WESTERVILLE, Ohio (CN) – Twelve presidential candidates met on the campus of Otterbein University for the fourth Democratic debate Tuesday, where they voiced their support for impeachment and their disdain for President Donald Trump.
The first half of the largest presidential primary debate in history focused on the impeachment question and, citing patriotism and duty, all 12 candidates said they believed the president should be impeached.
The candidate currently with the most momentum in the polls, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, answered first, saying that impeachment is imperative to save the presidency from Trump and for the future.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, coming off a forced break from his campaign following a heart attack on Oct. 1, looked and sounded strong as he told the audience that impeachment should be quick and expeditious.
Asked if Democrats have been careful enough in their pursuit of the impeachment of Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden answered in the affirmative and said that Democrats have been given no choice but to go forward with an impeachment inquiry.
When asked about Trump’s attempt to “get dirt” from Ukraine on him and his son, Hunter, Biden said the president was “going after me because he knows, if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum.”
Pete Buttigieg agreed with Warren, telling the audience that the need for impeachment is “about the presidency itself, because a president 10 years or 100 years from now will look back at this moment and draw the conclusion that no one is above the law or that a president can get away with anything.”
Beto O’Rourke said impeachment was a matter of patriotism.
“If we do not hold him to account, if there is not justice, not only have we failed this moment, our Constitution and our country, but we have failed everyone who has sacrificed and laid their lives down on the line.”
The remainder of the debate centered on health care and the economy, and Elizabeth Warren’s opponents attacked her plans to address those issues.
Warren led in speaking time in Tuesday’s, talking for almost 23 minutes more than Biden, who came in second. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders and Buttigieg were close behind Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer all had their chance to speak, too.
The attention on Warren during the debate made it clear that her momentum in the polls has propelled her to a frontrunner position for the Democratic race.
Buttigieg and Klobuchar attacked Warren’s refusal to say she would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All.
“The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done,” Klobuchar argued.
Sanders intervened, telling them that “as somebody who wrote the damn bill,” taxes would go up, but health care premiums, co-payments, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses would disappear.
Klobuchar and Biden both argued that Obamacare done right would work. Buttigieg told the audience that people want a choice: “Medicare for all who want it.”