ATLANTA - The debate may be over for the ten Democratic candidates who took the stage, but Thursday, the candidates hit the streets of Atlanta to meet with voters.
Some candidates also met with local leaders to learn more about the issues most important to Georgians, like voter suppression and economic equality.
“You're in the birthplace and home of Martin Luther King, and what he was fighting for when he was assassinated, was a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans,” said Democratic candidate Andrew Yang. “That's what my campaign's all about, is a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month would be a game changer for every family in America,” said Yang.
Billionaire Tom Steyer said he’s a different kind of candidate, but needs more support. “This government is broken,” said Steyer. “It’s been purchased by corporations. It's not serving the people.”
Several candidates said being in Atlanta and connecting with local leaders is part of their strategy to support the African American community across the country.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said he is deeply connected with the black community, but is in Atlanta to learn more about the challenges facing local mayors. “I'm not naming myself out to be some great shaker of the civil rights movement, but I spent a lot of time in African American churches, a lot of my supporters has come from the AME church in particular, in Delaware,” said Biden. “I guess that's what I've done my whole life.”
Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said it's his goal to create a climate of tolerance across the country. "Look at what we did to see to it that race in this country now has no bearing on your health, or your wealth or your life expectancy, or your relationship with law enforcement in this country, that is my goal," said Buttigieg.
Democratic strategist and Georgia Gang panelist, Tharon Johnson, said Wednesday’s most recent debate left out one key issue to Georgia voters: transportation. However, he said there is a key takeaway:
"Democrats have a plan. No matter what your top issues are, don't focus so much on the personalitis and the candidates, focus on the actual policy stances and how people say they're going to pay for it and how they're going toget it passed," said Johnson.
The Trump campaign responded to the debate in a statement saying:
“It is clear that none of the candidates on the stage in Georgia tonight have the ability to beat President Trump. The Democrats have once again proven that they are far too socialist for Georgia, from refusing to accept the booming Trump economy to supporting radical polices that would raise taxes, strip Georgians of their healthcare and kill thousands of jobs across the state. The average Georgian took home an extra $1,476 because of President Trump’s tax cuts, and voters of the Peach State will remember his ‘promises made, promises kept’ on Election Day.”
The next debate is scheduled for December 19, 2019 at UCLA in Los Angeles.