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Day 1 of the Democratic Debates

Find out what happened as 10 Democratic explained their vision for America

Posted on
Jun 27, 2019

On Wednesday, Democrats held their first debate of the 2020 Election. 10 candidates were on stage, with another 10 on stage tonight. Below is a quick summary of the important points from CNN.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was the top-polling Democratic presidential candidate onstage Wednesday night, and the early moments of the party's first 2020 debate showed why.

Warren was asked four other questions before most of the nine other contenders had been asked two. Her platform set the pace for the night, with other candidates embracing elements of it -- or at least passing on opportunities to break directly with her.
Meanwhile, two of the most aggressive candidates onstage, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, chose another target to mercilessly attack: former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas. De Blasio hammered O'Rourke on health care, while Castro accused his fellow Texan of failing to do his homework on immigration.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey was a steady presence onstage Wednesday night, offering an aspirational message and separating himself from other candidates on gun control.
 
 
    Warren dominated the debate's first half hour, moving herself closer to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on single-payer health care -- a move that could ease the concerns of progressives in the process. She faded the rest of the way, but went unscathed.
    That Warren's policy focus dominated the first quarter of the debate, and largely went unchallenged, also signaled a clear leftward shift within the Democratic Party. But that dynamic was apparent throughout the night, especially when candidates were asked about health care, immigration, protecting abortions rights and gun control.
    Another candidate who took no fire: former Vice President Joe Biden, the party's front-runner, who will debate with nine other Democrats on Thursday night.
    Here are eight takeaways from the opening night of Democrats' first 2020 presidential debates:

    Warren goes all in on 'Medicare for all'

    One question going into the debate was how hard Warren -- who has cut deeply into Sanders' hold on Democrats' progressive wing -- was willing to fight for single-payer health insurance when she had signaled an openness to more moderate plans in the past.
    "I'm with Bernie on 'Medicare for all,' " Warren said.
    Her answer further narrowed the political distance between Warren and Sanders, who will be on the debate stage Thursday night.
    In her response, Warren channeled Sanders' attacks on the insurance industry, casting it as a fundamentally corrupt enterprise, then targeting candidates who, for whatever reason, opposed or cast doubt on the plan.
    "There are a lot of politicians who say, 'Oh, it's just not possible. We just can't do it. There's a lot of political problems,' " Warren said, before further sharpening her language: "What they're really telling you is they just won't fight for it. Well, health care is a basic human right and I will fight for basic human rights."

     

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