Well everyone, hope you poured a large glass of bubbly and got comfortable, because the Oct. 15 Democratic debate was a doozy. This debate, co-hosted by
The New York Times and CNN, started off hot to say the least, and the Democratic candidates' quotes about impeachment at the Oct. 15 debate did not hold back. I smell drama.
Moderator and CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper started off the Tuesday, Oct. 15 debate by asking the candidates where they stand on the
impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, which was announced on Sept. 24. The White House has characterized it as Democrats' attempt to "weaponize politics" in a statement to Elite Daily. In addition, President Trump has deemed the inquiry "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT" in a tweet, so we know where he stands on the issue. Each candidate supports President Trump's impeachment to varying degrees, but all 12 got the chance to share exactly why they support the matter.
So, get ready everyone, because these presidential candidates did not hold back on impeachment at the debate. Then again, did we expect them to?
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts started off the conversation by stating issues can be bigger than politics. Warren said,
Sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics, and I think that's the cause for this impeachment inquiry. When I made the decision to run for president, I certainly didn't think it was going to be about impeachment. But when the Mueller report came out I read it, all 442 pages, and when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown to a fare-thee-well. That this president had obstructed justice and had done it repeatedly. So at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry. That didn't happen, and look what happened as a result. Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, broke it again this fall. We took a Constitutional oath that is no one is above the law, and that includes the President of the United States. Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over again without consequences. This is about Donald Trump, but understand, this is about the next president, and the next president, and the next president, and the future of this country. The impeachment must go forward.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Warren's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor
Pete Buttigieg asked voters to imagine how they would feel the day after President Trump leaves office. He reminded America that issues like climate change will still be ongoing, no matter who is in the White House. Buttigieg said, I want you to picture what it's going to be like, what it's actually going to feel like in this country the first day the sun comes up after Donald Trump has been president. It starts off feeling like a happy thought, this particular brand of chaos and corruption will be over, but really think of where we'll be. Vulnerable. Even more torn apart by politics than we already are right now, and these big issues from the economy to climate change haven't taken a vacation during the impeachment process. I'm running to be the president that can turn the page and unify a dangerously polarized country tackling those issues that are going to be just as urgent then as they are now.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Buttigieg's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California brought her experience as a former prosecutor to the table, saying she doubts the impeachment process against Trump will be lengthy. Plus, she threw in a classic quote from poet Maya Angelou. Harris said,
He has committed crimes in full sight. I mean it's shocking, but he told us who he was. Maya Angelou told us years ago, listen to someone when they tell us who they are the first time. During that election, Donald Trump told us he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it, and he consistently, since he won, [has] been selling out the American people. He's been selling out our values. He's been selling out American workers. He's been selling out national security, and on this issue of Ukraine, he's been selling out our democracy. Our framers imagined this moment. The moment we would have a corrupt president, and our framers then rightly designed our system of democracy where there would be checks and balances. This is one of those moments, so Congress must act. The reality is that I don't think this impeachment process is going to take very long because as a former prosecutor, I know a confession when I see it, and he did it in plain sight. He's given us the evidence and tried to cover it up putting it in that special server. There's been a clear consciousness of guilt. This will not take very long. Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. He is indeed the most corrupt and unpatriotic president we have ever had.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Harris' remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas gave a nod to military personnel serving the United States, and passionately opined that by not going forward with impeaching President Trump, the American people would be disrespecting those who sacrificed their lives while serving. O'Rourke said,
I think about everyone who’s ever served this country in uniform — we have two examples here on stage tonight, Mayor Buttigieg and Congresswoman Gabbard. Those who have willingly sacrificed their lives to defend this country and our constitution, we are the inheritors of their service and their sacrifice, and we have a responsibility to be fearless in this president's criminality and lawlessness. The fact that as a candidate for the highest office in the land he invited the participation, the invasion, of a foreign power in our democracy. As president he lied to investigators, obstructed justice, fired James Comey — the head of the FBI, tried to fire Mueller ahead of the investigation, then invited President Zelensky to involve himself in our politics as well as China in exchange for favorable trade terms in an upcoming trade deal. If we don't hold him to accountable, if there is not justice, not only have we failed this moment, our Constitution, and our country, we have failed those who have sacrificed and laid their lives down on the line, ad we cannot do that.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on O'Rourke's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Former Vice President Biden, who has been in the middle of the impeachment drama following a whistleblower report that President Trump
asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate the Biden family, stood by his belief that President Trump is "the most corrupt president in modern history." Biden said, This president, and I agree with Senator Sanders, is the most corrupt president in modern history and I think all of our history. And the fact is that this President of the United States he has gone so far as to say since this latest event that in fact he will not cooperate in any way at all, will not allow any witnesses, will not provide any information, will not do anything to cooperate with the impeachment, they have no choice but to move.
Biden later addressed Trump asking Zelensky to investigate his son, Hunter Biden, for business dealings in Ukraine. Biden stood by
his son's public statement on Oct. 14, and focused on "Trump's corruption." Biden said, My son’s statement speaks for itself… what I think is important is we focus on why it’s so important to remove this man from office. … He’s going after me because he knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum. … The fact of the matter is that this is about Trump’s corruption.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Biden's remarks, but did not immediately hear back.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey was asked by Cooper whether fairness is important in an impeachment process, to which Booker stated fairness is key. However, Booker also focused on patriotism, and said that this impeachment process must be done in a way that unites the American people instead of dividing them. Booker said,
This has got to be about patriotism, and not partisanship. I share the same sense of urgency of everybody on this stage, I understand the outrage we all feel, but we have to conduct this process in a way that brings our country together, not rips us apart. …. I swore an oath to do job as a senator, do my duty. This president has violated his. I will do mine.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Booker's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota not only called out President Trump's controversial relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but outright stated that impeaching Trump is a "constitutional duty" that must be done. Klobuchar said, We have a constitutional duty to pursue impeachment, but we also can stand up for America, because this president has not been putting America ahead of its own interests.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Klobuchar's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Businessman Tom Steyer, who appeared at a Democratic debate for the first time, has been an active supporter of impeaching President Trump and created a website titled
Need To Impeach. He brought up his support while discussing the issue. "I started the Need To Impeach movement because I knew there was something wrong with White House," Steyer said.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Steyer's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang expressed his support for impeachment, but stated it won't erase issues that have been occurring in the United States before Trump was elected into office. He also called out decreasing job opportunities due to big businesses such as Amazon. Yang said,
I support impeachment, but we shouldn’t have illusions that impeaching White House will be successful or erases problems that have been happening since before 2016.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Yang's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro brought the receipts by quoting the Mueller report, which pointed out 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice that Trump might have committed, but ultimately could not be proven. The White House has maintained that the report exonerated the president. However, Castro stood by that report, and called it evidence that an impeachment process should be brought against President Trump. Castro said,
We have to recognize that not only did the Mueller report point out 10 different instances where the president tried to obstruct justice or tried to, and he made that call to President Zelensky of the Ukraine, but ... in an ongoing way, [he is] violating his oath office and abusing his power. We have to impeach this president, and a majority of Americans not only support impeachment, they support removal. He should be removed.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Castro's remark, but did not immediately hear back.
Gabbard is a little more hesitant on impeachment. "If impeachment is driven by these hyper partisan interests, it will only further divide this already terribly divided country," she said, noting that some lawmakers were calling for impeachment very early in Trump's term. She said,
The serious issues that have been raised around this phone call he had with the president of Ukraine and many other things around that is what caused me to support the inquiry in the House, and I think that it should continue to play its course out together. All the information, provide that to the American people, recognizing that is the only way forward.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Gabbard's remarks, but did not immediately hear back.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was asked by Cooper whether Congress has any choice but to impeach President Trump, which Sanders immediately responded, "No." Then, he went on to call Trump "the most corrupt president" in the history of the United States. Sanders said,
No, they don’t. In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of this country. It’s not just that he obstructed justice with the Muller report. I think that the House will find him guilty of — worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause. This is a president who is enriching himself while using the Oval Office to do that and that is outrageous. And I think in terms of the Ukrainian incident, the idea that we have a president of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension. So I look forward, by the way not only to a speedy expeditious impeachment process, but Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Sanders' remark, but did not immediately hear back.