Democratic candidates debate in Ohio
If Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders win the presidency, they will become the oldest president ever inaugurated.
Here's the breakdown of the candidates' ages:
Sen. Bernie Sanders said he's "healthy" and "feeling great" following his heart attack earlier this month. Tonight's debate marks his return to the campaign trail.
Sanders, who is 78 years old, was asked how he can assure voters that he can handle the stress of the presidency. In response, he invited voters to attend campaign events and see him in person.
"We are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country. That is how I think I can reassure the American people," he said.
Sanders then thanked those who wished him well during his recovery — including many of his 2020 rivals:
"Let me take this moment if I might to thank so many people from all over this country, including many of my colleagues up here, for their love, for their prayers, for their well wishes. And I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I'm so happy to be back here with you this evening.
Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg clashed Tuesday night over O’Rourke’s proposed mandatory buy-backs of assault-style rifles.
Their fight over gun policy surfaced when the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said O’Rourke’s proposal is impractical.
“You just made it clear that you don’t know how this is going to take weapons off the street,” he said. “If you can develop the plan further, we can have a debate. But we can’t wait.”
The former Texas congressman responded that mass shootings are a “crisis” and that Democrats should make the case for farther-reaching gun control measures. “Let’s decide what we are going to believe in, what we are going to achieve, and let’s bring this country together in order to do that,” he said.
Buttigieg shot back:
“The problem isn’t the polls, the problem is the policy. And I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal.”
“I don’t care what that meant to me or my candidacy,” O’Rourke replied. But to survivors of gun violence, and March For Our Lives, the gun control advocacy group founded by students after the Parkland, Florida, shooting last year, “that was a slap in the face to every single one of those groups,” he said.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued for expanding the Affordable Care Act rather than moving to Medicare for All, the government-backed health care program supported by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“I don't understand why you believe the only way to deliver affordable coverage to everybody is to obliterate private plans, kicking 150 million Americans off of their insurance in four short years,” Buttigieg said.
A moment later, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar made a similar point, arguing that extending Obamacare was “what we should be doing instead of kicking 149 million people off their insurance in four years.”
FACTS FIRST: The figures cited by both Buttigieg and Klobuchar are close to the latest number provided by one study. Some 153 million people are covered by private plans sponsored by their employers, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation report. There are also tens of millions more who are covered by private plans through Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care plans and on the Obamacare individual market.
All these people would have to change their health care under Medicare for All — but they would be covered by the federal plan instead.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said while President Trump "caging kids on the border," he is "effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free" in Syria.
"He has made a tremendous mistake, a total disaster in Syria," Castro said.
Castro said, as president, he would work with allies to stop the military aggression. He said also supports stronger sanctions than those announced by the Trump administration.
Trump on Monday sought to project a harder line on Turkey as the country pushes further into northern Syria. Trump said he was applying harsh new sanctions on certain Turkish officials, and in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Trump "could not have been more firm" in expressing his displeasure at the incursion, according to Vice President Mike Pence, who updated reporters at the White House on Monday evening.
More context: In defending his decision to remove US troops from northern Syria, Trump echoed talking points from Turkish officials, suggesting that Kurdish forces might be purposely allowing ISIS detainees to escape camps and prisons.
US officials have told CNN there are no indications that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have intentionally released any of the 10,000-plus ISIS prisoners they guard. Due to the attack by Turkish forces on the SDF in northern Syrian, the Kurdish-led militia has had to remove troops guarding prisons and camps holding ISIS fighters and those displaced by the fight against ISIS.
Turkish warplanes and artillery have also repeatedly struck several detention camps, allowing the escape of several ISIS prisoners and 785 people connected to ISIS fighters, according to Kurdish authorities. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested the reports were "disinformation," designed to "provoke the US and Europe."
US officials believe the SDF— who have lost 11,000 troops in the fight against ISIS — is unlikely to intentionally release any ISIS prisoners given the direct threat the terrorist group poses to Kurdish-held areas.
The two veterans on the debate stage sparred on Tuesday night over America’s role in Syria, with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg accusing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of being “dead wrong.”
The high-profile confrontation on foreign policy highlights a stark divide between Gabbard, who has pegged violence in Syria to America’s presence in the Middle East, and other candidates on the stage who blame President Donald Trump for removing soldiers from Syria for the recent spate of violence.
“We’ve got to understand the reality of the situation there, which is that the slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war we’ve been waging in Syria,” said Gabbard, who served in the Iraq War. “Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011.”
Buttigieg took issue with that answer.
“Respectfully, Congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong,” he said. “The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this President of American allies and American values.”
Buttigieg, who served in Afghanistan, said that he did not think “we should have gone to Iraq in the first place” and that the United States needs to “get out of Afghanistan, but it’s also the case that a small number of specialized, special operations forces and intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we’re seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide and the resurgence of ISIS.”
Businessman Andrew Yang has forgone the typical American flag pin of many politicians. Instead, he's wearing a pin that says "MATH."
It's actually his campaign slogan: "Make America Think Harder."
Yang, who has an economics degree from Brown University, has joked about his love for math a lot.
On the campaign trail, he often tells audiences that the biggest change in the White House after Trump would be an “Asian guy who likes math.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden says if President Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020, it would result in the end of NATO and ISIS attacks on Americans.
“We have an erratic, crazy president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy and operates out of fear for his own re-election,” he said.
Biden pointed to Trump’s criticism of NATO and cozier relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“If he is re-elected, I promise you, there will be no NATO. … We’ll be in real trouble,” he said of Trump.
He also defended the United States’ intervention in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq in combatting ISIS.“
They are going to in fact damage the United States of America. That’s why we got involved in the first place, and not ceded the whole area to Assad and to the Russians,” he said.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker warned Democrats against “tearing each other down because we have a different plan.”
“I have seen this script before. It didn’t work in 2016 and it will be a disaster for us in 2020,” he said.
He said Democrats should be “defining ourselves by what we're against, but we need to win this election by talking about who and what we are for.”
Booker’s comment came as Democrats discussed taxes on the wealthy. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- who has been attacked repeatedly by a number of her rivals over her proposals -- has advocated a 2% tax on the very wealthiest Americans.
“I have a different plan than Elizabeth Warren and than many people on this stage and it involves, again, fair taxes for the richest,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do there -- but we've had 20 years of presidential debates and we have never talked about the violence in America of child poverty. We have got to begin to talk more eloquently and persuasively and urgently about doing things to make sure not just fair taxes are paid by those on the top but that we deal with the obscenity of having the highest level of child poverty in the world.”