WESTERVILLE, Ohio (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg exchanged sharp words over O’Rourke’s proposed mandatory buyback of assault rifles.

Buttigieg last week criticized the idea as a “shiny object” that distracts from more achievable efforts such as universal background checks and banning the sale of the weapons and high-capacity magazines.

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At Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Ohio, Buttigieg criticized O’Rourke as not having a plan for how the buyback would work.

O’Rourke said the different ideas are not mutually exclusive. He says gun violence “is a crisis and we gotta do something about it.” O’Rourke says candidates should listen to victims, not polls, consultants and focus groups.

Buttigieg shot back, saying, “I don’t need lessons from you on courage, political or personal.”

(L-R) South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former tech executive Andrew Yang and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke participate in the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

10:10 p.m.

The three oldest candidates in the Democratic presidential field are facing questions over their age during Tuesday night’s debate.

Bernie Sanders is the oldest candidate at 78 and just returned to the campaign trail after suffering a heart attack. He declined to answer when asked how he would reassure Americans of his good health, saying only that he would run a “vigorous campaign all over this country.”

Seventy-six-year-old Joe Biden argued that his experience and wisdom are assets because “I know what has to be done” as president. He also promised to release his medical records before the first nominating contest in Iowa in February.

And Elizabeth Warren, who’s 70 years old, promised to outwork, out-organize and outlast anyone, including the Republicans.


10:05 p.m.

Many of the Democrats seeking the White House say they would lead administrations that would go after drug companies that manufacture addictive opioid medications.

California Sen. Kamala Harris said during Tuesday’s presidential debate that she would prosecute pharmaceutical executives as “high-level dope dealers” for peddling what they knew to be dangerously addictive medications. Former Obama Housing Secretary Julián Castro said drug companies need to “be held accountable.”

That sentiment was backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said the companies’ actions are evidence of “what unfettered capitalism is doing to this country” by way of the massive profits made by pharmaceutical companies.

Businessman Andrew Yang and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said they support decriminalizing small amounts of opioid drugs as a way to promote safe use.
9:55 p.m.

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro says that “police violence is also gun violence” and that he would not give officers “another reason to go door to door” by supporting mandatory surrender of assault weapons.

Castro was the first candidate on Tuesday’s 2020 Democratic primary debate stage to raise last weekend’s shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, killed in Castro’s home state of Texas after a neighbor called 911 requesting a welfare check on her Fort Worth home because the front door was ajar. Jefferson was playing video games early Saturday with her 8-year-old nephew when Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean fatally shot her within seconds of arriving at her house.

Castro’s remarks were met with applause by the audience.


9:50 p.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she supports removing members of the American military from the Middle East.

Warren said Tuesday during the Democratic presidential debate: “I think we ought to get out of the Middle East. I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East.”

Warren added that it has to happen in an appropriate, thoughtful way.

Democrats at the Democratic debate in Ohio have largely scorned President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy. Former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) are among those arguing that Trump is abandoning U.S. allies and weakening the nation’s standing around the world by abruptly pulling troops from northern Syria.


9:45 p.m.

The Democrats seeking their party’s nomination are discussing ways to check the power of Russia’s leader as part of a condemnation of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy decisions.

In Tuesday’s debate, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said Trump is “turning the moral leadership of this country into a dumpster fire” by “showing moral weakness” in the face of strength of leaders like Vladimir Putin.

The conversation followed on a debate about Trump’s decision to pull troops from northern Syria, something former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said could lead to future U.S. deployments.

Former Vice President Joe Biden stressed a focus on diplomacy, saying the U.S. currently has “an erratic, crazy president who doesn’t know a damn thing about foreign policy and operates out of fear for his own reelection.”


9:40 p.m.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) is sparring with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, with Buttigieg calling Gabbard “dead wrong” for her earlier support of withdrawing troops from Syria.

Gabbard’s previous stance, as well as her decision to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, came under fresh scrutiny following President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country, paving the way for Turkey to invade and kill the Kurds.

Gabbard has criticized Trump for how he’s conducted the withdrawal but said Tuesday that while Trump has “the blood of the Kurds on his hands … so do many of the politicians in both parties who supported this regime change war.”

Buttigieg says the killings are “the consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values.”

Both Buttigieg and Gabbard are military veterans.

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(From L) Democratic presidential hopefuls, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, California Senator Kamala Harris, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg, participate of the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by The New York Times and CNN at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio on October 15, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)


9:20 p.m.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker spent much of the first hour of Tuesday’s crowded Democratic presidential debate playing the role of diplomat.

In the primary, Booker has run as a happy warrior, pitching a strategy of love over hate to defeat President Donald Trump. As other candidates sparred over health care, income inequality and impeachment on Tuesday, Booker used his time to step between his opponents, calling for unity, agreeing with their points and shifting the focus back to their common enemy.

Booker cautioned against “tearing each other down because we have different plans” in response to several candidates’ criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plans on a wealth tax and health care. He also called former Joe Biden a “statesman” in defending him after the former vice president was asked about his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.


9:15 p.m.

Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke is accusing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren of sometimes being “punitive” in her policy ideas.

In Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio, O’Rourke says Warren sometimes “is more focused on being punitive, or pitting some part of the country against the other, instead of lifting people up and making sure that this country comes together around those solutions.”

Warren says she is shocked at that notion.

Warren responded, “I don’t have a beef with billionaires,” emphasizing that fortunes are built in part by workers and benefits enjoyed by taxpayers.

Warren, a front-runner in the race, has been the target of criticism from several other candidates throughout the debate.


8:55 p.m.

Many Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination stress a need to improve the nation’s jobs picture, but they disagree on how to do that.

At Tuesday’s debate in Westerville, Ohio, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defended his federal jobs guarantee, saying equalizing the economy will create the need for more teachers and doctors.

Businessman Andrew Yang, who backs a universal basic income, said people “do not want to work for the federal government.” Promoting her own plan to boost social security, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said her proposal would cover retirement for even those in nontraditional positions, like stay-at-home caregivers.

Several, including former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, advocated strengthening unions to keep businesses like GM from moving production to other countries.


8:40 p.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking fire from her Democratic opponents for refusing to answer whether her “Medicare for All” plan would raise taxes for the middle class.

Warren has refused to directly answer when asked how she’d pay for her proposal, and during Tuesday night’s presidential debate, she once again dodged, insisting only that “costs will go down” for the middle class. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg knocked Warren for the nonanswer, saying her failure to offer a direct answer is “why people are so frustrated with politicians” and arguing that Medicare for All would “unnecessarily divide this country.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who wrote the Medicare for All legislation that Warren has embraced, said it was “appropriate to acknowledge taxes will go up.” Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar also piled on, saying, “At least Bernie’s being honest” and arguing in favor of a public option instead.


8:30 p.m.

Joe Biden is defending both his actions and those of his son in dealing with Ukraine.

At Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio, the former vice president said his son Hunter “did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong.” Biden was answering a question about why he has pledged that no members of his family would engage in foreign deals if he were to be elected president while insisting his son’s dealings with foreign countries were above board during Biden’s vice presidency.

President Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over his effort to have Ukraine investigate Biden.

Biden urged that the focus go back on Trump, saying, “Rudy Giuliani, the president and his thugs have already proven the fact that they are flat lying.”


8:25 p.m.

The 12 Democratic presidential candidates debating in Ohio are unified in saying Congress has no choice but to begin impeachment against President Donald Trump, though not all for the same reasons.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says no one is above the law. Her fellow top contenders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, called Trump the “most corrupt president” in the course of American history.

Warren and Sanders said they found the president worthy of impeachment as a result of the Mueller report, which detailed 10 possible instances of obstruction of justice in the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker says it’s imperative that Congress’ decision on impeachment be “about patriotism and not partisanship.”

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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