Warren: 'I really don't get it'
July 18th, 2011
04:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Warren: 'I really don't get it'

(CNN)-White House adviser Elizabeth Warren will not helm the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau permanently after all, but she's not losing sleep over it. Instead, she plans on thinking of another kind of political future once she passes on the baton of leading the agency.

She wouldn't confirm or deny current thoughts of a Senate challenge to Massachusetts GOP Sen. Scott Brown, but she did reveal where heavy thinking may take place in an interview with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer Monday.

"I've got to go home to Massachusetts. I've got to get back in the house I've lived in for 15 years and settle in. And then I'll think about my future," she said.

What is troublesome to the acting head of the agency are charges that she is controversial in any way.

"I really don't get it," she stated. "The stuff I work on are things like how bad fine print is…and why it shouldn't take an army of folks, of lawyers, to be able to interpret a mortgage agreement for you," she said.

"What is the one thing I've done that makes me controversial? I think this is politics," she continued.

President Obama nominated current bureau chief enforcement officer Rich Cordray to become director of the bureau Monday. A former Ohio attorney general, Cordray received vocal support for his new role from Warren, who issued a written statement Sunday.

"Rich has always had my strong support because he is tough and he is smart-and that's exactly the combination this new agency needs," the former law professor said.

She echoed those sentiments Monday, refuting any disappointment over not receiving the nomination herself. "My job was to set this agency up and it was an enormous privilege to be able to do that," she said in an interview for CNN's Situation Room.

"One of the people I recruited right from the beginning was Rich Codray…This is the week that the president makes a nomination for someone to lead this agency going forward. That's a good thing."

Warren also held nothing back while addressing threats by top Republicans to block confirmation of any person nominated to lead the new agency.

"We started this fight two years ago," she said, recalling resistance to calls for a protective agency following the nation's financial crisis.

"Senator Shelby and others who were his allies did not want any consumer agency at all. And if it absolutely was the case politically that there had to be one, they wanted some weak agency that couldn't get anything done. We had that fight and then we had a straight-up vote on it…That side lost," Warren asserted.

"And here we stand, a year later with the minority saying 'I don't like how that came out.

I think I have the capacity to stick a stick in the spokes, unless the majority will do what the minority wants it to do.' That's not how democracy works," she countered.

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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Tulsa

    Absolutly right. The minority (Republicans) INSIST on having everything their way.
    That is not democracy at all. Not that the right cares about democracy, or the good of the people.... I mean, how stupid are they?

    July 18, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I say they should have let the Republicans hold the rope and tie their own noose over yet another reasonable issue. Let them demonstrate that they are not open to reason on any issue.

    July 18, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    If Ms Warren really and truly does not 'Get It', she may be too naive for big-time political office. She needs to listen to the other side more and see what vile hatred is being spewed in the guise of news.

    As a veteran of three Congressional Hearings, I think the lady doth exaggerate in her claim to not 'Get It'. Maybe she's just trying to be polite. She would likely make a great Senator.

    July 18, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    What is controversial, in the myopic eyes of Senator Shelby and his cabal, is that you care about whether or not the little guy get screwed. That's what you did, Elizabeth. Instead of paying lip service, you want to do something. That's your critical mistake.

    GOP= Inaction ( and hope everything goes away, unless its a mosque or gays: then they spring into action).

    July 18, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. a in austin

    I saw her being chastised in a congressional meeting last week. She was not given an opportunity to give any answers as the gop committee members were too busy overtalking anything she tried to say. To say the least, these men were purposely rude. They probably knew she was smarter than any of them. The lady knows her stuff...

    July 18, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    You"re a female & sharp & you're not on "their" side. Repubs will NEVER like you. However, if you become the Jr. Senator from Mass., you'll give "the Boys" 6 years of heartburn.

    July 18, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Sank

    I wouldn't give it a whole lot of thought. Obama won't be arund long enough to make a job for you.

    July 18, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    She will have my donations and phone banks to help her get elected. I am from the south and I have never heard such rude people in all of her hearings. I apologize for the mean spirited and rude tone she got from the committee.

    July 18, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Wes B.

    I've seen many interviews with Ms. Warren. Each time I was even more impressed than the last. She speaks common sense and has very good ideas. She's also very direct and cuts right to the chase. I think she'd either be a great senator or a terrible one. Great because she's straight-forward and speaks the truth and is looking out for the consumer. Terrible because she's straight-forward and speaks the truth and is looking out for the consumer.

    I'd vote for her if she ran for anything.

    July 18, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Mike kerns

    Republicans are actually simple to understand. If you follow there pattern of behavior. Serve the rich and who cares about anyone else.

    July 18, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Wes B.

    Speaking of Warren running for a political office.....

    Now HERE is a woman I'd be proud to vote for. In the 2008 presidential election, Palin and Hillary were the top women names. This year, add on Bachmann. If any of those three (Palin/Clinton/Bachmann) ever became president, it would be a disgrace.

    When (or if) this country finally elects a female president, I really hope it's someone we can all be PROUD of–like Elizabeth Warren.

    July 18, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. gt

    thats why you wont get elected.. "you just dont get it".. your are to arrogant...

    July 18, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Ms. Warren, the only thing you did wrong was to stand up for regular Americans like us and in doing so you stood up to the corporate vampires who want to suck the blood out of the poor and middle class. Don't give up. We appreciate and support your efforts to rein in the GOBPbaggers and their cult of corrupt corporatism.

    July 18, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. rob

    Rebecca Stewart missed a big part of the story (typical at CNN). Her sentence: "What is troublesome to the acting head of the agency are charges that she is controversial in any way." As usual, no context as to why she was a controversial figure. No mention that she was passed over because she would not have been confirmed by the Senate. She has been setting up the agency with NO CONGRESSIONAL OVERSITE OF HER POLICIES OR EVEN HER BUDGET WHICH IS CALLED FOR CONSTITUTIONALY.

    July 18, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. annie s

    Damn, I'd almost consider a move to Massachusetts to vote for this outstanding woman. She's a straight thinker, straight talker and she doesn't take any bull from politicians. Just what our country needs.

    July 18, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    Hey gt, if she were male, like Eric Cantor, you'd say she's got spunk. Repub. hypocrite.

    July 18, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. alpha

    It's a shame, she would've been a true champion of the people.

    July 18, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Nadeem

    Warren is a great American. I am beginning to wonder if Republicans are even patriots.

    July 18, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. jacq

    Very smart lady she'll make a great Senator

    July 18, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Mary in VA

    What is new here? Here is an intelligent woman who is fighting for the rights of consumers, no wonder the Republicans, are afraid of her......

    July 18, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. gt

    more gov. waste, bs,on a job just created for the same ones who got us in this mess... like barney frank and dodd... i dont care what she wants , i dont want my tax dollars to go for more bloated crap.. plus get our troops home..stop wasting our money..you pay her sonny..

    July 18, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. a health economist

    This is a dark day for consumers. Producer surplus won't be replaced with consumer surplus any time soon.

    July 18, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Bob in Pa.

    Every consumer protection the Feds have implemented recently end up costing us too much money. First they have to waste the money to create the laws and the paperwook that gets shoved out the door, then the banks have to implement it, make computer software changes, send notice to us, That always leaves us wading in the trail of manure that was left behind it. Anyone else have a credit card go from 7% to 18% in the ast two years ?

    July 18, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. AZ Dem

    IF she runs that Senate Seat for Scott Brown is as good as gone lol... look at Massachusets other state wide elected officials Brown is the ONLY Republican...hes toast

    July 18, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. AZ Dem

    Obama got the best of both worlds with this CPA director job. Warren stayed behind the scenes organizing the entire process and essentially doing the job without the title due to the subborness of GOP Senate leaders and nominations having to come through the upper house. Well shes done the work and now shes moving on hopefully to a Senate seat so she can show the GOP and even some Democratic Senators how to TRULY represent their constituents.

    July 18, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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