Warren takes aim at U.S. Democratic rivals with attack on big money

Politics

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren will focus on the corrupting influence of big money in politics and the need for “big, structural change” in an address in New Hampshire on Thursday, as she seeks to reenergize a stalled campaign.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall event in West Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 25, 2019. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

The speech, excerpts of which were obtained by Reuters ahead of its delivery at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, includes pointed criticisms aimed at several of Warren’s Democratic rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden; Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana; and billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Warren’s campaign was ascendant through the summer and early fall before fading in the face of sustained criticism from Buttigieg, Biden and other more moderate candidates over her support for the sweeping healthcare restructuring known as Medicare for All.

A poll of Democratic voters in New Hampshire from public radio station WBUR on Wednesday showed Warren, a U.S. senator from neighboring Massachusetts, had slipped to fourth place, behind Buttigieg, Biden and Sanders. New Hampshire holds the second state nominating vote in February, following the Iowa caucuses.

Warren is trying to refocus her campaign on her argument that the country’s political and economic systems have been corrupted by money and special interests, ensuring that the wealthy benefit at the expense of everyone else.

In her speech on Thursday, Warren accuses other candidates of kowtowing to rich donors and attacks them for refusing to release the names of their top fundraisers.

In recent weeks, Warren and Buttigieg traded barbs over the issue of transparency, prompting Warren to release details of her corporate legal work from decades ago and Buttigieg to agree to allow reporters to attend his high-dollar fundraisers and disclose the names of his major financial backers.

Warren has vowed not to hold fundraisers for her campaign.

She will also lay out an argument for why her familiar call for “big, structural change” is a better approach than the more temperate rhetoric employed by contenders like Biden and Buttigieg.

There are 15 Democrats running for the party’s nomination to challenge Republican U.S. President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Paul Simao

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