Former Rep. John Delaney said a striking exchange with Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Tuesday’s presidential debate on the scope of Democrats’ agenda amounted to a “lazy” response on the part of the Massachusetts senator.
“That’s the response when someone really can’t defend their plans,” Mr. Delaney said on “Fox and Friends.” “So, for example, if John F. Kennedy, when he said we should go to the moon by the end of the decade in the ‘60s, someone could have said to him, well you’re not saying we should go to the moon next month, so you’re not being ambitious enough.”
In one of the debate’s more memorable lines, Ms. Warren rebutted Mr. Delaney after he had said Democrats win when they run on real, workable solutions and not “impossible promises.”
“You know, I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Ms. Warren shot back, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd.
On Wednesday, Mr. Delaney said that amounted to a “dishonest, kind of lazy” response and that it was frustrating he didn’t get a chance to respond to Ms. Warren directly.
“What I wanted to say is what I just said to you, which is why don’t you defend your proposal as opposed to saying something that’s kind of lazy and dishonest?” he said. “But the moderators had already moved on. But you know, it was the same point I had on a lot of different issues.”
Tuesday’s debate pitted liberal candidates like Ms. Warren and Sen. Bernard Sanders against candidates like Mr. Delaney, who warned that proposals like Mr. Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” universal health plan would be a detrimental shock to the current system.
Mr. Delaney has been polling in the low single digits and is in danger of failing to qualify for the next debate in September - though he said Wednesday he feels good about his prospects.
“Obviously we had a good night last night,” he said. “We feel good about the September and October debate[s]. And we think there’s a lot of people out there, including probably some of your viewers, who want a rational person on the Democratic debate stage making points about real solutions.”