2020 Democrats name biggest geopolitical threat

2020 Democrats name biggest geopolitical threat
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Democratic presidential candidates at the party's first 2020 primary debate were asked to give the most significant geopolitical threat facing the U.S. 

Many focused on climate change and China, while some mentioned Iran and even President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE himself.

“The biggest geopolitical challenge is China, but the biggest geopolitical threat remains nuclear weapons,” former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyLobbying world The Hill's Campaign Report: Four-way sprint to Iowa finish line John Delaney drops out of presidential race, Krystal and Saagar react MORE (D-Md.) said.

“The biggest threat to the security of the United States is Donald Trump,” Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeAndrew Yang ends presidential bid Bloomberg, Steyer focus on climate change in effort to stand out Our government and public institutions must protect us against the unvaccinated MORE (D) claimed to loud applause. 

“The greatest threat that we face is the fact that we’re at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history,” Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardWhere the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Sanders leads Biden in latest Nevada poll Yang: NYC should implement universal basic income MORE (D-Hawaii) told the Miami crowd.

“Two threats: economic threat, China, but our major threat right now is what’s going on in the Mideast right now with Iran if we don’t get our act together,” said Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE (D-Minn.).

“Our existential threat is climate change. We have to confront it before it’s too late,” former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) said.

“Climate change,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Budget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight MORE (D-Mass.) agreed.

“Nuclear proliferation and climate change” was the response from Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSpeculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Conway: Trump is 'toying with everybody' by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises MORE (D-N.J.).

“China and climate change,” said former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

“China, without a question. They’re whipping us around the world economically,” Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' Democrats walk out of Trump's address: 'It's like watching professional wrestling' Trump set to confront his impeachment foes MORE (D-Ohio), who represents a blue-collar district, said.

“Russia because they’re trying to undermine our democracy, and they’ve been doing a pretty damn good job of it, and we need to stop them,” New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioBloomberg compared civil libertarians, teachers union to NRA 'extremists' in 2013: report De Blasio endorses Sanders for president While Klobuchar surges, Warren flounders MORE said.

The responses come as tensions ratchet up between Washington and Tehran following the shooting down of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone that the Pentagon said was over international waters. The Iranian strike nearly led to a retaliatory military strike, which Trump said he scrapped at the eleventh hour after learning the attack could kill as many as 150 Iranians.

China also poses a significant economic threat to the U.S. with its strong manufacturing sector.

Climate change has emerged as an animating issue for the Democratic base, with polls showing many view it as a crucial issue for the next administration to tackle.