Ten more Democrats will debate in Miami on Thursday evening after Democrats on Wednesday discussed everything from guaranteeing abortion rights for trans people and blaming President Donald Trump for dead migrants at the border even though Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media never cared when Breitbart News over the years extensively reported on migrant deaths at the border during the Obama-Biden years. As Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) would say, spare us the “crocodile tears.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Indiana), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson will be on the stage tonight.
Lester Holt, Chuck “Ross Porter” Todd, Savannah Guthrie, Jose Diaz Balart, and Rachel Maddow will be the moderators for the NBC debate, and Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak is on the ground at the debate site. NBC is hoping there are no technical difficulties tonight.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) June 28, 2019
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates throughout the evening. All times eastern.
12:35: Matthews had high praise for Harris during the debate:
— Chris Matthews (@HardballChris) June 28, 2019
So did Charlamagne:
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) June 28, 2019
— Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) June 28, 2019
12:15: Interesting: NBC’s college focus group still likes Castro after the second debate:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 28, 2019
12:10: Harris’s allies on the left NOT happy with Chris Matthews post-debate questioning:
Chris Matthews interviewing Kamala:
– referred to segregationists as "old seggies"
– said: "ethnicities. I don't like the word race––ethnicities."
– asked Kamala how she doesn't hate all white people, generally
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) June 28, 2019
Former Dem POTUS candidate Kucinich (who called for a “Department of Peace” not a fan of “race politics” in Dem debates.
Attack on @JoeBiden over racial issues dramatic — and false #DemDebate2 didn’t he serve as#VicePresident Biden for eight years under #PresidentObama America’s first African American President? Wake up. Keep #race politics out of these debates!
— Dennis Kucinich (@Dennis_Kucinich) June 28, 2019
— Sam Nunberg (@NunbergSam) June 28, 2019
11:58 PM: Terry McAuliffe on CNN hilariously says this was a good night for Democrats when all of them supported healthcare for illegal immigrants and decriminalizing illegal border crossing. It says a lot that the person who got to speak the least about these “woke” issues, Andrew Yang (least amount of speaking time), is dominating the Drudge Report poll.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 28, 2019
CNN’s Van Jones on Biden’s debate performance: “I’m hurt,” it was “a bad night for Democrats” pic.twitter.com/U8ifBDBN0J
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 28, 2019
Top searched #DemDebate2 candidates during the debate.
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) June 28, 2019
.@KamalaHarris is actually the top trending topic in search on all of Google in the US right now
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) June 28, 2019
11:45 PM: Sanders says on CNN that he will “absolutely” call Trump a “racist” to his face if he gets nominated. He says “we have a bigot in the White House” and that’s what he would say to him.
11:40 PM: On CNN, Biden national co-chair and former Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Cedric Richmond, is asked if CBC members will be put in a bind if Biden keeps defending states’ rights. Richmond claims Biden did not (he did) and claims Biden did not have enough time to elaborate on his answer. He claims CBC members know what is “in his heart” and will support him because he had “Obama’s back for eight years.”
11:35: Breitbart’s Joel Pollak in the spin room:
11:32 PM: Kamala Harris emerging as tonight’s winner. If the nominating process gets messy and delegates come into play, her organization will have the advantage. But she has to remain viable until South Carolina.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 28, 2019
11:30 PM: RNC Statement from Chairwoman McDaniel:
“Tonight’s debate was more of the same from Democrats: a broken record of radical policies.The Democrat Party’s agenda means taxing more of our hard-earned money to give government control of nearly every aspect of our lives. Democrats support tax hikes on the middle class and taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants. Their policies are extreme and out of touch with the realities facing everyday Americans. Meanwhile, President Trump’s pro-growth policies are working, and he will continue to deliver for the American people when voters re-elect him in 2020.”
11:25 PM: Jill Biden helps her husband escape his interview with MSNBC.
Gillibrand defends Harris (saying Biden praised segregationists), arguing Democrats of color shouldn’t be only ones calling such comments out.
11:15 PM: On CNN, when Sanders is pressed about whether some of his opponents are being ageist, he says it would be wrong for him say someone who is 35 or 36 is not qualified. He is not a fan of 45-second soundbites.
Trump vs. Team Biden:
All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2019
A source close to the Biden campaign tells me his staff is “freaking out” about his poor performance tonight.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) June 28, 2019
10:55 PM: Closing Statements:
Swalwell — He says Democrats can’t be a forward-looking party if we look to the past to leadership. Talks about climate change, student loan debt, gun violence.
Williamson — Says Democrats haven’t talked about how to beat Donald Trump. She says Trump has harnessed fear and says only love can beat that.
Bennet — He says his mom and her parents came to the U.S. to rebuild their shattered lives and the ability of one generation to better than the other is at risk and that’s why he’s running. Talks about a new era of American democracy and American opportunity.
Hickenlooper — Frames himself as a scrappy business owner who expanded abortion rights and legalized marijuana while passing universal background checks in a purple state while attacking climate change. He touts Colorado’s top economy in America. He says you don’t need big government to do big progressive things. He says if Democrats embrace socialism, the worst president in history could be re-elected.
Gillibrand: Women in America are on fire but “our rights are under attack like never before.” She talks about going to the front lines in Georgia for abortion rights. She says she stood up the Pentagon (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell), the banks, and Trump. She says now is now the time to play it safe.
Yang: He thanks everyone who put him on stage and says he is proof that democracy works. He says the right candidate will beat Trump by solving the problems that got Trump elected. He says he can put together a much broader coalition than his opponents. He says it is not left, not right, but forward
Harris: She says Democrats need a nominee who will prosecute the case against Donald Trump. She says this election is about the 3 AM agenda—she is branding herself as the candidate who has the best plans for what keeps people up at night.
Buttigieg: He says nothing about politics is theoretical because he had to write a “just in case” letter to his parents in case he did not come back from Afghanistan. Talks about his marriage to his husband and leading South Bend. He says he wants to look back on these years and see that his generation found climate solutions, racial justice, and fought to end endless wars.
Sanders: He says people are wondering why nothing is changing—wages stagnating, highest rates of childhood poverty, etc… He says nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, military industrial complex, and fossil fuels industry
Biden — running to restore the soul of the nation. He accuses Trump of ripping it out. He attacks Trump for embracing dictators and says he is also running to restore the economic backbone of this country.
10:40 PM: Todd asks which country they would like to have a “reset” with if they beat Trump.
Williamson — European leaders
Hickenlooper — China
Yang — China
Buttigieg — no idea which countries Trump will piss off .. relationship with entire world needs to change
Biden — NATO
Sanders — He says it’s not one country. Rebuilding relationship with United Nations
Harris — All the members of the NATO alliance
Gillibrand — Iran
Bennet — European and Latin American countries
Swalwell — Breaking up with Russia and making up with NATO
On gun control, when Maddow says Sanders once thought it was a state issue, he accuses her of mischaracterizing his statement. Swalwell says “keep your rifles” and says he will confiscate assault rifles. Harris touts her plan for gun control via executive action. Biden says he is the only person who has beaten the NRA nationally and got the Brady Bill passed and gotten assault weapons banned. He says he would buyback those weapons. He calls for “smart guns” with biometrics.
Rachel Maddow: A "newspaper recently released portions of an interview you gave … 'My own view on guns is, everything being equal, states should make those decisions.'"
Bernie Sanders: "That's a mischaracterization of my thinking."
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 28, 2019
Biden bumbles answer about why voters should trust him about potentially taking the country to war after voting to go to war in Iraq:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 28, 2019
10:35 PM: Todd asks the candidates for their top policy priority if they get elected:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 28, 2019
Swalwell – gun control to honor the Parkland activists
Gillibrand – family bill of rights
Harris — her tax cut plan for the middle class, DACA
Sanders — calls for a political revolution
Biden — he defends Obama for the Paris Accord and says his first policy priority would be defeating Trump. Huh?
Buttigieg — Must reform democracy first to get things like immigration reform, etc/
Yang $1,000/month to every adult. Will take boots off their necks and make it easier to combat climate change
Hickenlooper — climate change
Williamson — She will phone the prime minister of New Zealand to get ideas about how to make America the best place to live.
10:22: On climate change, Buttigieg calls for “Pittsburgh Summit” in addition rejoining the Paris Accord. Biden says he would “up the ante” in that accord because he claims America makes up 15% of the problem. Sanders claims there are only 12 years left before there is “irreparable damage” to the environment. He wants to transform the energy system away from fossil fuels to more energy efficient solutions. Swalwell just jumps in and says “pass the torch.”
10:15: Maddow turns the debate to abortion and Sanders says he will not nominate judges who don’t believe in Roe.
When Maddow asks what happens if Roe is gone, Sanders says Medicare for All would guarantee abortion. He speaks about rotating Supreme Court justices (is he talking about sending them to appellate courts after a certain number of years on the bench?)
10:10 PM: Biden claims he got McConnell to raise taxes by $600 billion, and Bennet claims the sequester deal Biden is talking about was a “complete victory for the Tea Party” and extended the Bush tax cuts permanently. “A great deal for Mitch McConnell,” Bennet says.
10:05 PM: Harris, after saying some white parents would not let their kids play with her, says she doesn’t think Biden is a “racist” but says it was “hurtful” to hear Biden talk about two segregationist U.S. senators “who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.” She also brings up that Biden worked with them to oppose busing.
WATCH: Harris says she doesn't think Biden is a racist, but she talks directly to Biden about his having worked with segregationists on the issue of school busing. #DemDebate2 pic.twitter.com/Ytb2xvOhux
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 28, 2019
Biden claims that he was not against busing (speaks about it being a local issue) and claims he just opposed busing by the Department of Education, and Harris says she was in the second integrated class at a school in Berkeley, California and says federal intervention is needed.
10 PM: The debate turns to race.
Asked why the # of black police officers in the South Bend PD has gone down in his time as mayor, Buttigieg says "Because I couldn't get it done," adds, "My community is in anguish right now," referencing an officer-involved shooting that led him to return to South Bend last week
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) June 28, 2019
9:43 PM: ALL Democrats except for Bennet raise their hands when asked if they would decriminalize illegal border crossings.
Biden talks about instituting programs to rebuild Central America. He says people talk about plans but he has done it. Biden says he will reunite families but does not offer more when asked if he would decriminalize illegal immigrant. Diaz Balart says the Obama administration deported “3 million Americans” (refers to illegal immigrants as Americans) and says if illegal immigrants have committed major crimes, they should be deported and Obama did a “helluva job” on immigration. When asked if someone without documents, if that is his only offense, should be deported, Biden says that should “not be the focus of deportation.”
Sanders says “we rescind every damn thing on this issue that Trump has done.” He blasts Republicans for associating itself with Christianity while putting children in cages and says the party has lost all claim to use “religious language” ever again.
Swalwell says the hypothetical person should not be deported, as does Swalwell. Harris says this is the issue she disagreed with the Obama administration (Secure Communities).
9:38 PM: Harris says if she is president she will reinstitute DACA, restore protections for parents of Dreamers. She says she will get rid of private detention centers and release children “from cages.”
Hickenlooper accuses the Trump administration of “kidnapping” migrant children–caging them and then putting them up for adoption. Williamson accuses Trump of “kidnapping,” “child abuse,” and “state-sponsored crimes.” She says “we open our hearts to strangers.” Bennet brings up the Holocaust.
Sen. Michael Bennet: "When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom, because I know she sees herself because she was separated from her parents for years during the Holocaust in Poland." https://t.co/ddUHUe8mul #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/5eP9cBY5S4
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 28, 2019
9:33 PM: ALL TEN CANDIDATES RAISE HANDS WHEN ASKED IF THEIR HEALTHCARE PLANS WILL COVER ILLEGALS:
Biden talks about illegal immigrants contributing to social security and needing to cover illegal immigrants.
Buttigieg says “our country is healthier when everybody is healthier.” He says this is not a “handout” and is an “insurance program.” He says it makes no sense to have 11 million illegal immigrants and calls for a path to citizenship. He says Trump has divided us on a “consensus issue.”
9:22 PM: Buttigieg touts a “Medicare for all who wants it” program that will be a “glide path” to a single-payer system. He talks about his father facing a terminal illness and he never had to face whether that would have bankrupted his family because his father had Medicare.
Biden says this is personal because his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident and his son was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He can’t fathom what would have happened if the insurance company said they were on their own for the last 6 months. He talks about building on Obamacare and giving everyone an option to buy in the exchange a “Medicare-like” plan. He says he opposes anyone who wants to take down Obamacare.
Sanders rips corporate health care, saying its main function is to make billions.
Williamson asked about lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and she says government should have never made deals with drug companies. Williamson says Trump got elected by saying “Make America Great Again” and not by putting out a bunch of plan. She says we have a “sickness system” and we have to ask why Americans are getting so sick–she cites chemical policies, environmental policies, food policies.
Sanders claims his Medicare for all proposal will allow people to see any doctor they want at any hospital.
Lester Holt: Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of government-run plan? Show of hands?
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) June 28, 2019
9:19 PM: Harris jumps in says America doesn’t want to witness a food fight. They want to put food on the table. She says Trump touts the stock market but “that’s fine if you own stocks. So many families do not.”
9:17 PM: Swalwell says Biden needs to “pass the torch” to the next generation. He says he heard Biden say that at the CA Dem. convention when he was six years old and says it’s time for Biden to pass the torch.
“I’m still holding on to that torch,” Biden says.
— Variety (@Variety) June 28, 2019
Swalwell telegraphed this attack earlier in the day. It speaks to Biden’s organization that he did not have a comeback ready.
9:16 PM: Yang asked about his $1,000/month “freedom dividend” and gives his standard answer about taxing tech giants like Amazon that pay $0 in taxes to finance it.
9:11 PM: Buttigieg, when asked about free college for all, says he is for free college for low- and middle-income students but says working-class Americans shouldn’t subsidize college for the children of billionaires.
Bennet points out that Vermont rejected Sanders’ Medicare for all because of the high taxes
9:10 PM: Hickenlooper asked about getting booed for saying Trump will win if Democrats embrace socialism. He doesn’t back down but sounds wimpy. Sanders says polls have him beating Trump in a one-on-one matchup and says 80% of his tax benefits go to the 1%. Sanders says he will expose Trump for the “fraud that he is.” He calls Trump a “racist” and “pathological liar.”
Gillibrand jumps in and talks about capitalism and greed. Another New Yorker, like de Blasio last night, elbowing her way in, but she’s not as progressive as Gillibrand so she is not resonating.
9:10 PM: Harris, when asked if Democrats need to explain how they are going to pay for all of their programs, says that questions should have been asked about re: his tax cuts.
Savannah Guthrie: Do Dems have to explain how they'll pay for free college, health care?
Kamala Harris: "Where was that question when the Republicans and Donald Trump passed a tax bill that benefits the top 1% and the biggest corporations in this country?" #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/o4hnWqo9Vg
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 28, 2019
9:07 PM: Biden asked about his comments about not demonizing the rich. He calls for an end to Trump’s tax cuts after giving his stump speech on the dignity of work. He didn’t put his foot in his mouth, so that’s a win.
9:05 PM: Sanders is asked about raising taxes and he goes on about income inequality, homelessness in liberal cities, and Medicare for all. He is asked to answer the question and finally says people will pay more in taxes and less in health care costs. Pesky Bennet tries to interrupt and is not allowed to talk.
9:00 PM: Debate comes on NBC right after The Wall game show.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) June 27, 2019
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) June 27, 2019
Parkland Mayor endorses Buttigieg:
2020 presents a real opportunity for our nation to elect a leader who will run toward, not away from, the toughest challenges we face today. @PeteButtigieg is exactly the kind of leader we need in this day and age. I’m proud to endorse fellow Mayor Pete to be the next #POTUS
— ChristineHunschofsky (@CHunschofsky) June 27, 2019
Spouses showing support:
— Douglas Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) June 28, 2019
— Catherine Vegis (@cvegis) June 27, 2019
Yang Gang confident:
Yang bumping Return of the Mack in the car on the way to his way to his walkthrough is all you need to know about how he’s feeling about tonight
— Zach Graumann (@Zach_Graumann) June 27, 2019
Biden’s spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield dodges questions on CNN about why Biden will not go to the spin room after the debate. She says the campaign will consider it a win if the main topic of conversation after the debate is why Biden did not appear in the spin room.
We know in our bones this election is different. We have a president who promotes hate and division. Encourages white supremacists. Embraces dictators. And damages our alliances internationally.
Our politics traffics in division. And our president is the divider in chief.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 28, 2019
Thursday’s Lineup (June 27):
Joe Biden — Biden is leading the pack because Democrats believe he is the best candidate to take on Trump and black voters like him for being Obama’s running mate. He’ll be tested by Warren, especially on financial issues, later in the cycle. Tonight, all Biden needs to do is not come across as prickly, entitled, and condescending, lie about his accomplishments, steal other people’s lines, and say something racially or sexually insensitive.
Unfortunately for Biden’s team, the former vice president is like a baseball team with an atrocious closer (think Mitch Williams or, in today’s game, any relief pitcher on the Braves or the Nationals)—no matter how much he is ahead, the other team will never be out of the game.
Bernie Sanders — Besides de Blasio, Sanders is the candidate Democrats want most to drop out of the race, and that’s a big problem for him no matter how high his floor may be. Hillary Clinton’s supporters have not forgiven him or his “Bernie Bros” for their 2016 antics, and Sanders also comes across as grouchy and grumpy who mutters the same old socialist greatest hits. In 2016, Sanders also seemed timid in taking on Hillary Clinton on issues like TPP, leading many to wonder how much he wanted the presidency and whether he had the intestinal fortitude to go after it. Sanders will qualify for the next round of debates.
Pete Buttigieg — There’s a bit of a John Edwards vibe to him, and if he were running against Donald Trump Jr., Buttigieg would surely say that a son of an immigrant can beat the son of a president for the White House. Like Edwards, though, he comes off as an overly ambitious whippersnapper devoid of substance.
No matter how much privileged white liberals gush over his candidacy and the way he has perfect the art of sounding smart without saying anything much of substance, which is the top thing taught at elite universities and consulting houses like McKinsey, Buttigieg cannot win the nomination without the support of black Democrats.
Last weekend, he looked like a kid in way over his head last weekend in South Bend, Indiana, while dealing with black community members who were angry that a white officer shot a black man without his body camera turned on, and his awkward moments and inability to empathize with hurting community members revealed why he has received nearly 0% support from black Democrats.
Buttigieg is also lucky that de Blasio, who has the potential to be to Buttigieg what Al Sharpton was to Howard Dean in the 2004 nominating cycle, will not be on the stage with him to tear into him on racial issues.
Kamala Harris — Harris has a lot of former Hillary Clinton staffers working for her and the one quality she shares with Clinton is she seems like a careerist who stands for nothing and is willing to take whatever position necessary to climb up the political ladder. When asked questions for which she does not have a robotic, pre-programmed answers, she looks like a deer in the headlights and freezes (Jussie Smollett, voting rights for terrorists, etc.).
She spent the early part of her career in San Francisco appealing to white liberals, and some of her past stances—like laughing about using some of her political capital criminalizing truancy at the exclusive Commonwealth Club—are coming back to bite her. She didn’t even say grace when she ate lunch with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, and her campaign has not resonated with black Democrats even though she tried her best to put on a ridiculously fake southern accent.
Harris will qualify for the next round of debates, but she needs the debates to somehow stay relevant until South Carolina and California.
Andrew Yang — The entrepreneur may be the Democrat who is best able to attract Trump supporters while bringing in a bunch of new voters in the general election if he somehow gets the nomination. If the debates are like moving day in golf, Yang, without a doubt, is the one who is most likely to pop on the first page of the leaderboard so long as he doesn’t get in his own way.
There is no reason for a presidential candidate to be talking about circumcision. Someone running for president and his campaign manager who went to school in the Carolinas should know that Myrtle Beach is in the Palmetto State. And there is no reason to tweet random things like “cash is king” to turn off the cryptocurrency community that had been on his side.
But no matter how much MSNBC bizarrely omits him from its 2020 graphics, Yang is polling at 2% in numerous state and national polls and is just 20,000 donors short of meeting the 130,000 donor requirement to qualify for the next round of debates. As he said this week, he’s going to be around throughout the nominating process.
Kirsten Gillibrand — Gillibrand has had trouble raising money with big-money donors who are still angry at her for leading the effort to boot former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) after several groping and harassment allegations surfaced against him. She has tried to make her campaign about #MeToo, abortion, and gun control but has been best known for cringeworthy attempts to be cool. It is unlikely she’ll be on the debate stage after the first two rounds unless enough people get inspired by her water pong videos to donate $1 to her campaign.
Michael Bennet — The Colorado senator either got terrible advice or is so desperate to become more relevant that he decided to still run for president after undergoing successful surgery for prostate cancer just months ago. He may have only qualified for the first debate because a few people who had never heard of him somehow still picked him as their first choice in a national polls, enabling him to get 1% support. Bennet, a member of the “Gang of Eight” amnesty group, called out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his “crocodile tears” over the government shutdown but has failed to have a such a moment on the campaign trail. Bennet will likely not qualify for the next round of debates.
John Hickenlooper — Hickenlooper is the candidate in this election cycle that has the most “No Labels” feel, and that is never a good thing in a presidential primary because it usually means the candidate is out of touch and out of tune with the party’s base and activists. He also comes across as a wimp. His biggest moment this cycle came when he was booed at the California Democratic Convention for speaking out against the party’s embrace of democratic socialism. Hickenlooper will likely not qualify for the next round of debates.
Eric Swalwell— He is to gun control what Inslee is to climate change. His speeches are full of cringeworthy and corny lines and is the candidate most likely to have the night’s biggest clunker. Swalwell will likely not qualify for the next round of debates and may be the first candidate to drop out to focus on getting re-elected to the House.
Marianne Williamson — Oprah’s longtime spiritual adviser is better suited than Booker to run a campaign focused on combating hate with “love.” She has moved to Iowa and supported the most ambitious reparations plan with at least a cash payment of $100 billion to the descendants of the slaves. She also had to walk back her opposition to mandatory vaccinations (“Orwellian”) numerous times.
Still, Williamson has challenged Democrats for cozying “up to the forces that do the wrong thing,” comes across a real person, and she could be the person in this debate who will most forcefully call out Biden for eagerly wanting to work with Republicans if she is given an opportunity to do so. Though Williamson is unlikely to qualify for the next round of debates, she could remind viewers why the other 1% candidates are so stale and programmed.