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'We need to restore the integrity of the presidency': Democrat candidates target Trump in debate

Only a day after Trump’s impeachment, seven candidates gathered for another debate.

Joe Biden is still seen as the front-runner in the campaign.
Joe Biden is still seen as the front-runner in the campaign.
Image: Chris Carlson/AP/Press Association Images

DEMOCRATIC WHITE HOUSE candidates attacked Donald Trump but also clashed sharply with one another during the Democratic debate last night. 

One day after Trump’s impeachment, seven candidates united to declare the president must be defeated at the 2020 ballot box.

“We need to restore the integrity of the presidency,” said Joe Biden, who accused Trump of “dumbing down” the office “beyond what I even thought he would do”.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who is second in the standings, blasted Trump as “running the most corrupt administration in the modern history of this country”.  

Fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren said the president ignores the poor, to do “everything he can for the wealthy and the well-connected”. 

But after calls for greater moral leadership from the White House and back-and-forths about trade policy, health care and how to lift more Americans out of poverty, the debate took a more aggressive tone. 

election-2020-debate Participants in the Democrat debate. Source: Chris Carlson/AP/Press Association Images

Warren launched her sharpest attacks yet on rival Pete Buttigieg, saying the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has been holding closed-door fundraisers for the wealthy, including at a billionaire-owned “wine cave” in California.

“Your net worth is 100 times mine,” Buttigieg said.

“I don’t sell access to my time,” Warren replied. 

Senator Amy Klobuchar also criticised Buttigieg. 

“I did not come here to listen to this argument. I came here to make a case for progress — and I have never even been to a wine cave,” she quipped.

The final prime-time debate of 2019 featured just seven of the 15 Democrats still in the contest six weeks before the first nomination ballots are cast in Iowa in February.

The debate marks a significant drop from the 10 candidates in November’s debate, and the dozen who crowded the stage in October. 

© – AFP 2019

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