Saturday July 4th, 2020 7:14AM

The Latest: Sanders says he'll focus on diplomacy

By The Associated Press
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DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on the second round of Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit (all times local):

10:25 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he'd work as president to strengthen the United States' standing with the United Nations and focus on diplomacy, not military action.

Sanders was asked during Tuesday's debate what differentiates his aversion to the global U.S. military presence from President Donald Trump's opposition to being "policeman of the world." Sanders responded that Trump is "a pathological liar."

Sanders's stance on diplomacy was echoed by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Pete Buttigieg pledged to withdraw from Afghanistan — where he served — by the end of his first year in the White House.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor also advocated for a three-year sunset provision for authorizations of the use of military force, noting that those deployed to Afghanistan will soon be too young to have been alive during the Sept. 11 attacks.

__

10:10 p.m.

Pete Buttigieg says that as mayor of the diverse town of South Bend, Indiana, "the racial divide lives within me."

During Tuesday's debate, Buttigieg was asked how he would convince black voters that he should be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Buttigieg, who is white, says he didn't become mayor "to end racism," but he had worked on issues of race, crime and poverty affecting communities of color.

Buttigieg has been criticized for his handling of a police-involved shooting that took him off the campaign trail last month. He came home to a black community that was frustrated and outraged nearly five years after the Black Lives Matter movement was born amid increased awareness about the shootings of unarmed black men by police.

__

10 p.m.

Democrats at the presidential debate in Detroit are weighing in on the nation's race issues.

Pointing to water problems in communities like Flint, Michigan, author Marianne Williamson says poor, minority areas fall victim to a "collectivized hatred" that only deepens their problems.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says Democrats must show they can "delegate an urban agenda" for substantive changes in schools and affordable housing.

Asked how she would combat white supremacy, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she would call it out as "domestic terrorism," blaming President Donald Trump for racially unequal policies in economics and education.

Tuesday's debate is the first since Trump used racist language to attack four Democratic congresswomen of color, calling on them to "go back" to their countries even though all four are U.S. citizens.

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9:35 p.m.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' policies are too extreme for the White House.

At the presidential debate in Detroit, Hickenlooper says that with Sanders' liberal policies Democrats "might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump."

Sanders is noting that polling shows him beating President Donald Trump in a clutch of key Midwestern states. He says he would beat Trump because "he is a fraud and a phony."

Hickenlooper says he does not believe Americans would go along with such "radical changes," and says, "You can't just spring a plan on the world and expect it to succeed."

Hickenlooper suggested Sanders was throwing his hands up. Sanders responded, "I will" and did just that.

__

9:25 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pushing Democrats not to be too timid in the 2020 presidential election.

During the Democratic debate in Detroit, the Massachusetts senator pushed back at moderate criticism by questioning why anyone would run for president just "to talk about what we can't do."

Warren is defending single-payer health insurance and other "big ideas" as policy fights worth having.

She is responding to critics including former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Delaney says Warren's and Sen. Bernie Sanders' health care proposals are "dead on arrival" because they would essentially outlaw private health insurance.

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9:05 p.m.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is standing by his refusal to call for decriminalizing crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by undocumented migrants, saying he will instead overhaul immigration policy enough that "I expect people who come here to follow our laws."

O'Rourke says that if he is elected president, he will protect those seeking U.S. asylum and people brought to the country illegally as children.

Other presidential candidates are calling for full decriminalization. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says current laws have given President Donald Trump "the power to break families apart" at the border.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he doesn't consider women and children who walked thousands of miles criminals, and says Trump has demonized all immigrants.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says decriminalizing may "play into Donald Trump's hands."

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8:55 p.m.

The latest Democratic presidential debate has opened with a lengthy argument over the variety of health care proposals that have become a sticking point between centrists and progressives.

Sen. Bernie Sanders began what became a series of exchanges among all 10 candidates on stage in Detroit by telling former Rep. John Delaney "you're wrong" over a previous characterization of his "Medicare for All" proposal. Delaney had referred to the plan as "political suicide."

Universal health coverage has been a cornerstone of both of Sanders' presidential campaigns. He noted that countries like Canada have lower health care costs.

Challenged by Rep. Tim Ryan on a point, Sanders retorted, "I wrote the damn bill."

President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have cast the Democrats' reform plans as extreme.

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8:35 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidates are wasting no time revealing the fault lines between progressives and moderates as they open Tuesday's debate.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are using their opening statements to hammer an economic and political system they say is rigged for the wealthy and corporations.

Warren warns that Democrats can't solve problems with "small ideas and spinelessness."

Sanders notes that half of U.S. households "are living paycheck to paycheck."

But several other candidates are taking veiled shots at the two leading progressives for liberal proposals like single-payer healthcare.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock knocks "wish-list economics." Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says Democrats can solve problems without "expansion" of government.

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8 p.m.

The first heat of the Democrats' second round of presidential primary debates is underway in Detroit.

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are at center stage. That gives voters on the party's left flank a chance to size up the two leading progressives in their first head-to-head matchup.

In the June debates, Warren was matched up against several trailing candidates, with Sanders and the other leading candidates debating on the second night.

Warren and Sanders are joined by several more moderate candidates who are looking to break out.

Among them is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. He will be getting his first debate opportunity after failing to qualify for the June events.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris headline debate Wednesday night's debate.

__

6:25 p.m.

The preeminent faces of the Democratic Party's emboldened progressive wing will take prominence at Tuesday night's presidential debate as they face off for the first time.

Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders will appear alongside progressive firebrand Elizabeth Warren. Both are known for their unapologetic embrace of aggressive plans to overhaul health care, higher education, child care and the economy.

Those plans may be popular among many Democrats but give President Donald Trump and his Republican allies ample opportunity to cast all Democrats as extreme.

The fight for the political left is just one subplot as the first wave of 10 candidates meets in Detroit. A second group of 10 that features early front-runner Joe Biden as well as Kamala Harris convenes Wednesday night. The debate host, CNN, chose the groupings at random.

___

2:45 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidates are gathering in Detroit for the second round of 2020 debates.

Workers were putting finishing touches on the stage Tuesday, while candidates were doing walkthroughs to become familiar with the setup. Among the high-profile candidates appearing onstage Tuesday night are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj).

Ten candidates will have the opportunity to present their ideas to the American people on Tuesday and offer a response to President Donald Trump's recent string of racist and incendiary tweets and comments.

Ten more candidates will appear onstage Wednesday for a second night of debates.

___

10:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he'll be watching the next Democratic presidential debate and predicts Joe Biden will be the likely 2020 presidential nominee for the Democrats.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday before leaving on a trip to Jamestown, Virginia, Trump said he'll be watching as the Democratic candidates square off in Detroit.

Trump took a jab at Biden, saying the former vice president is "off his game by a lot." Trump and Biden have often criticized each other.

Ten Democrats will face off Tuesday night, including two leading progressives in the field, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Ten more candidates, including Biden, will debate on Wednesday night.

___

12:20 a.m.

The second set of Democratic presidential debates will be a last chance for some 2020 candidates to be considered serious contenders.

The 20 hopefuls will face off Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Detroit. They will have the opportunity to respond to President Donald Trump's recent string of racist and incendiary tweets and comments, but they'll also be under pressure to provide specifics on how they can improve the lives of Americans.

The stakes are high: To qualify for the third set of debates in September, candidates must raise money from more donors and hit higher polling thresholds — a bar more than half of the contenders are at risk of missing.

Those tougher rules set by the Democratic National Committee are expected to winnow the race.

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