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Date TimeSeptember 13, 2019
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CNNs Jake Tapper and Jon Lovett pick Democratic debate winners and losers on Stephen Colberts Late Show
Ten top Democratic candidates debated in Houston on Thursday night, as The Late Show noted in song.
"Who was thirsty for a big moment and who actually got one?" Stephen Colbert asked CNN's Jake Tapper. "I don't think anyone got a 'big' moment, I didn't see anything tonight that's going to change the trajectory too much of the three frontrunners — Warren, Biden, and Sanders," Tapper said. He didn't think Beto O'Rourke's mandatory AR-15 buyback pledge was a game-changer or plausible, but "Sen. Cory Booker had a good night," though "I don't know if it's going to be enough for him," given that "almost two-thirds of the Democratic electorate" supports the three frontrunners. "Is someone paying Julián Castro to attack Joe Biden?" Colbert asked, noting Castro's salvo. "It was a tough attack. I mean, he seemed to be suggesting that Joe Biden wasn't all there and had forgotten something he had said," Tapper said. "But you saw the audience turned on Castro when he said that, and also, I think that he was wrong." "So he was kind of mean and inaccurate," Colbert summarized.
The marquee matchup of the night was supposed to be Biden versus Elizabeth Warren, but "there was more face-off between Sanders and Biden than there was between Warren," Tapper said. "Warren doesn't really like to attack people." He had a hard time imagining any of the three frontrunners dropping out. "What would you call Biden's message," Colbert asked, "because to me, Biden's message feels a little bit to me like: 'You know how you used to feel? I am that feeling. Feel me.'" "I don't think his message is 'Feel me,'" Tapper said.
"There have been bad debates that left you feeling really sad — but this wasn't one of them," Pod Save America co-host Jon Lovett told Colbert. He thought all the candidates did well, except Castro when he attacked Biden. He also thought Harris blew a great opportunity with her botched Wizard of Oz joke, and he explained why people always underestimate Biden. Watch below.


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