Selah Vetter / News Editor
The Democratic presidential candidates debated against one another in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. NBC News anchor Lester Holt hosted the debate.
The six Democratic candidates debated on health care, environmental concerns, taxes and ways to support America’s middle class. However, the candidates also challenged one another’s qualifications for becoming president of the United States.
Many of the candidates went after former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. This was Bloomberg’s first time qualifying for a Democratic debate. Other candidates attacked Bloomberg for being the latest billionaire running in the 2020 election and also criticized his decisions during his time as mayor of New York City. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took specific aim at Bloomberg.
“Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another,” Warren said.
Bloomberg did try to defend himself, however, the candidates continued to attack him throughout the debate.
“I’m a New Yorker. I know how to take on an arrogant conman like Donald Trump, that comes from New York,” Bloomberg said. “I’m a mayor or was a mayor. I know how to run a complicated city, the biggest, most diverse city in this country.”
The candidates did not attempt to hide their distaste of one another. Candidate Pete Buttigieg noted the polarizing views among the other Democratic candidates.
“Most Americans don’t see where they fit if they’ve got to choose between a socialist who thinks that capitalism is the root of all evil and a billionaire who thinks that money ought to be the root of all power,” Buttigieg said.
As senators, mayors and a former vice president, the candidates argued why they each are qualified for president. Warren went after the other candidates, while Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar took shots at each other throughout the night. Buttigieg belittled the importance of a presence in Washington D.C. as a relevant experience to qualify for the presidency.
“He’s basically saying that I don’t have the experience to be president of the United States,” Klobuchar said. “I have passed over 100 bills as the lead Democrat since being in the U.S. Senate. I am the one, not you, that has won statewide in congressional district after congressional district.”
Primaries will continue throughout the nation in the coming weeks and these Democratic candidates to determine which candidate will be the Democratic nominee. Currently, Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are in the lead for the Democratic Party.
Selah Vetter is a junior from Knoxville, TN double majoring in JMC and Spanish with a concentration in print journalism.