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Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro challenges Bernie Sanders' skepticism of reparations

Key Points
  • Julian Castro isn't ruling out direct payments to African-Americans for the legacy of slavery — a stand separating him from his 2020 rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Bernie Sanders would put resources into programs he believes would help distressed communities such as "Medicare-for-all" and tuition-free college.
  • Castro told CNN's "State of the Union" he doesn't think that's the proper argument for reparations if "a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff."
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), speaks before his twin brother Julian Castro, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary and San Antonio Mayor, (not pictured) announced his candidacy for president in 2020, at Plaza Guadalupe on January 12, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas.
Edward A. Ornelas | Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro isn't ruling out direct payments to African-Americans for the legacy of slavery — a stand separating him from his 2020 rivals.

"If under the Constitution we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn't you compensate people who actually were property," the former Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary said.

Other candidates are discussing tax credits and other subsidies, rather than direct payments for the labor and legal oppression of slaves and their descendants.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic-socialist who's running for the Democratic nomination, would put resources into programs he believes would help distressed communities such as "Medicare-for-all" and tuition-free college.

Castro told CNN's "State of the Union" he doesn't think that's the proper argument for reparations if "a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff."

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Key Points
  • As the Democratic primary season kicks off, several candidates are embracing a "Medicare-for-all" health insurance plan to cover every American.
  • Others who want to take a more incremental approach back a system where Americans can buy into Medicare or Medicaid.
  • The debate shows just how much the Democratic Party has shifted on health care in recent years.