Good evening, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the seventh Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 cycle.
NPI staff are watching and sharing impressions of the debate as it progresses, which will take place over the course of several hours in Des Moines, Iowa.
CNN is the media partner for this DNC-sanctioned debate.
The network’s Wolf Blitzer and Abby Phillip as well as The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel are the moderators for the debate. Blitzer has a lousy reputation as a moderator and we’ll be watching closely to see how many questions he asks that are framed using right wing ideas.
“In order to qualify for the debate, candidates needed to meet both polling and fundraising minimums,” CNN’s debate guide explains.
“For the polling criteria, candidates needed to receive 5% in at least four DNC-approved national or early state (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) polls, or receive 7% in two early state polls.”
“Candidates also needed to receive donations from at least 225,000 unique donors, and a minimum of 1,000 unique donors per state in at least twenty different states.” Most of the candidates still seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States didn’t meet this criteria.
The six who did and will appear onstage tonight are as follows:
- Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders vof Vermont
- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- Billionaire Tom Steyer
Our live coverage begins below.
UPDATE, 5:54 PM (Ruairi): This debate stage will feature the smallest debate stage yet, only six candidates.
UPDATE, 5:54 PM (Ruairi): Joe Biden is first on stage, followed by Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren follows, getting a few enthusiastic cheers.
UPDATE, 5:55 PM (Ruairi): Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer and Amy Klobuchar complete the debate line-up.
UPDATE, 5:56 PM (Ruairi): Tom Steyer looks particularly pleased to be on stage, as the candidates wait for photos to be taken.
UPDATE, 6:01 PM (Ruairi): CNN’s moderators are determined to emphasize that his debate is the final one before the Iowa Democratic caucuses.
UPDATE, 6:02 PM (Ruairi): Wolf Blitzer opens the debate asking about the candidates’ preparedness to become Commander in Chief.
UPDATE, 6:03 PM (Ruairi): Bernie Sanders immediately points to his anti-war leadership in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. He points to his joint efforts with Republican Senator Mike Lee to try to stop Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
UPDATE, 6:04 PM (Ruairi): Joe Biden is asked about his judgement over the Iraq invasion. He says he acknowledged that it was “a mistake” thirteen years ago. He says he “led the effort” against a troop escalation in Afghanistan.
UPDATE, 6:04 PM (Ruairi): He says that Iraq was a mistaken vote but he is prepared to defend the rest of his record against anybody on the stage.
UPDATE, 6:05 PM (Ruairi): Sanders is asked why he voted for the AUMF against Al Qaeda in the aftermath of September 11th. He says that his Afghanistan vote was different, as Iraq turned out to be the worst foreign policy mistake in American history.
UPDATE, 6:06 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says that both he and Biden heard Cheney and Bush’s arguments about Iraq: he was skeptical of them, but Biden “had a different opinion.”
UPDATE, 6:07 PM (Ruairi): Amy Klobuchar is asked why her experience as a senator is more important than Buttigieg’s military experience. She points out that their experiences are very different.
UPDATE, 6:07 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar points out that she opposed the Iraq invasion and worked as a senator to “improve the situation for our troops” regarding jobs, education and healthcare.
UPDATE, 6:07 PM (Andrew): CNN made a smart decision to start off by asking about the candidates’ views on diplomacy and conflict instead of healthcare. Sanders nimbly handled the first question from Wolf Blitzer.
UPDATE, 6:08 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar points out that the real foreign policy danger is Donald Trump. She points to bipartisan Senate agreement against Trump’s aggression towards Iran.
UPDATE, 6:09 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg points out that people are enlisting today who weren’t alive when the decisions were made over Iraq and Afghanistan
UPDATE, 6:09 PM (Ruairi): Elizabeth Warren is asked if she is prepared – she says “the principal job of the Commander in Chief is to keep Americans safe.” She lays out how she has worked on that, including visiting troops overseas.
UPDATE, 6:10 PM (Ruairi): Warren points out that she has three brothers in the military. She says that there is a revolving door in the Beltway between the Pentagon and the defense industry.
UPDATE, 6:10 PM (Ruairi): Warren sees the military-industrial complex as another example of corporate corruption.
UPDATE, 6:11 PM (Ruairi): Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager by profession, says that he understands how America interacts with the world because of his international business connections.
UPDATE, 6:12 PM (Andrew): Steyer is correct — it’s more about judgment than experience. This is a really good answer. Glad to hear Steyer and Warren talking about the need for more effective procurement, as well. We need defense spending to be less wasteful.
UPDATE, 6:12 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says that “an outside perspective…is what we’re looking for now.” He wants to move money from the bloated defence budget to other areas of the budget.
UPDATE, 6:13 PM (Ruairi): Sanders is asked if his policy of withdrawing troops from the Middle East would create another Islamic State group. He says that disasters in both Vietnam and Iraq were based on lies: he says that Trump could drag us into another war with lies.
UPDATE, 6:13 PM (Ruairi): Sanders calls to bring international coalitions together, and “ensure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.” Biden jumps on the reference to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran.
UPDATE, 6:14 PM (Ruairi): Biden says that Trump is responsible for the loss of U.S. standing in the Middle East and alienation from allies.
UPDATE, 6:15 PM (Ruairi): Biden would leave troops in the Gulf of Persia, and believes it is a mistake to pull out troops that are currently fighting ISIS. Amy Klobuchar has “long wanted to bring our troops home” from Afghanistan.
UPDATE, 6:16 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says she would reverse many of the decisions Trump has made in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. She refers to her questioning of Trump officials on foreign policy issues.
UPDATE, 6:17 PM (Ruairi): “We need to get our combat troops out… we need to get out of this concept that we can do everything with our combat troops,” says Warren. She says that combat troops are “not helping” in the Middle East.
UPDATE, 6:18 PM (Ruairi): Biden says there is a difference between combat troops and special forces. He brings the conversation back to international alliance-building and diplomacy to take on terrorism.
UPDATE, 6:18 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says that Trump “is actually sending more” troops to the Middle East. When he sees this, “I think about the day I shipped out” as a combat soldier.
UPDATE, 6:19 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg tells a story of a friend of his who was forced to leave their young child behind to fight in the Middle East.
UPDATE, 6:20 PM (Ruairi): Sanders reels off a series of domestic problems, from poverty to homelessness, and saying that Americans are “sick” of trillion-dollar wars.
UPDATE, 6:20 PM (Ruairi): Biden argues that he has always argued for “informed consent” of the American people. He wants to create international coalitions against terrorism, and not be “the world’s policeman.”
UPDATE, 6:21 PM (Andrew): This is a good discussion about whether to leave troops deployed in the Middle East or bring them home. Most of the candidates are voicing support for withdrawing at least some troops.
UPDATE, 6:22 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg calls for the AUMF (which gives the president lots of powers) to be repealed, and wants more oversight by Congress. He wants a “three year sunset” on the use of troops by a future president.
UPDATE, 6:23 PM (Ruairi): Warren says she will follow the Constitution in military situations. She asks how her rivals will actually make the change – “it’s not enough to say someday we will get out!”
UPDATE, 6:23 PM (Andrew): Warren makes a great point about how generals have repeatedly claimed that we are “turning the corner” in Afghanistan, only for nothing to change. We’ve had U.S. forces in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
UPDATE, 6:24 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says he would take military action to protect American citizens. He says that the U.S. military strategy is nonexistent. “We know from The Washington Post that there was no strategy.”
UPDATE, 6:24 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says we need to focus on other issues, like climate justice. Such issues need similar “value driven coalition building” to military issues.
UPDATE, 6:25 PM (Andrew): Props to Steyer for bringing up the Australian bushfires, which have wrought unimaginable destruction on the world’s smallest continent.
UPDATE, 6:25 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked about nuclear weapons in Iran. He says stopping Iranian nuclear weapons is a priority of his, but that the Trump regime has made the job harder.
UPDATE, 6:26 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg wants to “work with our partners…we can’t do this alone.” He wants to engage “new leaders, emerging around the world” to meet the goal of avoiding a nuclear-armed Iran.
UPDATE, 6:27 PM (Ruairi): “Our security depends on ensuring that Iran does not become nuclear,” says Buttigieg. He wants to tackle nuclear proliferation across the world, not just in Iran.
UPDATE, 6:28 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar wants to restart negotiations, and credits European leaders for trying to hold the deal together. She would follow Obama’s example – “you have to have a president who sees this as a number one goal.”
UPDATE, 6:28 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar points out that she argued that the Iran situation was something she warned about in the very first debate.
UPDATE, 6:29 PM (Ruairi): On North Korea, Biden says he would not meet Kim Jong Un without preconditions. He says that Trump has given North Korea everything they are looking for.
UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Ruairi): Biden promises to “put enormous pressure on China because it’s also in their interest” to allow a nuclear North Korea. He points out that the North Koreans have called him “a mad dog.”
UPDATE, 6:31 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says that North Korea is “a classic situation where the American idea of going it alone doesn’t make any sense.” He says that using alliances and economic pressure is good strategy.
UPDATE, 6:32 PM (Ruairi): Bernie Sanders is asked about the USMCA trade deal with China. He says the U.S. can “do much better” than the USMCA. “I’m the guy who voted against NAFTA… we have forced American workers to compete…against people who earn starvation wages.”
UPDATE, 6:33 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says “I will not vote for a trade agreement” that doesn’t reduce climate damage. “If we do not get our act together…the planer will be increasingly uninhabitable.”
UPDATE, 6:34 PM (Ruairi): Warren is asked why she voted for the USMCA. She says “we have farmers here in Iowa who are hurting,” due to the trade war. “This new trade deal is a modest improvement…I believe we accept that relief…and we get up the next day and fight for a better trade deal.”
UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Ruairi): Warren says she is ready to fight, but she wants to help people suffering right away. Sanders argues that trade policy is hard to change once it is agreed to.
UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Ruairi): “I am sick and tired of trade agreements negotiated by corporate CEOs,” says Sanders.
UPDATE, 6:36 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says that Trump’s trade war is hurting “real people.” She supports the USMCA, but wants to focus on taking on China with North American economic alliances.
UPDATE, 6:37 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says he remembers the trade deals of the 1990s: “that promise was broken… that is why there is such frustration!”
UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Ruairi): Biden is asked about his votes on trade agreements. He promises environmentalists and labor unions “at the table” when his administration does trade deals.
UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Ruairi): Biden says that trade agreements are necessary because “ninety-five percent of the customers are out there… and we want to write the rules of the road.”
UPDATE, 6:39 PM (Ruairi): Sanders argues that NAFTA cost four million jobs, due to “the race to the bottom.” He promises to punish corporations who lay off Americans by withdrawing federal contracts.
UPDATE, 6:40 PM (Ruairi): Biden says that “if we don’t set the rules of the road…,” then China will “continue to abuse their power” using their corporate-state system.
UPDATE, 6:41 PM (Ruairi): Warren argues against the structure of trade negotiations – government negotiations are “surrounded” by corporations who “whisper in their ears.” She wants to “call out the corruption” of corporations calling the shots on trade.
UPDATE, 6:42 PM (Ruairi): Tom Steyer is asked how he would help Iowans get back on their feet. He would get rid of Trump’s tariffs, and get rid of waivers for fossil fuel companies.
UPDATE, 6:42 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says “if climate is your number one priority, you can’t sign this deal” because it doesn’t mention the climate crisis. “We cannot put climate on the back seat all the time.”
UPDATE, 6:43 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says the climate issue “is personal for me.” He says we need to ensure that environmental priorities “actually get done.” He says that the children of today will “sit in judgement” over this generation.
UPDATE, 6:44 PM (Andrew): Boooo. Instead of letting the candidates talk about climate action, the moderators are trying to instigate a conflict between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
UPDATE, 6:44 PM (Ruairi): The debate turns to a spat between the Warren and Sanders campaigns. He says he didn’t say that a woman can’t be president. He says there are videos on YouTube showing him, thirty years ago, arguing for a female president.
UPDATE, 6:45 PM (Ruairi): Sanders points out that he wanted to draft Warren to campaign in 2016, and when Hillary Clinton won the primary, he campaigned for her vigorously.
UPDATE, 6:46 PM (Ruairi): Warren says she disagreed over the question of a female president. She wants to “attack it head on.”
She wants to look at “winning records.”
UPDATE, 6:47 PM (Ruairi): Warren points out that the only candidates on stage who have won every election they have been in are the women. She is the only candidate to have beaten an incumbent Republican.
UPDATE, 6:48 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says “who don’t have to be the tallest…you don’t have to be the skinniest…you don’t have to be the loudest…you have to be confident.”
UPDATE, 6:48 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says a president has to know what she’s doing. She has “won every race, every time,” pointing to her record of electoral success in Minnesota.
UPDATE, 6:49 PM (Ruairi): Sanders wants “to set the record straight,” pointing out he beat an incumbent Republican congressman. Warren points out that she did say thirty years ago.
UPDATE, 6:50 PM (Ruairi): “Who believes that a woman can’t win? Of course a woman can win,” says Sanders. He says that his campaign “has the strongest grassroots movement,” which is why he can beat Trump.
UPDATE, 6:51 PM (Ruairi): Warren points out that since 2016, “women candidates have outperformed men candidates” in elections. She points to the elections of Kennedy (a Catholic) and Obama (a black man) to show that women can win.
UPDATE, 6:52 PM (Ruairi): Biden says he has the broadest coalition of endorsements – his support among women, people of color and the LGBT community is strong.
UPDATE, 6:56 PM (Andrew): Considering that CNN is hosting this debate, the questions have been pretty good so far, with a few exceptions.
UPDATE, 6:57 PM (Ruairi): The debate moves toward the issue of healthcare. Sanders is asked about the cost of Medicare For All. He points out that it will “cost substantially less than the status quo.”
UPDATE, 6:57 PM (Ruairi): Sanders points out that the U.S. system is an “absurdity,” since Americans pay more for healthcare than any other country, yet millions are uninsured.
UPDATE, 6:58 PM (Ruairi): Biden says “we need to be candid with voters,” saying that Sander’s plan “doesn’t even come close” to paying for Medicare For All, which he says could cost as much as trillion.
UPDATE, 6:59 PM (Andrew): The “but how will you pay for it” healthcare question is bogus and it’s absolutely ridiculous that it continues to be asked in a Democratic debate. There is a double standard here.
Republicans are almost never asked how they’d pay for tax cuts or foreign wars, but when it comes to universal healthcare, Democrats are continually asked “but how will you pay for it?”
UPDATE, 6:59 PM (Ruairi): Biden lays out his own plan, an expansion of Obamacare. Sanders come back, saying that under the current system worker’s pay for healthcare out of their paychecks. “Now is the time to take on the greed and corruption” of the healthcare industry.
UPDATE, 7:00 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says “this debate isn’t real,” saying that the answer is “a non profit public option.” She wants to focus on addiction care and long-term care insurance.
UPDATE, 7:01 PM (Ruairi): Warren says thirty-six million people in 2019 couldn’t afford to fill their prescription. “We’ve got to get as much help to as many people as quickly as possible.”
UPDATE, 7:02 PM (Ruairi): Warren wants to use presidential power to reduce drug costs and defend the Patient Protection Act. She points out that Democrats are up against Trump, who is trying to destroy healthcare altogether.
UPDATE, 7:03 PM (Ruairi): Biden says his plan allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices, adds mental health parity, and puts limits on drug price hikes.
UPDATE, 7:04 PM (Ruairi): Tom Steyer says he agrees with Biden, developing Obamacare. He points out that the stagnation in this debate is due to “the corporate stranglehold on our government.”
UPDATE, 7:04 PM (Ruairi): Sanders is asked if his plan would bankrupt the country. His plan would not bankrupt the country, but massively improve the lives of working and middle class people.
UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Andrew): What a terrible question. Did CNN outsource the crafting of questions for this portion of the debate to Republican operatives?
UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says his proposal would end the enormous costs of the insurance industry’s “administrative nightmare.” Klobuchar says her proposal is “a plan and not a pipe dream.”
UPDATE, 7:06 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar turns away from healthcare to talking about the national deficit.
UPDATE, 7:07 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked about his plan, “Medicare for All Who Want It.” He says he wants o ensure that every single American is insured. “There’s no need to kick Americans off the plan that they want.”
UPDATE, 7:08 PM (Ruairi): Turning to the deficit, Buttigieg points out that Republicans always increase the national debt and deficit, but his proposals will deal with borrowing and roll back corporate tax cuts.
UPDATE, 7:08 PM (Andrew): It was disrespectful and inappropriate for the moderators to ask Bernie Sanders a loaded, right wing framed question that insinuated his campaign is promoting fiscally irresponsible policy directions.
UPDATE, 7:08 PM (Ruairi): Warren says that Biden and Buttigieg’s plans “are a small improvement, that’s why they cost so much less.”
But she points out that these plans don’t go far enough.
UPDATE, 7:09 PM (Ruairi): Warren says that taking on the tax-dodging corporations will ensure that the government has enough money.
UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says that his plan “is a game-changer.” He says the current system doesn’t make sense, but his plans can solve the problems.
UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Ruairi): Warren says that Buttigeg’s plans “just don’t add up,” that the expenses of healthcare in the U.S. can be covered by the Mayor’s plan.
UPDATE, 7:11 PM (Ruairi): Warren wants a healthcare system with doctors, patients, and “no insurance company standing in the middle.”
UPDATE, 7:12 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says that she doesn’t buy that her plan doesn’t go far enough: “It is a big big step… as President, I can get it done.” She wants to lift restrictions on Medicare’s negotiating rights.
UPDATE, 7:13 PM (Ruairi): Sanders is asked about the livelihoods of insurance industry workers. His plan will provide healthcare and job training for these people. He says the current expense of the U.S. system “is insane!”
UPDATE, 7:14 PM (Ruairi): Sanders repeatedly says that every other advanced country can ensure universal healthcare, and the only thing in the way is corporate corruption. Steyer echoes Sanders’ diatribe against corporate corruption.
UPDATE, 7:14 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says the current system, “is cruelty for money…in order to break this we have to break the corporate stranglehold.”
UPDATE, 7:15 PM (Ruairi): Biden’s defence of his system is rambling and hard to follow, but he says he will let people stay on their current insurance.
UPDATE, 7:16 PM (Ruairi): Warren is asked why she would get the government to manufacture drugs in the case of a shortage.
“I’m just going to use the power that is available,” and lower drug prices – “that’s gonna bring a lot of relief to a lot of families.”
UPDATE, 7:18 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar wants to allow the import of cheaper drugs to help competition. She points out that “there are two pharma lobbyists for every member of Congress!”
UPDATE, 7:19 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked about childcare costs. “It makes no sense for childcare to cost 2⁄3 of a person’s income, we’ve got to drive it to 7 percent or less.”
UPDATE, 7:19 PM (Ruairi): He wants to subsidise childcare and ensure decent pay for people to help them afford it.
He points out that this is a big driver of the gender pay gap.
UPDATE, 7:20 PM (Ruairi): Warren is asked why her plan for childcare has payments for higher income brackets. She points out that her plan does ensure childcare for these people. She remembers the struggle of childcare for herself.
UPDATE, 7:21 PM (Ruairi): Warren’s two cent wealth tax would ensure universal pre‑K childcare. She also want to raise the wages of childcare workers: “That’s an investment in our babies.”
UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Ruairi): “Every psychologist in the world knows zero through four years is the most important stage in life,” says Sanders. He links the USA’s inadequate childcare to healthcare and military spending.
UPDATE, 7:23 PM (Ruairi): Biden is asked if he supports free universal income care. He points out that, as a senator, he was a single dad who couldn’t afford childcare.
UPDATE, 7:24 PM (Ruairi): Biden plans tax credits for parents that will make childcare more affordable.
UPDATE, 7:25 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked why he doesn’t support free college tuition. He says that his plan wouldn’t make college unaffordable. “If you’re in that top bracket…I just need you to go ahead and pay that tuition.”
UPDATE, 7:25 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg points to the issue of poverty – he doesn’t want to “subsidize the children of millionaires and billionaires.”
UPDATE, 7:26 PM (Ruairi): Warren says that her wealth tax upon millionaires and corporations will ensure childcare, university education and reducing the national debt.
UPDATE, 7:27 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar syas we need to look at connecting education to the economy. She points to the need for home healthcare workers, electricians, etc. “We’re not going to have a shortage of MBAs, we’re going to have a shortage of plumbers.”
UPDATE, 7:29 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says he talked about a wealth tax a year and a half ago. He, like Buttigieg, talks about the Poor People’s Campaign. He wants to invest in “specifically poor kids, specifically black kids, specifically brown kids.”
UPDATE, 7:34 PM (Ruairi): The debate moves onto the issue of impeachment. Biden is asked if it will be harder to run against Trump given his likely acquittal, and Trump’s accusations against the Biden family.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM (Ruairi): Biden says “I understand who these guys are…they’ve savaged my surviving son and me.”
He says of Trump, “I’ve done my job, the question is, has he done his job?”
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar is asked if a Senate acquittal will embolden Trump. She says “no,” and talks about the Republican refusal to call witnesses – “they may as well make him king.”
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Andrew): “Do you worry Trump will be emboldened by Senate acquittal?” Another dumb question.
The quality of the questions in this debate have not only regressed during the last hour, but arguably regressed below the mean.
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar brings up the McCarthy hearings, pointing to the man who said “have you no sense of decency, sir?” She says that the election and trial “is a decency check…this is a patriotism check.”
UPDATE, 7:38 PM (Ruairi): Steyer points to his petition drive of 8 million Americans asking Congress to impeach Trump.
“If you ask me whether standing up for what’s right…isn’t worth it, then you don’t share my idea of what America’s about.”
UPDATE, 7:39 PM (Ruairi): Warren is asked if impeachment will be a problem for her campaign in Iowa. She says that the impeachment is more important.
UPDATE, 7:39 PM (Ruairi): Warren says that to win the election the Democrats need to point out Trump’s corruption.
UPDATE, 7:40 PM (Andrew): This important climate-related flooding question should have been asked a lot earlier, in place of the dumb “but how will you pay for it” healthcare question.
UPDATE, 7:40 PM (Ruairi): Moving to the climate crisis, Buttigieg is asked about the flooding in Iowa. He talks about his mayoral experience dealing with floods. Referring to the Australian fires, he says “we have to ensure that we don’t allow this to get any worse.”
UPDATE, 7:41 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg wants to use federal funds to support “those whose lives will inevitably be impacted,” pointing out that people of color are disproportionately impacted.
UPDATE, 7:42 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says “this is why climate is my number one priority.” He would declare a state of emergency, create the “biggest job program in American history,” to take on the issue.
UPDATE, 7:43 PM (Ruairi): Steyer is asked about his investment in fossil fuels. He says “we invested in every part of the economy.” He says he divested from the industry over ten years ago, and is a leader in the climate fight.
UPDATE, 7:44 PM (Ruairi): Warren is asked about the environmental protections rolled back by Trump. She will stop all new drilling on federal lands, bring in farmers, and use presidential powers.
UPDATE, 7:44 PM (Ruairi): Warren points out that the climate crisis was not dealt with because of corporate corruption – dealing with it is the only way to deal with the issues.
UPDATE, 7:45 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar says she has a one hundred percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. She brings up the rules on methane, restoring rules taken away by Trump.
UPDATE, 7:46 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar sees natural gas through fracking as “a transition fuel” to get towards a greener economy. She wants to make sure that taxes on carbon will help people affected by climate change.
UPDATE, 7:47 PM (Ruairi): Sanders says that the economy has to change right now, “not by 2050, not by 2040,” pointing to crises in Iowa, California and Australia. “We have got to take on the fossil fuel industry and all of their lies.”
UPDATE, 7:48 PM (Ruairi): Biden says he introduced the first climate bill in 1986. Saying, “we have to act right away,” he promises to bring back Obama-era regulations. He wants to build new “green highways” and charging stations.
UPDATE, 7:48 PM (Ruairi): Biden wants to pay Iowan farmers to get to net zero carbon by planting trees.
UPDATE, 7:49 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg is asked about his nearly nonexistent black support. He says that in his community, most black elected officials are supporting him. He says that “the biggest mistake we could make is to take black votes for granted.”
UPDATE, 7:50 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says South Bend has been “nationally recognised” for reforms on racial issues, including police use of force.
UPDATE, 7:51 PM (Ruairi): Sanders is asked if his socialist ideology will jeopardize the effort to defeat Trump. He says his campaign will expose Trump’s fraud, how Trump received public money for his businesses.
UPDATE, 7:52 PM (Ruairi): Sanders points to his policies such as Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and jobs programs: “That is what Democratic socialism is about.”
UPDATE, 7:53 PM (Ruairi): Steyer says he can beat Trump because Trump will run on the economy. He says as a businessman he can beat Trump on the economy: “I have thirty years of international business experience.”
UPDATE, 7:54 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says: “I am ready to take on the President on the economy.” He also says,”he’ll have to stand next to a war veteran and explain how bone spurs made him ineligible for Vietnam.”
UPDATE, 7:55 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar is asked if she can inspire Democrats with pragmatism. She points out that Trump has told “over 15,000 lies…what Americans want is something different.” She touts her credentials as a Midwesterner.
UPDATE, 7:55 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar wants to take on Trump’s inherited wealth with her family’s background of poverty and hard work.
UPDATE, 7:56 PM (Ruairi): Warren is asked about scaring away swing brothers. She says that two of her three brothers are Republicans, but “there’s a whole lot we agree on.” Her message on corporate greed can resonate with all Americans.
UPDATE, 7:57 PM (Ruairi): “We have an American right now that’s working great for those at the top…we have a chance to unite!” Warren wants to “make America work for everyone else.”
UPDATE, 7:58 PM (Ruairi): Biden is asked if he is prepared to debate Trump. He points out that Trump is already slinging mud at him.
He has “support across the board… with regard to the economy, I can hardly wait to take the debate to him!”
UPDATE, 7:58 PM (Ruairi): Biden says he would “love that debate” with Trump over the economy.
UPDATE, 8:04 PM (Ruairi): Closing statements begin with Klobuchar. She says that the issues should be about the American people, not Donald Trump’s ego. “We need a candidate who is actually going to bring people with her.”
UPDATE, 8:04 PM (Ruairi): Klobuchar points to her record of electoral success in Minnesota. She says that she can bring people together and “find common ground instead of scorched earth.”
UPDATE, 8:05 PM (Ruairi): Tom Steyer talks about team sports, and says “the American epople are my team mates.” He says that Republicans are “basically kicking the American people in the face.”
UPDATE, 8:06 PM (Ruairi): Steyer wants to take on the Republicans, and appeals for the support of Iowans on caucus night.
UPDATE, 8:06 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg wants “to send Trumpism into the dustbin of history.” He wants to abandon “the same Washington” that has brought us to this point tonight.
UPDATE, 8:07 PM (Ruairi): Buttigieg says “if you cannot look your kids in the eye and explain this president to them, join me.”
UPDATE, 8:08 PM (Ruairi): Warren mentions issues that didn’t come up tonight: disability, gun violence, child policy, the trans community, black infant mortality, the impact of climate change on black communities, etc.
UPDATE, 8:08 PM (Ruairi): Warren says that this is “our moment, when no-one is left on the sidelines…hope and courage, that is how I will make you proud every day as your nominee and as the first woman president of America.”
UPDATE, 8:09 PM (Ruairi): Sanders looks at poverty and inequality in the U.S. “How does that happen?” he asks to so many issues in the country. “This is the moment where we have got to think big, not small.”
UPDATE, 8:10 PM (Ruairi): Sanders wants to create an economy and government that “works for all of us, not just the one percent.
UPDATE, 8:10 PM (Ruairi): Biden says that every person in the U.S. should be treated with “fundamental basic decency.” He says that “eight years of Donald Trump will be an absolute disaster.”
UPDATE, 8:11 PM (Ruairi): Biden wants the U.S. to regain world leadership with a strong moral example, “that’s how we do it!”
UPDATE, 8:11 PM (Ruairi): That is the end of the Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa. The candidates congratulate each other on stage.