Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren began campaigning in Virginia Thursday following disappointing performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, with less than three weeks until Super Tuesday.
The event possessed all the fanfare of a high school pep rally. Warren spoke like a school principal in a northern Virginia high school gymnasium to an enthusiastic crowd. She condemned Republicans while firing shots at former New York City mayor and presidential rival Michael Bloomberg.
“Michael Bloomberg came in on the billionaire plan to just buy yourself the nomination,” Warren said. “But I wanna point out, that video just came out yesterday in which Michael Bloomberg is saying that, in affect, the 2008 financial crash was caused because the banks weren’t permitted to discriminate against black and brown people.”
Warren continued to blame Bloomberg for the collapse of the economy in 2008 to a booing audience. She said Bloomberg’s thoughts on the 2008 financial crisis disqualify him from the presidency.
“I wanna be clear about this, that crisis would not have been averted if the banks had been able to be bigger racists. And anyone who thinks that should not be the leader of our party,” Warren said to a cheering audience.
The attack from Warren comes as Bloomberg has remained largely absent from substantive criticism while the focus of the primary centered in on Iowa and New Hampshire, two states Bloomberg skipped to concentrate resources on the 16 states holding their nominating contests March 3.
As the candidates begin to compete in states where Bloomberg is overwhelming the airwaves with ads, the New York businessman is certain to face criticism from Democratic opponents as a competitor threatening to suck up delegates in a crowded field.
Bloomberg will also be tested in his first Democratic debate in Nevada Wednesday night after the Democratic National Committee withdrew the donor thresholds to qualify. That opened the door for Bloomberg, who is self-financing his campaign.
Warren’s swipe at Bloomberg comes as doubts rise over the Massachusetts senator’s ability to clinch the Democratic nomination following poor showings in the first two contests. Warren placed third in the Iowa caucuses and landed a distant fourth in her home state’s neighbor, New Hampshire. She left the Granite State without a single delegate.
Her fiery remarks delivered to a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C. seemed to reassure supporters of her campaign’s ability to go all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. Yet many still fear self-described socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who shares much of Warren’s vision for the country and has eclipsed former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic frontrunner.
“It’s definitely Bernie,” said local resident Kathleen Tysse at the rally when asked who she feared was Warren’s biggest threat in the race. “Their policies are most similar so I think they compete for some of the same ideological voters.”
Sanders and Warren indeed share highly similar platforms aiming to push the United States further into socialism. Single-payer health care? Check. New wealth tax? You betcha. College student loan debt? Bail it out.
The two left-wing senators are now fighting for the leftist standard-bearer, although Sanders came out on top in both Iowa and New Hampshire. At one point, a protestor at the rally even held up a banner as Warren began to speak, urging the Massachusetts Democrat to drop out and endorse Sanders. The protestor was promptly escorted out.