Marianne Williamson

Author
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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 This page is no longer being updated.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
Divorced
Jewish
India
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."
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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

Blinken postpones trip to Beijing after Chinese spy balloon spotted over US, officials say
Updated 12:52 PM ET, Fri Feb 3, 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his upcoming trip to China in response to the flying of a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the United States, two US officials told CNN Friday, in what marks a significant new phase in the tensions between Washington and Beijing. The Chinese foreign ministry claimed Friday that the suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon flying over the continental United States is a "civilian airship" used mainly for weather research that deviated from its planned course. The statement, by a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was the first admission that the airship originated in China since the Pentagon revealed it was tracking the balloon on Thursday. "It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course. The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure," the Chinese foreign ministry said. "The Chinese side will continue communicating with the US side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure," the statement added, using a legalistic term to mean circumstances beyond China's control. A senior State Department official said Friday that the "clear assessment was that under these current conditions, it wouldn't be constructive to visit Beijing at this time." The official said that the US has acknowledged China's "statement of regret" but that the presence of the balloon in US airspace was "a clear violation of our sovereignty as well as international law, and it is unacceptable that this has occurred." "After consultations with our interagency partners, as well as with Congress, we have concluded that the conditions are not right at this moment for Secretary Blinken to travel to China," the official told reporters, noting that Blinken was due to depart Friday night for Beijing. "In this current environment, I think it would have significantly narrowed the agenda that we would have been able to address," the official added. Blinken conveyed the decision to postpone the trip -- directly to China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, on Friday morning, a senior State Department official said. A US military official said the incident is serious because of the "audacity" of the Chinese government, rather than any intelligence gain. While existing satellites are able to gather similar amounts of information, the timing of the spy balloon -- right before the planned Blinken trip -- and the fact that it is flying right over the continental US contribute to the seriousness of this moment, this official said. Blinken trip was set to follow Biden-Xi meeting The decision to postpone Blinken's trip was made after high-level conversations between Blinken, President Joe Biden and other top national security officials, according to people familiar with the matter. White House officials had viewed US-China relations as improving in the weeks following Biden's meeting in November with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Blinken's trip was to be the culmination of more robust talks between Washington and Beijing in the two months since the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. In the lead-up to Blinken's trip, officials said it was possible that Biden and Xi could speak again at some point in the next several months. But Biden has been sensitive to criticism from Republicans and others that he is too soft on China. And while he agreed with Pentagon recommendations not to shoot down the balloon because it posed a threat to people on the ground, he did want to demonstrate some type of response. Officials also believed the timing of the balloon could throw off Blinken's agenda in Beijing and did not necessarily want his visit to become solely about the incident. Blinken still intends to travel to China "at the earliest opportunity when conditions allow," the State Department official said, though the official did not elaborate on what conditions the US is watching for. At a news conference in Washington last month, Blinken said that Biden and Xi had a "very open, candid conversation" during the G20 meeting. "President Biden shared our intentions and our priorities, and we got some sense of that from President Xi as well," Blinken said at the time. "These lines of communication, starting with the presidents but also including many of us, are vitally important." Earlier this week, the State Department summoned China's charge d'affaires in Washington, Xu Xueyuan, "to deliver a very clear and stark message" regarding the discovery of the spy balloon, a second US official told CNN. That message was conveyed directly by Blinken and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, according to the senior State Department official, who said "that same message was delivered at senior levels in Beijing." Biden advised not to shoot down The balloon -- which is the size of three buses -- was spotted over Montana where 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles are buried in missile silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base. Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the US government has been tracking the balloon for several days as it made its way over the northern United States, adding it was "traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground." lA senior US defense official said senior military officials had advised Biden not to shoot it down due to fear the debris could pose a safety threat to people on the ground. "We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to the (People's Republic of China)," the defense official said. "Instances of this activity have been observed over the past several years, including prior to this administration." While the balloon's current flight path carries it over "a number of sensitive sites," the official said it does not present a significant intelligence gathering risk. The balloon is assessed to have "limited additive value" from an intelligence collection perspective, the official added. Powered by a solar array Ryder reaffirmed on Friday that the Defense Department knows the surveillance balloon floating over the northern US is Chinese and said that it "has the ability to maneuver." "The balloon is maneuverable, clearly its violated US air space, and again we've communicated that fact to the (People's Republic of China)," Ryder said. The spokesman did not indicate any details on how it can be maneuvered. Sources familiar with the matter previously told CNN that the balloon's movement relies primarily on the jet stream. Ryder added on Friday that the balloon "has changed its course which, again, is why we're monitoring it." China can control the surveillance balloon to an extent, for example, by turning on and off the surveillance gear inside of it, the sources said. Pentagon officials said they did not believe the balloon had surveillance or intelligence-gathering capabilities above and beyond Chinese spy satellites in low earth orbit, but unlike satellites that pass rapidly over a location every 90 minutes, a spy balloon can loiter over a spot and gather more of a "pattern of life" of a particular site, the official said. In the past, the US has simply allowed balloons like this to waft away, without taking any action or publicizing their presence over the US, the sources said. It is also not the first time a surveillance balloon has appeared over the United States. The US official said there were similar incidents with suspected Chinese surveillance balloons over Hawaii and Guam in recent years. On Thursday, a senior defense official said, "Instances of this activity have been observed over the past several years, including prior to this administration."
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