Democrats Take the Stage in New Hampshire

On Friday, February 7, seven Democratic candidates shared their opinions on various issues before the New Hampshire Primary on February 11.

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Walker Winkler

The debate consisted of the seven democratic candidates, discussing various topics.

The eighth Democratic Debate was held on Friday, February 7, in New Hampshire. The debate was just four days before the Democratic Primary of New Hampshire. Only seven of the eleven Democrats running for the 2020 presidency were invited to debate: Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer, former Vice President Joe Biden and former mayor Pete Buttigieg. The debate was split into two parts, starting with the candidates talking about general issues such as health care and education in the first half and in the second half they talked about issues specific to New Hampshire. Biden, Sanders, and Buttigieg had the most speaking time; however, Sanders and Buttigieg were also repeatedly targeted throughout the debate. 

According to Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin of Microsoft News, both Sanders and Buttigieg were criticized. Sanders was questioned about his socialist policies and Buttigieg had to defend himself after comments were made about if he was qualified enough to become the next president of the United States. Many of the candidates questioned Sanders and Buttigieg, however Biden specifically commented on Sanders’ socialistic tendencies, and Klobuchar frequently expressed her worries over Buttigieg’s experience. 

Along with criticizing Buttigieg, Klobuchar consistently challenged her opponents and her performance was generally well-received. Her campaign announced that she had raised 2 million dollars after the debate. Democrat Sandy Holway thought that Klobuchar debated well and that she is one of the best candidates. 

“I thought that Amy Klobuchar did a really great job,” Holway said. “I really like Klobuchar, and I wish she was polling better.”

Along with Klobuchar, Biden was often challenging the other candidates along side him throughout the debate. Even though Biden was criticizing others, he himself faced his own share of attacks, one being from Steyer. According to Julie Bykowicz of the Wall Street Journal, Steyer claimed that one of Biden’s friends, Dick Harpootlian, made a racist comment about the leader of the black legislative caucus in South Carolina. Biden said that Harpootlian was apologetic for his actions. 

Steyer’s comment about racism was just one example of the many conversations that surrounded controversial topics that night. Abortion was another topic that was heavily discussed, with all of the candidates stating that they were determined to protect a woman’s right to choose. 

“I will never nominate any person to the Supreme Court or the federal courts in general who is not 100 percent pro Roe V. Wade,” Sanders said. 

Overall, the debate on Friday covered many issues. The different candidates showed their perspectives on important issues and made their arguments as to why they should be the president of the United States.