After combative SC debate, 2020 Democrats return to campaign trail


AMNA NAWAZ: Democratic presidential candidates
hit the trail in South Carolina today, on the heels of last night’s raucous debate. As Lisa Desjardins reports, the candidates
left it all on the stage. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate:
South Carolina chooses presidents. LISA DESJARDINS: In the Palmetto State today,
a 2020 Democratic blitz. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential
Candidate: I am ready to fight. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), Presidential Candidate:
Please, bring your friends, your neighbors, your family members. PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), Presidential Candidate:
I am here to ask for your vote. LISA DESJARDINS: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders,
the leader nationally, is trying to pull off a surprise win here, adding event after event. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Now, to defeat Trump,
you cannot run a conventional campaign. Same old, same old is not going to do it. LISA DESJARDINS: But former Vice President
Joe Biden has long led the pack in the state, and, for him, South Carolina is a must-win. Today, he scored a coup, the endorsement of
South Carolina representative Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress. REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): I know Joe. We
know Joe. But, most importantly, Joe knows us. LISA DESJARDINS: If nothing else, it is intense
here, as evidenced last night. (CROSSTALK) LISA DESJARDINS: When the candidates debated
in Charleston. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Tom, I think she was
talking about my plan. LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders got the front-runner
treatment, meaning attacks from all sides. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), Presidential Candidate:
As one prominent Democrat once said, we should pay attention to where the voters of this
country are, Bernie. That prominent Democrat was Barack Obama. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: Bernie and I agree
on a lot of things, but I think I would make a better president than Bernie. PETE BUTTIGIEG: I am not looking forward to
a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump, with his nostalgia for the social order of
the 1950s, and Bernie Sanders, with a nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s. LISA DESJARDINS: But Sanders was undaunted,
using his final statement to push back at the criticism. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Misconception — and
you’re hearing it here tonight — is that the ideas I’m talking about are radical. They’re
not. In one form or another, they exist in countries all over the world. LISA DESJARDINS: The candidates also went
after the two billionaires on the stage. Senator Elizabeth Warren struck at former New York
City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, bringing up a lawsuit alleging he spoke harshly to a pregnant employee
worried about balancing her job and her future child. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: At least I didn’t have
a boss who said to me, “Kill it,” the way that Mayor Bloomberg is alleged to have said… MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, Presidential Candidate:
Never said that. Oh, come on. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: … to one of his pregnant
employees. People want a chance to hear… (BOOING) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: People want a chance
to hear from the women who have… (CROSSTALK) MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I never said that. LISA DESJARDINS: Biden and billionaire Tom
Steyer faced off over Steyer’s past business with private prisons. JOSEPH BIDEN: Well, my good friend on the
end of this platform, he, in fact, bought a system that was a private prison system,
after, after he knew that, in fact, what happened was, they hog-tied young men in prison here
in this state. TOM STEYER (D), Presidential Candidate: I
have worked to end the use of private prisons in my home state, and we have ended it. I
have started a bank to support black ownership of businesses, women ownership of businesses,
and Latino owners of businesses, because this financial service industry is prejudiced. I have worked tirelessly on this. And you
know I’m right. LISA DESJARDINS: The raucous debate wasn’t
all fighting. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota stressed the need for health care and health
workers outside of cities. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: We’re going to have a
million openings for home health care workers, particularly in rural areas, that we don’t
know how to fill. We’re going to have over 100,000 openings for nursing assistants. LISA DESJARDINS: There was also one piece
of unity over criticizing the president. Bloomberg slammed the administration’s response to concerns
about the coronavirus. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: The president fired the
pandemic specialists in this country two years ago, so there’s nobody here to figure out
what the hell we should be doing. MAN: Elizabeth Warren. LISA DESJARDINS: What the candidates and some
of their high-profile backers are now doing is sprinting. South Carolina Democrats vote in three days,
on Saturday. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins. AMNA NAWAZ: For more politics coverage, head
to the “NewsHour” Web site. That’s where you can watch Judy Woodruff at
today’s Knight Foundation media forum. She led a discussion on democracy in the age of
the Internet, featuring Teddy Goff, digital director of President Obama’s reelection campaign,
and Ory Rinat, the chief digital officer for the Trump administration. Plus, tune in tomorrow, when Judy sits down
with Michael Bloomberg. That’s right here on the “NewsHour.”

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