WATCH: Chris Matthews Badgers Elizabeth Warren to Say She’ll Raise Taxes and She Will Not Do it


MSNBC host Chris Matthews aggressively questioned Elizabeth Warren on whether she would raise taxes on the middle class to fund “Medicare for All,” but Warren batted away Matthews’ framing no fewer than ten times.

Matthews interviewed Warren during MSNBC’s coverage following CNN’s Democratic Presidential Debate and asked how Medicare for All would be funded. The interview quickly devolved into a brawl.

“So, costs are going to go up for the bazillionaires, it’s going to go out for the big corporations, but out of pocket costs for middle-class families are actually going to go down,” Warren replied.

“Let’s go to the mechanism because it’s important,” Matthews said, and asked, “Will your payroll [taxes] go up?”

“You guys dodged that tonight,” Matthews said, to which Warren protested “No no, it’s not a dodge, it’s about where…”

Jake Tapper kept saying how much are your taxes going to go up, and you said, you said…” Matthews began.

“How much are your cost going to go down?” Warren interrupted.

“No, no, no, different question, how much will your taxes go up?” Matthews said.

“No, it’s how much are the costs, how much, it’s how much families end up spending,” Warren said, as Matthews cut her off again.

“I have a different question. I know that argument, I know that you’ve covered, but you’re covering it…” Matthews began.

“It’s not just an argument,” Warren cut in. “You know, the Republicans did a study and they hoped to show that Medicare for All is going to bust the budget, and you remember what it ended up showing? That Medicare for all is cheaper than our current system. That’s the Republicans version.”

“I know the argument that you put it all together, you reduce the cost for healthcare premium is, and you get more benefits, and therefore you come out ahead. But will you pay more in taxes? Why don’t you want to answer that question?” Matthews said.

“Because Jake said tonight, that’s a Republican talking point,” Warren said, likely referring to a Bernie Sanders exchange with Tapper in which Sanders accused him of using a “Republican talking point.”

“It’s not a Republican talking point,” Matthews said, as Warren tried to answer. “It’s a question.”

“It’s a question about where people are going to come out economically,” Warren began.

“No, that’s not my question, that’s not my question,” Matthews interrupted again. “My question is how much will taxes go up?”

“I spent most of my life studying families that went broke. And a huge chunk of them went broke because of high medical bills, and many of them had health insurance,” Warren said. “So the question is not do you have health insurance or not have health insurance? The question is how much are you going to have to dig in your pocket to pay?”

“I know that’s the answer that you’d like to give, but will your taxes go up? Will your taxes go up?” Matthews asked.

“The question is your total cost,” Warren said, and Matthews shot back “But there’s no answer to the question will your taxes go up?”

“There is an answer to the question about the costs,” Warren said.

“How about the taxes?” Matthews asked.

“Because it’s costs that matter to people,” Warren continued, at which point Matthews muttered “I’m not getting anywhere” and moved on.

Matthews’ aggressive attempts to secure the answer he was looking for ran into Warren’s determination not to give up a sound bite about raising taxes, and Warren prevailed. But Matthews’ complaints about the exchange found their way onto the Republican National Committee’s Twitter feed anyway.

“Chris Matthews criticizes Bernie and Warren for plans, says Warren ‘wouldn’t answer’ question,” said the RNC Research Twitter feed, along with a clip of Matthews griping.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

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