Dec. 31, 2018 - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Announces Presidential Exploratory Committee

• video     • transcript of media avail     • Democracy for America      • RNC

TRANSCRIPT Courtesy Mike Dec/

In our country, if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to be able to take care of yourself and the people you love.

That's a fundamental promise of America—a promise that should be true for everyone.

Growing up in Oklahoma, that promise came through for me and my family.

After my older brothers joined the military, and I was still just a kid, my daddy had a heart attack and couldn't work.

My mom found a minimum wage job at Sears, and that job saved our house and our family.

My daddy ended up as a janitor, but he raised a daughter who got to be a public school teacher, a law professor, and a Senator.

We got a real opportunity to build something.

Working families today face a lot tougher path than my family did.

And families of color face a path that is steeper and rockier, a path made even harder by the impact of generations of discrimination.

I've spent my career getting to the bottom of why America's promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster.

What I've found is terrifying: these aren't cracks that families are falling into—they're traps.

America's middle class is under attack.

How did we get here?

Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie, and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice.

They crippled unions so no one could stop them.  Reagan: "We're going to turn the bullet loose"

Dismantled the financial rules meant to keep us safe after the Great Depression, and cut their own taxes so they paid less than their secretaries and janitors.

Warren (clip): "It's time to write the rules for the middle class."

After Wall Street crashed our economy, I left the classroom to go to Washington and confront the system head on.

Reporter: Elizabeth Warren apparently not afraid to tangle with Wall Street.

Reporter: Elizabeth Warren is heading into the lion's den.

Reporter: Mrs. Warren goes to Washington

We created America's first consumer watchdog to hold the big bank's accountable.

Reporter: A women who has warned of another meltdown if Washington doesn't straighten up.

I never thought I'd run for office—not in a million years.

But when Republican Senators tried to sabotage the reforms and run me out of town, I went back to Massachusetts and ran against one of them—and I beat him.

Warren (clip): "And we are going to turn Washington back to the people!"

Crowd: "Who do we love? Warren! Who do we love? Warren! Who do we love? Warren!"

Today, corruption is poisoning our democracy.

Politicians look the other way while big insurance companies deny patients life-saving coverage, while big banks rip off consumers, and while big oil companies destroy this planet.

Our government's supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected.

The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us.

People who will do or say anything to hang on to power point the finger at anyone who looks or thinks or prays or loves differently than they do.

Trump (audio clip): Build that wall, build that wall.

But this dark path doesn't have to be our future.

We can make our democracy work for all of us.

We can make our economy work for all of us.

We can rebuild America's middle class-but this time we gotta build it for everyone.

No matter where you live in America, and no matter where your family came from in the world, you deserve a path to opportunity.

Because no matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing: to be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, and take care of the people we love.

That's the America I'm fighting for, and that's why today I'm launching an exploratory committee for president.  [SFX cheers]

But the outcome of this election will depend on you.

In the last two years, millions of people have done more than they ever thought they would to protect the promise of America.

And here's what we learned: if we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together, we can win—we can and we will.

video [4min29sec]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Press Conference

December 31, 2018


Warren: Hi. 

I'm Elizabeth Warren. This is my husband, Bruce, come on up, and this is Bailey, who will be eight months old tomorrow.

today I announced an exploratory committee for President of the United States. I never thought I would run for anything ever in my life. But America's middle class is getting hollowed out and opportunity for too many of our young people in shrinking. So I'm in this fight all the way.

Right now, Washington works great for the wealthy and the well connected; it's just not working for anyone else.

But I am optimistic. I believe in what we can do together. I'm going to build a grassroots campaign. It's already got people from all across this country who are going to be part of it. And together, we're going to make change. And if people out there see it and want to be part of it. I hope they go to and join us because this is how we're going to build the movement that will change America.

So thank you all for being here. You have questions?

Reporter: You know, the urgency that a lot of Democrats feel about defeating Donald Trump in 2020.

Warren: Yes.

: What's your message to the Democratic primary voter, who says, I love where Senator Warren stands on the issues but I worry about electability, I worry about a campaign more about Native American ancestry than the middle class.

Warren: Look, I'm in this fight because I understand what's happening to working families. I grew up in a paycheck to paycheck family. And my big chance was a commuter college that cost $50 a semester.

I run for office because I'm grateful down to my toes for the opportunities that were given to me. And I am determined that we will give those same opportunities, not just to some of our kids, but to all of our kids. I think when we fight for something positive, for something big, when we show not just tell—but show—what Democrats will get out there and make happen, I think that's how we win.

: Do you think your policies are too polarizing for a national audience?

Warren: You know, look, the way I see it right now, Washington works great for giant drug companies, but just not for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. Washington works great for for-profit colleges and student loan outfits, but not for young people who are getting crushed by student loan debt. And you could keep going through the list.

The problem we've got right now in Washington is that it works great for those who've got money to buy influence. And I'm fighting against that, and you bet it's going to make a lot of people unhappy. But at the end of the day, I don't go to Washington to work for them. Our government should be working for the people, and that's the movement I'm going to lead.

: Senator, you articulated this very point throughout the course of your career. And you saw a, a real estate
developer from New York expropriate that message in 2016.  How do you basically convince people that this message is still a message that belongs to the Democratic Party, given that it's, again, it's been expropriated and used effectively by a real estate developer.

Warren: we have to get out there and be clear about what we're fighting for. And then we got to show we're willing to fight for it. It's not enough just to talk the talk, we've actually got to be willing to get out and walk the walk. And that means we've got to stand behind the kinds of changes that will matter in the lives of everyday people. And when that means standing up to big drug companies, we won't do with this administration has done in that is said raise prices whenever you want. We'll say, we're going to make real change.

Reporter: Follow up. How does your message compare to that of Sherrod Brown for example, and others who are who are making some of the same points?

Warren: Yeah, I think it's great that we have a strong and growing group of Democrats who are making these arguments, who are fighting these fights. That's how we build a movement; we do it together.

Reporter: Senator, you have not been afraid to take on Donald Trump really [inaud.] in the past.  Do you expect that you will need to go head to head, toe to toe with him, and hurl it right back at him. Is that part of winning this.

Warren: Look I think the central part of winning this is to get out and talk with people about what we're fighting for. We want a government that works not just for the rich and the powerful, we want a government that works for everyone. And we can make that happen. We have to do it together. I think that's how we want [crosstalk]

: have had a few weeks to think about this. If you were to do it over again, today, would you handle the release of the DNA test any differently?

Warren: You know, look I've put it all out there; it's there for anyone to see. But at the end of the day, what this is going to be about, this election going forward, is going to be about the tens of millions of families across this country, who work hard, who play by the rules and who just time and after time, take one body blow after another. It has been decades in which profits have gone through the roof and workers' incomes have stayed flat; in which the costs of housing have gone up, the costs of healthcare have gone up, the costs of an education have gone up, and yet families aren't getting more money to cover all of that. I think that's going to be the central issue in this campaign. Who do you think government should work for?

Republicans, Donald Trump has made clear, they think government should work for the wealthy and the well connected, and right now that's exactly what it's doing. I think it ought to work for everyone else. And that's what this fight is about.

Reporter: Do super PACs have a place in this race?

Warren: I'm sorry.

Reporter: Do super PACs have a place in this race?

Warren: So look I believe that as Democrats, the way we're going to win in 2020, is by building a grassroots movement all across this country. And that means we have to build this movement with small dollar donors, with volunteers, with real people. I don't think we ought to be running campaigns that are funded by billionaires, whether it goes through super PACs or their own money that they're spending. Democrats are the party of the people. And the way we make that clear is we join together and we fund our campaigns, we make our campaigns work through the people.

By the way, today, already, since I've made the announcement this morning. I already received donations from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. That's how you build a grassroots campaign. That's what I believe in.

Reporter: You're just won reelection...your message to voters..who say now you're more focused on running for president than representing them. What's your take?

Warren: I'm in the fight for all of our families. It's the same fight that drew me in to elective politics to begin with. I want to see an America that works, not just for some people, but an America that works for all of us. That's why I'm [inaud.]

: Are you and your family ready?

Warren: Well, you can actually, I have to say Bailey is really behaving himself here. He looks ready for it. You know, I'm about to go off and make phone calls to some supporters all around the country. Tonight, Bruce and I are going to do what we do every New Year's Eve, we're going to watch "Casa Blanca
," cheer at all the cheering parts and cry at all the sad parts and have a good evening. And I will see all of you, I hope again, very soon. Happy New Year to all of you. Take care.

Reporter: Bruce, anything you want to add?

Warren: Anything you want to add honey?

Bruce: We've been married a long time and it's always been an adventure. This is just another one.

Warren: Yeah, there we go. Another adventure. Take care. Thank you.  Bye-bye.

Democracy for America

DFA responds to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s launch of 2020 presidential campaign

Earlier this morning, Senator Elizabeth Warren became one of the first major candidates to launch a 2020 campaign for President.

Democracy for America's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain issued the following statement following Warren's announcement:
"Our country needs a 2020 Democratic nominee defined by bold, inclusive populist ideas and a vision for the future of the country that wins the support of the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters.

"Senator Elizabeth Warren's formal entrance into the 2020 race for President today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic Primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
In late 2014 and early 2015, Democracy for America (DFA) worked with to encourage Senator Warren to run for President in the 2016 election. In late 2015, following an endorsement vote of its grassroots progressive members, DFA endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary.

Earlier this month, DFA released the results of its first 2020 Presidential Pulse Poll and made it clear that its presidential endorsement was "up for grabs."
Republican National Committee

RNC Statement on Elizabeth Warren's Candidacy

WASHINGTON — Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel issued the following statement on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy:

"Senator  Warren couldn’t be more out of touch," said Chairwoman McDaniel. "With her lack of support from voters – including in her home state – on top of her phony claim to minority status, now that she is formally running Americans will see her for what she is: another extreme far-left obstructionist and a total fraud. Voters know President Trump’s agenda gets results and they will make their voices heard at the ballot box in 2020.