Elizabeth Warren (Getty/Mario Tama)

Elizabeth Warren admits she used to be a Republican — here's why she abandoned the party

Why did she, a registered Republican until 1995, end up becoming one of the most progressive members of Congress?

Cody Fenwick
April 23, 2019 12:27PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

In a CNN town hall Monday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) received a question about one of the odder quirks of her personal history: Why did she, a registered Republican until 1995, end up becoming one of the most progressive members of Congress?

She explained that growing up, she didn’t come from a political family, and when she was raising a family on her own, she didn’t pay a lot of attention to politics. But she studied policy, and eventually she began to realize, the policies supported by Republicans were not good for working people.


“I’m studying families that go bankrupt,” she said. “And the credit card companies, half a dozen giant credit card companies, figure out that if they can get the bankruptcy laws changed, that what will happen is they can improve their bottom line by just a little by keeping people locked out of bankruptcy. Nevermind that those people are head over heels in medical debt, that they’ve had job losses that put them way behind, that they’ve had a death or divorce in the family. They’ve been cheated by credit card companies and mortgage companies! Nevermind any of that. Just improve the bottom line for the credit card companies.”

She continued, getting more passionate and outraged: “Man, I looked around in the middle of that fight and I realize: all the money was on one side, and all the hurtin’ was on the other. And that’s when I jumped in politically. I got in that fight, and I fought it for ten years. And by the end of that fight, I fully understood that every Republican stood there for the banks, and half of the Democrats did. So my party was the party that at least we got half of them to stand up for working people, and that was the big change for me.”

Cody Fenwick

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