21:49 GMT30 November 2020
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    The seventh Democratic presidential primary debate has wrapped up at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where six Democratic presidential contenders took the stage just several short weeks ahead of the first state-level Democratic Party presidential candidate primary election, the Iowa caucuses.

    Here are some of the highlights of the 14 January Democratic presidential candidate debate in Iowa, attended by the six rivals: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, as well as former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and and billionaire Tom Steyer.

    • Warren ended the event with the most speaking time, at 19 minutes, followed by Sanders, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Biden and Steyer.
    • The contenders specifically focused on the situation in the Middle East, with Klobuchar saying that she would “leave some troops there” when asked whether she would remove forces from the region.
    • Warren insisted that “we need to get our combat troops out”, while Biden argued that “we’re in a position where we’re going to have to pull our forces out” due to the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani ordered by US President Donald Trump, which prompted Iraq to request that all US troops be withdrawn from the country.
    • In a separate highlight, Biden and Sanders shared a laugh during the debate over Pyongyang attacking Biden as a “rabid dog”, in an apparent reference to a comment made by North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, as cited by the country's state news agency.
    • “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’,” Biden said. Sanders wittily asked if he liked him “other than that”, prompting laughter. Biden responded, “Other than that, I like him, and he got a love letter from Trump after that."
    • During the course of the debate, Sanders also sparred with Warren over the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), with the former making it clear that he would refuse to support the deal.
    • “Every major environmental organisation has said no to this new trade agreement because it does not even have the phrase ‘climate change’ in it,” Sanders pointed out.
    • Warren asserted that the USMCA “will give some relief” to American farmers and workers, adding “I believe we accept that relief, we try to help the people who need help, and we get up the next day and fight for a better trade deal”.
    • Another debate topic centred on whether a female candidate should take part in the elections, a question that arose after Warren claimed earlier this week that Sanders had told her in a private meeting before she announced her presidential bid that a woman could not defeat Trump.
    • Sanders denied the allegations, saying, “anybody who knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be the president of the United States”.
    • Warred responded by arguing that the women on the stage had succeeded in elections more than their male rivals.
    • “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. Amy and me,” she said.
    • It seems that it was this showdown that led to the situation when Warren refused to shake hands with Sanders at the end of the debates. The two then appeared to exchange some stern words; it was unclear what exactly they said.

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    Tags:
    Kim Jong-un, killing, Qasem Soleimani, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, debates, US
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