Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Senate candidate in Massachusetts and former White House financial reform adviser, blasted Republicans at an appearance In Andover last month for accusing Democrats of engaging in "class warfare."
"I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,'" Warren said. "No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own -- nobody."
Republican lawmakers have criticized President Barack Obama in recent weeks for engaging in "class warfare." House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) argued in an op-ed last month that the president was “anti-business, hyper-regulatory [and] pro-tax” and “fueled by efforts to incite class warfare."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had a similar criticism after Obama unveiled his new deficit reduction plan this month, which features a proposed tax on millionaires, saying “Class warfare isn’t leadership.”
In Andover, Warren went on to discuss the "social contract" and how it benefits everyone:
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Democrats have fought back against the "class warfare" charges by drawing attention to the dramatic cuts that Republicans have proposed to programs benefiting low- and middle-income Americans.
Obama disputed the claim during a speech on Monday, saying his newest plan "is not class warfare. It’s math."
Warren -- who formally entered the Senate race less than two weeks ago -- currently has a slight edge over her competitor, Republican Scott Brown, according to a recent poll by the Democratic-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling.
UPDATE: National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brian Walsh responded to Warren's comments on Thursday. He said in an email:
“Given the Boston Herald’s recent revelation that Professor Warren was paid almost $200,000 by a major insurance company to help in their legal battle against asbestos victims – on top of her $350,000 salary at Harvard – it sounds like she’s speaking from experience when she says ‘there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.’”
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more