Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who this spring has delivered some of the most effective and eviscerating criticism of Donald Trump, plans in a speech Thursday to uncork a new attack on the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.
Warren will call Trump “a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud” who used “racism” to attack the federal judge overseeing a Trump University lawsuit, according to excerpts of her prepared remarks. The liberal senator also will seek to saddle Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) with Trump’s racially divisive rhetoric.
“Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want Donald Trump to appoint the next generation of judges,” Warren plans to say in an address to the American Constitution Society. “They want those judges to tilt the law to favor big business and billionaires like Trump. They just want Donald to quit being so vulgar and obvious about it. Donald Trump chose racism as his weapon, but his aim is exactly the same as the rest of the Republicans. Pound the courts into submission to the rich and powerful.”
Warren’s remarks come as Senate Republican leaders continue to block votes on a number of President Obama’s judicial appointments, including Merrick Garland, his nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Republicans believe the seat should remain open until next year, enabling the next president to nominate a justice.
Warren has demonstrated an ability to get under Trump’s skin with her rhetorical broadsides against the celebrity mogul. After she condemned him in a tough speech last month — she called him “a small, insecure money-grubber” — Trump punched back on Twitter and at his rallies. He has tried to brand Warren as “goofy” and gave her the nickname “Pocahontas,” a reference to her once claiming Native American descent.
There is growing buzz in Democratic circles about Warren as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, who clinched the Democratic presidential nomination this week. Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is among those who are encouraging Warren’s consideration, touting her political talents.
In her Thursday speech, Warren will take direct aim at Ryan, who has endorsed Trump but held an awkward news conference on Tuesday in which he said he thought Trump’s attack on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage was the “textbook definition of a racist comment.”
“Paul Ryan condemned Trump’s campaign for its attacks on Judge Curiel’s integrity,” Warren plans to say. “Great. Where’s Paul Ryan’s condemnation of the blockade, the intimidation, the smears, and the slime against the integrity of qualified judicial nominees and Judge Garland?”
Though Curiel was born in Indiana, his parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1920s — a lineage that Trump said presents an inherent conflict of interest in the Trump University lawsuit because Trump wants to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep immigrants from entering the United States illegally.
“Judge Curiel has survived far worse than Donald Trump,” Warren plans to say. “He has survived actual assassination attempts. He’ll have no problem surviving Trump’s nasty temper tantrums.”
Warren also intends to say, “Where do you suppose Donald Trump got the idea that he can personally attack judges, regardless of the law, whenever they don’t bend to the whims of billionaires and big business? Trump isn’t a different kind of candidate. He’s a Mitch McConnell kind of candidate. Exactly the kind of candidate you’d expect from a Republican Party whose ‘script’ for several years has been to execute a full-scale assault on the integrity of our courts.”