Moderates take on progressives at Democratic debate

Moderate candidates like John Hickenlooper and John Delaney claimed the policies of progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren could deliver President Trump a second term.
4:20 | 07/31/19

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Transcript for Moderates take on progressives at Democratic debate
debate. I will take it. That showdown at the democratic debate. Ten candidate, guys, taking the stage in Detroit on night one. They were clashing over health care and how to beat Donald Trump. ABC's Mary Bruce starts us off in Detroit with all the details. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, Cecilia. Well, this debate last night exposed a real rift within the democratic party as these lesser known candidates took on the two leading liberals, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, forcing them to play defense against accusations their policies could be bad for the party and ultimately good for Donald Trump. Overnight a fight for the future of the democratic party. We need to have a campaign of energy and excitement and of Let's get real. Tonight we debate but ultimately we have to beat Donald Trump. Reporter: The moderate candidates taking on Progressives, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Warning that their policies are too extreme and could deliver president trump a second term. You might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump. I think we got to focus on where Donald Trump is failing. I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for. Reporter: Front and center the top issue for voters, health care. Former congressman John Delaney challenging Sanders and Warren on their calls for medicare for all. With bad policies like medicare for all, free everything and impossible proms that will turn off independent voters and get trump reerected. You're wrong. Health care is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that. I will fight for that. Why do we got to be the party of taking something away from people. No, we are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That's what the Republicans are trying to do. And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care. Reporter: Mayor Pete buttigieg saying it's time to stop worrying what Republicans say. If we embrace a far left agenda, they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they'll do. They'll say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. Reporter: Sanders tried to fight off Ohio congressman Tim Ryan. It covers all health care needs for senior citizens. It will finally include dental care, hearing AIDS and eyeglasses. You don't know that. I do know. I wrote the damn bill. Reporter: One thing they all agree on, they need a nominee who can beat trump as the president tries to fire up his base with racial attacks, author Marianne Williamson with an impassioned plea. If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with the dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country there will be dark day sfs if you are watching this at home and are a Republican member of congress, consider the fact that when the sun sets on your career the thing you will be remembered for is whether in this moment with this president you found the courage to stand up to him or you continued to put party over country. Reporter: Now over and over again last night we saw these candidates who have been struggling to break through trying to seize the moment, some had more success than others. Check this out, this is the Google map of the most searched candidates before the debate. As you can see it's quite a mix but during the debate you see all of that yellow, that is Marianne Williamson. A result of all of her unconventional responses, Cecilia, all of these candidates are looking for that much needed boost that they're going to need in order to qualify for the next debate. Trying to stay in the race, surprisingly one name that did not come up, not even once, Joe Biden. He will be there on stage tonight. The others sure to have their sights set on him. Reporter: Yeah, Joe Biden needs a strong showing here tonight. He has a lot on the line after his lackluster performance at the first debate. Joe Biden will be center stage tonight next to kamala Harris who successfully took him on in the last debate and Cory booker. Biden is sure to face a lot of attacks on everything from health care to race. Cecilia. You'll be back there again tonight, Mary, thank you. Now we move on to the severe

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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