- President Donald Trump’s name was mentioned 35 times in the first night of the Democratic Primary Debate.
- Mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio had the most interruptions of the night.
- Beto O’Rourke went bilingual while on stage.
MIAMI – There were winners and there were losers but all ten Democratic candidates had a chance to speak on Wednesday night. The speakers for the first night of debates included Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, Former congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, former congressman John Delaney of Maryland, and Mayor Bill de Blasio of NYC.
Sen. Cory Booker had the most speaking time, clocking in at 10 minutes and 55 seconds total. Gov. Jay Inslee spoke the least during the debates with a time of 4 minutes and 52 seconds.
While Booker had the most time to speak, it was Julian Castro that left the biggest impression of the night. He and fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke began a debate amongst themselves and at one point, O’Rourke started speaking in Spanish.
What The Candidates Had To Say
While each candidate felt strongly on the topic of immigration and how it should be decriminalized in one way or another, it was this issue that started the rift between Castro and O’Rourke.
“We would accept them into this country and follow our own asylum laws,” said O’Rourke. “We would not build walls. We would not put kids in cages.”
Castro took umbrage with these statements and retaliated in his response.
“Let’s be very clear: The reason that they’re separating these little children from their families is that they’re using Section 1325 of that act, which criminalizes coming across the border, to incarcerate the parents and then separate them,” said Castro. “Some of us on this stage have called to end that section, to terminate it. Some, like Congressman O’Rourke, have not.”
A woman’s right to choose was also a key topic on stage. It was this issue that made Gov. Jay Inslee express clarity to the public by saying that he brought the legislation to Washington that would protect women’s rights when it comes to the abortion laws of his state.
“I respect everybody’s goals and plans here, but we do have one candidate that’s actually advanced the ball” on access to abortions,” Inslee said.
However, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota quickly responded to what seemed like a boastful statement. Klobuchar’s response to Inslee was simple and well received by the crowd. She said, “I want to say there are three women up here who fought pretty hard for a woman's right to choose."
The most shocking view brought to the table came from Sen. Cory Booker. Booker believes there is a huge issue happening in America that isn’t being spoken about nearly enough. That issue involves the LGBTQ community and the violence that they continue to endure from the public. More specifically, he wanted to talk about the discrimination happening in the African American trans circle.
“We do not talk enough about trans-Americans, especially African American trans Americans, and the incredibly high rate of murder of murder right now,” said Booker, referencing a string of murders in Texas involving black trans women. “We need to have a president who will fight to protect LGBTQ Americans every single day from violence.”
Women’s rights, immigration policies, and LGBTQ violence were only a few of the topics discussed during Wednesday night’s debates. The consensus for the most off-putting thing to happen on stage was that of Beto O’Rourke speaking in both English and Spanish when talking about immigration policies. You can find a full transcript of the first round via NYTimes.com.
While Sen. Cory Booker spoke the most during the debate, ElectionOdds.com thinks it was Julian Castro that left the biggest impact with his rebuttal to O’Rourke’s statements. That could really help Castro’s poll numbers in the long run.
The second night of debates is happening tonight on the NBC network beginning at 9:00 pm ET. The headliners to take the stage are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. After tonight, there will be a better idea of which Democratic candidate will be in it for the long haul.