By Benjamin Kail | December 5, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren fired up a crowd of Democratic donors in Boston on Thursday night, saying the party and country needed “big ideas” to turn the page in one of the “darkest chapters in our nation’s history” under the Trump administration.
Speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s I Will Vote fundraising gala at the Westin Waterfront hotel in the Seaport District, the Massachusetts senator painted herself as a fighter who could defeat President Donald Trump while boosting Democrats in state and federal races across the country.
“There’s just one way to meet the challenges in this moment in history: big structural change,” she said.
To illustrate her success, the senator shared a “story about a toaster,” specifically a kind she used as a young mother that had a one-in-five chance of combusting and setting a house on fire until the government implemented safety standards. After joking that her father bought her a fire extinguisher for Christmas, she described her efforts as a law professor to push lawmakers to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at a time when mortgages were “so complex and dangerous” that one-in-five had a chance of costing a family their home.
She was told it sounded like a good idea, but not to bother trying because “big banks will fight you, big money will fight you, Republicans will fight you, a bunch of Democrats will fight you. You will not get it passed.”
But then-President Barack Obama signed the agency into law in 2010, and it’s since forced lenders to return $12 billion to “people they cheated,” Warren said.
“We need big ideas to inspire people,” she said. “When you give up on a big idea, then you’re giving up on the people whose lives would have been changed by those ideas. Those people are already in a fight.”
Coming just hours after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California announced lawmakers would quickly work to draft articles of impeachment against Trump, the night quickly became an indictment of his administration. Speakers including DNC Chair Tom Perez, Vice Chair Michael Blake and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey hammered a host of Trump’s policies.
Warren said Trump had assaulted civil rights, the constitution and “basic common sense.” She said the Trump presidency had “been a dark cloud hovering over our democracy, but we refuse to let chaos and corruption snuff out our light. Here in Massachusetts, we fight back.”
Warren, the first in a crowded field of Democratic candidates to push for Trump’s impeachment, said of Pelosi that, “Tough women know how to get things done.”
The official White House Twitter account on Thursday night blasted the affair as a “partisan impeachment stunt” deeply dividing the country.
Blake argued Democrats were the party of inclusion and urged donors to fight against what he described as attacks on Muslims, Latinos, disabled people, women and seniors.
“Don’t be silent as our communities are under attack,” he said.
Healey, who drew laughs by wisecracking that she was the “only Democrat from Massachusetts not running for president,” said Democratic attorneys general across the country had led the charge to “prevent Donald Trump’s dangerous policies from going into effect.”
Healey cited recent news that nearly 700,000 could lose SNAP benefits under a new Trump rule.
She added that “there’s no one who’s spoken more forcibly” against Trump than Warren, but she added that all the Democrats in the race could “run circles” around the president.
After the event and in-between selfies with guests, Warren told reporters that she was not surprised that former Secretary of State and longtime Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry had endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday. The pair had been friends more than 20 years, she noted, and after the primary, Democrats would come together.
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