Debate Got Right to Hot Topic: Iran

6 Democrats debate in Des Moines
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2020 8:34 PM CST

(Newser) – With less than three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, six Democratic White House hopefuls are debating at Drake University in Des Moines. Three of them—Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, will soon be serving as jurors in President Trump's impeachment trial. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer are also taking part in the CNN/Des Moines Register debate, which is the seventh Democratic primary debate. There will be three more next month. Some highlights:

  • The first question was on Iran, the Guardian reports. Asked why he would be best suited to serve as commander-in-chief amid rising tensions, Sanders pointed to his vote against the Iraq war in 2002, when he warned it would lead to "unprecedented levels of chaos in the region." Biden, who voted to authorize military action, said that vote was a mistake but defended his record, saying: "The man who also argued against that war, Barack Obama, picked me to be his vice-president."
  • Buttigieg—the youngest candidate on stage, and the only veteran—said his generation was the one suffering the consequences of the 2002 votes. "There are enlisted people I served with barely old enough to remember those votes," said Buttigieg, who will turn 38 next week.
  • "We have to get combat troops out" of the region, said Warren, though others, including Biden and Buttigieg, called for keeping a small number of US troops in the Middle East, the AP reports. "We've turned the corner so many times we're going in circles in these regions," Warren said.

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