Night one of the second Democratic debate on CNN Tuesday night featured a battle between moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic party. Center stage, which is where the highest polling candidates were placed, featured Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, two of the toughest progressive lions in the field.
They were flanked by a mix of more moderate candidates, most of whom took aim at the liberal leaders on stage and called for a tempering of talk about revolutionary or massive structural change to the U.S. economy and government.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren responded harshly to this criticism by saying that her primary opponents were simply afraid of pushing the big ideas necessary for Democrats to win on the national stage and said some of her opponents sounded like Republicans.
Full video from night one of the second Democratic debate
CNN had now made the full debate video available in five parts which are embedded below:
Democratic candidates for president spar over access to health care at the beginning of night one.
Democratic candidates argue over what it will take to beat President Trump in the next election.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. John Delaney clash over how progressive Democrats should be.
Candidates debate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan and President Trump’s tariffs.
Candidates discuss whether or not age is a factor when it comes to serving as President.
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What happened on night one?
It’s worth pointing out that CNN did a better job of keeping the conversation advancing and keeping the candidates on target than NBC did last month. The shorter time frame for questions actually seemed to force candidates to get to their point versus rambling on or taking more time to address unrelated topics. The result was a debate that was more watchable from a viewer’s perspective since the time for answers was more evenly divided.
Healthcare becomes heated over “Medicare for all”
Bernie Sanders took the most heat Tuesday night with many of his colleagues on stage taking shots at his Medicare for all plan. The specific criticism from candidates like John Hickenlooper and Tim Ryan involved parts of Bernie’s plan which would outlaw and eliminate private insurance. Former Congressman John Delaney also made the same point that he believes pushing a revolutionary plan which eliminates private insurance would simply be unworkable and make it more difficult to defeat Donald Trump.
Bernie’s response to the criticism was that, in his view, private insurance isn’t working for people so his plan would overhaul the system and lower costs so voters would support it.
At one point, Bernie said his changes would provide more coverage to the elderly, such as dental care and hearing aids. Rep. Tim Ryan responded saying that Bernie doesn’t know whether that’s the case or not. Bernie responded, saying, “I do know it, I wrote the damn bill!”
The bottom line on healthcare is the divide in the field over whether pushing such sweeping change, such as a Warren or Sanders plan, would give ammunition to Trump and make it harder to win back the White House. Every candidate on stage supported some form of public insurance option, but not necessarily a plan which would eliminate private insurance.
Williamson becomes the most-Googled candidate
Following the first debate, it was Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who became the most-searched name after the debate. This time, author Marianne Williamson took home that title sparking interest from viewers. As with Gabbard, it doesn’t mean Williamson’s poll numbers will move much, but it does mean that she resonated with viewers:
Author and activist Marianne Williamson was the most-searched-for candidate on Google after the second Democratic debate in Michigan, Detroit.
Google trends also revealed that Williamson topped the likes of established politicians Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg for searches during the CNN-presented debate.
Before the debate began, Williamson was the top-searched candidate in only two states, but at its conclusion was the most searched for in 49 of the 50 states, with Gov. Steve Bullock capturing his home state of Montana.
Williamson provided a good bookend as a non-politician on stage and provided viewers with some outsider perspective on the deep political weeds her opponents were wading into.
Stay tuned for night two which airs tonight on CNN at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) featuring former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kalama Harris.