tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN July 31, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
hello from detroit and the beautiful and historic fox theater. i'm wolf blitzer. just hours from now cnn democratic presidential debate gets underway. ten candidates will line up and tonight front-runner joe biden will be center stage, flanked by kamala harris and cory booker. there is every indication this second cnn debate will be just as dramatic at last night's showdown. >> 100% wolf. i'm chris cuomo. great to be the captain. wilmington to a special edition of "the lead" and jake tapper ready to moderate another debate alongside dana bash and don
lemon. the benefit of tonight is they got to go to school on what happened with the rules and interplay and what worked and didn't work last night so let's see, look at it through a little bit of a different lens and one of the questions is will we see the more liberal candidates going after biden. remember that axiom, you want noise from the front-runners and for biden it is, is he hiding biden or will he come out and fight. we'll see. let's get straight inside. we have cnn kyung lah in the stage and getting a feel. what do you think we should expect tonight? >> reporter: well we could preview that in a second. i want to point out the former vice president is still here in the fox theater, he's the second to last candidate to get his walk-through and moments ago, look at this tape. he entered the stage for his walk-through to check out his podium, but immediately he was a little different than all of the other candidates.
this was a very relaxed former vice president. he was smiling, he was waving at people. he was pausing to shake hands with the production team looking very, very relaxed as he is entering the second debate. this belies how seriously his team is taking this evening. in a pre-debate briefing, senior bide campaign officials have told reporters they will be expecting a clash on health care. they previewed that to reporters. now without naming kamala harris, we heard from the biden team that he will argue that they need to be straightforward about the cost and how you will pay for it. it is something that the former vice president feels strongly about, his record. that the vice president's team, the former vice president team said he's prepared to defend his record. so the first time around he learned that there are no rules of engagement. we also heard that the former vice president watched last
night's debate in detroit. i did speak with kamala harris' team and they say she also watched the debate in detroit. so we are anticipating that the big match-up, it is a rematch, and, wolf, it should be interesting to see how much of this actually unfolds. those feelings from the first time around. wolf. >> kyung lah, thank you very much. and let's get more insight from our political experts with us. and mark preston, what we just heard, does it look like a winning strategy tonight for the former vice president? >> well i just spent time with the vice president as he came in and talked to him about tonight. he does seem very relaxed. he's -- gosh i don't want to age myself but i started covering him 20 years ago in congress. maev and i did. she was young then. >> i've been covering him for 30 years. >> always one-upping. i think they're prepared to face an attack from both sides. from the left and right. kamala harris on one side and
cory booker on the other and that is not talking about the other seven out to the side. >> that is an important point. he's going to be flanked by kamala harris and cory booker. how does that -- given the confrontation of the past, how does that play out tonight. >> for every candidate that is on stage tonight, joe biden is the target. and for somebody like cory booker, he has telecast in many ways that he wants to go after joe biden. that he's gearing up for a fight on issues like the crime bill, on issues related to race. i think this is going to be a really fascinating balancing act for booker because he's launched his campaign based on this idea that politics could be optimistic and it can be unified so how does he maintain that m.o. and still showing the fighter side of him. and then for kamala harris, she had such a strong first debate and i think the problem with that -- and it is a good problem to have, is that the expectations just got a little bit higher for her, right. and we know that there are probably going to be clashes between kamala harris and joe biden on the issue of health
care. she just put out her new health care plan and the biden team has not been s-- shy about going after her leading up to the debate and the one dynamic is that joe biden will probably be more ready this time around. >> that could be a lively discussion, don't you think? >> yeah, for sure. and it is true that the expectations are so high for kamala harris. becauses in what she does best. we've seen her in the hearing room with brett kavanaugh, with barr, with so many of the trump nominees that went through this and she shows -- she's trying to show over and over again that she's a fighter and would be tough enough against donald trump and in truth the women do have a higher bar because when you go out on the trail and talk to voters. a lot of them are a little bit unsure if they want to see a woman go up against donald trump. and the debate stage is the best place for elizabeth warren and kamala harris to show that
toughness and the readiness for the fight. >> clearly biden would much rather have his focus going after the president, president trump as opposed to the either nine candidates. >> he sure would. and i'm positive we'll hear a lot from him on that subject. the good news from the biden people is he's relaxed. one of the experiences you have in this debate is some people clam up the day before, the night before and they go in lock jawed and they stumbled around. tonight it is vital for biden, the most important thing is to show his age is not an issue. that he has -- his vital signs are strong and he knows how to respond. if he loses on that front, the rest of it doesn't matter. but if he wins on that front, then you could get to the policies. >> unlike last night, it is pretty diverse group of candidates tonight. >> it is a very diverse group of candidates. and i think that that will be on display. last night it was about ideology and tonight it is a debate about vision. although there will be clashes over health care. and i really do think for joe
biden to david's point, in that first debate, so many voters had high expectations for him and they were really disappointed. they say it in different ways but they say he sounded too soft spoken and weren't sure if he was ready to take the fight to trump and he's going to have to prove that tonight and it seems like the last couple of weeks have been practice for that. really sharpening the attacks on harris and volleys back at the other candidates. and i think we'll see a very lively joe biden tonight. >> you said women have a higher bar and i absolutely agree with that. but one thing women have going for them is they have more moral authority than them and i think kamala harris brings that into the debate. >> yeah. for sure. >> and a lot of the democrats are fearful that if it gets too lively, that plays into president trump's hands. >> you know, look after the debates, we're going to look at who are the winners and the losers. the short-term winner is donald trump only because you will have seen the democrats fighting. the long-term winner is going to be the democratic party because
they need to have this fight now. they need to figure out what the vision of the party is and who is the standard bearer and what direction they're going to go in. just talking about kamala harris, also saw her this afternoon in a little bit of time. cool as a cucumber. really cool. as was biden. and i have to tell you, of all of the candidates that i've seen here, these two seem very, very relaxed. >> kamala's way of preparing for these things, i talked to her team, she started with the big briefing book and works down to an outline to know exactly what arguments she wants to make and then she asked her team to press her in every fashion. so that she's ready for whatever argument her opponents will make. so that she's ready with a comeback and she's very cool in these settings. in some ways it's as high stakes as in the courtroom earlier in her career. >> in terms of just how lively this has to be tonight, for any of the candidates who are
standing on the flanks of the stage, not center stage, they really, really have to bring it. because this could be the last debate. the september debate is going to be that much more difficult to qualify and this is really their moment to show that they have some legs and that their political campaign -- >> and de blasio and kirsten gillibrand. coming up tonight is is a rematch between joe biden and kamala harris. now biden said he's ready. i'll speak with the communications director for the harris campaign. and also should the candidates attack each other or go after president trump tonight. we'll be right back. my experience with usaa has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪
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by a sharp attack last month. and joining us lily adams from the harris campaign. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> a nice place we have here. >> it is beautiful. >> we saw what happened in the first debate. this is round two. the vice president is saying he's, quote, not going to be as polite this time. what do you expect? what should we expect in round two. >> well i'll say that kamala harris answered reporter questions today and said that her mother raised her to be polite so i expect she'll be very polite but i think she views this as an opportunity to talk to the american people out there looking at who do they want to take on trump. who is the toughest person to put on the stage with donald trump. who is a truly existential threat to the values that we do share. >> is she going to continue to go after him -- the former vice president on various civil rights issues? >> that is certainly not her goal. her goal is to talk about her vision for the future. i think that obviously i don't know why this -- that discussion on busing was a surprise for the vice president. he certainly wrote about the topic in his book. but that's up to his team to
decide how to prepare him. but i do think what she's going to raise are the 3:00 a.m. issues keeping people up at night and that is what she's talking to people on the trail about. >> and michael bennet of colorado is touring the stage, last of the ten candidates to get a feeling for the lectern and the microphone and taj -- the stage up there. we saw your senator harris up there. did she look what she saw? >> i think so. it issa beautiful historic theater. she's thrilled to be here in detroit. an iconic american city. but obviously every stage is different. so it is good to get a feel for it yourself. >> let's get to the sensitive issues that will certainly come up tonight. she put out her detailed health care plan. the biden team is accusing senator harris of, quote, a long and confusing pattern of kwif kating about her stance on health care is she ready to stand by her new health care plan tonight. >> absolutely. and she's done what i think voters would expect someone running for president would do. she talked to people and heard
their concerns and talked to experts. and kathleen seb he'll elius wh had great faith in said her plan is the way to get to health care. we feel strong about the program she's laid out. >> i read her plan and it has a lot of detail but one thing i'm confused on and you could clarify and it is a ten-year transition to kplar for all. during the first ten years there is still private health insurance, is that right. >> yes. and two things, wolf. one an immediate medicare buy in the same as bernie's plan but she'll take ten years to get to full medicare for all. >> so what happens after ten years, if you like private health insurance, will you still be able to private health insurance or do you have to have medicare. >> there will be private medicare plans just like today in medicare and public medicare plans. >> what about private health insurance with other private companies? will they still be allowed to operate? >> yes, operating in the medicare system. just like they do today -- >> what if they don't want to operate in the medicare system after ten years, would that be
illegal. >> you wouldn't want them to operate like they do today. they're raising deductibles and causing insane out of pocket costs. >> and people like their private health insurance. >> health insurance companies could get certified if they play by the rules but right now we're playing by their rules and that is the problem with health care today unless we bring them in to get certified just like it happens today in medicare which people like. >> senator bernie sanders said after four years, private health insurance and a four-year transition and you're saying ten year transition. >> and there is two good reasons. one health care is personal and people were uncomfortable with that quick transition. also for union members, they want time to go to the negotiating table and be able to say, no, i know my health care is taken care of so i want to negotiate harder for wages. >> the subject will come up later tonight. lily adams, thank you for coming in. >> thank you so much. >> good luck to your candidate.
i appreciate it very much. thanks very much. let's go over to chris. >> important ground to cover, wolf. it was good to hear that interview. let's get a take from the political experts. what a panel. rick santorum, jen psaki and mayor andrew gillum and paul biggala. so help me. feel free to attack the premise. but, paul, when i listen to this, why do the democrats, we saw it last night, take the debate of being obsessed with how. you don't know how you get it done. you don't know if you tax the middle class. harris has been all over the place because that is the pragmatism you usually apply they've just been clumsy about it but the idea of we have the plan. you think you win the election on the basis of a plan. >> no, hillary would have -- she would have been allowed to serve. i'm for specificity but people want to know the direction. jfk did not stand in texas and say we'll have a rocket and
tracking stations in new zealand and said we're going to the moon. and all of the democrats agree on that. and that is why tlar they're -- why tlar doing it because there is 20 in the case. >> but juxtapose with whoever wins, you will not hear this president talk about his health care plan at all during the election. i don't mean it as a criticism. >> no. broad strokes. >> he'll say what they did strunk and what i'll do is better and they'll stopping me because they are a bunch of crazy socialists. that is the beginning and the end, no. >> the president will talk about how they want to take your health care plan away. 180 million people, most of whom are the base democratic voters, union members, they'll take their health care plan away. and he'll repeat that and you'll get the same plan as that guy who illegally crossed the border yesterday and you think that plan who crossed the border is the best health care plan you could get? no one who has health care right now through their employer would agree with that.
>> a year from now, i'm happy to make the bet, wlofr the democratic nominee is that donald trump will take your health care away and make it so your pre-existing conditions will not be covered and there will maybe be a supreme court case. it is good to have a 45-minute debate about health care but ultimately the democrats all believe costs should be lowered and access should be increased and to your point, i think all of the details will be worked out and in the platform but beyond that it is going to be whoever is elects. >> they want run away from the specificity, they're dying -- on the mountain right now. >> you shouldn't get the specificity. i know that is my point. and people will say we need plans and specifics. no. journalists like it because it gives you proxy for inquisitiveness and pushing but the political reality, elizabeth warren once last night and i thought she did well and her hands up and blocking blows an hitting back and that is good you have to show this assertiveness in this kind of venue and once she said we're
not the party taking away health care. that is what the republicans -- once she said it. she defended it 50 different ways. >> but so first of all, we should acknowledge that in this primary there are not a large number of distinctions between the candidates. they are sort of moving around the edges. >> they all have different titles. >> and medicare for most and when you want it. >> if you want it. i like that one. that is a good suggestion last night. i kept thinking if i want what? what is this. but the point is that there is not huge gulfs between where we are across a number of issues and so i think there are certain candidates who really do need to drive this wedge around how it is that it is going to be done. but agree with jen, the truth is that as well as the senator, republicans want to take away your health care. countless numbers of votes -- >> and that is the argument. >> in congress to strip away obamacare, period. >> this is the most important thing to me. tonight i want these democrats to point out to the country the
fact that our president has proposed colossal cuts, hundreds and hundreds of billion dollars cut from medicare and from medicaid. >> that is right. >> and he's in court as we speak at the fifth circuit asking them to throw out the entire affordable care act, especially your protections for pre-existing conditions. >> now here is -- >> the problem with every one of them, the problem is it a it doesn't differentiate you from the other candidates. >> that is the problem. so one group wants people to have access -- >> no -- >> on the stage, the way you do it is if you are the person that takes case to the president, and instead of trying to make a marginal increase from the man or woman next to you, maybe you distinguish that way. >> this is an opportunity for joe biden. he should be proud and stand up and say i worked on obamacare and we should build on that and go farther and make it more accessible. >> which brings me to the point, and -- >> hurry up because they're yelling at me. >> last night barack obama's name was not mentioned by one candidate. >> you wait until tonight.
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glad i could help. at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. you know in realtime we're seeing such an important demonstration of what the difference is between politics and government. the cnn democratic debate is taking place in michigan. you know that. this is a state donald trump carried in 2016 because he was able to identify with the disaffection and the outrage. but that doesn't mean that he addressed the problems that he identified with. for instance, the candidates last night, you heard them talk about flint. you heard them talk about the water crisis. but you got this sense that it was past tense, right? the closing of a gm plant here, union health care benefits and
the tensions. they want to talk about plans to fix but are they owning the reality. here is my argument against. democratic congressman dan kildee of michigan, thank you. so the congressman and i see each other last night and talk about the realities of how bad it is in flint. and he said you weren't going to the campaigns and getting them to try to acknowledge it, it wasn't dealt with honestly. >> it hasn't been dealt with honestly by the government and i have to apologize to you as a member of the media, we haven't continued to shine a light on it as well. we got compassion fatigue. what is the reality right this minute for people living in flint, michigan. >> i think the big mistake is to think that the flint water crisis was really fundamentally about water. water was the symptom of a really big problem. we have a lot of places, a lot of communities in this country that are continually left behind. we heard the president go after the people of baltimore. baltimore is another case study here. the people of flint experienced a water crisis because they were allowed to get to the place where their one mistake and one
miscalculation away from being in that sort of crisis. >> so the infrastructure was in a state of disrepair and it was inevitable. >> exactly. infrastructure failure and the kind of austerity imposed on that city is still in place. the fact the city doesn't have adequate resources to have a police department any bigger than half it was a few years ago and a fire department the same. the parks are not properly maintained and mowed. the schools, many of them in very bad shape. and so the water crisis in some ways ripped the cover off what was happening in that community. and that aspect of it is not over with. but honestly, neither is the affect of the crisis itself. >> these are your constituents and you're right, there are flints all over this country. people can laugh but marianne williamson was the only one who connected with compassion that is necessary to see how systemically these things fit together. but even on the water crisis, i looked online to see what are
the anecdotes, somebody put online my pipes have been mixed in my house and i can't cook with this water. it doesn't look right. it doesn't taste right. i'm still using bottled water. what percentage of people there do you think are still not able to have that basic necessity. >> i don't think people even who have water that might be safe trust it yet. and this is like one of the biggest casualties of all of this in flint. is that, yes, there are still problems with the water and the pipes have not all been -- >> they were told it was good before. >> that's the issue. >> fool me once, shame on you, fool pe twice, shame on me. >> they were told by the government which is an entity they don't distinguish between government and democrats or republicans or this administration or that, the government said your water is safe. the government told them just relax, literally, that was the point made. relax. when they knew the water had high levels of lead and legionella and 12 people died,
we don't know the full effect of the crisis on the development of young kids or the health of older people. they were told it is okay when the government knew it wasn't okay. >> buttigieg talked about south bend and how they have a lead problem with paint and the money they get is only enough to deal with a fraction of the problem. and, look, we know the attract ability of the problem, you and your family have been dealing with this for generations but the question is who will connect with it. i'm fine of you battling it out about health care and i think it is impractical and i don't know whether you could tax the middle class once you are in power or what the mechanism is or the trajectory or the runway to change the system from what it is right now and you can't know because of the political realities that are yet to be ascertained by when you're in office but you can connect with those people. >> for sure. >> and say i haven't forgotten. i know it sucks on different levels and we'll figure out ways to help you. i didn't hear that last night. >> i was looking for it last night. and folks are my friends so it is hard to say, this but they have not touched this question
the way they should. if they have a conversation as they did about economic injustice and inequality in our economy, you'll see it in flint. if you want to have a conversation about racial disparity, come to flint. if they want to have a conversation for god's sake about the failure of infrastructure, there was hardly a mention of what is really a big issue in this country, not just in terms of the injustice that it delivers to a place like flint, michigan, but the fact that it holds back our competitiveness. why aren't we having this conversation? >> it is not as sexy as health care right now. but who thought health care would be sexy. but here is what i promised. i won't let it go. i had you on today and we are supposed to be talking about in the debate. this is what should happen in the debate and you should choose your constituents ten times out of ten out of your friends in congress because that is fleeting and these are the people that put you where you are and you are trying to do the job and put the message out. thank you. let me know how we could be helpful and i won't let you down
again. wolf, to you. >> very important conversation. we're back with our political correspondents and maeve we'll hear discussion tonight on the health care and kamala harris has rolled out her own plan to eliminate private health insurance effectively after ten years. is she ready tonight to explain in detail what she has in mind? >> think she is. but that is a huge challenge for her going forward. just the questions that you were talking to lily about, the fact this would be phased out over ten years, the private plans that people like, here in michigan in particular in the industrial midwest there are so many union members who have worked for those benefits who aren't ready to give up private insurance. can they affectively make the case tonight that this is a system that people should transition to. and there are so many people out there also that worry that if you move everyone in the country on to medicare, that the quality of their own care will be
diminished. so on this issue i think that the former vice president has an easier path because that is the argument that they made. >> they disagree. >> they disagree on this issue and he's trying to channel those voters when he talks about it. >> mark, governor jay inslee of washington tate is going to talk about climate change. that is his big issue tonight. is there is there a -- a serious debate among the candidates on that issue. >> we'll have to see. we don't know what will be discussed tonight. but we do know his whole candidacy has been focused on climate change. that is good for the issue. i don't think that is good for the governor. i had him on my radio show and talked about his policies and beyond climate change and i was surprised about how liberal he was. i didn't realize that the governor was really, really to the left. that never was able to be shown because he only talked about climate change. but, look, just yesterday there was a thousand protesters up front, largely asking for
climate change to be addressed. this is a huge issue in the democratic party. if not just the world. >> do you think, david, the debate tonight will be on policy-driven issues or some politics in store? >> there are always politics in store. i think the big difference tonight with last night, last night the moderates were on the attack. they found their voice for the first time and attacking sanders and warren. tonight it will flip and the progressives will be more on the attack and going after biden and the moderate positions and he has to be able to return fire on their plans but he has to have something to say about his own plans. it has been vague in some areas. only some people have the vaguest idea of what he wants to do as president and he has to tart clarifying that tonight as well as have a smooth performance. >> i assume the candidates will go after president trump. >> that is right. the reality is that this is a democratic primary. so they have to battle it out right now on issues like health care and issues like the economy as we saw last night i expect there is going to be a very robust discussion on the issues.
but you cannot emphasize enough how important it is for these candidates to start going after president trump as well. at least to start making their general election argument, right. the thing that i hear probably the most and maif, if it is the same for you, talking to voters, there are so many issues that they care about but the one thing they're most worried about is are we going to nominate a democratic candidate to take on president trump. health care is important obviously. economic issues are important. but is the person that we follow inate going to be able to take on president trump. >> you're hearing the same thing. >> the top issue is we want a fighter, somebody who is practiced in those artd -- arts and deal with president trump potentially stalking them on the stage like he did hillary clinton. >> it is all fresh in our minds. >> and somebody that could speak to those voters that he won and that is what i'll be list inning for tonight, whether or not they could speak to the middle of the country and those people who felt so disaffected in the last
election, particularly when they're feeling like the economy is good right now. >> of the ten tonight, the ten last night and 20 candidates, so far only 7 have qualified for the next debate in september in houston. who else do you think will eventually qualify in addition to t to the seven who have made it. >> i think julian castro clearly has the momentum and the ability. i also think that andrew yang is on the verge. he said he had qualified and doesn't seem he has. there was confusion over what poll he could use to qualify for that debate. won't get into the weeds on that. but what is interesting about the andrew yang situation is that last night we saw marianne williamson give a performance on the stage and people are gushing over it because it was different and it was new. you know who is not gushing over it. democrats are not gushing over it. certainly establishment democrats because they want to primary field shrinken down and when you see a performance and getting name recognition and andrew yang has a political base
to build on tonight. >> we talk about the break-out moments, i have to say, that is just half of the battle. you could have a breakout moment but does that translate into political momentum. >> stand by. there is more we need to follow up on. so what can the candidates taking the stage later tonight learn from their colleagues who sparred last night? we'll be right back. red lobster's weekday win menu is here. five days. five deals. for fifteen dollars get a different deal every weekday til six pm like endless shrimp monday admiral's feast tuesday four-course feast wednesday and more. five days. five deals. fifteen dollars. see you before six.
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style and what will happen at the cnn democratic presidential debate tonight will be a function of what we saw last night. so let's bring in rick santorum and jen psaki and andrew gillum and paul big ala. you have to learn to learn. you have a beautiful opportunity if you are on night two and you saw how the moderators enforced the rule which is early and often and the biggest lesson. >> the biggest lesson is early and often. the story line is early. john delaney got too much time but he got it early and took his shots. whether it worked or not, he got in there early on health care and challenged elizabeth warren. you will see everybody is not named joe biden trying to do that in the first ten minutes, going after joe. >> use your time wisely. there is not a lot of time and we saw that catch a pum of people love and folks that didn't have things to say. and my guess is if you get that a few couple of moments, make it count and say something that
will be memorable and people will walk away saying i got that. and not just zingers. we're smart people. we could pick up on complex thoughts. >> i think there is a lesson from the first debate is democrats look for somebody to move their heart and not just their head. it is the people who are connecting or speaking to people's emotions and fears and concerns and their hopes and dreams. marianne williamson was the most searched person last night. i don't think she'll be the nominee but she brought something compelling. i think kamala harris benefited not just from attacking joe biden, which was interesting, but because she connected it to his bio and her story and pulled people's heartstrings and that is a good lesson and cory booker and kirsten gillibrand and others that want to have a moment. >> and you're the only one here who has done this. >> 30 times. >> presidential debate. >> so give it to us. >> jen, the only thing i would add to that is i would say everything you said is correct. it has to connect personally.
it has to be authentic. last night i thought buttigieg did a great job in some of the language that he used and but it just seemed a little hollow to me. whereas williamson, it seemed really sincere. it came from the heart. as opposed to sort of a structured attempt to connect. >> let's play it. here is -- just so you understand, marianne williamson is a very polished communicator. i've said it many times and say it again, i like her books. her work on a course of miracles and her understanding between head and heart and why people can use pain as an empowerment, the healing of the soul of america, another one of her four best-sellers it all speaks to that. doesn't mean i think she should be president but the voice is inviting of a connection that we saw in very short supply. here is a taste. >> i've heard some people here tonight, i almost wonder why you're democrats. you think there is something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. that is what government should do. >> now, that was just one taste.
in truth, what really distinguished her last night is when she talked about flint. everybody talks about flint but it is checking a box and mentioning they were screwed in flint but she said you have to -- it is systemic, it is not one thing, it is everything and they know it and they feel you've forgotten them and if they don't think you have their back, why would they be there for you when they vote for us. she was spot on. so what do you need to see tonight? >> the value of what she did, one, she bought a local michigan issue, based here, this is a pivotal state for democrats -- >> which is a metaphor all across the countrimey, there ar flints across the country. >> which is the point, we're in flint today and similar to what mayor buttigieg experienced in south bend and that captured the imagination of so many of us because in our news feeds and our facebook and our twitter, these stories reciprocate and we see them all over the country. and so it wasn't just south bend, it is tallahassee, florida, and miami-dade and you
name it. and that is why it took such resonance and the same is true for flint. the water crisis all over the country and communities that have dilapidated infrastructure and deserving of investment because we're here in michigan it is no accident that the state matters. we have to talk about the issues that matter. >> the how matters but it is all about the why. i have to go to break. and rick, i want people to remember that. 30 times you've been up there and hell of a debater so we'll use that help and acumen to give you three things to watch for during tonight's cnn democratic presidential debate. why only three? because numbers sell. next. maria ramirez? hi. maria ramirez! mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars
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we're back inside of the fox theater here in detroit. our political director david challan is with us. what are the three top things you're looking for tonight? >> well first and foremost, i think every democrat watching tonight is looking for biden's do-over. eyes are on performance. this will be a substantive debate no doubt. but style is going to count here because of his lackluster performance in miami, i think that is first and foremost. he has to show democrats he's got the fortitude, the wherewithal to take this fight to donald trump. the next thing i'm looking for is the politics of race and how that is handled in this debate. joe biden is standing between kamala harris and cory booker, two of the most strident poin points -- opponents and how he pushes back on that i'm curious to see how he handles that and
how booker and harris decide to make attacks there and then finally i'm also looking to see kamala harris on health care. because as you know for the first seven months of her presidential campaign, wolf, she has been anything but critical clear on sort of what her position was. which is why she rolled out a health care plan in advance of this debate. it gives her like a sturdier floor to stand on on this issue. the number one issue for voters. and make her case. her plan is a step away from medicare for all. where she's been. she claims it is till medicare for all plan. but it is a step away from the sanders plan and i'm curious to see how she explains it. >> and i'm curious to see how biden goes after her on the health care plan. >> and how to pay for it, to raise taxes unlike bernie sanders to bring the health care costs down. >> he's been saying it is bernie sanders light through a spokesperson. >> exactly. >> stand by. we have more to discuss. coming up, as we count down to
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the stage including the front-runner joe biden flanked by his two sharpest critics, kamala harris and cory booker. >> and i'm kries cuomo here with the captain wolf blitzer where the excitement may be bigger than last night and we know the fireworks have to be coming because everybody wants what joe biden has which is the lead in the polls. cory booker has already said he plans to go after biden on his role in the '94 crime bill. is that good for booker? that good for the party. harris will look to repeat her break-out moment when she attacked biden on busing. the question is will she take fire as well. there are seven other candidates. for some of them this is likely the last chance to get the traction they need to stay in the race. so let's begin our coverage. we have political experts standing by tonight. but first let's go to cnn congressional