Best Democratic debate memes, night 2: No malarkey! The protester chant explained – CNET

Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over Two Nights

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens while Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night. 

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The second group of Democratic presidential candidates took the stage Wednesday night on CNN after 10 of their competitors did the same on Tuesday. The debates are being aired live on CNN from Detroit.

Night two features former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Jay Inslee, businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Sen. Michael Bennet.

Tuesday night’s event featured Sen. Bernie Sanders telling Sen. Tim Ryan that “I wrote the damn bill!” and author Marianne Williamson earning social buzz for citing the “dark psychic force of collectivized hatred.”

Chanting call-out

During Sen. Cory Booker’s introductory statement, a chant could be heard from audience members at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. It was hard to make out what the chanters were saying. Journalist Josh Dawsey tweeted that the chant didn’t seem to be aimed at Booker. 

“Whole debate interrupted with “FIRE PANTALEO” chants aimed at de Blasio,” he wrote in a tweet. “Pantaleo is the Staten Island cop involved in Eric Garner death.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has come under fire for “declining to support demands by Mr. Garner’s family for the Police Department to dismiss the officer,” the New York Times reported recently. Garner was shot by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo five years ago on New York’s Staten Island.

Debate viewers didn’t quite understand the chant, which was tough to hear. “I heard ‘fire canned tomatoes,” one tweeted. Wrote another, “They were demanding Pluto be reinstated as a planet.”

And others were confused as to why the chanters chose to make their point during Booker’s time to speak, not de Blasio’s.

Mathletes forever

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang earned applause and laughter when he referred to himself as the “opposite of Donald Trump, an Asian man who likes math.” The description went over well on Twitter. Wrote Richard Cho, “I just learned that I am the opposite of Donald Trump.”

The Harris/Biden show

Former Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris clashed back at the first debate series in June, and to no one’s surprise, they were back at it Wednesday night. That left some wondering who else was on stage. 

Biden, watch your back

The former vice president might be the best-known candidate, but that only made him the biggest target. He was hearing criticism from all sides, and Twitter users noticed.

Malarkey has its moment 

Biden used one of his favorite phrases Wednesday night, declaring that it was “a bunch of malarkey” to say opposition to Medicare for All was a Republican concept. Social media immediately loved the slightly vintage word “malarkey,” and ran with it. “We have our first ‘malarkey’ of the night, finish your drink,” one person tweeted. Joked another, “Peak shenanigans.” 

Originally published July 31, 5:53 p.m. PT and updated frequently during the debate.


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