When it comes to the first Democratic debate, the 2020 presidential candidates were sure to bring some of the plans that would slide them further to the left.
As ten of the 24 Democratic presidential hopefuls took the stage on Wednesday night for the first of two primary debates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) seemingly came out strong while Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.Y.) spoke the most, garnering ten minutes and 35 seconds of the debate.
Using the time during the debate to discuss various topics such as “Medicare for All” healthcare, free college, and gun safety, one 2020 Democratic candidate wasn’t having it as he’s declared, “We need real solutions, not impossible promises.”
When asked about trying to do “everything in a bipartisan manner” during the debate, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who previously called the Medicare for All plan “political suicide for Democrats,” responded, “I think we need to get things done.”
Watch the video below:
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) June 27, 2019
“We need to put forth ideas that work,” Delaney said, adding that there should be both universal healthcare and private insurance options. “If we become the party of getting things done for the American people with real solutions, not impossible promises, we’ll be able to get all these things done.”
Here are just a few of those “impossible promises”:
Medicare for All
2020 Democratic candidates Warren and Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.) were the two during Wednesday night’s debate to claim they would eliminate private insurance for Medicare for All, a proposal backed by several others, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who’s leading the pack on it — and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
While some proponents of Medicare for All have called for private insurance options to stay in place, others — including Warren — would push every American off of their private healthcare insurance. During Wednesday’s debate, Warren doubled down on her support for Sanders’ healthcare proposal.
See Warren’s comments below:
I spent a big chunk of my life studying why families go broke, and one of the top reasons is a medical emergency. That's not right. Our system is working for corporations making a profit, but not for families. That's why I'm fighting for #MedicareForAll. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/MhYfR235nG
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 27, 2019
“I’m just simply concerned about kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years,” Klobuchar said.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) also said he wouldn’t replace private insurance, which de Blasio pushed back on by claiming the current healthcare system is “not working.”
Watch the candidates clash over Medicare for All:
First 2020 presidential debate lays bare Democratic party divisions over whether to abolish private insurance and shift to a Medicare-for-All system. More #DemDebate coverage here: https://t.co/VVV2yLuw7m pic.twitter.com/PNzegBxLoT
The healthcare option has also received criticism for its hefty price tag of $32 trillion over a decade.
For example, fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) recently said, “We can’t even pay for Medicare for some and to go Medicare for All, we can’t take care of those who are depending on it right now,” as IJR Red previously reported.
Several Democrats running for president believe Americans should be given free college, including Warren, Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Booker, O’Rourke, Julián Castro, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), among others.
De Blasio joined them by claiming during the Democratic debate that the “heart and soul” of the party is for 70% tax rate on the wealthy, for free college, and for “break[ing] up big corporations when they’re not serving our democracy.”
See de Blasio’s comment below:
Bill de Blasio says that the "heart and soul" of the Democratic party is being for a "70% tax rate on the wealthy," "free college," "breaking up big corporations when they're not serving our democracy." #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/pdc4TXa26f
— MRCTV.org (@mrctv) June 27, 2019
Klobuchar, however, pushed back on the idea saying she’s “concerned about paying for college for rich kids.”
“I can tell you this: if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans,” she said. “But I think my plan is a good one, and my plan would be to, first of all, make community college free and make sure that everyone else besides that top percentile gets help with their education.”
When it comes to gun violence, many Democratic candidates want to stop it, but their solutions may not be the best options. When asked about gun violence and placing an assault weapons ban, Warren went on to say that “seven children will die today from gun violence” and “gun violence is a national health emergency.”
“We can do universal background checks, we can ban the weapons of war, but we can also double down on the research and find out what really works,” she added.
See Warren’s remark below:
Warren says she wants to treat gun violence as a national health emergency: "We can do universal background checks, we can ban the weapons of war, but we can also double down on the research and find out what really works." #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/4PKUQq3Uqq
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 27, 2019
Warren has previously suggested a “no fly, no buy” gun policy that was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union for being “unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error.”
During Booker’s answer to gun violence, he stated that he’s “tired of hearing people all they have to offer is thoughts and prayers.”
As IJR Red previously reported, Booker was pressed on his comprehensive gun control plan that would restrict gun ownership and how it would prevent gun violence but failed to answer, instead opting to call his plan “bold.”
See Booker’s comment below:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 27, 2019
While questioning, “Does this hurt my Uncle Dick and his deer stand?” Klobuchar addressed her gun plan to ban assault weapons.
When asked during the debate about gun confiscation and “if the government is buying back, how do you not have that conversation?” Klobuchar responded, “Well, that’s not gun confiscation because you give them the offer to buy back their gun.”
Watch Klobuchar’s response below:
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 27, 2019
The 2020 Democrats have received criticism from several Republican lawmakers. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) knocked them prior to the start of the first Democratic debate, telling Fox News, “The bottom line is they are moving so far left it’s socialism.”