The 4th Democratic Debate of 2019 aired on CNN last night, and there were some very clear winners and losers from this performance. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins gives his take on what happened, who won, and who needs to drop out of this race. It isn’t pretty, but we’ll see several people start dropping in the next few weeks.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
So last night was the forth democratic presidential debate, 12 people on that overcrowded stage. And what we learned from that debate is that there is a couple of winners up there and there’s quite a few people that really need to drop out as soon as possible. To me, before I get into this, the most interesting thing I’ve found during these debates is that it hasn’t increased my support for any particular candidate, but it really has made me dislike even more members of the democratic party than I disliked before. And that was my biggest takeaway last night. So let’s start with the losers. Biggest loser of the evening. Tulsi Gavart absolutely looked foolish up there on that stage for every single question that she was asked, even when they went into her wheelhouse, she couldn’t do it. So I think Tulsi is pretty much finished after this debate. That was a horrid performance and a lot of people are walking away from that with a sour taste in their mouth. A couple other folks that really rubbed me the wrong way. Amy Klobuchar, what a horrible person. I mean just in general as a human being, Amy Klobuchar is just awful. But substantively, regardless of my personal feelings for anybody, Amy Klobuchar was up there arguing with Elizabeth Warren about why we can’t or shouldn’t make progress here in the United States. That that’s odd. That’s not ever something you want to hear from somebody running for president. You don’t want to hear scale it back folks. We’re not going to do good things. And yet that’s all Amy Klobuchar had. She had a very combative attitude towards Elizabeth Ward and I think it’s because Klobuchar right now is fighting for her life and she thought she could win it back last night. She couldn’t. Other two biggest losers for me of the evening. Number one, Andrew Yang. Wow. I’m getting tired of hearing Andrew Yang talk about UBI. UBI, UBI folks, UBI, UBI, I don’t know if you know this, but UBI, Oh my God. Come up with another plan and I know the yang gang’s gonna go he’s got over a hundred plans on his website cause you literally say that exact phrase every time somebody says that, almost like it’s a pre made response. I don’t trust him, I don’t like him. His plan is awful. His value added tax would increase costs for consumers through the frickin roof and yet he’s sitting there saying, we shouldn’t have a progressive income tax. We should just have a value added tax. That’s a tax on American consumers folks. Andrew Yang is not serious. Andrew Yang doesn’t have an actual plan to solve the problem of automation, which according to economists isn’t even a problem. Not now nor in the near future. So why waste our time? Andrew Yang is not a horrible person. He’s not a horrible candidate. He’s got some ideas that he has not fully flushed out and they’re not ready for prime time. That’s the thing with Andrew Yang. Also, I would feel better maybe if he were a member of an administration, get a little bit of experience in there. Try to put these policies in place that way, which is actually a lot easier. And then we’ll see if they can work. But I don’t think Andrew Yang is ready in any capacity to be president of the United States. Now, the person who pissed me off the most from that debate, mayor Pete, Pete Buttigieg running to the center faster than anyone I have ever seen. In fact, he is running so fast towards the center that he’s already on the right, this man, much like Klobuchar and even Gabard sitting there telling us during that debate that we can’t do these things, that we need to scale back our promises, that we need to aim lower and that we just all need to, you know, be a little bit nicer, not go for these things that would actually help Americans. You know, the things that other countries have already implemented, like Medicare for all universal healthcare. Um, we somehow just can’t do it. Pete says we can’t, we’re not smart enough here in the United States. I guess I don’t like that. I don’t like hearing that. I don’t like centrists and I’m sick and tired of mayor Pete downplaying the Progressive’s on that stage. It’s disgusting. It’s unnecessary. And he’s attacking others not to tear them down or expose their flaws, but to elevate himself that is low, that is dirty. I do not like mayor Pete and I wish he would drop out today. Another person who did not perform exceptionally well at the debate. Um, aside from most of the other folks on the stage, I was very disappointed in Elizabeth Warren’s performance and I’ve read this morning and last night a bunch of different pieces. Everybody’s got their particular winners in their losers and every list is different. A lot of people had Warren kind of towards the top of people who did well. I didn’t see that. I didn’t, I saw her be very evasive. I saw her seem exceptionally nervous for some reason. That really threw me off. I mean at one point her hand was shaking. She handed up here near her face when she was talking. You can see it visibly shaking that that was weird to me. She seemed nervous and this is an experienced woman. This is a very confident woman. So I don’t know what that was about, but it gave me the wrong impression. She again, was evasive with her answers, couldn’t go straight forward on the issue of taxes and universal healthcare. Bernie had the jump in and answer that question and that brings us to the winner. It was obvious folks. Bernie Sanders killed that debate. Not only that, but he also got some pretty amazing adores endorsements from three quarters of the squad. Uh, Ilana O’Mar, AOC and Rashida Tlaib are all endorsing Bernie Sanders. That is huge. And another winner of the debate, believe it or not, folks, was Joe Biden. And one of the reasons Joe Biden, one, the only reason Joe Biden could be considered a winner is because he didn’t get to talk very much. And that’s why this entire format is infuriating. People need to see who Joe Biden is. They need to remember that this is the human GAF machine. And by not letting him speak, which I feel was intentional, he didn’t make as many mistakes. Now. He made mistakes when he talked, but because they let those other, you know, one percenters fight amongst themselves so much. Joe Biden just had to sit there and not be stupid. That’s not fair. We need to see Joe Biden being Joe Biden, but because they didn’t talk to them all that much, he also merged as a winter. Next debate. I say no more than five. Let’s go ahead. Let’s, let’s whittle this down. Let’s get it down to five. No more than that on the stage, and it needs to be just the front runners too. Let’s not have this random drawing. Some good people this night. The others on this night. Nope. Let’s have a debate with Bernie. Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg. Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what we’re down to. Maybe that’s the top tier and that’s all we need to see. But we can’t do another double digit debate. It’s not letting people have enough time. It’s not letting them get into the issues like they need to, and it’s really not helping anyone make the case as to why they should be the next president of the United States.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced