Elizabeth Warren came out swinging against President
‘The Trump administration is a walking, talking, living, breathing threat to national security,’ Warren told the cheering crowd.
She slammed a report that found 25 administration officials – including
Elizabeth Warren came out swinging against President Donald Trump at a forum for Democratic presidential hopefuls in Washington D.C.
Bernie Sanders was greeted with a standing ovation and shouts of ‘Bernie’
‘This is a perilous time for our country and every single day that goes by we see a new form of the risks posed to our country by a corrupt administration,’ she charged.
Warren joined seven of her fellow contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination at a We the People conference in Washington D.C.
The audience was heavy with union workers – from the SEIU and Communications Workers of America – and supporters from die-hard Democratic groups like Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Sierra Club and MoveOn.org.
The day gave the chance for the candidates’ to show off their stance on the favored issues of the left: voting rights, a woman’s right to choice, combating climate change, getting big money out of politics, combating corporate influence, eliminating the electoral college and a $15 minimum wage.
Absentee from the gathering was former Vice President Joe Biden. He was not scheduled to speak and none of the candidates were asked about the allegations about his treatment of women when they took questions from the crowd.
But it was Warren and her fellow progressive star Bernie Sanders who appeared to get the most applause from the room.
Warren had plenty of applause lines in her remarks, which went over the allotted time for the candidates to address the crowd.
As Democratic senator from Massachusetts kept talking, music began to play her off the stage Academy Awards style.
‘You’re going to play me off but I’m going to say two more things,’ she said as the crowd supported her with a round of applause.
And as the music – Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ – played louder, Warren spoke louder and louder. She got in her call to make unionizing easier and for a constitutional amendment to protect voting rights as the crowd rose to cheer her on.
Her outcry against corporations and her call against corruption also earned her plaudits from the friendly crowd.
‘I want a government that cares a whole lot less about corporate profits and whole lot more about family,’ she said.
‘When a government works great for those at the top and no one else that is corruption pure and simple,’ she argued.
But she also held the audience spellbound with a tale from her childhood, where she spoke about how her parents were in trouble financially and in danger of losing their home so her mom went out to get a job at Sears where the minimum wage position helped keep their house.
Warren was also the first candidate there to ask for donations.
Beto O’Rourke made his first appearance since his official campaign kickoff
Cory Booker had a good back-and-forth with the crowd
‘I’m not out sucking up to a bunch of billionaires hoping they’re going to start a super PAC for me,’ she said, reiterating her opposition to taking corporate and PAC money.
When the crowd applauded, she told them: ‘If you think that’s a good way to run a campaign, then go to elizabethwarren.com.’
Sanders, who ran and failed to win the nomination in 2016 despite the love he received from the left, garnered a standing ovation and shouts of ‘Bernie, Bernie, Bernie’ when he entered the Warner Theater.
He spent his time talking about how he led the charge on some of the progressive issues important in the upcoming Democratic primary.
He was the only candidate to use the podium on stage – the others used a mic and walked the stage to work the room.
Amy Klobuchar also attacked President Trump
And Kirsten Gillibrand repeated a line from her campaign kickoff where she called Trump a ‘coward’
‘The good news is we have come a long way over the last four years. And you guys are part of the progress that we have made,’ he said.
He recalled how he led the charge on the $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college, and universal health care.
And he gave a spirited blow to those who would suppress voter rights.
‘If they don’t have the guts to participate in a free and fair election they should get the hell out of politics and get a new job,’ he said. ‘In politics you win elections and you lose elections! Our job is to make it easier for people to vote, not harder!’
The gathering gave each presidential contenders 30 minutes to make their pitch: first a stump speech and then taking questions from the audience.
The questions focused on Democratic-friendly issues and the questioners tended to drone on for five to 10 minutes before making their point.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke made his first appearance since his official kickoff campaign in Texas on Sunday.
He vowed to the crowd that – if elected president – he would require his Cabinet officials to hold monthly town hall events similar to the one where he was speaking.
‘Anything of any success that I’ve been a part of has come from something like this,’ he said.
‘As president I’ll sign an executive order on the first day in office requiring every single Cabinet secretary to hold a town meeting like this every single month,’ he said.
‘Those cabinet secretaries will be before you. Not a handpicked audience, not for theater. A real live town hall audience,’ he said.
O’Rourke kept his remarks focused on what he would do as president.
But joining Warren in her condemnation of the Trump administration were Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand.
‘What I have seen in this White House, for me, is a tear down of this democracy, every day,’ Klobuchar said.
The Democratic senator from Minnesota touted her electability record and said, if elected, she would make statehood for Washington D.C. a ‘priority.’
And Gillibrand repeated the themes of her campaign kickoff and called Trump a coward.
‘He is small, he is weak. He is a coward. He is a leader who punches down,’ she said.
Cory Booker was one of the first speakers of the day and kept his remarks more directed toward soaring rhetoric.
‘We have a criminal justice system that treats you better if you’re rich and guilty rather than poor innocent,’ he said to great applause.
‘My life has been about tearing down this system of mass incarceration. It is a cancer on our soul of our democracy,’ he noted.
Jay Inslee spoke to the crowd about his work organizing unions
Julian Castro talked about his decision to leave the law and focus on the city council
‘It’s time for us to dream again – bold dreams and defiant dreams and daring dreams,’ he noted. ‘This will be the beginning of the next era in America.’
He was the only contender to address the crowd in Spanish.
The senator from New Jersey also had a good back and forth with the crowd.
When a woman who was asking him a questioned was introduced as having been in Glamour, Booker joked he’d never make the magazine with his bald head.
‘I save a lot on products,’ he joked.
And he got a lot of laughs when he talked about how depressed when Trump was inaugurated and that, listening the president’s inaugural address: ‘I was slipping into the seduction of despair.’
He then added that he realized others thought it was bad when, ‘as it was reported,’ George W. Bush leaned over to Bill Clinton and said: ‘Well that was some strange s***.’
WHO ARE ALL THE 16 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN 2020?
Age on Inauguration Day: 51
Entered race: February 1, 2019
Career: High school football star who went to Stanford or undergraduate and masters degrees before studying in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law School. Worked for advocacy and youth projects and successfully ran for Newark, New Jersey, city council in 1998. Narrowly lost mayoral election in 2002 facing claims he was ‘suburban’ and ‘not black enough.’ Ran again in 2006 and won landslide on radical reform platform for troubled city, including being tough on crime, cutting budget deficit, increasing affordable housing and tackling failing schools – controversially taking a huge donation from Mark Zuckerberg for the city. Ran for New Jersey senate seat in 2013 special election and won; won full term in 2014
Family: Single. Parents Cary and Carolyn were among IBM’s first black executives. Brother Cary Jr. is education adviser to New Jersey’s Democratic governor. Would be first bachelor president since James Buchanan, who was in the White House from 1857 to 1861
Views on key issues: Self-proclaimed liberal. Endorses abortion rights; affirmative action; single-payer health care; criminal justice reform; path to citizenship for ‘dreamers; federal marijuana decriminalization; $15 minimum wage; but has also spoken against tech regulation and for long-term deficit reduction
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 39
Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019
Career: Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Ben mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015
Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge. Would be first openly gay president, youngest-ever president and first combat veteran since George H.W. Bush
Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: January 12, 2018, at rally in his native San Antonio, TX. Had formed exploratory committee two months previously
Career: Stanford and Harvard graduate who was a San Antonio councilman at 26 and became mayor in 2009. Was Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary from 2014 to 2016
Family: Married with nine-year-old daughter, Carina, and four-year-old son, Cristian. His identical twin Joaquin, who is a minute younger, is Democratic congressman. Mother Maria del Rosario Castro was part of ‘radical’ third party for Mexican-Americans; father left his wife and five children for her but they never married. Would be first Hispanic-American president – announced his run in English and Spanish – and first-ever U.S. president with a twin
Views on key issues: Wants medicare for all; universal pre-K; action on affordable housing; will not take money from political action committees (PACs) tied to corporations or unions. Other views still to be announced
Slogan: One Nation. One Destiny
Age on Inauguration Day: 57
Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017
Career: Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012. Previously set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm
Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children’s issues nonprofit
Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative
Slogan: Focus on the Future
Age on Inauguration Day: 39
Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019
Career: Born on American Samoa, a territory, and therefore may be subject to questions over whether she is natural-born. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012
Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit. Would be first Samoan-American, first Hindu, first female and youngest-ever president
Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 54
Entered race: Announced exploratory committee on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show on January 16, 2019. Formal launch in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York, March 24, 2019
Career: Dartmouth and UCLA law grad who was a high-flying Manhattan attorney representing big businesses. Says she was inspired to enter politics by hearing Hillary Clinton speak, although she is also scion of a prominent New York Democratic political family. Won New York’s 20th district, centered on Albany in 2004; appointed to Hillary Clinton’s senate seat in 2008 and won it in 2010 special election 63-35; won first full term 2012 and re-elected 67-33 in 2018
Family: Married to British venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand with two sons, Theodore, 15, and Henry, ten. Father Douglas Lutnik was Democratic lobbyist; grandmother Polly Noonan was at center of Albany Democratic politics. Would be first female president
Views on key issues: Initially pro-gun as Congresswoman, has since reversed herself to be pro-gun control and also pro-immigration; said Bill Clinton should have resigned over Monica Lewinsky and helped force Al Franken out of Senate over groping allegations; in favor of single-payer healthcare and Medicare for all
Slogan: Brave wins
Age on Inauguration Day: 56
Entered race: Announced she was running January 21, 2018 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – on Good Morning America. Formally entered race January 27
Career: Howard and U.C. Hunter law school grad who worked as assistant district attorney in Alameda County, CA, then in San Francisco’s DA’s office before being elected San Francisco DA in 2003 and used it as springboard to run successfully for California attorney general in 2010. Won again in 2014 and was at center of U.S. attorney general and Supreme Court speculation but also endured a series of controversies, including over police brutality allegations. Ran for Senate in 2016 and established herself on liberal wing of party
Family: Born in Berkeley, CA, to immigrant Indian Tamil mother and Jamaican father who were both academics and brought up from seven to 18 in Montreal, Canada. Dated married San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, when he was 60 and she was 29. Married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two stepchildren; Cole, an aspiring actor, and Ella, an art and design student. Sister Maya was a Hillary Clinton adviser and brother-in-law Tony West is Uber’s chief legal counsel. Would be first female, first Indian-American, first Jamaican-America and first female black president
Views on key issues: Social ultra-liberal who has rejected criticisms of ‘identity politics’ and is running without a political action committee, which will make her reliant on small donors. Has shifted left on criminal justice reform; supports Medicare for all; pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; says illegal immigration is a civil not a criminal offense
Religion: Has said she was brought up in both Baptist and Hindu tradition
Slogan: Kamala Harris: For The People
Age on Inauguration Day: 68
Entered race: March 4, 2019 with Good Morning America interview
Career: Wesleyan University-educated geologist who moved to Colorado to work in petroleum industry but was laid off and started Wynkoop Brewing Company, the first craft brewpub in 1988 in Denver’s LoDo (lower downtown) area. Ran for mayor of Denver as an outsider in 2003 and won, then won a second term in 2007. Ran for Colorado governor in 2010 and won 51 per cent of the vote; his nearest rival took 36.5 per cent. Won re-election 49.3 to 46 in 2014, but was term limited and ended his second term in January 2019
Family: Married to second wife Robin Pringle, 40, a vice president at LibertyMedia Corp., owners of Sirius XM. Divorced first wife Helen Thorpe in 2012 after 10 years of marriage; ex-couple have son Teddy, a high school student. Born and brought up in Narbeth, in the Main Line of Philadelphia, his father’s ancestors include Civil War Union general Andrew Hickenlooper
Views on key issues: Voiced support for Green New Deal but has also been in favor of fracking; has not embraced single-payer healthcare but expanded Medicaid in Colorado; long record of being pro-gun control; pro-choice but has gone out of his way to talk about reducing unplanned teenage pregnancies ; opposed to the death penalty; advocated for gay marriage
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 69
Entered race: March 1, 2019
Career: Stanford drop-out who graduated from University of Washington and Williamette University School of Law before working as a city prosecutor in Selah, WA. First elected to Washington House of Representatives in 1989 and again in 1990; won Congressional seat in 1992 elections but lost in 1994 and then had failed 1996 gubernatorial run. Returned to Congress in 1998 elections and stayed until 2012 to run for governor. Won first term 51.5 to 48.5; re-elected in 2016 by 54.4 to 45.6
Family: Born in Seattle to late parents Frank, a Navy veteran and high school teacher and coach, and Adele, a Sears sales clerk. Married high school and college sweetheart Trudi since 1972. Three adult sons Jack, a radio producer in Washington D.C.; Connor, director of a Washington state non-profit for the disabled; and Joe, who works for King County, WA’s department of natural resources and parks. Grandfather of three
Religion: Non-denominational Protestant
Views on key issues: Running to combat climate change with praise for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal – his record in Washington D.C. including aspiring to ‘zero emissions’ buildings and largely eliminate fossil fuel use; vocal gun control advocate; fought Trump’s ban on entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries; called moratorium on death penalty in Washington; supported marijuana legalization in Washington and expected to do so federally; will not take money from political action committees; healthcare position still unclear
Slogan: Our moment
Age on Inauguration Day: 60
Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis
Career: Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018
Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher. Would be first female president
Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)
Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration day: 46
Entered race: Announced March 28, 2019, formal launch March 30, 2019
Career: Florida State University football star who played starting wide receiver, and graduated in 1997. Worked in construction industry as contractor and started his own company in 2007. Ran for City of Miramar Commission in 2011 and mayor in 2015, defeating 16-year Democratic incumbent and becoming first black mayor of the city. Won second term March 2019, days before announcing presidential bid
Family: Married to college sweetheart Angela Sands, 44, who is also his business partner. Three college-age children: son Wayne Jr. and twin daughters Kayla and Kyla. Fourth child and first American-born child of Jamaican immigrants Hubert , a sugar-cane cutter, and his wife Delsey, who are both deceased. Was president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 2018. Would be first Jamaican-American president
Religion: Worships at the Fountain of New Life Church in Miami Gardens where he is a deacon
Views on key issues: Says he is staunch advocate of gun control. Wants action on climate change and is opposed to off-shore oil drilling. Opposes Trump immigration policies and proposed forcing immigration officials to get a warrant before entering city property. Yet to state position on health care and foreign policy
Slogan: Your Champion
Age on Inauguration Day: 47
Entered race: March 14, 2019
Career: Born Robert Francis O’Rourke. Boarding-school educated Columbia grad who lived in a New York loft, playing in a punk band and doing desultory jobs and setting up an internet firm. Ran for El Paso city council in 2005, winning re-election and serving until 2012. Ran for Congress in 2012, defeating eight-term Democratic incumbent in primary. Gave up seat to run for Senate against Ted Cruz in 2018, losing 51-48
Family: Married to wife Amy Sanders, nine years his junior, with sons Ulysses and Henry, and daughter Molly. Father Pat was long-time El Paso politician who switched from Democrat to Republican; mom Melissa ran family-owned store in city until selling it after IRS probe. Melissa’s stepfather Fred Korth was one of JFK’s secretaries of the Navy. Father-in-law William Saunders is real estate developer estimated to be worth $500 million
Views on key issues: Wants comprehensive immigration reform to give citizenship to ‘dreamers’ and a path to it for their parents, and vehemently opposes Trump’s wall. Supports federal marijuana legalization. Pro-gun control including an assault rifle ban and universal background checks. Supports single-payer health care but with co-pays and has backed Medicaid expansion. Strongly pro-choice. Has hinted at backing breaking up tech giants. Said he would have voted for impeachment in Congress if he had had the chance
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 79
Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19
Career: Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture
Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deboarah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. Would be first Jewish president
Religion: Secular Jewish
Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East
Slogan: Not me. Us.
Age on Inauguration Day: 71
Entered race: Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018
Career: Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016
Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American. Would be first female president
Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church
Views on key issues: Voted Republican until 1995 but has tacked left since. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 68
Entered race: Announced exploratory committee November 15, 2018. Formally entered January 28, 2019
Career: Dropped out of Pomona College, California, became part of the counter culture and anti-war movement and ran a ‘metaphysical bookstore’ before publishing spiritual guide A Return to Love and being praised by Oprah, sending it to number one. Published series of follow-ups and founded AIDS charity and subsequently more non-profits including a peace movement. Ran for Congress in 2014 and lost
Family: Born to immigration attorney father Sam and housewife mother Sophie in Houston, Texas. Married for ‘a minute and a half’ to unnamed man; daughter India was born in 1990 but Williamson declines to name her father. Would be first female president
Views on key issues: Wants vast expansion of physical and mental healthcare; and nutrition and lifestyle reforms including ban on marketing processed and sugary foods to children; universal pre-K; much of the Green New Deal’s proposals including a de-carbonized economy, electric cars and rebuilding mass transit; gun control through licensing; wants more vacation time; pro decriminalizing all drugs
Slogan: Join the Evolution
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018
Career: Started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America
Family: Married father of two. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students. Would be first Asian-American president
Religion: Reformed Church
Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision
Slogan: Humanity First
AND THOSE WHO’VE ALREADY WITHDRAWN
RICHARD OJEDA. West Virginia ex- state senator and paratrooper veteran
Entered race: November 12, 2018. Quit: January 25, 2019