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Democratic debates live updates: Candidates for 2020 Democrats face major presidential debate in Atlanta today



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Ten Democratic presidential candidates took to the stage in Atlanta on Wednesday night just one hour after one blockbuster day questioning the impeachment, along with the testimony of U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who testified that he had worked with Rudy Giuliani's personal lawyer in the president's direction. The candidates were first asked about the impeachment, with Senator Bernie Sanders warning that Democrats should not be "consumed" by President Trump.

"Sadly we have a president who is not just a pathological liar, he is probably the most corrupt president in modern history," Sanders said, though he argued that focusing on impeachment alone was a mistake. "The American Congress can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time," Sanders added.

Warren's proposed wealth tax and "Medicare For All," two of the divisive issues to Democrats, were also discussed in advance.

There were two fewer Democrats on the stage than in the last debate. Former Congressman Beto O & # 39; Rourke dropped out of the race at the beginning of November and former Obama Housing Secretary Julián Castro failed to qualify for this debate.

Watch CBSNews.com and CBSN for updates and reviews throughout the day and throughout the night before this pivotal debate.

Warren is pressed into the "Medicare for All" plan, which Biden suggests is unrealistic

9:20 pm: Warren is forced to defend his "Medicare for All" plan, which is unpopular with Republicans and critics who say it could kill many independent voters.

"I look and see. Millions of Americans find it difficult to pay their medical bills, Warren said.

Warren was criticized for the cost of his plan, which he said would still lead at a generally lower cost for the average American.

Sanders was then invited to the talk, carrying one of his favorite lines – that he "wrote the damn proposal."

Biden , considered a more moderate candidate, Americans insist they don't want their health care. The president said he trusts Americans to make the best choices for them. "Medicare for All," he said, would never succeed.

"It can't pass the U.S. Senate today with Democrats, it can't pass the Chamber," he said.

"If you go the route of my two with my right and left, you have to give up your private insurance, "Biden added.

Kathryn Watson

Warren says her tax bill is "not about punishing anyone"

9:13 pm: Warren pushes against criticizing her suggestions for a tax on the rich are being punished, saying it's about fairness.

"Making a tax on wealth is not about punishing anyone," Warren says. He referred to a speech he gave in his 2012 Senate campaign in which he argued that the rich had built their fortunes based on the work of others, such as teachers and public servants.

"Pitch in two cents so others can get the chance to do so," Warren urged taxpayers and billionaires.

"Two-cent wealth tax and we can invest in the future of a whole generation," Warren added.

Booker responded by saying he believed in investing in public services, but that he disagreed with Warren's proposal for a property tax.

"Taxing the way we are putting it today, sorry, it's hard," Booker said of the wealth tax. . He added that it is also difficult to evaluate. He also suggested that the same income could come from an income tax, rather than a wealth tax. "We as Democrats should start talking about not just how we will tax from this stage," he said.

Grace Segers

Biden asked how he could work with Republicans who wanted him and his family investigated

9:09: NBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Biden if how he can work with Republicans asking for an investigation of him and his son, Hunter Biden.

Former vice president says he can win no one can say no, pushing his argument on electability.

"I think we need to ask ourselves the honest question, which is probably the right thing to do," Biden said.

Biden did not discuss it directly. The Republican was concerned about his son's work on the Ukrainian company board of Burisma while he was vice president. anything illegal during Hunter Biden's time was spent on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

Kathryn Watson

Candidates discuss first open hearing on impeachment

9:02 pm: After three witnesses testified at open hearings in Wednesday, the first question of the evening was about impeachment. Warren took the opportunity to beat the main witness today, U.S. ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, assuming he was appointed ambassador after he donated $ 1 million to President Trump's inauguration.

"How did Ambassador Sondland get there?" Warren, referring to his donation, added that Sondland's nomination "tells us something about what's happening in Washington: the corruption." It was about "how to make money going to Washington," he said, and he warned big donors not to be asked to be ambassadors in his administration.

Sanders noted the importance of impeachment questioning, but said it should not be the main focus of the campaign.

"Unfortunately we have a president who is not just a pathological liar, he is probably the most corrupt president in modern history," Sanders said, though he argued that focusing on impeachment alone would be a mistake. "The American Congress can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time," Sanders added.

Buttigieg struck a similar note, saying that candidates should focus on what will happen after Mr. Trump is defeated, as well as "fully" confront the president "for his mistake."

Grace Segers

Which candidates qualify for debate?

There will be two fewer candidates on stage than in October because former Housing Secretary Julián Castro failed to qualify this time and former Texas Congressman Beto O & # 39; Rourke resigned. bid for the White House.

Here are 10 qualified candidates to appear:

  1. Joe Biden, former vice president
  2. Cory Booker, New Jersey senator
  3. Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  4. Tulsi Gabbard , representative of Hawaii
  5. Kamala Harris, California senator
  6. Amy Klobuchar, sennes Minnesota
  7. Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
  8. Tom Steyer, businessman [19659046] Elizabeth Warren, senator of Massachusetts
  9. Andrew Yang, businessman

The Democratic National Committee raised voting and donor standards that candidates must meet to qualify for debate in November. Candidates can up to 3% in four national or early states, DNC-approved polls, or up to 5% in two early-state polls. They also need to show that they have 165,000 unique donors, including at least 600 each in at least 20 states, US territories or the District of Columbia.

How to watch the 5th Democratic debate

Warren will still have a target behind him

Although he has slipped from the polls since the last Democratic debate, Elizabeth Warren will still target him back Wednesday night, especially when it comes to his plan to implement "Medicare for All."

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign broke Warren's $ 20.5 trillion plan to pay for the program "math gymnastics" at the beginning of the month. Left to Warren on the issue, Senator Bernie Sanders made a characteristically indirect attack on his three-year Medicare plan for all, with a tweet quoting a assertion by the nurses' association that any infusion of his plan was a mistake.

Asked by CBS News last week to recognize his plan to move from the more modest "Medicare for Everyone Who Wants It" from Buttigieg, Warren said his plan was "about giving really Medicare people for All who are going to be in full health care. "A Buttigieg spokesman was fired, saying that" unlike Senator Warren, he would not kick tens of millions of American families into their private homes. " health care plan. "

Senator Amy Klobuchar also fought Warren on the issue from the stage in October, insisting that Medicare for All would be impossible without raising the middle-class tax, a clash in Warren's campaign.

Zak Hudak

Four candidates called Comcast to review NBC / MSNBC

Two days before the fifth Democratic primary debate, hosted by MSNBC, four Democratic president hopes to call on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to demand Comcast, the parent company of MSNBC, promise to conduct an independent investigation into the company's "toxic culture" that allows for sexual harassment and abuse. of staff.

Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez on Tuesday echoing pressure on the party to ratify its support for sexual assault victims. -Of course.

"We, the wearing candidates, are concerned about the message it will send to survivors of sexual assault if our next debate is sponsored by MSNBC without clear promises from Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, to conduct an independent investigation into the toxic culture that has enabled abuses and leaning survivors, "the 2020 hopeful wrote. ] – Melissa Quinn

All eyes will be on Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg at the forefront of the Democratic debate

This is the first debate where 37-year-old Buttigieg is waiting to be the focus, given his new top stance in Iowa and a general surge in the early states. He will join other frontrunners – former Vice President Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Don't be surprised if they call Buttigieg low on black and Latino voters – two constituents needed to win the nomination.

And while the polls show Democratic voters are closely watching impeachment hearings, they want their candidates to focus on the issue. And on Wednesday night, they will, especially health care – and how to pay for it – include economic and climate change.

Democrats are holding a debate here in Georgia because it is a state they want to win. But it has not gone unchallenged for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Ed O & # 39; Keefe

First debate since public impeachment hearings began [19659042] Wednesday night marked the first Democratic debate since House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into the public stage this past week. To what extent Democrats will focus on the question remains to be seen.

On Wednesday, the United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified that he was not part of "some irregular or rogue diplomacy," and referred to emails showing the top of the State Department, National Security Council and the White House are informed of the announcement of Ukraine investigations that Mr. Trump is seeking in the 2016 election, the server of the Democratic National Committee and the energy company Burisma, working with Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

If House impeach President Trump, half a dozen candidates running for president may find themselves stranded off the campaign trail in January during crucial close-ups the week before the first voting contests. . Subsequent Senate hearings require the presence of all senators sitting, which means that senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet will be in Washington after the first of the year , the Senate hearing should take place next year.

The Biden campaign illustrates points of debate

Observers in the debate can expect three key tactics from Joe Biden's campaign Wednesday night:

  • Make an argument about who experienced and solid leadership who needs to be commander-in-chief;
  • promote the "progressive win" of the Obama era;
  • and continue to compare Biden's approach to healthcare with other Democratic rivals.

Senior Biden campaign officials discussed the upcoming debate with reporters in a background call today.

In health care, Biden officials said it was clear from recent Democratic victories in Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana that the development of the Affordable Care Act was the way for Democrats to win.

Senior campaign officials frequently cited Warren at this point, noting his plan would appear in middle-class checks. The campaign official said, "We are in a very good position."

– Bo Erickson and Kathryn Watson

Trump and the debate

There is no word on whether the watch will be televised in the Democratic debate tonight, but his campaign will announce his presence in Atlanta before a reading a banner banner, "The Socialism of Democrats Will Destroy Jobs in Atlanta" and a full-page newspaper article in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.


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