Elizabeth Warren: 'The System Is Rigged'
Massachusetts knows her well, but tonight Elizabeth Warren met the nation.
Sept. 5, 2012 -- Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, speaking tonight ahead of Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, delivered an acid rebuke of Mitt Romney and Republican economic policy.
Their vision is clear, she said: "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own."
Warren, who founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, is the Harvard professor who became a YouTube hero among Democrats when she asked a small gathering of Bay State supporters, "You built a factory out there? Good for you -- but I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for."
Warren has never backed off those remarks, though after her speech in Charlotte, Republicans can be expected to double down on their "we built it" attacks on her and President Obama.
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Stuck in a 50-50 race with incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Warren has pinned her candidacy on a stark populism.
"People feel like the system is rigged against them," she told conventioneers. "And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged."
She also seized on one of Mitt Romney's signature gaffes, when he told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair, "Corporations are people."
Warren replied tonight: "No, Gov. Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don't run this country for corporations, we run it for people!"
The remarks were right in line for Warren, whose Senate campaign often recalls her career of fighting for consumer rights and the middle class.
In 2008, she was given the job of overseeing the allocation of funds from the TARP program. During that time, Warren cultivated her liberal star, taking on the big banks in public, and appearing frequently as a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
Warren was passed up by President Obama when he picked a chief for her Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because of fears that she would not survive a partisan Senate confirmation hearing.
So from her position at Harvard Law School, Warren turned her sights on her state's Senate race, tossing her hat into the ring in September 2011.