Democratic debate in South Carolina

By Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 4:47 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020
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9:04 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Buttigieg to Sanders: "How are we going to deliver a revolution if you won't even support a rule change"

From CNN's Dan Merica

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg hit Bernie Sanders on Tuesday for not supporting ending the filibuster, a Senate rule that if ended would allow bills to be passed with only a simple majority.

Buttigieg has used nearly every answer on the debate stage to target Sanders, the race’s front-runner and a candidate who the former mayor has said could have an insurmountable lead in early March.

“I want to come back to the question of the filibuster because this is not some long-ago bad vote that Bernie Sanders took, this is a current bad position that Bernie Sanders holds,” Buttigieg said.

Then he delivered a direct line: “How are we going to deliver a revolution if you won't even support a rule change?”

Sanders has said he supports filibuster reform, but does not support getting rid of the rule.

“We are in the state where Strom Thurmond used the filibuster to block civil rights legislation repeatedly,” Buttigieg said, referring to a late United States senator and segregationist from South Carolina. “No less a Senate traditional figure than Harry Reid has called for it to go. It has got to go, because otherwise Washington will not deliver.”

8:53 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Warren backs Sanders in heated exchange with Bloomberg over "progressive agenda"

 Win McNamee/Getty Images
 Win McNamee/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg were in a heated exchange over electability when Elizabeth Warren interrupted them to support Sanders' "progressive agenda."

Sanders argued that he can beat President Trump and will do so with "an unprecedented, grassroots movement of black and white and Latino, Native American and Asian people who are standing up and fighting for justice."

Bloomberg interjected to say, "Imagine moderate Republicans going over and voting for him? And you have to do that or you can't win."

That's when Warren stepped into the debate to disagree with Bloomberg.

"A progressive agenda is popular, Mayor Bloomberg. And for everyone on this stage," she said.

"We talk about how to build a future. That's what matters," Warren said.

8:52 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Bloomberg catches himself from saying he "bought" House races in 2018

From CNN's Dan Merica

Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images
Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg, touting the millions he spent to help elect Democrats to the House in 2018, came close to saying that he “bought” the race, but caught himself and said, “I got them.”

“They talk about 40 Democrats” that were elected to deliver a Democratic majority in 2018, Bloomberg said. “Twenty-one of those were people they spent $100 million to help elect.”

He added: “All of the new Democrats that came in, put Nancy Pelosi in charge, and gave the Congress the ability to control this President, I boug… I got them.”

8:59 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Buttigieg to Sanders: Vulnerable Democrats are "running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can"

From CNN's Dan Merica

Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday night echoed the fears some Democrats have about nominating Bernie Sanders, using a back-and-forth with the Vermont senator to warn that a candidate at the top of the ticket who self-identifies as a “democratic socialist” could hurt down ballot races for the House and Senate.

Buttigieg said nominating Sanders would lead to “four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, and the inability to get the Senate in Democratic hands.”

“The time has come to stop acting like the presidency is the only office that matters. Not only is this a way to get Donald Trump re-elected. We have a House to worry about. We have a Senate to worry about. And this is really important,” Buttigieg continued.

More moderate Democrats – including those who won their seats in 2018 – have publicly expressed concerns about what Sanders atop the ticket would mean for down ballot races.

Buttigieg, as he has focused most of his attacks on Sanders, has stoked these fears, highlighting what he believes is the need to defend these House seats and broaden the Democratic base.

“If you want to keep the house in Democratic hands, you might want to check with the people who actually turned the house blue,” Buttigieg said. “Forty Democrats who are not running on your platform. They are running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can. I want to send those Democrats back to the United States House.”

After the Nevada caucuses, Pete Buttigieg went after Bernie Sanders:

8:45 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Biden and Steyer attack each other's records on race

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Tom Steyer attacked each other’s records on race in a tense exchange as the two men vie for the support of African American voters in South Carolina ahead of Saturday’s primary. 

Biden lambasted the billionaire businessman for investing in private prisons.

“They hogtied young men in prison here in this state. They in fact made sure that in Georgia they did not have health care for the people that were being held,” he said. 

“You wrote the crime bill,” Steyer shot back, referencing the 1994 legislation signed into law by former President Bill Clinton and noting that it had imposed stiff mandatory minimum sentences that had left hundreds of thousands of black and brown people in jail. 

“Tommy come lately,” Biden quipped as Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar interjected and ended the exchange. 

8:41 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Who has spoken the most so far

We're tracking approximate speaking times during tonight's debate. As of the first commercial break, Sen. Elizabeth Warren currently leads the pack with almost six minutes, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. See the full breakdown below, and follow along live here.

8:42 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Klobuchar says if Democrats keep "tearing our party apart" Trump will get reelected

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Addressing her fellow candidates on stage, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said, "If we spend the next four months tearing our party apart, we're going to watch Donald Trump spend the next four years tearing our country apart."

She continued by pointing out that she does not think Bernie Sanders is the right person to nominate.

"I like Bernie. We came in together to the Senate. But I do not think that this is the best person to lead the ticket."
8:38 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Warren calls out Bloomberg over alleged workplace harassment, backing GOP senators

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren called out Michael Bloomberg over reports he told a female employee, who told him she was pregnant, to "kill it."

Bloomberg denied having made the comment, shooting back: "I never said that."

Warren also hit Bloomberg for backing the Republican senator, Scott Brown, she challenged and defeated in 2012.

The Massachusetts senator first brought up Bloomberg's support for GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who narrowly held off Democratic challenger Katie McGinty in 2016.

"He dumped $12 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race to help re-elect an anti-choice, right-wing Republican senator. And I just want to say, the woman challenger was terrific," Warren said of the Toomey-McGinty race. 

Then Warren turned to her own race.

"In 2012, (Bloomberg) scooped in to try to defend another Republican senator against a woman challenger," Warren said. "That was me. It didn't work, but he tried hard."

8:40 p.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Buttigieg: "There are seven white people on stage talking about racial justice"

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Asked if he thought New York City's implementation of "stop and frisk" under former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was racist, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded, "Yes, in effect, it was."

He added: "Because it was about profiling people based on their race."

Buttigieg went on to point out that he's "conscious of the fact that there are seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice."

" None of us — none of us have the experience, the lived experience of -- for example, walking down the street, or in a mall, and feeling feeling eyes on us, regarding us as dangerous, without knowing the first thing about us justice because of the color of our skin."