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'She's Terrific In Person' - Warren Woos N.H. Voters With Promise To Fight Hard On Big Ideas

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren visited voters in Windham and Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday to pitch a plan she says will fight the influence of big corporations and rebuild the middle class.

In Windham, Warren reiterated her proposed 2% tax on incomes over $50 million, which she says will allow the U.S. government to cancel nearly all student loan debt and pay for universal childcare and pre-kindergarden.

"It tells you how badly broken this economy is that two cents of the top one-tenth of one percent would provide us with enough revenue to invest in the education and opportunities for every single one of our kids," she said.

Cathy Spinney, of Pelham, described herself as a Sanders and Warren fan, but worries the bipartisanship that plagued former president Barack Obama would slow progress for Warren.

"I’m a pragmatist and I love ideas," she said. "But I’m also concerned with how she would get any of her major initatives through without a willing and collaborative Senate and Congress."

When Spinney asked Warren about this gridlock, Warren said many of her major issues have support among mainstream Republican voters, and that if elected President, she would use executive privilege to get things done.

Warren repeatedly heralded the need for regulatory change to address many of the America's challenges, including climate change. Pointing to the influence of oil company lobbyists and the Koch brothers, Warren asked:

"You really want to understand the climate crisis we're in right now? It's 25 years of corruption in Washington that has kept us from taking the actions we need to take."

Warren billed her campaign as a grassroots movement, comparing her critics to the naysayers of the suffragette, abolitionist, and civil rights movements.

"We make the decision what comes next and we need to stay in this fight," she said. "This is our chance to build that grassroots movement, to get organized, to persist and to change the direction our country is going in. This is our moment to dream big, to fight hard, and to win."

After Warren's speech, Cori Ryan, Ryan's mom, and Cathy Spinney got in line for selfies.

"I wanted to see her in person because the argument is that she's unapproachable and shrill," said Ryan. 

"That's unfair," Spinney said. "She's terrific in person."

"Yes," Ryan said. "I would sit down and have a drink with her." 

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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