November Democratic debate: Live updates

With only 75 days until primary voting begins, 10 Democratic presidential candidates met onstage in Atlanta Wednesday to try to convince viewers that they are the one who can defeat President Donald Trump and win back the White House.

The debate, which was hosted by The Washington Post and NBC, saw candidates grilled on questions about Medicare for all, a "wealth tax" and the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

Below are the live updates from the debate.

LivestreamWatch the livestream of the debate here beginning at 8 p.m. ET

Live updates

Closing statements

11:20 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Here are the candidates closing statements:

  • Booker calls out civil rights icon John Lewis, who is in the audience. "It's time for a leader."
  • Steyer says he is different from everyone on the stage because he has put together a coalition that can change Washington.
  • Gabbard says she will treat Americans with respect and compassion. She quotes Martin Luther King who visited Hawaii in the late 1950s.
  • Yang says our kids are not alright because we are leaving them with a dark future. He says Trump is not the cause, but is a symptom of our troubles.
  • Klobuchar refers to the impeachment inquiry and says this election is a decency check.
  • Harris says we are in a fight. She says she has spent her life representing the people.
  • Buttigieg references Maynard Jackson, the first black mayor of Atlanta. He says he is running to launch a new era.
  • Sanders says he is the son of an immigrant. He says he will stand with the 11 million immigrants in America.
  • Warren says we know what we need to do, but yet we don't make change. Corruption is the problem, she says.
  • Biden says America has great opportunities and there is nothing that can stop this country. "Get up and take it back," he says.

Kamala Harris here

Booker has a question for Biden

Maybe a poor word choice

What about race

10:35 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: When the debate comes back from a commercial break, the talk turns to race. Gabbard said she would be committed to "overhauling the criminal justice system" to "correct the failures of the past."

What would Yang say to Putin

10:17 p.m. Nov. 20, 2019: Yang is asked what is the first thing he would say to Russian President Putin if he, Yang, were to be elected president. "Sorry I beat your guy," he answers. He goes on to say he would let them know that any election meddling would be seen as an act of aggression.

Buttigieg on farm subsidies

Yeah, Yang's not happy

Yang on family leave

9:50 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: "We need to start supporting our kids and families from the beginning," Yang said about paid family leave.

There are two countries in the world that don’t provide paid leave for new mothers, he said: the United States and Papua New Guinea.

“That is the entire list,” he said. “And we need to get off this list as soon as possible.”

Klobuchar vs Buttigieg 

9:40 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Klobuchar defends her statement that if a woman was a mayor of a small city she would not be on that Democratic debate stage. She says if someone disagrees, they may want to play the "Name your favorite female president" game.

Gabbard vs Clinton, then Harris

9:30 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Tulsi Gabbard is asked about her feud with Hillary Clinton and what she sees as the problem with the Democratic party that Clinton represents. Gabbard said the party "continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment represented by Hillary Clinton and others."

Harris is then asked about Gabbard. She says there is only one person on the stage who spent four years on Fox News trashing President Obama and cozying up to a war criminal – a reference to Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Biden on Medicare for All

9:24 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Biden says Americans should build on Obamacare before going to something like Medicare for All. Don't force people to give up the insurance they like, he said. "I trust the American people."

Buttigieg talks about Medicare

9:21 p.m ET Nov. 20, 2019: Buttigieg describes his version of Medicare for whoever wants it, and in the process takes a swipe at Warren's Medicare for All. Warren says she wants to bring more than 100 million into a Medicare for All system in her first 100 days in office.

Warren and Booker on wealth tax

9:15 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Warren defends her wealth tax, something that has come under attack recently. She argues that the 2 cent tax she proposes can put money into historically black colleges, pay off student debt, provide universal childcare, offer free college for everyone and more. Booker says he can't see that working.

Biden has a different take on bipartisan

9:10 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Biden has said he can get Republicans to work with Democrats in Congress, but tonight he has a different answer. He pivots on that position to say the next president has to beat Trump then Democrats must win a majority in the Senate and maintain the House.

The debate has started

9 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Warren gets the first questions and it's about whether she would vote to remove Donald Trump from office. Yes, she says, of course. Klobuchar is asked the same, and she answers yes, she would vote to remove Trump from office. Warren adds that if you are a millionaire and want to help her campaign, do not expect an ambassadorship.

Starting in minutes

8:55 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: The candidates are on stage in Atlanta.

Where will they stand

8:40 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Here is the stage order for the candidates tonight. From left to right: Booker, Gabbard, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Warren, Biden, Sanders, Harris, Yang, Steyer.

The debate starts soon

8:30 p.m ET Nov. 20, 2019: The debate begins in 30 minutes. DNC chairman Tom Perez is addressing the crowd.

Buttigieg takes the lead in Iowa

8:20 p.m. ET Nov 20, 2019: Buttigieg has surged ahead in polling in Iowa, the first state to hold a primary (actually a caucus) in 2020. According to a CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll  Buttigieg's support is at 25%. His closest competition is Warren who is at 16%. Biden and Sanders are both at 15%.

Two fewer debaters

8 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination who participated in the October debate will not be on the Atlanta stage tonight.

Julian Castro did not meet the polling requirements set by the Democratic National Committee for inclusion in the debate and Beto O’Rourke suspended his presidential campaign in early November.

It’s been a while

7:45 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: The debate in Atlanta is the first Democratic primary debate in Georgia since 1992. Bill Clinton was the nominee in 1992 and went on to win the election.

Messum is out

7:30 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messum has announced he is suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination. Messum has never been on the debate stage.

Biden misfire7:15 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Joe Biden's campaign apparently sent out an email intended to be sent at the end of the debate. The email is asking for money due to his debate performance. Elizabeth Warren may want to watch out.

Let’s get started

7 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Welcome to live updates of the fifth Democratic debate. The debate starts in one hour.

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