Democratic presidential debate takes center stage in Atlanta

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ATLANTA- (CBS) Ten Democratic hopefuls for president squared off Wednesday night at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

The candidates quickly addressed the topic that’s consuming Washington, the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“We have a president who is a pathological liar…,” said candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“I learned something during this impeachment – Donald Trump doesn’t want me to be president,” said candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“We have a criminal living in the White House,” said candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.

Health care remained a prime topic of discussion, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren defending her ‘Medicare for All’ plan.

“Tens of millions of Americans struggle with medical bills, they can’t afford it,” said Sen. Warren. “My plan is to help as many people as we can.”

“The fact is, the vast majority of Americans don’t support Medicare for All,” countered Biden. “We should build on Obamacare instead.”

A recent poll showed South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading in Iowa.

For the first time, on Wednesday night, Buttigieg was targeted as a frontrunner.

“I have the right experience to take on Donald Trump. We need something very different right now. Someone who can go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump,” Buttigieg said.

A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found a majority of Georgia voters disapprove of the job President Trump is doing and Democrats believe the state’s shifting demographics could make Georgia a battleground next year.

Several candidates have struggled to attract more than single-digit support. This debate may have represented their last best shot to gain some traction.

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