Warren to advocate economic worldview, put opponents on notice in new speech

Image: Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Washington in 2017.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Washington in 2017. Copyright Andrew Harrer Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Ali Vitali and Molly Roecker and Deepa Shivaram with NBC News Politics
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"I am serious about delivering real change," Warren will argue in a speech combining her economic vision and crusade against corruption Thursday.


MANCHESTER, N.H. — Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will continue to put corruption in the spotlight in a speech here Thursday, delivering remarks that will serve as both an illustration of Warren's economic worldview — that she alone will launch the crusade against a corrupt system — but also an offensive against those, including her 2020 opponents, who she sees as unwilling to stand up to that same malfeasance.

"I'm serious about delivering real change — and a lot of powerful people know it," Warren will say in a speech at Saint Anselm College, according to excerpts released by her campaign. "Just take a look at who the Washington insiders and Wall Street executives and billionaires spend their time and money attacking on TV and in the press. They believe that I'm the biggest threat to a corrupt system that has enriched them at everyone else's expense."

It will be a hallmark address for Warren on how to improve an economy she argues is bogged down by deeply entrenched corruption while also taking repeated, unnamed, shots at her opponents.

In some cases Warren takes opponents to task for their reliance on high-dollar donors; in others, for their "naïve hope" that Washington's partisan rancor can ever be rolled back in the name of bipartisan progress. In fact, there is little hope for bipartisanship in this speech; it centers around the "fight."

Warren specifically references — without naming — former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for their fundraising practices and how they've talked about their donors. To those, like Biden, who talk about a return to bipartisanship, Warren offers: "Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I'm not counting on Republican politicians having an epiphany."

At another point of the speech, while defending her belief in markets, she offers a subtle rebuke of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., saying, "nobody should be surprised that I believe in markets." Warren and Sanders have dueled over interpretations of their capitalist versus socialist stances, one of the key differences between their worldviews, and something that Sanders has brought up in the past months.

Finally, Warren directly takes on the latest candidate to enter the Democratic primary race, saying it's "no secret that I'm not a fan of Michael Bloomberg trying to buy the Democratic presidential nomination." But she uses the former New York City mayor to make a larger point about the wealth tax. "He built a successful company," she will say while arguing that her wealth tax proposal "isn't about being punitive or denigrating success."

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