Marianne Williamson dropped out of the presidential race on January 10, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
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
Co-founder, Project Angel Food, 1989
WILLIAMSON IN THE NEWS
Marianne Williamson endorses Bernie Sanders for president
Updated 7:24 PM ET, Sun Feb 23, 2020
Former Democratic hopeful Marianne Williamson made a surprise appearance at Sen. Bernie Sanders' rally Sunday in Austin, Texas, to announce her endorsement of the Democratic front-runner. "Bernie Sanders has taken a stand, and Bernie Sanders has been taking a stand for a very long time. He has been consistent, he has been convicted, he has been committed. And now it's time, I'm here and you're here, because it's time for us to take a stand with Bernie," Williamson told the crowd in Austin. Williamson dropped out of the Democratic race on January 10. She had endorsed Sanders in his first presidential run in May 2015. On Sunday, she argued that Sanders is proving the Democratic establishment wrong. "We're being told oh, it can't happen. He can't beat (President Donald) Trump. Bernie can't beat Trump, it can't happen," Williamson said. "I'll tell you what's already happened to those who say it cannot happen. You just tell them this. It already happened. He won Iowa. It already happened, he won New Hampshire. It already happened, he won Nevada," Williamson added, pointing to Sanders' growing momentum. The recanvass of more than 100 Iowa caucus precincts ended last week, resulting in former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's lead over Sanders tightening to a fraction of a standard delegate equivalent. The tightening did not, however, impact the national delegate count, which awarded Buttigieg 14 national delegates out of Iowa, compared to Sanders' 12 delegates, according to the Iowa State Democratic Party. Ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January, Williamson, who had already dropped out, had said she would campaign for Andrew Yang in Iowa, hoping to keep him in the race, but stopping short of an outright endorsement. "Bernie and Elizabeth will make it past Iowa and beyond; I admire them both, but right now they don't need my help," Williamson wrote last month. "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." But on Sunday in Austin, Williamson touted her support for the Vermont senator. "Today, we're tired of saying pretty please. We're going to stand up, we're going to show up because we woke up, "Williamson said. "We're here and we're with Bernie."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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Biden's pick for ICE director withdraws
Updated 7:17 PM ET, Mon Jun 27, 2022
President Joe Biden's pick to helm US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ed Gonzalez, is withdrawing from consideration, Gonzalez announced in a tweet on Monday, leaving the agency without permanent leadership as the administration tries to usher forward its immigration agenda. Biden tapped Gonzalez to serve as ICE director last year. But more than a year later, his nomination languished in the Senate. "On Sunday, I informed President Biden's administration that I am respectfully withdrawing from consideration for the post of Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement," said Gonzalez, who currently serves as Harris County, Texas, sheriff, adding that he arrived at the decisions after "prayerfully considering what's best for our nation, my family, and the people of Harris County who elected me to serve a second term as Sheriff." ICE, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, hasn't had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration. The agency, which detains and deports immigrants and investigates crimes, is currently led by career official Tae Johnson in an acting capacity. In his letter to Biden, which was obtained by CNN, Gonzalez called the nomination a "tremendous honor." Gonzalez outlined the challenges facing Harris County, saying: "All of this leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that in 2022, I must devote my full, undivided attention and energy toward fulfilling the duties that the people of Harris County elected me to perform." In a statement, a White House spokesperson said: "Sheriff Gonzalez has the qualifications and experience to do this important job and would have been a great leader of ICE." "We thank Sheriff Gonzalez for his willingness to serve in the face of baseless allegations against his family and thank Homeland Security Chairman (Gary) Peters for his diligent and hard work in support of the nomination," the spokesperson added. Earlier this year, Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma raised an alleged domestic complaint against Gonzalez. The affidavit, provided by Lankford and filed last year, was part of a lawsuit against staff members of Houston Community College and unrelated to Gonzalez. A licensed police officer for the college claimed in the affidavit that he, along with another officer, was called to investigate "an alleged domestic dispute" involving Melissa Gonzalez, Gonzalez's wife. Melissa Gonzalez previously denied that she had filed or made a complaint against her husband. A bipartisan inquiry into the allegations by staff with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found a series of discrepancies in the affidavit and individuals mentioned denied the events mentioned ever took place, according to the findings obtained by CNN. Gonzalez, who was elected sheriff of Harris County in 2016, has a decades-long career in law enforcement. During his nomination hearing last year, Gonzalez provided a glimpse of his approach to the role of ICE director if confirmed, saying, "I also understand when it comes to law enforcement, that we can be firm on crime, we can be firm on enforcement, but we don't have to lose our compassion and humanity as well." In February, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines to move Gonzalez for full Senate consideration -- for the second time. A previous hearing and vote were held, but Gonzalez had to be renominated because of the new legislative session. He did not receive a Senate floor vote.