July 14th, 2014
06:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Elizabeth Warren bashes Wall Street in West Virginia

Shepherdstown, West Virginia (CNN) – Elizabeth Warren doesn’t roll deep.

The Massachusetts senator and reigning champion of progressives everywhere arrived right on time Monday afternoon for a campaign event in West Virginia, this one for Democratic Senate hopeful Natalie Tennant, Warren’s latest stop in a national political tour boosting 2014 candidates. Her slight frame slid gingerly out of the passenger side of a blue SUV – her own car, with Bay State plates – and she greeted a volunteer with a golly-gee smile.

“Oh! Looks like it started to sprinkle out here!” Warren said, peeking up at the sky.

There was no entourage, no security detail. Just an aide left behind to park the car. Not knowing where to go, Warren wandered right into the side entrance of the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown and strode up to a police officer standing idly.

“Hi, I’m Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts,” she said matter-of-factly.

“Well it’s nice to meet you!” the officer replied. Her aide arrived, conveniently in time to box out an advancing reporter, and escorted her down a hallway.

The low-key arrival was not, it turns out, an indicator of the reception she would receive inside.

In a ballroom packed with nearly 400 West Virginians, Warren was greeted like a bona fide celebrity, met with multiple standing ovations, a cascade of selfie attempts and a few shouts of “2016!”

What followed was a pugnacious and folksy speech packed with the kind of full-bodied populist rhetoric that has thrust her into 2016 presidential conversation alongside Hillary Clinton – whether she wants to be there or not.

“The way I see this, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, all those other guys on Wall Street, they’ve got plenty of folks in the United State Senate willing to work on their side,” she said, jabbing her hands into the air to make her points. “We need more people in the U.S. Senate willing to work on the side of America’s families.”

Tennant, she said, “is strong, she is independent, and she won’t let anybody roll over her.”

Warren talked about her working class upbringing in Oklahoma, telling the story of her mother taking on a minimum wage job at Sears, an effort to save their home after her ill father could no longer work. She humble-bragged about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the “little consumer agency” she helped launch – noting that it’s already recovered $4 billion from banks and credit card companies for American customers. And she bashed Republican opposition to her student loan bill, which would have lowered interest rates but was blocked in the Senate, saying the GOP’s first priority is defending big banks.

“The Republicans say no to raising the minimum wage, they say no to equal pay for equal work, they say we have to cut Social Security in order to make our budget balanced, they say no to those pension promises,” Warren said sternly. “They say it’s more important to stand up for Wall Street than it is to stand up for families across this county. Well I tell you what. They can say it, but they are going to lose.”

That the country’s most famous liberal showed up here, in a conservative-trending state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996 despite its deep Democratic roots, was a bit unusual.

Tennant, trailing her Republican opponent Shelly Moore Capito by 10 points in the polls, has been distancing herself from President Obama throughout her campaign, pushing back most recently against new Environmental Protection Agency’s rules aimed at reducing coal emissions by 30% over the next 15 years. Tennant on Monday went so far as to call the regulations “disgusting.”

But Warren, too, has praised the EPA proposal – putting Tennant in the tricky spot of explaining why she would appear with Warren but not the President. Tennant gamely tried to defuse the situation in a session with reporters, many of whom made the short drive from Washington to the state’s eastern panhandle.

“We don’t agree on everything,” Tennant said. “We are here today to talk about education, about lifting the middle class, about saying no to Wall Street.” As for Obama? “If the President came to West Virginia, he would have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to these energy jobs and our coal jobs,” Tennant said.

She framed her speech the same way – embracing Warren’s middle class populism in full, but distancing herself from anything touching on Obama and coal.

Tennant was rolling out a new education plan and lavished praise on Warren’s student loan reform bill. More than once, she blasted “corporate greed” – and threw darts at House Republicans for proposing Medicare cuts and allowing unemployment benefits to expire last year. Those were none-too-subtle jabs aimed at Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who was five hours away in Charleston campaigning for Capito, an effort to steal some of Warren’s earned media thunder.

“Washington was all too happy to help out Wall Street but when our friends and neighbors in West Virginia needed a helping hand when they were looking for work, Washington had no help for them,” Tennant said.

That was just the warm-up act. Warren was the main event, attracting an adoring audience that included a number of high school and college students who said they appreciated her student loan push.

Without prompting, others said they hoped she would seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

“She speaks up for the underdog,” said Warren McKimmie, a self-described liberal from Harper’s Ferry. “She is the only one who speaks up for the underdog. I am very torn because I want a Democrat in the White House, but I’m not sure its Hillary. To me she would be more of the same. Warren is a fighter for us.”

On the way to her car after the rally, Warren was asked how it felt to be met by such friendly audiences on the campaign trail. Similar crowds have met her in Kentucky and Oregon and Ohio – and she’s a shoo-in for a standing ovation at the liberal Netroots Nation conference later this week in Detroit.

“People understand what’s going on,” Warren said. “They know what’s at stake in the races in 2014, and they are willing to get out there and fight. That’s what I see in those crowds. That’s what I love in those crowds.”

Before reporters could follow up with other questions, Jane Yearout – the head of the Berkeley County Democratic Party – ran up to her car screaming. Like Warren, she said was an Oklahoma native, and she wanted a hug. Warren gave her one, then departed.


Filed under: Elizabeth Warren • West Virginia
soundoff (922 Responses)
  1. DILLIGAF

    Seriously? The best they have to offer is a blithering idiot who lied about her ethnic heritage to obtain favored status? Fauxcahontas wouldn't know an original idea if she tripped over one.

    July 15, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  2. ChristineMA

    So Elizabeth Warren says that she is the senator from Massachusetts? Well why is she worried about Wall St. then? Maybe she should focus her attention to OUR state, and she can begin by stopping the illegals from being flown in here. I hear nothing from her about that and that is an issue concerns us.

    July 15, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  3. Gagge

    Senator Fauxchohontas gained affirmative action leverage at Harvard with the lie that she was 0.01% native American. If she'll lie about her parentage, what else will she say?

    July 15, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  4. Meme

    This woman is a fake, and she's being pushed by the Radical Extremist Left and encouraged to run against Hillary by Obama. She is further left than Obama. She doesn't tell you about her using a phony story about being part American Indian in order to get into Harvard as a "minority" student or the $350k she earned as a professor at Harvard plus her husband's equally big salary from Harvard. Where was her sympathy for students then?

    Heaven help us if this woman who uses feel good sympathetic words to lure the country into a further decline. As for Wall St. and big banks...that now belongs to and is owned by Democrats. Let me see her turn down their financial support and secret lobbiests making donations into her political coffers She hits all the Fat Cats for political donations in Hollywood and elsewhere. Just follow the money.

    July 15, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  5. Geronimo

    Go back to you Cherokee reservation.

    July 15, 2014 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  6. Chris Pendarvis

    Warren is a joke and would be exposed for the liar she is.
    She was trying to pass her self off as native American? Give me a break.

    July 15, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  7. Anonymous

    faux-ahanutus the fake indian is going to lead us now ,designated by liberal state run media

    July 15, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  8. MarcusOHreallyUS

    You've got to be kidding, .......right?

    July 15, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  9. Mike Baker

    It is absolutely hilarious to hear Elizabeth Warren say, "“The way I see this, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, all those other guys on Wall Street, they’ve got plenty of folks in the United State Senate willing to work on their side. We need more people in the U.S. Senate willing to work on the side of America’s families.” It's hilarious because Goldman Sachs practically owns the Obama administration lock, stock & barrel. In addition to donating millions to Obama and the Democrat party, Obama's administration is filled with former executives from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms, including Gary Gensler, Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission head; former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, whom Goldman Sachs kept on a $3,000 monthly retainer; former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson served under Timothy Geithner as his top deputy and overseer of TARP bailout, $10 billion of which went to Goldman Sachs; Obama’s close hometown crony, campaign finance chief and senior adviser Penny Pritzker, who was head of Superior Bank of Chicago, a subprime specialist that went bust in 2001, leaving more than 1,400 people stripped of their savings after bank officials falsified profit reports; Tom Donilon, Obama’s deputy national security advise, wo earned just shy of $4 million representing Pritzker and other high-profile meltdown clients including Goldman Sachs; former White House National Economic Council head Larry Summers, who reaped nearly $2.8 million in speaking fees from many of the major financial institutions and government bailout recipients he was required to police, including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sach; former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, who was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs; and many, many more.

    July 15, 2014 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  10. Robert N. constant

    After listening to the Romney Venture Capitalists who have sold the American Industrial base to China, after listening to the right wing war mongers like McCain and Perry, after listening to the Republican Idealogues like Rand and Ron Paul who support the traitor, Edward Snowden, after listening to the Republican obstructionist rhetoric of Boehner and
    Issa, who want to spend tax payer millions on politically motivated lawsuits, Elizabeth Warren is a breath of fresh air.

    July 15, 2014 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  11. Max Conrad

    This public relations article was brought to you by the Loyal & Slavish Servants of the DNC, also know as CNN.

    July 15, 2014 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Oh good golly. Have you ever listened to her populist views on economics? She makes Bernie Sanders look sane. They are so superficial, amounting to nothing but cliche's, it's astounding. Her simplistic outlook folds under any scrutiny.

    She will be Obama take two.

    July 15, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  13. MarcusOHreallyUS

    By the way she's a redistributionalist, and a gun grabber Commie. That's all I need to know

    July 15, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  14. Its a free country right?

    Got to give her props. She is the only congressional member who remembers they are in DC to represent the people.

    July 15, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  15. Bald Eagle

    "And she bashed Republican opposition to her student loan bill, which would have lowered interest rates but was blocked in the Senate, saying the GOP’s first priority is defending big banks."
    See the part where it says 'blocked in the Senate'? Republicans are a minority in the Senate. If it was blocked in the Senate, it was blocked by Dingy Harry Reid and the Democrats. Period.
    How do you tell when a Democrat is lying? Their lips are moving...EVERYTHING they say is a lie, but especially the part about them caring about anybody but themselves. THEY are the 1%. THEY are the wealthy ones, the elite...do some research and WAKE UP!

    July 15, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  16. Jebbb

    Elizabeth Warren tells it like it is about Wall Street and the Republican Party. Their position is no to everything except more tax cuts and tax funded bailouts for the rich, and an occasional war. Any benefit for common people, like infrastructure construction and jobs, a higher minimum wage, lower cost college loans, health care or unemployment insurance, they're against it. Time to elect more Democrats like Senator Warren, and stop the decline of the US.

    July 15, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  17. RS

    "Not knowing where to go, Warren wandered right into the side entrance of the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown and strode up to a police officer standing idly."

    Yep. That's Ms. Warren alright. Doesn't have a clue as to where to go.

    "....In a ballroom packed with nearly 400 West Virginians, Warren was greeted like a bona fide celebrity,"

    400?!? That's nothing to brag about. Seriously?

    "Warren talked about her working class upbringing in Oklahoma, telling the story of her mother taking on a minimum wage job at Sears, an effort to save their home after her ill father could no longer work."

    Big deal. She's not working class anymore. I'm surprised she did not mention about her Indian ancestry.

    July 15, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  18. pragmatic

    If this liberal extremist socialist doesn't like capitalism, she should refrain from trying to analyse it and admit her ignorance.
    Nothing she has to say interests me. If you think Sarah Palin has had enough to say, Warren should get her throat cut.

    July 15, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  19. MK Smith

    She's being position by Obama and Jarrett to push Hillary out of the primaries. Organizing for America, Obama's political arm will be pushing her forward. This is only the beginning.

    July 15, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  20. bart bright

    betty–the new face of 1%ers–made her money as a loan shark and real estate speculator of foreclosed and distressed properties. oh well, when your part of the oppressed minority (american indian), you get a free pass.

    July 15, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  21. Ron

    Are you kidding me? ....here comes the love affair B.S just in time for 2016 ....just like with Obama ..CNN is in lock step with the Propaganda pushing of the DNC ....

    They bashed Hillary against Obama in 2008.. wrote love story articles like thisfor Obama and wolf Blitzer spoke as if he had a set of knee pads at the ready just in case he ran into Obama

    July 15, 2014 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  22. Bernie

    Warren sounds just like Obama. We have the lowest labor force participation rate in over thirty years after 6 years of liberal policies. It sounds good when a politician says that they will take money from some evil person and give it to you, but history shows that these policies don't work out for average Americans. Democrats controlled the presidency, the house and the senate, and their policies failed. Now they try to blame their own failures on Republicans. It is time for change, and Warren promotes the failed policies that keep us in our economic disaster. The woman who faked Native American heritage to become an affirmative action professor is nothing but a snake oil salesman.

    July 15, 2014 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  23. The Elusive Dr. X

    Another disaster waiting to happen if Ms. Warren is elected to the Presidency. Yet another lightweight with nothing to offer but populist tripe.

    July 15, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. Harry Greed

    Capitalism gave this woman her voice. Socialism will take it away. That is all.

    July 15, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  25. Mark Anastas

    Just what we need. Another millionare talking about how evil other millionares are.

    July 15, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37