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'I Wrote the Damn Bill': Bernie Sanders Shuts Down Tim Ryan on Debate Stage

Sanders was discussing his Medicare for All legislation when Ryan interrupted

Rep. Tim Ryan thinks about the mistake he just made: coming for Sen. Bernie Sanders on healthcare.

Rep. Tim Ryan thinks about the mistake he just made: coming for Sen. Bernie Sanders on healthcare. (screenshot: Twitter)

During Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders silenced one of his rivals with an immediately iconic line.

Sanders, an Independent from Vermont who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, was listing the benefits of his signature healthcare legislation, Medicare for All, when Ryan interrupted him. 

"For senior citizens, it will finally include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses," said Sanders. "Second of all—"

"But you don't know that, Bernie," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), one of Sanders' rivals on the stage for the CNN debate. "You don't know that."

"I do know that," Sanders retorted. "I wrote the damn bill!"

Reaction on social media from progressives and Sanders supporters was immediate and uproarious. 

"Ha, I'd love to see Bernie debate the Tangerine Tyrant onstage next year," tweeted The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan.

"Bernie not playing on health care," said activist and poet Remi Kanazi. 

"Get ‘em Bernie," congressional candidate McKayla Wilkes tweeted

Healthcare—and more specifically Medicare for All—dominated the first half hour of the debate. Earlier in the evening, both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out CNN host Jake Tapper for using Republican talking points while discussing healthcare. 

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