RENO — Firebrand Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren rallied the Democratic Party troops Saturday, promising to “fight back” against President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.
Warren, considered to be one of the top potential Democratic president candidates for 2020, was in Reno to give the keynote speech at the Democratic State Party Convention at the Grand Sierra Resort.
“I don’t just want a party strong enough to drive Donald Trump and his enablers out of power,” Warren told the enthusiastic crowd of several hundred Democrats. “I want a party strong enough to take on the hard job of cleaning up the mess they’ll leave behind once they’re gone.”
Warren’s stop in Reno coincided with Trump stumping in the Silver State, giving Nevadans a possible preview of what the 2020 presidential campaign might look like. Trump spoke at the Republican State Convention in Las Vegas, headlined a private fundraiser for vulnerable incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller and held a private roundtable discussion on tax reform.
Warren hyped up the Democrats running up and down the Nevada ballot by hammering away at Heller for waffling on the Affordable Care Act, promising to fight for a government “where we the people are in control,” and drew roars from the crowd when talking about expanding voting participation, getting money out of politics by overturning Citizens United and noting that Nevada has the opportunity to have the nation’s first female-majority state legislature.
“I’m not here to whimper. I’m not here to whine. I’m here to fight back,” Warren said.
She focused heavily on inclusion in her speech, attempting to contrast that with the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration that caused a public uproar when thousands of children were separated from their families by federal immigration agents while their parents faced prosecution for crossing the border illegally.
Trump signed an executive order this past week that changed the policy from separating families to instead detaining the entire family together while the parents await prosecution.
“President Trump and his Republican leadership have decided to inflict as much pain as they can on the people coming to the United States,” she said.
“And that’s why we are here here. The soul of our country is at stake. We will keep families together. We will reunite families. We will make this country reflect the best of America,” Warren said, eliciting a massive uproar of applause from the crowd.
Warren said she would be going to McAllen, Texas, a small border town that came into the national spotlight amid the immigrant conflict, on Sunday, and promised to “take the message straight from Nevada: We will fight for the soul of our nation.”
Ruth Hanusa, a Democrat from Reno, said she heard much of what she expected from the Democratic convention.
“I’ve never been to a Democratic state convention before,” Hanusa said. “But it seemed to have energy.”
Most Democrats on the ballot this fall also spoke at Saturday’s convention, including U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is challenging Heller, and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak.
Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, one of the speakers who is not up for re-election this year, highlighted much of what’s at stake for Democrats, noting that Sisolak has a chance to become the first Democrat to win the governor’s seat in two decades, that the Rosen-Heller Senate race is key if Democrats are to retake the majority in the upper Congressional chamber and that winning the competitive 3rd and 4th Congressional District seats will likely be needed to win the majority in the House.
“This November, we have an opportunity to be one hell of a check on Donald Trump,” Cortez Masto said. “That path to victory starts right here in Nevada.”
Warren will also head to Las Vegas Saturday evening for a fundraiser that will include Cortez Masto as well as Tick Segerblom, a Democratic state senator who is facing a recount after winning a Clark County Commission race by 181 votes in the June 12 primary.