What happens when one candidate in a group starts jumping in the polls? They get a target on their back during a debate. That’s what Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren discovered at last night’s Democratic presidential debate.
The big topics? The usual suspects - guns, taxes, immigration and healthcare - with healthcare topping the list.
And when Warren insisted that costs will go down for working families under her Medicare-for-all plan, but up for the nation's wealthiest Americans and corporations. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued that the Medicare-for-all plans presented by Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders haven’t been specific enough about how to pay for it...and that the cost is too much.
Former VP Joe Biden and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar rejected Medicare-for-all and said Obamacare should be beefed-up and expanded with a public option.
On a related note, the Dems agreed that abortion rights must be protected. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker says the right to abortion must be protected with an "office of reproductive freedom."
They also agreed on the need for new laws aimed at reducing gun violence but disagreed on some specifics. And when former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke was asked to explain the “how” behind the confiscation of assault rifles he’s called for? He wasn’t able to answer. But then, none of the candidates were able to articulate how a ‘buy back’ plan might work or where the money would come from.
Senator Warren repeated her controversial call to break-up big tech monopolies – but when California Senator Kamala Harris suggested that they team up on getting President Trump kicked off Twitter, Warren wouldn’t take the bait.
Age was also a question – Biden, who is 76, says with his age comes wisdom and the president must be able to gain respect on the world stage. Warren – who is 70 - says she will “outwork, out-organize and outlast whoever the Republican Party gets stuck with." As for Sanders – he’s 78 - he said he’s "feeling good" after suffering a heart attack and does not believe age is a factor.
Something everyone agreed on? That the House should proceed with the impeachment inquiry. California Senator Kamala Harris said Trump has committed crimes "in plain sight." Sanders called Trump corrupt...and just about everyone on the stage agreed.
The candidates also criticized Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. Biden said Trump is an "erratic, crazy President who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy." New Jersey Senator Cory Booker called it part of a pattern by Trump that is making the U.S. less safe.
Who got the most talk time during the three-hour debate? Warren clocked 22-minutes, 32-seconds. Biden was next - 17-minutes, 30-seconds. Senator Klobuchar came in third - at 13-minutes, 53-seconds. Sanders was fourth, clicking 13-minutes, 20-seconds and Buttigieg rounded out the top five at 13-minutes, 4-second
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