The Democratic primary advanced to its 10th round, which took place in South Carolina on Tuesday night, Feb. 25, with a lead in the polls for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ahead of the November presidential election.
This time there was a comeback by billionaire businessman Tom Steyer after he failed to qualify for the ninth debate.
The event was also attended by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar from Massachusetts and Minnesota respectively.
The debate, which was organized by CBS News, was notable for the candidates’ relentless interruptions, making it difficult for moderators Bill Whitajer, Major Garrett, Margaret Brennan, Gayle King, and Norah O’Donnell to keep control.
Unlike the past debate that had as its main focus the criticism of candidate Bloomberg, who was pointed out among other things for mistreating his employees and for pushing for racially biased policies, the attacks this time were directed at Sanders.
During the debate, the candidates focused their attention on the senator from Vermont, reinforcing the idea that he has been considered a politician with a radical stance that favors communist regimes, such image was debated after Sanders flattered the Cuban Castro regime, which was responsible for thousands of deaths in the Caribbean.
Buttigieg said, “Imagine spending the first half of 2020 watching Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump. Imagine what that would do to our country,” as reported by the Daily Caller.
As the Daily Caller indicated, when the debate centered on the issue of gun control, Biden accused Sanders of having voted five times against the Brady Bill, which proposed establishing a waiting period for the purchase of firearms.
On the issue Buttigieg exclaimed, “These aren’t old votes that happened a long time ago. (…)This is a current bad position that Bernie Sanders holds.”
“How are we gonna deliver a revolution if you won’t even support a rule change?” replied the former mayor of Indiana.
Sanders responded in his defense by arguing that 30 years ago he had supported a ban on assault weapons, adding that meanwhile his opposition to the latest weapons was taken as “irrelevant.”
Bloomberg, in addition to mentioning reports of Russian government interference in U.S. affairs, said that Sanders was close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and also claimed that he was helped by Putin, according to VOA.
He also received criticism from some other legislators who accused him of supporting the Chinese communist regime, but he emphasized that he was not a supporter of the Chinese regime, while at the same time he was condescending to the policies of the Cuban socialist regime.
On the issue of racism, both Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar described as racist the “stop-and-frisk” policy implemented by Bloomberg to allow the NYPD to arrest, interrogate, and search citizens considered suspects during his time as mayor of the city.
Even the progressive Black Lives Matter movement said Bloomberg’s measure was designed as a kind of “war on blacks,” so they are now demanding more than an apology from the former New York City mayor to assert himself to the African American community, according to Newsweek.
Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren returned to her repeated claims of abuse against Bloomberg, drawing attention to a known accusation by one of her pregnant employees who asked her to ‘kill’ her in connection with the baby.
Bloomberg defended himself by saying that since the ninth debate she had been disclosing that she had released her employees in relation to the confidentiality agreements they had as requested by Warren earlier, although she stressed that she had not yet made all the agreements public.
When the moderators returned from the second break, questions revolved around foreign policy, asking each candidate’s opinion on the intervention of U.S. troops in the Middle East.
As The Daily Caller points out, while each of the legislators was critical of the war in the Middle East, none argued for a definitive withdrawal of troops.
The moderators questioned Bloomberg for showing himself as someone in favor of the Chinese regime, who even maintains that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is not a dictator, and the businessman argued that the United States should cultivate relations with China in order to survive.
In relation to the issue, Biden reminded the audience of the concentration camps located in the region of Xinjiang where the dignity of the Uighur ethnic minority is being violated, adding “that any defense of a part of a regime like communist China’s was indefensible,” according to the Daily Caller.
When the moderators asked about the candidates’ opinion on a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and whether the United States should put back its embassy in Tel Aviv, all were in favor of a two-state solution, although none showed their commitment to move the embassy back.