CNNers Declare Absent Elizabeth Warren Winner of Second Debate Night

Even though Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wasn’t on the debate stage Wednesday for night two of CNN’s Democratic primary debates, the network’s journalists still declared her the winner.

After the debate finally wrapped up, CNN’s crack team of partisan journalists wasted little time in declaring Warren the stand out candidate. One the first to share their thoughts was senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, who immediately proclaimed that the “real winner tonight was Elizabeth Warren.”

“I mean, if you look back at her debate performance, I think she's the best political athlete on the field,” Henderson continued as she pooh-poohed the performances of former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris (CA).

A couple of minutes later, Anderson Cooper shared his two cents and fantasized about what it would have looked like if Warren had been on the stage Wednesday with her superior energy levels:

It's also -- you wonder if Elizabeth Warren was on that stage how he, how some of the other sort of folks who were in the lead in the polls would fair against – clearly her energy level— Regardless of what you think about her politics. She is very, I mean, you know, she sat out here for, I don't know, 20 minutes last night taking all sorts of questions. There wasn't anybody with that same kind of policy chops and energy level on the stage tonight.

Fresh from suggesting a radical candidate from the far-left of the Democratic Party had a chance of winning, the previous night, chief national correspondent John King was back at it as he too got into the fantasizing game, asking viewers to “close your eyes and remember last night.”

 

 

He wanted them to remember the performance of the extreme candidates:

Elizabeth Warren, especially, Bernie Sanders as well defending their progressive positions. Defending go big, go bold on all these issues. Joe Biden got in the fight tonight but the question was, the moderates last night tried and I would argue failed to counter the philosophical argument. The “why are you doing this” argument of Warren and Sanders.

[W]ould you close your eyes and see Joe Biden winning a debate against Elizabeth Warren. I’m not saying he can’t. He didn’t tonight. If you took last night and merged it with tonight, he did not,” he argued against Biden.

Senior political commentator David Axelrod expanded on that by saying an important part of debating was telling a story and Warren did that, according to him:

What is your vision? Where do you want to lead? What are your values that are touchstones? Elizabeth Warren did that. Whether you agree with her point of view or not, it was very clear where she's coming from. That's been very true throughout.

“You didn't get that sense from Biden,” Cooper added.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN Debate Post Analysis: Night 2
July 31, 2019
10:50:07 p.m. Eastern

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: I think the real winner tonight was Elizabeth Warren. I mean, if you look back at her debate performance, I think she's the best political athlete on the field. Joe Biden at times, he didn't seem like he wanted the ball. He gave up his time at times and didn't complete his thoughts. He wanted to just -- just kind of, you know, fade into the background at times. I thought Kamala Harris, who came in with big expectations because she had done so well in that first debate. I think she was very uneven. She never really seemed to settle in. She didn't seem to expect that she was going to get prosecuted on her prosecutorial record. And Tulsi Gabbard really went at her and she didn't really – I think—really make an affirmative case for her prosecutorial record.

(…)

10:52:09 p.m. Eastern

ANDERSON COOPER: It's also -- you wonder if Elizabeth Warren was on that stage how he, how some of the other sort of folks who were in the lead in the polls would fair against – clearly her energy level— Regardless of what you think about her politics. She is very, I mean, you know, she sat out here for, I don't know, 20 minutes last night taking all sorts of questions. There wasn't anybody with that same kind of policy chops and energy level on the stage tonight.

(…)

10:52:48 p.m. Eastern

JOHN KING: But back to that point. Look, Biden got in the fight tonight. But just close your eyes and remember last night. Elizabeth Warren, especially, Bernie Sanders as well defending their progressive positions. Defending go big, go bold on all these issues. Joe Biden got in the fight tonight but the question was, the moderates last night tried and I would argue failed to counter the philosophical argument. The “why are you doing this” argument of Warren and Sanders.

Biden didn't do that tonight either. That was the question coming in. Would he rise up? Would moderate Democrats, would centrists like those two governors over there, would you close your eyes and see Joe Biden winning a debate against Elizabeth Warren. I’m not saying he can’t. He didn’t tonight.

If you took last night and merged it with tonight, he did not.

DAVID AXELROD: And one of the demands of this process is to use these debates to tell a story. What is your vision? Where do you want to lead? What are your values that are touchstones? Elizabeth Warren did that. Whether you agree with her point of view or not, it was very clear where she's coming from. That's been very true throughout.

COOPER: You didn't get that sense from Biden.

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Debates Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Cable Television CNN Video Anderson Cooper John King Nia-Malika Henderson David Axelrod Elizabeth Warren Tulsi Gabbard

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