WATAUGA, Texas — Each candidate hit applause lines as the Democratic debate beamed into the cramped Texas dining room filled with soupy bowls of Vietnamese pho.
Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund manager, scored for calling President Trump a “criminal.” Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator, won applause for talking up the right to legalized abortion. Elizabeth Warren drew in support for proposing to tax “wealth, not income.”
But it was not until 45 minutes that the Democratic watch party came alive. It was the moment Beto O’Rourke answered his second question.
“Americans don’t want a handout, they want a shot,” said the former Democratic congressman from El Paso, Texas, delivering a passionate call for fair treatment of workers. “They want a guarantee that if they work hard they can find success in our country.”