Top moments from heated second night of Democratic debate

Top moments from heated second night of Democratic debate
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Democratic presidential candidates came prepared for battle on the second night of the Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit on Wednesday. 

Many of the candidates took on the front-runner of the 2020 Democratic race, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE, head-on in an effort to get a breakout moment. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (D-Calif.) also came under attack after swiftly climbing up in the polls over the past month.

The forum also witnessed some witty one-liners, with references to two popular U.S. brands. 


Here are the top moments from Wednesday's Democratic primary debate. 

Booker takes on Biden

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Black caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two MORE (D-N.J.) gave a preview of his attacks on the former vice president last week when he hit him over criminal justice reform, and followed through Wednesday when he delivered a series of blows to Biden on the debate stage. 

Booker slammed Biden for criticizing his record on fighting crime as the mayor of Newark, N.J.. 

“There’s a saying in my community: You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor," Booker said. 

The line quickly gained traction on social media, even eliciting a reaction from Kool-Aid's Twitter account. 

Booker accused Biden of invoking his former boss, President Obama, too much on the campaign trail.


“Mr. Vice President, you can’t have it both ways,” Booker said at Wednesday night's primary debate in Detroit. “You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.”

The moment came after Biden said that he would not reveal his private conversations with President Obama when pressed by former New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge New York City bans cashless businesses How far will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio go to protect undocumented aliens? MORE (D) on whether he thought 3 million deportations under the Obama administration were a good idea.

Gillibrand says the first thing she'll do as president is "Clorox the Oval Office" 

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGOP-Biden feud looms over impeachment trial Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-N.Y.) revealed that the first action she would take as president would be to clean the Oval Office after 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 left. 

"The first thing I'm going to do as president is I am going to Clorox the Oval Office," Gillibrand said on stage at the Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit.

The remark quickly sparked reaction on social media, generating a series of memes and GIFs.

However, Gillibrand came out on the losing end of an exchange with Biden when she questioned his commitment to women's rights issues in the past. 

“What did you mean when you said when a woman works outside the home, it’s resulting in ‘the deterioration of family,’” Gillibrand said. “These are quotes. It was the title of the op-ed and that just causes concern for me because we know America’s women are working.”

Biden quickly responded, noting that Gillibrand had praised his record in the past 

“I don’t know what’s happened except that you’re now running for president,” Biden said to applause. 

Booker says 'shithole' on live TV 

Booker repeated a profanity reportedly uttered by President Trump when referring to Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries.

“This really irks me, because I heard the vice president say that if you’ve got a Ph.D. you can come right into this country, well that’s playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against other immigrants, some are from shithole countries, and some are from worthy countries,” Booker said in a jab at Biden. 

The comment referred to widespread reports noting Trump had used the profanity to describe some countries when discussing immigration policy.

De Blasio takes heat over Eric Garner case

A number of the candidates piled onto the New York City mayor, taking aim specifically for not firing Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Gillibrand, who have struggled to break out from the crowded field, went on the offensive over Pantaleo. 

“He knew what he was doing. He was killing Eric Garner and he has not been brought to justice,” Castro said. 


“He should be fired now,” Gillibrand said. “If I were the mayor, I would fire him.”

De Blasio responded by placing blame on the Justice Department, which ultimately decided against bringing federal civil rights charges against Pantaleo.

De Blasio's opening speech was also interrupted by protesters shouting "fire Pantaleo," further drawing attention to the issue.

Gabbard hits Harris over prosecutor record 

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardJoe Rogan says he's probably voting for Bernie Sanders Gabbard tells Fox that Clinton's 'Russian asset' remark is 'taking my life away' Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill MORE (D-Hawaii) sought to put a spotlight on Harris's record as prosecutor, telling her to apologize to people who have "suffered under her reign."

“When you were in a position to impact these people’s lives you did not and worse yet in the case of those on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence that would have freed them, until you were forced to do that, and the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology,” Gabbard said during the contentious exchange. 

Harris hit back at Gabbard, saying it's easy to give speeches criticizing opponents, but as attorney general of California, she dealt with real-world problems. 

“I did the work of significantly changing the criminal justice system and I’m proud of that work, to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor but actually doing the work,” Harris said.