It apparently wasn’t something she planned for, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s quip in response to a question about faith and same-sex marriage at a CNN presidential candidates' forum on LGBTQ issues Thursday earned her plaudits and created a viral moment.
"Let's say you're on the campaign trail and a supporter approaches you and says, 'Senator, I'm old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.' What is your response?" asked Morgan Cox, board chairman of the Human Rights Campaign, which co-hosted the event.
"Well, I'm going to assume it's a guy who said that, and I'm going to say, 'Then just marry one woman. I'm cool with that,'" Warren said, to laughs and applause from the audience.
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As the clapping subsided, the senator paused before going in for the kill — "'assuming you can find one' — drawing sustained applause and cheers from the crowd.
The exchange ricocheted across social media, with many pundits and social media users praising Warren for how she handled the hypothetical question, which can stump politicians on the campaign trail. One tweet of the exchange garnered nearly 90,000 likes and 25,000 retweets.
The viral moment comes as Warren's support in national and state polling has been trending upward, posing a pressing challenge to former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid to become the party’s 2020 presidential nominee.
Warren’s response when CNN anchor Chris Cuomo asked her about her evolution on the issue of same-sex marriage also drew praise. Asked if there was ever a time when she, who grew up in a conservative home in Oklahoma and was a registered Republican for many years, didn't support same-sex marriage, Warren said there wasn’t.
The senator explained by reciting the first song she remembered learning in church as a child: “They are yellow, black and white. They are precious in his sight. Jesus loves all the children of the world.”
“That was the basis of the faith I grew up in,” she said. “It truly is about the preciousness of each and every life. It is about the worth of every human being.”
She added, "And the hatefulness, frankly, always really shocked me, especially for people of faith, because I think the whole foundation is the worth of every single human being."