Democratic debate leaves many with mixed reactions at SF watch party

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On a hot Thursday evening, hundreds of people packed into Manny's in San Francisco's Mission District, to watch the democratic primary debate.

With the 10 top polling candidates on stage for the first time in this year's debate cycle, there was one pairing in particular, that people were watching closely-- including San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who showed up to Manny's for the debate.

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"I'm excited to see Biden and Warren on the same stage because I'm getting excited about Warren and I want to see how this plays out this evening."

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and the other candidates, laid out their plans about Medicare for all and choice within the healthcare system, but some Bay Area residents were still left wanting different answers.

Stephanie McColaugh, who lives in Oakland, says after listening to all the candidates address healthcare for the entire first portion of the debate, she still didn't hear the solutions she was hoping for.

"I'm really looking forward to people addressing preventative care, like nutritionist consultation, or subsidies for gym memberships, or cleaning up air and the diseases that are correlated with that, as opposed to just focusing on sick care, with treating people for diabetes, that have very preventable causes in many cases."

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When former housing secretary, Julian Castro, yelled across the stage to Biden, "You're forgetting that," about healthcare facts-- the Manny's crowd had mixed reactions.

It certainly created a memorable moment, which can be important in a crowded field.

"I think Julian Castro's responses were pretty strong, it felt like they had more grit especially against Joe Biden," Said Arman Jaffer, who lives in San Francisco.
Others felt it was a low blow to one of the oldest candidates in the field.

"I think it was probably too far. I think we all saw the point, without him making it," said Kelly Starcevich of San Francisco.

And then there was former Representative Beto O'Rourke's red line in the gun debate sandbox. "Hell yes! We're going to take your AR15, your AK47," announced O'Rourke, when addressing what he would do about gun control, if elected president.

The San Francisco crowd was on board with O'Rourke taking semi-automatic guns away from Americans, but it could be a tough sell elsewhere.

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"I don't know how that plays politically," said Kent Klaudt, who lives in San Francisco, and added, "I'm surprised that he's taking a bold stand like that, and I applaud him for taking leadership on the issue."

Most people who showed up to Manny's said they're still paying attention to the debates... and waiting for their top democratic candidate to emerge.
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