DETROIT, Michigan — Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) scolded fellow Democratic presidential candidates and the CNN moderators at the second Democrat debate on Wednesday evening, telling them: “The person who is enjoying this debate most right now is Donald Trump.”
Booker was responding to the first round of questions, which targeted health care. Moderator Dana Bash specifically asked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) to respond to criticisms from former vice president Joe Biden, who accused Harris of flip-flopping on whether her plan would eliminate private health insurance, calling hers a “have-it-every-which-way approach.”
Harris disagreed, arguing that her plan included both public and private insurance — though private companies would be required to provide goverrnment-approved Medicare plans.
That set off further argument among other candidates.
Booker was specifically asked how his health care plan dealt with the same dilemma, given that he also co-sponsored the “Medicare for All” bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Rather than answering the substance of the question, Booker criticized the fact that the candidates were being asked to argue about the issue.
“We cannot keep with the Republican talking points on this,” Harris said, responding to the round of criticisms.
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington also called for unity among Democrats on the issue, suggesting that they agree to cover mental health insurance as well.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized moderate Democrats for “fear-mongering about universal health care.” Asked to specify a specific target, de Blasio singled out Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.