On Saturday, embattled Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren officially launched her presidential campaign — and within 24 hours rolled out her version of "Lock Her Up!" The small crowd at the event gave the senator a big cheer for her attempt at Trumpian rhetoric.
"Every day, there is a racist tweet, a hateful tweet — something really dark and ugly," Warren said at a rather "intimate" campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sunday. "And what are we as candidates, as activists, as the press, going to do about that? Are we going to chase after those every day? Are we going to let him use those to divide us?"
Then the senator — who was hit with more revelations about her past claims to being an "American Indian" last week — got to her less concise iteration of Trump's famous "Lock Her Up!" chant that became a regular feature of his 2016 rallies, but this time directed back at the president.
"You know here's what bothers me: By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president," she said. "In fact, he may not even be a free person."
Those gathered at the Cedar Rapids event loved it, responding in loud cheers and applause.
She went on to say that Trump "is not the only problem we've got," describing him as "the symptom of a badly broken system."
Video below via NBC News' Vaughn Hillyard:
Video and photos from the Cedar Rapids event show a room that's only partly filled and an audience that is almost entirely middle aged. The crowd is also predominantly white, a demographic detail mainstream outlets have curiously not bothered to point out despite having done so repeatedly concerning Trump campaign events.
In her announcement speech Saturday, Warren established the theme of her campaign: America is "rigged" against the middle class, lower classes, minorities — everybody but the 1%.
"Over the years, America's middle class has been deliberately hollowed out, and families of color have been systematically discriminated against and denied their chance to build some security," she said (transcript via Frank Camp). "Now, it started very quietly. The richest and most powerful people in America, they were rich — I mean really rich – but they wanted to be even richer and they didn't care who got hurt. So, every year, bit by bit, they lobbied Washington and paid off politicians to tilt the system just a little more in their direction. And year by year, bit by bit, more of the wealth and opportunity went to the people at the very top. And that is how today, in the richest country in the history of the world, tens of millions of a people are struggling to get by."
"The middle class squeeze is real and millions of families can barely breathe," she added later.
She also focused on the impact on minorities, suggesting that the 30% lower home ownership rates among African Americans is a result of discriminatory lending practices. "[T]oday, the home ownership gap between black and white families is 30 percentage points — bigger than it was back in 1960 when housing discrimination was actually legal. Race matters, and we need to say so," she said.
And it's not only African Americans who still face widespread discrimination, she alleged: "[W]e can't be blind to the fact that the rules in our country have been rigged against other people for a long time — women, LGBTQ Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, immigrants, people with disabilities — and we need to call it out."