Elizabeth Warren built her Capitol Hill reputation as a populist crusader willing to take on the financial industry, and she flexed that activist muscle in a campaign appearance in which she dismissed the common criticism of Democrats engaging in class warfare.
President Barack Obama's proposal to pay for his $447 billion jobs plan by raising taxes on the wealthy produced a chorus of class warfare accusations from Republicans. In an Andover campaign appearance, Warren forcefully rebutted that charge by describing society as a shared set of institutions and calling on everyone to pay their share.
There is no one in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody, said Warren, going on to describe how even the wealthy benefit from the roads, schools and police protection that all of society pays for.
You built a factory and turned into something terrific or a great idea, God bless, she continued. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay it forward for the next kid who comes along.
Warren's opponents have sought to paint her as a Harvard-educated elitist who's out of touch with Massachusetts' large bloc of blue collar voters, and appearances like the one below will be crucial to counterract that narrative. The speech evidently occured last month, but the clip has recently gone viral: