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January Democratic debate: 5 memorable moments from Tuesday night's matchup

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 @ 5:23 AM

From left, Democratic presidential candidates businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stand on stage, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/AP
From left, Democratic presidential candidates businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stand on stage, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Six candidates took the stage Tuesday night in Des Moines, Iowa, for the January Democratic presidential primary debate, including former Vice President Joe Biden; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; billionaire entrepreneur Tom Steyer; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, speaks as fellow candidates businessman Tom Steyer, from left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. listen, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)(Patrick Semansky/AP)

Here are five memorable moments from the event:

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1. Warren and Sanders address women's electability.

Addressing a recent controversy, Sanders said he did not tell Warren during a 2018 meeting that a woman could not win the presidential election.

“Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it,” Sanders said of recent reports.

Sanders said it was “incomprehensible” that he would hold such a view. He said Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump.

Warren said she has no interest in getting into a fight with Sanders.

“I disagreed,” Warren said of what she did when Sanders allegedly told her no woman could win. “Bernie is my friend, and I’m not here to fight with Bernie.”

“Look at the men on this stage,” Warren said. “Collectively, they have lost 10 elections."She continued: “The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women. Amy and me.”

>> Click here to watch

2. Klobuchar briefly appears to forget Kansas governor’s name.

While addressing the same question about women’s electability, Klobuchar appeared to stumble while trying to recall the name of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

“When you look at the facts, Michigan has a woman governor right now, and she beat a Republican, Gretchen Whitmer,” she began. “Kansas has a woman governor right now and she beat Kris Kobach. And her name is ...”

After a brief pause, Klobuchar added: “I’m very proud to know her, and her name is Governor Kelly.”

>> Watch the moment here

3. Sanders draws laughs with Kim Jong Un quip.

As Biden answered a question about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Sanders chimed in with one of the most memorable jokes of the night.

“Absent preconditions, I would not meet with the, quote, ‘Supreme Leader,’ who said Joe Biden is a rabid dog, he should be beaten to death with a stick,” Biden began.

“Other than that, you like him?” Sanders cut in.

“Other than that, I like him, and he got a love letter from Trump right after that,” Biden replied.

>> Watch the moment here

4. Biden calls his Iraq war vote “a mistake.”

While answering a question about his vote to authorize the Iraq war, Biden conceded that he’d made a mistake.

“I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to give the president the authority to go to war if, in fact, he couldn’t get inspectors into Iraq to stop what was thought to be the attempt to get a nuclear weapon. It was a mistake, and I acknowledged that,” Biden began.

He later added that he “led the effort ... against surging tens of thousands of troops into Afghanistan."

”We should not send anyone anywhere unless the overwhelming vital interests of the United States are at stake," he continued. “They were not at stake there. They were not at stake in Iraq. And it was a mistaken vote.”

>> Click here to watch

5. No post-debate handshake for Warren and Sanders.

One of the most talked-about moments of the night came not during the debate, but as it ended.

As the candidates prepared to leave the stage, Sanders and Warren skipped the usual handshake and had what appeared to be a frosty exchange.

>> Watch the moment here