America’s Democratic Debate: Presidential Hopeful Spar in Atlanta-Live Analysis
Ten hopefuls faced off in a debate that quickly turned into a policy fight, with several aiming to make their mark in a race that has centered around Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Democratic Candidates Unite Against Trump, Divide On Taxes, Health Care
Ten leading Democratic presidential candidates opened the Party’s fifth debate criticizing President Trump after a day of impeachment hearings, but a rift quickly opened between the party’s centrist and progressive candidates on an array of issues including health care and taxes.
Democratic Candidates Unite Against Trump, Divide On Taxes, Health Care :
Each candidate had one minute and 15 seconds for their closing statements. Here’s a rundown of what each said:
-New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker paid tribute to congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis, who had represented an Atlanta-area district since 1987. He also asked Americans to keep him on the debate stage and help him qualify for next month’s gathering in Los Angeles. Mr. Booker is trying to meet the increased donor threshold to make the December debate.
-Businessman Tom Steyer pointed to the need to tackle climate change but said the party must directly challenge President Trump and make him “a fraud and a failure on the economy, which is his strong point”
-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii promised to bring “respect and compassion” if she wins the White House, citing her home state’s mantra of “aloha”. She pointed to the need for racial harmony, noting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visited Hawaii in 1959 and expressed his appreciation “for what we call the aloha spirit”.
-Entrepreneur Andrew Yang noted his role as a parent and characterized the president as a “symptom, and we need to cure the disease”. He also injected his trademark sense of humor, saying his first move was not initially to run for President, “because I am not insane”.
-Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she was struck by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s testimony on Tuesday, saying it brought back memories of Joseph Welch’s famous line during the Joseph McCarthy hearings, “Have you no sense of decency, Sir.” She said the election would be driven by patriotism, values, and decency, pointing to recent Democratic victories in state elections in Kentucky and Virginia.
-California Sen. Kamala Harris pointed to her high-profile exchanges during Senate hearings involving a number of Trump administration nominees, saying the Democratic nominee needs to be able to speak to people across the nation. “My entire career has been spent having one client, and one client only: the people,” she said.
-South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg stuck to his campaign stump speech, saying the nation needed to prepare for the “era that must come after Trump”. He reached out to voters of all stripes, including “future former Republicans” who might be turned off by the president.
-Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders talked about his personal background, nothing that he is the son of immigrants who would stand with 11 Million undocumented immigrants in the nation. He pointed out that he as a student at the University of Chicago he was arrested at the age of 21, saying he was “committed to the fight against all forms of discrimination.”
-Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren veered back to one of the major themes of her campaign: the fight against corruption. She said the Democratic field has offered “a lot of good ideas” but added that change hasn’t come because of a corrupt political system.
-Former vice president Joe Biden returned to one of the staples of his stump speech, pointing to the “enormous opportunity” facing the American people in the election. He decried the notion of people walking around with their heads down saying, “woe is me”, and implored viewers, “let’s take back this country”.
Trump Campaign: Democrats Showed ‘Unhealthy Obsessions’ with President
As the debate wrapped up, President Trump’s re-election campaign dismissed the America’s Democratic Debate Wednesday night.
“Tonight, 2020 Democrats were short on solutions and heavy on their unhealthy obsession with taking down President Trump via an illegitimate coup,” said Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a statement.
She added: “The vote of the American People matters little to the 2020 Democrats. Their goal is singular and unified: defeat Trump at any cost.”
While his campaign weighed in, Mr. Trump was restrained in his tweets during the debate, offering no real-time commentary. He returned to the White House from a trip to Texas a few minutes after the America’s Democratic Debate began.
Black Voters in Spotlight:
Black Voters have been critical to every recent Democratic Presidential nominee—and the America’s Democratic Debate is offering a window into how the field is trying to reach those voters.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, helped by his connection to President Barack Obama, has been leading among African American voters according to Polling. But the rest of the field is trying to cut into that advantage.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he welcomed “ the challenge” of connecting with African-American voters and pointed to his own challenges as someone who only recently benefited from the legalization of gay marriage.
Sen Kamala Harris said too often candidates only appeal to African-Americans in churches around election time.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker questioned Mr. Biden’s opposition to the legalization of marijuana, saying drug laws have hurt minority communities. He joked that the former Vice President might have been “high” when he said it recently.
Candidates are voicing opinions about decriminalizing marijuana. Following the lead of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former vice president Joe Biden says he would take a lenient stance on marijuana crimes.