For someone who has repeatedly denied plans to run for president, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren sure sounded like a potential 2016 candidate on Monday, when she talked about what she can personally do for the working class and for Washington.
Speaking at the International Association of Firefighters Conference, Warren said she “will be a strong voice for working people across country,” adding “I will do it because it’s right.”
Warren began with a shout-out to her state and applauded the firefighters in Boston, noting a “special kind of courage” it takes to put their lives on the line. She recognized two Boston firefighters who died on the job this year. Then, she quickly pivoted to put blame on the U.S. for not providing equipment, training and a larger force.
This neglect isn’t just limited to fire departments, she pointed out, noting how “starving services” extends to roads, medical research and schools.
“Why is there no money to make the country work?” Warren asked the group. She then responded, “I’ll tell you: The game is rigged … it’s getting worse day by day.”
The senator has a solution for those problems: Elizabeth Warren.
“So I’m here today to say this isn’t right, I’m here to say that our spending should align with our values … I can rail on about what’s wrong in Washington and I will rail on about what’s wrong in Washington,” Warren said.
And she aligned herself with those in the room, adding, “I’m proud to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you fighting for hardworking families across this country.”
Though Warren has taken no concrete steps to formalize a run, and has time and time again said it’s not on her agenda, she continues to garner support. Last month, New York’s Working Families Party joined the effort to draft the progressive senator, calling her ”the nation’s most powerful voice for working families fighting against a set of rules written by and for big banks.”
“That’s the debate we want to see, and that’s why we’re urging Senator Warren to run for president,” the group’s director said.
Still, Warren faces an uphill climb if she decides to run, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday. The results show frontrunner Hillary Clinton earning almost universal approval among Democrats. And despite her ongoing private emails controversy, 86% of Democrats said they could see themselves backing the former secretary of state in an election versus 13% who couldn’t. That margin of plus 73 percentage points dwarfs Warren’s gap, which currently stands at 34.