The Last Word | December 08, 2011
>>> elizabeth warren has her biggest lead yet over republican incumbent senator scott brown in a university of massachusetts / boston herald poll today. 49% to 42%. that's an absolutely devastating poll for an incumbent senator. any sitting senator running for re-election goes into full panic mode as soon as her or her polling number drops below 50%. it's an incumbent polling at 42%? absolutely cannot win re-election, even if the opponent is polling below that number. because usually the undecided voter breaks for the challenger, instead of the incumbent. but in this case, the incumbent's challenger is at 49%. 7 points ahead with only 6% undecided. republicans know how much trouble they are in in massachusetts in that senate race, which is why karl rove 's group is running this ad against elizabeth warren .
>> the first thing i'm going to promise is that i'm going to be a voice of middle class families.
>> they are bailing out the same banks that bailed out the financial meltdown. middle class americans lost out. later, warren went on a charm offensive with some of the same banks that got bailed out. tell professor warren, we need jobs, not more bailouts and bigger government.
>> joining me now for an exclusive interview, massachusetts elizabeth warren . thank you for joining me tonight, professor.
>> thank you for having me.
>> i can tell in that afact ad that they are using the word professor as an insult, as something you should run away from, that how dare a professor, a harvard professor run for the united states senate . how are you countering that mild neighborhood in rochester from avid square?
>> you know, all i can say is, yeah, i have a job at harvard . but i wasn't born at harvard . i worked hard. i grew up in a family, kind of on the ragged edges of the middle class and got a good education. i grew up in an america that invested in kids like me and ultimately that's how i ended up at a place like harvard . but what i really care about is keeping those opportunities open for the next generation of kids and the next generation and the generation after that. that's what i really think this election is about.
>> now, did you see it coming, that they were going to attack you as a friend of wall street and protector of wall street , koddler of the billionaires?
>> well, let me put it this way. i knew that wall street was going to come after me with everything they had. they want to make sure that i'm not the next senator from massachusetts . but it seems like the strategy now is the kitchen sink strategy. you know, throw anything you can at her and let's see what happens. you know, let's keep in mind what was going on just a little over three years ago. karl rove was part of the inner circle while george w. bush is telling congress and a nation, we've got to bail out the big financial institutions , his secretary of the treasury is handing out money to the largest financial institutions . no strings attached. i go down to washington and i'm calling him out for it. i'm calling him out on executive bonuses, i'm calling him out on the fact that they are giving this money away no strings attached and i get attacked for it. okay. then we roll forward three years. now karl rove takes money from wall street in order to attack elizabeth warren for being cozy with wall street ? this one just goes beyond anything i had ever imagined. i really am. i'm just amazed. it leaves you speechless.
>> well, i think rove's going to find out that massachusetts voters are a little smarter than that. i'm going to do my whole interview in my boston accent , by the way.
>> i love it.
>> now, richard cordray was up to run for the consumer financial protection bureau, something that you helped and got 53 votes, which we now is no longer good enough because they were trying to move to the actual nomination vote. there was one republican vote in favor and that was the republican senator from massachusetts .
>> that's right.
>> did you think you might have had any effect on him already?
>> you know, i don't know. but i'm glad to see him vote in favor of rich cordray. i just wish that every other republican had not been out there trying to block it. i just want to tie those two together because the consumer financial protection bureau is there for regular families. it's there so they don't get gouged on credit cards and mortgages and on student loans but they won't get their full power until they get a confirmed director. and we have now got wall street 's best friends in the senate blocking confirmation of rich cordray solely to try to hinder this agency, to try to keep it from -- calling for some real accountability over wall street . so, you know, both these people are tied together. wall street is still calling the shots for a whole lot of folks in washington .
>> now, that's clearly to me, senator brown trying to pick a spot where he can vote the way you would. he's trying to narrow the gap between the two of you. i imagine he's got a bunch of votes in his time in the senate now that he would like to have some do-overs now that he's on a campaign against you?
>> yeah. you know, you remember last month, we had votes on three jobs bills in a row. the first one would have supported 22,000 jobs in the commonwealth of massachusetts . and at a time when we've got about a quarter of a million people who are unemployed. scott brown and every other republican voted against it because it would have meant a tax increase, just a tiny one for those making a million dollars or more. the next week, a vote to try to preve prevent lay offs for firefighters and paid for a small tax on millionaires. scott brown and every other republican voted against it. and then the third week, 11,000 jobs in the transportation industry , primarily infrastructure, good construction jobs that we really need in massachusetts and work we need to get done. would have created a 7/10 of 1% increase on those making $1 million or more, scott brown and every other republican voted against it. you know, i think in this election, all i really have to do it get out there and tell the truth.
>> a professional analyst look at polls and they look at the so-called internals, the questions asked inside the poll beyond who do you favor? it was a very powerful one in this university of massachusetts boston herald poll that you're leading in. 43% say that elizabeth warren would do a the better job looking out for the middle class . 33% say scott brown would do a better job. that seems to me to be the essential internal question of this election in voter's minds and that, by the way, is not a poll that the boston herald can be all that happy about. i'm going to have to share with our audience what we know, chance of the conservative boston herald , endorsing elizabeth warren . but there it is. they have a poll showing you a substantial margin above scott brown , regarding trust from the middle class on their issues. that seems to me to be where this election is going to be fought.
>> you know, you are right that this election is going to be fought over what's happening to america's middle class . they've been hammered forhammered for a generation now and washington doesn't get t washington is wired for those that cannot hire its lobbyists, to work for wall street . i go out around the commonwealth of massachusetts all i can, every day, and i talk to families and they just keep saying, it's not working for us. washington isn't working for us and that's why they want to get involved in this campaign. you know, people are enthusiastic about this. they want to make some changes and i'm there with them. i think that's right.
>> elizabeth warren , thank you very much for joining me tonight.
>> thank you for having me. i appreciate it.