Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Saturday officially kicked off her presidential campaign, telling voters that she plans to bring “big structural change” that curbs the power of the wealthy and levels the playing field for working-class Americans.
“It won’t be enough just to undo the terrible acts of this administration,” Mrs. Warren said. “We can’t afford to tinker around the edges with a tax credit here, a regulation there. Our fight is for big structural change.”
“This is the fight of our lives, the fight to build an America where dreams are possible — an America that works for everyone,” she said. “And that is why I stand here today to declare that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Mrs. Warren is the latest woman to dive into the increasingly crowded Democratic nomination race. The 69-year-old is a favorite of grassroots activists across the country who say she has been a reliable warrior for their liberal causes.
A Monmouth University poll released this week placed Mrs. Warren, who won easily re-election to her Senate seat last year, third in the nomination battle behind a couple of men who have yet to enter the race — former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.
Mrs. Warren, in her announcement, touted the labor battles over wages and work conditions that were fought in the nearby textiles mills about a century ago to drive home her vow to fight for the middle-class and against what she views as the exploitation of American workers by big business.
“Enough is enough,” she said. “We are here to take on a fight that will shape our lives, our children’s lives and our grandchildren’s lives just as surely as the fight that began in these streets more than a century ago.”
Vowing to clean up corruption in Washington, she said it is time to ban members of Congress from trading stocks, and mandate that federal candidates to share their tax returns.
She promised to fight for labor unions and to raise taxes on the rich. She endorsed Medicare-for-all and a “Green New Deal and pledged to overturn voting laws “that racist politicians use to steal votes from people of color.
“The rich and powerful use fear to divide us,” she said. “We are done with that. Bigotry has no place in the Oval Office.”
The excitement over Mrs. Warren’s presidential aspirations has been partly diminished by her struggle to put her past claims of Native American heritage behind her.
Mr. Trump has ridiculed her over and over again, nicknaming her “Pocahontas.”
Mrs. Warren has apologized on several occasions, but questions continued to dog her this week after The Washington Post unearthed a Texas Bar in which she identified as “American Indian.”
On Saturday, the Republican National Committee was happy to highlight Mrs. Warren’s stumbles.
“We’ve always known that Elizabeth Warren’s socialist policies were far outside the mainstream,” said RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens. “But Warren’s disastrous handling of her false minority claims and her refusal to apologize until now has everyone, including her own supporters, cringing at her campaign.”
Meanwhile, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has called on the other Democrats in the field to follow Mrs. Warren’s lead by saying no to super PAC support, immediately endorsed her.
“To defeat Trump in 2020, we need someone who voters know will always be on their side against powerful corporate interests and who is willing to challenge corruption,” said PCCC Co-Founder Stephanie Taylor. That’s Elizabeth Warren.”
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