• Democratic debate: 5 memorable moments from Thursday's matchup

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


    MIAMI - Ten more Democratic candidates met Thursday night in Miami for the second round of presidential debates in the 2020 election season. Unlike Wednesday's first round, Thursday's debates included sharper exchanges as the candidates clashed over race, foreign policy and health care.

    >> Read the latest from our Washington Insider, Jamie Dupree

    Taking the stage were former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, author Marianne Williamson and businessman Andrew Yang.

    Here are five memorable moments from Thursday's debate. 

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    1. Harris, Biden clash on race

    Harris challenged Biden on remarks he made at a fundraiser last week about working with segregationists in the Senate, and criticized his opposition to busing during the 1970s.

    “I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden,” Harris said. “I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground."

    However, she said, "It is personal and it was actually very hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputation and career on the segregation of race in this country.”

    Biden said Harris' remarks were "“A mischaracterization of my position across the board,"

    "I did not praise racists,” BIden said..

    On the issue of busing, Harris said that as a young child, she was part of only the second class integrated due to busing.

    “Do you agree today, do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then?” Harris asked Biden. “Do you agree?”

    “I did not oppose busing in America,” Biden said. “What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed.”

    2. Biden, Sanders disagree over Iraq

    Sanders and Biden sparred over the former vice president's vote to authorize the war in Iraq when he was a senator from Delaware.

    After Biden said that as Barack Obama's vice president he worked to bring home U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, Sanders went on the attack.

    “One of the differences that Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for that war,” Sanders said. “I helped lead the opposition to that war.”

    3. Age as an issue: "Passing the torch' 

    Swalwell raised the issue of age with Biden, suggesting it was time for a younger candidate to lead the Democratic party. 

    Swalwell referenced a speech Biden made 32 years ago, when he suggested "it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans."

    If we’re going to solve the issues of the nation, pass the torch," Swalwell said. "If we’re going to solve the issue of climate chaos, pass the torch. If we are going to solve school violence, pass the torch."

    “I’m still holding onto that torch,” Biden said with a smile.

    Sanders also jumped into the conversation, shouting, "Who has the guts to take on Wall Street!"

    Harris admonished the other candidates when the noise level began to rise.

    "Hey guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight," Harris said. "They want to know how we are going to put food on their table."

    4. Candidates criticize President Trump

    Early in the debate. Biden used a question about his recent remarks to not "demonize the rich" as president as an opportunity to attack President Donald Trump.

    “Donald Trump thinks Wall Street built America,” Biden said. "I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy,” 

    Sanders chimed in, calling the president a "pathological liar" and a "racist."

    “That’s how we beat Trump," Sanders said. "We expose him for the fraud he is."

    >> Democratic debate: Here's what the candidates said

    5. Candidates agree on health care

    All of the candidates raised their hands when asked if their proposed government health care plans also would cover undocumented immigrants.

    “Our country is healthier when everybody is healthier,” Buttigieg said. “This is not about a handout.”

    Biden agreed with Buttigieg, saying "He's right." Biden said he also favored "putting insurance executives in jail for misleading advertisements" about opioids.

    When moderators asked the candidates which ones supported a national heath-care program that would eliminate private insurance, only Harris and Sanders raised their hands.

    Williamson called the other candidates plans to fix the health-care system "superficial fixes."

    “If you think we are going to beat Donald Trump ny just having all these plans, you've got another think coming,” she said, "He didn't win by saying he had plans. He won by simply saying, 'Let's make America great again.'"

    The hand-raising got a reaction from Trump, who tweeted from Japan, where he is attending the Group of 20 summit. "All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!”

    >> Read the full transcript of the debate

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