Warren: Schumer has fought ‘on the front lines’ with me

Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she has fought “side by side” with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on a range of issues, as she heaped praise on the New Yorker who appears poised to become the top Democrat in the Senate.

Warren dismissed the idea that Schumer was too closely affiliated with the financial industry in a recent NPR interview, undercutting the notion that she could lead any liberal discontent with Schumer due to his ties to the financial industry.

{mosads}Warren credited Schumer with being one of the first lawmakers to embrace the idea of a consumer watchdog agency that was Warren’s idea. That idea would eventually become the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Warren said that Schumer was critical in making that a reality.

“Chuck was one of the first people to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” she said on WBUR’s “Here & Now.” “He’s been out there on the front lines.”

Warren, who joined Schumer in Senate Democratic leadership after the 2014 elections, added that “it’s pretty clear” he will replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as Democratic leader when Reid retires in 2016.

Since Reid announced his decision Friday not to seek reelection, Schumer has received endorsements from his top colleagues in the Senate, including potential challengers Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Reid himself quickly pushed Schumer as his replacement, hours after announcing his retirement.

Some liberal groups were quick to push Warren to challenge for the post, but the freshman senator and big bank critic quickly shot down the notion.

Some outside liberal groups had suggested Schumer was too close to the financial industry that plays a major role in his home state, but Warren dismissed the idea when asked about it Monday.

“Look, I worry about everyone being too close to Wall Street,” she said. “But there are people who have said, ‘I’m going to fight for middle class families. I’m going to get out there and make this happen.’ ”

Warren ran down a number of areas where she sees common ground with Schumer. In addition to the consumer bureau, she mentioned providing student loan relief and protecting Social Security.

“These are powerful issues, and we fought side by side,” she said. “I think he’s going to be terrific on that.”

Warren’s comments suggest that, despite some outside agitation from the left for a challenge to Schumer, there is no interest from Warren in pushing anything from the left.

As she typically does in interviews of late, Warren also said when asked that she, still, has no interest in running for president.

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