Get To Know The Candidates


In Their Own Words

In our weekly newsletter we include a 2020 section featuring a podcast episode focused on an election-specific issue, which most often includes a handpicked podcast interview with one of the Presidential candidates. It's a crowded field and we want to get to know all the candidates, fast. So here's a round up of the episodes we've selected so far.


Pete Buttigieg

The South Bend, Indiana Mayor was initially given little thought as a serious contender for the Democratic nominee. But since forming an exploratory committee earlier this year, he has quickly risen to prominence as an unlikely star in the Democratic field. His campaign reported $7.1 million in fundraising for the first quarter of 2019 and, in a recent Emerson poll of potential Iowa Democratic caucus voters, he came third, behind political stalwarts Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. In this podcast interview with The New Yorker Editor, David Remnick, Mayor Pete talks about his personal background, political philosophy, and stance on some of the issues that will drive the 2020 election.



Andrew Yang

Automation will continue to decimate the labor market, argues Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang. And as it does, the financial insecurity facing so many Americans will only get worse. So where lies the answer to this technology-driven dystopia? Yang proposes a radically different kind of economy starting with a ‘Freedom Dividend’, his rebranded version of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). By putting $1000 per month in every adult’s hand, Yang believes he can not only create millions of new jobs and grow the consumer economy, he can also combat the income volatility holding back the many Americans he thinks remain trapped in a ‘mindset of scarcity’. Yang is the first presidential candidate to build a campaign around UBI. He likely won’t be the last.



Cory Booker

“America is at a crossroads”. According to Former Mayor of Newark and current U.S. Senator, Cory Booker, we face a descent into tribalism that is couched in fear and an us-versus-them, zero-sum style of politics. He thinks he is the person to fix this and re-inspire the “moral imagination” of the country. In this interview with NPR, Senator Booker sets out his 2020 vision for restoring ‘civic grace’ to the country and explains the policy proposals he hopes will win him the White House. Chief among them: his new and comprehensive plan for expanding gun-control. Based on his direct experience of neighborhood shootings, he articulates the personal urgency driving this key policy proposal.



Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren has a plan. For virtually everything. The senior senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard law professor has stood out in the increasingly overcrowded Democrat primary through setting out a broad swathe of complex policy proposals designed to address a litany of problems facing the country. From tackling unaffordable housing, providing universal child-care, and expanding Medicare, to writing off student debt and eliminating college tuition fees. She has carved out her niche on the campaign trail as the policy candidate, best known for her catalog of White Papers and off-the-cuff remark: “I have a plan for that!”.  But does the electorate value such substance over style? Do policy proposals even make a difference in a Presidential race?  In this podcast interview, Senator Warren explains why she thinks her approach is what America both needs and wants, and the team at The Argument debate what really matters to voters when choosing their candidate. 




Kamala Harris

“America’s economy is not working for working people…” which is why Presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris, is proposing a $500 monthly credit for families earning less than $100,000 a year. It would, she says, be “the most significant middle-class tax cut in generations”. Harris is a prosecutor by training and has many firsts to her name. She was the first female district attorney, first black district attorney and first Asian-American district attorney in San Francisco and then California. She was also the second black woman to secure a seat in the U.S. Senate. If she wins the Presidency, it will be another historic first. But while she recognizes the weight of responsibility that breaking these barriers represents, it’s a distraction from the comprehensive policy agenda she hopes will win her the White House.  In this podcast interview with Pod Save America, Kamala Harris sets out her vision for reforming the economy, addressing illegal immigration and the U.S. asylum system, introducing Medicare for All, and prosecuting the case against the policies of the President. Also discussed: the litany of recipes she’s collecting on the campaign trail.




Amy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) announced in February that she was running for the 2020 Presidency in the middle of a blizzard in Minnesota, leading President Trump to brand her “Snow-woman”. She said the country needed a leader with “grit” and her demonstrable ability to withstand the elements showed she had just that. She has since staked out her position on a spate of key policy issues, including healthcare (she supports Medicare Advantage as an alternative to Medicare); mental health (she has a $100 billion plan to combat mental health problems and substance abuse over the next decade); climate change (she stands behind the Green New Deal), criminal justice (she supported the bipartisan First Step Act for federal prison reform); and infrastructure (she has a trillion-dollar policy plan to update the country’s infrastructure, which is her “top budget priority”). In this episode, recorded live at SXSW, Recode’s Kara Swisher sits down with Amy Klobuchar to discuss her vision for the Presidency, and where she stands on the regulation of Big Tech. As antitrust officials laid out plans earlier this week for investigating the business practices of tech giants like Facebook, this discussion feels particularly pertinent.




Beto O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke’s star seems to have fallen as fast as first it rose. Back in November 2018 he was being praised as the Democrats’ golden boy, possessed of an Obama-esq oratory power and charm that saw him come within an inch of defeating Republican Senator, Ted Cruz, in the solidly red state of Texas. When he launched his Presidential bid in March 2019 he had a boost of momentum and raised $6.1 million on the very first day of his campaign. But fast forward a couple of months, and his support has waned. A recent poll in Iowa showed he was backed by only 2% of those surveyed, the same result as another poll conducted last month in New Hampshire. But with a spate of new policy proposals and a bold plan for addressing climate change, can O’Rourke still make it to the White House? In this podcast interview, ‘It’s All Political’ questions the Presidential hopeful on why he’s the right man for the job… and why The Clash offers so prescient a message for this particular moment in politics.




Kirsten Gillibrand

New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, has been floundering in the polls, remaining stuck at 0.3% in the RealClearPolitics average of all national polling. A career-politician who isn’t short on substantive policy proposals, she was nonetheless weeks behind self-help author, Marianne Williamson, and former tech-entrepreneur, Andrew Yang, in securing the 65,000 donors needed to claim her place in the Democrat debates. So, will this finally be her opportunity to cut through? Ahead of the debates this week, we hear from Senator Gillibrand on the ideas shaping her campaign and why she believes she is the best person to defeat President Trump for the White House.




Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders, 77, is the self-proclaimed socialist who is making his second bid for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination, after running a surprisingly close primary campaign against Hilary Clinton in 2016 (note: he has not actually joined the party, but remains an independent). His brand of socialism which is embodied, he says, in popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare, presents a pathway to “economic rights” and aims to continue the “unfinished business” of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. That his signature policy proposals, such as “Medicare for All”, have been endorsed by the majority of Democrat candidates running in 2020, is a testament to the success with which he has inspired a progressive shift within the party. But, in an overcrowded field where he is no longer the progressive alternative, and there is a thirst for younger talent, can Sanders stand out? In this podcast interview with NPR Politics, the Presidential hopeful explains what he stands for and why he’s the right person for the job.




Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington has put climate change at the crux of his Presidential campaign. It is an issue he knows well, and has long sought to tackle by way of co-founding the United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and also by pushing clean energy legislation through his statehouse. Now he wants to take his ambitious approach to combating climate change to the White House and has set out his vision for doing so in an extremely detailed, four-part climate plan, heralded by progressives in the party like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as the “gold standard” in plans for tackling this existential threat. In it he maps out a blueprint for getting to 100% clean energy in electricity, new cars and new buildings, a 10-year, $9 trillion investment plan to fund it (set out in an expansive, 38-page document), a plan for how his approach to climate change would reshape U.S. foreign policy, and finally, a way of phasing out America’s ballooning fossil fuel industry.
In this episode of Climate One, Governor Inslee explains why tackling climate change has to be ‘Job One’ for any incoming President, and why he’s the right candidate to really get it done.




Michael Bennet

“If history is any guide, the people that are leading the race today are not going to be the nominee.” - Sen. Bennet

In the overcrowded field of Democrat candidates, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet is confident he can win the Presidency. Why? Because he is the only candidate in the running who has won a national race in a swing state, twice - Colorado is a purple state, split exactly a third Republican, a third Democrat and a third independent. The former lawyer and businessman, who was also the superintendent of Denver public schools for five years, says he understands the grievances that led people to vote for Trump in 2016 and he is uniquely experienced to solve them. To this end, a key tenet of his campaign is tackling the country’s rising level of economic inequality and the “never-ending recession” he says 90% of Americans have faced for the past 40 years.
So what exactly is Senator Bennet’s plan to get to the White House? In this podcast interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, he sets out his blueprint for winning the Presidency and transforming the U.S. economy.




Tulsi Gabbard

Military veteran and Hawaii Congressman, Tulsi Gabbard, had her moment during the recent Democratic debates when she launched an attack on fellow presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris, on her record as a prosecutor, and emerged the most Googled candidate of the debates. Do a quick Google search for her now and speculation abounds as to the impact her takedown of Harris has had on both of their campaigns. But, despite raising her profile, the debates did little to boost her poll numbers, which are still averaging at around 1%. If she’s to make it to the debate stage in September she’ll need to register 2% in at least 3 more polls (she has crossed the 130, 000 donor mark). 

One of the youngest candidates in the field (she’s 38-years old), Gabbard has drawn criticism for refusing to condemn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with whom she had a controversial meeting in 2017, and for her previous views on LGBTQ rights - she was once a member of the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage.

But where does the Hawiian congresswoman stand on some of the major policy issues defining the 2020 Presidential race, like healthcare and the environment? In this podcast, Gabbard sits down with Intercept journalist, Glen Greenwald, to discuss just that.



Last updated on: Monday, August 12, 2019

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