After a first wave of contenders including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had their shot last night, ten more candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination took the stage in Detroit tonight for a lively — and loud! — debate on CNN.
Former vice president Joe Biden was joined by California senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey senator Cory Booker, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand and six more Democrats vying to take on Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. And things got fiery early, with moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon doing their best to keep things civil… and keep the crowd quiet.
Among the night’s notable moments:
* As the candidates first took the stage, Biden jokingly asked Harris to “go easy on me, kid,” referring to their heated battles in the last debate.
* Opening statements by New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Booker were both interrupted by protestors in the crowd shouting, “Fire Pantaleo!” (They were referring to NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who has not yet been charged for his role in the death of Eric Garner.) Booker got the worst of it, but CNN did allow him to pause and finish his statement in full.
* A long, mind-numbing debate on health care pitted Biden against Harris once again, with Biden slamming the high cost of her Medicare For All proposal (and calling the idea that it’d be free to consumers “a bunch of malarkey”), and Harris hitting back against the massive profits made by private health insurance companies each year.
* Another interruption came during Biden’s answer on immigration reform, with a heckler chanting, “Three million deportation!” referring to the number of undocumented immigrants deported during the Obama administration. Former HUD secretary Julian Castro pounced on the opportunity to hit Biden on that statistic, saying: “It looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past, and one hasn’t.” Booker piled on by chiding Biden for his habit of invoking Obama’s legacy: “You can’t do it when it’s convenient, and then dodge it when it’s not.”
* Booker also slammed Biden for his record on criminal justice reform, accusing him of throwing drug users behind bars for life just to appear “tough on crime.” When Biden tried to take shots at the crime rate in Booker’s native Newark, Booker fired back with an old saying from his childhood: “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid, and you don’t even know the flavor.”
* Gillibrand got off probably the best one-liner of the night, though, when she claimed: “The first thing that I’m going to do when I’m President is, I am going to Clorox the Oval Office.”
If you’d still like to hear more from the candidates, a third set of Democratic debates is scheduled to air Sept. 12 and 13 via ABC News and Univision.
Choose up to three Night 2 candidates that impressed you the most — and who has the best chance to defeat Trump — and then hit the comments to discuss your choices.