Live Coverage Of The CBS News 2020 Democratic Debate

Tune in tonight for BET’s on-the-ground reporting from South Carolina.

BET's Madison Gray is covering all the action live from the debate floor in Charleston, South Carolina. Follow the live coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET on all CBS stations and BET. 


The End...For Now

Charleston, SC 7:06 PT/ 10:06 PM

Thanks for joining us and stay with for more coverage of the 2020 election cycle.


Who Are You Really?

Charleston, SC 7:04 PT/ 10:04 PM

The debate starts to wind down as each of the candidates offers what they believe to be the biggest misconceptions about them and their personal motto. 

The crowd errupts in cheers when Joe Biden says that if nominated, he plans to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court. Laughter ensues when he says his biggest misconception is that he thinks he has more hair than he actualy does. 

Sanders also sparks cheers by quoting Nelson Mandela's ideology of bringing all people together for a common good. 

Warren quotes scripture as her motto while Buttigieg uses a less denominatioanl interpretation of treating people as you would like to be treated yourself.



How to Handle Kim Jong-Un

Charleston, SC 6:50 PT/ 9:50 PM

Now, should the United States meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un? Klobuchar says yes, but with conditions while Biden says no, not without the notion that he'd do anything at all.

In the case of Syria, both Warren and Buttigieg say that sending troops there  to address the humanitarian crisis is not the solution.

"The solution is not to use our military, the solution is to use our other tools here," said Warren. 


Democrat or Socialist or Both

Charleston, SC 6:41 PT/ 9:41 PM:

Now Sanders, who calls himself a "Democratic Socialist" is facing the inevitable question about whether or not he'd ignore authoritarian regimes. But his answer is not completely clear because he has not specified  any particular nation.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren has not spoken for legit 10 minutes. Why is that? But there's so much she can respond to. Is she waiting to bring out the big guns? Meanwhile Sanders is calling for the largest ever voter turnout and getting young people involved.

The Russia question comes up. Biden wants to impose sanctions on Russia for their interference. But Steyer says the real problem is Donald Trump allegedly siding with Vladimir Putin and that being reason enough to impeach him.

And yet, we all know how that turned out the first time aorund. 


If Coronavirus Comes Home

Charleston, SC 6:30 PT/ 9:30 PM:

On Coronavirus, Joe Biden says that he helped prevent the Ebola pandemic from spreading in the United States. But what he would do immediately is restore funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Klobuchar says that people should go to the Centers for DIsease Control website and follows by explaining why she'd be better equipped to coordinate if the pandemic comes to the U.S.

Sanders mocks Trump as the "great genius" who thinks coronavirus will go away in April. It likley will not. 


Responsible Foreign Policy

Charleston, SC 6:30 PT/ 9:30 PM:

Elizabeth Warren remarks that the military should not be used to "solve problems that cannot be solved militarily."

A strong State Department, a strong economy and strong alliances. Will help protect U.S. security.

But Bloomberg, says we should not bring all U.S. troops home necessarily, that after 9/11 keeping troops stationed some places was absolutely necessary.

As the only veteran in the mix, Buttigieg says Trump has torn United States credibility "to shreds." In disagreement with Bloomberg, he says troops are not needed where terrorists congregate. But advanced intelligence is needed.


A Healthier America

Charleston, SC 6:15 PT/ 9:15 PM:

Bloomberg gets question about banning trans fats from restaurants while he was mayor in New York Ciity and trying to ban large sugary drinks. He stops short of saying he'd do it nationwide, but makes examples of why he thinks it would work.

"Before I left life expectancy grew by three was three years greater than the national average."

The conversation pivots to marajuana where most of the candidates talks about their intention to legalize it. However, Bloomberg emplores going slow on the legalization of marijuana because "until we know the science" it's unprincipled to push ahead on it.

For Sanders it's about expunging records and setting up Black and Brown people with marijuana businesses.

The conversation ends before break with Biden shouting something about being responsible for writing the drug court bill. However, it has been well documented that he believes marijuana is a gateway drug and that he is not prepared to legalize it if he becomes president. 


Reperations Now

Charleston, SC 6:07 PT/ 9:07 PM:

Whittaker asks Biden about how he can convince Black voters he can change years of inequities. The most marked answer among several is about going after people who support and perpetuate gentrification.

But Steyer says he's the only candidate who backs reparations for slavery. In fact, he's the first candidate to bring up reperations during the debate and address repaying African Americans for their enslaved past. 


What's Your Education Plan? 

Charleston, SC 6:00 PT/ 9:00 PM:

CBS News' Bill Whittaker asks Bloomberg about the expansion of charter schools in New York. He defends his use of them to close educational gaps. But he also says it may not be appropriate everywhere.

Warren says education solution starts with an Education Secretary who has taught in the public schools and believes in investing in public education.

Sanders pledges to make sure teachers make at least $60,000 per annum.


Is Gun Safety Possible? 

Charleston, SC 5:50 PT/ 8:50 PM:

Joe Biden says that he beat the NRA twice and says he got the Brady Bill passed and others gave "absolute immunity" to gun manufacturers. Promises to take on the NRA and gun manufacturers.

Warren goes deep with her dialogue about rolling back the filibuster, which has left important laws regarding addressing gun violence in limbo.

But Sanders touts his poor record with the NRA, which he has said in the past that he is proud of.

Amy Klobuchar weighs into the conversation saying, "I have receipts" to say that she is able to lead the ticket and having someone like her is what will win."

Buttigieg brings up his background as a veteran who understands the use and need of weaopns, but not semi-automatic or assault weapons commonly used in mass shootings. 

There seems to be a divide between what the people want regarding gun safety and what lawmakers are willing to do. All of the candidates seem to be saying the same things about the need for new gun legislation. But each are are also saying they are the person who can get the necessary laws passed.


Broken Promises

Charleston, SC 5:41 PT/ 8:41 PM:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she likes Sanders, but he's not the person to lead the Democratic party.

"Especially with the African American community, there are a lot of broken promises."

Bernie Sanders says all of Bloomberg's supporters are billionaires and says his movement, a grassroots movement, a multiracial movement, is what will defeat Trump. Warren comes after and proposes a wealth tax and putting $50 billion in HBCUs and cancelling student loan debts.



A War Against Women

Charleston, SC 5:30 PT/ 8:30 PM:

Bloomberg and Warren seem to be at verbal war over discrimination against women. The exchange has lasted about five minutes but Norah O'Donnell finally steps in as referee and sends it back to Sanders who brings up his Medicare for All plan.

Is this a debate or a math class?

The candidates are now arguing over exactly what Sanders health care plan would cost.Klobuchar already said this would cost three times the U.S. economy. But billionaire Tom Steyer says it comes down to either a Democratic socialist or someone with a long history as a Republican.

"If we go to one of those extremes, we take a terrible risk of reelecting Donald Trump."



A Risky Candidate

Charleston, SC 5:21 PT/ 8:21 PM:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren targets Bloomberg for helping to fund South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham.

"I don't care how much money mayor Bloomberg has, the core of the Democratic party will never trust him."

Bloomberg's response: "I've been training for this job since I stepped in the pile that smoldered after 9/11."



Lets Talk About Racism Shall We? 

Charleston, SC 5:18 PT/ 8:18PM:

Bloomberg acknowledges that he let the NYPD "Stop and Frisk" program get out of control and remarks his repeated apology.

"If you talk to the people in New York City" I have over 100 Black official that have endorsed me."

Buttigieg notes that there are seven white people on stage talking about racial justice and remarks that none of them have had the experiences of Black male victims of racial profiling or Black women who have been left behind by the health care system.


Voting While Black

Charleston, SC 5:13 PT/ 8:13PM:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the first to invoke Mother Emanuel Baptist Church, which sits across the street from the Gaillard Center where the debate is hapoening. But Sanders comes in with his plan for making college tuition free and a medicare-for-all single payer system. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg accuses Sanders of telling untruths about his campaign being funded by billionaires.

 "If you're watching right now and you're a billionaire, I will raise your taxes."

Biden responds to co-moderator Gayle King's question on slipping numbers with Black voters. But he says he's still 15 points ahead.

"I've worked like the devil to earn the vote of the African American community," said Biden, who declares that he will win South Carolina.


Bernie Sanders Vs. Michael Bloomberg

Charleston, SC 5:04 PT/ 8:04PM:

The 2020 CBS News Debate opens with Sen. Bernie Sanders going after former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his billionaire status. Bloomberg counters by taking aim at Sanders alleged campaign interference from Russia. But former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg steers clear of attacks saying harming the economy is what Russia wants.

It leaves us asking who's zooming whom? 


With seven Democratic candidates now qualifying for Tuesday's debate on (February 25), this will be the final curtain call for Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and billionaire Tom Steyer before Saturday's (February 29) highly-critical South Carolina primary. 

"CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King will help moderate the debate with "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell. Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan, Chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, and "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker will also provide questioning.

Candidates will have one minute and 15 seconds to answer a direct question, followed by a 45 second rebuttal. 

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