Elizabeth Warren On Calls To Soften Her Criticism Of Wall Street: ‘Give Me a Break’

By Mark Hensch
The Hill (4/13/15)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Friday laughed off suggestions that using gentler rhetoric would improve her relationship with big banks.

“Do you think that if I used a sweeter tone with the banks, that if I said very nicely, ‘We should have broken you into pieces,’ that everything would be fine?” she asked audience members at the Know Your Value Conference in Philadelphia.

“Do you think that if I smiled more at banking committee hearings, that Wall Street would put me on their Christmas card lists?” she continued. “Give me a break.”

The Huffington Post reported that Warren revealed she was “still angry” about the 2008 financial collapse and government’s resulting bailout of the corporations involved. She criticizes Wall Street so harshly, she added, because of how poorly it has treated average Americans.

“They didn’t stop the train wreck happening right in front of them,” Warren argued of the mortgage market’s disintegration in 2008.

“What happened in the mortgage market wasn’t like a hurricane or a tornado,” she added. “What happened in the mortgage market was a deliberate decision by the financial institutions to improve their profits by selling mortgages that were like grenades with the pins pulled out.”

Warren was responding to claims that her frequent barbs are angering corporate executives. Her economic populism is seen as a thorn in the side of big business in Congress.

The Massachusetts lawmaker has so aggravated banks that four of them reportedly mulled freezing donations to Senate Democrats. Reports leaked March 27 listed Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America as the quartet of offended companies.

Warren responded by fundraising off Wall Street’s threats instead. She urged voters to support politicians free of outside cash in a fundraising blast.

Many Democrats have pushed Warren to seek the party’s 2016 presidential nomination next election cycle. The popular senator said on March 31 she is “not going to run.”

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