Sen. Elizabeth Warren went from focusing her attacks on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to taking aim at the entire party in a blistering speech to the American Constitution Society.
The Massachusetts Democrat, who is reportedly considering joining fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton's ticket as a vice presidential nominee, dismissed the notion that Republicans are uncomfortable with Trump's rhetoric on issues like race.
Rather, she said, Trump is simply saying what most Republicans say, just less tactfully. Trump has the same goals as the rest of the Republican Party, Warren said, including obstructing President Barack Obama's judicial nominees in the hopes that Republicans will get to nominate their own jurists after Obama leaves office.
"Donald Trump chose racism as his weapon," Warren said. "But his aim is exactly the same as the rest of the Republicans: to pound the courts into submission for the rich and the powerful."
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Warren delivered her speech on June 9 to the liberal legal group, which was founded in 2001 by one of former Vice President Al Gore's attorneys.
Although prominent Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham have publicly said they're uncomfortable with some of Trump's comments, Warren accused them of birthing the candidate through years of divisive politics.
Trump, she said, "is exactly the kind of candidate you'd expect from a Republican Party whose script for several years has been to execute a full-scale assault on the integrity of our courts, blockading judicial appointments so Donald Trump can fill them. Smearing and intimidating nominees who do not pledge allegiance to the financial interests of the rich and powerful."
But it was the candidate from her own party's close association with big banks and Wall Street that led Warren to treat lightly during the Democratic primary, when Hillary Clinton fended off a serious challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Warren finally endorsed Clinton on June 9 after noticeably becoming the only female Democrat not to support Clinton during the primary.
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Her increasingly pitched attacks on Republicans, and news of a meeting between Warren and Clinton on June 10, hint that Warren is mulling a run on the Clinton ticket as her vice presidential nominee. Warren met with Clinton at the latter's Washington, D.C., residence for more than an hour on the morning of June 10, according to the Boston Globe. There's been speculation that Warren's presence on the ticket could help Clinton court more progressive supporters of Sanders, who has yet to concede the primary race.
Trump responded on Twitter, where he linked to an Obama campaign ad from 2008 that was highly critical of Clinton, and a 2004 video in which Warren described Clinton as a puppet of special interests groups. Warren recounted a private meeting with Clinton in which the former first lady told Warren she would fight a bill that would make it easier for credit card companies to offer "predatory" loans.
But when she was elected senator for New York, Clinton voted in favor of the bill on behalf of the credit industry.
"As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different ... She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency," Warren told PBS' Bill Moyers in the interview. "We're talking again about the impact of money ... the credit industry on this bankruptcy bill has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying, and as their profits grow, they just throw more into lobbying for how they can get laws that will make it easier and easier and easier to drain money out of the pockets of middle-class families."