April 23rd, 2014
08:49 PM ET
9 years ago

Elizabeth Warren: The system's 'rigged' against middle class

(CNN) - Elizabeth Warren contends America's middle class struggles against a system that's "rigged" and favors those who wield power in money and politics.

It's a refrain the freshman Democratic Massachusetts senator and former consumer protection advocate repeats often since entering national politics where she is already viewed as a possible presidential candidate in 2016 even though she says she's not running.

It's also the crux of her new book, "A Fighting Chance," released this week.

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One of Wall Street's toughest critics, Warren told CNN's Bill Weir the title of the book originated from her fight to level the playing field.

"Let's just be real clear - the game is rigged and it's rigged in favor of those who have money and who have power," Warren said in an interview on "CNN Tonight."

"Watch what happens in Wall Street. If you can hire an army of lobbyists and an army of lawyers then you get what you need out of Washington - Washington will make sure that the rules work for you," she said.

"A Fighting Chance"

Warren, a former Harvard University Law School professor, said her memoir is inspired by her modest upbringing and parents who struggled to make ends meet.

"I think that what I learned very early is that people can work hard, they can play by the rules and then they can take such a financial smack that it just turns them upside down and they can never quite get their feet under them again," she said. "A kid doesn't forget something like that."

Warren was a senior adviser under President Barack Obama in setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - created to protect Americans from unfair lending practices and bring transparency to financial products - before returning to Massachusetts to run for the Senate.

"A Fighting Chance" chronicles Warren's fight to create the agency - a cause that eventually prevailed after a fierce congressional battle.

Where's she headed next?

So where's Warren, with her legions of loyal, progressive followers, headed next?

Not to the White House.

"I'm not running for president. I'm working right now in the issues I'm talking about in this book. America's middle class has been hammered for a generation now. My life's work has been just to try to level the playing field."

She called Hillary Clinton "terrific."

Clinton's seen as the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential race if she runs.

But some have speculated that if Warren were to throw her hat into the ring, the former secretary of state might have a run for her money with the liberal base.

A push for women in Congress

Along with her full-throated support of a potential Clinton candidacy, Warren said wants more women in power, specifically in Congress.

"I'll tell you one thing that is really important to me and that is whatever job I make it to, is to look back and say where's the next women who's ready to move up the ladder and let's bring her up," Warren said, noting that her top aides in her Senate campaign were all women.

"I'll tell you, we're not resting until we get to at least 50 seats in the United States Senate," she said.

Filed under: Elizabeth Warren
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. jesse

    Didn't she say she was part Cherokee and then the Cherokee deny that? Yup so another lie from a lwng

    April 23, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. Hector Slagg

    If the system is rigged against the middle class who rigged it? If you think anybody is smart enough to rig the system I have a bridge i want to sell you. Of course the people that kept the national debt going up are much to blame. Now all you have to figure out who that is.

    April 23, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. radgast

    She doesn't get enough credit for all that she has done, and I certainly hope she gathers all the support to not only keep her messages strong, but act upon it

    April 23, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    If Hillary Clinton decides not to run, Elizabeth Warren should throw her hat into the ring.

    April 23, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. D-Nice

    in other news, the sky is blue.

    April 23, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Hooper

    The democrats are taking most of the blame for this, but what about the officials in congress who've obstructed every move to make a system work in favor of the workers? Last I knew congress, is under the control of a group of republicans that want to live in the 19th century.

    April 23, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. Smitty

    Yes it is rigged. It would be a whole lot better if people got off their back sides and quit leeching (the Obumbles way).
    Its real easy to blame the rich for all of the dems and Obumbles failures.

    April 23, 2014 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  8. Chris-E...al

    Yes dear your right they have to work while the other ones twerk ?

    April 23, 2014 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  9. Thomas

    She's right , you have better odds in Vegas !

    Slavery is a cast system , corporations are people too !

    April 23, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  10. YoonYoungJo

    Ive always been a pro Hillary fan but Warren doesn't sound too bad either. She seems smart and has a good perspective. I will comment on her point the game is rigged and rigged for the wealthy. Sadly, this is the case not just because of the lobbyists. It's also because of human selfishness. This doesn't mean someone does not have the right to accrue wealth, that is the right of every Amerixan. No the problem is, many who break out of the middle class turn around and do the same things they cried about when they were part of the middle class. That there is the issue. Those who come from the middle, once they break out of the middle, forget about the middle. Even worse they become the exact thing they were against when the tables were turned. If those who made it out of the middle class kept true to their origins, then the middle class would have more of a fighting chance. Thankfully there are people like this woman, Warren who seems to never forget where she truly came from. You cannot expect those of privilege to care about the middle class, when they see those who come from the middle class, once they acquire a little power, turn around and become the exact thing they complained about. Its hypocrisy and it doesn't work.

    April 24, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  11. independant jim

    I just love this girl Hope she runs for president if not I hope she gets appointed to the Supreme Court

    April 24, 2014 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    I look forward to voting for her after Hillary's two term are done.

    April 24, 2014 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  13. Harold Read

    The Middle Class is also stuck paying for all the benefits that illegal immigrants get for free.
    Free schooling, food stamps, free housing, college scholarships, etc. for people who dont respect US Immigration Laws.

    April 24, 2014 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  14. hkirwin

    Maybe I'm missing something, but hasn't her party controlled the Presidency and Senate for over 5 years? Didn't they control the Presidency and both Houses of Congress for over 2 years? So what have they done for the middle class??

    April 24, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  15. hkirwin

    I know a family that lied about being native American so the could get free tuition and automatic entry in a University. They got caught and their two children were expelled from college and they were fined and penalized. Warren did the same thing and she got elected to the Senate.

    April 24, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  16. Marie MD

    Warren did a lot to help the middle class. As a senator in Massachusetts she can and will kick some but* in congress and will stand up for the middle class.

    April 24, 2014 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  17. sifto

    So warren believes she , as a powerful rich person, is rigging the system against middle class? Little hypocrisy? How dumb does she think we the people, are? Seems like a dumb article by an elitist..when she donates all her money to the poor, we might believe her accusations against hard working business owners..

    April 24, 2014 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    American poor, American middle-class need stronger Lobbyists in House, senate, WH. Karma, this came to that level in this nation. Very pathetic for me to say so.

    April 24, 2014 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    So true.

    April 24, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  20. Daniel6

    Another liberal posting a straw "Boogeyman" to vilify-priceless. Luckily she is 1/1000 cherokee indian so is entitled to goodness knows what-

    April 24, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. brownbuttonglutton

    Lmao. Whoever lies about their ethnicity to get votes and benefits has no business in any governing position.

    April 24, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |