Speed Reads

2020 Democratic debates

Warren, Sanders break with each other on the question of abolishing the filibuster

Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) have been reluctant to go after each other when sharing the debate stage; in fact, they frequently end up agreeing with and supporting each other. The pair had a significant disagreement on Thursday night, though, when Warren swung a question about gun control around to announce her stance on the Senate filibuster.

"We have a Congress that's beholden to the gun industry," Warren said. "And unless we're willing to address that head on and roll back the filibuster, we're not going to get anything done on guns." Her campaign quickly took up the talking point on Twitter to reinforce it:

Sanders was asked afterward if he would support abolishing the filibuster as well. "No," the senator said bluntly. Sanders has said in the past that "Donald Trump supports the ending of the filibuster so you should be a little bit nervous if Donald Trump supports it," and argued that he has other ways to work the Senate rules.

But The New York Times' Astead Herndon observed that Warren coming out against the filibuster was strategic in that it "force[s] Bernie into a rare place of being an institutionalist." It seemed like people were listening, too; "filibuster" spiked 4,000 percent on Google during the debate.