Highlights From the March Democratic Debate

The debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders was hosted by CNN and Univision. It took place in Washington, D.C., because of concerns over the coronavirus.

Comments: 228

  1. Would you declare National Lockdown? asks Dana Bash. Sorry Biden and Sanders--both giving political too long winded answer. It would've shown courage to step up and just admit this. There needs to be a National Lockdown. Let's err on the side of caution.

  2. Why aren't Sanders and Biden talking about what worked in other countries? This is a global catastrophe and some countries have figured out how to mitigate. Why isn't this being copied? It's not even mentioned. Why reinvent the wheel?

  3. @That's What She Said Was wondering that myself. I've friends in S. Korea and after initial fears, their pleased with what the government has done.

  4. Either one would be light years better than our current man-child who only cares about the health of the major stock indices.

  5. We were so looking forward to this debate, looking for hope, looking for leadership. It didn’t start off too badly, but has deteriorated to the point that the sound is off, instead we’re reading The NY Times live reporters’ comments, and discussing which movie to watch. The last debate was a debacle; this one is just sad.

  6. @TG w What kind of leadership did you want? I think they're both giving good answers to the questions even if they do disagree on some things and are still running against each other.

  7. @TG you know TG sometimes there are times when no one can give “hope / leadership”. This is something everyone has to achieve by themselves. People need facts, truths. From there they form hope and their own independent “leadership”. There are no military arms existing on this earth a “Super power” could deport... This virus does not respond to Super - power-Power/ help. Only ideas, discussions, scientific findings, calculations will find the solution. And this will! give us hope and confort. Instead of a movie I would have listend or started googling what this virus is. What it does. And then find solutions for your very self. Your personal situation.And then mix it with orders / solutions you get from governments/ or in current situation from your State.

  8. I follow politics very closely, through thick and thin. Although I regret it, by 8:50 PM the "debate" became utterly unviewable. What should have been a serious and somber conversation about the national exigency in face of a crisis and a countrywide imperative thereafter descended into a food fight between two schoolboys. What a profoundly depressing pass for a country in desperate need of sober, thoughtful guidance! We found none of this tonight. That tonight's event devolved into such a circus was not primarily the fault of the moderators. After all they are not fifth grade recess monitors.

  9. @John LeBaron wow. I must have watched a different debate than you. This is still a debate. What did you expect? A two hour speech about the coronavirus?

  10. I trust most readers here would agree that if it was two female candidates they would be more civil and productive. Warren and Klobuchar? They would be embracing each other at the end or a distant embrace…

  11. I’m not trying to start an argument- I’m just curious— how many bills or ideas has Bernie presented while in Congress that he has been able to rally support behind? To me that is a true leader. I’m sure if “googled” I could find it- but I want to listen to the debate first.

  12. @Swellinger I don't know the answer to that, but he sure is changing the conversation by rallying people behind him. Could you imagine Biden favoring $15/hour minimum wage, free public college & stating support for the Green New Deal? Sure, Warren was the one who sat down with Biden two days ago, but it's been Bernie amassing support for these ideas publicly all along. You can have enormous influence even without your bills directly passing. Sanders is right, Biden will get behind something when it already is popular if it'll get him the vote.

  13. Bernie has shifted the Overton window and is the sole reason we are able to even mention inequality without being shouted down about ‘sour grapes’ or some such. That we can even discuss that hundreds of millions of Americans are on the verge of homelessness under this insane healthcare system. The list goes on and on. And I’m tired of pointing it out. It’s so sad that this is even a question, when the alternative to Bernie’s policies is unthinkable for the young generation. How selfish and small-minded does someone have to be to think we can survive with mere incremental, superficial, superfluous change?

  14. @Swellinger Leaders have to bring their followers along, and not, as Bernie says, just take tough votes. Clearly Bernie is not currently bringing the most people along.

  15. Bernie really needs to get out. He’s a liability to all democrats on the ballot. This is sad. He’s willing to scorch the earth for Trump again.

  16. It’s over. Time to unite or hand Trump 4 more years.

  17. @HL Biden is the one who should drop out. He is angry, borderline abusive to any working class person who questions his record face-to-face, at times incoherent, and with policies that virtually the same as former (R) nominees McCain and Romney.

  18. Apparently his lack of comprehension is a winning strategy against Bernie Sanded. His novel approach seems to be working.

  19. I’d like to see the amount of time each candidate is being allowed to speak in real time.

  20. So Biden says we don't need a revolution to initiate change. Yet over the last 3 years, the current Resident staged a one man revolution and blew up environmental regulations, gutted agencies, stacked the courts, damaged foreign relations, gave a huge tax break to corporations and the uber wealthy, is still trying to dismantle the ACA and gut social safety nets...and he has 8 - 10 months left despite the current pandemic. There's still time for more damage. Yes, we have an immediate crisis that demands aggressive actions to help all of us, but we must also not forget how we got here. Incremental change to reverse the recent damage as well as to address prior failures and bad policies is not sufficient. Climate change is staring us in the face and affects every single living thing on this planet as well as every single aspect of human life: economies, income, housing, migration, health and healthcare, water, food supply. It is ALL CONNECTED. We cannot be so small minded as to separate these issues and focus on them independently. We cannot be meek or complacent, because this affects all of us.

  21. This is the best Sanders has looked in a while. Too bad it’s probably too late.

  22. The tableau is disconcerting. Not because there are two “white men” in the podium, but because they lack energy. This is the proverbial 3AM call and they’re not up to it. VP Biden has, at times, a vacant expression. VP Biden continues to offer the same healthcare system; though, he says he would have treated the pandemic like he did with a Ebola. The sense of proportion seems lost in translation. Given how Europe is in virtual shut down, what we need to hear is about how they plan to tackle the crisis in progress with innovative ideas and proposals. Sanders offers some of this, but he won’t get the nomination or get elected, Suddenly, the VP choice is very relevant. Hopefully Senator Warren is watching this spectacle

  23. Think that Bernie v Trump debates would be very entertaining. Biden will lose to Trump badly when they debate.

  24. @Walker (age 14) I so want to see Sanders go up against Trump. Trump would be slapped so hard and so fast he'd never be able to keep up.

  25. @Walker (age 14) Agreed, Biden doesn't have the mental capacity and astuteness to take Trump and his craziness head-on. Bernie, coming from New York and his stubborn constancy would be better suited to fight the current occupant in office. I can't even begin to think how Biden would defend his son making money while accusing Trump's children of the same actions, it will be 2016 all over again.

  26. @Up Down All Around -- Tax filings released today showed Hunter Biden "earned" $155 billion in Ukraine, while his dad was the point man for Obama in Ukraine.

  27. The moderators are doing a poor job of holding the candidates accountable to the questions they are asked to answer. Why isn’t this a priority for these debates? Push the candidates to answer the questions, not dodge and roll.

  28. Bernie is such a passionate advocate for hardworking Americans. And he’s exactly the type of inspirational leader we need right now. So, vote Sanders for substantive change!

  29. Sen. Sanders calls his consistency an example of his leadership, despite the fact that in virtually every case his position and his votes failed to carry the day. In fact, what his consistency demonstrates is that he is simply quixotic. Leadership consists not of a consistent position—no matter how admirable that position may be in theory—but rather it consists of bringing others along to support you. As has been said many times: politics is the art of the possible.

  30. @Stuart Friedman His ideas, previously considered radical, are now part of the mainstream conversation, so indeed not only is he bringing people along, he's affecting the topics other candidates consider important. What was previously considered impossible seems increasingly possible.

  31. @Stuart Friedman Have you ever considered that because most of the House and Senate is bought by corporate interests that perhaps THAT's why Sanders has failed? Seriously, the lack of critical thinking by people in this country appalls me, as does the lack of understanding who really runs our government. Even now, with the corporate and dirty $$ in this administration, people still don't get it.

  32. @Stuart Friedman Luckily for the wealthy and the mega-corporations in this country, all you need is money to bring others to support you. Their money can make anything possible. How else do you redistribute wealth from the bottom up for decades?

  33. Hypothetical plans about what they would have done had they been president now is useless! They should be attacking Trump and calling for him and Pence to be forced to resign right now for the egregious mishandling of this crisis.

  34. @Michael No kidding. And the more we are hearing from Pence lately, the whole thing is becoming downright terrifying. He's one scary dude...

  35. Biden is not a good debater but his policies are moderate enough to pull some key swing states/votes — and Klobuchar should be his running mate. As a side note, this debate format with no audience is much better — it also helps to have just two candidates but it dii I want feel like a game show. They’re having a good and serious discussion.

  36. @MM Biden will need someone to jazz up the ticket. I don't think that person is Klobuchar.

  37. The woman VP commitment is certainly something. Association with women, particularly women of color, is is the ultimate political clout for an older white man. Promising that there will be a female VP is frankly insulting and an entirely transparent Hail Mary to capture the upper middle class white woman vote. It’s just like the work of NOW and FMF - getting a woman’s face in politics is not enough when there is no promise that the chosen token will act in the best interest of women, but pledging unexamined support to women gets donations and votes from the second wave.

  38. @Katherine Crigler Yes for all those cheering Biden's proclamation, please Remember Miss Sarah (Palin).

  39. Dems chose a corporate pres! We are lost!

  40. @NR I'm saddened too. Bernie can be a bit much to take at times. On the other hand, Dem voters are so sick and scared of Trump their willing to play it "safe" with Biden.

  41. Someone should tell Bernie that most of the carbon polluting industry are made up of lots of blue collar workers. Depicting entire industries as corporatist tools will not win these blue collar workers. They will need real help as we move off of carbon energy. We need to bring everyone on board. This demonizing by the far left is a losing strategy to build the kind of coalition that can win the Senate and the Presidency.

  42. @HL Also climate change friendly solutions will need a lot of blue collar workers. Another time new solutions. You can not simply go on and on because... it’s there. It will pollute the world. Hey it’s the 21 century

  43. Both should be saying that the country needs to be put on lockdown, except for essential services, until the rate of infections is on its way down.

  44. Senator Sanders is completely out of touch with the day to day grind that becomes a “Plan” as Senator Warren said, that becomes a bill that then becomes a compromise in a democracy. He would rather have a Totalitarian style government where he would have sweeping powers to bypass skilled and laborious negotiations that leads to democratic compromise. I see an ego bigger than Trump’s.

  45. Sanders’ is less effective without an audience to cheer his well rehearsed applause lines. Biden is more effective without an audience because he appeared more relaxed and less prone to his speech impediment. The biggest news here was Biden’s commitment to pick a woman running mate. I’m betting on Klobuchar.

  46. @Steven Roth Maybe. But Stacey Abrams, or Kamala Harris would not surprise me. Nor would a woman less well known at present.

  47. @Steven Roth Klobuchar as a running mate would complete the milquetoast centrist duo, a ticket that tries to appeal and pander to all and achieve absolutely nothing of any substance.

  48. @Steven Roth I think it's Harris. Or Abrams.

  49. The whole country is shutting down because of the pandemic, and they’re arguing about who voted for what 20 years ago. I want to hear more practical ideas for solving the problems we currently face. Elizabeth Warren would have a plan for that...

  50. Where are the debate moderators?? Sanders, constantly smirking, demagogically interrupts Biden w fake assertions and aggressive hand waving. Very trumpish.

  51. @DK Biden having trouble holding his own? That's why it's called debate.

  52. Biden is the endless smirker. Also , nothing he says shows he is in touch with real life struggles of working people! Rhetoric. Needs Sanders to ground the discussion or bring him back to ground when he is not busy smirking while playing a redbaiting game. Disingenuous. Biden knows the little games he is playing while the people STILL call for universal healthcare (proposed starting 1970s) and relief for student debt and a LIVING wage.

  53. The fact checking shows Biden was lying most of the night. Lying is Trump-like. Biden is Trump-like. That’s how logic works.

  54. Biden has yet to form a complete sentence.

  55. Biden’s solution for everything seems to be have a meeting in the situation room and invite the experts. Wow, brilliant.

  56. @Jerry Davenport If you refer to, lets get all the experts together for a plan / solution regarding corona virus... There is already a sytem like this in place - Trump just didn’t listen - it’s callled WHO. To me it seemed Biden wants to put that „We Americans need to lead“- thing in place again. 1) if he wants to reinvent WHO again, with him in leadership... I do not think considering the big problems the world has right now, that they are waiting for American leadership. Time is missing. That should have been maintained and even been worked on before already. As one world. 2) I honestly think that after Trump the world does not need (again) a sole leader... Even though I suspect that is what many Americans want? 3) and this is the point I agree with Mr. Sanders, we and I mean we all are in to everything together. This virus shows it now, climate change will show or should already show that. Only if we all start working together! we can solve todays problems. And this we can achieve by respecting! each other and not, what I believe Biden will do, just go back to American leadership, impose this and that and the world will obey.. This ship has sailed. We! need to find solutions together and each country takes leadership where it is best at and not! Americans take / control leadership. I think exactly therein lies Mr. Sanders power... It is not leading. It is working together.

  57. That’s probably a good thing, considering they are both essentially nominating a VP that will really matter. Who they surround themselves with this time matters

  58. @Jerry Davenport I happen to think bringing in the experts is a darn good idea.

  59. Much better with no crowd. Nowhere to hide, really going at it

  60. Looks like they're both for open borders. Fail.

  61. After about 30 minutes, I just couldn't bear to watch any more. God willing, Biden will be our next President. Compared to the current raging disease of incoherence and incompetence in the White House, a Biden administration will be a breath of pure sanity and decency. Yet neither one of these two old men on the stage tonight are medicine for what ails the country. Neither is up to the immense tasks required. Neither inspires. Without his audience Bernie is an exhausting, irrelevant old crank with a one-note response ("I'm purer than you") to everything, no matter the qeustion -- a leftover pamphlet stuck inside a primer on the revolutions of 1848. So let's hear it for Uncle Joe. Just wish there were more to cheer.

  62. Can Biden say anything at all without reference to president Obama?

  63. @NBO It’s Biden’s only (perceived) advantage, but the flaw in his plan is the assumption that every Dem and left-leaning Indy truly believes Obama was the great success that DC image makes are trying to get solidified in the history books. He’s not—neither to me (a Gen Xer) nor most anyone younger.

  64. Where is the info on the actual meat of the debate?

  65. Sanders runs cognitive rings around Biden. Meanwhile I just found out that Biden did everything in Washington for the last 40 years. He was the guy for this and that and everything else. My mind was blown. I thought he was just the folksy white guy brought into the ticket so Obama could get elected. My favorite part was learning he's against authoritarians like China, Saudi Arabia and Cuba, even as Obama was cutting deals with Cuba and the mullahs in Iran. Must have been a surprise to Hunter Biden too, or else he wouldn't have been doing deals in China while his dad was VP. Thank goodness for the virus, so Biden can get the nomination and not have to speak or answer questions until November. He will get destroyed by Trump if he debates.

  66. Why is Sanders still running, he has no chance as voters are not buying into his socialist platform? Sanders looks like nothing more than an angry old man and sore loser. Bernie, drop out and support Biden to defeat Trump.

  67. @Joseph B Still running because many support Sander's progressive platform. Sanders may not be able to win on the truth, but he and Warren were the only candidates who spoke truth to the American people.

  68. The truth is that without Sanders bold leadership in every area, it’s game over.

  69. I don’t agree with you. Sanders hasn’t been forthcoming or honeys about his health and how much all his programs will cost or how they will be paid. His programs are great but the bigger question is how he will get them through Congress. Also, I’m he says if he is president he will increase taxes on the rich, you call have to get that through the senate.

  70. Biden is looking and sounding very good tonight. He’s the one we should go with.

  71. We literally will not survive as a species if we elect a clueless, purchased politician.

  72. Biden’s closing was his best moment and rather presidential. Otherwise, it was a painful waste of time. This was a great opportunity to hammer on Trump's inept response to the Coronavirus crisis. Trump’s announcement about the Fed was lowering the interest rate was a mumble of infantile and confusing syntax delivered with the panache of one Benito Mussolini.

  73. @Ted Say what you will, Mussolini was a far better orator than Trump. He did have "panache"--especially compared to Trump. This may be good news since Mussolini held onto power for over two decades. If we're lucky or if the US comes to its senses, Trump and his gang of crooks, swindlers, and nitwits will be gone in less than a year.

  74. They are both very decent men. And Biden is moving to incorporate progressive platforms, which is a plus. But it seems to me they missed a golden opportunity to make the case against Trump.

  75. @Alice in Wonderland Trump has made the case against Trump crystal clear. Send in for those Absentee Ballots everyone and VOTE BLUE!

  76. @Alice In Wonderland Only one of these very decent men, however, put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Only one of the very decent men supported the Hyde Amendment until LAST YEAR. Only one of these very decent men voted for the war in Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

  77. The format worked for both candidates. They both came off as knowledgeable and concerned for working families. Biden was more poised than in the past and showed that he understood that caring for families and individuals in need and having the capacity to solve their problems is a key characteristic in a Democratic president. Sanders was aggressive but not unkind. It seemed clear to me that Biden is better prepared for the Presidency, but Sanders defines the issues with better clarity. I agree with Biden that Americans want Results and are not ready for a Revolution and also that he is better suited to defeat Trump, which is quite properly the dominant issue for Democrats. I’m sorry that the writers covering this campaign and particularly are so focused on disputes that relitigate past votes and not on what really decides presidential elections. This coverage shows that reporters need a deep understanding of what makes a presidential election different from other elections.

  78. I'm a firm Bernie supporter, and agree 100% with his call for systemic - revolutionary - change. That said, I think he fumbled the ball in the beginning in answering the question of how to deal with the coronavirus by talking about MFA and big structural changes needed, instead of talking about specific things that can be done immediately. Biden handled that answer better. I think Sanders should've agreed with Biden's approach for the immediate course, and then gone on to talk about how important MFA and his other ideas will be critical post-pandemic. Overall I don't think Biden did anything to deeply wound himself, nor did Sanders land any knockout blows. If I was scoring the debate I'd say that Sanders won 10-9 on technical points, which I don't think is enough to tilt the race back to him. I hope I'm wrong.

  79. Biden’s lying about Sanders was very off-putting. I tried to have an open mind because we need to beat Trump, but although Biden didn’t openly give we Progressives, Independents and Millennials the finger, as Clinton did openly, Biden has zero awareness of how hundreds of millions of Americans have almost nothing left to take from us. And so, there is no reason to vote for Biden.

  80. It was a good debate with Biden being on his game and Sanders making it obvious that even if he isn’t the nominee , he has changed the political landscape. The debate was a good contrast with the president on responding to the coronavirus outbreak as both Biden and Sanders demonstrated more decisive leadership. It was the best debate of the 11 thus far.

  81. @JTflorida. Exactly! Senator Bernie has been so successful at making it normal for these radical, so called, changes in American healthcare agenda. Right now, the Trump administration is duplicating things Senator Bernie and Senator Warren had outlined months ago! Illuminating loan interest for all college students in America, giving free diagnostic test for coronavirus. It is something! To copy things the so-called socialist has demanded and Trump is actually doing! And now Joe Biden is so flexible and he is listening to all the progressives and he is correcting and evolving. Day one of his presidency will be working on all the improvements and progressive actionsThe majority of the nation have been demanding for quite some time. I can trust that can’t you? Meaning all who read this.

  82. My take: Bernie wants to engage people with politics so their lives improve: Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, combat climate change with the urgency it demands. Joe wants to be president. My vote is for the guy who wants to include me. Not me, Us.

  83. @Leabharlannai I disagree. I believe Biden also wants to improve people's lives, and Sanders also wants to be president.

  84. @Leabharlannai Please take a moment and listen to what you are saying. You are claiming that Biden does not want to improve the lives of people, and that Sanders does not want to be president. Just silly.

  85. Truth. Biden has nothing for me, or anyone I know. Biden’s blatant lying, fact checkers point it out, is very disheartening. And there’s no way Biden can beat Trump. Watching Biden and his slick shtick is terrifying.

  86. We should be so proud of both of them! They are helping to unify the party to coalesce around a significantly more progressive agenda. Well done and thank you! It’s just what we need right now. My wish is that future debates could be so civil.

  87. If anything was evident tonight, it is that Sanders is indeed winning the ideological debate. The way Biden talked, you would think he was the front-runner all along, winning everywhere at all times. His position changed in part because of one solid debate & subsequent high profile endorsements preceding the South Carolina and other primaries. Everyone loves Joe, which is why he had to spend $0 to win against Sanders. Yet, now Biden supports the minimum wages, Medicare for all who want it, free public college for families earning less than $125,000, is FOR the Green New Deal?? He must believe he can't win without Sanders supporters. I still hope all Sanders supporters show him continued support in the upcoming primaries. He deserves that much. And it will send the message to Biden, should he be the nominee, which is likely, that there is true support for progressive ideas.

  88. @Rhonda I am confident that once in office, Biden will back the progressive agenda. But he has to get elected first.

  89. @Rhonda Not everyone loves Joe. It's more like: meh, he's ok, and not completely objectionable like the current occupant. He still clings to his Obama legacy, and you are correct, he's changed his stand on a few issues. But I don't trust him. Biden is running to be President. Sanders is running to make changes to help us. Not me. Us. I will vote for Biden in the general if I have to. But I do not think he will win.

  90. There is zero chance Biden’s superPAC billionaires are going to change course, and so neither will their hand puppet, Biden. There is nothing in what Biden offers for me or anyone I know.

  91. This was, to me, an intelligent, substantive, and pretty acrimonious free debate. It was clear they disagreed on a number of issues, but this was watching two men who seemed to genuinely like each other arguing for what they believe is best for the country. They called each other on their stuff, but it was like watching two friends honestly disagree. I supported Elizabeth Warren and Bernie was my clear second choice. I know that at this stage, it is Biden's nomination. Tonight there were some missed cues. but both generally did what they had to do. Biden had to make moves toward the progressives and bring them in. Bernie had to push Bernie as far toward the progressives as he could. Both men did so. But they also showed America what real leadership and civil discourse and civic engagement looks like. My candidate might lose ( well, my candidate already did), but I think the country won quite a bit. Vote Blue No Matter Who. I feel better about doing that.

  92. Biden is more of the same that created the worst inequality in the history of the world. He hasn’t changed.

  93. After mulling over the whole debate, I came down to the difference articulated by the two candidates in their closing remarks. The question was how they would address the current crisis. Sanders, after making a few points, pivoted to an attack on the system: he would change certain fundamentals of American life. Biden focused on what we need to do right now. Sanders has a wonderful idealism, but he gave no particulars on how he would pass legislation to accomplish his "vision"—because he won't be able to. Biden has a politician's pragmatism: what can he actually accomplish? Governing involves compromise and getting the best done that one can. "In the beginning was the deed," Goethe writes in Faust (as opposed to the Evangelist's "In the beginning was the word."). I'll take Goethe's version, and Biden's pragmatism, any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  94. The same pragmatism that brings him plot accept handouts from credit card companies and Big Pharma?

  95. What is clear is that the difference between Joe and Bernie is one of pragmatism vs. purity. The actual objectives of the candidates are not that far apart, although it obviously grieves Bernie to consider that possibility. Purity means never having been wrong and not considering getting there gradually. Pragmatism includes admitting having learned over time and considering what is possible as more of an immediate objective than what is ideal. Given that the most urgent thing is to get rid of the incumbent, and that both men agree about this, I'll go with pragmatism.

  96. @beaujames However, we've got 10 years to remake our economy if we want to have an inhabitable planet. When you think about it that way - in terms of the basic laws of physics and ecology - incrementalism starts to look... not so pragmatic.

  97. @Alex I meant what I said about pragmatism. If you absolutely cannot get the ideal done because of real-world situations (e.g., we can't get rid of Trump until 20 January 2021 although I'd love it to be today) you do what you can do to make it happen ASAP (which includes not sitting out the election in November even if your preferred candidate represents the Democrats). Biden presented many instances where it is pragmatic to move quickly and others where an intermediate step is necessary either to prevent chaos or because the votes aren't there. Sanders demands not only purity going forward but purity in the past (except, of course, for his own record on gun control).

  98. I'm sad that this will probably be the last time I'll see Bernie speaking in a debate. To me he is clearly the stronger leader who understands the real threats we face and has ideas about how to solve them. And this post-debate discussion is so clearly in favor of Biden it makes me sick.

  99. Biden: “I will have a woman VP.” That’s good to know but at a CNN town-hall weeks ago, Sanders said his VIP would not be male or white. Biden: “I will appoint a first Black women on the Supreme Court.” I say this as a black women who happens to be a millennial, when will Biden stop pandering to the Black community? Please, stop. It is nauseating. With that said, I still do not know where Biden stands. He does not hold much hope for me. Yes, I do understand that with over 20 senate seats up for re-election having Biden on the top ticket would definitely help but the GOP kept the senate with Trump on the ticket in 2016, so who knows? Having lived in Europe and yes, an African country that had a public health system in place, I find it appalling that the “best country in the world” does not have the resources and logistics in place for a virus. Bernie is truly the only candidate who is in touch with what the average, regular American is suffering through. He understands. Biden cannot claim such a privilege. And yes, I am aware that many folks want a return to normalcy. But in response, that normalcy only worked for the few. What I am getting with Biden is mediocre pragmatism and a spotty record, not to mention his mental health very much in question. This will be my first time voting. I am praying that Biden will not be the nominee. If that is the unfortunate case, I will have to wear a space suit to the voting place, with the ears and nose plugged.

  100. I’m not sure I watched the same debate as the writer. Biden absolutely nailed the initial, most important segment of the debater on how to deal with the coronavirus and Bernie morphed into Medicare for all. And you title the section: “Biden sidesteps national quarantine question.” Please.

  101. I had to turn the debate off. I’m so sick of Bernie’s hectoring and he’s beaten to death the “criminal” drug companies. Yes there is some price gouging but how does he think these drugs are developed? It takes a lot of money and research. Biden wasn’t my first choice but I am certainly with him now. Biden/Harris would be a winning ticket and it would be so nice to wake up in the morning and not wonder what new disaster was brewing.

  102. @Ellen Lewis You do realize that most drugs are developed with grant $$ from the US gov't, no? Increasing the price of an epipen--not a new drug--from $250 to $1300 just because they can. You might not care, but most of us do.

  103. The Democrats will lose my vote over their stance on illegal migrants. Neither Biden nor Sanders appreciate the irreversible damage to our country resulting from the endless...and I do mean ‘endless’... influx of impoverished foreign migrants and their offspring. I’m talking about overpopulation, environmental degradation, economic decline, social divisiveness, and civil strife. I do NOT want to live in the overcrowded third world country that they would create here.

  104. @Susanna You seem to be confused about the situation. Obama deported more immigrants than any other president. They aren't advocating for open borders. They are advocating for treating other humans like humans when they come here.

  105. @Susanna Amen. On display here every day in SoCal.

  106. I think it was large-spirited of Biden to even debate with Sanders, giving him credibility that he doesn't deserve. Sanders is no longer in the race amd should concentrate not on attacking Biden but on supporting him. Otherwise Sanders's legacy is going to be a terrible one of fragmenting the Democrats and helping elect Trump not once but twice. I listened with open mind to see what Sanders would come up with, and it was the same old boken record: Wall Street, the corporation is the enemy, inequality is terrible, etc. etc. No fresh ideas or path forward. He just wants to be president. Biden seemed far more on the mark, I felt confidence that he would make rational choices --- and compromises, if need be --- and not just cleave to left-wing doctrine and blame plutocrats for America's ills. Yes I would like to see medical care nationalized and many other thing on Sanders's wish list. That' s been my feeling for decades. But the way reality cuts these days in the house and senate both, in the swing states and the EC, we need to get our person into office against the current of distorted thinking. Breitabrt, my bellwether of idiocy, is busy scoffing at concerns over "the flu" and accusing Democrats of fanning disease hysteria just to discredit Trump. Most Americans are in the middle. And we have to offer a choice who is steady, experienced, well-intentioned, and moderate.

  107. @Trista OMG, steady? Which part. and, when you're not suffering easy to pick steady. But so many of our fellow humans are suffering terribly. And, Joe won't cut it.

  108. Sanders easily won this debate. He deserves the nomination.

  109. It was very frustrating watching both men discuss coronavirus. Neither gave detailed ideas of how to deal with this crisis now in a way that would assuage anxiety. They both should have called for a national lockdown-stay home- out of restaurants and bars. They should have proposed ways to finance Americans struggling. To come at this issue straight on and alleviate people's fear would have been FDResque and warranted them heightened esteem putting people above their political ambitions but Neither Did This.

  110. The Corkery article totally misses the boat. People are buying food now so they don't have to be in crowds if everyone gets sick. Then we can stay home! We don't think the country will run out of food. Is Corkery doing any research at all?

  111. Headline could also read...Biden stands up to challenges from Bernie for voting record b/c the only time Bernie's feet were ever held to the fire he caved...by way of the NRA. It's the only time he allows nuance, and not purity, in a decision. He gets away with it day after day, though.

  112. Biden is winning on all fronts. Bernie lacks any conceivable road forward to acquire enough delegates to get the nomination. The whole world is in the grip of a pandemic while Trump acts clueless as Rome burns around him. We need Biden to make things happen soon. To do that we need him to be our president and have a Dem Congress. Bernie and his friends need to come to terms with Biden as our nominee and help us get rid of Trump and save our nation and planet. We will do this with or without them. They need to understand this.

  113. If you seek out and really read the biography of Bernie Sanders you find he is the real deal that was always the guy with the so called extreme position on so many issues from the 1960's till today. You are very likely to find that what he brings to the table is the truth. I saw tonight that Biden copied his exact words on many questions. The funny thing about the truth is that it gets easier to see over the years, but Bernie could find it early on when he was ridiculed for it. If everyone thinks Biden is the safe bet against Trump ( like we did with Hillary ) please consider this: I am 61 years old, a veteran, I think 4 more years of Trump is my worst nightmare....but......I don't think I can perpetuate this broken system by voting for Biden. There.... I said it. I might be one of those guys. I want real change. Even if I have to wait another lifetime. Even if it meran watching it ( Trump ) win again. Otherwise, we just keep repeating this slightly different version of the same broken system over and over again. I have the feeling that is what a lot of people want. Count me out.

  114. Everything Happens For A Reason, CORONAVIRUS IS THE BEST ADVOCATE OF MEDICARE FOR ALL. The timing is not by chance, but by divine planning and design. It comes right on time to practically show the Doubting Thomases Of Democratic Party (and those who're Mouthpieces of Middlemen called Private Health Insurance) why Medicare cannot be "For Some Who Want It", but must be "Medicare For All". One person with Coronavirus without a good health Insurance that carries no deductible or co-payments is a threat to everyone's health. HEALTH IS WEALTH. A HEALTHY NATION IS A WEALTHY NATION. A Chain Is As Strong As It's Weakest Link. Since the doubting Thomases of United States rejected the 78-year old crumpy Political Prophet Of Medicare For All (Bernie Sanders) and abandoned him in a political Wilderness, God Almighty Sends Down Coronavirus So That The Doubting Thomases May See With Their Eyes, Repent and Believe in "Medicare For All".

  115. Both Biden and Sanders are more thoughtful, more caring, and more intelligent than the frightening liar we have had to live with for the last. 3.5 years. It's been painful. It's been painfully cruel and careless. I feel that many Americans will vote right, vote smart, vote for their families and their neighbors, vote for civility, and vote for a woman VP. This is the change I need. There has never been a time when the saying 'there is no time like the present' was more clear. There is no time like now, no time to waste. I don't want my son and his family or any of your families to ever see or hear from Mr. Trump again after the next election.

  116. If Biden and Sanders were both Fire Chiefs faced with a fire in a slum neighborhood, Biden would do his best to put out the fire, then go back to the firehouse. Sanders would also work to put out the fire, but then push for better building codes and programs for urban renewal. What does a woman trying to communicate with her mother through a closed window have to do with solving our health care crisis, either in the short run or the long run? Nothing.

  117. @RM Perfect. Best analysis. Short and easy. Says it all. Thank you.

  118. America needs an FDR right know, especially if the world is going to go through an economic depression. That would be Mr Sanders as an FDR for 2020. America and the world does not need a Republican Lite candidate like Biden. The poorest of America's poor and its working poor cannot wait for Biden's trickle down to trickle on them.

  119. @On the Salish Sea What the world needs now is Eleanor. But she's not available. In 2020, a Biden/Harris ticket is the closest approximation we have to FDR/Eleanor. I look forward to seeing what they do.

  120. Joe Biden is a long time corporate/establishment neo-liberal who is just saying what people want to hear. He doesn't believe in progressive policies and history confirms he never did. It was the decades long "lack" of implementing real policy aimed specifically towards middle and lower class working people by neo-liberals in the democratic party that led to the rise of Donald Trump. Joe Biden and the DNC's playook is right out of the same one they tried in 2016. Voters didn't buy it then and they won't buy it in 2020 either.

  121. Sanders is showing the light. Biden is showing the path. Sanders still attempts to change his personal fortunes. Biden solidified his own tonight.

  122. The Social Security exchange, and the PAC exchange, were both clean knockdowns by Sanders of the former Vice-President. But it won't matter, as primary voters will award the decision to Biden because they are afraid of the challenger.

  123. @Snowball I wish Sanders had mentioned Biden's recent statements about putting Jamie Dimon (or someone like him) in his cabinet. That's all we need -- the perpetrators of the 2008 world-wide financial crisis being put in charge of fiscal policy. And Biden protests that he's not bought and paid for by the PAC's, bundlers and billionaires who finance his campaign. Just as there was no quid-pro-quo when MBNA bank contributed $200,000 to him right before he pushed through the bankruptcy bill that favored the bank. He did some revisionism on his role in that one too. The man is corrupt and I won't vote for him. If loyalty to the Democratic Party means disloyalty to the country, then I am going to choose country over party. And the party can blame itself for Trump's election instead of continuing to blame those of us who have had enough of the corrupt status quo we get from both parties.

  124. I truly and really hope I can vote for the Democratic Nominee this November. I can only do so if that Nominee is a proponent of universal, non-profit healthcare, and humanitarian policies in general. This terrible virus should make it apparent how necessary it is to have public policy which helps everyone, not just those with enough discretionary income to buy politicians.

  125. @Observer I can not stress it enough also, if a country has universal healthcare in place they update, prepare, maintain everything they need to serve the people under their health plan. THIS would have been the best preparation for today’s Corona virus pandemic. But people where not listening to “Sanders” yesterday, why would they listen today... Straight forward. Always. Straight into the barns beam! And then winning.

  126. Whenever Bernie brags about all the imperfect bills he voted against that passed. He never addresses the issue as to whether people's lives would have been worse off had they not passed. In other words, he would rather be pure, at least in some areas, than support incremental improvement - impractical absolutism. Whenever Biden criticizes Bernie about saying some positive things that have been accomplished by China and Cuba, admittedly out weighed by horrific things these authoritarian countries have done to their people, Biden too is engaging in disingenuous absolutism. They are both playing a bit of the game of "gotcha". Those rather cheap efforts to score political points aside, they both did well. And more substantively: yes, Biden should not have voted for the Iraq invasion, and yes Bernie should not have repeatedly voted against the Brady Bill. But the future is more important than the past - especially now.

  127. Chris Matthews was wont to ask his guests on "Hardball" "Tell me something I don't know,"and by far the most enlightening article on relationship between Biden and Sanders is that they are really the best of friends, "potes,"buddies, from which I conclude that there is very little difference between them, that Sanders is once again folding as he did in 2016 to the Dem. establishment, and the image he wants to create for himself among voters as a maverick who wants to explode the system just as Trump did, but from the left, is a myth, simplification of reality.Am amazed at complete and utter lack of integrity in the Dem. Party.Sanders wants to cover illegal immigrants for anti Corona virus care, whereas we have barely enough resources to protect our own citizenry.Writing by Messieurs EPSTEIN and GOLDMACHER is very good, but there is little substance to either candidate, and inference is that Trump's base will turn out for him big time just to prevent either of these mediocrities from gaining the presidency, pushing us further into debt and the nation into chaos.

  128. I think both candidates gave weak answers to the last question, what can you tell the American people about the virus that would be helpful. I believe we need a community of love where people give support, affirm and help one another even by a simple positive phone call to a friend, relative or neighbor. We also need to keep our sense of humor and hope that this too will pass.

  129. @Patrick Ryan That’s exactly what Bernie did, a community of love. The right receipt to go forward. Not easy given the political powers in the house / senate but the only hope for the future. Not the same power game as in the past - including Obama.

  130. It will cost a lot of money to address this climate crisis with the urgency it demands. But to do less is unacceptable. Bernie has the strongest climate action plan. 350 dot org has endorsed him. Naomi Klein is a surrogate. On Twitter, Bill McKibben shared that he voted for Bernie in the Vermont primary. The Sunrise Movement, the youth (under 35) led organization dedicated to getting a Green New Deal endorsed him. This is enough bone fides for me. My vote is with Bernie.

  131. @Leabharlannai As for climate, you are not correct. Inslee's plan, which Warren endorsed, is the one that has been endorsed by the vast majority of climate experts. Almost none of them have endorsed the plan that the Sanders people have cobbled together, which they believe is not credible and will not work. Yep, I do think Sanders (and Biden, for that matter) does care about the climate. But he should adopt the Inslee plan.

  132. @Robert I really miss Inslee as a candidate, although I'm sure he has his hands full at the moment with governing Washington state. He and Amy were (for me at least) the Sanity Candidates. (For different reasons, but they both qualified).

  133. as expected what was most obvious was Bernie making claims based on twisting the context of past votes in the Senate on various issues. Bernie continues to demand purity to his ideology of "my way or no way". reality and compromise are not part of Bernie's world...just like all the authoritarians he like to praise

  134. @mikenola Want to explain how Iraq was actually a good idea? Or the Hyde amendment? Or the bankruptcy bill? Or the PATRIOT act? DOMA? Or since we're told it's all about the Supreme Court, let's hear how his mistreatment of Anita Hill, which directly led to Clarence Thomas getting a lifetime appointment, is so great? This isn't about purity tests. This is about being on the wrong side of history, over and over again.

  135. @mikenola I'm a Biden supporter and I agree with that. However, I also thought Bernie's comments on China, Cuba and the Soviet Union were taken out of context and with no nuance. I thought Biden was being over the top. For the most part, I thought it was a good debate, but the discussions of past votes and past comments was pointless, and frankly, annoying.

  136. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are perfect candidates for the Senate. In 1980. They love to debate those old-timey votes. Their speeches on the floor with Teddy Kennedy. Leaders of the future? Not so much.

  137. I have a tick that I really want to know what problem is being solved whenever I hear a solution being hawked. I know well that I am supposed to already know, but honestly, sometimes I just don't and with the constant repetition of a solution, I get lost. Free tuition/paying for student debt is an example. The old arithmetic of add college and take away more money as a white-collar worker is no longer a stable paradigm. There is something more to it than accepting the status quo and advocating paying for college debts and costs reveal. I am pretty sure of it. I am just a tad confused, even as I am in favor of all the plans that I hear being floated.

  138. Neither is in charge of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, so they engaged in a hypothetical distraction. Useless posturing over an issue that we hope will be dealt with by this November. They (Bernie, really) needed to highlight their differences in brand of political philosophy, ultimate goals, voting history, independence, and solutions. Unless I missed something, I didn’t see anything major that might have changed their support. No gaffes by either to care about. Neither went for the jugular. Bernie needed to try to disturb Biden’s lock with older African-Americans, but didn’t seem to even try. He seemed to be emphasizing his Latino support. It’s still early days and plenty of surprises already like COVID-19 and perhaps much more to come.

  139. The big lesson of this debate for me is that Bernie is still trying to take down Biden in spite of the fact that Bernie’s chances of winning the nomination are slim. Some will say that this is about Bernie’s agenda. But it seems to me to be more about ego: Bernie highlighting the highlights of his own not perfect record and questioning Biden’s leadership ability on the basis of either errors cherry picked from or manufactured out of Biden’s long record. My big fear now is that older people (who support Biden) will not come out to vote in Florida etc due to Coronavirus fears, and Bernie will have the votes not to win the nomination but to do Biden what he did to Hillary 4 years ago. No wonder Trump is always harping on how unfair the process is to Bernie.

  140. @Mike I also was surprised that Bernie remained so aggressive in attacking Biden. The primary results tell us that most voters want Biden to be the Dem. nominee. Attacking Biden, the way Bernie did today, only helps Trump. (In the general election, I can imagine Trump repeating the lie that in the past, Biden wanted to cut Social Security. It isn't true, but that doesn't mean Trump won't use it: "Even Bernie Sanders has told us how you wanted to slash Social Security . . ") Today's debate told me one thing: Bernie is furious that so many Americans voted for Biden in the primaries. Bernie just can't let go of his anger. He can't accept the fact that he didn't win.

  141. Give me either one over Donald Trump. It was an interesting discussion, and they both held their own. I think Biden won the debate because he was empathetic and comes across as a healer in a time of crisis with concrete proposals to get things done now. It got heated some of the time, but they're mostly on the same page. I think Bernie spent too much time dwelling on the past, and people don't care. Joe is a bit too strident and at his best when he tones it down. It's that down-to-earth, personal Joe Biden that people like. Say it, Joe, but talk to every person one-on-one. I'm saying talk to the front row, not the back row, and that's what connects with Americans.

  142. Enough. Will Sanders please pack up his ego and leave? The longer he stays, the more American lives he endangers. The voters have already spoken. The majority wants Biden. (As to those Sanders supporters who say, "Biden has not won yet," I'll say what I told my daughter: If you have two people running a race, and one is running at a great clip and over half-way while the other is limping along the beginning of the course, though it is true that no one has won yet, it is clear who the winner will be, barring any disasters. Sanders has, effectively, lost, and lost by a large enough margin.)

  143. @SYJ What actually endangers American lives is the current healthcare system, which lets literally tens of thousands of people die needlessly every single year. What does not endanger any lives is having a contested primary. Honestly, it's incredible how quickly centrists stop being interested in basic democracy - in letting voters actually make a decision - when their candidate is in the lead.

  144. Biden didn't implode. That's all he needed to do. The math is not in Bernie's favor, even after this debate. As is, Biden did well even in progressive stronghold like Washinton State. Be it Biden or Bernie, they are both 1 term Presidents. I think people realize that Biden will probably get more done in his 1 term, than Bernie given the makeup of Congress.

  145. "And I said this to President Castro in Cuba. I said, look, you've made great progress in educating young people. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education -- that's a huge improvement from where it was. Medical care -- the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States, despite it being a very poor country, because they have access to health care. That's a huge achievement. They should be congratulated. But you drive around Havana and you say this economy is not working." - President Obama, March 23, 2016 "Cuba is, of course, an authoritarian undemocratic country, and I hope very much as soon as possible it becomes a democratic country. But on the other hand ... it would be wrong not to state that in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care. They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education. I think by restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, it will result in significant improvements to the lives of Cubans and it will help the United States and our business community invest." - Senator Sanders, March 9. 2016 I'm just leaving this here in case anyone tries to bring up the Castro thing as a reason to not vote for him.

  146. @James Jacobs Thank you for doing better reporting on the issue than we have seen in the msm. Very helpful to see the statements juxtaposed.

  147. @James Jacobs You are making a well reasoned argument. How do you think it will play in Florida? Bernie is in politics, not a high school debating club. Bernie gets an A for forthrightness, and a D- for electoral smarts on this one. Florida is winnable. Is talking up Fidel's literacy programs from the 1960's worth losing votes in Florida? I don't think so. Bernie loves getting his ideas out there, kudos for him, but he isn't really serious about winning the election. He would rather lose the election than compromise his ideals on issues that are not make or break in 2020.

  148. @MVonKorff A reporter (or reporters) brought up the statement Sanders made in many years ago. He was confronted with an old statement by the media, and thus responded to it. He did not make it an "issue." The media did. It's part of their usual red-baiting.

  149. A comparison between the intellectual capacity of Sanders vs. Biden is profound. I say this objectively. Sanders has clearly thought every issue through, researched it, know it backwards and forwards. All Biden does is smirk condescendingly and has virtually no understanding of the real issues and only broad sound bite solutions. Biden lies like Trump. Biden supports fracking. So when asked if he supported fracking he said he didn’t support new fracking, a non responsive answer. He supported the Hatch Act until just a few months ago. He lied like Trump by saying he didn’t support Social Security cuts when he flat out did repeatedly. Biden is unfit for this position. Also Sanders said that if Biden wins the nomination he would support and campaign for Biden. But Sanders doesn’t control me.I, like most Sanders supporters vote on issues!!! Biden utterly failed this enormous opportunity to win me over. In fact due to all of Biden’s condescending non responses, he did nothing to win me over. NOTHING!!!!

  150. @Justice4America When exactly did Biden support Social Security cuts (and no fair taking words out of context from when he was debating Paul Ryan)? Next question: If it comes down to Biden versus Trump will you be voting for generations of a conservative-dominated SCOTUS or for moderate progressive justices to maintain Roe V Wade and voting rights for all Americans?

  151. I completely agree that Biden was and is weak. I trust Sanders so much more for being about the issues and everything you said. Right on, but what can we do...

  152. I think the clip is from 1995 or 96, he's on the floor and yelling about how he was trying to put these programs on the chopping block. doesn't quite say unwavering support to me

  153. Amazing - for the second time - when Bernie Sanders was asked about his lack of African American support during his first run AND second, all he could do was say that young people and Hispanics support him. He did not address this issue at all or make any overtures toward black voters. Does he not realize how this shows gross disrespect for black voters? Does he even care? This is the same pivot he did when he was interviewed by Rachel Maddow about his lack of black support. He simply said other groups support him , so... When the media tries to make the case that Biden (if he is the nominee) should plank parts of Sanders' agenda to give his supporters a voice, I ask: what about the voices of all the black supporters whose votes demonstrate a resounding rejection of Sanders, his supporters, and his vision for resolving America's problems. No matter how many times Sanders' says he has won the "ideological" vote, the reality is black voters just hear white noise when Sanders speaks. He doesn't even try to speak to black voters; however, he will use black bodies to present the illusion of support while disrespecting that same body (for example, falsely using Barack Obama's body to pretend the former president supports his candidacy). The one thing we have learned with the election of Obama and the surge of Biden is Black Votes Matter!

  154. @Shakespearesbrain It is a loaded question. Neither candidate answered (in Biden's case on Latinos), because they are being baited by the press. I don't blame either of them for dodging the question. That does not mean the answer would not be interesting or revealing, but rather that the press would probably take the answer out of context and cause more problems.

  155. @Shakespearesbrain Actually younger Black people and very Progressive Black people significantly support Bernie. You’re right that he needs to clearly state how his platform will benefit Black people as well as point to the votes by Biden that hurt Black people like mass incarceration. It just seems, in this regard, that Joe Biden is advantaged by his relationship with Obama and Moderate Black politicians like Clyburn. Seems that too many people are won over by the electability myth and hew to its touted “winner” as safe. More than only one candidate can readily beat Trump.

  156. @Shakespearesbrain Well you would better listen to what Bernie has to say, because it would benefit you too!

  157. These are both decent men who want the best for the nation, who will do all that they can in that regard. Neither one of them is a corporate establishment shill. Neither one of them is a Marxist radical revolutionary. Let's please one and all not let our enthusiams overcome our own good sense. Bearing in mind that some sizeable fraction of the divisive stuff here is surely coming from trolls and Trumpies and the like.

  158. Biden suffered every time he made a political hit on Sanders. The more presidential their tone became, the better the debate given our fragile states of mind. Demeaning Medicare for All right now is a cheap and stupid argument. Also, using Medicare for All as a non-protection for Europe is just stupid. The problem in Europe and elsewhere is not access to health care it is governments not imposing controls of populations traveling, mixing and spreading the disease. Biden needs to stop defending his past errors of judgement and at least say he has different opinions and better understanding of policies and issues from research and study and how the world has changed since---whenever. Use the opportunity to demonstrate that he can be persuaded to change his mind and opinions.

  159. @Steve C Biden favors Medicare For All Who Want It. The stupid position is the one in which 160 million Americans are deprived of the private health care with which they're more or less comfortable and forced to accept something they may not be interested in. What was it again that happened to the Republicans in 2018 when they tried to overturn the ACA?

  160. @stu freeman What’s stupid is to strongly insist that those 160 million Americans on private healthcare are “more or less comfortable with it.” I’m 36, and I don’t know too many people my age happy with their employer sponsored private healthcare. Even those who are currently happy, are usually still in support of m4a knowing that their friends might not be in the same position or knowing that job security you generation experienced is now virtually nonexistent. The “all who want it” undermines the cost effectiveness and implementation of a roll out, and your tone deafness to this issue is exactly why the Democrats will struggle with the under 45 vote in this coming election.

  161. If you want to know who won tonight's debate, check out the election returns on Tuesday. Everything else is spin.

  162. If you think this coronavirus is bad (and itt won't be the last pandemic we see as we eat up all the wild animals and ramp up factory farming) wait till climate change gets rolling in 10 short years. As president Bernie will kick start the change that the world needs right now. Instead we will get another four years of Trump fascism or Obama-Biden oil and gas and animal agriculture subsidies.

  163. @Mike You're right. Factory farming practices and the destruction of natural habitats led to microbes mutating to cause illness in human beings (like live animals cooped up in tiny cages on food markets, next to freshly slaughtered ones). Ducks carried the flu virus, pigs whooping cough, measles and tuberculosis first appeared in cows. Outbreaks of ebola happened more often in places where woodlands had been razed to the ground, destroying the habitat of bats who then drew closer to humans, their saliva transmitting the virus (see the book on pandemics by Sonia Shah).

  164. @Mike And will you have to spend more than ten seconds deciding whether to vote for Trump fascism and oil and gas agriculture subsidies?

  165. Would someone pls help Bernie realize he is losing his credibility by staying in this race and not gently, tactfully supporting Biden? His last few minute of self righteousness and indignation in tonight's debate were a disgrace ..... he comes across too authoritarian and hostile. Over, and over and over, I've tried to give Bernie the benefit of the doubt. After Nevada, I sat in my recliner grieving and coming to terms that I wd probably need to vote for him. I got there emotionally, at least for a week before Biden resurrected himself in SC. Most of the previous Dem candidates have agreed to enthusiastically support whoever the Dem nominee is, but tonight, Bernie, once again, showed his true colors of selfishness and arrogance....

  166. @Dolly Patterson True selfishness is fighting for universal healthcare?

  167. @Alex He doesn't need to stay in a race he can't win to fight for universal healthcare. Even AOC is showing more maturity than him at this point.

  168. After watching the President today and the debate tonight, Bernie is the lesser of two evils. Biden isn’t evil. Not very bright but not evil. I’m tired of evil. Note to Bernie, the communist government of China was among the most brutal in world history. The reason they have come as far as they have is they embraced capitalism under Deng Xio Ping. They still have an authoritarian government but it was capitalism that improved the lives of the Chinese people.

  169. @HL This whole argument is dumb, and I say this as Biden supporter. I studied Russian and lived there for 2 and half years from 1996-98. I loved the history. I loved reading about the space achievements. I loved the art. I loved my friends. It does not mean I approved of the Soviet Union. Far, far from it. While Bernie should not be talking up the Sandinistas, in the 1980s the US was funneling money to the opposition Contras, who were worse. And as for China, Sanders has an excellent record in support of Tibet, which hardly endears the Chinese government to him. I could care less about Bernie's few nuanced comments, as by the way, I could care less about what Biden voted on 20 years ago. We are dealing in the now, and I will take either of them over the fascist in the Oval Office.

  170. Bernie didn't definitively commit to a woman because he's trying to decide between WARREN and YANG.

  171. @NotKidding He might as well be deciding between Mother Teresa and Golda Meir for all the difference it'll make.

  172. I wished Biden hadn’t taken the bait as often, opting instead for the higher ground while Sanders kept flailing. However, he was very sharp. His strong performance proved he isn’t suffering from cognitive decline. Also, he outfoxed Sanders with his unequivocal commitment to select a woman as vice president. Did Bernie ask who cares about the Paris Agreement? Cringe worthy.

  173. Bernie shouldn’t have dismissed the Paris Agreement so outright, as it is an important global goal. But I think he is actually correct in that the Paris agreement in its current state is a largely symbolic gesture with little actual action being taken by most of the countries involved in the agreement. I believe Bernie recognizes that the Paris Agreement is not very useful right now and we need to think of new ideas and new legislation to push forward to tackle climate change. The Paris Agreement seems like it is currently just a trophy countries can use to say “hey we talked about climate change once.” Again, ANY talk/action on climate change is better than nothing, but I don’t think Bernie was exactly wrong about the current value of the Paris Agreement. (Of course USA look like fools for pulling out still)

  174. If you think the Paris agreement is all we need to solve climate change, you aren’t paying attention, or you simply don’t care.

  175. @DH Who cares about the Paris agreement, we need much more than the Paris agreement.

  176. Response to debate overheard from a Phillips Exeter grad: It was like watching the popular kid and the smart kid at public school. The popular kid lies about everything but wins (the support of those already in power) anyway. The couple of popular kids take/keep everything for themselves and the rest have nothing, and nothing changes.

  177. I guess we don’t even pretend anymore that getting the best person for the job is paramount. It’s about pandering to voting blocks. 330 million people in this country and these 3 guys are the best we can come up with? The problem with our democracy isn’t the electoral college. It’s starts long before we get to the election.

  178. I really missed Elizabeth Warren at this debate. I feel her platform best exemplified the bridge needed between the perspectives represented by Biden and Sanders. I think Biden would govern better, but I don't like how dismissive he seemed of the suffering in the country that existed before Trump and will exist after Trump is out of office. IMO, he and many moderates are underestimating the despair and anger that many people feel separately from Trump due to lack of affordable healthcare, climate action, wage stagnation, corruption, etc., and he shouldn't confuse consolidation of voters seeking to oust Trump as enthusiasm for him in particular. Biden has taken important first steps to reach out to progressives, but he needs to do more. I give Sanders a lot of credit for moving the conversation forward on the issues. As for VP, I'd be happiest with Warren or Harris. I prefer Warren for unity, policy, and excitement (MA would have a special election to fill her seat), and I don't see Harris adding voters that Biden doesn't already have. But they are both strong and would also be great in the Cabinet or continuing to be influential in the Senate. I don't think Abrams is known enough or is ready to take over immediately if needed, and I don't see how Klobuchar helps with enthusiasm and turnout. She'd be disappointing to many compared to Harris or Warren (not a WOC, too moderate).

  179. @Dee Biden and his team have a clear contempt for anyone who supports Bernie, that much is obvious, that is why they continually underestimate the despair and anger of millions of Americans. This is how his senior adviser summarized the debate: "I think it's fair to say that Vice President Biden showed up to a debate tonight and -- for two hours graciously dealt with the kind of protester who often shows up at campaign events." This is how they see anyone who has the temerity to suggest going back to pre-Trump doesn't do much for millions of people. Almost half of American families can't come up with $1000 in case of an emergency, many are one serious health issue away from financial ruin...and she treats someone merely highlighting these issues as some kind of loony. What a disgrace.

  180. Current Medicare costs $750 billion per year and it is funded by middle class tax payers. Proposed Medicare for all will also be funded by middle class and not by taxing billionaires. How is this a better situation? Raising minimum wage will drive out small businesses in rural states. $15/hr in NYC and $15/hr in W. Virginia is not same. It is easy to criticize trade deals but what is the alternative? Tariifs didn't help either. How is he planning to bring the jobs back to the US. Sen. Sanders policies are directed towards poor while VP Biden's policies are directed towards middle class which is the backbone of this country. As Biden highlighted in the debate, none of Sander's policy will get implemented. Remember 2010 after ACA bill passed Democrats were decimated in the next elections. Average middle class families are burdened with extraordinary amount of tax in this country, why would anyone stomach yet another hike?

  181. @Raj With Bernie's proposed tax brackets, taxes wouldn't be raised on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. It goes up at $250,000. $250,000 is well above middle class, and he most definitely plans on raising taxes on million/billionaires to help foot the bill.

  182. When Joe Biden talked about a relative outside the nursing home, he evoked exactly what I was trying to figure out in respect of my own dad. Visits having become impossible, he's going to feel quite lonely (and even more disoriented). In situations of terminal care closer relatives should not be locked-out; people should be able to face their last hour holding the hands of their loved ones.

  183. Without emergency measures and Medicare for all access to healthcare without fear of thousands no one has, millions of us and our loved ones will die. Biden apparently doesn’t care. If Biden cared, like Bernie cares about all of us, he would back Bernie’s plans. This pandemic has changed the world, just like climate change, but Biden either doesn’t care or hasn’t noticed. He’s nothing like the leader we need. He has nothing for me or you.

  184. Bernie wasn’t my first choice and I like Joe. But it was painful watching that debate when Bernie posed the entirely legitimate question - how can we help people who live paycheck to paycheck period - not just in times of crisis. I am concerned that Joe is tone deaf on the fact that people do not think that the last financial crisis was handled properly and in fact helped big corporations while regular working folks lost their homes and bore the brunt of the pain. And Bernie made the legitimate point that people are losing their lives every single day in this country from lack of healthcare. Joe needs to address these strongly and eat s bit of humble pie.

  185. The best thing about this debate was the lack of an audience. I hope we ditch the cheering sections and the interruptions that plagued the previous debates. Without a crowd, I got to actually hear more discussion. No one could play to the audience. Audiences are for late night talk shows, not debates.

  186. Maybe I’m weird but I find both of them endearing. Either of them would be exponentially better than the ingrate we have right now. The comparisons to Grumpy Old Men made me smile because that’s a great movie. And Bernie is definitely Walter Matthau. Obviously Biden is going to be the nominee, but I hope Bernie gets a position in the administration somewhere. And the elephant in the room, we have to talk about Tulsi and her 2 delegates. What is she trying to pull? Is she going to be the Jill Stein of 2020? Or is Trump going to ditch Pence and pick her? My mom is a lifelong Republican, can’t stand Trump, and she wants Biden to pick Condi Rice. I have to admit that this is a very smart idea. Betting even Alabama might be close to turning blue if she were on the ticket. i know so many traditional conservatives who voted for Biden, most of them pulling a Democratic ballot for the first time ever — myself included. Unity ticket. Unity ticket. Unity ticket. Some way or another, we’ve got to have a ticket that not only unifies the party, but also seeks to unify the nation.

  187. Without emergency measures and Medicare for all access to healthcare without fear of thousands no one has, millions of us and our loved ones will die. Biden apparently doesn’t care. If Biden cared, like Bernie cares about all of us, he would back Bernie’s plans. This pandemic has changed the world, just like climate change, but Biden either doesn’t care or hasn’t noticed. He’s nothing like the leader we need. He has nothing for me or you. Sanders is our true leader.

  188. Biden's brazen lies about his own record are toughto deal with Bernie largely failed at highlighting those lies, as he rarely veers away from his stump speech, now does he lay out exactly why say, the bankruptcy bill is the embodiment of the type of lawmaking people despise that actively harms the poor and middle class America. Biden DID push the bankruptcy bill, across two administrations. He was obsessed with getting it done because of Delaware's credit card industry. He voted against amendments helping people when med. costs pushed them into bankruptcy. Hatch thanked him on the Senate floor for his effort. That Biden pretends that the bill was an inevitability and he merely improved it is a lie. Trade is another issue where Bernie failed in his critique. It is not enough to say the trade deals were bad. Voters are prioritizing defeating Trump above everything. Bernie needed to say that it's a bad idea to go into the rust belt being a steadfast supporter of major trade agreements that many people feel destroyed their communities and that's why Trump took down the "blue wall." He had to say "Just Hillary, Biden supports disastrous trade agreements that Trump opposed. Trump won those states. They rejected Hillary and they will reject Joe." Trump ran to Hillary's LEFT on this issue and it worked. And of course, Biden still repeats the preposterous lie that the vote to go to war with Iraq was...not to go to war with Iraq. It's a lie so brazen it's hard to believe.

  189. Look at how many Bernie commenters here are defending and justifying his hostile actions while the vast majority walk away from him. HE IS NOT GOING TO WIN THE ELECTION! And his supporters, ie. Bernie Bros, seems as destructive and dangerous as some Trump supporters. So how can we normal, benevolent, bi-partisan supporters of Biden help heal/calm down these irate Bernie supporters (obviously Bernie is encouraging this destructive behavior just like he did in 2016 but it is costing him more in 2020 than it did in 2016?. When will Bernie and some of his supporters learn to use their anger constructively to make changes which eventually can help us all achieve some of their goals, like broader health care? I am sick of Bernie and his supporters/volunteers, many whom I''ve met who are full of hatred and won't listen to anyone's else's opinions. I was a precinct captain in NV and heard their complaints and domination of others' opinions. I wd like to somehow listen to them and honor their passion. How can I/We help them realize that their anger and irrational behavior (in some ways) is not helping them obtain their goals? It's time to move on and recover/heal from Trump!

  190. Let’s recover/heal from the Obama/Biden administration first, since that catastrophe is why Trump had an opening, aided by the media anointing the DNC choice, me-me-mine My Turn Clinton.

  191. Biden commits to a female VP. Bernie doesn't. Biden commits to supporting and campaigning for Sanders if he is the nominee, Bernie says something vague. Biden understands everyone must come together now, even the billionaires, to get through this crisis, push Trump out and start repairing the country. It's a war on two fronts now, and we stand to lose everything--lives, faith in our institutions, even belief in facts. Want a revolution? Undoing the Trump damage to America will take a revolution. Remember when we had right and wrong? Instead of "anything I can get away with with is fine"?

  192. Bernie commits to the best candidate for the job, not window dressing to get elected with a liberal dog whistle. Bernie’s goal is to save the world for us. Biden’s is the save the oligarchy for the oligarchs. (You’d vote for Sarah Palin? She’s a woman. I rest my case.)

  193. I am so glad that a woman will be the Democratic nominee for Vice President. I strongly suggest Michelle Obama. She would excite the base, is qualified, loved by the American people. And could help a President Biden get our country respected by world leaders again. Her presence on the ticket would be a game changer for the race. PAUL FEINER, Greenburgh NY

  194. So Democrats who didn’t leave the party in disgust last election think another Biden/Obama ticket will win? How little we learned, eh? You think no one remembers Obama throwing away our chance to join the rest of civilization with actual access to healthcare? Obama/Biden’s biggest act was creating the worst inequality in the history of the world. That’s selfishness incarnate. We wouldn’t know Christ if he was among us. Not me, us is Sanders campaign slogan. Getting healthcare for all is a main objective. Uniting the world to address climate change so we have a future he won’t see is why Sanders is fighting for the GND. Fighting for US, not the obscene American Oligarchy Obama/Biden created.

  195. Democratic voters are smart enough to realize that concomitant with a history of accomplishment and engagement are a long record and an evolving perspective commensurate with the changing perspectives of the country. In that light, the potshots of Senator Sanders come across as the pointless luxury of an ideological purist who has done next to nothing. Moreover, the majority of the Democratic voters recognize that all of the candidates are human, make human mistakes and suffer from human failings. Consequently, the assertions to the contrary by Sanders and his base seem fraudulent and more than a little cultish.

  196. The entire DNC and media united in a literal hysterical, frothing frenzy to ‘stop Sanders’. That anyone still has the guts to stand their ground and continue supporting the only honest politician with the bold plans to save the county and the planet, tells you all you need to know about how desperate we are for actual change. Not Obama/Biden change, which resulted in the worst inequality in the history of the world.

  197. I must say that Mr. Biden was schooled by Mr. Sanders tonight. He appeared flustered and tired while Bernie continued to hurl stats and history. First of all, why does Mr. Biden need to look at his phone while Mr. Sanders is speaking? Is he receiving secret messages, scripts, or prompts? If so, that is not fair. I am also fairly sure that if Mr Sanders brings up Mr. Biden's voting record, this can be verified as historical fact. Yet, on national televison Mr. Biden denies what can easily be proven. Truthfully, I know very little about Mr. Biden or Mr. Sanders. I have not watched a single Democratic debate but because of coronavirus I was curious to hear their views. I will also say that I am a woman but prefer a male Vice President, and so no points were gained there. I would prefer that the Vice President be chosen for their qualifications and not their gender. I also feel that Mr. Biden has a severe likability issue. This means that he failed to develop a rapport with his audience - namely me. I do not trust him. I do not want him as President, and I would rather have four more years with Mr. Trump. Yes, definitely if Biden is the Demo candidate I will vote for Mr. Trump :-)

  198. Hmm...I'm pretty sure you said on another thread that if Sanders is the nominee you'd vote for Trump. If you don't know much about the candidates, there is an easy way to find out more. Search and read. Debates are secondary.

  199. I’ll vote for either one of them (and the woman they choose for VP), as early and as often as I can!

  200. How are we supposed to have honest conversations about politics and our government, when we can’t even talk about the pros and cons of Cuban/Chinese government? Obviously their leadership is/was beyond horrific, but must we reduce everything to good or bad? Red or blue? Black or white? That was the most absurd part of the debate to me. Nuance does not exist when appealing to the general public. I fear that is a lesson Joe knows better than Bernie. However we need to find a better way for the media, government, and public to handle these conversations. Otherwise we’re basically just sports fans blindly supporting our team.

  201. Please, no more debates of any kind. We know who we are going to vote for. At this point, it's just meaningless hashtrash that adds money to the networks. All of the elections are way too long. And, too boring. Elections in Canada and Australia are less than 90 days. The entire election process needs to be reorganized, limited to 90 days for all elections, with votes by mail. We are in the world of TV and newspapers and computers. No reason to keep dragging these elections out to years. It's stupid and in the end, defiles the process of democracy in favor of making money for unlimited marketing sources and news sources. Let's get on with the real job which is passing laws that improve lives of the people.

  202. Bernie can't win...he can't! And Bernie supporters are just as bad as the hardcore Trump supporters who don't listen to reason. This debate should have been about Trump, but instead it was Bernie firing at Biden. Biden held his own, but I'm sure he felt like holding his head. He has a record, a good one, where he was mostly right. Bernie is DONE people. He can't win and all he is doing is handing the election to Trump if he carries on. He brought us Trump in 2016, we don't need it again. Drop out and back Biden, this is the fight for our lives.

  203. Joe Biden smirked and lied for 2 straight hours. I have no idea what Biden actually believes or stands for. He is owned by the credit card industry, so he wrote the bankruptcy bill to protect their interests. Oops. "I had nothing to do with the bankruptcy bill." He's gotten on well with the Republicans and repeatedly called for cuts to Social Security. "I never said any such thing." He voted for the worst foreign policy disaster in recent history. He repeatedly calls this a "mistake." Believing Dick Cheney? This can only be called gross incompetence. The Democratic primary is about only one issue. Do you want to elect a president who is owned by fracking companies, health insurance companies, the military-industrial complex and Wall Street? Or do you want to elect a president who will fight all of these powerful interests in order to work for the American people? In the next few weeks we are going to see people lose their lives, their homes, their jobs. Will we then realize that Bernie has been right for 40 years? A society cannot function when its politicians are owned by a handful of billionaires. I cannot bear to hear another person say that with Bernie "it's my way or the highway." Do you understand that Bernie has actual beliefs and ideals? Biden has done what his corporate owners tell him to do. He doesn't have a way of any kind. Remember when we used to mock flip floppers? He stands for absolutely nothing.

  204. Biden's smirk throughout the debate was off-putting and inappropriate. The topics under discussion were serious, not smirk-worthy. He hasn't earned the smirk, and it made it hard to watch him. He also lied about his role in the Iraq War and the bankruptcy bill and his (recorded on video) willingness to cut social security. Some of the media, including this paper, seem to have forgotten their own reporting on the issue, e.g., Biden's role in Alan Simpson's appointment as co-chair of "the Catfood Commission" and his documented support for raising the eligibility age and adjusting the cost of living index downward. Also, why have none of the debate moderators asked him more about his own health care proposal, including its projected costs, how he expects a public option to work and what he proposes to do about the ever-increasing costs of insurance-regulated "healthcare." Finally, why has this paper never covered Biden's face-to-face insults of voters, e.g., his calling one "fat" and another "horse-faced," which have been played all over the internet? I guess because it doesn't jibe with the good ol' "decent" Uncle Joe image it has decided to promote. If Bernie Sanders had addressed voters this way, the NYT would have had it on its front page for weeks.

  205. Every four years Univision is given a platform via Presidential debates to communicate issues important to the Latino community to a general American TV audience, and every four years Univision asks about Fidel Castro. It's an absurdity in the 21st Century. Who does this possibly impact other than a small contingent of aging Cuban exiles in Florida? Who vote Republican anyway? The question is so antiquated, you might as well be asking candidates about the gold standard or the cotton gin.

  206. Biden is more of the same that created the worst inequality in the history of the world. He hasn’t changed one bit. There’s nothing for us with a Biden administration.

  207. Has anyone seen the movie "Grumpy Old Men" with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The debate reminded me at times of the dialogue and posturing portrayed in that very sweet and funny movie . Just minus the part where one attempts to kill the other with a frozen fish. Really though times are more serious and these candidates are serious people. I believe they both care deeply about this county and our people.

  208. Biden oversaw the worst inequality in the history of the world. He seems proud of that obscene accomplishment. Sixty-three of the hundreds of millions of Americans who have never recovered from that administration, voted out of despair and desperation for Trump. The rest of us voted for Her Hubris because we were blackmailed, but won’t again. Biden doesn’t plan to do anything different from what brought this country to its knees. Who is that caring? How is saying the Paris Accord is all we need to do to stop this mass extinction event remotely aware, let alone caring. How absurd.

  209. the real question for every Bernie supporter is your demand to tear down government so great that you will help Trump win? or will you, this time, not have tantrums and throw away your vote like your group collectively did and ended up helping the 🍊-enfant terrible crawl into the oval office? Bernie has told you defeating Trump is the most important thing...will you obey your dear-leader?

  210. You have that reversed. We care not just for ourselves and me, me, mine, and too bad for you. Biden’s biggest accomplishment while VP was creating the worst inequality in the history of the world. That’s selfishness incarnate. We wouldn’t know Christ if he was among us. Not me, us is Sanders campaign slogan. Getting healthcare for all is a main objective. Uniting the world to address climate change so we have a future he won’t see is why Sanders is fighting for the GND.

  211. 2 old white guys talking about a catastrophic virus that will never touch either of them. They did not address adequately what needs to be done. If one of them had seriously come up with detailed plan-that alone would've been Presidential but neither wanted to risk giving up "political" time. It would have been worth it....

  212. A paroxysm between a geezer and a wheezer. I didn't watch the debate. I could care less listening to these two who do not have the courage to do what is right and invite Tulsi Gabbard on stage to the debate. After all, Tulsi qualified for the debate until the DNC move the qualifying goalpost to keep her out just like they did to fit Bloomberg in.

  213. Mass incarceration of Black people?! Corporate political control and avarice?! Growing income inequality?! Nope. No blood on the ice tonight. Whatever?! Now it seems to be just down to older voters avoiding public polling places due to the Coronavirus or a sudden surge by them in absentee voting.

  214. Before the debate I had this vision of Bernie, at first opportunity, conceding to Biden and then have Biden Skype in Elizabeth Warren announcing her as VP and then have Obama, some where in the cloud, bless the new trinity and sign off with “Yes we can.” Oh well.

  215. That’s exactly what will get us more Trump.

  216. The comments reflect who the writers want to win. At this point it is irrelevant. One of these fools will be the nominee. Biden is the obvious delegate winner. Most Americans are voting for him. Bernie is just too egotistical to admit defeat. Meanwhile, thousands are dying from a pandemic and Trump is smirking.

  217. You have that reversed. Biden’s biggest accomplishment while VP was creating the worst inequality in the history of the world. That’s selfishness incarnate. We wouldn’t know Christ if he was among us. Not me, us is Sanders campaign slogan. Getting healthcare for all is a main objective. Uniting the world to address climate change so we have a future he won’t see is why Sanders is fighting for the GND.

  218. Here we go...CNN is heaping praise on Biden. Bias much?

  219. All these Biden supporters say they have such complete confidence in Joe yet rant and protest whenever anything is brought up that reflects on Joe negatively. I hope you take your pacifiers out for the general election because the RNC will not treat Biden with kid gloves.

  220. I started watching the debate but had to turn it off. Two angry old white men arguing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll vote for either over Trump, but Bernie especially just sounded like he didn’t care about what Biden’s policies actually are and just wanted ad nauseum for Biden to admit saying something from 30 years ago, which subsequent fact checking of my own proved was said in sarcasm, so it was out of context. That really made me dislike Sanders in that he wasted so much breath on an non issue. A lot of his comments are focused on “I’m always right so I’m not going to listen to anyone else.” In that sense, his egotism is really making me think he is just another Trump. Whereas, I believe Biden has already said he is listening to and incorporating ideas of others like Warren and in that sense, is a better overall leader.

  221. @Sick Of Trump yeah, I got a little depressed watching them argue, too. I guess the whole process is a bit disillusioning, but we've still got to do the right thing.

  222. Oh yes, Biden showed he was the true listener.

  223. Biden! The True Listener - to the American oligarchs created while he was VP, and nothing for anyone else. No change, nothing for the hundreds of millions of Americans who have nothing left, thanks to Obama/Biden. They bailed out Wall Street and created an unsurvivable insurance industry that bills us out of our lives. A True Listener. As you say.

  224. Bernie Sanders is having his strongest, most eloquent night. He is the President I want during this terrifying time.

  225. @Jessica My thoughts exactly.

  226. Yes, I agree.

  227. @Jessica I love how he nail Trump's response to virus as "blabbering."Bernie nails it.