Three Questions Debate Moderators Should Ask The 2020 Front-Runners
The largest 2020 Democratic debate stage of this cycle, featuring 12 candidates, will be held in Westerville, Ohio on Tuesday. The event will be moderated by CNN’s Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper as well as The New York Times’ national editor Marc Lacey.
The candidates for tomorrow’s debate include:
- Joe Biden (27.8%)
- Cory Booker (1.3%)
- Pete Buttigieg (5%)
- Julián Castro (1%)
- Tulsi Gabbard (0.7%)
- Kamala Harris (4.5%)
- Amy Klobuchar (1.3%)
- Beto O’Rourke (1.8%)
- Bernie Sanders (15.2%)
- Tom Steyer (0.7%)
- Elizabeth Warren (26%)
- Andrew Yang (2.7%)
Despite the crowded stage, polling indicates the race is narrowing down to three front-runners: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Understanding each of the these front-runners before the field of candidates inevitably narrows is crucial for Democratic primary voters.
Here are three questions that Democratic primary voters deserve an answer to during tomorrow nights debate:
1. For Biden: Would your son, Hunter Biden, be allowed to do work with foreign entities during a Biden presidency?
This question might serve as a double edged sword to Biden, but nevertheless, would be an important one to ask. If Biden were to say “No, Hunter could not serve,” that implies he understands that his son’s work with a Ukrainian oil company is a conflict of interest and could interfere with his ability to do his job as President effectively. Not allowing Hunter Biden to work with foreign entities during a Biden presidency is essentially admitting there was a lack in judgement or a potential wrongdoing by the Bidens during the Obama administration.
If Biden were to say “Yes, Hunter could continue to serve,” then Biden is sticking by the narrative that the Bidens did nothing wrong while serving in the Obama administration.
On the other hand, answering “yes” to this question, runs counter to the anti-corruption and anti-establishment narrative driving other front-runners like Warren and Sanders.
2. For Warren: Your plan for Native American and indigenous people calls on the government to respect these groups more. How can you do that as President after falsely identifying yourself as Native American?
On Columbus Day, Warren tweeted out her support for #IndigenousPeoplesDay and support of the Native American communities.
The story of America’s mistreatment of indigenous peoples is long and painful. And yet, Native communities have proven resilient. We owe them our respect—and we must honor our government's commitments and promises to them. #IndigenousPeoplesDay
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 14, 2019
Earlier this year, Warren took a DNA test to prove that she was Native American, a minority status that helped her land a job at Harvard. Her results showed she was only 1/1,024% Native American. This led the leader of the Cherokee tribe condemning Warren for her false claims. Warren apologized, but in the cancel culture we live in today, why is Warren’s apology acceptable? Why does the media give her a pass about lying about her relationship with these tribes?
Warren “has a plan” for upholding respect for Native Americans and indigenous people, but how can she represent these groups that have condemned her? This is an answer voters deserve.
3. For Sanders: After suffering a heart attack, how can you assure voters you are physically fit for the Office of the President?
At the beginning of the month, Sanders suffered a heart attack and underwent an emergency operation to insert two stents. Since his heart attack, Sanders announced he will slow his campaign down. At the age of 78, few have questioned Sanders’ health and stamina until this month. Instead, those questions and criticisms have been thrown to 76-year-old Biden.
With age and a heart attack taken into account, it is important that voters find reassurance from Sanders regarding his physical ability to hold the highest office in the land.
While the question may appear insensitive, it is an important reassurance that voters will need if he wants to prevent his base from moving towards Warren.
The debate is on Tuesday, October 15 at 8:00 PM on CNN, and can be watched online at CNN.com, NYTimes.com, via the CNN or New York Times apps, or through live YouTube streams.