The debate will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston, moderated by chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, World News Tonight anchor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis, and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. One debate will definitely take place on Sept. 12, and a second will be held on Sept. 13 if enough candidates qualify. Participants will have 1 minute and 15 seconds to answer direct questions, and 45 seconds for rebuttals.
Under Democratic National Committee rules, if 10 or fewer candidates meet the requirements to participate, the debate will only take place on one night, but if there are more than 10 candidates, the debate will spill over into a second night. If this happens, on Aug. 29 ABC News will randomly assign candidates to a night. To qualify, candidates must receive at least 2 percent support in at least four specific polls, plus contributions from at least 130,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 400 unique donors from 20 states.
ABC News said that so far, 10 candidates have qualified for the debate: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Catherine Garcia
Former Vice President Joe Biden knew his fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates would focus on him during last week's debate, but he had no idea the charge would be led by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden told CNN's Chris Cuomo in an interview that aired Friday morning.
"I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me," he said. Biden told Cuomo one reason why he felt that way is because he knows Harris, and she also knew his late son, Beau Biden. Harris brought up race and busing to desegregate schools in the 1970s; at the time, Biden opposed this, arguing that the practice did not offer students equal opportunities.
Biden told Cuomo Harris mischaracterized his position, and while he did not think the Department of Education should mandate busing, local districts needed to do what they saw fit. At the time, he received an "overwhelming response from the African American community" in Delaware, he said, and "they did not support it." Today, there's still the need to "equalize education in every area," Biden said. "Every child out there is capable, but they're living in circumstances that make it difficult. So what are we doing? We're sitting around here as if it's an insoluble problem."
Harris and other candidates also criticized Biden for saying he was able to work with two segregationist senators in the 1970s, and Biden said he thinks they should be focusing on the future rather than what happened decades ago. "I get all this information about other people's past and what they've done and not done," he said. "And, you know, I am just not going to go there. ... We should be debating what we do from here." Catherine Garcia
Candidates who regularly top the polls, like former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), unsurprisingly made the cut. Lesser-known candidates Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), author Marianne Williamson, and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) also made it onto the stage.
The rest of the eligible candidates are: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.); Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.); South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Housing Secretary Julian Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii); Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.); Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas); and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
The Democrats who didn't qualify by gaining at least 1 percent support in three polls or receiving donations from 65,000 unique donors were: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel; Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam; and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.). Catherine Garcia