Ten Democrats on Wednesday took part in the first television debate of the 2020 presidential race, BBC reported. They argued over the expansion of healthcare and rolling back current immigration policies in the first of two back-to-back primary debates.
Former Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who has been going ahead in opinion polls, was one of the two candidates to say that she supports replacing private medical insurance with government-run healthcare centers. “There are a lot of politicians who say, ‘oh, it’s just not possible’… what they’re really telling you is, they just won’t fight for it,” Warren said. “Well, healthcare is a basic human right and I will fight for basic human rights.”
However, former United States Congressman John Delaney cautioned against the policy while Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar expressed concern over “kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years”.
Warren also called for an ultra-tax on millionaires whose families have a net worth of over $50 million, and said that the country’s biggest technology companies should be broken up, Financial Times reported.
Meanwhile, Ohio congressman Tim Ryan pressed for United States to be “completely engaged” in the Middle East. To which, Indian-American candidate Tulsi Gabbard said, “Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan?” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker was the only candidate who did not agree with the others about signing back onto the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama.
Political analysts gave Warren an edge over all those participating in the debate. Former Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro also received praise with a 2,400% uptick in Google searches for his name, NBC News reported. “On January 20, 2021, we’ll say ‘adiós’ to Donald Trump,” Financial Times quoted Castro as saying. He also claimed that he would make immigration offences civil instead of criminal.
A large part of the debate was dedicated to how to take on United States President Donald Trump. Some argued that the party needed a more progressive vision while others said that the Democratic party should adhere to the centre.
Trump, who is running for a second term as president, also tweeted about how boring he found the debate. “@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate,” he said after the networks had to cut the debates for a while due to glitches. “Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!”
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic leader Bernie Sanders will be participating along with 10 others in another debate on Thursday.