Thursday night’s Democratic National Committee debate in Los Angeles made two things clear.
The top-tier Democrats for the 2020 party nomination do not like President Donald Trump, and they are willing to go after each other to gain votes during the primary season.
Thursday’s 2.5-hour debate was hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico, and remained fairly civil for the first 90 minutes, with candidates agreeing on everything from Wednesday’s impeachment of President Donald Trump to the state of the economy to the argument over climate change.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads in several national polls, took the stage at Loyola Marymount along with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer.
To qualify for the debate, the DNC said that candidates must have received at least 4 percent support in four national polls or 6 percent approval in two early state polls and donations from at least 200,000 individuals.
The candidates generally tended to agree on topics such as foreign policy, raising taxes on successful Americans, and reproductive rights for women, but things got heated when the issue of campaign finance came up.
Buttigieg made sure to note that he was the only candidate on stage who was neither a millionaire nor billionaire, while Warren noted that Buttigieg recently held a fundraiser at a California wine cellar where bottles can sell for as much as $900 each.
Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist who owns three houses, retorted that he has not received any donations from billionaires, and said his average donation is $18.
Buttigieg replied to Warren, saying the maximum contribution to federal candidates is $2,800 and there should not be a “purity” test for candidates based on whom the money comes from.
Four more debates will be held in January and February, one in each of the “early four” voting states.
The first will be Jan. 14 on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and will be co-hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register. The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 3.
The DNC said the date could change depending on possible impeachment proceedings against President Trump. There are currently five U.S. senators still in the race for the Democratic nomination.
A second debate is scheduled for Feb. 7 at St. Anslem College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, four days before that state’s primary. It will be hosted by ABC News and WMUR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The other two debates will be Feb. 19 in Nevada and Feb. 25 in South Carolina. Nevada’s caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 22 and the South Carolina primary is Feb. 29.