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Billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer—who is currently polling at 2 percent nationally—just delivered what may turn out to be the best line of Friday night’s Democratic presidential debate.

As the other candidates squabbled over health care, Steyer refocused the conversation by quoting the infamous phrase from Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid,” getting to the heart of the challenge of defeating an incumbent. 

“We’re gonna have to take Mr. Trump down on the economy, because if you listen to him, he’s crowing about it every single day,” Steyer said, “and he’s gonna beat us unless we can take him down on the economy, stupid.”

The problem, Steyer seemed to suggest, was not Democrats’ policies so much as their overall messaging.

“I have heard this debate so many darn times, and I love all these people, and they’re all right,” he said. “If we win, we can get the right thing, Bernie. I am with you. If we win, we can get the right thing, Pete and Amy. But we gotta win, or we are in deep trouble, and we keep not talking about the facts.”

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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