Aug. 9 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Steve Bullock delivered “soapbox” speeches Thursday at the Iowa State Fair focusing on gun control, healthcare and climate change.
Former Vice President Biden pledged that he will pass legislation to lessen gun violence if elected president. He referenced a pair of shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, over the past weekend that killed 31 people.
“We can get it done because the public is finally at the point where they are sick of it,” Biden said.
Discussing climate change, Biden reiterated that he would immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement upon becoming president and would work with world leaders to ensure that they meet the requirements of the deal.
“We are responsible for 15 percent of global warming, the rest of the world is at 85 percent,” he said. “We do everything perfectly and they don’t get on the stick, then we’re all still in trouble.”
He added that his administration would invest $44 billion toward investing in new technology to deal with sequestering of carbon.
Montana Gov. Bullock opened the week of soapbox speeches on Thursday morning touting his record vetoing state legislation that sought to place limits on women’s healthcare, voter access and unionization. He promised to push legislation he said would be more practical than his opponents.
“We can’t make it just about plans that are written for press releases that are offering everybody everything free when what people want is a fair shot in this economy,” he said.
Bullock rejected the Medicare for All healthcare plan — introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and supported by other candidates — in favor of providing an option for people to remain on their private insurance.
“We can make healthcare accessible and affordable for all, but we don’t have to disrupt 165 million people on private insurance,” Bullock said.
Bullock also discussed the issue of gun reform, saying that many gun owners, like himself, support policies such as expanded background checks and removing guns from people facing an order of protection.
“If gun owners finally stand up — and the vast majority of Republican gun owners even think we need background checks — then I think we can make progress,” he said.