2020 Democratic candidates list China, NATO as global relationships that need to be ‘reset’

The 2020 Democratic contenders had a few thoughts Thursday night during the second debate on which relationships around the globe they felt were important to prioritize and repair if they were elected president. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The 2020 Democratic contenders had a few thoughts during Thursday's debate on which relationships around the globe are important to prioritize and repair if elected president.

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When asked about “the first relationship” they’d “like to reset” following President Trump’s administration, the candidates gave responses ranging from China to NATO.

Author Marianne Williamson prioritized Europe, saying that “one of my first phones calls would be to call the European leaders and say ‘we’re back!’”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and entrepreneur Andrew Yang agreed in their replies, saying they would reach out to China.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s thought was a little broader than just one country or entity.

“We have no idea which of our most important allies he will have pissed off, worse between now and then,” he said. “What we know is that our relationship with the entire world needs to change. And it starts by modeling American values at home.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden opted for NATO, calling it “the single-most consequential alliance in the history of the United States.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he thought the focus should be on “rebuilding trust in the United Nations.”

Sen. Kamala Harris, of California, also said NATO.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she would reach out to Iran, insisting that the president “is hell-bent on starting a war” with the Middle Eastern country.

Sen. Michael Bennet, of Colorado, said he would focus on the country’s European allies, as well as Latin American countries who were open to discussing “the refugee crisis.”


California Rep. Eric Swalwell also noted the importance of NATO.

“My first act in foreign policy - we’re breaking up with Russia and making up with NATO,” he said.