Jul 31, 2019

Elizabeth Warren spars with John Delaney over her "impossible promises"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren hit back at former Rep. John Delaney over what he dubbed her "impossible promises" — policies like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and free college — arguing that she doesn't understand why anybody "goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for."

The exchange:

  • Delaney: "I think Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises. When we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics, look at the story of Detroit, this amazing city that we're in. This city is turning around because the government and the private sector are working well together. That has to be our model going forward. ...
  • Warren: "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to be the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for. I don't get it. Our biggest problem in Washington is corruption. It is giant corporations that have taken our government and that are holding it by the throat, and we need to have the courage to fight back against that and until we're ready to do that, it's just more of the same. Well, I'm ready to get in this fight. I'm ready to win this fight."

Why it matters: The fiery exchange underscored the broader divide between Warren and more moderate Democratic candidates like Delaney, who functioned as a foil to her and Sen. Bernie Sanders' bold, progressive proposals throughout much of the debate.

Go deeper ... Debate night: Warren and Sanders vs. the moderates

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Debate night: Warren and Sanders vs. the moderates

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders joined forces to back Medicare for All, decriminalizing immigration, a trade policy that favors working Americans, and the Green New Deal proposal at Tuesday's Democratic debate, as Warren denounced former Rep. John Delaney and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper of using "Republican talking points."

Why it matters: Tuesday's debate underscored the field's divide, as progressives Warren and Sanders set themselves against the rest of the Democratic candidates, many of whom support more moderate health care policies like a public option or an expansion of the Affordable Care Act. They also disagreed with Warren and Sanders on immigration, trade, and taking on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 31, 2019

Progressives own the first debate night

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders looked like Democrats' de facto leaders and policymakers last night, in the opening half of the party's back-to-back Debate 2.

The state of play: The two progressives dominated the clock. Warren had the most speaking time and Sanders was second, with Pete Buttigieg third.

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019

4 big moments from Night 1 of the second Democratic debate

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the absence of frontrunner Joe Biden, the first night of the second round of Democratic presidential debates on Tuesday saw former Rep. John Delaney, who is polling at less than 1%, assume the unlikely role of moderate foil to progressive heavyweights Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The big picture: CNN moderators largely (and predictably) framed the debate as whether Democrats are drifting too far to the left with policies like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal proposal and free college tuition. Those that expected Warren and Sanders to turn on one another were likely disappointed — the pair spent most of the night tag teaming moderates like Delaney, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Rep. Tim Ryan, urging them to dream big on policy and "stop using Republican talking points."

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019