MIAMI — Roughly half of the Democratic 2020 presidential field tried to draw distinctions between themselves during the primary cycle’s opening debate. But the first candidates to walk onto the stage only timidly criticized the man they are seeking to replace, President Trump, and largely ignored the race’s current front-runner.
Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, and Elizabeth Warren took center stage at the Democratic National Committee’s first debate, at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami late Wednesday. They were the first 10 contenders to introduce themselves to the country over the course of the two-night series. But the group tiptoed around the two men casting the longest shadows over the contest: President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.