Elizabeth Warren under fire at Democratic debate

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By Dareh Gregorian  with NBC News Politics
Image: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks du
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate in Westerville, Ohio on Oct. 15, 2019.   -  Copyright  Shannon Stapleton Reuters

Sen. Elizabeth Warren entered Tuesday night's Democratic presidential primary debate as the new frontrunner in the race — and the bulls-eye on her back became a target for the other candidates on the stage.

Warren took repeated shotsfrom lower-tier candidates, including several from Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who accused her of being deceitful by not acknowledging her Medicare for All plan would raise taxes on the middle class, as Sen. Bernie Sanders admitted.

"At least Bernie's being honest here," Klobuchar said. "I'm sorry Elizabeth, but you have not said that."

Klobuchar also suggested that Warren would never be able to get her plan through Congress, while Klobuchar said she could pass her plan.

"The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done," the Minnesota senator said.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also accused Warren of dodging the question, saying, "This is why people here in the Midwest are so frustrated with Washington in general."

He also said Warren didn't have a clear way to pay for her health plan.

"Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything — except this," Buttigieg said.

Warren seemed prepared for the attacks, and was quick to return fire, calling Buttigieg's plan, "Medicare for all who can afford it."

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke offered that Warren's tax the rich talk sounded too tough, and that she's more focused "on being punitive" than "lifting people up."

"I'm shocked at the notion anyone thinks I'm punitive," Warren said.