NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

We’re watching the fifth 2020 Democratic presidential debate. Join us!

Good evening, and wel­come to NPI’s live cov­er­age of the fifth Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial debate of the 2020 cycle.

NPI staff are watch­ing and shar­ing impres­sions of the debate as it pro­gress­es.

MSNBC and The Wash­ing­ton Post the media part­ners for this DNC-sanc­tioned debate, which is expect­ed to run two hours. The media part­ners have put togeth­er an all-female line­up of four mod­er­a­tors drawn from their news­rooms.

It con­sists of:

Rachel Mad­dow, host of “The Rachel Mad­dow Show” on MSNBC; Andrea Mitchell, host of “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC and NBC News’ chief for­eign affairs cor­re­spon­dent; Kris­ten Welk­er, NBC News’ White House cor­re­spon­dent; and Ash­ley Park­er, a White House reporter for The Wash­ing­ton Post.

Tonight’s line­up of ten can­di­dates is as fol­lows:

  • Mass­a­chu­setts U.S. Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren
  • For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden
  • Ver­mont U.S. Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders
  • New Jer­sey U.S. Sen­a­tor Cory Book­er
  • South Bend May­or Pete Buttigieg
  • Cal­i­for­nia U.S. Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris
  • Min­neso­ta U.S. Sen­a­tor Amy Klobouchar
  • Entre­pre­neur Andrew Yang
  • Bil­lion­aire Tom Stey­er
  • Hawaii U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tul­si Gab­bard

Our live cov­er­age begins below.

UPDATE, 6:03 PM (Ruairi): The first ques­tion address­es the issue of impeach­ment, and today’s tes­ti­mo­ny by Gor­don Sond­land.

War­ren is asked if she will try to con­vince Repub­li­cans on impeach­ment.

UPDATE, 6:04 PM (Ruairi): War­ren refers to the Mueller report, say­ing when there were no con­se­quences for Trump for invit­ing the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion to med­dle in Amer­i­ca’s elec­tions, he was embold­ened to hold up mil­i­tary aid to Ukraine to score assis­tance for his reelec­tion cam­paign.

UPDATE, 6:05 PM (Ruairi): War­ren points out that Gor­don Sond­land is unqual­i­fied to be an ambas­sador, and only got his job die to cor­rup­tion. She promis­es that no donor to her cam­paign would become an ambas­sador.

UPDATE, 6:05 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar believes that the Ukraine scan­dal rep­re­sents “impeach­able conduct…it’s real­ly our democ­ra­cy at stake.”

UPDATE, 6:06 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar quotes Wal­ter Mon­dale: “We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace.”

She says that is the min­i­mum that Amer­i­cans should expect.

UPDATE, 6:07 PM (Ruairi): Bernie Sanders is asked how cen­tral the impeach­ment inquiry would be to his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. He says “we can­not sim­ply be con­sumed by Don­ald Trump…or we’ll lose the elec­tion!”

UPDATE, 6:08 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says “we can deal with Trump’s cor­rup­tion, but we also have to stand up for the work­ing fam­i­lies of this coun­try.” He says the econ­o­my is rigged in the favor of the rich.

UPDATE, 6:09 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked the same ques­tion. He says that impeach­ment should be “beyond pol­i­tics.” He says “we are going to have to uni­fy a nation that is divid­ed as ever.” He brings up the issues of mass shoot­ings, eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and cli­mate.

UPDATE, 6:10 PM (Ruairi): Joe Biden is asked whether Repub­li­cans will be will­ing to work with him. He says that the next pres­i­dent must get a Sen­ate major­i­ty: “who is most like­ly to increase the num­ber …of Democ­rats in the House and the Sen­ate.”

UPDATE, 6:11 PM (Ruairi): Biden says, based on the impeach­ment inquiry’s rev­e­la­tions show: “Don­ald Trump doesn’t want me to be Pres­i­dent… Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be pres­i­dent.”

UPDATE, 6:12 PM (Ruairi): Kamala Har­ris says that the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion is “a crim­i­nal enter­prise” and that the whole White House is cor­rupt.

UPDATE, 6:12 PM (Ruairi): “There are two dif­fer­ent sets of rules…for the pow­er­ful people…and for every­body else.”

Har­ris says that she wants to bring jus­tice for all Amer­i­cans.

UPDATE, 6:13 PM (Ruairi): War­ren is asked if the divide in the coun­try is per­ma­nent. She wants to “talk about the things that unite us…an Amer­i­ca that works for the peo­ple, not just the rich folks.”

UPDATE, 6:14 PM (Ruairi): War­ren brings up her “two cent wealth tax” say­ing that it isn’t about pun­ish­ment, but about “pitch­ing in.”

UPDATE, 6:15 PM (Ruairi): Cory Book­er doesn’t agree with War­ren’s wealth tax, but wants to tax cap­i­tal gains and change oth­er tax­es. He wants to be able to increase wealth and give more peo­ple oppor­tu­ni­ties.

UPDATE, 6:15 PM (Ruairi): He says that peo­ple want “an econ­o­my that pro­vides not just equal­i­ties of wealth but equal­i­ties of oppor­tu­ni­ty.”

UPDATE, 6:17 PM (Ruairi): War­ren says that her wealth tax can pro­vide free preschool and mas­sive­ly increase school qual­i­ty, can­cel stu­dent loan debt and pro­vide free col­lege: “We can invest in an entire gen­er­a­tion.”

UPDATE, 6:17 PM (Ruairi): Book­er argues, with­out pro­vid­ing any evi­dence, that wealth tax­es are “cum­ber­some” in coun­tries that have tried it, but wants to focus on “path­ways to pros­per­i­ty” for more Amer­i­cans.

UPDATE, 6:18 PM (Ruairi): War­ren says that her wealth tax is fair: “I’m tired of free­load­ing bil­lion­aires.” She points out that bil­lion­aires pay half as high a per­cent­age of their wealth in tax­es than ordi­nary peo­ple.

UPDATE, 6:20 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg believes that the Democ­rats have a major­i­ty on the issues “if we can gal­va­nize, not polar­ize, that major­i­ty.”

UPDATE, 6:20 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg argues his Medicare for those who want it plan is supe­ri­or, say­ing that “order­ing… com­mand­ing peo­ple to accept that option…is not the right approach to uni­fy the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

UPDATE, 6:21 PM (Ruairi): War­ren is asked if her Medicare for All plans will cost the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty votes. She lays out the many ben­e­fits of her plan, and says it will build on the Patient Pro­tec­tion and Afford­able Care Act.

UPDATE, 6:21 PM (Ruairi): War­ren says after a few years, “after we have seen it and tast­ed it, we’re gonna want it.”

UPDATE, 6:21 PM (Andrew): These Demo­c­ra­t­ic debates would ben­e­fit from bet­ter mod­er­a­tor ques­tions. It’s offen­sive and inap­pro­pri­ate for the pejo­ra­tive “Oba­macare” to appear in a debate ques­tion. It’s wrong for ques­tions to be framed around right wing talk­ing points.

UPDATE, 6:22 PM (Ruairi): Sanders is includ­ed, and says “Thank you, I wrote the damn bill,” (a line from the first debate that became pop­u­lar with his fans) get­ting a laugh. He says “the cur­rent sys­tem is not only cru­el, it is dys­func­tion­al.”

UPDATE, 6:23 PM (Ruairi): Sanders points out that the Unit­ed States pays twice as much as oth­er coun­tries for health­care, but we still have a sys­tem when peo­ple can go bank­rupt because of med­ical expens­es.

UPDATE, 6:24 PM (Ruairi): Biden is asked to respond to Sanders’ plan. He says that the vast major­i­ty of Democ­rats don’t sup­port Medicare for All. He wants to build on the Patient Pro­tec­tion Act, adding a pub­lic option.

UPDATE, 6:24 PM (Ruairi): Biden repeats his (dubi­ous) point that one hun­dred and six­ty mil­lion Amer­i­cans “like their pri­vate insur­ance.”

UPDATE, 6:24 PM (Andrew): Tul­si Gab­bard has received her first ques­tion. Entre­pre­neur Andrew Yang and bil­lion­aire Tom Stey­er have not spo­ken yet and have not been called on by the mod­er­a­tors.

UPDATE, 6:25 PM (Ruairi): The ques­tion Tul­si Gab­bard was asked con­cerned “the rot” she sees in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. She says that it is over­ly influ­enced by “the for­eign pol­i­cy estab­lish­ment… and oth­er greedy cor­po­rate inter­ests.”

UPDATE, 6:26 PM (Ruairi): Gab­bard wants to “hear the voic­es of those who are strug­gling across this coun­try.” She repeats the “regime change wars,” say­ing that they have cost tril­lions of dol­lars and thou­sands of Amer­i­can lives.

UPDATE, 6:27 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris says “it’s unfor­tu­nate that we have some­one on stage…who spent four years full time on Fox News crit­i­ciz­ing Pres­i­dent Oba­ma.” She says Gab­bard, “bud­died up to Steve Ban­non.”

UPDATE, 6:27 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris demol­ished Gabbard’s record, then says the Democ­rats need some­one who can “bring the Par­ty and the nation togeth­er.”

UPDATE, 6:28 PM (Ruairi): Gab­bard did­n’t much care for being crit­i­cized. She says that Har­ris is traf­fick­ing in “lies, smears and innu­en­does.” She says that means Har­ris will “con­tin­ue the destruc­tion” of for­eign wars.

UPDATE, 6:29 PM (Andrew): Tul­si Gab­bard seems obsessed with try­ing to repeat the phrase “regime change wars” as many times as she can in each one or two minute answer that she gives.

UPDATE, 6:29 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris says that the coun­try needs a nom­i­nee who can “speak to all peo­ple,”, cit­ing her record as a lawyer and Attor­ney Gen­er­al. She says her five most com­mon words were “Kamala Har­ris for the peo­ple.”

UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Ruairi): Tom Stey­er is asked if he is “the embod­i­ment of a spe­cial inter­est.” He says he has a record of bring­ing move­ments togeth­er to take on cor­po­rate pow­er.

UPDATE, 6:31 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er says he has built one of the largest move­ments in Amer­i­can his­to­ry: “I’ve tried to push pow­er down to the Amer­i­can peo­ple.” He wants term lim­its for mem­bers of Con­gress, which we don’t sup­port.

UPDATE, 6:32 PM (Ruairi): Amy Klobuchar says she “doesn’t come from mon­ey” but she appre­ci­ates Steyer’s work. She wants to over­turn Cit­i­zens Cor­po­ra­tions Unit­ed. She also wants a bet­ter sys­tem of vot­er reg­is­tra­tion, espe­cial­ly in states like Geor­gia.

UPDATE, 6:32 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar invokes Stacey Abrams to point out that the coun­try suf­fers from racial vot­er sup­pres­sion.

UPDATE, 6:33 PM (Ruairi): Andrew Yang says of Stey­er “you can’t knock some­body for hav­ing mon­ey and spend­ing it in the right way,” refer­ring to the cli­mate cri­sis. He says that his plans will help the U.S. catch up with Chi­na.

UPDATE, 6:34 PM (Ruairi): Yang wants to focus “on the true threats of tomor­row,” such as cli­mate change, AI and Chi­nese tech­nol­o­gy.

UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked about his lack of expe­ri­ence. He says “we need some­thing very dif­fer­ent now.”

He also told view­ers: “I am lit­er­al­ly the least wealthy per­son on this stage…I know how to bring peo­ple togeth­er to get things done.”

UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says his expe­ri­ence as a May­or can be scaled up to work in the nation’s cap­i­tal.

UPDATE, 6:37 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar was asked about her com­ments on gen­der and Pete Buttigieg. She says that Buttigieg is qual­i­fied, but points out that Amer­i­ca has nev­er had a female pres­i­dent. She has the record to be able to win.

UPDATE, 6:37 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar declared: “If you think a woman can’t beat Trump, Nan­cy Pelosi does it every day.”

UPDATE, 6:37 PM (Andrew): That was one of Amy Klobuchar’s best answers by far in any Demo­c­ra­t­ic debate.

UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Ruairi): Biden says that he has “passed more major leg­is­la­tion than every per­son on this stage com­bined.”

He talked about every­thing from crim­i­nal jus­tice to the Yugol­sav wars (butcher­ing Milosevic’s name in the process).

UPDATE, 6:39 PM (Ruairi): Book­er was asked about Trump’s “unfil­tered com­mu­ni­ca­tion.” Book­er observed that Trump likes to breaks norms, but the next Pres­i­dent should bring the coun­try togeth­er.

UPDATE, 6:40 PM (Ruairi): Book­er sayid that his expe­ri­ence as a may­or (like Buttigieg) helps him to be ready for exec­u­tive expe­ri­ence.

UPDATE, 6:41 PM (Ruairi): Rachel Mad­dow asked about the “lock him up” chants against Trump. Sanders says that “the peo­ple of this coun­try are catch­ing on to the degree that this Pres­i­dent thinks he is above the law.”

UPDATE, 6:41 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says that if Trump did break the law, he should be pros­e­cut­ed like any­body else, but that bring­ing the nation togeth­er is more impor­tant.

UPDATE, 6:42 PM (Ruairi): Sanders reject­ed a lot of the sense of divi­sion in the coun­try: Amer­i­cans large­ly agree on the need for cli­mate jus­tice, an end to income inequal­i­ty, gun safe­ty, and progress on oth­er issues.

UPDATE, 6:43 PM (Ruairi): Asked about pros­e­cut­ing Trump after he leaves office, Biden says he would “not dic­tate who should be prosecuted…it’s the Attor­ney Gen­er­al of the Unit­ed States, not the President’s per­son­al attor­ney.”

UPDATE, 6:44 PM (Ruairi): Biden doesn’t want to mod­el the Democ­rats after Trump, say­ing that civil­i­ty is impor­tant to restor­ing “the soul of this coun­try.”

UPDATE, 6:44 PM (Ruairi): Sanders declared: “Joe is right, it is the func­tion of the Attor­ney Gen­er­al.” How­ev­er, he says that increas­ing­ly, Amer­i­cans do believe that Trump has com­mit­ted crim­i­nal acts.

UPDATE, 6:45 PM (Andrew): A ques­tion about child­care? It’s. About. Time!

UPDATE, 6:46 PM (Ruairi): As men­tioned, the debate has turned to child­care and paid leave. Andrew Yang points out that the only coun­try that doesn’t have manda­to­ry paid fam­i­ly leave is Papua New Guinea: “We need to get off this list!”

UPDATE, 6:47 PM (Ruairi): Yang is mak­ing the case for “a Free­dom Dividend…from day one.” He says, “we should not be push­ing every­one to leave the home and going to the work­force.”

UPDATE, 6:48 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar was asked about her pro­pos­al for three months fed­er­al­ly guar­an­teed paid fam­i­ly leave. “Look at my website…you can see my plans and how I’m gonna pay for it,” she respond­ed.

UPDATE, 6:49 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar vowed, “I’m not gonna go for things because they sound good on a bumper stick­er,” refer­ring to the ambi­tious plans of her rivals. She cit­ed tuition free col­lege and Medicare for All.

UPDATE, 6:50 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris said her plan (for six months, not three) is rel­e­vant to the chang­ing nature of Amer­i­can par­ent­hood – peo­ple are hav­ing kids lat­er, and also often tak­ing care of their own par­ents.

UPDATE, 6:51 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris point­ed out that the bur­den of care often falls on women. She also points out that “women are not paid equal for equal work,” and points to her broad­er plans to address women in work.

UPDATE, 6:52 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er was asked about afford­able hous­ing. He says “when you look at inequality…you have to start with hous­ing.” He says that California’s lack of hous­ing affects mil­lions: home­less­ness and sky­rock­et­ing rents.

UPDATE, 6:53 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er wants to be build­ing new hous­ing in a sus­tain­able way, because hous­ing has a “dra­mat­ic effect on cli­mate and sus­tain­abil­i­ty.” He wants to force cer­tain munic­i­pal­i­ties o change hous­ing pol­i­cy.

UPDATE, 6:54 PM (Ruairi): War­ren said that “the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment stopped build­ing years ago… I’ve got a plan for 3.2 mil­lion new hous­ing units.” She says “hous­ing is how we build wealth in Amer­i­ca,” empha­siz­ing the his­to­ry of racist red-lin­ing poli­cies that have dis­crim­i­nat­ed against mil­lions of peo­ple.

UPDATE, 6:55 PM (Andrew): This is a wel­come change of pace from past debates: an afford­able hous­ing ques­tion fol­lowed that child­care ques­tion. If the mod­er­a­tors keep ask­ing good ques­tions about top­ics that are rarely addressed, this could turn out to be the best Demo­c­ra­t­ic debate yet.

UPDATE, 6:55 PM (Ruairi): Book­er brought up his record as May­or of Newark. He cit­ed gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, which com­pounds racial seg­re­ga­tion. He promised a tax deduc­tion for renters who spend a large pro­por­tion of their income on rent.

UPDATE, 7:00 PM (Ruairi): The next ques­tion deals with farm­ers and the trade dis­pute with Chi­na. Would May­or Buttigieg con­tin­ue farm sub­si­dies?

UPDATE, 7:00 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg said the sub­si­dies “aren’t even mak­ing farm­ers whole… I don’t think this pres­i­dent cares one bit for farm­ers.”

UPDATE, 7:01 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg said that con­sol­i­da­tion and monop­o­lies should be tak­en on to help farm­ers. He also says that farms are essen­tial to deal­ing with cli­mate change.

UPDATE, 7:02 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg said he would con­tin­ue sub­si­dies, but he would bring the trade dis­pute to an end to make them unnec­es­sary.

UPDATE, 7:03 PM (Ruairi): The debate has shift­ed to the cli­mate cri­sis. Tul­si Gab­bard says “this is not a Democrat[ic] issue or a Repub­li­can issue,” a tired and mean­ing­less phrase which is on NPI’s Ban­ished Words List.

UPDATE, 7:04 PM (Ruairi): Gab­bard wants to wean the Unit­ed States off fos­sil fuels and invest­ing in sus­tain­able indus­try and agri­cul­ture. She claimed to want to be a world leader on the issue of cli­mate jus­tice.

UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er says that cli­mate jus­tice is his num­ber one pri­or­i­ty. He would use the emer­gency pow­ers of the pres­i­den­cy, pri­or­i­tiz­ing cli­mate jus­tice in domes­tic and for­eign pol­i­cy.

UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er thinks that there’s noth­ing bet­ter for bridg­ing the par­ti­san divide than “sav­ing the world!”

UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Andrew): With Jay Inslee not on stage, Tom Stey­er is real­ly try­ing to claim the cli­mate jus­tice cam­paign man­tle.

UPDATE, 7:06 PM (Ruairi): Biden says he doesn’t need a lec­ture from Stey­er on tack­ling cli­mate dam­age: he says Stey­er invest­ed in the coal indus­try, while Biden was pur­su­ing cli­mate-friend­ly poli­cies.

UPDATE, 7:07 PM (Ruairi): “Every­one in this room has lived in an econ­o­my based on fos­sil fuels,” Stey­er respond­ed. He argues that Con­gress has nev­er passed a major cli­mate jus­tice bill (the House has, but not the Sen­ate). Stey­er said wants to make cli­mate “the most impor­tant thing.”

UPDATE, 7:08 PM (Ruairi): Sanders points to leg­is­la­tion that he is putting for­ward right now. He says the U.S. needs to “get our act togeth­er right now,” as the world faces an unprece­dent­ed cri­sis.

UPDATE, 7:08 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says “the fos­sil fuel indus­try is prob­a­bly crim­i­nal­ly liable…they lied and lied and lied when they had the evi­dence!”

UPDATE, 7:08 PM (Andrew): That’s the end of the cli­mate jus­tice dis­cus­sion? Already? Bad choice, mod­er­a­tors.

UPDATE, 7:09 PM (Ruairi): Kamala Har­ris was asked about North Korea. She says that “Don­ald Trump got punked,” by Kim Jong Un. She says he fails to under­stand the role of Com­man­der in Chief.

UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris wants to ensure that the Unit­ed States not only has a strong mil­i­tary, but is respect­ed in the world com­mu­ni­ty, which sim­ply isn’t the case right now. Trump’s break­ing of inter­na­tion­al agree­ments makes him “the great­est threat to the nation­al secu­ri­ty.”

UPDATE, 7:11 PM (Ruairi): On North Korea, Har­ris said: “There are no con­ces­sions to be made.” She demon­strat­ed com­pre­hen­sive knowl­edge of the region.

UPDATE, 7:12 PM (Ruairi): Biden was asked what he would do that Oba­ma didn’t do. Biden said he would first recre­ate the alliances that Trump has degrad­ed. He wants to work with Chi­na and South Korea to pres­sure North Korea.

UPDATE, 7:13 PM (Ruairi): Biden point­ed out that “this guy [Trump] has no idea what he’s doing.”

UPDATE, 7:13 PM (Ruairi): Bernie Sanders was asked if he would nego­ti­ate a deal with the Tal­iban in Afghanistan. To but­tress his argu­ment that he has bet­ter judg­ment than Biden, Sanders point­ed out that Biden vot­ed to autho­rize the occu­pa­tion of Iraq, while he vot­ed against it.

UPDATE, 7:14 PM (Ruairi): Sanders wants to have a for­eign pol­i­cy that “under­stands who our ene­mies are,” and he would bring troops out of Afghanistan. He would do it “work­ing with the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty” and would talk to the Tal­iban.

UPDATE, 7:15 PM (Ruairi): Andrew Yang was asked what he would say to Vladimir Putin. Yang paused before answer­ing, then declared: “First I would say, ‘I’m sor­ry I beat your guy.’” He would say that any Russ­ian inter­fer­ence in elec­tions would be viewed as aggres­sion.

UPDATE, 7:16 PM (Ruairi): Yang quot­ed James Madi­son: “The more you spent on diplo­ma­cy, the less you spend on ammu­ni­tion.” He also wants to address China’s treat­ment of minori­ties, par­tic­u­lar­ly Uyghur Mus­lims.

UPDATE, 7:17 PM (Ruairi): Cory Book­er was asked about the if he would help demon­stra­tors in Hong Kong. He reeled off some of the human rights vio­la­tions Chi­na is guilty of and not­ed: “There is a larg­er bat­tle going on on plan­et Earth.”

UPDATE, 7:18 PM (Ruairi): Book­er sees a glob­al con­flict between democ­ra­cies and author­i­tar­i­an regimes. Book­er wants to call out Chi­nese human rights abus­es, but would bring Amer­i­can abus­es (such as on the bor­der or in Yemen) to heel.

UPDATE, 7:19 PM (Ruairi): Biden was asked about Jamal Kashog­gi and oth­er Sau­di abus­es. Biden declared that he would not sell weapons to Sau­di Ara­bia and make them an inter­na­tion­al pari­ah.

UPDATE, 7:19 PM (Ruairi): Biden says the Saud­is have to be held account­able. “We are clear that we stand for human rights.”

UPDATE, 7:20 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar said “we need a new for­eign pol­i­cy,” includ­ing reassert­ing Amer­i­can val­ues, strength­en­ing alliances. She says that Trump’s reac­tion to the Kashog­gi killing “sent a sig­nal” to dic­ta­tors.

UPDATE, 7:21 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar said she, like the Chi­nese regime, sees in the long term, because “they are in it for the long game.”

UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Ruairi): Sanders tout­ed his strong record on crit­i­ciz­ing Sau­di Ara­bia. He wants to say to Iran, Sau­di Ara­bia, Israel and the Pales­tini­ans that the Unit­ed States is sick of fund­ing their wars with each oth­er.

UPDATE, 7:23 PM (Ruairi): War­ren is asked if more Amer­i­cans should serve in the mil­i­tary. “I think it’s an impor­tant part of who we are as Americans…it’s how we help bring our nation togeth­er.”

UPDATE, 7:23 PM (Ruairi): War­ren wants to see even more ser­vice oppor­tu­ni­ties for Amer­i­cans, such as in nation­al forests and nation­al parks.

UPDATE, 7:25 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg was asked if he would cut mil­i­tary bud­gets. He wants to repri­or­i­tize spend­ing, such as increased fund­ing for Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence. “There is no con­cept of strate­gic plan­ning” in the Trump regime.

UPDATE, 7:25 PM (Andrew): This is a good dis­cus­sion about reform­ing defense pro­cure­ment and chang­ing up our for­eign pol­i­cy, but we’re run­ning out of time to tack­le the top­ic of vot­ing rights and com­bat­ing vot­er sup­pres­sion.

UPDATE, 7:30 PM (Ruairi): The mod­er­a­tors are now ask­ing about white supre­ma­tism and domes­tic ter­ror­ism.

Gab­bard claims she wants cor­rect racial injus­tices, begin­ning with the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem and “the failed war on drugs.”

UPDATE, 7:31 PM (Ruairi): Gab­bard added that she wants to “cor­rect the fail­ures of the past…we have to treat each oth­er with respect… that kind of lead­er­ship starts at the top.”

UPDATE, 7:31 PM (Ruairi): Andrew Yang said he wants to des­ig­nate white suprema­cist ter­ror­ism as domes­tic ter­ror­ism so that the Depart­ment of Jus­tice can track it. He recounts talk­ing to a for­mer white suprema­cist.

UPDATE, 7:32 PM (Ruairi): Yang also said he wants to “get into the roots of our communities…for men in par­tic­u­lar who are falling through the cracks.” He wants to find ways to “turn our boys into healthy and strong young men.”

UPDATE, 7:33 PM (Ruairi): Biden was asked about the #MeToo Move­ment. He wants to reau­tho­rize the Vio­lence Against Women Act, and “fun­da­men­tal­ly change the cul­ture of how women are treat­ed… it’s everyone’s respon­si­bil­i­ty.”

UPDATE, 7:34 PM (Ruairi): Biden referred to efforts he led on col­lege cam­pus­es, cit­ing the need to get men involved. “It’s a gigan­tic issue and we have to make it clear from the Pres­i­dent on down that we will not tol­er­ate it.”

UPDATE, 7:35 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris was asked about her crit­i­cism of Pete Buttigieg’s attempts to bridge racial divides. She side­stepped the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cri­tique Buttigieg, and tried instead to speak to big­ger issues.

UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris said she wants the Democ­rats to be there for peo­ple of col­or, and not just show­ing up in elec­tion years. “Show up for me!” She says that black peo­ple are more like­ly to die in child­birth or vio­lence.

UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Andrew): Kamala Har­ris is real­ly find­ing her groove as she gets fur­ther into her answer on this crit­i­cal ques­tion.

UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris said that, on race, the “ques­tion has to be ‘where you been, and what are you gonna do?’”

UPDATE, 7:37 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg agreed. He said his city is racial­ly diverse, he has “lived and breathed” the racial issues with­in South Bend. He brought his Chris­t­ian faith to the answer, say­ing he is oblig­ed to help the oppressed.

UPDATE, 7:38 PM (Ruairi): As a gay man, Buttigieg says he some­times feels like “a stranger in my own coun­try.”

He saw peo­ple fight for gay rights even if they were noth­ing like him, and he wants to sup­port peo­ple who are noth­ing like him.

UPDATE, 7:39 PM (Ruairi): Har­ris wants to rebuild the Oba­ma coali­tion to win the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. She says that that coali­tion was built on a leader who had worked in diverse com­mu­ni­ties.

UPDATE, 7:40 PM (Ruairi): War­ren talked about the mas­sive racial inequal­i­ty in stu­dent loan debt. “Stu­dent loan forgiveness…will help close the racial gap.”

UPDATE, 7:41 PM (Ruairi): War­ren was asked if she would use tax­pay­er mon­ey to take down Trump’s wall. She says the bor­der is “a man-made cri­sis” because of Trump’s poli­cies.

UPDATE, 7:42 PM (Ruairi): War­ren empha­sized her vis­its to bor­der facil­i­ties and described her sad­ness at see­ing peo­ple being oppressed, includ­ing chil­dren in cages. “A great nation does not sep­a­rate chil­dren from their fam­i­lies.”

UPDATE, 7:42 PM (Andrew): Sen­a­tor War­ren just offered the answer of the night, emphat­i­cal­ly and elo­quent­ly denounc­ing the inhu­mane, immoral sep­a­ra­tion of chil­dren and their par­ents at the bor­der.

UPDATE, 7:42 PM (Ruairi): Cory Book­er said the wall “is just wrong” and returns to the issue of black vot­ers: “I’ve been one since I was eigh­teen!” He says that black vot­ers are “pissed off and wor­ried.”

UPDATE, 7:43 PM (Ruairi): Book­er crit­i­cized Biden for say­ing that mar­i­jua­na should not be legal­ized: “I thought you might have been high when you said it!”

UPDATE, 7:44 PM (Ruairi): Book­er point­ed out the mas­sive inequal­i­ties when it comes to pros­e­cut­ing mar­i­jua­na users. He points out that the Democ­rats lost Michi­gan because of “a mas­sive dimu­ni­tion in the African-Amer­i­can vote.”

UPDATE, 7:45 PM (Ruairi): Biden said that mar­i­jua­na offend­ers should be released and that mar­i­jua­na should be stud­ied. He points to his “long­stand­ing con­nec­tion to the black com­mu­ni­ty” as “part of the Oba­ma coali­tion.”

UPDATE, 7:46 PM (Ruairi): Biden says that his large degree of sup­port from the black com­mu­ni­ty comes from the fact that “they know me” thanks to his years in the Oba­ma White House as Vice Pres­i­dent.

We’re head­ing to a break.

UPDATE, 7:50 PM (Andrew): We’re back from the break and Rachel Mad­dow has a ques­tion about women’s repro­duc­tive rights.

UPDATE, 7:51 PM (Ruairi): As men­tioned, the debate has shift­ed to the top­ic of abor­tion and women’s rights. Klobuchar remind­ed every­one of the restric­tive laws being passed, adding that Democ­rats can­not for­get “that the peo­ple are with us.” She point­ed out that over 70% of Amer­i­cans sup­port Roe v. Wade.

UPDATE, 7:52 PM (Ruairi): War­ren said she believes that abor­tion rights are human rights and eco­nom­ic rights. “Rich women will still get abor­tions… it’s still going to fall hard on poor women and girls.”

UPDATE, 7:53 PM (Ruairi): When peo­ple decide whether to get an abor­tion, “the one enti­ty that should not be in that equa­tion is the gov­ern­ment.”

UPDATE, 7:53 PM (Ruairi): Bernie Sanders says that “the men of Amer­i­ca must stand with the women.” He crit­i­cizes con­ser­v­a­tives who “want small gov­ern­ment” but don’t want women to con­trol their own bod­ies.

UPDATE, 7:54 PM (Ruairi): Book­er brought up vot­er sup­pres­sion, tying it to the dis­cus­sion over repro­duc­tive rights. The con­nec­tion is that the anti-free­dom bill being pushed in Geor­gia is opposed by over 70% of Geor­gians.

UPDATE, 7:54 PM (Andrew): Rachel Mad­dow has squeezed in a ques­tion about vot­ing rights here at the end of the debate. This top­ic should have been addressed ear­ly on, in hour one.

UPDATE, 7:55 PM (Ruairi): How would Buttigieg ensure access to the bal­lot? “This affects every oth­er issue we care about.” He says that elec­tion day could be made a fed­er­al hol­i­day. He talked about using a “car­rots and sticks” approach to build a con­sen­sus for elec­tion reforms among state and local lead­ers.

UPDATE, 7:56 PM (Ruairi): “Right now we have politi­cians pick­ing out their vot­ers, not the oth­er way around.” Buttigieg wants to reform the elec­tion process, includ­ing elim­i­nat­ing the Elec­toral Col­lege.

UPDATE, 7:57 PM (Andrew): Giv­en the first oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk about vot­ing rights and access to the bal­lot, Pete Buttigieg made the most of it. He cov­ered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. His best answer of the night by far.

UPDATE, 7:57 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar tout­ed her expe­ri­ence in the Sen­ate of press­ing for bills that improve con­fi­dence in gov­ern­ment and vot­ing rights. “I have also actu­al­ly done this work,” she said, a com­ment direct­ed at Buttigieg.

UPDATE, 7:58 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg respond­ed by say­ing that “Wash­ing­ton expe­ri­ence is not the only expe­ri­ence that counts!” He recount­ed out his expe­ri­ence in the mil­i­tary and local gov­ern­ment.

UPDATE, 7:59 PM (Ruairi): Gab­bard tout­ed her bill that man­dates paper bal­lots. She attacked Buttigieg for say­ing that he would send troops to Mex­i­co to fight car­tels. She cit­ed her expe­ri­ence in the House for­eign affairs and armed ser­vices com­mit­tees.

UPDATE, 8:00 PM (Ruairi): “That is out­landish, even by the stan­dard of today’s pol­i­tics,” says Buttigieg. Gab­bard took his state­ment out of con­text: “Do you think any­one on this stage is seri­ous­ly propos­ing invad­ing Mex­i­co?”

UPDATE, 8:01 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg brought up the ele­phant in Gabbard’s room – her meet­ings with Syr­i­an dic­ta­tor Bashar al Assad. “I wouldn’t meet with a mur­der­ous dic­ta­tor like that,” Buttigieg told Gab­bard.

UPDATE, 8:01 PM (Andrew): It’s Pete Buttigieg vs. Tul­si Gab­bard: not a debate dynam­ic many were expect­ing.

UPDATE, 8:01 PM (Ruairi): Gab­bard cit­ed past pres­i­dents who met with Sovi­et dic­ta­tors. (Of course, she is not the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.)

“Like Trump, who met with Kim,” snaps Buttigieg.

UPDATE, 8:02 PM (Ruairi): Sanders brought the con­ver­sa­tion back to vot­er sup­pres­sion, and point­ed out that Cit­i­zens Cor­po­ra­tions Unit­ed “allows bil­lion­aires to buy elec­tions.” He wants pub­lic fund­ing of elec­tions.

UPDATE, 8:03 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er said he wants the Democ­rats to not only beat Trump, but win across the coun­try. He wants to talk turnout: “Up to half the peo­ple don’t vote at all!”

UPDATE, 8:03 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er point­ed to his expe­ri­ence with NextGen Amer­i­ca in increas­ing turnout in areas where his group cam­paigned.

UPDATE, 8:05 PM (Ruairi): In his clos­ing state­ment, Cory Book­er gives a shout-out to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Lewis, the civ­il rights icon.

“We all owe a debt that we can­not repay, we all drink from wells of free­dom and lib­er­ty that we did not dig.”

UPDATE, 8:05 PM (Ruairi): Book­er promised to cause “good trou­ble”, in the words of John Lewis.

UPDATE, 8:06 PM (Ruairi): Tom Stey­er said he is “dif­fer­ent from every­body else on this stage… I’ve spent decades putting togeth­er coali­tions of ordi­nary vot­ers” to beat cor­po­ra­tions.

UPDATE, 8:07 PM (Ruairi): Stey­er tout­ed his busi­ness expe­ri­ence, say­ing that he can use it to take Trump to task on the econ­o­my.

UPDATE, 8:09 PM (Ruairi): Tul­si Gab­bard promised to treat every­one with “respect and com­pas­sion.” She referred to Mar­tin Luther King’s admi­ra­tion of Hawaii’s racial har­mo­ny. She told view­ers she wants to “ush­er in a twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry of racial har­mo­ny, of racial jus­tice.”

UPDATE, 8:09 PM (Ruairi): Andrew Yang referred to his two kids: “Our kids are not all right…we are leav­ing them a future that is far dark­er.” He says that the fourth indus­tri­al rev­o­lu­tion is push­ing fam­i­lies aside.

UPDATE, 8:10 PM (Ruairi): Yang said his first reac­tion to the cri­sis was not run­ning for pres­i­dent – “because I am not insane!” He says “like many of you, I am a par­ent and a patri­ot,” and that’s why he is run­ning for the White House.

UPDATE, 8:12 PM (Ruairi): Amy Klobuchar talked about the impeach­ment hear­ings: “In this coun­try, you can tell the truth, and you will be fine.” This is not just an elec­tion about every­one’s eco­nom­ic secu­ri­ty, “this is a patri­ot check.”

UPDATE, 8:12 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar said she wants to win inde­pen­dents and Repub­li­cans “who can­not stom­ach this guy any more.” She added her win won’t be “a per­son­al vic­to­ry, it will be a nation­al vic­to­ry.”

UPDATE, 8:13 PM (Ruairi): Kamala Har­ris start­ed by declar­ing: “So we’re in a fight.” She wants a nom­i­nee who “can go toe-to-toe with Trump,” and tout­ed her ques­tion­ing of Bill Barr, Jeff Ses­sions and Brett Kavanaugh.

UPDATE, 8:14 PM (Ruairi): “My entire career has been spent hav­ing one client and one client only: the peo­ple.” Har­ris said that “jus­tice is on the bal­lot in this elec­tion.” She wants to unlock the poten­tial and promise of Amer­i­ca.

UPDATE, 8:15 PM (Ruairi): Pete Buttigieg said that Atlanta is the heart of the black mid­dle class because of great local lead­ers. He is run­ning to pre­pare for “the era that must come after Trump.”

UPDATE, 8:15 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg said he can unite pro­gres­sives, bicon­cep­tu­al vot­ers, and “future for­mer Republicans…everybody is wel­come in this move­ment we’re cre­at­ing.”

UPDATE, 8:17 PM (Ruairi): Bernie Sanders point­ed out that he is the son of an immi­grant. He tout­ed his record in the civ­il rights move­ment, protest­ing as a stu­dent. Sanders said he wants to not only beat Trump but change Amer­i­ca, with­out the help of the rich, cor­po­ra­tions, or super PACS.

UPDATE, 8:18 PM (Ruairi): Eliz­a­beth War­ren said “we know what we need to do…the major­i­ty of Amer­i­cans are with us on it, yet we don’t make change.”

She declared the prob­lem is cor­rup­tion.

UPDATE, 8:19 PM (Ruairi): War­ren argued she has authored the “biggest anti-cor­rup­tion bill since Water­gate” that will “end lob­by­ing as we know it.” She wants to start by “attack­ing the cor­rup­tion” that is the source of so many prob­lems.

UPDATE, 8:20 PM (Ruairi): Joe Biden imme­di­ate­ly men­tioned Barack Oba­ma when it was time for his clos­ing. The coun­try needs a leader who believes that Amer­i­ca leads “not by the exam­ple of our pow­er, but by the pow­er of our exam­ple,” a mem­o­rable line from a past Bill Clin­ton speech.

UPDATE, 8:21 PM (Ruairi): Biden says “get up, let’s take back this coun­try and let’s lead the world again!” He says that Amer­i­ca has nev­er failed to achieve some­thing it has set its mind to. And that’s the final word in this debate!

Good night, and thank you for fol­low­ing along with us.

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One Comment

  1. Why do the mod­er­a­tors call on Eliz­a­beth War­ren (who I like very much btw) 4 times before they give every­one on the stage a chance to com­ment once! This is VERY unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic.. don’t make it a demon­stra­tion of bias. Five of us are sit­ting here watch­ing and fum­ing!

    # by eleanor georgi marqu :: November 20th, 2019 at 6:26 PM