Where 2020 Democrats stand on
foreign policy

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Would you set a hard date for withdrawal from Afghanistan of all U.S. military forces?

By the end of my first year, did not rule out residual forces

By the end of my first year, did not rule out residual forces

Set the tightest deadline, but did not rule out some U.S. presence when asked

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I’ve seen first-hand the costs of our long conflict in Afghanistan. It’s time to end this endless war. The only question is do we do it well or poorly,” Buttigieg told The Post. “The best option: a negotiated peace agreement, involving the Afghan government, in which we bring our ground troops home, maintaining a residual Special Operations presence to help ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base for terrorist attacks against the United States or its allies.” In the second Democratic debate, he said, “we will withdraw, we have to,” and said he would withdraw U.S. troops within his first year in office.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“The war in Afghanistan is the longest in American history, spanning the leadership of three Presidents from both political parties,” Gabbard told The Post. “I don’t want to see another one of my brothers and sisters in uniform killed in Afghanistan. If I am elected, no American will be fighting in Afghanistan by the end of my first year in office.” Gabbard did not respond to requests for clarification on whether she would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

By the end of my first term, did not rule out residual forces

By the end of my first term, did not rule out residual forces

Others would like troops out of Afghanistan within four years, but did not rule out some U.S. presence when asked

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes that there is not a military solution in Afghanistan, and it is time to draw down forces,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. “Michael believes the United States needs to work toward a political solution in which we are clear about what we aim to achieve. We must determine our objective, something that hasn’t been clear in Afghanistan for a number of years, and withdraw forces based on that mission.” There would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of Bennet's first term, he told the New York Times. Bennet did not respond to multiple requests for clarification on whether he would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I would bring American combat troops in Afghanistan home during my first term,” Biden told The Post. “Any residual U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would be focused only on counterterrorism operations. We need to be clear-eyed about our limited enduring security interests in the region: We cannot allow the remnants of Al Qa’ida in Afghanistan and Pakistan to reconstitute, and we must destroy the Islamic State presence in the region. Americans are rightly weary of our longest war; I am, too. But we must end the war responsibly, in a manner that ensures we both guard against threats to our Homeland and never have to go back.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“There are young men and women entering military service this year who weren’t even born on 9/11. We’ve been entangled in the region for too long, and it’s time to reassess our posture,” Bullock told The Post. “I want our brave servicemembers to come home as soon as possible, and I’ll do everything in my power, including through diplomacy and working with our allies, to make that happen by the end of my first term.” A campaign spokesman confirmed that this did not rule out “the possibility of maintaining a small special forces contingent for the purpose of conducting counterterrorism operations, or being pre-positioned in the event they are needed.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

There would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of Castro's first term, he told the New York Times. Castro did not respond to requests for clarification on whether he would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris “believes these values belong at the center of our foreign policy. As president, she’ll end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and protracted military engagements in places like Syria. But she’ll do so responsibly – by consulting our Generals and Ambassadors, not via tweet,” her campaign website said. Harris told the Council on Foreign Relations, “as I have said many times, this war in Afghanistan must come to an end. I was honored to visit with our brave troops and national security professionals there last year, and I’ll do everything in my power to achieve a political solution – if one hasn’t been reached already – that allows us to bring them home responsibly in my first term.” Harris did not respond to requests for clarification on whether she would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

There would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of Klobuchar's first term, she told the New York Times. She later told CBS News, “You could always have training footprints and people working there ready to go if there is a complete upsurge, but I think that you have to make sure that this country can function on their own.” Klobuchar did not respond to requests for clarification on whether she would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke “has pledged that as President, he would bring a responsible end to the “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan,” an O'Rourke spokesperson told The Post. “Eighteen years into the war in Afghanistan, and nearly three decades after our first engagement in Iraq, the time has come to cancel the blank check for endless war and to ensure that any future engagements are the result of a national conversation about our security interests and duly authorized by Congress after a robust national conversation about our security interests.” There would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of O'Rourke's first term, he told the New York Times. O’Rourke did not respond to requests for clarification on whether he would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“We must seek to bring American forces home from Afghanistan in the smartest way possible, with stated goals that are operationally feasible and diplomatically wise,” Ryan told The Post. “Even with the bulk of American forces gone, we must work with our allies and ensure the United States maintains the ability to counteract any rebirth of terror elements within the country, through targeted military strikes when warranted. We must also remain engaged diplomatically with the Afghan government and our allies to push future governments in Afghanistan toward openness, equality, and the rule of law. By the end of my first term, the bulk of US combat troops would be sent home.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“I would withdraw U.S. military forces from Afghanistan as expeditiously as possible. It is past time to end our endless wars,” Sanders told The Post. He told the New York Times that "by the end of my first term, our troops would be home." A campaign spokesman confirmed that this did not rule out leaving residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes, within four years in a systematic strategy of milestones that can be measured and will a nation able to handle its infrastructure, governance and any residual insurgency,” Sestak told The Post. A campaign spokesman confirmed that this did not rule out leaving residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“We have been in Afghanistan for 18 years with increasingly diminishing returns for our own security — we’ve “turned the corner” so many times it seems we’re now going in circles. Expecting a military victory when a political settlement is required is unfair to our military, and unfair to the Afghan people. It's long past time to bring our troops home, and I would begin to do so immediately,” Warren told The Post. There would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of her first term, Warren told the New York Times. Warren did not respond to requests for clarification on whether she would leave residual forces.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang hopes U.S. troops would be home by the end of his first term, but “it's impossible to know that for sure,” he told the New York Times.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Draw down troops, but rely on conditions to dictate full withdrawal

Draw down troops, but rely on conditions to dictate full withdrawal

These candidates did not set a timeline for withdrawal

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. “We have to make sure there is a peace settlement in Afghanistan; it obviously has to involve the Taliban. Until that point I don't think it's sensible to take out our troops,” de Blasio told the New York Times. “If it's possible to forge a real peace plan that's durable,” there would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of de Blasio's first term.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“While I support dramatically reducing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, I presently do not believe that a full withdrawal is in our best interests and therefore I envision keeping a small contingency of U.S. forces with a specific focus to train and support local security forces,” Delaney told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Marianne Williamson

Author

“No. The focus needs to be on diplomacy and making sure that women under the Taliban are safe,” Williamson told The Post. “We need a broader discussion than terrorism and troops to make sure we don’t do more harm by pulling out under an artificial deadline.” Williamson told The Daily 202, “this has been a feminist issue since before 2001. One positive thing that’s come from us being there has been the lessening of brutality towards women and the rights of women that came into full expression as a result of liberation.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Candidates who gave unclear answers, or who have not returned responses.

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“We have been in Afghanistan for far too long, and I am determined to bring our troops home as quickly as possible. As soon as I become President, I will immediately begin a process to bring our troops home while ensuring that Afghanistan won’t again become a safe haven for launching attacks against the U.S.,” Booker told The Post. In the second Democratic debate, Booker said, “I will bring them home as quickly as possible, but I will not set during a campaign an artificial deadline. I will make sure we do it, we do it expeditiously, we do it safely, to not create a vacuum that's ultimately going to destabilize the Middle East and perhaps create the environment for terrorism and for extremism to threaten our nation.” There would not be U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of Booker's first term, he told the New York Times. The campaign had not clarified his position by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

President Barack Obama defined his foreign policy in opposition to that of George W. Bush, his predecessor, and the decision to invade Iraq. Now Democrats are defining themselves in opposition to President Trump, who has sought nothing less than a reimagining of the world order. He has started a trade war with China, challenged the NATO alliance and praised multiple authoritarian regimes. Every Democrat running for president opposes the Trump doctrine in some way.

But the hardest questions about foreign policy offer only bad choices. Some candidates favor an open dialogue with Syria and North Korea, while others would use the possibility of high-level talks to extract demands. Some oppose free-trade agreements, such as Obama’s move to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while others are open to free trade with guardrails. The question of which country is the nation’s top foe also split the field.

Where the candidates stand

Here’s where the candidates stand on foreign policy, based on their statements, voting records and answers to a questionnaire that was sent to every campaign.

Question 2 of 15

Yes

Yes

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“It is in our national security interests to end our regime change war in Syria,” Gabbard told The Post. “That war is prolonging the suffering of the Syrians, preventing Syrian refugees from returning home, strengthening al-Qaeda and Iran’s influence. Diplomatic relations are not a stamp of approval — they’re necessary to prevent war and resolve conflict. I would reestablish relations with Syria, whoever their president is, and work to bring peace to its long-suffering people.” She drew criticism for a 2017 meeting with the Syrian leader.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Open to it

Open to it

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“I would be open to considering the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Assad regime, but only after several preconditions have been met,” Ryan told The Post. “Namely, the destruction of its biological weapons stockpile, an immediate end to all human rights abuses and funding of militant organizations in the region, as well as governmental reforms that bring in elements of the opposition.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The world and in particular the Syrian people would be far better off without Bashar al-Assad, who is responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, the forced migration of millions and the collapse of the nation of Syria. It is not up to the United States to topple him, and diplomatic engagement does not imply approval of him or of his activities. If he remains in power, the United States needs to engage with his regime in some fashion,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is open to re-opening diplomatic relations with the Syrian government if Bashar al-Assad remains in power, his campaign confirmed to The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Assad must leave office and be held accountable for the war crimes he committed,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I would not reopen diplomatic relations with the Assad government,” Bullock told The Post. “Assad has brutally murdered his own people with chemical weapons, and we’ve seen terrorist groups take refuge in the chaos to orchestrate violence around the world. The priority moving forward has to be stability. We need to completely reevaluate the situation and engage both with our allies and adversaries — NATO and Russia — to bring the conflict to a peaceful resolution.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I would not reopen diplomatic relations with this Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad,” Buttigieg told The Post. “The United States should take part in negotiations to lead to a comprehensive political settlement that includes genuine progress toward a political transition, an end to all hostilities, protection of civilians and the start of an accountability process. The Assad regime is a state sponsor of terror, has targeted its citizens using chemical weapons, and has overseen large-scale torture and execution of its own people.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“It is imperative that the brutal war in Syria that has killed nearly half a million people and displaced millions of refugees be brought to an end,” an O'Rourke spokesperson told The Post. “Our priority now should be on mobilizing the international community to end the violence, protect civilians and ensure that human rights violators — chief among them Bashar al-Assad — be held accountable for their crimes. As president, Beto would not reopen diplomatic relations with the Syrian government absent meaningful diplomatic progress toward a political transition.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Assad must leave. We should not have any dealings with a brutal dictator who has massacred so many of his own people,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Assad is a butcher responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands. There is no military-only solution in Syria, but the world must hold him accountable for his violations of international law and violence against the Syrian people,” Warren told The Post. “I would not restore diplomatic relations with the Syrian regime. I do support pragmatic engagement as part of a coordinated multilateral effort -- to seek the best diplomatic solution possible to end the civil war, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis and prevent any spillover consequences from this conflict, including terrorism.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“No. Assad is a war criminal. Diplomacy is important if it leads to peace but normalizing of diplomatic relations with Assad is not appropriate,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“The Syrian people face unimaginable violence under the Assad regime. [Bennet] believes the United States must do more to push for a political solution to the conflict in Syria that protects American interests and those of our allies,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “The situation in Syria is complicated by Russian and Iranian involvement, and cannot be addressed in isolation from efforts to counter ISIS. Military options alone will not produce a stable political solution. It is clear a broader strategy is needed to address the ongoing crisis.” His campaign had not clarified his position on re-opening diplomatic relations by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“It remains important to end the war in Syria, which continues to produce grave humanitarian suffering, and the United States should be engaged diplomatically with all sides to the conflict toward that end,” Biden told The Post. “It is also imperative to remain engaged to prevent the reemergence of ISIS. Unfortunately, President Trump has ceded the diplomatic initiative in Syria to Russia, Turkey and Iran, while taking a number of steps — including ending aid to the opposition, opposing stabilization assistance and signaling his intent to abandon our allies in the counter-ISIS fight — that limit our ability to deescalate the war and shape a durable political settlement.” He did not provide a direct answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background Former president Barack Obama’s 2011 declaration that “Assad must go” has come to be seen as emblematic of diplomatic failure. The Syrian leader is still in power eight years later and appears close to winning the long civil war, in part because of help from Russia. The United States has backed rebels who have been unable to unseat Assad, who was once considered a pivotal modern leader, but is now viewed as a war criminal and Russian vassal. Syria remains a powerful regional force and a key to an eventual Middle East peace settlement.

Question 3 of 15

Yes

Yes

Candidates who said directly they would meet with Kim Jong Un without conditions

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes. Having a meeting is not a concession — direct negotiations without preconditions are necessary if we are serious about peace and keeping the American people safe,” Gabbard told The Post. “We should be open to talk with anyone — recognizing that it is in our national security interest and peace to do so.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes, if I determined that such a meeting was the best way to move forward toward an agreement,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. But only if it is helpful to the long-term strategy for peace in the region and to relieve any threat to the United States,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“Yes. You can’t find solutions to problems if you’re not willing to talk,” Yang told the Council on Foreign Relations. “I would engage with North Korea without preconditions in order to find a path toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Not unless some conditions are met

Not unless some conditions are met

Some were open to a meeting if North Korea met conditions

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes North Korea’s nuclear program poses a grave threat to our nation's security and to global stability and norms. Any American president deserves support for pursuing a diplomatic approach toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “Any American president must also acknowledge the gravity of the situation, demonstrate leadership befitting of the office, and articulate a strategy to address this threat alongside our international partners. [Bennet] believes we must be clear eyed about the dangers in giving a dictator like Kim Jong Un legitimacy on the world stage — and clear about what we receive in return.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“After three made-for-TV summits, we still don't have a single concrete commitment from North Korea. Not one missile or nuclear weapon has been destroyed, not one inspector is on the ground. If anything, the situation has gotten worse,” Biden told The Post. “As president, I would renew a commitment to arms control for a new era — including North Korea. The historic Iran nuclear deal the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and it provides a blueprint for an effective negotiation. As president, I will empower our negotiators and jumpstart a sustained, coordinated campaign with our allies and others – including China – to advance our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“There is no indication that the current relationship between the U.S. and North Korea merits a meeting of the heads of state. The president has a responsibility to meet and negotiate with other world leaders — even our enemies — to advance vital national and global interests, but only with a clear goal in mind and under appropriate conditions.,” Booker told The Post. “As president, I would empower my diplomatic corps to engage in and demonstrate good faith negotiations, and meet with Kim Jong Un provided he did the same. Ultimately, smart diplomacy and negotiation are vital to resolving this threat.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Trump has given Kim legitimacy without a clear objective,” Bullock told The Post. “I would be open to meeting with Kim if it were part of a strategic plan to secure peace for the region, not just a photo op.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“If done properly, direct engagement with foreign leaders can be a key diplomatic tool to avoid conflict — not a high-wire personal act with no safety net,” Buttigieg told The Post. “These meetings should empower our diplomats, bolster our alliances, and move all sides forward on negotiations. I would meet with Kim if the meeting was framed by and coupled with working level progress to negotiate concrete terms of a comprehensive deal leading to denuclearization and regional peace.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support the Trump administration’s discussions with North Korea. We have to have discussions with our ‘enemies.’ That’s the point of diplomacy. And so the Delaney administration looks forward to continuing these discussions and working toward a denuclearized North Korea,” Delaney told Vox. “Since I have not criticized the president for actually holding summits, it would be hypocritical for me to say that I would never do that.” He said a meeting would “absolutely” be conditions-based.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

“President Trump has handed Kim one PR victory after the next, all without securing any real concessions, so the next president will have serious work to do,” Harris told the Council on Foreign Relations. “I would consider targeted sanctions relief to improve the lives of the North Korean people if the regime were to take serious, verifiable steps to roll back its nuclear program.”

Aug. 22: “I can tell you this: As president, I won’t be exchanging love letters with Kim Jong-un.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

“We’ve seen a history where Trump announces a summit and nothing really comes of it,” Klobuchar said on CNN. “It’s not as easy as just going and bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“By meeting with Kim without significant nuclear concessions, President Trump has handed the regime in Pyongyang greater strength at home and increased legitimacy on the world stage, all while gaining very little in return,” an O'Rourke campaign spokesperson told The Post. “As president, Beto would not rule out a direct meeting with Kim, but any summit between the leaders must be aligned with a diplomatic process and clearly established goals.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Absolutely not. Without preconditions for meeting, Trump has given Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship unprecedented, international legitimacy,” Ryan told The Post. “The international and humanitarian crimes committed by the North Korean government are well documented and cannot be ignored. I believe meeting with and negotiating an end to North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is an inevitable and essential prerequisite for peace in the region, but such meetings must be taken in a calculated, methodical way.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“My first priority with North Korea is to secure a strong, verifiable agreement keeps North Korea from expanding its nuclear arsenal or exporting nuclear technology and expertise to other countries,” Warren told The Post. “I would meet with Kim if it advances substantive negotiations, but not as a vanity project. Any summit must be part of a clear strategy, developed in coordination with our allies and partners and designed to advance our interests.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

No

No

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“No. We need to engage strongly but in a systematic process with the four other key nations in the area (South Korea, Japan, China and Russia) with the goal of denuclearization,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“I’m not quite sure why this president is so bent on elevating the profile of a dictator,” Castro told CNN. “It’s all symbolism, it’s not substance.” He did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background Democratic and Republican presidents alike were unable to deter North Korea from building nuclear weapons, which most experts think the country will not relinquish. President Trump’s revolutionary bet is that he can use personal diplomacy to offer Kim a path to economic prosperity and an end to his country’s pariah status. It hasn’t yielded a binding agreement to eradicate nuclear weapons, but has lowered tensions.

Question 4 of 15

Yes

Yes

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports cutting the defense budget from its current levels, a spokesperson told The Post. He “believes there is waste and inefficiency within the Pentagon that can and should be addressed, including by reducing bureaucracy and streamlining our acquisition process,” a Bennet spokesperson said, adding that the United States must make "hard decisions about our presence in places like Afghanistan. [Bennet] believes that our nation's security comes from more than the size of our military, and that we must invest in the other elements of American security, like our intelligence capabilities, and our diplomatic and economic power.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Over the course of the past two decades, defense spending has spiralled out of control. We need to make sure that we have a military that’s well-resourced and prepared, but right now, we spend nearly as much on defense as the next eight countries combined. We need to get our troops out of Afghanistan and reduce defense spending to appropriate levels,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes. The defense budget has spiraled out of control,” Gabbard told The Post. “I will end wasteful regime change wars that cost taxpayers billions of dollars every month & work to end the new cold war & arms race. I will invest in our national security, take care of our troops, ensuring their readiness. I will maintain our strong military, national security, & make significant cuts so we can redirect those dollars to serve the needs of our people here at home.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports cutting the defense budget from its current levels, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan supports cutting the defense budget, he told The Post. “America can actually build a better military, that is more suited to today’s threats, with less money and a systematic effort to [get rid of] Defense Department overspending and waste. ... I would like to see the money allocated to economic stimulus, reducing our national debt, and given back to the states for investments in public schools, infrastructure and job training programs. Making the U.S. stronger at home makes us stronger abroad.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. In my view we should not be spending more on the military than the next 10 nations combined. We should not be engaged in endless wars. The Pentagon is the only federal agency that cannot pass an independent audit, virtually every major defense contractor has been found guilty of fraud and the Defense Department tried to bury a report highlighting $125 billion in bureaucratic waste at the Pentagon,” Sanders told The Post. Sanders said that he believes in a strong military, but that “we cannot continue to give the Pentagon and defense contractors a blank check. It is time that we as a nation get our priorities straight.” He detailed his plan to cut military spending to Vox.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes, I favor reassessing combat readiness based on force posture, not force structure, meaning I believe we need to measure capability, not just capacity,” Sestak told The Post. “This means investing more in cyberspace and other high technology (including sensors, drones, surveillance equipment, etc), and less in bloated programs and weapons designed for a type of warfare we are unlikely to find ourselves involved in again. This will create a military that is more effective at less cost.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. The United States will spend more than $700 billion on defense this year alone. If more money for the Pentagon could solve our security challenges, we would have solved them by now,” Warren told The Post. “It’s past time to identify which programs actually benefit American security and support our troops and their families, and which programs merely line the pockets of defense contractors -- then pull out a sharp knife and make some cuts.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. We can cut the defense budget significantly without jeopardizing our security,” Williamson told The Post. “Too much of the defense budget is oriented more toward corporate profits than actual national defense.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

We should re-assess it

We should re-assess it

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less,” Biden told The Post. “The real question is not how much we invest — it’s how we invest. We have to make smart investments in technologies and innovations — including in cyber, space, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence — that will be necessary to meet the threats of the future. We have to move away from investments in legacy systems that won't be relevant for tomorrow's wars, and we have to rethink the contributions we and our allies make to our collective security. We also have to invest in our other elements of national power.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I’m committed to ensuring our service members have everything they need to secure our nation. Our commander in chief must ensure that if America has to fight, we will win. We also have to ensure our long-term financial security,” Bullock told The Post. “With our national debt surpassing $22 trillion, and the Defense Department accounting for over half of our yearly discretionary spending, we must ensure we are budgeting for our long-term security and scrapping obsolete and ineffective programs.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Those who have served understand the importance of a strong military. But to adequately prepare for our evolving security challenges, we need to look not only at how much we spend on our military, but what we are prioritizing,” Buttigieg told The Post. “The key is to re-prioritize our military investments by ending endless wars and strategically focus security operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East; curtailing an expensive weapons program designed for a former era; and building a better prepared, more modern and more technologically advanced force that can meet both troop and military family needs and future security challenges.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“As President, [O'Rourke] will go line by line to ensure spending is necessary and, more important, to ensure we are adequately preparing for current and future threats to our national security (e.g., cybersecurity). He will also make ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq top priorities, investing those resources saved in those who have served.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“We should reassess it and refocus it on modern threats,” such as cyberattacks, Yang told The Post. “This will almost certainly result in it being decreased.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

No, keep it at current levels

No, keep it at current levels

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I will not seek reductions in defense spending and will work to reposition our military toward the threats of the future,” Delaney said in a May speech.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Question 5 of 15

Russia

Russia

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes Russia is our greatest near-term threat. Russia attacked our democracy, and continues to interfere in other Western democracies — and the current administration has no strategy to stop it or protect our elections. China is the greatest long-term strategic challenge we face,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “China is stealing our technology and spying on our companies, expanding its military presence across the globe, exporting its surveillance state, and working to set international technology standards. The answer to China’s expansion is a strong American democracy. To outcompete China — and reclaim U.S. influence on the world stage — we need to ensure our democracy is protected. That is one reason we need urgently to address the threat from Russia.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio named Russia as the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States in the first Democratic debate.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“In the near-term, Russia presents the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States,” an O’Rourke spokesperson told The Post. “Their coordinated attempts to interfere in our democratic process and in the elections of other democracies highlights the urgency with which we must address their aggression. As President, [O’Rourke] will reinforce our NATO commitments, impose sanctions on the Russian oligarchs that advance [Vladimir] Putin’s corrupt activities, and safeguard our elections from future attacks by investing in cybersecurity and election audits.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Marianne Williamson

Author

Russia is the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States, WIlliamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang thinks Russia presents the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

China

China

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro named China, as well as climate change, as the greatest geopolitical threats to the United States in the first Democratic debate.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney named China, as well as nuclear weapons, as the greatest geopolitical threats to the United States in the first Democratic debate.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“While Russia is a serious threat because of their massive nuclear arsenal and the fact that they interfered and continue to interfere in our democratic process, I believe China is the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States,” Ryan told The Post. At a CNN town hall meeting, he said: “China is on the move. China is our Number One threat. We have a relationship but they are a threat.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“China, and its illiberal world order based upon autocratic values where 'might makes right,' ” Sestak told The Post, citing several Chinese actions. “With regard to this concern: The U.S. military commander of the Pacific has said China now commands the Western Pacific. China’s global ambitions are most troubling and challenging because its values are opposed to those nations whose values are based upon democratic liberal ideals of individual and human rights, open and fair markets, fair and just democratic governments, and the collective of the world.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

North Korea

North Korea

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“North Korea is the nation that poses the single greatest national security threat to the United States. We must use every available diplomatic lever to contain and eventually eliminate their nuclear arsenal,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Other/Unclear/No response

Other/Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“In the near-term, Russia, which seeks to undermine our democracy and our partners in Europe, including the members of the NATO alliance,” Biden told The Post. “In the medium-term, a rising China poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and our allies in Asia and in Europe. Ultimately, over the long term, the greatest geopolitical threat — an existential threat to all countries — is the climate crisis.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

Bullock did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“China and Russia pose distinct but increasingly coordinated threats to our democratic values, security and prosperity,” Buttigieg told The Post. “We must focus on repairing our democracy and reinvesting in our economic and technological competitiveness; renewing our alliances; inoculating open societies from political interference while countering authoritarian oppression; realigning national security investments to reflect Chinese and Russian military modernization and full-spectrum statecraft; and reducing vulnerabilities from the “weaponization” of economic interdependence, particularly in sensitive sectors with national security implications.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“The term “geopolitical threat” is a vague term. As president, I will work to usher in a 21st century of win-win relationships with other countries,” Gabbard told The Post. “We must remember that we have a choice in what nations we see as threats. It does not benefit us to unnecessarily label competitors as threats. Effective diplomacy, including economic and environmental policy making, seeking cooperation in areas of mutual concern — these can be more powerful at setting geostrategic conditions that further the cause of America’s national security, peace and stability than applying adversarial labels.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

“Two threats: economic threat, China, but our major threat right now is what's going on in the Mideast with Iran if we don't get our act together with this president,” Klobuchar said in the first Democratic debate. Her campaign did not provide an answer by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The United States is the most powerful nation in the world militarily, economically, politically and culturally. We are the only nation with vibrant, global alliances,” Sanders told The Post. “The greatest threat to our sustained global leadership and security comes not from any one nation but from our own political dysfunction and the neglect of the economic and domestic security of our citizens. Today, that is epitomized by the destructive presidency of Donald Trump, but the roots of this dysfunction go back decades and the consequences will be with us for decades after I defeat Donald Trump.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“We face many challenges: the existential threat of climate change, the risks of proliferation, China on the rise and Russia set on undermining international stability,” Warren told The Post. “The next president will not have the luxury of focusing on just one issue. But Americans are adaptive and resilient. We have overcome challenges before, and we will again. To do so, we must recognize that our global power is generated here at home — and come together to reinvest in American workers, to address systemic inequality and corruption, and to revive our democracy.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

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Background Democrats widely mocked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney 2012 when he called Russia the biggest geopolitical foe, a position many in the party have since abandoned. But the question of whom candidates consider the nation’s No. 1 adversary has remained a dividing line. If a candidate provided multiple countries and said they considered one more urgent, they are categorized based on what they viewed as the most immediate threat, unless their campaign objected to such a classification.

Question 6 of 15

No

No

Some said that it did not meet their standards and that they would not pursue it

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I voted against fast-track authority and opposed the TPP because it put large corporations before workers, and would have led to the further decline of U.S. manufacturing. I will only support a trade deal that, at its core, is focused on advancing the American worker and working families — creating jobs, lifting wages and boosting environmental standards,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“No. We need a new framework for trade and investment agreements that prioritizes the interests of America's working families, consumers and the environment rather than the interests of multinational corporations,” Gabbard told The Post. “We cannot and will not give up our sovereignty to corporations who want to outsource U.S. manufacturing to increase their profits, with no regard for the impact on working people, our economy and our environment.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

“As I’ve long said, I will oppose any trade deal that doesn't look out for the best interests of American workers and raise environmental standards, and unfortunately the TPP didn’t pass either test,” Harris told the Council on Foreign Relations. In the third Democratic debate, Harris said, “my trade policy, under a Harris administration, is always going to be about saying, we need to export American products, not American jobs. And to do that, we have to have a meaningful trade policy. I am not a protectionist Democrat. Look, we need to sell our stuff. And that means we need to sell it to people overseas. That means we need trade policies that allow that to happen.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“I have spent my entire career fighting bad trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP. I am currently opposed to [CPTPP] because it has been negotiated under the cover of darkness, it does nothing to protect American workers or lift the standards of workers abroad and further erodes sovereign protections that countries have to hold companies accountable for bad actions abroad,” Ryan told The Post. “I simply couldn’t support a trade deal that does this much damage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“No. I helped lead the effort against the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership unfettered trade agreement. The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China (PNTR). These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories,” Sanders told The Post. “We need to fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit American workers, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations. Rejoining the TPP would be a betrayal of American workers, and a step in the wrong direction.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I strongly opposed TPP because I thought it was a bad deal for American workers. As president, I will pursue trade deals that set strong standards and prioritize working families here at home, rather than pad the bottom lines of giant multinational corporations with no particular loyalty to America or its people,” Warren told The Post. “Our relationships in Asia are essential for U.S. national security and prosperity. But our partnerships will be strong only if our economic relationships also advance the prosperity of the American people.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“No. The original agreement did not have strong enough protections for the environment and workers,” Williamson told The Post. “I have concerns of loss of U.S. sovereignty by having an international tribunal decide conflicts over trade issues.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Open to joining, if adjusted

Open to joining, if adjusted

Others wanted to see improvements before moving forward

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “objected to TPP moving forward without a plan for addressing the very real economic pain that American families are feeling from globalization and the changing economy. However, he also doesn't think we should cede to China writing the rules for trade in the Asia-Pacific region as President Trump has done,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. Bennet “believes we should be doing the tough work of building coalitions to set standards on our terms and to counter China's unfair trade practices.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“When it comes to trade, either we're going to write the rules of the road for the world or China is — and not in a way that advances our values,” Biden told The Post. “TPP wasn’t perfect but the idea behind it was a good one: to unite countries around high standards for workers, the environment, intellectual property, and transparency, and use our collective weight to curb China’s excesses. Going forward, my focus will be on rallying our friends in both Asia and Europe in setting the rules of the road for the 21st century and joining us to get tough on China and its trade and technology abuses. ... I would not sign any new trade deal until we have made major investments in our workers and infrastructure. Nor would I sign a deal that does not include representatives for labor and the environment at the negotiating table, and strong protections for our workers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“It’s wrong to enter into trade agreements that don’t require high labor standards, leverage improved environmental conservation and aren’t accompanied by significant efforts for American workers who are adversely impacted by trade,” Bullock told The Post. “By those standards — I wouldn’t have entered the TPP as it was written. Before rejoining, I would seek enforceable environmental and labor standards, and wouldn’t present TPP absent a clear analysis on the impact to workers, and proposals to mitigate that impact.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“As president, [O’Rourke] would ensure that any trade agreement put forth puts American workers, farmers and consumers first,” an O’Rourke spokesperson told The Post. “He would insist on strong labor and environmental standards and a much stronger enforcement framework than we have previously had in place. [O’Rourke] would make it a priority to work with our allies in the region, including Japan and South Korea, to put pressure on China to engage in fair trade and currency practices.” O'Rourke voted for fast-track authority for President Barack Obama to negotiate trade deals in 2015.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes, provided new safeguards are put in place regarding intellectual property, environmental standards and corporate influence,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I would reenter the TPP in conjunction with policies to ensure the benefits are widely shared, like a VAT, border-adjustment tax, and the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/month for all American adults,” Yang told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Yes

Yes

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I would seek to reenter the TPP on Day One of my administration,” Delaney told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

CPTPP “currently lacks critical provisions on labor, environment and the digital economy, and does not align closely enough with the needs and interests of American workers,” Buttigieg told The Post. “But America also should not surrender the world’s fastest-growing markets in Asia to other countries. We can move forward only if we restore trust with Americans, including those left behind by trade deal after trade deal, despite being promised that a rising tide would lift all boats.” The campaign did not clarify his position before publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“I believe that the American worker should always come first,” Castro told New York Magazine. “I also don’t think that we should summarily say no to striking trade agreements if they make sense for workers and for American business.” He did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not answer this question by publication. She voted against fast-track authority for President Barack Obama to negotiate trade deals in 2015.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background President Barack Obama negotiated a new trade pact between 12 North American and Asian Pacific countries in the final years of his tenure, arguing that the accord would increase U.S. exports and create an economic alliance to contain China’s expansion. But the deal faced a difficult path in Congress, with many progressives arguing that it would hurt American workers and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton opposing it during her 2016 campaign. President Trump withdrew the United States from the plan, and the remaining 11 signatories moved forward without U.S. participation, signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in March 2018.

Question 7 of 15

Open to it — tariffs can be an effective tool

Open to it — tariffs can be an effective tool

Some candidates were open to tariffs, but questioned Trump’s use of them

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is open to using tariffs against China, her campaign told The Post. “So what I think we need to do is to go back to the negotiating table — that's what I would do. I wouldn't have put all these tariffs in place,” Klobuchar said in the third Democratic debate.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes, tariffs on China are an absolute necessity for balancing the American trade deficit,” Ryan told The Post. “With that being said, the goods being targeted — and the tariff rates — are abominable and must be revised immediately. I think there are legal remedies that can be used that carry the weight of a legal regime as opposed to the nonsensical order in which President Trump has imposed tariffs. President Trump's tariffs have cost American farmers, manufacturers and working families billions of dollars. What's worse, his rhetoric and strategy [have] resulted in retaliatory tariffs, leading to the economic insecurity of the American people. ... Tariffs on China must be implemented in a more targeted, diplomatic way. Otherwise, our industries and working families will continue to foot the bill.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“My administration will begin a full review of tariffs against China, including advice from experts about which tariffs are working and what policies will substantially reduce our record-breaking trade deficit with China and bring back good-paying jobs in the U.S. that have been outsourced to China. Tariffs may be *part* of the answer, but the Trump administration lacks a serious strategy for reducing our trade deficit with China or bringing back U.S. jobs that have been outsourced to China,” Sanders told The Post. “Instead of conducting trade policy by tweet, we need a complete overhaul of our trade policies to increase American jobs, raise wages and lift up living standards in this country and throughout the world.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“It depends on what the circumstances are a year and a half from now,” Warren told The Post. “Tariffs are one of the important tools we can use -- but tariffs alone are not a long-term solution to the failed trade agenda of the last 30 years. For the past two years, Donald Trump has established that trade policy by tweet does not work. We need a real, coherent trade strategy that tackles the challenge of China’s commercial behavior and protects American workers. Instead of alienating our allies and others who share these concerns, my administration will work with those countries to use America’s leverage and all of the tools at our disposal to invest in American workers and raise standards across the globe.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“No. I am not inherently closed to the idea of tariffs, but I question the president’s heavy-handed use of them in the current case,” Williamson told The Post. “China is taking advantage of the American worker. And the American worker has the right to feel that the government has their back, and is always ready to protect them from exploitation of a foreign government.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is open to maintaining some tariffs, "limited to targeting areas of bad acting, such as intellectual property theft," he told The Post. In the third Democratic debate, Yang said he “would not repeal the tariffs on day one, but I would let the Chinese know that we need to hammer out a deal, because right now, the tariffs are pummeling producers and farmers in Iowa who have absolutely nothing to do with the imbalances that we have with China.”

May 28: “Tariffs hurt businesses and workers on both sides. As someone who has run a business I would want greater notice if prices are going to change - companies make investments years in advance.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

No, apply pressure in other ways

No, apply pressure in other ways

Some highlighted other ways to counter China, such as with diplomacy or by focusing on U.S. competitiveness

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes Trump’s trade war is reckless and has opened up our farmers, ranchers, businesses and workers to retaliation without addressing any of the unfair trade practices that are hurting our country,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. “Instead of alienating our allies, we must do the tough work of building coalitions of traditional and non-traditional allies and partners to apply real pressure on China to stop their unfair trade practices that undermine American workers and businesses, and to set the rules of the road on issues like economic trade, digital freedom and tech standards. We must out-compete China by investing in our own competitive advantages — like research and development in technologies of the future, and education.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I believe that we need to be strategic and work with our allies as we confront China,” Bullock told The Post. “We can be more effective in curbing China’s bad behavior by working together to apply pressure in targeted areas, without harming American workers and families by using the blunt instrument of tariffs.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Probably not. Tariffs are just another form of taxes on the American people,” Gabbard told The Post. “Trump’s trade war with China has been enormously destabilizing and bad for American farmers and businesses. It also undermines peace between [the] U.S. and China. It is a lose-lose situation. Future U.S. actions must be part of a larger strategy that provides stability & certainty for our economy.” When asked at the second Democratic debate whether she would keep Trump's tariffs in place, Gabbard said, “I would not, because the approach that President Trump has taken has been extremely volatile without any clear strategic plan, and it has a ravaging and devastating effect on our domestic manufacturers, on our farmers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“No, the scattershot tariffs hurt our economy (and are not succeeding in getting China to behave responsibly). But I do believe that China's theft of our intellectual property, its opaque subsidies, vast state-owned firms and mercantile treatment of other countries is unacceptable, but I would address it in much more effective ways,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“President Trump’s damaging and erratic trade war is crushing American farmers and manufacturers. It’s easy to talk tough when someone else is feeling the pain. Meanwhile, Trump is attacking the very partners we need with us to deal with China,” Biden told The Post. “My administration will bring our allies together to challenge China’s abusive behavior and rally more than half the world’s economy to hold China to account for their cheating. We also need to tighten up our economic defenses so that American companies don’t have to keep giving away technology to China, or having it stolen. In the Obama-Biden administration, we got China to curb its cyber-theft; it’s gotten worse under Trump.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I support aggressive action to combat China’s unfair trade practices. As president, I would work with our allies to develop a coherent trade policy that holds China to account and puts American workers on an equal playing field,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“China has long exploited America’s economic openness and leveraged its state-linked firms as a tool of its authoritarian foreign policy,” Buttigieg told The Post. “My administration would give away nothing to Beijing for free. But because tariffs can be de facto domestic taxes, imposing real costs on American workers and farmers, they should be employed only with a clear strategy and endgame, and in coordination with our allies. America must focus on investing in our national competitiveness, and leading a global coalition to pressure Beijing to end its unacceptable trade practices.” In the third Democratic debate, Buttigieg said he would have “a strategy that would include the tariffs as leverage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“The problem is that the president has done a terrible job when it comes to laying the groundwork, setting the foundation to actually outcompete a country like China,” Castro told New York Magazine. “He’s chosen a go-it-alone strategy that is hurting everybody from farmers in Iowa to business owners in Texas. And it doesn’t help many people.” He did not answer this question by publication. In the third Democratic debate, Castro said, “I would immediately begin to negotiate with China to ratchet down that trade war. We have leverage there.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“We need to negotiate with China from a position of strength, and that means ending trade wars with our closest friends and allies so that we can join forces in confronting Beijing,” Delaney said in a May speech. Delaney did not answer this question by publication.

May 15: “The President's empty promises are now turning into millions of dollars in losses from hardworking farmers across the country.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication. She said she was “not a protectionist Democrat” during the third Democratic debate.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“We need to work strategically with our allies and partners to stabilize our markets and protect the suppliers, producers and workers who are fundamental to the success of the U.S. economy, regardless of what China does,” an O'Rourke spokesperson told The Post. “This means having a strategy that ensures we can continue to sell our products around the world while enforcing U.S. laws to ensure fair competition at home. Holding China accountable should not come at the expense of American workers. That is why we must not settle for any deal that does not respect intellectual property, level the playing field in the Chinese market and end unfair trade practices. But we must act in collaboration with our allies in the region and with a clear strategy.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background President Trump’s decision to raise tariffs on China, prompting a trade war that has roiled global markets, has been a defining policy of his first term. Trump has argued that tariffs will eventually force China to buy more from the United States, lowering the trade deficit. He has also argued that they will force China to remove protectionist policies, including rules that require the transfer of intellectual property by U.S. firms that do business in the country. China has responded with its own tariffs on U.S. imports, although negotiations continue.

Question 8 of 15

Yes, re-join the existing agreement

Yes, re-join the existing agreement

Many of these candidates want to reenter the deal and then negotiate to strengthen it.

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “would intend to rejoin the existing agreement if all parties are in compliance. [He] has always had concerns about what the shape of Iran’s nuclear program could look like in 10 or 15 years, and he has long said that the United States must think about a post-JCPOA world,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. Bennet “disagreed with President Trump’s decision to abandon the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, which has made it harder to build agreement on enduring restrictions on Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. [Bennet] believes Iran is a destabilizing force in the region. From Yemen to Syria to Lebanon, Iran foments terrorism and sows violence — activities that Republicans and Democrats agree would be all the more dangerous if backed by a nuclear weapon.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Iran is a destabilizing actor in the Middle East; it must never be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon,” Biden told The Post. “What Iran is doing is dangerous, but still reversible. If Iran moves back into compliance with its nuclear obligations, I would reenter the JCPOA as a starting point to work alongside our allies in Europe and other world powers to extend the deal’s nuclear constraints. Doing so would provide a critical down payment to reestablish U.S. credibility, signaling to the world that America’s word and international commitments once again mean something. I would also leverage renewed international consensus around America’s Iran polic — and a redoubled commitment to diplomacy — to more effectively push back against Tehran’s other malign behavior in the region.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“If Iran resumes its commitments, then I would work with our allies and JCPOA partners to expedite rejoining the deal. But I would take the agreement as a floor, not a ceiling. Follow-on agreements should extend the timeframe of certain nuclear restrictions, cover Iran’s missile program and address its role in regional conflicts. Discussion of timing of phased-in sanctions relief in return should of course be part of these negotiations,” Buttigieg told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“The United States should work with our allies to deescalate tensions with Iran, and hold them accountable — as we did with the Iran nuclear deal. War with Iran is not in our nation’s interest, and the Trump administration should recognize that immediately,” Castro said on Facebook in June.

Mar. 20: “The Iran Nuclear Agreement was a landmark achievement that prevented a nuclear-armed Iran for more than 3 years. If Iran continues to comply with the terms of the agreement as determined by the intelligence community, I will re-enter the U.S. into the #JCPOA as President.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“As president, [Delaney] would rejoin the JCPOA, but insist on a longer duration to ensure long-term compliance,” his campaign website said. “The JCPOA was the best arrangement that six of the leading nations in the world, plus the European Union, could reach to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“I would reenter the Iran nuclear agreement to ensure Iran does not develop or acquire nuclear weapons, while also working to resolve concerns with Iran’s behavior. I would not support reparations for Iran,” Gabbard told The Post. She told PBS NewsHour, “I think Trump needs to recognize that his strategy thus far has been counterproductive and has been a failure. As president, I would reenter the Iran nuclear deal, negotiate with Iran separately on the other issues that we have, and find a diplomatic way to deescalate these tensions that we have.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

“Based on where things stand now, I would plan to rejoin the JCPOA so long as Iran also returned to verifiable compliance,” Harris told the Council on Foreign Relations. “At the same time, I would seek negotiations with Iran to extend and supplement some of the nuclear deal’s existing provisions, and work with our partners to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region, including with regard to its ballistic missile program.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports rejoining the existing Iran nuclear agreement, her campaign told The Post. “For so long, one of our major focuses of U.S. foreign policy was to make sure that Iran didn't get a nuclear weapon. That's why we reached that agreement. It may not have been perfect, but it was something that needed to be done to make sure that we achieve that goal and kept people safe,” Klobuchar said at an event held by The Post. “So what would I do? I would work to renegotiate ourselves back into that agreement.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“Prior to President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General [Joseph F.] Dunford said the agreement was ‘the most durable means of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.’ [O'Rourke] agrees,” a campaign spokesperson said. “While the deal was not perfect, as president, he would seek to rejoin it and would work with our allies to strengthen it. President Trump’s reckless strategy toward Iran — exemplified by his ill-advised withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and recent military belligerence — has weakened our position and diminished our credibility as a good-faith negotiating partner.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The agreement achieved by the U.S., Europe, Russia and China with Iran is one of the strongest anti-nuclear agreements ever negotiated. It prevented a war and prevented Iran from building a nuclear weapon. We are the only nation who has ‘left’ the agreement,” Sanders told The Post. “I would reenter the agreement on Day One of my presidency and build upon it with additional measures to further block any path to a nuclear weapon, restrain Iran’s offensive actions in the region and forge a new strategic balance in the Middle East.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes, I would reenter the JCPOA,” Sestak told The Post. “I would use our global leadership to further a multilateral engagement with Iran that compels resolution of issues of mutual interest (such as fighting al-Qaeda, a Sunni terrorist group which Iran (Shia) and the U.S. are opposed to) and others, in order to ameliorate relations and address further wrongful behavior of Iran. Ultimately, we must deter such behavior of Iran but with the eventual outcome of bringing it into the rules-based world order of nations with its acceptance of just behavior.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“If Iran returns to compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, the United States should also return to compliance,” Warren told The Post. “If Iran is not in compliance, I will use strong principled diplomacy in concert with our allies to negotiate both the U.S. and Iran back into a deal that is in everyone’s interests.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, she told The Post. “First thing I would do is rejoin the Iran deal because the initial leaving of the Iran deal on the part of the president was how this whole thing began. That was the first grave error,” she told NPR. “We are now goading Iran and this is a terrible situation. So I would immediately seek to move back into the Iran deal into international efforts to deal with the nation of Iran, which actually by all accounts was keeping up their side of the deal in terms of a process that would ultimately lead to guarantee they would not have a nuclear bomb.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang would rejoin the existing agreement and then negotiate a longer-term deal, he told The Post. “I would move to deescalate tensions in Iran, because they’re responding to the fact that we pulled out of this agreement,” he said during the second Democratic debate. “And it wasn’t just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We’d have to try and reenter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don't make as much sense.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Negotiate new terms before rejoining the deal

Negotiate new terms before rejoining the deal

Others said they want tougher restrictions in place before rejoining.

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“It was a serious mistake for President Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and I never would have done it,” Booker told The Post. “While I strongly support a nuclear deal with Iran, we cannot turn back the clock and pretend the damage that President Trump has caused over the last three years hasn’t happened. The 2015 deal was premised on continued negotiations with the Iranians so that we could work toward a longer-term solution. We will have had four years wasted under Trump, and the sunset clauses, after which key provisions will phase out, are now that much closer. We must take stock of facts on the ground, including Iran’s recent breach of its enrichment limit, and negotiate an updated agreement to stop the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Yes, I’d begin negotiations to reenter the Iran nuclear deal,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“At this point, it would be impossible to rejoin the JCPOA as it was written in 2015,” Ryan told The Post. “I would absolutely support entering a new version of the JCPOA that extends restrictions even further into the future. ... It is in Iran’s interest to reenter the agreement in order to lift sanctions, they do not need to be compensated beyond that, especially given the possibility that this money could end up in the hands of terrorist organizations and malicious actors throughout the region.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not respond to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not respond to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background It is unclear whether the shell of the 2015 deal will still be in place in January 2021, but both Iran and European signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) appear to want to keep their options open in hopes that President Trump will be defeated. A Democratic president could quickly reverse Trump’s 2018 withdrawal, because the agreement was an executive action that did not involve Congress. But the new president would have to calculate whether the original goal of the deal — to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb in the near term and improve the United States’ most difficult international relationship in the long term — are still attainable.

Question 9 of 15

Yes

Yes

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes the next administration must hold Saudi Arabia accountable,“ a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. He “voted to limit U.S. military support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen and against the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia multiple times due, in part, to human rights concerns in the war in Yemen. [Bennet] believes the administration and regional powers should do more to press all parties to come to a political settlement.” Bennet voted for a Senate resolution in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Yemen in early 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I would end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and order a reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Biden told The Post. “It is past time to restore a sense of balance, perspective and fidelity to our values in our relationships in the Middle East. President Trump has issued Saudi Arabia a dangerous blank check. Saudi Arabia has used it to extend a war in Yemen that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, pursue reckless foreign policy fights and repress its own people. America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“As president, I would end U.S. logistical and other support for the Saudi war in Yemen, and have co-sponsored legislation in the Senate that would end the American role in the war. Our involvement in Yemen has only deepened the conflict and enabled a humanitarian tragedy where thousands have died and over 22 million people need assistance. We must end this war,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I would end our support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has become a human rights catastrophe,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Yes. The United States must stop supporting the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians,” Buttigieg told The Post. “As president, I would suspend all offensive arms sales that could be used in that war, including spare parts for U.S.-made aircraft. However, we must be pragmatic about intelligence-sharing. Totally stopping such cooperation could hinder our ability to detect and thwart threats emanating from Yemen, including from the regional al-Qaeda affiliate.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

Mar. 13: “Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen is brutal and immoral — and we've been complicit. I applaud the Senate for taking a stand.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support ending U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of carrying out their military operations in Yemen,” Delaney told the Council on Foreign Relations. “While I would not completely cut ties and would continue to do essential business with the country, I would not receive any Saudi official in the White House, and I would not extend high-level U.S. official visits to Saudi Arabia. I would impress upon Saudi officials the importance of respecting human rights at home and abroad.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes. The United States must end all support for Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen (including ending weapons sales) that has caused the deaths of tens of thousands, starvation of millions and the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation,” Gabbard told The Post. “This is an illegal war that has never been authorized by Congress, therefore violating Article 1 of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.” She co-sponsored a resolution in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Yemen in early 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

“First of all, we need to end U.S. support for the catastrophic Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has driven the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” Harris told the Council on Foreign Relations. “The United States and Saudi Arabia still have mutual areas of interest, such as counterterrorism, where the Saudis have been strong partners. And we should continue to coordinate on that front. But we need to fundamentally reevaluate our relationship with Saudi Arabia, using our leverage to stand up for American values and interests.” Harris co-sponsored a resolution in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Yemen in early 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports ending military and intelligence assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, she told The Post. She co-sponsored a resolution in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Yemen in early 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“As president, I will call for an end to the repression of women’s rights activists, impose Global Magnitsky Act sanctions on those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, respond to the clearly articulated desire of the American people to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, and halt arms sales to the kingdom until it commits to a cessation of hostilities and peace negotiations,” O'Rourke told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes, the war in Yemen is a humanitarian catastrophe that is hindering our international fight against terrorism and undercutting our need for diplomatic pragmatism,” Ryan told The Post. “We need to stop logistical and fiscal support to Saudi Arabia immediately. We cannot continue to be complicit in the killing of innocents and we cannot be tied to crimes of the Saudi government. They’re our allies and I will support their interests, but I cannot support their war in Yemen.” He did not vote on a House resolution in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Yemen in early 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has created the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe. U.S. support for that war is unconstitutional and illegal, which is why I introduced and passed, for the first time in history, a War Powers Resolution calling for an end to that support,” Sanders told The Post. “Rather than backing the Saudi intervention, the United States should exert its influence to support a political agreement ending the war.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak supports ending military and intelligence assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. I’ve been a leader in the fight to end all U.S. military assistance for the Saudi-led effort in Yemen. I got the Pentagon to admit that the U.S. was tracking results of operations it supported, and I’ve fought to prevent civilian casualties and alleviate the humanitarian crisis on the ground,” Warren told The Post. “It’s time to reorient our policy away from a reflexive embrace of the Saudi regime and to focus on U.S. interests.” Warren co-sponsored a resolution in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Yemen in early 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. The U.S. should end military and intelligence assistance for the Saudi war in Yemen,” Williamson told The Post.

May. 27: “The blood of starving children in Yemen is on the hands of every US official who chooses a $350B arms sale to Saudi Arabia over the value of their lives.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“First off, the United States should be providing no aid to Saudi Arabia in its assault on Yemen. It’s creating a humanitarian crisis that ranks amongst the worst of all time. We should end all support for this situation — logistics, arms sales, refueling efforts, intelligence,” Yang told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“The United States must continue assessing our relationship with Saudi Arabia given this behavior, including U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen, while continuing to work with our allies to push back on Iran’s destabilizing behavior,” Castro said in a statement in 2018.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background When Saudi Arabia announced a military offensive against the Iranian-backed Houthi movement in Yemen in 2015, the Obama administration announced “logistical and intelligence support” without “direct military action.” But U.S. opposition grew as the offensive continued, especially with reports of errant 2016 coalition airstrikes that killed civilians and a brief exchange of fire with a U.S. Navy vessel in the area. When President Trump came into office, he signaled strong support for the Saudi-led effort and for direct arms sales to the country, despite growing concern about the operations in Congress. The Senate passed a resolution in March calling on Trump to remove U.S. forces from hostilities in Yemen. A month later, 16 House Republicans joined Democrats in passing the Senate measure. No Democrat in the House or the Senate voted to oppose the legislation, which Trump vetoed.

Question 10 of 15

Yes

Yes

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes U.S. policy toward Cuba has not been successful, including the Trump administration’s approach, and we must update it,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. “We should be working to forge new relationships, strengthen financial ties, and build opportunity for the next generation of Cubans and Americans. Improving trade will allow U.S. businesses, farmers and ranchers to compete fairly in the Cuban markets and can increase opportunities for Cuban citizens to realize greater economic independence.” Bennet introduced the Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2019 to allow agricultural trade with Cuba.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I have no illusions about the situation in Cuba, and it’s deeply concerning that the Cuban government continues to assert strong political and economic control while failing to respect press freedom and the freedom of assembly,” Biden told The Post. “But Cuba is not represented solely by its leadership. There are many different sectors that we can and should work with to support progress in Cuba — including entrepreneurs, religious groups, universities, young people and human rights defenders.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“We need to end the embargo,” Bullock told The Post. “Our farmers, ranchers and other businesses are looking for new markets, and this is a good opportunity. I am not naive to Cuba’s actions in Venezuela, or its human rights abuses. But we cannot simply continue the failed policies of the past, which is what Trump is doing. He is failing to bring about change in Cuba and hurting America’s economy in the process.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Yes. Isolation hasn’t worked,” Buttigieg told The Post. “We need to engage with Cuba, supporting political and economic reform as well as working to stop Cuban interference in Venezuela and Nicaragua. U.S.-Cuba citizen engagement, expanded travel opportunities and the repeal of remittance restrictions enjoy broad support from our Latin American partners, from the U.S. public and business community, and from a majority of Cuban Americans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes. We should also end sanctions,” Gabbard told The Post. “If we want to encourage positive change, we must engage with Havana and open communication and understanding between Cubans and Americans.”

Jun. 4: “Basically Americans will no longer be free to travel to Cuba, because Cuba is a communist country & therefore its’ people are not free. So now the Trump Administration, in the name of freedom, is taking away Americans' freedom. Make sense?”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

“Fifty years of an embargo have not achieved America’s policy objectives in Cuba,” Klobuchar's First 100 Days plan said. She “believes that a better path forward would allow Americans the freedom to travel and conduct business there and that lifting the trade embargo will open a huge export market, create American jobs, and support both the Cuban and American economies. She will revive policies to expand the ability of Americans to travel to Cuba and facilitate U.S. exports to the island using credit to the maximum extent allowed by current law while respecting human rights and property claims against the Cuban government.”

Jun. 5: “The Administration's latest travel restrictions for Cuba are yet another setback. I lead the bipartisan bill to lift the embargo. Isolating Cuba for more than 5 decades has not secured our interests. We need to move our relationship forward, not backward.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. I would move to restore relations with Cuba to the state in which the Obama administration left them,” Ryan told The Post. “If we want Cuba to move to a democracy, we need to engage with them diplomatically, we cannot sanction them into submission.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes. U.S. engagement is best for changing the country toward a path of democratic values,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. The broadening of relations during the Obama administration was a pragmatic step that recognized sanctions and isolation hadn’t achieved U.S. goals,” Warren told The Post. “President Trump’s restrictions harm the Cuban people, empower Cuba’s hardliners, and give the regime an excuse to further delay market and democratic reforms, and make it harder to enlist partners to address other regional challenges, including in Venezuela. Engagement does not mean we condone the Castro government’s approach — but we have over 60 years of failed experience with policies of isolation. The best way to promote change is to empower the Cuban people, not to punish them.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“We need a new path forward in our relations with Cuba. Only Congress can lift the trade embargo. To be sure, Cuba’s dismal record on human rights, including repression of dissent, arbitrary detention, harassment of critics and its support for Nicolas Maduro’s brutal regime are issues that must be addressed as part of any future U.S.-Cuba relationship,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background The Obama administration began normalizing relations with Cuba in 2014, removing the country’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, restoring diplomatic relations, and easing restrictions on remittances, travel and trade. In 2017, the Trump administration announced an effort to roll back some of those moves. Those efforts were strengthened in 2019, in response to Cuban support for the Venezuelan regime of Nicholas Maduro, with new economic sanctions, limits on non-family travel to the island and the termination of cruise ship travel from the United States.

Question 11 of 15

Yes, but each situation is different

Yes, but each situation is different

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes the United States has a moral obligation to work with the international community to prevent genocide,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. “While military intervention may be needed in specific cases, the United States must work within an international coalition setting to determine on a case-by-case basis how to prevent genocide and to build lasting solutions to protect internationally recognized human rights.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“The United States will always reserve the right to defend itself and its allies — by force, if necessary. But force must be used judiciously to protect a vital interest of the United States, only when the objective is clear and achievable, with the informed consent of the American people and, where required, the approval of Congress,” Biden told The Post. “In some rare cases, there may also be a humanitarian imperative to intervene. We do have a moral duty, as well as a security interest, to respond to genocide or chemical weapons use. Such cases require collective action by the community of nations, not just the United States. But the United States has a special ability, and responsibility, to mobilize others to such collective action.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Protecting human rights must be a central tenet of our foreign policy, and that means protecting persecuted religious and ethnic minorities, and preventing genocides. As president, I would embrace our responsibility to support those struggling for freedom and dignity around the world, while ensuring that military intervention is a last resort, and comes only after congressional authorization,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“The choice to put our sons and daughters in harm’s way is the most difficult decision a president makes,” Bullock told The Post. “But when we have the ability to prevent a genocide, we have a responsibility to work with our allies to stop it. Military intervention, especially one meant to halt human rights violations and atrocities, needs to be carried out in conjunction with our allies. Preventing genocide is a moral imperative, but it must be a shared responsibility across the entire international community and not America’s alone.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“It is a moral obligation to prevent genocide,” Buttigieg told The Post. “Only when diplomacy, development and intelligence tools fail would I consider using force, within a legitimate international coalition. But, it must always be in America’s national security interests and we must have an endgame. Before, during and after a multinational military effort we must use our diplomatic and other tools to guard against future instability -- and consistently communicate our reasoning and objectives to Congress and the American people.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Every situation is different,” Gabbard told The Post. “The most important thing is to not do more harm to those who you are ostensibly trying to help, and not undermine the national security interests of the United States. Interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria were supposedly aimed at reducing human suffering, but had the opposite result, and also wasted trillions of U.S. dollars, thousands of American lives, strengthened terrorists like al-Qaeda and undermined U.S. national security interests. Often, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Before any ‘humanitarian war’ is waged, the president has a constitutional responsibility to get approval from Congress.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar believes that the United States has a moral responsibility to intervene in situations similar to these, but that each situation is different, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“After the Holocaust, the United States and the rest of the international community declared, ‘Never again.’ The U.S. participated in drafting the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and, as a party to the treaty, has pledged to do all it can, alongside other nations and consistent with the U.N. Charter, to make ‘Never again’ a reality,” an O'Rourke spokesperson told The Post. “We have not always lived up to that commitment. And we know from experience that once a situation has reached a point where military intervention is the only way to prevent imminent genocide or other mass atrocities, we have already failed on multiple levels. One of the lessons of the past several decades is the importance of early warning and prevention.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. The United States has a moral obligation to ensure genocide cannot be carried out in any corner of the Earth,” Ryan told The Post. “However, military action should not be unilateral. We have supranational institutions like the United Nations to address these issues collectively. While the U.N. mission in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia was unfortunately unsuccessful, the United Nations remains the body through which we should combat genocide. In instances such as the Syrian use of biological weapons, however, unilateral action may be appropriate.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The world has a moral responsibility unquestionably — what the United States does in any specific instance should be informed by that responsibility and by a series of questions: Are we acting alone or with others; have we exhausted non-military means; will our intervention make the situation better?” Sanders told The Post. “As president, I would mobilize the full resources of our nation to isolate diplomatically and economically the perpetrators of such violence.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes, and we also have a legal responsibility according to the international Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide ... and yes, especially when we have previously declared ‘red lines,’ ” Sestak told The Post. “However, ‘intervene’ does not always mean with U.S. military ‘force,’ or by ourselves. At times, it may require air or missiles strikes such as following the illegal use by a tyrant of chemical weapons. At other times, it may take U.S. military ‘forces,’ such as by a specialized use of non-combatant forces (although armed for protection) intended to stymie a vicious genocide by mobs. At other times, by convening strong worldwide diplomatic and economic sanction efforts. And when necessary, appropriate U.S. military force.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. Rwanda, Balkans and Syria are legitimate use of military force,” Williamson told The Post. “That and when we are attacked, or an ally is attacked.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“We should determine whether there is a clear goal in mind that promotes U.S. interests or values such as intervention in genocide or chemical warfare. We must identify a clear timeline of involvement, and work to get our allies involved,” Yang told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“We cannot stand by and do nothing in the face of moral atrocities,” Warren told The Post. “We should exercise that responsibility first and foremost through a foreign policy that prioritizes preventing or ending conflicts and atrocities, including by reaffirming an international order that protects and values human rights around the world. In extremely rare circumstances, there may be a role for humanitarian intervention — when limited in duration, with clear objectives, authorized by Congress, and conducted in cooperation with partners and allies. But we should always consider the unintended consequences of U.S. intervention ... [and] understand that there is no military solution to many of these problems — instead, we must engage in the diplomatic and humanitarian work.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

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Background Democrats are haunted by President Bill Clinton’s decision not to intervene as an ethnic massacre unfolded in Rwanda in 1994. More than 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, died at the hands of Hutu extremists. But the U.S. decision the following year to intervene in the genocidal Balkan wars, after four years on the sidelines, produced no clear rubric for when U.S. action is morally mandated. President Barack Obama declined to intervene militarily in Syria, despite clear evidence that the government deliberately killed civilians. Donald Trump campaigned on a populist promise that the United States would not be the world’s police officer, and promised to keep the U.S. military out of “endless wars.” It was a popular position, including among swing voters and some Democrats who voted for Trump in key states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Question 12 of 15

Yes

Yes

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes any steps taken by the United States must improve security in the region and preserve a pathway to direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians with the longstanding, bipartisan goal of two states living side by side in peace and security,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Yes. A two-state solution is the only path to long-term security for Israel, while sustaining its identity as a Jewish and democratic state,” Biden told The Post. “It is also the only way to ensure Palestinian dignity and Palestinians’ legitimate interest in national self-determination. And it is a necessary condition to take full advantage of the opening that exists for greater cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I am committed to finding a two-state solution so that Palestinians and Israelis have the dignity and security they deserve,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Israel is an American ally. That relationship is stronger than one president or one prime minister,” Bullock told The Post. “Our military and economic relationship is important to maintain — and we will continue to strengthen the trade relationship with Israel. Above all, we will continue to seek a peace process that guarantees Israel’s security and creates a two-state solution in the region that allows Israel and the Palestinian people to live side by side.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Yes. The U.S. alliance with Israel and support for Israel’s security are fundamental tenets of U.S. national security policy, and will remain so if I am elected,” Buttigieg told The Post. “But this is not a zero-sum game. Israeli security and Palestinian aspirations are fundamentally interlinked. To visit the West Bank (as I did) and Gaza is to understand the fundamental need for a two-state solution which addresses the economic, security and moral rights of Palestinians who live there and Israeli citizens.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Apr. 8: “In abandoning our position as a good faith partner in the Middle East peace process, the Trump admin has enabled reckless actions like this from Netanyahu. US support for a two-state solution is on the line in November 2020. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I do support a two-state solution but do not think it should be the position of the U.S. to predetermine what that agreement looks like,” Delaney told the Council on Foreign Relations. “The only way that lasting peace can be achieved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is if there are direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties.”

Mar. 25: “I support a two-state solution and our alliance, and that is exactly what AIPAC has been fighting for, on a bipartisan basis, for decades.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes. I support peace negotiations that will result in self-determination, security and peace for the Israeli and Palestinian people alike,” Gabbard told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris will “continue her unshakable support for Israel and work towards a two-state solution so that Palestinians and Israelis can govern themselves in security, dignity, and peace,” Harris's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports a two-state solution, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports a two-state solution, a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “A two-state solution that realizes the aspirations of the Palestinian people and addresses Israel’s legitimate security concerns is the only way to guarantee peace and the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. There is no moral solution to this dispute that does not involve sovereign territory for both peoples,” Ryan told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders supports a two-state solution, he told The Post. He backed a resolution in support of a two-state solution in June.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes. This is an imperative both for the long-term security of Israel and the needs of the Palestinian people,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. I strongly support the two-state solution as the best way to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Warren told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson supports a two-state solution, she told The Post. “The United States should have an equal and simultaneous support for both the legitimate security concerns of Israel, and the human rights, dignity and economic opportunities of the Palestinian people,” she told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“The only acceptable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves a two-state solution that allows both the Israeli and Palestinian people to have sovereign land and self-determination,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background Since Bill Clinton’s presidency, U.S. leaders have advocated for the creation of an autonomous Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, a proposal known as the two-state solution. The Trump White House took a different approach in 2017, with a senior official telling reporters that the United States is open to that solution but did not want to impose it on the region. In 2018, Trump said that he personally liked the two-state solution, but that he was not committed to it. "If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that's okay with me. If they want two-state, that's okay with me. I'm happy if they're happy," he said.

Question 13 of 15

Yes

Yes, supports

These candidates agreed they would accept at least 110,000 refugees a year

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “Reverse Trump’s detrimental asylum policies and raise our target for refugee admissions to a level commensurate with our responsibility and unprecedented global need,” Biden's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post. He co-sponsored the GRACE Act, which would guarantee that the United States would accept at least 95,000 refugees each fiscal year.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“We need to embrace the refugee families fleeing violence, torture, or certain death,” Bullock told The Post. “We should do our part to help with the global refugee crisis, by returning to the baselines established under the Obama administration.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Providing refuge for the world’s vulnerable and oppressed is a part of our nation’s heritage. It’s part of what makes our nation great,” Buttigieg told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“Yes, and we also can and should recognize that climate refugees will increasingly be a part of our world,” Castro told The Post. “I would expand out the refugee program to include folks displaced by natural disasters and our changing climate.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post. “We need to remember our history and be a welcoming country for those who want a better life for their families and who are seeking to be productive members of society,” his website says.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar thinks the United States should return to accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, her campaign told The Post. She co-sponsored the GRACE Act, which would guarantee that the United States would accept at least 95,000 refugees each fiscal year.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. We must never allow fear to be the driving force of our nation’s immigration policy,” Ryan told The Post. “It is misguided, and it does not lead to true and lasting improvement in our country.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The United States under President Trump has not lived up to our values and ideals. We must strengthen and expand our support for refugees fleeing war and violence and do our part in the international community to provide relief,” Sanders told The Post. “We must also pursue a foreign policy that does not destabilize large swaths of the globe, and mount an aggressive response to climate change to ensure the root causes of global migration both now and in the future are addressed.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Dramatically reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States is a failure of moral leadership,” Warren told The Post. In her immigration plan, Warren commits to accepting “125,000 refugees in my first year, and ramping up to at least 175,000 refugees per year by the end of my first term.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson supports accepting at least 110,000 refugees a year, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Some increase

Some increase

Others did not commit to a number of refugees

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris co-sponsored the GRACE Act, which would guarantee that the United States would accept at least 95,000 refugees each fiscal year. “The United States I know is a place where refugees are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to society,” she said when the bill was introduced.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I would support an increase from our current levels,” Yang told The Post. “The precise number would be determined by the specific situations and circumstances.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

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Background In the final years of his presidency, Obama raised the limit on the number of refugees the United States would accept each year from 70,000 in 2015 to 85,000 in 2016 and then 110,000 in 2017. Trump has reversed that pattern, reducing the number to 30,000 in 2019. Refugee status is available to people who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. In some cases, it can be granted to people who still reside in their home country.

Question 14 of 15

Yes with a specific target

Yes with a specific target

Candidates who provided specific U.S. emissions targets.

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Yes, I would rejoin the Paris climate agreement and other relevant climate negotiations on the first day of the Bennet Administration,” Bennet told The Post. His climate plan said, “In line with direction from global scientists, America must urgently reduce pollution below dangerous levels and achieve 100 percent clean, net-zero emissions as fast as possible, and in no case later than 2050.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden “will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change – he will go much further than that,” his climate change plan said. “He will lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets.” His plan calls for “a 100% clean energy economy and [reaching] net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

May 2: “Today, the House votes on #HR9, the #ClimateActionNow Act, which restores our commitment to the #ParisAgreement. We need to face facts on climate change. It’s already here. It is a major threat to our future and we simply cannot wait to take action.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Yes. We need to substantially increase our commitments to decarbonize much more quickly, and push other countries to match the scale and pace of our actions,” Booker told The Post. His climate change plan calls for achieving “a carbon-neutral economy by 2045.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“My first executive action, will be to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and rally the international community to go further, achieving worldwide net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Castro's climate plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. “The U.S. should increase its ambition and target deeper reductions from our Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, setting a benchmark of 40 percent reduction by 2030 and getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” a campaign spokesman told The Post. “To achieve this we must reverse the disastrous Trump rollbacks to the Clean Power Plan and CAFE standards, while identifying new ways to decarbonize buildings and transportation as we are doing in NYC.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes, I support rejoining the Paris climate agreement,” Gabbard told The Post. “Without global action to drastically curb carbon pollution, climate change threatens the safety and security of the planet, especially in places like Hawaii where we are already experiencing its devastating effects. The United States should be leading by example.” Gabbard supports requiring "global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030," and net-zero emissions both in the U.S. and globally by 2050, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris “will immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement and chart a path forward, demonstrating to the international community that the U.S. is deeply committed to global climate action,” her climate plan said. “[Harris] will set an ambitious updated target and set forth a bold mid-century strategy of reaching a carbon-neutral economy by 2045.”

May 2: “This isn’t sustainable. We can’t keep relocating our cities — we must fix the problem. Another reason why the United States must act now, rejoin the Paris Agreement, and pass the Green New Deal. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports rejoining the Paris climate agreement and would change original emissions targets, her campaign told The Post. Her climate change plan calls for putting “our country on a path to achieving 100% net-zero emissions no later than 2050 ...”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“In order to resume our role on the world stage as the indispensable nation, we must re-enter the Paris Climate agreement and lead the negotiations for an even more ambitious global plan for 2030 and beyond,” an O’Rourke spokesman told The Post. “We can convene the powers of this planet together to act while there is still time and before it is too late — doing for ourselves and the world what no other country can do.” His climate plan calls for net zero U.S. emissions by 2050.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“What President Trump did by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord is an international disgrace,” a Sanders campaign spokesman said. Sanders “believes we must take bold action to fight climate change. While the Paris agreement was an important milestone toward solving climate change, even optimistic outcomes of these talks will not put the world on the path needed to avoid the most catastrophic results of climate change. We must think beyond Paris.” In his climate plan, Sanders said, “We will not only reduce US carbon pollution emissions by 71 percent, we will support less industrialized nations in the Global South, excluding China, to help them reduce emissions by 36 percent from 2017 levels by 2030, consistent with meeting our fair share of emissions reductions under the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer's climate plan framework pledges to “restore America to its position as a global leader and an indispensable party to global efforts to take on the climate crisis by redoubling our commitment to the Paris Agreement ... and other vital international agreements.” It also sets the goal to “drive all forms of global warming pollution to net-zero by 2045.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I believe we need to return to the Paris Climate Accord,” Warren told The Post. “But we need to do far more to reduce global emissions.” Warren’s climate change plan includes “cutting carbon pollution roughly in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“As president, I would immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Accords — while simultaneously working to expand talks to push for even more meaningful and enforceable agreements,” Williamson’s campaign site said. She would set a new target of “100% reduction of emissions by 2030,” she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Yes and strengthen pledges

Yes and strengthen pledges

Others called for strengthening the U.S. pledge without specifics.

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“The Trump Administration has undermined our global leadership on tackling climate change, and unravelled component parts of the Agreement. I would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on day one of my administration, fund our international commitments on climate, and begin high-level, multilateral engagement with countries like China — which emits twice the carbon that the US does,” Bullock told The Post. “I believe that both the urgency to act and the need to reestablish global leadership on climate solutions requires the US to strengthen our commitment. While many signatories to the Paris Agreement have plans for climate change actions by 2050, I believe we can achieve many of the goals by 2040 or earlier.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Yes, I would work with other nations to increase the targets of the Paris climate agreement,” Buttigieg told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports rejoining the Paris agreement and making the targets stronger, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. It is truly shameful that the United States is the only nation to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. As the richest and most powerful nation, we should not only be leading the fight stop climate change, but we should be working to reverse it,” Ryan told The Post. “[T]he Paris Climate Agreement is just a first step. We need to do more and be more ambitious.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“We must work together with the rest of the world to deal with the existential threat of climate change — and recognize together that Paris was just a start,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“America needs to rejoin the rest of the world in formally recognizing the threat posed by climate change and work with all nations to combat this existential crisis,” Yang told the New York Times. “The Paris Agreement doesn’t go far enough to mitigate climate change, and the U.S. should be a part of the conversation on what targets are necessary and how we can get to them.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Yes

Yes, supports

Others have only committed to rejoining.

Hover for more information

Tap for more information

Background President Trump intends to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, under which the United States had pledged by 2025 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent of its 2005 levels. This will leave the United States the only country to reject the agreement. As the second-largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States would need to do considerably more than President Obama promised in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, experts say.

Global emissions pledges are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C

CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions

150 billion tons

Next presidential

term

100

50

0

2000

2021

2050

2100

Source: Climate Action Tracker

Global emissions pledges are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C

CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions

150 billion tons

Next presidential

term

100

50

0

2021

2100

2000

2050

Source: Climate Action Tracker

Global emissions pledges are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C

CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions

150 billion tons

Next presidential

term

100

50

0

2000

2021

2050

2100

Source: Climate Action Tracker

Question 15 of 15

Yes

Yes, supports

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet signed onto a letter opposing President Trump's foreign aid cuts to Central American countries in April.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“As vice president, I led a major, bipartisan effort to address the root causes that push people to flee, relieving pressure on our border by improving security, reducing inequality and expanding economic opportunity in Central America so that people feel safe to stay in their home countries,” Biden wrote in a Miami Herald op-ed. “We were making progress until President Trump replaced sound strategy with hostility and inflammatory rhetoric.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I support increasing foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala,” Booker told The Post. He signed onto a letter opposing President Trump's foreign aid cuts to Central American countries in April.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I support increasing foreignaid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala,” Bullock told The Post. “We need to do more to address the root causes of immigration by helping to stabilize these countries that people are fleeing.  By retreating from the assistance that the US was providing, the Trump Administration has further destabilized the region and increased the immigration problem from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Ultimately, the only lasting way to address the issues posed by Central American migration is to help the people of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala find safety and prosperity in their home countries,” Buttigieg told The Post. “Instead of disengaging, we should assist regional governments as they implement reforms and work to strengthen overall governance, including supporting and emboldening regional civil society organizations dedicated to human rights, good governance and democratic accountability.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“I’m the only candidate to propose a 21st-century Marshall Plan for Central America that creates a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership with the people of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala,” Castro told The Post. “This plan would help build resilience in their communities and allow individuals to find opportunity at home.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports increasing foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, he told The Post. “Withdrawing foreign aid will make conditions in Central America worse, ultimately destabilizing the region and multiplying the number of people fleeing those countries – creating larger caravans in the future,” he said in 2018.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supports increasing foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris signed onto a letter opposing President Trump's foreign aid cuts to Central American countries in April.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports increasing foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, her campaign told The Post. She signed onto a letter opposing President Trump's foreign aid cuts to Central American countries in April.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

“We must focus on this hemisphere and once again make it a foreign policy priority of this country — we can either address the problems in Central America at our border or help the people of Central America address them at home,” O'Rourke's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“I strongly support increasing foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to bolster humanitarian efforts as well as projects that can improve local economies and safety in these countries,” Ryan told The Post. “It’s critical that we are actively working to both improve conditions and reduce the desperation that leads many asylum seekers on the often-dangerous journey of seeking refuge in the United States.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan