ARLINGTON, Va. — Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTreasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions 11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' MORE (D-Mass.) hit fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Michael BloombergMichael BloombergDemocrats face bleak outlook in Florida Without drastic changes, Democrats are on track to lose big in 2022 Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary MORE on Thursday, taking aim specifically at his recently resurfaced comments he made in 2008 about the controversial practice known as redlining.
“Now this has been some presidential primary already. We’ve been going about this for about a year,” Warren said during a packed town hall in the Washington, D.C., suburb.
"Some people got in a little later than others. Michael Bloomberg got in on the billionaire plan,” she said to widespread boos from the audience.
She then went on to address 2008 comments resurfaced by The Associated Press, in which Bloomberg said that the end of redlining contributed to the financial crisis.
The practice involves banks discriminating against racial minorities looking to take out loans in an effort to afford homes. Those specific communities were identified by redlines on maps.
“Michael Bloomberg is saying, in effect, that the 2008 financial crash was caused because the banks weren’t permitted to discriminate against black and brown people,” Warren said.
“I want to be clear,” she continued. “That crisis would not have been averted if the banks had been able to be bigger racists, and anyone who thinks that should not be the leader of our party.”
The senator first hit Bloomberg on the issue in a tweet earlier on Thursday.
I'm surprised that someone running for the Democratic nomination thinks the economy would be better off if we just let banks be more overtly racist. We need to confront the shameful legacy of discrimination, not lie about it like Mike Bloomberg has done. https://t.co/Lzavpie7Iy— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 13, 2020
Bloomberg campaign spokesman Stu Loeser responded to the AP’s report, saying Bloomberg went after predatory lending as mayor, and that as president, he has a plan to “help a million more Black families buy a house and counteract the effects of redlining and the subprime mortgage crisis.”
The former New York City mayor, who has also come under scrutiny for recent comments about the use of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy in the city, has climbed in the polls.
While he won’t be officially competing until the Super Tuesday states, including Virginia, go to vote on March 3, other candidates have taken aim at Bloomberg in recent days.
Warren’s criticism comes as she turns her focus to Nevada and South Carolina after finishing third in the Iowa caucuses and fourth in the New Hampshire primary.
Despite her slide in support in the polls, Warren drew a massive crowd in Arlington of roughly 4,000 attendees, according to her campaign. The Massachusetts senator addressed overflow crowds before addressing the majority of attendees.