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Democratic debates live updates: Candidates for 2020 Democrats meet in presidential primary debate in Atlanta today



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Ten Democratic presidential candidates took the stage in Atlanta on Wednesday night, just an hour after a blockbuster day in the inquiry, with testimony from US Ambassador to EU Gordon Sondland, who testified that he worked with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the leadership of the president. The candidates were first asked about impeachment, with Senator Bernie Sanders warning that Democrats would not be "consumed" by President Trump.

"Unfortunately, we have a president who is not only a pathological liar, he is probably the most corrupt president in modern history," Sanders said, although he argued that focusing on impeachment would be a mistake. "The US Congress can go and chew bubble gum at the same time," Sanders added.

Warren's proposed wealth tax and "Medicare For All," two of the Democrats' divisive issues, were also dealt with early.

There are two fewer Democrats on the scene than the last debate. Former Congressman Beto O & # 39; Rourke dropped out of the race in early November, and former Obama housing secretary Julián Castro failed to qualify for this debate.

Look at CBSNews.com and CBSN for updates and analysis throughout the day and all night ahead of this crucial debate.

Biden says Trump has "blamed himself"

9:45 p.m .: NBC's Rachel Maddow recently raised the "unlock him" chant against the World Series president in a question to Sanders. The American people, Sanders said, "capture the extent to which this president believes he is above the law."

He added that the American people "say, & # 39; No one is above the law. & # 39;" He added that if this president violates the law, he would be prosecuted "like anyone else who violates the law."

Biden, who took part in the conversation, said that such a decision is up to the Ministry of Justice.

Sanders said he agrees that such a determination is up to an independent Justice Department. But the American people, Sanders repeated, are beginning to understand, in his estimation.

Biden agreed, saying that the issue of whether the president should be accused is a separate issue. But the president, said the former vice president, has already "indicted himself." Biden also suggested that it would be up to the Attorney General to decide whether Trump would be prosecuted for violating the law while on duty.

Kathryn Watson

Klobuchar: Women candidates "have to work harder, and that's a fact"

9:36 p.m .: Klobuchar dealt with comments she previously made about Buttigieg, in which she said that a woman with his qualifications would not have reached the debate stage.

"I think Pete is qualified to be up on this stage and I'm honored to be standing next to him," Klobuchar said. But, she added, women were simply held to a different standard.

"Otherwise, we can play a game called & # 39; name your favorite woman president & # 39 ;," Klobuchar said with a laugh.

"We have to work harder and that's a fact," Klobuchar said of female presidential candidates. She professed her experience as a senator who has won Red Counties more than once and said it was proof that she could win the election against Mr. Trump.

"If you think a woman can't beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every day," Klobuchar said of applauding.

Grace Segers

"I collected $ 17,000 from ex-boyfriends," says Klobuchar

9:33 p.m .: The story of Klobuchar's first Senate race is one of an uphill battle, recalls the Minnesota senator. "I collected $ 17,000 from ex-boyfriends," she said.

This comment came after Steyer had to respond to his critics, pointing to people like him as an indication of the problem of money in politics. Steyer is a billionaire who self-finances much of his campaign.

Klobuchar has tried to put her on an outside candidate who understands Central America and can win demographics that other liberal candidates with richer backgrounds cannot.

Kathryn Watson

Tulsi Gabbard addresses criticism of Hillary Clinton

9:25 p.m .: Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker asked Gabbard about her criticism of Hillary Clinton. Gabbard said she criticized Clinton for representing the establishment fling for the Democratic party.

The establishment of the Democratic Party, she argued, "continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others' foreign policy, by the military industrial complex."

Parker then turned to Harris and asked if she would like to answer.

"Oh, sure," Harris said with a laugh. She then condemned Gabbard for criticizing former President Obama on Fox News and for meeting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Harris said Gabbard "spends full time during this campaign, again, and criticizes the Democratic Party."

"What Senator Harris is doing is continuing the traffic in lies and smears and inuendos," Gabbard replied. She said that Harris's words indicated that Harris would "continue the Bush-Clinton-Trump strategy for regime change of war."

Grace Segers

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

9:20 p.m .: Warren was forced to defend his "Medicare for All" plan, which is unpopular among Republicans and critics say could turn off many independent voters.

"I look and see tens of millions of Americans struggling to pay their medical bills," Warren said.

Warren has been criticized for the cost of her plan, which she says will still lead to overall lower costs for average Americans.

Sanders was then invited into the conversation and picked up one of his favorite lines – that he "wrote the fucking bill."

Biden, who is considered a more moderate candidate, insisted that Americans do not want their care removed. The former vice president said he trusts Americans to make the best choice for themselves. "Medicare for everyone," he said, will never succeed.

"It couldn't pass the United States Senate now with Democrats, it couldn't pass the House," he said.

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

Kathryn Watson

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

9:13 p.m .: Warren pushed back against criticism that her proposal for a tax on the rich is punitive and says it is about justice.

"Making a wealth tax is not about punishing anyone," Warren said. She referred to a speech she gave in her 2012 Senate campaign in which she claimed that wealthy people had built their wealth based on the work of others, such as teachers and public servants.

"Pitch in two cents so everyone else gets the chance to do it," Warren urged millionaires and billionaires who would pay the tax.

"Two centers' wealth wealth and we can invest in a whole generation's future," Warren added.

Booker responded by saying that he believes in investing in public services, but that he did not agree with Varson's wealth tax proposal.

"The tax the way we put it right now, I'm sorry, it's awkward," Booker said of the wealth tax. He added that it would also be difficult to evaluate. He also suggested that the same income could be derived from income tax rather than wealth tax. "We as Democrats need to start talking about not just how we tax from this stage," he said.

Grace Segers

Biden asked how he would work with Republicans who want him and his family investigated

9:09 p.m .: NBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Biden how he could work with Republicans demanding investigations from both him and his son, Hunter Biden.

The former vice president said he can win states that others cannot, and drives his electoral argument.

"I think we have to ask ourselves the honest question, who's likely to do what needs to be done," Biden said.

Biden did not directly address Republican concerns about his son's work on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma while he was vice president.

As the weapons investigation continues, Republicans are constantly questioning Biden's actions, even when officials in the remand investigation have said they have no evidence of anything illegal about Hunter Biden's time spent on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

Kathryn Watson

The candidates address the first open impeachment hearings

9:02 p.m .: After three witnesses testified in open hearings on Wednesday, the night's first question was about arrest. Warren took the opportunity to throw the key witness today, US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, and noted that he had been named ambassador after donating $ 1 million to President Trump's inauguration.

"How did Ambassador Sondland get there?" Warren asked with reference to his donation, adding that Sondland's nomination "tells us what is happening in Washington: the corruption." It's about "how money buys into Washington," she said, and she warned major donors not to ask to be ambassadors in her administration.

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

"Unfortunately, we have a president who is not only a pathological liar, he is probably the most corrupt president in modern history," Sanders said, although he argued that focusing on impeachment would be a mistake. "The US Congress can go and chew bubble gum at the same time," Sanders added.

Buttigieg made a similar remark, saying the candidates would focus on what happens after Trump was defeated, as well as "absolutely" confronting the president "for his inaccuracies."

Grace Segers

Which candidates qualified for the debate?

There will be two fewer candidates on the scene than in October because former housing secretary Julián Castro failed to qualify this time and former Texas Congressman Beto O & # 39; Rourke ended his bid in the White House.

Here are the 10 candidates who have qualified to appear:

  1. Joe Biden, former Vice President
  2. Cory Booker, senator in New Jersey
  3. Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  4. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Representative
  5. Kamala Harris, California senator
  6. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator
  7. Bernie Sanders, senator in Vermont
  8. Tom Steyer, businessman
  9. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
  10. Andrew Yang, entrepreneur

The Democratic National Committee raised the voting requirements and donor criteria that candidates must meet to qualify for the November debate. Candidates can either reach 3% in four national or early states, DNC-approved opinion polls, or reach 5% in two early state surveys. They also had 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 look at the fifth democratic debate

Warren will still have a goal on his back

Although she has been voting since the last Democratic debate, Elizabeth Warren will still have a target on her back Wednesday night, especially with regard to her plan to implement "Medicare for all."

Former Vice President Joe Biden campaign Warren blasted $ 20.5 trillion plan to pay for the program as "mathematical gymnastics" at the beginning of the month. To the left of the issue, Senator Bernie Sanders made a distinctive indirect attack on his three-year transition plan to Medicare for All, with a tweet quoting a nurse's statement that every drop of his plan is a mistake.

Asked by CBS News last week to separate her transition plan from the more moderate "Medicare for all who want it" plan from Buttigieg, Warren said her plan "is about giving people Medicare for everything that will be full health coverage. " A spokesman for Buttigieg shot back, saying that "unlike Senator Warren, he would not kick tens of millions of American families from his private health care plans."

Senator Amy Klobuchar also clashed with Warren on the issue from the scene in October, claiming that Medicare for all is impossible without raising the middle-class tax, a claim Word's campaign disputes.

Zak Hudak

Four candidates urge Comcast to investigate NBC / MSNBC

Two days before the fifth Democratic primary debate, hosted by MSNBC, four Democratic presidential hopefuls called on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to require Comcast, MSNBC's parent company, to undertake an independent investigation into the company's "toxic culture" that allowed 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, extending the pressure on the party to reiterate its support for victims of sexual misconduct.

"We, the undersigned candidates, are very concerned about the message it would send to survivors of sexual abuse if our next debate is sponsored by MSNBC without clear commitments from Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, to conduct an independent investigation into toxic culture that enabled addicts and silent survivors, "wrote the hopeful 2020.

Despite the letter, Booker, Harris, Sanders and Warren will all take the stage Wednesday night.

Melissa Quinn

All eyes will be on Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg in the limelight before a democratic debate

This is the first debate in which 37-year-old Buttigieg is prepared to be the focus, given his new summit in Iowa and a general force in the early states. He will be with the other front-runners – former Vice President Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Don't be surprised if they call out Buttigig's low position among black and Latin voters – two constituencies needed to win the nomination.

And while opinion polls show that Democratic voters are keeping a close watch on weapons, they want their candidates to focus on the issues. And on Wednesday night, they will come, especially the health care – and how to pay for it – plus the economy and climate change.

The Democrats are holding the debate here in Georgia because it's a state they want to win. But it has not been a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Ed O & # 39; Keefe

First debate since public impeachment hearings began

Wednesday night marks the first Democratic debate since the House Democrats' investigation into violence began its public phase last week. The extent to which democracies will focus on the inquiry remains to be seen.

On Wednesday, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified that he was not part of "any irregular or frivolous diplomacy" and he referred to emails that indicated that leadership at the State Department, National Security Council and the White House had been informed of the announcement of Ukraine's investigations that Trump sought after the 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee server and energy company Burisma, which employed Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

If the House were to announce President Trump, half a dozen of the candidates elected president could be on the sidelines of the campaign trail during much of January during the crucial closing weeks before the earliest voting contests. The latter trial calls for the presence of all incumbent senators, meaning Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet would be in Washington after the first year if a Senate trial would take place in the new year .

The Biden campaign describes debate points

Debate watchers can predict three main tactics from Joe Biden's campaign Wednesday night:

  • Make an argument about who has the experience and stable leadership needed to be the chief executive;
  • promoting "progressive gains" from the Obama era;
  • and continues to contrast Biden's health care approach to other rival democrats.

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

When it comes to health care, Biden officials say it's clear with recent Democratic victories in Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana that building the Affordable Care Act is the way for Democrats to win.

Senior campaign officials often mentioned Warren at this point, noting that her plan would come out of middle-class controls.

When it comes to opinion polls that show Biden is behind Buttigieg, Iowa, a senior campaign official said: "We're in a very good position."

– Bo Erickson and Kathryn Watson

Trump and the debate

There is no word on whether the president will watch tonight's Democratic debate, but his campaign will make his presence known in Atlanta in advance with a runway blast, "Democrats Socialism Will Destroy Atlanta Jobs" and a Atlanta-based website newspaper ad Journal Constitution.


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