It's that time again, everyone. As Americans adjust to the chillier weather and unpack our winter coats that have been in storage, cozying up to TVs and computer screens sounds like an ideal night in. As the country prepares for the next round of presidential debates, some voters might be asking: will Bernie Sanders be at the Democratic debate on Oct. 15? You can expect to see him there.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont experienced a heart attack and underwent surgery to place two stents to clear a blocked artery. Since then, he's been taking a break from the campaign trail in order to recover. However, it looks like the senator isn't letting the surgery stop him from taking part in the next Democratic presidential debate, because CNN confirmed on Oct. 3 that Sanders would take the stage in Westerville, Ohio and attend the Oct. 15 Democratic debate alongside 11 other candidates.
Sanders will join fellow candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, entrepreneur Tom Steyer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. This will be Steyer's first debate appearance, and Gabbard will be back on stage after not making the cut for the Sept. 12 debate.
At 78 years old, Sanders is the oldest of the Democratic candidates, but clearly he isn't letting that stop him from from pursuing the White House. Following news of the senator's heart surgery, politicians and fellow 2020 candidates took to Twitter to wish Sanders a healthy recovery, and supported them in the process.
While the Democratic debates can be heated, the Oct. 15 debate might be the juiciest one yet. After all, it's the first one under the shadow of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, which is expected to be a talking point among candidates. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she was opening an official impeachment inquiry against Trump on Sept. 24, which was spurred by a Sept. 18 Washington Post article that reported a whistleblower filed a complaint concerning a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the conversation, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The White House characterized the investigation as Democrats' attempts to "weaponize politics" in a statement to Elite Daily, and the president appeared to refer to it as "presidential harassment" in a tweet.
Trump has stood by his comments that Ukraine should investigate Biden, and doubled down on his stance when he told reporters on Oct. 3 that China should also look into the family. In an emailed statement to Elite Daily, Biden's Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield responded to Trump's comment as "a grotesque choice of words" and stated the president's actions represent "an ongoing abuse of power." Bedingfield said,
What Donald Trump just said on the South Lawn of the White House was this election's equivalent of his infamous 'Russia, if you're listening' moment from 2016 — a grotesque choice of lies over truth and self over the country. The White House itself has admitted that Donald Trump tried to bully a foreign country into lying about the domestic opponent he's afraid to look in the eye next November. ... It could not be more transparent: Donald Trump is terrified that Joe Biden will beat him like a drum.
Since candidate Biden is right in the middle of this whistleblower drama with Trump, there's a very good chance it'll be brought up during the Oct. 15 debate. Plus, I have a feeling a few candidates will have some thoughts to share concerning the impeachment inquiry. One thing is for sure, Sanders isn't missing this.