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Get in this fight, because this moment will not come our way again. This is the moment that we will be measured as a nation and as a people. This is the moment to dream big, fight hard, and win.”

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Get Out the Caucus Rally
Simpson College
Indianola, IA
Sunday, February 2, 2020


[MUSIC: Dolly Parton "9 to 5"]

Hello, Indianola. Thank you, Nick, for the introduction and thank you all for being here.

I've been back to Indianola now this is, this, I don't even know which time this is, but I'm glad to be here. And as you can see, I brought family. I have my son-in-law Sushil, my daughter Amelia, stand up, grandson Atticus, granddaughter Lavinia, all right here; son Alex is somewhere and his wife Elise, and my guys, Bruce and Bailey.

Bailey is ready for the stage. Get away dog. Yeah, he's [inaud.]. I want you all to know Bailey's a good boy. He's a good boy.

So what we're gonna do today. Usually I, as you know, I talk, we take some questions, and then we stay for selfies. I've been in Washington for, it feels like years, and haven't been able to get out and talk to as many folks in Iowa. So I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to stay; we're trying to get around to as many places as we can on Sunday. I can't stay and do selfies, but I have a substitute. Bailey says he'll stay and do a selfie with everyone. So, we'll do our best here.

You know, this is such a moment. I've been at this for a year. A little over a year ago I declared, got in this race right here in Iowa. And in that time we've done town halls, we've taken thousands of unfiltered questions, lots of selfies, lots of notes you've pressed into my hands, lots of times you've stopped me on sidewalk or out in parking lots.

And I want to say thank you. Thank you for engaging but also thank you for pushing. You ask hard questions. You pushed on ideas. You said well you're thinking about doing this thing. Have you thought about how it affects my family. Have you considered this other part about the place I live in and what happens there. You've pushed on questions, you've added good ideas, you have made me a better candidate, and you will make me a better President. Thank you, Iowa.

I also want to say a thank you to everybody else who got in this presidential race. Some are still in it, some are not. But every single person who jumped in in the first place did it out of love for their country, and a belief that they could help make it better and I am grateful to all of them for their ideas, for their energy, for their enthusiasm, and for their dedication to our nation. Thank you. It's true.

Because here's the thing. We may have had some different ideas, we may have had some different ways of going about it, but in the end, we all have one goal, and we better come together to meet that goal. We are going to beat Donald Trump. Yes. We're going to do this. All of us.

Alright, so I'm gonna tell you a little bit about myself, a little bit about why I'm in this race, and then we'll get to the questions, so I'm sure to be able to cover what's at top of mind for you.

I was born and raised out in Oklahoma. I have—yeah—I have three older brothers. I was what used to be called a late in life baby. My mother always just called me the surprise. My three older brothers, they're all retired, they're all back in Oklahoma. To this day, they are referred to as the boys. That's to distinguish them from the surprise.

Now, when the boys and I were growing up, our daddy had a lot of different jobs; he sold carpet, he sold fencing, he sold paint, he sold housewares. Daddy ended up as a janitor. My mom worked a minimum wage job at Sears. All three of my brothers, they didn't do college; my three brothers all went off to the military.

Yeah. And they have— it was a way to serve, and also a way to get into America's middle class, a pathway into the middle class. Now me, I have known what I wanted to be since second grade. Never wavered. Second grade. Yeah, you didn't decide to what like fourth grade. Fifth grade over here. I can tell. I've known what I wanted to be since second grade; I wanted to be a public school teacher. Can we hear it for America's public school teachers.

And I want you to know I invested early. I used to line my dollies up and teach school. I had a reputation for being tough but fair. It's all I ever talked about as a kid, I'm going to be a school teacher; I'm going to teach school.

By the time I graduated from high school, my family didn't have the money for college application, much less to send me off to four years at a university. So, like a lot of Americans, I don't have a straight path story. I have a story that has some twists and turns.

So here's how my story goes, I was a high school debater and I got a scholarship to college. Woo-hoo, let's hear it for the nerds.

And then at 19 I fell in love, got married and dropped out.  Woo-hoo.

Not to that guy.

Yes, Bruce will be coming up in season two.

So, here I am. I picked this. This is what I wanted to do. It could be a good life.

But I thought it meant I given up the dream. I would never have the chance to be a teacher.

And we're living outside Houston and that's when I found it, a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. And for a price I could pay for on a part time waitressing job, I was able to finish my four year diploma; I became a special education teacher. I have lived my dream job.

Have we got any public school teachers in here? We got some. Over here. Any more? Oh we got some in the middle here, back in the corner. Any more? Public school teachers? I need you to back me up on this. It is not a job. It is a calling.

I loved this work. I had four to six year olds in special education, and I loved my babies. And I probably would still be doing that work today. But like I said, I don't have a straight path story. By the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant. And the principal did what principals did in those days. Wished me luck and hired someone else for the job.

So there I am. We're living in New Jersey by now. I'm at home, I got a baby, can't get a job, and I gotta do something. I gotta do something so I will— go to law school. Yeah, where'd that one come from?

Go to law school. Found a state law school that costs $450 a semester. Baby on hip, did three years in law school, graduated visibly pregnant, you will discover a pattern to these stories. Took the bar, passed the bar, and practiced law for 45 minutes.

Yeah, that's how it worked out. And other big changes in my life at this time. Husband number one —hint, never good when you have to number your husbands—husband number one and I parted ways, but I found Bruce and I've held on to him ever since so it's worked out.

So here I am, I'm teaching law school. And I don't know if it's because of how I grew up, but boy, I'm in the money courses: contract law, commercial law, secure transactions payment systems, corporate finance, partnership finance, law of debtors and creditors, bankruptcy law, law and economics—if it was about money, count me.

But there was one central question that I always worked on, always, around this. And that is what's happening to working families in America? Why is America's middle class being hollowed out? Why is it that people who work every bit as hard as my mom and dad worked two generations ago today find the path so much rockier and so much steeper, and for people of color, even rockier and even steeper.

And the answer has to do with our government in Washington. It has to do with whose side they're on. Think of it this way. We have a government in Washington that works great, really does, works fabulously for giant drug companies, just not for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. It works great for people who want to make a little money investing in private detention centers down at our border or private prisons, just not for human beings whose lives are torn apart by those places. It works great for giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere, just not for the rest of us you see climate change bearing down upon us. And when you see a government that works great for those with money and is not working so great for everyone else that is corruption pure and simple and we need to call it out for what it is.

Corruption. It is about the influence of money in Washington. Think of it this way, whatever issue really get you going, climate change and what's happening to our planet, gun violence and our children and the protection of our children, student loan debt, child care, whatever issue gets you up and gets you going, if there's a decision to be made in Washington it has been influenced by money. It has been shaped by money. It has had exceptions created by money. Money, money, money. It's about campaign contributions. You bet it is. But so much more. The lobbyists, the lawyers, the PR firms, the bought and paid for experts, the tilted think tanks. And it's everywhere. It's Congress, but it's every regulatory agency, it's all the way through that town. And here's the thing we have to understand as a nation, that money is choking off our democracy.

Look, I get it in America. There are rich people there are people who aren't rich. And rich people, they may own more shoes, they may own more cars, they may own more houses, but they're not supposed to own a bigger piece of our democracy.

If we want to change that, we're not going to be able to do it with just a little nibble around the edge, one little statute over here, a couple of regulations over there. No, we want to beat back the influence of money. We want to save our democracy. We want to save our country. It's gonna take big structural change.

And I got a plan for that.

So I've got the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate, yes. Here's the bad news, we need the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. Let me just give you a taste of it, just a taste.

End lobbying as we know it. Block the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. And you really want to hose out a little corruption in Washington, make every single person who runs for federal office put their tax returns online. Because here's the thing. We get off our back foot on money, we stop playing defense and we actually get on our front foot, we go after it, we disrupt it. I know we're not going to get rid of all of it but we at least break it up, we at least stop kneeling to it; we break it up and now we've got a chance to make real change. Now we've got a chance. Now we've got that chance to save our planet. Now we've got that chance to provide health care for our people. Now we've got the chance to pass a wealth tax. Now we've got the chance to invest in public education. Now we've got the chance to do criminal justice reform. Now we've got the chance to do the things we need to do to build an America that doesn't just work for those at the top, but that works for everyone. That's why I'm in this fight. Thank you. Yes. Alright. Oh this is fun. Okay, so we've got some questions. Let's do 'em.

QUESTION: My name is Mariah, and I'm from Australia (+), and I've just left a country that is smoldering from bushfires and have burned over 46 million acres, a land area that is 20% larger than this entire state of Iowa. Our capital Canberra has recently had baseball sized hail storms and a dust storm that has blanketed over half of the country. Do you see the extreme weather events around the world, such as the Australian fires, a result of climate change? And as President, what will you do to extreme—to address the extreme weather events that arise in the future?

WARREN: So let me start with your question about do I think that these fires and this weather, these bizarre weather occurrences are related to climate change, and say something that is quite controversial in Washington but I feel safe here in Indianola to say this. I believe in science.

Climate change threatens every living thing on our planet. And what terrifies me is that every time the scientists go back and get more data two things occur. They say the problem is worse than we thought and we have less time than we thought. So we are now in a moment where we need to be fighting back against climate change. And it's not my plan versus your plan. It's how many plans can we put out there and find the ones that work best. So let me just do a few highlights because I got a bunch of pieces to this, you wouldn't be surprised. But let me do a few.

First, I will do everything a president can do—oh I love saying this, all by herself. Day one, day one. No new drilling or mining on any federal lands or offshore. Just tell.

Use the regulatory arm. This is something Jay Inslee really pulled me into. Good man. Jay made the point that we could, we could put regulations in place, we already have the tools to do this, so that all new building, homes or commercial buildings, have to have zero carbon footprint by 2028. All new cars and light duty trucks, zero carbon footprint by 2030. All electric production, zero carbon footprint by 2035. Those three areas account for 70% of our carbon footprint. So, pick up our regulatory tools and let's start moving.

Let me give you one more. We need to make it possible for our farmers to be on the front line in the fight against climate change. Washington can be a good partner to putting money on the table so our independent farms, so our family farms can engage in sustainable farming practices. They can be the ones helping us with carbon capture; they can help us lead the fight. We should take advantage of that.

One more. We talk about a Green New Deal—I'm all in. But want to add to it. We also need a Blue New Deal. We've got to preserve our oceans.

Okay, I'll do one more quick one. I know but think about this. I started with science and the importance of science here. And think about it this way, the way we're going to deal with this, our one hope is that we innovate our way out of it, we invest enough in science, in research, in development—I have a proposal for a tenfold increase. And then we say, let's make this an opportunity, American taxpayers are going to do what we do best. We're going to invest in innovation. And then anybody can build what comes out of that, but you've got to build it right here in the United States of America. American taxpayers pay for the research, American taxpayers are going to get those jobs. Best estimate is we have an upcoming $23 trillion worldwide market for green, we'll produce over a million new good manufacturing jobs right here in America. That's how we're going to attack this problem.

But let me take you back to where I started this. Anybody wants to talk to climate change they got a lot of good plans. Yay. But unless, unless you're willing to attack the corruption head on, unless you're willing to take on the oil industry, unless you're willing to take on the big polluters, unless you're willing to fight corruption and the influence of money and lobbying I'll tell you where we're going to be. We'll get some bills passed, and they'll have great names like Saved the World. Only they will have exceptions written for the oil industry and they'll have exceptions written for the big polluters and they'll have exceptions and exceptions and exceptions. While countries burn. While rivers flood. While droughts overtake us. While storms get bigger and bigger and bigger. We must save our planet. And to do that, that means we must take our government back from those who would run it for their own private profit. That's what this fight is about. Thank you. Thank you. We're going to do this one.

QUESTION: Hi, my name is Rachel Oberfell?Obergefell [phon.]. I'm a college student from Kansas, and I'm the oldest of three girls in my family so I'm blessed to have like a strong community of women around me.  WARREN: Yes.  QUESTION: I know you're a huge role model to young women and girls all over the country, and I wanted to know what female role model has inspired you the most especially during your campaign?

WARREN: Oh, what a great question. Um, Frances Perkins.

Have I got any Frances Perkins fans. Other people are saying, who's that? But let me tell you why. Let me tell you. It was that or Beyonce. For a whole lot of reasons. Right. But, Frances Perkins.

So Frances Perkins was visiting in New York City in the early 1900s when the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire occurred. This was a factory that's up on the 11th and 12th floors, I think it was, at this big building in New York City down by Union Square. And in the space of about 20, 25 minutes about 146 mostly young immigrant women trying to support themselves and families, either burned to death in that fire or jumped to their deaths, because the owners of those buildings had locked the fire escapes, didn't have fire extinguishers.

Now, here's the reason the story is, is, is so relevant to what we're talking about today. It was no surprise that it happened. This was not like oh my gosh you mean people are working on high stories that they could burn to death. No. Folks had been having, workers have been marching for years, protesting, marching up and down the streets, holding signs, holding rallies. But the owners, who were making big money, had figured out, you spend your money one or two ways. You spend your money on fire escapes and making things work better, right, safety for your workers. Or you can go to the government, in this case it was state government to Albany, and spread around a little money, and no one puts any regulations in place. And so that's what had happened. People kept pushing, but no one would make any change in Albany. And without a change in the regulations nothing ultimately happened. So Frances was there, she watched this. Now remember this is a time when women don't even have the vote. Frances had an idea. She got herself to Albany, and she got a fire commission appointed, and got herself appointed to the head of it. And by the way, do we see, I don't see any, there's one, fire exit signs. When you see one, say thank you Frances Perkins, right.

So they did the fire things, about fire safety, but then she started taking on labor issues. And how did they get this done? It was an outside, inside game. So Frances led from the inside. Here's, here's the one we're going to target now. And people across New York started pushing from the outside until they held government accountable. Now, ultimately what happens, Franklin Roosevelt gets elected governor, the Great Depression hits, he gets elected president, he goes down to Washington, and he takes Frances as the first labor secretary, the first woman cabinet secretary in American history. Woo-hoo Frances. And Frances does the same thing. She says the way we make government accountable, is that you push from the outside, and I'll lead from the inside; we'll organize, we'll coordinate, we'll pick the issues we're fighting on, and we will make real change. Do you know what Frances got done while she was Secretary of Labor? Think about this. She got a minimum wage, ended child labor, made it legal and protected to join a union, and my— worker safety laws, and my personal favorite, the weekend, when you get paid more. Frances made real change, huge change in this country and she did it by having a plan to hold government accountable. It's amazing what one persistent woman on the inside, and millions of people on the outside pushing can get done. Let's do this. Thank you.


QUESTION: Hello, Senator. I want to echo the thanks for your passion, your positivity as a role model. Clearly we need more of those in this world. The core of my question goes to actually getting things done. You have wonderful plans; they're well thought out. You have identified corruption as a key blocker to those plans but we live in a world where 90% of people support gun control or background checks. We live in a world where 70% of people want to call witnesses and as you yourself know on Friday we didn't get that vote. So, given these problems, given that you have support among the populace and that support is high, how can we overcome some of these limitations through things like you know filibuster reform or whatever else?

WARREN: Okay. It's a great question. And let me, let me do this two quick ways. Okay, understand this. I'm going to Washington, not, to the White House not just to have a nicer place to live, to try the outfits on. I want to make real change. That's why I'm there. So I'm gonna give you two paths to how we make real change.

One is I is—. I'll start here 40 million Americans have hearing loss, and yet, fewer than one in six actually gets the hearing aids they need. You know why? They cost a lot of money. A pair of hearing aids on average costs about $5,000. They're not covered most of the time by Medicaid, Medicare or health insurance. And understand this, people with hearing loss, it's, it's not just you've got to turn up the TV louder. It means people really have problem with communication with their own families; people often stay home they won't go to the doctor, they won't go to the grocery store, sometimes afraid to drive. Those hearing aids make a real difference.

So here I am a couple of years ago, I'm looking at this and I'm thinking why do hearing aids cost so much? Why do they cost so much more than the phone? They're not nearly as complicated, right? And the answer is an industry has captured the government, and they keep it so that basically there's only a couple of competitors and that keeps price up high. It's a market that doesn't work. So I thought about this and I thought you know what we could do? We could do over the counter sale of hearing aids. [I] talked to some doctors, who said it would be perfectly safe, same way when you buy your glasses at the drugstore, a lot cheaper than the ones you get from—  Now you can get the more expensive kind if you want, you can buy the hearing aid, should be able to buy hearing aids over the counter. So I wrote up the statute on this. The first person I called was a Republican. Second—and he said yes. Second person I called was a Republican, and he said yes. Third person I called was a Republican, said yes. And, last year, Donald Trump signed that bill into law. Next year people will be able to buy hearing aids over the counter.

I start there to say there are things we can do out of the limelight, out of the headlines, to move this government to work for the people. It's not always easy, but we can do it. That's part of it. But the second part is we have to recognize when a fight is needed. And when a fight is needed that means we need people out loud, vigorous and we need them in the fight, and let me give you one quick example of that. Remember after Donald Trump was inaugurated. I went to the inauguration—look, some people didn't from Congress—I come from a witnessing tradition, I saw him being sworn in. It's now burned into the backs of my eyeballs. And I gotta tell you, it's a good thing. If I ever get tired if I'm ever— I'll lean back, I see Donald Trump getting inaugurated, I'm in. Let's go, in this fight.

But I rode home that night and I thought, 30 million people could loose health insurance by this Friday, because they've now got it all, and they ran on it, so it wouldn't even be a surprise. The Republicans own the House, the Republicans own the Senate, now they own the White House, and they have run on repealing the Affordable Care Act for everyone. I then stood a few weeks later, and watched as the House of Representatives voted, every single Republican, voted to take away health care for tens of millions of Americans. And this is the part that got me, and then they high fived each other at the end. What kind of people high five over take away healthcare from folks? But that's what they did. High five, broke out the brewskis, big celebration. And then it came to the Senate. We didn't have the votes in the Senate. We were behind the—we didn't have them, we just didn't have them. They had the votes to repeal health care and Donald Trump was going to sign that bill into law. So what happened between when Donald Trump was inaugurated and I thought we were going to lose healthcare by the end of the week and that following August? And the answer is you. You made your voices heard. People called, people wrote, people came in, people were in the streets. The littlest lobbyists—these are the, these are the children with complex medical needs; their mamas and daddies brought them to the Capitol, got right in the face of Republican senators and said this is the face of health care in America, these are the children who are dependent, whose lives depend on health care coverage. People got in that fight. And I stood there when the ultimate vote was 51-49 to save healthcare for 35 million Americans.

We did that one with no leadership from the White House. We did that one with no support from the White House. So I see it as some of it will get done because it's the right thing, we can pull people off and get it done. The rest of it, we're going to have to line those fights up, and we're going to have to be willing to get in the fight. Because understand this, fighting for an America that works better, not just for those of the top, but for everyone is a righteous fight and we need to be in it to win. Thank you.


QUESTION: How are you?  WARREN: I'm good, how are you?  QUESTION: I am great. My name is Grace and I live in Des Moines. And when I've been talking to a lot of my friends and people my age this year before caucus season, it seems like so many people are scared. They're scared that they will lose their health insurance or lose their right to choose; they're scared they'll never pay off their debt; they're scared that climate change will destroy our planet, and it can be really hard to find hope and hard to feel like you're making a difference when all these problems are so big. And so I was wondering what you would say to people my age and people like me who are struggling to find some hope in this time.

WARREN: So it's a great question, Grace. And if you'll let me, I want to do this, but I want to, if I can, let's do this as we close, can we? Because I think this is really important. Do we have one more question? Is that Is that okay with you, Grace? You stay here. I promise I'm going to do this. But if you can, come on up because I want this to be the last thing we talk about. Is that okay? Okay great. Is that okay with everybody? We'll do this. Okay. Good.


QUESTION: Hi. I'm Lillian.  WARREN: Hi, Lillian.  QUESTION: I'm here on a high school trip from Minnesota to see the uniqueness of the Iowa caucuses.  WARREN: Okay. Welcome. Yes.   QUESTION: So, although I'm not going to be able to vote in the primary in Minnesota because I'm too young, I'll be voting in the general election and I want to make a change.  WARREN: Cool.
QUESTION: So I've been election judging and attending different protests at our state capitol. I was, I was going to ask about climate change, but since you already addressed that very well, I wanted to ask about technology. How are you going to ensure the accessibility of technology to all as well as ensuring the safety of our information online as data security is something we have very little influence over right now and information about?

WARREN: So that is a great question. Let me just give you a couple of pieces to this. Okay. I'll start somewhere else on this and that is we got a problem in America. And one of the problems is giant corporations. We have corporations that have swallowed up little businesses, they've swallowed up medium sized businesses, shoot, they've swallowed up what used to be big businesses. And the problem with that is how much power it gives them. It gives them power over their employees, it gives some power over their customers, it gives them power over their communities, and it gives them power over our federal government. We need a president who has the courage to enforce our antitrust laws and break up these giants and yes big tech, I'm looking at you. And big AG, I'm looking at you, too.

So, part of this is we really have to focus on this concentration of power, and how to break this up, because we've got more competition—. Think of it this way, think of it with Amazon. Right now, Amazon does two things. One's a platform. Right. Where can you buy a coffee maker, you can buy whatever you want. Buyers and sellers meet on that platform. Right. But the second thing it does is it collects information from every shopper, from every little business, and from every transaction. And if it discovers that your little business is starting making good profits, Amazon has the capacity to move you down to page seven on the search and put their own little business right at the front; in other words to drive you out of business. So we've got these tech companies that keep reinventing themselves but part of what they're doing is destroying competition in America.

So my view with Amazon, you can run the platform, that is you can be an umpire, or you can have a team in the game, you can have your own small business, but you can't do both at the same time. We need to break these tech guys apart.

One more, you talked about how are we going to protect our privacy? Look, I just put out a new plan, and part of what this plan is about, is about we got to stop on the fake news. And we've got, we can't keep this up. So one of the pieces in this plan is actually to say we need to make it illegal. I think one little part of this, a lot of parts on what businesses can do, what they can do to get rid of fake news online or at least to limit its impact, but I want to pick out one particular part that as a nation we have to be willing to say we're going to make. We're going to make a commitment here that no one is allowed to do this. When companies, when businesses, when entities, when whoever's running that website knowingly put out false information about when and where to vote, they are undercutting our democracy and we need to outlaw that, we need to stop it. So there's at least a place to start. Does that work? Good.

STAFFER: wrap up, so unfortunately the senator doesn't have time to stay for selfies for everyone. We know Bailey will be here to do it. We do want to make time for families with small children so if you have children, and you'd like to take a photo with the senator, please make your way over to the door. Some of our staff will be there to guide you and we can get a picture afterwards.

WARREN: Okay, 'cause I want to picture with that cutie. So if you can just get over to the door and we'll do a picture, okay? Just for the folks with little ones, thank you.

So we're on the last question is that right. So let's, let's talk about the last question. I want to talk about, I want to talk about hope, and I want to talk about fear. I want to talk about the choices we make because that's what this comes down to right now in Iowa, and across our nation.

I want to start here. I want to start with a toaster. Okay, you did not expect that right. When I was a young mom, toasters could burn down houses. Yep. Those toaster ovens—you were there too. Yeah, those toaster ovens didn't have automatic shutoff switches. So you could put four slices of bread on a toaster oven, slide the thing in, flick it on, hear the baby cry, run down to the other end of the house, stay longer than you thought you had, and by the time you got back the flames would be leaping off the toast about six to eight inches, catch the kitchen curtains on fire, the kitchen cabinets, you get the idea. Ask me how I know.

And, the part I will confess to is my daddy was so upset about this, that finally one year for Christmas he bought me a fire extinguisher. Man knows how to party.

So, along came a federal agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and they said, enough. You can't sell toasters in America that burn down people's houses. And that was it. They put safety switches on the toasters; you couldn't buy any more toasters like that and the toaster fires stopped.

In the early 2000s in America, mortgages were being sold—home mortgages—that were so complex and so dangerous, the mortgages sold had a one in five chance of costing a family their home through foreclosure. Think about that. Only this time, the government wasn't on the side of the people. This time it was so deep in the pocket of the banks, they told them to just keep right on sellng those mortgages and raking in those profits, right up until they crashed the entire economy and had to be bailed out.

So after this happened, I put forward an idea. I said how about if we have an agency, like the toaster agency, only it says you can't boost your profits from cheating people on mortgages and credit cards and payday loans and student loans.

So, I'm not in government, I don't have an elected position. I just go to Washington and basically knock on doors—Democrats, Republicans I don't care. Anybody who will listen to me. It's during the crisis, and I said I've got this idea, knock on doors and pitch it.

And I discovered after a while, I'm getting the same two responses from everybody. And the responses were, the first one, to paraphrase, was, that's a good idea. You could actually make a difference; that's we could, structural change. And the second was, don't even try. Don't even try. Because you'll be up against the big banks, you'll be up against the big donors, you'll be up against Wall Street, you'll be up against all of the Republicans, you'll be up against half the Democrats. You'll never get it done.

I get it. Big structural change is hard. But it was also the right thing to do. So we took it on. We took on the banks, we took on Wall Street, we took on the big donors, and in 2010, President Obama signed that agency into law. We won! You get in a fight, you win.

And now here it is. It's been three years with Donald Trump as president. And people are scared. Just like you said, they're scared for their families, they're scared for their neighbors, they're scared for children locked up in detention centers down at our border, they're scared for children in lock downs in our public schools, they're scared for women, for people of color for LGBTQ people, for trans people, all of whose rights are up for grabs in this United States Supreme Court. They are scared for our nation, they are scared for our planet, and the danger is real. Our democracy hangs in the balance. So, we've got a choice to make.

Now, we can bend our knees, we can pull in, we can cower, we can be timid, or we can fight back. Me, I'm fighting back. That's why I'm here.

Fight back. Fighting back is an act of patriotism. We fought back against a king to build this country. We fought back against the scourge of slavery to preserve this nation. We fought back against a Great Depression to rebuild our economy. We fought back against fascism to protect our democracy. Americans are at our best when we see a problem, we tackle it head on, and we fight it to the ground, that's when we're [inaud.]  You bet.

2020. This is no time for small ideas. This is no time to see these big problems, and just nibble around the edges. This is the time to come up with the big solutions and get out there and fight for them. Understand this, I'm not running a campaign that was shaped by a bunch of consultants. I guess you guessed that. I'm not running a campaign with a bunch of plans that have been carefully structured not to offend big donors. I passed that stop sign a long time ago. I am I running a campaign from the heart. I am running a campaign from a lifetime of fighting for working families. I am running a campaign from a belief in what we can do together. What we can do together if we choose courage; what we can do together if we choose hope; what we can do together.

2020 is our moment in history. If you believe that this is our time, our chance, then I ask you, commit today to caucus for me. Agree to do phone calls, knock on doors, pitch in five bucks, go to, find the place closest to you to be part of this fight. But that's the key. Get in this fight, because this moment will not come our way again. This is the moment that we will be measured as a nation and as a people. This is the moment to dream big, fight hard, and win. Thank you for being here.

[MUSIC: Aretha Franklin "Respect"]


Summary: Warren spoke for a bit more than 14 minutes, then fielded five questions over the next half hour; the total speaking time was about 44 minutes.