A dozen Democratic candidates are onstage at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, northeast of Columbus, for a debate running from 8 to 11 PM ET. Streaming of the debate is available at CNN and The New York Times.
Candidates on stage this evening are:
Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
For this debate, Vice President Biden is at center stage, flanked by Sanders and Warren.
Sanders gets a chance to talk about jobs and focuses first on infrastructure, the Green New Deal and then on helping with education as part of a federal job guarantee.
Yang says “most Americans do not want to work for the Federal government” which isn’t what Sanders says. Says that if the federal government is in charge you get “failed retraining programs and jobs that no one wants” defends his minimum basic income solution.
Booker gets a chance to talk and criticizes those who used the health care debate to attack other candidates. “We are literally using Donald Trump’s lies …” Joins Harris in a strong defense of women’s rights.
Warren asked about losing jobs to automation. Says that the major reason people have lost jobs is bad trade policy and giant corporations that have no loyalty to US workers or communities. Refers to her plan for “accountable capitalism” that includes boards elected by employees, and gives more power to unions.
Castro asked about the effect of automation. Says he’s willing to pilot something like universal basic income. Comes back to how Trump has “broken” his promise to Ohio — which is something that everyone should be saying — and goes to a green company creating jobs in building wind turbines.
Yang jumps in to say that automation is a big issue. Talks about self-serve kiosks and warns about self-driving trucks.
Warren says “we’re all looking for how we strengthen America’s middle class.” Talks to her plan to strength and expand Social Security. Addresses an issue Yang brought up about those who stay home to care for family.
Gabbard asked to come in. Says people are afraid about automation. Says that she agrees with Yang and endorses UBI. Then seems to agree with Warren saying the issue is bad trade deals. And then something about … how people are defined by jobs.
Booker gets first shot at a question about how to get GM to bring auto jobs back from Mexico. Starts off by saying that raising minimum wage to $15 would put more money in people’s pockets that Yang’s UBI proposal, then talks about trade deals that give incentives to companies moving jobs out of the country. Speaks to his support for unions at all levels.
O’Rourke gets asked the GM question, says the company is paying $0 in taxes while Ohio is providing them millions in breaks and incentives. Talks a lot about how to improve conditions for workers, all of it good, but didn’t really say how he would get GM to bring back jobs.
Sanders asked about his plan to “tax billionaires out of existence.” Sanders talks to the massive disparity as a “moral and economic outrage” and we can’t include “a billionaire class” that’s at war with American workers.
Steyer catches the “you are the only billionaire on the stage” follow-up. Says Sander is right, that there has been a 40-year organized attack on labor. Says “I would undo every Republican tax cut,” but says that equally important is that “our government has failed” by allowing corporations to collect all the gains while workers get nothing.
Biden is asked about his opposition “demonizing rich people.” Biden says he would raise the corporate gains tax to the highest tax rate, that there are $600 billion in uncollected taxes, that “we should make it clear we are going to raise tax burdens on the wealthy, and reduce the tax burden on everyone else.” Biden says everyone is trying to get their point across but doesn’t have time … and CNN cuts him off when he’s doing well.
Warren goes through the benefits that could be gained by just adding a 2% tax on income over $50 million. Challenges everyone to support a wealth tax.