CBS anchor Tony Dokoupil on Friday asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) about her exchange with a father who accused Warren of hurting people who saved for college.
"For Americans who are in that father's position, who felt they did the right thing and you're bailing out those who didn't, what's your response?" Dokoupil said.
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"Look, we build a future going forward by making it better," Warren said. "By that same logic what would we have done? Not started Social Security because we didn't start it last week for you, or last month for you?"
"Are you saying ‘tough luck' to these people?" Dokoupil interjected.
"No," Warren responded. "Our kids have taken on a trillion and a half dollars in student loan debt. We have got to back that up and say we're doing better going forward."
A viral exchange between Warren and a father in Iowa, caught on video earlier this week, saw the two arguing about whether the Democratic candidate's proposed student-loan forgiveness plan is unfair to those who saved to pay for college. The father asked Warren if the money he saved for his daughter's tuition would be given back to him; Warren replied "Of course not." The father said Warren's plan left people like him "screwed" and walked away.
The Massachusetts senator has proposed tuition-free higher education and student debt cancellation as part of her 2020 platform. The programs would cost taxpayers an estimated $1.25 trillion. An analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin estimated that free college would require radical tax hikes and leave 86 percent of American households in a worse financial position.