Warren: I'm after 'the hick vote'
October 18th, 2011
04:13 PM ET
2 years ago

Warren: I'm after 'the hick vote'

(CNN) - Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a longtime Harvard law professor, said in a podcast interview that she was courting "the hick vote" in her bid against Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

The comments came in jest when her interviewer, who grew up in Oklahoma and West Virginia, said he had often been called a hick and would "love" to see Warren, also from Oklahoma, take the seat.

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"I'm going for the hick vote here," Warren said, laughingly. "I just want you to know. Maybe we could start wearing stickers that say, 'Hicks for Elizabeth.' Could we do that?"

In the interview, posted Friday on the progressive blog "Left Ahead," Warren said she appeals to different groups of people because of her background growing up in the South, then working at Harvard.

"I think I'm a new category: The elite hick," Warren said.

The Massachusetts GOP jumped on the remarks, saying it's "telling" that Warren compared being from Oklahoma with being a "hick."

"She proves the point we have been making all along: Her two decades at Harvard have conditioned her to look down on everyone else as unrefined simpletons who need academic elites like her to show them the way," said party chairman Jennifer Nassour in a statement, adding that "Warren should apologize for her offensive remark."

But Warren's campaign said the comments were simply made in jest.

"Elizabeth gave a self deprecating answer when an interviewer said that like her, he was from Oklahoma and often called a hick," said Warren spokesman Kyle Sullivan on Tuesday. "It was a lighthearted moment in an otherwise serious conversation about Elizabeth's fight for middle class families."

Her remarks come a year after national Republicans took heat over running an ad during the West Virginia Senate battle that had a casting call for actors with a "'Hicky' Blue Collar look."

Known for her role as an adviser to President Barack Obama in helping develop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren is leading in the polls to become the potential Democratic opponent to Brown in 2012.


Filed under: Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. G D

    This is just another example of something innocent being turned into something else by people with agendas. How about we focus on substantial issues in this & other elections? This lady has backbone, scruples & a brain, qualities absent in so many of our leaders on either side of the aisle. Go Ms. Warren, you hick!

    October 18, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Next time, use the term "sooner" or "hoosier" instead of "hick."

    October 18, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. tom

    so... instead of a hilbilly... more of a Hill-William?

    October 18, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. diridi

    if i were there i would definitely vote for her...she is for Poor America, and Poor American....true, true, true...not for corporate thugs...

    October 18, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. DIANA

    Please Mass. correct your error and vote this woman in. Maybe we'll see her as our first woman President in 2016.

    Warren 2016!

    October 18, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Bill

    This woman will be the next senator from Masaachusetts.

    October 18, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    We need more Elite Hicks in Govt. Smart enough to know how the Middle Class IS getting screwed & willing to do something about it.

    October 18, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. diridi

    I will tell my niece, and her hubby to vote for you...

    October 18, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. azmary

    @Tom Your comment takes me back. Years ago my father referred to himself as a "Mountain William". born in the hills of Kentucky, but educated as an engineer at a college in Michigan.

    October 18, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. thomas

    Wall Street and Freedom Works goes Ga-Ga for Scott Brown ... and $210000-$630000 donations from at least 10 other investors.

    Rick Perry / Scot Brown
    Dream Scheme 2012
    Corporations are People ?

    October 18, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Sorensen

    Ms. Warren is not only brilliant – She knows and understands real people.
    She also is about 100 times smarter than Mr. Brown.
    Step up to it, Mass.

    October 18, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Dan J

    So when Scott Brown made an off-the-cuff jest when responding to an attack by Warren, it was deplorable. But when she does it, its forgivable?

    October 18, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. DocinPA

    Jennifer Nassour: YOUR comment is so hideously shallow. I think it belies the notion that your party is so much in line with FOX News. Take a line out of context, mangle it, then attempt to turn it against your opponents. So pathetic.

    October 18, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. TEGRULZ

    Why don't you come down here to North Carolina and run for Senate I think a few of those so call "hicks" would have a few unkind words for your sorry Harvard Yard Butt go back to being a Ralph Nader Advocate before you cause a embarrassment!

    October 18, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. encore

    ms. warren I"m sending you a donation of 100 dollars.

    October 18, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. Benjamin

    Nice headline, CNN. I'm sure no one will take that out of context.

    October 18, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. A True Centrist

    "Wall Street and Freedom Works goes Ga-Ga for Scott Brown ... and $210000-$630000 donations from at least 10 other investors."

    Thomas,
    Warren is bringing in more of the PAC money and big donors than Brown. Honestly, you make her seem like this poor woman trying to make it in this tough world. Please, she lives in a multi-million dollar mansion in Cambridge and makes six figures for about two hours of teaching a week.

    October 18, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. MarilynR47

    I am fortunate to be a Massachusetts resident and a constituent of Sen Scott Brown. Don't you people worry, we will unseat Sen Brown and replace him with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Brown has done nothing for the middle class. He allows his biggest financial contributors (Wall Street) to buy his vote. He talks about his humble roots, yet he votes with Mitch McConnell the majority of the time. Elizabeth Warren has made the plight of the middle class her life work. We are going to send Sen Brown and his homely TV Reporter wife, Gail Huff, packing with his pickup truck with his filled with his Armani suits. Maybe he can return to nude modeling. He be better suited for it.

    October 18, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    I wish her all the success in the world. The neocon deathcult is very afraid of her. I hope someday she runs for President, or at least runs as VP.

    October 18, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. HenryB

    Count me in for a $100 donation for Ms. Warren as well.

    Remember how the Republicans just want to tell the truth. Well, I think Ms. Warren just obliged y'all.

    October 18, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |