Meet Marianne Williamson, The Candidate Talking About Love In Thursday’s Democratic Debate

Marianne Williamson in the debate
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The second of MSNBC’s two-night presentation of the first presidential debates of the 2020 Democratic presidential cycle took place on Thursday night. The second debate featured a memorable exchange over race, busing, and civil rights between Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joseph Biden.

In another part of the debate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg gave a heartfelt answer when asked about a recent officer-involved shooting in South Bend, Indiana, which has been affecting his campaign.

But one debate participant who drew a lot of reaction during the debate was Marianne Williamson, who shared some of the most memorable statements of the night.

“It’s really nice that we’ve got all these plans, but if you think we’re going to beat Donald Trump by just having all these plans, you’ve got another thing coming,” Williamson said of health care policy, per Twitter. She declared that her first act as president would be a phone call to New Zealand. At another point, she stated that the president has “harnessed fear” for political purposes, and vowed to “harness love.”

“I will meet you on that field,” Williamson concluded. “And love will win.”

So who, exactly, is Marianne Williamson?

The 66-year-old Texas native is an author, self-help guru, and activist who has published 13 books, including A Return To Love and Healing The Soul of America. She is also a longtime activist for women, peace, and people with HIV/AIDS.

Williamson has never held elected political office, although she did run for Congress in California in 2014.

The candidate has been criticized in the past for her views on vaccination. Per The Inquisitr, Williamson recently described herself as skeptical of the intentions of the pharmaceutical industry, and called it “Orwellian” that the government could make vaccines mandatory. However, Williamson does not consider herself “anti-vaccine.”

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Williamson’s first appearance on the debate stage meant that it was the first exposure to the candidate for a lot of viewers tuning into the debate on Thursday, and there were some entertaining reactions on Twitter, both positive and negative.

“Marianne Williamson’s plan to love-bomb Donald Trump might not work. I have a strong feeling that she is not his type,” advice columnist Amy Dickinson wrote on Twitter.

“UNDER FEC REGULATIONS, MARIANNE WILLIAMSON CANNOT HARNESS LOVE FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES,” journalist Jim Geraghty tweeted during the debate.

News anchor Brody Logan tweeted that her closing statement about love “sounds like a declaration by a Captain Planet villain.”