Democratic debate in Iowa
Bernie Sanders again denied telling Elizabeth Warren, during a private 2018 dinner, that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency.
“I didn’t say it,” Sanders said. Warren, who has confirmed what four sources told CNN that he did say it, stood by her account – and again said that she “disagreed.”
When asked about the conversation, Warren sough to tamp down the brewing feud, calling Sanders a “friend” that she wasn’t there to “fight with,” before pivoting to an argument underscoring the electoral prowess of the female candidates on the stage – her and Amy Klobuchar.
“But look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised and it's time for us to attack it head-on,” Warren said. “I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at people's winning record. So, can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage: Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women.”
There were little fireworks as the leading progressive presidential contenders, both icons to the broader movement, were faced live on the debate stage with an issue that has threatened to blow up a long-held, if fragile, détente between their campaigns.
Sanders pointed to his past remarks, and the run-up to the 2016 primary, as evidence he believes a woman can be president.
"I don't want to waste a whole lot of time on this because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want,” he said. “But anybody who knows me, knows that it's incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be president to the United States. Go to YouTube today. They have some video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States. In 2015, I deferred, in fact, to Sen. Warren. There was a movement to draft Sen. Warren to run for president.”
Warren chose not to seek the nomination that year and, as Sanders again noted, Hillary Clinton went on to win the primary and then the popular vote in the general election by three million votes.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders denied telling Sen. Elizabeth Warren that a women couldn't be elected president.
Here's what he said:
"Well, as a matter of fact, I didn't say it. And I don't want to waste a whole lot of time on this, because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want. Anybody knows me knows that it's incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States. Go to YouTube today. There's a video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States. In 2015, I deferred, in fact, to senator Warren. It was a movement to draft senator Warren to run for president. And you know what, I stayed back. Senator Warren decided not to run, and I then did run afterwards."
Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden got into a disagreement over trade agreements.
Sanders put it bluntly, as he cited permanent normal trade relations with China and the North American Free Trade Agreement:
"Joe and I have a fundamental disagreement here. In case you haven't noticed. And that is NAFTA, PNTR with China, other trade agreements were written for one reason alone."
Sanders criticized Biden for supporting some trade agreements.
"We need some corporate responsibility here and we need to protect good-paying jobs in America, not see them go to China, Mexico, Vietnam, and all these other countries," he said.
Biden responded, "We need corporate responsibility and I agree with that completely. But we also need to have enforcement mechanisms in the agreements we make. Enforceable agreements. That's one of the things that has been improved with the trade agreement with Mexico and that's what we should be doing in any agreement we have."
Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would not meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un without preconditions, saying he’d instead push China and other Asian neighbors to pressure the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
It was a different answer from Barack Obama, who, while running for the presidency, said in 2008 he would meet North Korea’s leader without preconditions. That remark drew sharp criticism from conservatives at the time -- but President Donald Trump has since had such a meeting.
“Absent preconditions, I would not meet with the quote supreme leader who said Joe Biden is a ‘rabid dog’ who should be beaten with a stick,” Biden said.
“Other than that, you like him,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joked.
“And he got a love letter from Trump right after that,” Biden said.
Democrats on the debate stage tonight agree: it’s time for the US Congress to exercise its power anew to either authorize or deny the use of military force around the world.
The conversation is rooted in a 2001 vote, taken only a few days after the 9/11 attacks, that has been used now for nearly two decades by both Republican and Democratic administrations as the legal backing to continue the amorphous “War on Terror.”
Despite its historical consequences, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, runs only 60 words:
“That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
It was one vague paragraph, but according to a May 2016 report from the Congressional Research Service, there had been "37 relevant occurrences of an official record, disclosed publicly, of presidential reference to the 2001 AUMF in connection with initiating or continuing military or related action."
That includes "detentions and military trials," like those carried out in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was just asked, if elected president, he'd ensure Iran never have a nuclear weapon.
The question comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Iran: After a US airstrike killed Iran's top general, Iran announced it would no longer limit itself to the restrictions contained in the Iran nuclear deal, which the US had previously withdrawn from.
Buttigieg said ensuring Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons is a priority — but criticized President Trump for withdrawing from the deal.
"Ensuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons will, of course, be a priority, because it's such an important part of keeping America safe," he said.
"But unfortunately, President Trump has made it much harder for the next president to achieve that goal. By gutting the Iran nuclear deal — one that, by the way, the Trump administration itself admitted was working, certified that it was preventing progress towards a nuclear Iran — by gutting that, they have made the region more dangerous and set off the chain of events that we are now dealing with as it escalates even closer to the brink of outright war."
The six candidates on the stage Tuesday night disagreed over whether to keep troops in the Middle East, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders calling for troops to come home, and former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar arguing for keeping some troops in the region.
“The American people are sick and tired of endless wars which have cost us trillions of dollars,” Sanders said.
Warren added that she would “get combat troops out.”
Biden made the opposite point, arguing that it was impossible to remove all of them, a view that was echoed by Klobuchar, who said she would keep some troops in the region.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the only candidate on the stage who served in the military, said the United States “can continue to remain engaged without having an endless commitment of ground troops.”
Buttigieg then slammed President Donald Trump, noting that the president who called for the end to “endless war” has “more troops going to the Middle East.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders touted his vote against the Iraq war and Sen. Amy Klobuchar also mentioned that she opposed the 2003 invasion from the start.
With those comments, the 2020 election marks the fifth straight US presidential election to include a debate over the war in Iraq that started in 2003.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attacked former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq in the opening minutes of Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate in Iowa.
It’s how he began an answer to the question of why his experience best qualifies him to handle foreign policy.
“Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush and Rumsfeld had to say. I thought they were lying. I didn’t believe them for a moment. I took to the floor. I did everything I could to prevent that war,” Sanders said, contrasting himself with Biden.
Biden acknowledged that his vote was a “mistake.” But he also said former President Barack Obama -- who won the 2008 Democratic presidential primary in part because of his opposition to the Iraq war -- put Biden in charge of ending that war.
“I think my record overall, on every other thing we’ve done, has been -- compares to anybody on this stage,” Biden said.
For her part, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed to her position on the Senate Armed Services Committee and three brothers’ military experience. She also said the United States must “think about our defense in very different ways” -- including cyber warfare, climate change and closing what she called a revolving door between the defense industry and the Pentagon.
“That is corruption, pure and simple,” she said. “We need to block that revolving door and cut our defense budget.”
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg pitched his own experience as a US Navy Reserves veteran who served in Afghanistan. “For me, those lessons of the past are personal,” he said.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar pointed to her efforts to limit President Donald Trump’s war powers in the Senate. She also said she opposed the Iraq war from its outset.
And billionaire businessman Tom Steyer said the country spends “dramatically” too much on defense and that an outsider is needed.