Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., seemed to turn a potentially troublesome fact to her advantage during Thursday night's Democratic primary debate in Los Angeles, when the conversation turned to the ages of the candidates.
“Senator Warren, you would be the oldest president ever inaugurated," moderator Tim Alberta of Politico magazine noted. "I’d like you to weigh in as well."
“I’d also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated,” Warren answered, drawing applause from the audience at Loyola Marymount University.
The age topic has been a touchy one for several of the 2020 Democrats, with septuagenarians Bernie Sanders (78), Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg (both 77) and Warren (70) competing for the party's nomination against younger rivals Tom Steyer (62), Amy Klobuchar (59), Cory Booker (50), Andrew Yang (44), Tulsi Gabbard (38) and Pete Buttigieg (37).
Of the younger group, only Buttigieg has managed to rank among the top-tier contenders, meaning that President Trump (73) could very likely face a fellow septuagenarian in the general election next November.
During her response, Warren also said she has posed for more than 100,000 selfies on the campaign trail so far – asserting it proves she has been connecting with average Americans. The comment appeared to be a subtle dig at rivals Biden and Buttigieg, who reportedly charge hefty sums to pose for photos.
Warren also addressed recent comments made by former President Obama, who said women were “indisputably better” leaders than men. Warren said she thought Obama was speaking about power in America.
"I believe he’s talking about women and people of color and trans people and people whose voices just so often get shoved out,” Warren said. “For me, the best way to understand that is to look how people are running their campaigns in 2020.”
“I made the decisions, when I decided to run, not to do business as usual, and now I’m crowding in on 100,000 selfies. That’s 100,000 hugs and handshakes and stories. Stories from people who are struggling with student loan debt. Stories from people who can’t pay their medical bills. Stories from people who can’t find child care.
“Most of the people on this stage run a traditional campaign. And that means going back and forth from coast to coast to rich people and people who can put up 5,000 bucks or more in order to have a picture taken, in order to have a conversation. And in order maybe to be considered an ambassador … ”
Warren has repeatedly called out Biden and Buttigieg for accepting money from super PACs and billionaires, while her own campaign, as well as that of fellow progressive Sanders, claims to be grass-roots funded.
In the most pointed exchange, Warren zeroed in on Buttigieg's recent private meeting with wealthy donors inside a California “wine cave."
Buttigieg, whose recent surge has been attributed in part to his fundraising success, said Democrats shouldn’t go against Trump with “with one hand tied behind our back." Trump’s reelection campaign has reportedly accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.