Democrat Elizabeth Warren said Friday she wants to go to the US Senate to bring an outsider’s perspective to solving the nation’s problems.
“I think we need more outsiders,” the Harvard Law School professor told Boston.com readers during a 45-minute online chat. “The problem in Washington is that too many of these guys work for the lobbyists and spend all their time thinking about reelection. That’s not why I want to go to the Senate.”
Typing on a laptop computer in her Boston headquarters, Warren opened the session by answering a reader question about how—in displacing Senator Scott Brown, the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation—she would not be “a rubberstamp” for her fellow Democrat, President Obama.
“I’ve been clear about what I believe, regardless of how it sits politically,” said Warren.
Recalling her stints in the capital as head of the Congressional Oversight Panel and founder of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she wrote: “When I went to Washington to try to bring some accountability during the financial crisis, I was tough, regardless of party affiliation. I’d would have liked to have seen the administration be more aggressive in the housing crisis—and I’ve said so in multiple reports.”
Brown today agreed to his own Boston.com chat. The date and time will be announced in the near future.
On other topics, Warren:
* Jabbed at Brown while giving her ideas for solving the nation’s immigration problems.
“I believe in the Dream Act,” Warren said. “When Scott Brown voted against it, he denied the dreams of young people who did nothing wrong and who are trying to get an education or serve in the military. I thought that was wrong. I support the president’s recent actions to help these kids.”
The Brown campaign called Warren “an extreme liberal on illegal immigration who supports amnesty and even wants to reward illegal immigrants with low in-state tuition rates financed by taxpayers.”
Brown spokeswoman Alleigh Marre added: “This is a key difference between Professor Warren and Senator Brown. Senator Brown believes we are a nation of immigrants and we should welcome those who seek a better life in America, but we are also a nation of laws that have to be respected and observed.”
* Said her political agenda included job creation, both in the short term by putting people to work “to fix things that are broken,” and in the long term through spending on education, infrastructure, and research.
* Refused to say whether she would support or condemn a potential Israeli raid on Iranian nuclear sites.
“I don’t think it is responsible to speculate on hypotheticals,” said the Democrat. “Every situation and context is different. Right now, I think the president is taking the right approach: strong sanctions and an international effort to put pressure on Iran.”
* Told a female reader, who said she opposed women in combat, that “I believe that women should be able to serve in combat.”
* Denied using her claim of Native American heritage to advance her professional career.
“The people who hired me, including Charles Fried, who was solicitor general for (President) Reagan, and has said in print that he supported Scott Brown, have all said they were not even aware of my heritage when they hired me and that it played no role in my hiring,” Warren said.
While the professor has yet to complete even her first run for elective office, she was forced to confront chatter by some who project her as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
Asked whether she would consider such a run, Warren replied: “This question makes me laugh. I have plenty on my plate.”
She did not say, “No.”Glen Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.