2020 Democratic Debate

Rachel Maddow… Melissa Villaseñor

Elizabeth Warren… Kate McKinnon

Kamala Harris… Maya Rudolph

Pete Buttigieg… Colin Jost

Bernie Sanders… Larry David

Amy Klobuchar… Rachel Dratch

Joe Biden… Woody Harrelson

Cory Booker… Chris Redd

Andrew Yang… Bowen Yang

Tom Steyer… Will Ferrell

Michael Bloomberg… Fred Armisen

Tulsi Gabbard… Cecily Strong

[Starts with MSNBC intro]

Announcer: And now MSNBC’s special coverage of the democratic debate.

[Cut to the MSNBC debate set] [Cheers and applause] [Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Hello. I am Rachel Maddow and we are live from Tyler Perry studios in Atlanta. So, hello and good afternoon. I want to start the debate with the question on everyone’s mind—who can beat Donald Trump?

[Cut to the people competing]

Elizabeth Warren: Me, me, me. My hand—my hand went up first.

[Cut to Rachel Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: That’s not how it works, but go ahead.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Right, right, right. Look, I know in past debates, I’ve been accused of being overambitious, right? I’ve got mom hosting thanksgiving energy. I’m a little overwhelmed ‘cause I thought ten people were coming and now there’s 30 million. But I promise dinner will be ready if you just get out of the kitchen and stop asking questions. And of course, this thanksgiving I will be cooking my specialty. Maybe don’t say it. The food of my ancestors. Should I say it? I’m going to say it—Maize.

[Cut to Kamala Harris]

Kamala Harris: Oh, that’s a good one, Liz.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Sounds like you’re in a good mood tonight, senator Harris.

[Cut to Kamala Harris]

Kamala Harris: Oh, I am. I am. The fun is back, baby. America’s fun aunt. I’m also America’s cool aunt. The C—you know what? Let’s not do that. Tonight, I’m not going to worry about the polling numbers. I’m just going to have fun and see if I can get some viral moments. Mama needs a ‘gif’. Gonna tell my kids this is Michelle Obama. [Cut to a twitter meme] [Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Mayor Pete, you’re looking adorable tonight in your little suit.

[Cut to Pete Buttigieg]

Pete Buttigieg: Thank you. Thank you. It’s from my first communion.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: You’re polling at zero with black voters. Any idea why?

[Cut to Pete Buttigieg]

Pete Buttigieg: Maybe just because of like this.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Senator Sanders, you’re looking—

[Cut to Bernie Sanders]

Bernie Sanders: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [Cheers and applause] I want to begin by thanking you all for the well wishes. I did have a heart attack-ack-ack-ack. So, you ought to know by now, I’m doing better than ever. Doctors were surprised I made it. And I’m very proud of the fact that I was the first heart attack patient to show up in the emergency room in a city bus.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Let’s go now to senator Klobuchar.

[Cut to Amy Klobuchar] [Cheers and applause]

Amy Klobuchar: Thank you Rachel. I know some of you think I’m shaking because I’m nervous, but that’s just my signature quivering bang. It’s my spidey sense that tingles whenever we need a moderate to say, “Girl, we can’t pay for that.”

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Vice president Biden, you’re flashing your teeth at me?

[Cut to Joe Biden] [Cheers and applause]

Joe Biden: I just want everyone to know America, I see you. And I see the faces you all make when I talk. You’re scared. Scared I’ll say something off-color or even worse—on color. What I want you to know is you should be scared because I’m always one second away from calling Cory Booker ‘Barack’.

[Cut to Cory Booker]

Cory Booker: Okay, I’d like to respond, but first because this is the only time I’ll be talking I just want to say black church, barber shops, greens, beans, tomatoes, potatoes. Now to vice president Biden, I was stunned to hear you don’t support the legalization of marijuana. In fact, rehearsed joke, I thought you were high when you said it.

[Cut to Joe Biden]

Joe Biden: Let me tell you a story from my youth, or maybe from a movie or a cartoon. It was with a buddy of mine who got so whacked on the sticky-icky kush, he says, “I’ve a great idea. We ought to go to white castle.” Next thing you know, Kumar and I are driving around high as kites with Neil Patrick Harris and that’s before he was gay. That’s why I never puffed the stuff.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: We also want to welcome Andrew Yang who I can tell is already mad he hasn’t talked yet.

[Cut to Andrew Yang]

Andrew Yang: No, not at all. It’s me Andrew Yang. I want to say what up to my yang gang? Hey, what do you say we get a yang gang bang going, huh? I want to take this opportunity to announce my VP, the new Tesla cyber truck.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: We also want to welcome Tom Steyer.

[Cut to Tom Steyer]

Tom Steyer: Hi, guys. I’m billionaire Tom Steyer. And I’m running for president for a simple reason—it’s fun. And it gets me out of the house.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: I’m sorry, Mr. Steyer. My producers are telling me you have to blink.

[Cut to Tom Steyer]

Tom Steyer: I have to do what?

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Blink. You have to blink at some point.

[Cut to Tom Steyer]

Tom Steyer: Oh, no, I do not. And I will not.

[Cut to Michael Bloomberg]

Michael Bloomberg: Did somebody say billionaire?

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: No. Mayor Bloomberg, how did you get in here?

[Cut to Michael Bloomberg]

Michael Bloomberg: Well, I tipped the doorman $30 million.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Does this mean you are officially running for president?

[Cut to Michael Bloomberg]

Michael Bloomberg: I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. I’d be heard to beat. I’d love to see Trump supporters come up with a conspiracy theory  about a Jewish billionaire with his own media company. Good luck making that stick.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: And let’s introduce underdog candidate and tonight’s villain, Tulsi Gabbard.

[Cut to Tulsi Gabbard]

Tulsi Gabbard: Thank you, Rachel. What an honor it is to be on this stage with my fellow candidates. I want you to know that I smell your fear and it makes me stronger. I’m wearing the white suit of your fallen hero Hillary Clinton. Now fight me, cowards.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Senator Harris, would you like to respond?

[Cut to Kamala Harris]

Kamala Harris: Tulsi, I’m going to be real with you. You scare the hell our of me. You just gave me Ermahgerd, Gersbermps. [Posing for a meme] [Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Our next question is for senator Klobuchar. Do you think you can get the funding to stay in this race?

[Cut to Amy Klobuchar]

Amy Klobuchar: I know I can. I’ve got $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. All I had to do was threaten to come back in their lives.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Okay. That brings us to tonight’s next topic which is health care.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders presses the buzzer first. Elizabeth Warren is trying the buzzer more than one time.] [Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Okay. I don’t know how you got buzzers, but Bernie rang in first.

[Cut to Bernie Sanders]

Bernie Sanders: Here’s my plan for health care. No co-pay. No out of pocket. The only thing that comes out of my pockets are tissues, receipts, loose cough drops, a movie stub for ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ which is so-so. And of course, the little button in the baggie that comes with the pants. Most people throw it out. Do yourself a favor. Hold onto it. You never know.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Mr. Steyer, you look like you have something to say.

[Cut to Tom Steyer]

Tom Steyer: I want to speak directly to you, America. [Tom Steyer starts walking towards the camera] Health care is important, but housing affects everything.—where you sleep, where you shop, where you get your shoes shined, where you buy jewels, where you raise peacocks. Am I relatable?

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Mr. Steyer, I’m gonna need you to take a step back.

[Cut to Tom Steyer]

Tom Steyer: Sorry. Am I too close?

[Cut to Joe Biden]

Joe Biden: Did somebody say too close? Brother, like your style. Look, I’m supported by that same coalition that elected Obama. Blafrican Americans. Even the Mexitinos and the Chorientals. Heck, the only black woman ever elected to the senate endorsed me.

[Cut to Kamala Harris]

Kamala Harris: Excuse me? No, no, Joe. There have been two black women elected to the senate and that second black woman— it me.

[Cut to a tiktok video where Kamala Harris is doing her dance] [Cut to Michael Bloomberg]

Michael Bloomberg: Is there still time for me to come in late and ruin everything?

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: No. We have to move on to closing statements.

[Cut to Michael Bloomberg]

Michael Bloomberg: Wait, I need to quickly throw in some Spanish, because Miguel Bloomberg is En Guego.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Okay. That counts as good-bye for you. We’ll now move on to Mayor Buttigieg.

[Cut to Pete Buttigieg]

Pete Buttigieg: America, I know I can do this because my supporters are a diverse coalition from young to old, gay to straight, white to eggshell. Thank you.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Tulsi Gabbard, time for your closing statement.

[Cut to Tulsi Gabbard]

Tulsi Gabbard: I have no interest in those Dalmatian puppies. [laughing evilly] I yield my time.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Senator Klobuchar?

[Cut to Amy Klobuchar]

Amy Klobuchar: Look, I could say a lot about the issues we have talked about tonight, but the sad thing is you’re not listening to a word I’m saying because you’re just watching my hair dance on my forehead. Excuse me, my eyes are down here, not up here.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Senator Warren that brings us to you.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Hey, hey, here’s the thing, guys. It’s November and it’s cussing season. You’re single in your late 30s and I’m a solid option. If it’s Marry, “F”, kill I’m aware I’m not the “F”, but I’m definitely not the kill. So come on, America, put a ring on it.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Senator Sanders?

[Cut to Bernie Sanders]

Bernie Sanders: As many of you know, a lot of my opponents like to throw the word “Socialist” around for me. But let me ask you, is it fair that only the top 2% often get a free Biscotti with their coffee? We would all love a free Biscotti. You dip it. You dunk it and it’s delicious. So, if it’s socialism, sign me up. Tell me this. Is it fair that when the top 2% want to turn off the lights in their bedroom all they have to do is clap? They’ve got the clappers. Shouldn’t we all have clappers? Either everybody has a clapper or nobody has a clapper, and that’s the America I want to live in.

[Cheers and applause] [Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Vice president Joe Biden?

[Cut to Joe Biden]

Joe Biden: The hearings have made it clear. That Donald Trump doesn’t want me to be the nominee. Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be the nominee. Nobody in America wants me to be the nominee. But I am confident I can win the election in 2016.

[Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: And senator Harris, your closing statement?

[Cut to Kamala Harris]

Kamala Harris: The democratic party needs to stop taking black women for granted, specifically one black woman—me. I mean ,come on. You said you would vote for me. [Poses for a meme] [Cut to Rache Maddow]

Rachel Maddow: Well, that’s all the time we have. Tom, take us out.

[Cut to the speakers]

Tom Steyer: [High-fiving everyone] Good game, good game. Good game, good game.

Elizabeth Warren Town Hall Cold Open

Hostess… Heidi Gardner

Elizabeth Warren… Kate McKinnon

Cecily Strong

Alex Moffat

Melissa Villaseñor

Chloe Fineman

[Starts with a hostess speaking on the stage]

Hostess: Hello, Iowa. Thanks for coming out today. Now let’s give a big, warm, Iowa welcome to the lady of the hour and the next president of the United States, maybe, senator Elizabeth Warren.

[Cheers and applause] [Elizabeth Warren walk in the stage and hugs the hostess.]

Elizabeth Warren: Woo! Woo! Yeah. Yeah. Hello. It is good to be here. Look at me, I am in my natural habitat. A public school on the weekend. And I just had the nature valley bar in the hallway so I’m jacked up and ready to pop off. First, I would like to pout one out to Beto O’Rourke for dropping out of the race. Thank you so much for running a great campaign and sticking around long enough to call me punitive. That was so bad ass. Let me now how death tastes, all right? And congratulations to Donald Trump for paying less taxes by moving to Florida, or as he calls it, bringing his talents to south beach. You know where I pay taxes? Every single state, out of principle. So Donald, don’t stand too close to an orange tree or someone might try to pick your head. I’m feeling stanky. Alright, we’re fighting. Who’s got a question? Who’s got a question?

[Cut to Cecily in the audeince]

Cecily: Hi, I work for Kamala Harris’ campaign. But I’m still undecided. I’d like to know, why did it take so long for you to release your plan to pay for medicare for all?

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Yep, yep, yep. Thank you. Thank you for bringing up health care, that is my desposito. You know, in the last few years. The number one reason families went bankrupt was because of health care costs, even the people who had insurance. It’s a tricky little corn maze. But when Bernie was talking medicare for all, everybody was like, “Oh, cool.” And then they turned to me and they were like, “Fix it, mom.” And I’ll do it, ‘cause that’s what moms do. With dad, you eat birthday cake for breakfast and then you go to six flags and then I hold your hand while you throw up in my purse. Daddy takes you to see “Boogie Nights” when you’re ten. I provide the long, tender follow up explanations about sex and whether Mark Wahlberg’s penis is a realistic length. It ain’t fun. But I will do it. And, next question. Thank you.

[Cut to Alex in the audience]

Alex: Hi, I’m an aspiring billionaire and current stay at home stepdad. You’re pulling ahead of Biden. How does your plan compare to his?

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Thank you. Thank you for your question. My plan compares favorably in that it exists. Nobody—Nobody asks Biden how to pay for stuff ‘cause his plans are so vague. Nobody asks how we’re going to pay for remember Obama. Biden—Biden doesn’t even know how to pay for stuff. He just puts down a $50 bill on the Amtrak dining car every few months. Okay, so here’s my plan. Take a look at this. Okay. So, first off, we’re going to cut military spending. So, immediately dead in the water. Two, Jeff Bezos will go from paying no tax to a tax. Mr. Bezos, the government is a little like Amazon Prime. To reap the benefits, you’ve got to pay an annual fee and that’s called taxes. And unlike you, we can’t just take it out on your debit care without warning. And third, okay? Banks, I’m going to tax the banks. Duh. What did you think I was going to do? Hold up a gas station? They’re going to pay for it and not one penny from the middle class. All we got to do is convince JP Morgan to operate like a nonprofit. Okay, next question. Next question.

[Cut to Cecily in the audience]

Cecily: Hi, sorry, I have a follow-up ’cause I’m annoying. You said your plan would cost $20.5 trillion but other economists have said it could cost $34 trillion.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Okay, let me stop you right there. Now we’re talking trillions. So, when the numbers are this big, they’re just pretend. They ain’t no Scrooge McDuck Vault somewhere. You ready to get red pealed? Money doesn’t exist. It’s just a promise from a computer. You might as well say it was cost 13-non-jillion-over-12-detan. Alright, next!

[Cut to Cecily in the audience]

Cecily: Sorry, senator, I’m going to see the math on that.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Yeah? Okay. You want to see the math? I’ll show you. Look at this here. [Elizabeth Warren clips her board. There are statistical calculations on the board.] Do you understand this? I do. I can explain it to you but you would die. Okay, next question. Yeah, you.

[Cut to Melissa in the audience]

Melissa: Hi, I’m terrified of the doctor. And my husband is one. But that’s a separate problem. My question is, how are we going to get swing voters on board with the radical idea like universal health care?

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Ooh, way to subtly ask if I’m electable. Careful, that’s my kink. Okay, see, look, you know why lobbyists are so against universal health care? They’re afraid you’re going to like it. ‘Cause it’s awesome. In “Footloose” they banned dancing. They didn’t ban broccoli. The bottom line is people are afraid of change. They only like their current insurance because they already know what it is, not ’cause it’s good. Something seems scary until you try ‘em out and find that they’re great. Like sushi, or butt stuff. Okay, next question.

[Cut to Chloe in the audience]

Chloe: Hi, senator. My current insurance isn’t perfect. But with your plan, I’d have to give it up, and that makes me nervous.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: You know what, I hear this from a lot of people. Let me help you understand. Your insurance is like a bad boyfriend. Girl, listen to me.

[Music starts playing]

You need to leave him. He’s draining you. You deserve better. Dump his ass.

[Cut to Chloe in the audience]

Chloe: [Crying] I know. You’re right. I’m settling. But I’m just scared to leave because what if it’s the best I can get?

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Girlfriend, how much is your deductible?

[Cut to Chloe in the audience]

Chloe: $8,000. I don’t even have dental. [Crying] My teeth hurt so bad.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: All right. Listen to me, you beautiful bitch! Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to call him. You’re going to end it. And I’m going to come right over with an apple strudel and we’re going to post up on the couch and watch my favorite show which is somehow “Ballers.” And then one day, blue cross blue shield’s going to text you from the club saying, “Baby I miss you.” And you’re going to say, “New phone, who dis?” Okay, girlfriend, you’re going to be just fine. Do you believe that?

[Cut to Chloe in the audience]

Chloe: Yes.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: So, do I have your vote?

[Cut to Chloe in the audience]

Chloe: I don’t know. Pete Buttigieg seems nice.

[Cut to Elizabeth Warren]

Elizabeth Warren: Oh, go to hell. And live from New York, it’s “Saturday Night!”