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The DNC debate, annotated for students

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Gersten 12/18/19

The entrance to the debate hall in Gersten Pavilion. The debate will begin at 5:00 p.m. PST. 

7:19 p.m.: As the debate winds down, the candidates offer hope for a better future. "We can make this country work," Warren said. 

"The gift that all of us need to give to the American people is a very different vision of the Trump administration," Sanders said. "We need to create a government based on love and compassion, not greed and hatred."

"We have to bring people with us, not shove them out," said Klobuchar on the verge of tears. 

7:12 p.m.: "I think you can be practical and progressive at the same time," Klobuchar said. "Nobody has a monopoly on ideas." She said this in response to Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders arguing over whether Medicare-for-All is possible.

6:57 p.m.: Sanders would stop violence against transgender people by having a "president who will do anything possible" to fight violence against minorities, including the transgender community. He said that Medicare-for-All would assist in the fight against these hate-crimes. 

Warren said that, every year in the Rose Garden, she will read the names of transgender women and people of color who were killed should she win the presidency. "I will do everything I can to make sure we are an America who leads no one behind," she said.

6:44 p.m.: Sanders reiterated that he would forgive all student loans in the country. Warren said the same, adding that her tax on the wealthy would put an $800 billion investment in education. "This is also about values," she said. "We need to make an investment in our future."

Buttigieg noted that, although the top 10% would pay for their own college, he would offer loan forgiveness to those who pay for college but opt to work in lower salary careers. 

6:38 p.m.: Buttigieg said he supports H.R.40, which creates a commission to research reparations for decedents of slaves. We should pass legislation that can mend the country's wrongdoings—instead of waiting for the commission—he said. In doing this, he questioned Washington's ability to get anything done.

Klobuchar argued against Buttigieg's claim that Washington gets nothing done, pointing to the experience and achievements of the candidates on stage.

Buttigieg said he felt Klobuchar denigrated his experience as a local politician. He defended himself by pointing to the difficulty of running for office as a "gay dude in Mike Pence's Indiana."

6:29 p.m.: In a question from an unnamed LMU professor, the candidates were asked about whether they would protect DREAMers. The question specifically mentioned DREAMers at LMU. 

Yang, noting that he comes from immigrants, assured DREAMers that he would protect them. Sanders said that on day one of his presidency, he would declare an executive order protecting DREAMers and ending family separation at the border. 

"Immigrants don't diminish America," Klobuchar said. "Immigrants are America."

6:19 p.m.: "We're in the fight of our lives right now," said Buttigieg. "We [Buttigieg and Independents and Conservatives] are not going to agree on everything, but we need you in this fight."

Warren then questioned Buttigieg's fundraising with wealthy donors. He responded that she shouldn't hold him to "purity tests that [she] can't pass," referring to her net worth.

Warren replied that she doesn't "sell her time" to supporters. This caused arguments on stage, which Klobuchar ended with a call for progress, not fighting.

5:58 p.m.: Steyer proposed being "frenemies" with China in order to fight climate change. 

5:48 p.m.: Klobuchar said she would pass a bill registering all 18-year-olds to vote. This was in response to questions of racial inequality in the U.S.

5:37 p.m.: Sanders seconded Steyer's plan for a state of emergency. "The question now," he said, "is whether we save the planet for our children or grandchildren."

"The biggest problem we face is the politicians in Washington," Warren added. "If we don't attack the corruption first ... then we're not going to be able to make the changes we need to make."

5:31 p.m.: The candidates are beginning to discuss environmental issues, a topic many LMU students are worried about.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar cites the California fires as evidence of climate change. Tom Steyer said he would declare a state of emergency to tackle environmental issues. Buttigieg proposed a carbon tax.

5:26 p.m.: Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that he would make college free for 80% of Americans. He noted that the top 10% will pay their own tuition, which is where he differs from other candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

5:19 p.m.: In discussing the economy, Andrew Yang cited rising depression rates and student debt as evidence that the economy is struggling. Yang pointed to the student section of the audience, which applauded. 

4:52 p.m.: According to PBS, 2,100 people are in attendance. 

4:48 p.m.: In discussing education affordability, PBS Newshour hosts referenced LMU's tuition, questioning the university's $55,000 tuition. "That's an affordability issue," one anchor said. 

4:43 p.m.: DNC chairman Tom Perez thanked LMU, Unite Here Local 11, and Sodexo for negotiating through the labor dispute that threatened the debate. "We know that when unions succeed, the middle class succeeds, and America thrives," he said.

4:23 p.m.: Junior music major Zachary Birdsall delivered the national anthem to roaring applause. A choir of LMU students followed his performance with a rendition of "America the Beautiful."

4:17 p.m.: President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D. spoke on the debate stage, complimenting the candidates' willingness to learn and to change — something he believes is necessary of the next president.

"We at LMU ... live, learn, and thrive in Los Angeles, which as you know is a global city," he said. "People come together to dream, to create, to debate."

The DNC presidential debate, hosted in LMU's Gersten Pavilion, is only an hour away. The Loyolan will be reporting live from the debate media room, focusing on issues and topics that pertain to the student body. 

Jacob Cornblatt is a junior film, television, and media studies major who watches a movie every day. He enjoys laying in a hammock under a palm tree, longing for the suffocating humidity of Gaithersburg, MD.

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