Democratic U.S. presidential candidates (L-R): billionaire activist Tom Steyer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobucha) participate in the seventh Democratic 2020 presidential debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday night. Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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Six Democratic U.S. presidential candidates square off in debate

40 Comments
By Tim Reid and Michael Martina

Six Democrats squared off in a televised debate on Tuesday in Iowa, their last chance to make the case for their candidacies to a national audience before the party's presidential nominating process kicks off in the state on Feb 3.

The seventh debate of the race included the smallest and least-diverse group of candidates to date, as polling has narrowed the field of contenders who qualify and several minority candidates have ended their White House bids.

The pared-down stage gave candidates more time to focus on the top issues of the 2020 contest. Here are some highlights:

CAN A WOMAN WIN?

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders insisted he never told Senator Elizabeth Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency in November 2020.

The CNN report of Sanders' comments quickly became a flash point in the Democratic race and upended a peace accord between the two leading progressive candidates. The dispute deepened on Monday when Warren took the unusual step of confirming the report, even as Sanders continued to deny it.

“Why did you say that?” moderator Abby Phillip asked Sanders of the meeting.

“As a matter of fact I didn’t say it, and I don’t want to waste a whole lot of time on this because this is what Donald Trump, and maybe some of the media, want,” Sanders replied, saying it was “incomprehensible” he would say such a thing.

Warren said she disagreed with Sanders' opinion, before using the dispute to make the case for a woman in the White House.

"Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie. But look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised, and it’s time for us to attack it head on."

Warren noted the four men on the stage had collectively lost 10 elections, while the two women – herself and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar – had won each election they had been in.

"I have won every race, every place, every time, I have won in the reddest of district, I have won in the suburban areas, in the rural areas," Klobuchar said.

IRAQ WAR AND NORTH KOREA

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders tangled over their votes more than a decade ago on the Iraq war, with each arguing his stance was evidence of what would make him the best commander in chief of U.S. military forces.

Sanders was one of the only members of Congress who voted against the Iraq war in 2002, while Biden, then a senator, voted for it.

"I am able to work with Republicans, I am able to bring people together to try to create a world where we solve conflicts over the negotiating table, not through military efforts," Sanders said.

Biden defended his vote in favor, saying that at the time he believed the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush was trying to act in the best interest of the United States and would avoid war.

"It was a big, big mistake," Biden said of his vote. "And from that point on ... I moved to bring those troops home."

Sanders said Biden should have figured out the Bush administration was not making a truthful case for the conflict.

"I thought they were lying, I did not believe them for a moment," Sanders said. "I did everything I could to prevent that war. Joe saw things differently."

When it came to North Korea, Biden and Sanders seemed to have a moment of agreement, at least enough to share a joke.

Biden said he wouldn't meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, saying "absent pre-conditions I would not meet with the supreme leader who said Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick."

"Other than that you like him," Sanders interrupted.

Biden laughed. "Other than that I like him, and he got a love letter from Trump right after that," he said.

A 'FUNDAMENTAL DISAGREEMENT' ON TRADE

Biden and Sanders also had a pointed exchange on the issue of trade during a discussion of Trump’s new agreement with Mexico and Canada, called the USMCA, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Sanders opposed NAFTA and does not support the USMCA, which Biden has backed.

“I don’t know that there’s any trade agreement that the senator would ever think made any sense," Biden said in response to Sanders.

“Joe and I have a fundamental disagreement, in case you haven’t noticed," Sanders replied, drawing laughter in the debate arena.

BACK TO WASHINGTON

Warren and Klobuchar put on their juror hats during the debate, saying they weren’t concerned about the impending Senate impeachment trial against Trump keeping them off the campaign trail.

Warren, Klobuchar, and Sanders were going to have to leave Iowa quickly as the House of Representatives was expected to send the charges to the Senate on Wednesday.

"Some things are more important than politics,” Warren said.

Trump, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed his impeachment as a partisan bid to undo his 2016 election win. The Republican-led Senate is ultimately expected to vote to acquit him.

Klobuchar called the trial a "decency check on our government."

"We've asked for only four people as witnesses. And if our Republican colleagues won't allow those witnesses, they may as well give the president a crown and a scepter," Klobuchar said.

© (Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

40 Comments

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Trump will wipe the floor with any of these poor candidates.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Those six have no hope, Trump is gonna cruise to an easy victory in November 2020.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Poor quality candidates all around. Warren claiming Bernie said something he didn’t say. Moderator says to Bernie “so when you said that.....”

why are Dems so scared to let their voters pick Bernie?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

The idea of anyone from that clown show as president should scare people, unless they live in the media bubble. The least bad choice here would be Bernie, as insane as his platform is, because at least he is honest.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Andrew Crisp:

Those six have no hope, Trump is gonna cruise to an easy victory in November 2020.

I hope so, but don´t underestimate the power of fake media, Soros Open Society Foundation, and Big Tech. Have you noticed how biased Youtube has become, with the search and the throttling of politically unwelcome channels? Facebook, Twitter, and Hollywood I dont even need to mention. Google is on record for "working on this", with "this" being preventing a Trump victory. And you might want read up on "Mind the Gap" their behind-the-curtain meddling. There is quite a powerful dark force out there.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Its funny watching them, so much care and concern for all the interest of the down trodden, but their true character shows when they attack each other.

Always entertaining..)

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Yep sooner or later one of them can’t help themselves and will want to actually win.

then the fun begins.

I think warren struck first by planting a fake Bernie sexist comment. I don’t think he said it and she has lied multiple times already.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

And the only candidate (Tulsi G) who can fight Trump is kept out of the debate, great, as long they do this Trump will cruise easily. Just like last time, Trump is counting on the the Dems to keep the real candidate out of the nomination/debate.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Interesting how they call Trump racist and vile, when there isnt a person of color on the stage, and all thats left are old rich white people, with the exception of the strange man from Indiana. There is no unity or love amoungst these people; and nobody knows what their agenda is. Confused bunch.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Those on the stage may not be the best solution, agreed!

But definitely (anything is) better than the Donnie!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

martinjp:

And the only candidate (Tulsi G) who can fight Trump is kept out of the debate, great,

Yep. The only one who speaks against the globalist warmongers. But yeah, she gets the Trump treatment by the propanda media. Sickening.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Dems are gonna do a Labour. All this time to come up with something to offer the U.S voters and they've embroiled themselves in impeachment and internal bickering. I'm not American and I don't like Trump but he's got this election.......easily.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Haha clown circus, this bunch is all the dems have to offer hehehe and they sit here slamming trump hehehe.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Interesting how they call Trump racist and vile, when there isnt a person of color on the stage

It doesn’t negate the idea that he is racist and vile.

This field isn’t a strong one, but perhaps it’s worth remembering that Trump lost the popular vote to one of the worst candidates in my lifetime.

If the economy holds up, four more years of trash looks likely.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Funny, Tulsi is excluded and not even mentioned by the press, They really are afraid of candidates who haven't been corrupted. The fact that Bernie is still up there suggests that he may be more compromised than he was 4 years ago.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

We also need to note precisely who is to blame for the lack of diversity on the stage. That blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the Democratic Party and their party members, who by their votes and support have turned their campaign into a whitewash. The only two remaining People of Color, Yang and Gabbert, were kept off the stage by arcane rules and regulations.

On the diversity front, also worth noting that the Republicans had People of Color as three of their top five candadates for their party's nomination in 2016, right to the end.

So who are the racists really.....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The Republicrat Circus is on the road again. Both parties support the same industries. Sham government.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

when there isnt a person of color on the stage, 

In case you forgot the last American President was a person of color and a Democrat.

He suffered vile abuse, had racist conspiracy theories put our against him and even misrepresented for his religion by the right wing bigots, led by the current President .

That fact slipped you mind????

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I'm voting blue, no matter who, and I hope you do too.

Every single one of these candidates has more intelligence in their little finger than Trump has in his entire family!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

He suffered vile abuse, had racist conspiracy theories put our against him and even misrepresented for his religion by the right wing bigots, led by the current President .

Aside from this filth were the religious crackpots calling him the anti-Christ.

And Trump whines like a baby about attacks on him? He should take a look back in time at how a proper man deals with attacks.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So who are the racists really.....

The GOP led by donny.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Sen. Amy Klobuchar was absolutely right about the impeachment proceedings. If Moscow Mitch and the Republican controlled senate won't allow 4 witnesses to be called, then you may as well hand Trump a crown and scepter. She went on to say that the U.S. isn't a monarchy but a democracy. She nailed that one.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Love to hear from some of the more hysterical commenters here what Trump has done since he was elected to promote his racist agenda... or how you can come to terms with the remarkable diversity in the GOP in their previous leadership campaign.

Yep, Trump hates minorities so much he has created an economy that has lowered their unemployment rates to historic lows!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If anybody but Bernie, Tulsi or Yang get "elected" (rigged) against Trump you might as well just hand him the victory right then and there. His supporters have never been as motivated as they are now

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Stormcrow- Speaker Pelosi had her chance to call ALL the witnesses she wanted during the House impeachment hearings. She chose not to do so. She cant tell the Senate what to do in their trial any more than the Senate could have interfered in the House proceedings. She can't get over the idea that she has been outmanoeuvered by Cocaine Mitch.

As for the debate candidates, none of them seem like they actually WANT to be President. It was a snoozefest all around. If you are going to challenge an incumbent President, you need some fire in your belly. I saw no fire tonight on the stage.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yang 2020! Shameful that they won't let him at the debate!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What a joke that was. None of these clowns can beat Trump. Gawd, I hope they nominate Sanders, I just hope! Lol

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yep the House could have called anyone they wanted and they had sole subpoena power.

Now that Repubs can subpoena Dens expect them to only call more Dem witnesses?

muh hope.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What a joke that was. None of these clowns can beat Trump

Do you think they’d be less clownish if they cracked knob jokes, made up idiotic childish names for their opponents and lied about telling their supporters to watch non-existent sex tapes during debates?

Would that make them less clownish and become more serious human beings?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Can you seriously imagine any of those people being president? Be honest.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Can you seriously imagine any of those people being president? Be honest.

Yes. None of them talked about their genitals, made up idiotic nicknames and lied about asking people to watch a non-existent sex tape during a televised debate.

They are certainly more grown-up than the petulant overgrown child in charge now.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Only because of that?? No special wonderful skill, ability or characteristics they personally have that qualifies them over others?

Just that they aren’t Trump? You lost that way last time.

remember the guy who did all those things you complaining about? He won even after that. So it wasn’t so bad as you try to make it sound or he would have lost.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Baba-Jiji talk!

Our top priority is to make the ratio between highest and lowest paid in a company equal to 10. Now this ratio in US is 250! In Japan and Germany is 10 only. We desperately need a law limiting this ratio to 10.

How long are we going to tolerate useless stupid politicians who have no clue what are our priorities???

Watching this debate is a total waste of time!

The current president is a moron, the candidates are morons, who do we vote for?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Only because of that?? No special wonderful skill, ability or characteristics they personally have that qualifies them over others?

Well, Trump came into office with no political experience. His background was in bankruptcies, reality TV and conspiracy theories. As I said, this isn’t a strong field but I’d say all of them are more mature, some clearly more intelligent, some with military experience etc.

I’m not getting why any of them are more preposterous than Trump.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Do you think they’d be less clownish if they cracked knob jokes, made up idiotic childish names for their opponents and lied about telling their supporters to watch non-existent sex tapes during debates? 

Then they would get more respect actually, but talking about garbage they can and never will fulfill is just amazing how millennials will gobble up this crap.

Would that make them less clownish and become more serious human beings

Nothing can save these people I’m afraid, but on the bright sunny side of things, when Warren, Sanders and Binden that’ll be the last we hear from them, this is where I do give Kamala Harris props, she’s thinking long term and might want to run again, so she took it like an adult and dropped out, good move. But Biden Sanders and Warren, once this is over, that will be their curtain call

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Well, Trump came into office with no political experience.

But he made a name for himself in Real Estate and TV, none of these Dems have truly done anything worth even a little bragging rights.

His background was in bankruptcies, reality TV and conspiracy theories. As I said, this isn’t a strong field but I’d say all of them are more mature

Mature? We’re going to get rid of college debt, the middle class won’t get taxed, we don’t believe in income we distribution on the middle-class, that’s not mature at all that’s just a flat out lie.

, some clearly more intelligent, some with military experience etc. 

I’m not getting why any of them are more preposterous than Trump.

Ahhh, none of them could even come close to filling a water cup. Show me one of these candidates that can pack a stadium with over 20,000 people.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Then they would get more respect actually, but talking about garbage they can and never will fulfill

All politicians do that before elections. Trump said at various points he’d get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, build a wall, ban all Muslims entering the US, replace Obamacare with something better at a fraction of the cost etc.

It’s part of the game. Imagine the idiots who believed that garbled trash.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What a joke that was.

The joke is in the WH.

Can you seriously imagine any of those people being president?

When donny can be president, we can imagine anyone, even a Dodo as a President.

But he made a name for himself in Real Estate 

ROFL, he used daddy's money, bankrupted himself many times over and ended up with less money than he would have had if he had just put it in the bank.

and TV

So did Jerry Springer, he might be a better choice frankly.

Dems have truly done anything worth even a little bragging rights.

Buttigeg served in Afghanistan whereas donny bonepurred himself out of Vietnam.

Klobuchar: Fought for women rights

.......

We can go on you know, all donny would still have is his bankruptcies

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Keep whinning on you, dems have nothing to offer but just hate trump, and seriously that isnt going to be enough to change who sits in the big person chair in the oval office. So I suggest you either front up with some one of caliber or just shut up and accept the fact that person who is in charge of america for the next 4 years wrecks your heads and you cant do a damn thing about it hahahaha.

As much as you do not like it that is the reality of it.

Last time you had a chance you put that idiot obama in the chair FFS.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What a joke that was. None of these clowns can beat Trump. Gawd, I hope they nominate Sanders, I just hope! Lol

So do Putin and Trump - that's why they've had these recent two phone calls, where there's no transcript, to talk about Russia hacking into Burisma and planting some fake dirt on Biden...

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/14/796195444/russia-hacked-company-linked-to-trump-impeachment-security-firm-says

Come on Trumpers, admit it - Trump/Pence 2020 is really Trump/Putin 2020....

But he made a name for himself in Real Estate

Sure did; by discriminating against people of color and bankrupting Casinos...it takes a real level of incompetence to bankrupt a casino...

and TV...

By hosting a third rate reality TV show - just like The Kardashians...

none of these Dems have truly done anything worth even a little bragging rights.

Just serving their country in government...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

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