CNN Democratic debate night 2
Each candidate had at least eight minutes of speaking time tonight — and every one had at least one standout one-liner, compelling argument or tense exchange.
Here's a look at the candidate's most dramatic, most humorous and most riveting moments.
Sen. Michael Bennet mentioned his mother, an immigrant who was separated from her parents during the Holocaust in Poland, and said she's part of the reason immigration is an issue that's important to him:
"For those reasons, I was part of the gang of eight that wrote — I wrote the immigration bill in 2013 with John McCain that passed the Senate with 68 votes that gave a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people that are here," he said.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand directly questioned former Vice President Joe Biden about an op-ed he wrote on about women working outside the home. She repeatedly asked him what he meant when he wrote that working women would "create the deterioration of family." Even as Biden defended why he voted against a child care funding bill, she kept pressing him on the op-ed:
"Mr. Vice President, I respect you deeply. I respect you deeply. But those words are very specific. You said women working outside the home lead to the deterioration of family."
Julián Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, criticized Biden's position on border crossings after the former vice president said that illegally crossing the border should remain a crime. Castro responded:
"It looks like one of us has learned from the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't."
Sen. Cory Booker got into a heated exchanged with Biden over criminal justice reform and criticized him with this line:
"There's a saying in my community that you're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor."
Sen. Kamala Harris spent her debate night aggressively attacking Biden. The very first question of the night became an opportunity for the two to debate on their dueling heath care plans. Later, she called out the former vice president out for changing his position on abortion funding.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spent the majority of the night defending himself against attacks from the other candidates. He got into it with Harris over his changing position on a measure that blocks federal funds from being used for most abortions. Biden also struggled to answer Democratic foes who criticized Obama-era deportations of undocumented immigrants. In a separate moment, protesters began chanting in the debate hall after Biden was asked about deportations under the Obama administration.
Businessman Andrew Yang offered this fiery comparison between himself and Trump in his opening remarks:
"We need to do the opposite of much of what we're doing right now and the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math."
Later on, he defended immigrants, saying they're "being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy."
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the only war veteran on stage tonight, said most policymakers in Washington can’t fathom the cost of the war. Her political record has come under intense scrutiny over the past few years, but Gabbard’s criticism of the US foreign policy establishment is in line with most progressives’ — and she pulled no punches on stage tonight.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee challenged Biden on the urgency of climate change. He then a passionate defense for action on climate changing, saying:
"We cannot work this out. The time is up. Our house is on fire. We have to stop using coal in 10 years and we need a president to do it or it won't get done. Get off coal. Save this country and the planet."
Mayor Bill de Blasio came under fire tonight for not taking action against New York City police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who choked Eric Garner to death. Protesters disrupted the debate demanding Pantaleo's firing. Several candidates also called on the mayor to fire the officer.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said to former Vice President Joe Biden, “Your argument is not with me, it’s with science. And unfortunately your plan is just too late. The science tells us we have to get off coal in 10 years. Your plan does not do that. We have to have off of fossil fuels in 15.”
Fact First: Inslee is exaggerating the timeline.
The science that Inslee was referring to likely comes from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s report published in 2018. The report argued that the world needs to urgently cut emissions. It did not set a specific year as a deadline or say that we only have 10 years to fix our problems, there is no specific tipping point, though some politicians and media outlets have characterized it as such.
Instead, the report explains there needs to be a 45% cut in human-caused carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, as compared to 2010 levels. If it doesn’t the planet could warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052. The international community considers 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming to be catastrophic.
These are all estimates based on the best science. Any level of warming is dangerous and risks increase as the temperature does. At the current rates, the world could easily go far beyond the 1.5 degree goal by 2052.
Former Vice President Joe Biden defended his criminal justice record by saying that he has tried since 2007 to “totally” eliminate the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, which disproportionately affected African Americans.
Facts First: Biden is right that he introduced in 2007 a bill to treat crack and powder cocaine equally, but he did not mention he supported legislation 21 years earlier that created the disparity in the first place.
In 2007, Biden introduced a bill that would undo the 100-to-1 powder-to-crack ratio set into law by another bill he co-sponsored in 1986. That earlier bill established the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence for people convicted of distributing 500 grams of powder cocaine or five grams of crack.
And in 2018, President Donald Trump signed the First Step Act, which makes the reform retroactive, helping those convicted of crack offenses before 2010.
Former Vice President Joe Biden ended his debate night inadvertently directing his supporters to a website that his campaign doesn't own.
"If you agree with me, go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight. Thank you very much," Biden said.
He likely wanted voters to text "Joe" to 30330, but the way Biden phrased his closing remarks made it sound like he was sending them to a website.
In the minutes after the debate, someone bought Joe30330.com.
At first, the website redirected to Mayor Pete Buttigieg's campaign site. Moments later, it started going to joshforamerica.com. Josh claims to be "the first Gen Z'er to declare candidacy for this office."
The donate page of Josh's website now has this disclaimer:
See Biden's call to action:
The second night of CNN's 2020 Democratic debate just wrapped, and by the end of the night, former Vice President Joe Biden had the most speaking time, with 21 minutes and 1 second.
Sen. Kamala Harris spoke for 17 minutes and 43 seconds. Meanwhile, businessman Andrew Yang had the least amount of talking time, with 8 minutes and 38 seconds.
Here's the full breakdown:
The 10 presidential candidates just wrapped up their debate appearances tonight with their closing remarks to Americans.
Here's what they said:
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: "If we're going to beat Donald Trump, this has to be a party that stands for something. The party of labor unions. This has to be the party of universal health care. This has to be the party that's not afraid to say out loud we're going to tax the hell out of the wealthy. And when we do that, Donald Trump right on cue will call us socialists. Here's what I'll say to him: 'Donald, you're the real socialist.'"
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet: "I think that we have an incredible opportunity in front of us. All of us. To come together just as our parents and grandparents did before them, and face challenges even harder than the ones we face. But the only way that we're going to be able to do it is to put the divisive politics of Donald Trump behind us."
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: "We have one last chance. When you have one chance in life, you take it. Think about this. Literally the survival of humanity on this planet in civilization is in the hands of the next president. And we have to have a leader who will do what is necessary to save us. That includes making this the top priority of the next presidency."
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: "I'm running for president because I want to help people. And I actually have the experience and the ability to do that. I brought Congress together and actually made a difference in peoples lives."
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: "The needs are great as your president I will put your interest above all else."
Former Secretary Julián Castro: "I believe that we need leadership that understands that we need to move forward as one nation. With one destiny. And our destiny in the years to come is to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth."
Businessman Andrew Yang: "You know what the talking heads couldn't stop talking about about after the last debate? It's not the fact that I am somehow No. four on the stage in national polling. It was the fact that I wasn't wearing a tie. Instead of automation in the future, including the fact we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs. Hundreds of thousands right here in Michigan. We're up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines. Playing roles in this reality TV show. It's one reason why we elected a reality TV star as our president."
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker: "We have a real crisis in our country, and the crisis is Donald Trump — but not only Donald Trump, I have a frustration that sometimes people are saying the only thing they want is to beat Donald Trump. Well, that is the floor and not the ceiling."
California Sen. Kamala Harris: "What we need is someone who is going to be on that debate stage with Donald Trump and defeat him by being able to prosecute the case against four more years. And let me tell you we've got a long rap sheet."
Former Vice President Joe Biden: Everybody knows who Donald Trump is. We have to let him know who we are. We choose science over fiction. We choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division. And we choose, we choose the idea that we can as Americans, when we act together, do anything."
See Harris' closing statement:
While defending his record as mayor of Newark, New Jersey, against attacks from former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker claimed that the leader of New Jersey’s American Civil Liberties Union "has said that I embraced reforms not just in action but in deeds."
Facts First: This is true, but lacks important context.
Booker was mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013, and in his last year the head of ACLU-NJ did "commend" Booker and the city's police director for issuing "one of the most comprehensive policies in the nation requiring the tracking and public reporting of the police department’s stop-and-frisk practices."
But the reforms came, in part, following a 96-page complaint made by the ACLU against Newark's police department in 2010. The complaint led to a three-year investigation from the Department of Justice into the department. The DOJ released a report in 2014 which found "reasonable cause to believe" police officers had stolen from civilians and -- among other things -- engaged in a "pattern of unconstitutional stops and arrests" that disproportionately affected black people.
Booker is leaving out this critical background in touting the praise from the ACLU.
Andrew Yang said: "If you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants, you will find wall-to-wall robots and machines. Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy."
Facts First: Yang is right that robots have displaced more workers than immigrants.
Many studies have shown that immigrants generally create more net jobs in the US, although there may be some displacement and wage stagnation in low-skilled industries where more immigrants compete directly with native-born Americans.
But all kinds of manufacturing industries in America, from steel to tractors, have incorporated technology that reduces the number of people needed to create a given amount of stuff. The automotive sector accounts for about half the US’ robot shipments, according to the Robotics Industry Association, though non-automotive industries have been catching up fast. And many economists, including those at Oxford Economics and McKinsey, project that automation will displace millions of jobs in manufacturing down the line.
However, manufacturing employment in Michigan has been steadily rising since the bottom of the Great Recession, and now stands at 635,000 jobs — 14% of total employment in the state. And according to the pro-immigration American Immigration Council, in 2015, 94,152 of those jobs were occupied by immigrants, a share that was higher than immigrants' percentage of the overall population.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the only war veteran on stage tonight, said most policymakers in Washington can’t fathom the cost of the war.
Her political record has come under intense scrutiny over the past few years, but Gabbard’s criticism of the US foreign policy establishment is in line with most progressives’ – and she pulled no punches on stage tonight.
“For too long, we had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll it takes on our service members, on their families,” Gabbard said. “We have to do the right thing. End the wasteful regime change wars and bring our troops home."
Before she began, Gabbard who was deployed to Iraq in 2005, said her feelings on the issue are “difficult to convey in words.”
“I served in a field medical unit where every single day I saw the high cost of war. Just this past week two more of our soldiers were killed in Afghanistan,” the Hawaii congresswoman said. “My cousin is deployed to Afghanistan right now. Nearly 300 of our Hawaii National Guard soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan. Fourteen thousand service members are deployed there.”
Ending the American conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, she added, should not be about the setting of “arbitrary deadline.” It’s a question, Gabbard said, “about leadership.”
“The leadership I will bring to do the right thing, to bring our troops home within the first year in office because they shouldn't have been there this long,” she said.
Turning to Trump, Gabbard added: “We were all lied to (about Iraq). The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us.”
Watch Gabbard speak on Afghanistan: