Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren electrified the crowd at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night with her trademark feisty rhetoric and populism, casting Wall Street and big oil as villains while praising President Obama as a defender of the middle class.
"The system is rigged," Warren told delegates packed into the Time Warner Cable Arena. "Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in profits. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. And Wall Street CEOs--the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs--still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them."
Teeing up the night's capstone speech delivered by former President Clinton, the Democratic senate candidate and Harvard professor had the crowd on its feet before she opened her mouth.
Warren sought to depict a stark contrast between the president's defense of the middle class and Mitt Romney's economic policies in the November election while steering away from resentment, offering a story of her own hardscrabble upbringing and speaking of the business owners she met across Massachusetts. "These folks don't resent that someone else makes more money. We're Americans. We celebrate success. We just don't want the game to be rigged," she said.
But she didn't mince words about the GOP hopeful. "Mitt Romney? He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. But for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails? His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000."