UPDATED: 10:32 p.m. EDT —
Just before the closing statements, moderator Judy Woodruff posed a question to the candidates: would they give a gift to their fellow candidates or would they ask for forgiveness? Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she would ask for forgiveness. She admitted to sometimes being overly passionate, but attributed it to her desire to want to make the country better.
She then shared an anecdote: Warren says she met a man who suffered from diabetes. While the man is able to pay for his insulin prescription because he is a veteran, his sister and daughter who also have diabetes can’t. Sen. Warren added that the man and his family have to figure out how they will stretch that one prescription among three people each month.
UPDATED: 9:50 p.m. EDT —
Sen. Bernie Sanders also spoke on the changes he would make on immigration saying, “On day one we would change federal border policy so agents do not snatch children from their families. I would pass legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for our undocumented population.”
UPDATED: 9:10 p.m. EDT —
A mention of Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker and Julián Castro is what we’ve been waiting for, as their absence on the debate stage did not go unnoticed. However, the topic of race was only directed towards Andrew Yang and Sen. Bernie Sanders. “Why am I the lone candidate of color on this stage? Fewer than 5% of Americans donate to political campaigns,” said Yang. “Do you know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income.” Yang also expressed that he misses Harris and Booker, and feels that Booker will be back.
Sen. Sanders attempted to stay on the topic of climate change, but was quickly brought back on course.
UPDATED: 8:42 p.m. EDT —
Billionaire Tom Steyer called out Mayor Pete Buttigieg when discussing climate change. In fact, Steyer said that he would declare a state of emergency on the first day of his presidency. He also offered a tip on how Buttigieg can better his policy. Interesting.
UPDATED: 8:07 p.m. EDT —
The sixth Democratic debate opened up with the candidates being asked why Democrats have been unable to convince a plurality of Americans to get behind the impeachment of President Donald Trump. When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders finished his answer, some folks on Twitter noticed the equivalent of crickets as the light applause didn’t match the ovation other candidates got.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar made a silly joke about her height during her opening remarks that didn’t go over very well, either.
The sixth and final Democratic debate of the year is set to take place in Los Angeles on Thursday night, one day after House Democrats impeached President Donald Trump. That fact is bound to be at least one of the elephants in the room at Loyola Marymount University, where the debate is being held.
But there is something else that can’t be ignored: Thursday will mark the first debate of the season that doesn’t include any Black candidates. That was because after California Sen. Kamala Harris suspended her campaign earlier this month, it was determined that neither New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker nor former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick made the cut for Thursday night’s debate. Their absences raised the prospects that there may not be anybody on the debate stage to champion the plight of Black America, something that former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has also made it a point to do. However, Castro didn’t qualify for the debate, either.
That left just seven candidates to take the debate stage Thursday night: former Vice President Joe Biden; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; billionaire Tom Steyer; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (the only candidate of color at the debate).
Biden, the front-runner, came into Thursday night’s debate leading the overall polling by CNN of Democratic candidates by 6 percentage points over Sanders and 10 percentage points over Warren with Buttigieg pulling up the rear at 8 percent. The other candidates included in Thursday night’s debate were polling at 3 percentage points or lower.
There will, however, be at least one Black person involved in the debate: Yamiche Alcindor, of PBS NewsHour, a co-sponsor of the debate with POLITICO, will be on of the debate moderators.
And chances are that she and her fellow moderators will go heavy on Trump’s impeachment as well as the obligatory topics of the economy, national security, immigration and other familiar issues that have repeatedly been emphasized during this young campaign season.
But Alcindor could also seize upon the lack of diverse representation among the mostly white field of candidates to broach the topic of the need for a diverse Democratic ticket in the 2020 Election, something that many people have been pushing for.
Through it all, though, one thing is for sure: the internet will be watching the debate closely, which means a ton of memes and gifs being generated in real-time to show support for, mock candidates or just plain offer up some analysis.
Scroll down to see some of those memes and gifs that have already begun populating timelines across social media and check back early and often as we be updating this file with more social media reactions and analysis.
My favorite meme of 2019 is this one in particular: pic.twitter.com/1kUlwXxpei— Ⓜ️atthew Scheuerman 🦉🍎🧢 ≥ (@mordecaidesign) December 19, 2019
Watch the democratic debate tonight.... pic.twitter.com/Pm6nDHG7dX— Martin Pong (@wuommen) December 19, 2019
Getting ready for tonight's Democratic debate. pic.twitter.com/2ePyPIOEla— 93% Libertarian Boomer Norm (@Timberati) December 19, 2019
So, there’s no POC on the democratic debate stage in 2019...amongst a party that likes to throw words around like “inclusion,” “equality,” and “equity.” Maybe I should just go to bed. #DemDebate #DemocraticDebate #Democrats @KamalaHarris please come back. Equity 4 @CoryBooker pic.twitter.com/A8pLOVwdUs— Rae (@finally_raeeee) December 19, 2019
Pregaming for the SIXTH, THREE HOUR Democratic debate like: pic.twitter.com/XDcca3MxOa— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) December 19, 2019