unification of the American people. And that's why I'm asking for your support to run for president. So many things we can talk about, but I don't want this to be a monologue. I'd like for us to have a conversation. So there are some folks run around with mikes still hold the mike up to you and come to you at your convenience and just go ahead and stick your hand up and look forward to speaking about whatever's on your mind. Yes, sir. [13:11:00] What I'm. Interested in most of anything else right now, we're sending lots of ammunition over to Saudi Arabia. They in turn are blowing up. People right and left in Yemen. I know that if you blow up a school bus of elementary children and kill all those people. You have heard of Morocco deeply. We are on the verge of another race for arms, for new killer. What will you do about that sort of stuff? Thank you. Thank you. [13:11:36] So here's the thing we're seeing with the disappearance of American moral authority. Not only do we see our adversaries acting in ways that shock the conscience from Russia, throwing their weight around to China, rounding people up and putting them into camps because their religion. [13:11:53] Not to mention what's happening in Hong Kong with those who are speaking up for democracy, but also the countries that we have thought of as our allies. Also continue to behave in ways and more and more are behaving more in ways that are totally incompatible with American values and with human shared human values and human rights. We see our allies and our adversaries taking advantage of the disappearance of American moral leadership, and we are directly implicated because of the use of American taxpayer dollars to work with the Saudis. [13:12:26] So we need to hold our for in particular the countries we think of as our friends accountable. [13:12:32] And yes, that means what goes on in Yemen, not to mention things like the killing of an American resident and other policies by the Saudi regime have to be part of what we take into consideration when we're deciding whether to send military equipment, let let alone send troops over there. [13:12:51] You know, if you add it all up, there are actually more American troops now in the Middle East area as a whole than there were before under a president who claims that he's going to end endless war. When I am president, we will no longer pretend that there is any way to serve American interests by selling out American values. [13:13:12] The reality is our interests are based on our values. Whenever we try to separate the two. Sooner or later, it catches up to us. And I will see to it that our foreign policy is based on those shared human values that America at our best has always led with, including in what's going on with the war in Yemen. [13:13:35] Under the last two Republican presidents, the federal deficit has increased. What can you do as president to control the federal deficit and make sure that future generations aren't crippled by public debt? [13:13:46] Thank you. Such an important question. And you're right. In fact, I'm pretty sure every presidency in my lifetime, every Democratic presidency, we've seen a deficit fall and every Republican presidency, we've seen it go up. Which is funny because even at my tender age, I'm old enough to remember when Republicans said they cared about deficits. And often invoke the debt and the deficit as an excuse not to invest in things like roads and schools and health in this country. [13:14:17] And yet, as we've seen, when they take power, especially right now, where there is a trillion dollar deficit that's been opened up, mostly created not because of a disaster, a depression. [13:14:29] But a giant tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, you didn't need it to begin with. And then the next time we try to invest in something, they're going to say, we can't do that, it'll increase the deficit. So here's what we've got to do. First of all, deficits do matter. It's not an absolute kind of thing, but we've got to make sure they don't get too high. And so we have to take steps to make sure that the debt and the deficit remains under control. [13:14:54] And again, if our party's not on top of it, nobody will be, because the other party has shown that they don't actually care. And we've been the only ones who have really done much about it. Which is why we should own this issue. [13:15:05] But also in my campaign, you're going to see us every time we propose something that costs money. [13:15:10] Would explain where the money is going to come from to whether it's the health care plan. I was just sharing or over a trillion dollars over the next decade that we need to invest in education or what we've got to do around infrastructure or housing in order to support millions of families and beat back homelessness and increase housing affordability. And by the way, we can afford to do all of these things if we're willing to make sure that everybody's paying their fair share. It's still a lower tax level than there used to be. [13:15:41] But it does have to be different than it is now, because if Amazon. Can make billions of dollars in profits and pay zero in federal taxes. Something is wrong with our system. [13:15:53] We need better enforcement. We need to close the loopholes. We need to raise those corporate rates that were rolled back by Trump. And we need to ask individuals, the wealthiest individuals, to do more of their share, too. I promise they will still be just fine. They will still be very, very wealthy. But we need their help to make sure that this country is moving forward. [13:16:10] And so we are going to raise the revenue to cover everything that I proposed so that the net effect of all the things I've said we ought to do will be that the deficit at worst will stay the same. And ultimately, we'll start to shrink. [13:16:31] Hi, Pete. Thank you for your service. I'm a nurse and I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Iowa City. I've worked there for 14 years. And so I am of the mindset that we are the best ones to take care of veterans. And under the current administration, there have been taught, there has been talk of privatization, which we're obviously not for. And so what's your plan for the V.A. if you become president? [13:16:57] Well, first of all, thank you for taking care of our veterans. And there's definitely a lot that we got to do to shore up our system of providing medical care for veterans. [13:17:07] Privatizing the system is not one of them. It's not going to help. [13:17:11] Just ask folks in Iowa dealing with the Medicaid situation how much good privatization does. [13:17:19] So here's what does need to happen. First of all, clinical pay needs to keep up so that we have an easier time recruiting providers, nurses, physicians. And by the way, we also have a particularly acute shortage on the mental health side. So we got to position ourselves to recruit more folks by making sure the pay is competitive. We can take out some of the red tape in the hiring process. [13:17:44] I'm not sure how was for you. But it takes a long time to get somebody on board in a lot of these positions. We need to make sure that we're doing more to get people enrolled. Terry mentioned this absolutely unacceptable figure that 20 veterans are lost to suicide every day. [13:18:00] One of the biggest signs that we might lose somebody to suicide is if they never got connected up to the V.A. in the first place. Actually, we just make that one step. Their chances of making it get a lot better. So in addition to the things we've got to do in the V.A. to improve it, there's a lot we got to do to make sure that we never leave a veteran behind or let them go without access. [13:18:19] And we've also got to make sure that we're recognizing why we have a V.A.. [13:18:24] This is not about doing anybody a favor. This is keeping a promise. You put your right hand up. You made a promise to the United States of America. That promise goes both ways. [13:18:35] And the V.A. is part of how we do that. And because we know that different wars have different wounds, it is because of what the V.A. does that we as a country know as much as we now do about things from Agent Orange that impacted the Vietnam generation so horribly to traumatic brain injury and PTSD that we know a lot about. More from my generation of post 9/11 vets. That's why there's. There's a reason that it's specialized, that it's there. And I promise that we will protect it and make sure that this push to privatization to benefit a few business buddies of those now in power is is replaced by one that actually focuses on caring for our veterans. [13:19:11] One more thing, just what's on my mind, because I know there are quite a few folks here who serve. I am mindful of the fact, as Terry said, that attitudes towards military shift over time that go through their ups and downs and. When I came home, there were balloons and folks clapping and streamers and flags, and I know that there was a generation of veterans, some who volunteered, some who were drafted, who did not come home to that kind of reception. [13:19:43] Came home at a time when our country struggled to separate our feelings about a policy. That sent people to war from the way it treated the troops who were ordered to go carried out. And so to anybody who didn't get the right kind of welcome back then even though it's coming late, I just want to say thank you and welcome home. [13:20:18] Happy welcome to Washington. I just want to say I've been following your campaign since you did your interview with Preet Bharara. Oh, and I'm a huge fan of Buddy Instrument on Twitter. But my question for you is there's been a lot of conversation about health insurance and what that looks like. I'm a public health professional. I am not hearing any conversation really in this dialog about how what are we going to do to focus on prevention and what are we going to do to increase access, especially in rural areas. We lost our birthing center here a year and a half ago and we are losing another 130 miles to the south. So what are you going to do to improve access, not just get an insurance card in people's pocket? [13:20:55] Thanks. I'm so glad you raised that. You know, I think the insurance thing gets extra attention because they can kind of pit us against each other on that and get good television. And don't get me wrong. I think the disagreements are meaningful. They're important. And we got to we've got to have it out. [13:21:07] But they're talking about like it's the only part of health care that matters. And there's way less being said about veterans health care, about mental health care, about prescription drugs, about affordability and care, as you say, just access, especially in rural areas. You know, when I was born, there was basically no difference in life expectancy between folks lived in a city and folks lived in a rural area. Now, that gap is the biggest that it's been in nearly a half century. And a lot of it is because of what you're talking about, this crisis of closure and loss of providers, especially the berthing facilities you're talking about, we saw it happen in Marshalltown. [13:21:43] It's happened in this area. And that puts lives at risk. So we need to recognize that providing health care in an underserved area is a public service. [13:21:54] And I believe that ought to count toward the kind of public service, loan forgiveness that we want folks to be eligible for when it comes to getting student debt taken care of. That's one thing we know we can do. Another other thing that we got to do is make sure that we support transportation options, because a lot of times it's about being able to get to a place where you get care. And if we couple transportation support with making sure we have enough providers in these areas to begin with. [13:22:18] Plus making sure that we do more with telemedicine not to replace in-person care, but to make sure that, for example, with stroke patients and a lot of psychiatry, too, we can't save somebody and their family having to drive an hour or two for inpatient care when they could get it inpatient in a clinic closer to home. So we got to invest in that. But to get that, we've got to get serious with broadband access. And I have a plan to make sure every American, whether it's wireless or whether it's fiber, gets broadband access. [13:22:45] It'll cost 80 billion dollars. It's worth every penny to make sure that we have that kind of equality across the country. You mentioned working in public health and there are a lot of departments, especially local and county departments. It's it's heroic that they can even keep up with restaurant inspections and flu shots. Given the resources they've got and we need, as you say, to be doing prevention, whether it's lead exposure, getting ahead of mental health issues, all of the things that decide whether somebody is going to be healthy before they even go through the doors of an E.R. or a doctor's office. [13:23:17] And that is why I'm proposing as part of our health equity plan that we use federal funds to bridge the gap, empowering local health departments to be the chief strategist for health where they are, but also making sure that they have the resources to do it with. So thanks for your work in that field to meet them. [13:23:44] Hi. So I applaud the courage it takes to be an openly gay man running for president. So with that being said, I would like to talk about the Trump administration's all out assault on gay rights from the repeal of HRC as more protections and health care to just the overall degradation of the LGBT community. So would you commit to ensuring that there's protections, whether it be under the current civil rights protections or just protections in general for LGBT people so that every four years our livelihoods isn't put on the market during whatever election is coming up? Yes. [13:24:20] Yes, I will. And I'm glad you raised that because. We've made a lot of progress. [13:24:30] I mean, the fact that I'm standing here represents a lot of progress. [13:24:35] And by the way, thank you, Iowa, for leading the way on marriage equality, because that obviously means a lot. [13:24:47] But I think some folks feel like because we got a marriage equality problem solved, and the reality is a lot of folks don't know that to this day in very many parts of the country, including parts of my home state, you'd still be fired just because of who you are. [13:25:00] Which is why, yes, we need to recognize what the current civil rights law encompasses. But frankly, no matter what the court decides on the current civil rights law, we need a federal equality act to determine once and for all that because of sexual orientation and gender identity, you cannot be discriminated against. The United States, America. [13:25:21] As in, it matters what guidance goes out to our departments, education, health, making sure people are treated fairly. We've got a war on transgender Americans and military service led by a president who avoided serving when it was his turn. And he's gonna come in and try to ruin the career of somebody who's doing a good job. [13:25:41] The military I served and cares about whether you are good at what you're doing and whether you can be trusted. And anybody who has earned that trust will have the support of the commander in chief when I'm the president. [13:25:55] A Marine in the back. I've been asked every year to question morning. All right. To question. If you're able to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, how will you stop inflation that would negatively hurt people on fixed income like Social Security? [13:26:15] Yes. So here's where we are right now. On the minimum wage. First thing we got to think about is that when you look at inflation, it's worth considerably less than it was a generation ago. [13:26:28] Anybody in minimum wage is taking a haircut. Not only that. There is not one county in the United States of America where someone working full time at minimum wage could afford a two bedroom apartment and in most counties couldn't even afford a one bedroom apartment. So we know we got to do some. [13:26:48] Now, I support the approach that the House of Representatives took, it took a path that is reasonable because it'll take some time to adjust, especially for small business owners. But we got to move pretty quickly to get it to 15 with regional differences. Now, there have been some efforts to kind of push back on that, saying it's going to be inflated away and it could put some upward pressure on prices. But the good news is this is not what happens when you raise minimum wage isn't a mystery because we've been doing it for 50 years. And the jury is in. If you look at the numbers, it never leads to inflation greater than what the wage itself did. [13:27:29] Because what happens is you've got a lot of money right now sloshing around in the economy that if it were in the pocket of someone like the McDonald's workers that I was with in Charleston recently who were trying to get a minimum wage, it goes immediately into their needs to take care of loved ones. Not only that, I'm talking about Tijuana in particular, one of the McDonald's workers I was with. She's trying to take care of her kid. Her kids on Medicaid and has a health condition, which means the American taxpayer is basically subsidizing McDonald's because they won't pay her enough that she can take care of it and doesn't have the right kind of health care plan, too. [13:28:04] So the money is being moved around in our economy and all kinds of ways. But a lot of times it just gets parked and somebodies bank account, who's all set anyway instead of going into the pockets of those who need it most. And we'll be spending it on food, medical care, rent, the basic necessities, filling our economy with the kind of fuel that creates more jobs. Maybe in theory there is some level of wage that would be so high that it would be inflation to do more harm than good. But we have 50 years worth of data that show us that we are nowhere near that level when it comes to the level that we're at today. [13:28:40] All right. You're gonna get the last word. [13:28:54] Yeah, because the question for you to back is why, why? Why did I run for president? Was there like a moment? How do we go through that decision? Well, it definitely was not how I pictured things when I began my career in local government at the beginning of this decade. Right. Nobody says I'm going to go home run for mayor of my city in the Midwest and then write to the White House. Right. [13:29:22] But what happened is the country changed and circumstances changed, and what I saw is that our country needs somebody who is not caught up in the Washington way of dealing with these problems. I've seen these debates on how to protect people from gun violence that are the same as the day I came home from high school to watch the Columbine shooting on the news. I see conversations about what we're gonna do on immigration that are the same as they've been since the 80s. [13:29:49] Last time there was a real reform and I see us caught in this loop that's going to require somebody from outside of Washington to shake things up their. It's going to require somebody, I think, from from middle America. I don't mean necessarily geographically, but somebody does. I don't need a focus group to tell me what's going on in middle America. I could just go to Kohl's or Target and, you know, I drive a Chevy. I'm not a millionaire. I'm actually the lowest income person running for president. Right. [13:30:19] Or the lowest wealth person running for president right now. [13:30:23] I mean, we're fine. Don't worry about us. But. [13:30:28] You know, married to a teacher. These are the kinds of voices that we're not seeing a lot right now. So I think about what our country needs. I think about what our party needs. So because winning is so terribly, terribly important right now. Right. And every time my party has taken the White House, think about this just from a history perspective in the last 50 years. [13:30:48] Every single time my party's won the White House. Certain things been true about the candidate. It's somebody who has never run for president before and was new on the scene. Somebody who hadn't been in Washington very long, if at all. Somebody you focused on calling the country to its higher values and generally somebody representing a new generation of leadership. [13:31:10] And so also as somebody who cares very much that that that we win, I think our party's got to find a way to have that kind of leadership and have it emerge from the part of the country that got overlooked in some previous political processes and cost us when it happened. [13:31:25] And so when you see a need, you realize what you bring to the table might actually match that need. And you trust a few people who would always tell you the truth to confirm whether or not you're crazy when you see it. That's when you sit down to have a conversation with your family. Truman and Buddy didn't much care. They just want to make sure they'll get their treats. Those were our rescue dogs. But chasin and I had a very serious conversation about what this meant to our our life, our marriage, our future and. [13:31:53] And we really thought it through and he got morning bargain for is on our first date. He said, you know, I've never been on a date with a politician before. What's your future look like? And I told him that the truth at the time, which was. Well, I'm. I'm up for reelection. I'm hoping to get reelected. And if so, I might run for office again, maybe statewide someday. [13:32:14] And so things have changed a little bit since that first date. But. Well, we came to the conclusion was that this was worth doing and and that we would do it together on two conditions. One, we would always stay true to what we believed and be ourselves no matter what the politics were. And to find some way through all the work, to have some fun while we're at it. Find some joy in the process. And one of the reasons that I'm so proud of our team is not just in the work I've been doing, but put in the work our organizers have been doing, and I hope you get to know your organizers here. [13:32:52] They carry those values through this campaign. Even the ones I haven't had a chance to meet yet, they carry those values that we have to not only work hard, stand up for what we believe in, but we've got to find some joy in that process. And seeing that has has fed my belief that what we're doing before the first vote is even cast can model what I am proposing to do for the entire country, which is to build that sense of belonging, live our values and bring people together. So here we are as. [13:33:23] So. [13:33:26] I got the high sign that our time is up, but I just want to thank you again for taking the time to be with us today. [13:33:31] I want to thank you in particular, because when I meet Iowans, I can tell how seriously you take the responsibilities that come with that thumb on the scale that you have when it comes to deciding who's going to be the nominee. And the president outside responsibility. Kicking the tires on everything we propose, getting to know not just what we're for, but who we are. [13:33:52] And I admire the seriousness you bring to that process. And I'm asking you to caucus for me, because I believe by supporting us in this effort here in Iowa, you can propel us to the nomination and the presidency. And when we change the presidency, when we change the country, we will be proud of what we did. I know in 2019, sometimes it is hard to look at our political process and feel proud. Sometimes it is hard to look at kids right now in the eye. [13:34:27] And explain what's going on right now when they're asking what we're doing to keep them safe or what we're doing to make sure that they grow up in a world that's going to treat them well or whether they're gonna be better off than their parents, like every generation before us has just been able to assume. It's tough, but I'm filled by the hope that in a few years we'll be able to look back. Talk to those same kids about how much better we made things starting in 2020. [13:34:55] We'll sound sorry. Got that bad by 20 19. But look at what we did in 2020 to make sure we had an economy that works for us. A climate where you can thrive. [13:35:02] A country where race doesn't dictate the outcomes of your life in a place that is safe and has a sense of belonging for all of us. That's what we can build together. And it starts right here in Iowa. So I am asking you to join me in making that possible and to spread the sense of hope that is required to be involved in politics at all from running for office to showing up on caucus night. [13:35:23] I know hope went out of style for a little bit in politics because of everything we're dealing with. But you can't do this if you don't have some measure of hope. Running for office is an act of hope. And I am asking you to spread that sense of hope that is required because without it, we will never get ahead in this country with it. We will take great pride in what we did in 2020. [13:35:41] So I look to you to embody and spread that sense of hope and share it with others. A, you know. [13:35:54] And do you see how we don't have to be caught up in the Trump error anymore? [13:35:57] We can pick up the chant the remote. Take one last look at that reality show and change the channel to something better. Washington I believe that you will make me the next president of the United States when you do, I will work every day to make you proud and we will make history together. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being here. And I'll see you on the trail. Thank you.
Archived Unity File