Democratic debate highlights: Expertise and race at forefront as healthcare speak fades


ATLANTA (Information) – The fifth presidential debate featured sharp exchanges on Wednesday over outreach to minority voters, the function of U.S. diplomacy and which of the Democratic contenders is greatest ready to steer.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates throughout their fifth 2020 marketing campaign debate on the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. November 20, 2019. Information/Brendan McDermid

In contrast to previous debates, which have been dominated by how the candidates favor increasing medical health insurance protection to thousands and thousands of People, Democrats touched on the problem solely briefly.

Listed here are some highlights from the stage in Atlanta, the place 10 of the candidates looking for the Democratic nomination to tackle Republican President Donald Trump in November 2020 debated international coverage, gender and the advantages of expertise.


The evening featured an prolonged dialog about gender, expertise and who has the broadest enchantment.

Pete Buttigieg, whose solely political expertise is as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, sought to show his lack of time in Washington into a bonus.

“I do know that from the angle of Washington, what goes on in my metropolis may look small, however frankly the place we stay, the infighting on Capitol Hill is what seems small,” he stated.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who beforehand stated a lady with Buttigieg’s expertise wouldn’t have made it to the controversy stage, reiterated her argument that girls are held to the next customary.

“In any other case, we may play a recreation referred to as ‘Title your favourite lady president,’ which we will’t do,” she stated to applause.

The US has by no means despatched a lady to the White Home.

Klobuchar then took goal at former Vice President Joe Biden’s declare that he alone can win in swing states, stating she has carried Republican districts in her house state of Minnesota.

In response, Biden touted his file of passing bipartisan laws and his lengthy expertise in Washington.

“There’s no time for on-the-job coaching,” he stated. “I spent extra time within the Scenario Room, extra time overseas, than anybody up right here.”


Buttigieg was pressed on his failure to realize traction amongst black voters, a vital bloc within the Democratic nominating contests.

Buttigieg, who has risen in polls within the largely white early-voting state of Iowa, has been criticized by the black group in South Bend, the place he fired town’s first black police chief in 2012 and confronted protesters earlier this 12 months after a police officer shot a black man.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who’s black, stated the Democratic nominee ought to have expertise representing all individuals and mustn’t courtroom black voters solely at election time.

“Democrats have taken with no consideration the constituency that has been the spine of the Democratic Occasion,” Harris stated.

Buttigieg acknowledged he faces a “problem” in introducing himself to many black voters, earlier than pivoting to his personal expertise as a homosexual man.

“I do not need the expertise of ever being discriminated towards due to the colour of my pores and skin,” Buttigieg stated. “I do have the expertise of feeling like a stranger in my very own nation, turning on the information and seeing my very own rights arising for debate.”

Biden, who leads the Democratic subject in assist from black voters in opinion polls, later stated the rationale he was chosen as former Democratic President Barack Obama’s vp was due to his “long-standing relationship with the black group.”


Requested what he would say to Russian President Vladimir Putin of their first telephone name, know-how entrepreneur Andrew Yang answered: “I’m sorry I beat your man,” referring to Trump.

“It’s a ‘sorry, not sorry,’” U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren interjected to laughter.

“And second, I might say ‘the times of meddling in American elections are over,’” Yang added.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sought to distinguish his stances on army intervention and diplomacy from these of Trump and Biden. Sanders reiterated his purpose of bringing U.S. troops house from Afghanistan however stated, “in contrast to Trump, I cannot do it in a tweet at three o’clock within the morning.”

Referring to Biden, Sanders stated “one of many large variations between the vp and myself is he supported the horrible warfare in Iraq and I helped lead the opposition towards it.”

Sanders stated the USA must “deliver Iran and Saudi Arabia collectively in a room” to work out their variations and the “identical factor goes with Israel and the Palestinians.”


U.S. Consultant Tulsi Gabbard doubled down when requested about her latest conflict with the get together’s 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Gabbard, an Iraq warfare veteran who has centered her marketing campaign on opposition to abroad army intervention, stated the Democratic Occasion “continues to be influenced by the international coverage institution in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others’ international coverage, by the military-industrial complicated and different grasping company pursuits.”

Harris defended Clinton, saying Gabbard criticized former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration on Fox Information and met with Syrian chief Bashar al-Assad.

Buttigieg criticized Gabbard for the latter determination, saying he “wouldn’t have sat down with a murderous dictator like that.”

Reporting by Amanda Becker and Simon Lewis; extra reporting by Joseph Ax, Ginger Gibson and Sharon Bernstein; Modifying by Colleen Jenkins and Jonathan Oatis