‘In The Fight’

Warren talks climate, D.C. corruption

Telegraph photo by GEORGE PELLETIER Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren takes questions and addresses supporters during a Friday campaign event at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club and Event Center in Milford.

MILFORD – As Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” careened through the speakers, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts took the stage on Friday for a town hall-style event at the Hampshire Dome at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club and Event Center in Milford.

Earlier on Friday in Dover, an angry man disrupted a Warren rally, calling her a “fraud” before he exited the building. The Milford discussion went on without interruption.

“I think we all know the 2020 election is not just about the next four years,” she said in Milford before an audience of 560 energized voters. “It’s not about the next eight years. The 2020 election will be about the survival of our planet.”

After briefly discussing her upbringing in Oklahoma and her background as a young mom, a schoolteacher and a law professor, Warren momentarily shifted the conversation back to climate.

“They tell us the problem is worse than we thought,” she said. “And we have less time than we thought. That means the urgency of this moment cannot be overstated. We are no longer in a world of ‘your approach to climate,’ versus ‘my approach to climate.’ We must use all of the approaches to climate because this is literally our last chance to save this planet.”

Since she announced her intention to vie for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Dec. 31, 2018, Warren’s message of anti-corruption has been a recurring theme at her rallies.

“We’ve got to stop playing on our back foot,” she said. “We’ve got to be willing to attack the corruption head on. The good news is that I have the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. Here’s the bad news: We need the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate.”

Warren discussed that corruption is about money, and that money is “felt in lots of different ways.” She added that she would “end lobbying as we know it.”

“Block the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington,” she continued. “You really want to hose out some of the corruption in Washington? Make everyone who runs for federal office puts their tax returns online.”

Warren’s contention is that the government should work for the people and not the other way around.

“We need a government that invests in our future,” she said. “This is the fight of our lifetimes — to wrest back our government from the oil industry; to wrest it back from Wall Street; to wrest it back so we can use our government to save our people and save our planet.”

When the format switched to a question and answer session, as a young voter asked about the correlation between the U.S. military actions and world pollution.

“No great nation fights endless wars,” Warren said. “It is time to bring our combat troops home. There is no winning this war militarily. We need to use our diplomatic tools. We need to use our economic tools. We need to work with our allies. But we need to get our troops home.”

“American’s don’t want war with Iran,” she continued. “They want peace.”

Warren added that she supports American troops, saying she would ensure they’re paid fairly and receive their housing allowances “on time,” and that they receive the medial care they’re entitled to by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Warren drew a mixed reaction from the crowd when she said she would cut the military budget.

“I support our troops,” she clarified. “But, let’s get rid of the lobbyists who are running the Pentagon and the Department of Defense. To give you an example of what’s going on, the current secretary of defense had an earlier job — seven years as the chief lobbyist for one of the biggest defense contractors in America.”

Warren said ultimately, the military must “go green.”

“Having to maintain supply lines that get diesel fuel and oil to the places where our troops are located is one of the most dangerous parts of being there,” she said. “Going green — being able to be more energy independent, through solar or wind, actually makes our troops safer. General after general has told me this. And as our military goes green, they provide a ready market for everyone who is producing for the military. And that will help stimulate more green production.”

Warren concluded by saying, “We need big ideas.”

“Big structural change is hard, but it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “I’m running a campaign based on the heart. I believe that 2020 is our moment in history‚ up or down. We need to get in the fight. We need to win the fight for a Green New Deal and save our planet. And this is our year to dream big, fight hard and win.”