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Everything You Need To Know About The Democratic Debate

A recap of the October 2019 Democratic debate.

Unlike previous debates, Warren spoke the most in the October 15th debate, pushing both Sanders and Biden out of the spotlight. The Ohio debate was also notable for moderates such as Klobuchar and Buttigieg attacking frontrunners.

NY Times reporter Marc Lacey and CNN news anchors Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper moderated the debate with a record number of 12 candidates on stage. Cooper opened by asking the candidates about impeachment, amidst the ongoing investigation into President Trump’s threatening Ukraine.

While all the candidates agreed that the impeachment inquiry were justified, some disagreed with the current proceedings. Klobuchar, Gabbard and O’Rourke all agreed that the movement distracted from the need for better healthcare and other proposals sitting on the floor of Congress. Booker and Gabbard stated that it would further the divide between parties. Buttigieg thought that impeachment should be bipartisan and that Republicans were making a mistake in opposing impeachment.

Foreign policy began the middle third of the debate with the question of whether the candidates would send troops back to Syria. The two veterans onstage disagreed with each other. Buttigieg saw it as a matter of maintaining the US’s credibility, while Gabbard believed that remaining in Syria would only strengthen terrorists. Gabbard also discussed how the NY Times and CNN had smeared her campaign. Biden agreed with Buttigieg, while Warren said that troops should remain out of Syria.

Lacey started the conversation on medicare by asking Warren how she would pay for her Medicare for All plan. A major policy that she has been pushing for, Warren was unable to provide exact details about how the cost of it would be covered. While she stated that taxes for the upper classes will most likely be raised, while also lowering working class ones, Buttigieg started an argument about the vagueness of her plan.

Guns, while a large focus of previous debates, were barely touched. Only eight candidates were able to speak about this issue, with three of them supporting mandatory buyback of assault weapons. Warren, Klobuchar, Biden, Castro, and Buttigieg all believed that a voluntary buyback would be more effective, with Klobuchar stating that something needed to get done. Buttigieg also pushed the point that steps also had to be taken against the NRA.

After three hours, Anderson Cooper asked the candidates to talk about a surprising friendship that impacted their beliefs, a question inspired by Ellen DeGeneres’ friendship with former president George W. Bush. The question later sparked controversy on Twitter, with many viewers expressing frustration that such a question was asked instead of focusing on issues such as climate change.

Since the October debate, Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick have entered the democratic race to replace O’ Rourke and Kamala Harris.

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