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Warren Fields Questions On Unifying Democrats In Latest Swing Through Iowa

Kate Payne / IPR
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren faced questions from voters in Waterloo on how she would unite progressives, some of whom haven't laid to rest divisions from the 2016 presidential cycle.

On a swing through Iowa this weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren faced some questions about how she would unite the party. Some voters are concerned about infighting among the growing field of contenders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts made multiple stops in northeast Iowa this weekend, primarily focusing on an economic message. Warren argues the country needs “systemic change” to reduce the influence of money in American politics and to redistribute wealth to the middle and working class.

Warren grew up in a working class family in Oklahoma, becoming a special education teacher before attending law school and ultimately becoming a professor at Harvard Law School, spending much of her career focused on economic policy and what causes Americans to go bankrupt.

Some 200 people filed into Central Middle School in Waterloo Saturday morning, where Warren spoke of her family’s own economic struggles. Warren says corporate interests have an out-sized influence on federal policy, and that working families can’t keep up and people of color are left even farther behind.

“When I was a girl, a minimum wage job in America would support a family of three. It would pay a mortgage, it would cover the utilities, and it would put food on the table. Today a minimum wage job in America, full time, will not keep a mama and a baby out of poverty,” Warren told the crowd. “That is why I am in this fight. That’s it.”


Warren took questions from the audience on Medicare for all, the influence of money in politics, and how she’d face President Donald Trump. Warren said she would beat the president by focusing on her issues and policy proposals, which include universal childcare, a wealth tax on “ultra-millionaires” and what she calls the “biggest anti-corruption bill since Watergate."

“We’ve gotta talk about our issues,” Warren said. “What we have to do is get out there every day. And I mean all of us, I’m going to do it, but I need everybody to do it. To talk about our vision of what we can do together.”

Voters also asked Warren how she’d handle potential fault lines within the party. Warren says she doesn’t intend to attack other Democrats, and that her platform will set her apart, from the president and from other progressive candidates.

“I’m not here to attack Democrats,” Warren said. “This really is our moment. And the need for us to get this right couldn’t be more urgent. So count on me. And let me also say, I’m going to support our Democratic nominee. All the way.”

When asked why she endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the last election, Warren said Democrats should come together and put 2016 behind them.

“I’m just going to be blunt with all of you. We can’t go back and re-litigate 2016. We just can’t. We just can’t.”

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter