Twelve candidates debated for three hours last night, so we can’t blame you if it was hard to keep up. Here is a look at some of the biggest moments.
You can also read a full recap of the debate here.
Biden defended his son
“He is going after me because he knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum.” — Joe Biden
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said multiple times that neither he nor his son Hunter had done anything wrong with regard to Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, denouncing allegations from President Trump that have led to an impeachment inquiry. Read more here.
Age, and that heart attack
“We are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country. That is how I think I can reassure the American people.” — Bernie Sanders
Two weeks after he had a heart attack, Senator Bernie Sanders fielded a direct question about how he would convince voters of his strength and stamina. Mr. Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren received similar questions. Read more here.
Harris on reproductive rights
“Women will die because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with their bodies.” — Kamala Harris
Senator Kamala Harris expressed anger at the lack of abortion-related debate questions up until that point, and Senator Cory Booker backed her up, saying women “should not be the only ones taking up this cause and this fight.” Read more here.
Warren and Harris on Twitter
“I don’t just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter. I want to push him out of the White House.” — Elizabeth Warren
Ms. Harris criticized Ms. Warren for declining to call on Twitter to suspend Mr. Trump’s account, telling her, “You can’t say you’re for corporate responsibility if it doesn’t apply to everyone.” Read more here.
Syria and the Kurds
“It’s been the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy.” — Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Gabbard on ‘regime change’
“This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.” — Tulsi Gabbard
During the same discussion of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from Syria, Ms. Gabbard denounced “regime change wars” and, unprompted, brought up news reports about her frequent mentions in Russian news outlets. Read more here.
Buttigieg versus O’Rourke
“We can’t wait for purity tests. We have to just get something done.” — Pete Buttigieg
Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Representative Beto O’Rourke picked up where they left off at a gun policy forum two weeks ago, sparring over whether an assault weapons buyback should be voluntary or mandatory. Read more here.
O’Rourke versus Warren
“Sometimes I think that Senator Warren is more focused on being punitive or pitting some part of the country against the other.” — Beto O’Rourke
Mr. O’Rourke attacked Ms. Warren over her proposed wealth tax, saying she was being divisive instead of “lifting people up and making sure that this country comes together around those solutions” — an attack that struck some as gendered. Ms. Warren said she was “really shocked at the notion that anyone thinks I’m punitive.” Read more here.
Warren versus Buttigieg and Klobuchar
“We heard it tonight, a yes-or-no question that didn’t get a yes-or-no answer.” — Pete Buttigieg
Mr. Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar both went after Mr. Warren on “Medicare for all,” accusing her of dodging the question of whether her plan would increase middle-class taxes. Ms. Warren said, as she has before, that overall costs — including premiums, deductibles and co-pays in addition to taxes — would go down for the middle class. Read more here and here.
Trade and automation
“I have been talking to Americans around the country about automation. They are smart. They see what’s happening around them.” — Andrew Yang
The entrepreneur Andrew Yang emphasized the central argument of his campaign: that the loss of jobs to automation makes a universal basic income necessary. Ms. Warren countered that the real problem was trade policy. Read more here.
Should billionaires exist?
“We cannot afford a billionaire class whose greed and corruption has been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years.” — Bernie Sanders
When the moderator Erin Burnett asked Mr. Sanders about his declaration that billionaires should not exist, it opened a lengthy exchange among Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Tom Steyer, who is himself a billionaire. Read more here.
The impeachment question
“Sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics. I think that’s the case with this impeachment inquiry.” — Elizabeth Warren
All of the Democratic candidates support the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, and the moderators pressed them on the political ramifications. Read more here.