Democratic presidential debate 2019: 5 memorable moments from Tuesday's matchup

Ten candidates took the stage in Detroit on Tuesday night for Part 1 of the second Democratic presidential primary debate, including author Marianne Williamson; Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland; and former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

>> Read more trending news

Here are five memorable moments from the event, which continues with a second crop of candidates Wednesday night:

>> Read the latest from our Washington Insider, Jamie Dupree

1. Warren slams Delaney.

The former Maryland congressman took a swipe at some of his more progressive rivals, arguing that their policy proposals are unrealistic.

"I think Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises, when we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics," Delaney said.

But Warren wasn't having it.

"You know, I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for," she responded. "I don't get it."

>> Watch the video here

2. Williamson's 'dark psychic force' quote goes viral.

One of the most quotable lines of the night came from Williamson, who argued that the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, was rooted in systemic racism and economic injustice.

"This is part of the dark underbelly of American society. The racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight – if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days," she said.

"We need to say it like it is, it's bigger than Flint – it's all over this country, it's particularly people of color – it's particularly people who do not have the money to fight back. And if the Democrats don't start saying it, then why would those people feel that they're there for us and if those people don't feel it, they won't vote for us, and Donald Trump will win."

>> Click here to watch

Afterward, searches for the phrase "dark psychic force" quickly spiked online, according to Google Trends.

3. Buttigieg dismisses Republican criticism of progressive policies.

After some candidates expressed concerns about Republican criticism of progressive health care policies, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor responded with some words of advice.

"It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say," Buttigieg said. "Look, it's true that if we embrace a far-left agenda, they're gonna say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they're gonna do? They're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. So let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there and defend it."

>> Watch the clip here

4. Sanders says he knows Medicare for All is comprehensive because he 'wrote the damn bill.'

When asked whether union workers' health care benefits under Medicare for All would be as good as what they have now, Sanders argued that their coverage would be even better.

"It covers all health care needs," Sanders began. "For senior citizens, it will finally include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses."

But Ryan, unconvinced, fired back: "But you don't know that. You don't know that, Bernie."

"I do know it; I wrote the damn bill," Sanders replied.

>> Watch the moment here

5. Ryan to Sanders: 'You don't have to yell.'

When asked if he is concerned about Sanders' plan to stop the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2040, Ryan instead detailed his own proposal to increase U.S. production of electric cars.

"My plan is to create a chief manufacturing officer so we could actually start making things in the United States again, that would pull the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, work with the private sector, work with investors, emerging tech companies, to dominate the electric vehicle market," Ryan said.

Sanders then defended his own plan.

"I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas," Sanders began. "They could give $1 trillion in tax breaks to billionaires and profitable corporations. They could bail out the crooks on Wall Street. So please don't tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry. And nothing happens unless we do that."

He continued: "Here is the bottom line. We've got to ask ourselves a simple question: 'What do you do with an industry that knowingly, for billions of dollars in short-term profits, is destroying this planet?' I say that is criminal activity that cannot be allowed to continue."

Ryan went for laughs with his response.

"Well, I would just say – I didn't say we couldn't get there until 2040, Bernie. You don't have to yell," Ryan replied. "All I'm saying is we have to invent our way out of this thing. And if we're waiting for 2040 for a ban to come in on gasoline vehicles, we're screwed. So we better get busy now."

>> See the video here

Credit: Paul Sancya/AP

Credit: Paul Sancya/AP

About the Author