Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2020 Democrats

Trevor Noah recaps Thursday's one-night-only, Obama-hugging Democratic debate

For the first time, the top 10 Democratic presidential candidates shared the same debate stage on the same night, and the fireworks started with the opening statements, Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. "Kamala Harris used her opening remarks to go directly at Donald Trump. But Andrew Yang? Andrew Yang went with a different approach: He just went with cold hard cash."

"Whoa, look at Asian Oprah over here! He's just giving everybody money," Noah marveled. Still, he was glad none of the other candidates tried to copy Yang — "Can you imagine if Bernie was like: 'And I — okay, I will do my health care, free health care, right now. Drop your pants. Everyone's getting a prostate exam! You getting an exam! You getting an exam! Everyone's getting an exam!'" During a fight about Medicare-for-All, "Julián Castro decided that this was the perfect moment to try and take down the king," Joe Biden, he said. "Damn! Castro took it there. No, because he knows Biden's battling the narrative that he's a forgetful old man. So he jumped on this opportunity to make Biden look old."

All the Democrats basically agreed about criminal justice reform — though things got "tense when the moderator shanked Kamala in the yard" — and stricter guns laws, though one candidate pledged to forcibly buy back assault rifles, Noah said. "That is a ballsy statement from Beto O'Rourke. Because I don't think any other candidate has said flat-out they're gonna confiscate guns. And he said it with such confidence as well, which is not the way I would talk about taking away assault rifles from people from people who like to shoot."

They also agreed on one more thing. "For the most part, the candidates on stage tonight wanted to make one thing very clear: They roll with Barack," Noah said. Former President Obama "was getting so much love at tonight's debate, I bet Michelle was looking at him, like, 'Is there something you want to tell me?'"

What about the candidates who didn't make the cut? Or dropped out? The Daily Show has a plan for them, too. Watch below. Peter Weber