Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) author Marianne Williamson, Rep Tim Ryan, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Rep Beto O'Rourke, former Colorado Gov John Hickenlooper, former U.S. Rep John Delaney and Montana Gov Steve Bullock pose together on the first night of the second 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday night. Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
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Sanders and Warren defend progressive policies in U.S. Democratic debate

47 Comments
By John Whitesides and Jarrett Renshaw

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offered an unabashed defense of their progressive policies during a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, as their more moderate rivals criticized their proposals as unrealistic and politically untenable.

The debate frequently pitted the two U.S. senators against the other eight candidates on stage, with healthcare and immigration policy highlighting the divisions between the two camps.

On the first night of back-to-back debates, Democrats were united in stressing the urgency of defeating Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. But they delivered bruising critiques of their party rivals' positions as detailed policy disagreements dominated the nearly three-hour event.

The dispute between the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic Party highlighted the central question of the nominating contest: Which candidate in the field of more than two dozen would be best positioned to beat Trump next year?

The moderate wing, led at times by Montana Governor Steve Bullock, argued Democrats risk losing voters after moving too far to the left in the opening debate last month in Miami.

"Watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish-list economics than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives," said Bullock, who emerged as a forceful voice in his first presidential debate.

In contrast, progressives argued their policies would excite voters and allow them to draw a distinct contrast to Trump.

Warren rebuked former U.S. Representative John Delaney, who often played the role of foil to the progressives during the debate, firing back at his criticism of her policies.

"I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for," she said.

Sanders also bristled at arguments that his proposals could not be realistically achieved, saying: "I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas."

Trump has been eager to paint the entire Democratic field as socialists, seeking to make any eventual nominee unsavory for voters by arguing Democrats want to raise taxes, open the U.S. borders and take away private healthcare.

Trump's campaign spokeswoman echoed that sentiment in a statement about the debate on Tuesday night, calling the field"radical Democrats" with a "socialist message."

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, encouraged his party to ignore Trump's inevitable criticism.

"If we embrace a far-left agenda, they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists," he said. "If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they're going to do? They're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists."

HEALTHCARE, IMMIGRATION

As the front-runners in polls among the candidates debating on Tuesday, Sanders and Warren vowed not to attack each other, but needed to distinguish themselves in their bid to gain ground on the leader in the race, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Instead, they often found themselves teaming up to defend policy positions they share instead of drawing contrasts.

The first section of the debate centered on a dispute about the future of the U.S. healthcare system, and whether Democrats should embrace Medicare for All proposals that would have the government take over the health insurance industry.

Democrats have made access to affordable healthcare one of their defining issues as the Trump administration has worked to chip away at former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Delaney attacked the Medicare for All proposal that has been put forward by Warren and Sanders, arguing Americans who like private insurance should be able to keep it.

"Why do we have to be the party of taking something away from people?" said Delaney.

He pointed to Warren and Sanders: "They are running on telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal."

Warren interjected to defend a government takeover of health insurance.

"We're not trying to take healthcare away from anyone. That's what Republicans are trying to do," she said.

Sanders, who has introduced a Medicare for All bill in the U.S. Senate, said: "Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that."

The candidates also differed on immigration policy - disagreeing on whether illegal border crossings should be decriminalized.

"You don't have to decriminalize everything," Bullock said."What you have to do is to have a president in there with the judgment and the decency to treat someone that comes to the border like one of our own."

Warren disagreed, saying: "We need to expand legal immigration, we need to create a path for citizenship not just for dreamers but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas."

"You are playing into Donald Trump's hands," Bullock said.

Among the lower-tier candidates who were aiming to produce a race-changing moment, Tuesday night's debate may have been the final performance for some.

Several were hoping to replicate the performance of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who enjoyed a brief surge after a strong performance in the first debate after confronting Biden on the issue of race.

But no standout moments emerged from the debate.

Candidates like U.S. Representative Tim Ryan and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper remain at risk of failing to qualify for the third debate in September in Houston.

The Democratic National Committee will double its fundraising and polling requirements to qualify for participation in the next debates in September and October.

Eight candidates have so qualified for the next round of debates: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris, Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, former congressman Beto O'Rourke and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, according to their campaigns.

Ten more candidates will face off on Wednesday night, including Biden and Harris.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
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Williamson is interesting. She’s like a swivel-eyed crystal healer with a big heart. Clearly not going to win but fun and useful to have around.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I like Pete, he's a good honest tough fellow. And I could care less that he's gay. He's a fighter, likable and smart. And loves America like crazy.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I'd like a Warren presidency with Bernie as VP, but I'd be just as happy with Bernie as president with Warren as VP.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I like Pete, he's a good honest tough fellow. And I could care less that he's gay. He's a fighter, likable and smart. And loves America like crazy.

He’s impressive.

Intelligent, educated, polite and served his country in the armed forces. Not a dodgy bonespur or any semi-literate trash in sight.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I'd like a Warren presidency with Bernie as VP, but I'd be just as happy with Bernie as president with Warren as VP.

They would be a good combination.

I'm still holding out for Tulsi Gabbard though. Unfortunately she doesn't seem to be getting the press she needs. I hope she can get more, she's qualified, a patriot, and has some great views that America needs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Bernie said the dems were afraid of big ideas. I disagree. The candidates were full of big ideas and no real plans to make them materialize. They were like a coach yelling at the team: we gotta get out there and win the big one. But the playbook was empty.

All of them dodged the yes or no question of whether they would raise taxes on the middle class to cover medicare for all when the answer is a clear yes. Instead, especially Bernie and Warren decided to criminalize the act of being rich, and said the wealthy would be taxed, which is Ironic considering Bernie's a proven millionaire; and strange considering Warren thinks crossing the border illegally isn't illegal. They both exposed themselves as either being extremely dishonest or clinically insane.

Then they all lied through their teeth when they said Trump was using immigration as a political stunt. So says the people that first said there wasn't a crisis, then that it was a manufactured crisis by Trump, and finally a humanitarian crisis at the hands of Trump. They made it seem as if Trump was the first to initiate policy to separate families who act criminal, when in fact Obama was doing it way before Trump. Trump hasn't initiated any such policy; he's just enforcing it

."We need to expand legal immigration, we need to create a path for citizenship not just for dreamers but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas."

Blatant support for criminal behavior. Ok students, it's alright to overstay your visa. You'll be rewarded

But no standout moments emerged from the debate.

Of course not. But what do expect from people whose only card to play is the race card, and whose only policy is orangeman bad.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Of course not. But what do expect from people whose only card to play is the race card, and whose only policy is orangeman bad.

Fake news.

You clearly didn’t watch the debate. If you break down the time spent on various issues, the time spent on race or the orange moron was very limited.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Another thing, I lost track of who was in the debate when Don Lemon started asking his spiked and blatantly biased questions. He gave it a way. Doesn't he know the moderators are supposed to be neutral or at least appear to be so? But it is cnn; what can you expect.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I lost track of who was in the debate when Don Lemon started asking his spiked and blatantly biased questions.

What supposed questions were these?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Democrats disunity will be there undoing at the ballot box.

Between themselves, they cannot agree if the lights on or off.

The voters that will have to ultimately pay for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders so called progressive policies will be middle earning achievers/innovators

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What supposed questions were these?

When he goes, "Trump has decided to run his campaign for re-election on racial division, blah blah blah."

Whether you agree or disagree with that is irrelevant. As a questioner, you're supposed to remain neutral and let the candidates season their own pots. It's clear Lemon is not mature enough to put aside his own hatred for Trump and suffers too greatly from TDS to qualify as a neutral moderator in a presidential debate.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Then they all lied through their teeth when they said Trump was using immigration as a political stunt. So says the people that first said there wasn't a crisis, then that it was a manufactured crisis by Trump, and finally a humanitarian crisis at the hands of Trump.

Exactly.

The Dems are so fake.

And none of them has a chance against Trump.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

And none of them has a chance against Trump.

Trump won the last election despite losing the popular vote against a terrible candidate. A half decent candidate very probably would have thrashed him.

I don’t think Trump should be considered a shoo-in in 2020. His approval ratings are stubbornly low.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Any chosen candidate will have a insurmountable task of unifying a credible policy agenda without clear political concurrence.

The key element is conspicuous by it absence, the ideological belief that allows principled political dissent to be debated without disharmony and personal attacks.

The Democrats appear to be two complexly separate politically idealogical parties masquerading as one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love how only in America are words such as "liberal" and "progressive" seen as negatives. And why is free medical care seen as a bad thing? So what if taxes have to rise to pay for it - it's what most advanced countries do.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I like Pete, he's a good honest tough fellow. And I could care less that he's gay. He's a fighter, likable and smart

He’s impressive.

Intelligent, educated, polite and served his country in the armed forces. Not a dodgy bonespur or any semi-literate trash in sight.

His police force doesn't think much of him. Oh my...

South Bend police warn of 'mass exodus' under Mayor Pete Buttigieg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrlCNTwplEw

Can't wait for Kamala and Sleepy Joe to go at it!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Then they all lied through their teeth

You must admit it wasn’t at the same level as Trump lying about telling his supporters to check out a non-existent sex tape on a live stage.

These dems just don’t tell it like it is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

None of these idiots will be President, calling them a joke is a gross understatement.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

None of these idiots will be President, calling them a joke is a gross understatement.

Remember what you said about Trump leading a lunatic fringe and Clinton winning.

Watch those predictions, Bass.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish-list economics than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives," said Bullock

Never has the chance or honour of visiting the USA, so it is difficult to convey a grasp of well informed political assent, but this statement make logical sense. At least my view from the armchair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Remember what you said about Trump leading a lunatic fringe and Clinton winning. 

YES, because I didn’t know he COULD beat Hillary that’s what I was afraid of, but because of the baggage she had and the lack of personality it was apparent to me I was dead wrong. With these idiots they are just so far, far, far progressively left, they come full circle. They’ll never win on any of their moronic policies, especially it was funny when asked if they would raise taxes everyone pretty much dodged the issue.

Watch those predictions, Bass

Been doing that and so far, the liberals have been wrong on all of them.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

You must admit it wasn’t at the same level as Trump lying

No, there’s was far more politically deceptive.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Been doing that and so far, the liberals have been wrong on all of them.

Which predictions and which liberals? I remember some liberals tipping Trump to win while you were calling him the leader of a lunatic fringe and backing Ben Carson.

I don’t think being liberal or conservative plays much of a role in being able to come up with accurate predictions.

Incidentally, who are you tipping to win the Democratic nomination?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maryanne Williamson succinctly summed up last night's the Thriller in Vanilla: "Yada, yada, yada".

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What a parade of deadbeats.

Agreed Harris vs Sleepy Joe part 2 should be fun. She has to keep the initiative over Joe or slip down the polls. Joe cant say anything back or hes “ racist”. I’ll have the popcorn ready!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Bernie Saunders is such a decent stand-up guy, it is still a damn shame the Democrats decided to go with that phoney Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections.

I am not saying he would have won but I would have sure liked to see him debate with Donald Trump instead of Hilary Clinton.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offered an unabashed defense of their progressive policies during a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, as their more moderate rivals criticized their proposals as unrealistic and politically untenable.

What does The Squad have to say about this?

Seriously, can you see any of these Democrats dealing with Kim Jong Un, Xi or Putin?

And they spit in the face of law-abiding legal immigrants.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Last night's democrat socialists "debate" that was the first prime time show on U.S. television in years which had an all white cast.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bernie Saunders is such a decent stand-up guy

Don’t expect a consensus on that. The partisans can’t handle anything outside the package they swallow whole. The same people like to use the ‘orange man bad’ meme to attack others they see as swallowing a package whole ( they are very predictable with their memes ).

One extreme partisan poster called Sanders Josef Stalin here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Which predictions and which liberals?

All the networks.

I remember some liberals tipping Trump to win

while you were calling him the leader of a lunatic fringe and backing Ben Carson. 

I used to like Bill Clinton at one point as well.

I don’t think being liberal or conservative plays much of a role in being able to come up with accurate predictions.

Yeah, it really does since Democrats have a serious and vested interest in getting rid of this President and I believe them when people like “Donny the idiot Deutsch” says, Democrats have to fight dirty and use everything at their disposal to get rid of this President, so I know it has a huge role to play.

Incidentally, who are you tipping to win the Democratic nomination.

Personally, it doesn’t matter, for one thing they are all the same and none of them can beat Trump, but I hope Bernie Biden or. Lizzy win.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

All the networks.

No, I watched them, they don't support your claim.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Incidentally, who are you tipping to win the Democratic nomination.

Personally, it doesn’t matter,

Best to steer clear of predictions, Bass. Very wise given your track record.

They are all the same

Partisan nonsense with no basis in reality. Why were there disagreements?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, I watched them, they don't support your claim

Ok, I think differently. But don’t worry, I doubt you can vote in our US election anyway.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Best to steer clear of predictions,

I think not, everything seems to have panned out nicely these past 3 years.

Very wise given your track record. 

Proud of it.

Partisan nonsense with no basis in reality. Why were there disagreements

Oh, it’s reality alright. These socialists are real as the sun rising on the East.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I did not watch the whole clown show, but I caught these two. Their "progressive policies" which this article writer swoons over consist of:

1) free stuff

2) orange man bad.

Excuse me for being underwhelmed.

Actually, there was one clear statement that Sanders made that I 100% agree with. When asked if he would pull out of Afghanistan, he said clearly yes. Easy for him to promise though, as he knows he will not get the job.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Partisan nonsense with no basis in reality. Why were there disagreements

Oh, it’s reality alright

No basis in reality. You were asked why there were disagreements if they are all the same. They are not all the same. They disagreed on healthcare for a start. Your post makes no sense if you watched the debate.

You clearly didn’t watch this debate and just fell into dem/lib/rob Paul to pay Peter/socialist/ROFL mode. Just nonsense.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bullock and Delaney seemed reasonable. Not far left enough to have any chance of winning.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No basis in reality.

Not in the liberal reality, but in the real reality, it has a lot of basis.

You were asked why there were disagreements if they are all the same. They are not all the same. They disagreed on healthcare for a start. Your post makes no sense if you watched the debate. 

Yes, it makes perfect sense as a collective wanting higher taxes, free college tuition, decriminalize illegal border entry, more entitlements, bank regulations, the ceiling and how much corporate earners can make, a complete takeover of the healthcare system, robbing Paul to give to Peter, it’s all a glamour of the same socialist rantings that would completely destroy the country.

You clearly didn’t watch this debate

I did, I have to for my job and believe me, it wasn’t easy. Feel itchy.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

A debate on CNN didn’t mention either Mueller or Russia collusion. Also didn’t mention that the DNC lawsuit for “hacking” was thrown out of court for being the joke it is.

That’s your death throes.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

as a collective wanting higher taxes, free college tuition, decriminalize illegal border entry, more entitlements, bank regulations, the ceiling and how much corporate earners can make, a complete takeover of the healthcare system, robbing Paul to give to Peter, it’s all a glamour of the same socialist rantings that would completely destroy the country.

Are you saying all people on the stage hold the same policies on these issues?

Why did they disagree? Sanders and Delaney certainly disagree over healthcare.

You are sinking into partisan whataboutthedems/libs/rob Paul to pay Peter/socialist/ROFL nonsense again.

You shouldn’t make partisan claims which are demonstrably false. It lowers the tone to trolling level.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I like Pete, he's a good honest tough fellow. And I could care less that he's gay. He's a fighter, likable and smart. And loves America like crazy.

I don't mind Pete as much as some of the others. Not only because he is mayor of the city right next to mine, although that doesn't hurt. But being gay is going to matter to a lot of African Americans which could well prevent him from landing the nomination. Calling Trump a racist is a joke when his numbers will black voters are even lower.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Bernie Saunders is such a decent stand-up guy, it is still a damn shame the Democrats decided to go with that phoney Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections.

I am not saying he would have won but I would have sure liked to see him debate with Donald Trump instead of Hilary Clinton.

It would have been glorious!

Williamson is interesting. She’s like a swivel-eyed crystal healer with a big heart.

Gotta love Marianne!

Clearly not going to win but fun and useful to have around.

I dunno, Jimizo, she's now the #1 searched candidate from this debate on Google!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sanders and Warren defend progressive policies in U.S. Democratic debate

Hard to defend the indefensible. Open borders and free everything! They are loons.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"I [Elizabeth Dole] don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”

Maybe Delaney wants to see a Democrat sworn in as president on January 20, 2021.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you want to see all the regulation return, jobs leave, taxes increase, buffoon inspired health care explode, then vote for one of these clowns.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Nielsen numbers have now been released. 10 million Americans tuned in last night. To give that number some perspective, 13 million watched Mueller's appearance on the 24th which aired during the daytime. The democrat socialists clown show Part One aired at night during in prime time.

Another colossal fail for CNN.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Astute analysis, Tex, as always. The open border Dems just can't get any traction.

Wouldnt it be great if all immigrants would leave the US and make their home countries better places, Tex?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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