If you thought that the generally amicable relationship between declared Democratic presidential contenders would continue through the primary election — you’re quickly being proven wrong. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made her opposition to newly declared candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s platform abundantly clear this week after he finally formally unveiled his candidacy. She denounced him as having been on credit card companies’ side when Americans needed advocates.
‘At a time when the biggest financial institutions in this country were trying to put the squeeze on millions of hard-working families who were in bankruptcy because of medical problems, job losses, divorce, and death in the family, there was nobody to stand up for them. I got in that fight because they just didn’t have anyone. And Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies.’
That explanation Warren offered for her relationship with Biden following a rally in the crucial early voting state of Iowa hearkened back to a public disagreement she had with the then-Senator in the early 2000s. At the time, he supported legislation that Business Insider describes as having “made it harder for Americans to file for bankruptcy.” Warren contended at the time, in the same outlet’s description, that the measure “would eliminate crucial protections for struggling families, while boosting banks and the credit industry.” In a piece she published in The New York Times in 2002 while still a private citizen, she criticized Biden for heaping enshrined protections for abortion into the legislation as an apparent Hail Mary attempt to earn Democratic support.
Once Warren entered Congress, she made her intent clear to stick up for the American families she felt Biden’s legislation ignored. She helped lead the charge against disgraced now former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who led the bank while it undertook an almost unbelievable fraud including the creation of 1.5 million fake accounts for the purpose of racking up fees that consumers were ultimately responsible for. To his face during a Senate Banking Committee Hearing, Warren insisted that figures like him “should face jail time when they preside over massive frauds.” Although that hasn’t happened, within a short while he resigned from the company.
It’s worth noting — she helped propose the organization responsible for ever bringing the Wells Fargo scheme to light in the first place, known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which emerged in the aftermath of the so-called Great Recession of the late 2000s. Warren herself “was supposed to lead the new regulatory body, but Republicans blocked the nomination, fearing that she would be too litigious,” as a financial industry source puts it.
There remain, of course, a number of other relevant issue areas for voters heading into the 2020 presidential elections — but the contrast between Warren and Biden on financial health is pretty striking, as she made clear.
She’s not alone in directly confronting Biden’s new candidacy; Sen. Bernie Sanders did the same, sending out a fundraising email to supporters that insisted:
‘We are the ones who can beat Trump and transform this country.’
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took a slightly different route, offering in a fundraising email:
‘As of this morning, my friend Joe Biden is now running for president. And you know what I say to that? The more, the merrier!’
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