It’s debate night again (funny how that happens), and 12 Democratic candidates are taking the stage. As the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hosts a record number of candidates for the fourth debate, we expect several hot topics to hit the floor. But, there is one keyword everyone will undoubtedly hear over and over again: impeachment.
Here are the candidates on the debate stage on Tuesday, October 15: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Andrew Yang, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and billionaire Tom Steyer.
We’ve laid out all of the key moments from the debate here:
That didn't take long. The impeachment talk begins!
Asked the first question, about impeachment, Warren responded that no one is above the law, and that includes the president. “It’s about the next president and the next president and the next president, and the future of this country. Impeachment is the way to go forward,” she proclaimed. Sanders mirrored her position, taking it a step further and saying that Donald Trump is the most corrupt president the country has ever had. The other candidates also reiterated their support for impeachment.
Biden addressed his son's much-discussed role in a Ukrainian natural gas company. "Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine," Biden said. "[Trump] knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum."
Klobuchar vs. Warren
Klobuchar has been going after Warren's plans tonight, calling her healthcare plan a “pipe dream.” They went back and forth on Warren’s healthcare proposal and Klobuchar did not back down. As the frontrunner, Warren was taking most of the heat on the debate stage.
She went after her again later over the billionaire tax.
Kamala Harris redirects the conversation to reproductive rights.
Kamala Harris got the last word in the healthcare conversation, pointing out the dangers of stripping women throughout the country of their reproductive rights.
"This is the sixth debate we have had in this presidential cycle and not nearly one word, with all of these discussions about healthcare, on women's access to reproductive healthcare, which is under full-on attack in America today," she said to applause. "It is not an exaggeration to say women will die, poor women, women of color will die, because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with our bodies. Women are the majority of the population in this country. People need to keep their hands off of women's bodies and let women make the decisions about their own lives."
Tulsi Gabbard says she supports Andrew Yang's universal basic income proposal.
"I agree with my friend Andrew Yang," said Gabbard, who threatened to boycott the debate earlier this week. "Universal basic income is a good idea to help provide that security so people can make choices that they want to see. ... The value that someone feels in themselves and their own lives is not defined by the job that they have, but is intrinsic to who we all are as Americans. Whatever we choose to do with our lives. We can't forget that."
Tom Steyer uses the word "frenemies."
Amy Klobuchar gets so "MOM."
On Russia: "This wasn't meddling. That's what I do when I call my daughter on a Saturday night and ask her what she's doing. Sorry. This was much more serious than that. This was actually invading our election."
Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke clash on guns.
Julián Castro mentions Atatiana Jefferson.
In response to a question about gun violence prevention, Castro talked about Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed by a police officer in her own home in Fort Worth, TX, over the weekend. "A cop showed up at 2 in the morning at her house when she was playing video games with her nephew, and within four seconds he shot and killed her through her home window. She was in her own home."
Bernie Sanders announces a rally with a "special guest." We now know this guest will be AOC.
After saying that he feels healthy again after suffering a heart attack, Sanders announced a rally in Queens, NY, on Saturday, October 19, where there will be "a special guest." That special guest, according to reports, will be none other than Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is getting ready to announce her endorsement of the socialist senator.
Tulsi Gabbard reminds us that she's really, really fit.
Amid a conversation about age — the moderators pointed out that Warren, Biden, and Sanders would all be the oldest first-term presidents if elected — Gabbard interjected. At 38, Gabbard, a military veteran, would be the youngest-elected president. "I was going to say it's not fair to ask these three about their health and their fitness to serve as president but not every other one of us," she said. "I am grateful to have been trained very well by the Army and do my best to stay in shape, but here's the real question I believe you should be asking is: Who is fit to serve as our commander-in-chief?"
Harris urges Warren to call for Trump’s removal from Twitter.
Getting Trump’s Twitter account taken down was a hill Harris seemed willing to die on during the debate. Harris called for Warren’s support on the issue, pushing her to stand by the effort to get Trump off Twitter. "I don't just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter. I want to push him out of the White House. That's our job," Warren responded, skirting the question. After a frustrated back-and-forth (and a solid 60 seconds of talking over each other), the two didn’t seem to come to a resolution.
It's the fourth debate, and the candidates are finally talking about reproductive rights.
When asked about states like Ohio that have recently moved to restrict abortion, Harris detailed her plan, announced back in May, to keep state governments from continuing to enact unconstitutional abortion bans. If elected president, Harris has said she would require states and localities with a pattern of violating Roe v. Wade to seek permission from the U.S. Department of Justice before implementing any new abortion laws.
Asked what she would do to protect women's reproductive freedom, Klobuchar weighed in: "I would codify Roe v. Wade and make it the law of the land. You, Donald Trump, are not on the side of women. You are not on the side of people of this country when over 75% of people want to keep Roe v. Wade on the books, when over 90% of people want to make sure we have available contraception. You defunded Planned Parenthood. I would fund it again."
Sen. Cory Booker said: "They're not just attacks on one of the most sacrosanct ideals in our country, liberty, the ability to control your own body, but they're another example of people trying to punish, trying to penalize, trying to criminalize poverty, because this is disproportionately affecting low-income women in this country. I will create the Office of Reproductive Freedom and Reproductive Rights in the White House and make sure we begin to fight back on a systematic attempt that's gone on for decades to undermine Roe v. Wade."
And the last question is about Ellen...
In light of Ellen DeGeneres coming under scrutiny last week for her friendship with former president George W. Bush, Anderson Cooper asked all 12 candidates: What is your most surprising friendship? Each had a pretty personal answer to the (very, very softball) question: Yang mentioned a Republican trucker, Booker slipped in the fact that he is vegan and had difficulty dining with meat-eating Texan Ted Cruz, and both Klobuchar and Biden fondly remembered the late Republican Sen. John McCain.