(KWWL) – The first night of debate is over for ten Democratic presidential hopefuls.
KWWL spoke to our political analyst, Dr Chris Larimer with the University of Northern Iowa, before the debate. He said one of the biggest challenges the candidates face is standing out.
“How do you respond in a way that voters are going to remember, 3, 4, 6 months from now?” said Larimer.
It was the first of two nights of debate. Many of the candidates fell along party lines for a variety of issues.
“The American people deserve a president who will put your interests above that of the rich and powerful,” said Representative Tulsi Gabbard.
The debate took off in the first hour, particularly on the topic of healthcare.
“Kids who don’t have healthcare are not going to succeed in school,” said Senator Cory Booker.
Tension arose over healthcare as well as immigration. Other topics included the economy, gun violence among children, and climate change.
“They won’t just die in mass shootings. They’ll die in alleys, backyards, playgrounds,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren on the topic of gun violence.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro challenged many of his competitors’ policies and also those of President Trump.
“If I were president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid of Trump’s zero tolerance policy,” said Castro.
Other candidates also took shots at the president.
“This president literally every single day ten minutes away from going to war, one tweet away from going to war,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Many candidates also questioning the direction of the party.
“We have got to change the center of gravity of the Democratic Party from being coastal, and elitist, and Ivy League, which is the perception, to somebody from the forgotten communities who have been left behind for the last 30 years,” said Representative Tim Ryan.