A video of Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren discussing taxes went viral late last week, getting linked to on the Drudge Report and slammed by popular conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.
At a house party in Andover, Mass., before her official Sept. 14 Senate announcement, the Harvard professor tackled GOP accusations about Democrats’ stoking “class warfare.” Portions of her speech became a YouTube hit.
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody! You built a factory out there? Good for you! But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate,” she said. “You built a factory, and it turned into something terrific or a great idea: God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Limbaugh knocked Warren’s analysis, calling her “a parasite” and “an arrogant, condescending, conceited snob who has profound resentment.” He explained “the government doesn’t have any money until it takes it from people first.”
“It all starts with the business. Without the business, there is no revenue to build a road,” Limbaugh said.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party blasted out a release calling on Sen. Scott Brown (R) to reject Limbaugh’s attack.
“Scott Brown really needs to decide. If he is who is says he is, he will let Rush Limbaugh know that abusive mudslinging has no place in Massachusetts,” state Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh said.
In the end, though, Limbaugh’s attacks might be a boon to Warren’s fundraising. Limbaugh is a conservative bogeyman among liberal activists, and his comments may invigorate supporters to cut her a check.
Although Warren announced her campaign only two weeks before the third-quarter filing deadline, her fundraising will be seen as a key metric of her ability to compete against Brown, who had almost $10 million in the bank at the end of June.
When asked about the video and Limbaugh’s response, Warren spokesman Kyle Sullivan said the professor was “speaking from the heart about the fight she’s waged her whole life to even the playing field so working families and small businesses get the opportunity to get ahead.”
“It’s why she’s running for the U.S. Senate,” he said in a statement.
Warren faces a number of other candidates in the Democratic primary but has substantial support from the party establishment in Boston and Washington, D.C.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.