John Delaney Tells Fox News Elizabeth Warren Uses 'Fairytale Economics,' As Host Praises Him for 'Being Honest' With Voters

Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful John Delaney drew praise from Fox News morning show hosts after he pushed back against Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont during Tuesday evening's primary debate.

In an interview with Fox & Friends on Wednesday morning, Delaney doubled-down on his criticism of the Democratic party's left-wing candidates, particularly taking aim at Warren. The former Maryland representative said the Massachusetts senator used "fairytale economics" to justify her policy positions, slamming her criticism of him during the debate as "dishonest" and "kind of lazy."

The Fox News morning show's co-host Ainsley Earhardt played a clip of Warren calling out Delaney during the debate, which was broadcast by CNN. "You know, I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for," Warren said in a critique of the former congressman. The crowd at the debate cheered loudly when Warren made that remark, with videos of the interaction since going viral on social media.

But Earhardt was less than impressed, arguing that Delaney – who is a centrist and critical of Democratic candidate's more left-wing policy proposals – was actually the voice of reason.

Elizabeth Warren and John Delaney
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) greets former Maryland congressman John Delaney while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hugs Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) after the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre on July 30 in Detroit, Michigan Justin Sullivan/Getty

"What's your reaction to that?" Earhardt asked Delaney. "I mean, you're running for president because you're being honest with the American people. I don't understand why people run and then they promise stuff and it never happens," she complained.

Smiling broadly at Earhardt's assessment, Delaney argued Warren's response meant she "can't really defend" her plans. "It's a dishonest, kind of lazy response," he said. "It's similar to when they saying 'it's a Republican talking point.' You know, that's the problem with the extreme left of the party," the candidate continued. "When you point out obvious flaws in the things they're talking about, they say 'well that's a Republican talking point.' And I'm like 'no, it's actually a fact, that you should be able to defend.'"

He went on to classify the policies proposed by Warren as "impossible promises" or "fairytale economics."

During the debate, Delaney said that he wanted to ensure that all Americans have healthcare, but he disagreed with Warren's and Sanders' approach of ending all private insurance in favor of Medicare-for-all. He argued, as many hospitals executives and industry experts have warned, that medical centers and clinics across the nation could go bankrupt and close if such a plan were implemented. The former congressman also accused the senators of trying to take away insurance from Americans, although their plan actually aims to replace the insurance many Americans currently use.

"We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That's what the Republicans are trying to do," Warren said in one heated exchange. "And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care."

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) greet each other at the start of the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre on July 30 in Detroit, Michigan Justin Sullivan/Getty

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is also running for the Democratic nomination and was on the stage Tuesday evening, also criticized the Medicare-for-all policy pushed for by Sanders and Warren. In one heated exchange between Ryan and Sanders, the congressman insisted that the senator's proposal didn't take into account union contracts and may not actually cover everyone's health, dental and optical needs as promised.

Sanders replied: "I do know it. I wrote the damn bill!" That response has also since gone viral.

According to an average of national polls by Real Clear Politics last updated before Tuesday's debate, Sanders and Warren are among the top three contenders for the Democratic nomination. Delaney and Ryan meanwhile are both polling at less than 1 percent. Sanders' support hovers around 16.2 percent and Warren's is at about 14 percent. Both trail former Vice President Joe Biden, who enjoys about 32 percent of Democratic voter support.