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Who is Marianne Williamson? A look at the controversial Democratic candidate

Click to play video: 'Marianne Williamson on Donald Trump' Marianne Williamson on Donald Trump
WATCH: Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson on how U.S. President Donald Trump won his election by "saying: 'Make America great again.'" – Jun 28, 2019

Marianne Williamson, a mostly unknown, fringe U.S. presidential candidate, shot to the top of the list of most-searched-for people during the second Democratic debate on Thursday night.

Her first question didn’t come until more than 30 minutes after the start of the televised debate — and in total, she only had five minutes of air time.

But that was just enough to get her trending online.

Who is Marianne Williamson?

Williamson, who has centred her campaign around the ideology of love and peace, had her first foray into politics with the announcement of her Democratic candidacy in early 2019.

An inspirational and spiritual leader for over 30 years, Williamson’s previous clients include celebrities such as Katy Perry, Laura Dern and, most notably, Oprah Winfrey, whose show she has appeared on quite frequently as both an adviser and a friend.

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Previously married and with one daughter, Williamson touts a combined social media following of 3.8 million.

READ MORE: Here are 5 key takeaways from the 2nd Democratic debate

Here are five notable comments from Williamson that had her trending on social media after Thursday night’s debate:

  • “I tell you one thing: it’s really nice if we have all these plans, but if you think we beat Donald Trump by just having all these plans, you’ve got another thing coming. Because he didn’t win by saying he had a plan. He won by simply saying: ‘Make America great again.”
  • “We have to get deeper than just these superficial fixes, as important as they are. Even if we’re just talking about the superficial fixes, ladies and gentlemen, we don’t have a health-care system in the United States, we have a sickness-care system in the United States. We just wait until somebody gets sick and then we talk about who is going pay for the treatment and how they’re going to be treated.”
  • “I have had a career not making the political plans, but I have had a career harnessing the inspiration and the motivation and the excitement of people. Masses of people. When we know that, when we say we are going to turn from a dirty economy to a clean economy, we’re going to have a Green New Deal, we’re going to create millions of jobs, we’re going to do this within the next 12 years — because I’m not interested in just winning the next election, we are interested in our grandchildren — then it will happen.”

WATCH: Democratic debate — Marianne Williamson accuses Trump of ‘child abuse’

Click to play video: 'Democratic debate: Marianne Williamson accuses Trump of ‘child abuse’' Democratic debate: Marianne Williamson accuses Trump of ‘child abuse’
Democratic debate: Marianne Williamson accuses Trump of ‘child abuse’ – Jun 27, 2019
  • “My first call is to the prime minister of New Zealand, who said her goal was to make New Zealand the place where it’s the best place in the world for a child to grow up. And I will tell her: ‘Girlfriend, you are so on.’ Because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up.”
  • “So, Mr. President — if you’re listening — I want you to hear me, please. You have harnessed fear for political purposes, and only love can cast that out so I, sir, I have a feeling you know what you’re doing. I’m going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field, and sir, love will win.”

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