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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