POL Tonight's Democratic Debate: Final One Before the First Votes


Unrepentant WrongThinker

January Democratic Debate: Final One Before the First Votes

Tom Steyer
Elizabeth Warren
Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Bernie Sanders
Pete Buttigieg
Amy Klobuchar

When it starts Tuesday, Jan. 14, 9 p.m. ET

Where to watch CNN.com, CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español and

Six Democrats will debate in Des Moines tonight — the smallest stage yet — as the 2020 presidential race remains fluid, with Iowa, in particular, up for grabs less than three weeks before the caucuses. Here are the dynamics to watch in the final debate before voting begins:

How Will Warren and Sanders Engage?
A day before the debate, CNN reported an explosive story: That Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had told Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in a private meeting in December 2018 that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency. Mr. Sanders denied this on Monday, only to have Ms. Warren come forward and say that he did make the remark. Chances are this will be one of the hottest topics tonight — and the resulting exchange could affect the standing of two liberals, especially in Iowa, where Democratic voters often prefer candidates to stay positive.

Center of Attention, at Last?
Will the national front-runner finally get a front-runner’s scrutiny? For months, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been on center stage, but not the center of attention of his rivals, many of whom have been content to wait for political gravity — or someone else — to pull him down. With voters making their choices soon, Mr. Biden remains a barrier for everyone else who hopes to become the nominee — a factor that could lead to his longest, and perhaps toughest, turn in the spotlight in months.

A Full-Blown Iraq Debate?
These two seemingly have had the most momentum in recent weeks and could be on a collision course. Since the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, foreign policy has dominated the news, as open war with Iran suddenly seemed a possibility. Mr. Sanders has unsuccessfully tried to nudge Mr. Biden’s past vote for the war in Iraq into the 2020 conversation, but with the new international backdrop, that history could receive more attention.

The Two Women on Stage
For the first time, every Democrat on the debate stage is white, and the representation of diversity tonight will come from the two remaining women in the race. Female voters make up a majority of the Democratic Party, and female candidates performed particularly well in the 2018 primary midterms. Still, neither Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota nor Ms. Warren has put gender at the forefront of her campaign. That could change Tuesday, especially for Ms. Warren, who likely will be asked about the private comments she has attributed to Mr. Sanders.

The Biden Alternative vs. Biden
Pete Buttigieg’s campaign strategy has been plain to see in recent months: Position himself as the moderate, next-generation alternative to Mr. Biden — while going after more liberal opponents rather than Mr. Biden himself. Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., is one of the more deft debaters onstage. With Mr. Biden still strong in the polls, does Mr. Buttigieg turn his fire on him (and, in particular, join the Iraq war debate that Mr. Sanders has previously instigated)?

The Mod Trio
These candidates — Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Klobuchar — are all fishing in the same pond of moderate and mostly older voters in Iowa. (Meanwhile, the progressive lane is split only in two.) Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Buttigieg clashed at the December debate over experience — his in local government, hers in Washington — but more often this grouping has seen the most advantage in drawing a contrast with the leading liberals onstage, rather than each other. Does that change?

Bankruptcy Bill, Finally?
A week before the debate, Ms. Warren rolled out a bankruptcy plan, reviving an old fight over consumer protections against the credit card industry in 2005 with Mr. Biden that helped push her into politics. But despite the bankruptcy bill’s key role in her origin story, she has never brought it up at a debate. Is this the time and issue she has been waiting to leverage to make her case for change?

The Lone Billionaire Onstage
Billionaire Tom Steyer squeaked onto the debate with late polling strength in Nevada and South Carolina, and in past clashes, he has been relegated more to the periphery. The question for him is how he can make himself relevant — in the debate and in the contest — especially as another billionaire, Michael R. Bloomberg, is spending far more than him while focused on Super Tuesday states and looming offstage.


Unrepentant WrongThinker

With No Clear Frontrunner, 6 Candidates Head Into The Democratic Debate in Iowa

The top tier of Democratic presidential candidates have gathered in snowy Des Moines for the final primary debate before the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 3, an event that many undecided voters in Iowa will be watching closely.

Polls indicate that there are still four leading Democratic candidates vying for the win in Iowa: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. It’s an unusually wide field going into the state’s caucuses, reflecting Democrats’ uncertainty about what kind of candidate will be best positioned to beat President Donald Trump come November.

On Friday, a Des Moines Register poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers put Sanders in the lead for the first time, vindicating a campaign that has held a steady approach throughout the primary as others have seen decline in their support.

The exceptionally close contest, coupled with deepening personal disputes among several of the candidates, have heightened tensions before Tuesday night’s debate. The four frontrunners will be joined on stage at Drake University by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Tom Steyer, the only other candidates to meet the Democratic National Convention’s increasingly steep qualifications for the debates.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a cycle like this where you have still such a large group of voters that are not talking in candidates that they’re considering, but in groups of candidates that they’re considering,” Matt Paul, an Iowa-based Democratic consultant, told TIME. “There are still a significant group of undecided voters here… I think that this debate is monumentally important.”

The relationships among several of the frontrunners have devolved into disputes in recent days. A nonaggression pact between the top two progressive candidates, Sanders and Warren, who are personal friends, shattered over the weekend after Politico reported that Sanders’ camp was using talking points criticizing Warren to sway voters.

Sanders tried to downplay the memo his campaign used, which reportedly called Warren the candidate for the elite, and suggested the media was seeking to stir up frictions. “Have you ever heard me say a negative word about Elizabeth Warren?” Sanders asked reporters after a rally in Iowa City on Sunday. “We have hundreds of employees. Elizabeth Warren has hundreds of employees. People sometimes say things that they shouldn’t.”

Hours after his remarks, Warren’s camp sent out a fundraising email on Sanders’s “attack,” calling it “disappointing news.”

“When I heard that description, I didn’t recognize it. That doesn’t describe me or many of the passionate volunteers and organizers I know,” stated the fundraising email from Warren.

Another news report on Monday added to the fray, with CNN reporting that in a 2018 meeting with Warren, Sanders told her he did not think a woman could win in 2020. In the report, Sanders denied arguing that. In a statement released Monday evening about the meeting, Warren said, “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”

Those grievances will likely be aired on Tuesday, as will the past week’s developments in US.-Iranian relations, giving the leading candidates a fresh chance to demonstrate their records on foreign policy, or attack their opponents’.

In light of heightened tensions with Iran, Biden, who will have the deepest foreign policy experience on the stage, is likely to be challenged again on the fact that he voted in favor of authorizing military force against Iraq in 2002.

Over the weekend, Sanders again touted the fact that he voted against the Iraq war in the House of Representatives at the time. “It is appalling that after 18 years, Joe Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history,” Sanders’ campaign said in a statement on Saturday. “Bernie Sanders saw the same information and had the judgment to vote against the Iraq War.”

Sanders’ campaign added to their attacks on Biden on a separate matter on Sunday, with Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, one of Sanders’ campaign national co-chairs, publishing an op-ed that appealed to black voters and accused Biden of betraying African Americans. That criticism is particularly stinging for Biden, who spent eight years as a vice president to the nation’s first black President.

Candidates will prepare for the Tuesday event among an ever-narrowing field. Only 12 Democratic candidates remain after Sen. Cory Booker dropped out of the race on Monday. Though Booker’s campaign got off to a promising start, it failed to gain traction among voters, and he had not qualified for multiple debates.

Booker’s absence from the field, after Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out of the race last month and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro dropped out this month, highlighted again that diversity among the Democratic candidates is quickly disappearing. In the last debate, Andrew Yang was the only non-white candidate. This time, Yang, like Booker, failed to qualify.

The Hammer

Veteran Member
Another yawner?

Well, maybe this one will be slightly more interesting. With fewer people on stage, they probably will go after one another more aggressively.

And we all know how Biden's brain shuts down when too much is happening all at once, so maybe he'll swallow his teeth again.


désespéré pour le ciel
Are you kidding? LOL

We are looking a 5 years more of this as I expect Trump will be re-elected and they will never let up until he is gone.
Lol, yeah I meant haven't we suffered through enough debates already.

The meltdowns are gonna be epic. I so hope we get to see a replay of 2016.


Veteran Member
I hope Elizabeth Warren gets asks about her "first thing I'd do" is erasing $50K of student loan debt. What about those of us who pay for our kids and have kids who work?
They consider you stupid and incompetent. That is just how they work.


Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
Tried to watch one democrap debate but did not have the stomach for all of the lies....



Unrepentant WrongThinker

For Those We’ve Lost…

Derek Hunter
Posted: Jan 14, 2020 12:01 AM

It’s been a time of significant loss…for Democrats, since 87.29 percent of their party announced last year they were running for president and it’s been nothing but loss for them since. As we start a new year, we should take a moment to look back and remember those we’ve lost (and mock them).

First, the most recent: Marianne Williamson lost her mojo and called it a day a week after letting her entire campaign staff go. The most shocking part of that development was that she had a campaign staff to begin with. Her campaign, and the fact that she ever made a debate stage, is a testament to the power of Oprah and crystals. Hippies didn’t die off, they went on to make a fortune serving as gurus to people with more money than sense. She will be missed.

Next comes Julian Castro. He and his twin brother Joaquin seem to have split the charm of one person between them in the womb, and neither has really racked up accomplishments. One of the finalists to be Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, Castro was passed over because he wasn’t fluent in Spanish and “white guy” Tim Kaine was (identity politics is that stupid), he polished up his Spanish in the years following, only to discover it’s what you say, not how you say it. And no one cared what he said. He will be missed.

Who can forget Eric Swalwell? The gassy California congressman tested the theory that appearing on cable news shows is enough to garner a national following. Lost on him was the fact that he comes off like a vapid boob in those appearances, but nobody has ever accused him of being bright. He limped out of the gate, perhaps hindered by digestive issues, and never found his footing. It’s hard to run for anything while clenched. He will be missed.

Speaking of gasbags, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also ran for president. True story. The lazy, unpopular, and loud head of our largest city was convinced the country was yearning for his brand of decriminalizing public urination and alienating police officers. The people of New York were pulling for de Blasio, though only to get rid of him. He was never able to get outside the margin of error in polls and called it a day. He will be missed.

The candidacy of Kirsten Gillibrand was a result of the kind of distorted self-image reflected in a circus mirror that makes short people look tall. She was the parsley of candidates – no one asked for it, no one knows what the point of it is, yet there she was. And like parsley, voters ignored her and she was tossed out. She will be missed.

Kamala Harris was supposed to be a contender. She had everything going for her and was showered with glowing press. Then she started talking. And people listened. The more they heard, the less they liked. She never learned how to sell her law enforcement background to a party that opposes both police officers and enforcing the law. Seems like something she should have strategized before choosing to run. She will be missed.

Beto, sweet, sweet, Beto. The simpleton from Texas had the media handing him the nomination just a year ago and he screwed it up…by being himself. Seeing Beto speak was like watching someone have a seizure, audiences weren’t sure if they should run up on stage and shove a wallet in his mouth so he didn’t swallow his tongue. His campaign ended up with the record for setting the largest pile of money on fire in history, so that’s something. He will be missed.

Cory Booker just dropped out on Monday. He was still running the way a professional sports team has to play out the season after being eliminated from making the playoffs. But make no mistake, he’s been done for a while, he just wasn’t over till now. He joins the ranks of Steve Bullock, Joe Sestak, Wayne Messam, Tim Ryan, Seth Moulton, Jay Inslee, and the rest of the clown car, all of whom are missed.

The 2020 Democratic field has been a buffet of mediocrity – everything to choose from, and nothing anyone really wants. Pour one out for those we lost, and save a little for those we’ve yet to lose. They will all be missed…by someone…probably.

The Hammer

Veteran Member
Watching a bit now.

Biden has his hair arranged to make it look like he has some. Still losing his train of thought and slurring his words.

Going after Bernie a little. Warren refused to get into a fight over the claim Bernie told her a woman couldn't get elected president, which Bernie denies.


Unrepentant WrongThinker

Warren Seemingly Refuses To Shake Bernie’s Hand After Debate

January 14, 2020
11:44 PM ET

Massachusets Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night apparently refused to shake Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders hand after the Democratic Presidential debate in Iowa, as the two have continued to clash.

After the debates, the candidates shook each others hands, and when Sanders approached Warren, she refused to shake his hand and the two exchanged words. Warren accused Sanders Monday of having told her in a private 2018 meeting that he did not believe a woman could win the White House.

During the debate, Sanders denied Warren’s claim that he told her in a private meeting that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency.

CNN anchors pointed out the exchange between Warren and Sanders out after the debate, focusing on the fact they did not shake hands.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2Je5fGce_E

30 seconds


Unrepentant WrongThinker

Tensions Linger Between Warren And Sanders After CNN’s Democratic Debate In Iowa

Amber Athey White House Correspondent
January 15, 2020

Six of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates went head to head on issues of foreign policy, trade, health care, child care, and climate change ahead of the Iowa caucuses in early February, but the standout moment of the night was a brawl between Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, billionaire Tom Steyer, Warren, and Sanders all qualified for Tuesday’s night debate, the first of 2020.

The night kicked off with a comprehensive debate on foreign policy, offering the candidates the opportunity to appeal to voters who are exhausted by, and skeptical of endless wars abroad. The topic was also a weak spot for Biden, who was the only politician who supported the costly and deadly Iraq War in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The other candidates, particularly Sanders and Klobuchar, capitalized on the opportunity to hammer their personal opposition to the war.

“I thought Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld were lying,” Sanders asserted.

Buttigieg noted that he served with people in the military who were hardly old enough to remember the vote to go to war with Iraq, adding that people who were not even alive on September 11 are now old enough to enlist.

Steyer, in a rare moment where he was able to successfully use his status as a businessman to his advantage, blamed the DC establishment for repeatedly making the same foreign policy mistakes and insisted that “judgment” is more important than “experience” in being commander in chief.

However, the candidates split on how many troops, if any, they would remove from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other middle eastern countries. Warren was the only person on stage who said unequivocally that she would remove all combat troops from the Middle East.

Biden stepped in a snare again when he knocked President Donald Trump for striking Iranian military general Qasem Soleimani without congressional approval, leading to a rebuke from CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer, who mentioned President Barack Obama’s more than 500 drone strikes during his administration.

The debate soon turned to Trump’s tariffs and his negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The USCMA deal passed with bipartisan support in the House and is set for a vote in the Senate, placing extra pressure on Warren, Klobuchar, and Sanders.

Warren and Klobuchar both said that while the deal is not perfect, they support it because it is an improvement upon NAFTA. Sanders, however, said he could not support the USCMA — even after admitting that it has modest improvements — because it does not do enough to address climate change.

Steyer agreed with Sanders that the USMCA does not address climate and therefore he could never vote for it, an apparent flip from his previous position.

“This is a win for our great partners in labor and the American workers who fuel our economy,” Steyer said about the USCMA after Democrats announced they had reached a deal with the president, according to Politico.

Despite Sanders’ opposition to USCMA, he earned the first applause of the night when he knocked prior trade deals as the product of corporate interests. The jab was directed at Biden, who supported both NAFTA and the “permanent normal trade relations,” or PNTR with China.

“Joe and I have a fundamental disagreement, in case you haven‘t noticed,” Sanders said. “NAFTA, PNTR with China, other trade agreements were written for one reason alone, and that is to increase the profits of large, multi-national corporations.”

Viewers waited halfway through the debate for the fight they were gearing up for: Warren vs. Sanders. The pair clashed this week after secondhand sources claimed to CNN that Sanders told Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency.

Sanders has repeatedly denied that he made such a statement, and continued to do so Tuesday.

“Well, as a matter of fact I didn’t say that,” Sanders said.

“How could anybody in a million years not believe that a woman could become president of the United States?” Sanders questioned, adding that there is a video of him in 1988 saying that he believed a woman could win.

In a stunning moment that led many viewers to call out CNN for journalistic malpractice, debate moderator Abby Phillip accepted Warren’s version of events wholesale and asked her how she reacted to Sanders’ alleged comments.

“Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you that a woman could not win the election?” Phillip asked.

Warren stated that she “disagreed” with Sanders and was never asked to state “yes” or “no” if the events occurred as described in CNN’s initial report.

Both candidates used the opportunity to detail their support for women, earning them applause from the audience, and the brawl quickly derailed into pro-diversity statements from each of the candidates.

The debate moderators went on to question the candidates about topics that were well-tread in previous debates, including health care, the impeachment of Trump, and climate change. However, it was a foray into child care policies that lead to a moment of apparent dishonesty from Warren.

The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel pointed out that Warren supports free college tuition for all families, but imposes an income cap on families who may received free child care under her plan.

Warren suggested the question was inaccurate, responding, “Actually, my plan is universal child care for everyone. It has some people adding a small payment.”

According to a review of Warren’s child care plan by Vox, she does indeed only offer free child care services to families making less than 200% of the federal poverty line. Families making more than that would pay up to 7% of their income for child care.

Toward the end of the debate, Buttigieg was forced to address his abysmal polling with black voters, wherein he claimed that the black voters who know him the best tend to support him.

“The black voters who know me best are supporting me,” Buttigieg responded when asked about his “next to no” black support. “It’s why I have the most support in South Bend, and among elected black officials in my community who have gotten into this race, by far most of them are supporting me.”

Buttigieg also added that he will never “take black votes for granted.”

Biden was able to use the question to slip in a reminder about his own stellar support among black voters.

The debate ended with relatively few standout moments for any of the candidates, as candidates were warned prior that they would lose speaking time if they attempted to interrupt an opponent. Instead, the two hour debate dragged along with scripted questions on oft-covered topics and few live challenges from the moderators.

However, the sparring between Sanders and Warren over allegations of sexism lingered. The two progressives did not shake hands after the debate and appeared to have a terse exchange of words instead. It likely won’t be the last time the two medicare-for-all champions square off, as Sanders surges and Warren slips in the polls.