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More headlines: Bill Bradley on Principles & Values

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


His minority programs reach bourgeoisie; not the boulevard

Q: Senator, you tend to do very well among middle-class blacks, but you’re lagging behind in working class communities like Harlem. Why is it that you have been able to reach the bourgeoisie, but not rock the boulevard?

BRADLEY: I am disappointed that there’s not more support in the African-American community. Because if you look at the programs that I’ve offered, health insurance, access to all Americans, guarantees for children, making sure that we have community health centers, that is aimed at a population that’s disproportionately poor. If you look at the respective positions, there is no question that the positions that I’ve advocated are stronger for the community than the positions that Al has advocated.

GORE: Well, what he’s saying is that the people on the street are in the same position that he said the Congressional Black Caucus is in. They just don’t, in his view, understand his proposals. He’s saying that if they just understood what the proposals were they would support him.

Source: Democrat debate in Harlem, NYC Feb 21, 2000

The president must explain “white skin privilege” to America

Q: At a time when crime rates are falling, the prison population is swelling to the point where two million Americans are incarcerated, and two-thirds of Federal inmates are either black or Hispanic. Is this something the Clinton Administration anticipated when President Clinton signed tougher crime laws and why is this happening? A: Taking race out of the criminal justice system requires a president who is strong and willing to lead on the central question of race. And that means sometimes telling white Americans what they don’t want to hear. And I therefore don’t do it with any kind of pointed finger, but take the issue of white skin privilege. When I was a rookie in the NBA, I got a lot of offers to do television and commercials, to do advertisements. And why did I get those? White skin privilege.
Source: Democrat debate in Harlem, NYC Feb 21, 2000

America needs a strong leader with concern for others

On his liberalness: I believe that when it comes to gay rights, it’s fundamental human decency. When it comes to gun control, it’s common sense. And in this period of unprecedented prosperity, it seems to me that you ought to be. increasing the number of people in America with health insurance, decreasing the number of children in poverty, healing the racial divide, helping working families. I think the issue is how strong are you. and how clearly can you articulate convictions.
Source: Democratic Debate in Durham, NH Jan 5, 2000

America’s soul based on sharing the pursuit of happiness

Q: It’s been said that this presidential election is a battle for the American soul. What is your response? A: I think about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. can we achieve a deeper level of racial harmony? Can those people who have resources turn their eyes toward those that don’t? And the people who are doing well see how that is a connection that connects them to the basic soul of this country.
Source: Town Hall Meeting, Nashua NH Dec 18, 1999

Don’t settle for anything but big solutions

“We’re the greatest country in the world at the moment of our greatest prosperity, and yet there are some people who say we cannot do big things anymore - that we must just tinker around the edges and approve a few little things here and there,” Bradley said. “Well, I say, now is not the time to settle,” he said, in a refrain he used repeatedly while calling for affordable health care for all, registering and licensing all handgun owners, bringing all children out of poverty, publicly financing elections, maintaining affirmative action, and demanding the best public schools in the world.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A3 Dec 13, 1999

Left Senate to study technology, campaigns, & racial unity

Q: I’d like to ask you to elaborate a little more on the reasons that you left the Senate. A: I left the Senate because of the things I wanted to do that I couldn’t do if I was in the Senate. I had 18 wonderful years there, but it was time for me to move on. I left to try to understand more clearly where our economy was headed in terms of technological change and globalization; to build the grassroots movement for campaign finance reform; to find new ways to promote racial unity in this country.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

Leaders need honesty, foresight, and courage

Q: What do you think characterizes the most effective world leaders?
    A: There are three values that are important in a leader.
  1. Absolute integrity & honesty. There I think of Jimmy Carter.
  2. The ability to see the future before it’s here. I think Woodrow Wilson had that.
  3. Courage. The example of that is Mikhail Gorbachev, who saw that the world must change and had the courage to make that change.
Leaders, wherever they are in the world, need those three qualities.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

Emphasizes positions on left

Not all of Bradley’s positions are to the left, but he has emphasized those that are. He has proposed a far-reaching new health insurance plan, favors allowing open gays in the military, and, in his search for racial reconciliation, appeared at a meeting convened by the racial demagogue Al Sharpton. Bradley seems to be starting off with common premises and trying to advance a consensus. But Bradley’s consensus may be too far left for voters.
Source: US News & World Report, p. 36 Oct 18, 1999

Theme of campaign is racial unity

Bradley said he is basing his presidential campaign on a theme of racial unity and., as president, would like to build a multi-racial coalition, similar to the force that first established civil rights, to tackle economic disparities, poverty, and health care overhaul.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A25 Aug 6, 1999

Racial divide is biggest problem confronting America

Bradley was asked, “What do you think is the biggest problem confronting American society as we grow into the next century?” He responded, “I’ve always believed that the racial divide in America was our fundamental and deepest challenge. Slavery was our our original sin; race remains our unresolved dilemma. And the need to be able to see beneath skin color or eye shape to the individual is tremendously important.”
Source: NBC’s “Meet the Press” Aug 1, 1999

Factory town upbringing permeates campaign imagery

Imagery of his Crystal City years permeates Bradley’s campaign. Crystal City was the ultimate factory town -- [built and run entirely by] Pittsburgh Plate Glass company.

The town’s bank was run by Bradley’s father, a cautious man famous for never foreclosing on a house during the Depression. When Bradley talks about helping those in poverty, he refers to his father’s actions during the Depression. Bradley’s mother, a schoolteacher, counseled young Bill to take worthwhile risks.

Source: Boston Globe, p. A12 May 10, 1999

Senatorial career guided by 5 principles.

Five principles guided Bradley’s senatorial career: restoring economic growth and security, assuring personal safety and family stability, protecting our natural heritage, championing our civil society in ways that go beyond government, and strengthening
Source: www.billbradley.com/pages/bio/index.html 12/15/98 Dec 15, 1998

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Other candidates on Principles & Values: Bill Bradley on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

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Pat Buchanan
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Page last updated: Mar 13, 2014