• Democratic debate 2019: 5 memorable moments from Wednesday's matchup

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    DETROIT -

    Ten candidates took the stage Wednesday night for Part 2 of the second Democratic presidential primary debate, including Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro; Sen. Cory Booker of New York; former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Kamala Harris of California; businessman Andrew Yang; Sen. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee; and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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    Here are five memorable moments from the event, held at the Fox Theatre in Detroit:

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    1. Booker's 'Kool-Aid' quote goes viral.

    After the New York senator slammed Biden's history on criminal justice reform, the former vice president took aim at Booker's actions as the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2013.

    "There was nothing done for the entire eight years he was mayor, there was nothing done to deal with the police department that was corrupt," Biden said. "Why did you announce on the first day a zero-tolerance policy of stop-and-frisk and hire Rudy Giuliani's guy in 2007, when I was trying to get rid of the crack cocaine disparity?"

    Booker fired back with what would become the "top tweeted moment" of the night, according to Twitter's government team.

    "Mr. Vice President, there's a saying in my community: 'You're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor,'" Booker replied. "You need to come to the city of Newark and see the reforms that we put in place. The New Jersey head of the ACLU has said that I embraced reforms not just in action, but in deeds."

    He continued: "Sir, you are trying to shift the view from what you created. There are people right now in prison for life for drug offenses because you stood up and used that 'tough on crime' phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed communities like mine. This isn’t about the past, sir. This is about the present right now. I believe in redemption."

    >> Watch the moment here

    2. Gabbard attacks Harris' record as a prosecutor.

    Biden and Booker weren't the only candidates to clash over criminal justice. In another viral moment, Gabbard criticized Harris' past work as a prosecutor.

    "I want to bring the conversation back to the broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately negatively impacting black and brown people all across this country today. Now Sen. Harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a prosecutor president," Gabbard began.

    "But I'm deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite, but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she fought to keep a bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."

    Harris stood by her actions. 

    "As the elected attorney general of California, I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of a state of 40 million people, which became a national model for the work that needs to be done," Harris said.

    "And I am proud of that work. And I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor, but actually doing the work of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform."

    >> Watch the video here

    3. Gillibrand jokes that she will 'Clorox the Oval Office.'

    While responding to a prompt about the Green New Deal, Gillibrand initially went for laughs by taking a jab at President Donald Trump.

    "So the first thing that I'm going to do when I'm president is I'm going to Clorox the Oval Office," she quipped.

    Gillibrand's tone then turned serious.

    "The second thing I'm going to do is I will re-engage on global climate change," she continued. "And I will not only sign the Paris global climate accords, but I will lead a worldwide conversation about the urgency of this crisis."

    >> Click here to watch

    4. Castro, Biden clash over immigration.

    While discussing immigration policy, Biden slammed Castro's plan to make illegally crossing into the U.S. a civil, rather than criminal, offense.

    "If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It's a crime," Biden said, adding that he "never heard [Castro] talk about any of this when he was the secretary."

    Castro fired back: "Mr. Vice President, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past, and one of us hasn't."

    >> Click here to watch

    5. 'Joe30330'?

    Oops.

    While delivering his final remarks of the night, Biden urged his supporters to "go to Joe30330," leading many voters to visit Joe30330.com. The problem? He meant to say, "Text Joe to 30330." 

    Following the debate, Joe30330.com sent viewers to "Josh for America," a tongue-in-cheek campaign website for a college student, USA Today reported.

    "Hey! If Joe Biden sent you here, we just want to make something clear: We're not affiliated with any presidential campaign," reads a disclaimer at the bottom of the page. "We're just having some good fun (maybe a little bit at the expense of Joe) :)"

    >> See the clip here

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