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Westlake Legal Group > Debates (Political)

The Haves of Iowa and the Have-Nots Across the Border

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167605527_17f87ccc-5489-4a35-9a1c-814c42f9662d-facebookJumbo The Haves of Iowa and the Have-Nots Across the Border Whimp's Place (Burbank, SD, Restaurant) United States Politics and Government States (US) South Dakota Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Elections (US) Presidential Election of 2020 Nebraska Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Archie's Waeside (Le Mars, Iowa, Restaurant)

LE MARS, Iowa — As the longtime owner of Archie’s Waeside steakhouse, Bob Rand has a story about almost everybody who wanted to be, or was, president in the past few election cycles.

Once, during the 2016 presidential race, Ben Carson and his campaign team showed up unannounced, and hungry. President George W. Bush’s security detail shut down the highway so he could arrive safely in town. Bob Dole came to the restaurant during his bid for the presidency, walked into the cooler and cut his own steak from a side of beef.

“It was the damnedest thing I ever saw in my whole life,” said Mr. Rand, reminiscing in the wood-paneled dining room, as waitresses pushed metal carts loaded with plates of New York strip and homemade hash browns to diners in booths.

Forty miles away, across the snowy terrain of bent cornstalks and grain silos, steak was also on the menu. Members of the local V.F.W. club were shooting pool at Whimp’s Place, as diners sat before plates of tenderloin. The owner, Dan Radigan, could remember just one politician who pushed through the restaurant’s door. “I think Senator Thune was here once,” he said.

The key difference between the two steakhouses: geography.

Whimp’s is in South Dakota, where the Republican senator John Thune is from, and Mr. Rand’s steakhouse is in Iowa, the center of the political universe during this time of the presidential election cycle with its caucuses set to take place Feb. 3. A robust lineup of presidential wannabes has swung by practically every steakhouse, cafe, bowling alley, brew pub and American Legion post in Iowa, from Wapello to Webster City, in past months.

Across the state line, and across the nation, the question rings out each election cycle: Why does Iowa, a state of barely more than three million people, get all the attention? Since 1972, Iowa has held its nominating contests first, a result of a national Democratic Party decision to spread out the schedule among states. Because Iowa’s process is so complicated, it had to start early.

Candidates dutifully show up. But that doesn’t mean they like it. Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren recently complained about Iowa’s prominence in picking a candidate, and Julián Castro, before he dropped out of the race, said Iowa was “not reflective of the United States” and “not reflective of the Democratic Party.”

Elections, by their nature, highlight how much a person’s ZIP code can determine how decisive his or her vote will be. The early states and the swing states are lavished with attention. Others states are largely ignored.

That is particularly poignant in South Dakota, where the primary takes place in June. Far from the Iowa border in South Dakota communities like Rapid City, brushes with the presidency generally are limited to the bronze sculptures of 43 presidents scattered about town or the carvings of former presidents on the side of nearby Mount Rushmore.

But on the state line, politically active citizens blanch when caucuses are days away and attention, for once, is focused on the middle of the country — but not their slice of the middle of the country.

“There’s this flyover mentality that we’re not important. We’re ignored as a people and a voice, and Iowa’s got this outsized attention,” said Susan Almjeld, a music teacher who was sipping Old-Fashioneds with her husband, Paul, on a recent evening at Whimp’s.

Burbank, where the Almjelds live, is close enough to the Iowa border to be part of its media market. Residents are inundated with ads for candidates on their televisions and radios.

Ms. Almjeld works at a school in Iowa, and, from time to time, has considered driving to see candidates in person. But a touch of bitterness sets in.

“Sometimes I think, oh my God, they’re only a half-mile away,” she said, “but then again I’m comfortable on my couch, and I’m not part of the caucuses anyway.”

Other South Dakotans make the trek.

Michelle Randall of Sioux Falls, S.D., has traveled to Iowa to snap a photo with almost every major presidential candidate this election cycle, in case they never make it to her home state.

“By the time the primary comes to us the race is practically decided,” she said. “They say we’re the forgotten ones, and we kind of are.”

Ms. Randall has been in Elizabeth Warren’s selfie line and saw John Delaney in a crowd of 22 people at Old 60 Steaks & Chops in Sheldon, Iowa. She was determined enough that she managed to snap a photo with Bill de Blasio during the New York mayor’s long-shot campaign.

“I drove in a snowstorm to see him in Sioux City,” she said. “It was right after he declared. That was in a bar. I was literally standing there having a beer with Bill de Blasio. He was very politician-y, all Mr. Common Man and everything. Didn’t have a whole lot to say, just a little small talk. It was almost a little uncomfortable.”

Ms. Randall has set rules for her quest: She won’t drive more than two hours, except to see her favorite candidate, Pete Buttigieg, whom she has traveled to see several times and even knocked on doors in Iowa to rally support for him.

At a recent town hall event in Orange City, Iowa, Ms. Randall heard Mr. Buttigieg tell the crowd of about 150, “You will be deciding where our country heads next.”

She’s disappointed that she won’t in fact be among those deciding when the state caucuses next month.

“I wish I could be a part of it,” said Ms. Randall, an insurance lawyer. “But I have come to gain a respect for the people of Iowa who take the time to go out and see candidates.”

Nebraskans, residents of another Iowa border state, also are stung by neglect this time of year. The feeling is acute in Omaha, a major city of half a million people with Fortune 500 companies, a minor league ballpark and a world-class zoo. It’s just across the Missouri River from Council Bluffs, Iowa, population 62,000, where at least 11 Democratic candidates have visited in past months, some of them twice.

Amy Klobuchar visited Omaha, and so did Mr. Castro, when he was in the race. A few candidates have sent surrogates to the city for events. But on a recent evening, the television screen was the place to see presidential candidates as Democrats gathered in a downtown Omaha bar to watch a debate taking place just 130 miles away in Des Moines.

Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, cautioned that Democratic candidates shouldn’t write off her state, which holds its primary in May and which splits its Electoral College votes in the general election. Democrats are making inroads in Omaha, she said. Barack Obama won one electoral vote in 2008, a first for Democrats since the 1960s.

Gladys Harrison is among Nebraska’s Democrats eager for attention not only for her own congressional campaign, which she thinks would benefit from a presidential candidate’s visit, but also for her community.

Her Big Mama’s restaurant sits inside a high-ceilinged new cornerstone of a development meant to transform a part of Omaha that residents had long complained was neglected with trendy apartments, a giant green space for outdoor concerts and coding classes for kids. If it were in Iowa, it would be a siren call for any Democratic candidate, she said.

The restaurant, started by Ms. Harrison’s mother, each month hosts the Hungry Club, which brings in local politicians, candidates and community organizers to speak before a crowd snacking on cold chicken sandwiches, sweet potato pie and other dishes culled from her family’s 100-year-old recipes.

“The Democratic Party has got to continue to send the message out that we’ve got the best candidates that can beat Trump,” Ms. Harrison said. “And everybody needs to hear that message.”

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Trump May Skip Debates, or Seek New Host, if Process Isn’t ‘Fair’

Westlake Legal Group 24dc-debates-facebookJumbo Trump May Skip Debates, or Seek New Host, if Process Isn’t ‘Fair’ Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) Debates (Political) Commission on Presidential Debates

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s campaign is considering only participating in general election debates if an outside firm serves as the host, and his advisers recently sat down with the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates to complain about the debates it hosted in 2016.

The Dec. 19 meeting between Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., a prominent Republican and co-chairman of the commission, Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Mr. Trump’s re-election effort, and another political adviser, Michael Glassner, came soon after Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that the 2016 debates had been “biased.”

Mr. Fahrenkopf said the meeting was cordial, but that Mr. Parscale essentially reiterated Mr. Trump’s complaints.

Mr. Parscale said “that the president wanted to debate, but they had concerns about whether or not to do it with the commission,” Mr. Fahrenkopf said, including worries about “whether or not the commission would be fair.”

Mr. Trump’s advisers asserted that the debate commission included “anti-Trumpers.” They also complained about previous moderators, Mr. Fahrenkopf said.

Mr. Fahrenkopf, in turn, insisted that the debate commission did not include any anti-Trump bias, and he said he walked Mr. Parscale through the guidelines for commission board members that require their neutrality.

He also said that with one exception, the commission did not think any of the moderators chosen over several decades had exhibited concerning behavior during the debates.

The one moderator he agreed was problematic was Candy Crowley, who was at CNN in 2012 when she moderated a debate between Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, and President Barack Obama.

Ms. Crowley fact-checked Mr. Romney when he wrongly claimed it took Mr. Obama 14 days to call an attack in Benghazi, Libya, an “act of terror.”

The meeting between Mr. Parscale and Mr. Fahrenkopf ended after 45 minutes with no resolution.

Since then, Mr. Parscale has told people that he was investigating other options for hosting the debates. It is not clear which outside firms he or other officials are talking to, and the campaign declined to provide any details.

“We want to have debates that are fair and are more geared toward informing the American people than to boosting the careers of the moderators,” Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign, said of the meeting.

The commission has scheduled three presidential debates, to be held on college campuses in late September and October, as well as one vice-presidential debate.

Mr. Trump has been discussing the possibility of sitting out the general election debates for months. He has harbored bad feelings about the debate commission since the 2016 election, when he accused them of putting him at a disadvantage “on purpose” by giving him a “defective mic” at the first debate. (Mr. Trump was clearly audible to television viewers, but the commission said a technical malfunction affected the volume of his voice in the debate hall.)

After The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump had discussed the possibility of sitting the debates out, he wrote on Twitter that he wanted to face off against his eventual Democratic opponent. But he said that “the problem is that the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers.”

He added that “there are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission. I will make a decision at an appropriate time but in the meantime, the Commission on Presidential Debates is NOT authorized to speak for me (or R’s)!”

Most people close to the president say his advisers are likely using a debate around debates to work with the commission, which was established in 1987 and has attempted to maintain its independence through every presidential cycle since then.

Representatives from both major presidential campaigns typically begin to approach the commission well before the party conventions, as Mr. Parscale did, and the commission spends months working with advisers and campaign lawyers to hammer out the specifics.

People close to the president also believe he has a slim window to try to affect who the moderators are, since there may be a presumptive Democratic nominee as soon as mid-March, and that person might push back against Mr. Trump’s attempts to influence the choice.

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She’s the Next President. Wait, Did You Read That Right?

Westlake Legal Group 24pronouns1-facebookJumbo She’s the Next President. Wait, Did You Read That Right? Women and Girls Warren, Elizabeth Voting and Voters United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Language and Languages Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Debates (Political) Clinton, Hillary Rodham

It was a blip of a moment during the Democratic debate last week, one perhaps overshadowed by a long discussion of the prospect of a female president. Responding to a question about climate change, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said, “I will do everything a president can do all by herself on the first day.”

All by herself. Did you clock the use of that word?

A study released this month shows that you did — and that, in fact, it may have cost you a third of a second in reading time just now.

Her. It’s a three-letter pronoun that, despite the seemingly endless debate over whether a woman can become president, feels relatively benign. But what if its use, or an unconscious aversion to its use, had some small power to influence voter perception? Could something as simple as a pronoun reflect, or even affect, the way voters understand power?

That’s the question raised by the research, conducted by cognitive scientists and linguists at M.I.T., the University of Potsdam and the University of California, San Diego, who surveyed people during the run-up to the 2016 election. Wanting to understand how world events might influence language, the researchers hypothesized that the possibility a woman would be elected president at that time might override the implicit bias people had toward referring to the president as “he.”

But what they found was that Americans — even young, self-identified Democratic women who believed Hillary Clinton would win — were reluctant to use “she” even in the context of a hypothetical president.

“There seemed to be a real bias against referring to the next president as ‘she,’” said Roger Levy, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at M.I.T. and one of the authors of the study.

When the researchers watched subjects in a reading setting — they were asked to read a short passage about the next president, pressing a button on a screen to reveal each word of the sentence — their bias was even more pronounced: The word “she,” when referring to the future president, made people cognitively stumble, leading to a “considerable disruption” in reading time, said Titus von der Malsburg, another author of the study and a linguist at the University of Potsdam, in Germany.

“People had difficulties reading ‘she’ even if the text had previously used ‘she,’ showing how persistent and deeply ingrained this bias is,” he said.

So could struggling to say or read the word “she” in the context of a president affect our willingness to vote for a woman?

“That’s of course the million-dollar question,” said Dr. von der Malsburg.

He noted that if people gravitated toward male language when talking about presidents, that could indirectly contribute to a culture in which women were not seen as typical candidates.

“And that, in turn, would likely influence election outcomes because women would have to do extra work to convince voters that they can do the job,” he said.

When it comes to women in politics — and specifically, women in the presidency — often lurking behind language are unconscious assumptions about women in power.

“We are uneasy with the president as ‘she’ because encountering it forces us to have in mind a new conception of ‘president,’” the linguist Robin Lakoff said.

Dr. Lakoff, whose book “Language and Woman’s Place” helped create the field of gender linguistics in the 1970s, said that language tended to reflect the beliefs of a particular moment in time.

But it can also shape them.

Research has found that the use of the pronoun “he” can create a male bias in readers, that countries with gendered language have higher gender inequality and that even subtly sexist language may influence voters’ likelihood of supporting a particular candidate.

In recent years, some governments and organizations have started paying more attention to the power of words, taking steps to update or replace gendered terms.

In 2013, Washington State joined Florida and Minnesota in combing through its state codes and statutes to adjust terms like “ombudsman” (now “ombuds”) to be gender neutral. As Liz Watson, then senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, said at the time: “Words matter. Words help shape our perceptions about what opportunities are available to women and men.”

Administrators at Yale announced in 2017 that they would replace the words “freshman” and “upperclassman” with “first-year” and “upper-level” students, joining several other universities that have informally made the change. And the singular “they” — increasingly popular as both as substitute for “he or she” and as a gender-neutral pronoun for those who identify as nonbinary — was recently declared the “Word of the Decade” by the American Dialect Society.

That would seem like progress, said the historian Barbara J. Berg. Yet when it comes to the halls of power, she said, the masculine “remains the default in our language.”

It is popular these days to tell the story of Abigail Adams, wife of the founding father John, who urged her husband in a letter in 1776 to “remember the ladies.” Lesser known is that his reply, in a letter back, called her request “saucy.” (The word “she,” of course, does not appear anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, nor does the word “woman.”)

And while, over the years, words like “mailman,” “policeman” and “stewardess” have been replaced with terms like “mail carrier,” “police officer” and “flight attendant,” there are still plenty of phrases for which “he” connotes power. Think “manning the command post,” “maestro” or even “guy” as a way to describe expertise. “As in, ‘He’s a stats guy’ or ‘He’s a policy guy,’” said Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland.

The 2018 midterm elections broke all sorts of records — and a historic number of women ran for office and won — and yet they also provided ample opportunity to hear (and see) the phrase “freshman congresswoman.” Doesn’t it sound sort of funny?

Deborah Tannen, a linguist at Georgetown University, described how she had recently spoken with a group of female judges, some of whom recalled being referred to as “sir” when on the bench. Presumably, Dr. Tannen said, the speakers were nervous — and “sir” was an attempt to show respect.

“‘Sir’ is associated with respect to an extent that ‘ma’am’ is not,” Dr. Tannen said, noting that she, too, had occasionally stumbled over such words.

Once, she recalled, at an event in which Michelle Obama was speaking, a friend remarked that “Dr. Biden” would also be in attendance.

“I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I didn’t know Joe Biden had a Ph.D.,’” she said. “And of course it was his wife, who I had met, and who I knew had a Ph.D. So even I do it, Dr. Tannen.”

And then there’s “Madam.” During the 1970s, feminists fought for the adoption of a female equivalent of “Mr.” — one that did not denote marital status — and were largely successful with the honorific “Ms.” But male presidents in the United States are often addressed as “Mr. President,” while a woman — if the way we refer to cabinet secretaries is any indication — would quite likely be “Madam President.”

“‘Madam’ could be a term of respect, but it’s also the head of a brothel,” said Dr. Berg, the historian. “So it’s like this constant subtle reminder of a woman’s status.”

But a new breed of candidates may be flipping that script.

During the recent Democratic debate, in addition to Ms. Warren’s use of “herself” in reference to the next president on more than one occasion, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said in her closing statement, “We need a candidate who is actually going to bring people with her.”

Senator Kamala Harris of California, who dropped out of the race late last year, often did the same when she was running. As California’s first female attorney general, she sifted through the language that was written into the law — statutes referring to the attorney general as “he” or “his” — and changed them.

“I’ve always been very aware that when it comes to women holding leadership roles, we are sometimes asking people to see what they have not seen before,” Ms. Harris said in an email. “As our government becomes more reflective of the people it represents and the voices at the table become more diverse, it is important for us to really check how we are creating and supporting an inclusive environment — and a big part of that is about how we use language.”

Of course, one might argue there’s something of a feedback loop: The language reflects the culture. The culture won’t change until there is a winning candidate who upends the old biases. But those running for that spot may be impeded by the incessant talking about gender.

The researchers say the United Kingdom may provide an encouraging case study.

In 2017, they replicated the study there, in the lead-up to an election to determine the next prime minister.

Theresa May was prime minister at the time and was expected to win — but she was not the first woman to hold that post. (That was Margaret Thatcher.)

When referring to the next prime minister, the British study participants were more likely to use the pronoun “she” than “he.”

Sharon Attia contributed research.

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Democrats Can Qualify for the Next Debate by Winning a Single Delegate in Iowa

There will be two ways for Democratic candidates to qualify for their party’s next presidential debate, scheduled for Feb. 7, the Democratic National Committee announced on Friday. All six candidates who qualified for this past week’s debate have qualified for the next.

The candidates can meet the same thresholds they had to last time: Collecting donations from 225,000 people and earning either 5 percent support in four qualifying polls or 7 percent in two polls of New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina voters. Iowa polls will no longer count, because the Iowa caucuses take place on Feb. 3.

But the caucuses will open up the second path: Even if candidates don’t meet the D.N.C.’s polling and donor thresholds, they can qualify for the debate by winning any of the 41 pledged delegates at stake in Iowa. A single delegate will do.

This could provide a window for candidates like Andrew Yang, who made the cut for every debate except for the most recent one, after falling short in qualifying polls.

It will also be the first opportunity to qualify for former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York; because he isn’t fund-raising, the donor threshold kept him out of the last debate, even though he met the polling threshold. But winning any delegates in Iowa will be tough for him given that he has chosen not to campaign there, or in the three other early-nominating states.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v54 Democrats Can Qualify for the Next Debate by Winning a Single Delegate in Iowa Presidential Election of 2020 democratic national committee Debates (Political)

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

The field of Democratic presidential candidates has been historically large. Here’s who’s in and who’s out.

Delegates will be awarded at the congressional district level as well as the state level in Iowa, meaning that candidates who are polling poorly statewide could still win a delegate or two if they perform disproportionately well in a particular district. Candidates need at least 15 percent support in one place — whether that place is a district or a state — to be eligible for delegates.

Since the first debate last June, the D.N.C.’s debate thresholds have drawn periodic criticism as more and more candidates have been excluded.

All six have met the criteria for the next debate. Other candidates have until Feb. 6 to do so — meaning someone could potentially qualify less than 24 hours before taking the stage.

The criteria announced on Friday are for the coming debate in New Hampshire, which will be hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News on Feb. 7, four days before the New Hampshire primary. The D.N.C. has not released its criteria for the two subsequent debates, which will take place later in February in Nevada and South Carolina.

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.

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Warren Told Sanders After Debate, ‘I Think You Called Me a Liar on National TV’

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-assess2new-facebookJumbo Warren Told Sanders After Debate, ‘I Think You Called Me a Liar on National TV’ Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Democratic Party Debates (Political)

DES MOINES — The nonaggression pact between the Democratic presidential campaign’s two leading liberals blew up on the debate stage Tuesday night, with Senator Elizabeth Warren accusing Senator Bernie Sanders after the event of calling her “a liar on national TV.”

The tense remarks, which became public only a day later, represent a startling break between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, who had often been united against the campaign’s leading moderates, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Coming less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, where the four Democrats are in close competition, the rupture has the potential to anger supporters of both Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders and inject negativity into a still-fluid race in a state that often rewards positive behavior from presidential candidates.

“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Ms. Warren told Mr. Sanders after the debate, referring to their earlier dispute onstage over whether he told her in a private 2018 meeting that a woman could not be president. The New York Times described details of their exchange on Wednesday afternoon, and CNN broadcast an audio recording on Wednesday night.

According to the audio, Mr. Sanders responded, “What?”

“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” she said again.

“You know, let’s not do it right now,” he said. “If you want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion.”

Ms. Warren replied, “Anytime.”

“You called me a liar,” Mr. Sanders said. “You told me — all right, let’s not do it now.”

Tom Steyer, the billionaire businessman, approached Mr. Sanders in the middle of the exchange.

“I don’t want to get in the middle,” Mr. Steyer said. “I just want to say, ‘Hi, Bernie.’”

The exchange onstage between the two progressives, surrounded by onlookers but wrapped up in their intensely personal rivalry, marked their most direct confrontation in the entire 2020 election. And in some respects, it represented a kind of inevitable concession to reality: If Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders share an ideological cause, up to a point, they cannot ultimately share a presidential nomination. In Des Moines, the dream of the left, that both of them could compete to the end without ever clashing in a way that might damage either, was exposed as a fanciful aspiration.

But for that dream to break down amid allegations of sexism and mendacity could be a particularly perilous demise. For Ms. Warren, taking on Mr. Sanders face-to-face risked further enraging the far left, loud sections of which have already turned on her bitterly for her rivalry with Mr. Sanders. And while Ms. Warren appeared to win a positive reception for addressing the subject of gender head-on during the debate, even Democrats supportive of her campaign acknowledge that so prominently tackling sexism could risk leaving timid primary voters uneasy about the implications of nominating a woman.

The rift has already roiled progressives, who fear the public division will benefit the moderates in the race — and, more broadly, threatens the movement they have tried so hard to build. Leading progressive groups spent hours Wednesday trying to craft joint statements of unity among themselves while their leading political figures were in the most bitter public fight of their professional lives.

“I am hoping that volunteers and grass-roots groups can help bridge the gap that has opened between Warren and Sanders around their 2018 conversation,” said Larry Cohen, a longtime friend and adviser to Mr. Sanders who serves as chairman of Our Revolution, the organization that spun out of the 2016 Sanders campaign. “We remain focused on racial and gender justice, health care, climate crisis, good jobs, student debt and free college, the spiraling military budget and more. I don’t see a path forward on those issues in the Senate or at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee without cooperation when the time comes.”

Many progressive leaders pointed to the 2004 primary as a cautionary tale, when feuding between the more liberal candidacies of Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri and former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont helped the more moderate Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts win the Iowa caucus after a summer slump.

“It’s absolutely critical that progressives focus their fire on the corporate wing of the party to not allow a repeat of the 2004 election,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a liberal group founded by Mr. Dean after his unsuccessful primary run.

For Mr. Sanders, there might be even less upside to a drawn-out clash with Ms. Warren, particularly over matters of gender and sexism. While Mr. Sanders’s hard-core base has rallied to his side, much of the Democratic electorate still harbors feelings of resentment toward Mr. Sanders for his conduct toward Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential primaries. For him to be accused now, by one of the party’s most prominent women, of mounting an attack on her honesty could revive those grievances and narrow Mr. Sanders’s already tenuous path to winning acceptance from voters closer to the middle.

It is unclear whether either candidate might be inclined to perpetuate the feud in public. It is telling that Ms. Warren’s most pointed comment to Mr. Sanders came after the formal debate concluded, and that Mr. Sanders responded not by escalating the fight but by deferring it to another time.

Still, the last few days may already have taken a severe toll on the prospect that either Mr. Sanders or Ms. Warren might emerge from the primaries as a unity candidate of the left, with the weaker of the two yielding to the stronger after the first few rounds of voting. At the moment, there is little evidence that either is inclined toward that kind of self-effacing ideological solidarity.

Both the Warren and Sanders campaigns declined to comment on Wednesday. By the time CNN aired the footage, the two candidates had not spoken about the exchange, people familiar with their whereabouts said, though they are expected to be in close contact when the Senate convenes Friday.

CNN executives initially said they did not believe the exchange had been captured by the network’s microphones. The network said its journalists located a recording late on Wednesday after reviewing audio from the microphones that Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren had been wearing onstage.

Over the weekend, Ms. Warren said she was “disappointed” in Mr. Sanders after Politico reported that his campaign had distributed a script to volunteers suggesting she appealed mainly to highly educated voters. On Monday, CNN reported that Mr. Sanders had told Ms. Warren in a private meeting in 2018 that he thought a woman could not win the presidency; Mr. Sanders vehemently denied it.

“I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” Ms. Warren said in a statement on Monday.

On Tuesday, the issue burst forth onto the debate stage in a remarkable moment before a national audience that captured the recent friction between the two senators.

“I didn’t say it,” Mr. Sanders insisted, about her characterization of his 2018 remarks. Ms. Warren disputed that, then called him her friend before pivoting to make the case that of the six candidates onstage, only the women had won all of their elections.

After the debate, Mr. Steyer repeatedly insisted he did not hear the back-and-forth between the two liberals.

“I was just saying good night to the two of them,” he told reporters during a brief exchange in the debate spin room at Drake University. “I didn’t hear anything.”

Reid J. Epstein and Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines, and Alexander Burns from New York. Reporting was contributed by Michael M. Grynbaum and Astead W. Herndon from New York, and Lisa Lerer from Washington.

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Leading Liberals Have a Public Fight Over Private Remark

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-assess-facebookJumbo Leading Liberals Have a Public Fight Over Private Remark Voting and Voters Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political)

DES MOINES — After nearly an hour, the question that progressives had been fearing finally arrived. Senator Bernie Sanders laughed. Senator Elizabeth Warren did not.

“I didn’t say it,” Mr. Sanders insisted, with Ms. Warren turning his way, as he denied her explosive account that he told her privately in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency.

“Bernie is my friend,” Ms. Warren replied firmly, disputing his memory, “and I am not here to try and fight with Bernie. But, look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised and it’s time for us to attack it head-on.”

All through this Democratic primary, voters have worried aloud about the thorny subject of electability, wondering if a woman — even a woman they might support — would be able to defeat President Trump.

In her exchange with Mr. Sanders on Tuesday, Ms. Warren hoped to turn the issue on its head, noting that of all those onstage, only the women, Ms. Warren and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, had won all of their major elections and later observing that the party’s success in the 2018 midterms was powered largely by female candidates and voters.

She also made it known that no one else here had defeated a Republican incumbent in the last three decades, a statistic Mr. Sanders moved to rebut, citing his House victory in 1990.

“Wasn’t that 30 years ago?” she asked, turning to the crowd like an actor breaking the fourth wall in a sitcom.

“I beat an incumbent Republican congressman,” Mr. Sanders repeated, emphasizing that 1990 was indeed 30 years ago.

“I don’t know if that’s the major issue of the day,” he concluded.

But the context was.

In seeking to defuse any concerns about a potential female nominee, Ms. Warren appeared to see no option but to extend, if not expand, a feud her advisers claim she never wanted.

Since the beginning of the primary campaign, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have proceeded with a patina of comity, focusing on their mostly shared policy goals and reminding anyone who would listen about their ostensibly genuine mutual admiration.

“Bernie and I have been friends for a long, long time,” Ms. Warren said last month in Ottumwa.

“Elizabeth Warren is a very good friend of mine,” Mr. Sanders told reporters last weekend in Iowa City.

But competitive campaigns tend to test the definition of the word.

Perhaps this moment, or something like it, was always going to come — the natural consequence of a contest with these stakes, of two candidates fighting for so many of the same voters.

It was easy enough to project friendship and allegiance all last year as dual progressive dreamers, tag-teaming to make the case against the more incremental politics of a front-runner like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. It is quite another thing to see the current state of the primary — with wide-open races in Iowa and New Hampshire and, in theory, room enough for only one liberal standard-bearer as the calendar turns — and maintain a fully united front.

Sunday was fraught: Ms. Warren said she was “disappointed” in Mr. Sanders amid reports that his campaign had distributed a script to volunteers instructing them to depict Ms. Warren as out of touch.

Monday was worse: CNN reported that Mr. Sanders told Ms. Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency. Mr. Sanders forcefully denied having made the remarks. Ms. Warren said that Mr. Sanders had in fact raised doubts about a woman’s electoral viability.

“I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” she said in a statement on Monday. “I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.”

Entering Tuesday’s debate, progressive groups had spent the preceding 48 hours in something approaching full-scale panic, alarmed that a skirmish between two largely like-minded candidates would serve only to benefit more moderate alternatives like Mr. Biden and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

The question of whether a woman can defeat Mr. Trump has been the long-whispered soundtrack of much of this Democratic primary, invoked constantly in voter interviews among even supporters of candidates like Ms. Warren and Ms. Klobuchar.

Ms. Warren had not directly addressed gender as forcefully as she did Tuesday night, when she vowed, in her closing statement, to become “the first woman president of the United States of America.”

She has more frequently talked about Aunt Bea — a wonder woman in her life — who made an appearance in an exchange about child care.

It was a story she has told many times before, but the circumstances on Tuesday made it newly resonant.

“If I hadn’t been saved by my Aunt Bea, I was ready to quit my job,” Ms. Warren said. “And I think about how many women of my generation just got knocked off the track and never got back on.”

As late as last week, it seemed as if the debate was shaping up primarily as a clash between Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden. Since an American airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, the two men have been sparring over foreign policy. Mr. Biden has seized on the escalating tension to highlight his experience while Mr. Sanders has used it as grounds to promote his longtime focus on international diplomacy. Mr. Sanders, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, has also repeatedly and aggressively hit Mr. Biden on his vote to authorize it.

The sparring over foreign policy has delighted Mr. Sanders’s advisers, who have long ached for direct conflict with Mr. Biden: Not only is he a moderate foil to Mr. Sanders’s democratic socialism, but he also in many ways represents the establishment Washington that Mr. Sanders loathes.

Mr. Biden was bracing for the fight. But when it came time for Mr. Sanders to go on offense, he settled occasionally for jokes.

“I would not meet with — absent preconditions — I would not meet with the, quote, ‘supreme leader,’ who said ‘Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick,” Mr. Biden said about the leader of North Korea.

Mr. Sanders butted in: “Other than that, you like him?”

“Other than that, I like him,” Mr. Biden confirmed.

As ever on Tuesday, Mr. Biden presented himself as the candidate Mr. Trump fears most. “I’ve been the object of his affection now more than anybody else in this stage,” he said.

While Mr. Biden is not an enviable debater on his best day, he seemed to largely survive the evening without a significant misstep — no small thing as he continues to lead most national polls and edges into contention in surveys of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he has long struggled.

That no candidate has yet emerged as a decisive front-runner in Iowa has made voters’ decisions here all the more complicated as they strain to identify someone who can defeat Mr. Trump. Only 40 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers have made up their minds, according to a Des Moines Register poll released last week; nearly half said they could be persuaded to support another candidate, and 13 percent said they did not have a first choice.

Of course, the locals have also found excitement in the stress, making the proceedings on Tuesday the hottest ticket in a cold town. Leaving a restaurant on Sunday, several Iowans asked a Buttigieg campaign official if he could help them get into the event hall. The official demurred.

The debate on Tuesday went forward against the relentless din of Washington news, from the Iran affair to a looming Senate impeachment trial that could sideline half of the candidates onstage. (The forum also excluded the Democrat most ubiquitous in television advertising: Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who is not competing in the early-voting states.)

The candidates and moderators did not wind toward Mr. Trump’s congressional fate until nearly the end. There was talk of the Constitution. There was talk about duty. “Some things,” Ms. Warren said, “are more important than politics.”

And some seemingly unimportant actions can appear politically meaningful.

At the end of the evening, as the candidates wrapped up more than two hours of televised talking with several minutes of televised farewells, Mr. Sanders extended his hand to Ms. Warren. She did not reciprocate, beginning a brief conversation that ended without a handshake. Mr. Sanders raised two open palms — as if to say: enough of this — and walked off.

Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines, and Matt Flegenheimer from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Leading Liberals Have a Public Fight Over Private Remark

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-assess-facebookJumbo Leading Liberals Have a Public Fight Over Private Remark Voting and Voters Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political)

DES MOINES — After nearly an hour, the question that progressives had been fearing finally arrived. Senator Bernie Sanders laughed. Senator Elizabeth Warren did not.

“I didn’t say it,” Mr. Sanders insisted, with Ms. Warren turning his way, as he denied her explosive account that he told her privately in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency.

“Bernie is my friend,” Ms. Warren replied firmly, disputing his memory, “and I am not here to try and fight with Bernie. But, look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised and it’s time for us to attack it head-on.”

All through this Democratic primary, voters have worried aloud about the thorny subject of electability, wondering if a woman — even a woman they might support — would be able to defeat President Trump.

In her exchange with Mr. Sanders on Tuesday, Ms. Warren hoped to turn the issue on its head, noting that of all those onstage, only the women, Ms. Warren and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, had won all of their major elections and later observing that the party’s success in the 2018 midterms was powered largely by female candidates and voters.

She also made it known that no one else here had defeated a Republican incumbent in the last three decades, a statistic Mr. Sanders moved to rebut, citing his House victory in 1990.

“Wasn’t that 30 years ago?” she asked, turning to the crowd like an actor breaking the fourth wall in a sitcom.

“I beat an incumbent Republican congressman,” Mr. Sanders repeated, emphasizing that 1990 was indeed 30 years ago.

“I don’t know if that’s the major issue of the day,” he concluded.

But the context was.

In seeking to defuse any concerns about a potential female nominee, Ms. Warren appeared to see no option but to extend, if not expand, a feud her advisers claim she never wanted.

Since the beginning of the primary campaign, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have proceeded with a patina of comity, focusing on their mostly shared policy goals and reminding anyone who would listen about their ostensibly genuine mutual admiration.

“Bernie and I have been friends for a long, long time,” Ms. Warren said last month in Ottumwa.

“Elizabeth Warren is a very good friend of mine,” Mr. Sanders told reporters last weekend in Iowa City.

But competitive campaigns tend to test the definition of the word.

Perhaps this moment, or something like it, was always going to come — the natural consequence of a contest with these stakes, of two candidates fighting for so many of the same voters.

It was easy enough to project friendship and allegiance all last year as dual progressive dreamers, tag-teaming to make the case against the more incremental politics of a front-runner like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. It is quite another thing to see the current state of the primary — with wide-open races in Iowa and New Hampshire and, in theory, room enough for only one liberal standard-bearer as the calendar turns — and maintain a fully united front.

Sunday was fraught: Ms. Warren said she was “disappointed” in Mr. Sanders amid reports that his campaign had distributed a script to volunteers instructing them to depict Ms. Warren as out of touch.

Monday was worse: CNN reported that Mr. Sanders told Ms. Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency. Mr. Sanders forcefully denied having made the remarks. Ms. Warren said that Mr. Sanders had in fact raised doubts about a woman’s electoral viability.

“I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” she said in a statement on Monday. “I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.”

Entering Tuesday’s debate, progressive groups had spent the preceding 48 hours in something approaching full-scale panic, alarmed that a skirmish between two largely like-minded candidates would serve only to benefit more moderate alternatives like Mr. Biden and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

The question of whether a woman can defeat Mr. Trump has been the long-whispered soundtrack of much of this Democratic primary, invoked constantly in voter interviews among even supporters of candidates like Ms. Warren and Ms. Klobuchar.

Ms. Warren had not directly addressed gender as forcefully as she did Tuesday night, when she vowed, in her closing statement, to become “the first woman president of the United States of America.”

She has more frequently talked about Aunt Bea — a wonder woman in her life — who made an appearance in an exchange about child care.

It was a story she has told many times before, but the circumstances on Tuesday made it newly resonant.

“If I hadn’t been saved by my Aunt Bea, I was ready to quit my job,” Ms. Warren said. “And I think about how many women of my generation just got knocked off the track and never got back on.”

As late as last week, it seemed as if the debate was shaping up primarily as a clash between Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden. Since an American airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, the two men have been sparring over foreign policy. Mr. Biden has seized on the escalating tension to highlight his experience while Mr. Sanders has used it as grounds to promote his longtime focus on international diplomacy. Mr. Sanders, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, has also repeatedly and aggressively hit Mr. Biden on his vote to authorize it.

The sparring over foreign policy has delighted Mr. Sanders’s advisers, who have long ached for direct conflict with Mr. Biden: Not only is he a moderate foil to Mr. Sanders’s democratic socialism, but he also in many ways represents the establishment Washington that Mr. Sanders loathes.

Mr. Biden was bracing for the fight. But when it came time for Mr. Sanders to go on offense, he settled occasionally for jokes.

“I would not meet with — absent preconditions — I would not meet with the, quote, ‘supreme leader,’ who said ‘Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick,” Mr. Biden said about the leader of North Korea.

Mr. Sanders butted in: “Other than that, you like him?”

“Other than that, I like him,” Mr. Biden confirmed.

As ever on Tuesday, Mr. Biden presented himself as the candidate Mr. Trump fears most. “I’ve been the object of his affection now more than anybody else in this stage,” he said.

While Mr. Biden is not an enviable debater on his best day, he seemed to largely survive the evening without a significant misstep — no small thing as he continues to lead most national polls and edges into contention in surveys of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he has long struggled.

That no candidate has yet emerged as a decisive front-runner in Iowa has made voters’ decisions here all the more complicated as they strain to identify someone who can defeat Mr. Trump. Only 40 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers have made up their minds, according to a Des Moines Register poll released last week; nearly half said they could be persuaded to support another candidate, and 13 percent said they did not have a first choice.

Of course, the locals have also found excitement in the stress, making the proceedings on Tuesday the hottest ticket in a cold town. Leaving a restaurant on Sunday, several Iowans asked a Buttigieg campaign official if he could help them get into the event hall. The official demurred.

The debate on Tuesday went forward against the relentless din of Washington news, from the Iran affair to a looming Senate impeachment trial that could sideline half of the candidates onstage. (The forum also excluded the Democrat most ubiquitous in television advertising: Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who is not competing in the early-voting states.)

The candidates and moderators did not wind toward Mr. Trump’s congressional fate until nearly the end. There was talk of the Constitution. There was talk about duty. “Some things,” Ms. Warren said, “are more important than politics.”

And some seemingly unimportant actions can appear politically meaningful.

At the end of the evening, as the candidates wrapped up more than two hours of televised talking with several minutes of televised farewells, Mr. Sanders extended his hand to Ms. Warren. She did not reciprocate, beginning a brief conversation that ended without a handshake. Mr. Sanders raised two open palms — as if to say: enough of this — and walked off.

Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines, and Matt Flegenheimer from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Leading Liberals Have a Public Fight Over Private Remark

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-assess-facebookJumbo Leading Liberals Have a Public Fight Over Private Remark Voting and Voters Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political)

DES MOINES — After nearly an hour, the question that progressives had been fearing finally arrived. Senator Bernie Sanders laughed. Senator Elizabeth Warren did not.

“I didn’t say it,” Mr. Sanders insisted, with Ms. Warren turning his way, as he denied her explosive account that he told her privately in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency.

“Bernie is my friend,” Ms. Warren replied firmly, disputing his memory, “and I am not here to try and fight with Bernie. But, look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised and it’s time for us to attack it head-on.”

All through this Democratic primary, voters have worried aloud about the thorny subject of electability, wondering if a woman — even a woman they might support — would be able to defeat President Trump.

In her exchange with Mr. Sanders on Tuesday, Ms. Warren hoped to turn the issue on its head, noting that of all those onstage, only the women, Ms. Warren and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, had won all of their major elections and later observing that the party’s success in the 2018 midterms was powered largely by female candidates and voters.

She also made it known that no one else here had defeated a Republican incumbent in the last three decades, a statistic Mr. Sanders moved to rebut, citing his House victory in 1990.

“Wasn’t that 30 years ago?” she asked, turning to the crowd like an actor breaking the fourth wall in a sitcom.

“I beat an incumbent Republican congressman,” Mr. Sanders repeated, emphasizing that 1990 was indeed 30 years ago.

“I don’t know if that’s the major issue of the day,” he concluded.

But the context was.

In seeking to defuse any concerns about a potential female nominee, Ms. Warren appeared to see no option but to extend, if not expand, a feud her advisers claim she never wanted.

Since the beginning of the primary campaign, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have proceeded with a patina of comity, focusing on their mostly shared policy goals and reminding anyone who would listen about their ostensibly genuine mutual admiration.

“Bernie and I have been friends for a long, long time,” Ms. Warren said last month in Ottumwa.

“Elizabeth Warren is a very good friend of mine,” Mr. Sanders told reporters last weekend in Iowa City.

But competitive campaigns tend to test the definition of the word.

Perhaps this moment, or something like it, was always going to come — the natural consequence of a contest with these stakes, of two candidates fighting for so many of the same voters.

It was easy enough to project friendship and allegiance all last year as dual progressive dreamers, tag-teaming to make the case against the more incremental politics of a front-runner like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. It is quite another thing to see the current state of the primary — with wide-open races in Iowa and New Hampshire and, in theory, room enough for only one liberal standard-bearer as the calendar turns — and maintain a fully united front.

Sunday was fraught: Ms. Warren said she was “disappointed” in Mr. Sanders amid reports that his campaign had distributed a script to volunteers instructing them to depict Ms. Warren as out of touch.

Monday was worse: CNN reported that Mr. Sanders told Ms. Warren during a private meeting in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency. Mr. Sanders forcefully denied having made the remarks. Ms. Warren said that Mr. Sanders had in fact raised doubts about a woman’s electoral viability.

“I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” she said in a statement on Monday. “I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.”

Entering Tuesday’s debate, progressive groups had spent the preceding 48 hours in something approaching full-scale panic, alarmed that a skirmish between two largely like-minded candidates would serve only to benefit more moderate alternatives like Mr. Biden and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

The question of whether a woman can defeat Mr. Trump has been the long-whispered soundtrack of much of this Democratic primary, invoked constantly in voter interviews among even supporters of candidates like Ms. Warren and Ms. Klobuchar.

Ms. Warren had not directly addressed gender as forcefully as she did Tuesday night, when she vowed, in her closing statement, to become “the first woman president of the United States of America.”

She has more frequently talked about Aunt Bea — a wonder woman in her life — who made an appearance in an exchange about child care.

It was a story she has told many times before, but the circumstances on Tuesday made it newly resonant.

“If I hadn’t been saved by my Aunt Bea, I was ready to quit my job,” Ms. Warren said. “And I think about how many women of my generation just got knocked off the track and never got back on.”

As late as last week, it seemed as if the debate was shaping up primarily as a clash between Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden. Since an American airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, the two men have been sparring over foreign policy. Mr. Biden has seized on the escalating tension to highlight his experience while Mr. Sanders has used it as grounds to promote his longtime focus on international diplomacy. Mr. Sanders, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, has also repeatedly and aggressively hit Mr. Biden on his vote to authorize it.

The sparring over foreign policy has delighted Mr. Sanders’s advisers, who have long ached for direct conflict with Mr. Biden: Not only is he a moderate foil to Mr. Sanders’s democratic socialism, but he also in many ways represents the establishment Washington that Mr. Sanders loathes.

Mr. Biden was bracing for the fight. But when it came time for Mr. Sanders to go on offense, he settled occasionally for jokes.

“I would not meet with — absent preconditions — I would not meet with the, quote, ‘supreme leader,’ who said ‘Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick,” Mr. Biden said about the leader of North Korea.

Mr. Sanders butted in: “Other than that, you like him?”

“Other than that, I like him,” Mr. Biden confirmed.

As ever on Tuesday, Mr. Biden presented himself as the candidate Mr. Trump fears most. “I’ve been the object of his affection now more than anybody else in this stage,” he said.

While Mr. Biden is not an enviable debater on his best day, he seemed to largely survive the evening without a significant misstep — no small thing as he continues to lead most national polls and edges into contention in surveys of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he has long struggled.

That no candidate has yet emerged as a decisive front-runner in Iowa has made voters’ decisions here all the more complicated as they strain to identify someone who can defeat Mr. Trump. Only 40 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers have made up their minds, according to a Des Moines Register poll released last week; nearly half said they could be persuaded to support another candidate, and 13 percent said they did not have a first choice.

Of course, the locals have also found excitement in the stress, making the proceedings on Tuesday the hottest ticket in a cold town. Leaving a restaurant on Sunday, several Iowans asked a Buttigieg campaign official if he could help them get into the event hall. The official demurred.

The debate on Tuesday went forward against the relentless din of Washington news, from the Iran affair to a looming Senate impeachment trial that could sideline half of the candidates onstage. (The forum also excluded the Democrat most ubiquitous in television advertising: Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who is not competing in the early-voting states.)

The candidates and moderators did not wind toward Mr. Trump’s congressional fate until nearly the end. There was talk of the Constitution. There was talk about duty. “Some things,” Ms. Warren said, “are more important than politics.”

And some seemingly unimportant actions can appear politically meaningful.

At the end of the evening, as the candidates wrapped up more than two hours of televised talking with several minutes of televised farewells, Mr. Sanders extended his hand to Ms. Warren. She did not reciprocate, beginning a brief conversation that ended without a handshake. Mr. Sanders raised two open palms — as if to say: enough of this — and walked off.

Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines, and Matt Flegenheimer from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Democratic Debate Recap: Gender, War and Taking on Trump

DES MOINES — The Democratic presidential candidates clashed in starkly personal terms Tuesday over who had the best chance to defeat President Trump, as Senator Elizabeth Warren sought to jump-start her campaign in the last debate before the Iowa caucuses by highlighting her electoral success and that of other female candidates in the Trump era.

Prompted by the moderators, Ms. Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders continued a debate over the fraught subject of whether a woman could be elected president, an issue that in recent days had caused the first serious breach in their relationship. One day after she confirmed a report that Mr. Sanders had told her in a private meeting that he did not think a woman could defeat Mr. Trump, Ms. Warren trumpeted her Senate victory over an incumbent Republican and then gestured down the debate stage toward the four male candidates.

“Collectively they have lost 10 elections,” she said, before acknowledging the only other female candidate present, Senator Amy Klobuchar. “The only people on this stage who have won every single election they have been in are the women: Amy and me. And the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican in the past 30 years is me.”

Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren’s top rival for progressive support, flatly denied that he had made the comment when the two lawmakers met without aides in 2018. He said it was “incomprehensible that I would think that a woman couldn’t be president of the United States,” noting Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote in the 2016 general election.

The Democrats disagreed over international affairs and keeping troops in the Middle East, whether to support Mr. Trump’s trade deal for North America, how aggressively to tackle climate change, and, yet again, they sparred on health care. But the issue animating much of the evening was the same question that has shaped the primary race for the past year: which of them would be the most formidable contender against Mr. Trump.

The contest has increasingly revolved around questions of electability, but the matter has become more urgent in the weeks since hostilities increased between the United States and Tehran after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the powerful Iranian commander. Much of Tuesday’s debate, which featured six of the remaining candidates, touched on national security as the Democrats excoriated Mr. Trump, urged caution in the Middle East and laid claim to the mantle of being the best potential commander in chief.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. came under far less scrutiny than his standing as the national front-runner might have merited in the final debate before voting begins in Iowa on Feb. 3. Just as notable, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who has slipped in Iowa, seemed satisfied to make his own case without sharply criticizing his top rivals.

New polls in Iowa show that Democratic voters are roughly split between four top candidates: Mr. Biden, Mr. Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Warren of Massachusetts and Mr. Buttigieg.

But while Mr. Sanders was criticized for the cost of his plans, Ms. Warren for how many people would be turned off by hers and Mr. Buttigieg for the scope of his ambitions, Mr. Biden went long stretches on Tuesday receiving scant attention.

The debate unfolded at an extraordinarily volatile moment in American politics, with impeachment looming and escalated tensions with Iran. Befitting the setting and the stakes of the debate less than three weeks before the caucuses, multiple candidates — Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Klobuchar — all invoked Iowa or retold stories of specific Iowans they had met along the campaign trail, tailoring their pitch to the crucial state.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167147265_c7ad252a-f5e0-4071-a48d-b9756ea0d03f-articleLarge Democratic Debate Recap: Gender, War and Taking on Trump Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

The debate featured six candidates, from left, Tom Steyer, Ms. Warren, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Amy Klobuchar.Credit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

But it was the contretemps between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders that was the most memorable moment in the lea-up to the caucuses here. It was a remarkable exchange between the two senators, in part because they are friends and have labored to abide by a de facto nonaggression pact for the past year. But more important, it also crystallized the competing cases that the leading Democratic contenders were making for why they were best positioned to defeat Mr. Trump.

Even as Ms. Warren said “Bernie is my friend and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie,” she flashed him a smile after Mr. Sanders noted that he, like Ms. Warren, had once defeated an incumbent Republican. “Just to set the record straight, I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress,” he said, before Ms. Warren pointed out that it had been 30 years ago.

Acknowledging that she was facing doubts about her chances to defeat Mr. Trump, she pointed out that John F. Kennedy had addressed questions about his Catholicism and, more recently, Barack Obama overcame doubts that he could win the presidency as a black man.

Both times, Ms. Warren said, “the Democratic Party stepped up and said yes.” It was an unusual closing argument in Iowa for a candidate who first rose to contention on the basis of her policy proposals, but it reflected the urgency she was facing to reverse her decline in a state where she led in the polls last year.

Mr. Sanders used the exchange to make his own case for why he was the most electable candidate: because he could lure a stream of new voters to the polls. “The real question” he said, “is how do we beat Trump? And the only way we beat Trump is by a campaign of energy and excitement and a campaign that has, by far, the largest voter turnout in the history of this country.”

For his part, Mr. Sanders did not seem rattled by the confrontation, at least during the forum. But in the immediate aftermath of the debate, CNN cameras captured Ms. Warren appearing to refuse to shake Mr. Sanders’s hand, and the two of them engaged in what seemed to be a pointed conversation.

Mr. Biden, who has increasingly placed his own polling strength against Mr. Trump at the center of his candidacy, was just as emphatic that he was best equipped to win the general election.

“The real issue is who can bring the whole party together,” said Mr. Biden, citing his endorsements from a variety of Democrats, including many racial minorities. “I am the one who has the broadest coalition of anyone running up here.”

Ms. Klobuchar cited her success appealing to a range of voters in Minnesota and even boasted that every one of her Republican opponents had left politics since they lost to her. “I think that sounds pretty good with the president we have right now,” she said.

But Ms. Klobuchar struggled momentarily when she sought to highlight the success of other Midwestern Democratic women and forgot the name of Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas before receiving a cue.

“Kansas has a woman governor right now and she beat Kris Kobach,” she began. “And her name, um, is, I’m very proud to know her, and her name is, uh, Governor Kelly. Thank you.”

In a rare policy split, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren clashed on the new North American trade deal that Mr. Trump is trying to push through Congress. Mr. Sanders said it was not worth supporting — even if it made a “modest” improvement. “We can do much better than a Trump-led trade deal,” he said.

Ms. Warren, however, said that was the reason to support it. “We have farmers here in Iowa who are hurting,” she said.

The exchange was an example of how Ms. Warren has sought to position herself as a progressive more willing to get things done than Mr. Sanders.

The candidates clashed, as they have in all the debates, on health care. Mr. Sanders was pressed by the moderators about the cost of his “Medicare for all” package; unlike Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders has not said what his proposal would cost or revealed which taxes he would increase to pay for it.

Mr. Buttigieg was asked directly about his lack of support among black voters, whom he will need to activate not just to win the nomination but also a potential general election against Mr. Trump. Mr. Buttigieg said those who know him best — in South Bend — support him, cited his African-American backers in Iowa and noted that his new campaign co-chairman was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

A large part of the electorate remains up for grabs in a contest that many of the campaigns believe will produce record-setting turnout. A Des Moines Register-CNN poll last week indicated that 45 percent of caucusgoers said they could still be persuaded to support a different candidate. The four leading candidates in Iowa — Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg — are knotted so tightly together that Mr. Biden was fourth in the poll last week, but first in another, from Monmouth University. Mr. Sanders topped the Des Moines Register/CNN poll for the first time, putting perhaps the biggest target on his back yet ahead of a debate.

Mr. Sanders had the opportunity right from the start to emphasize his pacifist credentials as the debate opened with questions about the heightened tensions with Iran and who was best positioned to serve as commander in chief. Mr. Sanders immediately seized the opportunity to trumpet his past opposition to the war in Iraq. “I not only voted against the war, I helped lead the effort against the war,” he said.

Mr. Sanders warned that both the Iraq and Vietnam wars had been based on “lies.” “Right now, what I fear very much is that we have a president that is lying again and could drag us into a war that is even worse than the war in Iraq,” he said.

Mr. Sanders drew a distinction with Mr. Biden, who had supported the Iraq war resolution in the Senate. “Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush and Rumsfeld had to say,” Mr. Sanders said. “I thought they were lying. Joe saw it differently.”

Mr. Biden said he regretted his vote for that war. “It was a mistake and I acknowledge that,” Mr. Biden said, while noting that as vice president he had brought thousands of troops home from the Middle East.

In another twist that had the potential to affect the race in Iowa, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, as well as Ms. Klobuchar and Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado (who did not make the debate), are confronting another looming challenge: how to mount a successful Iowa campaign while their duties in Congress require them to be in Washington.

With the senators likely to be in the Capitol up to six days a week for the impeachment trial of Mr. Trump, they will be unable to make their final appeals to Iowa voters in person as frequently as Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167151222_64b587e2-fa31-46ad-b072-04bca5a8cc07-articleLarge Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Ms. Klobuchar: Zinged liberals and says she’s the candidate in the middle, inside of the “extremes of our politics.”

Mr. Steyer: Said Mr. Trump had kicked the American people “in the face,” and that he wanted to be a good “teammate” to the American people as a political leader.

Mr. Buttigieg: Described himself as the unity candidate who can win both Democrats and Republicans.

Mr. Sanders: Said “this is the moment when we have to think big,” arguing unambitious plans will not do in 2020.

Ms. Warren: Offered a message of “hope and courage” as she detailed the challenges facing the nation, and raised the prospect of being the first woman president of the United States.

Mr. Biden: Called for restoring “decency” at home and American leadership abroad and warned that eight years of Mr. Trump’s presidency would be an “absolute disaster.”

In the final minutes of the debate, several of the contenders delivered sharpened pitches about how they believe they can defeat Mr. Trump.

“What Americans want is something different,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “I am going to be able to stand across from him on that debate stage and say to my friends in Iowa, the Midwest is not flyover country for me.”

Mr. Buttigieg highlighted his background as a military veteran.

“I’m ready to take on Donald Trump because when we get to the tough talk, and the chest thumping, he’ll have to stand next to an American war veteran and explain how he pretended bone spurs made him ineligible to serve,” he said.

Ms. Warren, as she often does, invoked her Republican brothers and noted her ability to find common ground with them.

“They understand that we have an America right now that’s working great for those at the top,” she said. “It’s just not working for anyone else.”

And Mr. Biden referenced his months of clashes with Mr. Trump, who asked the government of Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden, helping to lead the president’s impeachment.

“I’ve been the object of his affection now more than anybody else on the stage,” he said. “I’ve taken all the hits he can deliver, and I’m getting better in the polls.”

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Black voters who know me best are supporting me. It’s why I have the most support in South Bend. It’s why among elected black officials in my community who have gotten into this race, by far most of them, are supporting me.

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-livebriefing-buttigieg-videoSixteenByNine3000 Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

CreditCredit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

Mr. Buttigieg faced the biggest question dogging his campaign: Why doesn’t he have more support from black Democrats? asked the moderator Abby Phillip.

“The black voters who know me best are supporting me,” he replied. “It’s why I have the most support in South Bend. It’s why among elected black officials in my community who have gotten into this race, by far most of them are supporting me. Now, nationally I’m proud that my campaign is co-chaired by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. And to have support right here in Iowa from some of the most recognizable black elected leaders.”

Of course, Mr. Buttigieg didn’t address his miniscule polling support from black voters in South Carolina — a huge vulnerability that could hurt his campaign if that weakness is not corrected soon.

Ms. Klobuchar said all the candidates’ climate plans pretty much the same. “Nearly every one of us has a plan that is very similar,” she said. “That is to get to carbon neutral by 2045 to 2050.”

Mr. Sanders disagreed, silently mouthing “no” and shooting his right arm into the air to demand the next speaking time.

“It’s a national crisis,” he said, proceeding to heap blame on the fossil fuel industry and demanding radical changes immediately, not 20 or 30 years into the future.

“If we as a nation do not transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, not by 2050, not 2040,” he said. “But unless we lead the world right now — not easy stuff — the planet we are leaving our kids will be uninhabitable and unhealthy.”

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This is a decency check on our government. This is a patriotism check. Not only is this trial that, but also this election.

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-livebriefing-klobuchar-videoSixteenByNine3000-v3 Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

CreditCredit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Ms. Klobuchar, who is set to be a juror in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, said that the nation’s “decency” is at issue.

“This is a decency check on our government,” she said. “This is a patriotism check. Not only is this trial that, but also this election. And no matter if you agree with everyone on the stage, I say this to Americans, you know this is a decency check on this president.”

Ms. Klobuchar said that she has a “constitutional duty to perform,” and warned Republicans against standing in the way of requested witnesses.”

“When I look at what the issue is it’s whether or not we’ll be able to have witnesses,” she said. “We have asked for only four people as witnesses. And if our Republican colleagues won’t allow those witnesses, they may as well give the president a crown and a scepter, they may as well make him king.”

Mr. Biden said he won’t remain embittered by Mr. Trump even after the impeachment trial over whether the president committed impeachable offenses in seeking foreign help to investigate Mr. Biden’s son.

“I have to be in a position I think of the American people,” Mr. Biden said. “I can’t hold a grudge. I have to be able to not only fight but also heal.”

Impeachment, almost uniquely among the Democratic candidates, leads to next to zero disagreement among the party’s presidential candidates. It’s not an issue that voters ask about on the campaign trail and has nothing to do with how the candidates would perform in office — since if any of them are president it would mean Mr. Trump is not.

Still, the impeachment trial due to begin next week will be a monster speed bump for the three senators on the debate stage: Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren.

Ms. Warren said she would have no qualms in leaving the campaign trail to sit as a juror in Mr. Trump’s trial.

“We have an impeachment trial — I will be there because it is my responsibility,” she said.

The contrast on free college between Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Warren was about as gentle as can be.

Mr. Buttigieg used his response to a question about free college to blast the rich, saying they should pay the way for their children to attend public colleges and universities, while providing free college to everyone else.

Ms. Warren, in defending her free college proposal, said a wealth tax would require millionaires to pay millions of dollars in new taxes, and that if they wish to send their children to public universities, that’s fine with her. She did not ding Mr. Buttigieg for opposing free college.

“What we really need to talk about is the bigger economic picture,” she said. “We need to be willing to put a wealth tax in place. To ask the giant corporations that is are not paying to pay. Because that is how we build an economy and those who want to talk about, bring down the national debt.”

Several of the candidates spoke at length about the exorbitant costs of child care and the personal toll it takes on Americans.

“It makes no sense for child care to cost two-thirds of somebody’s income,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “We have to drive it to 7 percent or below. And zero for the families who are living in poverty.”

Ms. Warren and Mr. Biden spoke in especially personal terms about child care — a financial responsibility that nearly brought her down, Ms. Warren said.

“If I hadn’t been saved by my aunt, I was ready to quit my job,” she said. “I think about how many women of my generation got knocked off the track and never got back on.”

Ms. Warren noted that she has proposed a two-cent wealth tax to provide child care benefits and universal pre-K, and raised concerned about exploitation of child care workers, singling out women of color in particular.

“We can raise the wages of every child care worker and preschool teacher in America,” she said. “That is an investment in our babies and their moms and dads. And it’s an investment in our teachers and our economy.”

Mr. Biden, who said he believed that “people who are not able to afford any of the infant care to be able to get that care,” referenced his experience raising two sons after his wife and a baby daughter were killed in a 1972 car crash.

“I was a single parent too,” he said. “When my wife and daughter were killed, my two boys I had to raise, I was a senator, a young senator.”

Halfway through Tuesday’s debate, the conflict has been muted as the candidates have shown little inclination to attack each other while they aim to refocus ire against President Trump.

Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders each defused the clashes between them that dominated the last two days. Mr. Buttigieg didn’t take shots at Ms. Warren or Mr. Sanders about health care, despite the opportunity. And Mr. Biden has once again avoided being attacked by his opponents, despite leading every national poll of the race.

It’s a reflection of the muddled state of the race. With four candidates in a functional dead heat in polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, there is little incentive for any of them to risk being seen in a negative light by going on the attack.

The only candidate onstage who appeared eager to throw punches was Ms. Klobuchar, who remains in the high single digits in Iowa polling, leaving her well below the 15 percent threshold to accrue any delegates in Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses that are necessary to win the Democratic nomination.

Ms. Warren cast Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg as incrementalists on health care, saying that their proposals “are an improvement over where we are now,” but are only a “small improvement.”

Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg support adding a public option to the health care system, but oppose the sweeping single-payer Medicare for all proposal.

“It’s just not true that the plan I’m proposing is small,” Mr. Buttigieg shot back. “We have to move past Washington mentality that suggests that the bigness of plans only consist of how many trillions of dollars they put through the Treasury. That the boldness of a plan consists of how many people it can alienate.”

Ms. Klobuchar also jumped into the fray, accusing Ms. Warren of offering shifting answers in her own health care proposal.

“You acknowledge that Medicare for all, you couldn’t get there right away,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “You got on the bill that said on page eight that you would kick 149 million Americans off their current health insurance. Then a few months ago you said you’ll wait awhile to get there, and I think that was some acknowledgment that maybe what we’re talking about it is true.”

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Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage: Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.

Westlake Legal Group 14vid-debate-clip4-promo-videoSixteenByNine3000 Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

CreditCredit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

Mr. Sanders emphatically insisted that he did not make the comment that Ms. Warren has attributed to him: that a woman could not be elected president.

“Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it,” he said. “And I don’t want to waste a whole lot of time on this, because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want.”

Ms. Warren said she disagreed with Mr. Sanders but sought to defuse the conflict.

“Bernie is my friend and I’m not here to fight with Bernie,” she said.

Ms. Warren continued, leaning fully into her electability argument.

“The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women: Amy and me,” she said. “And the only person who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the past 30 years is me.”

The clash between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders veered, briefly, into unusual territory: math.

The disagreement unfolded after Ms. Warren said that “the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican anytime in the past 30 years is me.”

“Well, just to set the record straight, I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress,” Mr. Sanders said.

“When?” Ms. Warren asked. Mr. Sanders said that in 1990, he beat a Republican congressman.

Ms. Warren pressed him again on the timing. “I said, I was the only one who’s beaten an incumbent Republican in 30 years,” Ms. Warren said.

“Well, 30 years ago is 1990, as a matter of fact,” Mr. Sanders replied.

Mr. Biden sought to bridge the divide about whether a woman can win by bemoaning the factionalism that he said could prevent Democrats from defeating President Trump.

“The real issue is who can bring the party together and represent all elements of the party,” he said. “African-American, brown, black, women, men. Gay, straight. The fact of the matter is, I would argue that, in terms of endorsement around the country, endorsements where ever we go, I have the broadest coalition of anyone running up where in this race.”

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I would not meet with — absent preconditions. I would not meet with the “supreme leader” who said, “Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick.”

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-livebriefing-biden2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

CreditCredit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Mr. Biden mocked the North Korean regime, which has lashed Mr. Biden with graphic insults — and the former vice president received backup from his rival, Mr. Sanders.

“I would not meet with — absent preconditions, I would not meet with the, quote, Supreme Leader, who said ‘Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick,’” Mr. Biden said.

“Other than that, you like him,” Mr. Sanders interjected wryly, referencing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“Other than that, I like him, and he got a love letter from Trump right after that,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Sanders took another opportunity to obliquely swipe at Mr. Biden’s vote to authorize the war in Iraq when asked about America’s role in the Middle East.

“What we have to face as a nation is that the two great foreign policy disasters of our lifetimes, with the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq. Both of those wars were based on lies,” Mr. Sanders said, adding that he feared President Trump could lead the nation into another war amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

Mr. Biden did not take on Mr. Sanders of Iraq, choosing to emphasize another element of his foreign policy record: the nuclear deal with Iran, achieved during the Obama administration.

“I was part of that deal to get the nuclear agreement with Iran, bringing together the rest of the world, including some of the folks who aren’t friendly to us,” Mr. Biden said. “And it was working.”

Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Buttigieg each said they would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, though neither of them stipulated what they would do beyond negotiations to stop Iran from doing so.

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Our military is the finest military on Earth, and they will take any sacrifice we ask them to take. But we should stop asking our military to solve problems that cannot be solved militarily.

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-livebriefing-warren-video-videoSixteenByNine3000 Highlights From the January 2020 Democratic Debate in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

CreditCredit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Another split in the candidates emerged on foreign policy. Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Sanders said they’d remove combat troops from Iraq, while Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Biden said they would leave some in place.

“I would leave some troops there, but not in the level that Donald Trump is taking us right now,” Ms. Klobuchar said.

Ms. Warren said that it is time to bring the troops home. “I think we need to get our combat troops out,” she said. “You know, we have to stop this mind-set that we can do everything with combat troops. Our military is the finest military on Earth. And they will take any sacrifice we ask them to take. But we should stop asking our military to solve problems that cannot be solved militarily.”

And Mr. Buttigieg said: “We can continue to remain engaged without having an endless commitment of ground troops. But what’s going on right now is the president’s actually sending more.”

Mr. Buttigieg said if he is elected president and asks Congress to authorize military force overseas, he would ask for the legislation to expire after three years.

“When I am president, anytime — which I hope will never happen — but anytime I am compelled to use force and seek that authorization, we will have a three-year sunset, so that the American people are included, not only in the decision about whether to send troops, but whether to continue,” he said.

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