Elizabeth Warren comes out swinging against Joe Biden — and makes clear the Democratic primary will be fierce

Elizabeth Warren comes out swinging against Joe Biden — and makes clear the Democratic primary will be fierce
Elizabeth Warren/Creative Commons
Elizabeth Warren/Creative Commons

Joe Biden officially entered the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on Thursday, taking on a lost list of hopefuls ranging from Sen. Bernie Sanders to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to Sen. Elizabeth Warren—who became the first Democratic presidential candidate to publicly criticize the former vice president and U.S. senator.


At a rally in Iowa, a reporter asked Warren about the battle she had with Biden in the 2000s over a law that made it more difficult for Americans to file for bankruptcy. Biden supported the law in the U.S. Senate, while Warren (who was a law professor at Harvard University at the time) vehemently opposed it. Warren is still highly critical of Biden for promoting a bill she believed favored large credit card companies over Americans who were struggling financially—and she reiterated her criticisms on Thursday, telling the reporter she “got in that fight because” Americans who were hurting financially “just didn’t have anyone, and Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies.  It’s all a matter of public record.”

In a blistering May 20, 2002 op-ed for the New York Times, Warren attacked Biden for adding abortion protections to that bill and asserted that doing so was a cheap political stunt. Warren wrote, “Do politicians like Mr. Biden who support the bankruptcy bill believe they can give credit card companies the right to elbow out women and children so long as they rally behind an issue like abortion? The message is unmistakable: on an economic issue that attracts millions of dollars of industry support, women have no real political importance.”

Warren’s 2002 op-ed denounced the bill as “unconscionable,” arguing, “If it becomes law, the economic effects on more than 1.2 million women each year will be devastating.”

In a recent CNN town hall, Warren had sent a message to her audience that while she abandoned the GOP because of its fealty to big financial interests, she's not going to be letting any Democrats off the hook, either.

Warren recalled, “I fully understood that every Republican stood there for the banks, and half of the Democrats did. So my party was the party that at least, we got half of them to stand up for working people. And that was the big change for me.”

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