Bernie Sanders gets pummeled in the first minutes of the South Carolina Democratic debate

Senator Elizabeth Warren raises her hand as Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during the tenth Democratic 2020 presidential debate at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
  • Nearly every candidate went after Bernie Sanders within the first minutes of the 10th Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night.
  • Mike Bloomberg argued that the Russian government is interfering in the election to aide Sanders' primary bid because he would lose in the general election.
  • Pete Buttigieg attacked Sanders as the "chaos" candidate.
  • Elizabeth Warren argued that while she agrees with Sanders on many issues, she would make a "better president" because she's detail-oriented and can "actually get it done" in Washington.

  • And Joe Biden went after Sanders on his spotty record on gun control, localizing the issue by referring to the 2015 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. 
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Nearly every candidate on stage took a shot at Sen. Bernie Sanders within the first few minutes of the 1oth Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was the first to hit Sanders, arguing that the Russian government is interfering in the election to aide Sanders' primary bid because he would lose to President Donald Trump in the general election.

"Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping you get elected, so you'll lose to him," Bloomberg told Sanders.

 

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg built off of Bloomberg's comments and argued that Sanders is the "chaos" candidate. 

"If you think the last four years has been chaotic, divisive, toxic, exhausting - imagine spending the better part of 2020 with Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump," Buttigieg said. "Think about what that would be like for this country."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued that while she agrees with Sanders on many issues, she would make a "better president" because she's detail-oriented, will "do the hard work," and can get things done in Washington. She also accused Sanders' "team" of trashing her. 

And former Vice President Joe Biden went after Sanders on his spotty record on gun control. He localized the issue by noting that a white supremacist used an assault weapon to massacre nine black worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015. 

"Walking distance of here is Mother Emanuel church. Nine people shot dead by a white supremacist. Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill, and wanted a waiting period," Biden said, referring to Sanders' opposition to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in the 1990s. 

Tuesday's debate is widely perceived to be Sanders' to lose. The Vermont lawmaker has cemented his status as the frontrunner after winning the popular vote in all three primary contests so far, and the majority of delegates in two of those states: New Hampshire and Nevada. 

This comes after Sanders was also spared much scrutiny at last week's debate in Nevada, as his opponents focused heavily on attacking former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the newcomer to the stage. 

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