After a fiery exchange during the Democratic debates a few weeks ago, it looks like 2020 presidential hopefuls Sen. Kamala Harris and Joe Biden will be at it again.
On Thursday, CNN hosted a random drawing to determine when each of the 20 candidates would appear during the two night debate. Though many are anticipating the debate in general, there is no denying that there is particular interest about the opportunity for a Harris and Biden rematch.
During their first exchange she brought up controversial comments made by former vice president Biden where he spoke highly of politicians that he worked with who had been segregationists. She also called out Biden for opposing busing while he was a lawmaker in Delaware during the 1970s.
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me,” Harris said. “I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.”
Biden called Harris’ attacks “a mischaracterization of my position across the board,” as he went into detail about his record on race. Though Harris was declared the winner of the debate by the general public, Biden continued to gain support from prominent Black officials, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. According to CNBC, Harris has also seen some political gains following her performance at the first debates, but Biden still maintains a sizable lead.
Although of different sexes, races and generations, the two rivals share the same broad path to the nomination, particularly the broad coalition of white and black voters necessary to win the Southern primaries that dominate the early months of the nominating calendar.
A proponent of adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges, Biden almost certainly will try to pin down Harris on her support for Sanders’ “Medicare for All” proposal. Harris, though, has stopped short of Sanders’ explicit call for abolishing private insurance, and she insists that the plan can be paid for without any tax hikes on the middle class.
According to the Associated Press, the first night of debates is set to air on CNN July 30 from Detroit and will include Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; and author Marianne Williamson.
The next night Harris and Biden will take the stage along with Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, entrepreneur Andrew Yang; former HUD Secretary Julian Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
California Rep. Eric Swalwell has dropped out of the race since the last debate.
Delaney and Hickenlooper have been among the most outspoken moderates warning Democrats against a leftward lurch. Klobuchar, Bullock and Buttigieg also position themselves as more centrist than Warren and Sanders.
A generational split also will be on display: Buttigieg, 37, and O’Rourke, 46, each have called for the party to pass the torch, while Sanders, at 77, is more than twice the young mayor’s age. Warren, meanwhile, recently turned 70.
For several of the longshot candidates, the July debates are critical. The Democratic National Committee is doubling the polling and fundraising requirements to make the stage in the next round of debates, scheduled for September in Houston and October in a city yet to be announced.
As of now, it’s likely those higher standards would mean many of the 20 candidates on stage in Detroit won’t have a place in Houston.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.