Who won the Democratic debate second round was issues; health care took the lead, and race got lots of time, but some viral moments did well too.
WASHINGTONÂ â€“ The 10 Democrats on stage were all hoping for and in need of a breakout moment.
But not every Democrat hadÂ one.
Here are the winners and losers for night one of the Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit, Michigan:
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders
Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the two most progressive candidates on stage Tuesday night, were hit fromÂ all sides byÂ the more moderate candidates startingÂ from the debate’s opening statements.
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney was the first candidate to call out the two progressives by name. However, instead of crumbling underÂ his and others criticisms, both Warren and Sanders each hit back and held their own in defending their policy positions and initiatives throughout the night’s discussion.
In a quotableÂ moment, Delaney criticized Warren, saying that Democrats want “real solutions” and “not impossible promises.”
â€œI donâ€™t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really canâ€™t do and shouldnâ€™t fight for,â€ she shot back at the former congressman.Â â€œI don’t get it.â€
Warren’s line was met with applause from the debate audience.
More: Elizabeth Warren slams John Delaney in Democratic debate
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Analysis: Spineless moderates? Or fairy-tale progressives? The Democratic debate exposed an ideological rift
Sanders also fought off Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who tried to take the outspoken progressive senatorÂ to task forÂ his Medicare for all plan.
Sanders noted that his plan wouldÂ provide union members with better health care coverage than they have nowÂ because his plan would beÂ “comprehensive.”Â Â
Ryan interjected, “You don’t know that, Bernie.”Â
“I do know that â€” I wrote the damn bill,” Sanders fired back, which was met with laughter and applause in the Detroit theater where the debate took place.
As the top issueÂ on the minds of Democratic voters, health care dominated much of the first half of the debate. It was also discussed most substantively among the candidates â€”Â as they tried to distinguish theirÂ plans and policies from one another’s.
Sanders touted his Medicare for all plan. Delaney dismissed thatÂ plan, saying that he would keep private insurance instead. RyanÂ argued that Medicare for all would take away the plans that manyÂ union workersÂ had specifically negotiated for in their collective bargaining agreementsÂ and sacrificed wages to get.
Sanders to Tapper: That question is a Republican talking point
No matter the stance, health care was a topic that was deeply discussed as the opening question inÂ the debate â€” with the discussion revealing fine policy differences between the candidates and with Sanders and Warren defending their views.
Race relations and racial justice
Amid recent, continued racist attacks from President Donald Trump on Democratic lawmakers of color, issues of racial justice took center stage at consequential moments during Tuesdayâ€™s debate.
The candidates talked repeatedly about Trumpâ€™s rhetoric, labeling it as racist, before an audience gathered inÂ a city that is overwhelmingly Black.
More: Trump says he’s ‘the least racist person’ in the world
Oâ€™Rourke was one of many candidates to call out Trump.
â€œWe must also ensure that we don’t just tolerate or respect our differences but we embrace them,” he said, taking a dig at Trump’s impulse to engage inÂ racial divisiveness.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has been repeatedly criticized for his past record on racial justice issues and who has had a difficult time gaining traction with Black and Latino voters, talked specifically about why African American voters should support himÂ if he is the Democratic nominee.
He talked about how his community in Indiana has come together several times to try toÂ â€œtackle challenges.â€
â€œAs an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me,â€ he said.Â
â€œSystemic racism has touched every part of American life, from housing to health to home ownership,â€ he also said.
Buttigieg is trying to make a comebackÂ â€” and Tuesday night’s debate may help.
The South Bend mayor has plateaued in polling over the past couple of weeks, despite having the largest fundraising haul among Democrats for the second quarter.Â
During Tuesday’s debate, however, he had many lines, moments and policy points that seemed toÂ resonateÂ with the Detroit audience and those watching on TV and weighing in online.
Buttigieg highlighted his age and why that could be beneficial at this moment in the country’s political and policy discussions. He leaned onÂ his background in the military to help explain why the United States should withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
He also had a strong message to take on Republicans and Trump on the issue of racism and racial rhetoric that has dominated national political headlines in the past couple weeks.
“If you are watching this at home, and you are a Republican member of Congress, consider the fact that when theÂ sun sets on your career, and they are writing your story, of all the good and bad things you did in your life, the thing you will be remembered for is whether, in this moment, with this president, you found the courage to stand up to him,” Buttigieg said speaking directly to the camera during the live broadcast, “or you continue to put party over country.”
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Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press
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Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate was as much about the candidates rushing to get their points across as it was about them debatingÂ each other.
The firstÂ question of the debate, which wasn’t asked until nearly 30 minutes into the broadcast, dealt with Medicare for all, one of the most contentious policy issues in the Democratic Party.
Sanders has championed that policy. However, the more moderate candidates on stage, such asÂ Delaney, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, are against getting rid of private health care insurance and replacing it entirely withÂ a Medicare-for-all system.
The issueÂ took up the rest of the first hour of the debate but the constant cross talk between the candidates was repeatedly interrupted by the CNN moderators, who were strictly enforcing the cable outlet’sÂ debate rules and time limits. Specifically, candidates wereÂ given 60 seconds to respond to a question from a moderator Tuesday night, and 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals.Â
More: Democratic debate draws complaints
The moderators repeatedly interrupted candidates mid-sentence, which made it hard for candidates toÂ openly debate and finish their thoughts. SomeÂ pundits also argued the format also didn’t allow for organic moments to happenÂ as easily as they did in last month’s Democratic debate.
For example, Warren began speaking about why universal health care is important. She began telling the story ofÂ Ady Barkan, a 35-year-old man and well-known health care activist in progressive circles who hasÂ the nervous system disorderÂ ALS.
“Ady has health insurance, good health insurance and it’s not nearly enough,” she said, as moderator Jake Tapper interrupted saying “Senator, senator.”
“No, this is important,” Warren replied.
“I’m coming right back,” Tapper said.
Warren was later able to finish her comments about Barkan.
Throughout the debate, the moderators continued to interruptÂ the candidates, asking themÂ to “follow the rules.”
Decriminalizing border crossings
During last month’s Democratic debate, former Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary JuliÃ¡n Castro hadÂ seemingly putÂ a new item on the Democratic agenda for immigration policy: decriminalizingÂ border crossings.
The issue took hold during last month’s debate, when Castro argued strongly in favor of decriminalization and challenged O’Rourke, who lives in El Paso, Texas, near the Mexico border, on the question. Then, on the second night of last month’s debate, moderators asked the second group of candidates whether they would decriminalize border crossings.
Fact check: Democrats trip on Detroit details
On the second night of last month’s debate, all candidates said they would be in favor of decriminalization, including Buttigieg.Â
However, on Tuesday night, Buttigieg walked back hisÂ response from last month, saying the legality of border crossing should instead be handled under civil law rather thanÂ criminal law.
Buttigieg wasn’t the only candidate to push back on the issue Castro had highlighted last month.Â
O’Rourke, who was criticizedÂ by Castro last month on his stance and asked to do his “homework,” on Tuesday night was able to succinctly articulateÂ what he would do instead of decriminalization as Castro has advocated.
Among other things, O’Rourke said that he would waive fees paid to the government byÂ green card holders seeking to become U.S. citizens and would put a stop to for-profit migrant detention centers.
â€œI expect people who come here to follow our laws,â€ O’Rourke said Tuesday.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
The Midwestern senator seemed unable toÂ find her footing even while speaking to an audience ofÂ industrial Midwest voters in a city like Detroit â€” this despite having a resume and an electoral track record that would suggest Tuesday’s debate would be within her wheelhouse.
Throughout the debate, Klobuchar was given multiple chances to distinguish herself from her primary opponents on stage. The Minnesota Democrat, however, directedÂ much of her rhetoric against Trump, a move that seemed to fall flat with the Detroit audience as Democratic voters try to parseÂ the crowded primary field.
Klobuchar was one of several candidates that needed a moment Tuesday night. But she did not have any memorable moments while on stage. The moderators also did not direct many questions to her, which limited the impression was ableÂ to make with the audience in Detroit and with TV viewers.
At a time when she needed to have a breakoutÂ moment, she instead seemed to have a lackluster performance overall.
By contrast, last month she had some moments and some witty one-liners.Â Â
The issue of reproductive rights hasÂ been part of the national political debate — particularly among Democrats — over the past couple of months but was completely ignored during Tuesday’s debate.
Several states across the nation have passed laws recently that severely limit access to abortion, particularly during the early stage of a pregnancy. The newly passed legislation spurred a number of protests and has been widely denounced by many of the Democratic presidential candidates.
There is a record number of women candidates running for president in the 2020 election season. And some data suggest that women also vote at higher rates than men, according to the Pew ResearchÂ Center.
Yet no questions on reproductive rights were asked during Tuesday’s debate. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-.N.Y., who will be on Detroit debate stage Wednesday, was quick to point out that the issue had been overlooked Tuesday night.
“2+ hours in, and not a single question at tonight’s #DemDebate about reproductive rights, paid leave, child care, or how we ensure women and families can succeed in America,” Gillibrand, who has made reproductive rights and other issues of particular interest to women a touchstone of her campaign,Â wrote in a tweet. “We need a president who will prioritize these issuesâ€”not treat them as an afterthought.”
What about Marianne Williamson?
Author Marianne Williamson once again made waves Tuesday, as the wild card candidate continues to stun viewers with her debate performance.
Williamson was one of the most searched candidates online during the debate and was still trending after the more than two-and-half-hour event was over.
‘Dark psychic force’: Marianne Williamson’s memorable moments from the Democratic debate
And Williamson gave a passionate statement aboutÂ her support for reparations for African AmericansÂ â€” a speech that got some of the loudest applause ofÂ the evening.
“So many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface,” she said moving her hands to show the “emotional turbulence” that she says only reparations can solve.Â
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