Politics

Warren Says Democrats Lack Guts to Take on ‘Billionaire Class’

Comes after she criticized other Democrats during Dodd-Frank fight

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner hold a news conference on Thursday to discuss bipartisan action they are taking to put marijuana legislation into the hands of state lawmakers. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticized fellow Democrats who voted for interests of the “billionaire class” over those of most Americans.

“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,” she said on The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan’s “Deconstructed” podcast released Friday.

Hasan asked if Warren agreed with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ assertion that most Democrats don’t have the “guts” to take on Wall Street.

“Yeah,” she said.

But Warren also said Republicans were responsible, too, and did not want to “give them a pass.”

Warren has notoriously been as willing to criticize members of her own party for their ties to Wall Street as she has Republicans.

Earlier this year, Warren criticized other Democrats for voting to roll back regulations on the financial industry.

The bill passed the Senate with 67 votes and had the support of some vulnerable Democrats like Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who in turn was praised by the Koch brothers-affiliated Americans for Prosperity.

Similarly, the American Bankers Association said it would release ads praising Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, who is also up for re-election and supported the legislation.

Warren criticized those Democrats in her interview with Hasan.

“They helped make this a riskier system and I think that is a bad decision,” she said.

She also criticized Democrats for using community banks as “human shields” to cover their vote.

Warren frequently criticized the Obama administration for its closeness to Wall Street and helped sink the nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss as an undersecretary of the Treasury Department.

Before her election to the Senate, the Obama administration passed on nominating her to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Warren was also not chosen to become Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016. Clinton instead chose Sen. Tim Kaine, who also voted for the bill loosening Dodd-Frank regulations.

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