Recap: First Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Ten politicians went head to head during the first night of the Democratic debate. Here is a full recap:

Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Marianne Williamson, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren participated in the debate in the debate in Detroit on Tuesday night.

Some major topics the politicians discussed during the debate include healthcare, immigration, race relations, economics and foreign policy. Similar to the first round.

Several news outlets have crowned Senator Sanders and Senator Warren as victors, but Marianne Williamson also stood out. 

The two senators gave strong performances. One of the most memorable moments of the night came when Sen. Sanders gave a fiery response to Tim Ryan when he questioned him on his idea of providing ‘Medicare for all,’ a plan to eliminate private health insurance. Ryan said, “you don’t know that Bernie” and Sanders responded by telling him, “I do know it, I wrote the damn bill.”

Tim Ryan and John Delaney were outspoken about their disapproval of the idea. Delaney stated, “we can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren want to take us with bad policies like ‘Medicare for all’ free everything and impossible promises that’ll turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected.” To which Senator Warren gave a searing reply,

“I don’t understand why anybody goes through all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”

Throw your hands up

One exchange between Sen. Sanders and John Hickenlooper made for great meme-material. Hickenlooper was criticizing Sanders’ socialist approach when Sanders threw his hands up in response. Hickenlooper said, “I think if we are going to force Americans to make these radical changes- they’re not going to go along-“ Sanders made a gesture with his arms. “No, throw your hands up,” Hickenlooper continued. Bernie responded, “I will,” and made the gesture again. Hickenlooper said, “I can do it too.”

Social media took this exchange and ran with it.


Williamson received a standing ovation

Author Marianne Williamson lead the discussion on race when she detailed her reparations plan. Williamson said, “We need to recognize when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery, followed by another 100 years of domestic terrorism. What makes me qualified to say $200 to $500 billion? I’ll tell you what makes me qualified. If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there were 4 to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War—they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for a family of four. If you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. And I believe that anything less than $100 billion is an insult, and I believe that $200 to $500 billion is politically feasible today, because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface.” The crowd cheered at her passionate response. She became the most-searched candidate on Google in 49 states after her performance.

Another candidate, Beto O’Rourke, voiced his approval of providing reparations. He too said he would sign a reparations bill. Klobuchar, Warren and Sanders have said they would support a bill to study reparations.

Pete Buttigieg chimed in, “Systemic racism has hit every part of American life, from housing to health to homeownership. If you walk into an emergency room and you are black, your reports of pain will be taken less seriously. If you apply for a job and you are black, you are less likely to be called just because of the name on the resume.” Everyone seemed to be on the same side when it came to racial justice.

Climate Change

The candidates are divided on how to approach the issue of climate change. The Green New Deal, AOC’s proposal to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, became a topic of discussion. The plan calls for the “global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030” and “net-zero global emissions by 2050.” Sen. Warren supports this plan. She explained that she plans to invest $2 trillion in green manufacturing and create 1.2 million jobs in the industry. Sen. Sanders also agrees with this plan, he stated, “We can create millions of good-paying jobs. We can rebuild communities in rural America that have been devastated.”

Hickenlooper and Delaney do not support the deal. Instead, they proposed different plans to address the issue. Delaney called it a “disaster at the ballot box.”

Final thoughts

CNN reported no major breakout moments for the lesser-known candidates on Tuesday night. The news site stated, “Sen. Amy Klobuchar has made her points, but like O’Rourke, she has not conjured a moment that people will be talking about tomorrow.”

Bullock did the bare minimum. One of Hillary Clinton’s former aides, Brian Fallon, tweeted, “Bullock was impressive tonight. Can’t wait to donate to his Senate campaign.”

Sen. Warren had the most speaking time at the debate, followed by Sanders and Buttigieg. Joe Biden is still the highest-polling candidate, with Warren, Sanders and Harris trailing behind him. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke have qualified for the next round of debates on September 12-13.

We will continue to update this story as needed.