The First Question of the Democratic Debate was a Challenge to Elizabeth Warren. She Didn’t Back Down.

The senator from Massachusetts planned for this moment.

Wilfredo Lee/AP

The highest polling Democratic candidate on stage during NBC’s first televised debate of the presidential season got the first question on Wednesday night. Host Savannah Guthrie asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) about the difficulty of implementing her many economic plans and securing the nomination, when most Americans, including most Democrats, think the economy is performing well.

Warren tore into her campaign talking points—with a notable reference to “LatinX” Americans, a word that perhaps no other presidential candidate has ever used on a debate stage.

“The economy is doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” the Massachusetts senator said. “It’s doing great for giant drug companies. It’s not doing great for people who are trying to get a prescription filled.”

Warren added that the economy is working for “people who want to invest in private prisons. Just not for African-Americans and LatinX whose families are torn apart, lives destroyed, communities ruined.”

Watch the exchange below:


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.