New Warren ad touts Obama’s 2010 praise for consumer bureau

Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 White House hopeful, released a campaign ad on Wednesday highlighting former President Obama’s praise for her work designing a polarizing consumer watchdog agency.

The 45-second digital ad features 2010 remarks from Obama touting Warren’s working-class background and successful creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Warren first laid the framework for the CFPB in a 2008 paper calling for a federal agency to regulate consumer financial products including credit cards, mortgages and auto loans for fraudulent and abusive terms. As an adviser to Obama, Warren successfully pushed for the creation of the CFPB in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

Portions of Obama’s remarks from a September 2010 press conference with Warren announcing the creation of the CFPB are featured in the campaign ad released Wednesday. 

Obama praises Warren as a “janitor’s daughter who has become one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class” who helped create “a new independent agency standing up for consumers and middle-class families.”

“She’s done it while facing some very tough opposition,” Obama says in another clip. “Fortunately, she’s very tough.”

Obama has declined to weigh in on the 2020 primary or endorse a candidate as Warren and other Democrats seek to tie themselves to his legacy and popularity. The senator has frequently touted her work shaping Obama’s response to the 2008 financial crisis, which endeared her to progressives while irking moderates and Republicans.

“People told me the CFPB could never happen, but it did. I was proud to fight alongside President Barack Obama for middle-class families. I know how to fight—and I know how to win,” Warren wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the ad.

In a presidential primary debate last October, Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden even squabbled over who should claim credit for creating the CFPB.

“I went on the floor and got you votes,” Biden said to Warren after she touted her work establishing the bureau.

Warren responded that she was “deeply grateful to President Obama, who fought so hard to make sure that agency was passed into law, and I am deeply grateful to every single person who fought for it and who helped pass it into law.”

Warren’s choice to highlight the CFPB in the new ad also reflects her recent bid to pitch herself as a unifying Democratic presidential candidate while still pulling the party to the left.  

After Senate Republicans blocked Warren’s potential appointment to be CFPB director in 2010, she won a 2012 Senate race to replace former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Warren sparred with the Obama administration throughout her first Senate term over several of the president’s financial regulatory appointees and implementation of Dodd-Frank regulations. 

The CFPB itself has also been fiercely polarizing since its creation. Republicans and financial sector advocates raged as former Director Richard Cordray (D) issued sweeping regulations and sought steep penalties meant to crack down on predatory lending and consumer abuse. 

But when Cordray’s 2017 resignation gave President Trump an opening to curb the CFPB from within, the president dispatched now-acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to lead the internal weakening of the agency. 

The Trump administration and current CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger have supported a legal challenge to the agency that would strip Kraninger of her immense powers and potentially shut down the bureau. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the lawsuit, Seila Law vs. CFPB, in March.

Tags Barack Obama campaign ad Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Mick Mulvaney Richard Cordray Warren campaign

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