tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN July 30, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan, live in detroit. thank you so much for joining me. it's a beautiful day here, and it is also when i get to say my favorite, favorite line, it is debate day in america once again, my friends. the first of two cnn democratic presidential debates will kick off just fine hours from now. ten candidates tonight, ten more tomorrow, and after that, maybe, just maybe, a very different 2020 race. for some, what happens here could be the launching pad that they need. for others, it could be the final stand on the national stage. who will break out?
who will break down? so many questions. let's look for some answers right here, right now. let's get to it. cnn's phil mattingly. taking center stage tonight are the two leading progressives, senators elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. what are you hearing about that matchup? >> you know, it's a really interesting dynamic because the two have stated that they're friends and have had a long relationship with one another, and yet there are differences, even though it might not appear that way on the surface on the policy front, based on how they interact and operate. what's going to be most interesting is if they come through. they don't want to attack democrats and one another. as you know, when the lights actually turn on and you're on that stage things tend to shift. the format tonight, how this is going to work, it's going to be a two-hour debate. each candidate is going to have an opening and closing statement. when questions are asked, candidates will have about a minute to respond and they'll have 30 seconds if they want to have a rebuttal. there won't be any yes or no or
raise your hand questions. that's the technical side of things. the important side of things is who actually comes out of this debate. not only are the two leading progressives in the center, but if you go a little further down the stage, you see amy klobuchar, john delaney, people who have made very clear they are not in line with what the progressives want to do. how ln elizabeth warren and bernie sanders handles that will be interesting. the other thing is who has a momentum moment. you have to the other side, pete buttigieg, the south bend mayor, and you also have beto o'rourke, the former texas congressman. o'rourke has made clear he wasn't happy with his first debate performance. pete buttigieg has all the money in the world right now. he needs to see if he can launch into the top three or four. and the other, the make-or-break moments. this could be it and they're
keenly aware they won't meet the threshold for the next debate. they know if they want to have the money to keep their campaigns going, they need a moment tonight. how they're going to try to get into that moment will certainly be interesting to watch. >> thank you so much. so let's discuss more. here with me now is former democratic mayor of tallahassee, andrew gillum and andrea rosen and angela ray. all three cnn political commentators. let's have some fun. it's game day. let's play some games. angela, you will end tonight after the debate saying it's a great debate if what one thing happens? >> if i can remember three of their names. if i can remember three of their names and attach with their names they said something meaningful. i don't want to see shade thrown tonight. i want to see people come forth
with good policy prescriptions that makes people feel like there's hope. i think that the debate is not just about showing who is the best worth smith. it really is showing there is a path forward in the country. we are in a dire situation and i think it's up to the democrats to show that things can be very different. >> three names. what do you think the big head line is going to be tomorrow, hillary? what do you hope the head line is out of tonight's debate? >> i think the headline is going to be sanders and warren dominate and half the field says good-bye. bus i agree with angela that you want three names, but what you really want is for some of those other candidates who have spent a lot of time and energy and have actually raised some money to define and give us why are they still in this race, what does this mean? and i'm looking forward to hearing a rational for steve bullock getting in late. i like amy klobuchar. i don't feel like she's caught on. is she going to be able to
define herself? and beto o'rourke, from day one i said this guy has been overrated in this presidential race. is this kind of the final end? >> and that's going to be another matchup, with beto o'rourke possibly. donald trump, of course, will be part of the debate tonight? >> he'll insert himself. >> he's trying to insert himself in the conversation, maybe you could argue that already today. he was asked this morning who he thinks his biggest opponent is in the democratic field right now and here's what he said. >> i think right now it will be sleepy joe, i think. i feel he'll limp across the line. that's what i think. so what i think doesn't mean anything, but i know the other people, i know him. i think he's off his game by a lot. but i think, personally, i think it's going to be sleepy joe. >> the attempt at branding aside, polling still says that
joe biden right now remains the front-runner and is the front-runner still. if you could pick one of the following, do you want to see those on the stage tonight contrast, draw contrasts with someone else on the stage, draw a contrast with the front-runner, joe biden, who is not going to be on stage, or draw contrast with president trump? >> first of all, i hope we are not using president trump as a primary source for anything that is fact-based, number one. but really tonight i think both senators sanders and warren provide a really good foil for any of the other candidates to define and draw a real line in the sand around their vision. if what they're claiming is a more moderate vision, maybe they're frankly dismissing all of the labels and show themselves as the forward-thinking inspirational leader, i think they'll have a good opportunity to do that tonight, largely because there will be i think starker philosophical divides amongst the candidates that are on stage
today. >> angela, when it comes to warren and sanders, leading up to the debate, they have been really projecting -- i don't think we can say -- >> it's a love fest. >> we fight with love. >> i like her. >> i think she should be the secretary of something that feels very good. >> peace. >> yes. >> what you're going at. basically with sanders and warren, they're basically saying don't expect fireworks. but they can't be co-presidents, they are running against each other. there's one person who can win this nomination. can they draw a contrast with each other and play nice? >> well, here's what i think you can expect. elizabeth warren is drawing a contrast with each and every day and how she's doing that is bernie sanders had sound bites. the last election, in 2016, he ran on his sound bites. he used those same things and
he's doing that the same time this year. and people are like wait, that's not it. and now elizabeth warren, the same woman who came up with the concept for cfpb under the obama administration is like, oh, no, i can do this on everything. and so they're seeing the contrast with substance. and that doesn't mean that bernie sanders doesn't have substance, it just means her depth is there and people are starting to see it. >> i think they're both really substantive candidates and i think they're offering something substantive. i think there's a stylistic difference, though. voters are asking themselves who they can feel most comfortable with, who projects the vision they want for this country. >> it's really more in bernie sanders' interest to go after elizabeth warren than elizabeth warren's interest in going after bernie sanders. she's ahead. she doesn't node him. she's already gaining his followers. she's the one picking up ground. i expect to hear elizabeth
warren tonight go after joe biden more than i expect her to go after bernie sanders, because she wants to move past that. the other piece is you've got to say that there are some people who aren't going to go after anyone. my guess is pete buttigieg is not going to attack anyone. he wants to be number five, he wants to move up to number four. he's got to knock out a couple of people, but he's got to do that by offering something more than just his resources and charm. >> this will be a breakout moment. i think that's pretty true for him and beto, that they're there but humming along. >> you mentioned beto. i think they both need to get a little mojo back. o'rourke's team seems to be tell grafg that they would relish an opportunity to draw a contrast with pete buttigieg. i'm like is that how beto o'rourke gets his groove back? >> no. you've got to punch up. but i kind of consider them in
very similar places. >> they're not nearly the same in polling in that respect. that is why they're calling out mayor pete, because it is like crabs in a barrel. you grab the one who is on the lowest rung above you. >> castro in the last debate i thought did a really good job at frankly punching up in an unexpected way. he said, look, i'm the one that deserves to be on the stage, i've got a command of policy and a record i can stand on and you will find few contradictions in what my public service has been and he went after beto. i thought it was an effective landing and i think beto tonight, along with pete buttigieg, have to think about what is that moment where i get to strike out? >> julian castro not on the stage tonight. he will be on the stage tomorrow. i'm not correcting at all. there's so many of them -- >> i hate to do this but tonight is white night. i want you to know there is not a single person of color. it's white night.
this is debate night number one, it's white night. >> tonight's white night, there are no candidates on this stage who are really soaring rhetorical speakers. >> pete buttigieg has got a mean barack obama. >> but this is likely to be more policy heavy, a little more plodding and let me kill you with my ideas. >> i'm going to ask a question and you all raise your hands. kidding. those questions will not be in the debate tonight. interrupting, good strategy or bad strategy? on the stage. >> i think it depends. you have to have something really good to say. like my doctor seuss rhyme just a couple of moments ago. >> that was really good. >> there's like a rule. >> it depends on what time in
the debate this happens because we've got some smart moderators tonight who have good questions. and so whether or not sbrup interruption is whether it works. i don't think they're going to take a wholesale let me finish my point action. >> i'm really interested because he's the only new comer to the stage. you mentioned steve bullock. he is the one person who has won in 2016, in a state that donald trump took by 20 points. i feel like this is -- like this is the -- he's got the secret sauce, whatever it is. it seems that he's got it. >> he has an opportunity to project it, right. this is what tonight does. and i don't mean to overstate this because it's cnn, but i think this is make or break for a number of people. >> do you think after tonight if there's a dismal performance by
someone, do you think you could see some of those on the lower tier who have not made any break on the pole, do you see them dropping out? i see that money can dry up and it becomes very difficult to run a national campaign if you can't travel sgll we are going into the dog days of august and then we go into the next debate where the field will be cut almost in half. and so figuring out what's going to get you through august for these campaigns that are already struggling with resources, staff, there's no question that this is going to end up moving some people off the stage. >> the fun is only beginning. the dr. seuss puns continue throughout the day. do not miss the big know, night one of the democratic presidential debate, live tonight at 8:00 eastern only on cnn. coming up, senator bernie sanders, he says kamala harris's
medicare for all plan isn't medicare for all at all. harris says the sanders campaign hasn't read the plan. bernie sanders campaign manager joins us next. plus, there's more than one reason that we are here in michigan today. try 10,704 reasons. that was president trump's slimmest of slim margins of victory here in michigan in 2016. ahead, you're going to hear what voters in michigan are saying about the presidential election this time around. we'll be right back. . is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life.
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welcome back. we are live in detroit right outside the historic fox theatre where the 2020 democratic hopefuls will soon start arriving for the cnn democratic debates. center stage tonight bernie sanders and elizabeth warren, but the candidate sanders is taking on today isn't even on the stage tonight. standards slamming kamala harris medicare for all saying it isn't that at all. here is how harris explains it. >> the existing plans that have been offered did not express what i wanted. people wanted to know that there would be a longer prtransition
period. the four years wasn't enough. i've talked to too many families and the idea that folks under $29,000 or above $29,000 a year would have to pay a tax is untenable. and then the third piece is as it relates to private insurance. people don't want government or anyone to take away their choices. >> here with me how is the campaign manager for bernie sanders' campaign. nice to see you in the flesh. it is debate day. how are you feeling? >> positive, we're always positive. >> good canned answer. what is the senator going to prepare? does he prepare or is it a rest day? >> no, we talk about the issues that he wants to raise and we know it's a lot of theatre, so you have to prepare for a little bit of the theatre, but you also want to try to make sure that you are focused on the issues that you think people want to hear from you about. so he's going to try to think about some of those things he's been highlighting in the medicare for all differences and it will come up.
>> let's talk about the differences on health care on medicare for all. harris put out the proposal yesterday and you were critical of the plan. >> still am. >> and still critical of the plan. and harris' campaign was on my show yesterday and let me play you what he said about your criticism. listen to this. >> i think that they were attacking the plan before they read the plan. it came out first thing this morning and within an hour they were already attacking it. it's unlikely they had a chance to dive into the details. i don't think senator sanders has had a chance to dive into the details. >> you've had 24 hours now. do you feel differently about the details? >> so the plan was roughly a few paragraphs on a media post. i read it not just once, but twice. and then i read "the new york times" article and i understand the plan. there's a couple of things going on with kamala harris's so-called plan. >> where the air quotes on a so-called plan? >> because there's no details to it or coherence and i'll explain
why. so she has backed away from medicare for all, bernie's plan. and she says that she wants to introduce private options into practice decisional medicare. she thinks people want more private options and if you read "the new york times" in their discussion of this plan, they say kamala harris is offering a significant and major role for private insurers within medicare. that is the plan. people want private health insurance companies? we don't think so. you can call that whatever the heck you want to call it. it's not medicare for all. >> what harris' campaign says is they have been out the last six months and listening to concerns that have been raised from voters on how they have crafted their plan. and one of the sticking points that has been raised is the time frame. her time frame for transition is ten years and the time frame -- >> ten years? let's just sit around for ten years, huh? >> but your time frame is four years for all of our viewers. they're calling the four-year time frame that you lay out an arbitrary deadline. explain why it's not. >> let me decode their answer for you.
they've been watching some poll numbers and they're moving their plan and trying to concoct something that meets whatever polling concerns they have. i get that. if that's what they want to do, it's not a plan based out of conviction, it's based on responding to polling concerns. >> cnn is the voice of the people. >> that's not the way we craft the plan. it's based off of the problem with the current health system. it is governed by corporate greed, you have insurance companies who deny help to people. you can't go to certain hospitals that you want to go to. if i fall off this stage and it might be out of a net work hospital, i have to own that cost. how crazy is that, you go five minutes from here into canada, if i fall off a chair and break my head and go to the hospital, i don't pay anything. >> they say ten years is allowing for it to happen in an appropriate fashion. >> it just feels like a lack of conviction about your own plan if you're going to wait ten years for it to come to full pru
wi -- fruition. bernie's plan is very simple. >> but is four years just a number that you guys came up with? is there data behind it? why four years instead of ten years? could both of them be arbitrary? >> first of all, do you remember obamacare it took roughly four years to phase in. we believe we can do this in a gradual way where you expand in the first year and then continue on the path. >> she's not on stage tonight with you. elizabeth warren and many others are on stage with bernie sanders tonight. sanders and warren have talked a lot in the lead-up to this debate about how they are friends, how they get along. and that is great. everyone should be friends. but they are running for the same job. they do need to draw contrasts and there are a lot of democratic voters out there who will say they don't know where the contrast are or the differences between bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. why should someone support brn brn over elizabeth warren? >> don't take this personally. i know that the media
desperately wants a contrast. >> everyone has to draw a contrast. >> there's like six or seven months to go. >> tell me right now, why should someone support bernie sanders over elizabeth warren? >> so there's reasons to be for bernie sanders. he is a revolutionary who believes strongly on taking on the ruling class. he has been a person of conviction for his entire life. it's not only who he fights, but how he fights. he builds movements that have been successful, taken on amazon, raised the living wage. this is a person who has changed the debate on medicare for all. you can be for bernie sanders on the merits. you don't have to be against elizabeth warren or anybody else. you can be for bernie sanders. >> is that what we're going to hear on the debate stage tonight? >> sure, yeah. i'm very confident about it and bernie sanders is confident about the case that he can make to the american public about himself. he doesn't have to put anybody else done. >> in this moment when you see a
quinnipiac pole asking voters who has the best chance of defeating donald trump and you see that joe biden is at 47% and bernie sanders is at 10%. >> that's an unfair characterization. like what you're suggesting is somehow he's not able to defeat donald trump, if that's what i'm hearing you say. >> the question is, who has the best chance of beating donald trump, 51% of respondents said joe biden, 10% said bernie sanders. >> and to help people understand this, you look at the head-to-head polls and the last 25 or 26 polls show that bernie sanders defeating donald trump head-to-head, pennsylvania, michigan, the states you have to carry in order for a democratic to sit in the white house, we feel confident about it. >> lots to talk about tonight, that is for sure. we'll talk about all the numbers. the good, the bad and ugly and all the in between. thank you so much for being here.
good luck tonight. coming up for us, it was one of the biggest upsets of 2016, the slimmest margin of victory for president trump. less than half a percentage point. do democrats have a plan to win back michigan in 2020? what voters in michigan are saying about the state of the race next. ook at hilton.com, you get the price match guarantee. so if you find your room at a lower rate, hilton is like... we're gonna match that rate and give you an extra 25% off. what would travel sites do if you found a different price? that's not my problem, it's your problem. book at hilton.com and get the hilton price match guarantee. we really pride ourselves on making it easy for you >> tech: at safelite autoglass, to get your windshield fixed. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there. saving you time for what you love most. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪
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welcome back to the big lead-up to the big moment on the big day. here in detroit, michigan, we are soon going to start seeing some of the democratic presidential hopefuls arriving for their final walk-throughs on the stage. it is no accident that we are here in michigan for this debate. this state was key to donald trump's victory and most believe that it's a must-win state for any democrat to win back the white house. cnn's jeff zeleny is taking a closer look at why michigan matters. he's joining me now. jeff, this is so important. i know you left your heart in iowa, but what is it about michigan, my friend? >> well, kate, there's no question that michigan remains one of the biggest points of contention, if you will, the stinging defeat that hillary clinton suffered here in 2016. the reasons for that really are an undercurrent for this entire 2020 democratic presidential primary campaign. all the issues we're hearing
tonight and tomorrow night at the daebate, should the party b more in a middle, that is all because of donald trump's victory and it was a victory because of 10.,074 votes. >> there's a reason president trump speaks so fondly of michigan. he's the first republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1988, and he's gunning for a repeat. >> we're very tough to take out, aren't we? >> as democratic hopefuls gather in detroit for their second debate, there's little appetite for relitigating hillary clinton's loss in 2016. but the collapse of the blue wall in michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania is a driving undercurrent of the 2020 race. here in michigan one number still seared into the minds of many democrats, is 10,704. that's how many votes trump defended clinton by. >> we were all in disbelief and
as we parsed through what the numbers were, it was very clear that people didn't turn out the vote. the 10,000 plus votes was a very low turnout. >> this is the state's new democratic governor, winning office as the party roared back in the mid tern elections. he's closely watching the primary saying the outcome will play a critical role in determining whether michigan is still donald trump country. >> between 2016 and 2018 we had a massive change in who showed up at the polls and the results show themselves. when the candidate shows up and listens to people and stays focused on the dinner table issues, that's how you persuade people that you're worthy of their vote. >> do you think any trump voters from 2016 can be persuaded to vote democratic in 2020, or are things so entrenched that it's more about turning out the democratic base? >> i think people can definitely be persuaded. >> that is one of the essential questions framing the democratic fight. should the party choose a
nominee acceptable to more moderate trump voters by winning over those who supported barack obama but rejected clinton, or should they find a candidate that lek trifies the liberal base. the county's democratic chairman who believes the answer is motivating voters who stayed away from the polls in 2016. >> i think there's too much fixation on this hybrid voter, and i think you need to really look at those who went out to vote and chose not to vote for either candidate. >> m mccomb county, alone, clinton received about 31,000 fewer votes than obama. in neighboring wayne county, which includes detroit, they received about 76,000 fewer votes than obama. >> think it was a matter of turnout. >> the state's new lieutenant governor agrees that inspiring democratic voters is key.
but he also warns against complacency and thinking trump can't win again. >> should democrats take seriously the process expect of his reelection? >> absolutely. that's why he's president now because his prospect of being elected the first time was not taken seriously enough. >> so kate, that is the backdrop here in michigan of where this democratic primary is and there's one more number to consider. 75,000 michigan voters went to the polls in november of 2016 and didn't vote for president at all. they voted for other races. those are called under votes. so when you add up all the numbers, that explains the margin and what democrats are looking for as they begin weeding out this large primary field and on stage tonight that conversation begins, of course continues tomorrow night. what kind of nominee can beat donald trump. kate. >> absolutely. that was a great look back and look forward. thank you so much. joining me now to talk about tonight, michigan and everything, the communications director for the democratic national committee. it's great to see you. thank you for being here.
>> thank you so much for having me. >> so tonight on stage, i want to know what you are hoping michigan voters hear from the debate stage. because it's setting up the way the draw happened, is you have a potential for a stark contrast. you've got the progressives in the center stage and then it's pretty much everyone else. some of those are the stage have also voiced concern that they think the democratic party in the primary is moving too far to the left at this point. we've heard that from some of the candidates. what do you want michigan voters to hear tonight? >> you have to appeal to all voters, our base but then also those trump voters that you saw in that segment right there. that's why we put 45 organizers on the ground. the democratic party hasn't done that before. but we also want to talk about the issues. i want to remind you four years ago republicans were in the fox theatre right here, and guess what they were talking about? that's not what you're going to hear from the democratic party. you will talk about health care and the economy. we might hear some immigration
and what we're going to do for black voters. unemployment is up for them, especially here in michigan. >> they're still as a historic low. >> it is at a low, but there are too many voters that are not feeling the effects. so i think it's going to focus on the issues. >> when you talk about racial division or racing criticisms, responding to the criticism about donald trump and that he's running on racial division and did last time and will be doing this time, as it relates to the bat more tweets and the elijah cummings attacks. the chair woman of the rnc was on cnn this morning and she said this and i want you to listen to this. >> the president is saying let's look at the policies i put forward, lowest unemployment for the african-american history has hit during my term as president. criminal justice reform. wages are up. poverty has decreased in the
african-american community. why aren't we talking about the good policies that this president is putting forward? president trump has been a champion for the african-american community and that story is not being told. >> what do you say to that? >> the story is not being told because donald trump is tweeting every second that he gets in order to divide our country. a recent pool came out talking about how the majority of voters in michigan do not believe that his tweets were appropriate. i think you hear from trump voters right now and they want the tweeting to stop and they want to know what are you doing for me. how are you looking to make my life better? and that's not happening. and if donald trump continues the tactic of tweeting and attacks and especially racial attacks, he's not going to win. so we are very clear that we want to talk about how are we helping people and that's what you'll hear today. >> so many people on the stage tonight, as well as tomorrow. my colleague took a deep dive and i found it really interesting, into historical data and what it tells us about the reliability of polls, if you will, at this point in the game this far out. he found that with few
exceptions, candidates polling under 10% at the field at this point in the race have essentially no chance of winning the nomination. that's a vast majority of the field. are 20 people on that debate stage this week helping your eventual nominee or wasting time and precious resources in taking down donald trump? >> we learned the mistakes from 2016 and we want ab to say inclusive as possible. we are giving candidates two debates to make an impression. we understand polling isn't always reliable, because we understand that if you get those grass roots donations that everyone is talking about, that shows momentum in your campaign. so we looked at both and you can make the stages both ways. that's what you're seeing -- that's why you're seeing 20 people on the debate stage in two consecutive nights. we want to give everyone a fair shot for the first two. our threshold goes up in september. we have seen that no candidate polling under 2% has made it and become our president, so we
think a 2% threshold is a pretty low threshold, but at the same time we want to make sure you're making progress in your campaign. >> some of the progress begins tonight on the debate stage. thank you so much for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> coming up for us, the tsa is launching an investigation into some of its officers after a disturbing and racist splay is shown at miami international airport. we'll have that for you next. bo? i'll take aleve. aleve. proven better on pain.
we're getting exclusive reporting. the tsa has launched an investigation into some of its officers after this racist and disturbing display was found inside the work station at miami international airport. you can see the image obtained by cnn. let me bring in cnn's renee marsh because she has the exclusive reporting for us. what are you learning? >> it's truly disturbing. you saw on the photo a noose and the two stuffed gorillas.
obviously this was very upsetting for the tsa employees who discovered it. but what was also upsetting to them, i'm told, was their manager's initial reaction. that manager initially brushed it off as just a joke according to employees i spoke to. so that was sort of salt on the wound for these officers. as we all know, monkeys have long been used as racial insults against african-americans, and of course the noose is just a powerful reminder of the history that african-americans have violent history that african-americans have endured. so with all of that in mind for these three officers, this was no joke for them. we can tell you that two tsa officers are on leave at this point as the agency investigates. and we did reach out to tsa and they provided us with a statement which said, in part, the display was immediately removed and an investigation was launched into who was responsible for the unacceptable
behavior. tsa does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior. and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. and i can tell you that the tsa employees that i spoke to say that this display really created this feeling of a hostile work environment and they say that they will not feel comfortable until everyone responsible is held accountable. kate. >> much more to follow up on this, ren may. thank you so much. great reporting. thank you for bringing it to us. coming for us still, here in detroit we are just hours away from the first of two cnn democratic presidential debates, and the candidates will soon be arriving and taking their final walk-throughs of the big stage. so we're going to take you inside the debate hall. what they can expect to see when the lights turn on, that's next. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us.
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lights, the all-important timing clock. we're getting our first look inside the debate hall as well and what the candidates can expect tonight. ana cabrera is inside and is joining me now. what are the candidates going to see when the lights turn on? >> they'll see what you're seeing behind us. you can see final preparations under way. the candidates will arrive in about an hour from now to do their final walk-throughs, a chance to get acquainted with the space and get familiar with those final logistics. we went behind the scenes earlier today so you can see for yourself. so this is where all the action will happen tonight. ten candidates, ten podiums each night. but before the candidates come and debate, they'll get a chance to visit the theater, to get a real sense of the venue. take a look around, this place is gorgeous. this theater was built in the 1920s. when it opened in 1928, it was believed to be the second
largest theater in the world. take a seat so our viewers can get a sense of what the live audience will see tonight. you get a real feel for how grand the theater is. this is the flagship venue of the fox theater chain. can you imagine seeing a show on that big stage? so many big names have taken that stage. stevie nicks, bill and hillary clinton have signed the walls here backstage. somewhere you'll finding the signatures of frank sinatra, smokey robinson, jay leno and countless others. let's head onstage. as candidates do their walk-throughs today, they'll of a chance to stand behind their podium to look out at this empty sea of seats which come debate time there will be about 2,000 live audience members, all people invited by the democratic national committee from local colleges and elsewhere. candidates will be talking to them and to those cameras up there, hoping their message connects with you. now, at least one of the
presidential candidates has already been on this stage previously. mary ann williamson lived in detroit in the late '90s, early 2000s. she's a faith leader in the community. she's done a number of lectures inside this theater. she'll be on the far left podium. alodngside her is tim ryan, amy klobuchar, pete buttigieg, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, beto o'rourke, john hickenlooper, john delaney and steve bullock. that's debate night one. >> ana, thank you so much. really appreciate it. one more time for good measure, it is debate day in america. t ten candidates are taking the stage tonight. what is their message to michigan voters and beyond? we'll have much more live from the motor city. john king right off camera. the king about to take the set. n making it easy for you to get your windshield fixed. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there.
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at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us and a big day it is. it is debate day right here in detroit. ten candidates on stage tonight, including the two leading liberals in the democratic field, elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. plus the republican incumbent weighs in. president trump says he still thinks joe biden will eventually emerge as the democratic nominee, but the president says he'll be watching the next two nights so that he can size up the others. and this foet to our moderators, dana bash, don lemon and jake tapper, you better bring your