The first set of Democratic debates for the 2020 presidential race are off to quite a start. The second portion of the first Democratic presidential debate took place on Thursday, June 27, just one night after the first round. Needless to say, viewers have a lot of opinions on the 10 candidates taking the stage and their various policy stances, opinions, and even general debate performance. What better place to share those opinions that Twitter? These memes about Kamala Harris' "food fight" clapback during the Democratic debate has social media cheering so hard.
Night one of the debates featured half the eligible candidates on the debate stage. Presidential hopefuls such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) all got some time to speak about issues important to them and the American people (and occasionally get the meme treatment). Night two featured the rest of the eligible candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
Night two of the 2020 Democratic debates proved to be quite different from night one. While the stage remained relatively civil for the first few questions, the second round of candidates quickly started interjecting and talking over their opponents' comments. Many of the candidates erupted in a heated (and loud) debate over the influence of younger and older generations after California Rep. Eric Swalwell used Biden's own words about "passing the torch" against him. The stage broke out into yelling crosstalk as every candidate tried to get a word in while the moderators tried to ask Harris a question. Amid the raised voices, the California senator lifted her hands and delivered a line that was worthy of a standing ovation.
"Hey guys, you know what, America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we're going to put food on their table," Harris said, prompting raucous cheers from the audience.
Safe to say, Harris' clapback had Twitter completely reeling, and social media couldn't wait to applaud the politician for her delivery.
One thing is certain, the June 27 debate is much more heated than the one that came before it. Even though candidates only have one minute to answer a question, many of them have exceeded that time, and have tried to chime in on answers without being asked to do so by the moderators.
Many second night candidates shared their preparation processes ahead of the debates. In a June 20 interview, Sanders told Face The Nation reporter Margaret Brennan that the tricky aspect of this debate would be that so many people would be up on stage, giving everyone relatively little time to speak. Unsurprisingly, he thought the best way to approach the debate would be to figure out the points you want to make and prepare for any inevitable attacks.
According to CNN, Biden also prepared for his evening on the stage by studying his own record and preparing to respond if and when his record is attacked. Another night two candidate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), has reportedly been preparing with mock debates since May, per CNN.
Although the field may already seem so full with 20 candidates, not everyone running got to participate in this first round of debates. The debates feature candidates who either raised money from at least 65,000 donors — with a minimum of 200 donors from 20 states — or candidates who polled at 1% or above in three different surveys recognized by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Out of the 24 Democrats who have announced their candidacy, four didn't debate during the first round. These candidates include: Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida. Although they weren't up on stage during this first round, they might be able to participate in one of the upcoming debates if they meet the DNC's criteria.
The second round of Democratic primary debates will take place on July 30 and July 31, and be hosted by CNN. A total of 12 presidential primary debates have been scheduled by the DNC so if you missed these two, don't sweat it. There's plenty more where that came from.