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Sen. Elizabeth Warren outlines foreign policy vision amid 2020 speculation

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat widely considered a top presidential contender for 2020, outlined a foreig...

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 8:32 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 8:32 AM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat widely considered a top presidential contender for 2020, outlined a foreign policy vision Thursday that echoed her progressive economic views, telling a Washington audience that US foreign policy should "benefit all Americans, not just wealthy elites."

Warren laid out a series of liberal positions on free trade agreements and efforts to protect workers forced out of their jobs by those agreements. But she also described a vision in tune with past Democratic heavyweights, putting her firmly in line on some issues with long-held Democratic views on foreign policy and the country's role in the world.

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The senator from Massachusetts used the phrase "wealthy elites" repeatedly in her speech at American University and aligned her foreign policy agenda with how the Democratic Party should connect with voters: by emphasizing the need for that policy to work for all Americans.

"We need to end the fiction that our domestic and foreign policies are somehow separate and recognize that policies that undermine working families in this country also erode America's strength in the world," Warren said. "In other words, it's time to create a foreign policy that works for all Americans, not just the rich and powerful."

That notion was a callback to an anti-corruption speech Warren delivered in August, in which she introduced a plan to stem corporate influence on government and root out corruption in Washington in an effort to ensure the government works better for more Americans.

Eyeing 2020 and Trump

Thursday's remarks will do little to quell open speculation among Democrats that Warren plans to run for president, as most presidential contenders deliver sweeping remarks on top policy areas before they announce.

The senator, widely considered a top contender for the Democratic nomination in two years, has already begun to chart her path toward a showdown with President Donald Trump. Trump, in response, has turned his focus to Warren, slamming her claim of Native American heritage, a charge the senator looked to rebut last month when she released a DNA analysis showing she has distant Native American ancestry.

Michael Ahrens, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, jumped on the attack in response to Warren's speech.

"It's ironic that Elizabeth Warren has chosen to launch her 2020 campaign with the two topics she knows the least about: her heritage and foreign policy," he said in an emailed statement.

Warren mentioned Trump throughout Thursday's speech, but her remarks clearly attempted to look past him, blaming the issues with American foreign policy on decisions that began in the 1980s.

"While it is easy to blame President Trump for our problems, the truth is that our challenges began long before him," she said.

The senator did, however, pledge to vote against Trump's plan to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement, calling it a bad deal for "America's working families." She labeled the President's plan to modernize the US nuclear arsenal "wrong," and called for all American troops to leave Afghanistan.

"We've 'turned the corner' in Afghanistan so many times that we're now going in circles," Warren said. "Let's make sure that the three brave Americans killed in Afghanistan this week are the last Americans to lose their lives in this war. It's time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan -- starting now."

She also took a handful of shots at Trump, arguing that he is being played and bullied by authoritarian leaders on the world stage like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"We must face reality head on," Warren said. "President Trump's actions and instincts align with those of authoritarian regimes around the globe."

Trade and defense spending

The bulk of her speech focused on trade, an issue that Trump has made a focal point of his domestic and foreign policy. Warren blasted free trade agreements, arguing that "policymakers were willing to sacrifice American jobs ... in return for boosting sales at Walmart and gaining access to consumer markets around the world."

"For decades, the leaders of both parties preached the gospel that free trade was a rising tide that would lift all boats," Warren said. "Great rhetoric -- except that the trade deals they negotiated mainly lifted the yachts -- and threw millions of working Americans overboard to drown."

The senator, in contrast with some Democrats' suggestions in response to trade deals, told the audience of students that "job training and transition assistance have proven powerless against the onslaught of offshoring."

She also struck a hardline position on America's prolonged conflicts in the Middle East, defining them as failures that have cost thousands of deaths and billions of dollars and have sapped American power.

"Despite America's huge investment, these wars have not succeeded even on their own terms. Seventeen years later, the Middle East remains in shambles," she said. "Neither military nor civilian policymakers seem capable of defining success -- but surely this is not it."

Warren said it was time for defense budgets to be cut, arguing that spending hundreds of billions every year was "unsustainable."

"If more money for the Pentagon could solve our security challenges," the senator said to applause, "we would have solved them by now."

Like most Democratic politicians who speak at the Washington university, Warren referenced President John F. Kennedy's 1963 speech in which he outlined his views on nuclear proliferation and views of the Soviet Union.

Quoting Kennedy, Warren said, "Our problems are man-made. Therefore, they can be solved by man."

"The same is true today," Warren said. But seemingly in a nod to her future in the party, the senator paused and added to raucous applause, "I'd add that they can also be solved by women, as well."

Later, in a question and answer session to close the event, Warren leaned in even more.

"The world changed in 2016. It changed again in 2018," she said. "I believe it is going to change again in 2020."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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