Things That Matter

Many People On Twitter Are Angry At CNN For How They Managed Last Night’s Debate And The Candidates Agree

Wednesday’s Democratic debate was definitely more heated than some of the previous editions. Within minutes, several candidates were already lading attacks against those considered to be the front runners in the race, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Harris took attacks for her “middle of the road” health care plan while Biden took shots from all sides on all sorts of issues from his record on crime, immigration, and abortion rights.

Here are some of the highlights from last nights blockbuster debate:

Many are saying that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris we’re the main event last night.

And if you watch most news coverage, you’d probably think the same. Each of them came under fire for previous performances and policies.

Thanks to a now-viral attack against Joe Biden on the part of Kamala Harris, when the two took the stage together, Mr. Biden shook her hand and joked, “Go easy on me, kid.” But she didn’t. And neither did anyone else. But despite that, Joe Biden came out performing much better in this debate than he did in the first.

Pretty much every candidate on last night’s stage came for Biden’s record. Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, on deportations; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey on criminal justice; and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on gender issues.

In his closing statement, he seemed to confuse a text message for a URL. “Go to Joe 30330

But Sen. Gillibrand also had her moment.

She landed one of the debate’s most memorable lines. “The first thing that I’m going to do when I’m president,” she said, “is I’m going to Clorox the Oval Office.” Twitter reported it was one of the top three most talked about moments of the night — and the only one not involving a dispute between two candidates. 

Fresh off a widely celebrated performance at the first debate, Julian Castro had a lot of pressure to keep the momentum.

And it appears that he was successful. Last night marked he second night the former San Antonio mayor has stood out — in a good way. He probably had the line of the night, hitting back on Biden with this hammer: “It looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn’t.” Castro was forceful and effective on immigration.

The challenge for Castro now is to qualify for the September and October debates, which could be a heavy lift given his polling thus far. If Castro can make these next two debates, he could really make noise in the race.

For Biden, much of the night was spent defending his record and the record of President Obama – and Biden didn’t seem too into it.

As A former Vice President, Biden is finding himself in the firing line of pretty much every other candidate for his policies and for the decisions of the previous administration.

And as the eldest candidate in the race, Biden has a long track record to critique – which his opponents are very skilled at doing.

And he wasn’t the only one who wanted to refocus the debate on Trump. Sen. Harris also wanted to pivot the conversation towards defeating Trump.

Sen. Kamala Harris seems eager to get to discussing Trump and how she can help not only defeat him in next year’s election, but also undo the damage he’s done on the country. However, not everyone is prepared to turn the conversation there.

Many at last night’s debate wanted to focus squarely on Harris’ record as California’s lead prosecutor, a position the senator has come under attack for in the past.

Perhaps in one of the most memorable moments last night, Tulsi Gabbard (HI) truly came for Harris. She said “I’m concerned about this record of senator Harris. She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.” She went on to say that Harris owed those arrested an apology.

It appeared that even Donald Trump Jr. had some thoughts on the debate.

And Comedy Central came back with the ultimate burn.

Many were upset that Puerto Rico didn’t come up even once during the debate.

Several people on Twitter were upset that in such a wide-ranging debate, not once did the topic of Puerto Rico come up for discussion. The island’s governor was just ousted in a popular uprising of massive protests after being implicated in several scandals. The island is still dealing with the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season in which thousands died. And Puerto Rico is still in a strange legal relationship with the US in which it’s not a state but is subject to US laws and pays taxes without many of the benefits of statehood.

Many will be watching to see what happens in September’s debates as the debate season continues.

So far, only seven of the current 20+ candidates have qualified for the next round of primary debates. We could be looking at a much smaller stage the next time we see them.

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