July 18th, 2014
12:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Warren greeted by 2016 chants at progressive gathering

(CNN) - Sen. Elizabeth Warren received a standing ovation and chants of "run Liz run" as she took to the podium Friday at a major gathering of progressive leaders and activists.

While the freshman senator from Massachusetts has repeatedly said she isn't running for the White House in 2016, a group titled "ReadyforWarren" was out in force at the annual Netroots Nation conference, held this year in Detroit. As Warren was introduced at the event, supporters from the group unveiled a large "Run Liz Run" banner.

Netroots Nation's to-do list: Get Democrats to polls in November

Warren, smiling, quickly quieted the 2016 cheers, saying, "Sit down, sit down, sit down, come on, sit down."

The senator, a political rock star to many on the left, then proceeded to give a campaign-like address.

In her rousing but brief 17-minute speech, Warren used populist language to paint a picture of America as a land of inequality where "the game is rigged." And she asked the audience to join her in pushing back, saying "I'm fighting back. I'm ready to fight back. Are you ready to fight back?"

Early in her address, Warren pointed to her 2012 election victory over incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown, and to her key role during her time in President Barack Obama's administration in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saying those victories happened in part because of support from progressive activists.

She then spoke out on a number of issues pressing to the liberal base of the Democratic Party, issues that party leaders hope will increase Democratic turnout in November's midterm elections.

Warren called for an increase in the minimum wage, adding that "we believe that no one should work full time and still live in poverty."

And she pushed for income equality, saying to applause that "I can't believe I have to say this in 2014: We believe in equal pay for equal work, and we're willing to fight for it!"

Reacting to the Supreme Court's recent ruling throwing out the Obamacare contraceptive coverage mandate for certain businesses, she said "that women have a right to their bodies, we will overturn Hobby Lobby, and we will fight for it!"

As Warren departed the stage, actor and liberal activist Mark Ruffalo took to the podium.

"Wow, Elizabeth Warren," he said. "I mean, wow."

Warren, Biden and Clinton

On the scene while Warren spoke were trackers from the pro-GOP opposition research shop America Rising. The group, which has been targeting Hillary Clinton, has now put Warren on its radar.

Warren's speech came one day after Vice President Joe Biden touted his "progressive" credentials as he addressed the audience.

"I don't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to fighting some of the toughest progressive battles the country has seen," said the vice president, who is mulling another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden touted his role in helping spur President Barack Obama to publicly endorse same sex marriage, saying he made "no apologies whatsoever" his May 2012 "Meet the Press" interview, which the White House has said pushed the process forward.

He also called climate change "the single greatest challenge to humanity today," and agreed with immigration protesters that the government should stop deporting some undocumented immigrants.

What would cause Hillary Clinton not to run in 2016

Clinton, who is in the middle of a book tour for her new memoir "Hard Choices," isn't attending Netroots Nation. She was invited but conference organizers told CNN that her team "declined is because she's not out on the political scene."

The former secretary of state's seriously considering another bid for the White House, and if she runs, as many expect she will, Clinton would instantly become the overwhelming front runner for the Democratic nomination.

While Clinton isn't in Detroit, an outside group that's urging her to run in 2016 will be there in force. Several members of Ready for Hillary are at the conference, holding a session on how grassroots activists have changed the political landscape, and hosting a party Friday night for Netroots Nation attendees.


Filed under: 2016 • Elizabeth Warren • Netroots Nation
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. JDog

    How about a Liz Warren/Nancy Pelosi ticket in 2016.
    They can declare a War on Men

    July 18, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. RomneyWho

    Elizabeth Warren is simply brown meat exposed to carbon monoxide and spayed with red dye # 40 . . . 😦

    July 18, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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