AS IT HAPPENS: Live updates from Detroit's Democratic debates

Twenty Democratic candidates are battling it out in Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday night, hoping for their stand-out moment in their pursuit for the presidency. 

Night one of the debate lasted almost two-and-a-half hours as the candidates battled it out over the economy, healthcare, utilizing the military, student debt, and much more. At the end of the night, the candidates will stream out of the Fox Theatre and answer questions in the spin room. We'll stream it live right here when they're available.

Presented by CNN, the debate is a two-night event at the Fox Theatre July 30-31 beginning at 8 p.m. This page is a running ticker of updates throughout Tuesday's debate, so keep checking back.

Tuesday's candidates are: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, author Marianne Williamson, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan.

Wednesday's candidates are: Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and businessman Andrew Yang.

The most recent update is at the top.


10:45 p.m. 

The debates have concluded. Tune into FOX 2 for more coverage.

10:29 p.m.

The debate is wrapping up as FOX 2 reporters wait in the spin zone.

10:26 p.m.

Age has been a prominent issue in Democrats’ nominating fight. Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden would be the oldest newly inaugurated president if either wins.

Buttigieg on being the youngest candidate: Despite only being 2 years older than the 35-year-old threshold to be president: "I don't care how old you are, I care about your vision."

With one of his bigger moment of the night, Buttigieg received a standing ovation for saying the decisions made now will be what our generation is remembered for.

Bernie Sanders is the oldest candidate on the debate stage. But the 77-year-old Vermont senator says Democratic voters must look for a candidate with “vision.”

10:17 p.m.

On America's longest war ever: Buttigieg said he would withdraw all soldiers from Afghanistan in his first year: "I thought I was one of the last troops leaving Afghanistan." He wants to offer a 3-year sunset on any policy decision on Afghanistan.

O'Rourke would withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in his first term. Hickenlooper said he wants to keep soldiers in Afghanistan, "I look at it as a humanitarian issue."

Warren wants to make it US policy to never use nuclear weapon unless another country does. "Because it makes the world safer."

Sanders says he’d work as president to strengthen the United States’ standing with the United Nations and focus on diplomacy, not military action.

Sanders was asked during Tuesday’s debate what differentiates his aversion to the global U.S. military presence from President Donald Trump’s opposition to being “policeman of the world.” Sanders responded that Trump is “a pathological liar.”

10:08 p.m.

The issue of student debt came up as candidates waded into the conversation of wealth inequality. While Sanders, Warren and Williamson saw values in wiping out all debt, O'Rourke and Buttigieg took more moderate approaches to mitigating those concerns. 

Despite his student loan being wiped out, Buttigieg disagreed with Sanders on his plan to eliminate that debt. He proposes expanding Pell grants, compelling states to pick up more of the burden. And for those already swamped in it, expanding a public service loan forgiveness program. "If we want to start wiping away student debt, I would start with for-profit colleges."

Williamson said "the best thing you could do to stimulate this U.S. economy is to get rid of this debt." She said that's what the government is for: "using the instrument of government to help people."

O'Rourke supports. free 2-year college, but not for four years.

10:04 p.m.

When talking about the economy:

Buttigieg cites how workers with outdated experience and skills in his community need to be retrained. "We have to respond to all of these changes." He also took another shot at Christian Republicans for stalling a minimum wage bill.

Delaney said wealthy Americans, including himself should pay more in tax. "We roll back Trump tax cuts to wealthy officials."

Warren asks "what can we do with two cents" referring to her tax plan to tax top 1 percent of wealth of country. She said you can keep your first $50 million, but after that, you need to pitch in.

Delaney rebuked that, said it's not a question of if we should tax more wealthy Americans. "It's if you have a way of doing that."

9:58 p.m.



In discussion of trade and tariffs, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan said Trump "was onto something" when talking about China. However, he said he has bungled the whole thing. If her was president, he would reevaluate the steel tariffs that studies show have hurt some of the auto workers in his state.

"We can't isolate ourselves from the world" Delaney on leaving the Trans-Pacific Partnership in working with China over trade.



O'Rourke said tariffs were "a huge mistake" because they hit the working class especially hard.

Sanders takes another shot at the 1 percent, saying if anyone things they give a "damn about the American worker" would be mistaken on discussion of trade.


9:40 p.m.

When asked, what do you say to Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the President's bigotry? Klobucher said "economic opportunity must be there for everyone." O'Rourke said he would work on a new voting rights act, and sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee's reparations bill.




Buttigieg says that as mayor of the diverse town of South Bend, Indiana, “the racial divide lives within me.”

During Tuesday’s debate, Buttigieg was asked how he would convince black voters that he should be the Democratic presidential nominee. Buttigieg, who is white, says he didn’t become mayor “to end racism,” but he had worked on issues of race, crime and poverty affecting communities of color.

Buttigieg has been criticized for his handling of a police-involved shooting that took him off the campaign trail last month. He came home to a black community that was frustrated and outraged nearly five years after the Black Lives Matter movement was born amid increased awareness about the shootings of unarmed black men by police.

9:35 p.m.

On the Flint water crisis, Marianne Williamson says Flint is just the tip of the iceberg. Disadvantaged communities are suffering from environment injustices. She lived in Grosse Pointe. "What happened in Flint would not happen in Grosse Pointe."

O'Rourke references visit to Flint, said people there want to work in industries that "meet the challenge" of environmental problems.



9:23 p.m.

Detroit's second debate offered several substantive approaches to mitigating climate change and ensuing environmental problems. Midwestern politicians like Delaney and Ryan shied away from the Green New Deal and promoted ideas like Carbon sequestration, increasing budget for the Department of Energy and investing more in electric vehicles. Sanders pointed his criticism at the fossil fuel industry as a means to a solution for "this existential crisis." Bullock cited corruption among Republican lawmakers as reason for why federal government hasn't acted on problems tied to global warming.

Tim Ryan: "My plan is to create chief manufacturing officer" to build more products in America to dominate electric vehicle market. 

9:18 p.m.

Detroit mentioned for the second time. Delaney: "This city is turning around because the government and the private sector are working well together -- that has to be our model going forward."

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ policies are too extreme for the White House.

At the presidential debate in Detroit, Hickenlooper says that with Sanders’ liberal policies Democrats “might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump.”

Sanders is noting that polling shows him beating President Donald Trump in a clutch of key Midwestern states. He says he would beat Trump because “he is a fraud and a phony.”



9:12 p.m.

In first return from commercial break, candidates take shots at Trump. Hickenlooper said Donald Trump is "malpractice personified."



9:02 p.m.

Still on the topic of gun violence, O'Rourke: "In this country, money buys influence access and increasingly outcomes." Says if elected, he would listen to people not special interests.



Sanders: We need to "have the guts to blindly take on the NRA."

8:57 p.m.

The candidates begin discussing gun violence. Employing red flag laws, flagging mental health risks and banning assault rifles were among some of the ideas proposed by Buttigieg during debate on gun rights. "A 13-year-old asked me what I would about school safety." Buttigieg said he started shaking then started crying when he was asked that. 

8:45 p.m. 

In the night's first statement on immigration policy, Buttigieg takes shot at Trump who said the president needs there to be a crisis for his policy to work. He also wants to decriminalize crossing the border illegally. 

Buttigieg: cruelty and incompetence have caused a human crisis. We've been talking about the same thing for a long time - protections for DREAMers, pathway to citizenship, cleaning up lawful immigration.

Warren: "I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that everyday lives in our values."

Sanders: Undocumented immigrants are being demonized. People crossing thousands of miles on a dangerous path "are not criminals," they're people fleeing danger. 

Klobuchar: "Immigrants don't diminish America - they are America." Says Trump is using undocumented immigrants as political pawns. 

O’Rourke is standing by his refusal to call for decriminalizing crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by undocumented migrants, saying he will instead overhaul immigration policy enough that “I expect people who come here to follow our laws.”

He says that if he is elected president, he will protect those seeking U.S. asylum and people brought to the country illegally as children.

Bullock says decriminalizing may “play into Donald Trump’s hands.”

8:43 p.m.

In first debate subject of the night, candidates expressed the differences in their health care policies. The real schism came between Warren and Sanders' blanket Universal Healthcare policy and other candidates more moderate plans - many coming from Midwestern politicians like Delaney and Klobuchar.

Sanders: "Nobody can defend the dysfunction of the current system," but drug companies and insurance companies have spent $4.5 billion dollars of your insurance money on lobbying and campaign contributions. 

Tim Ryan proposes: "Move Medicare down to 50, allow people to buy in," then they will see a 40 percent reduction in their healthcare costs.

He was the first candidate on stage to mention Detroit in his health care policy proposal.





8:40 p.m.

Warren on why patients have to fill out so many forms: because it gives "insurance companies a chance to stay no and push that cost back on the patients." #DemDebate

Delaney says he's the only one with experience in the healthcare business and with all due respect: "I don't think my colleagues understand the business - the public option is great but it doesn't go far enough." 

8:33 p.m.

Candidates were posed a question if the middle class will pay higher taxes under their health care option: Both Warren and O'Rourke explicitly state no. 

8:28 p.m.



Universal health coverage has been a cornerstone of both of Sanders’ presidential campaigns. He noted that countries like Canada have lower health care costs.

Challenged by Rep. Tim Ryan on a point, Sanders retorted, “I wrote the damn bill.”

President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have cast the Democrats’ reform plans as extreme.

8:00 p.m.

The debate has begun with opening statements. Here are some quotes:





7:40 p.m.

7:28 p.m.

Protestors march outside the theater for a Green New Deal. According to the group, "Detroit needs what people need everywhere - good, clean, local, union jobs, affordable and clean water, clean air, and a livable future for all of us and our loved ones to thrive. We need to build a fair, green economy that serves the needs of people and planet (human need, not corporate greed). We need to deepen, broaden and strengthen our democracy and people power. The people of Detroit are ready to build this better future together - It’s time for all local, state, federal and tribal governments and community leaders to stand with us. Join us as we work to make Detroit the Engine of the Green New Deal. "


7:15 p.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer takes the stage to warm the crowd up. "Welcome to Detroit, and I hope you come back soon," she says. 

6:20 p.m.


6:02 p.m.

Candidate Steve Bullock, the governor of Montana, tweeted this supportive message from his kids:


5:10 p.m.

Inside the Hockeytown Cafe next to the Fox Theatre is the spin room. FOX 2's Jessica Dupnack and Roop Raj have one of 12 booths for networks. FOX 2 is the only local station actually inside the spin room watching where the candidates will be coming out after the debate. CNN will get first access to question the candidates afterwards, around 10 p.m., then it will be a bit of a free for all to talk to candidates about the debate and also topics Michigan residents care about.

5:05 p.m. 

The line wrapping around the Fox Theatre is slowing beginning to move. The Democratic Party gave out roughly 2,000 tickets. FOX 2 to spoke with a few people who received one, who said they filled out information online, giving their name and some basic information about where they live. Security is tight, and there are only a handful of protesters with signs supporting President Trump. Media, both local and international, have tents set up in Comerica Park parking lots. 


The Associated Press contributed to this report.