Sanders Got Debate Viewers’ Attention With Policy Zingers

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 30: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) gestures while former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (R) speaks and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Texas con... DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 30: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) gestures while former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (R) speaks and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke listen during the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 30, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 30, 2019 11:07 pm
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Though commentators have noted that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) democratic socialist ideas have largely come to define, or at least push to the left, the Democratic presidential field, the candidate himself was overshadowed to some extent in his first appearance on the debate stage last month. That changed Tuesday.

In the second round of debates between Democratic presidential contenders that began Tuesday, Sanders came out guns blazing, seemingly dead set on meme-ing himself into cable news wrap-ups of the night.

Sanders’ two first words of the night, after his opening statement, were directed at former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD): “You’re wrong” about Medicare for All.

The senator kept going, taking shots at the centrist Democrats on stage and even at CNN itself, at one point calling one of Jake Tapper’s questions a “Republican talking point” — Tapper had asked about the need for a tax increase to pay for Medicare for All, but did not mention that private health care costs would be slashed under the proposal.

Seizing his opportunity, Sanders noted that the health care industry would be advertising on CNN’s airwaves.

Before long, he rebuffed Delaney again, this time attacking the former congressman for his extensive health care investments and former involvement in the industry.

“Maybe you […] made money off of health care, but our job is to run a non-profit health care system.”

In an exchange with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) about union members who negotiated private health care plans with their employers, Sanders again delivered a memorable line, one his campaign almost instantly turned into a marketable sticker: “I wrote the damn bill.”

Then there was… this.

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