Election2020

Bernie Sanders greets the crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina, on March 14.
Bernie Sanders greets the crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina, on March 14. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

Trade & China

“Since the China trade deal I voted against, America has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs. It’s wrong to pretend that China isn’t one of our major economic competitors. When we are in the White House we will win that competition by fixing our trade policies.”

May 1, 2019, on Twitter

Yemen

“The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a dangerous and irresponsible foreign policy.”

March 13, 2019, in a Senate floor speech

North Korea

“I think, look, nuclear weapons in the hands of a brutal, irresponsible dictator is a bad idea. And if Trump can succeed … through face-to-face meetings with Kim Jong Un and rid that country of nuclear weapons, that is a very good thing. So I think that the idea of going and meeting face to face with your adversaries is a good idea.”

Feb. 25, 2019, at a CNN town hall

Saudi Arabia

“This is a despotic dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent, that treats women as third-class citizens, and has spent the last several decades exporting a very extreme form of Islam around the world. Saudi Arabia is currently devastating the country of Yemen in a catastrophic war in alliance with the United States.”

Oct. 9, 2018, in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of these Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on Earth.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“[Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] is a murderer. And it’s not only his murder of [Jamal] Khashoggi. He murders many people. He treats women as third-class citizens and he runs a regime which is fiercely opposed to democracy. So this is not a country which should be our ally. We’re going to change our relationship with dictatorships all over the world, and as we move to sustainable energy, we are not going to be needing their oil any longer.”

Oct. 2, 2019, at a Nevada campaign stop

Israel and Palestine

“I am not anti-Israel, but the fact of the matter is Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

April 22, 2019, at a CNN town hall

“$3.8 billion [in annual military aid to Israel] is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or for that matter to any government at all. … I think it is fair to say that some of that $3.8 billion should go right now into humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

Oct. 28, 2019, at the J Street National Conference

“It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel. I am pro-Israel. But we must treat the Palestinian people as well with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

Climate Change

“Our job is to rally the entire planet to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, which continues to make huge profits while their carbon emissions destroy the planet for our children and grandchildren.”

Oct. 9, 2018, in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“I’ll tell you what else, in my view, is a national security issue. And that is: We have got, as a nation, to reject Trump’s idea that climate change is a hoax.”

“I fear very much the kind of world that we’re leaving to our kids in terms of more drought, more flooding, more extreme weather disturbances, more rising ocean levels. And when those things happen, by the way, they become a national security issue, because people migrate. … If I’m living in the Mideast someplace and I can’t grow food on my land, I’m going to pick up and leave, and that causes conflict.”

April 15, 2019, at a Fox News town hall

“Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050 at latest.”

Campaign website

Immigration

“Our job is to fight back against brutal immigration policies that require separating migrant families when they are detained at the border and require children to be put in cages. Migrants and refugees should be treated with compassion and respect when they reach Europe or the United States. Yes, we need better international cooperation to address the flow of migrants across borders, but the solution is not to build walls and amplify the cruelty toward those fleeing impossible conditions as a deterrence strategy.”

Oct. 9, 2018, in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“We [have] got to look at the root causes. And you have a situation where Honduras, among other things, is a failing state, massive corruption. You got gangs who are telling families that if a 10-year-old does not join their gang, their family is going to be killed. What we have got to do on day one and invite the presidents and the leadership of Central America and Mexico together. This is a hemispheric problem.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

Energy

“Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure and keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands.”

“End exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.”

Campaign website

Human Rights

“Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people. In the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, democracy is under threat by forces of intolerance, corruption, and authoritarianism.”

Campaign website

Iran

“I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, which would be far worse than [the] disastrous war with Iraq.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.

Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

Jan. 2, 2020, on Twitter

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

“I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of this Saudi led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on Earth.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

Trade

“Under no circumstance would we rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership under a Sanders Administration.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

Defense

“I don’t think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don’t even know who our enemy is.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

Energy & Climate Change

“Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.”

Aug. 22, 2019, on Twitter

Afghanistan

“I think it is time after spending many trillions of dollars on these endless wars, which have resulted in more dislocation and mass migrations and pain in that region, it is time to bring our troops home. But unlike Trump, I will not do it through a tweet at 3 o’clock in the morning. I will do it working with the international community. And if it’s necessary to negotiate with the Taliban, of course we will do that.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

Saudi Arabia & Iran

“We have got to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together in a room under American leadership and say we are sick and tired of us spending huge amounts of money and human resources because of your conflicts.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

Joe Biden speaks to diners at the Tasty Cafe during a campaign stop in Eldridge, Iowa, on June 12.
Joe Biden speaks to diners at the Tasty Cafe during a campaign stop in Eldridge, Iowa, on June 12. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Joe Biden

Former vice president

China

“While Trump is pursuing a damaging and erratic trade war, without any real strategy, China is positioning itself to lead the world in renewable energy. While Trump is attacking our friends, China is pressing its advantage all over the world. So you bet I’m worried about China—if we keep following Trump’s path.”

June 11, 2019, at an Iowa campaign event

Human Rights & China

“China’s continuing oppression of its own people, especially the abuse and internment of more than one million Uyghurs, is one of the worst human rights crises in the world today. It can’t be ignored. Human rights must be at the core—not periphery—of our engagement in the world.”

June 4, 2019, on Twitter

Climate Change

“He will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change – he will go much further than that. He will lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets.”

Campaign website

“It is an existential threat. There is no doubt about that. And the fact of the matter is that we make up 15 percent of the problem. The rest of the world makes up 80 percent, 85 percent of the problem. If we did everything perfectly, everything, and we must and should in order to get other countries to move, we still have to get the rest of the world to come along.”

Sept. 4, 2019, at the CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall 

Yemen

“Biden believes it is past time to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen and cancel the blank check the Trump administration has given Saudi Arabia for its conduct of that war.”

May 1, 2019, from a campaign spokesperson in the Washington Post

Russia

“Russia’s assault on democracy and subversion of democratic political systems calls for a strong response. The United States and its allies must improve their ability to deter Russian military aggression and work together more closely to strengthen their energy security and prevent Russia’s nonmilitary forms of coercion. They must also reduce the vulnerability of their political systems, media environments, financial sectors, and cyber-infrastructure.”

January/February 2018, from a co-authored piece in Foreign Affairs

“Foreign election interference is not only a serious threat to our democratic institutions, it’s a threat to our national security. Russia and other authoritarian regimes are actively seeking to try to change outcomes of our democratic elections, and we can’t allow that to happen.”

Feb. 22, 2019, on Twitter

North Korea

“This guy [Kim Jong Un] is a thug.”

Feb. 28, 2019, at the Chuck Hagel Forum in Global Leadership at the University of Nebraska at Omaha

“The historic Iran nuclear deal the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and it provides a blueprint for an effective negotiation.”

Aug. 1, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

 

Iran

“The way to keep Iran from being a nuclear power is to stay in the agreement. That’s what was negotiated.”

May 14, 2019, at a New Hampshire campaign stop

“President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad.”

Jan. 2, 2020, in a statement on Twitter

“This is a crisis of Donald Trump’s own making. He claimed pulling out of the Iran deal would deter Iranian aggression and result in a better deal. He has failed on both counts. He is the most erratic and incompetent commander in chief we’ve ever had.”

Jan. 5, 2020, on Twitter

“Trump’s impulsive decision may well do more to strengthen Iran’s position in the region than any of Soleimani’s plots would have ever accomplished.”

Jan. 7, 2020, in a campaign speech in New York

Israel and Palestine

“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past the past several years—the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures—they’re moving us and, more importantly, they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction.”

April 18, 2016, at a J Street gala

International Institutions

“I strongly support NATO. I believe it is the single most significant military alliance in the history of the world. And I think it’s been the basis upon which we’ve been able to keep peace and stability for the past 70 years. And it is the heart of our collective security. It is the basis upon which the United States is able to exercise its responsibilities in other parts of the world as well.”

Feb. 16, 2019, at the Munich Security Conference

“I think, first of all, we’ve got to stop treating NATO like a protection racket, which is the way we’re doing it now.”

Feb. 16, 2019, at the Munich Security Conference

“We know NATO will fall apart if [Trump] is elected four more years, it is the single most consequential alliance in the history of the United States.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

 

“If [Trump] is re-elected, I promise you, there will be no NATO.”

Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate 

Trade

“Fair trade is important. Not free trade. Fair trade. And I think that back in the time during the Clinton administration, it made sense at the moment.”

May 13, 2019, in an Associated Press interview

“I’m a fair trader. That’s why I’ve been arguing for a long time that we should treat other countries the way in which they treat us, which is, particularly as it relates to China: If they want to trade here, they’re going to be under the same rules.”

April 30, 2019, at an Iowa campaign stop

Immigration

“Deporting Dreamers just a few days before their high school graduation, separating children from their parents on the border. That isn’t who we are. We’re better than that.”

May 7, 2019, at a Nevada campaign rally

Trade & China

“I would not rejoin the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] as it was initially put forward. I would insist that we renegotiate pieces of that with the Pacific nations that we had in South America and North America, so that we could bring them together to hold China accountable”

July 31, 2019, at the second Democratic debate

“If we don’t set the rules, we, in fact, are going to find ourselves with China setting the rules. And that’s why you need to organize the world to take on China, to stop the corrupt practices that are underway.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

Afghanistan

“The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency, meaning that we’re going to put that country together. It cannot be put together. Let me say it again. It will not be put together.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

“I would end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and order a reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

In an undated interview with the Washington Post

Saudi Arabia

“America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh.”

Aug. 1, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are. There’s very little social redeeming value of the—in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate 

Syria

On abandoning Kurdish troops in Syria: “It has been the most shameful thing that any president
has done in modern history … in terms of foreign policy.”
Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg meets with Virginia House Delegate-elect Nancy Guy in Norfolk, Virginia, on Nov. 25.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg meets with Virginia House Delegate-elect Nancy Guy in Norfolk, Virginia, on Nov. 25. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City

China

“The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public. Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents or he’s not going to survive.”

Sept. 27, 2019, PBS interview

Israel and Palestine

“My personal opinion is that you have to have a two-state solution because of the fact that both sides think God gave them the same piece of land. You have got to split the piece of land, and each will have half of it. You have half a cake. It’s better than no cake. And it can bring peace. So, your people and my people and his people and her people can have a better life.”

Sept. 25, 2019, Arab News interview

Climate Change

“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we.”

June 6, 2019, Statement

Immigration

“We need immigrants to take all the different kinds of jobs that the country needs—improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion, our dialogue, and certainly improve our economy.”

 Nov. 26, 2019, at a Phoenix Campaign stop

“Trump has failed to adapt to a change in immigration flows from single Mexican males seeking work to Central American families and unaccompanied minors seeking refuge. He has resorted to draconian methods that have only brought more misery to the most vulnerable while failing to remedy the situation.”

May 31, 2019, Bloomberg Editorial

“Instead of cutting off aid to Central America, as Trump plans to do, the U.S. should provide more, and help El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras defeat the gangs that smuggle migrants north.”

May 31, 2019, Bloomberg Editorial

Iran

“Without more information, we can only hope that the president has carefully thought through the national security implications of this attack for our country and the grave risks involved. But given his track record and his history of making reckless and impulsive decisions that undermine U.S. strategic objectives and weaken our allies — most recently in Syria — there is every reason to be deeply concerned.”

Jan. 3, 2020, in a statement on Twitter

Elizabeth Warren at a campaign town hall in  Fairfax, Virginia, on May 16.
Elizabeth Warren at a campaign town hall in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 16. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

Human Rights

“Around the world, democracy is under assault. Authoritarian governments are gaining power. Right-wing demagogues are gaining strength. Movements toward openness and pluralism have stalled and begun to reverse. Inequality is rapidly growing, transforming rule by the people into rule by wealthy elites. And here at home, many American politicians seem to accept—even embrace—the politics of division and resentment.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

Trade

“As President, I won’t hand America’s leverage to big corporations to use for their own narrow purposes — I’ll use it to create and defend good American jobs, raise wages and farm income, combat climate change, lower drug prices, and raise living standards worldwide. We will engage in international trade — but on our terms and only when it benefits American families.”

“We must do the hard work of transforming every aspect of our current approach to trade: from our negotiating process to the negotiating objectives we pursue to the way we enforce agreements.”

July 29, 2019, in a policy announcement on Medium

“U.S. trade policy has delivered one punch in the gut after another to workers and to the unions that fight for them.”

“Policymakers promised that open markets would lead to open societies. Wow. Did Washington get that one wrong. Efforts to bring capitalism to the global stage unwittingly helped create the conditions for anti-democratic countries to rise up and lash out.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

“The way we change our trade policy in America is, first, the procedures. Who sits at the table? I want to negotiate trade with unions at the table. I want to negotiate it with small farmers at the table. I want to negotiate it with environmentalists at the table. I want to negotiate with human rights activists at the table.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate 

“As president, I will make sure that any new trade agreement we enter sets strong standards and prioritizes working families instead of the interests of giant multinational corporations with no particular allegiance or loyalty to America.”

Sept. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

“In some cases, as with our support for Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Yemen, U.S. policies risk generating even more extremism.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia brutally murdered a journalist in its own consulate and bombed Yemeni civilians with US-armed warplanes. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it also may have transferred US weapons to violent extremists. It’s time to start holding Saudi Arabia accountable.”

Feb. 22, 2019, on Twitter

“Selling more weapons to Saudi Arabia doesn’t make America safer or align with our country’s values. It only benefits defense contractors and @realDonaldTrump’s alarming desire to sow chaos abroad.”

May 25, 2019, on Twitter

 

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

“We need to face the ugly truth – by continuing to enable Saudi Arabia, America is complicit in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We must end our support for this war now.”

Feb. 6, 2019, in a news release

Afghanistan

“We’ve turned the corner in Afghanistan so many times that we’re now going in circles. Poppy production is up. The Taliban are on the rise. Afghan forces are taking unsustainable losses. The government is losing territory and credibility.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

Syria & Afghanistan

“I think it is right to get our troops out of Syria—and, let me add, I think it’s right to get our troops out of Afghanistan.”

Jan. 2, 2019, in an interview with MSNBC

China

“China is on the rise, using its economic might to bludgeon its way onto the world stage and offering a model in which economic gains legitimize oppression.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

“China’s economic policies undercut American workers. Its military ambitions and coercive diplomacy threaten peace in Asia and beyond. Its repression at home, including its treatment of the Uighur minority, and attacks on norms abroad risk eroding liberal values around the world.”

Oct. 3, 2019, in a Foreign Policy op-ed

 

Russia

“To mask its decline, Russia is provoking the international community with opportunistic harassment and covert attacks—including just this week, when Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships near Crimea.”

“Vladimir Putin attacks the free press and thumps his chest about the power of Russia, but his real power comes from state-run corporations conveniently overseen by his friends and cronies. Corruption.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

Climate Change

“Like we have before, we should bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global effort to face down this threat — and create more than a million good jobs here at home.”

June 4, 2019, in a campaign post on Medium

“The fossil fuel industry wants to keep us arguing about light bulbs and cheeseburgers while 70% of pollution comes from just three industries. We need to focus on creating big, structural change to tackle this climate crisis and the Washington corruption head-on.”

Sept. 4, 2019, on Twitter 

 

North Korea

“I want to see the President succeed, but a handshake is no substitute for a binding, verifiable deal.”

June 12, 2018, in a news release

“As a first step, and in coordination with our partners and allies, I would be prepared to consider partial, limited sanctions relief in return for a strong, verifiable agreement that keeps North Korea from expanding its arsenal or proliferating to other countries.”

Sep. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

Iran

“Our intelligence community told us again and again: The #IranDeal was working to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. If Iran continues to abide by the terms of the deal, you bet I will support returning to it.”

Feb. 23, 2019, on Twitter

“As president, I would make sure our country gets back on the 2015 Iran Deal. We can’t afford another forever war, and I’m fighting to stop Donald Trump from dragging us into another one.”

June 26, 2019, on Twitter

“If Iran returns to compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, the United States should return as well.”

Sept. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“Donald Trump ripped up an Iran nuclear deal that was working. He’s repeatedly escalated tensions. Now he’s assassinated a senior foreign military official. He’s been marching toward war with Iran since his first days in office—but the American people won’t stand for it.”

Jan. 3, 2020, on Twitter

Israel and Palestine

“I believe that as a good ally to everyone in the region that we should be pushing hard back toward a two-state solution and toward insisting on both parts, and that is security for Israel and dignity and self-determination for all of the Palestinian people.”

April 12, 2019, at an event at the University of New Hampshire

“The way we respect all parties is through a two-state solution – an outcome that’s good for U.S. interests, good for Israel’s security and its future, and good for Palestinian aspirations for dignity and self-determination. To achieve this, there must be an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip living alongside Israel.”

Sept. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“If Israel’s government continues with steps to formally annex the West Bank, the U.S. should make clear that none of our aid should be used to support annexation.”

Oct. 28, 2019, in a message to the J Street National Conference

International Institutions

“America is strongest when we work together with our allies – including the 28 NATO members who share our democratic values. Undermining NATO is a gift to Putin that @realDonaldTrump seems all too happy to give.”

July 11, 2018, on Twitter

Terrorism

“Just like the hateful terrorism of al Qaeda and ISIS, domestic right-wing terrorism is completely incompatible with American values. It is a threat to the safety and security of the United States, and we must not tolerate it in the United States.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

Energy

“On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that says no more drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”

April 15, 2019, in a campaign post on Medium

Immigration

“I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat, and I don’t think mommas and babies are the place that we should be spending our resources. Separating a momma from a baby does not make this country safer.”

Aug. 22, 2018, in an interview with CNN

Syria

“I support bringing our troops home from Syria. But President Trump’s reckless and unplanned withdrawal undermines both our partners and our security. We need a strategy to end this conflict, not a president who can be swayed by one phone call.”

Oct. 7, 2019, on Twitter

 

Pete Buttigieg greets guests after announcing his presidential campaign in South Bend, Indiana, on April 14.
Pete Buttigieg greets guests after announcing his presidential campaign in South Bend, Indiana, on April 14. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

Afghanistan

“Endless war cannot continue. And if you look at Afghanistan or a number of other places where we are operating, with boots on the ground, we’re operating on an authorization for use of military force from 2001. … We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where another generation finds itself being deployed again because of another attack, but simply staying there infinitely with no plan is not going to work. And neither is leaving with no plan.”

Jan. 23, 2019, while announcing his 2020 exploratory committee

“A negotiated peace agreement in which we maintain a relevant special operations/intelligence presence but bring home our ground troops is the best way to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base for terrorist attacks against the United States or its allies.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

China

“We’ve got to recognize that the China challenge really is a serious one. This is not something to dismiss or wave away. And if you look at what China is doing, they’re using technology for the perfection of dictatorship. But their fundamental economic model isn’t going to change because of some tariffs.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“Where necessary and feasible, we should seek cooperation with Beijing, such as in addressing climate disruption, maintaining strategic stability, combatting terrorism, and managing conflict through international peacekeeping. But the United States must defend our fundamental values, core interests, and critical alliances, and accept that this will often entail friction with China.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

Climate Change

“We must treat climate change as the existential security challenge it is … America can rise to this national challenge [with] an approach that should include a carbon tax and dividend to reorient our economy around a more sensible rewards system. It includes quadrupling American R&D to at least 25 billion dollars a year, and leading the way on research into renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon storage.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

Human Rights

“It is hard to stand for human rights abroad when we are turning away asylum seekers at our own borders.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

Immigration

“We don’t need a wall from sea to shining sea. What we need is to manage immigration and our border humanely, securely, and effectively.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

Iran

“Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons should remain a core tenet of our global leadership. For this reason, I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to the Iran nuclear deal. Whatever its imperfections, this was perhaps as close to a true ‘art of the deal’ as it gets.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

“I would take the agreement [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] as a floor, not a ceiling. I would revive P5+1 diplomacy and direct US-Iran dialogue at the appropriate levels and would want to pursue follow-on agreements that extend the timeframe of certain nuclear restrictions, cover Iran’s missile program, and address its role in regional conflicts, all in return for targeted sanctions relief.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“There is no question that Qassim Suleimani was a threat to that safety and security, and that he masterminded threats and attacks on Americans and our allies, leading to hundreds of deaths. But there are serious consequences about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences.”

Jan. 3, 2020, in a statement on Twitter

Iraq

“We must remember that the lesson of the Iraq disaster is not that there is anything wrong with standing for American values, but rather that any action in the name of such values must be strategic, legitimate, and constrained by the premise that we only use force when left with no alternative.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

Israel and Palestine

“A two-state solution that achieves legitimate Palestinian aspirations and meets Israel’s security needs remains the only viable way forward, and it will be our policy to support such a solution actively. And if Prime Minister Netanyahu makes good on his promise to annex West Bank settlements, he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to make sure that American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

International Institutions

“Seventy years after the founding of NATO, we must repair the strained relationships with our European allies—not because we owe them or they owe us, but because America is more effective when we work with strong and able partners, and when those partners can trust America’s word.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

North Korea

“You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people. But you will see my administration work to create the conditions that would make it possible to welcome North Korea into the international community.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

“I would support an initial freeze agreement that would have North Korea cease production of fissile material and end nuclear and missile testing, all verified by international inspectors, in exchange for targeted sanctions relief, which could be reversed if the North Koreans did not uphold their end of the bargain. After this initial deal, we would need to proceed toward dismantling facilities and then the weapons themselves.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

Russia

“Russia throws its weight around abroad—most egregiously, of course, their unacceptable interference in our elections, which weakened America both by helping to elect an unstable administration and by eroding confidence in our democracy itself. We must be ready to deter such behavior in the future, through diplomatic, economic, and even cyber tools and information operations.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

Saudi Arabia

“We will remain open to working with a regime like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the benefit of the American people. But we can no longer sell out our deepest values for the sake of fossil fuel access and lucrative business deals. If we recognize that the torture and execution of dissidents is wrong, then we should have the courage to say that it is wrong on both sides of the Gulf.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

Defense

“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.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

“We need to reprioritize our budget as a whole and our military spending in particular. It’s not just how much, although we certainly need to look at the runaway growth in military spending. It’s also where.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

The United States must halt military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. The brutal war has brought the country to the verge of famine and killed tens of thousands of civilians.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

Syria

“The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence. It’s a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values.”

Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate

Amy Klobuchar speaks during a campaign stop in Mason City, Iowa, on Feb. 16.
Amy Klobuchar speaks during a campaign stop in Mason City, Iowa, on Feb. 16. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

Afghanistan

“We have been there longer than some of our young people have been on this earth.”

June 19, 2019, in a New York Times interview

Trade & China

“Glad that Department of Commerce announced tarrifs this week on steel imports from China & Japan. U.S. workers need level playing field.”

May 20, 2016, on Twitter

“The stakes of this competition are high, and it’s not about some far-off balance of power in Asia. We don’t want to prevent China from succeeding, but we do want to prevent it from doing so at the expense of others, including Americans.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

Iran & China

“Two threats—economic threat, China. Our major threat right now is what’s going on in the Middle East with Iran if we don’t get our act together.”

First Dem debate on June 26, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

Climate Change

“I believe in science. And that inviting climate change deniers onto your National Security Council is dangerous. We need to get back into the International Climate Change Agreement. Now.”

June 15, 2019, on Twitter

Immigration

“[Trump] has gut-punched us on that a number of times. We have the will to put the money at the border for better security, and combine it with some sensible reforms, including things like a path to citizenship, things like making sure that we have workers on our fields and in our factories that we need. But he has chosen instead to weaponize this, to politicize it.”

Nov. 25, 2018, on ABC’s This Week

“Senator Klobuchar will end all Administration discussions to cut off direct assistance funding for Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, recognizing that the cuts present a serious risk to our national security and undermine efforts to address the underlying conditions driving migration to the United States.”

June 18, 2019, in her plan for her first 100 days as president

Iran

“The Administration’s reckless policies increase the risk of armed conflict&isolate the U.S. The President was wrong to withdraw from the Iran Agreement and he can’t draw us into war w/out authorization from Congress. Acting alone makes America less safe.”

May 14, 2019, on Twitter

The 2015 nuclear agreement imposed verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program that would prevent it from building a nuclear weapon. Senator Klobuchar will negotiate to bring the United States back into the nuclear agreement with the goal of avoiding war and a nuclear-armed Iran.”

June 18, 2019, in her plan for her first 100 days as president

“A full-blown war with Iran is not in the national security interest of the U.S. or allies in the region.”

Jan. 7, 2020, on Twitter

International Institutions

“The consequences of berating our allies: As Trump rattles NATO, 42 percent of Germans now want U.S. troops out of the country.”

June 12, 2018, on Twitter

“I will reaffirm America’s commitment to the NATO alliance and end any question of America’s commitment to collective defense. I will strengthen our relationships with Japan and South Korea, the cornerstones of our economic and security alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

Russia

“We now know for certain that Russia invaded our democracy. They didn’t use bombs, jets or tanks. Instead, they planned a mission to undermine the foundation of our electoral system. … We need to take action now to prevent a recurrence of 2016—or something even worse.”

May 9, 2019, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times

“In 2017, Congress passed legislation providing additional authorities for the President to impose sanctions on Russia in response to its election interference and other aggressive actions. The Trump Administration has resisted full implementation of these sanctions. Senator Klobuchar will use these authorities to the fullest extent possible to impose serious costs on the Putin regime and its enablers for hostile acts against the United States and our allies.”

June 18, 2019, in her plan for her first 100 days as president

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

“Today, the Senate spoke with a clear voice opposing U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition’s operations in Yemen. We refused to turn a blind eye to civilian casualties or the ongoing humanitarian crisis that continues to devastate Yemen and its people.”

March 13, 2019, in a Senate news release

Saudi Arabia & Human Rights

“There’s no confusion here. No moral equivocation. Jamal Khashoggi was the target of a ‘deliberate, premeditated execution,’ and the Saudi government must be accountable at the highest levels.”

June 19, 2019, on Twitter

Syria

“Using chemical weapons is an atrocity. These missile strikes targeted the air base used to launch the chemical attack, and it is right to show Assad that he will be held accountable. Moving forward, the Administration must consult with Congress.”

April 7, 2017, in a Senate news release

Terrorism

“You have a situation right now, where you look at what’s happened in places like that synagogue in Pittsburgh, when you look at the bombing attempts on leaders, including President Obama, in our nation. We have white supremacists, a resurgence of this kind of anger, and the Ku Klux Klan. And it just keeps getting worse. … And so I think that our country needs to take this just as seriously as we do other forms of terrorism.”

March 17, 2019, on NBC’s Meet the Press

Defense

“We also should not be trapped by the false logic that higher defense spending automatically leads to a better military or a safer nation. Virtually every analysis of the Pentagon’s budget has found duplicative and unnecessary programs. So we need to make it clear that we will take a much clearer look at how money is being spent, and I will immediately focus on making sure we are making the right investments.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

Trade

“And I think that if we’re going to start negotiations on TPP, to get at your question, we better make sure that there are improvements to that agreement. There were some real issues with that agreement.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

Tom Steyer speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Aug.  11.
Tom Steyer speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Aug. 11. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Climate Change

“On day one, we’d do a bunch of things including reentering [the Paris climate accords], freeze and reverse the Trump [rulemaking], we’d establish a cabinet level position, put a climate lens on all purchasing … and if Congress couldn’t pass a Green New Deal, [we] would set clean energy standards.”

July 25, 2019, in an interview with Politico

“I would declare a state of emergency on day one for climate. Because we can’t wait. The timing on that is—it’s urgent. It’s an emergency.”

Aug. 1, 2019, in an interview with WMUR-TV

Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia’s brutal murder of Jamal [Khashoggi] should have been met with condemnation—instead, Donald Trump offered his friendship.”

Oct. 2, 2019, on Twitter

Russia

“Our entire intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in our election in 2016 and that their campaign of information warfare is ongoing. We also know that Russia has launched cyberattacks on our power grid. Congress has allocated $120 million to the Trump administration to deter these attacks. To date, Trump’s administration hasn’t spent any of it. … This isn’t even a slap on Russia’s wrist. It’s looking the other way.”

March 29, 2018, in a video on Twitter

Trade

“Industrial supply chains are linked in a way they’ve never been before. The idea that we can be separate from other countries in the world is absurd.”

Aug. 1, 2019, in an interview with WMUR-TV

Tulsi Gabbard talks to veterans during a campaign rally in Iowa City on April 16.
Tulsi Gabbard talks to veterans during a campaign rally in Iowa City on April 16. Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

Afghanistan

“I will end the wasteful regime-change wars that have taken such a toll on our troops and on the American people.”

June 19, 2019, in an interview with the New York Times

“We can’t keep U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan thinking that we’re going to somehow squash this Taliban that has been there, and every other country that’s tried it failed.”

June 26, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

North Korea & China

“Trump’s trade-war against China has damaged, not helped, our economy, has undermined our efforts to denuclearize North Korea, and has strengthened the hand of Chinese anti-American militarists.”

Feb. 5, 2019, on Twitter

Climate Change

“President Trump’s decision today to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, making us just one of three countries in the world not to participate, is short-sighted and irresponsible.”

June 1, 2017, in a news release

“We cannot wait any longer to act on climate change. … We must pass my bill, the #OFFAct to protect our people and our planet by transitioning to a 100% clean energy economy by 2035.”

Dec. 20, 2017, in a news release

“I support the carbon neutrality goals of the Green New Deal and the awareness it has brought across the country on the critical issues of energy independence and the climate crisis, however, I do not support ‘leaving the door open’ to nuclear power unless and until there is a permanent solution to the problem of nuclear waste.”

Spring 2019, interview with the Washington Post

Immigration

“The Trump Administration’s use of children as pawns in the immigration debate is despicable and must end immediately. We obviously need comprehensive immigration reform.”

June 18, 2018, on Twitter

Saudi Arabia & Iran

“Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia want to drag the United States into war with Iran, and Trump is submitting to their wishes. The cost in money and lives will be catastrophic.”

April 9, 2019, on Twitter

Iraq & Iran

“Intel officials & politicians led us into Iraq war. Now Trump’s using the same playbook to lead our country into war with Iran. The cost in lives & treasure will be infinitely greater than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, & Syria, and will undermine our ntnl security. #NoIranWar”

May 20, 2019, on Twitter

Iran

“Here we go again! The US sending more troops to Middle East for what will be disastrous war with Iran. To prevent Trump and future presidents from waging war illegally (without Congress approval) we must sign my No More Presidential Wars Act.”

June 18, 2019, on Twitter

Saudi Arabia

“Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not ‘America First.’”

Nov. 21, 2018, on Twitter

Syria

“There have been reports showing that chemical weapons have been used in Syria both by the Syrian government as well as different terrorist groups on the ground in Syria. The skepticism and the questions that I raised were very specific around incidents that the Trump administration was trying to use as an excuse to launch a U.S. military attack in Syria.”

March 10, 2019, in a CNN town hall

“Assad is not the enemy of the United States, because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States. … Our troops have not gone to Syria to wage yet another costly, destructive regime-change war. And many troops I hear from express frustration at the fact that our country continues to wage senseless, costly regime-change wars followed by nation-building missions, leading to situations like we see in Afghanistan.”

Feb. 6, 2019, in an interview with MSNBC

“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.”

Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate

Trade

“For too long, hardworking Americans have suffered, lost their jobs and livelihoods as a consequence of large trade agreements like NAFTA, while multinational corporations and special interests continue to make record profits. … My colleagues and I are urging the Trump administration to fully include Congress as they renegotiate NAFTA to ensure it is a transparent process and that they reach a fair deal for all Americans.”

Aug. 16, 2017, in a news release

Yemen & Saudi Arabia

“Right now the United States continues to support Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen. This support has been ongoing since 2015 and yet has never been authorized by Congress. It must end now. … This has created the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.”

April 4, 2019, in a news release

U.S. Army soldiers from NATO are seen through a cracked window in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on July 7, 2018.
U.S. Army soldiers from NATO are seen through a cracked window in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on July 7, 2018. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Afghanistan

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“I think it is time after spending many trillions of dollars on these endless wars, which have resulted in more dislocation and mass migrations and pain in that region, it is time to bring our troops home. But unlike Trump, I will not do it through a tweet at 3 o’clock in the morning. I will do it working with the international community. And if it’s necessary to negotiate with the Taliban, of course we will do that.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency, meaning that we’re going to put that country together. It cannot be put together. Let me say it again. It will not be put together.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“We’ve turned the corner in Afghanistan so many times that we’re now going in circles. Poppy production is up. The Taliban are on the rise. Afghan forces are taking unsustainable losses. The government is losing territory and credibility.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

“I think it is right to get our troops out of Syria—and, let me add, I think it’s right to get our troops out of Afghanistan.”

Jan. 2, 2019, in an interview with MSNBC

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“Endless war cannot continue. And if you look at Afghanistan or a number of other places where we are operating, with boots on the ground, we’re operating on an authorization for use of military force from 2001. … We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where another generation finds itself being deployed again because of another attack, but simply staying there infinitely with no plan is not going to work. And neither is leaving with no plan.”

Jan. 23, 2019, while announcing his 2020 exploratory committee

“A negotiated peace agreement in which we maintain a relevant special operations/intelligence presence but bring home our ground troops is the best way to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base for terrorist attacks against the United States or its allies.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“We have been there longer than some of our young people have been on this earth.”

June 19, 2019, in a New York Times interview

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“I will end the wasteful regime-change wars that have taken such a toll on our troops and on the American people.”

June 19, 2019, in an interview with the New York Times

“We can’t keep U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan thinking that we’re going to somehow squash this Taliban that has been there, and every other country that’s tried it failed.”

June 26, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

A propaganda poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on March 12, 2018.
A propaganda poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on March 12, 2018. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on China

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“Since the China trade deal I voted against, America has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs. It’s wrong to pretend that China isn’t one of our major economic competitors. When we are in the White House we will win that competition by fixing our trade policies.”

May 1, 2019, on Twitter

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“While Trump is pursuing a damaging and erratic trade war, without any real strategy, China is positioning itself to lead the world in renewable energy. While Trump is attacking our friends, China is pressing its advantage all over the world. So you bet I’m worried about China—if we keep following Trump’s path.”

June 11, 2019, at an Iowa campaign event

“China’s continuing oppression of its own people, especially the abuse and internment of more than one million Uyghurs, is one of the worst human rights crises in the world today. It can’t be ignored. Human rights must be at the core—not periphery—of our engagement in the world.”

June 4, 2019, on Twitter

“I would not rejoin the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] as it was initially put forward. I would insist that we renegotiate pieces of that with the Pacific nations that we had in South America and North America, so that we could bring them together to hold China accountable”

July 31, 2019, at the second Democratic debate

“If we don’t set the rules, we, in fact, are going to find ourselves with China setting the rules. And that’s why you need to organize the world to take on China, to stop the corrupt practices that are underway.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

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Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City

“The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public. Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents or he’s not going to survive.”

Sept. 27, 2019, PBS interview

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“China is on the rise, using its economic might to bludgeon its way onto the world stage and offering a model in which economic gains legitimize oppression.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

“China’s economic policies undercut American workers. Its military ambitions and coercive diplomacy threaten peace in Asia and beyond. Its repression at home, including its treatment of the Uighur minority, and attacks on norms abroad risk eroding liberal values around the world.”

Oct. 3, 2019, in a Foreign Policy op-ed

 

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“We’ve got to recognize that the China challenge really is a serious one. This is not something to dismiss or wave away. And if you look at what China is doing, they’re using technology for the perfection of dictatorship. But their fundamental economic model isn’t going to change because of some tariffs.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“Where necessary and feasible, we should seek cooperation with Beijing, such as in addressing climate disruption, maintaining strategic stability, combatting terrorism, and managing conflict through international peacekeeping. But the United States must defend our fundamental values, core interests, and critical alliances, and accept that this will often entail friction with China.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“Glad that Department of Commerce announced tarrifs this week on steel imports from China & Japan. U.S. workers need level playing field.”

May 20, 2016, on Twitter

“The stakes of this competition are high, and it’s not about some far-off balance of power in Asia. We don’t want to prevent China from succeeding, but we do want to prevent it from doing so at the expense of others, including Americans.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

“Two threats—economic threat, China. Our major threat right now is what’s going on in the Middle East with Iran if we don’t get our act together.”

First Dem debate on June 26, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“Trump’s trade-war against China has damaged, not helped, our economy, has undermined our efforts to denuclearize North Korea, and has strengthened the hand of Chinese anti-American militarists.”

Feb. 5, 2019, on Twitter

A polar bear wanders the outskirts of Norilsk, Russia, hundreds of miles from its natural habitat, on June 17.
A polar bear wanders the outskirts of Norilsk, Russia, hundreds of miles from its natural habitat, on June 17. IRINA YARINSKAYA/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Climate Change

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“Our job is to rally the entire planet to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, which continues to make huge profits while their carbon emissions destroy the planet for our children and grandchildren.”

Oct. 9, 2018, in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“I’ll tell you what else, in my view, is a national security issue. And that is: We have got, as a nation, to reject Trump’s idea that climate change is a hoax.”

“I fear very much the kind of world that we’re leaving to our kids in terms of more drought, more flooding, more extreme weather disturbances, more rising ocean levels. And when those things happen, by the way, they become a national security issue, because people migrate. … If I’m living in the Mideast someplace and I can’t grow food on my land, I’m going to pick up and leave, and that causes conflict.”

April 15, 2019, at a Fox News town hall

“Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050 at latest.”

Campaign website

“Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.”

Aug. 22, 2019, on Twitter

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“He will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change – he will go much further than that. He will lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets.”

Campaign website

“It is an existential threat. There is no doubt about that. And the fact of the matter is that we make up 15 percent of the problem. The rest of the world makes up 80 percent, 85 percent of the problem. If we did everything perfectly, everything, and we must and should in order to get other countries to move, we still have to get the rest of the world to come along.”

Sept. 4, 2019, at the CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall 

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Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City

“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we.”

June 6, 2019, Statement

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“Like we have before, we should bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global effort to face down this threat — and create more than a million good jobs here at home.”

June 4, 2019, in a campaign post on Medium

“The fossil fuel industry wants to keep us arguing about light bulbs and cheeseburgers while 70% of pollution comes from just three industries. We need to focus on creating big, structural change to tackle this climate crisis and the Washington corruption head-on.”

Sept. 4, 2019, on Twitter 

 

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“We must treat climate change as the existential security challenge it is … America can rise to this national challenge [with] an approach that should include a carbon tax and dividend to reorient our economy around a more sensible rewards system. It includes quadrupling American R&D to at least 25 billion dollars a year, and leading the way on research into renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon storage.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“I believe in science. And that inviting climate change deniers onto your National Security Council is dangerous. We need to get back into the International Climate Change Agreement. Now.”

June 15, 2019, on Twitter

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Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“On day one, we’d do a bunch of things including reentering [the Paris climate accords], freeze and reverse the Trump [rulemaking], we’d establish a cabinet level position, put a climate lens on all purchasing … and if Congress couldn’t pass a Green New Deal, [we] would set clean energy standards.”

July 25, 2019, in an interview with Politico

“I would declare a state of emergency on day one for climate. Because we can’t wait. The timing on that is—it’s urgent. It’s an emergency.”

Aug. 1, 2019, in an interview with WMUR-TV

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“President Trump’s decision today to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, making us just one of three countries in the world not to participate, is short-sighted and irresponsible.”

June 1, 2017, in a news release

“We cannot wait any longer to act on climate change. … We must pass my bill, the #OFFAct to protect our people and our planet by transitioning to a 100% clean energy economy by 2035.”

Dec. 20, 2017, in a news release

“I support the carbon neutrality goals of the Green New Deal and the awareness it has brought across the country on the critical issues of energy independence and the climate crisis, however, I do not support ‘leaving the door open’ to nuclear power unless and until there is a permanent solution to the problem of nuclear waste.”

Spring 2019, interview with the Washington Post

Sailors watch an F/A-18E Super Hornet land on the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Mediterranean Sea on July 6, 2016.
Sailors watch an F/A-18E Super Hornet land on the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Mediterranean Sea on July 6, 2016. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Defense

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“I don’t think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don’t even know who our enemy is.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“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.”

Sept. 12, 2019, at the third Democratic debate

“We need to reprioritize our budget as a whole and our military spending in particular. It’s not just how much, although we certainly need to look at the runaway growth in military spending. It’s also where.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“We also should not be trapped by the false logic that higher defense spending automatically leads to a better military or a safer nation. Virtually every analysis of the Pentagon’s budget has found duplicative and unnecessary programs. So we need to make it clear that we will take a much clearer look at how money is being spent, and I will immediately focus on making sure we are making the right investments.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

Lightning flashes over the Odervorland wind energy park near Sieversdorf, eastern Germany, on Aug. 1, 2017.
Lightning flashes over the Odervorland wind energy park near Sieversdorf, eastern Germany, on Aug. 1, 2017. PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Energy

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure and keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands.”

“End exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.”

Campaign website

“Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.”

Aug. 22, 2019, on Twitter

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that says no more drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”

April 15, 2019, in a campaign post on Medium

A woman wearing a mask reading "Reeks of sexism" in Macedonian raises her fist during a march for women's rights in Skopje, North Macedonia, on March 8.
A woman wearing a mask reading "Reeks of sexism" in Macedonian raises her fist during a march for women's rights in Skopje, North Macedonia, on March 8. ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Human Rights

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people. In the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, democracy is under threat by forces of intolerance, corruption, and authoritarianism.”

Campaign website

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“China’s continuing oppression of its own people, especially the abuse and internment of more than one million Uyghurs, is one of the worst human rights crises in the world today. It can’t be ignored. Human rights must be at the core—not periphery—of our engagement in the world.”

June 4, 2019, on Twitter

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“Around the world, democracy is under assault. Authoritarian governments are gaining power. Right-wing demagogues are gaining strength. Movements toward openness and pluralism have stalled and begun to reverse. Inequality is rapidly growing, transforming rule by the people into rule by wealthy elites. And here at home, many American politicians seem to accept—even embrace—the politics of division and resentment.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“It is hard to stand for human rights abroad when we are turning away asylum seekers at our own borders.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“There’s no confusion here. No moral equivocation. Jamal Khashoggi was the target of a ‘deliberate, premeditated execution,’ and the Saudi government must be accountable at the highest levels.”

June 19, 2019, on Twitter

A man places a U.S. flag on the border wall between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on June 6.
A man places a U.S. flag on the border wall between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on June 6. HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Immigration

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“Our job is to fight back against brutal immigration policies that require separating migrant families when they are detained at the border and require children to be put in cages. Migrants and refugees should be treated with compassion and respect when they reach Europe or the United States. Yes, we need better international cooperation to address the flow of migrants across borders, but the solution is not to build walls and amplify the cruelty toward those fleeing impossible conditions as a deterrence strategy.”

Oct. 9, 2018, in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“We [have] got to look at the root causes. And you have a situation where Honduras, among other things, is a failing state, massive corruption. You got gangs who are telling families that if a 10-year-old does not join their gang, their family is going to be killed. What we have got to do on day one and invite the presidents and the leadership of Central America and Mexico together. This is a hemispheric problem.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Deporting Dreamers just a few days before their high school graduation, separating children from their parents on the border. That isn’t who we are. We’re better than that.”

May 7, 2019, at a Nevada campaign rally

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Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City

“We need immigrants to take all the different kinds of jobs that the country needs—improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion, our dialogue, and certainly improve our economy.”

 Nov. 26, 2019, at a Phoenix Campaign stop

“Trump has failed to adapt to a change in immigration flows from single Mexican males seeking work to Central American families and unaccompanied minors seeking refuge. He has resorted to draconian methods that have only brought more misery to the most vulnerable while failing to remedy the situation.”

May 31, 2019, Bloomberg Editorial

“Instead of cutting off aid to Central America, as Trump plans to do, the U.S. should provide more, and help El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras defeat the gangs that smuggle migrants north.”

May 31, 2019, Bloomberg Editorial

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat, and I don’t think mommas and babies are the place that we should be spending our resources. Separating a momma from a baby does not make this country safer.”

Aug. 22, 2018, in an interview with CNN

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“We don’t need a wall from sea to shining sea. What we need is to manage immigration and our border humanely, securely, and effectively.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“[Trump] has gut-punched us on that a number of times. We have the will to put the money at the border for better security, and combine it with some sensible reforms, including things like a path to citizenship, things like making sure that we have workers on our fields and in our factories that we need. But he has chosen instead to weaponize this, to politicize it.”

Nov. 25, 2018, on ABC’s This Week

“Senator Klobuchar will end all Administration discussions to cut off direct assistance funding for Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, recognizing that the cuts present a serious risk to our national security and undermine efforts to address the underlying conditions driving migration to the United States.”

June 18, 2019, in her plan for her first 100 days as president

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“The Trump Administration’s use of children as pawns in the immigration debate is despicable and must end immediately. We obviously need comprehensive immigration reform.”

June 18, 2018, on Twitter

U.S. President Donald Trump waits to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 19, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump waits to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 19, 2017. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on International Institutions

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I strongly support NATO. I believe it is the single most significant military alliance in the history of the world. And I think it’s been the basis upon which we’ve been able to keep peace and stability for the past 70 years. And it is the heart of our collective security. It is the basis upon which the United States is able to exercise its responsibilities in other parts of the world as well.”

Feb. 16, 2019, at the Munich Security Conference

“I think, first of all, we’ve got to stop treating NATO like a protection racket, which is the way we’re doing it now.”

Feb. 16, 2019, at the Munich Security Conference

“We know NATO will fall apart if [Trump] is elected four more years, it is the single most consequential alliance in the history of the United States.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

 

“If [Trump] is re-elected, I promise you, there will be no NATO.”

Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate 
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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“America is strongest when we work together with our allies – including the 28 NATO members who share our democratic values. Undermining NATO is a gift to Putin that @realDonaldTrump seems all too happy to give.”

July 11, 2018, on Twitter

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“Seventy years after the founding of NATO, we must repair the strained relationships with our European allies—not because we owe them or they owe us, but because America is more effective when we work with strong and able partners, and when those partners can trust America’s word.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“The consequences of berating our allies: As Trump rattles NATO, 42 percent of Germans now want U.S. troops out of the country.”

June 12, 2018, on Twitter

“I will reaffirm America’s commitment to the NATO alliance and end any question of America’s commitment to collective defense. I will strengthen our relationships with Japan and South Korea, the cornerstones of our economic and security alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Dec. 11, 2019, Council on Foreign Relations Speech

Mourners attend a funeral ceremony for Qassem Suleimani in Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 6.
Mourners attend a funeral ceremony for Qassem Suleimani in Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 6. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

The Candidates on Iran

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, which would be far worse than [the] disastrous war with Iraq.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.

Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

Jan. 2, 2020, on Twitter

“We have got to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together in a room under American leadership and say we are sick and tired of us spending huge amounts of money and human resources because of your conflicts.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“The way to keep Iran from being a nuclear power is to stay in the agreement. That’s what was negotiated.”

May 14, 2019, at a New Hampshire campaign stop

“President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad.”

Jan. 2, 2020, in a statement on Twitter

“This is a crisis of Donald Trump’s own making. He claimed pulling out of the Iran deal would deter Iranian aggression and result in a better deal. He has failed on both counts. He is the most erratic and incompetent commander in chief we’ve ever had.”

Jan. 5, 2020, on Twitter

“Trump’s impulsive decision may well do more to strengthen Iran’s position in the region than any of Soleimani’s plots would have ever accomplished.”

Jan. 7, 2020, in a campaign speech in New York

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Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City

“Without more information, we can only hope that the president has carefully thought through the national security implications of this attack for our country and the grave risks involved. But given his track record and his history of making reckless and impulsive decisions that undermine U.S. strategic objectives and weaken our allies — most recently in Syria — there is every reason to be deeply concerned.”

Jan. 3, 2020, in a statement on Twitter

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“Our intelligence community told us again and again: The #IranDeal was working to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. If Iran continues to abide by the terms of the deal, you bet I will support returning to it.”

Feb. 23, 2019, on Twitter

“As president, I would make sure our country gets back on the 2015 Iran Deal. We can’t afford another forever war, and I’m fighting to stop Donald Trump from dragging us into another one.”

June 26, 2019, on Twitter

“If Iran returns to compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, the United States should return as well.”

Sept. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“Donald Trump ripped up an Iran nuclear deal that was working. He’s repeatedly escalated tensions. Now he’s assassinated a senior foreign military official. He’s been marching toward war with Iran since his first days in office—but the American people won’t stand for it.”

Jan. 3, 2020, on Twitter

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons should remain a core tenet of our global leadership. For this reason, I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to the Iran nuclear deal. Whatever its imperfections, this was perhaps as close to a true ‘art of the deal’ as it gets.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

“I would take the agreement [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] as a floor, not a ceiling. I would revive P5+1 diplomacy and direct US-Iran dialogue at the appropriate levels and would want to pursue follow-on agreements that extend the timeframe of certain nuclear restrictions, cover Iran’s missile program, and address its role in regional conflicts, all in return for targeted sanctions relief.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“There is no question that Qassim Suleimani was a threat to that safety and security, and that he masterminded threats and attacks on Americans and our allies, leading to hundreds of deaths. But there are serious consequences about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences.”

Jan. 3, 2020, in a statement on Twitter

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“Two threats—economic threat, China. Our major threat right now is what’s going on in the Middle East with Iran if we don’t get our act together.”

First Dem debate on June 26, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“The Administration’s reckless policies increase the risk of armed conflict&isolate the U.S. The President was wrong to withdraw from the Iran Agreement and he can’t draw us into war w/out authorization from Congress. Acting alone makes America less safe.”

May 14, 2019, on Twitter

The 2015 nuclear agreement imposed verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program that would prevent it from building a nuclear weapon. Senator Klobuchar will negotiate to bring the United States back into the nuclear agreement with the goal of avoiding war and a nuclear-armed Iran.”

June 18, 2019, in her plan for her first 100 days as president

“A full-blown war with Iran is not in the national security interest of the U.S. or allies in the region.”

Jan. 7, 2020, on Twitter

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia want to drag the United States into war with Iran, and Trump is submitting to their wishes. The cost in money and lives will be catastrophic.”

April 9, 2019, on Twitter

“Intel officials & politicians led us into Iraq war. Now Trump’s using the same playbook to lead our country into war with Iran. The cost in lives & treasure will be infinitely greater than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, & Syria, and will undermine our ntnl security. #NoIranWar”

May 20, 2019, on Twitter

“Here we go again! The US sending more troops to Middle East for what will be disastrous war with Iran. To prevent Trump and future presidents from waging war illegally (without Congress approval) we must sign my No More Presidential Wars Act.”

June 18, 2019, on Twitter

A U.S. soldier guards the Qayyarah military base in northern Iraq on Oct. 20, 2016.
A U.S. soldier guards the Qayyarah military base in northern Iraq on Oct. 20, 2016. YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Iraq

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“We must remember that the lesson of the Iraq disaster is not that there is anything wrong with standing for American values, but rather that any action in the name of such values must be strategic, legitimate, and constrained by the premise that we only use force when left with no alternative.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“Intel officials & politicians led us into Iraq war. Now Trump’s using the same playbook to lead our country into war with Iran. The cost in lives & treasure will be infinitely greater than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, & Syria, and will undermine our ntnl security. #NoIranWar”

May 20, 2019, on Twitter

Israeli soldiers staff a watchtower along the border with the Gaza Strip on May 15, 2018.
Israeli soldiers staff a watchtower along the border with the Gaza Strip on May 15, 2018. JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Israel and Palestine

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“I am not anti-Israel, but the fact of the matter is Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

April 22, 2019, at a CNN town hall

“$3.8 billion [in annual military aid to Israel] is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or for that matter to any government at all. … I think it is fair to say that some of that $3.8 billion should go right now into humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

Oct. 28, 2019, at the J Street National Conference

“It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel. I am pro-Israel. But we must treat the Palestinian people as well with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past the past several years—the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures—they’re moving us and, more importantly, they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction.”

April 18, 2016, at a J Street gala

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Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City

“My personal opinion is that you have to have a two-state solution because of the fact that both sides think God gave them the same piece of land. You have got to split the piece of land, and each will have half of it. You have half a cake. It’s better than no cake. And it can bring peace. So, your people and my people and his people and her people can have a better life.”

Sept. 25, 2019, Arab News interview

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“I believe that as a good ally to everyone in the region that we should be pushing hard back toward a two-state solution and toward insisting on both parts, and that is security for Israel and dignity and self-determination for all of the Palestinian people.”

April 12, 2019, at an event at the University of New Hampshire

“The way we respect all parties is through a two-state solution – an outcome that’s good for U.S. interests, good for Israel’s security and its future, and good for Palestinian aspirations for dignity and self-determination. To achieve this, there must be an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip living alongside Israel.”

Sept. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“If Israel’s government continues with steps to formally annex the West Bank, the U.S. should make clear that none of our aid should be used to support annexation.”

Oct. 28, 2019, in a message to the J Street National Conference

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“A two-state solution that achieves legitimate Palestinian aspirations and meets Israel’s security needs remains the only viable way forward, and it will be our policy to support such a solution actively. And if Prime Minister Netanyahu makes good on his promise to annex West Bank settlements, he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to make sure that American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a welcome ceremony in Hanoi on March 1.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a welcome ceremony in Hanoi on March 1. MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on North Korea

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“I think, look, nuclear weapons in the hands of a brutal, irresponsible dictator is a bad idea. And if Trump can succeed … through face-to-face meetings with Kim Jong Un and rid that country of nuclear weapons, that is a very good thing. So I think that the idea of going and meeting face to face with your adversaries is a good idea.”

Feb. 25, 2019, at a CNN town hall

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“This guy [Kim Jong Un] is a thug.”

Feb. 28, 2019, at the Chuck Hagel Forum in Global Leadership at the University of Nebraska at Omaha

“The historic Iran nuclear deal the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and it provides a blueprint for an effective negotiation.”

Aug. 1, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

 

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“I want to see the President succeed, but a handshake is no substitute for a binding, verifiable deal.”

June 12, 2018, in a news release

“As a first step, and in coordination with our partners and allies, I would be prepared to consider partial, limited sanctions relief in return for a strong, verifiable agreement that keeps North Korea from expanding its arsenal or proliferating to other countries.”

Sep. 16, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people. But you will see my administration work to create the conditions that would make it possible to welcome North Korea into the international community.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

“I would support an initial freeze agreement that would have North Korea cease production of fissile material and end nuclear and missile testing, all verified by international inspectors, in exchange for targeted sanctions relief, which could be reversed if the North Koreans did not uphold their end of the bargain. After this initial deal, we would need to proceed toward dismantling facilities and then the weapons themselves.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“Trump’s trade-war against China has damaged, not helped, our economy, has undermined our efforts to denuclearize North Korea, and has strengthened the hand of Chinese anti-American militarists.”

Feb. 5, 2019, on Twitter

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on the phone in his office in St. Petersburg on Dec. 15, 2018.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on the phone in his office in St. Petersburg on Dec. 15, 2018. ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Russia

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Russia’s assault on democracy and subversion of democratic political systems calls for a strong response. The United States and its allies must improve their ability to deter Russian military aggression and work together more closely to strengthen their energy security and prevent Russia’s nonmilitary forms of coercion. They must also reduce the vulnerability of their political systems, media environments, financial sectors, and cyber-infrastructure.”

January/February 2018, from a co-authored piece in Foreign Affairs

“Foreign election interference is not only a serious threat to our democratic institutions, it’s a threat to our national security. Russia and other authoritarian regimes are actively seeking to try to change outcomes of our democratic elections, and we can’t allow that to happen.”

Feb. 22, 2019, on Twitter

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“To mask its decline, Russia is provoking the international community with opportunistic harassment and covert attacks—including just this week, when Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships near Crimea.”

“Vladimir Putin attacks the free press and thumps his chest about the power of Russia, but his real power comes from state-run corporations conveniently overseen by his friends and cronies. Corruption.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“Russia throws its weight around abroad—most egregiously, of course, their unacceptable interference in our elections, which weakened America both by helping to elect an unstable administration and by eroding confidence in our democracy itself. We must be ready to deter such behavior in the future, through diplomatic, economic, and even cyber tools and information operations.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“We now know for certain that Russia invaded our democracy. They didn’t use bombs, jets or tanks. Instead, they planned a mission to undermine the foundation of our electoral system. … We need to take action now to prevent a recurrence of 2016—or something even worse.”

May 9, 2019, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times

“In 2017, Congress passed legislation providing additional authorities for the President to impose sanctions on Russia in response to its election interference and other aggressive actions. The Trump Administration has resisted full implementation of these sanctions. Senator Klobuchar will use these authorities to the fullest extent possible to impose serious costs on the Putin regime and its enablers for hostile acts against the United States and our allies.”

June 18, 2019, in her plan for her first 100 days as president

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Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Our entire intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in our election in 2016 and that their campaign of information warfare is ongoing. We also know that Russia has launched cyberattacks on our power grid. Congress has allocated $120 million to the Trump administration to deter these attacks. To date, Trump’s administration hasn’t spent any of it. … This isn’t even a slap on Russia’s wrist. It’s looking the other way.”

March 29, 2018, in a video on Twitter

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 24, 2018.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 24, 2018. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Saudi Arabia

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“This is a despotic dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent, that treats women as third-class citizens, and has spent the last several decades exporting a very extreme form of Islam around the world. Saudi Arabia is currently devastating the country of Yemen in a catastrophic war in alliance with the United States.”

Oct. 9, 2018, in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of these Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on Earth.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“[Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] is a murderer. And it’s not only his murder of [Jamal] Khashoggi. He murders many people. He treats women as third-class citizens and he runs a regime which is fiercely opposed to democracy. So this is not a country which should be our ally. We’re going to change our relationship with dictatorships all over the world, and as we move to sustainable energy, we are not going to be needing their oil any longer.”

Oct. 2, 2019, at a Nevada campaign stop

“I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of this Saudi led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on Earth.”

June 27, 2019, at the first Democratic debate

“We have got to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together in a room under American leadership and say we are sick and tired of us spending huge amounts of money and human resources because of your conflicts.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I would end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and order a reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

In an undated interview with the Washington Post

“America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh.”

Aug. 1, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

“I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are. There’s very little social redeeming value of the—in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”

Nov. 20, 2019, November Democratic Debate 

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“In some cases, as with our support for Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Yemen, U.S. policies risk generating even more extremism.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

“Saudi Arabia brutally murdered a journalist in its own consulate and bombed Yemeni civilians with US-armed warplanes. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it also may have transferred US weapons to violent extremists. It’s time to start holding Saudi Arabia accountable.”

Feb. 22, 2019, on Twitter

“Selling more weapons to Saudi Arabia doesn’t make America safer or align with our country’s values. It only benefits defense contractors and @realDonaldTrump’s alarming desire to sow chaos abroad.”

May 25, 2019, on Twitter

 

“We need to face the ugly truth – by continuing to enable Saudi Arabia, America is complicit in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We must end our support for this war now.”

Feb. 6, 2019, in a news release

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“We will remain open to working with a regime like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the benefit of the American people. But we can no longer sell out our deepest values for the sake of fossil fuel access and lucrative business deals. If we recognize that the torture and execution of dissidents is wrong, then we should have the courage to say that it is wrong on both sides of the Gulf.”

June 11, 2019, in a speech at Indiana University

The United States must halt military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. The brutal war has brought the country to the verge of famine and killed tens of thousands of civilians.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“Today, the Senate spoke with a clear voice opposing U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition’s operations in Yemen. We refused to turn a blind eye to civilian casualties or the ongoing humanitarian crisis that continues to devastate Yemen and its people.”

March 13, 2019, in a Senate news release

“There’s no confusion here. No moral equivocation. Jamal Khashoggi was the target of a ‘deliberate, premeditated execution,’ and the Saudi government must be accountable at the highest levels.”

June 19, 2019, on Twitter

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Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Saudi Arabia’s brutal murder of Jamal [Khashoggi] should have been met with condemnation—instead, Donald Trump offered his friendship.”

Oct. 2, 2019, on Twitter

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia want to drag the United States into war with Iran, and Trump is submitting to their wishes. The cost in money and lives will be catastrophic.”

April 9, 2019, on Twitter

“Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not ‘America First.’”

Nov. 21, 2018, on Twitter

“Right now the United States continues to support Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen. This support has been ongoing since 2015 and yet has never been authorized by Congress. It must end now. … This has created the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.”

April 4, 2019, in a news release

Members of the White Helmets search the rubble of a collapsed building in Jisr al-Shughur, Syria, on April 24.
Members of the White Helmets search the rubble of a collapsed building in Jisr al-Shughur, Syria, on April 24. OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Syria

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Joe Biden

Former vice president

On abandoning Kurdish troops in Syria: “It has been the most shameful thing that any president
has done in modern history … in terms of foreign policy.”
Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate
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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“I think it is right to get our troops out of Syria—and, let me add, I think it’s right to get our troops out of Afghanistan.”

Jan. 2, 2019, in an interview with MSNBC

“I support bringing our troops home from Syria. But President Trump’s reckless and unplanned withdrawal undermines both our partners and our security. We need a strategy to end this conflict, not a president who can be swayed by one phone call.”

Oct. 7, 2019, on Twitter

 

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Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence. It’s a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values.”

Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“Using chemical weapons is an atrocity. These missile strikes targeted the air base used to launch the chemical attack, and it is right to show Assad that he will be held accountable. Moving forward, the Administration must consult with Congress.”

April 7, 2017, in a Senate news release

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Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii

“There have been reports showing that chemical weapons have been used in Syria both by the Syrian government as well as different terrorist groups on the ground in Syria. The skepticism and the questions that I raised were very specific around incidents that the Trump administration was trying to use as an excuse to launch a U.S. military attack in Syria.”

March 10, 2019, in a CNN town hall

“Assad is not the enemy of the United States, because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States. … Our troops have not gone to Syria to wage yet another costly, destructive regime-change war. And many troops I hear from express frustration at the fact that our country continues to wage senseless, costly regime-change wars followed by nation-building missions, leading to situations like we see in Afghanistan.”

Feb. 6, 2019, in an interview with MSNBC

“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.”

Oct. 15, 2019, at the fourth Democratic debate

Security personnel inspect a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, on April 22, a day after it and other locations were targeted in a series of bomb blasts.
Security personnel inspect a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, on April 22, a day after it and other locations were targeted in a series of bomb blasts. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Terrorism

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Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts

“Just like the hateful terrorism of al Qaeda and ISIS, domestic right-wing terrorism is completely incompatible with American values. It is a threat to the safety and security of the United States, and we must not tolerate it in the United States.”

Nov. 29, 2018, in a speech at American University

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Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator from Minnesota

“You have a situation right now, where you look at what’s happened in places like that synagogue in Pittsburgh, when you look at the bombing attempts on leaders, including President Obama, in our nation. We have white supremacists, a resurgence of this kind of anger, and the Ku Klux Klan. And it just keeps getting worse. … And so I think that our country needs to take this just as seriously as we do other forms of terrorism.”

March 17, 2019, on NBC’s Meet the Press

Containers line a port in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on May 14.
Containers line a port in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on May 14. STR/AFP/Getty Images

The Candidates on Trade

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont

“Since the China trade deal I voted against, America has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs. It’s wrong to pretend that China isn’t one of our major economic competitors. When we are in the White House we will win that competition by fixing our trade policies.”

May 1, 2019, on Twitter

“Under no circumstance would we rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership under a Sanders Administration.”

July 30, 2019, “Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions,” Council on Foreign Relations