Here Are The Winners And Losers Of Last Night Democratic Debates In Miami Last Night
The Democratic Party had their first presidential debate last night in Miami hosted by NBC News. Ten candidates for the Democratic Party spoke last night on immigration, the economy, student loans, and the humanitarian crisis happening at the southern border. While the candidates did debate some real issues, there were moments that caught everyone’s attention that had nothing to do with policy and politics. Here’s a quick recap of the first Democratic debate.
The Democratic Party hosted their first debate last night in Miami and there were clear winners and losers. Elizabeth Warren was the clear standout.
Senator Warren did not hold back on what she plans to do as president to make the United States work for all Americans. She came out of the gates swinging with a progressive platform that more and more Americans are supporting. Notably, Warren defended her calls to break up big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Apple.
In a platform released by the Warren campaign, the presidential hopeful laid out why it is important to end the monopoly the current tech companies have.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren wrote in a Medium post. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”
Warren also spoke on how she would use the people who elect her to fight to make the country work for everyone.
The current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring bills to the Senate floor to a vote. Bills that many Americans support like gun control measures and health care amendments. While Warren was not completely clear with her stance on how to work with a Republican controlled Senate, she seems ready to fight.
Julián Castro showed his strength and delivered an exceptional night for his campaign.
Castro, who was the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, lead the debates when it came to immigration. Chiefly, Castro stated that if elected he would make crossing the border a civil infraction as opposed to the criminal infraction it has become.
Castro used his moment addressing immigration to spar with his fellow Texan competitor Beto O’Rourke who stated he did not support that same measure. Instead, O’Rourke told Castro that he has introduced legislation to decriminalize those crossing the border for seeking asylum.
Castro claimed that O’Rourke is not going far enough because targeting just asylum seekers is not addressing the full problem because some people cross without seeking asylum. Castro’s plan to decriminalize border crossing has been used by Republicans to push the inaccurate narrative that Democrats support open borders.
Castro set off a strong reaction from the audience when he included trans people in the conversation about reproductive rights and, as he says, reproductive justice.
The candidates were asked if they supported a health care plan that would cover abortions. The nation is in the middle of a major discussion about who should and should not have access to abortions. We have watched states take unprecedented steps to limit a women’s right to safe and legal abortions in several southern and Republican-led states. One of the largest applause moments during the debate was when Castro included the trans community, one often overlooked, into the conversation about abortion rights.
Castro was the candidate who most needed a good night to get his name and face in front of American voters and it seems to have paid off.
Castro announced his candidacy in January 2019 and has dealing with a severe enthusiasm gap. Other candidates, like Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris have dominated media coverage and Castro couldn’t break through. It seems that the debates last night gave him the boost he needed to become a household name.
Coming in third would be New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
During the debate, de Blasio gave an impassioned speech about the unjust vilification of the immigrant community in the United States. He referenced the horrific photo that has been shared of a migrant father and daughter, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and Valeria, and how what led to their deaths is not the America we know.
“We have to change the discussion about immigration in this country, because look at the bottom line here. .. That tragic photo of that parent, that child – and I’m saying this as a father – every American should feel that in their heart, and every American should say that is not America,” de Blasio said.
“Those are not our values, but we have to get under the skin of why we have this crisis in our system, because we’re not being honest about the division that’s been fomented in this country, the way that Americans citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery and their pain and their challenges.”
“For all the American citizens out there who feel you’re falling behind or feel the American dream’s not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you. The big corporations did that to you. The one percent did that to you.”
The debate did offer some lighter notes that worked as fodder for infinite social media jokes and memes, namely, the use of Spanish.
O’Rourke, who ran a campaign attempting to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, used his first remark to use his Spanish skills. Now, there is nothing wrong with a presidential candidate speaking Spanish. In fact, it is good to know that there are people running for the office willing to speak directly to the people they want to help.
However, O’Rourke’s attempt to speak Spanish came off as pandering so many who watched the debates.
And a lot of the focus was on Cory Booker’s reaction to O’Rourke’s Spanish.
That is what shook looks like. It seems as if Booker was prepared to speak Spanish himself and was caught off guard when Texan O’Rourke beat him to the punch.
For some Latinos watching the debate, it seemed like an unnecessary flex for someone from Texas who would likely know Spanish.
Again, there is nothing wrong with them speaking Spanish at the debate. It is admirable that they would use the language and normalize it to a broader audience. However, it did strike some people as pandering and it is just something the candidates will have to learn to navigate.
The second round of Democratic debates are happening tonight at 6 p.m. PST.