Warren touts humble beginnings and big dreams in N.H. speech

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren greets Charlotte Willing, 7, before speaking during a house party in Concord on Saturday. AP

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, stands on stage with her husband, Bruce Mann, and their dog, Bailey, during an organizing event at Manchester Community College in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan.12, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during an organizing event at Manchester Community College in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds Grace Elliott, 7-months-old, (right) and Adrienne Drubin, 9-months-old, at Manchester Community College on Saturday. AP

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren greets the crowd at Sylvia and Bob Larsen’s home on School Street in Concord on Saturday, January 12, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER /

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to the crowd at the house party at Bob and Sylvia Larsen’s home on School Street in Concord on Saturday, January 12, 2019.

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren greets guests at Bob and Sylvia Larsen’s house party in Concord, New Hampshire on Saturday, January 12, 2019.

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to the guests at Bob and Sylvia Larsen’€™s house party on School Street in Concord on Saturday. Geoff Forester / Monitor staff

For the Monitor
Published: 1/12/2019 6:16:32 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke about her humble beginnings and emphasized her populist platform as she arrived in New Hampshire for the first time since launching a presidential exploratory committee nearly two weeks ago.

“This is our chance to dream big, to fight hard, and to make this an America that works not just for the rich and the powerful, but an America that works for everyone,” the liberal torchbearer from Massachusetts said to the crowd at Manchester Community College.

Warren, who was re-elected in November to a second term in the Senate, said it was time for the country to make a correction.

“We need to make systemic change in this country, real change,” she said.

Later, Warren was the guest of honor at a packed house party at the Concord home of former state Senate president Sylvia Larsen.

Warren’s trip to New Hampshire was her first since campaigning in 2016 for then-Gov. Maggie Hassan, who narrowly defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Two years earlier, Warren came to the Granite State to campaign for fellow Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, in her re-election victory over Republican Scott Brown.

Warren highlighted those efforts at the beginning of her speech in Manchester.

“I remember being here in ’14 for Shaheen. You guys did it. Yes you did,” she said. “And I remember being here in ‘16 for Maggie Hassan. You pulled it off.”

Presidential candidates from neighboring Massachusetts have a history of winning New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. Think Michael Dukakis in 1988, Paul Tsongas in 1992, John Kerry in 2004, and Mitt Romney in 2012.

But asked in an interview with the Monitor if New Hampshire was a must-win state, Warren didn’t directly answer.

“I know there are a lot of folks who have their thoughts on strategies and how all of this is supposed to work. But I am not a professional politician,” she said. “My first time ever to be in electoral politics was when I first ran for the Senate exactly one term ago.”

Another progressive firebrand, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is seriously considering a second straight White House bid. Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points in the 2016 Democratic primary in New Hampshire, launching him into a marathon fight with the eventual nominee.

“I’ve known Bernie since long before I got involved in electoral politics,” Warren said when asked how she could compete against Sanders if he launches a campaign. “Bernie and I are old friends and we’ve talked about a lot of the same issues for a long, long, time.”

In her speech in front of crowd of 600 – according to the campaign – Warren said it was time to clean up Washington.

“I have the biggest anti-corruption proposal since Watergate,” she said.

Her proposals include ending “lobbying as we know it” and putting “more power in the hands of unions, more power in the hands of employees, more power in the hands of consumers. We need to attack head-on the costs that hard working families face every day.”

Taking a shot at Republican President Donald Trump, she called for requiring every candidate running for federal office to post their tax returns online.

Trump, both as a candidate and as president, has repeatedly refused to release any of his federal income tax returns.

Warren also spotlighted her bill to build 3.2 million housing units across the country, called for legalizing marijuana, reforming the criminal justice system, and received one of her biggest applause when she touted, “I believe in science.”

“Climate change is real. We have a moral and economic responsibility in this country starting right now,” she said.

“We need a strong EPA led by someone who believes in science.”

Warren didn’t directly mention the president in her speech.

“I think we need to talk about our affirmative version,” she said in response to a reporter’s question.

“I’m willing to fight,” she said. “Everybody knows that.”

Warren also spotlighted her working-class upbringing in Oklahoma.

“It was a bumpy path for me,” she said. “I dropped out of school at 19, got married.”

And she indirectly addressed her critics.

“For those who think I was born at Harvard, in fact I went to the state law school of New Jersey, Rutgers, for $450 a semester,” she said.


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