Leading Democratic presidential candidates blasted President Donald Trump Thursday as a ‘liar’ and a ‘fraud’ who had disgraced his office as they clashed in their latest debate Thursday night, 24 hours after the House voted to impeach him – even as businessman Andrew Yang cautioned the nation against an impeachment ‘obsession.’
‘We have a president who is a pathological liar. We have a president who is running the most corrupt administration in the modern history of this country. And we have a president who is a fraud,’ said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders after moderator Judy Woodruff asked each candidate on stage to respond to the historic vote at a Democratic debate in Los Angeles.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said the clear issue for 2020 is: ‘How we are going to run against the most corrupt president in living history.’
But Yang, who trails poll leaders but continues to be a successful fundraiser, warned: ‘We have to stop being obsessed over impeachment. He compared it to a ball game ‘where you know what the score is going to be.’
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the poll leader who featured prominently in the impeachment saga over Ukraine, accused Trump of ‘dumbing down the presidency.’
A slimmed down Democratic primary field took the stage Thursday night in Los Angeles for the last primary debate of 2019. Just seven candidates are participating (from left to right on screen): Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer
Businessman Andrew Yang cautioned the nation against an impeachment ‘obsession’ in his opening statement after moderator Judy Woodruff confused him with Tom Steyer
PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff created an awkward moment at the top of the debate as she started addressing ‘Andrew Yang,’ but was looking at Tom Steyer.
‘I’m over here!’ Yang called out, clapping at the moderator to get her attention. ‘Judy.’
FINAL 2019 DEMOCRATIC DEBATE LINE UP
From left of screen
Steyer and Yang’s podiums are on opposite sides of the stage.
‘I’m sorry, Mr. Steyer,’ Woodruff said, letting the billionaire answer first.
Earlier at an event with rapper Childish Gambino, Yang addressed how he’s often spoken for fewer minutes than the other candidates onstage.
‘I have done the math, if you have seven candidates instead of ten, that means my speaking time will go up by approximately 50 percent,’ he told reporters there, saying he was ‘thrilled’ to be on the stage, as another eight Democratic candidates who are running have been cut.
A slimmed down Democratic primary field took the stage Thursday night in Los Angeles for the last primary debate of 2019.
Just seven candidates are participating.
While the last debate was overshadowed by some of the most riveting impeachment hearing testimony – that of E.U. Amb. Gordon Sondland – candidates on Thursday had to escape impeachment’s hangover, as the House of Representatives history-making vote happened one night before.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the poll leader who featured prominently in the impeachment saga over Ukraine, accused Trump of ‘dumbing down the presidency’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (center) said the clear issue for 2020 is: ‘How we are going to run against the most corrupt president in living history’
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders responded to the impeachment prompt by saying: ‘We have a president who is a pathological liar. We have a president who is running the most corrupt administration in the modern history of this country. And we have a president who is a fraud’
A CNN poll, which came out Thursday morning, shows that the top-tier remains a three-way race between Biden, who’s still in the lead, and Warren and Sanders, who will both be impeachment jurors – a role that could take them away from the campaign trail for a month.
Biden leads the field with 26 percent support. Sanders follows with 20 percent, while Warren has 16 percent.
Biden has consistently held a lead in national polling, although it is down 7 points from a year ago, when it stood at 33 percent.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is at 8 percent, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now at 5 percent, fueled by a multi-million self-funded spending spree.
All of those candidates but Bloomberg will be on the debate stage, joined by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, billionaire Tom Steyer and businessman Andrew Yang.
The Democratic National Committee keeps setting higher thresholds for candidates to meet to make the debate stage.
Between October and December those rules squeezed two candidates of color off the stage, former HUD Director Julian Castro and Sen. Cory Booker, while Sen. Kamala Harris, dropped out.
That makes Yang the only candidate of color onstage.
Buttigieg, the first openly gay Democrat to seek the nomination, is expected to clash with Warren over his past work for corporate clients.
He leads in a new Iowa State University survey in the first caucus state.
He is at 24 percent, trailed by Sanders at 20 percent and Biden at 15 percent and Warren at 18 percent.
Sanders is up from the same CNN poll a year ago, when he was at 15 percent.
The field is not close to being set.
A bare 51 percent majority said they were not yet settled on their selection. Half of Democrats surveyed said they were extremely enthusiastic about voting in 2020.
The poll was released a day after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump, making him just the third president in U.S. history to face a Senate impeachment trial.
The number of Democrats who are very satisfied stands at 31 percent, compared to 38 percent in June.