'Republican elites hated him for it': Elizabeth Warren extends a slight olive branch to Trump in major speech
Sen. Elizabeth Warren extended an olive branch to President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday, offering to work with him on middle-class issues where the real-estate mogul rejected traditional Republican Party orthodoxy.
"When his goal is to increase the economic security of middle class families, then count me in," Warren said during a speech to the AFL-CIO on Thursday.
She added: "I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal. I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort. If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I."
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Warren empathized with many Trump supporters, arguing that millions of voters backed Trump "despite the hate" often on display at campaign rallies, saying that they "voted for him out of frustration and anger — and also out of hope that he would bring change."
In her remarks on Thursday, Warren also claimed that Trump does not have the small-government mandate House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to push through Congress.
Warren, the populist liberal firebrand, pointed out that the Republican Party establishment was "rejected by their own primary voters, rejected during the campaign, and rejected in Tuesday's election." She said Trump won because working families were simply "disgusted by a Washington that works for the rich and powerful and leaves everyone else behind."
Warren also said Trump wooed voters by addressing their fears about economic anxiety, including the high cost of college tuition, the advantages large corporations have in crafting trade deals, and the influence of lobbying in Washington.
"President-elect Trump spoke to these issues. Republican elites hated him for it. But he didn't care," Warren said.
"He criticized Wall Street and big money's dominance in Washington-straight up. He supported a new Glass-Steagall. He spoke of the need to reform our trade deals so they aren't raw deals for the American people. He said he will not cut Social Security benefits. He talked about the need to address the rising cost of college and about helping working parents struggling with the high cost of child care. He spoke of the urgency of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and putting people back to work. He spoke to the very real sense of millions of Americans that their government and their economy has abandoned them. And he promised to rebuild our economy for working people."
Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump occasionally broke with hardline fiscal Republican orthodoxy on issues like international trade and Social Security reform, though in the past he called the program a "Ponzi scheme."
The Massachusetts senator wasn't the first Democrat to offer to work with Trump on issues.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Trump often praised for his more skeptical views on international trade deals, released a statement Wednesday pledging to work with the president-elect on improving middle class financial stability.
Despite her pledge to work with Trump, Warren was still highly critical of Trump on certain areas. She also promised to hold the president-elect accountable for his at-times inflammatory rhetoric, which was often aimed at the Massachusetts senator herself.
Warren said the "ugly" campaign was Trump's responsibility, slamming his "toxic stew of hatred and fear" and "statements that undermined core values of our democracy," including Trump's pledge to deport millions of immigrants living in the US without permission and plan to bar all Muslims from entering the US.
"Now Latino and Muslim-American children are worried about what will happen to their families. LGBT couples are worried that their marriages could be dissolved by a Trump-Pence Supreme Court. Women are worried that their access to desperately needed health services will disappear," Warren said. "Millions of people in this country are worried, deeply worried. And they are right to be worried."
The populist senator pledged to oppose Trump if he deregulates the financial sector and follows through on campaign promises to repeal Obamacare and deport millions of immigrants living in the US illegally.
"We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans-on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever," Warren said.
Watch the speech below:
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