Skip to navigationSkip to content

The Democratic debaters each state the greatest threat to the US

Reuters/Mike Segar
In summary.
  • Ephrat Livni
By Ephrat Livni

Senior reporter, law & politics, DC.

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The first night of the Democratic presidential candidates’ debates tonight (June 26) was a confusing affair. Ten candidates, who certainly look different from each other and used different words, seemed to all be saying more or less the same thing, each vying to be the voice of the underdog and representative of the forgotten. It wasn’t always easy to tell why some were yelling at each other.

They pretty much all agree on this: Working Americans need to earn more money. Healthcare is a basic human right. Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell must be dealt with by any Democratic president. The immigration system needs to be reformed so that families aren’t separated at the border. Assault rifles are dangerous.

Perhaps in an attempt to differentiate the 10 candidates debating tonight, NBC News moderator Chuck Todd near the end of the two hour affair asked each to answer the same question in one word. What is the biggest geopolitical threat to the US right now? Here’s what they all replied:

  1. John Delaney; China is a challenge. Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat.
  2. Jay Inslee; Trump.
  3. Tulsi Gabbard; Nuclear war.
  4. Amy Klobuchar; China and Iran.
  5. Beto O’Rourke; Climate change is the greatest existential threat.
  6. Elizabeth Warren; Climate change.
  7. Cory Booker; Nuclear proliferation. Climate change.
  8. Julián Castro; China. Climate change.
  9. Tim Ryan; China.
  10. Bill de Blasio; Russia.

Only three candidates managed to follow the one-word rule but, hey, Todd sincerely thanked them anyway for providing relatively different responses in what was an otherwise not too controversial affair. Tomorrow, 10 more candidates will take the stage to do it all over again. Maybe someone will say something refreshing or surprising.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.