10:07 PM: Biden’s people all saying he won the debate.
Looks like the debate is over after King and O’Donnell come back to tell the viewers the debate is over. What a genius idea to put two people who had chemistry issues on the morning show to moderate one of the most important debates of the cycle.
No idea if the debate is over or if there is one more segment. Moderators don’t seem to know either.
9:56 PM: Candidates asked about biggest misconception and personal motto:
Bloomberg: Misconception is that he is 6 feet tall.
Motto: He is going to do something in the White House rather than just talk about it.
Buttigieg: Biggest misconception is that he is not passionate.
Mottos: If you would be a leader you must first be a servant.
We are to treat other as we are to be treated.
Warren: Misconception: She doesn’t eat very much.
Motto: Matthew 25.
Sanders: Misconception: Ideas are radical. He says they exist in most countries in the world (health care, climate change, we don’t need more people in jail than any country on earth, etc.)
Motto: “Everything is impossible until it happens” (Mandela)
Biden: Misconception: He has more hair than he thinks he does.
Motto: Everyone should be treated with dignity and everyone should be represented. Biden says he is looking forward to making sure there is a black woman on the Supreme Court.
Klobuchar — boring. Motto: Politics is about improving people’s lives (Wellstone)
Steyer — defined by success and money. He says his motto is to drawing a cross on his hand to tell the truth and do what’s right
9:52 PM: Debate still in commercial after awkwardly cutting away as Gayle King was in the middle of asking a question,
[Just a terrible debate in which the questions are being directed at the wrong candidates. Moderators not even listening to the answers and not even asking sharp follow-ups because they are so intent on moving on to their next question… directed at the wrong candidate.]
9:47 PM: Buttigieg asked about Syria (Idlib). He says we don’t have to be invading countries to bring about peace. He wants to answer Sanders’ question about whether health care for all is a radical idea. Buttigieg says what is radical is abolishing private insurance. He says even Denmark has not abolished health insurance. He wonders how that will fly in Denmark, South Carolina.
Warren says this is not a moment for military intervention. She says this is not a military problem that can solved military and we can’t send the military in without a plan to get them out.
9:46 PM: Democrats get opportunities to trash Trump on North Korea, and Biden says he would be in Beijing speaking with Xi to reassign the relationship between Japan and South Korea. He just randomly stop after talking about preventing North Korea from getting nuclear weapons and wonders why he is stopping when nobody else is and cites his Catholic School training.
9:43 PM: Warren says we should let the parties determine where the embassy is. She says dignity and self-determination for Palestinians but it is “not on us” to determine the terms. She says Trump “puts a thumb on the scale” for one side and that just pushes both sides further apart.
9:42 PM: Bloomberg says we can’t move the embassy back and Trump should have gotten something back. He says the only answer is a two-state solution.
9:41 PM: Sanders says he would consider moving the embassy back to Tel Aviv. Sanders says he is proud of being Jewish and even lived in Israel. He says Netanyahu is a “reactionary” and a “racist” who is running the country. Sanders wants a foreign policy that defends Israel but also acknowledge the Palestinians.
9:39 PM: Biden asked if he would launch a retaliatory cyberattack if Russia interferes in the election. Biden says “there is no question” they interfered in the last election and he would retaliate economically. Biden wants to impose sanctions on Russia now for their interference.
Steyer says 21st century warfare is “cyber warfare” and the question we have to ask is where is our commander-in-chief. Biden mutters: “We don’t have one.”
Steyer says he started Need to Impeach because Trump sided with a “hostile foreign power that commits cyber warfare against” America.
9:37 PM: Sanders tells Klobuchar he has the highest national favorability ratings of anyone on stage after Klobuchar talks about alienating voters. Sanders says his campaign is about energizing voters and bringing over working-class voters to get record turnout.
9:36 PM: Sanders now yelling about health care, raising the minimum wage, immigration reform.
9:35 PM: Buttigieg says Sanders has a nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s and Trum has a nostalgia for the social order of the 1950s. He brings the debate back to electability and says House Members are not going to win re-election if the person at the top of the ticket is asking them to look at the “bright side of the Castro regime.” Sanders insists it is okay to acknowledge when authoritarians do some good things.
9:33 PM: Biden says Obama did not suggest there was anything positive about the Cuban government. Biden says Obama condemned the dictatorship. Biden says Obama has never embraced an authoritarian regime and “does not now.” Biden says Sanders did not condemn Castro and Sanders says that is “categorically untrue.” Sanders yells that he has condemned authoritarians in Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Nicaragua.
9:32 PM: Sanders asked if voters can trust them not give authoritarians a free pass after his comments about Cuba/China. Sanders doubles down on his comments about Fidel Castro and education. He rips Bloomberg for suggesting Xi is responsive to the “politburo.”
9:30 PM Biden says Xi is a “thug who doesn’t have a democratic bone in his body”
and has a million Uighurs in concentration camps.
9:29 PM: Biden says he saved millions of lives by preventing Ebola from coming to the United States. He says China has to be open to allow people to find out what is happening with Coronavirus.
Sanders mocks the “self-described great genius” an the “great scientist” in the White House who said the Coronovirus would go away in April. He says we have to expand the WHO/fund CDC to deal with climate change or infectious diseases.
Bloomberg says China’s human rights record is abominable and says we have to deal with them to solve the climate crisis. He says our economies are “inextricably linked” and says Xi serves at the behest of the Politburo or “their group of people.” He claimed Xi could be responsive to them.
9:23 PM: King asks Klobuchar about the Coronavirus and whether she would close borders. She says she wants to make sure people get “treatment,” dodging the question before attacking Trump for his various CDC cuts. She also says Trump has not addressed the nation and gives the CDC.gov website
9:20 PM: Bloomberg says he wants to cut back as much as you can but to not have troops where terrorists congregate is not responsible.
9:19 PM: Debate turns to foreign policy. O’Donnell asks Warren about bringing home all troops from the Middle East before saying she wanted to bring back combat troops.
Warren says she understands how much military members sacrifice. She says her three brothers were in the military and we have a sacred responsibility to not force the military to solve problems they cannot solve. She says we also need a strong State Department to be the “eyes and ears” on the ground in addition to strong alliances. She says we need to be nicer to dictators than allies.
[Amazed how unprepared these candidates are for the simplest of questions and constantly missing opportunities to move the needle significantly with an answer. On the housing assistance question, for instance, candidates did not bring up racial discrimination by landlords, etc. That would have been a home-run answer for the party’s base but these inside-the-box candidates are just spewing the same lines from their stump speeches and previous debates + Congressional gobbledygook.]
9:11 PM: Bloomberg says we should not make it a “criminal thing” for those who possess small amounts but dealers should be prosecuted. Bloomberg says the country should go slowly until we know the science because it could be damaging the brains of teenagers.
Sanders says we have a racist criminal justice system in part because of the discriminatory war on drugs. He wants to expunge records and legalize marijuana in every state. He wants to start African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans start businesses to sell legal marijuana.
CBS goes to commercial as Biden starts to talk about writing a bill that set up drug courts.
9:09 PM: Klobuchar says it is realistic to legalize marijuana like Sanders wants to do. She says there also needs to be money for treatment that also covers “opioids and the like.”
9:07 PM: Bloomberg says NYC banned smoking in public spaces and it has spread across the world in answering a question about banning trans fats and sugary drinks. Bloomberg now hits Trump for firing the pandemic specialist and defunding Centers for Disease Control. Bloomberg says the stock market is “falling apart.” Bloomberg says New Yorkers are living longer because of his policies.
9:05 PM: Sanders talks about working with Clyburn on a bill that put $2 billion into a program that would provide debt forgiveness to medical practitioners who practice in underserved areas.
9:04 PM: Klobuchar wants incentives in place, one-two year degrees free so rural areas get access to medical care.
She wants comprehensive immigration reform so doctors can stay in rural communities.
Buttigieg says black rural families are being impacted, especially in states where Medicaid was not expanded (hurts whites and blacks), by hospital closings, etc. He says these things will continue to happen so long as black voices continue to be systematically blocked.
9:01 PM: Steyer says he started a bank to correct the injustices in the financial services industry. He says he has supported more than 8,000 public housing units. He says he is the only person on stage who believes in reparations for slavery.
8:59 PM: Biden asked how he can convince black voters how he can change years of inequities. Biden says he worked in the projects as a public defender and extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. He claims he worked on getting rid of redlining and talks about giving people of color more opportunities to build wealth. He also wants to go after people involved in “gentrification.”
8:57 PM: Warren says it is important to talk about race and the role the federal government played in discriminating against African Americans. She throws in a jab at Bloomberg for blaming African Americans and Latinos for causing the housing crisis while she was fighting so they didn’t get screwed again.
Garrett suggests Warren is saying Bloomberg is a “borderline racist” and Bloomberg says Warren is “misinformed” about his redlining comments. Bloomberg says he is surprised the “other contestants” showed up after he beat them in an attempt at a joke that fell completely flat.
8:56 PM: Garrett asks Klobuchar a question from a Twitter user about affordable housing for minimum wage workers. Klobuchar wants to take care of the Section 8 backlog and creating incentives for affordable housing to be built.
8:55 PM: When asked about charter schools, Bloomberg’s defends NYC’s success with charters schools but says they may not work in every place.
Warren says her Secretary of Education will be someone who has taught in public schools and public dollars should stay in public schools and high-stakes testing should get eliminated.
Buttigieg, pointing out that his partner is a teacher, talking about investing more in teachers with compensation and support.
Warren says one way to support teachers is to get rid of student-loan debt.
8:48 PM: Buttigieg asks how Sanders will deliver a revolution if he does not support a rule change on the filibuster. He says Strom Thurmond used the filibuster to block Civil Rights legislation.
Sanders says he has a D- rating from the NRA and it will get worse once he becomes president.
8:46 PM: Bloomberg name-checks Moms Demand Action that he bankrolled and has put in background checks in 20 states.
Biden and Klobuchar go back and forth on who should get credit for trying to close the “boyfriend loophole.” Klobuchar says she has the “receipts” showing she can be for an assault weapons ban and win Republican-leaning districts.
8:45 PM: When Sanders is asked about giving gun manufacturers a pass, he doesn’t answer the question and says Biden voted for bad trade deals and the Iraq War. He then finally admits it was a bad vote. He says he lost a seat for Congress for voting to ban “assault weapons.” He should have said the last parts first.
8:43 PM: Warren says she has seen gun-safety legislation get introduced and not passed because of the filibuster. She says the filibuster gives a veto to the oil industry, the gun industry. Warren says Democrats must be willing to roll back the filibuster.
8:42 PM: Whitaker, Brennan, and Garrett now join the debate after the moderators let the first part of the debate get out of control.
King grooves a pitch over the plate for Biden to hit on gun control. He asks why anyone should have faith he is the one to get gun control done. Biden says he beat the NRA and passed the Brady Bill with waiting periods. He says “his friend to my right” (Sanders) gave to gun manufactures absolute immunity.
8:35 PM: Sanders says he has beaten Trump in 47 of the last 50 polls. Sanders says he beats Trump in swing states like Michigan and the way to beat Trump is with a movement.
Bloomberg says “polls aren’t the election.” He wonders if anyone can imagine moderate Republicans will vote for Sanders.
Warren says the progressive agenda is popular and hits back at Bloomberg for saying Democrats need to seek out “moderate Republicans.”
8:31 PM: Biden, invoking the late Sen. Fritz Hollings, hits Steyer for buying a private prison system after he knew they hogtied prisoners. Biden trying to get back some of the black vote Steyer is taking from him. He also says Bernie has not accomplished anything.
Steyer says he has since fought to end private prisons and started banks to help people of color because the current financial system is prejudiced. Steyer hits Biden for writing the infamous Crime Bill.
Klobuchar says black voters have been lied to too often and says there cannot be more broken promises to “this people.”
Bloomberg reminds the crowd that he spent $100 million to get new Democrats elected. It seems like he almost slipped and said he “bought that” before saying “got that.”
8:30 PM: Buttigieg trying to do the math. He says Sanders’ plan adds up to four more years of Trump and Kevin McCarthy being Speaker of the House. Buttigieg says Sanders will cause Democrats to lose Congress. Buttigieg says Democrats who helped the party take back the House are running away from Sanders’ plans as fast as they can.
8:29 PM: Steyer says the choice between Sanders and Bloomberg is one between a Democratic Socialist and someone who has long been a Republican. Steyer says he is scared that if Democrats go to one of those extremes, they risk re-electing Donald Trump.
8:28 PM: Sanders cites various studies claiming Medicare for All will save money.
8:25 PM: O’Donnell asks Sanders about the cost of his various programs. She wants to know if he can do “the math for the rest of us” since he can only explain how he can pay for just half…
After Sanders flails and throws out various taxes to fund some of his programs, Klobuchar says his plans do not add up at all. Klobuchar says Sanders is making a “bunch of broken promises that sound good on a bumper sticker.”
Chaos erupts after candidates all want to talk about “math.”
8:18 PM: Debate turns to electability. Warren mentions that Bloomberg funded Lindsey Graham’s campaign. She says Bloomberg backed an “anti-choice” Republican in Pennsylvania and Scott Brown against her. She says the core of the Democratic Party “will never trust him. He has not earned their trust. I will.” Warren says Bloomberg is the riskiest candidate because he cannot earn the trust of the base.
Bloomberg says he has been training for this job since 9/11. He says he has run a city that is bigger than most countries. Bloomberg says “all of the sideshows” that Warren brought up “has nothing to do with that.”
Warren says this is personal and claims she was let go in her twenties, citing “pregnancy discrimination.” She claims Bloomberg said “kill it” to one of his pregnant employees. Bloomberg says he never said that and says Warren never would have had that problem had she been teaching in NYC. Warren again says women bound by nondisclosures should be allowed to speak if “there is nothing to hide here.”
Bloomberg says nobody has accused him of doing anything except making an inappropriate “comment or two.” Bloomberg says nothing is ever enough for Warren and it’s time to start talking about other issues.
Buttigieg says if Bloomberg gets nominated, he’ll be re-litigating it all year.
8:15 PM: Buttigieg says Bloomberg’s stop and frisk policy was “racist” because it disproportionately impacted people of color. Buttigieg also points out that there are “seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.” He says nobody on stage has the “lived experience” of black men/women.
Klobuchar also says NYC’s stop and frisk policy under Bloomberg was racist as well. She talks about various criminal justice programs and equal opportunity programs after quoting Martin Luther King on the “single garment of destiny.” She also brings up voting rights and talks about Wisconsin/Georgia “kicking people off” of rolls.
8:14 PM: Bloomberg asked what he is apologizing for when he is apologizing for stop and frisk. Bloomberg says he is apologizing for “letting it get out of control.” He talks about working hard to improve the school system for “black and brown kids” in New York City. When King says it (stop and frisk) continues to follow him, Bloomberg says that “it is in their interest to promote that.”
Bloomberg says he was the mayor of the most populous city for 12 years and it is a better city because of his leadership.
8:13 PM: King asks Biden why his numbers are slipping with black voters. Biden says he is still 15 points ahead in the latest poll. Biden says he has “worked like the devil” to “earn the vote of the African American community.” He says he has been creating jobs in South Carolina and mentions ports and various Obama administration programs. Biden says he intends to win South Carolina and win the African American vote.
When asked if Biden will continue if he doesn’t win South Carolina, Biden says, “I will win South Carolina.”
8:09 PM: Biden whacks Sanders on guns after invoking the Mother Emanuel massacre. He also accuses Sanders of wanting to primary Obama and says being “progressive” is about “getting things done.”
Sanders says he’s hearing his name mentioned a little bit tonight. Sanders says the American people don’t want candidates running who are funded by billionaires.
8:08 PM: Steyer says Sanders’ analysis is right but he doesn’t like his solutions. He comes out against a government takeover of the private sector. He says the answer to unchecked capitalism is “breaking the stranglehold” corporations have on the government.
8:07 PM: Buttigieg asks voters to think about how chaotic a Sanders vs. Trump campaign would be.
8:02 PM: Sanders is asked about the country’s low unemployment rate and how he will convince voters a Democratic Socialist will do better than Trump. Sanders says the economy is doing great for billionaires like Bloomberg but “things are not so good” for “ordinary Americans.” Sanders talks about an “economy that is working for the one percent” after talking about student-loan debt and homelessness.
Bloomberg says Russia is helping Sanders so Sanders can lose to Trump. Sanders says he is not friends with China’s Xi. Buttigieg says Russia is trying to create chaos.
Warren says Bernie is winning because progressive ideas are what Democrats are about. But she says she will make a better president than Bernie because she can “dig into the details.” She accuses Bernie’s team of trashing her for doing the work and slams Bernie’s plan for their lack of details.
8:00 PM: O’Donnell and King are set to introduce the candidate as the debate is about to get started. The seven candidates take the stage and go to their podiums.
7:35 PM: Fireworks begin at the top of the hour.
Everything is telegraphed and incompetent advisers still do not prepare their candidates:
Joel on the ground in South Carolina: