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 TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE himself.

“The biggest geopolitical challenge is China, but the biggest geopolitical threat remains nuclear weapons,” former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for next Democratic debate Delaney denies report staff asked him to drop out of 2020 race Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown MORE (D-Md.) said.

“The biggest threat to the security of the United States is Donald Trump,” Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBiden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress 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 GabbardThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown Bullock makes CNN debate stage MORE (D-Hawaii) told the Miami crowd.

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“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 KlobucharThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator 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 WarrenWarren adds her pronouns to Twitter bio Biden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (D-Mass.) agreed.

“Nuclear proliferation and climate change” was the response from Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 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) John RyanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally 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 BlasioThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Warren adds her pronouns to Twitter bio Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 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.