Oct. 16 (UPI) — Democrats tackled current events, including the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the conflict in Syria, during the fourth round of 2020 presidential debates on Tuesday.
The 12 candidates appearing in the debate at Otterbein UniversitDemocrats tackled current events, including the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the conflict in Syria, during the fourth round of 2020 presidential debates on Tuesday. in Westerville, Ohio, were unified in calling for Trump to be impeached and removed from office after a whistle-blower’s report stated that he attempted to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden during a July phone call.
Biden on Tuesday evening maintained that he did not discuss his son’s involvement in a Ukrainian oil firm and took part in no wrongdoing.
“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong,” Biden said. “What I think is important is we focus on why it’s so important to remove this man from office.”
Billionaire Tom Steyer, who appeared in a debate for the first time Tuesday night, called upon his history demanding Trump’s impeachment, saying that every candidate participating in the debate is “more coherent and more patriotic than the criminal in the White House.”
“Two years ago, I started the need to impeach movement because I knew there was something wrong at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that we did have the most corrupt president in the country and the voice and will of the American people would drag Washington to see it as a matter of right and wrong, not political expediency. Impeaching and removing the president is something the American people are demanding,” he said.
California Sen. Kamala Harris said she would vote to impeach Trump, stating that it was clear he has committed crimes while in office.
“It’s just being observant,” Harris said. “Because he has committed crimes in plain sight. I mean, it’s shocking, but he told us who he was.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii slammed Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria amid a Turkish military operation targeting Kurdish forces in the country.
Gabbard described the casualties from the conflict as a negative consequence of a “regime-change war” in Syria.
“Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hands,” she said. “But so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime-change war.”
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded to Gabbard’s assessment of the Syria conflict by describing it as “dead wrong.”
“The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it is a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values,” he said.
The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary said Trump made “a tremendous mistake, a total disaster” in his decision to withdraw the troops from Syria, adding that it has hurt his credibility as a leader.
“If you’re Kim Jong Un, for instance, why in the world would you believe anything this president says to contain your nuclear weapons program when he tore up an Iran nuclear agreement that we just signed four years ago … and now he’s abandoned the very people that we gave our word to,” he said.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said his federal jobs plan would ensure work for millions of Americans who risk losing their jobs to automation.
“We have an infrastructure which is collapsing, we can put 15 million people to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our wastewater plants airports, etc.,” he said.
He added that the Green New Deal will create up to 20 million jobs while combating climate change.
Businessman Andrew Yang warned that many Americans do not want to work for the federal government and said that Sanders’ plan doesn’t account for people who stay home caring for children and the elderly.
Yang presented his signature universal basic income plan, which would provide all Americans with $1,000 a month as an alternative.
“If you rely upon the federal government to target its resources you wind up with failed retraining programs and jobs that no one wants,” he said. “If we put the money in our hands we can build a trickle-up economy from our people, our families and our communities up.”
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke pledged to use trade deals with foreign nations, including some that would allow Mexican workers to enter unions, elevating unions in the United States, investing in “world-class” public education and eliminating the issue of cost for higher education to help Americans secure jobs.
“We will make sure that every single American has a shot,” he said. “They don’t want a handout, they don’t want a job guarantee, they just want a shot, and as president, I will give them that shot.”
Roe vs. Wade
As candidates discussed the state of the Supreme Court and defending Roe vs. Wade, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar provided a preview of what she would say on the issue in a one-on-one debate with Trump.
“You, Donald Trump, are not on the side of women. You are not on the side of people of this country when over 75 percent of people want to keep Roe vs. Wade on the books, when over 90 percent of people want to make sure we have available contraception. You defunded Planned Parenthood. I would fund it again,” she said.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker noted that “we are seeing all over this country women’s reproductive rights under attack,” citing the closure of two Planned Parenthood locations in Ohio, while also calling on men to take up the issue of reproductive rights.
“Women should not be the only ones taking up this fight, and men, it is not just because women are our daughters and our friends and our wives, it’s because women are people and people deserve to control their own bodies,” he said.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren highlighted that a potential reversal of Roe vs. Wade would most affect those who cannot afford an abortion.
“I lived in an America where abortion was illegal and rich white women still got abortions,” Warren said. “What we’re talking about now is that the people who are denied access to abortion are the poor, are the young.”