Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren met with Lowcountry voters during a town hall event on Saturday at Goose Creek High School. She was met with an enthusiastic crowd and several in attendance said they had originally picked other Democratic candidates but in recent months they began to shift toward Warren.
“I wasn’t sold, I liked a lot of people but after being here today, I’m pretty sold,” said Mt. Pleasant resident Elizabeth Calders. “I just wanted to be able to see her in person and hear what she had to say; she’s so relatable and everything really resonated with me.”
Calders and her friends watched Warren from the front row. She said it’s nice to live in an early voting state where she can attend events at small venues and hear from all of the candidates.
Warren talked about her early life and the financial struggles that her mother and three brothers endured when her father suffered from a heart attack and was unable to work for a long time. She said her family lost their car and were close to losing their home but her mother took a minimum wage job to support the family.
She also said she knew from a young age that she wanted to become a teacher but her family didn’t have any money for college. She said her education and career were repeatedly interrupted by family life choices including marrying at 19 and raising her children. Eventually she was able to complete college and get a job teaching children with special needs at a public elementary school.
Charleston resident Laura Schroeder said she was very impressed with Warren. “My career, just like hers, has taken lots of twists and turns,” Schroeder said. “I relate to her story.”
Schroeder worked as a teacher and a social worker but her career path changed as she raised two sons who are both on the Autism spectrum.
Audience members asked Warren questions about healthcare for those suffering from mental health, her stance on abortion, and details surrounding her plans for “Medicare for All.”
She recently released details on her “Medicare for All” proposal that would change how the U.S. pays for its health care system. Other candidates on board with Medicare for All include Sen. Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang.
Warren is proposing social programs including free college tuition, universal child care. She is in favor of implementing a 2 percent tax on those whose wealth exceeds $50 million. She said her wealth-tax has drawn criticism from those who say “she is mean to the billionaires.”
Warren responded saying “people who built their fortune in America built it at least in part using workers all of us helped pay to educate...you built it at least in part getting your goods to market on roads and bridges that all of us had to pay for..you built it at least in part protected by police and firefighters all of us helped pay the salaries for.”
“Here’s the thing, we’re glad to do it- we’re Americans; we want to make these investments in opportunity,” Warren said. “All we’re saying is when you make it big, really big, top one tenth of one percent big, pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance.”
As the event came to a close, Warren circled through the room to meet people who were seated in the ADA-compliant area. She took selfies, hugged veterans, children, and answered questions from reporters. A long line formed with supporters waiting to take selfies with the candidate.
South Carolina’s 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary in Feb. 29.