The seventh Democratic presidential candidate debates took place Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa. The candidates were peppered with questions on a range of issues, including U.S. military action in Iran, health care and foreign policy.
Here are some comments from each of the seven candidates:
Former Vice President Joe Biden, called his 2002 vote to authorize the use of U.S. military force in Iraq a “mistake” but pivoted to his overall record. “I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to give the president the authority to go to war. … It was a mistake.” However, “I acknowledged that. I think my record overall on everything I’ve ever done, I’m prepared to compare it to anybody on this stage,” he said.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said if elected, he would seek a three-year expiration date on legislation authorizing the use of U.S. military overseas. “When I am president, anytime, which I hope will never happen, but anytime I am compelled to use force and seek that authorization, we will have a three-year sunset, so that the American people are included, not only in the decision about whether to send troops, but whether to continue.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar, responding to a question on foreign policy, said she would leave some U.S. combat troops in Iraq, saying, “I would leave some troops there, but not in the level that Donald Trump is taking us right now.” She added that, if elected, she would keep a small number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, performing counterterrorism and training duties.
Senator Bernie Sanders, in answering a question about making affordable child care a priority if elected president, said, “Hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Tax breaks for billionaires and then tell moms and dads, we cannot have high-quality affordable child care. That is wrong.”
Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and environmentalist, speaking about U.S. corporations’ affect on the health care system, said, “We’re spending way too much because corporations own the system. And we’re not negotiating against those corporations. And we’ve given tax cuts to the richest Americans and the biggest corporations for decades. That’s all this is. We have corporations who are having their way with the American people and people are suffering.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren, in discussing whether Sanders made a comment about the electability of a woman as president, said, “The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women: Amy (Klobuchar) and me. And the only person who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the past 30 years is me.”