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

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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:

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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