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10 standout moments from the June #DemDebate

The biggest challenge for Democratic Presidential candidates is standing out in the crowded field.

In the first of many Democratic Presidential debates, there were a few punches, a few fumbles, and a lot of progressive policies discussed. 

It is refreshing to hear candidates speak on progressive issues such as affordable health care, comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform, solutions to climate change, abortion access and inclusivity, and equal rights for all Americans. 

Progress Texas live-tweeted both nights, and here are a few key takeaways from the June #DemDebate. 

NIGHT 1

1. Meaningful & compassionate immigration reform 

Democratic Presidential nominees proposed bold, progressive solutions and immigration reform on the debate stage on Wednesday. 

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro was the first candidate to roll out an official immigration plan, including decriminalizing migration to the U.S.

2. Speaking about abortion in an inclusive way

Many of the candidates on the first debate night spoke toward their plans to have health insurance cover abortion access, in addition to other reproductive health care needs. But for many Americans, it was their first chance to see a Presidential candidate speak about abortion in an inclusive way.

3. Real climate change solutions 

While only about seven minutes on the debate were spent on climate change, many of the Democratic candidates have rolled out plans to combat our greatest existential threat. 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has made climate change the top priority of his campaign, while other Democrats count it among their top priorities. Now, Twitter users are pushing for a climate-focused debate to allow candidates to discuss the nuances of our climate, which disproportionately impacts immigrants, people of color, and lower-income families.

4. Affordable health care coverage plans

On solving the U.S. health care crisis, there were distinct differences in tactics from the candidates. Most notably, Senator Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were the only candidates to raise their hands in support of replacing private insurance corporations.

5. Donald Trump

The candidates got a few jabs in on Trump, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar had maybe the best comeback of the night.

 

NIGHT 2

1. Calling out institutional racism

California Senator Kamala Harris’ moment with former Vice President Joe Biden is one of the most memorable of the second debate. Harris brought up Biden’s history with segregationist senators.

2. Health care coverage for undocumented immigrants

When asked if their health care plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants, all 10 candidates on the stage raised their hands (though some more eagerly than others).

3. An end to gun violence

Gun reform is necessary for people to feel safe in our country again, and several candidates made it one of their top priorities of their campaign.

4. Higher education affordability

Many candidates are for making college more affordable, but their answers and tactics for doing so differ greatly.

5. Donald Trump

“Beating Trump” was another theme of the Democratic Debates, and candidates talked about their plans to undo many of Trump’s harmful policies on Day 1.

The next Democratic Presidential Debate will be on July 30 and 31.