Thoughts on the Democratic Debate

Just because most of us are under 18 doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be paying attention to what’s happening in the world, especially with the next presidential election rapidly approaching. If you didn’t catch the latest democratic debate which aired on October 15, read on for a rundown of each candidate’s most notable talking points, our thoughts on their stances, and lingering questions we still have. 

Pete Buttigieg

KEY DEBATE QUOTE:

“…yes it needs to be more affordable in this country to go to college. It also needs to be more affordable in this country to not go to college. You should be able to live well, afford rent, be generous to your church and little league whether you went to college or not. That’s one of the many reasons we need to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour..”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Buttigieg made it as clear in the debate as he had on his website that affordable healthcare will be associated with the choice to have Medicare or to stay with one’s insurance company. He attempts multiple times to point out the limitations of the ideas imposed by both Sanders and Warren. He has very distinct and bold plans of where money is needed as outlined in his insistence on investing in black America (the Douglass Plan) and in a plan for gun control. 

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

What specific laws are you expecting to put into place to effectively carry out the Douglass plan?

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Amy Klobuchar

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

“We need to make it easier to get long-term care insurance and strengthen Medicaid. In this state, the state of Ohio, that has been hit by the opioid epidemic, we need to take on those pharma companies and make them pay for the addictions that they have caused and the people that they have killed.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Klobuchar is impressively ambitious as proven through her first 100 days outline that clearly exemplifies her motives (especially around issues of sustainability, gun violence, and more). However, this 100-day plan attracted constant criticism from other candidates during the debate for its lack of focus. Regardless, Klobuchar makes it abundantly clear that in the issue of healthcare she would go after big corporations.

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

Since many of the days on the first 100-day plan present issues that will need ongoing attention, how are you prepared to make sure each issue gets the deserved attention until its resolution?

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Tulsi Gabbard

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

“It’s not fair to ask these three about their health and their fitness to serve as president but not every one of us. I am grateful to have been trained very well by the Army and do my best to stay in shape, but here’s the real question I believe you should be asking: Who is fit to serve as our Commander in Chief?”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Gabbard consistently restates the importance of stable foreign policies and relationships as a priority as much in the debate as in her campaign. Hopefully, her experience and time in the National Guard would bring to fruition her goals for maintaining the shift towards this objective. 

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

What would reparations look like today, and how would you make sure this money helps raise black America out of collective poverty and close generational wealth gaps between races?

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Elizabeth Warren

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

“Let’s be clear. Whenever someone hears the term ‘Medicare for all who want it,’ understand what that really means: It’s Medicare for all who can afford it.”  

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Warren’s goals recently have been securing LGBTQ+ rights, creating a reliable public school education for all students, and trying to combat the climate crisis. Due to her rising popularity in the polls, Warren’s main points during this debate were attacked by many of the other candidates. With answers to almost every single question or criticism, this performance made for an exciting and very important push in her campaign.

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

What is the main way you are going to push for a Medicare-For-All plan?

—————————–

Cory Booker

KEY DEBATE QUOTE :

“This president is turning the moral leadership of this country into a dumpster fire.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Booker’s campaign is focused mostly reducing gun violence, suppressing white nationalist groups, abortion laws, and housing affordability. During this debate, he aptly talked about how Democrats and the Democratic Presidential Candidates should be very wary of attacking each other, as he thinks it is exactly what President Donald Trump would want so that the weaknesses of the Demoncratic Party are exposed. 

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

How will you still run your campaign without support from Wall Street?

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Joe Biden

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the U.S. government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. That’s what we should be focusing on.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Some of Biden’s goals for his campaign are to basically triple the income for low-income schools, create a new climate action plan, and an economy where the minimum wage will come to $15/hour. However, Biden’s standing as a party leader has come into question in recent weeks as news of his son’s business dealings in China and Ukraine have bred doubts about the Biden family’s ethics. This is a critical time for Biden to clarify his personal and political values if he plans on making it to the end of this race. 

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

How will you deal with the backlash about your stances of mass incarceration?

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Andrew Yang

KEY DEBATE QUOTE:

“I support impeachment, but we shouldn’t have any illusions that impeaching Donald Trump will, one, be successful or, two, erase the problems that got him elected in 2016. We’re standing in the great State of Ohio, the ultimate purple state, the ultimate bellwether state.

Why did Donald Trump win your state by eight points? Because we got rid of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in your towns. And we are not stopping there.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Andrew Yang is one of the most surprising candidates still participating in the televised Democratic debates. His base of supporters (dubbed the “Yang Gang”) have helped him raise upwards of $10,000,000 thus far. One of the main objectives in Andrew Yang’s campaign is to provide a base income to every citizen over the age of 18. He announced that he wants to have a trial of giving only ten families $1,ooo a month to test the concept of universal basic income. This is not the only controversial aspect of Yang’s platform, however; he also wants to decriminalize opiates (including heroin and fentanyl).  

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

How are you going to implement your plan of giving 10 families $1,000 per month?

—————————–

Beto O’Rourke

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

“…they want fairness in how we treat workers in this country, which they are not receiving today. Part of the way to do that is through our trade deals, making sure that if we trade with Mexico, Mexican workers are allowed to join unions, which they are effectively unable to do today. Not only is that bad for the Mexican workers, it puts the American worker at a competitive disadvantage.” 

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

O’Rourke speaks at length about criminal justice and the disparities between black and whites in our overcrowded prison system. People wrongfully incarcerated or arrested for newly legalized corruptions would be exonerated. He recognizes the effects of institutional racism such as police brutality and educational resources.  

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

What are you going to do to make sure that there is no racial police brutality? 

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Kamala Harris

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

“It’s not an exaggeration to say women will die because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with their bodies,”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Kamala Harris’ main campaign goals are legalized abortion, Medicare for all, and decriminilizing sex work. In addition to advocating for women to legally make choices about their own bodies and reproductive systems, she believes societal and political progress will be achieved if everyone has access to Medicare (rather than having to contend with insurance companies and the mountains of red tape associated with them). Harris has been careful to qualify her stance on sex work, as well – criminal charges would be brought against sex traffickers, those who take women against their will, and those who make profit off of their exploitation.

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

What do you believe America is doing right?

—————————–

Julian Castro 

KEY DEBATE 

Moderator: “Is impeachment a distraction?”

“Not at all. We can walk and chew gum at the same time… We have to impeach this president. And the majority of Americans not only support impeachment, they support removal. He should be removed.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Castro’s campaign is focused mainly on criminal justice reform, healthcare, affordable housing and urban development, and the recommitment to the Paris Climate Accord. His signature issue is all-day pre-kindergarten.

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

How do you plan on addressing the affordable housing issue? What can we expect your plans to look like?

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Bernard (Bernie) Sanders

KEY DEBATE QUOTE:

“I get a little bit tired — I must say — of people defending a system which is dysfunctional, which is cruel. 87,000,000 uninsured. 30,000 people dying every single year. 500,000 people going bankrupt for one reason: they came down with cancer. I will tell you what the issue is here. The issue is whether the Democratic Party has the guts to stand up to the healthcare industry, which made $100 billion in profit, whether we have the guts to stand up to the corrupt, price-fixing pharmaceutical industry, which is charging us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. And if we don’t have the guts to do that, if all we can do is take their money, we should be ashamed of ourselves.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

Sanders’ campaign includes a variety of issues that he wants to tackle if he plans to gets into office, including a Medicare-for-All plan, a green new deal, a College-for-All plan, income inequality tax plan, women’s, disabled, and LGBTQ+ rights, minimum raise increase,  gun safety, and racial justice, and revitalizing rural America and investing in education. He has many talking points, but one of his main is implementing an extreme tax on the wealthy. Despite all of these aspects of Sanders’ campaign, the most consistent criticism aimed at Sanders of late  has been regarding his health (he suffered a heart attack one week before this debate). Only time will tell if his stamina holds up in order to outpace his younger opponents. 

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

How does your campaign stand out or differ from that of Elizabeth Warren’s? How do you plan to compete with such a diverse group of candidates?

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Tom Steyer 

KEY DEBATE QUOTE: 

Moderator: “You are the lone billionaire on this stage. What’s your plan for closing the income gap?”

“Well, first of all, let me say this. Senator Sanders is right. There have been 40 years where corporations have bought this government, and those 40 years have meant a 40-year attack on the rights of working people and specifically on organized labor. And the results are as shameful as Senator Sanders says, both in terms of assets and in terms of income. It’s absolutely wrong. It’s absolutely undemocratic and unfair. I was one of the first people on this stage to propose a wealth tax. I would undo every Republican tax cut for rich people and major corporations. But there’s something else going on here that is absolutely shameful… and that is that the corporations have bought our government. Our government has failed. That’s why I’m running for president, because we’re not going to get any of the policies that everybody on this stage wants — health care, education, Green New Deal, or a living wage unless we break the power of these corporations.”

THE SPARTAN SCOOP’S THOUGHTS: 

This was the first debate appearance for self-funding billionaire Tom Steyer. His main talking point was eliminating the corporate takeover of our democracy, and he believes other candidates have good ideas, but that they won’t be able to execute them without getting money and corporations out of politics. Steyer supports impeachment of Donald Trump, and repealing tax cuts for the rich and implementing a wealth tax. He also supports a minimum wage increase along with an already active climate plan, NextGen Climate, which he founded in 2013.

THE SPARTAN SCOOP STILL WANTS TO KNOW: 

As a billionaire, do you expect there to be backlash from Wall Street if you try and tax the wealthy?

THE NEXT DEMOCRATIC DEBATE WILL TAKE PLACE IN ATLANTA ON NOVEMBER 20, 2019. CHECK BACK IN WITH THE SPARTAN SCOOP STAFF IN EARLY DECEMBER AS WE DISCUSS DEBATE #5 AND THE PROGRESSION OF THESE CANDIDATES!

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