OCTOBER 15, 2019
8:01 PM: CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and New York Times editor Mark Lacey introduce themselves and ask the candidates to please be respectful of the fact that they kind of spaced that they were doing this until like 10 minutes ago and are scrambling around trying to find the questions, but Mark was googling on his phone and Erin found some papers lying around from last time so it should probably be fine.
8:02 PM: Cooper says that they will forego opening statements and instead each candidate will get two uninterrupted minutes to give a general sense of who they are and why they’d be a better president than Trump. Everyone agrees Trump should be impeached except for Tulsi Gabbard who reminds the room she’s “not even supposed to BE here today.”
8:16 PM: The moderators waste no time in directing the debate to the issues that most directly impact the RNC and ask Vice President Joe Biden about his son Hunter and whether Joe Biden made a mistake. Biden responds by squinting. Senator Cory Booker scolds the moderators for bringing up topics that might make anyone in the room feel bad, grabs a cooler from behind his lectern, and offers Biden a sugar-free all-natural frozen kiwi stick, which Biden, still squinting, accepts.
8:25 PM: Erin Burnett pulls out transcripts from previous debates and announces that this is usually the time when the moderators attempt to scare middle-class Americans with the threat of a tax hike, and the candidates each take turns yelling at each other. She asks if everyone remembers their parts or if anyone needs to rehearse their lines one last time. Businessman Tom Steyer asks if he’s in this scene and is told to just mouth along. Senator Harris and Senator Booker both begin to sing “women are actually people” and Anderson Cooper reminds them that part comes later in the script so please, no more improv. Warren replies, “Yes, and costs to working families are going to go down.”
9:20 PM: Julian Castro remarks that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free. He adds that no one on this stage is Trump. Tulsi Gabbard raises her hand in irritation until everyone else on stage acknowledges that okay, fine she is a little bit like Trump.
9:25 PM: Cooper asks Tom Steyer how he would handle Vladimir Putin. Steyer responds, “Thank you for noticing I’m here! Have you seen my tie? It matches my socks!”
9:27 PM: The conversation about Putin continues and the same question is directed at Andrew Yang. He replies “We get it, we’ve tampered with elections, you tampered with elections. Have $1000 and a coke.” Senator Klobuchar angrily interrupts shouting, “WE’RE NOT RUSSIA! THEY EAT THEIR SOUP COLD AND I MAKE HOT DISHES! HOW DARE YOU EVEN COMPARE US, ALTHOUGH IT’S TRUE WE BOTH UTILIZE POTATOES AS A KEY INGREDIENT, WHICH IS SOMETHING NO ONE ELSE UP HERE EVEN KNOWS ABOUT, BUT THAT’S WHAT I CAN SAY TO THE FLYOVER COUNTRY: I KNOW POTATOES.”
9:30 PM: The debate turns to the topic of guns. Congressman Beto O’Rourke reinforces his position on banning the sale of assault weapons. Mayor Pete Buttigieg rolls his eyes and replies, “Uh-huh, sure you will.” O’Rourke continues, stating the need for background checks and red flag laws. Buttigieg interrupts again saying, “I’m going to use small words so you half-wits can try to keep up but my whole life everyone has been talking about DOING things and what we now have is an opportunity to come together and give up on doing things. As president, a brave president who is much smarter than anyone else in any room that has ever existed, that’s the sort of initiative on inaction that I will bravely take.”
9:38 PM: Anderson Cooper asks Senator Klobuchar, “You support voluntary buy-backs, why not mandatory buy-backs?” She responds that she agrees with Mayor Buttigieg that we should be careful not to mess things up by actually doing things. Cooper then turns the same question to Senator Warren who responds that the important thing to note here is that overall costs to working families are going to go down.
9:52 PM: Turning to the topic of age, Mark Lacey asks the candidates if anyone has a hard candy? Senators Sanders and Warren and Vice President Biden each immediately pull one out of their pockets and offer it to him. Lacey then asks them what it’s like being so close to death? In response, Sanders calmly does a backflip. Warren films him, cuts in some reaction shots of herself, puts it to “Old Town Road” and uploads it to Tik Tok. Lacey prompts Biden again, who responds that he could do the job of president in his sleep, in fact, he might be asleep right now, just try and prove that he’s not.
10:44 PM: For the final question, Anderson Cooper scrolls through his phone muttering, "What’s happening… what’s in the news these days… hmm, let’s see,” before asking, “Oh, here’s one: Ellen DeGeneres is friends with a war criminal. Who is someone you’re ashamed to be friends with?”
CASTRO: I hung out with Biden once.
GABBARD: I believe in Aloha, which means we’re all connected, even murderous dictators who I may or may not be trying to prop up. And Trey Gowdy.
KLOBUCHAR: As the one person on stage who lives in the Midwest and knows how to shovel snow and knit samplers that say “Bless This Mess,” I was once friends with someone who was doing Atkins.
STEYER: I had dinner with someone who only owned just three cars (just one was a Bugatti) and no islands.
O’ROURKE: Actually this is a bueno opportunity, Pete, you’ve been a pendejo to me all night, wanna hang?
BOOKER: I’m a vegan. My best friend is a vulture.
YANG: I think it’s important that we have conversations with people we don’t agree with, which is why I befriended automation and now have a village of robots that call me their friend and who make me pay them each month. The robots said they’d vote for me as long as I keep paying them.
HARRIS: I feel like I didn’t get enough time to tell you why I’m the best one up here so please let me remind you, I know what we need to do, I know how to say things, and when I was a prosecutor, I did things too and as your President, I will make sure we do many things.
BUTTIGIEG: Ha, that’s adorable. “Friends.”
SANDERS: Cardi B is part of the 1% and let me tell you, her taxes are going to go up.
WARREN: That’s a great question and the important thing to note here is that overall costs to working families are going to go down.
BIDEN: This is great, this is really great, everyone is up here and talking and I just think that’s really great and that’s what we need to see so that’s what we’re going to be seeing because we can’t do everything at once up here that’s the problem with these debates people think they need to say everything but sometimes you just have to go have dinner with George Bush. That’s what really makes America great.