Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was the top-polling Democratic presidential candidate onstage Wednesday night, and the early moments of the party’s first 2020 debate showed why.
Warren was asked four other questions before most of the nine other contenders had been asked two. Her platform set the pace for the night, with other candidates embracing elements of it — or at least passing on opportunities to break directly with her.
Meanwhile, two of the most aggressive candidates onstage, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, chose another target to mercilessly attack: former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. De Blasio hammered O’Rourke on health care, while Castro accused his fellow Texan of failing to do his homework on immigration.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey was a steady presence onstage Wednesday night, offering an aspirational message and separating himself from other candidates on gun control.
Warren dominated the debate’s first half hour, moving herself closer to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on single-payer health care — a move that could ease the concerns of progressives in the process. She faded the rest of the way, but went unscathed.
Another candidate who took no fire: former Vice President Joe Biden, the party’s front-runner, who will debate with nine other Democrats on Thursday night.
Here are 13 best Tweets from the first Democratic 2020 presidential debates:
Literally just funny tweets. You want ’em. We got ’em.