PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Monday said Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats were fighting for struggling American people, while Republicans were fighting to “keep the system rigged.”
She also accused Donald Trump of “conning” and “defrauding” the very working people for whom the Democrats stand up.
Warren began her speech by offering some words of praise to Sen. Bernie Sanders, who she said, “reminds us what Democrats fight for every day.”
Sanders’ backers remain divided on whether to put their support behind Clinton, and briefly, a small group of Sanders supporters chanted, “We trusted you!” at Warren. But they soon stopped, and as the speech went on, most of the boos were reserved for Warren’s words about Trump.
Warren explained how she had grown up the daughter of a janitor, gotten married at 19, and graduated from a commuter college in Texas costing $50 per semester. She went on to become a schoolteacher and then a U.S. Senator. But her story had a dark side.
“I’m worried. I’m worried that my story is located in the past; worried that opportunity is slipping away for people who work hard and play by the rules,” she said.
She said present-day America has a stock market that is breaking records, all-time high corporate profits, and chief executive officers making tens of millions of dollars – but none of it trickling down to struggling workers.
“I get it. The system is rigged,” she said. “It’s true.”
Warren characterized Democrats as the party that fought for those struggling workers and marginalized Americans.
“Democrats fought to get health insurance for more Americans. Democrats fought for strong consumer agencies so big banks can’t cheat people. We fought, we won, and we improved the lives of millions of people,” she said. “Thank you, Barack Obama.”
She said Republicans in Congress tried to block Democrats’ efforts on behalf of working Americans time and again, and suggested that Trump does not care about working people at all.
“In all these fights, not once did he lift a fighter to help working people,” Warren said. “And why would he be? His whole life has been about taking advantage of that rigged system.”
She accused Trump of speaking gleefully about the 2008 economic crash, and accused his Trump University of defrauding its students.
“Let’s face it, Donald Trump has no real plans, for college kids or for seniors; no plans to make anything great for anyone except rich guys like Donald Trump,” she said.
Further, Warren said, “Trump thinks he can win votes by fanning the flames of fear and hatred, by turning neighbor against neighbor.”
She accused Trump of trying to turn white Americans against black and Latino Americans, Christians against Muslims and Jews, straight Americans against the LGBT community, and everyone against immigrants.
Without mentioning his name, she also took a shot at Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who last year approved a “religious freedom” law that critics said allowed for discrimination against gays and lesbians.
She called Pence “famous for trying to make it legal to openly discriminate against gays and lesbians.”
“That’s Donald Trump’s America,” she said. “An America of fear and hate, an America where we all break apart.”
By contrast, and to thunderous cheers, Warren characterized Clinton as a champion of working people. She said Clinton would fight for the environment, against big business interests having outsized influence in Congress, for stronger rules on Wall Street, for a woman’s right to choose and equal pay, and for campaign finance reform.
And in fighting for those things, Warren said, “We’re with her.”