“We believe that in America every family deserves a fighting chance, and we’re ready to fight as hard as it takes, as long as it takes, to deliver on that promise,” Warren said to the crowd at the annual liberal confab.
Those fighting words, along with her characterization of a dysfunctional Washington catering to the highest bidder, have become a hallmark of her economic populist rhetoric and would prove crucial to any possible run against President Trump.
“It won’t be easy,” she continued. “We’re going to have to fight uphill. Me? I’m going up that hill. And I hope you are, too. And I hope that you’ll reach your hand out and bring someone else along for the climb.”
“Because we can only make it up that hill together,” the stump-like rhetoric went on, challenging Democrats to unite under one banner to take on Trump. “That’s why we can’t afford to waste our time arguing about whose fight matters most.
“It’s one fight. And we have to stand with one another, for one another. We’ve got to embrace the unshakeable truth that an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. The Republicans will continue to practice the politics of division. They will keep right on attacking anyone who dares to stand up to the rich and the powerful. They will call us every ugly name in the book.”
“Nevertheless, we will persist,” Warren said echoing the now infamous line Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) uttered when Warren was interrupted during a speech assailing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ nomination in early 2017.
That phrase has turned into a credo for the Massachusetts Democrat, even showing up in the form of “PERSIST” signs distributed prior to her New Orleans speech on Friday.
Warren has used the phrase “I’m going up that hill” before, as reported in a New York magazine feature speculating she could be one of many Democrats entering the ring to unseat Trump in 2020.
Her Netroots speech was devoted in part to the story of her upbringing in Oklahoma, her role in establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and what she views as the overwhelming influence of money in D.C. politics.
“Money shouts, money screams, money commands,” Warren said. “And a lot of politicians—on both sides of the aisle—follow the money."
In a section of her remarks aimed at the current administration, Warren theorized that Trump alone is not at fault for the working class’ current state of affairs. Instead, she said, his efforts to sow division allow for a Republican-led Congress to forsake those who are economically struggling.
“In Trump’s story, the reason working families keep getting the short end of the stick isn’t because of the decisions he and his pals are making every day in Washington,” she said. “No, the problem is other working people; people who are black or brown; people who were born somewhere else; people who don’t worship the same, dress the same, talk the same as Trump and his buddies.”
In that environment, Warren said, “Mitch McConnell gets to raid the treasury to give a trillion bucks to their rich friends, destroy health care for millions of families, and wipe out Social Security and Medicare.”
She concluded: “They want us pointing fingers at each other so we won’t notice their hand in our pockets!”