Forgiveness Or A Gift? Candidates React With Surprise When Asked Holiday Question

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Moderator Judy Woodruff offered Democratic candidates the chance to give one another a gift or ask for forgiveness.
  • Candidates reacted in stunned silence to the offer at the Democratic debates in Los Angeles.
  • Candidate Tom Steyer said he would give the “gift of teamwork.”

Democratic candidates paused in stunned silence when a moderator asked them whether they would give each other a gift or offer forgiveness for a comment made during the debate.

“In the spirit of the season,” moderator Judy Woodruff offered the candidates a chance to ask for forgiveness from each other or to offer a gift to each other as the debate drew to a close Thursday night in Los Angeles.

You have two options,” she explained. “One, a candidate from whom you would ask forgiveness for something maybe that was said tonight or another time, or a candidate to whom you would like to give a gift.

“I’m going to start with you, Mr. Yang,” Woodruff added. (RELATED: ‘I’m White As Well!’ Bernie Sanders Yells When Debate Moderator Points Out He’s An Old Man)

“Wow,” entrepreneur Andrew Yang responded, before pausing for several moments amid laughter.

Yang and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg jokingly said they would give their fellow candidates books they themselves had written. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she would ask for forgiveness.

I will ask for forgiveness,” Warren said. “I know that sometimes I get really worked up, and sometimes I get a little hot. I don’t really mean to. What happens is when you do 100,000 selfies with people, you hear enough stories about people who are really down to their last moments.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden did not directly answer the question, but suggested he gives gifts daily by taking selfies and offering his personal phone number to voters.

You’re not the only one that does selfies, senator. I’ve done thousands of them, thousands of them,” Biden told Warren.

My wife and I have a call list of somewhere between 20 and 100 people that we call at least every week or every month to tell them,I’m here.’ I give them my private phone number, they keep in touch with me. The little kid who says,I can’t talk, what do I do?'” he added. “I have scores of these young women and men who I keep in contact with.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he could give “any one of four books” that he wrote, but added that the gift Americans need is a “very, very different vision of the reality of the Trump administration.”

This vision is based on love and compassion, Sanders said.

We need a vision which says that in our great country, all of our people should be able to earn a decent standard of living, have health care, have the ability to send their kids to college, regardless of their income,” he continued. “So we need a new vision which brings our people together around an agenda that works for all — not the Trump vision of dividing us up to benefit the billionaire class. That’s my vision.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she would ask forgiveness “any time any of you get mad at me,” adding that she can be blunt.

When you see people, and we’ve all had this happen, that come to our meetings and say, you know, yeah, I voted for Donald Trump, but I don’t want to do it again, because I want my kids to be able to watch the president on TV and not mute the TV,” Klobuchar said. “We have to remember as Democrats, and if I get worked up about this, it’s because I believe it so much in my heart, that we have to bring people with us and not shut them out. That is the gift we can give America in this election.”

Tom Steyer said he would like to give the “gift of teamwork.”

“The question up here is, how are we together going to change this framework,” Steyer said. “How are we together going to beat this corrupt and criminal president? How are we going to stand up for the people of the United States together, not by tearing each other down, but by supporting each other and by realizing that what we stand for is the true value of America and as a team, that’s how we’re going to do it.

“As Americans, we’re going to come together to stand up for the original values — freedom, equality, justice, teamwork,” he finished.


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