Warren sharpens Trump critique, deflects Clinton questions
By State House News Service | March 24, 2016, 17:03 EDT
BOSTON – U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren waded deeper into the presidential primary debate, sharpening her criticism of Donald Trump while deflecting questions about Hillary Clinton’s refusal to release transcripts of speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs bankers.
In appearances in Boston and later in Quincy, the Democrat from Cambridge declined on Thursday to say whether Clinton should make public the transcripts of her paid remarks to the Wall Street bank, a week after dodging similar questions in a much scrutinized interview on “CBS This Morning.” The questions have been raised in part because of the senator’s interest in breaking links between politicians and investment firms.
Warren said there has been “way too much coziness with large financial institutions” from Democrats and Republicans, but when pressed on the question of Clinton’s speeches, Warren said, “It’s up to her to decide how she’s going to run her campaign.”
Before visiting the South Cove Community Health Center in Quincy on Thursday afternoon, Warren called in to WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio” with hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Though Eagan tried to draw Warren into making a presidential endorsement, Warren said she believes it’s better for Democrats to have Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to campaign.
“But the thing is this primary has been such a good thing for the Democratic Party and frankly for the whole country and I don’t want to try to shut that down yet. I think that it’s been good to have Democrats out there. We talk about issues,” Warren said.
One of the issues Warren talks most frequently about is the power of Wall Street and lobbyists in Washington. As the hosts raised questions about Clinton’s ties to Wall Street, Warren said her only advice for the former New York senator and secretary of state is to make clear to voters what she will do if she wins the White House.
“I have the same advice for her publicly and privately and my advice focuses on the future, on what she’s going to do to hold Wall Street accountable and whether she’s going to surround herself with advisers who have real independence from the financial industry in the future. That’s what matters to me,” Warren said.
In recent days, Warren has been engaged in a war of words on social media with Donald Trump, calling the New York billionaire and Republican frontrunner a “loser.” Trump has responded by resurrecting accusations that dominated her 2012 Senate campaign, when incumbent Republican Scott Brown attacked her over claims she had made about her Native American ancestry.
Trump told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that Warren has “about as much Indian blood as I have. Her whole life was based on a fraud.” When asked about Warren’s criticisms of him, Trump responded at a recent briefing, “Who’s that, the Indian? You mean the Indian?”
“Donald Trump is a bully and that’s what bully’s do,” Warren said. “Scott Brown tried the same thing. And if Donald Trump thinks that using Scott Brown’s old hate-filled attacks on my family are going to shut me up then he should think again. It didn’t work before. It’s not going to work this time.”
Warren agreed that Trump has tapped into the frustration felt by many Americans that government and the economy are not working for them.
“I get the frustration that people feel. I feel it,” Warren said. “But the answer is not the one that Donald Trump offers. The answer is to demand that our government works for us, to fight back against the corporate takeover of government, not to blame our problems on Muslims or call women fat pigs. That isn’t going to fix anything.”
Trump won the Massachusetts Republican primary with over 49 percent of the vote.
In Quincy, Warren described Trump as a failed businessman who inherited a fortune from his father and then maintained it by cheating, defrauding people and skipping out on his creditors by seeking bankruptcy court protection, the Associated Press reported.
Warren also said she’s troubled by the authoritarian image Trump is cultivating.
Warren has yet to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary. She praised Sanders when she was asked if it was time for the senator from Vermont to drop out.
Warren told reporters that Sanders has put the right issues on the table, both for the Democratic Party and the country in general.