WASHINGTON – Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday weighed in on a recent controversy on the left surrounding Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy, pointing up a policy difference between herself and Biden over the Hyde Amendment.
Warren, D-Mass., during a live televised town hall in Fort Wayne, Ind., was asked by MSNBC host Chris Hayes whether Biden was wrong to continue to support the Hyde Amendment, a law that blocks federal funding for abortion in most cases.
“Yes,” Warren, who is running for president, quickly said.
Biden has been criticized by a number of liberal groups and by fellow Democratic presidential candidates for his stance on the Hyde Amendment. Biden’s campaign has reportedly said the former vice president still supports the law.
When asked to explain her difference with Biden on the decades-old federal law, the Massachusetts Democrat said that no matter what laws are in place, abortions will continue to happen in the country.
“I’ve lived in America where abortions were illegal and understand this: Women still got abortions,” she said. “Now, some got lucky from what happened and some got really unlucky on what happened.”
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Warren added that she believes the Hyde Amendment is essentially discriminatory, because women with sufficient financial resources have an advantage in obtaining access to abortion when compared to poorer women who might have more equal access but for the law’s funding prohibition.
“It’s been the law for a while, and it’s been wrong for a long time,” she said. “Because it really is, it’s just discrimination.”
“This is not about politics, what this is about is about health care, about reproductive freedom, about economic freedom and about equal opportunity for all women,” she continued. “That’s what this is about.”
Warren also denounced other efforts that “try to chip away” at Roe v. Wade, including the recent so-called fetal heartbeat laws passed in multiple states that put restrictions on abortions.
“Understand this, women of means will still have access to abortions,” she said. “Who won’t will be poor women; will be working women; will be women who can’t afford to take off three days from work; will be very young women; will be women who’ve been raped; will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family.
“We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable,” she concluded.
Here are other highlights from Warren’s Fort Wayne town hall:
Going green means more jobs
Warren – whose unofficial slogan is “I have a plan for that” — has a proposal that she says would generate 1.2 million new jobs.
And those jobs will also help the U.S. fight climate change.
Warren, who supports Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, said that there is currently a $23 trillion worldwide market to combat climate change.
“That’s going to mean a lot of research, a lot of innovation, and a lot of manufacturing to push back against that,” she said, adding that the manufacturing jobs would be “good union jobs” with which “people can build a future.”
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The Massachusetts Democrat pledged that the United States would be “the leader in that fight” against climate change. She said the country would “double down, triple down, go tenfold on the research” to respond to climate change across the globe.
She added that other countries, as well as corporations, looking to use that research to build products could do so, with one catch.
“You can do it, but you have to produce the products right here in the United States of America,” she said. “You have to build those jobs here.”
When pressed by Hayes on how to make manufacturing jobs completely green, Warren said this has been a country of change and the U.S. should continue to try to move in that direction. She once again pointed to investing in research.
She then doubled down on saying that corporations who want to use and innovate around that research must manufacture their products in America.
‘I do’ believe impeachment right path forward
Warren said Wednesday that she didn’t decide to run for president to get into a big debate on impeachment.
But that’s where she finds herself following former special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report on the Russia investigation. Mueller in his report did not exonerate Trump from possible obstruction of justice.
When asked by an attendee of the town hall whether Warren believes impeachment is still the right path forward, the Massachusetts senator replied: “Yes I do.”
Warren, who says she read all 448 pages of the report, said there were three things she couldn’t avoid from her interpretation of Mueller’s findings: Russia attacked the 2016 election to benefit Trump, candidate-Trump “welcomed that help,” and now as president, Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into that foreign attack.
“If he were any other person in the United States, based on what’s documented in that report, he would be carried out in handcuffs,” Warren said.
People once said Obama, Trump couldn’t be elected
“Electability” has plagued Democrats since the 2016 election.
It’s an issue that many of the Democratic women running for president are now having to deal with in various ways. Hillary Clinton, the former senator and secretary of state, was experienced and campaigned on being electable due to her credentials. But after losing to Trump in 2016, critics have argued that maybe a woman cannot get elected to the nation’s highest office.
Warren, however, reminded those at the town hall Wednesday that pundits once thought two recent presidents also couldn’t get elected.
“I remember when people said Barack Obama couldn’t be elected,” she said. “I remember when people said Donald Trump couldn’t be elected.
“And here we are,” she added.
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Warren said that elections aren’t about electability, but “about getting in there and fighting for it and making clear to the American people what you stand for.”
“I am in this fight to make this America, to make our government in Washington, work for everyone else, that’s my job,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”
Obama-Trump voter: It’s time for more change
Renee Elliott, who says she voted for Trump in 2016, said she’s ready for some more change.
The Indiana voter has come out against the president after she was fired from her job at a Carrier plant, a manufacturer on which Trump campaigned promising to keep its jobs in the United States.
Elliott said she was uneasy about what voters can do to make sure that those who are elected honor their promises and follow through on the policies they have proposed to be put in place.
When asked by a fellow voter whether she will vote for Trump again in 2020, Elliott didn’t even want to say his name.
“Oh trust me when it came to him — oh we won’t get into him,” she said. “Because, you know, he’s the first Republican I ever voted for. And I got a lot of people to vote for him. I believed in him.”
Elliott said she thought Trump was going to make a real change, and said that was the reason she voted for him, comparing it to why she had also voted for Barack Obama.
“Now I think it’s time for more change,” she said.
“I think it’s time to put a woman in the White House. I think it’s time to listen to what we say because we are out there working just as hard as men are,” she concluded.
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