Democratic presidential candidates on Tuesday night squared off for their first presidential debate in Las Vegas, sounding off on a slew of issues including gun policy, immigration, Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton’s e-mail woes, climate change, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the debate was serious in tone and lacked the biting personal attacks in comparison to the two Republican debates so far, there was still a fair share of odd, head-scratching moments from the five Democrats. Here’s a look:
Jim Webb on the time he killed a guy: The Former Virginia senator delivered a strange answer when CNN debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked each candidate to name an enemy they’ve made over the course of their careers. The National Rifle Association, drug companies, the Iranians and the Republicans were some answers the White House hopefuls chose.
But Webb? “I would have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he’s not around right now to talk to,” said the Marine vet.Lincoln Chafee’s Glass-Steagall blunder: The former Rhode Island governor had, perhaps, the most awkward moment of the night when asked why he voted to repeal Glass-Steagall and essentially deregulate banking in 1999, which was partially to blame for the 2008 financial crisis. Chafee asked Americans to cut him some slack.
“Glass-Steagall was my very first vote,” he argued. “I just arrived, my dad died in office. I had just arrived. I was appointed to the office. It was my very first vote.” Cooper jumped in, asking, “Are you saying you didn’t know what you were voting for?” Chafee replied, “I had just arrived in the Senate. I think we all get some takeovers” and insisted Cooper was being “a little rough.”
The ‘block of granite’ moment: Chafee – a former Republican, independent and now Democrat – compared himself to a rock when questioned about changing his political affiliations. Insisting his stances on the issues have not budged and that the parties had left him, Chafee said, “You’re looking at a block of granite when it comes to the issues.”
Webb using his time to talk about the lack of time: Webb – who is polling in the low single digits – repeatedly complained that he wasn’t getting enough time to speak. He griped that he had been waiting “for about 10 minutes,” that there “hasn’t been equal time” and “how this debate has occurred is kind of frustrating because unless somebody mentions my name I can’t get into the discussion.” At one point, Cooper seemed to scold the ex-senator, telling him, “You agreed to these rules and you’re wasting time. So if you would finish your answer, we’ll move on.”
Clinton seemingly makes a pee joke: After the two-hour mark, Cooper made a reference to Clinton leaving the stage for a bathroom break during the commercials. “All the candidates are back, which I’m very happy to see. It’s a long story. Let’s continue. Secretary Clinton, welcome back,” said Cooper. “Well, thank you. You know, it does take me a little longer. That’s all I can say,” she shot back to laughter from the audience.