Live updates: Democratic candidates debate in Miami – CNN

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has often stood as something of a reality check to some of the rosiest proposals offered by her Democratic rivals, telling audiences in recent months that it’s just not possible to offer free college, Medicare-for-All and more.

But tonight, Klobuchar seemed to have a harder time saying no.

At a CNN Town Hall meeting in February, Klobuchar delivered a memorable line on free college, saying: “If I was a magic genie and could afford to give that to everyone, I would.”

She was not as punchy tonight. She did not draw sharp distinctions on free college with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who stood only a few feet away. 

On health care, Klobuchar did stand up to several of her rivals and say it was neither feasible nor wise to eliminate private insurance. It was one of the biggest distinctions of the night, even though she decided against calling out any of her competitors by name.

“I am just simply concerned about kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years,” Klobuchar said, noting that so many people are happy with their employer-provided health insurance.

A few moments later, when Warren pushed back and said politicians simply have to fight harder to realize real “structural change,” Klobuchar stood silent. She raised her hand to try and object, but couldn’t jump back into the conversation.

Klobuchar made the calculation that at this moment, with Warren rising, tough medicine may not be what the party’s progressive activists are thirsting for.

So she settled for this down-home line instead, calling some of the proposals: “All foam and no beer.”

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