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Warren Says She's In It For The Long Haul; Kerry Makes The Case For Biden

Elizabeth Warren speaks at a campaign event at Rundlett Middle School in Concord, NH. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a campaign event at Rundlett Middle School in Concord, NH. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
This article is more than 3 years old.

On the eve of Super Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren is vowing to stay in the race until the Democratic convention in Milwaukee -- no idle threat, given the $29 million her campaign raked in in February alone.

Warren has failed to secure a victory — or even a second-place showing — in any of the early primary states. On Super Tuesday, there's a decent chance she could lose her home state of Massachusetts, too, according to recent polling.

Yet even as Bernie Sanders threatens to sweep the Bay State out from under her, Warren will be in Michigan — a state not scheduled to vote until March 10.

Meantime, former Vice President Joe Biden is riding a wave of momentum after exceeding expectations in South Carolina on Saturday, where he cruised to victory with 48% of the vote. But will it translate into Super Tuesday victories?

With 14 states and over 1,300 delegates on the line Tuesday, WBUR's Bob Oakes spoke with Warren by phone to discuss her uphill strategy, and why she believes Massachusetts residents should vote for their own senator to be president.

And WBUR's Tiziana Dearing spoke with Biden surrogate John Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State and senator from Massachusetts, about why Massachusetts voters should support Biden over Warren.

Below are highlights from both conversations.

Warren Interview Highlights

On why she's staying in the race

"Look, the way I see it is I'm out there running to get enough delegates to be able to win the convention. That's exactly what I'm working on. I had more than a million individual contributors to my campaign. ... People are in this fight because I made the decision from the very beginning not ... to spend time with billionaires and corporate executives and lobbyists. I ended up going to 30 states and Puerto Rico, and I've built out operations in all of those places. We have offices, we have paid staff, we have volunteers. I always assumed this was going to be a long primary."

On delivering "real change" after President Trump

"You know, we have to beat Donald Trump; you bet we do. But we also have to deliver real change starting in January 2021. And that's going to take knowing which fights to take on, how to fight 'em smart, how to build coalitions and how to get it done. You know, back during the financial crisis a decade ago, when I had the idea for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, people told me, 'Great idea, but don't even try because you can never get something like that passed. It's just too progressive. You can't get it done.' But I had the idea. I dug in on it. I fought the banks. They were spending more than $1 million a day at one point to fight us. I fought Wall Street. I built the coalitions both within our party and around the country. And Barack Obama signed that agency into law just a little under 10 years ago now. ... And that little agency has already forced the financial institutions to return more than $12 billion directly to people they cheated."

Why not Bernie Sanders?

"Both Bernie and I wanted to rein in Wall Street following the crash of 2008. I'm the one who dug in and did the hard work and delivered on it. That was what I did. And it has made a big difference."

Why not Joe Biden?

"Joe Biden is not the person who is talking about new ideas. He's not talking about big changes — he's talking about modest changes. And look, modest changes would be better than where we are now. Everyone standing on that Democratic stage would make a better president than Donald Trump and would take us in a better direction. And I support whoever our Democratic nominee turns out to be.

"But I do believe this is a moment. A moment we've been called to in history, not just to get rid of Donald Trump, but a moment when we have enough people off the sidelines, enough people fighting back against the influence of money in Washington. Enough people who say, you know what? It is time. It's time for universal child care. It's time to cancel student loan debt for 43 million Americans. It's time for universal health care coverage. It's time to expand Social Security. We make just those four changes and that's life-transformative for tens of millions of people all across this country. That's the opportunity that Democrats have in 2020."

Kerry Interview Highlights

Why Joe Biden?

"We are at a particular moment in our country where our democracy is threatened in ways that will require a very special set of relationships and a readiness, if you will, to pull people together. Joe Biden has shown that capacity many, many times and many different ways.

"I think the world is broken right now. We have the Iran nuclear agreement in tatters, near war. We have nuclear weapons challenges around the world. We have cyber challenges. We have Russia, China doing various things. Joe Biden has been there, done that. He's got the readiness, I believe. He doesn't have to build a relationship with the leader of another country.

"[And] Joe Biden is the only candidate running who was asked to campaign in 24 states with 65 candidates in 2018 when we won back the House. And those [congresspeople] who were elected will tell you that they're afraid of running down the ticket with other candidates."

Is Biden really a progressive? 

"Well, certainly more moderate than Sen. Sanders, you know. Joe Biden is not a socialist and he's not proposing 'Medicare for All' because we can't afford it [and] you can’t pass it. It kicks 150 million Americans off of their insurance. So I don't think you can get elected to that.

"It is as progressive as you get to say that you are going to expand Obamacare, provide everybody in the nation a choice. Not kick them off, but give them a choice. So Joe Biden is progressive. He wants everybody in America to have health insurance. He fought to pass Obamacare. That's the most progressive accomplishment we've had in the health field since [President] Harry Truman started trying to pass health care."

On Biden's recent surge in support

"I think people are suddenly taking stock of the choice in the party, which, with all due respect to a number of people who are currently still running, I think if you read today's New York Times, [they] made it pretty clear that it's becoming a choice between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. I think a lot of people are motivated and deeply concerned about a Bernie Sanders candidacy for president."

This article was originally published on March 02, 2020.

This segment aired on March 2, 2020.

Zoë Mitchell Producer and Studio Director
Zoë Mitchell was a Radio Boston producer and studio director.


Tiziana Dearing Host, Radio Boston
Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.


Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.


Wilder Fleming Producer
Wilder Fleming produces radio and podcasts for WBUR.


Chris Citorik Senior Producer
Chris Citorik was a senior producer for Radio Boston.



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