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Dem debate memes: Andrew Yang gives out money, Sean Spicer goes dancing

"Linnie Burt" (2019-10-19)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Democratic presidential and candidate former tech executive Andrew Yang got the meme machine cranking early on. 

Getty Images Just 10 Democratic presidential contenders debated Thursday night, cut in half from the 20 who faced off in two two-night groups earlier this summer. The participants were former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Sen. Bernie Sanders; Sen. Kamala Harris; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; Senator Cory Booker; former Rep. Beto O'Rourke; Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former housing secretary Julián Castro.

There were only 10 candidates because the Democratic National Committee had tougher qualification rules this time, doubling the polling and donor requirements. So there was no Marianne Williamson or Tulsi Gabbard. Here are some of the moments that had social media talking. 

Yang wants you to take his money
Thursday night's debates saw entrepreneur Andrew Yang promise to give 10 American families $1,000 a month for one year, playing off his promotion of universal basic income. New York Magazine spoke to one attorney who questioned if the offer was legal, but no matter, the sheer mention of the offer set off some social-media buzz.

"Yang should have brought out a lottery machine," joked H.Jon Benjamin, who voices Bob Belcher on Bob's Burgers and Archer on Archer. 

Yang should have brought out a lottery machine

— h. jon benjamin (@HJBenjamin) September 13, 2019 Yang: AND YOU GET A THOUSAND #DemDebate

— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) September 13, 2019 Yang: HAVE SOME MONEY
FEC: We literally can't do anything right now
FEC: We got nothing

— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) September 13, 2019 I think all the candidates should offer a special tonight-only mini version of their key platform positions as Andrew Yang has just done

— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) September 13, 2019 Warren pays off 10 families' student loans. Bernie gives 10 families Medicare. Cory Booker gives 10 families baby bonds.

— ryan teague beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) September 13, 2019 BETO: We need to stop gun violence
BOOKER: I can unite the country
YANG: Guess what, America? You just got in THE CASH CAB

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 13, 2019 Health insurance is sick
Candidates argued about health insurance, with voices raised when Castro accused Biden of forgetting what he'd said earlier. Warren said Americans may like their doctors, but no one likes their health insurance company. Americans weighed in. Wrote one Twitter user, "Elizabeth Warren (is) channeling anyone who has dealt with an insurance company!"

"I've never met anybody who likes their insurance company." Elizabeth Warren channeling anyone who has dealt with an insurance company!

— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) September 13, 2019 Here's a question I would love to hear answered, listening to this: why should private insurance companies continue to exist? How do they make our system better?

— Ady Barkan🔥🌹 (@AdyBarkan) September 13, 2019 Love to be able to choose between a bunch of different health insurance plans that won't cover shit

— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) September 13, 2019 Amy Klobuchar standing up for the downtrodden for profit health insurance companies. Who will think of Humana and Aetna? #DemDebate #DemocraticDebate

Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) September 13, 2019 Having spent most of 2019 with a sick parent and watching my other parent spend tons of time ON THE PHONE with insurance companies I am with Warren and Bernie on this one. No one is like omg I love Blue Cross Blue Shield. #DemDebate3

— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) September 13, 2019 How out of touch do you have to be to think that people care THIS much about insurance companies???? People dying and going broke lol

— yc (@yc) September 13, 2019 Fight night
The candidates had some tense exchanges, with raised voices and arguments breaking out regularly. Twitter users noticed. One wrote that "watching the Democratic debate truly feels like watching a Real Housewives reunion."

watching the #DemocraticDebate truly feels like watching a Real Housewives reunion.

— Moses Sumney (@MosesSumney) September 13, 2019 .@PeteButtigieg tries to break up the health care fight between Castro and Biden: "This is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable. This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington. Scores points against each other. Poking at each other." #DemDebate

— Justin Gomez (@JustinGomezABC) September 13, 2019 Achievement Unlocked: Elder Abuse#DemDebate

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 13, 2019 This is about the time when Marianne Williamson would have led us on a guided meditation through a fairy grove.

— Anne Caprara (@anacaprana) September 13, 2019 Define 'debate'
But let's all remember, the point of a debate is to debate.

There is nothing wrong with a debate being an occasion for, you know, debate.#DemDebate

— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) September 13, 2019 Cory Booker wants everyone to stop arguing. At a debate. #DemDebate

— GEN by Medium (@GENmag) September 13, 2019 Let's dance
When the debate briefly broke for commercial, ABC aired an ad for Dancing With the Stars, featuring Sean Spicer, former press secretary to President Donald Trump. Maybe not the best choice, based on some social reaction. "Hoooboy, ABC, this is not the audience that wants to see Sean Spicer jogging jauntily along in his career-rehabilitation effort," wrote Washington Post writer Alyssa Rosenberg.

Here's former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer running from a big disco ball in a promo for his next job

— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) September 13, 2019 Hoooboy, ABC, this is not the audience that wants to see Sean Spicer jogging jauntily along in his career-rehabilitation effort.

— Alyssa Rosenberg (@AlyssaRosenberg) September 13, 2019 ABC was doing such a great job with this debate until they aired that commercial for Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars.

— Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) September 13, 2019 Please keep Sean Spicer off my television forever, thank you website

— Jay Willis (@jaywillis) September 13, 2019 Just saw a #DWTS commercial. Why are they trying to make Sean Spicer relevant?

— ͏Jazia (@JaziaB) September 13, 2019 Say what?
Near the end of the debate, protesters interrupted Joe Biden speaking by chanting something in unison, but it was tough to figure out anything they were saying.

Writer Drew Magary joked, "Possibly protesting Rey's coming dark side turn."

Possibly protesting Rey's coming dark side turn

— GEN by Medium (@GENmag) September 13, 2019 Imagine setting up a protest for weeks, getting a bunch of people on board, waiting for the perfect moment during a presidential debate on national tv, and all the mics picked up "RUB WEET BRUB PORB DRAF PRUB GURD!!"

— DAVE forgot to bring an apple. (@ghostpig01) September 13, 2019 The protesters during the debate must be protesting 3 hour debates. It's the only logical thing to protest. #DemDebate

— Spencer Dias (@Dias4NH) September 13, 2019 Maybe don't pick the moment Biden is talking about the death of his wife and children to protest 🤷🏻‍♂️

You had 3 other hours in this never ending debate, jfc.

— Brian (@PeteDeBoerWar) September 13, 2019 Hey, here's an idea. If you're going to loudly protest at a debate, SHOUT IN UNISON. #DemDebate

— Collin Murr (@CollinMurr) September 13, 2019 Apparently there's a protest at the debate (I'm not watching) and I'm hoping that it's about how the Panthers game is only on NFL Network tonight which is a travesty.

— John Lovett (@jlove1982) September 13, 2019 Earlier debates were meme-makers too. The first night of the June debates featured candidates demonstrating their Spanish, and the second night included Williamson discussing placing a phone call to New Zealand's prime minister. The candidates again debated later in the summer, when Bernie Sanders announced he "wrote the damn bill," and Kool-Aid and Clorox both earned mentions.

Originally published Sept. 12, 5:28 p.m. PT and updated frequently throughout the debate. 

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