Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) struck a defiant tone in her first speech after the Tuesday victory of President-elect Donald Trump, criticizing him for targeting minorities and saying she would fight the Republican Party “every step of the way” if it tried to de-regulate Wall Street under an imagined mandate.
In remarks to the AFL-CIO Executive Council in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Warren said that the presidential election had been “ugly.”
“And we should not sugarcoat the reason why,” she said, according to a Boston Globe transcript of the speech. “Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down.”
Warren said that Trump’s victory made Latino and Muslim-American children “worried about what will happen to their families,” and LGBT couples “worried that their marriages could be dissolved.”
The Massachusetts senator said that, while she hoped Trump would be a President for all Americans, Democrats’ first priority would be to check him if that did not end up being the case.
“We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here,” she said. “In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans—on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.”
Still, Warren acknowledged that “millions of people” voted for Trump not due to bigotry but due to a sense of economic betrayal at the hands of a system “that leaves everyone else in the dirt,” with the exception of the rich and powerful.
“Lobbyists and Washington insiders have spent years trying to convince themselves and each other that Americans don’t actually believe this,” she said. “President-elect Trump spoke to these issues. Republican elites hated him for it.”
Warren said rebuilding the economy does not include gutting the Dodd-Frank legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law, and which the Trump campaign’s transition website currently calls “a sprawling and complex piece of legislation that has unleashed hundreds of new rules and several new bureaucratic agencies.”
“If Trump and the Republican Party try to turn loose the big banks and financial institutions so they can once again gamble with our economy and bring it all crashing down, then we will fight them every step of the way,” she said.
Though Warren emphasized that Trump did in fact lose the popular vote on Tuesday, she said it was clear from the success of his candidacy that neither party had fully grappled with the need for economic change.
“Donald Trump won the Presidency under a Republican flag,” she said. “But Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress – and their way of doing business – were rejected-rejected [sic] by their own primary voters, rejected during the campaign, and rejected in Tuesday’s election. Regardless of political party, working families are disgusted by a Washington that works for the rich and powerful and leaves everyone else behind.”