Welcome to night two of the Democratic presidential debate! Tonight, 10 candidates took the stage in the second of 12 Democratic primary debates: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Sen. Michael Bennet.
Did you step away from the TV and miss something? Or (oops) miss the debate entirely? Not to worry. We highlighted the key moments from the debate, ahead.
"Go easy on me, kid": Joe Biden vs. Kamala Harris, Round 2?
Former Vice President Joe Biden was the first candidate to take the stage Wednesday, July 31. When California Sen. Kamala Harris joined him and they shook hands, the former Veep told her: "Go easy on me, kid!" Harris, who is 54, hammered Biden in the first debate over his past opposition to the practice of busing.
Kirsten Gillibrand stands out in a hot pink (magenta? poppy red?) dress.
Everyone else chose more muted colors, while the first night featured lots of red. (Seems like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar coordinated their red jackets.)
Cory Booker is interrupted by “Fire Pantaleo” chanting.
During Sen. Cory Booker’s opening statement, protesters in the theater were overheard chanting "fire Pantaleo," in reference to Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island police officer who was involved in the death of Eric Garner, a Black civilian, during an arrest in 2014. The shouts were likely aimed at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been criticized for campaigning for president while ignoring issues like public housing and the subway in NYC.
Five years after Garner's death, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to charge Pantaleo, and the officer is still employed by the New York Police Department. Activists, including Garner's family, have called for his firing.
...And doesn't miss a beat.
Julián Castro is the only candidate to mention Puerto Rico so far.
The former secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only Democratic candidate so far to bring attention to the situation in Puerto Rico. After two weeks of intense protests over a corruption scandal, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a Democrat, resigned. He is set to step down on Friday. "We were reminded and inspired by our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico that public service isn't about any of us, it's about you and your family," Castro said.
"I listened to American families who said I want an option that will be under your Medicare system that allows a private plan," said Sen. Kamala Harris. "So I designed a plan where, responsive to the needs of American families, there will be a public plan, under my plan for Medicare, and a private plan."
Joe Biden responded that her plan would cost $3 trillion (she said we're currently paying $3 trillion a year as it is), eliminate employer-based insurance, and later said it would cause middle-class taxes to go up.
She retorted: "Under our plan, we will ensure that everyone has access to healthcare. Your plan, by contrast, leaves out almost 10 million Americans. So I think that you should really think about what you're saying, but be reflective and understand that the people of America want access to healthcare and do not want cost to be their barrier to getting it."
Kirsten Gillibrand tells a personal story to argue that healthcare should be a human right.
"When I was a young mother and had Theo as an infant, he had an allergic reaction to eggs and his whole body turned red and puffy. I had to rush him to the emergency room. My heart is palpitating because I'm worried that his throat will close. I am not worried about not having an insurance card or a credit card in my wallet. I know whatever they're going to prescribe, whether it's an EpiPen or an inhaler, I can afford it. ... The truth about healthcare in America today is people can't afford it. ... Let's not forget what the Republicans are doing, because the truth is, the Republicans and Trump, their whole goal is to take away your healthcare."
Let's not forget what this issue is really about: Too many families in America can't afford the health care they need, and Republicans are trying to take health care away.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 1, 2019
We need to make it a right for all, not a privilege. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/00rWtT62yu
Cory Booker said "shithole" on TV.
Talking about immigration policy, Sen. Cory Booker shocked viewers by cursing on stage, saying that we can't "pit immigrants" against one another and using President Trump's language by referring to "shithole countries."
"You're dipping into the Kool-Aid, and you don't even know the flavor" - Booker to Biden
Hitting Joe Biden on his criminal justice record, Sen. Cory Booker added, "There are people right now in prison for life for drug offenses because you stood up and used that 'tough on crime' phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed communities like mine."
"[Sen. Kamala Harris] put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana," Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, referring to the time Harris went on The Breakfast Club radio show and admitted to smoking weed herself. (Harris now supports legalization.)
"The first thing I'm going to do as president is Clorox the Oval Office." - Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand makes a joke at the start of her response about the Green New Deal, the ambitious reform that seeks to tackle climate change and income inequality in the next decade and which she has co-sponsored. (To be fair, Clorox might not be the most environmentally friendly cleaning product.) For those who closely follow her campaign, the line wasn't a surprise: She's been using it for months, to plenty of laughs.
Her second priority? Reenter the Paris Agreement, which requires countries to abide by emissions standards, that Trump has abandoned. "The second thing I’m going to do, is I will re-engage on global climate change," said Gillibrand. "And I will not only sign the Paris global climate accords, but I will lead a worldwide conversation about the urgency of this crisis. The greatest threat to humanity is global climate change."
Candidates brought up Flint, MI, for the second night in a row.
Last night, Marianne Williamson called the Flint water crisis "part of the dark underbelly of American society" and "just the tip of the iceberg." Tonight, candidates were once again asked about Flint and water issues across the country. "A lot of Americans don’t know that this is a major problem out there," Julián Castro said. Sen. Kamala Harris took the moment to highlight the Water Justice Act, which she introduced in Congress:
Andrew Yang talks equal pay.
When asked about the gender pay gap, Andrew Yang suggested that his universal basic income plan of $1,000 per month will give women "economic freedom."
Kirsten Gillibrand criticizes Joe Biden for his attitude toward women working in an old op-ed.
Joe Biden suggested that women working outside the home could lead to the "deterioration of family" in 1981.
.@JoeBiden op-ed in 1981: Expanding the childcare tax credit and allowing more women to work would subsidize "the deterioration of the family."— Meredith Kelly (@meredithk27) August 1, 2019
Those are his words. He should explain to America: How does a mom working lead to the deterioration of the family? pic.twitter.com/RADnzTbofx
Kamala Harris criticized Joe Biden on his flip-flopping stance on the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services. "Why did it take so long until you were running for president to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?" Harris asked Biden.