Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Sunday, August 01, 2021

Five highlights of Wednesday’s presidential debate

<p>From left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney pose for a photo on stage before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami.</p>

From left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney pose for a photo on stage before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami.

Ten presidential candidates discussed issues such as immigration, healthcare, gun reform, economic policies and climate change in Miami on Wednesday night during the first Democratic presidential debate.

The debate is two nights long and features 20 candidates total who were split randomly between the two nights. Wednesday’s candidates were New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing Sec. Julián Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Candidates appeal to Latinx voters

The candidate pool features more diversity than years past. Three candidates spoke Spanish during the debate –– O’Rourke, Booker and Castro –– demonstrating a desire to connect with larger Hispanic constituencies, the largest minority group in the U.S.

“The very fact that I can say that tonight shows the progress that we have made in this country. Like many of you, I know the promise of America,” said Julián Castro, who is currently the only Latinx 2020 candidate.

Differing views on immigration

In further solidarity with the Hispanic community, the candidates expressed a desire to change current border policies at the start of their presidencies. This topic was escalated by a recent photo taken of a father and daughter dead in the Rio Grande while attempting to cross the U.S. border.

The subject of immigration is especially important in Miami due to its considerable immigrant population and the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, the largest detention center for immigrant children.

Castro and O’Rourke had a stand-off moment when discussing immigration. Castro questioned O’Rourke, asking him why he was opposed to decriminalized improper border crossings.

Carlos Tagliafico, a Miami resident, attended a watch party at Books & Books, a bookstore next to where the debate was held. He was interested in seeing how the Democratic candidates would demonstrate their potential against President Donald Trump.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

“There are so many issues going on right now between the Democratic Party and Republican Party in the country itself that I really want to know what they are going to talk about in Florida,” he said. “I want to see if they’re going to address some of the issues that we are trying to hear from them like immigration and what is going to happen with the Homestead Detention Center.”

Showing support for women’s rights

The candidates showed a wide-spread acceptance for progressive human rights issues. They demonstrated unanimous support for abortion rights, a topic becoming increasingly relevant with the passing of state laws that restrict reproductive rights.

Warren mentioned she wants to increase protections on abortions rights by passing a federal law rather than relying on Roe v. Wade. Castro said abortion not only had to be legal but economically available and endorsed a government-funded healthcare option that would cover abortions for all.

Wednesday night featured the most women to ever participate in a presidential debate.

Bringing gun control to the forefront

With the surge of gun violence in the U.S. and the divisive nature of this topic on the national level, considerable discussion was given to gun reform. All candidates agreed on its necessity in some capacity, highlighting the effect gun violence has on children and teenagers.

With the Parkland, Florida, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, gun control is a topic of major concern in Florida.

Addressing the environment and climate change

The conversation also focused on environmental policy and combating climate change. Many of the candidates said the current administration took steps backward in this regard, as well as with the other issues.

Warren mentioned oil companies; O’Rourke brought up fossil fuels; Castro spoke about community vulnerability; Ryan believes in a carbon tax; Inslee wants to start tackling climate change by taking the filibuster away from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Toward the end of the debate, candidates were asked what or who is the greatest geopolitical threat to the U.S. Four candidates responded with climate change.

In their closing remarks and post-debate remarks, all the candidates urged voters that they were the best fit for the White House and for the country, one final time, speaking about their experience, goals and how they would defeat Trump.

“I am in this fight because I believe that we can make our government, we can make our economy, we can make our country work not just for those at the top,” Warren said. “We can make it work for everyone. And I promise you this: I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family.”

Follow April on Twitter @AprilMRubin for Night Two coverage. 

From left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney pose for a photo on stage before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2021 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.