Here’s What You Missed On Day Two Of The U.S. Democratic Debates

In case you had better things to do last Friday, we’ve got the rundown of everything you need to know about day two of the U.S. democratic debate. Here’s some highlights: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg called out the “hypocrisy” of the Republican Party, author Marianne Williamson discussed “love” as her campaign’s greatest weapon, and California Senator Kamala Harris took on Vice President Joe Biden in the most contentious argument of the night.

Kamala Harris shut down Joe Biden in a discussion of race relations

In likely the most talked-about moment of this week’s debates, Harris sparred with Biden in a tense discussion involving a federal busing program the vice president did not support as a senator in the 70s; the program would’ve endorsed the integration of minorities and non-minorities on school buses.

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day,” Harris said. “And that little girl was me.”

Biden defended himself by declaring that busing programs were decisions made on the local level and that he did not oppose it, but opposed busing as ordered then by the Department of Education.

Bernie Sanders debated Joe Biden over his support of the Iraq War

While discussing his support for the Iraq War under Obama, Sanders stepped in to challenge the former Vice President. “This is one of the differences Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for that war and I helped lead the opposition of that war which was a total disaster,” Sanders said. “… Let me be very clear: I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran which will be far worse than that disastrous war with Iraq.”

Pete Buttigieg responded to questions of the shooting of Eric Logan in South Bend

Earlier this week, Buttigieg was heckled by protestors outside of a rally, arguing that the mayor has not done enough to address issues of racism in the South Bend community.

When asked why South Bend’s police force hasn’t become more representative of the city’s 26% black population, Buttigieg was frank: “Because I couldn’t get it done. My community is in anguish right now.”

California Congressmember Eric Swalwell later stepped in, challenging Buttigieg to fire the chief of police.

Candidates answered one issue they’d accomplish as president

When asked what one issue each candidate would accomplish as President in one to two words, most failed to keep their responses succinct—and Biden defended Obama’s accomplishments to applause. Here are the rest of the responses:

  • Swalwell: ending gun violence.

  • Colorado Senator Michael Bennet: climate change and lack of economic mobility.

  • New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: creating a family bill of rights, with national paid leave and universal pre-kindergarten.

  • Harris: passing a middle class and working class tax cut, upholding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and ending gun violence.

  • Sanders: we need to “take on the special interests.”

  • Biden: defended Obama by arguing that he accomplished more than one issue during his presidency and said his goal is to defeat President Trump.

  • Buttigieg: “fixing” democracy, which should improve climate, immigration, and taxes.

  • Andrew Yang: to allocate a $US1,000 ($1,422) freedom dividend for American adults.

  • Former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper: climate change.

  • Williamson: in an unclear response, she said she’d call the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Buttigieg called out the Republican party

While discussing the detainment of children at the border, Buttigieg called out the Republican party, “cloaked” in religion. “We should call out hypocrisy when we see it and for a party that associates itself with Christianity to say that it is ok to suggest that God would smile at the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages, has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.”

Candidates discussed foreign relationships they would reset as President

In another quick series of answers, the candidates were asked which one relationship with another nation they would “reset” and Buttigieg gave another frank response regarding Trump.

  • Williamson and Bennett: European allies.

  • Hickenlooper and Yang: China.

  • Biden and Harris: members of NATO.

  • Sanders: members of the United Nations.

  • Gillibrand: Iran.

  • Swalwell: Russia and members of NATO.

  • Buttigieg: “We have no idea which of our most important allies he will have pissed off worse between now and then. What we know is that our relationship with the entire world needs to change.”

Honorable mentions

Harris (while discussing the economy): “Hey guys, you know what, America doesn’t want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we’re going to put food on their table.”

Swalwell (during his closing statement): “I’m a congressman but also a father of a two-year-old and an infant. When I’m not changing diapers, I’m changing Washington⁠—most of the time the diapers smell better.”

Williamson (during her closing statement): “I’m going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field, and sir, love will win.”

Buttigieg (during his closing statement): “I’m running because the decisions we make in the next three or four years are going to decide how the next 30 or 40 go. And when I get to the current age of the current president in the year 2055, I want to be able to look back on these years and say my generation delivered climate solutions, racial equality, and an end to endless war.”


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