(UnitedVoice.com) – With just a few days to go before the all-important South Carolina primary on Saturday and Super Tuesday primaries next Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidates turned up the heat on one another in Tuesday night’s debate.
The debate exposed the widening divide between the far-left candidates and the comparatively more moderate left-leaning ones. Some candidates are also under pressure to drop out of the race.
Fighting for their political lives, candidates were creating commercials for President Trump — telling each other they can’t win in the general election. It may be the first time in American history that candidates were making such claims about members of their own party.
Sanders Presence Dominates the Debate
Sanders entered the debate as the party’s front-runner — and got treated like it. He faced attacks about his views on socialism, his defense of Cuba, and the costs of his social welfare programs.
Sanders tried to make an argument that he is the candidate best positioned to defeat Trump in November. However, his opponents labeled him too extreme, radical, and heavily flawed.
Former Vice President Joe Biden attacked Sanders as being soft on gun control.
Former New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg claimed that Russia was trying to help Sanders win the nomination so that Trump could easily defeat him in November.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) (both considered moderates next to the far-left candidates) questioned Sanders’ ability to fulfill his promises. Sanders advocates strongly for Medicare for All, the full elimination of student debt, free college, the Green New Deal, and more.
Sanders Can’t Win
Buttigieg went on to say that Sanders would be a disaster for the Democratic party against Trump and that he would only create “chaos” and further divide the country — resulting in four more years of Trump.
Klobuchar attacked Sanders’ plan as nothing more than “broken promises that sound good on bumper stickers.”
Billionaire Tom Steyer accused Sanders of wanting a “government takeover” of the economy.
Bloomberg said that the nomination of Sanders would ensure a path to losing.
Sanders’s responded that whoever the Democratic nominee is, that person will need a campaign that is energetic and exciting. He reiterated a common refrain that working people need to come back to the Democratic party.
Division Grows Wider
Since the 2016 election, moderates in the Democratic party have been wrestling with the far-left. In 2018, four freshmen far-left Democrats called “the squad” began pressuring moderates to take far-left positions on immigration, healthcare, and climate change.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the unofficial leader of the squad, has withheld nearly $5 million from her PAC from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee because she claims it’s too moderate. AOC is using that money to work against moderate Democrats in favor of far-left candidates, upsetting the much larger moderate wing of the party.
AOC is a surrogate of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
Several weeks ago, Sanders declared war on the Democratic party saying it is time for a political revolution.
Over the last few weeks, moderate Democrats have been sounding the alarm that Sanders must be stopped.
On Tuesday, former Obama Chief of Staff and Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, said Sanders’s campaign is built on a false premise and that he is playing with political fire that puts at risk the future of the entire party.
Democratic strategist Jim Manley said that nominating a socialist is like “leading with our chin.” He further said the entire ballot will be demonized, making it hard for Democrats to win across the country.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said Sanders’s foreign policy views on Cuba will doom the party.
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) said he wouldn’t support Sanders and that beating Trump would be extremely difficult. Likewise, Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) said people from South Carolina do not want socialism and that Sanders will not be the nominee when asked if he would support him.
South Carolina’s primary is on Saturday. On Tuesday, a third of all delegates will be at stake as 14 states head to the polls.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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