The first night of the 2020 Democratic presidential debate is complete and here is a recap of the night’s events.
Ten of the 20 Democratic presidential candidates participated in the first night. These candidates were:
- Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
- Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke
- Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney
- Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard
- Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
- Governor Jay Inslee of Washington
- Ohio Representative Tim Ryan
This debate was special in more ways than one. The most notable thing about this debate is that it is the first time in US history that more than one woman will be on the stage as a presidential candidate.
The candidates were asked questions on a variety of things but some of the main points of discussion were healthcare, the issue at the border, gun control, and Mitch Mcconnell. Senator Warren had the opportunity to answer the first question of the night which centered on the corruption of the economy. “It’s corruption when the rich are doing better, but the middle class is not.”
The candidates were not shy about voicing their opinion even if it meant clashing with one of the other candidates. The first disagreement came up during the discussion of private insurance with De Blasio and Warren against private insurance and O’Rourke in favor of keeping them.
The subject of the issues at the border was clearly a sensitive subject for some of the candidates. Castro, the first Latino presidential candidate, sounded as if he was fighting back tears when he talked about the recent photo that has been circulating of a man and his daughter who drowned trying to cross into the US. He stated “it’s heartbreaking and it should piss us all off”. Senator Booker specifically blamed President Trump’s leadership for the recent surge in illegal immigration at the border.
When asked about who would sign on to the 2015 Nuclear Deal with Iran, a majority of the candidates raised their hands. Specifically, Rep. Gabbard advised that she against a war with Iran and that the US needs to de-escalate tensions with Iran.
There was a minor sound issue at the halfway mark of the debate. The candidates couldn’t hear the question being asked by the moderator and they had to go to a commercial break to resolve the technical issue. Also, president Trump live-tweeted during the debate. He remarked it as “boring” and scolded NBC for their technical issue calling them unprofessional and reminding his followers that he considers them “fake news”.
During the discussion on gun control, all the candidates were ready to chime in with their opinions on it. Several times, the moderators had to reconvene and interrupt the candidates to get everyone back on track. Sen. Warren was the first to respond to the question. She stressed that adults have to keep the children safe and that the federal government needs to do the research on what areas they can change to make a difference. Sen. Booker spoke on his Government Buyback Program. Castro called for common sense gun reform and Rep. Ryan spoke on the need for trauma-based care in schools in the form of mental health counselors for students.
Climate Change was another big topic of the debate. The candidates argued on whether there should be a price on carbon and O’Rourke, an advocate for climate change, suggested a $5 trillion budget towards combating climate change.
The moderators took a moment and asked each of the candidates to name the main geo-political threat to the US. Many of the candidates were on the same page about this one. Their answers were collectively, climate change, China, the nuclear war risk, and President Trump.
After closing statements were made by each of the candidates, NBC posted a chart showing the speaking times for each candidate. Sen. Booker had the most speaking time of the night, at 10mins total. Following him was O’Rourke at 9mins and 41secs and then Sen. Warren at 8mins and 34secs. Gov. Inslee had the least amount speaking time during the debate at only 4mins and 10secs.
The second night of the Democratic Presidential Debate will air June 27th and will include Joe Biden, Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.