CBS News Democratic Primary Debate Charleston, South Carolina Transcript Part 4

Senator Elizabeth Warren at the South Carolina Democratic Debate (Photo Credit: Sidney Evans / Politisite)
Senator Elizabeth Warren at the South Carolina Democratic Debate (Photo Credit: Sidney Evans / Politisite)

This is part 4 of the rush transcript from CBS News Democratic primary debate on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina.

BUTTIGIEG: …adds up to.

It adds to four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands.

The time has come for us to stop acting like the presidency is the only office that matters. Not only is this a way to get Donald Trump reelected.


BUTTIGIEG: We got a House to worry about. We got a Senate to worry about. And this is — this is really important.


BIDEN: Hello?

BUTTIGIEG: … if you want to keep the House in Democratic hands, you might want to check with the people who actually turned the House blue, 40 Democrats, who are not running on your platform.


BUTTIGIEG: They are running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can.


BUTTIGIEG: I want to send those Democrats back to the United States House.

KING: Vice President Biden.


BUTTIGIEG: Let’s listen to them…

KING: Vice President Biden.

BUTTIGIEG: … when they say that they don’t want to be out there defending Senator Sanders…


KING: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg.

Vice President Biden, please.

BIDEN: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

I guess the only way you do this is jump in and speak twice as long as you should.


BIDEN: Here’s the deal. Here’s the deal.

Look, a guy who’s a friend of mine down here named Fritz Hollings — he passed away — he said, you want to know what a woman will do, look what they have done. Look what they have done.

You talk about — concerned about race. Well, my good friend on the end of this platform, he, in fact, bought a system that was a private prison system, after, after he knew that, in fact, what happened was, they hog-tied young men in prison here in this state.

They, in fact, made sure that, in Georgia, they did not have health care for the people who were being held. They, in fact, went on, and he said, after he knew that, he bought it. And then he said he was proud of his accomplishment.

You talk about what we’re talking about with Bernie. Bernie, in fact, hasn’t passed much of anything. The fact of the matter is…

STEYER: OK. But I get to answer.


BIDEN: No, no, no.

STEYER: I get to answer that.

BIDEN: The — look — look…

STEYER: No, that…

BIDEN: … fact is…

STEYER: You’re out of time.

I get to answer…

BIDEN: Here’s the deal.

I’m not out of time. You spoke over time, and I’m going to talk.

Here’s the deal.


BIDEN: Here’s the deal.

The fact of the matter is, look at what’s happening here. Look at what’s happening here. We have to win the Senate back.

And, by the way, I went into all of those races that got 41 new Democrats. The majority of them are supporting me for president and endorsing me.


O’DONNELL: And, Mr. Vice President, I have to allow — yes, Mr. Mayor.


O’DONNELL: Mr. Mayor, you’re allowed to respond.

STEYER: I bought stock in a prison company thinking they would do a better job. And I investigated. And I sold it.


BIDEN: But you knew — you knew when you bought it they’d done that.


STEYER: I get to answer this question.

And, in fact, since then, I have worked to end the use of private prisons in my home state, and we have ended it. I have started a bank to support black ownership of businesses, women ownership of businesses, and Latino owners of businesses, because this financial service industry is prejudiced.

I have worked tirelessly on this. And you know I’m right. You wrote the crime bill that you called…


BIDEN: Where we come from, that’s called Tommy come lately.

BLOOMBERG: There are other people here.


STEYER: … crime bill that put hundreds of thousands of young black and Latino men in prison.

BIDEN: Not true.

BLOOMBERG: OK. Let me say something.


O’DONNELL: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

STEYER: There’s something going on here. I have worked for racial justice…

O’DONNELL: Thank you.

KING: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

STEYER: … completely. And that is an absolute unfair statement.

O’DONNELL: Thank you, Mr. Steyer.

KLOBUCHAR: All I know…


BIDEN: Tommy come lately.

KING: Mayor Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg.

KLOBUCHAR: … if we spend the next four months tearing our party apart, we’re going to watch Donald Trump spend the next four years tearing our country apart.

BIDEN: Look…

KLOBUCHAR: So, my argument here is that we need to get back to what’s happening right now.

We have a clear choice of who’s going to lead this party. And I am the only one in the New Hampshire debate, when asked, if we had a problem with a socialist leading the ticket, that raised my hand.

I like Bernie. We came in together to the Senate. But I do not think that this is the best person to lead the ticket.


KLOBUCHAR: And if you want to talk about getting things done and make a comparison, according to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, last Congress, I was the most effective Democrat in the U.S. Senate on 15 metrics.

Bernie and Elizabeth were in the bottom half. It matters — it matters if you can actually get things done.


KLOBUCHAR: It is not just who talks the best, who actually gets things done.

And especially with the African-American community, there have been a lot of broken promises.. And I think having someone that keeps their promises and follows through and is going to get things done for these people matters. And that’s why I ask for your support.


KING: Mayor Bloomberg, please.

BLOOMBERG: Let’s just go on the record.

They talk about 40 Democrats; 21 of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president…


BLOOMBERG: … I — I got them.

Number two, when you talk about money, let’s put this in perspective. The federal budget is $4.5 trillion a year. We get $3.5 trillion in revenue. We lose $1 trillion a year.

That’s why the federal budget — deficit is — right now, the debt is $20 trillion, going up to 21.

We just cannot afford some of this stuff people talk about. But if you…


BLOOMBERG: Let me finish.

If you keep on going, we will elect Bernie. Bernie will lose to Donald Trump. And Donald Trump and the House and the Senate and some of the statehouses will all go red.

And then, between gerrymandering and appointing judges, for the next 20 or 30 years, we’re going to live with this catastrophe.

O’DONNELL: Mayor Bloomberg, thank you.


O’DONNELL: I will allow Senator Sanders a quick response, and then Senator Warren.

SANDERS: Thank you very much, Norah.

O’DONNELL: Senator Sanders, a quick response, and then Senator Warren.

SANDERS: Thank you very much.

Mayor Bloomberg has a solid and strong and enthusiastic base of support. The problem is, they’re all billionaires.


SANDERS: Now, if you look — oh.

On the other hand, of the last 50 polls that have been done nationally, Mr. Bloomberg, I beat Trump 47 of those 50 times.

If you look at battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, polling just done this Sunday…

BLOOMBERG: The polls aren’t the election.

SANDERS: … I beat Trump.

And if you want to beat Trump, what you’re going to need is an unprecedented…


SANDERS: … grassroots movement of black and white and Latino, Native American and Asian, people who are standing up and fighting for justice.

O’DONNELL: Thank you.

SANDERS: That’s what our movement is about.

BLOOMBERG: Can anybody — can anybody in this room imagine moderate Republicans going over and voting for him?

SANDERS: Absolutely.

BLOOMBERG: And you have to do that, or you can’t win.

WARREN: You know, that is…

O’DONNELL: Thank you.

Senator Warren.

WARREN: That is the problem.

And that is that a progressive agenda is popular, Mayor Bloomberg.

And, for everyone on this stage, we talk about how to build a future. That’s what matters.

I talk to people in selfie lines every day who tell me about the importance of getting real help on health care. It’s why I also have a way to pay for health care that doesn’t raise taxes on middle-class families.

But it’s so much more than that. As Democrats, we need to speak to the future we can build together. We need to speak of the prosperity we can build together.

How about a wealth tax in America? Because with a 2 cent tax on just the top one-tenth of 1 percent, we have a chance to invest in universal child care for every one of our babies, to really level the playing field.

O’DONNELL: Thank you.

WARREN: Put $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities.

O’DONNELL: Thank you, Senator.


WARREN: And start closing the racial wealth gap by canceling student loan debt for 43 million Americans.


WARREN: We need to talk about our aspirations, our hopes.

This is a moment…

O’DONNELL: Senator…

WARREN: … to choose hope over fear.

O’DONNELL: Senator, thank you.

WARREN: This is our moment.

O’DONNELL: Senator, thank you.


O’DONNELL: We have to take a quick break.

When we come back, the Democratic presidential debate continues right after this, only on CBS.



Transcription by ASC Services LLC.

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