Warren: I wanted to represent Mass. in DNC speech
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren said Thursday she felt an ‘‘enormous responsibility’’ during her prime-time address to the Democratic National Convention to speak for all those people she’s met on the campaign trail.
Warren, who is hoping to unseat incumbent Republican Scott Brown, said she was nervous before taking the stage Wednesday night in Charlotte, N.C.
‘‘It felt like an enormous responsibility,’’ Warren told reporters after voting in the state primary in her hometown, Cambridge. ‘‘I wanted to be sure that I would find the right words. I didn’t want to fail the people who were counting on me, so, yes, I was nervous.’’
During the speech, Warren never mentioned Brown by name. On Thursday, she again criticized his record, saying he’s sided with oil companies and against the middle class.
‘‘I understand that Senator Brown doesn’t want to talk about how the system is rigged because he is a part of it,’’ she said.
Brown criticized what he portrayed as the extreme partisanship of Warren’s speech, saying she views those she disagrees with as enemies.
‘‘True to form she attacked all her usual villains — successful people, Republicans, businesspeople, energy companies,’’ Brown said in a fundraising letter Thursday.
Brown said Democratic Party activists in the audience loved Warren’s speech because of ‘‘her rock-throwing partisanship’’ while he liked it ‘‘because it lays out clearly the sharp differences’’ between them.
Brown also said Warren is out of step with those she claims to represent and is instead catering to liberal activists.
‘‘They've even established a new ‘wing’ of the party in her name,’’ Brown wrote. ‘‘It used to be called the extreme-left wing. Now they call it the ‘Elizabeth Warren wing.’ But that’s not where most Massachusetts voters reside.’’
Warren, however, said it’s Brown who’s out of step.
‘‘Scott Brown is not voting with the people of Massachusetts,’’ Warren said Thursday. ‘‘Sometimes he says good things. Sometimes he does a good vote. But the people of Massachusetts don’t need a senator who’s there once in a while. They need a senator they can count on all the time.’’
Warren, in her speech, cast herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class and a foe of moneyed interests. She highlighted her work to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and tried to connect with ordinary Americans she said are losing faith in the idea that there’s a level playing field in the country.
‘‘People feel like the system is rigged against them,’’ she told the Democratic gathering. ‘‘And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged.’’
Democrats gave Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate, the prime-time slot just ahead of former President Bill Clinton in part because they’re hoping to win back the Senate seat, previously held by the late Democrat Edward Kennedy, as they try to retain control of the Senate.
Brown, who won a 2010 special election after Kennedy’s death, declined a speaking role at last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
The Senate race is already the most expensive in Massachusetts history with Election Day still two months away. The candidates have raised more than $52.9 million combined.
Warren supporters heading to primary polls on Thursday said they were buoyed by her speech and decided to cast ballots for her even though neither she nor Brown faced primary challengers.
Mary Raab, an independent voter from Hanover, said she gave Warren a vote because she wanted to give the Democrat a chance against Brown.
In Brookline, Democrat Hoit Nelson said he believes Warren will win because Massachusetts is such a liberal state.
‘‘It’s my theory that the state is hugely Democratic and that the great majority of voters go straight ticket,’’ he said. ‘‘How can Elizabeth Warren lose?’’
Associated Press writer Shannon Young contributed to this report.