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. cowardobama

    YET Another PATHETIC Story by CNN glorifying The FAKE Indian from Taxachusetts; Chief Spreading Bull herself Elizabeth Warren.
    ...Oh WE here in The Whitehouse says The Donkey LIAR JOKE president WANT YOU ELIZABETH to BE The Liberal PUPPET THAT The Progressive Liberal LEFT NEED to further OUR Agenda TO DESTROY America through OUR MARXISTS POLICIES.
    PLEASE STEP FORWARD for IT IS YOU who HAS BEEN CHOSEN!!
    Now WHO in their right mind wouold listen to THE GARBAGE COMING FROM The Donkey Obama's mouth??
    ...OH?? I forgot. There are SO MANY BRAIN DEAD Liberal SHEEP who CANNOT and WILL NOT THINK for THEMSELVES. The NEW American COWARD is WHO SUPPORTS The Donkey and HIS CHOSEN LEFTIST PUPPET for 2016.

    July 15, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. rufus

    She speaks with forked tongue.

    July 15, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. wazir

    there is a hilarious takeoff on the beloved new paleface of the democratic party in a novel titled Legacy Book One: Forgotten Son, in which she's not only an Indian but tries to pass as a Jamaican too.

    July 15, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. reconmarine

    Great we go from a fake American President in Obama to a fake Indian princess. Democrats sure do love frauds and being lied too. The American people have had it

    July 15, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. caligula

    LOL. oh, so now dems are against Wall Street? that's rich coming from the party that has worked the most with Wall Street. does anyone pay attention to how deceptive and manipulative the dem party is? it's actually hilarious.

    July 15, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. astralweeks

    Hmmm. Elizabeth Warren heap big liar, kemosabe. Makeum good democrat.

    July 15, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. wazir

    there is a hilarious takeoff on the new paleface of the democratic party in a novel titled Legacy: Forgotten Son.

    July 15, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Gregson14

    Elizabeth Warren is the Massachusetts equivalent of Barack Obama!... Her message comes straight out of the Occupy Wall St movement – her philosophical heroes are Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, Georges Sorel – her Political tactics are echoes of Saul Alinski, Edward Bernays and Bill Ayers.

    If you want more of the Progressive doctrines that created those great utopian bastions such as inner-city Detroit or Chicago – from the soaring urban successes of Baltimore to Philadelphia and St.Loius to Los Angeles to domestic policy that relies on Government bureaucracies and corruption to run your life and sustain your existence then Elizabeth Warren is your girl.

    She has the answer to all of your hearts desire – just like Barack Obama was "... the one we've been waiting for!"... Elizabeth Warren is Mother Gaia incarnate – she will tell you what you want and you WILL like it!

    July 15, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. cowardobama

    CNN GARBAGE Story on The FAKE Indian; Chief Spreading Bull from HER WELFARE State of Taxachusetts.
    Taxachusetts; WHERE roughly 1/6 of the population is on WELFARE.
    Taxachusetts is a J-O-K-E where Governor Duval Patrick who's WASTE FRAUD & ABUSE is the Law of The Land on Bacon Hill.
    It's truly AMAZING HOW CORRUPT a ONE PARTY Liberal Koolaid DRENCHED State with Z-E-R-O Checks & Balances exists.
    The Corruption That follows Elizabeth WARREN is ASTOUNDING it makes HER THE PERFECT ELITIST HYPOCRITE to LEAD the LEFT and be President.

    July 15, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. beezer49

    Readers, do not believe most of these posts. These are the rants of the true liars in our country, who support the lies foisted on us to get us into wars, delay or kill legislation that would sustain the planet, that are ungrateful for the jobs they've had that paid a minimum wage, that are beneficiaries of consumer protection laws, unemployment benefits, social security, and now health insurance despite any pre-exisitng conditions. Warren never got a preferential treatment because she claimed she was part Cherokee. Harvard just used that claim to tally up their diversity statistics. The ranters are making a big deal about it because they make moutains out of nits since they have nothing else to grasp. My grandmother was mostly native American, she looked it and I believed her, but there is no formal record of it. Many people from Okloahoma have Cherokee ancestry since there was regular intermarriage between them and whites. So take all these pathetic rants as a grain of salt.

    July 15, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. miguelsaavadera

    And her qualifications are:? Never, Ever again vote a Senator into Presidential office – they have that warped beltway knowledge (of nothing) and a civilian would achieve much more. Warren who is a full fledged Communist, liar, and malcontent about the United States would be a continuation of the current Present debacle, in spades ,,, in that silly statement of 'YOU didn't build that" clearly and unequivocally sez it all.

    July 15, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Jim

    Refresh my memory. Exactly what Indian tribe does the blue eyed Warren belong to?

    July 15, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. MoonBeamWatcher

    This PROFESSOR speaks about lowering the interest paid on college loans.
    Hey prof, that ain't the problem . . . it's the $30 to $65,000 a year tuition these
    NON PROFITS YOU WORK FOR THAT'S BREAKING OUR BACKS!

    July 15, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. tj1000

    Warren is the new communist face of the Democratic Party. The mainstream media will slobber all over her just like they did Obama. She no different that the president we have now.

    July 15, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. docrambo

    She's the perfect Democrat: a lying, cheating, law breaking Harvard elitist!

    July 15, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. joe

    first I think she would have to pay back her tuition that she got for lying about being a native American

    July 15, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. Ice Station Bratwurst

    Cherokee people, Cherokee pride...

    July 15, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. TD

    Warren wants you to think she's a populist, when her "you didn't build that" is pure Marxist. (Look it up. Google Marx's "Labor Theory of Value".) This point of view is okay for an academic, but it's a complete disaster for a politician who might have some effect on the US economy. Things are bad enough as they are, without someone who thinks you work for the government first and yourself second in office. Electing Elizabeth Warren as president would be declaring war on people who work for a living. In any event, we don't need to elect her to know what will happen should she held any kind of executive power. Just look at the wonderful economy and society they've built in Venezuela. That's Warren's model.

    July 15, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. astralweeks

    Ms. Warren, As a pretend native-American watching the debate on whether the Washington Redskins should keep their name, how faux-outraged are you?

    July 15, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Susan

    She was bad for Massachusetts. How could she be good for the rest of the country? She has a hard time telling the truth so maybe that is why she would be considered for a spot. I suppose that is one of the top qualifications of a candidate's resume for democratic leadership. Just because she is from Massachusetts does not automatically make her a fit leader.

    July 15, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. julnor

    I wonder where Sen. Warren has her money invested. I'm guessing that she is heavy into stocks (Wall St.) and not so much into US govt bonds.

    July 15, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. miguelsaavadera

    And her qualifications ARE?:

    Never, ever, again vote a Senator for president. They have no qualifications, and are historically a bad leadership lot owning to the fact they live within the sureal world inside the I495 beltway (the brain dead zone). Warren, a dyed in the wool Communist, (at least a extreme left wing progressive) lied about her past, was sweep into office by ideologues who went to the 'D" no matter the related facts. And is now firmly ensconced inside the beltway of Washington trying to spread her type of garbage to fellow 'D"s.

    Does America really need MORE of that?

    July 15, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. jim caron

    the face of the devil in modern America......

    July 15, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. jeff

    Isn't this "Granny Warren" that Howie Carr talks about? She's the FAKE INDIAN.... she lied about being from the Cherokee tribe to get a job at Harvard... She has NO credibility....

    July 15, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Chuck

    She speaks with forked tongue...all that "half-injun" nonsense to get a special needs employment opportunity at Harvard. Another liberal midget that the left-leaning progressives want to lead them in their quest for power. No thanks, go back to teaching, Pocahantus, and leave us'un's alone.

    July 15, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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