Warren: I have a 'plan' for dealing with McConnell 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all Sanders hits 1 million donors MORE (D-Mass.) got applause from the debate audience Wednesday night when she said she had a "plan" for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes On The Money: House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November | Judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns | Senate panel approves three spending bills MORE (R-Ky.).

Asked by MSNBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddBooker dismisses early surveys: 'If you're polling ahead right now, you should worry' O'Rourke's debate moment reignites gun debate on Sunday shows Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump MORE if she had a "plan" for McConnell if he is still the Senate majority leader in 2021, when the next presidential term begins, Warren replied: "I do." 

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"Short of a Democratic majority in the Senate, you better understand the fight still goes on. It starts in the White House and it means that everybody we energize in 2020 stays on the front lines come January 2021," Warren said.

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"We have to push from the outside, have leadership from the inside and make this Congress reflect the will of the people," she added. 

Warren has drawn attention in the early months of campaigning by releasing a series of policy proposals as she seeks to distinguish herself in the crowded Democratic presidential primary field, selling merchandise from her campaign site touting that "Warren has a plan for that."

McConnell is a top antagonist for Democrats, who worry that if Republicans keep control of the Senate in 2021 that he'll squash top progressive proposals like the Green New Deal or "Medicare for All."

McConnell, who is up for reelection next year in Kentucky, has leaned into his role as the "grim reaper" for progressive policies that Democrats are pushing to get through Congress.

Though Republicans are defending two dozen Senate seats, most of them are in red states, giving Democrats a narrow path to picking up the Senate during the 2020 election.

Republicans currently have a 53-seat majority. Democrats will need to pick up three seats and win back the White House to control the chamber in the event of a 50-50 tie. To win the back the chamber outright, they'll need to pick up four seats and hold onto the seat in the deeply red state of Alabama, where Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is on the ballot.

Several candidates knocked McConnell during Wednesday night's debate, but Warren and McConnell have locked horns for years.

Republicans voted in 2017 to temporarily block the Massachusetts Democrat from speaking from the Senate floor after she gave a speech critical of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) during his confirmation to be attorney general. The exchange gave rise to the phrase "she persisted," which quickly became a mantra for the women's rights movement.

"Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation," McConnell said in 2017 after the vote to temporarily silence Warren. "Nevertheless, she persisted."