Commentators and pundits are weighing in on the winners and losers of Tuesday’s Democrat debate in Detroit, including the Vox website, where candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the Republican Party were declared winners and Beto O’Rourke and CNN, the network that hosted the debate, were declared losers.
“By the end of the night, one candidate became the most notable advocate for ambition, and one had been selected, seemingly by the moderators, as the voice of moderation,” Vox wrote.
Then Vox pronounced Warren a winner:
Rather than staying above the fray, she dove right in, engaging in robust debates on health care and immigration policy with moderates like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney. Warren again cemented her status as the Big Plans candidate, most notably during a memorable exchange with Delaney that may well have been the sound bite of the night.
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Warren said.
Vox said she is making inroads into getting some voters to switch from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to her, and her campaign announced new endorsements ahead of the debates, including Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), “a high-profile Sanders supporter in 2016.”
Also on Vox’s winners’ list is the Republican Party:
If you were Donald Trump or another Republican lawmaker running for reelection in 2020, you probably had a good time watching Tuesday night’s debate. Several of the major issues were framed by the moderators in terms Republicans would love: Will you take private insurance from Americans to give them Medicare-for-all? Will you raise taxes on the middle class to do it? Will you decriminalize illegal border crossings and give unauthorized immigrants free health care? Are Democrats going too far to the left?
Vox noted that many of the ideas espoused on stage are unpopular according to a Marist poll, including Medicare for All, which would eliminate private insurance, give health care to illegal immigrants, and decriminalize entering the United States illegally.
Vox put CNN on its losers’ list, including trashing the network by wasting time with a “patriotic display,” which included the presentation of the colors and the national anthem as well as the debate’s format:
After one-minute opening statements by all the candidates, Tapper pivoted to health care — but repeatedly interrupted the candidates to enforce an absurdly short time limit, making it impossible for candidates to give full and interesting answers on some difficult policy questions.
Beto O’Rourke also made Vox’s losers’ list:
“At times, it was easy to forget that O’Rourke was even onstage,” Vox wrote.
Two other losers, according to Vox, were foreign policy and “the policy needs of black voters” because they got virtually no attention at the debate.
Former Congressman John Delaney (D-MD) was on the winners’ list, although he did not actually receive praise for substance, but rather because CNN moderators, especially Jake Tapper, gave him a lot of speaking time.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.