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Marianne Williamson

Author
Jump to  stances on the issues
Williamson, who is widely known for her books, is calling for “a moral and spiritual awakening in the country.” She has pushed to expand social safety net programs and has said she would immediately pursue reparations to the descendants of slaves, but has cautioned that Democrats won’t beat Trump by just “having all these plans.”
Attended Pomona College, 1970-1972
July 8, 1952
Divorced
Jewish
India
Co-founder, Project Angel Food, 1989
WILLIAMSON IN THE NEWS
Marianne Williamson throws support behind Andrew Yang in Iowa caucuses
Updated 11:14 AM ET, Thu Jan 23, 2020
Former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson announced overnight Wednesday that she supports Andrew Yang's White House bid in the upcoming Iowa caucuses. "I'm lending my support to Andrew in Iowa, hopefully to help him get past the early primaries & remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. We need that this year. We need to lighten up on a personal level, because the moment is so serious on a political level," Williamson wrote in a series of Instagram posts. Williamson was clear in her post that she's not "endorsing anyone" in the race yet, and is simply supporting Yang through the Iowa caucuses. Williamson also praised Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, writing that she admires both of them but that "right now they don't need my help" ahead of next month's caucuses. The former candidate said Yang is defined by his "self-confidence, levity, and positivity," and that he is "light in tone, but he is deep in substance." "I know from first hand experience the breadth of his intellect and the expansiveness of his heart," she wrote in the posts. Yang said on Thursday that he is "very grateful" for Williamson's support, writing in a tweet that he's "learned a lot from Marianne and continue to do so." Williamson's announcement comes less than two weeks before the state holds the first contest of this year's nominating process. Yang, an entrepreneur whose campaign is centered on his proposal of a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to address economic inequality, has struggled to gain a significant amount of traction thus far. A CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll taken earlier this month by likely caucusgoers in Iowa showed him at 5%. Yang has gained endorsements from a number of celebrities, including comedian Dave Chappelle, actor Ken Jeong and actor/singer/rapper Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino. The announced support from Williamson comes almost two weeks after the author ended her own campaign. Williamson had not qualified for the Democratic debate last week, and she had laid off campaign staff nationally in the days before she dropped out.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES
climate crisis
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Williamson supports the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, though she says on her campaign website that “it doesn’t cover the whole range of measures we must undertake to reverse global warming.” She supports US participation in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. She’s also set a goal of reaching 100% reduction of emissions by 2030. Williamson would phase out sales of vehicles with combustion engines – “fossil fuel vehicles” – by 2035 and remove cars that require fossil fuels from the road by 2050. She would electrify all rail traffic by 2030 and require all new airplanes to use biofuels by 2035. Williamson would also restart Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which set limits on carbon pollution from US power plants. But she has said she does not support expanding nuclear power, would ban fracking and would create mandatory carbon fees to mitigate the damage from fossil fuels. She pledges to appoint “a world-class environmentalist” to run the Environmental Protection Agency. More on Williamson’s climate crisis policy
economy
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Williamson describes economic inequality as a dire threat to the future of American democracy and unchecked corporate power as “a sociopathic economic system,” according to her campaign website. She proposes offering all working-age Americans a universal basic income of $1,000 a month and backs a “universal savings program” – a trust fund created at birth with a government deposit, with the government matching family contributions on a sliding scale as children grow up. Williamson says she would pay for her programs by rolling back tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy from Trump’s 2017 tax law, including restoring the tax on estates over $5 million, while keeping middle-class tax reductions intact. She also proposes adding a fee to financial transactions. When it comes to trade, Williamson says she likes what Trump has done on China. She opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, an 11-nation deal negotiated under Obama that Trump withdrew from in one of his first acts as President. She has, however, echoed other Democrats by expressing concern over Trump’s newly negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a successor to President Bill Clinton’s 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. More on Williamson’s economic policy
education
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Williamson supports universal preschool, would raise funding for free and reduced-price meals in schools and would expand curriculums to focus on meditation, anti-bullying and other emotional learning programs, according to her campaign website. She is calling for free college or technical training for certain students, potentially paid for through a payroll tax on graduates or a public service requirement. Like other Democratic candidates, she is also calling for student loan forgiveness and for cutting interest rates on student loans. More on Williamson’s education policy
gun violence
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Williamson has called for universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines. She supports “mandatory waiting periods for all gun dealers, including gun shows and sporting retailers,” requiring child safety locks on all stored firearms and banning all so-called assault rifles as well as semi-automatic weapons, according to her website. Williamson supports so-called “red flag” laws, which allow families and police to petition a judge to temporarily block someone’s access to firearms if there is credible concern they might hurt themselves or others. More on Williamson’s gun violence policy
healthcare
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Williamson supports providing a government-run health care program that individuals can voluntarily buy into. “I think a lot of people would gravitate to that,” she said at a CNN town hall in 2019. “If people want private insurance or want to augment it, then they should be able to.” At the town hall, she said she sees health care as a broader conversation about things that stress Americans, toxins in food and the impact of environmental policies. Williamson told The Washington Post that undocumented immigrants should be covered under this government-run program. More on Williamson’s health care policy
immigration
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Williamson supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the US who lack a “serious criminal background issue.” Williamson also supports the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors. That program was formally canceled by Trump but remains in limbo. She argues that Trump’s proposed border wall is “expensive, impractical, and unlikely to address any of the real challenges we face,” according to her website. She believes the solution to undocumented immigration lies heavily in the war on drugs, “which has created rampant crime and violence among our neighbors.” More on Williamson’s immigration policy
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
7 things to watch in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary
Updated 1:10 PM ET, Tue Feb 11, 2020
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is hoping to declare the sort of decisive victory that could turn the entire Democratic presidential primary in his favor Tuesday in New Hampshire. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg aims to stop him and force another close tally after their near-tie in the Iowa caucuses eight days ago. Former Vice President Joe Biden is just looking to avoid disaster, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar looks to leapfrog him and emerge as a surprise contender as the campaign moves to Nevada. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, needs a strong showing in her neighboring state to generate the sense of momentum her campaign has lacked in recent weeks. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race Here are seven things to watch in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary: Sanders wants to make a statement Sanders didn't get the result he wanted in Iowa, but New Hampshire -- a rural state with an independent streak that handed him a 22-point victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- is his wheelhouse. With so many candidates on the ballot, the margins will be much smaller this time around, but Sanders and his campaign do not want to leave here without having delivered a victory speech. In primetime. With supporters sending donations to match every applause line. Every recent poll of the state shows the senator from neighboring Vermont with a significant, if not runaway, lead over his nearest rival, Buttigieg. The pair have jousted over the last week following their narrow 1-2 finish in Iowa, where their respective campaigns claimed the top slot in an as-yet unresolved contest. But for Sanders, New Hampshire has to be different. There can't be any doubt. A loss to Buttigieg, who is trying to establish himself as the moderate standard-bearer, would hang a dark cloud over Sanders' campaign as the contest heads west for Nevada's caucuses. Sanders figures to do well there, owing to his significant advantage with Latino voters, but anything less than a clear win in New Hampshire would upend the Democratic primary and potentially plant damaging doubts with some of his softer support: specifically, the voters who believe he is the best candidate to reclaim the white working class from President Donald Trump in November. Can Biden rebound? Biden's campaign has long depended on turning a base of black voters into a win in South Carolina and a huge delegate haul on Super Tuesday. But after a fourth-place finish in Iowa, it's not clear whether he can survive another weak showing and keep that base intact. To fix his problems, Biden tried several messages in the closing days in New Hampshire. On Saturday, he lambasted Buttigieg's limited experience as a small-city mayor in the most negative ad of the Democratic race to date. On Sunday, he scrapped those attacks in favor of a message focused on morality. And on Monday, he opened the day telling voters how he'd try to reclaim a strong economy from Trump. It felt as if his campaign might have been trying every option it had to see if any worked. Biden has already set expectations for a loss here. On Friday, he predicted -- to a national audience, in his first answer of a debate -- he'd "probably take a hit" in New Hampshire, too. But a strong second-place finish is much different than a distant fourth or fifth. Biden already lags behind several of his rivals in fundraising, and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's presence in the race looms over Super Tuesday. Money drying up after another weak finish might be the most immediate threat to his campaign. How close can Buttigieg keep it? Buttigieg, fresh off the news that the Iowa Democratic Party has awarded him the most delegates from last week's caucuses, has seen a substantial boost in New Hampshire. Polls in late 2019 found him barely in the double digits there -- a CNN/University of New Hampshire survey in October put the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor at 10%. But after the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg saw a surge; the last CNN tracking poll now has the mayor at 22%. By comparison, Sanders has enjoyed a consistent lead in New Hampshire. So, the question for Buttigieg on Tuesday is simple: Can he turn in a second-place performance and how close can he keep things with Sanders? The two have turned up the attacks ahead of the primary -- with Sanders knocking Buttigieg for taking money from wealthy donors and the former mayor responding by casting the Vermont senator as too extreme and unbending for most voters. Buttigieg has touted his Iowa results in New Hampshire, but he has also looked to flatter the New Hampshire voters by describing them as people who "famously think for" themselves. "I'm also mindful and humbled by the fact that New Hampshire is New Hampshire," Buttigieg said in Merrimack. "And New Hampshire is not the kind of place to let Iowa or anybody else tell you what to do." But he is hoping the state listens -- even a little -- to Iowa. Are the walls closing in on Warren? She's been relentlessly on message, preaching electability and personal durability while spelling out her signature root-and-branch plans for reforming a corrupt federal government. But Warren underperformed in Iowa, a state where many believed she had the savviest field operation, and only just reached double digits in CNN's final pre-primary poll of New Hampshire. The Massachusetts senator doesn't need a miracle here; just a "strong enough" showing, as her one of most devoted backers, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told CNN this weekend, to give her a lift as the contest moves west. On the trail, Warren has told crowds to keep the faith -- that she's been in "unwinnable fights" before and overcome the odds. "I started out down 19 points, and I had never run for anything before. But every time I got knocked down, I got back up," Warren said of her 2012 campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown. "And I got knocked down again and I got back up. Even on Election Day, people were saying, too close to call, not sure if we're going to do this. I beat him by seven and a half points, there's another unwinnable fight." Her chances of pulling off that kind of comeback in the Granite State appear slim. But what she can't afford -- perhaps literally, given the fundraising implications -- is to fall out of the top tier, which would mean being overtaken by both Biden and Klobuchar. Which moderates survive? Buttigieg and Biden will be closely watched -- but both have paths forward in the Democratic race. The moderate candidate with the most riding on Tuesday's primary is Klobuchar. She finished fifth, on Biden's heels, in Iowa. If her strong debate performance Friday night, when she pointedly questioned Buttigieg's experience, catapults her as high as third place in New Hampshire -- possibly ahead of the former vice president and Warren -- it would scramble the Democratic race. Klobuchar won the most votes when a little more than two dozen New Hampshire residents in three tiny townships -- Dixville Notch in the state's northern tip, nearby Millsfield, and Hart's Location, further south and tucked in the White Mountains -- cast their ballots shortly after midnight on Tuesday. Klobuchar's path forward without a surprisingly strong finish in New Hampshire is murky: She has virtually no support among non-white voters who are set to play a much larger role in the Democratic race starting in Nevada, and her late rise hasn't allowed her to build the kind of campaign organization in Super Tuesday states that other contenders have. At least two other candidates in the moderate category appear to be approaching the ends of their roads. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who focused on New Hampshire with little to show for it in the polls, hasn't qualified for a debate since last summer. And former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a late entrant to the primary, hoped his neighboring state would give him a boost and carry him to South Carolina -- where his bet was that Biden would collapse and leave him an opening to win over black voters. But New Hampshire may underscore the difficult of getting into a race months after others began campaigning. Are these the last days of the Yang Gang? Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, along with Buttigieg, was arguably the biggest surprise of the 2020 primary. He rose from true obscurity -- when he told his family he was planning to run for president, some replied with, "President of what?" -- to garnering a devout and unique following online. His focus on a universal basic income has given his campaign the sort of animating cause that eluded some of his rivals. But that is largely where the success ended. Yang finished with 1% in Iowa and did not receive a national delegate. And his campaign had to lay off staff in the days following the caucuses there, signaling that, despite Yang's online fundraising prowess, money could be tightening. Yang's top operatives believe New Hampshire, with more independent voters participating in the Democratic primary, could be better suited to backing the businessman-turned-politician. But recent polling shows Yang in the low single digits here. "If we don't show as well in New Hampshire, there will be some reassessment," said a Yang aide, "especially if it ends up being the worst-case scenario." Gabbard practically moved to New Hampshire. Will it matter? Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard all but moved to New Hampshire in late 2019 -- renting a house to make it easier for her to hold events nearly every day in the Granite State. The strategy has made her one of the most omnipresent candidates in New Hampshire, with the congresswoman even inviting supporters to go snowboarding with her this winter. But that ubiquity has not shown up in polls. Gabbard had 5% in the latest CNN tracking poll of New Hampshire, far behind the top tier of candidates. She barely registered in Iowa, meaning any long-shot bid by the lawmaker is fully dependent on her finish in New Hampshire. "Being able to spend time here in New Hampshire, we're able to campaign through old school, grassroots campaigning and be competitive," Gabbard said, knocking the complex nature of the Iowa caucuses. "That's why we made this decision." On Tuesday, Gabbard will find out if that bet was worth it.
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