It’s officially debate season folks as Elizabeth Warren and nine other candidates you probably have never heard of took to the stage in Miami Wednesday night. Warren received the first question of the night on the economy and discussed her belief that corporations have been thriving while the working class has suffered under Trump’s economy. Most candidates kept that same message on the economy throughout. One of my observations early on was that Warren got four questions before most got a chance to speak twice. NBC clearly had an agenda trying to prop up Warren.
The age-old question in these party debates is how civil they’ll be and how many passive-aggressive jabs candidates will take at each other. Well once the health care debate started the floodgates were opened by no other than NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio.
The debate started when the moderator asked the candidates to raise their hands if they supported eliminating private insurance for Medicare for all. Only Warren and Delbasio raised their hands showing a stark contrast amongst them on health care. When Beto O’Rourke talked about not eliminating private insurance Deblasio interrupted him and attacked him for defending a “broken system” of private insurance. Then out of nowhere, John Delaney took aim at Deblasio and in my opinion really won that debate. This wasn’t the only time that Deblasio interrupted as he was running his annoying mouth all night.
As much as Deblasio tried to steal the show, things didn’t really get too heated until the immigration debate. The moderators talked about the heartbreaking photo of the father and daughter who died drowning trying to swim across the Rio Grande river and being denied asylum at the ports of entry. Julian Castro had the boldest stance on immigration where he called for repealing Section 1325 which as it stands makes an illegal border crossing a criminal offense. Castro wants to turn that into a civil crime.
Castro came after O’Rourke for supporting Section 1325 and didn’t mince words. O’Rourke justified supporting Section 1325 because of his fear of illegal drug smugglers. After the debate, Castro came at him even harder: “Congressman O’Rourke needs to do his homework,” he said. “I find it very ironic that a senator from Massachusetts and a senator from New Jersey are the ones who understand this border policy and this law better than Congressman O’Rourke.” It was Castro’s signature moment and potentially O’Rourke’s demise. This was personal between the two Texans and I’m sure Castro was jealous of all the press his fellow Texan was getting.
Winners and Losers
Elizabeth Warren entered the stage as the highest polling candidate and she showed it throughout with articulate answers on the economy. Like it said in the title: it was her vs. the JV and she showed it tonight.
Julian Castro absolutely had his viral moment last night. His immigration answers were bold and he may have sunk Beto O’Rourke’s candidacy. If a woman gets the nomination he’ll be in the discussion for VP.
Beto O’Rourke had a rough night to say the last. When he spoke his answers lacked substance and once Castro destroyed him that’s all viewers would remember of him.
Cory Booker just continued his uninspiring message. Although he had the most time speaking, he didn’t use it effectively. He talked about stopping big pharma but if you do any research, you’ll realize he’s been in their pocket his entire career. He also was the only candidate to say he wouldn’t re-enter the Iran Nuclear Deal instead look for a better deal.
Cory Booker’s reaction to Beto speaking Spanish. Cory damn near looked like he was being held, hostage.
Tim Ryan getting owned by Tulsi Gabbard. Ryan, who had barely talked all night, was discussing the need to keep a troop presence in Afghanistan to stop the Taliban got a strong reaction from Hawaii Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi pointed out that the Taliban didn’t attack on 9/11 it was Al Queda whom she fought as a member of the army. It left Ryan’s brain in a pickle.
With this much entertainment in a second-class debate, tonight should be even better. Considering how many shots were taken across the aisle with this list of candidates expect Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to go at it.