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2020 Democrats roll out new policy proposals on paid family leave, corporate interest

While some Democratic presidential candidates offered a chorus of tough words for President Trump from the campaign trail over the weekend, others, like Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders, chose Monday to roll out new policy ideas. Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    While the Trump administration navigates this impeachment inquiry, the Democratic candidates hoping to replace President Trump in the Oval Office are still figuring out how much attention to put on the incumbent.

    In a moment, William Brangham will have more analysis on the politics of impeachment.

    But, first, Lisa Desjardins is back now with a report from the campaign trail, where Democrats are also rolling out new policy proposals.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    Hello, Charleston. Its so great to be with you.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The 2020 candidate parade this weekend went through Charleston, South Carolina. Beside the bucolic Ashley River came a chorus of tough words for President Trump from businessman Tom Steyer:

  • Tom Steyer:

    I am dying to expose Mr. Trump as the fraud and failure that he is.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Colorado Senator Michael Bennet:

  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.:

    Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy and to our children's future. And he has got to go.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    And former Maryland Congressman John Delaney:

  • John Delaney:

    Trump is the symptom of a disease. And we have got to cure and end the symptom. There's nothing more important, by any measure, than beating him in 2020.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took a different approach.

  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii:

    That we are all God's children, that we stand united as Americans committed to this proposition of equality and justice for all.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Gabbard, who has qualified for the next debate, did not mention President Trump by name, instead criticizing corporate greed and calling for a broader community spirit.

  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard:

    As your president, I am seeking to bring these values of service above self to the White House, to restore the principles of integrity and honor and respect back to the White House, to make sure that our White House is once again a beacon of light and hope and opportunity for every single person in this country.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Not on stage were the three poll leaders in the primary race, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

    Sanders suffered a heart attack last week and, today, three days out of the hospital, was back in camera view on a neighborhood walk with his wife.

  • Question:

    How are you feeling, Senator?

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:

    I feel very good. Thank you.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    At the same time, the senator is rolling out new policy ideas, today tackling corporate influence.

    If nominated and elected, Sanders pledged to ban corporate donations to the Democratic National Convention and for any inaugural events. And he would block members of Congress from becoming lobbyists for life. Sanders has sworn off big donor fund-raisers, but nonetheless brought in more donations than any other candidate in the past three months, raking in $25.3 million, overwhelmingly from small donors.

    Other candidates are also pushing new ideas today. California Senator Kamala Harris announced a plan to fund six months of fully paid family leave for those making under $75,000.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris:

    When we talk about child care, when we talk about maternity/paternity leave, when we talk about the fact that so many parents are not only having children, but caring for their parents, we need to have a much more humane approach.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg focused on prescription drug prices, rolling out a plan in The Boston Globe. He would cap monthly out-of-pocket drug spending to around or just over $200 for seniors and anyone who joins a government plan.

    The Democratic field remains large. But just months until the primaries begin, time for candidates to stand out is getting smaller.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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