Takeaways from the Democratic presidential debate

By Juana Summers and Nicholas Riccardi | The Associated Press

MIAMI — Democrats hoping that Wednesday night’s first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign would be clarifying probably came away disappointed.

A FEW STRONG MOMENTS

Several candidates, especially Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, had strong moments, but there were few instances that either clearly elevated or diminished them significantly.

The sniping was mostly modulated, and the debate was notable for who was not attacked: namely, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading in nearly all early polls and is set to be part of the second night of debate Thursday.

The 10 Democrats in the first debate instead focused largely on issues of cultural and economic fairness, with some sharp disagreements. Criticism of President Donald Trump came late, with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee calling him the greatest threat to American security.

Warren wasn’t the subject of direct criticism, even when she stood out as being one of only two candidates who said she’d abolish private health insurance.

ECONOMY

The debate kicked off with moderator Savannah Guthrie asking Warren if her many ambitious plans — free college, universal child care and health care — would hurt a booming economy.

“Who is this economy really working for?” Warren replied. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top.”

It was soft toss of a question to Warren, and her response was echoed by other Democrats.

“Donald Trump just sits in the White House and gloats about what’s going on, when you have so many people that are having trouble affording college and having trouble affording their premiums,” said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a moderate who declined to swipe at Warren’s ambitious plans.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas slammed Trump’s tax cut as part of “an economy that is rigged to corporations and to the very wealthiest.”

And Rep. Tim Ryan, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

      

Cory Booker said he’s ‘absolutely disappointed’ marijuana legalization wasn’t discussed in first 2020 Democratic debate

Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker, who’s led the charge for marijuana legalization in the Senate, was highly disappointed the issue was not discussed in the first 2020 debate on Wednesday night.
“I am absolutely disappointed that wasn’t an issue when you see voters turning out this issue all over the country,” Booker said.
Booker said the ongoing federal prohibition of marijuana is a “crisis” for the US because it prevents people from getting “urgently needed medication” and has resulted in the disproportionate incarceration of minorities and low-income people.
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Miami, FL — Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday told INSIDER he’s disappointed marijuana legalization was not discussed during the first 2020 debate in Miami.

“I am absolutely disappointed that wasn’t an issue when you see voters turning out this issue all over the country,” Booker said.

The senator from New Jersey said that “as a guy who has one of the boldest bills” on this issue — the Marijuana Justice Act — he would’ve appreciated the opportunity to lay out his vision to voters on the national stage.

“I would like to see the federal government end its making marijuana illegal, and pull back and let the states do what the want,” Booker said. “But I am also one of those people that thinks you cannot talk about marijuana legalization if in the same sentence you’re not talking about expunging the records of those Americans who have criminal convictions for doing things that two of the last three presidents admitted to doing.”

Booker said the ongoing federal prohibition is a “crisis” for the US not only because “incredibly we have a country where sick people can’t access urgently needed medication,” adding, “it’s also crisis because we have the over incarceration, particularly of low-income people, particularly of African-Americans, who have been …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

John Delaney won night 1 of the Democratic debate

Of the 10 candidates taking part in Wednesday night’s pointless gaffe-prone two-hour reality show of a presidential debate, the one who sounded the least ridiculous was John Delaney.

That’s right, I said it. The retired businessman and ex-Congressman from Maryland who gave nearly $12 million of his own money to his campaign war chest in the first quarter of fundraising, a guy at 0 percent in virtually every major poll, won.

I hope it goes without saying that this tells us more about the debate format than it does about the merits — to say nothing of the chances — of Delaney’s hopeless campaign. The only really sensible thing he said came near the end of the evening when he observed, eliciting zero reaction from his fellow candidates and drawing the ire of an otherwise absurdly patient Chuck Todd, that no one in America who is a journalist or a politician actually cares about Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

This comment came seemingly out of nowhere. Most of the candidates were not even asked to give their opinions about the largest news story of President Trump’s first term. Most of the candidates were not asked to give their opinions about most of the things the other candidates were talking about. This is a problem.

Right-wing wags from President Trump on down will make fun of NBC for the technical difficulties that shut down the debate for a few minutes while some errant microphones were turned off. This is silly, though it does seem like the sort of thing that could and should have been prevented. The biggest problem with Wednesday’s proceedings was the format. If it is not worth asking certain candidates for their views on a given issue, the candidate in question should not be on the stage. The haphazard method of …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics

      

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