Who Leaned Hardest Into Trump Bashing During The First Democratic Debate?

Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America

A distaste for President Trump might unite the 2020 Democratic field. But not everyone wanted to talk about him at the first Democratic debate in Miami.

Some candidates only said his name when asked about specific policies he’s enacted.  But others took shots at him whenever they could. Notably it was mostly the bottom tier candidates who worked the most creative digs at the President into their responses. The top contender on the stage, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) avoided speaking his name altogether.

Here are some of the candidates who didn’t shy away from the Trump bashing:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Klobuchar worked Trump into her very first answer of the night, responding to a question about how ambitiously Dems should overhaul the economy.

Donald Trump just sits in the White House and gloats about what’s going on,” Klobuchar said, while discussing the financial struggles Americans face.

Asked a foreign policy question, she took another swing at Trump: “I don’t think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at five in the morning.”

She mentioned the President several other times through the night and her closing remarks centered on her ability to beat Trump by be appealing in red states

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA)

Inslee also name-checked Trump while answering a question about the economy, the first one posed to him of the night.

He brought up Trump again, during a exchange about immigration, and Trump’s threat to send immigrants to his state. When all the candidates were asked to name the greatest threat to America, Inslee said “Donald Trump.” 

RepTulsi Gabbard (D-HI)

Calling out Trump and his “chicken hawk cabinet” was key to Gabbard’s strategy of highlighting the foreign policy aspects of her platform. She named not just Trump but other members of his administration by name to accuse them of “creating a situation” in Iran “that just a spark would light off the war with Iran which is incredibly dangerous.”

RepTim Ryan (D-OH)

Ryan is pitching himself as someone who is attractive to Trump voters. That didn’t stop him from going after the man himself

He accused Trump of being focused on “hate and fear and division” and said his immigration policy was a sign of “weakness” not strength. He claimed a drone in Iran was shot down because Trump was “distracted.”

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Managing Editor:
Senior News Editor:
Assistant Editor:
Editor at Large:
Investigations Desk:
Front Page Editor:
Editor for Prime & Special Projects:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: