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. Pete Leary

    This woman is a charlatan, a one percenter who got lucky in loony Massachusetts! She is a fraud and a liar. Claimed Cherokee heritage to ingratiate herself to Harvard educated donkeys where naïveté is on the curriculum calendar. Teaches one course at Harvard at 300 large ones per annum and she would have the world believe she was draped in poverty! She believes in handouts and it worked for her! Disregard Rock Star Status. She is drier than burnt toast and is known in Boston as Liawatha, the princess who speaks with a forked tongue. If the Democrats pin their hopes on the fake Indian, sayonara and so long!

    July 15, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. tymtrvlr

    So, they rounded up 400 low to no intelligence libtards, gave them a solo cup of cheap wine and a cigarett to applaud her. Then they went back to their elbow licking.

    July 15, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. diana kunselman

    Did she have plastic surgery to make her "cheek bones" a little higher? I have listened to her shrill kill. God save us and the US from this schill. She wil NEVER win.

    July 15, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. SRW

    It must be a requirement of the Dem party to love communism, Mao, hate capitalism, lie at the drop of a hat, try to destroy others freedoms, and disrespect all who might disagree with you.

    July 15, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Beth

    If you're going to bash money/Wall Street, WVA is the place to do it. Blue collar and union and there you have it. I will say this though, I never saw a Star of David flag flying next to a trailer until I went through WVA. Pretty state though.

    July 15, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Another Progressive Breakthrew: She could be our first woman President and first Native-American President. Oh..... sorry! I am wrong on both accounts.

    July 15, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. retired military

    If Warren even tried to run against Hillary the tire tracks on her back would be 20 feet wide.

    July 15, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Wayne

    Squaw forked tongue speaks.

    July 15, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Jim

    I guess the "Indian Princess" is unaware of the fact that the Democrats, her party, got the lion's share of campaign funds that came from Wall St. firms.
    Liberal has to be just another name for liar.

    July 15, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. jim57

    "Tennant, [Senator Warren] said, “is strong, she is independent, and she won’t let anybody roll over her.”' Tennant will likely vote however Sen. Reid directs, just as Sen. Warren does.... Sen. Reid does not represent WV. There really should be truth in advertising in politics.

    July 15, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Dr.Reality

    There is a simmering discontent in this country with Lear Jet liberals like Warren who promote a socialist, tax and spend agenda.

    July 15, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. grendel007

    Will she wear her "tribes" headdress to the inauguration?
    How exciting it would be to have the first female AND native American as president.
    I hope she's gay. Then we could go ahead and get that out of the way as well.

    July 15, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. stlhammer58

    This woman is a danger to the US. She could only be elected in the state of Mass, particularly after lying continuously about her ethnicity. I tell you this, if she runs for President, the Dem better run for the hills for every lie, every theft of money while in college and being designated a woman of color, will be used against her to start. Then there will be the fact she is a raging Progressive who is intent on continuing the destruction of the Capitalist system that is in the US.

    July 15, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Jeff Roth

    "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."...... Isn't the current Senate controlled by Democrats?
    Isn't Harry Reid the head of the Senate?

    July 15, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Yirmin

    Just what we need... first we have the fake black man that was raised in a more lily white privaleged lifestyle and most whites in America... now we have the fake Indian that lied about her race and even when shown to be a fraud simply blows it off and says well Great Granny had high cheekbones (funny the left also forgot that that comment was racist as it was just like someone saying a person must be black because they have big lips).

    July 15, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Sergio Bungholio

    Should be an interesting fight between cankles and Fauxcahontas

    July 15, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. NightWisp

    What part of No does the media not understand?

    July 15, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Barney Fife

    After obamas dynasty , there wont be ANY Democrat in the White House for a couple of generations.
    They had their chance, and they completely showed their azz.
    Watch and learn on the night of November 4th this year. Its gonna be a bloodbath. You Dems know it too.

    July 15, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. John Cornelius

    Is this the same Elizabeth Warren that claimed to be an Indian/American Native during her campaign? If so, we already know that she is a liar just like all Democratic Presidential Candidates in the past so I presume that she would do well. Only the Democrats could make such a sleazy broad a rock star.

    I pray to God that the people will come to their senses and reject her.

    July 15, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. JP

    Please no...I can't take another college professor (and a rich one at that) waving their self righteous finger at Wall Street and more importantly, those who of us average joes tha tdon't want to pay anymore Federal taxes. I can't wait to hear more "war on women" and "all white Republicans are racists." (Rolling eyes)

    July 15, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Aki Bola

    Another far left anti-capitalist with thin resume, what a refreshing change. NOT!

    July 15, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Jim

    Does this woman own any stocks or does she just put her money under the mattress?

    July 15, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. jim57

    "Tennant, [Senator Warren] said, 'is strong, she is independent, and she won’t let anybody roll over her.”' Tennant will likely, as a general rule, vote with the Senate Democrats who follow the lead of Sen. Reid (just as Senator Warren does).

    “Coal makes us sick; oil makes us sick,” [Senator] Reid said. “It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world.

    How does the constant attack on energy by Senator Reid, who uses jet fuel to cross the country because he is so important, help WV or the country? Coal miners and their communities need work.

    July 15, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    here they are packing their pockets while trafficing children from the coyoteeeeeeees. Way to go Democrats

    July 15, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Scotty Gunn

    Really? They are going to field this crazy nutcase? LOL.

    July 15, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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