MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Joining forces in the presidential campaign’s final stretch, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren pounded Donald Trump on Monday for disrespecting women and denigrating U.S. troops assisting Iraqis in their push to retake the city of Mosul.
“He’s basically declaring defeat before the battle has even started,” Clinton said, referring to Trump’s tweet on Sunday calling the new fight against the Islamic State group “a total disaster.” Clinton said her Republican rival is “proving to the world what it means to have an unqualified commander in chief.”
Warren, riffing off Trump’s insult to Clinton in the final debate, warned the businessman that “nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote.”
The back-to-back assault on Trump underscored what has drawn Clinton to Warren, with whom she has little previous relationship. The Massachusetts senator has needled Trump with gusto throughout the campaign, often provoking a prickly response from the Republican. She’s also become a fierce defender of Clinton, validating the former secretary of state’s progressive credentials with those skeptical of Clinton’s long ties to Wall Street.
But if Clinton wins, Warren is expected to turn from cheerleader into watchdog – a towering presence in the Senate trying to hold Clinton to campaign promises on issues like student debt and Wall Street reform, while also guarding against nominees with deep ties to the financial industry.
Perhaps seeking to reassure Warren that she’ll hold her ground in office, Clinton praised the Massachusetts senator’s work on curbing Wall Street excess and said she looked forward to “working with her to rewrite the rules of our economy.”
Warren laid down her own marker, making sure to brand Clinton’s policy blueprint as a “progressive agenda.”
Clinton and Warren made their joint appearance on a sun-splashed fall day in New Hampshire, a battleground state with one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. Underscoring Democrats’ increasing confidence in the presidential race just over two weeks from Election Day, both women devoted significant portions of their remarks to bolstering the party’s down-ballot candidates.
If Clinton wins the election and Democrats also carry the Senate, she would have more leeway in getting through nominees for top jobs. Liberals with ties to Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – who challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination – have already started outlining specific people they’re hoping end up in senior posts at the White House and agencies.
That includes Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a top liberal pick to run the Justice Department, where he previously oversaw the civil rights division; Gary Gensler, the Clinton campaign’s chief financial officer who won praise as a tough regulator at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; former senators Byron Dorgan and Ted Kaufman; and economists Joseph Stiglitz, Christina Romer and Heather Boushey.
Speaking in Washington last month, Warren signaled her opposition to nominees from the financial industry who “pay lip service” to Clinton’s agenda while waiting “until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door, serving government then going back to the very same industries they regulate.”
While Warren waited until after the Democratic primary was over to endorse Clinton, she has been pushing the former New York senator on personnel appointments for nearly two years. Months before Clinton formally announced her candidacy, the senator made sure she had a list of people she would support for top administration jobs.
In a January 2015 email, Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin wrote to other aides that Warren’s team was “wary” and convinced that people with Wall Street connections had the “inside track” with the campaign, which was still forming at the time. Schwerin’s comments were made public as part of the hacking of top Clinton aide John Podesta’s emails. The Clinton campaign has blamed Russia for the hacking, accusing Moscow of trying to sway the election for Trump.
Warren has shown a willingness to challenge appointments from her own party’s president. She successfully fought to block President Barack Obama’s nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss to be Treasury’s undersecretary of domestic finance, the department’s third-ranking post.
Under sustained pressure from Warren, Weiss withdrew from consideration in 2015. But he joined the agency anyway, as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, a position that did not require Senate confirmation.