Round two of the Democratic presidential primary debates is underway in Detroit, with 10 candidates facing off in the first of back-to-back nights on CNN.
Candidates are hoping to use the precious few minutes of debate time they’ll have to make a lasting impression on the biggest audience some of them will see. After this round, candidates will have to meet thresholds for donor figures and polling levels that are twice as high as they were for the first two debates.
Immigration and health care were among the key issues expected to come up. “Medicare for All” may be discussed at greater length on Tuesday and Wednesday, since the candidates have some disagreements over how single-payer health care can be implemented.
2020 Democratic primary debates
More in 2020 Democratic primary debates
Bernie Sanders, the candidate who popularized “Medicare for All” during the 2016 Democratic primaries, will be standing onstage next to Elizabeth Warren, who has also embraced single-payer health care. Although the two progressive senators have a civil relationship, they may take the opportunity to differentiate themselves on the debate stage.
Sanders and Warren could also be targeted by John Delaney, John Hickenlooper and Steve Bullock, more moderate candidates who oppose Medicare for All and are seeking to raise their political profiles.
The candidates took the stage shortly after 8 p.m. ET in Detroit’s Fox Theater, followed by a rendition of the national anthem. Each will get one minute to deliver an opening statement. The debate is expected to run until about 10:30 p.m.
Follow along below for the key moments from the second Democratic primary debate.
Watch CBSN for live coverage before, during and after the debate
Candidates take the stage as debate gets underway
8:04 p.m.: The 10 candidates in tonight’s round are taking their places on stage. Each will deliver an opening statement before taking questions from moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon.
Here’s who’s participating in tonight’s debate, from left to right on stage:
Marianne WilliamsonTim RyanAmy KlobucharPete ButtigiegBernie SandersElizabeth WarrenBeto O’RourkeJohn HickenlooperJohn DelaneySteve Bullock
— Stefan Becket
O’Rourke to try to bounce back in debate performance
6:33 p.m.: Beto O’Rourke’s campaign is hoping to bounce back from what was widely perceived as a lackluster debate performance in Miami.
Since the last debate, O’Rourke has seen a slip in polls and fundraising. Once a darling of the Democratic Party in his race to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, O’Rourke has struggled to gain traction in the Democratic primary.
A campaign official tells CBS News that O’Rourke is hoping to “connect with voters like he does on the ground,” and says that during the last round of debates he did not come across as himself.
Aides say O’Rourke’s goal heading into Detroit is to convey a clear sense of who he is to voters.
— Tim Perry
Rules for the debate
According to CNN, candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions from the moderators and 30 seconds for rebuttals and responses. Candidates at the debate will deliver opening statements and closing remarks.
Second Democratic debate schedule
Dates: Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31Time: 8 to about 10:30 p.m. ET on CNNModerators: Don Lemon, Jake Tapper and Dana BashLocation: Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan
How to watch the second 2020 Democratic debate
— Grace Segers
Grijalva, who backed Sanders in 2016, endorses Warren
4:18 p.m.: Elizabeth Warren unveiled a number of endorsements on Tuesday, including from Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the former chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Grijalva endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016.
“I’ve worked closely with Elizabeth and have seen up close her passion for working people and those who’ve been left behind,” Grijalva said in a statement. “She is a bold, persistent, visionary leader who cares about working families — and because of this, she’s won my endorsement.”
Warren and Sanders, who have long been friendly, may be forced to come to blows during the debate on Tuesday night in an effort to differentiate their messages.
“Bernie and I have been friends for a long, long time,” Warren told Politico this week. She added that she “can’t imagine why it wouldn’t” continue to be a civil relationship on the debate stage.
Warren was also endorsed Tuesday by Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.
— Grace Segers
Whitmer: “People in Michigan don’t care about the president’s Twitter feed”
What are Michigan voters looking for at Detroit Democratic debate?
3:28 p.m.: In an interview with CBS News’ Caitlin Huey-Burns, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said that candidates onstage should try to focus on “dinner table issues” instead of reacting to the president.
“People have been calling me to see advice about what’s happening in Michigan and what Michiganders want to hear. It really is about the dinner table issues,” Whitmer said. “These are the fundamentals that Michiganders want to hear and I suspect that’s what lots of Americans are interested in, in this debate and this week and also as this election matures.”
After President Trump narrowly won Michigan by 11,000 votes in 2016, Whitmer won the governorship in 2018. She said “reaching out to everyone” was necessary to win a swing state like Michigan.
“As a candidate, I went into all 83 counties in Michigan, and this is a huge state. But I did it because I think it’s critical to show up. When you show up and you actually listen, you can’t stray from the things that actually matter because you’re listening and you’re learning every day. Stay focused on the things that really matter,” Whitmer said.
“People in Michigan don’t care about the president’s Twitter feed. We care about feeding our families,” Whitmer continued.
— Emily Tillett
Sanders’ campaign manager talks debate strategy
Bernie Sanders campaign manager on Detroit debate strategy
2:59 p.m.: Faiz Shakir, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, says his candidate is focused on portraying a “record of consistency” on the issues at Tuesday night’s debate.
Shakir, speaking to CBS News’ Caitlin Huey-Burns, says Sanders has been fighting for key issues like health care longer than any other candidate and has been a “model of steadiness.”
“If you want a candidate you can trust to do what they say they can do, it’s Bernie Sanders and we need to lean in on that,” said Shakir.
Asked if Sanders intended on sparring with his colleague in the Senate Elizabeth Warren to make for a blockbuster appearance on the debate stage, Shakir said that would be “unlikely.”
“They’ve been friends for a long time … They see these issues similarly,” Shakir said of the Warren-Sanders relationship. “They’ve been allies on the most important issues.” He said once the packed Democratic field narrows down, Sanders will go head-to-head on the issues.
— Emily Tillett
Candidates will likely be asked about Trump’s racist attacks
2:00 p.m.: The ten candidates on stage will likely be asked about President Trump’s recent racist comments targeting lawmakers of color.
Earlier this month, the president received strong criticism from Democrats and a handful of Republicans for suggesting Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
This week, Mr. Trump again singled out a lawmaker of color, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, prompting critics to accuse him of sowing racial animus to galvanize segments of his electoral base ahead of the 2020 election. The president denounced Cummings as a “brutal bully” and called his predominately African American district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
Although nearly all Democrats have criticized Mr. Trump remarks, it will be noteworthy to see if any of the presidential hopefuls on stage will advocate for Democrats to concentrate on condemning the president’s policies rather than his controversial rhetoric — which some see as a distraction.
All of the candidates who will be on stage on Tuesday evening are white.
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez
Delaney blasts Medicare for All plans as “bad politics”
2:13 p.m.: Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney slammed health care plans rolled out by some of his opponents including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, saying a Medicare for All agenda is a “terrible plan.”
“Senator Sanders has a plan, Senator Warren has basically outsourced her health care plan to him as have many of the other candidates and it’s a terrible plan. It’s bad policy and will lose to Donald Trump if we run on it. So yes, I plan on making that point that medicare for all is bad policy and it’s bad politics,” Delaney told CBS News’ Caitlin Huey-Burns of his debate plans for Tuesday night.
Delaney said a Medicare for All agenda speaks to what a majority of the Democratic contenders’ campaigns consist of: “Impossible promises or slogans posing as policy.”
— Emily Tillett