Facing thousands of cheering supporters in the nation’s largest city, Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren on Monday decried President Donald Trump as “corruption in the flesh”.
“Corruption has put our planet at risk. Corruption has broken our economy. And corruption is breaking our democracy,” said Warren, a Massachusetts senator who has emerged as a leading presidential contender.
While aggressive, the message was a familiar one. Warren has embraced corruption as a central campaign theme from the beginning of her 2020 presidential bid. But rarely has Warren addressed such a crowd with such a symbolic backdrop.
She faced throngs of supporters from a podium under Washington Square Park’s storied arch, a made-for-television moment designed to showcase the strength of her candidacy as much as the ambition of her message.
The event was set close to the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, which killed more than 140 workers in 1911.
She framed those deaths as the direct result of corruption. Many women died because factory owners neglected safety features to save money, with the implicit support of local elected officials who declined to intervene.
Warren charged that the same thing is happening today.
“Giant corporations have bought off our government,” she said.
Specifically, her anti-corruption plan would “end lobbying as we know it” by instituting a lifetime ban on members of Congress and White House Cabinet secretaries from ever becoming lobbyists. At the same time, corporate lobbyists would be blocked from working for the federal government.
Both practices are common today.
She also would prohibit federal judges from avoiding misconduct investigations by leaving their posts, prevent courts from sealing settlements in public health and safety cases and ban class-action waivers for all cases involving employment, consumer protection, antitrust and civil rights.
And taking direct aim at issues involving the Trump administration, Warren would require candidates for public office to post their tax returns online. Presidents, Cabinet secretaries and members of Congress would also be prohibited from owning businesses on the side.
Trump, of course, has refused to release his tax returns years after promising to do so, and the Trump organization continues to do business around the world.
“Donald Trump is corruption in the flesh,” Warren said. “He is sworn to serve the people of the United States, but he serves only himself and his partners in corruption.” Warren noted, however, that Trump is only a symptom of the corruption that has infected the U.S. political and economic systems.
The crowd filled almost the entirety of the 10-acre (4-hectare) park, wrapping around a massive fountain and clogging the pathways that connect the street chess games to the classrooms of New York University to the giant marble arch the downtown park is best known for.
It was a younger crowd, racially diverse and packed with women. One of the biggest applause lines of the night: “We’re not here tonight because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we’re not here because of men at all.”
Warren has long argued that the nation’s modern government only works for “the wealthy and the well-connected” like big energy, health care and insurance companies that employ lobbyists to advance their priorities over the best interests of ordinary citizens.
She wrote that popular policies championed by the Democratic Party’s progressive wing and many in its crowded field of presidential hopefuls like universal child care, an overhaul of the federal criminal justice system, gun reform and plans to promote affordable housing have been “stymied because giant corporations and billionaires who don’t want to pay taxes or follow any rules use their money and influence to stand in the way.”
Warren’s campaign noted that she already proposed a series of anti-corruption measures in Congress last year, but it says the proposal released Monday goes farther.
Warren has emerged as a central player in the broader fight for the direction of the Democratic Party in the age of Trump.
Like her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, Warren is demanding transformational change that Trump and his allies deride as socialism.
Warren and Sanders are up against Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, a favorite of the party’s establishment wing.
Warren didn’t identify any of her Democratic opponents by name.
She noted, however, that “too many politicians in both parties have convinced themselves that playing the money-for-influence game is the only way to get things done.”
Warren doesn’t participate in high-dollar fundraising events as a 2020 candidate, though she did before launching her presidential campaign.
On Monday, looking out at the swelling crowd, Warren noted that she typically takes selfies with everyone who wants one at her events.
“Tonight is a little something different,” Warren said.
Coronavirus could ‘hit a slew of industries’ — and threaten Trump’s reelection prospects: report
Although coronavirus has claimed more than 2700 lives so far (as of Wednesday, February 26), it still doesn’t fit the definition of a global pandemic — not yet, anyway. But health officials around the world are worried that it could become a pandemic, and an article published in Politico this week examines the effects that coronavirus could possibly have economically and politically — and how it could threaten President Donald Trump’s prospects for reelection.
MAGA hat-wearing South Carolina voter casts ‘chaos’ vote for Bernie Sanders: ‘The best worst candidate’
A Republican voter in South Carolina told Fox News that he voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary to help President Donald Trump's reelection chances.
The man, who was wearing a Make America Great Again hat, made the comments at a diner in Columbia Wednesday morning.
"I'm a Republican and a Trump supporter," he said. "But we have an operation chaos going on and all over the state we're encouraging Republicans to go vote for Bernie because we believe Bernie is the best worst candidate in contrasting his socialism against President Trump and his capitalism."
Watch the video below from Fox News.
It’s not just Russia: The US intelligence community is also intervening in the 2020 election
President Trump’s ongoing purge of the intelligence community, along with Bernie Sanders’ surge in the Democratic presidential race, has triggered an unprecedented intervention of U.S. intelligence agencies in the U.S. presidential election on factually dubious grounds.
Former CIA director John Brennan sees a “full-blown national security crisis” in President Trump’s latest moves against the intelligence community. Brennan charges, “Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s.” But congressional representatives, both Democratic and Republican, who heard a briefing by the intelligence community about the 2020 election earlier this month say the case for Russian interference is “overstated.”