Health care, reproductive rights and credit for doing “big things” were highlights of the fourth Democratic presidential debate, which saw 12 candidates on stage in Ohio.
For most of the evening, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, was the target of the other 11 candidates who each seemed to take a shot at the race’s new front-runner. But no exchange was as sharp as one Warren had with former Vice President Joe Biden.
Warren and Biden traded increasingly heated comments on who deserved credit for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
While Warren talked of coming up with the idea for the bureau, Biden snapped, “I went on the floor and I got votes for that bill. I convinced people to vote for that,” he said. “Let’s get that straight.”
Warren paused and slowly said, “I am deeply grateful to President Obama, who fought so hard to make sure that agency was passed into law.”
The exchange caused some in the audience to gasp.
Warren continued to talk when Biden interrupted and said, “You did a hell of a job at your job.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who was asked about his health after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago, said he “felt great.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg told former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke that he “did not need a lesson in courage” from him.
Below are live updates from the debate.
Here are the people who were on the stage:
Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Indiana
Julián Castro, former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Sen. Kamala Harris, of California
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota
Former U.S. Rep, Beto O’Rourke, of Texas
Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts
Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur
Tom Steyer, a billionaire entrepreneur
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii
Who is your most surprising friend?
11:00 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: The candidates are asked the last question, “What friendships have you had that would be a surprise.” The answers range from people they have met on the campaign trail, to John McCain (he was mentioned three times) to fellow soldiers to representatives who sit on the opposite of the aisle in Congress.
Biden, Warren spar
10:20 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: After another exchange on Medicare-for-all with Warren and Sanders, Biden says he is the only one on stage who has done something “really big.” Then Biden said another big thing he did was to get passed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, something Warren has often taken credit for.
As Warren was talking about her accomplishments, Biden says, “You did well in your job.”
Warren stopped talking and said, “Thank you.”
Warren then thanked Barack Obama, not Biden for helping to make the CFPB a reality.
Reproductive rights questions
10:15 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Biden says reproductive rights are a “constitutional right.” He is then asked if he would expand the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court if Roe v. Wade were to be threatened. He says he wouldn’t do that because it would delegitimize the court.
Gabbard says she supports some restrictions on access to abortion, saying he agrees with Hillary Clinton when she said abortion should be “legal, safe and rare.”
Harris asks Warren to join her. Warren won’t
10:10 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Harris asks Warren to join with her in calling for Twitter to close down Trump’s Twitter account. Warren, despite several attempts by Harris to get an answer, refuses to say she will join in that call.
Breaking up tech companies
10:05 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Warren and Yang argue over breaking up “big tech” companies. Yang says Warren’s proposal to break up companies such as Google and Facebook would not revive the country’s economy.
Is age an issue?
9:51 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Moderates ask Warren, Sanders and Biden if they are too old to be president. Predictably, they all say no. Gabbard wonders why the three are the only ones who got that question.
The question turns to health
9:45 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Sanders is asked about his health. 'I'm healthy; I'm feeling great,” he says as he goes back to answering a question about the opioid epidemic. He goes on to thank those who sent him well wishes when he had his heart attack earlier this month. “I’m so happy to be with you this evening.”
Castro talks about Atatiana Jefferson shooting
9:40 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Castro talks about the killing of Atatiana Jefferson by a police officer In Texas. She was shot and killed as she stood in her mother’s home. The man who shot her resigned from the police force and was charged with murder.
Buttigieg and O’Rourke argue guns
9:35 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: O'Rourke is asked about his assault weapons buyback plan. While he said the program is important and needed, he was short on details about how he would get the weapons out of the hands of people who do not want to give up their guns.
Buttigieg said O’Rourke’s answer proves the idea is unrealistic and the country cannot wait on unrealistic ideas. He tells O’Rourke, “I don’t need lessons from you on courage,” after O’Rourke says bold change is needed.
Climate change from Steyer
9:30 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Steyer pivots on a question about foreign policy to say “We can’t solve the climate crisis in the U.S. by ourselves, but we have to work with our allies and our frenemies around the world.”
Did he just call Sanders “Putin?”
9:21 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Biden says he is the only candidate who has spent extensive time with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He gestures toward Sanders who jokes that he is calling him Vladimir Putin.
Biden goes on to say that Trump is a “crazy, erratic president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy.”
Buttigieg takes on Gabbard
9:10 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Buttigieg says he disagrees with Gabbard, over Syria, and that, respectfully, she is totally wrong.
Gabbard asks if Buttigieg is ok with fueling endless wars in the Middle East. Buttigieg says the problem is the message sent by “the abandonment of critical US allies.”
Gabbard takes swipe at the media
9:05 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Gabbard takes on CNN and The New York Times, saying they have slammed her and other veterans. She says she has been painted as an “asset” for Syria and Russia and that neither is true. She calls some members of the mainstream media “shameful.”
Do billionaires really exist?
8:50 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Sanders gets in on the wealth tax question. “Should billionaires exist?” He answers by saying it is “a moral and economic outrage” that the three richest Americans control as much wealth as more than half of the rest of the country.
Steyer, who happens to be a billionaire, says it’s the Republicans’ fault for passing legislation cutting taxes for the wealthy.
“The results are as shameful as Senator Sanders said,” he said. “It’s absolutely wrong, undemocratic and unfair.”
Klobuchar goes after Warren. Again.
8:45 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Once again, Klobuchar attacks Warren. This time it is over a proposed “wealth tax.” She says she wants to give Warren a “reality check.”
"I want to give a reality check to Elizabeth," says Amy Klobuchar. "No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires."
Reproductive rights fight
8:39 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Harris says she is tired of the lack of attention to reproductive rights. She gets applause and a bit later, Booker echoes her call but says men have to stand up for the fight.
Sanders pledges jobs
8:30 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: “Damn, right we will,” Sanders answers when he is asked if he could give a job to every American through a federal jobs guarantee if someone loses a job through automation.
Candidates go after Warren’s healthcare plan
8:16 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Once again, the debate shifts to healthcare and Elizabeth Warren gets the first questions.
She is asked about whether her Medicare-for-all plan will raise taxes on the middle class. “I will not sign a bill into law that will not lower costs for middle-class families,” she says. Buttigieg says Warren will not answer “yes” or “no” to a “yes or no” question.
Sanders says yes, that taxes would go up if his Medicare-for-all plan were enacted. Warren says that cost would go down to compensate for the increase in taxes.
Klobuchar, attacks Warren, saying she is dodging the truth on the cost of the plan. “At least Bernie is being honest,” about the cost, she says.
Biden is asked about his son
8:10 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: My son did nothing wrong, Biden says. We are forgetting the issue is Trump, he said.
“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government.”
He says Trump is scared of him and that is why he has launched a false narrative. “I will beat him like a drum.”
Impeachment is the first question
8:03 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: The question goes to Warren first: Why shouldn’t the voters determine Trump’s fate, instead of an impeachment measure.
Because some things are bigger than politics, Warren says.
Then to Sanders: Do Democrats have any option but to impeach? No, we don’t. I think the House will find him worthy of impeachment.”
Biden: He is reminded of what he said about Clinton’s impeachment, that the Congress should be careful taking that action. He says Trump is the most corrupt president in history, Biden says.
Harris: Is it being fair to the president to say he is worthy of impeachment without all the evidence. Yes, Harris says. “He did it in plain sight.
Booker: “We must be fair… this has got to be about patriotism not partisanship.”
Klobuchar: “We can do two things at once,” she says in answer to a question about whether the inquiry is distracting.
Castro: “We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Castro says. Several Democrats have used that phrase this evening already. “We have to support impeachment.”
Buttigieg: He says Republicans are making a mistake not to speak out about Trump. “Picture what it will be like the first day after Trump leaves office,” he says. He says he is the one to lead after Trump.
Gabbard: She strikes a different tone saying that if the inquiry is partisan, it will fail.
Steyer: He calls Trump the “criminal in the White House.” Impeaching and removing this president is the will of the people.
Yang: The problem isn’t so much Trump as it is the economy, Yang says.
O’Rourke: He thinks there is plenty of evidence to impeach and remove Trump,
The debate is on
8 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: The debate is beginning.
Candidates are being introduced
7:54 p.m. ET Oct.15, 2019: The candidates are being introduced and taking their place on stage.
Fifteen minutes until the debate
7:45 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: The debate begins in 15 minutes. The candidates are in the wings and getting ready to come out.
7:35 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Sen. Bernie Sanders said he is feeling well tonight. He suffered a heart attack earlier this month. The debate marks his return to the campaign trail.
Where are they in the polls?
7:25 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: A poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University shows Elizabeth Warren leading Joe Biden by 30 percent to 27 percent among Democratic voters and independents who lean Democratic. Following Warren and Biden are Bernie Sanders with 11 percent, Pete Buttigieg with 8 percent and Kamala Harris with 4 percent. No other candidate had more than 2 percent support in the poll.
The National Anthem
7:11 p.m. ET Oct 15, 2019: Jordan Donica, a graduate of Otterbein University is performing the National Anthem.
7:05 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Sen. Bernie Sanders said he is feeling well after he suffered a heart attack earlier this month. The debate marks his return to the campaign trail.
The largest debate in history
6:48 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Tonight’s event will be the largest televised presidential debate in history. The 12-person field tops the Republican debate of four years ago when 11 candidates took the stage at Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Who will be asking the questions?
6:35 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: The debate will take place at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. CNN's Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey will be asking the questions.
6:30 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019: Good evening, and welcome to live updates from the fourth Democratic presidential debate.
Let’s get started.
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