Warren wishes handcuffs for Trump, says Biden wrong on abortion

Image: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign stop in Cin
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign stop in Cincinnati on May 11, 2019. Copyright John Minchillo AP
By Alex Seitz-Wald and Ali Vitali with NBC News Politics
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The Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 contender let loose at an MSNBC town hall in Indiana.


FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at an MSNBC town hall on Wednesday night that Joe Biden is wrong for supporting a ban on federal funding for abortion and that President Donald Trump "would be carried out in handcuffs" if he were anybody else.

The Massachusetts Democrat and presidential candidate took on the former vice president and 2020 frontrunner for his longstanding support for the Hyde Amendment, which bars taxpayer-funded healthcare programs like Medicaid from paying for abortions.

"Yes," Warren responded when MSNBC's "All In" host Chris Hayes asked if Biden was wrong.

Biden's campaign told NBC News he supports the decades-old Hyde amendment, which makes him an outlier in the crowded Democratic field and puts him in the crosshairs of rivals and pro-abortion rights groups like Planned Parenthood and Emily's List.

"I've lived in an America where abortions were illegal and understand this: Women still got abortions. Now, some got lucky on what happened and some got really unlucky on what happened," Warren said.

"Women of means will still have access to abortions," she added. "Who won't will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can't afford to take off three days off from work, will be very young women, will be women who've been raped, will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family."

On another topic, Warren said she read the full 448-page report from former special counsel Robert Muller and concluded impeachment was necessary, putting her at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders in the House.

"I get that this is politically tough," Warren said. "But some things are bigger than politics. This matters for our democracy — not just now, but under the next president, and the next president, and the next president."

And pointing to instances of Trump's potential obstruction of justice detailed in the report, Warren said, "If he were any other person in the United States, based on what is documented in that report, he would be carried out in handcuffs."

At the town hall, Warren used a commercial break to shake hands with voters around the stage and introduce herself.

Rising in the polls after a rocky start to the year, Warren was one of the first presidential candidates to call for Trump's impeachment and said she came to that decision even though she entered the presidential race to "beat that guy straight up."

Some voters on the campaign trail have expressed concern about Warren's ability to go head-to-head with Trump and asked about that Wednesday night, she responded that she remembers when people said Barack Obama — or Trump — couldn't get elected.

"Elections are about getting in there and fighting for it and making clear to the American people what you stand for," Warren said.

Mimi Lahr, a lawyer from Fort Wayne who told NBC after the town hall that she would support Warren in 2020, was undeterred by the naysayers. "Anyone who thinks she can't take on Trump doesn't know her," she said.

Ali Vitali reported from Fort Wayne and Alex Seitz-Wald reported from D.C.

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