BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) – Flanked by her former Democratic primary rival Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren rallied supporters in Brooklyn Tuesday with her standard stump speech, calling for an end to financial corruption and a better life for America’s working families.
The speech at the Kings Theatre in central Brooklyn Tuesday night came less than a week after Castro dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. He told reporters backstage that he knew right away he would support Warren. Her camp, in turn, showed up with signs that said “We love Julian” with a heart.
“This is what I understand about Elizabeth Warren: She is a fighter for everyday Americans,” Castro told the noisy crowd in a 15-minute introduction.
Warren began her remarks by sending her heart and prayers to the U.S. military and their families amid reports of Iranian missiles targeting American and coalition forces in Iraq.
“The American people do not want war with Iran,” she said to cheers.
She and Castro both also extended their thoughts to the people of Puerto Rico after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island early Tuesday.
Warren told the crowd she had wanted to be a public school teacher since she was in second grade, adding that she got a scholarship to college for her debate skills.
“Let’s hear it for the nerds,” she exclaimed to roars from the crowd.
As she worked her way to becoming a law school professor and taught all the finance classes she could, Warren said, she was haunted by one question: “What is happening to working families in America?”
Giant corporations have swallowed up other businesses, Warren said, which gives them power over their employees, customers, communities, and in D.C.
“It is time for a president with the courage to enforce our antitrust laws and break these guys up,” Warren said, to a prolonged ovation and chants of “Break them up!”
She also called for a wealth tax and putting more power in the hands of workers.
Billionaires built their fortunes with the help of American workers, emergency responders, and roadways, which all taxpayers helped pay for, Warren pointed out.
With the wealth tax, she would first pay for universal childcare and pre-K, raise the wages of childcare workers and pour billions into the public education system, she promised.
Warren also touted her hard-fought 2010 creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect everyday Americans who want to take out mortgages, saying even more big structural change is possible.
Castro, who was mayor of San Antonio, Texas, served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, and is the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, began his speech by sending his solidarity to U.S. troops in Iraq as well as the people of Puerto Rico.
He had walked onstage around 8 p.m., an hour later than the event’s scheduled start time, but in her 45-minute remarks, Warren apologized for the delay and explained that she and Castro had been held up greeting people outside the theater.
Warren and Castro addressed the crowd outside in the rain before going into the theater, according to media reports.
The Kings Theatre seats about 3,000. Last September, Warren held a rally in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park that she says was attended by 20,000.
Earlier Tuesday, Warren released a plan to fix the U.S. bankruptcy system, which she says can be a powerful tool for broke families but whose laws she says are rigged to favor the rich.
“Thanks in part to the 2005 bankruptcy bill, our current system makes it far too hard for people in need to start the bankruptcy process so they can get back on their feet. My plan streamlines the process, reduces costs, and gives people more flexibility in bankruptcy to find solutions that match their financial problems,” Warren wrote.
Primary voting is set to begin in Iowa Feb. 3.
“I believe that 2020 is our moment in history,” Warren said.
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