Young Turks host says Marianne Williamson proved why she 'deserves' to be on debate stage

Young Turks host John Iadarola on Wednesday praised Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests Pelosi: 'I usually always cast my vote for a woman' Pelosi: 'We'll have a woman president' someday MORE’s debate performance from the previous evening, saying the self-help guru and author proved why she deserved to be on the stage with other Democratic presidential candidates.

Iadarola said even though Williamson is still an “extreme long-shot” candidate, she did have some breakout moments, like when she made the case for reparations, which she referred to as the “payment of debt that is owed.”

“She really did prove why she deserves to be on the stage, especially in her response about reparations -- really focusing more on the African American community than perhaps any of the other candidates on the stage last night,” Iadarola, who is host of news show “The Damage Report,” told Hill.TV.

“Her candidacy is unlikely to win but it’s far from the joke that many people have pitched it as,” he added.

Iadarola’s comments come a day after 10 candidates took the stage Tuesday night in Detroit, where progressive heavyweights Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Mass.) went head-to-head with centrist candidates like Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyJohn Delaney endorses Biden Nevada caucuses open with a few hiccups Lobbying world MORE (D-Md.).

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockPolitics and the pandemic — Republicans are rightly worried The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden moves to unify party before general election Poll shows Daines, Bullock neck and neck in Montana Senate race MORE, who failed to qualify for the first debate, was the first contender to speak Tuesday and he wasted no time going after Warren and Sanders.

When Warren made the case for decriminalizing illegal border crossings, Bullock fired back by telling Warren she was playing into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE’s hands.

But Bullock wasn’t the only low-tier candidate to make waves.

The crowd erupted in applause after Williamson blasted Trump’s “dark psychic force,” and when she highlighted the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

“Flint is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “We have communities, particularly communities of color and disadvantage, communities all over this country who are suffering from environment injustice.”

“This is part of the dark underbelly of American society,” she added.

Williamson surged in Google searches during and after the debate, and her comments sent Twitter ablaze.

Williamson has yet to qualify for the third round of debates, in September.

She told Hill.TV on Tuesday before the debate that she doesn’t have the required 130,000 unique donors and needs to gain the support of at least 2 percent of voters in certain polls in order to qualify. 

—Tess Bonn