The Race for President

The October Debate

The Race for President

Kate Ferenchick, Staff Writer

As many Harriton students might know, the democratic debate was last week. Some students might have watched it. For those who did not, I will give a general overview, the frontrunners of the debate, and all you need to know.


The fourth Democratic debate kicked off in Westerville, Ohio on October 15th for the 2020 presidential election. On the debate stage, twelve eager candidates fought for why they should be the Democratic nominee. The candidates discussed their policies on Syria, taxes, and many other issues. The four frontrunners were Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders while Pete Buttigeg was following close behind them.


 To start, the candidates were asked about their views of President Trump and the ongoing impeachment inquiry. Consensus is rare, but in this situation, all candidates agreed that Trump had to be impeached for his unpresidential collusion with the Ukraine.

Biden was asked about his son, Hunter, who has been pulled in the muddle of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. He replied that he would not like to contribute time to explain his views on it because he believed it did not relate to Trump’s collusion.

Warren was asked about taxing the middle class. After she could not confirm that taxes would not go up for the middle class, Buttigeg saw an oppurtunity to pounce, stating, “Well, we heard it tonight, a yes or no question that didn’t get a yes or no answer.” Buttigeg, usually not on the offense in past debates, surprised many.

After the rebuttal, Buttigeg took another dig at Warren when Bernie Sanders stated his economic plan about taxing the rich, saying, “well, at least that’s a straightforward answer,” He surprised viewers once more: he was in it to win it. Warren suffered many attacks from her fellow candidates, but it made it clear that she was a frontrunner that others need to watch out for.

Giving Warren a break, Sanders turned to Biden, stating that Biden should back his plan but he did not have courage. Before Biden could respond, Harris changed the topic to reproductive women’s rights, which Booker agreed on, claiming “Women are people. And people deserve to control their own bodies,” The crowd cheered.

After touching on the candidate’s plans for job growth, a commentator asked Sanders if he wants to tax billionaires out of existence, a move to aggravate Tom Steyer, a fellow billionaire on stage. After Sanders stated that he ultimately wants to, Steyer surprisingly agreed.

Warren commented that all the other candidates supported billionaires, excluding her and Bernie. The other candidates took offense and shot back. Klobuchar said that just because they differ in ideas and plans, does not mean they do not have good ideas. After a few minutes of Warren defending herself from bitter attacks, CNN called for a break.

The candidates tackled the issue of President Trump’s removal of troops from Syria. Many candidates agreed that he did not handle it well. Tulsi Gabbard, who has been questioned about defending the evil Syrian leader, claims it is a regime war and asks for military defense. Buttigeg, a Navy veteran, called her out, saying she was “dead wrong”. In the end, all the candidates agreed that President Trump is strengthening Russia in a concerning way, and it should be changed.

The topic, turning to gun control, created a brawl between O’Rourke and Buttigieg, who have strongly different plans. “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal,” Buttigieg said to O’Rourke, who responded by saying Buttigieg’s position was a “slap in the face” to gun violence survivor groups.

After another break, the runners were questioned on big corporations, and questions such as breaking up Facebook, to which most said yes. Harris asked Warren to stand with her on trying to get Trump banned from Twitter. When Warren declined, Harris took a jab, stating, “You can’t say you’re for corporate responsibility if it doesn’t apply to everyone.”

The moderators moved onto reproductive health, a safe topic where there is no battle. All the candidates agree that Trump’s agenda oppresses women’s rights to control their own body. With that, Buttigeg made the point that if the Supreme Court is not overhauled, the conservative majority might remove Roe vs. Wade, a court case that only uneducated people want to remove. Many agreed with him.

At one point, Biden declared that Warren and Sanders both have insufficient Medicare plans. Sanders and Warren both attacked his statement, and Warren argued that she has helped Obama more than Biden. Buttigeg weighed in, stating that the debate seems to always go back to the Obama administration and that they need to move onto more important things.

Who surprised us: Buttigeg took the offense and was engaged in the conversation in a way he usually is not. Warren and Sanders also had a good debate, putting forth strong ideas.

Who let us down: Harris barely surfaced in the debate and said nothing substantial. Biden, defending himself, but poorly.

The debate gave us good insight on where the candidates stand on each of these fundamental policies. The battle for the Democratic nomination will continue.