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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Democratic Debate Recap

Democrat donkey in red white and blue. Isolated on a white background with a clipping path.

Tuesday 10/15, candidates took the stage in Westerville, Ohio for the fourth democratic debate. The debate held at Otterbein University set the record for the largest televised presidential debate, with 12 candidates in total. Multiple topics were discussed over the course of the three-hour debate, and some candidates took the opportunity to try to stand out from the large crowd. 

One of the first topics discussed by the candidates were the allegations against Joe Biden’s son Hunter made by President Trump. The New York Times notes that when asked by moderator, Anderson Cooper, if it was ok for his son to have business dealings in Ukraine, Biden responded by saying, “My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong.” 

As with the previous debates, healthcare was a hot topic. Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed a “Medicare for All” plan, but other candidates such as Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar disagree, opting for a “Medicare for All Who Want it” plan, as Buttigieg calls it. The discussion of healthcare plans displayed a divide between candidates and allowed Warren and Buttigieg, in particular, to make themselves heard. 

Two other candidates with conflicting ideas were Senator Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang. When discussing solutions to wealth inequality in the country, Sanders’ solution includes a federal jobs guarantee, while Yang proposes distributing $1000 a month to families in need. Yang was not in the spotlight very much Tuesday night, but this area was where he was able to make his voice heard. 

The more left-leaning Democrats, Warren and Sanders, propose a wealth tax to alleviate income inequality. They offer up the idea of increasing taxes on the most wealthy people in our country. However, Klobuchar, Yang, and former Representative Beto O’Rourke recommend tax breaks and tax credits for the lower and middle classes, rather than increasing taxes on the wealthy. 

The current situation in Syria was also discussed, and the United States’ decision to remove troops from the country. Buttigieg, as well as Representative Tusli Gabbard, have served in the U.S. military, so they took this opportunity to give their opinion on the matter after experiencing war first-hand. However, they had opposing views on the situation. Gabbard believes removing troops from Syria was the right call, and stated it was an unnecessary conflict to be involved in. Contrary to this, Buttigieg stated that by removing troops from Syria, the government let down both American soldiers, as well as any allies involved. This topic was one of the few times where Gabbard was able to stand out among the 12 candidates. 

One of the last major topics discussed was gun-control. All candidates are in support of stricter gun laws, but where they disagree is how to go about implementing gun control. Both O’Rourke and Senator Kamals Harris feel that a mandatory buy-back program for assault weapons is the best solution at this time. In contrast, Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, and former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro feel that there are more effective solutions to gun violence in the United States. Their proposals include background checks and policies to decrease domestic gun violence, and noted that “getting something done” is more important at the moment. 

With 12 candidates on the stage, a debate can seem crowded and confusing. However, a few candidates, including Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg, were able to make their voices heard and their platforms clear. 

There is set to be 12 debates in total, with six of them in 2019. The next one is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Georgia.

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