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Politics Top moments from Tuesday's Democratic debate

09:20  16 october  2019
09:20  16 october  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Tuesday ' s debate in the key battleground state of Ohio was the first opportunity for Democratic candidates to gather on stage since the announcement of the Here are a few of the top moments from Tuesday ' s debate : Biden redirects on Ukraine involvement as impeachment takes center stage.

Top moments from the last Democratic debate of 2019. Mayor Pete Buttigieg finally got the top -tier treatment during the sixth Democratic presidential debate hosted in Los Angeles on Thursday, and Sen.

The fourth round of the Democratic primary debates saw a record 12 candidates battling it out over top issues, while the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is underway.

The focus shifted from former Vice President Biden to Sen. Elizabeth Warren for attacks from 2020 rivals, which is surely in response to her mounting support in national polls. As with previous debates, personal attacks were on display despite some calls for civility.

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Here are the eight key moments from Tuesday night' s debate Straight out of the gate, Bloomberg said Russia was trying to boost Sanders in the Democratic primary because he would be a weaker candidate to take on President Trump.

Here are a few of the top moments from Tuesday's debate:

Biden redirects on Ukraine involvement as impeachment takes center stage

As expected, the first focus of this debate was the impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats. At its center is the allegation that Trump pressured Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

When asked whether his son's business interests in Ukraine during his vice presidency, Biden redirected the focus to Trump. The question came after Biden's declaration over the weekend that his family members won't have foreign business relationships if he is elected.

Foreign business deals: Hunter Biden says he won't serve on foreign boards if Joe Biden elected president

Steyer calls climate change 'most important international problem we're facing'

  Steyer calls climate change 'most important international problem we're facing' Billionaire businessman and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer said climate change is one of the biggest threats facing America, right up there with Russia and election tampering. Speaking during the fourth Democratic primary debate Tuesday, Steyer said climate change is "the most important international problem we're facing" and chastised debate organizers for failing to yet bring up the topic more than an hour and a half into the event.

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“Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong,” Biden said.

“My son’s statement speaks for itself,” Biden said, before pivoting back to Trump. “What we have to do now is focus on Donald Trump. I’m proud of the judgment he (Hunter) made.”

Hunter Biden said in an interview with ABC News earlier in the day that he made a "mistake" and exercised "poor judgement" regarding the political consequences of his seat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company during his father's time in office. He denied any misconduct.

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Ukraine explainer: Biden, allies pushed out Ukrainian prosecutor because he didn't pursue corruption cases

This debate was the first opportunity for Democratic candidates to come together on stage after the announcement of the impeachment probe, and candidates reaffirmed their support with varying levels of enthusiasm. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked why voters shouldn't be the ones to determine whether Trump stays in office. “Because sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics,” she said.

"I’m still waiting to find out form him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in our election makes America great again," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

But Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard cautioned against purely political motives while pursuing impeachment: "If impeachment is driven by these hyperpartisan interests, it will only further divide a terribly divided country."

Sen. Kamala Harris said she doubts the impeachment inquiry will last long.

“As a former prosecutor,” Harris said. “I know a confession when I see it.”

Analysis: Warren still growing into front-runner status

  Analysis: Warren still growing into front-runner status WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The question was inevitable. Elizabeth Warren's answer was the same. And her rivals seized on it. For the second consecutive debate, Warren refused to say whether middle-class Americans would pay higher taxes under her proposed Medicare for All plan. It was a glaring dodge for a candidate who has risen to the top of the Democratic field by unveiling detailed policy proposals and selling them with a folksy flair.And it was one of nearly a half a dozen issues where Warren found herself defending the broad ambition she has laid out to remake the American economy and rebalance the nation's wealth.

On Tuesday ’ s debate stage, Sanders again denied he ever told Warren that he didn't believe a woman could be president. “How could anybody in a million years not believe that Top moments :Candidates continue off-stage conflicts, and other top moments from the January Democratic debate in Iowa.

October Democratic Debate Highlights: Elizabeth Warren Takes Punches From Buttigieg, Biden and More. But at Tuesday ’ s debate , Buttigieg got possibly the most notable line of an exchange on guns.As for how he would actually enforce weapon buybacks, the former Texas congressman said, “If

Elizabeth Warren the target of multiple attacks as her standing in polls rises

Slideshow by photo services

Warren has slowly inched her way up in national polls, which most recently have shown her on top. She has narrowly overtaken Biden, who was the target of rivals' verbal attacks on the debate stage in the past. At this debate, it was Warren's turn to take some hits.

Warren was repeatedly pressed by moderators and opponents alike to address whether her universal health care plan will raise taxes for the middle class. As in previous debates, Warren refused to give a "yes or no" answer. 

Costs will go up for the most wealthy, Warren said, but "I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle class families."

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg called it "a yes or no question that didn't get a yes or no answer."

"No plan has been laid out to explain how a multi-trillion dollar hole... is supposed to get filled," Buttigieg said regarding Warren's plan. 

Polls: Elizabeth Warren leading Joe Biden in recent Democratic presidential primary polls

More data: Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren lead the pack in polling before fourth Democratic debate in Ohio

Presidential candidate Biden has less campaign cash than top Democratic rivals

  Presidential candidate Biden has less campaign cash than top Democratic rivals Joe Biden had $9 million in his campaign bank account at the end of September, significantly less than his top rivals, data released on Tuesday showed. While Biden leads most national public opinion polls, he has struggled to raise money and is relying heavily on wealthy donors who can write five-figure checks instead of smaller donations made via the internet.Biden dismissed that his low cash balance is going to be a problem going forward, saying that his campaign launched after several others, forcing him to catch up to his rivals.

Klobuchar in particular used several opportunities to call out Warren. Klobuchar has long tried to distinguish herself in the primary field as a more moderate choice and electable against Trump.

"At least Bernie’s being honest," Klobuchar said of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has acknowledged a tax hike for the middle class but overall lower costs after out-of-pocket health care expenses are eliminated under his plan.

“I appreciate Elizabeth's work, but again, the difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something you can actually get done," Klobuchar said.

On wealth distribution, Klobuchar took umbrage at how she thought Warren was painting her ”ultra-millionaire tax” as the best plan. "I want to give a reality check to Elizabeth," she said.

“We just have different approaches,” Klobuchar told Warren. “Your idea is not the only idea.”

According to CNN's tracker, Warren had by far the most speaking time of the evening at over 22 minutes. Biden was behind her at about 16 minutes.

O'Rourke and Buttigieg continue feud over gun buybacks

At the last Democratic debate, O'Rourke made waves when he proclaimed, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47." And he did not back down from that statement in this debate.

O'Rourke's gun control plan includes a mandatory buyback program for military-style assault weapons. And while some of the candidates support that idea, Buttigieg has led Democrats in shooting down O'Rourke's proposal as unrealistic, calling it a “shiny object” that distracts from taking gun control steps for which there is widespread support.

More on buyback debate: Chuck Schumer said Democrats don't agree with Beto O'Rourke on gun buybacks. Some do.

“We cannot wait for purity tests,” Buttigieg said. “We have to just get something done.”

O’Rourke countered that Democrats should decide what they’re going to believe in and not be limited by polls, consultants and focus groups. Buttigieg said the problem isn’t the polls; the problem is the policy.

“I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal,” Buttigieg added. “Everyone on this stage is determined to get something done. Everyone on this stage recognizes, or at least I thought we did, that the problem is not other Democrats who don't agree with your particular idea of how to handle this.”

Calling Buttigieg's "shiny object" comment a mischaracterization, O'Rourke said, "I don’t care what that meant to me or my candidacy." Rather, he cares about the loved ones of those whose lives have been lost to gun violence.

“I just keep thinking of how close we are to finally getting something done on this,” Klobuchar weighed in on her opposition to mandatory buybacks. “Let’s not mess this up with this fight.”

Are some candidates too old for office? They say no.

In a first for the primary debates, moderators asked a few candidates whether their relatively old—or young, in the case of Gabbard—ages are strikes against them in this election.

"I'm healthy. I'm feeling great," Sanders, 78, said when asked if he is “up to the stress” of the presidency after suffering a heart attack earlier this month that made his presence at this debate remarkable.

Candidates' ages: 4 decades separate 2020's presidential candidates. Here's what that looks like.

Sanders, Biden and Warren were all asked whether their ages are in play in their ability to take office, but all said they consider it an advantage.

Biden, 76, said that his age comes with the benefit of advanced wisdom. “I will not need any on-the-job training the day I take office," he said.

Warren, 70, said she'd "out-work, out-organize and outlast anyone," including Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. 

On the flip side, Gabbard, 38, is one of the youngest candidates along with Buttigieg, 37. She said it was not fair for those questions to only go to the three oldest candidates and pointed to experience over age as important.

Women's reproductive rights a question after push from Harris, Booker

After a September debate that didn't touch the issue of abortion, Harris drew applause from the crowd when she brought up the topic of women's health early in this debate. 

"This is the sixth debate we've had in this presidential cycle and not nearly one word, with all of these discussions about health care, on women's access to reproductive health care, which is under full on attack in America today," Harris said.

She said it was not an exaggeration to say poor women and women of color “will die” because of the restrictive state laws. Harris lambasted Republican lawmakers for being “out of touch” with American women and called on them to let women make their own decisions about their reproductive rights.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker added his voice to that call. "God bless Kamala, but women should not be the only ones taking up this cause and this fight," he said. 

Later in the debate, some candidates pushed for protecting Roe v. Wade using the Supreme Court. Harris brought up her plan to pass "preclearance laws" that would require Justice Department review before states passed anti-abortion laws.

Klobuchar addressed Trump, who she said has attacked women's rights. "You, Donald Trump, are not on the side of women," she said.

For more highlights: USA TODAY's live blog from the 4th Democratic debate in Ohio

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Top moments from Tuesday's Democratic debate

Presidential candidate Biden has less campaign cash than top Democratic rivals .
Joe Biden had $9 million in his campaign bank account at the end of September, significantly less than his top rivals, data released on Tuesday showed. While Biden leads most national public opinion polls, he has struggled to raise money and is relying heavily on wealthy donors who can write five-figure checks instead of smaller donations made via the internet.Biden dismissed that his low cash balance is going to be a problem going forward, saying that his campaign launched after several others, forcing him to catch up to his rivals.

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