The first of 20 Democratic presidential contenders who have qualified for the first debate of the party, will take the stage on Wednesday evening in Miami for two hours of sparring moderated by the top talent of NBC News.
& # 39; Nightly News & # 39; anchor Lester Holt, & # 39; Today & # 39; co-host Savannah Guthrie and & # 39; Nightly News Saturday & # 39; host Jose Diaz-Balart will lead the first hour of coverage, starting at 9 p.m. EDT.
MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd takes the lead during a second-hour debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts.
A representative for the networks told journalists in a preview that moderators are not & # 39; shy & # 39; will be to keep track of the conversation between ten candidates.
Left-wing Senator Elizabeth Warren will stage the debate for himself, one of the top polling candidates. Her fiercest competitors – Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris – were assigned to a second fight night the following evening.
Reporters had an exclusive view of the Miami debate phase on Wednesday morning
STAR OF THE SHOW: Elizabeth Warren and Beto O & Rourke get the most coveted positions
NBC News is the sponsor of the two-night confrontation between the 20 largest Democratic presidential candidates. It hosts it in combination with sister networks MNSBC and Telemundo
Jose Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie and Lester Holt will moderate the first hour of the debate, with the help of Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow
NBC News representatives told reporters Wednesday morning that the ten candidates who are debating tonight were randomly selected. They denied characteristics that, for that reason, it is an & # 39; under-card & # 39; performance.
& # 39; We are certainly not looking for it this way, & # 39 ;, Rashida Jones, senior vice president specials for NBC News, said during a morning walk through DailyMail.com.
The walk was the only non-network media access that was allowed prior to the debate. Candidates get a chance to see the room later in the day.
The audience in the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts will be kind to the candidates on stage.
The room, which holds 1,600, will consist of guests from the candidates and the Democratic Party together with guests from NBC News, the debate sponsor.
NBC News officials who informed reporters before the event did not mention voters who were in the room.
Florida holds its primary March 17 and the state usually plays an important role in determining the nominee and eventual winner of the presidential election.
In a twist to the two-night primary debate, candidates and their substitutes will have access to the spinroom – the area where they are able to speak to the 500 journalists who have covered the debate – during both evenings, regardless of the night on which they are planned as a stage.
The move gives participants time to refute any topic that comes up during the debate, despite their presence on the stage.
The order of the 10 candidates on the podium was determined by their attitude in the polling. Warren and O & # 39; Rourke will be central.
The senator from Massachusetts will be the leader on the podium for the first night of the debate. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will not debate until Thursday evening.
Warren's fortune is rising at Sanders' expense as she gains more support from the left wing of the Democratic Party.
A poll on Tuesday by MoveOn.org – a liberal group – showed that Warren was the first choice for nomination among their supporters. Warren received 38 percent from Sanders 17 percent and Biden 15 percent.
President Trump will not be on the podium, but his presence will be felt.
The contenders have already followed the president's immigration policy after a scorching photo of a drowned father and daughter went viral.
The image, captured this week on the banks of the Rio Grande Rivers, shows 25-year-old Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, a Salvadoran man, with his black t-shirt on and his 23-month daughter beside him with her arm wrapped around his arm neck.
The sounding image includes photos of Ramirez's 21-year-old wife, Martinez, who saw the events happen when her husband and child tried to cross the border illegally by swimming across the river in Brownsville, Texas.
O & # 39; Rourke accused Trump of their death: & # 39; Trump is responsible for these deaths & # 39 ;, he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. & # 39;
Other candidates gathered around the photo to defeat the president's immigration policy.
& # 39; We should not look away, & # 39; Booker tweeted Tuesday evening. & # 39; These are the consequences of Donald Trump's inhumane and immoral immigration policy. This is done in our name. & # 39;
& # 39; A government that cannot see the difference between a threat from a terrorist, a criminal, and a little girl is not a government that keeps us safe, & # 39; Elizabeth Warren told Tuesday evening at a city hall in Miami.
Warren went to Homestead, Fla., Wednesday, prior to the debate to visit the shelter for unaccompanied children. Nearly 2,500 migrant children can be detained without their parents – the largest childcare facility in the country.
Rourke is scheduled to visit the center – which is 30 miles south of the Miami debate phase – on Thursday. Eric Swalwell visited on Monday.
& # 39; We are looking at a camp, a camp with children who are cruelly locked up here, & # 39; said Swalwell. & # 39; They don't belong here. They belong to their family. & # 39;
Children between the ages of 13 and 17 stay in the reception center, which was opened during the Obama administration, closed shortly and reopened in March 2018 amid a wave of migrants crossing the border.
Border Patrol reported in January that more than 5,000 "unaccompanied alien children" were arrested at the border. Most are sent to the Homestead Shelter for unaccompanied children or similar facilities throughout the country.
The shelter has stopped admitting journalists and visitors. Protesters are a regular presence outside the gates and require it to be closed.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who represents the area, invited 2020 primary contenders to travel through the asylum.
Mucarsel-Powell, a democrat, was previously denied access to the facility, but said she would guide all candidates who want to take a look.
Critics call it a prison camp or an internment camp.
HHS officials said the average stay is 36 days.
But the submission of court documents – based on a guided tour through the shelter lawyers that was conducted in March – paints a different picture.
It describes & # 39; prison-like & # 39; rules whereby children can only talk to family members on the phone for 10 minutes twice a week; showers are limited to five; the meal is 15 minutes. Children are not allowed to hug or touch each other.
The president told NBC News last week that the shelter was set up by former President Barack Obama.
And he blamed the Democrats for the situation.
& # 39; If the Democrats changed the asylum laws and loopholes, which they refuse to do because they think it's a good policy, then everything would be resolved immediately & # 39 ;, Trump said.
& # 39; But they refuse to do it. They refuse to do it. You know what? If they change that, I say, I used to say 45 minutes. It is 15 minutes. If they changed their asylum and if they changed the mesh, everything at the border would be perfect. & # 39;
She is accompanied on stage by nine of her competitors, all hoping for a chance to bring down her favorite songs and expand their own name identification for a second face in Detroit in July.
A third debate in September will enforce stricter polling requirements and a higher threshold for financial contributions. Candidates at the end of the debate phase will feel the pressure now and in July to move to the middle of the pack to prevent them from being eliminated.
Senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, mayor of New York Bill de Blasio and the former Texas Beto R & R 39 representative Rourke all want to take a step on Warren, who became the target this month.
Candidates have two hours to appear before a friendly audience, full of party elites and their chosen supporters. Swing voters are not expected to be at the start of a dozen sanctioned primary debates for Democrats.
Each candidate has 60 seconds to answer moderator questions, with a new follow-up period if justified.
& # 39; They won't be shy to remind candidates that the time is up, & Jones said Wednesday.
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