Democratic debate in New Hampshire

By Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 11:31 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020
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10:13 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Steyer says he supports reparations for African Americans

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tom Steyer said Friday he supports reparations for African Americans and that racism is an ongoing problem in the United States. 

“Something wrong happened,” Steyer said. “I am for reparations to African Americans in this country, and anyone who thinks that racism is a thing of the past and not an ongoing problem is not dealing with reality.”

Steyer added: “In fact, three days ago, one of the leaders of Joe Biden’s South Carolina campaign made racist remarks about someone associated with our campaign, and the Legislative Black Caucus and went out en masse to stand up for that man and for our campaign.” 

“Joe, I’m asking you to come with me and the Legislative Black Caucus and disavow (state Sen.) Dick Harpootlian and what he had to say. It was wrong,” Steyer said, turning to the former vice president. 

Biden responded: “I’m asking you to join me and join in the support I have from the overwhelming number of the members of that Black Caucus."

"I have more support in South Carolina, the Black Caucus and the black community than anybody else. Double what you have and anybody else," Biden said.

11:15 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Fact check: Buttigieg said Trump administration admitted the Iran nuclear deal was working. Here's what we know.

From CNN's Caroline Kelly, Zachary Cohen and Holmes Lybrand 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg asserted during the debate that the Trump administration admitted that the Iran nuclear deal — which it pulled out of in 2018 — was actually working.  

“This President has moved us this much closer to the brink of war, but it didn't start with the Soleimani strike,” Buttigieg said, referring to the January airstrike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. “It started with withdrawing us from the Iran nuclear deal that his own administration certified was working.” 

Facts First: This is basically true. The Trump administration repeatedly recertified the nuclear deal and waived sanctions against Tehran, effectively acknowledging that Iran was abiding by the terms of the deal even as the President publicly criticized it. 

The terms of the nuclear deal required the US president to reauthorize it every 120 days to keep sanctions from kicking in. Trump didn't leave the deal until May 2018 and reauthorized it a handful of times after taking office. 

CNN previously reported that the President promised to kill the deal on the campaign trail but was persuaded by Cabinet members and allies several times to recertify Iran's compliance. 

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services committee in April 2018 that the verification provisions in the pact were "pretty robust" though he did not publicly back the deal. Despite his criticism of the deal, neither Trump nor his aides had been able to say that Iran was violating the terms of the agreement. 

Watch: At debate, Buttigieg was on defense over his experience

10:08 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Buttigieg defends record on race as mayor

From CNN's Dan Merica

Pete Buttigieg was directly challenged on his record in South Bend, Indiana, on Friday night, with the former mayor admitting “systemic racism has penetrated to every level of our system and my city was not immune.”

Buttigieg’s record in South Bend has been arguably the biggest weight on his presidential campaign, with his opponents regularly using questions about how programs he pushed impacted black families and his handling of the police department as a way to hammer the mayor on issues of race.

Buttigieg looked to get away from his South Bend record by focusing on what he wants to do as President on drugs and incarceration.

“Earlier we are talking about opioids and thankfully, America has come to a better understanding that opioid addiction is a medical problem,” Buttigieg said, “but there are a lot of people, including African American activists in my community, who have made the very good point, it's great that everybody's so enlightened about drug policy now… but where were you when it came to marijuana, where are you when it came to the crack epidemic in the 1990s?”

Buttigieg, who has struggled to garner black support during his presidential run, said that was one of the reasons he was in favor of “ending incarceration as a response to possession and to make sure we legalize marijuana.”

But Buttigieg’s answer did not directly take on the question – which was about the rate of marijuana arrests in South Bend during the first years of his tenure.

9:57 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Fact check: Yang said 4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost — but it's not clear how many were because of automation

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

Businessman Andrew Yang said tonight that traditional manufacturing communities “are seeing their way of life get blasted into smithereens. We’ve automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs and counting.” 

Facts First: Yang is correct that some 4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the United States since the turn of the century, but it is unclear how many of them were lost due to automation. 

America lost 4.4 million manufacturing jobs between January 2000 and January 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sharpest declines during the time period happened during the 2001 recession. 

Economists, including at the National Bureau of Economic Research, attribute the job losses in part to increased trade liberalization and technological advances including automation

9:56 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Warren and Klobuchar united in their support of women's rights

Getty Images
Getty Images

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar were united in their support for American women to have power over their own bodies tonight on the debate stage in New Hampshire.

Both women addressed the laws being passed in states around the country that have rolled back the protections of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court decision which affirmed the legality of a woman's right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

"If we are going to protect the people of the United States of America and protect our rights to have dominion over our own bodies, then it's going to mean we can't simply rely on the courts," Warren said. "It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman's choice."

Klobuchar echoed Warren's sentiments, claiming under her presidency, she'd only appoint judges who respect the landmark Supreme Court case.

"I would only appoint judges that would respect precedent and one of those key precedents is Roe v. Wade," Klobuchar said.

9:53 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Was Buttigieg's defense of his record on race sufficient? Warren says no.

From CNN's Dan Merica

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren, with one-word on Friday, shot down Pete Buttigieg’s defense of his record on race issues as South Bend, Indiana mayor.

Buttigieg's record in South Bend -- especially his handling of issues like policing and economic inequality in predominately black neighborhoods of the Indiana city -- has been a central to criticism of his campaign.

After Buttigieg answered a question from the debate moderators about his record of handling marijuana possession arrests in South Bend, Warren was asked if his answer was sufficient.

“No,” Warren said to applause. “You have to own up to the fact. And it is important to own up to the fact, about how race has totally permeated our criminal justice system.”
9:49 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Fact check: Yang claims of record levels of mental illness, stress and debt

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

During the debate, businessman Andrew Yang claimed that “mental illness, stress, debt, substance abuse, overdoses” were all at record highs.

Yang made similar claims during debates in July and December as well. Here’s what we found: 

Facts First: While it's true that these rates have risen recently, it's impossible to say they're at record levels.

It’s unclear what debt Yang is referring to here, but it’s true that student loan debt, which has climbed to $1.5 trillion, has reached record levels, as has the US national debt, which is currently over $23 trillion.

Drug overdose deaths increased significantly between 1999 and 2017, but provisional data posted by the CDC last year  suggest that rate fell slightly in 2018 – down to an estimated 68,000 deaths from about 70,000 the year before. 

Stress and mental illness are far more difficult to quantify given how recently humans have been recording these health issues.

9:48 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Steyer: "We have not said one word tonight about race"

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer pointed out that race had not come up at all in the first 90 minutes of Friday night’s Democratic debate. 

“We have not said one word tonight about race. Not one word. Are you kidding me?” he said. 

Steyer said that African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-American and Pacific Islanders are “the heart and soul of this party.” 

His comments came as Steyer focuses on South Carolina, where polls show him having risen into the double digits. After his answer, the debate shifted toward criminal justice and issues of race.

9:43 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Sanders forced to answer for 1990s gun votes

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

Bernie Sanders conceded on Friday night that he had not been fully consistent over the course of his career when it came to gun control laws.

Sanders voted against the Brady Bill, which targeted handguns, five times before it passed — a point that Joe Biden recalled, along with Sanders' support for legislation that made it nearly impossible to pursue civil liability claims against gun manufacturers.

In explaining his changed views, Sanders touted his D- rating from the NRA, before talking about the state he represents.

"To answer your question, I come from — like New Hampshire — from a very very rural state. In Vermont, until the last two years ago, they had virtually no gun control at all," Sanders said. "And I represented that perspective."

But, Sanders added, "The world has changed and my views have changed." 

Biden followed up, noting the human coast of inaction by the government -- and, he implied, Sanders.

"Think of all the thousands and thousands of people" who were killed by gun violence, Biden said to Sanders, "while you were representing your constituency."