Top candidate lines from the second night of Democratic debate

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The first Democratic debate, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo, took place on Wednesday and Thursday in Miami. Copyright Adrian Lam NBC News
Copyright Adrian Lam NBC News
By Lauren Egan with NBC News Politics
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Some of the most memorable takes from each candidate on stage in Miami on Thursday.


Ten presidential candidates took the stage in Miami on Thursday for the second night of Democratic primary debate. Here are some of the most memorable lines from each candidate, in order of how they appeared on stage:

Marianne Williamson

  • On Trump: "This man has reached into the psyche of the American people and he has harnessed fear for political purposes. So, Mr. President, if you're listening, I want you to hear me, please. You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out."

John Hickenlooper

  • "If you had ever told me at any time in my life that this country would sanction federal agents to take children from the arms of their parents and put them in cages, actually put them up for adoption — in Colorado, we call that kidnapping."

Andrew Yang

  • "I want to thank everyone who put me on the stage tonight. I am proof that our democracy still works."

Pete Buttigieg

  • On the aftermath of an officer-involved shooting in his home city of South Bend, Indiana, and why there are not more black police officers on the force there: "Because I couldn't get it done...And I could walk you through all of the things we have done as a community — all of the steps that we took from bias training to deescalation. But it didn't save the life of Eric Logan. And when I look into his mother's eyes, I have to face the fact that nothing that I say will bring him back."

Joe Biden

  • "I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That's what I opposed."

Bernie Sanders

  • "I do not believe in packing the court. We got a terrible 5-4 majority conservative court right now. But I do believe that constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts."

Kamala Harris

  • "I do not believe you [Joe Biden] are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe, and it is personal, and it was actually hurtful, to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you worked with them to oppose busing. And you know, 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 everyday, and that little girl was me."

Kirsten Gillibrand

  • "Women's reproductive rights are under assault by President Trump and the Republican party. Thirty states are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade right now. And it is mind-boggling that we are debating this on this stage in 2019 among Democrats whether women should have access to reproductive rights."

Michael Bennet

  • "We have a president who doesn't believe in the rule of law, he doesn't believe in freedom of the press, he doesn't believe in an independent judiciary. He believes in the corruption that he's brought to Washington, D.C."

Eric Swalwell

  • "I was six-years-old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said 'It's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.' That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He's still right today."
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