Warren and Biden stop playing nice as she zooms in the polls

Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren during Tuesday’s debate. | Win McNamee/Getty Images Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren engaged Tuesday night in one of their tensest exchanges yet in the fight for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, as they relitigated their roles in the creation of a groundbreaking consumer protection agency. “Following the financial…

Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren during Tuesday’s debate. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren engaged Tuesday night in one of their tensest exchanges yet in the fight for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, as they relitigated their roles in the creation of a groundbreaking consumer protection agency.

“Following the financial crash of 2008, I had an idea for a consumer agency that would keep giant banks from cheating people,” Warren said at the fourth Democratic debate in Ohio, referring to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — which she devised during her time as a bankruptcy law professor at Harvard University.

“All of the Washington insiders and strategic geniuses said, ‘Don’t even try because you will never get it passed,’” she continued. “And sure enough, the big banks fought us. The Republicans fought us. Some of the Democrats fought us. But we got that agency passed into law.”

Biden responded that he “agreed with the great job she did,” and forcefully promoted his work as vice president whipping up support for Warren’s proposed bureau among members of Congress.

“I went on the floor and got you votes,” Biden shouted at Warren, gesturing with an open palm toward the Massachusetts senator. “I got votes for that bill. I convinced people to vote for it, so let’s get those things straight, too.”

Asked whether she cared to answer Biden’s remarks, Warren took a beat, and carefully replied: “I am deeply grateful to President Obama, who fought so hard to make sure that agency was passed into law.”

Biden snickered as she spoke, and the audience at Otterbein University outside Columbus, Ohio, reacted with shock to the subtle strike.

“And I am deeply grateful to every single person who fought for it and who helped pass it into law,” Warren said. “But understand —”

“You did a hell of a job in your job,” Biden interjected.

Warren paused again before offering a terse “thank you,” and finishing her response.

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