Seventh Democratic Debate


(Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Musa Jabbour

The seventh democratic debate took place on January 14th, in Des Moines, Iowa. There have been many debates that have taken place before this one, however, what separates this debate from the others are the sudden rivalry and heated arguments between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

According to many critics, the front runner of this debate was Elizabeth Warren, who used her time to explain her opinions and where she stood on topics like healthcare costs, foreign policy, prescription-drugs costs, and military spending. She was also able to take on her competitors including Bernie Sanders. Throughout the night, it was clear that the tension was growing between the two candidates. Warren claims that Sanders had told her, during a private conversation back in 2018, that women could not win the 2020 presidency.

(Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

In this debate, only six candidates were able to qualify. The candidates on stage were: former Vice President Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer. In past debates, each candidate was given only a little time to talk on stage. However, in this debate, they had more time to express where they stood on some issues due to the reduction of candidates on stage. With this said, only a few were able to stand out from the rest.

Foreign Policy 

During the debate, Sanders criticized Joe Biden’s position on Iraq War during Obama’s administration. Sanders called it “the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country.” Surprisingly, Biden admitted that his vote was a mistake, although he stressed his role in helping the withdrawal of troops from the region. When asked about foreign policy, Pete Buttigieg emphasized his military experience and how there are currently more troops in Iraq than when Trump took office.

This was also the first debate after the recent tension with Iran. Although the candidates clashed on some issues, it was clear that they were all on the same page when it came to the current conflict with Iran. Joe Biden said, “The only way to take a nation to war is with the informed consent of the American people.” Amy Klobuchar expressed her opinion by saying, “My issue is that because of the actions of Donald Trump, we are in a situation where Iran is starting to enrich uranium again, in violation of the original agreement,” to which Pete Buttigieg agreed with. In conclusion, all the candidates on stage agreed that the United States should use the help of its allies and to make sure Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.

Health Care 

“Everybody on this stage believes that affordable health care is a right for every single American,” said Tom Steyer, which elicited a response in which all candidates agreed. Despite this, there are still disagreements on how to accomplish this. Pete Buttigieg restated his position by saying, “We got to move past Washington mentality that suggests that the bigness of plans only consists of how many trillions of dollars they put through the treasury, that the boldness of a plan only consists of how many Americans it can alienate,” to which Elizabeth Warren replied, “The numbers that the mayor is offering don’t add up.” Although this debate had some heated arguments between candidates, there were also moments where candidates made jokes. For instance, Amy Klobuchar pointed out that the Affordable Care Act is ten points more popular in the U.S. than President Donald Trump, which left many of the viewers laughing.

This is the last democratic debate before the Iowa Democratic Caucuses, which is when Iowans gather to declare their Presidential preference. The Iowa Caucuses will be held on February 3, 2020. The candidates also have another debate a few days later, which means they are going to be busy campaigning. Additionally, about half of the candidates on stage are senators, which means they are going to be in impeachment hearings for the next couple of weeks, which could potentially leave them behind in the campaign trail.

Because of the recent news between the United States and Iran, this debate focused primarily on foreign policy, unlike previous democratic debates. Another topic that was heavily touched on was health care. Besides those two issues, nothing else stood out. According to critics, the candidates haven’t covered all of the issues constituents would like to hear about, such as climate change and immigration. All we have left to do is wait until the results of the Iowa Caucuses and how it is going to affect the upcoming debates.