If you're following the Democratic presidential debate, here’s a quick recap: Elizabeth Warren talked her proposed wealth tax, Bernie Sanders called Trump a “pathological liar,” and everybody hates wine caves. Curious what we’re talking about? Below, a few of our favourite explanations and one-liners from the sixth and final debate of 2019.
After both New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro failed to qualify for last night’s debate—and California Senator Kamala Harris dropping out earlier this month—Andrew Yang remained the sole person of colour on stage. While discussing the lack of representation of people of colour in the presidential race, he criticised the issue at hand.
“The average net worth of a black household is only 10 per cent that of a white household,” he said. “For Latinos, it’s 12 per cent. If you’re a black woman, you’re 320 per cent more likely to die from complications in childbirth. These are the numbers that define race in our country. And the question is, why am I the lone candidate of colour on this stage? Fewer than 5 per cent of Americans donate to political campaigns. You know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income.”
For the second debate in a row, candidates including Biden, Sanders, and Warren were asked about their age as it relates to becoming president. When asked to weigh in, Warren pulled out this one-liner: “I’d also be the youngest woman President ever inaugurated.”
Later, Warren took Buttigieg to task over a recent fundraiser of his held in Napa Valley and in a “wine cave” with “$US900 ($1,305)-a-bottle wine.” “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” she said. Buttigieg responded by arguing that Warren couldn’t pass her own “purity test” as a millionaire.
Later, joining Warren’s efforts, Sanders called out both Biden and Buttigieg over their campaign donors. “My good friend, Joe, and he is a good friend, he’s received contributions from 44 billionaires. Pete, on the other hand, he’s trailing, Pete. You only got 39 billionaires contributing. So, Pete, we look forward to you. I know you’re an energetic guy and a competitive guy to see if you can take on Joe on that issue.”
During a discussion on reparations, somehow the conversation turned back to Buttigieg, courtesy of Amy Klobuchar, who criticised the mayor over the apparent language he had used in a previous debate.
“When we were in the last debate, Mayor, you basically mocked the 100 years of experience on the stage,” she said. “... I just think you should respect our experience when you look at how you evaluate someone who can get things done.” Later, Klobuchar argued that a presidential candidate should be capable of actually winning an election. Buttigieg responded with, “... If you want to talk about the capacity to win, try putting together a coalition to bring you back to office with 80 per cent of the vote as a gay dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana.”
Klobuchar, however, wasn’t so sure and referenced Buttigieg’s loss during his run for Indiana state treasurer in 2010. “Again, I would, Mayor ... if you had won in Indiana, that would be one thing. You tried and you lost by 20 points. I’m sorry. That’s just the maths.”
The candidates gave gifts and asked for apologies
In the one questions asked of all seven candidates on stage, PBS NewsHour anchor and debate moderator Judy Woodruff asked a peculiar question in the spirit of the holidays: Is there a candidate you’d like to ask for forgiveness from or a candidate to whom you’d like to give a gift? And, well, the answers are about as useful as the question. Here are parts of each of their responses:
Yang: “I would love to give each of you a copy of my book.”
Buttigieg: “I think all of us will want the same thing at the end of the day. We know what a gift it would be to the future and to the country for literally anybody up here to become president of the United States compared to what we’ve got.”
Warren: “I will ask for forgiveness. I know that sometimes I get really worked up, and sometimes I get a little hot. I don’t really mean to.”
Biden: “My wife and I have a call list of somewhere between 20 and 100 people that we call at least every week or every month to tell them, I’m here. I give them my private phone number. They keep in touch with me ... And the reason I would give everyone here a gift is because they want to do something like I do of making their lives better because there’s a lot of people who are hurting very, very, very badly.”
Sanders: “But I think the gift that all of us need to give to the American people is a very, very different vision of the reality of the Trump administration. And the vision that we need to bring forth is to create a government and a nation based on love and compassion, not greed and hatred.”
Klobuchar: “Well, I would ask for forgiveness any time any of you get mad at me. I can be blunt. But I am doing this because I think it is so important to pick the right candidate here. I do ... We have to remember as Democrats, and if I get worked up about this, it’s because I believe it so much in my heart, that we have to bring people with us and not shut them out. That is the gift we can give America in this election.”
Steyer: “... the gift of teamwork. Because the question up here is, how are we together going to change this framework? How are we together going to beat this corrupt and criminal president?”
Yang (during his closing statement): “I know what you’re thinking, America. How am I still standing on stage with them?”
Klobuchar (on the lack of women in politics): “In the history of the United States Senate, there have been over 2,000 men and only 50 women. Trevor Noah said that if a nightclub had numbers that bad, they would shut it down.”
Yang (on the overrepresentation of men in politics): “The fact is if you get too many men alone and leave us alone for a while, we kind of become morons.”
On Wednesday and in a vote that split very closely along party lines, the House impeached U.S. President Donald Trump, making him the third president in U.S. history to have ever been impeached. In its vote, the House passed both articles of impeachment brought forth yesterday, including abuse of power (defined as having used his Presidential powers for his benefit) and obstruction of U.S. Congress (through his purported actions of obstructing the investigation into his actions with Ukraine).