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Elizabeth Warren schools Paul Ryan on poverty in 80 seconds

Democratic Sen. Warren is the latest lawmaker to go after GOP Rep. Ryan's recent comments about men in inner cities not valuing the “culture of work.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asks questions during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, April 11, 2013.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is the latest lawmaker to go after Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and his recent controversial comments about men in inner cities not valuing the “culture of work.”

And it only took Warren 80 seconds to make her case.

Warren, the progressive consumer advocate, recently spoke at the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor’s Humphrey-Mondale Dinner, quoting Ryan’s remarks on poverty in American during a conservative radio program last month. Ryan had said: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

Ryan, insisted Warren, “sees three unemployed workers for every job opening in American and blames people who can’t find a job.” She pointed out, however, that in 2008 the economy crashed and washed away millions of jobs.

Warren continued: “Paul Ryan says don’t blame Wall Street: the guys who made billions of dollars cheating American families. Don’t blame decades of deregulation that took the cops off the beat while the big banks looted the American economy. Don’t blame the Republican Secretary of the Treasury, and the Republican president who set in motion a no-strings-attached bailout for the biggest banks -- Nope. Paul Ryan says keep the monies flowing to the powerful corporations, keep their huge tax breaks, keep the special deals for the too-big-to-fail banks and put the blame on hardworking, play-by-the-rules Americans who lost their jobs.”

And to a standing ovation, Warren declared: “That may be Paul Ryan’s vision of how America works, but that is not our vision of this great country.”

After Ryan initially made his controversial remarks, he came under fire from several lawmakers, including Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who called the comments a “thinly veiled racial attack.” In response, Ryan called his words “inarticulate” and insisted he was not trying to point fingers at a specific race but rather “society as a whole.”

Check out Warren's argument: