Democratic Presidential Debate Recap from Detroit

Insider NJ's Jay Lassiter gives a recap of what happened during the first night of the Democratic Presidential Debates in Detroit.

(Detroit) –

If you missed NIGHT 1 of the Democratic Presidential debates, I’ve paraphrased most of it for you. Let’s go!!


WOW, that was a stirring version of the National Anthem.


Governor Steve Bullock of Montana goes first. Folksy.

Marianne Williamson from (????crazytown) is more convincing when she waves her hands.

John Delaney reminds me of  Florida Senator Rick Scott. He and April have four amazing daughters.

Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio is putting me to sleep. Bland and uninspiring.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper stammered a bit then steadied myself then stammered some more.

Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota stressed integrity and I’m convinced.

Beto O’Rourke is still in this? No, seriously, didn’t Mayor Pete gobble up all the bandwidth?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg from South Bend. Best so far. Got a lot into 60 seconds.

Elizabeth Warren connects so well and nailed her opening statement. She echoed some of what Mayor Pete said only better.

Senator Bernie Sanders cites insurance stat and all I can think of is Larry David. Cites homeless population. Hits his same themes.



Healthcare first topic, Medicare for All. Bernie goes first and reminds us there are lots of problems with health insurance. Canada’s only a mile away where healthcare is a human right.

Former Rep John Delaney rejoined that people like healthcare through their jobs. What a crank talking about the America way.

Elizabeth Warren steps in to restore order. Tells Delaney to stop citing GOP talking points. She wants to remind the crown of her friend with ALS who’s growing broke while dying.

Governor Bullock tells a story about his son who almost died but he’s grinning and that’s awkward.

Mayor Pete jumps in and says we we’re paying to much for insured- and uninsured people.

Pete says it’s a false choice: Medicare for everyone who’s uninsured or underinsured. Everyone else keeps their plan.

Senator Klobuchar is smirking as she takes her questions. She’s never lost an election and stresses her toughness. “People can’t wait,” she said.

Senator Warren is back up to remind us that drug companies and insurance firms are doing great.

Hickenlooper stressed choice. He sounds great.

Warren said we’ve tried that before.

Marianne Williamson sounds crazy and I agree with her that Bernie is too far left on that.

Mayor Pete says stop worrying about what the GOP says, they’ll call us socialists regardless.

Bernie’s up again and sounds like Larry David. Canadians pay 1/10th for insulin as we do here.

Tim Ryan said move Medicare down to 50. That’s a good idea right?

Bernie says insurance should cover dental and hearing aids. He’s right.

Is Delaney up there to troll the Democrats? He seems so mad and points a lot.

Bernie tells Delaney to take several seats, crowd roars, Delaney crows that Bernie’s math is wrong. He thinks healthcare for all is extreme.


Mayor Pete sounds reasonable. “It’s a stain on the United States of America that we haven’t had the will to get it done,” Pete said.

When Beto says “in my administration” it doesn’t sound credible.

Liz Warren said “I’ve seen the cages with babies. The only way to fix is to decriminalize” illegal border crossing. That gives Trump tool to separates families she says.

“They aren’t criminals. They are victims fleeing violence,” Bernie said.

Pete can’t get a word in edgewise and looks antsy.



Mayor Pete: “This epidemic has hit my community far too many times. It’s the worst part of being Mayor.”

Hickenlooper could have shined here and missed it.

Klobuchar cites NRA as the problems.

”I was a junior in high school when Columbine happened,” Mayor Pete.

Klobuchar: NRA NRA NRA! “The people are with us!!”

Governor Bullock says it’s a public health crisis. DC is captured by dark money.

Beto fades a little bit each and every time he speaks.

(thank God because this is exhausting!)



Hickenlooper says Bernie might as well FedEx the win to Trump.

Bernie cites all the polls that have him beating Trump nationally and in swing states PA, MI, WI.

Hickenlooper is being ornery and Bernie isn’t having it.

”This is not radical,” Bernie citing all the nations who provide universal healthcare.

Congressman Ryan is sneering,

Beto says Texas is a swing state.

”30-35% of my voters voted for President Trump,” the Montana governor said.

“I know how to fight  and I know how to win,” Warren said. “We can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in. I am not afraid.

Delaney again doubles down on the cranky and Liz smacks him down.

Bernie: “Detroit was nearly destroyed with bad trade policy.”

Klobuchar reminds us she wins in red districts.

Beto talks about leadership unconvincingly.



Liz has a plan. Innovate and create. R&D, 1,200,000 manufacturing jobs.

Hickenlooper isn’t a fan of Green New Deal.

Liz reminds us she put a real policy on the table.

Tim Ryan is unconcerned about fuel efficiency. Makes good points about agriculture contribution to global warming. Interesting point, then ties it into healthcare. His best answer yet.

Bernie is tired of democrats who are scared of big idea.

“Don’t tell me we can’t take on the fossil fuel industry!” Bernie said. “On this issue there is no  choice. We have to be aggressive.”


Mayor Pete finally gets the nod and he blisters Trump, mocks Trump for pretending to be disabled to get out of military duty in Vietnam. Crowd approved.

Klobuchar has a plan for Flint.

Marianne Williamson is working my last nerves. Mocks wonkiness.


”Hate crimes are on the rise,” Beto said, then cites a mosque that was burned down in Texas.

Hickenlooper never looked whiter then he dories right now talking about race.

“We need to call out white supremacy for what it is: domestic terrorism,”  Senator Warren said to thunderous applause.

Mayor Pete defends his record on race in South Bend. Not as convincing as he needs to be.

Not all Trump voters are racist, Klobuchar says and I believe her. She brought up childcare. First time that came up tonite.

Bernie stresses his long track record sticking up for black people. He has a a plan to triple funding to distressed schools.


(Skipped this one but it sounded like Liz won this round, judging from the crowd reaction.)


Mayor Pete’s reply about student loans was pretty good but not great. He doesn’t wanna wipe away student debt.

Bernie cites 1% holds more wealth than 90% of the rest of us.

Marianne Williamson made a lot of sense here. College helps people thrive which makes is economic stimulus.



Mayor Pete says its not age it’s about vision.

Bernie says his vision is superior. His vision means no contribution from SuperPACS.


BULLOCK ended okay but can we do this without his next time?

WILLIAMSON ended badly why is she here?

DELANEY is still mad.

RYAN says it’s not about left of right, it’s about new and better.

HICKENLOOPER ends with a metaphor that’s hard to follow. He’s trying to say he’s got a track record. “Ive done what most of these people have only talked about,” he said.

KLOBUCHAR Ends with a story about an opioid death. Pretty powerful. Did you know she can win in Michigan? She’ll govern with integrity.

O’ROURKE reminded us we’re divided. Says Texas’ electoral votes are in play.

BUTTIGIEG says out country is in trouble. GDP doing up and life expectancy going down. But it’s not too late he promises.

WARREN said her tuition was $50/semesters when she went to collect. “Government is on the side of the rich and powerful,” she added. Her ending lacked vigor.

SANDERS calls Trump the most dangerous president in History.  Cites prison industrials complex. “Stand up!” He cried, closing the night’s debate.










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