Transcript for Episode 1: Around the Table
Welcome to around the table were voters get to ask their questions. Service played six broccoli and these things take moms basement and into the news anytime it. Today were an El Paso, Texas home of federal Rourke California. That told ABC news has carefully chosen three undecided voters to bring their questions to the table tonight as they decide who'll give their vote. Democratic presidential primary. This seems like a good plays Chris a star. We're in your home in El Paso, Texas you're community just endured horrific. Mass murder. And that's what's kept you off the campaign trail so I feel let's start there your thoughts about that in the partly it's in the gun control you know. So. First of August want you to know. How old. Talk this has been for for the community of Al paso certainly for the families. And Dioner noses very well we're we're this beautiful safe kind warm welcoming people. One of the safest cities in the United States of America. And also one of the most universities. A quarter of those who live here for born some where else. And more than 80% of the population is Mexican American or Hispanic and I think for those reasons. We were targeted that the thing that makes this so special. And I think contribute so much to the greatness of this country. They gave for some reason wanted to take that from us or change us. But in in the face of this act of terror. And hatred and violence. We've just seen something that is so beautiful and powerful positive which is the way that people come together families. And their strength. Amidst this adversity and it's a community at large and when we say community it is chew up what is an El Paso. These sister cities who form one hole. Community of three million. Who have he's amazing stories were connected by family and culture and tradition and history. And I think as as sad as we all or we're also extraordinarily proud of the way that'll paso has responded. Knowing that the act of terror will not define us as the weigh in in which we. Come together and perhaps example that we provided the rest of the country that this is the way that you are good one another. You propose universal. Background checks before how has your view on gun control involve change if at all since the shooting. If it's hard for mean to escape. The conclusion. That we have too many guns in this country. That are that are. Too easily accessed. There are 320 million muscle and analysts Americans. There are 390 million guns. In this country. And in many places we don't have meaningful background checks. And in every place is almost to replace you can buy. A weapon like the military style assault rifle was used. A week ago Saturday in El Paso that was designed for no other purpose than to kill people. What was engineered designed. Used first by the Soviets and now. And knock off version you can buy an Internet and you may read this story but in Allen Texas. Wind assure ordered a weapon and and it arrived his mother called the police. Instead I dumb not exactly sure Mike son needs and an AK 47. I don't know what I'm even asking for. Which she said she called in and didn't you know asked for restraining or anything. But we shouldn't be selling weapons. I think something that's happening in our community that company. Faith community of people feeling like well that's the first free and that will be taken away and then what next there's just this year that telling him about the airport today. Behind the guy and can literally had I'm shirt with an AK 47 on them thank you united in faith like there's this thing be. That's like part of light. Owning a gun and and religious freedom and how these things like co exist together what is common sense coming from one look. We begin with. A background check on on every weapon purchased and every weapon transferred ideally and I think this is. Perhaps a little controversial. But but I think you should also have to have a license for for owning farms. Wind Ulysses as well. Yeah when he turns sixteen and he wants to drive. You've guts. A responsibility on that road want to make sure that your up to it and so little hard news to mean minimum threshold for that license. To make sure that you're not a danger to others and you know how to use that vehicle. Properly and safely. I think the same should be true for a farm where your there's also conversation since it happened here that. The issue is is not guns but mental health and so we should lean in the Ayers nation not with. Limiting access to guns. And well. Known to work just like affluent among months in this book because you know we see. He's present mirth and perpetrators. That are writing quite the terms as manifest when it was legalized commit these heinous crimes and it's like. OK we do need stricter laws and the like on continued gotten me more regulations on gun control but at same time we also need someone who's going to hold. And accountable for the motivation behind it like a polite our president now is creating such as the ones with an. Giving a platform for those people who have both believe who believe everything you believe in white the permit the moon who. Gonna commit these acts in there's no accountability there's no. Did late this is wrong though I just wanted from you. What are you gonna do suggests that I think acknowledging. The truth of what you just said is an important place for the president to start. Acknowledging our past and the fact that the very foundation of this country. The greatness in the wealth that was built. Four much orchestras built by people who were enslaved and forced to do it kidnapped and brought here against their will in first place. Whose descendants so often were. Down by law practice fired by custom. Ands. That there's also been and when it comes to communities of immigrants. An undercurrent of racism and made it isn't. It was always under the surface to some degree not that. That was on felt by the people against him it was directed. But at least we. Attempted to form a more perfect union we attempted to. Live by the ideals. That there were foundation of the country that were all created equal never quite got there but. We never stop trying until now when you have a president who was so openly. Nativist and racist and though that is a very strong word is accurate and I'm confident that if we don't call things. By their true names will never address and so wrist injuries absolutely. Calling Mexicans. Rapists and criminals. Calling Klansmen. And neo Nazis very fine people. Proposing a panel people want religion from the shores of a country does comprised of people the world over for every tradition. Of our faith. There was a rally in Florida in May of this year. And he's talking but this invasion of immigrants as word he often uses and and and in addition infestation. And warns of predators and killers from ducks. Though immigrants commit crimes for Hillary says to the crowd what do we do to stop them and someone yells out shoot them. And the crowd roared their approval and the president smiles and laughs. So it is not only has racism and is that your point Caleb if it is in an invitation to violence. And ends not just a wink and nod but an encouragement and we've seen rising hate crimes a personal one of the last three years. In those companies that posted it trump probably more than 200% increase in in hate crimes committed there. Let's. Accurate answer. As. Had been given permission to come now like it feel like this news. I know people are telling you can't going to happen very that the moment you're right I don't I'm not claiming handle and saying he's giving people permission to do it. Explicitly what we call the presidency is racist country pond by it's important also offers. No and I don't think. That's a country. Gross politics. We can afford right but. Is there any number of reasons. It's sports presents and I want to be very respectful. And I think it's important to describe. His actions his decisions. The consequences of them. And can make sure the people can make an informed decision going and two to 20/20. An immediate informs their support of him. At this very moment. So no. Well I wouldn't say that anyone who supports president trump is is is racist. But I will say and habitats that. Trump has encouraged the racists in in this country I am curious one of the things and setting this up to have these conversations that we hope to have with. With all the candidates who you in your campaign warning your wife to be seated with us. Grateful to have her walk wide. Without fail when people meet Amy. They're impressed. They like me more than they would have otherwise there that are. Whom he could better friend. Who. Yeah she's she's just very much a part of me. And we just very consciously. Done everything in our lives to get Fisher including any decisions to run for office or actually running campaigns is so important should be here. I read where when he first got involved in politics or toad you wanna be involved in politics you cry. You're not happy he he was are involved and he was on the City Council finishing his six years from City Council. And out of the blue one day. Tony you want to run for the US congress. It took call me by surprise. And I didn't necessarily. The most positive perceptions. And it's that have been in office. That's at times. And thought I was afraid that he would change when he goes to him he he'd be turning different life and he would be distorted. That. And just you know. I think she's when she turned. And expect a friend's. That's up from but we then spent the next you know you're. Talking about it. What that plane how that might affect her handling. He in the next. What can now as a writer for president now and didn't. Yeah. No no no no and I think it really cuts back you know because it. For the US senate and it's very much what you said earlier we just couldn't believe that. Are easy talked about science and horrible. Term. And that people us country might think that and Lily Allen we have to challenge dialogue. And I think you for us it's very easy like fried first time it was a very. Good time for the senate and then really. You definitely thought long and hard about president. But is it we decided to write from. Eight total. She has the lion's share of the work in the burden in in our family and so. In addition to responsible is what the campaign and supporting me when I call. You know 11 o'clock at night just got back on shredded and I'm just like any justices really argument really hardy tomorrow she's there by the moral support. She's also doing that for Ulysses and mall in Henry when they come home from school and she's also working. And so. Her strength is just extraordinary. So locked out absolutely. Unit totally and that and maybe based on and on dinner you can look birdie. Delicious why it's what happened. Fought for sinners he and she wears them. Here or. I. Know I I would ensure that. Anyone who comes to this country. And where they come to a port of entry. Or whether it's this administration is forcing them to do they're crossing in between ports of entry to US Mexico border. They're Seeking Asylum or refuge or shelter. If they're fleeing persecution or domestic abuse. They will not be criminally prosecuted. In fact it will not be detained or warehoused or put in the Border Patrol so in Clinton texas' only kids have been forced to do. We would have a family case management program that would allow them their dignity to live in the community at a fraction. Of the costs with a much better chance that they would attend a court hearing. Follow our laws. And and pursue it legal safe. Orderly process to come to this country so easy ones where you don't mind you know are so so in those instances I do. Wouldn't let me then this if if we were to legalize. The nearly ten million people in this country who are or. And document. Who pose no threat or risk were working the toughest jobs in America and in people come here for the privilege of working a job that no one else will. Legalize them. The and a permanent legal residents the green card holders or here make them US citizens for you dreamers many fear deportation. Address the underlying causes about migration. And refugees. And asylum seekers from Central America. And then I expected to be lawful orderly say process for you come to this country and expect you to follow that. And in those exceptions where for some reason your active crossing between port of entry Seeking Asylum. We're gonna take care of books. If if we've given you that waffled safe orderly path to do that and you still insist. On defying the laws I will reserve the right to criminally prosecution. So I think that's a fair bargain rustic house but I want to lecturer and I apologize for points of of one picture of it all that is contained in the cancer because it's. So much of what we do in politics today is are you for composition decomposition. You wanna abolish iceberg keep us. These are really important. Fairly complex issues that deserve a thoughtful answer and and so. I think. That would be the way that would address. Immigration make the most of those who want to contribute to the success of this country so how does this it with the you have strong feelings about that your mom was born in Mexico and that was what was going on states. B. Page to the court scored for twenty years. He seemed to think twenty years. She first came here illegally into the country better if there are very proud of her husband and eventually her kids to move to a limited. Because it took so long that marks are inundated with it right. That took her kids that are coming into edgy easily. But its okay Clinton years that and it took let me because she little bit turning okay I'll his arms to help them. Forms. You know and then. Years later house like it's going what you it's behind him so she'd get tax it. Twenty years after Hyundai related to users'. Sort them. I don't think. Until people hear your story. They realize that when they ask folks to get in the back of the line. If that line might stretched twenty or 25 years long and then just to join a family member. So. Part of immigration reform would have to be increasing that the caps that we have right now. The per country caps that we have so. After coming from the Philippines or Mexico. Two countries were to wait more than twenty years. You don't have that kind of wait time which. Which when when you have twenty years you can understand how somebody is gonna make that decision know what. Make money from my family. There's an importer who wants to hire me there is a family member who I want to live with. And at some point I'm just and that's going to be too compelling for me. So. Legalizing those who are here already doing these jobs providing a safe. Lawful orderly quick path would not want to comment and then guarding being vigilant against those who who have no place in this country. He. Put it. It didn't two Howell RE. And eat it. You're right on this issue mission. It it really is inside it humane issue for me orders. Might have written me. Sports and I. I don't know why that. Response and it. Involves. We're. Patton street. Well there's people eat it. Acts success are you a evangelical slash liberal. They eat and. It hasn't gotten I'd like we have the fell on acting it that if there evangelical we are anti immigrant. We hire. Not you know where it not liberal or not involved in social just says like issues and I've. Very much how did really didn't want that conversation for people that you thanking him evangelical but I don't even like to say that I am. Because I know that when I say that I'm on a not likely going to be seen in a certain light. And particularly that I and maybe proton. Rather the policies. I'm okay with what's happening and I might carry some of the slight difference the ideology. In my life and not none of those things to find. We feel politically homeless were looking for a broader option we're looking for their way when you ran for senate I felt like you offering. I didn't feel like it was so partisan you are running of the Democrat in the first Democrat ever that it flag you mostly pattern here. And and I didn't 2016. In the presidential election because morally like I could. I had asked on face but if that if you get talked to a presidential candidate a question which. Then added I had kind of content you know lets people at one and in that. And why she added. I'm pro life Christian who is not okay with trap that for I. So is that this is our conversation and out of my mom. Who. Raised us in the Catholic. Home and I try to find the common grounds and have shared with her dad. As the state has restricted the right. Forewoman to make wrong decisions about her whole body and has closed down so many clinics that provide abortions. They're also closed down clinics and provide cervical cancer screenings and family planning help and just to build his seal provider. In a state that has. Not expanded Medicaid and has made it soared to see a doctor were the least a short statement country. And that has in part led to. In maternal mortality crisis that is three times as deadly for women of color. That wasn't intended consequence I don't believe that was what law makers and legislators wanted but but that has been the end result. And and when you also look at the fact that Texas leads the country right now in the rate of repeat teen pregnancy again in part because we don't have access to family planning services. You see the unintended negative consequences and so. I've. I hope that I've found some common ground with my mom off in saying that. Whether it's Planned Parenthood or another family planning clinic. And in addition to ensuring that choice means not only having the right but the access to. The provider and in services. It's also about saving lives in in this country and are communities. And we mean not agree on every aspect of that but but I I feel like that has begun a conversation where there's much for us to agree on. And and maybe it's not as black and white for for either a system as it was before. Those problems. Education and how you pay for their. We'll. I was like that's my confidence in my decision is in teaching comment on me a significant effect. But also because my mom my own thing room here. I'm curious chip with me. Among them my dad and so mom mom that she pays for it. Author of if you go to school as well as pay for it felt to go back to school and received her masters and so is very important to me because. I'm about to graduate now and some more and everything's getting anything that I'm not going to be with me stable once I graduate because helmet I would mean cause right now if I didn't have a lot. How are remembering freshman year like being a terrific university and called my mom in me like I can come home lady -- come home. It is too expensive. So. We need. And we need it. Cause to be affordable. But on top of that we often have to pay attention to this schools and institutions big Q aren't our kids in our youth through college because I was saying earlier. When school that severely underfunded when your minority you're more likely to go to a school in a low socio economic area. It doesn't have adequate schools to teach our teachers are not being paid well and so we can talk about free college in. I think that's a lofty goal but the same time. When are we going through also. Support both those things is that helped get our argues there you know I mean. And fell I think education reform as they hold it needs to be a big topic and I are arm would let the here which you have to thing about your plans and if that and I'm. One priority free the big priority for us and for all the reasons that you just described. Starting in. Elementary education ensuring that every child begins an education ought to 45 years old. In kindergarten but it three or four years old in pre K. We learned that some children. On the first day kindergarten and we just had first day of school yesterday paso. Torre ten months back in reading comprehension and and they are just likely never going to tkachuk. When we start out at that level disadvantage. So what if you move the starting line back. So it was a little bit more even for for everyone in that race. What if you acknowledge that segregation today in public education in many places is as bad or worse than it was on the eve of congress' board in 1954. We now know that minority majority schools. Nationally are underfunded to the tune of about 23 billion dollars. So we propose a permanent education fund. That would meet that gap every single year. Get those resources into the schools make sure that teachers are paid a true living wage don't have to work second or third job or drop out of the profession. Altogether. Make sure that we fund the individuals with disabilities education sister Erin was a beneficiary of that. El Paso high. And yet we we are severely under funding the special Ed classrooms in this extraordinary special Ed teachers. When when we make those investments. When we also ensure that we invest in teachers who look like the students in front of them. To acknowledge the disparity and treatment in the classroom. In Texas and a kindergarten classroom. A child of color is five times as likely to be disciplined as a white kid in the same classroom from the same teacher for the same infraction. We also propose a 500 million dollar annual investment in historically black colleges and universities and minority serving institutions. To create teacher training academies that ensure that we get the absolute best teachers in front of those kids. And then when it comes time to go to college. Or to choose a career. Every young person should be able to make that choice without regard to cost so. Debt free higher education and not just tuition. But room and board and books. You are talking earlier I graduated from. College with debt my parents graduated with debt and to the dismay I chose an English major which is your major understand why are we take it all as that for you to read books. Could you be something you know important for or do something with this investment but. And that should not be a barrier to entry and it is right now and you mentioned you were fear as you approach graduation or even. The written the decision you almost made it to leave college so there will be more affordable prepared me. Don't want you worrying about that so we need to make investments. There but we also have to insure that for anyone who chooses not to go to college. That there's a path for them as well and that means elevating unions the ability to Intron apprenticeship to learn a trade or skill. That you'll have for the rest your life. And will ensure that you commander living wage and dignity for the rest of your life at a question cooking for dessert Chris I think you're promising Kagan has room for everybody that's not. Moscow threat I don't pay for that I love everything you're saying but I also my. House. So it's not inexpensive. And it would require serious investment in. But it it would produce an extraordinary return for this country it its investment in in people. And communities. And their ability to reach their potential so as an example. That college plan that I just described. Could be between 75 to eighty billion dollars a year. The return on that is the earning potential of everyone who goes to college the ability for those who right now are making the decision not to attend college because of costs. And the great things that they're gonna do over the course of their lives the books that they're gonna rights. The the inventions that they're going to produce the jobs at that it creates the quality of life that they're going to improve. For all of us and you look at that that eighty billion let's take the higher end of that. Can compare that to two trillion dollars in tax cuts under this administration that flowed disproportionate to the very wealthiest. To corporations will be sitting on record piles of cash. Or wars we've been fighting. For the better part of of your life. Eighteen years now almost in counting. In Afghanistan alone could have cost trillions of dollars in will produce trillions of dollars in obligations for those veterans who for the battle going forward. It's not a question resources as you said earlier we're the wealthiest country on the face of the planet it is it is where we choose to direct. That wealth and the investment going forward and marketers strongly as a Palestinian people and their potential and that's health care that's education. That's a living wage. That's child care. It's it's the health of their of their community so there are choices for us to make for sure but we can afford it. So. We we can they're bad but she. Guts to Reynolds for her masters. And she says she can't and excitement she can say the other night you know we've kind of life. Four lower interest rates 67% think he you know. I'm happy. Absolutely so. At a minimum. Reducing interest and to the lowest possible rate right now it's estimated the federal government will make an eight billion dollar profit. Off a student loan payments going for which W profiting off of this that begins to get to some of them yeah he's doing best in in people's view and in. This is an idea that's real exciting to me. And a part of your life was dedicated public service and question your life in the US attorney's office dedicated to public service. If you make that choice. Then in our administration. We will forgive her student loan debt for a teacher at B 20%. Of their debt every year right now we have to wait till you hit your ten. And jumped through every hoop imaginable took to qualify it would begin in real time the first day you're one. If you're working and some other public service job it's 10%. Every year going forward and that way we begin to reward people for making the choice to serve the rest this country or their community. At the same time. Two white clean their student loan debt and there's one point five trillion dollars of it out there so we have work to do but we also have. Work to do in this country so I know that Kim had some sportsman's. Didn't fully understand your health care plan keep you say more about that possess a minister him. Notion that I share a strong feelings about that because of a family sits tem these relative she's seen. This album and calling health care because they don't have insurance. So the goal is universal. Guaranteeing. Our quality care. The way to get there is. Ensuring that everyone who today has no care at all or insurer cover and Medicare Medicaid and private insurance. Automatically be enrolled care. If you were insufficiently insured. You have insurance and you can for the co pays the premiums too much you can't bridge that deductibles and just not even used health care that you've been paying for. You can elect to move in the Medicare. But if you have employer sponsored insurance that you like. Because it works for you worked for your family. You can keep it if your member of a union. That fought for health care plan. And maybe you did that in lieu of a wage increase or other earned benefits and you like that plan you can keep it. That way we get universal coverage. And preserve choice in trust people to make their their own decisions. And then also guaranteed that their well enough. To finish school or work that job or write that homer word is they're they're supposed to do in their time on this planet. So that's that's live that's that the plan and it ensures that. Everyone is cared for and and everyone I hope is well enough to beat and beat. Then pitted against each as a man brightly whether it's different thing from my difference due to health care if your president like. In the and how divided we are and how polarized country that people are not choosing to eat dinners together anywhere that kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I I'm reading through people getting divorced. Over their politics. Like what would you do different back again how can be light starts at dean. Where is divided. As polarized as as I can remember being in my lifetime and people are older than I can say it's it's as divided as they as they come over. Maybe as divided as it's been going back to. The civil war in in this country. And so the answer that has to be bringing people in and bringing people together and not writing anybody off and not taking anyone for granted. And that's what I tried so that to live in my wife. That's a way that served when I was in congress. And you sauce campaign that way across Texas every counting calories a voter for Donald Trump 96%. We were there is every bit as deserving of respect of attention being served having fought for. And and so we did. And in as president would have to do the same if if we are to be successful. You have to bring everyone into the solution and and so. It's what we say. It's. Celebrating our differences and it's in the actions that that we take we're where we literally are where we choose to show up in which is has been talking with and in listen to. So that's that's just so fundamental to Putin who hand what I believe and in what I know to be necessary for this country to make it. An insert open question right now are or divisions gonna consume us and define us. Or will we overcome entrance and and I'm really. Strong on the latter really strong were overcome this there was not that in the Houston newspaper that said. And a drop out of the presidential race run for senate. You say what we are running for president. Yeah show hands. Shook hands of a man's death has tentatively year old dinner table show of hands would you like to see a run for senate. I want you. And for whatever it is you're supposed to be funny if it sounds like president right now if you want to running for president I would like to see them. They keep the men and deepen that he wanted to do when you're against Koreans back. I'm excited you're ignorant. Thoughts. I think. It. Didn't really don't know before in the after just it has he's. But if it can't it be used actual crippling his lips and media he proposes. I would losing team and listens. To them isn't just take them off from the this. Is. No didn't hit him. Yeah. The conversation with the stakes this. The basket question is that conversation. It. And senate this effort in Lebanon hundreds of couples. Villains in. Didn't cut it today but it I mean. When you eat like how late we wanna sleep you're gonna get in touch with China like. How. Does that's like yours and respectful and other people really need a book on him. Absolutely I hope you've seen. This week we've been talking about our community and the consequences. Trumps racism and the violence and he's incurs. And the that whole engine life and also just in in communities who feel afraid. And in America already very divided being torn further apart on on a daily basis. In and we took that. Message right to trump and ensured that we were. Unequivocal about it in very clear to the American people about who was responsible in what it would take to change this to ensure the people feel safe. Going to Wal-Mart forsaken their identity and their ethnicity and just a fact that they're Americans. As well so we saw that cure this week we saw it when trump came in February. We saw diagnosis on your passion about. When he was teaching kids and implement a tent camp and corneal rewrote. At that tent camp calling the country's attention attention. And make sure everyone in America knows what's being done in the name. You know when it comes these debates to be honest with you. This idea. That you can. Release a canned attack line you have rehearsed. That you can say you know Byron in 1973. You did the following things. That's what does not mean to be honest with you and I recognize that it's not those other contenders. Who would challenge the country it's it's don't strong. And in the solutions. Cannot be defined by. Pitting us against one another writing parts of the country off its ought to be. Including everyone and that's that's what I want to get across. In every conversation every moment every town hall we're gonna do a better job of doing on on the debate stage so. We've we've in. That that incredibly. Artificial. Format with nine other people on the stage. And 1030 seconds to make your point you know I wanna do a better job really do you want to be strong. But wait a minute but at some point and you're asking about this earlier in a what's. What is success like for you and success is winning the nomination success is defeating trump. Success is leading in and helping to heal this very divided country successes is is doing that without compromising myself. Or what we believe in and who we are and it that's a price. It's going to be somebody else you know I gotta be me at at the end of the day and and so when you're right it's it's it's a challenge it's absolutely counts. Think. He's a much. Samuels was wonderful we're so grateful the conversations grace thank them. Sure. Really. It is of hopeful about insurance. Is it about yeah ultimately. And we've got here we're me can guacamole and I got workable all over. My shirt and go upstairs and because I have this one was sure we cleanest. And in Everett the unsettled. Thank you sir I think any less consulate July oh no are you I am so grateful to you for helping organize. Facilitate the conversation. And into each of you for making the trip down here into my fellow pass on. Four common over in joining us for this meal and just being very honest and open with us about what's on your mind what you expect from this country. And join the conversation and why do you like the food. And anytime you're not pass any time in the neighborhood. You're welcome to come home. Steelers and yeah. Can I call you go on a specific and you can correct me if I'm wrong please. I've seen you in Flint, Michigan talking about the latest crisis why have you done an event here and work. You know highlighting the late crisis standing at a podium and saying you know this is a major issues things and on for over a year now the challenge for people like me living here. Is that at this point I have no idea who believed.
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