2020 candidates reflect on their dads this Father's Day

PHOTO: Donald Trump, left, and father Fred Trump celebrate the launch of "The Art of the Deal" at Trump Towers in New York City.PlayRon Galella/WireImage/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Military Dads Surprise Kids in Special Father's Day Reunion

The 2020 presidential candidates took some time off from the campaign trail to reflect on their dads this Father's Day.

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ABC News spoke with several of the candidates, who shared insights and memories.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his dad, Joseph

PHOTO: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with his mother and father after returning from Afghanistan in 2014. Pete Buttigieg Campaign, FILE
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with his mother and father after returning from Afghanistan in 2014.

"I remember my dad telling a story that when he was growing up in Malta a mentor who wanted him to stay on the island told him, 'I promise you will be a big fish in a very small pond here.' He answered, saying 'I'd rather be a medium-sized fish in a very big pond. He was someone who understood that if he moved to America he'd be in the best place in the world to get an education and to make an impact, and that it was not about becoming famous or being number one on the list. But he could shape a lot of lives, which is what he did as a scholar and as a teacher. I think a lot about the choices he made to become an American and to make my life even possible."

Former Vice President Joe Biden on his dad, Joseph

PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden with his dad, Joseph, in an undated photo.
Joe Biden 2020 Presidential Campaign
Former Vice President Joe Biden with his dad, Joseph, in an undated photo.

“As my father believed, there’s no higher calling for a woman or a man than to be a good mother or a good father. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there who work every day to help raise their children -- and all our children -- to be honorable, generous, kind young men and women.“

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on her dad, Mike

PHOTO: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbards father Mike Gabbard walks her down the aisle on her wedding day in April, 2015. Tulsi Gabbard Campaign
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's father Mike Gabbard walks her down the aisle on her wedding day in April, 2015.

"Dad -- Thank you for the greatest gift a father could ever offer a daughter: your unconditional love. We won't always agree on everything, but I know that you will always love me and I will always love you. Happy Fathers Day!"

Andrew Yang on his father, Kei Hsiung Yang

PHOTO: Andrew Yang with his two sons and his father, Kei Hsiung Yang, in an undated photo. Andrew Yang Campaign
Andrew Yang with his two sons and his father, Kei Hsiung Yang, in an undated photo.

“Happy Father’s Day Dad -- love you and appreciate you. Your grandsons send their love.”

Sen. Cory Booker on his dad, Cary

PHOTO: Sen. Cory Booker with his dad, Cary Booker, and brother and mother in an undated photo. Cory Booker Campaign
Sen. Cory Booker with his dad, Cary Booker, and brother and mother in an undated photo.

"Something that I will always remember my dad telling me was there are two ways to go through life -- you can either be a thermometer or a thermostat. A thermometer just reflects the world that's out there. If it's hot, you get hot. If it's cold, you get cold. You're just a reflection of what is. But a thermostat, it changes the temperature. It focuses on itself and sets the level. That's what my dad always wanted me to be."

Rep. Eric Swalwell remembers the lessons his dad, Eric, taught him

PHOTO: Rep. Eric Swalwell with his father, Eric Swalwell Sr., in an undated photo. Eric Swalwell Campaign
Rep. Eric Swalwell with his father, Eric Swalwell Sr., in an undated photo.

"My earliest memory was my father doing the right thing, even if it meant losing his job. When I was 5, my dad was the police chief in Algona, Iowa. He was stricter than the guy before him, and sought to clean up corruption and enforce the law. He joked the DUI rate went from 4 arrests a year to 40 when he took office. Not because the town developed a drinking problem. He enforced the law. One day, the Algona mayor and a councilman parked in a fire lane at the Kossuth County Fair, and my dad gave the order to ticket them. The mayor told my dad he could reverse the tickets or be fired. My dad held firm and he was fired. He wasn’t, and still isn't, afraid to fight for what’s right, no matter the cost -- I'm inspired by that every day."

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper on how his dad, John "Hick" Hickenlooper defined fatherhood

PHOTO: Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper with his father, John Wright Hickenlooper, and family in an undated photo. John Hickenlooper Campaign
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper with his father, John Wright Hickenlooper, and family in an undated photo.

"From the very start, my father -- whom I still miss and yearn for every day -- defined fatherhood in his very own way.

"When he married my mother, she was a widow with two children. Rather than claim the name “Dad,” he invited them to call him by his nickname, 'Hick' (his full name was John Hickenlooper, Sr.)

"Hick, who had lost his own father young, loved being a father -- maybe more than anything. When my sister Deborah and I came along -- his two biological children -- he was Hick to us, too. He wanted us to feel like one family. And we did.

"He called us his 'tadpoles' and his 'jewels.' He loved introducing us to things he loved, like summer storms, fire engines, and 'The Wizard of Oz.' He loved piling all of us in the car and just taking off, letting us navigate for him, embracing the adventure of getting lost together.

"An engineer by trade, he loved taking things apart -- often on the living room rug, to my mom’s consternation -- and putting them back together. He loved challenges, especially mental ones, and loved asking us to rise to them.

He loved fatherhood, family, and life so much that what life had in store for him -- and us -- was unusually cruel. By the time I was seven years old, cancer had hollowed out his body. Ten days after my eighth birthday, he died, leaving the family he had built to redefine itself yet again: this time, without him."

Rep. Tim Ryan on his "inspiring" dad, Allen

PHOTO: Rep. Tim Ryan and his brother, Allen, with their father Allen. Tim Ryan Campaign
Rep. Tim Ryan and his brother, Allen, with their father Allen.

"My dad is an inspiring example to me of joyful resilience in the face of adversity."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on the lessons her dad, Douglas, taught her

PHOTO: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand with her father, Douglas, in an undated photo. via the campaign for Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand with her father, Douglas, in an undated photo.

"My father has always been there for me and taught me the values of toughness, compassion and hard work. His unwavering love and support mean everything to me, and I hope he has a great Father's Day!"

Mayor Wayne Messam says his dad, Hubert, motivated him

PHOTO: Mayor Wayne Messam pictured with his late father, Hubert Messam, in 2011 as he issued Wayne the Oath of Office to serve on the Miramar City Commission. via the campaign for Wayne Messam
Mayor Wayne Messam pictured with his late father, Hubert Messam, in 2011 as he issued Wayne the Oath of Office to serve on the Miramar City Commission.

"My father helped to build this nation’s agriculture industry as a contract farm worker migrating to the U.S. annually to harvest sugarcane for over a decade. His hard work, discipline, love for his family and his pursuit of the American dream motivated me to be all that I am. His life story is why immigrants are so valuable to this nation. I love you dad!"

President Donald Trump remembers advice from his dad, Fred

PHOTO: Donald Trump with his parents Mary and Fred Trump in 1994. Rtalesnick/Mediapunch/ via Shutterstock
Donald Trump with his parents Mary and Fred Trump in 1994.

President Trump has tweeted about his father several times over the years. In 2014, Trump wrote "Great advice from my father: "Know everything you can about what you're doing." On Father's Day in 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump tweeted that he "had a wonderful and loving father."

Sen. Michael Bennet's dad, Douglas, taught him about public service

PHOTO: Sen. Michael Bennet with his father in an undated photo. Michael Bennet Campaign
Sen. Michael Bennet with his father in an undated photo.

"From an early age, my father taught my siblings and me that public service was noble, and he lived his life devoted to that cause. His memory continues to inspire us today."