Democratic presidential candidates took the stage Tuesday October 15 for the CNN/New York Times Debate in Westerville, Ohio.
Here are a few key takeaways from the debate:
- Unlike prior debates where former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was repeatedly attacked and criticized, Tuesday night saw Senator Elizabeth Warren in the hot seat for most of the night as multiple rivals criticized her. This could signify that Warren has gained ground in the race challenging Biden’s former front-runner status.
- Bernie Sanders pitched his Medicare for all plan and denounced billionaires while assuring concerned supporters that he was healthy and “feeling great” after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago. He fielded a jab from Senator Cory Booker re: his support of medical marijuana by responding, “I’m not on it tonight.”
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg took the gloves off to spar with former representative Beto O’Rourke on guns and Representative Tulsi Gabbard on foreign policy. He also leaned hard on Warren’s health care plans, which were called “vague.”
- Senator Kamala Harris pressed Warren to join her call for Twitter to ban President Trump and cited the need for more discussions on women’s access to health care specifically noting that women’s advocates want more questions about abortion.
- Senator Amy Klobuchar denounced Warren’s health care plans and called them a “pipe dream.”
- Warren evaded answering if her “Medicare for all” plan would raise middle class taxes. She also avoided an explanation to Harris about President Trump’s remaining on Twitter. She presented a concise argument that only her ambitious ideas could sway Americans from re-electing President Trump.
- Moderators pressed Biden about his son Hunter’s work in the Ukraine, but the topic went mostly unaddressed when fellow candidates didn’t further question his somewhat muddled explanation.
- Biden called Warren’s health care plans vague but also meandered around many questions himself.
- Many candidates struggled for speaking time including O’Rourke and former housing secretary Julian Castro. Billionaire investor Tom Steyer spent the majority of his time introducing himself.