tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Fairfax VA CSPAN May 17, 2019 1:10pm-2:17pm EDT
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your own mind. >> democratic presidential candidate elizabeth warren held a town hall meeting last night at george mason university in fairfax, virginia, following her speech the massachusetts senator shook hands and chatted with supporters. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ >> hello, fairfax. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. [cheers and applause] >> it is great to be here with
you. i'm so excited, here we are in fairfax, we are in the shadow of the pentagon. also the shadow of the big 5 military contractors. [laughter] >> and, you know, it's worthying about for a minute. i know that there are a lot of really good people that work at department of defense, really good people who work for our defense contractors, but here is the problem, too many of our defense contractors, they don't just want to seat at the table but they want the own the table. and that's a problem, so right now they have built this great revolving door between the department of defense and the big contractors and they want that revolving door to keep spinning, why?
because it helps them with their profits and the way to start that is patrick shanahan, here is a guy, think about this, who has absolutely zero military experience, absolutely zero foreign policy experience, absolutely zero experience in governments. it's improving the profitability of boeing. and donald trump has nominated him to be the secretary of defense, well, my view on this is nobody in america should be in a position of wondering when the secretary of defense makes a decision whether that's a decision to improve the safety and security of the people of the united states or a decision to improve profitability of boeing. so i think we should reject his nomination.
[cheers and applause] >> and instead how about we pass some basic rules of ethics for the department of defense? [cheers and applause] >> number 1, let's block the revolving door, close it. [cheers and applause] >> i agree. number 2, no executives in the department of defense should be able to trade in defense contractors stocks. [cheers and applause] >> number 3, nobody in the intelligence community should be able to go to work for a foreign government, ban it. [cheers and applause] >> and 4, how about just a little transparency in this area, the big 5 defense contractors want to lobby, then let's make it public, say who you lobbied and what you're
saying to them. [cheers and applause] >> look, i have 3 brothers and they all served in the military and i know the kind of sacrifice that the military makes and family makes and i want to be able to say as an american, i guaranty when a decision is made at the department of defense it's not a decision to enhance the profitability of a major contractor, it is a decision to protect the safety and the security of the united states of america. [cheers and applause] so i wanted to tell you about that because we have our budget negotiations coming up next week and ongoing work in armed services and i thought what i'd do today, i have new proposals, i thought what i would do today
-- [cheers and applause] >> yeah, yeah. i plan for that. it is natural as breezy. so i thought what we would do today tell you a little bit about myself and tell you why i'm in this fight and we will take a few questions and if anybody wants to we can stay and do selfies. so i grew up in oklahoma. [cheers and applause] >> we have a few, we have a few, okay. as i said i have 3 older brothers, they went off and joined the military, my oldest brother died, he was career military, he spent about 5 and a half years in combat in vietnam, we were lucky to get him back home.
my third brother david he trained as combat medic and to this day we have a rule in our family never choke in front of david. [laughter] , yeah. he's in his 70's, he carries sharpened pocket knife and convinced he can do trachiotomy. we all back out of the room. i love my brothers, i'm close to my brothers, they are all back in oklahoma now. when we were growing up our daddy had a lot of different jobs, he sold paint, he sold carpeting, he sold fencing and by the time i was in middle school, all three of the boys, they were -- they were gone. i was what used to be called the
late in life baby. late in life babies. >> my mother used to tell me, surprise. but it was just my mother and my daddy and me when my daddy had a massive heart attack and we thought he was going to die that we were going to lose him. he's in the hospital for a long time, he pulled through and couldn't go back to work and at night my momma would tuck me in and i would hear them after they thought i had gone to sleep and that's where i learned words like mortgage and foreclosure. i remember the day we lost the family station wagon and we walked into the my folks' bedroom and out on the bed was the dress.
now some of you in this area will know the dress. the one that only comes out for weddings, funerals and graduations, you know that dress, and so she had it layed out and slip, stocking feet and she's pacing and crying. and she's saying, we will not lose this house. we will not lose this house. we will not lose this house. she was 50 years old, she had never worked outside the home and she was truly terrified. and she cried for a long time finally she looks over at me, i'm just standing there and she looked at the dress and she looks back at me, she wipes her face, she pulls that dress on, puts on her high heels and walks to the sears and gets a minimum wage full-time job answering phones. that minimum wage job saved our
house and saved our family and for many years i thought that was just the story that my mother had taught to me that no matter how scared you are, no matter how hard it looks, when it comes down to it, you reach down deep, you find what you have to find. you pull it out and you do what you have to do to take care of the people you love. it was years later that i came to understand it's not just the story that my momma taught me, it's the story of millions of people all across this country, no matter how scary it is, no matter how hard it is, when it comes down to it, they reach down deep, they find what they need to find and they pull it up and they take care of the people they love. it was only years after that that i came to understand it's
also a story about government because when i was a girl, a full-time minimum wage job in america would support a family of 3. it would put food on the table and pay utilities and cover a mortgage. today a full-time minimum wage job in america will not keep a momma and a baby out of poverty, that is wrong and that is why i am in this fight. [cheers and applause] >> and understand this, the difference is not an accident, the difference is because of decisions made in washington, d.c., because when i was a girl, you can go back and read it, the question that congress asked when they set the minimum wage, was what does it take a family
of 3 to survive, what does it take a family of 3 to just get have place to which they can build something secure, today the question asked in washington on the minimum wage is what will improve the profitability of giant multinational corporations, well, i don't want government that just works for giant multinationals, i want one that works for our families. [cheers and applause] >> you bet. so understand this, i've known what i wanted to do since i was in second grade. okay, a couple of you laugh, i know you didn't decide till third grade, fourth grade back there. okay. not me, man, i've always known since second grade i wanted to be a public school teacher, can we hear it for public --
[cheers and applause] >> oh, man. so i made the commitment early. i used to line my dollies up and teach them. i was tough but fair. [laughter] >> but the thing is my 3 brothers, they got their hold by going to military. me, i went for diploma. by the time i graduated from high school we didn't have the money for application much less to send me to 4 years of college. so i'm like a lot of americans, i do not have straight path, here is how my story goes. i got a scholarship to college, yea! and then at 19 i feel in love,
yea! [laughter] >> and married. yea. [laughter] >> the first husband. [laughter] >> and dropped out of school and got a full-time job answering phones. now, it was going to be a good life, i knew that. it was the one i chose but it wasn't a dream and then i found it, a commuter college about 45 minutes away that cost $50 a semester. yeah. that was my big chance and i hung on for dear life. i finished my degree, i became a special needs teacher, i have lived my dream. [cheers and applause]
>> we have any special needs teachers here tonight? well, we've got some, good, good. another in here. so i think you'll back me up on this, special needs teacher, this is not a job, it's calling. now, i probably would have stayed in the job forever. i loved it, i would have done the work -- i can tell you stories from it but by the end of the first year i was visibly pregnant and the principal did what principals did back in the day, wished me luck, showed me the door and hired someone else for the job. so there i am, i'm at home, can't figure out what to do and i made crazy decision to go to law school. yea!
found public law school that cost $450 a semester. i know, things are going up. [laughter] >> i'm in. baby on hip, 3 years of law school and graduate visibly pregnant. you'll detect a pattern here. [laughter] >> practiced law for 45 minutes and then went back back to teaching. i so i taught in law school. i traded short ones for tall ones and taught everything about money, that's what i work for. contract law, corporate law, corporate finance, economics and bankruptcy and all the pieces around money and there's been one central question that i've worked on pretty much all my life and that is what is happening to working families in this country, why is america's middle class being hallowed, why is it that for people that work
like my mother worked that the past has become so much rockier and so much steeper and for people of color even rockier and even steeper. [cheers and applause] >> why? and the answer is like the answer on minimum wage, it's who this government works for, understand right now in washington, this government works fabulously, terrific for giant drug companies, just not for people trying to get a prescription filled. [cheers and applause] >> yeah. it works great for big financial institutions, just not for people who are trying to make paycheck to paycheck without getting ripped off. it works terrifically.
[cheers and applause] >> so when you have a government that works great for those with money, isn't working for anyone else, that's corruption pure and simple and we need to call it out for what it is. [cheers and applause] >> and understand this, corruption the influence of money touches every decision that gets made in washington. whatever issue brought you here today, i guaranty if there's a decision to be made in washington it's been touched, massage tilted over just a little so the folks with money do better than everybody else.
let me give you an example, you go back to 90's and you're starting to see description in science and public discussion about climate about warming earth, about weather systems that are starting to get more and more extreme. here is the thing, at that point republican and democrats are working together. now, they don't have the signs all right but they are saying the right things together and they are talking about what do we need to change, they see it as nobody wants to see a catastrophe hit this earth so they're working on it and then along come the koch brothers. oh, you've heard of them? [laughter] >> the koch brothers, yeah, oil companies, some big polluters, you know what they basically say, they say, wow, if congress
gets serious about this climate change, if they really, you know, start trying to clean up the air, clean up the water, that could affect our bottom line. that could hurt our business model here. so what do they do, they think about investments, well, they could invest in carbon, invent all the great machines and things that are going to pull carbon out of the air and clean up, na, they could we are going to make -- we will move away from carbon-base fuels and go to renewables and clean energy immediately. we will shut the stuff down and move over there. na, they invested and i mean really invested, they invested in politicians. they invested in washington, and i will tell you exactly how they did it. oneone of the main areas, they t experts to come in to talk
about, i don't know about the science thing, the dinosaurs loved it. itwas just stretched out. why would you do that? it's not that they don't have any doubts. if you raise doubt, you build an umbrella so that the politicians can continue to take koch brother money and company money and do absolutely nothing. if you want to understand the climate crisis we are in now, it's 25 years of corruption in washington. [cheers and applause] >> and here is the deal, we have to make change, we have to make it in this country, but the kind of change we have to make is not nibbles around the edge, i know that we will fix this thing over
here and clean up that one thing over there and change a couple of regulations over here, no, if we want to make change we have to make big systematic change in this country. [cheers and applause] >> and i have a plan for that. [cheers and applause] >> okay, part one attack corruption head on, head on. stop revolving door between wall street and washington. the revolving door between our defense industry and our department of defense. [cheers and applause]
stop the revolving door and here is another one, say no more lobbying, we have to end lobbying as we know it. [cheers and applause] it's killing us. we have to change this. it's a big deal. i know you're not surprised by that. [cheers and applause] >> but it is, look, here is the good news. i have the biggest anticorruption plan since watergate. [cheers and applause] >> here is the bad news, we need the biggest anticorruption plan since watergate. now, i could talk about all the parts but i'm just going to do one more, anybody who wants to run for federal office make them put their tax returns online. [cheers and applause] >> yeah. >> all right, so one, attack corruption head on, two, we've
got to restructure a couple of core parts of our economy and here is where the fun start, we have enormous among corporations that have gotten bigger and bigger and here is part of the problem. they get so big, they just roll where the money rolls and they roll over their own place. let's think right now about structural change. here is a way to get some pushback, we need more power in the hands of employees and that makes it easier to join a union and give unions more power in the fight. [cheers and applause]
that's structural change. pass the wealth tax. [cheers and applause] >> all right. so here is my proposal for wealth tax, by the way, anybody in here own a home? you've been paying a wealth tax for years, it's just called a property tax, yes. and i'm saying let's include, it's your biggest asset, a home, how about for the top one tenth of 1%, everybody who has got more than $50 million, okay, for everybody that -- let's include in your property tax the diamonds, all i'm saying, right? yeah. and i just want everybody to understand this is not a point of trying to be punitive. the idea behind it is to say,
look, you've built one of the great fortunes in this country, this is the top tenth of 1%, about 75,000 families, you've built one of the great fortunes, good for you. you inherited. [laughter] [cheers and applause] >> okay. either way, either way, good for you, but here is the deal, i guaranty when that fortune was built it was built at least in part using workers all of us help, i guaranty, it was built at least in part getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build. it was built at least in part by police and firefighters all of us help today put out in the field. [cheers and applause]
>> so we are just saying to you who got one of the big fortunes, you built one of the big fortunes, that's great, good for you, but pitch in 2 cents so everybody else gets a chance to build something real. [cheers and applause] >> that's all it is. okay, i have to stick more facts on this about fairness here. just so everybody knows this. the top 1% last year all the taxes they paid, they paid about 3.2% of their total wealth. the 99 which might include some of you paid about 7.2% of your total. i'm tired of free-loading billionaires, let's just level the playing field. just a little. just a little. [cheers and applause] >> so here is the deal, 2 cents, that's all i want on your
50 million and first dollar. i want you to know what we can do with 2 cents in america, with 2 cents we could provide universal child care for every one of our babies ages 0 to 5. [cheers and applause] >> plus universal prek for every 2-year-old, 3-year-old and 4-year-old in this country. [cheers and applause] >> plus, lift the wages for every child care worker and preschool teacher to a professional level that they deserve. [cheers and applause] >> plus, yes, plus, if you act now 12 free steak knives,
technical, public college all free and tuition free for all of our kids. [cheers and applause] >> yeah. and i'm still not through, one more plus all of this, plus student loan debt cancellation request 95% of people who have it, think about that. [cheers and applause] >> restructure this economy a little fairness just level the playing, that's part 2. part 3, we have to change the rules to protect our democracy. i want to see a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every american citizen to vote and to get that vote sounded. [cheers and applause]
>> roll back every one of these jerry -- gerrymandering and voter suppression laws across the country. [cheers and applause] >> one more, citizens united, democracy is not for sale. [cheers and applause] >> so there it is, it's just 3 things. [laughter] >> just 3 things, 3 structural changes. we have to fight back against the corruption. we have to rewrite just a couple of the basic rules in how our economy works and we've got to protect our democracy and understand for me, these 3 things are related to each other. they are all about opportunity, opportunity not just for those at the top, opportunity not just for those born into privilege
but opportunity for all of us, opportunity to get a good education from the very beginning, opportunity to be able to get a good job to start a business, opportunity to start a family, to buy a house, opportunity, remember, i'm a special needs teacher, may mean a chance to live independently. [cheers and applause] >> opportunity, i'm in this fight for opportunity because of what it meant to me and my daddy, he ended up as a janitor but his baby daughter, she got a chance to be a public school teacher, to be college professor, to be united states senator.
[cheers and applause] >> and to be candidate for president of the united states. [cheers and applause] >> dream big. [cheers and applause] , fight hard and let's win! [cheers and applause] >> thank you, thank you, i love -- [cheers and applause] >> warren! warren! warren! >> all right, are you ready, we are going to ask just 3 questions, so i'm going to call 3 numbers and those with the microphone can you please show them where -- one is over there by the platform and the second one is right here.
so if you're in one of those areas please make your way. i ask you to do the honor -- >> no. >> she's a smart woman. >> no, no. >> this one is all on you. >> yes, ma'am. yes, ma'am. this one was together so i will take this one. the last 4, 1779. 1779, so look at your blue ticket. >> we have a winner. >> come make your way up, sir, the next one 1676. [laughter] >> that's good. >> 1676, raise your hand and say present if you have 1676? okay, right behind you. >> we have it?
this is a large crowd. here is the last one. 67. 1767. >> anybody got it? we've got it. >> back there, wonderful. >> all right, thank you. let's do this. >> thank you, ma'am. >> hi, nice to meet you, what's your name? >> brandon martin. >> hi. >> hi, senator warren. >> you can call me elizabeth. [laughter] >> i will call you lizzie. >> all right. >> i think my question is probably one that a lot of people are asking in the democratic primary season, can you argue virtue of that over more cautious and more realistic
goal of medicare for age 55 or -- >> let me start by saying i don't think these are inconsistent, there are a lot of pathways, let's do it this way, let's start with health care as basic human right. [cheers and applause] >> we fight for basic human rights. the goal is that we as democrats, what are we looking for? we are looking for a way to get everybody covered at the lowest possible cost. the data backup, the best way is to do through medicare for all. now multiple pathways into it, some say we start by lowering the age, some raise the age, we let mayor employers buy in, it would take folks on the table, we need our unions to be represented in this, this is very important. but i want to make a core point if i can, not all entirely, i hope we have some nondemocrats here, democrats to be i like to call them.
[laughter] >> future democrats. but here is something that i want to talk about, i want to go back, shy of 2 years ago when the republicans in the house voted to repeal health care for tens of millions of americans. some of you may have watched that on television. i did. i watched when they voted. here is the thing. after they voted they high-fived each other, who high-fives somebody over take get away health care from tens of millions of americans, but here is part of the deal in that, they wanted to roll back the affordable care act and i just -- president obama was in favor and they had to be against it. i was part of it, but much of what got lost in that discussion about health care was not only did they want to roll back the
affordable care act, they wanted to take a big bite out of medicaid and this is something as democrats have been there for a long time, medicaid, we've never much defended, medicaid for a lot of people is about someone else. it's not -- it's not about us, it's about somebody else. i just want to remind everybody here, medicaid two out of three seniors living in nursing home is counting on medicaid to pay the bill. anybody here know someone that has been caught in the grip of mental illness? or addiction? there you go. the odds are very good but whatever medical care they're able to get is through medicaid, that's principal provider. and anybody know a family who had a baby that ran million bucks in medical bills, there you go, right?
even if the parents have the gold-plated insurance, it's medicaid that steps in and does the breathing equipment, the fancy feeding equipment and the speech therapist and occupational therapist, all the things that help this baby have a chance to make it in this world. so here is how i see this when we talk about health care in general, the way i like to understand this is we live in an america where we don't know whose grandma is going to outrun, outlive her savings, we don't know who is beloved brother or aunt or cousin is going to get caught in the grips of mental illness or addiction and we don't know whose beloved -- niece who will run up medical bills, here as what we know, as part of human family we will all pitch in now so if it happens to
your family or your family or your family, we are going to be there for each other and that's how i feel about every part of this. so we have to do this. thank you. >> thank you. >> yup. we have to do it. okay, who do we've got. who else do we have here. we've got one? hi, what's your name. hi, chris. hold the mic up, they can't all hear you. >> sorry, i'm chris. >> hi, chris. >> my question is so we know in the past few decades public trust in the government has been dwindling. >> yeah, i kind of noticed that. [laughter] >> what would warren administration do to reearn that trust and how would the agencies and departments be better advocates for the public? >> oh, that's a good question, chris, good question. okay. some that have been asked that question, framed that way. so let me start with a lot of people don't trust the government to work for them and
that's because the government doesn't work for them. now, i'm just serious on this, the time has come, we have to call this out. it isn't working, yeah, it works great for those who have money, it works great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and great for those who can have experts and think tanks but not working for the rest of america, here is my proposal, i do have a plan for that. [cheers and applause] >> here is how i think we go about it. number 1 is we really have to call out the corruption. i talk about this all around the country now, corruption, and people nod, they get it. this is not -- this isn't even very partisan, democrats and republicans, when you're out -- outside washington, they get this, that the government is working for those who come and
lobby it and grease the wheels and make campaign contributions, that's who it's working for and we need to make it work for everyone else. that's the start. let's pass my anticorruption plan, that's part 1. yeah. [cheers and applause] >> part 2, here is how i see this, the proposal for the wealth tax, i'm going to pick a part of this, my 2 cents, wealth tax on the top one tenth of 1% of the fortunes in this country, if we use just a piece of that money to forgive student loan debt for about 95% of those who have student loan debt, that has huge support among democrats, independents and republicans, now here is my point on that one, we come in in january of 2021 and we actually make that change. i think a whole lot of people
have more faith that government can work for the people. i'm convinced. [cheers and applause] >> and now i'm going to make one more pitch on that, just one more pitch because we are here to get it right now. democratic primary, this is democrats against democrats and you have the opportunity to say to every democrat who wants to earn your vote, where are you getting your money, who are you spending your time with. [cheers and applause] >> because if we really want to rebuild faith in government, we need to walk the walk every day, so thank you, chris, thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. we've got somebody? hi. >> my name is priscila, i'm a marine corps veteran, do you have any plans --
>> i'm sorry you said you're a veteran? >> yes, ma'am. >> good. [cheers and applause] >> crystal? >> priscila. >> what branch did you serve in? >> 9 years in the marine corps. >> all right. good to see you priscila, i'm glad that you're here and thank you. >> so my question is, do you have any plans on improving health care through the veterans affairs department and not just for oif but all the way back to vietnam? >> yes. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, crystal, priscila. i'm sorry, i decided to change your name. thank you, priscila. i have 3 brothers, all of whom are vets and one, of course, is a vietnam vet and i hear on a pretty regular basis what it's like to deal with the va, what it means to try to get your
health care through the va, and yet in my family nobody wants us to get rid of it, they just want to make it work but that's where they are, and i'm going to give you what i think are two piece that is we've got to do. i see this -- i see this as a moral question, people who join the military say, i will put my life on the line and i will disrupt my family in order to keep the rest of america safe, so i see this as a two-way street and that means the rest of america says to everyone who makes that promise, we will honor all our promises to you and that includes a promise for first-rate health care for the rest of your life, but that is our obligation. [cheers and applause] >> two parts. you can't do this if you want to spend money and you can't do it
if you will do it behind making change. i promise you, i will fight to get the money into the va and to get the kind of muscle that says we are going to deliver for all of our vets, thank you good question, thank you. so there are a million things we could talk about. i have a plan for that. [laughter] >> but what i want to do is make sure that we have enough time to be able to take pictures, yes, we should talk about guns. [cheers and applause] >> i just want to say how glad i am to see our moms in red t-shirts here. [cheers and applause] >> go moms because this is a safety issue. 7 children and teenagers will die today from gun violence and most of the time it went make a
headline, some will be in mass shootings and that will get people's attention, most of it would be on sidewalks and playgrounds and at a friend's house. if 7 of our children were dying from some mysterious virus, we would pull out all the stops to make sure we understood it and put a stop to it. [cheers and applause] >> but right now the nra holds congress hostage and we need to fight back. this is a moral imperative on behalf of our children. so we've got a lot we can do in terms of better background checks. getting rid of bump stock, weapons of war do not belong on our streets. [cheers and applause] >> and a lot of pitch in basic research on what works and what doesn't, we have to do this.
[cheers and applause] >> but i see moms on guns, i see people who talk about -- lobby on health care, people who come in to talk about immigration, people who come in to talk about the issues that touch their lives, this is how democracy is supposed to work. we are supposed to have the power, we, the people, you know, i want to tell you, so i've been doing this now for a long time it feels like, since -- since first of january and first time i got out and talked about corruption and the changes that i wanted to make, i talked about changes in the economy, structural changes, i talked about protecting our democracy and then i went back to congress and i have people come to me and say, i listened to your speech, i read about your speech, it's too hard what you're asking for,
it's too much. too much power on the other side. this isn't going to happen. don't ask -- ask for something narrower, smaller, smile more and the first time i heard that, you know what i thought, i thought, what do you think they said to abolitionists, too hard, man, are you kidding, no, that's not going to happen, what did they say to suffrage, just too hard, give up now, what did say to early union organizers, no, give up now, just too hard. what did they say to the foot soldiers in the civil rights movement, too hard, give up now. what did they say to the lgbtq plus activists who wanted equal marriage, woe, that's not going to happen. too hard, give up now but none
of them gave up. [cheers and applause] >> none of them. they organized, they built a grassroots movement. [cheers and applause] >> they persisted. [cheers and applause] >> and they changed the course of american history. [cheers and applause] >> dream big, fight hard, dream big. >> fight hard! >> dream big! >> fight hard! >> dream big! >> fight hard! >> let's win. [cheers and applause] ♪ [music]
[inaudible conversations] >> former vice president joe biden is in philadelphia this saturday at 1:00 p.m. eastern to officially kick off his candidacy for the democratic presidential nomination. watch our live coverage on c-span and we've covered the campaigns of over 20 democratic candidates who enter the race so far. from their announcement speeches to campaign events, watch anytime on her website at c-span .org -- campaign 2020.
>> this week c-span's online video library marks what the milestone of a quarter million hours of content. all c-span program since 1987 are available free in the c-span video library@c-span .org. democratic presidential candidate pete buttigieg spoke at the city club of chicago yesterday. south bend indiana mayor was introduced by the chairman of the club. >> ladies and gentlemen. ladies and gentlemen. if you could hold your table talk for a few moments we will begin our program. i would like to ask our president to come up to the dais and to introduce candidate for president of the united states mayor of south bend, mayor pete.