PHILADELPHIA — Elizabeth Warren took center stage at the Democratic convention Monday as the party faced challenges in unifying a party base torn apart by divisive primaries and, more recently, the leak of damning DNC emails.
The Massachusetts senator began by hitting on a theme embraced by both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters: tearing down Donald Trump.
“We are here tonight because America faces a choice, the choice of a new president. On one side is a man who inherited a fortune from his father, and kept it going by cheating people, by skipping out on debts, a man who cares only for himself,” Warren charged. “On the other side is one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on this planet.”
She declared: “I’m with Hillary.”
Following first lady Michelle Obama’s rousing speech, Warren did not land the same number of heavy applause lines, but she did rile up the crowd occasionally with her criticism of the GOP presidential nominee.
Warren ticked down a list of hits against Trump questioning what “kind of man” he was.
“I’ll tell you what kind of a man — a man who must never be president of the United States. And we got the leaders to make that happen: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” Warren said.
Warren painted Trump as selling a scam on the American people and got a few laughs from the crowd.
“Trump’s entire campaign is just one more late-night Trump infomercial,” she said. “And for one, low, low price, he’ll even throw in a goofy hat.”
Warren was talked about as a potential running mate for Clinton who would help shore up the left wing of the party that Sanders energized but has not fully galvanized behind Clinton.
Clinton instead chose Kaine, a Virginia senator, but Warren still stands to play a major role in the Clinton campaign after emerging as one of the sharpest critics of Trump and getting under his skin in a way that few other Democrats have.
Warren told The Boston Globe Sunday evening that despite not getting the VP nod, she plans to “put every ounce of her energy” into electing Hillary Clinton and reclaiming the majority in the US Senate in November’s election.
“I’m committed to getting Hillary Clinton elected president of the United States,” Warren said. “I believe that Democrats are fired up to win the White House and take back the Senate.”
She called Kaine “an honest guy and a smart guy.”
Warren has trolled Trump repeatedly on Twitter, mocking his style and tone, and becoming, in the process, even more popular among Democratic activists.
Trump has repeatedly mocked Warren as “Pocahontas” — referring to a kerfuffle where she claimed Native American status during her time in academia. Warren has said that stories of her Native heritage have been passed down in her family.
Warren is only a first-term senator, but has quickly emerged as a hero among progressives. Efforts to draft her for a White House run last year fell flat, but she maintained her strong standing on the left, with many eagerly watching to see who she whether she would endorse Sanders.
Warren first emerged as a progressive hero leading the banking and financing reforms that President Barack Obama sought in the wake of the Great Recession.