NBC News' live blog tracked the fifth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential election cycle, co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.
With the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump taking center stage,the 2020 candidates clashed over their visions to replace him. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg escaped unscathed after it was expected he'd draw heavy fire as the newly minted front-runner, while former Vice President Joe Biden stumbled with gaffes on women, marijuana and race.
Biden says impeachment hearings show that Trump and Putin don’t want him as nominee
In his first answer of the night, Biden said the impeachment hearings have made clear to him that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin don’t want him to be the Democratic nominee.
“Trump doesn’t want me to be the nominee,” Biden said, pointing to the House inquiry into the withholding of aid to Ukraine as the president pushed for an investigation into the former vice president and his son Hunter. And “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be president,” Biden added.
Biden argued that the most important consideration for Democratic voters in the race is to choose a nominee who can beat Trump, secure a Democratic majority in the Senate and increase the number of House Democrats. He says that’s him.
Harris says Trump is running a 'criminal enterprise'
After Sondland’s testimony, Harris said that “justice is on the ballot” because the president has been running a “criminal enterprise” and impeachment is part of holding Trump accountable.
But she also wrapped her answer around inequality in the country, where the rich and powerful break the law with impunity. And she wants to hold them accountable as president.
First question is about impeachment
Noting that tonight’s debate comes just hours after a jampacked day of public testimony in the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, the first question directed at the candidates, aimed at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was about whether she’d try to convince her colleagues in the Senate that President Donald Trump deserves to be convicted, if the House impeaches him.
“Of course I will,” she said.
Candidates arrive on stage
Biden says 'battle for the soul' of the nation is about more than Trump
Ahead of tonight’s debate, Biden has tweeted a thread outlining exactly what he means when he says America is in a “battle for the soul of this nation.”
It’s a development we’ve seen on the campaign trail in recent weeks where Biden has said that the battle isn’t just one about defeating President Donald Trump, but a personal battle for those facing economic hardships.
In tonight's thread, he goes further saying the "soul of the nation" means improvement on different fronts and how he is the only one who can get that done — a good preview of what he’s expected to say tonight.
Ariana Grande: 'Thank u, vote'
You can add Ariana Grande to the list of celebrities "feeling the Bern."
The Sanders campaign tells NBC News that Grande and her mother, Joan, met with the senator and his wife before Grande went on stage at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta Tuesday night.
The campaign says Sanders was "super impressed" with her work registering young people to vote. According to Grande's post on Twitter, her team has registered more than 20,000 young people to vote at her concerts.
Grande has been politically active all year. In July, she attended a California fundraiser for Sen. Kamala Harris at music producer Scooter Braun's house.
Booker and Harris pause for a selfie
The student debt crisis and what Democratic candidates propose doing about it
Student debt has surged in recent years and now stands at over $1.6 trillion.
Some Democrat candidates are proposing tuition-free public college and canceling student debt, while others are offering more limited benefits. Critics say many of the initiatives would benefit disproportionately better-off Americans.
Dance dance, revolution?
Buttigieg is proving once and for all that "Boomer" isn't just a generation, it's a state of mind.
Videos have flown around the internet in recent days featuring a choreographed dance being performed by his supporters. It’s set to “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco.
The dance has also triggered something of a backlash on the teen-heavy TikTok, where young politicos are using it to critique Buttigieg’s centrist positions.
Viewer discretion advised.
Debate-goers are submitting their Election Confessions
Ahead of the debate, people submitted their confessions about the 2020 candidates live from Atlanta. See the most recent confessions and share your own.