Thursday, November 21, 2019

Democratic debate recap: Buttegieg wades into corn-vs.-oil feud, Warren wants public service jobs for federal lands

Last night 10 presidential hopefuls took the stage in Atlanta for a debate hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC. Here are a few rural themes the candidates discussed:
  • Mayor Pete Buttegieg of South Bend, Indiana, criticized the trade war with China, saying "We shouldn't have to pay farmers to take the edge off of a trade war that shouldn't have been started in the first place." Farmers' bailout money is insufficient, he said, adding that hardship waivers for oil refiners are hurting the ethanol industry. He spoke in favor of breaking up large agribusiness monopolies, and said farming should be a key way of fighting climate change.
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii promised to end the cash bail system and enact prison and sentencing reforms.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden questioned competitor Tom Steyer's bona fides as an environmentalist and criticized his past involvement with the coal industry.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts advocated increased public-service opportunities: "I want to bring in 10,000 people who want to be able to serve in our federal lands to be able to help rebuild our national forests and national parks as a way to express both their public service and their commitment to fighting back against climate change."
  • Warren also criticized the federal government for not building more affordable housing. She has a plan for 3.2 million new affordable housing units, she said.
Read the complete transcript here.

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