Last Thursday, the third Democratic Debate was held in Houston, Texas at Texas Southern University. ABC hosted the event in partnership with Univision.
The debate was moderated by Jorge Ramos, a Univision anchor; Linsey Davis, an ABC News correspondent; George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s chief anchor; and David Muir, another ABC anchor.
The second debates were hosted in Detroit by CNN, and lasted two days because there were twenty people who qualified for the stage. Since then, the round of candidates that were able to qualify for the debates fell to ten.
Thursday, the ten candidates on the stage were Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Julián Castro, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.
The candidates discussed healthcare, gun control, climate change, immigration, trade policy, and racial and social issues.
The candidates appeared to agree that all American citizens should have healthcare, and that was the most heated topic of discussion. Candidates disagree on how to make a healthcare system that works for everyone. Biden wants to keep The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) intact and improve it instead of dumping it and starting from scratch. Klobuchar agreed, also pointing out that she, like Biden, does not want to ban private insurance. Both Warren and Sanders would remove private insurance in their healthcare plans, only allowing people to have Medicare or a similar public plan. Biden and others criticized Warren and Sanders because their plans would cost trillions and raise taxes on the middle class.
In the wake of the El Paso shooting, O’Rourke has spoken vociferously about gun control and removing assault weapons out of the hands of citizens. One highlight in discussing the gun debate was when Beto O’Rourke said he was going to make gun buyback programs mandatory so that people would have their AR-15’s confiscated; “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Biden chimed in that he is the only one running who has beaten the NRA in the past and he supports voluntary gun buyback programs. The candidates are pretty split on whether they would make these programs mandatory or voluntary, and some are calling the mandatory programs the equivalent of gun confiscation.
BallotPedia statistics show that Joe Biden got the most minutes spoken of any candidate with Elizabeth Warren following. Harris, Sanders, and Booker follow them.
This was the third of twelve debates scheduled for the 2020 Presidential Election. The next debate will be on October 15 near Columbus, Ohio. The New York Times and CNN will host it together.