Democrats Joe Biden, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar will take the stage tonight at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, for the PBS NewsHour/Politico presidential debate.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates.
All times eastern.
10:25 PM: Candidates will now give their closing statements:
Steyer says he is different from everyone on stage because he has been taking on unchecked corporate power for the last ten years. He talks about term limits and says he’s the only person on stage who has built a multinational corporation, and he can take on Trump and beat him on the economy. He says he can also deliver on the climate.
Yang: “I know what you are thinking. How I am still on stage with them.” Yang talks about running a non-profit that created jobs in underserved areas and his movement is growing because more Americans are realizing he understands the economic challenges Americans are facing. He says politicians in D.C. succeed whether our people succeed or fail. He says DC is the richest area in the country and it only produces bad decisions.
Klobuchar says our politics are toxic now because of Trump. She says she can bring people together for people who want less noise and longer coattails.
Buttigieg says the nominee will have to defeat Trump and unite the country. He says it’s a tall order and Democrats are going to need a nominee who can respond to the “crisis of belonging.” He calls for a politics defined not by who we reject but by a politics defined by “belonging” and not “exclusion.”
Warren says this is a “dark moment in America” but she comes here tonight with a “heart filled with hope.” Warren says Amazon unites her three brothers because they are furious that Amazon paid zero in taxes (she now steals from Yang like she did from Harris earlier in the night). Warren then hypes up her wealth tax and other programs.
Sanders says Americans have been hearing great speeches for 45 years but their wages, standard of living have hardly gone up. He says real change comes from the ground up and talks about his organization and his grassroots fundraising. “Let’s defeat Trump and let’s transform this country,” he concludes.
Biden says Democrats must ask who has the best chance of defeating Trump. He says they have to then ask who can get Democrats elected across the board. Then they have to ask who can get legislation passed. He says he is the most qualified to answer those three questions.
10:15 PM: Candidates are asked which candidate they would like to give a gift or ask for forgiveness.
Yang says he would like to give each candidate a copy of his book about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Yang says D.C. is “out to lunch” on this and the media are not covering it properly.
Buttigieg just punts and says Democrats need to rally around the nominee.
Warren says sometimes she gets “worked up” and “hot.” She says she doesn’t really mean to but when you do 100,000 selfies with people, you hear stories about people who are down. Warren says she is in the fight because she thinks about what Democrats can do if they take back the government.
Biden says Warren is not the only one who does selfies. “I’ve done thousands of them,” Biden says.
Sanders talks about the gift of creating a nation based on “love” and “compassion” and not “greed” and “hatred.”
Klobuchar says she is doing this because it is so important to pick the right candidate to take on Trump. She says there is something else going on here, and “it is a decency check. It is a values check. It is a patriotism check.”
Steyer says people are complaining about the GOP’s “cruelty.” He says the gift that he would like to give everyone on stage is the “gift of teamwork” because they need to beat this “corrupt and criminal” president together.
10:06 PM: On health care, Sanders is asked if there are smaller measures he would take to expand coverage if Congress rejects his Medicare for all plan. Sanders rejects the question’s premise and says he will pass Medicare for all.
Biden says Sanders is not being “realistic.” Biden says he has added the “Biden initiative” to Obamacare, saying Americans can opt-in to a public option if they want it. Biden, annoyed, tells Sanders to put his hand down. Biden, getting angry, points and says “he’s going to interrupt now” and says Medicare for all is “preposterous” without higher taxes.
10:00 PM: Biden now asked about the recent Afghanistan report that said there was pressure from the Obama administration to claim the troop surge was working. He claims he did support the nation-building mission and says he will bring all combat troops home but leave behind some special forces. The question was about his time in the White House and Biden claims he argued from the beginning that the surge was a mistake.
Sanders says Biden was also the person that led the country into the disastrous Iraq War.
Buttigieg says any authorization of force should come with a three-year sunset period so Congress will be forced to take an up or down vote to renew.
9:57 PM: Sanders is asked about the murders of transgender women of color and what he would do to stop violence against transgender people. Sanders says we need moral leadership in the White House and a president who will do everything to end all forms of discrimination against transgender people and all minorities. Sanders says what we also need for the transgender community is to make sure that “health care is available to everyone” in the country regardless of sexual orientation. He says that’s why we need Medicare for all.
Warren says the transgender commnuity has been “marginalized in every way possible.” She says the president should lift up their lives. She says she will go to the Rose Garden to read the names of transgender people and people of color who have been killed in the past year. She does not want people assigned to jails based on how they were identified at birth.
9:56 PM: Buttigieg asked about other potential litmus tests besides Roe. He says the Supreme Court is personal to him because his marriage exists because of a single vote. He says he wants to reform the judiciary itself so it is not one more political battlefield every time a vacancy comes up.
9:54 PM: Klobuchar now asked about judges. She says she has opposed many judges, including Kavanaugh. She says she would appoint judges like Kagan, Breyer, Sotomayor and the “notorious RBG.”
9:51 PM: Debate turns to how government can integrate people with disabilities… Yang says special needs is the “new normal.” He says special-needs kids will become special-needs adults and there needs to be a federal priority so we are not robbing Peter to pay Paul with various programs.
Warren says she was a special education teacher and she valued it. She talks about her plan for funding education for those with disabilities.
9:45 PM: Debate now turns to education, and Warren is asked about free tuition/canceling debt. She is asked why the wealthy should also get free tuition. Warren talks about her two-cent wealth tax plan and her plan without directly answering the question. She says this is also about “values” because “we need to make investments in the future.”
Buttigieg thinks those in the lucky top-ten percent should pay their own tuition. He says they will be, for the most part, okay. He agrees with taxing millionaires and billionaires but he disagrees with spending it on millionaires and billionaires.
9:44 PM: Sanders says the way to defeat Trump is with the largest voter turnout. He says you can’t get the energy needed for such a turnout if you don’t have a candidate who is willing to take on the powerful interests.
9:39 PM: Biden, when asked about reparations, says we are the country we are because of immigration. Talks about people coming here and wanting to work like the devil. He says immigrants are the “future of America”–“Get used to it.” Moderator does not follow up on reparations and lets Biden not even answer the question.
9:35 PM: Steyer says Trump is not against immigration but against “immigration by non-white people.” Steyer accuses Trump of trying to divide America by race by railing against “non-white people.” “This is a racial argument by a racist president,” Steyer says, accusing Trump of breaking the law of humanity.
Buttigieg says those separated at the border deserve compensation from the U.S. government and a “fast-track to citizenship.”
When asked if he supports reparations, Buttigieg says he supports Sheila Jackson Lee’s HR-40 bill to study the issue. He then speaks about “generational theft” and how “harms compound” like a dollar saved (dollar stolen).
Klobuchar going after Buttigieg for attacking those with Washington experience. Very interesting that Klobuchar is hitting Buttigieg the hardest at the debate. Buttigieg talks about getting elected as mayor again as a “gay dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana.” Klobuchar reminds Buttigieg that he lost his only bid for statewide office.
9:32 PM: Sanders now asked about illegal immigrants and a path to citizenship. Sanders says he would, on day one, give citizenship to DACA recipients. He says he will introduce bipartisan legislation that will result in a path to citizenship for all illegal immigrants. Sanders says Trump thinks he will win re-election by “dividing us up.”
9:29 PM: Debate now turns to immigration. Yang vows to give Dreamers a permanent legislative fix in the first 100 days.
Yang says “our country is deeply misogynist” and everybody knows it.Yang says if you leave too many me alone together “we become morons.”
Yang, asked again about immigration, says immigrants are being scapegoated when robots are taking away jobs.
9:27 PM: Sanders says Biden has received donations from 44 billionaires while Buttigieg has received donations from 39 billionaires. Biden takes offense with Sanders’ suggestion that he is in the “pocket of billionaires.”
9:12 PM: Candidates asked about Obama’s quote that women are better leaders than men. Sanders gets asked to respond first as the oldest candidate. He says he’s also white and says he disagrees with Obama and says his disagreement may be a bit “self-serving.” He then gives part of his stump speech about the issues dear to him. He says the issue is not old/young etc. but about working-class people standing up together.
Biden, when told Obama probably didn’t clear those remarks with his campaign, says he is going to guess Obama wasn’t talking about him either. Biden talks about wisdom coming with age and his experience in foreign affairs. Biden is asked, if elected, if he will commit to running for a second term. He is not willing to commit “one way or another.” “Let’s see what happens,” Biden says, adding, “it’s a nice thought.”
Klobuchar now up and says “thanks for asking a women this question.” Klobuchar says it is not just about numbers but what you get done. She claims she beats Trump by 18 points in Minnesota and beats him with men. She talks about passing 100 bills and electability.
Warren says she would also be the “youngest woman” ever inaugurated when told she would be the oldest ever inaugurated. Warren then pivots to candidates on stage running “traditional” campaigns–going coast to coast to get donations from rich donors. Warren says her selfies “cost nobody anything.” She is trying to hammer Biden/Buttigieg but won’t call them out by name. Moderators are not asking her which campaigns she is talking about.
Buttigieg says he can’t help that Warren’s remarks were directed at him. He says this is the party’s only chance to beat Trump and they shouldn’t do it with “one hand tied behind our back.” Warren whacks Buttigieg for holding a fundraiser at a “wine cave full of crystals” with $900 bottles of wine. She hits Buttigieg for not opening his fundraisers to the press. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president,” Warren says.
“This is the problem with issuing purity tests… that you cannot pass,” Buttigieg tells her after saying he is the only candidate not worth a million dollars.
Warren: “I do not sell access to my time.” Warren says if Buttigieg can’t stand up to the wealthy when it is easy, how can Americans believe he can stand up to them when he is president and is really hard.
Buttigieg accuses Warren of transferring her Senate funds to her presidential campaign and funding her campaign with money given by the same type of donors.
Buttigieg deserves credit for anticipating Warren’s attacks. That’s why his campaign is still standing and Kamala Harris (staff did not prepare her for telegraphed attacks) is out of the race.
9:00 PM: Yang says he has family in Hong Kong and what is happening on the street is “shocking.” Yang says they have banned face mask on Hong Kong so AI technology can profile protesters. He says this is the rivalry that we have to win. Yang says China is leapfrogging us in AI and the government is subsidizing it. Yang wants an international coalition to deal with China on technology/AI.
Klobuchar accusing Trump of quitting the NATO summit because he could not handle being made fun of by other leaders. Whacks Trump for being so thin-skinned.
Buttigieg says Trump is weakening the freedom of the press around the world with his constant “enemy of the people” remarks.
8:58 PM: Biden is now asked about China’s unprecedented military buildup and espionage. He is asked if the U.S. is on a collision course with China. Biden says we are but not for war. Biden says we can’t tolerate what China is doing to the Uighurs. Biden says we should be moving 60 percent of our sea power to “that part of the world” because “we are going to be there to protect the other folks.” Biden also talks about building alliances.
So far, he is not pressed on why Trump keeps saying the Chinese would love a Biden presidency.
8:55 PM: Buttigieg asked about China. Should the U.S. boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics? Buttigieg says every tool needs to be on the table. He says Trump is letting China know that “his silence can be purchased.” Buttigieg talks about China’s use of technology for the perfection of dictatorship. He asks what message Trump is sending to China’s leadership when China is not hearing a peep from him.
Steyer asked about the Hong Kong protests. He is asked what he would do if China moved in militarily. He says the U.S. should be reacting by gathering a coalition of our freedom-loving allies to push back. Steyer says the U.S. should be leading on a value-driven basis and says the U.S. “can’t isolate” ourselves from China but has to work with them as “frenemies.” He says the U.S. must partner with China to solve climate change issues.
8:49: On Israel, Sanders says Israel has the right to exist in peace and security. But he says U.S. foreign policy must be “pro-Palestinian as well”in addition to being “pro-Israel.” He slams “racist” Netanyahu for having been “indicted for bribery.” He says U.S. foreign policy must address the “terrible crisis in Gaza” and his foreign policy will focus on democracy, human rights, and “bringing people together.”
Buttigieg says what we are seeing around the world and the Middle East are the consequences of Trump’s failure to lead. He accuses Trump of using Israel to act “pro-Israel” and “pro-Jewish” while welcoming “white nationalists” on his team.
8:47 PM: Klobuchar asked what she says to white Americans who are uncomfortable with becoming a racial minority. She says “this is America, and you are looking at it.”
The white Democrats seem very uncomfortable talking about race. Do not seem fluent or at ease at all and looking for all sorts of go-to crutches on race-related issues.
8:45 PM: Sanders tries to talk about climate change when asked about the same question and is told to answer the question. He starts talking about a criminal justice system that is “racist” and needing an economy that focuses on the needs of oppressed people.
8:44 PM: Yang gets the question about his being the only person of color on the stage. Yang says it’s an honor and a disappointment. He says he misses Kamala ad Cory and says he predicts Cory will be back.
Yang says fewer than five percent of Americans donate to political campaigns. He says you need disposal income to donate to candidates and talks up his Freedom Dividend and talks and the numbers that put black and brown families behind the eight ball.
8:43 PM: Biden asked a good question. Why does he think partisan Republicans will all of a sudden want to work with Biden like this is the good old days of Congress when Biden could pal around with Ted Stevens. Biden says he refuses to accept the notion that “we can never never get to a place where we can have cooperation again.” Biden says “we are dead as a country” if we can’t cooperate.
8:38 PM: Warren is asked about nuclear energy. Warren says we have to stop putting more carbon into the air and getting the carbon out of the air. She wants to keep some nuclear in place but she does not want to build new nuclear power plants. She believes in “innovating our way out of this problem” and be a world leader on the issue. She says the biggest problem is politicians in Washington who say the right thing but bow down to the lawyers, donors, think tanks and are “bought and paid for.”
Yang, after talking about his “Move People to Higher Ground” plan, says he agrees with the research re: nuclear power plants. He talks about thorium reactors for energy.
Steyer says fighting climate change is what will pull the country together.
8:35 PM: Biden also says he would support subsidies because workers will get opportunities to get better “green” jobs.
Sanders says the Paris Climate Deal “ain’t enough” and the United States must lead the world. He says an American president, instead of spending money on weapons to kill each other, can lead the world to fight “our common enemy, which is climate change.”
8:30 PM: Debate turns to climate. Klobuchar asked if she will support a program to subsidize families who need to relocate. She says she hopes we don’t have to relocate cities but says we will have to relocate individuals. She says climate change is an “existential crisis.”
Steyer says climate change presents the country a chance to create millions of jobs in middle-class communities in addition to cleaning up the environment in black and brown communities that are impacted the most.
8:20 PM: Biden is asked what he will say to voters who want to stick with Trump because of the economy. Biden claims people “don’t like the economy” because the middle class is “getting killed.”
Buttigieg says where he lives folks aren’t measuring the economy by how well the Dow Jones is doing. He says we should talk more about the poor and those living in poverty
Yang says GDP and corporate profits are at record highs. But depression, drug overdoses, student loans are also at record highs and the country’s life expectancy has declined over the last three years. He says the unemployment rate and GDP have little to do with the lived experiences of people on the ground.
Warren tries to make the case that the wealth tax will not stifle the economy.
Steyer claims Democrats need an unconventional candidate like him to take on Trump because Trump defeated the best prepared candidate in history during the last election cycle.
8:15 PM: Debate now turns to USMCA. Sanders asked if he will support the deal. He says he voted against NAFTA. He says it will just be a modest improvement over what we have now and he says he hopes it will allow Mexican workers to unionize to negotiate decent contracts. He says it will not stop outsourcing or corporations from moving to Mexico. Sanders says it is an “outrage” there is nothing about climate change and says he will not be voting for it.
Klobuchar says she will vote for it. She says Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who has voted against every trade deal, is also voting for it.
8:04 PM: Biden says the integrity of the office of the presidency needs to be restored. He says his job is to make the case that Trump can’t be president for another four years.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 20, 2019
Sanders, repeating lines from his stump speech, says we have a president who is a pathological liar, running a corrupt administration, and is a fraud because he broke his promises to working-class Americans. Sanders says he will make the case that “we have a president who has sold out the working families of this country” and cut Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Sanders says we can’t have a president with Trump’s “temperament” who is “dishonoring” the country.
Warren using her answer to talk about corruption–calls Trump the most corrupt president in history. Warren, stealing Kamala Harris’s line, says “we have to prosecute the case against him.”PBS NewsHour/POLITICO
Klobuchar says the president is not king–the law is king. Klobuchar says this is a “global Watergate” after pointing out Madison wanted impeachment in the Constitution to protect against foreign influence. Klobuchar says if Trump is so innocent, why doesn’t he have all of his people testify.
Buttigieg says this is beyond public opinion and polls. He says the president “left the House with no choice.” Buttigieg says Trump’s allies are laughing all the way to the bank because of the Trump administration’s corporatist policies. Buttigieg keeps talking about how his candidate is about rejecting “cynicism.” He’ll get attacked from the left on this because he doesn’t want to embrace transformative policies.
Steyer mentions that he started the Need to Impeach movement. He, too, wants administration officials to testify on television because the court that counts is the court of public opinion.
Yang says Americans don’t agree on impeachment because “we’re getting our news from different sources.” He says Americans don’t trust media networks to tell them the truth and says the media networks did the American people no favors when they still have not figured out why Trump got elected. He says manufacturing jobs were wiped out and many parts of the country are not experiencing booming economies. Yang says we need to stop obsessing about impeachment and solve the problems that got Trump elected.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 20, 2019
8:03 PM: The first question is about impeachment. Each candidate is asked why Democrats haven’t been able to convince a majority of Americans that Trump should be impeached.
8:00 PM: Debate getting started. Judy Woodruff introducing the moderators and the candidates.
7:51 PM: Candidates now being introduced as the debate is about ten minutes away from starting.
7:40 PM: Joel on the ground at LMU:
L.A. Mayor @ericgarcetti used his introductory speech at the #DemocraticDebate to trash @realDonaldTrump and celebrate his #impeachment. Meanwhile, Mr. Mayor, visitors passed homeless people sleeping on the street in tents on the drive down here. Maybe you should fix that, first.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) December 20, 2019
Hundreds of charter school advocates just crashed the #DemocraticDebate in Los Angeles. Watch full video at @BreitbartNews FB page. Bonus: confrontations with a lunatic lefty, who runs away as soon as Black and Latino people want to speak for themselves. pic.twitter.com/J8M7JOCabM
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) December 20, 2019
NOT FAKE NEWS:
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 20, 2019
7:35 PM: Which candidate will go after Buttigieg the toughest tonight?
NEW: One of Pete Buttigieg's bundlers is a natural gas lead at McKinsey.
— Sludge (@Sludge) December 19, 2019
7:32 PM: On CNN, Van Jones says who could have imagined that the only person of color standing in December would be Andrew Yang.
Had a blast with Donald Glover today! Big thanks to everyone who came out in L.A.! pic.twitter.com/hk87FuArsS
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) December 19, 2019
7:30 PM: The media love to point out the GOP’s lack of diversity. Will they ask Democrats similar uncomfortable questions tonight?
Our party cannot afford to take Latinx voters for granted in 2020.
At tonight's debate in Los Angeles, where Latinos are the largest ethnic group, I hope to see every candidate address the needs of our community. https://t.co/qNZ3lb3ylr
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) December 19, 2019
Here's the podium order for Thursday night's trimmed down debate stage, from left to right:
– Andrew Yang
– Pete Buttigieg
– Elizabeth Warren
– Joe Biden (center)
– Bernie Sanders
– Amy Klobuchar
– Tom Steyer
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) December 17, 2019