WATCH: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Answer Christian Coalition’s Question About Fighting Poverty

From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro are introduced for the Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC on the campus of Texas Southern University Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

So far, seven 2020 presidential candidates have responded to a request from 50 Christian leaders asking them to make a short video explaining what they would do as president to offer assistance and opportunities for those less fortunate around the world.

Each election cycle a coalition of faith leaders called The Circle of Protection asks presidential candidates to speak for a few minutes about what they would do to fight hunger and poverty.

The Circle of Protection is comprised of leaders from the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Council of Churches, the Catholic Church and other major faith organizations and denominations.

During the 2012 and 2016 elections, the coalition secured video statements from all major presidential candidates in both the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. Those videos were then promoted to member churches, agencies and schools.

This year, the coalition sent out letters to all 2020 presidential candidates on Sept. 12. On Thursday, the coalition released the videos it has received so far.

John Delaney

John Delaney, a former Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Maryland and a Catholic multimillionaire who unseated longtime Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in 2012, said he would “pledge to tirelessly end hunger” in the U.S. by the end of his presidency.

“We know we can do it. Both here and around the world, we made a lot of progress in poverty reduction and ending hunger,” Delaney said. “We have seen extraordinary progress in terms of lifting human beings out of poverty across the last several decades.”

One of Delaney’s proposed solutions is to “create a form of universal healthcare so that every American has healthcare as a human right.”

He also called for the expansion of the social safety net, saying, “those [are] very important programs that provide food to those that are hungry and housing to those that are homeless.”

“We need to expand those,” Delaney stressed. “We need to reimagine those so they are more successful. And we need to invest in those kinds of programs. No one should go homeless in our country. No one should go hungry.”

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay Christian mayor of South Bend, Indiana, opened his video in a familiar way by attacking conservatives who want to change how government-run welfare programs operate.

“I believe the Scripture that teaches us that ‘whoever oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,’” Buttigieg said. “I believe in faith that instructs us to attend to the words ‘I was hungry and you fed me. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’

Buttigieg assured that his promise was to not just “say that we can do better.” He insisted that a Buttigieg administration “will do better.”

The mayor said he would ensure universal healthcare through Medicare for All so that “nobody has to choose between treating their diabetes and paying their rent.”

Buttigieg said the U.S. also needs to “invest in the rural communities.” Even though they produce “so much of America’s abundance,” he said, they “see more workers sinking into poverty than our cities and suburbs.”

Buttigieg praised his Douglass Plan, what he calls a “comprehensive investment in the empowerment of black America.”

Amy Klobuchar

The 59-year-old Minnesota senator said the “cornerstone” of her presidency will be fighting child poverty at a time when 37 million Americans “do not have regular access to enough food to live an active and healthy life.”

“That means cutting child poverty in half in 10 years and ending it within a generation,” Klobuchar said. “If you don’t believe me, look at the National Academies of Science report. They actually lay out a plan of how you can do this. That is where I got my idea. That is where I get my plan.”

Klobuchar said she would push to expand the income tax credit, the childcare tax credit, and increase affordable housing opportunities for urban and rural America.

“Like you, I believe it is our obligation to help those who lack access to stable food and water supplies,” she said. “This also means combating global poverty and investing in economic development and tackling climate change around the world.”

Klobuchar also touted her work on the Senate Agriculture Committee and helping lead the passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Mike Bloomberg

The former mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013 was a late entrant into the 2020 race. In his video, he called caring for the poor “ecumenical work.”

He quoted the call in Proverbs to “speak out for those who cannot speak” and “for the rights of all the destitute.”

“When I was mayor of New York City, we had the most ambitious anti-poverty program in the country,” the 77-year-old said. “As president, I will attack poverty and hunger with the same urgency in every small town and big city across this country. I’ll work to make our public school system the best in the world by investing in the communities that need it the most, raising teacher pay and strengthening programs to prepare students for success.”

Bloomberg claimed that under his leadership, graduation rates rose in New York City by 42 percent while teacher salaries increased by 43 percent.

Bloomberg promised to make health care more affordable, create more jobs and strengthen social services.

“At the same time, one of America’s greatest assets in promoting peace and stability in the world is foreign aid,” Bloomberg said. “We need a president who understands that and uses foreign aid to prevent famine and disease, promote opportunity and growth and avoids conflict and war.”

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Source: Christian Post

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