Breaking down the ABC News debate in New Hampshire: Part 2

"Nightline" co-anchor Byron Pitts hosts a roundtable discussion with political experts and ABC News contributors Matt Dowd, Yvette Simpson, Rahm Emmanuel and Chris Christie.
8:00 | 02/08/20

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Transcript for Breaking down the ABC News debate in New Hampshire: Part 2
Joining me now in the spin room to break down the biggest moments of the debate, CEO of democracy for America, Chris Christie, Matt Dow. We have a lot of road to cover. First of all, who do you think won and why? I don't think there was a clear winner. There were a lot of moments. Elizabeth Warren really came out on that race question. Pete buttigieg won the day on the military commander in chief questions. Amy klobuchar probably had the best closing of the night. I think there were moments. This was a very, very important debate for some people, and I tonight think they were able to achieve what they needed. Amy klobuchar's close, top. Biden's defense of vindman and Pete's defense of Joe and his son. Then descending when Elizabeth Warren said no, he did answer that question. But the worst two parts of the night in my view was when Joe Biden opened up by saying that I'm not going to win new Hampshire. You don't say that. And I thought that was a real mistake. And I would end with mayor Pete, when he, when Lindsey was asking questions, looked wobbly about not only his record but the cops against of that record. It was the first time of a guy has the answer before he asks the question looked like he was unsure. It was more than didn't have the answer. It looked like he wasn't ready to go Manu E Manu with anybody on stage. I think klobuchar was the winner tonight. Whether it will trans late into more votes on Tuesday, I don't know. I think buttigieg didn't lose tonight, but I think he showed the makings of a glass jaw that one of those people on the stage is going to have to exploit or he may steal this thing. They're waiting for him to collapse. He's not going to collapse on his own. He's going to have to be pushed. I think Warren was invisible for a good part of the evening, and vice president Biden showed moments where he was okay, but more moments where, again, he seemed to lack energy. He even at times looked tired and even not well to me tonight. And I think that people look at that and someone who's 77 years old and they begin to wonder. So I look at this race as what's happening coming into the night and what's going to come out of this night. So I think coming into this night, it was a Bernie sanders/pete buttigieg-developing race. That didn't change fundamentally from tonight. So they leave tonight, which in my mind they both won that path. I agree with Chris on this, Amy klobuchar had her best night of the entire cycle. It's too bad that this didn't happen three months ago. She's at 72 hours to try to get to double digits, and that's hard. Let's talk about the president not in the room, president trump. He's had a good week. Impeachment, other things. What do you think the Democrats need to do to be able to beat him? I think we have to expand the electorate. I think we all have to come together. Bernie Sanders is trying to get younger voters, voters of color, infrequent voters. I think we need the right flank of the party to bring their folks to the party. We need to all come together and kick Donald Trump's butt He has an economy. But the difference between his economy and his job is huge in the history of a presidency. The judgment about him is his character. His numbers about trust went down during the impeachment. And our measure on him is, yes, on policy, but it's mostly about capability, confidence versus his chaos. The American public is exhausted from the constant tweet. It's not just about the issues. That is true. But the issues do illuminate a part of the character. Because his vulnerability is on character. Governor, you know this president well. Do you think he saw anyone on this stage tonight that will give him nightmares? No, I don't think he did. And I don't think there's anybody there tonight that showed themselves consistently throughout the night to be somebody who he would be scared of to stand on that stage and have some real concern about. I would say one thing, though. I think Amy klobuchar, at the end, showed an ability to touch people, and an emotion that connected with folks in a really good way. And I think if you have a tough, strong, emotionally-connected female Democrat against Donald Trump, that opens up some real possibilities. To the point about strength, who looks strong, at this point, for the long haul? Well, that's still, I think a very open question. That's part of the problem the Democrats have right now. It's not unusual in the early statements of a process that you're looking for that candidate that's the most inspirational, strongest candidate. Bill Clinton, you didn't know that until later in the process. Barack Obama, you didn't know that until later in the process. They're still looking for that. If you're looking at a candidate that looks like you'd want standing next to Donald Trump, at this point in time, who's probably the most potent candidate against him, it's Amy klobuchar. Wow. Process of series of campaigns. You win, people begin to look at you different and see you different. It just doesn't happen. It's an evolution. And Amy's close, she had a point where she, she said I'm going to hear your voices, your aspirations, your hopes, your dreams, and that's going to be at the center of the oval office and the desk. Her challenge is she has no real base. She's a former prosecutor. As soon as she starts to rise, people are going to ask her about her record. We don't know how she's going to test with black and brown voters. I don't expect she's going to be able to build the winning coalition of young voters, black and brown voters and the folks she already has on the moderate side of the party. Problem is the alternative is Bernie Sanders. What I found with senator sand Sanders is he's lecturing everybody. If he thinks that's what's going to sell when he's on the same stage as Donald Trump, that he's going to lecture, I don't think anybody's going to buy it. To that point, did any camp win the soul? Is this going to be a far left party, more moderate, did anyone make definitive progress in that No, that's something that still hasn't been accomplished yet. There's nobody who owns the party in all the diversity. If Joe Biden continues a slide, and he's been the leader among black voters in South Carolina, there's no natural heir apparent in the field right now. Bernie Sanders doesn't do well among black voters. Elizabeth Warren doesn't do well among black voters, Pete buttigieg doesn't do well among black voters. The only one who has that is Joe Biden. Somebody has to take up that mantle if it's not Joe Biden. Right now Bernie Sanders has a position. There's open right now is who's number two. If by the time you get through South Carolina, number two hasn't been emerged, then it's Mike Bloomberg by default. Because a billion dollars speaks loud. I think between now, it will become a two-person race before Mike Bloomberg's money comes into play. Iowa caucus night, 2008, I was watching Barack Obama give his speech. Don't tell me you don't know. I watched him that night and I said that guy's going to be the president of the United States. And there's no one on that stage right now. There's nobody like Barack Obama. Who does that. Listen. Same thing with a lot of Republicans and George W. Bush in 2000 who listened to him and said that's the guy who's the antidote to president Clinton. We'll be right back. Tender wild-caught lobster,

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

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