In an interview with Salon’s Thomas Frank, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren lashed out at President Barack Obama and his administration for repeatedly protecting Wall Street’s interests over those of the American people.
She began, however, on a somewhat conciliatory note, saying that “Democrats have not done all that they should, but at least we’re out there fighting for the right things,” whereas “Mitch McConnell has announced that if he gets the majority in the Senate, his first objective is to repeal healthcare and his second is to roll back the financial reforms, and in particular to target the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the one agency that’s out there for American families, the one that has returned more than four billion dollars to families who got cheated by big financial institutions.”
“When I think about the president, for me, it’s about both halves,” Warren continued. “If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Period. I’m completely convinced of that.”
“[H]e was the one who refused to throw the agency under the bus and made sure that his team kept the agency alive and on the table. Now there was a lot of other stuff that also had to happen for it to happen. But if he hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have gotten the agency.”
And yet, she added, “[a]t the same time, he picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street.”
“They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over. So I see both of those things and they both matter.”
She concluded on a somewhat more hopeful note, saying that while corporate entities have the “advantage, and boy have they played it out for 30 years now — concentrated money and concentrated power. And you can do a lot with concentrated money and concentrated power.”
“But our side — we have our voices and we have our votes. If people get engaged on the issues, the votes are on our side. Seventy-five percent of America wants to raise the minimum wage. That’s where we’ll head.”