Debate crowd erupts in laughs as Sanders chimes in 'I wrote the damn bill' on Medicare for All

Debate crowd erupts in laughs as Sanders chimes in 'I wrote the damn bill' on Medicare for All

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal Gabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (I-Vt.) scored the first laugh of the fifth Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday by dredging up an old line: "I wrote the damn bill."

Sanders first made the quip — a reference to his signature "Medicare for All" legislation — during the second Democratic primary debate in July after one of his rivals, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanGM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio San Francisco 49ers suspend announcer after reference to quarterback's 'dark skin' More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign MORE (D-Ohio), suggested that the Vermont senator was unaware of what the single-payer health care proposal actually entailed.

Since then, Sanders has capitalized on that phrase, repeating it at times during public appearances and even selling campaign merchandise emblazoned with the slogan.

It resurfaced once again on Wednesday night after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sanders's chief ideological rival in the presidential race, responded to a debate question about Medicare for All.

Once Warren finished her answer, the debate moderators posed a similar question to Sanders.

"Thank you. I wrote the damn bill," Sanders said as the crowd briefly erupted in laughter.