Warren: 'Not Enough of My Senate Democrats' Taking on Billionaire Class

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren / Getty Images
June 12, 2018

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said in an interview last week that not enough of her fellow Senate Democrats were willing to "take on the billionaire class."

Warren has been critical of Senate Democrats for their support of the Dodd-Frank rollback, which President Donald Trump signed in May. The new legislation scaled back regulations imposed on small and medium-sized banks in the wake of last decade's financial crisis, but Warren said it made another crisis more likely.

Warren slammed the 17 Senate Democrats joining every Republican in voting for the bill in March. The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan pressed Warren on his "Deconstructed" podcast over whether they and the 33 House Democrats who voted for it were guilty of "betrayal."

"Tell me why 17 Democrats in the Senate and 33 Democrats in the House voted to repeal this. Was it money? Was it the influence of money?" Hasan asked.

"They helped make this a riskier system, and I think that is a bad decision," Warren said. "All day long, they said they were there for the community banks, but using the community banks as human shields to be able to get giveaways for giant banks was wrong."

Hasan brought up an earlier interview where Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said a lot of Democrats didn't have the "guts" to take on the billionaire class and asked if she agreed.

"Yeah," she said.

"You don’t think enough of your Senate Democrats are willing to take on the billionaire class?" Hasan asked.

"Look, there are not enough of my Senate Democrats, there are not enough of the Republicans," Warren said. "But you are right. There are not enough. Because until we have all of the Democrats who are willing to take on the billionaire class, until we have all of the Democrats who are willing to fight for the American people and not for a handful of billionaires and giant corporations, then it’s going to stay an uphill fight."

In the same interview, Warren dodged Hasan's questions about whether she was considering a White House bid in 2020. She has responded to such questions by repeatedly shifting focus to her 2018 re-election bid to her U.S. Senate seat, and she told Hasan she was focused on the midterms.

"But you're not ruling it out in 2020?" Hasan asked.

"I am not running for president," Warren said, notably using the present tense.