LAS VEGAS, N.V. (WCBD) – The ninth Democratic Debate is underway in Las Vegas, just days before the Nevada caucuses.
Here are some key items to look out for as the night goes on:
1.) Michael Bloomberg makes his debut: despite not being on the ticket in Nevada, former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, will be on the debate stage for the first time. Although his staff says he has been practicing, his debate skills are likely far more rusty than the other five candidates. All eyes will be on how he handles questions and criticisms regarding his support for controversial policies, like “stop and frisk”, and allegations of sexist behavior.
2.) Redemption from Iowa/New Hampshire: after less than ideal results for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, they will be focused on revitalizing their bases and reassuring voters of their viability as candidates.
3.) Diversifying: All of the candidates are working to develop a diverse coalition of supporters. How more moderate candidates, like Klobuchar and Buttigieg, appeal to the diverse population of Nevada will be indicative of their strategies moving into our own S.C. Primary next week.
4.) No Tom Steyer: Steyer failed to meet the qualifications to participate in the Nevada debate. How will his absence impact the dynamic on stage?
On Bloomberg entering the race:
WARREN: “Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like stop and frisk.” “Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one billionaire for another.”
Klobuchar: “We need something different than Donald Trump, I don’t think you look at Trump and say ‘we need someone richer in the White House.'”
Bloomberg: “There are two questions: Who can beat Donald Trump? Who can get things done in the White House?”
Buttiegieg: “We have got to unite the country to deal with these issues. We can empower workers and lift wages without polarizing the country.”
Q: Are Senator Sanders and his supporters making it harder for democrats to unify in november?
Warren: “We are all responsible for our supporters.”
Sanders: “We should all do everything we can to end the vicious attacks.”
Buttieig: “Leadership is about what you draw out of people.”
Q: Is Medicare for All going too far (referencing unions)?
Sanders: “I will never sign a bill that will reduce healthcare benefits unions have, I will only expand and improve it for unions and for everyone in the country.”
Buttigieg: “The idea that union members don’t know what is good for them is the exact kind of condescension and arrogance that makes people skeptical of healthcare plans.”
Klobuchar: “We need to improve the affordable care act, not blow it up.”
Sanders: “Canada, UK, France can provide healthcare for all of their people at low costs…The function of a rational healthcare system is not to make the pharmaceutical companies rich, it is to provide healthcare to all people.”
Biden: “Add to Obamacare, add public option, increase subsidies.”
Bloomberg: “I was in favor of Obamacare..I thought it didn’t go as far as we should…We shouldn’t just walk away and start something that is totally new, untried.”
Q: Stop and Frisk Policies: What does it say about how Bloomberg views minorites?
Bloomberg: “When I look back at my time in office, the one thing that I am really embarrassed about is Stop and Frisk… When I discovered that we were doing too many stop and frisks, we cut 95% of it out… I am trying to learn how we can change our policies and keep the city safe.”
Biden: “The reason Stop and Frisk changed, is because Obama sent monitors to see what was going on…When we sent them there, the mayor thought it was a terrible idea [to stop].”
Warren: “This really is about leadership and accountability… This isn’t about how it turned out, this is about what it was designed to do.”
Q: Many criticize Trump for lack of transparency. Why wont Sanders release medical records?
Sanders: “We released full report of heart attack, released all medical history of my time in the capital, released reports from two Vermont Cardiologists.”
Buttigieg: “Transparency matters, especially living through the Trump era. I am prepared to get a full physical and release the results. I am less concerned about the lack of transparency in Sanders’ personal health than I am on the lack of transparency on how to pay for his Medicare for All plan.”
Q: Why should voters have to wait for Bloomberg’s tax records?
Bloomberg: “It just takes us a long time…I can’t go to turbotax…but we are preparing it and we will release it.”
Klobuchar: “Everyone up here has released their tax returns…I think it is a major issue because the president of the United States is hiding behind his tax returns. I don’t care how much money anyone has, but you have to release your tax returns.”
Bloomberg: “They will be out in a couple of weeks.”
Q: Bloomberg allegations of sexual harassment; release women from Non Disclosure Agreements?
Warren: “Will you release women from NDA’s?” “We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many NDA’s.”
Biden: “All the mayor has to do is release these women from the NDA’s. This is about transparency, from the beginning.”
Bloomberg refused to release.
Buttigeig: “Experience and tenure is not always the same as judgement.”
What specific policies would you implement to combat climate issues and not hurt the economy?
Biden: “Invest in better technology (wind and solar). Reinstate what Trump has eliminated in terms of EPA. New charging stations, invest in rail”
Bloomberg: “Rejoin the Paris Agreement.”
Executive order to stop drilling and mining on public lands?
Warren: “We should stop all drilling and mining on public lands and offshore…I believe in science…the way that we are going to deal with this problem is that we are going to increase by tenfold our investment in science.”
Total ban on fracking in next 5 years?
Sanders: “If we don’t act incredibly boldy within next 6-7 years, there will be irreparable damage done to the entire world…We are fighting for the entire future of this planet… This is a moral issue…We have to take responsibility.”
Klobuchar: “This is a crisis…We are not going to be able to pass this [climate policies] unless we bring people with us…there has to be a heart to the policy to get this done.”
Warren: “We can have a Green New Deal and create jobs.”
Biden: “I would eliminate all subsidies for oil and gas…Invite all members of Paris Accord to Washington D.C.”
Bloomberg: “We have to negotiate with China…convince the Chinese that it is in their interest as well [to stop carbon pollution]…Transition fuel is right…we want to go to all renewables.”
Buttiegieg: “The deadline is 2020. If we don’t elect a president that believes in climate science now, we will not meet any deadlines that we need to meet…We need leadership to make this a national project that breaks down the partisan and political tug of war that prevents things from getting done.”
Warren: “Environmental injustice needs more than just a glance in this debate. Need to own up to responsibility.”