And then another. Seconds went by. It was a glaring dodge for a candidate who has risen to the top of the Democratic field by unveiling detailed policy proposals and selling them with a folksy flair.
"President Trump is on the side of freedom and that's where the American people will be", she stated confidently. To Beto O'Rourke, she was "punitive".
Biden interjected to praise her work. Biden and Warren have a long history of open disagreement, perhaps in part because she often targets big financial institutions and, well, he's from Delaware.
"I think as Democrats we are going to succeed when we dream big and fight hard, not when we dream small and quit before we get started", Warren responded.
I am seriously looking forward to the next debate, when the DNC raises the threshold for candidates to participate-amazingly, it did not do that between September and October, which is how we went from 10 to 12 candidates, majority unelectable, at a time when we should have been descending into single digits, and serious discussion. For Joe Biden, it was a test of how he was weathering a barrage of attacks from President Trump; he brushed off a moderator's question, and his rivals largely avoided going after the former vice president.
Only three candidates - Warren, Biden and Sanders - have been polling in double-digits nationally for most of this campaign.
The stage included three 70-something candidates who would be the oldest people ever elected to a first term as president - including 78-year-old Sanders, who had a heart attack earlier this month.
"With this endorsement of Bernie Sanders, every American should be paying attention", she warned.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren was also crowned a victor of the debate and deemed a frontrunner in the race after she fielded relentless attacks from her rivals on her healthcare plans and taxes throughout the three-hour joust.
Biden burned through his campaign donations over the summer - spending more money than he took in and leaving him with just a fraction of the cash available to several of his better-funded rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. Your signature, Senator, is to have a plan for everything.
Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar said Warren's obfuscating was all the more obvious because Bernie Sanders - whose Medicare for All bill Warren supports - has conceded that middle-class taxes would go up, though he contends the increases would be offset by lower health care costs.
He also sparred with Rep. Gabbard's call to end USA wars in the Middle East, marking a tense moment between the two military veterans where he clapped back and said: "Respectfully, congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong".
Those candidates include Minnesota Sen.
Senator Klobuchar pounced: "At least Bernie's being honest here and saying how he's going to pay for this and taxes are going to go up".
Watch as Warren and Klobuchar debate a tax on the rich. "With almost two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans reporting having faced some kind of discrimination just because of who they are, and 70 percent of Americans from all walks of life supporting nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, the time to act is now".
But the debate also revealed the perils of attacking a candidate who has built her political brand on populism.
"You know, I think simply because you have different ideas doesn't mean you're [not] fighting for regular people", Klobuchar said.
Soon, O'Rourke suggested that Warren, who has made the idea of taking on hard fights central to her political brand, could be too divisive to win a general election. "No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires", Klobuchar said. "When I was deployed, not just the Afghan National Army forces, but the janitors put their lives on the line just by working with USA forces".
Some attacks on Warren did not seem to land.
Sen. Kamala Harris pressed Warren to join her in calling on Twitter to suspend President Trump's account. Warren tried to steer the spotlight instead toward Democrats - like Harris - who court wealthy donors to fund their campaigns, a practice Warren has sworn off.
When Buttigieg was asked about Beto O'Rourke's proposed mandatory buyback for assault weapons, he said the plan was insufficiently fleshed out at a time when action is needed. "You don't get to be both at the same time". You got a bankruptcy bill, which is hurting middle-class families all over this country.
Warren rebutted: "The problem we've got right is the overall cost of healthcare".
Toward the end, Biden was more confident when he accused Warren and Sanders of "being vague" on the true costs of Medicare for All.
Biden then interrupted her by adding, "You did a hell of a job in your job". Elizabeth Warren's answer was the same.
Another leading candidate, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, said, "Sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics".
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