On Grimes’ behalf, Elizabeth Warren takes aim at McConnell

June 29, 2014 | | Comments 4

By Sam Youngman

LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said she was delighted but “surprised” to be campaigning in Louisville Sunday morning.

Given that Warren’s stances on guns, coal and health care align closely with those of President Barack Obama, Republican allies of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also were surprised but delighted when Warren announced she was coming to the Bluegrass State to campaign for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

But Warren’s surprise wasn’t rooted in Red State vs. Blue State dogma. Instead, Warren said she was surprised to be standing in Kentucky as a United States senator, given her hard-scrabble upbringing in Oklahoma.

“I’m a little surprised because this is sure not where I started,” Warren told a crowd of Grimes’ supporters at the University of Louisville. She added: “I am the daughter of a janitor, and I ended up in the United States Senate.”

Calling Grimes “the next senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Warren blasted McConnell’s leadership of Republicans in the Senate, specifically targeting McConnell’s effort to block her proposal to allow refinancing of older student loans and temporarily lower the interest rate on a federal Stafford loan.

“That’s what this race is all about,” Warren said. “It’s about a man who stood up and filibustered the student loan bill. Think about that.”

Noting that her bill had fallen two votes shy of overcoming the Republican-led filibuster — McConnell said at the time that the vote
was a political stunt to help Democrats in an election year, pushing instead for a vote on reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs — Warren asked the crowd to send her an ally in the Senate.

“You send us Alison Grimes instead of Mitch McConnell, and you change the vote,” Warren said to applause. She added: “We need Alison because Alison can fundamentally change the United States Senate.”

Warren and Grimes accused McConnell of standing for “millionaires and billionaires” instead of siding with Kentuckians on a number of populist issues, such as increasing the minimum wage, education funding, infrastructure spending and fair-pay legislation.

“Today we have a separation, and that’s what frames what this election is about,” Warren said. “This election is about what direction our country will take.”

Without going into specifics, both Grimes and Warren said in their remarks that they are not on the same page on every issue.

“Alison and I don’t agree on everything,” Warren said. “We don’t. But we agree that there is a lot on the line here. Our economy, our country, our values.”

Grimes mirrored Warren’s criticisms of McConnell, focusing her remarks on a populist economic message while keeping her aim trained on McConnell.

“I think Elizabeth Warren just laid down the challenge,” Grimes said, taking the stage after Warren had fired up the crowd. “Mitch McConnell better be worried.”

Grimes praised Warren as “someone who has fought as hard as anyone could fight in the United States Senate to literally level the playing field for the middle-class.”

Warren is “someone, who when we finally get Kentucky’s next United States Senator, will have someone who will fight with the middle class right along with them,” Grimes said.

The McConnell campaign released a number of statements throughout the week welcoming Warren to Kentucky, as McConnell continues to hammer Grimes as an ally of Obama and national Democrats.

“It’s virtually impossible to think of a single way in which the Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Alison Lundergan Grimes economic policies have made life better for American families,” Allison Moore, McConnell’s spokeswoman, said in an email Sunday. “After nearly six years of evidence that the Obama approach has failed Kentuckians, nobody is buying more tax-and-spend liberalism cloaked in false promises.”

Filed Under: Alison Lundergan GrimesElectionsFederal GovernmentMitch McConnellUS Senate Race

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  1. Daniel says:

    Well written article that accurately incorporated the nuance of Warren’s battle with McConnell and the right. I was nonetheless disappointed that you finished with McConnell’s spokeswoman. She (and her talking points) should have been included but not as the last word. Seems unfair given Grimes big day with a major D.C. player from her party.

  2. CoolerKing says:

    The top one percent in this country now owns more wealth than the bottom NINETY (!) percent.

    If you think that’s great, then by all means vote for Mitch McConnell. But if you think it’s time for policies that help the average worker instead of the very wealthy, then McConnell is not your candidate.

  3. liberalsheep says:

    Big Govt is the REASON that higher ed is so costly. Those predatory loans are made by the govt and 99% of academia votes democrat. I hardly think that MORE govt involvement with twits like Grimes and Warren is the solution. They caused the problem.

  4. Buck Feshear says:

    So, did Fauxahontas tell anybody in attendance that they didn’t earn what they have; that the government basically gave it to them? Or did she hide her extreme liberalism while in Kentucky?