Just weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, six candidates appeared on stage in Des Moines for the seventh Democratic debate. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Tom Steyer fielded questions about tensions with Iran, climate change, trade, and more.
1. Sanders and Warren on a woman winning the presidency
Sanders and Warren declined to argue over who was correct about a 2018 meeting where Sanders allegedly told Warren that a woman could not win the presidency.
“I didn’t say it. And I don’t want to waste a whole lot of time on this, because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want,” Sanders said at the debate. “Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes. How could anybody in a million years not believe that a woman could be president of the United States?”
“If any of the women on this stage, or any of the men, win the nomination — I hope that’s not the case, I hope it’s me — I will do everything in my power to make sure they are elected to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of the country,” he added.
Warren, who has said Sanders did, in fact, make those comments, said she “disagreed” with him but attempted to de-escalate the situation.
“Bernie is my friend, and I’m not here to try to fight with Bernie,” she said. “Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively, they have lost ten elections. The only people that have won every single election they have been in are the women: Amy and me.”
No candidates of color were on stage for Tuesday’s debate. Andrew Yang, who was the only person of color who qualified for the December debate, missed the polling threshold (5 percent in at least four national or early-state surveys approved, or 7 percent in two early-state polls) for the January debate.
The debate also took place one day after New Jersey Senator Cory Booker dropped out of the race.
3. Klobuchar’s small stumble
Amy Klobuchar reminded voters why she’s still in the race: her victories against Republican candidates, her Midwest working-class roots and her ability to pass bills.
But the Minnesota senator had a stumble that social media jumped on after struggling to recall the first name of Kansas Governor Laura Kelly when discussing women in higher office.
“Kansas has a woman governor right now, and she beat Kris Kobach,” Klobuchar uttered. “And her name is … I’m very proud to know her … and her name is uh, um Gov. Kelly.”
AMY KLOBUCHAR: Kansas has a woman governor right now, and she beat Kris Kobach, and her name is — I’m very proud to know her — and her name is Governor Kelly. pic.twitter.com/czfpgtBPGI
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 15, 2020
After the mishap, Kelly tweeted at Klobuchar in support, “You’re right. Democratic women can win red states.”
4. Bloomberg’s campaign trolls the debate
Former New York City mayor turned presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg wasn’t on stage for Tuesday’s Democratic debate — but his campaign’s Twitter account was having fun taking the piss out of the night.
The @Mike2020 account began the evening by sharing outlandish “#BloombergFacts” about the presidential hopeful, including that he would sing “Shallow” with Lady Gaga in lieu of an inaugural address and would be the “first president with functioning gills.” And not to be outdone by itself, the campaign shared a cursed image of Bloomberg’s face edited onto a meatball.