Some substance, some swiping in third Democratic debate



September 13, 2019 - 5:48 PM

For Democrats, attacking former President Barack Obama is so last month. Showing some respect for his vice president, however, isn’t yet in style.

The top 10 Democratic presidential candidates gathered together, on one stage and on one night, in Houston on Thursday, and actually had good things to say about Obama, the last Democrat to serve as president. This stood in sharp contrast to how Obama was spoken of at the previous two debates, when, over the course of back-to-back nights, the former president was soundly criticized, especially for his stance on deportations, but also on trade and for his signature issue, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, frequently called “Obamacare,” which was often treated like some sort of foolish half-measure.

What a difference a few weeks makes. In Houston, nearly every candidate went out of his or her way to praise Obama. Instead, they took shots at his vice president, Joe Biden, who has consistently been leading the outsized field in public opinion polls.

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