Last night the Democrats had their 11th debate, the next to last of the primary season. Former Vice President Joe Biden faced off against Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), a self-described “democratic socialist.”

The event was aired on CNN and was the first primary debate with no live audience because of precautions taken due to the coronavirus. The debate gave Democrat voters in four states one more chance to see and hear from their candidates before heading to the polls. Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio hold their primaries on Tuesday, March 17.

Here’s a roundup of three of the top moments from last night’s debate.

  1. Vice President Biden Committed to Selecting a Woman for Vice President

Amy Langenfold, a law professor from Arizona, asked both candidates about issues related to women. In his answer, Biden promised to promote women if he’s elected president. “I’ve committed that if I’m elected president and have an opportunity to appoint somebody to the courts, I’ll appoint the first black woman to the courts. It’s required that they have a representative now, it’s long overdue,” Biden began. “Also, I commit that I will in fact pick a woman to be vice president,” he added.

Senator Sanders was unwilling to make such a firm commitment when CNN host Dana Bash pressed him if he would make the same pledge that Biden did. “In all likelihood, I will pick a woman,” Senator Sanders said.

  1. Biden Pledged to Stop All Deportations During His First 100 Days 

Vice President Biden pledged that in his first 100 days as president, not a single person would be deported. “In the first 100 days of my administration, no one will be deported at all. From that point on, the only deportations that will take place are commissions of felonies in the United States of America,” Biden said.

The CNN moderator followed up on Biden’s assertion. “To be clear, only felons get deported and everyone else gets to stay,” she asked. “Yes, yes,” Biden answered.

President Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale seized upon the former Vice President’s comments by blasting the announcement in a tweet. “He’d have zero deportations for the first 100 days including criminals and after that deport only felons. Trashes the rule of law and makes us less safe. Insanity,” Parscale wrote. 

  1. Sanders Contended He is More in Favor of Free Abortions than Biden

In another moment, Senator Sanders asked Vice President Biden about his previous support for the Hyde Amendment. This amendment prohibits the direct funding of abortions through Medicaid with taxpayer dollars.

Right now, a woman’s right to control her own body is under unprecedent assault,” Senator Sanders began. “In the past, you have voted for the Hyde Amendment. Is that still your view?”

“It is not my view. It is not my view,” Biden answered. “Additionally, I would send immediately to the desk of the United States Congress, if I’m elected president, a codification of Roe v. Wade. I think it is a woman’s right to choose. I think it’s a woman’s opportunity to make that decision.” 

Vice President Biden also alluded to the fact that he hasn’t always been as pro-abortion as he currently is. Though he has a 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), he said he wasn’t sure if he’s always had a perfect score.

“One of the differences is I have been consistent. I have always believed in [abortion], and you have not. I’m glad to hear you have changed your views,” Senator Sanders concluded.

The four primaries that are planned for March 17 will provide further clarification on whether Vice President Biden or Senator Sanders will be the Democrat nominee for president. However, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) has considered postponing his state’s primary due to coronavirus fears 

A day is a long time in politics, and the nearly eight months left until the general election on November 3, 2020 is practically an eternity. Stay tuned for the bumpy ride.


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Screenshot from CNN