It was obvious from the opening minutes of the fourth Democratic presidential nomination debate that candidate Elizabeth Warren has become the target.
Since the last debate she has pulled even with front runner Joe Biden in many polls and even passed him in a few as he fights through murky issues with his son Hunter’s involvement with foreign companies while Bernie Sanders tries to convince voters of his health after a recent heart attack.
The field of contenders constantly challenged Warren on how she would structure, implement, and pay for her many progressive proposals.
Many of the contenders are scrambling to qualify for the next Democratic debate in Georgia in November, when the polling and fundraising qualifying criteria will be even tougher. So far, just eight candidates have qualified.
In Tuesday’s debate, moderates Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar aggressively went after Warren to explain how she would pay for ambitious proposals including her Medicare for All plan and how much they would cost.
Both candidates are trying to break out of the middle of the crowded Democratic pack. Buttigieg has qualified for the November debate, while Klobuchar has not.
Klobuchar said to Warren:
“I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where to send the invoice. The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something you can actually get done.”
Warren didn’t lose her focus even though she was under attack. She continued to offer her proposals to end income inequality and level the economic playing field for workers.
Healthcare is the biggest topic on the minds of likely voters, so it’s notable that Warren, who has detailed plans on many fronts, hasn’t released a proposal on this one.
She did not directly respond to questions about whether she would raise taxes for healthcare, but she said she would not sign any bill that does not lower healthcare costs for middle-class families.
“I have made clear what my principles are here, and that is that costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations and, for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.”
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who sponsored a bill in the Senate to create a Medicare for All plan, said he thought it was “appropriate to acknowledge that taxes would go up” under the proposal.
At least Sanders gets marks for being honest about it