Atlanta DNC Debate Reaction Split

Democratic Presidential Candidates Spar in Atlanta

Maria Boynton
November 21, 2019 - 10:35 am
Democratic presidential candidates in Atlanta

Alex Wong/Getty Images

She secured the bag! The bag was the Democratic Presidential Candidates' Debate that was held in Atlanta Wednesday night at Tyler Perry Studios. Following the two-hour debate, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told WAOK News she thought the debate was "great."

"I think it really speaks to the value the Democratic Party sees in our state," Atlanta's Mayor said. "And I'm very proud of our city and I was especially proud of Joe Biden."

Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland called the night "terrific," saying he's super excited about the candidates and "pumped about the energy they bring to the conversation and the victory we'll have in November."  He added "it doesn't get any better" watching Congressman John Lewis going on stage and former candidate for governor Stacey Abrams welcoming the crowd. Adding to what Westmoreland called "a great night for Atlanta," being at Tyler Perry Studios, the largest black-owned studio in the country.

Yet, not everyone was so complimentary.

Roland Martin called the questioning disjointed and pondered why Democrats "won't focus on the Federal bench."  A political commentator, Martin said "Republicans want to pack the Federal bench with right-wing judges for the next 50 years, yet it did not come up."

Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown said "Biden was terrible," adding that he felt he "really can't believe in or stand behind some of the candidates." 

Brown said others "were not authentic" and "sounded rehearsed and didn't connect with the people." 

Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow said she's "not interested in someone who's talking about what they're going to do, but somebody who already has the experience and are doing something in their community to try to bring about change." Winslow was referring to candidates who commented about how black men need more support.

Ten Presidential candidates were on the Atlanta debate stage. They were Vice President Biden, Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Voting rights and criticism of the state's anti-abortion law were some of the Georgia-centered issues they addressed, along with the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump, Medicare for All, and climate change.

Mayor Bottoms said it took "a village" to bring the debate to the city she's lead for close to two years.

"I'm so so grateful that we were able to get it done," Bottoms said.

She also thanked  the "phenomenal" team of Tyler Perry, MSNBC, Washington Post, and the DNC for making it happen.