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Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert recapped the whiteness of the seventh Democratic presidential debate and the last before the Iowa caucuses and addressed tensions between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on their live post-debate late-night shows.
Heading into the CNN/Des Moines Register debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, CNN had reported that at a meeting in 2018, Sanders told Warren he believed a woman couldn’t win the 2020 presidential election. Prior to the debate, Sanders denied the report was true, while Warren confirmed the remark.
When asked about the report at Tuesday night’s event, Sanders again denied that he had ever said so, noting that his campaign had released a video from 30 years ago where Sanders said he believed a woman could be become president.
“All right, this is completely true. Bernie does have a video that came out from 30 years ago,” Noah remarked on The Daily Show. “Then again, we can’t really know if this was recorded 30 years ago because the guy has looked the same his entire life.”
The debate’s most viral moment came when Warren addressed the CNN report, saying she preferred to look at candidates’ voting record rather than speculate: “The only people on this stage who have won every election that they’ve been in are the women, Amy and me,” she said. She then noted she was the only candidate on the stage to win against a Republican incumbent in the last 30 years.
“Goddamn. Whoo! Not since Kill Bill have I seen one woman obliterate that many men in one fell swoop. Forget the wealth tax, Warren just deducted two balls from every man on that stage,” Noah howled in response.
Noah also addressed a strange moment that followed wherein Sanders said he had beaten an incumbent Republican in 1990, within 30 years. “That was the most unnecessary nitpicky argument you will ever see in a presidential debate,” Noah said. He added that the pair looked like an “old couple fighting in a diner.”
Of the night’s treatment of tensions between Iran and the U.S., Noah focused on candidate Tom Steyer’s argument as to why he, a businessman who said he had traveled a lot in his career, would be the best leader to sort out a solution. “Wait, hold up, Tom Steyer thinks he can be be commander in chief because he went on a lot of business trips? Because that’s basically what he said: ‘Vote for me, I am Delta Diamond Medallion,'” Noah joked.
The seventh Democratic debate, moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Abby Phillip and The Des Moines Register‘s Brianne Pfannenstiel, included former Vice President Joe Biden; Sanders; Warren; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Amy Klobuchar; and Steyer.
Candidates who did not qualify for the debate include Andrew Yang, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Sen. Michael Bennet.
Early on in the live show, Noah addressed the demographics of the remaining debate-qualifying candidates: “With only six candidates, it was the smallest debate yet, but it was also the whitest debate yet.” He added, “The only person happy about this was Greta Thunberg, because the stage was so white it reflected the sun back into the atmosphere.”
Later, Noah executed a segment on ad spending by Steyer, who spent $10.4 million on ads in Nevada, where all the candidates combined spent $11.6 million. “Clearly, it’s having a big effect on the polls,” Noah joked. “That’s why Cheerios is a thing. It’s the most popular cereal of all time and it tastes like bread farted.”
“The real bling king,” he continued, however, is former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. “He’s willing to throw down a billion dollars to beat Trump. At that point, why not offer Trump a billion dollars to step down?” Noah asked. “We know he needs the money. He’ll take it!”
Noah then played a fake Bloomberg campaign commercial that told viewers, “If you don’t vote for Mike, this’ll be all you see” and “If you want your TV back, vote for Mike Bloomberg,” poking fun at the many Bloomberg ads.
Stephen Colbert also recapped the debate on a live edition of The Late Show.
He opened the segment by addressing that all of the remaining democratic candidates are white. “Once again, J.Lo was robbed,” joked Colbert.
The host then spoke about the criticism of Biden voting to authorize the Iraq War in 2002. During the debate, Biden said it was a mistake for him to give the president the authority to go to war. He then quickly name dropped Barack Obama. “Three minutes and 18 seconds. Not bad,” said Colbert of how long it took Biden to mention the former president.
Sanders discussed the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, which he said were based on lies. “We need to stop heading into wars. We cannot win in the Middle East,” Colbert impersonated Sanders. “It’s what I told Congress in 2002. It’s what I told my friend Richard the Lionheart in 1191.”
Colbert also touched on the falling out between Warren and Sanders. After denying the reports that he said a woman could never be president, Sanders said that there is proof of his beliefs on YouTube. “If you want to see Bernie say nice things about female presidential candidates, go to YouTube. If you want to see his supporters say terrible things about them, go to the comments section,” said Colbert.
After Sanders reiterated that he never made the claims, the debate moderator asked Warren how she felt when Sanders told her that “a woman could not win the election.” Colbert responded, “Who wrote these questions? Andy Cohen? ‘Senator Warren, I will give you an opportunity now to throw wine in Bernie’s face and snatch this bitch’s wig off.'”
Moving on from his feud with Warren, Sanders listed the benefits of Medicare for All. “Who can take a sunrise/ Sprinkle it with dew/ Cover it with chocolate and a miracle, too/ My Medicare plan/ My Medicare plan, cause I wrote the damn bill,” Colbert sang his version of “The Candyman” with an impression of Sanders.
Following Buttigieg’s claims that he doesn’t have many black supporters because he’s “unknown,” he was asked if it’s possible that black voters are aware of him and prefer other candidates. “Follow up question: Are you going to cry?” said Colbert.
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