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Jorge Ramos Was the Best Debate Moderator Yet

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From The Nation

The Univision anchor's brilliant questions got the best (and worst) out of Democratic contenders.

Jorge Ramos Challenges Joe Biden on Immigration at Houston Democratic Debate
Jorge Ramos Challenges Joe Biden on Immigration at Houston Democratic Debate
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Jorge Ramos delivered a master class in how to make a presidential debate meaningful as the Democratic contenders clashed in Houston Thursday night. The Univision anchor asked tough questions and got unexpected, revealing, and instructive answers from presidential candidates whom he pushed beyond their comfort zones with savvy inquiries about fires in the Amazon, veganism, and socialism.

For the candidates who were up to the task, the exchanges were exhilarating -- and empowering.


That was certainly the case when Ramos opened a line of questioningabout Latin Americaa topic that he noted had not been touched on in previous debateswith a challenge to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: "You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro a dictatora dictator. Can you explain why? And what are the main differences between your kind of socialism and the one being imposed in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua?"

Sanders made quick work of the first part of the question: "Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make -- can create their own future." Then, he seized the opening Ramos had given him to explain his ideology:

"In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair. I'll tell you what I believe in terms of democratic socialism. I agree with [what] goes on in Canada and in Scandinavia, guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right.

"I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on earth not to provide paid family and medical leave.

"I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage and that we expand the trade union movement.

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