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Michael Bennet Gets Fired Up, Draws Cheers During Democratic Debate

(CBS4) - If Google searches are any indication, Sen. Michael Bennet's campaign for president got a boost on Wednesday night during the Democratic presidential debate. Bennet's name was the second most searched of all the Democratic candidates during the first half of the debate in Atlanta.

Michael Bennet
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Bennet was the only candidate in Night 2 of the second round of debates who didn't go on the attack against Joe Biden, but he did tangle with Sen. Kamala Harris several times. In those conversations he was most aggressive over Harris's support for Medicare for all.

"We need to be honest about what's in this plan," said Bennet, who supports a public option. "It bans employer-based insurance and taxes the middle class to the tune of $30 trillion."

"We cannot keep with the Republican talking points on this," Harris said.

Bennet also disagreed with everyone but Biden about decriminalizing border crossings. Instead of doing that, he brought up a bill he wrote with the late Sen. John McCain, a Republican.

"We passed the most progressive DREAM Act, and had $46 million in border security," he said.

Michael Bennet
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Race relations were the issue that put Bennet in the spotlight the Fox Theatre, however.

"This is the fourth debate that we have had and the second time that we have been debating what people did 50 years ago with busing when our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago," he said.

Bennet tied school segregation to mass incarceration.

"88 percent of the people in our prisons dropped out of high school. Let's fix our school system and maybe we can fix the prison pipeline that we have," he said.

Bennet doesn't typically display a dynamic personality, CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd reports, but he got fired up at several points during the debate and that should help him.

"Will it help enough? Probably not. He'll live to fight another day but he likely won't meet the benchmarks for donations and polling for the third debate in September," Boyd said.

RELATED: John Hickenlooper Mocks Bernie Sanders In Democratic Presidential Debate

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