Elizabeth Warren isn’t ready to endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, but she’s had no trouble going after Clinton’s presumptive Republican opponent, Donald Trump. Warren and Trump have sparred on Twitter ever since The Donald locked up the Republican nomination, and on Tuesday night she expanded her arguments against him during a speech at the annual gala for the liberal nonprofit Center for Popular Democracy.
“Let’s face it: Donald Trump cares about exactly one thing—Donald Trump,” said the senator from Massachusetts, according to her prepared remarks. “It’s time for some accountability because these statements disqualify Donald Trump from ever becoming president. The free ride is over.”
Warren’s attack on Trump wasn’t quite as harsh as it’s been in the past; during her first tweetstorm after he secured the nomination, she said he had “built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia.” But that doesn’t mean she held back during her speech Tuesday. She began by reflecting on the human toll from the foreclosure crisis and then tied it to an NBC report this week that quoted Trump, shortly before the housing market crash, saying he was “excited” for the bubble to burst since he’d make money off the misfortune it caused. “Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown,” Warren said, “because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap.”
She also zeroed in on a topic that has been a growing cause of frustration for Democrats: Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as major presidential candidates have long done. “Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims,” Warren speculated. Echoing a video from her 2012 Senate campaign, Warren emphasized that “Donald Trump didn’t get rich on his own.” He inherited a fortune from his father, she said, and “his businesses rely on the roads and bridges the rest of us paid for. His businesses rely on workers the rest of us paid to educate and on police forces and firefighters who protect all of us and the rest of us pay to support.”
Warren quoted a recent statement from Trump attacking the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, passed by Democrats to try to rein in Wall Street, for imposing too many restrictions on bankers. Trump pledged to roll back the law should he win the White House. “Donald Trump is worried about helping poor little Wall Street?” Warren said. “Let me find the world’s smallest violin to play a sad, sad song. Can Donald Trump even name three things that Dodd-Frank does? Seriously, someone ask him.”