Top moments from a contentious Democratic debate

Top moments from a contentious Democratic debate

Democrats took the stage in the first night of the second primary debate on Thursday, highlighting many of the key ideological differences between centrists and progressives within the party


Moderates like former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules Elizabeth Warren moves 'bigly' to out-trump Trump DNC goof: Bloomberg should be on debate stage MORE (D-Md.) came out swinging against progressive Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial MORE (D-Mass.), while candidates like Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBrent Budowsky: Bloomberg should give billion to Democrats Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE (D) sought a breakout moment. 

Here are the top moments from Tuesday's Democratic primary debate: 


Warren calls out candidates who say progressive policies can't get done

Warren drew one of the loudest applause lines of the night when she hit Democratic presidential candidates who say progressive policies cannot be achieved. 

"I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for," the senator said. 

The comments were a response to Delaney, who said he was not running on "fairy tale" policies. 

Delaney hit Sanders and Warren throughout the debate, causing Warren to accuse him of touting Republican talking points. 

“We are the Democrats. We are not about taking health care from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do, and we should stop using Republican talking points,” she said.


Williamson hits Trump's 'dark psychic force'

Author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson says she supports Yang in Iowa caucuses Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Marianne Williamson drops out of 2020 race MORE took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's administration, saying there was a "dark psychic force" coming from the White House. 

"If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days," Williamson said.

"It's bigger than Flint," she continued, referring to the Michigan town that is dealing with a water crisis. "It’s particularly people of color. It’s particularly people who do not have the money to fight back, and if the Democrats don’t start saying it, why would those people feel they’re there for us?"

The phrase quickly gained traction on social media and surged in Google Trends during the debate.


Sanders to Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanOffice of Technology Assessment: It's time for a second coming Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far GM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio MORE on 'Medicare for All': 'I wrote the damn bill'

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) openly questioned how comprehensive Sanders's "Medicare for All" platform actually is, causing the progressive to defend his authorship of the legislation.

Sanders originally said his Medicare for All plan would give comprehensive health care coverage to people who would lose their health care plans under the new proposal. 

“You don’t know that, Bernie," Ryan said. 

“I do know that, I wrote the damn bill,” Sanders hit back, referencing the Medicare for All bill he’s introduced in the Senate.


Tim Ryan tells Sanders he doesn't have to yell during the debate 

Sanders and Ryan also clashed over the role of cars and fossil fuels in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, leading to Ryan to tell Sanders to keep his voice down. 

“I get a little tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas,” Sanders said. “Please don’t tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry. Nothing happens unless we do that. ... What do you do with an industry that knowingly, for billions of dollars in short-term profits, is destroying this planet?”  

“I didn’t say we couldn't get there til 2040, Bernie. You don’t have to yell,” Ryan responded. “All I’m saying is we have to invent our way out of this thing. And if we’re waiting for 2040 for a ban to come in on gasoline vehicles we’re screwed.”


Bullock tells Warren she's 'playing into Donald Trump's hands' 

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued a stark warning to Warren over immigration policy, telling her she was playing directly into Trump's hands on the issue. 

Warren said that the law criminalizing border crossings permitted Trump to separate families and jail children.

“We need to fix the crisis at the border, and a big part of how we do that is we do not play into Donald Trump’s hands, but he wants to stir up the crisis at the border, because that’s his overall message,” Warren said.

“But you are playing into Donald Trump’s hands," Bullock responded. "The challenge isn’t that it’s a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president and using this to rip families apart."