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Warren pitches plans for equality during Dartmouth College stop

  • Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd during a campaign appearance at Dartmouth's Bema in Hanover, N.H., on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

  • Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren says hello to Bree Showalter, of Orford, N.H., and her daughter Molly after a campaign appearance at Dartmouth's Bema in Hanover, N.H., on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/24/2019 8:36:45 PM
Modified: 10/24/2019 9:58:25 PM

HANOVER — Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren laid out a range of plans aimed at rooting out corruption and improving life for the middle class during a campaign stop on Thursday in Dartmouth College’s Bema amphitheater.

Standing in front of an American flag, under a canopy of colorful fall leaves, the Massachusetts senator gave about 1,100 people there a brief biography before describing her plans to upend the systems she said are enriching corporations at the expense of working Americans.

Though Warren said that while she was growing up in Oklahoma, her mother was able to pay the family’s bills by working a minimum-wage job at Sears, a minimum wage job won’t keep a family out of poverty today.

“That is wrong, and that is why I am in this fight,” she said.

Despite starting her career as a special education teacher, Warren, 70, has spent most of her working life teaching law school. She said she turned to politics after observing “what was happening to working families in America.”

She helped to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Obama administration and has served in the Senate since 2013.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed Warren as the Democratic front-runner nationally, with 28% support, trailed by former Vice President Joe Biden with 21%, Bernie Sanders at 15% and Pete Buttigieg at 10%.

Warren’s plans to root out corruption include ending “lobbying as we know it,” closing the “revolving door” between Washington and Wall Street, and making the Supreme Court “follow basic rules of ethics.”

In addition, Warren said she would enforce antitrust laws to break up pharmaceutical companies and put “more power in the hands of employees” by making it easier to join unions.

“Unions built the American middle class,” she said. “Unions will rebuild the American middle class.”

She plans to address inequality, at least in part, by instituting a 2% “wealth tax” on fortunes over $50 million. In doing so, she said the country could fund universal child care for children from babies to age 5; pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds; increase wages for child care and preschool workers; fully fund a major federal program on special education; increase funding for historically black colleges; cancel student loan debt for most; and increase access to educational opportunities beyond high school.

When Americans make it “really big,” Warren said they should pitch in “so everybody else gets a chance to make it.”

Dartmouth sophomore Attiya Khan introduced Warren by sharing a story of her own family’s hardship. Khan’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in the 1980s, gradually saving up enough money to buy their own home, she said.

But when her father developed a life-threatening infection and couldn’t work, Khan, then a teenager, was forced to begin waiting tables to prevent the home from going into foreclosure. Though her father did recover and Khan is now at Dartmouth, she said the experience left her with knee and back problems, as well as anxiety.

Rather than viewing her story as one of overcoming adversity, Khan said, “I am angry as hell. My story is not a feel-good tale.”

She said she is supporting Warren because her plans will help middle-class families to hold onto their homes and prevent them from going into bankruptcy due to medical expenses.

In an interview before the event, Warren declined to answer questions about how she would fund Medicare for All, a plan that would expand the government health insurance program and get rid of commercial insurance. But she said a plan for how she would pay for it is coming “soon.”

“Everyone in the presidential race knows that people across New Hampshire and across this country are going broke because of the rising cost of health care,” she said.

Also supporting Warren is Caitlin Pries, a Dartmouth professor of biology who attended the event with her 3-month-old Ronan. Pries said she had been waiting months for Warren to visit the Upper Valley.

“I want to see a woman president,” Pries said.

In addition to Warren’s gender, Pries said that as a scientist she likes that Warren has plans. As a mother of young children, she said she especially likes the senator’s plans to support families.

Sisters-in-law from Barre, Vt., Kristin and Liz Amaral, said they were leaving Warren’s event feeling invigorated.

“She’s a breath of fresh air,” Liz Amaral said.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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