Biden and Sanders to Debate Tonight With No Audience

The two leading Democrat presidential candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), will participate in a debate Sunday night on CNN set with no audience while standing at podiums set six feet apart because of the Wuhan coronavirus scare. Remaining candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) did not make the cut for the party’s threshold for the debate.

While the lack of an audience to play to with applause, laugh lines and zingers might be a hindrance, Biden and Sanders have decades of experience speaking in the Senate where reactions are generally not allowed.

Debate stage image via CNN promo.

The debate is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT with moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash from CNN and Ilia Calderón with Univision. The debate is sponsored by CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International and Univision and will be held at CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C.

Biden has taken the delegate lead over Sanders heading into Tuesday’s slate of primaries being held in Ohio, Florida, Arizona and Illinois. Biden has 890 to Sanders with 736. 1091 delegates are need to win the Democrat nomination.

The debate was originally scheduled to be held in Phoenix, Arizona before an audience at the Arizona Federal Theatre. In reaction to the virus, the plans for an audience were dropped on March 10. The press filing center and spin rooms were also canceled.

On March 12 CNN reported the debate was being moved to D.C.:

“Out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel, all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience,” DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement.

Sanders, 78 and who suffered a heart attack last year, and Biden, 77 with apparent cognitive issues, are considered high risk for coronavirus infections and complications.

CNN published op-eds by Biden and Sanders on Sunday in a preview of the debate.

Biden: The virus lays bare the shortcomings of the Trump administration

Sanders: Coronavirus highlights the flaws in our health care and economic systems

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Kristinn Taylor has contributed to The Gateway Pundit for over ten years. Mr. Taylor previously wrote for Breitbart, worked for Judicial Watch and was co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of He studied journalism in high school, visited the Newseum and once met David Brinkley.

You can email Kristinn Taylor here, and read more of Kristinn Taylor's articles here.


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