June 28, 2019/Blog, Media

This is what you missed from the second night of the Presidential Debate

A note from Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Cliff Walker before we get started:

Are you fired up and ready to elect our next president?

In the first Democratic debates, Democrats spoke to the issues that matter to all Americans. We have a positive vision for the future. Voters want leaders who will fight for them on issues like education, healthcare, immigration, and making sure everybody has a fair shot to get ahead.

Let’s face it — we cannot take back the White House without Texas. We know that once Texas goes blue, the Republican path to the White House will be blocked.

It’s not going to be easy. We are going to have to give it our all. We must register more voters than ever before. We must knock on more doors than ever before. We must talk to more voters than ever before.

This might seem like a daunting task. However, I know that you are on our side and committed to taking back our state.

If you’re with us, chip in $5 right now:

No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, we will be there for him or her. That is exactly what Texas Democrats do — we support our candidates every step of the way.

We will take back the White House, take out John Cornyn, send more Texas Democrats to Congress, flip the Texas House, and elect hundreds of local Democrats across the state in 2020.

In the fight,

Cliff Walker
Deputy Executive Director, Texas Democratic Party


Last night we watched the Democratic candidates take the stage for night two of the debate. They did not disappoint. We heard them all talk about issues that matter to all Americans. Voters want to hear real solutions for issues that everyday Americans face — healthcare, immigration, racial justice, and protecting our democracy.

TRUTH: Texas is the biggest battleground state.

Democrats have now beaten or are statistically tied with Donald Trump in the state of Texas in three polls in a row. We cannot take back the White House without Texas. We know that once Texas goes blue, the Republican path to the White House will be blocked. Texas is quickly changing and we need leaders who reflect this new Texas.

We are energized and ready now, more than ever to win. That means Texas Democrats will keep knocking on doors, calling voters, texting out the vote, and turning out the vote. We aren’t going to stop till we turn Texas blue.

The first night of the debate had Texas Democrats fired up and ready to hear the second set of Democratic candidates talk about all the issues that matter to them.

Our candidates started out the second night of the debate talking about the economy — specifically taxes.

We’ve said this before and we will continue saying this: working Texans deserve a fair shot to get ahead, an economy that works for ALL Texans.

Achieving student success requires an unwavering state commitment to provide every Texan a quality education from pre-K through college or career programs. It’s time to invest in our values. Teachers need to be free to teach and students free to learn.

All Texans deserve the opportunity to pursue affordable higher education or career training at public universities, community colleges, and technical schools.

Put simply: a fair shot requires educational opportunity.

So college affordability is personal for us. Chasten and I have six-figure student debt. I believe in reducing student debt. It’s logical to me that, if you can refinance your house, you ought to be able to refinance your student debt. I also believe in free college for low and middle-income students for whom cost could be a barrier. I just don’t believe it makes sense to ask working-class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires. I think the children of the wealthiest Americans can pay at least a little bit of tuition. And while I want tuition costs to go down, I don’t think we can buy down every last penny for them. Now, there’s something else that doesn’t get talked about in the college affordability debate. Yes, it needs to be more affordable in this country to go to college. It also needs to be more affordable in this country to not go to college. You should be able to live well, afford rent, be generous to your church and Little League, whether you went to college or not. – Pete Buttigieg

From talking about the benefits of technology to passing the torch to a younger generation back to education. Our Democratic champions had a lot to say.

Hey, guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we are going to put food on their table. – Kamala Harris

With the conversation quickly steering towards a topic that affects each and every American today: healthcare.

Healthcare is a human right. Trump and the Republicans have put lifesaving care out of reach for millions who desperately need it.

Let’s be clear. Let us be very clear. The function of health care today from the insurance and drug company perspective is not to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way. The function of the health care system today is to make billions in profits for the insurance companies. – Bernie Sanders

Immigration has been at the forefront ever since Donald Trump took office. This is the thing. Diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Immigrants add to the prosperity and resilience of this great country.

They’re teachers, first responders, service members, and innovators working towards the American Dream.

Yes. You cannot let, as the mayor said, you cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered. You can’t do that. It’s just going to be taken care of, period. You have to. It’s the humane thing to do. – Joe Biden

We have to make sure that ICE is completely reformed and they begin looking at their job in a humanitarian way, where they’re addressing the whole needs of the people that they are engaged with along the border, and we have to make sure ultimately that we provide not just shelter, but food, clothing, and access to medical care. – John Hickenlooper

Justice demands fairness. ALL Americans deserve a criminal justice system that’s fair, accessible, and treats people equally.

It’s time to end to the mass incarceration that disproportionately affects young people of color for minor offenses and an end to the for-profit prison industry that is more interested in revenue rather than making our communities safer.

This is an issue that is facing our community and so many communities around the country. And until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we will be left with the bigger problem of the fact that there is a wall of mistrust put up one racist act at a time, not just from what’s happened in the past, but from what’s happening around the country in the present. It threatens the well-being of every community. And I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle, when they see a police officer approaching, feels the exact same thing…a feeling not of fear but of safety. I am determined to bring that day about. – Pete Buttigieg

But I also believe, and it’s personal — and I was actually very — it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me. So I will tell you that, on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly. As attorney general of California, I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on. – Kamala Harris

Healthcare is a right and all Texans deserve confidential, affordable, and unrestricted access to a full range of reproductive healthcare services, including abortion.

We believe that every Texan should have the right to make their own decisions, including the decision to have an abortion and when and if they want to parent – and if they do, that family must have a fair shot to get ahead.

Let’s be clear: We cannot afford more natural disasters, like Hurricane Harvey. While Republicans spent trillions on tax cuts for the super wealthy, Democrats are making sure the wealthy pay their fair share, putting more money in the pockets of working people, and making smart investments in our infrastructure to protect Texans homes from flooding, wildfires, and climate chaos.

By taking bold action, we can stop climate chaos, protect our air and water quality, and create good jobs. Democrats have bold and ambitious plans to deal with climate change while growing our economy.

Well, first of all, I don’t even call it climate change. It’s a climate crisis. It represents an existential threat to us as a species. And the fact that we have a president of the United States who has embraced science fiction over science fact will be to our collective peril. I visited, while the embers were smoldering, the wildfires in California. I spoke with firefighters who were in the midst of fighting a fire while their own homes were burning. And on this issue, it is a critical issue that is about what we must do to confront what is immediate and before us right now. That is why I support a Green New Deal. It is why I believe on day one and as president will re-enter us in the Paris Agreement because we have to take these issues seriously. – Kamala Harris

we are going to turn from a dirty economy to a clean economy, we’re going to have a Green New Deal, we’re going to create millions of jobs, we’re going to do this within the next 12 years, because I’m not interested in just winning the next election. We are interested in our grandchildren. – Marianne Williamson

To end gun violence, Texas Democrats know we got to treat it like both the criminal justice and public health issue that is. We must do more to keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories and enact strong, common-sense gun laws, which go hand in hand with the Second Amendment.

The NRA may not like it, but Texans are demanding leaders who unapologetically stand for common-sense gun reform.

Thank you. I think your idea is a great one, Congressman Swalwell. And I’ll say that there are a lot of great ideas. The problem is Congress has not had the courage to act which is why when elected president of the United States, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to pull their act together, bring all these good ideas together, and put a bill on my desk for signature. And if they do not, I will take executive action and I will put in place the most comprehensive background check policy we’ve had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law. And I will ban by executive order the importation of assault weapons. Because I’m going to tell you, as a prosecutor, I have seen more autopsy photographs than I care to tell you. I have hugged more mothers who are the mothers of homicide victims. And I have attended more police officer funerals. It is enough. It is enough. There have been plenty of good ideas from members of the United States Congress. There has been no action. As president, I will take action. – Kamala Harris

Democrats everywhere are dedicated to winning back the White House. In Texas, we know that the only way that can happen is through Texas. We are ready to fight because:

  • We will win the White House
  • Take out John Cornyn
  • Expand our Texas congressional delegation
  • Flip the Texas House
  • Elect hundreds of local Democrats across the state