US Sen. Warren avoids 2020 talk in post-midterm speech

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) speaks at Brown University and answers questions from students during a Governor Frank Licht lecture series sponsored by Brown. Pool photo by The Providence Journal/Bob Breidenbach

By The Associated Press and WPRO News

Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren avoided talk of a possible presidential run during a speech the day after winning a second term, instead focusing on what she called “a government that works for everyone,” not just the few.

The Massachusetts senator spoke to a crowd at Brown University on Wednesday, the day after a midterm election in which Democrats won the House but lost seats in the Senate.

Warren has pledged to take a hard look at a presidential run but didn’t address that during the speech. After the speech, she declined to answer when asked her timeline for a decision.

Instead, she blasted “trickle-down economics” and how deregulation and tax cuts have hurt everyday people, and said government has a role to play in helping people’s lives.

“Government matters,” she said. “It matters enormously.”

Many of the new Democrats coming to Washington ran “on a very progressive agenda that government is an important part our lives, and that government should have a role to play in helping make sure that every one of us gets access to affordable health care, that we have access to an education, that Social Security survives and is strong and robust,” Warren said.

A frequent foil to President Donald Trump, she made several references to him during her talk, including when two students raised a DNA test she released providing evidence of a Native American in her lineage, asking her about a video she released with it and why she waited so long to address it.

Warren replied that she had been attacked by Trump and her Senate opponents about her ancestry and she wanted to be transparent. She said the president’s remarks should alarm everyone.

“Every single one of us should be outraged when Donald Trump attacks Native Americans. I am not a person of color, but every single one of us should acknowledge that communities of color are under assault,” she said.

She also asserted Trump pushed Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of his job Wednesday and appointed a new acting attorney general “so that he can build the runway to be able to escape an investigation of his own activities. Wow.”

During brief remarks to reporters after the speech, Warren called for the Senate and House to pass a law to prevent Trump from shutting down special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between the president’s campaign and Russia. She also expressed concern over the Senate being retained by Republicans, but said the midterms were not all bad news for her party.

“The Democrats also took back the House, and that means we are really in a position to move legislation that matters for hard working families, and I hope to move on some anti corruption legislation,” she said.

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