Seven Democrats looking for a chance to face the president Donald trump in November took the debate stage in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday night, marking the 10th debate of the 2020 election season.
Here are four key points from the debate, the last time candidates take the stage before March 3, Super Tuesday, when voters in 14 states, including Massachusetts, go to the polls.
Favorite Bernie Sanders under fire from critics
Sanders sought to fend off attacks for being too liberal to garner support from Democrats and ultimately the White House, arguing that immigration reform, universal health care, and tuition-free college were not not “radical ideas” and were instead the reason he is conducting several polls against Trump.
With the former mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg and former vice-president Joe biden Pounding Sanders on the positive comments he recently made about a literacy program implemented in Cuba under Fidel Castro, Sanders said he had called Cuba a dictatorship “millions of times” and added that he spoke out against authoritarianism in Cuba, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
Buttigieg argued that Democrats in the House and Senate would have a hard time winning their own races if the Democrats’ presidential candidate “told people to watch the good side of the Castro administration. “
Meanwhile, the senator Elizabeth warren, the candidate who most agrees with Sanders on economic policy, argued that her track record showed that she was best for “to make things progress” to the White House.
Elizabeth Warren keeps the pressure on Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg, seeking to bounce back from his first debate, said on Tuesday he responded to pressure from Warren by doing what she asked, releasing the women who sued him from confidentiality agreements for the comments he he had done. He apologized for jokes that others found offensive, but said nothing was enough to please Warren, who urged the business mogul to release any employee who sued his company for discrimination from any nondisclosure agreement.
Warren also cited an employee who accused Bloomberg of telling a pregnant employee to “kill her”, which Bloomberg has repeatedly denied. the Washington post corroborated the woman’s claim with a witness. Pressed on the evidence she had, Warren said, “Her own words.”
The Massachusetts progressive also hammered home Bloomberg’s previous fundraiser for Republicans, including Trump’s staunch ally Lindsey Graham.
“I don’t care how much money Mayor Bloomberg has,” she said. “The core of the Democratic Party will never trust him. He has not earned their trust. I will.”
Battle for the African-American Support Key for Biden
Biden has twice failed to respond if he would keep his candidacy afloat if he lost South Carolina, a state he partly relies on strong African-American support.
“I’m going to win,” he said.
Biden argued that “his entire career has been devoted to civil rights and civil liberties. I’m here to win it. I intend to win South Carolina and I will win the African American vote here in Carolina. from South.”
He later said he was eager to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, to generous applause.
Biden also focused on his gun safety record, including support for the Brady Bill that guaranteed background checks, which Sanders voted against, and his work to push through the assault weapons ban.
But Biden, who claimed this week that Tom Steyer had undermine his African-American support with heavy publicity across South Carolina, took Steyer’s Heat for his support for a crime bill that saw blacks disproportionately jailed.
Steyer also reiterated his support for reparations to help repair the damage caused by the legacy of slavery. He also noted his efforts to provide loans to black, Latino and female business owners, and to expand affordable housing options.
Sanders dominates speaking time as Biden calls moderators
“Why am I stopping? Biden asked at one point. “No one else is stopping.”
Biden joked that maybe it was because of his upbringing at “Catholic school” which led to a laugh and a few jokes on Twitter. But that moment was just one of many times the former Delaware senator has expressed frustration with moderators for failing to force candidates to meet deadlines and let them in as they please.
“Can we just step in anytime? He asked before Warren spoke at length about an hour after the debate began.
While they often raised their hands, several candidates spoke to each other often and struggled to maintain speaking time.
Buttigieg, hoping to regain his momentum after edging out Sanders in Iowa and a strong performance in New Hampshire, appeared to be cut off the most by moderators. He finished second from the bottom in terms of speaking time at 11:30, the New York Times reported. Steyer had the shortest time, just over seven minutes.
Biden only beat Buttigieg for about a minute, while Sanders topped the airwaves with over 15 minutes of speaking time. Bloomberg came in second at 13 minutes and 33 seconds, followed by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Warren at 13 minutes, 26 seconds and just under 13 minutes, respectively.
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