Democrats Debate Night

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Democrats Debate Night,

It’s hard to believe, but there is less than a year left until the 2020 presidential election. While Trump is riling up his base with false claims and insults (and getting impeached), the remaining Democrats in the race are working hard trying to get a piece of the voter pie.

The sixth Democratic presidential debate marks the halfway point of the primary debate schedule, with six more debates left in the cycle. This is a crucial moment for Democrats to differentiate themselves, and differentiate themselves they did: There were heated discussions on the economy, gender, wine caves, and more.

On stage for this pivotal debate are: Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Sen. Bernie Sanders; former vice president Joe Biden; Sen. Amy Klobuchar; billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer; South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and businessman Andrew Yang. Ahead, all of the key moments you need to know about.

Amy Klobuchar is miss “made in America.”

After the candidates discussed Trump’s impeachment and economic advances in the U.S., Sen. Amy Klobuchar brought the conversation local. When asked about economic growth in the U.S., she said, “if we can encourage items to be made in America — every time you hold something in your hands that says ‘Made in America’ — it is the ingenuity of our workers, it is the quality of our workers, and it is the hopes and dreams of the American people.”

Elizabeth Warren schools us on taxes: “oh, they’re just wrong.”

“Oh, they’re just wrong.” Warren was asked about her ambitious wealth tax and how many criticize it’s execution. But she wasn’t afraid to shut. It. Down. Although Warren is proposing the largest tax increase on the wealthy since World War II — that’s 8 trillion (with a T) to be exact — the Massachusetts senator is confident that her initiative is the only one that will truly work for the U.S.

Bernie is on fire tonight.

After rounds of discussions on climate change, and perhaps the first time we’ve seen Steyer get truly worked up, Bernie Sanders shut down the question — literally. “Your question misses the mark,” he told the moderators. Sanders went on to school everyone on stage on how we should address climate change as a nation, ending on an already-iconic quote about “our next president, i.e. Bernie Sanders.” Amid an otherwise not-so-contentious debate so far, his passion stands out.

Andrew Yang says it’s lonely to be the only candidate of color on stage.

Up until recently, no candidates of color made the cut for the sixth debate: “I miss Kamala, I miss Cory,” Yang (wearing a “MATH” pin) said, adding that it was “lonely to be the only candidate of color” on the debate stage. Yang segued this into discussing the economic and health issues for people of color, and how in majority communities, POC don’t have as much of a disposable income to donate to political campaigns.

Tom Steyer has a lot of frenemies, apparently.

Tom Steyer: "We have to work with our allies and our 'frenemies' around the world" #DemDebate

— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 16, 2019

Bernie Sanders has a tone-deaf moment on gender.

Finally, a question about WOMEN. Unfortunately, the first response came from Bernie, who shifted the conversation to imply gender is less important than wealth disparity. “Where power resides in America isn’t white or black or male or female.

Klobuchar chimed in, saying “thank you for asking a woman this question.” She also quoted Trevor Noah, who once equated the number of women versus men in office to a very different kind of club. “If a nightclub had numbers that bad, they would shut it down.”

Elizabeth Warren stole the show.

But when it turned to Elizabeth Warren, she SHUT. IT. DOWN. “Senator Warren,” Tim Alberta said. “You would be the oldest president ever inaugurated.” “I would also be the youngest woman,” she quickly responded.

Warren v. Buttigieg: the #winecave showdown

Warren calls out Buttigieg’s “wine cave” fundraisers. (Memes ensue.) But Buttigieg noted that he is the only person on stage who is not a millionaire or billionaire. “This is the problem with issuing purity tests you can’t pass,” he said. Buttigieg also told Warren that her net worth is 100 times his, fueling an intense back and forth that the moderators literally had to break up. In the end, Klobuchar surprised us when she said she didn’t come here to listen to them argue. “I came to make a case for progress,” she said.

Everyone is invited to my #WineCave party after the #DemDebate

— oliver merino (@olivermerino4) December 20, 2019

Cory Booker (who’s not even in the debate) comments on #winecavegate.

.@CoryBooker responds in real time to the wine cave debate, notes he does not drink: “If I had a cave in my house, I’d fill it with something better than wine.” Says he’d probably make it a sci-fi cave, watch Star Trek in it. You’re welcome, America

— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) December 20, 2019

Andrew Yang has a feminist moment.

Andrew Yang made an important point: “strong societies elect more female leaders,” he told his fellow candidates. Explaining the deep misogyny in the U.S., Yang went as far as to say that “when you leave too many men together, we kind of become morons.”

Amy vs. Pete, round 2

Buttigieg and Klobuchar revive an old argument, which started when she said he wouldn’t have been on stage as a presidential candidate if he were a woman. He tries to diffuse it by saying we have “bigger fish to fry,” but Klobuchar asks, “Is there anything more important than electing our next president?” The two go back and forth and Klobuchar takes some outdated “experience” jabs at Buttigieg, but he brings it back down when he says you should try being “a gay dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana.” It seems candidates are willing to bring out GUNS to try and win this debate.

UPDATE: Two hours in and @amyklobuchar still has more speaking time than any other candidate on stage.

— Max Steele (@maxasteele) December 20, 2019

In the spirit of the holidays…

In a kind-of bizarre final question, moderators asked each candidate to either ask for forgiveness from someone else on stage, or give a gift to one of their fellow nominees. (Notably, the two women asked for forgiveness while the men gave gifts.) While Yang gave the generous gift of offering to mail his book to each candidate, Klobuchar (who arguably won the night) gave the gift of a decency check. Klobuchar broke up a few arguments over the course of the debate by asking “why are we fighting with each other?” Albeit, this was before AND after she came for Buttigieg’s throat, but Klobuchar walked away with the most speaking time from the entire night — and it looks like people were really listening to what she had to say.

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