Social Media Buzzed About A ‘Wine Cave’ After The Latest Democratic Debate

A day after Donald Trump was officially impeached by the House of Representatives, Democrats held their latest presidential debate to help determine which candidate will challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020 if he is not removed from office by the Senate. And while a number of candidates had big moments on Thursday night, one of the most memorable was when Elizabeth Warren criticized Pete Buttigieg for holding a campaign event in a “wine cave.”

The line was an attack over campaign finance. Buttigieg has been criticized for changing his stance on fundraising dollars coming from wealthy donors and closed door events, something Warren attacked the mayor of South Bend, Indiana for on Thursday night.

“The mayor just recently had a fund-raiser that was held in a wine cave, full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine. Think about who comes to that,” Warren said according to a transcript from the New York Times. “He had promised that every fundraiser he would do would be open-door, but this one was closed-door. We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States. Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”

For the record, this is apparently the “wine cave” that Warren mentioned during the debate.

It’s also important to note that Buttigieg went back at Warren for her comment, pointing out that his net worth is much less than Warren’s.

According to Forbes magazine, I’m literally the only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or a billionaire. So this is important. This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass,” Buttigieg said. “If I pledge — if I pledge never to be in the company of a progressive Democratic donor, I couldn’t be up here. Senator, your net worth is 100 times mine.”

Despite the retort, the line quickly became a talking point on social media.

Someone in the Sanders campaign apparently got to work on some shirts in a hurry, too.

It was also mentioned later in the debate by Andrew Yang, who has echoed similar fundraising concerns throughout the campaign. His “shaking the money tree in wine caves” line had quickly become a campaign line by night’s end.

Even Cory Booker cracked wise about the line.

And as it turns out, building a “wine cave” is actually a pretty savvy move if you’re wealthy enough to afford it in some places!

The “wine cave” line likely stuck because it’s a bit of odd imagery and that’s always ripe for memes, but it’s also a valid opening to an honest discussion about campaign finance in the United States. Especially considering the context of what else is happening in Washington lately.

Maybe that honest discussion can happen once everyone’s done making memes, though.