Transcript for Recapping highs, lows of 1st Democratic debate's night 2
Tonight, two nights, 20 candidates. We all talk about these things. I did it. I did it. Is the biggest test yet for the slough of presidential candidates, all vying to define and for some introduce themselves on the national stage. I would pass a $1,000 freedom dividend for every American adult starting at age 18. We don't have a health care system in the United States. We have a sickness care system in the United States. The stage on both nights reflected the diversity. One openly gay candidate. Tonight the front runner, Joe Biden at the center of the stage, quickly becoming a target. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago, he's still right today. If we're going to solve the issues of automation, pass the torch. The moment revolving around that point. Part of Joe's generation. Part of Joe's generation. Kamala Harris, breaking through the crossfire. Hey, guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we're going to put food on their table. This night belonged to kamala Harris, bringing the fight to the front runner and doing it in highly personal ways. Senator Harris confronting Biden on race, working with segregationists in the senate. It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations on career on the segregation of race in this country. That's a mischaracterization. One point had agreement, they must replace Donald Trump. If you think we're going to beat Donald Trump by having all these plans, you got another thing coming. He didn't win by saying he had a plan. He won by saying make America great again. What they can't agree on is how to defeat him. There is a battle for the soul of the democratic party. Joe Biden the establishment wing of the party and Bernie Sanders the Progressive left, but it's more complicated than that, there's attitudinal, generational differences that played out. The debate we're having in our party right now is confusing. Because the truth is, there's a big difference between can't lichl on the one hand and greed on the other. That difference playing out on health care. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? All right. There are a lot of politicians who say oh, it's just not possible. We just can't do it, have a lot of political reasons for this. What they're really telling you is they just won't fight tor it. I believe health care is a right and not a privilege, but you can't expect to eliminate private insurance for 180 million people, many of whom don't want to give it up. Reporter: And as for immigration, what's arguably the president's signature issue, there was plenty to say on that. We should call out hypocrisy when we see it, and for a party that associates itself with christianity, that suggests god would smile at the division of families at the hands of federal agents. Watching that image of Oscar and his daughter is heartbreaking. It should also piss us all off. But there were moments of levity. Booker's reaction to O'rourke's Spanish going viral. Later the senator replying in kind. Tonight the president overseas in Japan for the g-20 tweeting after this moment. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants? Okay. Reporter: How about taking care of American citizens first? The debates are their largest platform yet, but just a few days ago, almost all the candidates gathered on a different stage. Hello, South Carolina! Reporter: South Carolina, the first southern state to vote in the primary. How's everybody feelin'? Reporter: 21 candidates gathered on a humid day in Columbia at the fish fry hosted by Jim Clyburn. What is this fish fry all about? This is our effort to say thank you. Reporter: It was the largest gathering of 2020 hopefuls to date who took to the stage with their pitches. Health care is a right, not a privilege! Reporter: Their attacks. We have a man in the white house right now who divides us every day. He goes after immigrants, people of color. Reporter: And even their dad jokes. Let's not flounder. Let's get out there and kick some bass. Reporter: More than 7,000 south carolinians showed up to the event and volunteers facing I am a Warren Democrat, hey, hey, ho, ho. Reporter: Voters came out to meet the candidates and for the famous fried fish. Over 4400 pounds of whiting were served, and almost 7,000 slices of white bread. I really want to see the candidates, the fun, the fellowship. The fish is delicious. Reporter: On this night, Erica Jackson is undecided. She's not a fan of the big pool of candidates. I think that is a negative thing, so I am hoping we're going to bring that in some. I think it's going to split apart the group. I'm excited. I think there are a number of people who are talented and qualified to hold the position. Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden of course. Pete buttigieg. Reporter: Ellie and her mom Stacy believe this historically red state is much more diverse than people may think. South Carolina is much more of a purple state than people realize. I was away from south Carolina for about a decade, and when I decided I wanted to move back because I wanted to be a part of change in this state. I'm a millennial. I think we have to move back to these states in order to enact change. Reporter: Amber Williams is currently supporting O'rourke. She shared a motto with us. Anybody but trump. Abt. Reporter: Here in south Carolina, though the candidates were reaching out to all voters, it was clear there was an appeal for a specific segment of this voting block. And we cannot forget that it was here in South Carolina that we have had heroes of our nation who fought and died for civil The right to be here with Jim, it was pointed out today, the highest-ranking African-American in the united States of America other than the guy I worked with for eight years. Reporter: We caught up with the former chair of the democratic party and working to unseat Lindsey graham. We have learned that the winner of the South Carolina primary is the eventual winner of the party. We know that on the democratic side our nominee will either win or lose, based on the African-American vote. We are extremely important. We saw what black women did alone in Alabama. So we really can make things happen. I know South Carolina is a red state. But we are hoping to turn that state blue, and we're going to be hopeful. There's always hope. Reporter: It's a special kind of optimism that linkers here in the palmetto state. Thank you. You're welcome. You're ready for Bernie? Absolutely. I've been feeling the Bern for years. Reporter: For these Democrat democratic voters, there's a deep-seeded hope that change is on the way. Be sure to continue following coverage on ABC news.com.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.