The Dems Debate: Round 2


Some key differences between Democratic presidential candidates are clear after two nights of debates in Miami. For one? The second night was highlighted by a feisty exchange between former VP Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris. Well, it was more spirited in general.

But in Harris' case, she challenged Biden's statement about working successfully with segregationist senators to get things done. She doesn't believe Biden is a racist, but found his past behavior and recent comments “hurtful.” Biden came back swinging, calling her descriptions a "mischaracterization of my position across the board." He also added that he ran for office because of civil rights and he believes there are still fundamental changes that need to be made.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell quoted Biden, who once said it is time to pass the torch to a new generation – something Biden said he’s not ready to do. Beyond that, Democrats clashed over the best way to fix healthcare, with some Dems expressing doubts about "Medicare for all" proposals – and fought the moderators’ requests for sticking to time tooth and nail. Other highlights:

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg says his community is hurting after a police officer shot and killed a black man. Buttigieg said racial prejudice threatens the well-being of every community. He also took responsibility for the outrage in his community. Swalwell said Mayor Buttigieg should fire his police chief.

Democrats slammed President Trump over his trade and economic policies, international relations and climate change. Senator Harris called climate change an “existential crisis.”

Dems also slammed Trump's border policies, including family separations. Biden called it “immoral.”

Meantime, Dems vowed to do whatever is necessary to protect women's reproductive healthcare rights.

The candidates also called for more aggressive actions to curb gun violence. In Swalwell’s case, that’s a ban and buy-back of all assault weapons in the U.S. He said the U.S. must be a nation where "we love our children more than we love our guns."

Biden and Harris said repairing the relationship with the NATO alliance was important and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says we must rebuild the United Nations.

One of the more curious twists? When Author Marianne Williamson talked “love” in relation to President Trump. “You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out,” she offered. “I’m going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And sir — love will win.” The response to her – and that remark – has been pretty epic, in the Twitterverse.

In the end, the candidates were trumpeting change. Senator Harris said the election is “about the American people” and issues that "wake you up at 3 o'clock in the morning.” Mayor Buttigieg said he is running because he wants to deliver a new generation to Washington. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders maintained that “nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street and major corporations.”

Source: NBC News