tv Seth Moulton CNN Town Hall CNN June 2, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
kamau bell. >> that starts at 10:00. it all starts right now. good evening from the cnn center in atlanta and welcome to a cnn democratic presidential town hall event. i'm victor blackwell. three congressmen hoping to win the nomination and take on president trump are participating in their first national televised town hall. tonight you will hear from congressman tim ryan and eric swalwell. but we begin the night with congressman seth moulton, who was first elected in 2014. after serving in the marine corps, including four tours in iraq. he was among the first americans
to reach baghdad in 2003. the 40-year-old moulton would be the youngest president ever elected. tonight, he'll take request es from democrats and independents who say they plan to participate in the democratic primaries and caucuses. so now, please welcome congressman seth moulton. [ applause . [ applause ] >> thank you. >> all right. congressman, we got a lot of people here. >> this is a great crowd. >> yeah, a good crowd. we have great questions here for you, tonight we're going to start, obviously, after what happened in virginia beach, we're going to start with what happened there, i was just there yesterday. 12 people murdered in government building by a city employee. now gun violence obviously a major issue in america. let's bring in holly o'connor.
she has a question about that she's a behavioral health coordinator. holly. >> hi, how are you? >> good, thank you. my question is, if elected, would you be willing to declare a national emergency over the gun violence epidemic in america and ban all assault weapons and high capacity magazines? >> thank you very much for that question. and thank you all so much for having me here to atlanta tonight. you know, it's almost embarrassing to be standing here as a member of congress, given how little we've done about gun violence in america. i carried guns in iraq every single day, too. i had to use guns for my job. guns saved my life. but weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools. and whether it's declaring a national emergency or pursuing executive action, i will do whatever i can to actually make progress on this gun violence
plague in america. . [ applause ] >> and what we're talking about here, folks, isn't that crazy. the vast majority of americans, democrats, republicans, independents, agree we should have universal background checks on guns, there shouldn't be loopholes. i had the two most bipartisan gun bills in the last congress. one to to ban gun stocks, the nra baned from their own headquarters. and the second was, be prepared, this is a little controversy. was to prevent terrorists from buying guns. okay. this isn't that crazy. and we've even already banned weapons of war, just different ones. you know, in addition to those two guns, i carried two grenades on my chest every single day i was in iraq. i never blew myself up. i was very safe. i would feel comfortable having two grenades on me tonight. but would you feel comfortable? >> no. okay so we've decide as a
society that we're not going to allow people to walk around with grenades. grenades actually are really good for fishing. the iraqis used to try to buy them off of us. you just throw them in the pond, all the fish turn up dead. you don't need grenades to fish. you don't feed assault weapons to hunt. two more quick things. we need to also have a conversation about mental health in this country. republicans always -- [ applause ] republicans like to say that you just solve the mental health crisis and you won't have gun violence. then they never fund mental health. they're wrong on both counts. it's not just going to solve the crisis on its own. we do need to fundamental healthcare. the last thing is we need to have a conversation about domestic terrorism. because a lot of what is happening with gun violence in america. it's very simple. it's called care-ism.
it's domestic terrorism p. thank you. >> congressman, let me ask you, because you mentioned weapons of war. be you this shooter had two .45 handguns, a suppressor. reportedly he purchased them legally. so is there anything about your gun control proposal that would have prevented this shooting? >> well, we should not have high capacity magazines, which i understand he had. >> yes. >> you don't need a suppressor. that's something like you know az assassins need to use. we shouldn't have that here at home. and i don't know all the details of this particular incident. but the fact that he was able to purchase the guns legally makes me say maybe we got some problems with our gun laws? . [ applause ] >> let's bring in steve sarah fen -- sarafen, a semi retired
gun owner. >> as an exveteran of war, how does your military feel as our sound president criticizes including last weak u.s. citizens, ex-presidents and others while on foreign soil? and why would he accept the word of a tyrant or dictator over that of our own intelligence community? >> thank you, steve, for that question. and thank you for your service to our country as well. i can't speak for all veterans. i can certainly speak for myself. i got a lot of problems with this president. but the some ways the most fundamental issue is you can't trust anything he says. i don't know about you, but the first less zorn i learned when i went to marine training was you can drop out of a run, they'll let you try the next day. you can fail a test, they'll probably let you retake the test. if you lie about anything, you are gone that afternoon. that's how important trust is. when with it comes to leadership
and life or death decisions about young americans. and i don't care whether are you the biggest trump supporter or hater, you just can't trust a word that this man says. . [ applause ] >> so i could go on and on but maybe that says enough. >> congressman, thanks let me ask you about something you said if 2016 during the campaign then. you compared president trump's rise to that of adolph hitler's rise. do you still stand by that comparison? >> what i was talking about is the fact that tyrants can get elected and i think we all learned that in 2016. right? that's why elections matter. >> are there any rhetorical let's say gashed rails for your campaign? anywhere you will not go? some people think a hitler reference would be too far. >> well, of course, you have to be careful about what you say.
i mean, the best example is the twitter account of our commander-in-chief. so, you are right. in sports you have to be careful about what you say. you know, i just am trying to speak from my heart. and be real about the challenges that are facing america. and i think it would be better if more people in washington did that. you know, people often ask me, seth, why is congress so stupid? why can't congress believe in climate change or whatever else? and i have only been there a few years. but my experience is most of my colleagues are pretty smart. what's lacking in washington isn't intelligence. it's courage. it's the courage to speak the truth. >> fair question. let's go to maureen smith, a retired engineer. maureen. >> okay. will you remove the absurd department of justice policy that a sitting president can be indicted and will you at least
ensure that any charges against a signature president will be told so that the statutes of limitations do not expire? >> you know, this election isn't just about policies here and there. it's about our values. and one of our values in the united states of america is that nobody is above the law. nobody. so the answer to your question is yes. and more than that, this is why i came out a year ago and said, congress should be doing its job and having a debate before the american people about impeaching this president. because i understand, look, i disagreed with some of my fellow candidates in this race and some of our party leadership on this and i understand that the politics might be tricky. okay.
but how about just doing the right thing? you know, how about doing the right thing? because i swore an oath to protect and defend constitution. how many of you have read the mueller report? a few. all right. just read the executive summary. don't read the whole thing. read the executive summary and then come back to me and say that there is not enough everyday in there to be debating impeachment. >> so congressman, you say the politics are tricky. you disagree with some of your democratic colleagues. but their point would be that it could possibly be ill conceived if republican-led senate will not convict. to them you say what? >> to them i say, that's the senate's problem. our job in the house to do our constitutional rebuke. . [ applause ] >> more with congressman seth moulton after a break.
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and to the best night ever. these are the primo moments. and they call for italian quality pizza. dough made from scratch daily. sauce...from the original giammarco recipe. say hello to an authentic favorite... times two. every day at marco's, get two medium, one-topping pizzas for $6.99 each. every store. every day. the italian way. hello primo. . we are live from atlanta for a cnn presidential town hall event with congressman seth moulton. congressman, we will start with
eliza swiback here on my left, a clinical psychologist working with veterans who suffer from post-traumatic distress. how are you, moult season. >> fine, thank you. >> i was concerned about your enclosure that you have been treated for ptsd related to your service. so what will you do as president to access and quality healthcare for everybody that needs it? >> thank you so much for that question. i'm so glad we're discussing this, in this campaign. i will do three specific things. let me first mention briefly my own experience because, frankly, i did not have the courage to share this before. i was afraid of the political liability. even the you know the personal liability. my own family didn't know i was going to a therapist for post-traumatic stress. and i know that a lot of americans go through this as l
well. 50% of americans that don't have post-traumatic stress don't seek care who have mental health don't seek care. we need to change that our economy will be stronger and our economy will be better if we deal with this issue. just like we deal with physical ailments. right? there shouldn't be a stigma if you break your leg. gow to the hospital, get it fixed. are you back on your feet. >> that should be the same with mental issues as well. [ applause ] so i hope by talking about this is an example to others. >> that others will be encouraged to share their stories, too. but i also have to say, that an inspiration to me was some of the young marines that i served with. younger than me, who had the courage to share their stories even before i shared mine. so what are we going to do?
the goal is to just make it routine that you get mental healthcare, just like you go and get an annual physical, regardless of whether you are sick. you should get a mental health check-up. just like the doctor says, hey, are you eating well? are you exercising? there are things you can do to be mentally healthy, too. i have learned about meditation andrea ga and by the way, these are practices that are now being used by our most elite troops. because they realize it makes them stronger. so the three things that i will do with my mental healthcare proposal are, one, set an example with our active duty service men around women and our veterans. by making sure that everybody on active duty gets a mental health check-up every year. >> that if you went to a combat zone, you get a checkup within two weeks of coming home. it's a check-up and then we're
going to use that as a model for the rest of america. and we'll start in high school. and every high schooler in america will just get an annual mental health check-up. whether they need it or not just to say this is a healthy thing to do. the third thing is there are a lot of great suicide prevention and mental hot lines out there. we need to make one number everyone will remember. i think it should be 511. no matter you who are, veteran, non-veteran, everyone that needs to talk to someone, dial 511, you will be connected immediately to someone who can help. >> i know this is a personal issue for you, obviously. and but for the first time this week, you decided to share a traumatic experience that you had on your way to baghdad in 2003 i believe it was now.
now i know this isn't easy to discuss, but you decided to speak about it publicly. what did you hope that would do for veterans? >> what i hoped it would do is gratefully what i have seen it start to do this week. the people ask a lot what's the most meaningful thing you have done as a member of congress. it's definitely hold veteran's town halls. sort of like this, where veterans and non-veterans get together and veterans get a chance to share their stories and to talk about how their work overseas has affected their life at home and bridge that divide between veterans and non-veterans. so this week we held veteran's town halls, focus specifically on mental health and the stories that i've heard have been incredible. there have been vietnam veterans who stood up and said i've never shared this story before from
vietnam. but i'm sharing it today. because other people are talking, too. >> congressman, thank you for sharing and thank you for your service. thank you for your service. [ applause ] on that question is from nick verneault a student at georgia tech studying chemistry. >> hi congressman. >> you are a scientist. you wouldn't fit in very well in congress. >> on your website it states that you believe americans deserve affordable healthcare. why do you stop short of supporting a single payer system? >> that's a great question. i'm so sure you asked it. my view is what president obama planned. which is that we should have a public option like medicare for all or hopefully a more modern version of medicare since it was designed in 1963. but that should compete against private options as well because competition is good for the system. it keeps prices down.
it improves outcomes. and i think that people should have choices for their healthcare. and i say this as the only candidates in this race who actually gets single payer healthcare. because i made a commitment to continue going to the va when i was elected to congress. i said, look, as long as my fellow vets are going there and the system is pretty broken, i will see you first hand. and i've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of single payer healthcare. there are some things the va does really well. like, for example, the va negotiates prescription drug prices. medicare doesn't do that. that means our prescription prices at the va are lower than medicare. but i also got surgery shortly after i was elected. and to make a long story short, they sent me home with the wrong medications. now, it just -- it was a painful night because i had a minor
abdominal surgery. i thought it was a really big deal until my wife got a c-section and i realized, whoa, it was not a big deal. but it hurt. and rather than give me the painkillers they had prescribed, the pharmacy sent me home with a bottle of advil. but the only way i suffered was because it was painful. imagine if they had sent me home with a more powerful or addictive drug than the one i was prescribed. we heard of this story of veterans dying on lists and committing suicide in waiting rooms because they don't have enough mental healthcare professionals. so i don't want that system for you. i want different systems to compete just like they do with other things in america to give you the best healthcare in the world because that's what you deserve. [ applause
. [ applause ] >> congressman, you have just talked about your experience with the va and in relation to med compare for all. do you believe that the government is capable of implementing medicare for all? >> in a perfect world, yes. as a political reality, this is the other thing, it's just never going to get passed. so, it's not realistic right now. >> that doesn't mean we should aspire to have a single payer system. frankly, look, if at the end of the day under my system, the same system that president obama wanted, if the public option out competes the private options, that's what we end up with, fine. let's make it better along the way. imagine if the next president comes in and says, you know what, folks, we don't need options for delivering packages. we will get rid of ups, we will outlaw them. it's just the u.s. postal service, does anyone think it will make things better? i love the u.s. postal system.
they delivered my mail in iraq. i think competition is good for the system. if we have choices for delivering packages, i think we should have choices for something much more important, which is delivering healthcare. >> next question, congressman, goes to will martin. a sophomore at georgia tech studying public policy. he was an interim faith canvasser on the stacy abrams campaign for governor. will. >> hi. hi, representative, how do you expect the democratic party to nominate you, someone who has opposed nancy pelosi from the right at a time when many in the democratic party, including myself which you were more directive. >> sorry, she were more progressive or i. >> her. >> listen i didn't oppose her from the right or the left. sid the top three leaders in congress who have been there combined almost 100 years should make room for a new generation
of leadership. [ applause ] and with the democratic party, we should be able to have a democratic debate about who our leaders should before. it's okay if you and i disagree. list not be afraid to have that debate. because we got that debate, we got the voting rights subcommittee, the climate change subcommittee and a deal on term limits in exchange for giving speaker plo es the votes she needed to become speaker. she only one by five votes. we gave her seven as a part of that term limits deal that will make sure the next generation of leaders in congress, this historically diverse class of freshmen that i worked so hard to get elected will actually have a voice in the future of our politics. now, let me say one more thing. speaker pelosi is doing a great job of standing up -- we should give her credit for it. all right p. [ applause ] >> but i do disagree with her on impeachment.
because as i mentioned earlier, we have a constitutional duty to hold the executive accountable. i think we should be doing that. >> thank you for working on the stacy abrams campaign, because stacey abrams should be the governor of -- [ cheers ] >> congressman, let me follow up here. because you say today she is doing a great job. but you said after the election that you would not be quote answering the call of the american people if she and her top two deputies were in charge. you say today she is doing a great job. were you wrong about that? >> no, that's what i heard on the campaign trail as i was going across the country helping so many people get elected. of the 40 seats that we flipped to take back the house, twurn of them were endorse -- 21 of them were endorsed by my service organization. i went to pa lot of difficult districts that we needed to win to take baaing the house. what i consistently heard is it's time for a new generation
of leadership in our politics. now that doesn't take anything away from her. that's why i have no problem saying she is doing a great job of standing up to trump. i want to make sure that people also look to our party and say that's the party that will take us forward. that's the party of the future of leadership in our party and our country. >> all right. we'll be right back with more democratic potential town hall with congressman zhou seth moulton. ou seth moulton. u seth moulton. seth moulton. seth mou. . with priceline, bundling our lowest prices on flights, hotels and rental cars means you spend less time planning and more time travelling. we like that! by the way, these chairs are ours. everyone is already sitting.
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>> excellent. what is your plan to leave the dismantling of racism to drive justice from marginalized group, especially for black and first nation's people and criminalize criminal justice reform. [ applause ] >> we have a problem with racism in america today. if this country wasn't racist, stacey abrams would be governor. [ cheers [ cheers ] >> because people of color are being systemically the most right in a democracy which is the right to vote. that's why we need a new voting rights act in america. [ applause ] second, let's talk about criminal justice reform for a
second. look, i smoked weed when i was younger. i didn't get caught, but if i had because i'm a white guy. just last year i think it was a louisiana man was sentenced to prison for life for selling $20 of marijuana. so criminal justice reform means we need to legalize cannabis. we need to legalize marijuana across this country and if you are in prison for that, are you out. finally, this is a leadership issue. let's not ignore the fact that when the man in the oval office is a racist and yes i did just say that, i don't think that's
inappropriate. . [ applause ] >> it's going to affect everyone in this country. and that's why under my administration, my department of justice will fight relentlessly to ensure that there are not two sets of laws, one for black, white, one for rich, one for poor, but that everyone in america is subject to the same law laws. the president talks about law and order. that's real law and order. >> congressman, you say that your administration will fight. let me ask you about your biography here. you represent massachusetts's 6th district. which is about 75% white, 4% african-american. you graduated from a prestigious boarding school where tuition and boarding is currently around 6500. have you three degrees from
harvard. on paper this reads as elite. what today 2019 informs your policy-making for a party, for a country that is so racially and economically diverse? >> look, i totally get that. i even rode in college, the resume looks terrible. i am still paying my college loans. but the bottom line is that i had a lot of great opportunities in my life. i did. but every american should have those same opportunities. and i saw this most of all when i was serving in the marines. when i served with people from all over this country, people with different religious beliefs, different political beliefs, people who were rich, people who were poor. but we all came together to get united behind a common mission, to serve our country. and i had to earn every one of those marines' trust, whether they came from a background like
mine or a totally different background and if there is one thing that keeps me grounded as a politician, because i think that's really important. i think you have to work consciously when you are in a place like washington to keep grounded. it's keeping in touch with those marines him some of the best americans i've ever met and some of the best friends i've ever had. >> so on the question of race and diversity, it's been 15 years since the democratic party has nominated two white men on a national ticket. what's the relevance of racial and general diversity on a national ticket? >> it's relevant because we need to represent america. you know, i mean i'll tell you sort of a funny story about this, i was in this meeting that turned a little heated with a fellow republican and he was really frankly out of line with me. but this was when i was a freshman, it was a good lesson if politics because he wrote me a note saying, you know what,
thank you, seth, for being here. i'm glad we could have that debate. i thought, wow, that changed my opinion of him. i made a point of going and finding him, shaking hands, i went up to this old white republican. i said thank you so much for sending many ethat note. he looked at me like -- and i said, no, no, the note about because we had that debate and then like a good politician, he just said, you're welcome. and then about 30 seconds later, i found the other old white republican who looked just like him who actually sent me the note. i thanked him for the note. you can't even tell them apart. okay. so we absolutely need more diversity in our politics. that's a part of the reason why as i traveled around the country helping a lot of fellow veterans get elected. many of them were women and they're already making a difference. >> that voice in our party and our politics in washington already matters.
so we have a lot of work to do. and i recognize that as a youngish white man, i'm going to have to earn the support of everybody in america. whether they look like me, whether they come from my background or whether they come from a totally different background. that's the work that i got to do in this election. i'm looking forward it to. >> let's bring in joe doherty. joe is a health scientist at the centers for disease control and prevention researching traumatic brain injury. joe. >> thank you. >> good evening. i'm very concerned about the recently past restriction on abortion access across the country. [ cheers ] >> with the issue seemingly headed to the supreme court, what could you do as president to protect a woman's right to choose? >> well, first of all let me say
you should be concerned. we should all be concerned. this was settled law almost 50 years ago. now it's under assault. lets be clear, it's under assault one man, his name is brett kavanaugh. that's why the state legislatures, right here in georgia. what a disgusting lawsuit. they're passing these laws hoping they'll get appealed to the supreme court and then brett kavanaugh will let them pass. i was standing out at a planned parenthood rally in front of the supreme court two weeks ago. one of the points i made, i said, if you lie in a confirmation hearing, you should be impeached. and that applies to brett kavanaugh. second, because women's rights across this country are under assault, it will be a litmus test for me when i pick a supreme court nominee.
whoever it is, she or he must support a woman's right to choo choose. >> let's bring in edward ross. he owns a vital records store here in atlanta. >> all right. edward. zblf so my question is, you say that it's unacceptable that 1% of the people own 50% of the wealth and the best way to address that is through taxation. under eisen how ter tax margin was 90% the country seemed to thrive. do you support increasing the top marginal tax rate. if so, to what level? >> i do support increasing the top marginal tax rate. i don't know we need to go as high as 90. but here's what we fundamentally need to do. we need to make the tax system fair. how many of you here tonight paid more than $1 in taxes last year? raise your hand.
okay. i don't see anybody who's not raising their hand. you all paid more in taxes than amazon and netflix combined. and as far as we can tell, you paid more than donald trump has paid for the last 30 years. now, i don't care what the economic rationale nor that -- that is, it's just not fair so there is a lot we need to do to fix our economy. the first is that if you work for a living, you should pay the same tax rate as someone who sits and trades money for a living. or has so much money they don't know what to do with it. the second thing we need to do is reform the educational system so everybody can compete for the jobs. . [ applause ] >> yes, education needs more money, no question. but it also needs reform because
the k through 12 system we have today was actually built in response to the industrial revolution when we were all coming off the farms. now we are going through an even quicker economic revolution called the automated revolution or the technical revolution. we all know the education system today isn't preparing kids enough for the future. you know my seven-month-old daughter, she's not saying too much yet. sought she hasn't told me what she wants to do yet in life. but whether she wants to go to college, whether she wants to build the college, or whether she wants to defend college. i know one thing, i'm going to be proud of her whatever she chooses, america should be proud of her, too. so their a lot we need to do for education reform. third we need to invest in 20th century infrastructure, preparing roads and bridges and making sure everybody has high speed internet and 5g
communications. [ applause ] in the trump economy, the people at the top do really well. and that's why the top line numbers right now are fine. in the moulton economy, everybody gets equal opportunity. because we've never been a company of equal results. i understand some are going to succeed more than others. but enshrined in our constitution is we are a country of equal opportunity and that's not the case in america today. >> we'll be right back, cnn's democratic presidential town hall with congressman seth moulton. hello to the best part of the day. and to the best night ever. these are the primo moments. and they call for italian quality pizza. dough made from scratch daily. sauce...from the original giammarco recipe. say hello to an authentic favorite... times two. every day at marco's, get two medium, one-topping pizzas for $6.99 each.
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welcome back to the presidential democratic town hall with congressman seth moulton. the next question comes from john adams. he's a project manager for a software company. john. >> congressman. so my question is, there is a narrative that government regulations and environmental protections are harmful to businesses, especially small businesses and, therefore, are
bad for the economy. how would you implement policies to address the climate crisis while simultaneously ensuring companies can move to cleaner technologies, maintain growth and get workers into new jobs? >> john, it's a great question. because there is no reason why we continue do both. solve climate change and grow the economy. that's what we should be doing. i was one of the first to sign onto the green new deem. we need to make sure we win the green tech revolution, we're selling solar panels to china, not the other way around. we sell the technologies to developing world that will make clean power possible no matter where you live. that's what we need to do. we need to grow the economy and we need to do it while also solving climate change. it's also why i have announced the most ambitious national service program since the great depression. and a cornerstone of my national service program, that calls on
every one of the 33 million young americans between 17 and 24 to consider serving their country is called a federal green core, which will put young americans to work making our country more climate resilient and also training them for the green economy jobs of the future. thanks. [ applause ] >> congressman, let me ask about your moon shot as you call it, fusion energy. i'm not a physicist. let me say that first. >> i have a degree in physics. >> yeah, you do. >> which everybody in life sees my resume, not my transcript makes me sounds really smart. i'll leave to you interpret that. >> is harnessing on earth to simpli simplify? it would be a multi-billion dollar gamble on an energy source that really interesting proven. is that the best effort for a search for clean energy? >> it shouldn't be the only effort. it absolutely should be something we do. when you go and spend time with the physicist at places like
m.i.t., tail tell you, we're a lot closer than we think. here's the bottom line. we cannot let china sell this technology to us. we have to win the green tech revolution. that's why we need to invest. >> the next question goes to courtney reader. she recently graduated from the louisiana state university. >> congratulations. >> what's your question for the congressman? >> so i graduated >> well, first of all, congratulations. you have college loans. yep, this guy too. this is a problem that affects millions of americans. and our debt is astronomical. i think in a free college is a great aspiration. but i also think that sometimes make a mistake by only talking about free college.
half of america doesn't even go to college. and we have to make sure that everybody in america has access to a new education, a better education for the new economy. we absolutely have to work to bring down tuition costs. because that's what's driving college loans. we need to make sure that if you want to go to vocational school, if you want to learn a new job. you want to go to a job training school to learn a skill for the new economy, we're going to support you too. and we're going to respect your work when you get out. >> would you support a debt forgiveness program for graduates who are currently struggling with college loan debt along the line of senator elizabeth warren is proposing. >> i think we absolutely should consider that, but i want to make sure we address the needs of everybody who doesn't get to go to college first. >> that's a yes for people who are currently struggling with -- >> no, i doesn't give it an
outright yes, we should consider it, we have to address the people who don't even go to college yet first. that's what i mean when we say we needed indication reform in this country. >> okay. next question goes to misha maynard. she recently made a run for atlanta city counsel. >> awesome. >> i did, thank you. thank you for your service, senator. name two publicly known issues that you did not agree with with the democratic party on and state how you would have worked with republicans to solve the issue more timely? >> that is a tough question. >> sorry we got to you. no, it's a great question. it's a great question. one has to do with climate in my home district where folks wanted to extend a gas pipeline, of course, all the democrats were against this, because we can solve the problem with clean
energy. i looked at the numbers and although that's a great goal and we need to get there, there's no one that believes it more than me, it wasn't going to happen right away. we were importing gas to massachusetts from russia, where there are no climate protections whatsoever. i got a lot of heat for that from my own party. i was trying to make a decision based on the facts. another was -- these are the tough issues in congress when we had an issue on gmo labelling for example. and a lot of people gave me heat to agreeing to a compromise deal, because they wanted better gmo labelling. i said, it's better to have some gmo labelling than nothing at all. that's what i did. thanks. >> thank you. >> there's also on the issue of marijuana legalization, there's the marijuana justice act that was proposed in the senate, five senators who are running for the nomination have approved it, you've signed on as co sponsor,
you've not signed on to the house version, this decriminalizes it, gets some review for people who are currently in prison on marijuana related charges. why have you not signed on as a co sponsor. >> i think we can go further than that. i have three bipartisan bills in the house that i'm co author of that will start legalizing cannabis by starting with the va. and i think that we have to be smart about how we pursue this. >> okay. >> i want to take a second to talk about a pretty big question, which is, why am i here, why am i doing this? i think this is the most important election of our lifetimes. it's about a lot of issues, like education, health care and climate change. but much more than that, it's about who we are as a country. it's about our values. it's about what kind of future we're going to build. whether we can get united behind a common mission not to make america great again.
looking backwards to some mythical version of the past that never really existed. but whether we can make america better than it's ever been before. donald trump doesn't want that. he wants to keep us divided. to win, we need to bring together a diverse coalition of americans, everybody in our party with independence. even a few disaffected republicans. and i think i have the best experience in this race to do that. because i had to bring together a diverse coalition in the most difficult environment imaginable in iraq. in a place where i didn't agree with the war, but we all had to get united behind a common mission. that's what the next president of the united states needs to challenge us to do. to all believe in something a little bit bigger than ourselves. to believe in america so much that we're willing to step up
and serve our country to make it better. this election isn't about 2020, it's about what we're going to do in 2021. we've got to make a better world for everybody in america. we've got to restore our moral leadership in the globe. and we've got to make sure that our kids like my 7-month-old daughter emme have a newt tour that's even brighter than ours. >> thank you, congressman. seth molten. up next, poppy harlow moderates the presidential town hall with congressman tim ryan.
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