First 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate
University of California-Berkeley
Rachel Maddow, Chris Cuomo Moderators
Maddow: Good evening those of you watching around the world,
good evening candidates.
Candidates: Good evening.
Maddow: Senator Sanders, let’s start with you. First
question: do you watch my show? Just kidding! Here’s my real first question: Do
you believe you can still make people ‘feel the Bern?’
Sen. Sanders: I do. There may be snow on the roof, but
there’s still a fire down below, if you know what I mean.
C. Cuomo: Alright! Let’s
get after it!
Ms. Warren, many people say you and Senator Sanders are
almost identical in terms of your policy beliefs. How can you separate yourself
from Mr. Sanders?
Warren: Eww. Well, Bernie is as white as it gets, and, you
know, I’m a person of color. I’m one sixty-fourth Cherokee. And
C. Cuomo: You’re three two-hundred-and-fifty-sixths
Congolese? When did you discover that?
Warren: Please don’t use the words ‘discover’ or
‘discovered.’ It makes my people think of Christopher Columbus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: For God sakes, bro’, can’t we move on?
Ask me a question, okay?
C. Cuomo: Alright, my man, let’s get after it
! How do you respond to folks who think you
aren’t well-known enough outside of the Northeast to win? And, for that matter,
those who don’t feel your progressive enough to excite the party base?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Well, I
think I’m nationally famous, and, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it
again, I’m sort of the anti-Christ to the conservative party.
Maddow: Wow. Senator Gillibrand, a two-part question: one,
do you believe Trump has kept his promises, and, two, what do you think is the
most important thing for Democrats to do if you become president?
Sen. Gillibrand: Rachel, I have a two-part answer
: ‘One, No. Fuck no. And, two, if
we’re not helping people we should go the fuck home.’
C. Cuomo: Well, Mr. Biden, what do you say to that
Biden: This is a big fucking deal, Chris! I hope we all
understand that. One of us on this stage tonight has
to win, because we have
stop Trump. And, I believe I’m the only one that can do that. Remember, I said
I’d have taken Trump out back of our school and kicked the crap out of him! I
think I was the first one to say that, and the only
one here tonight to have had the balls to say that!
C. Cuomo: Ah, Senator Harris, which one of your fellow
candidates would you prefer to be stuck in an elevator with?
Sen. Harris: Does one of us have to come out of it alive,
Chris? Hahaha. But seriously, we
should be asking Republicans
know of any laws that allow the government to make decisions about the male
Maddow: I agree, but that was kind of random, Kamala. Anyway,
Mr. Holder, you have been outspoken in your beliefs about racial relations in
this country. As president, how would you seek to address the issues of
disunity and racism?
Holder: Well, as you know, whites can’t
be victims of racial injustice, because the pasty bastards
are inherently racist themselves. To quote myself: ‘In things racial, we are a
nation of cowards.’ We have to change that……by having fewer white people.
Biden: Eric, stop with the ‘fast & furious’ attacks on
white people. Over six-hundred-thousand of us did die in the Civil War to end
Holder: Joe, when I was Attorney General, I tapped your
phones. Remember when you publicly said: ‘I mean, you got the first mainstream
African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.
I mean, that’s storybook, man?’ That
was ‘a big fucking deal’ to Barack Obama, by-the-way. Well, I’ve got tapes of
you speaking that make that comment sound like it was uttered by Martin Luther
Maddow: Mr. Avenatti, what are your thoughts on pornography?
Specifically, how would you try to grow the industry while purging it of
Avenatti: Well, Rachel, as you know, I’ve represented Stormy
Daniels here. What’s more, I can now reveal that Bernie, Andrew, Joe and Eric
all exposed themselves to young girls at frat parties some decades ago.
Maddow: What?! Can you corroborate this, Mr. Avenatti?
Christine Blasey Ford: I can. My recollection is that this
happened. I think. Maybe.
Maddow: Dr. Ford, where and when did this take place? Were
Christine Blasey Ford: I don’t recall the location or the
time. I was pretty hammered, Rachel. But I believe there might have been
witnesses. It was pretty fuckin’ hot as I remember! I think. Maybe. Have I told
you I’m afraid of flying?
C. Cuomo: Senator Booker, do—
Sen. Booker: Call me Spartacus, please.
C. Cuomo: Really? Okay, um, Spartacus
, how would you address the potential threat from Russia
if you were the president of the United States?
Sen. Booker/Spartacus: Well, this is my Superman moment. I
would tell Russia not
to meddle in
our elections…or else
! Also, I’d make
them tear down the Berlin wall.
Maddow: Senator Boo- um, Spartacus, the Berlin wall is
already gone. President Reagan famously asked Premier Gorbachev to ‘tear down
Sen. Booker/Spartacus: Really? Do they have any other walls?
I could demand they take another wall down! That would be my Reaganesque
[Just then Hillary Clinton comes from backstage, pushes Bernie
Sanders out of the way, glares at the crowd and the cameras, and screeches into
his microphone: ‘Looking at these clowns, you might be asking yourself why I’m
not already nominated and confirmed.’]
Maddow (mildly surprised): Well, not really. You never
entered the race, Ms. Clinton.
HRC: Really, you’re going to go there? Like that’s my
fault? It’s because of the vast
right-wing conspiracy…and maybe the vast ultra-left-wing conspiracy, too. And
the Macedonian content farms, wives who caved to their husbands, Russia, Bernie,
the media, Trump, the deplorables, hatred of pantsuits, cheese-heads, misogyny,
faulty voting machines, the NRA, fake news, Fox News…