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:

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

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