Elizabeth Warren Has Quick Comeback at CNN Equality Town Hall

WASHINGTON — The campaign trail can bring fraught encounters for a presidential candidate. At a televised forum on L.G.B.T.Q. issues on Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren was asked to consider a hypothetical one.

Suppose, she was told, a supporter approached her and said: “Senator, I’m old-fashioned and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

How would she respond?

“Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that,” Ms. Warren replied. “And I’m going to say, then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that.”

The audience laughed and applauded. About 10 seconds passed.

“Assuming you can find one,” Ms. Warren added, to the delight of the crowd.

Viral moments are coveted in the Democratic primary race, where they can serve as a magnet for online donations and bring much-needed attention to candidates struggling to stand out in a large field.

Ms. Warren’s answer appeared likely to turn into one of those moments, even though she is hardly struggling to attract attention to her campaign, having risen in the polls to rival former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a leading contender for the Democratic nomination.

A video of her response at the forum immediately drew attention on Twitter, and the Warren campaign soon shared the moment on her feed as well.

Below is an unedited transcript of the exchange:

CHRIS CUOMO: You ready for another question?

ELIZABETH WARREN: You bet.

CUOMO: Alright. Morgan Cox, real estate investment firm in Dallas, Texas. He is the chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors. Morgan, thank you.

WARREN: Alright. Hi, Morgan.

MORGAN COX: Chris, thank you so much. Hi, senator, thank you for being here. Let’s say you’re on the campaign trail —

WARREN: I have been —

COX: And you’re approached — you have been, yes. 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?

WARREN: 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: Assuming you can find one.

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