Health care, gun control discussed in first night of Democratic Debate in Detroit
Tigers, Lions and Debates, oh my! Detroit is the host the second round of the Democratic Presidential Debates on July 30 and 31. On Tuesday, candidates were asked questions about health care, immigration, gun control and more.
The two-day event will allow 20 candidates to take the stage at the Fox Theatre.
Selected during a live drawing on CNN, Tuesday's debate lineup was as follows, from left to right:
- Marianne Williamson, author
- Tim Ryan, House representative for Ohio's 13th district
- Amy Klobuchar, senator in Minnesota
- Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana
- Bernie Sanders, senator in Vermont
- Elizabeth Warren, senator in Massachusetts
- Beto O'Rourke, former representative for Texas' 16th district
- John Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado
- John Delaney, former representative for Maryland's 6th district
- Steve Bullock, governor of Montana
Similar to the first round of debates, health care was a major topic of conversation Tuesday night. As a major part of each candidate's platform, health care was prioritized.
The first question of the night was directed at Sanders. He was asked to respond to criticism from Delaney about his “Medicare for All” plan. Delaney said he prefers Medicare plans that would still allow for public options.
Sanders' proposal for Medicare for All would create universal health care for the United States. This bill is supported by Warren and Bullock. That said, this is one of the most controversial topics amongst the current Democratic candidates.
O'Rourke recommends "Medicare for America," which would still allow for universal health care, but would give people the opportunity to be able to stay on other health care plans they receive from their employers, for example.
Tuesday’s debate discussed another topic that was also touched on during the last round of debates: immigration.
The first question after the topic shift was aimed at Buttigieg and his support of decriminalizing illegally crossing the border.
Again, in contrast to his opponents, O'Rourke disagreed. O’Rourke said he wants to offer improvements to the current process, including waiving citizenship fees, assisting families in Central America and stop criminally prosecuting families seeking refuge and asylum. Once this is done, he said he expects immigrants to follow U.S. processes.
Warren used the opportunity to talk about Donald Trump and the current crisis at the southern border.
“The criminalization statute is what gives Donald Trump the ability to take children away from their parents,” Warren said. “It's what gives him the ability to lock up people at our borders.”
"We need to continue to have border security, and we can do that, but what we can't do is not live our values," she said. "I've been down to the border. I have seen the mothers. I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that every day lives our values."
Since the Parkland shooting, calls for gun control reforms have skyrocketed.
The first question regarding gun violence went to Buttigieg. He discussed how gun violence has impacted his community, and made reference to an ongoing investigation in which a white police officer shot and killed a black man in South Bend.
Klobuchar used her time to go after President Donald Trump and his stance reversal after a meeting with the National Rifle Association, an organization that helped fund his campaign in 2016.
She said, as president, she won’t “fold.”
With the debate being in the "Motor City," the topic of jobs in the auto industry also came up. There are around 180,000 workers in the auto industry in Michigan, and around 96,000 in Ohio, Ryan's home.
To prevent steel tariffs from reducing jobs in the auto industry, Ryan proposes adding a new position: the Chief Manufacturing Officer.
The Chief Manufacturing Officer's job and priority would be to develop all aspects of the auto industry and manage them to ensure jobs are not lost. This would also allow us to have job growth by having American manufacturers develop more parts of automobiles, including batteries and charging stations.
The second night of debates takes place at 8 p.m. Wednesday night on CNN.
Stay with The State News for more coverage on the debate.