6 Takeaways From The 6th Democratic Debate
Speaker 1: 00:00 The last democratic debate of 2019 was held last night at Loyola Marymount university in Los Angeles. The debate was a coproduction of the PBS news hour and Politico, it was the smallest field so far with just seven candidates taking the stage. A wide range of subjects were covered and there were some fireworks. Joining us now to talk about it is senior politics and government editors, Scott Schafer of KQBD in San Francisco. Scott, welcome. Thank you. What are your main takeaways from last night's debate? Well, I think, you know, all these candidates have upped their game since uh, the beginning of this very long election season. I think they all had relatively strong performances. Uh, having just seven candidates, relatively small number I think was beneficial to all of them. They each got more time to discuss their points of view and I think the viewers and the listeners got a, a better chance to maybe flesh out some of the differences between the candidates. Speaker 1: 00:55 I mean, a lot of the attention clearly was on all of the criticism that was directed at Pete Buddha judge the mayor of South bend, Indiana. Both by a Senator Elizabeth Warren and AB Klobuchar in particular. Uh, on the other hand, I think he was quite well-prepared. Uh, and I think we, you know, what, what Democrats are struggling with before and after this debate is who can beat Donald Trump. And I, I'm not sure that, uh, things are any more clear, uh, today than they were yesterday on that point. You know, I think all the candidates last night made a pretty good case. Um, especially, uh, you know, the top tier, the top four or five candidates. And I would have to say that Amy Klobuchar really used her time well last night and, uh, I wouldn't be surprised to see her move up in the polls in Iowa after that performance. Speaker 1: 01:39 I wanted to ask you about her because you know, after every debate, CNN talks to the same group of Iowa voters. A few of them are still undecided, but a majority now support Senator Amy Klobuchar. Um, what did you think of her overall performance last night? Well, you know, she's had very strong performances all along. I think because she got more time. She had almost as much time last night as a, the leading candidates, uh, about 20 minutes. Um, and she was also able to redirect the conversation a couple of times. Uh, she interrupted this sort of a argument between Warren and Buddha judge over fundraising in a way that put the spotlight back on her. You know, she makes a very compelling case for being someone who has won several times, uh, in the state of Minnesota, which is a somewhat purple state, doing much better than other Democrats running statewide in Minnesota. Speaker 1: 02:27 So that speaks to the electability issue and she's also made a strong case for her experience and what she's done in the Senate, you know, in contrast, say with Pete Buddha judge who is competing in that same sort of middle lane, um, for more moderate voters, pragmatic voters may be, uh, that, uh, yeah, she knows how to work with Republicans, but she also knows how to win Republican votes. Uh, and so I think she really helped herself last night you mentioned the fireworks over fundraising between Senator Elizabeth Warren and mayor Pete booty judge. What or who did you think came out on top in that exchange? You know, it's a political road shock test. I mean, I don't think that either one of them necessarily persuaded anybody on that issue. I don't think they won or lost voters either. One of them I think, uh, you know, I think people would've been, Buddha judge was clearly ready for that attack. Speaker 1: 03:17 He was able to sort of pivot and say, Hey look, I'm the only one up here who is in a millionaire or a billionaire. And also point to her, uh, you know, maybe a bit of hypocrisy taking money from her, us Senate races and shifting it over to the presidential campaign. And that was money raised from big donors as well. But I think it was kind of a wash. I mean, I do think campaign funding and financing is not necessarily an issue that is the top one, two or three issues for most voters. So I'm not sure it really mattered. I think it did show the ability of both of them to, you know, both take a punch, land a punch and make their point clearly. And I think, you know, in that sense they both did well after what were widely viewed as spotty performances in previous debates. Speaker 1: 04:01 Joe Biden seemed to be on his game last night. Um, how do you think he did? Yeah, I think he was a, it was very cogent. I mean, somebody described, uh, Joe Biden previous to last night as watching sort of a single propeller airplane land in a storm. And you never quite know how it's gonna, how it's going to come down. And I think last night he was more focused. His answers were more concise and clear. Uh, his points were I think a little more, um, had a little more edge to them. He interrupted appropriately, I thought last night, uh, to make his point, he kind of shooed away Bernie Sanders. So I, I think he showed more energy, more focus. And uh, I think he, uh, he also laid back at times. I mean, he was not the focus of anybody's attacks really. Uh, and I think that benefited him. So I think for those who were maybe nervous as to whether or not he's up for the task of taking on Donald Trump in November of 2020, uh, you know, I think maybe he reassured some of those voters, Andrew Yang chastised Democrats for obsessing over the impeachment of president Trump. Speaker 1: 05:03 How was that received? I think he's right. Uh, you know, all the candidates will say that, uh, impeachment almost never comes up on the, uh, on the campaign trail. Uh, it's something that the, you know, it's obviously an important issue, but it's not one, it's not one of those kitchen table issues. You know, the country is divided right down the middle, 48, 48 or so, 50, 50, basically on impeachment. Uh, it's not going to be a vote getter. Uh, and so I think he's right. And we know Bernie Sanders will be making a stop here in San Diego tonight. 6:00 PM at Sandia CGIAR high school for an immigration rally. How did you think he did last night? He did. Well, uh, you know, Bernie Sanders is a little, is easy to underestimate. He has a very strong base of support among younger voters, Latino voters also, he does quite well with, uh, and they're very, very die hard supporters. Speaker 1: 05:54 He's very well organized in California. He's got a of ground operations and offices throughout the state. He's been here many times, and of course he's quite well known from 2016. So I do think, although he's not a fresh face this time around, he is somebody who has a, a very solid chance, uh, certainly of, of winning the California primary, uh, whether he'll go on to take the nomination is another, another question. Altogether. I've been speaking with Scott Shaffer, our senior politics and government editor at KCU, E D Scott, thanks so much for joining us. You're welcome. Speaker 2: 06:31 [inaudible].