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Democrats face off in first 2020 debate in Miami


Debate 9:01

No opening statements, immediately to first question. The first question goes to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The second goes to Sen. Amy Klobuchar. 

Rep. Beto O’Rourke answer question, mostly in Spanish.


Sen. Cory Booker speaking about corporate consolidation.

9:10 Warren: I wanna return government to the people

9:10 Sec. Julian Castro answers questions about  income gap.

9:11 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard answers question about income gap as well.

9:13 Mayor Bill De Blasio talks about income gap in his state. Shifts to battle of “heart and soul” of party. This Democratic party needs to be strong and bold.”

9:15 Gov Jay Inslee talks income gap and unions.

9:16  Rep. Tim Ryan addresses jobs.

9:17 Sen. Warren addresses jobs. She proposes green technology investments to create jobs. Talks about spreading those jobs across the world.

9:19 – Conversation heads to healthcare

9:20 Sen. Warren answers question regarding healthcare. Says she’s with Bernie Sanders on his healthcare plan.

9:22 O’Rourke talks about healthcare and mental Healthcare.

9:23 healthcare makes debate more lively.

9:26 Sen. Corey Booker talks about healthcare and it’s effects on community.

9:28 Klobuchar…”there are three women up here who have fought for women’s rights”

9:31 Booker talks opioid addiction 


9:36 Castro talks about father and daughter who died trying to cross Rio Grande… “it makes us heartbroken, but it should also piss us off”

9:37 Booker on day as president he would end ICE policies. (answer initially in Spanish) will reinstate DACA.

9:39 De Blasio says America has not been honest about division in this country.

9:42 Castro calls on O’Rourke to end section 1325, that allows for the separation of families at the border


9:52 Klobuchar “I don’t think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at 5 in the morning”


10:00 first question goes to Se. Warren. But a technical issue prevents it from going forward. Moved to take a quick break.

10:10 p.m.

As debate moderators Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd took over Wednesday for the next round of the debate, the 10 candidates on stage were unable to hear the question Todd was trying to ask about the federal government’s role in getting guns off the street.

Following back-and-forth confusion, Todd announced the debate would head to a commercial break.

It wasn’t immediately clear what happened.

President Donald Trump tweeted that debate hosts NBC and MSNBC “should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate.”

10:20 p.m.

The Democratic presidential candidates are talking in very personal terms about gun violence and how to curb it.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said at Wednesday’s debate that he lives in a neighborhood where shootings are common. He supports gun licensing and says, “This is not about policy. This is personal.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts says the toughest questions she’s gotten on the campaign trail are from kids who ask how she’d keep them safe. Warren says the U.S. should “double-down” on research into what works to reduce gun violence.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) talked about raising a black son and trying to keep him safe, including from police.

Wednesday’s debate is taking place in Miami, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the high school in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people last year.

10:35 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign trail refrain is that she has “a plan for it.” That apparently extends to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee.

Warren was asked during Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate if she has a plan for dealing with the Kentucky Republican, who prides himself in blocking Democrats’ legislative priorities.

She answered, “I do,” drawing cheers from the audience.

The Massachusetts senator says energized Democrats have to “stay on the front lines,” even after the 2020 presidential election is decided.

She says pressure must be applied both from activists on the outside and leaders on the inside “to make sure this Congress reflects the will of the people.”

10:45 p.m.

The urgency with which to address changes in the world’s climate has emerged as somewhat of a unifying topic at the first Democratic presidential debate.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called his state’s progress on the issue the “gold standard.” He said Wednesday that he’s the only member of the massive Democratic field to make tackling the problem his top priority.

Asked how he’d win over voters worried about possible government overreach in climate-related restrictions, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke pledged to help communities including the debate host city Miami, an area “on the front lines of climate change today.”

Former Obama-era Cabinet secretary Julián Castro vowed a recommitment to the Paris Climate Accord, while former Maryland Rep. John Delaney noted he was alone in introducing a bipartisan carbon tax bill in Congress.

11 p.m.

The 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have given a range of answers about what they see as the greatest threat facing the U.S., including China, climate change and President Donald Trump.

The most common answer at Wednesday’s debate was China, mentioned by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, ex-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Russia because the country “is trying to undermine our democracy.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said climate change. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who’s made climate change the emphasis of his campaign, pointed instead to Trump.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said nuclear war, which also got a mention from Delaney. Klobuchar also said Iran.


MIAMI (WFLA) – In Downtown Miami at the Arsht Center, the stage is set for the 20 men and women vying to be the Democratic Presidential nominee, to lay out their cases for America.

The first Democratic Presidential Primary Debates of the 2020 election cycle will take place this week.

The debates will be held over two nights from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Here’s the lineup for both nights:

Wednesday Night:

  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Cory Booker 
  • Julián Castro 
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O’Rourke
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Jay Inslee
  • Bill de Blasio
  • Tim Ryan

Thursday night:

  • Joe Biden
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Kamala Harris
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Michael Bennet
  • John Hickenlooper
  • Eric Swalwell
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Andrew Yang

The Florida Democratic Party believes this will be a perfect opportunity for voters to hear from the candidates some important issues.

“I think this is a very good opportunity to present their platforms to voters. Yes we have 20 candidates, they have the same positions on some issues, but they also have different policies, different ideas that they’re bringing to the voters. So this will be a very good opportunity for the voters to see what they’re proposing and to inform and get as much information as they can on where they stand,”  said Luisana Fernandez, Hispanic Media Press Secretary for the Florida Democratic Party.

Picking Florida for the first debate makes sense. The state has always been battleground in elections. This election cycle, is no different.

“This is a state where we’ve gained so much momentum with Democratic voters, who came really close with (Andrew) Gillum and others we feel like we can build on that,” said Adrienne Watson, Deputy Communications Director for the DNC.

Political analysts tell News Channel 8, there are a lot of important to issues Florida democratic voters want to hear about:

  • Environment
  • Guns/School safety
  • Immigration
  • Healthcare costs
  • Election security/Voter suppression
  • Reproductive rights
  • LGTBQ rights
  • Criminal justice reform      

“I think we’re gonna hear a lot about climate change. We’ve been talking about it. It’s important for Floridians. We know that Florida is ground zero, so we are expecting the candidates to talk a lot about that issue,” said Fernandez.

 You can watch the debates on Wednesday and Thursday night on News Channel 8.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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