Elizabeth Warren to middle class: 'The system is rigged'

Elizabeth Warren, trying to win a Senate seat in Massachusetts, told the Democratic National Convention crowd Wednesday night that they can work hard “but the game is rigged against them."

“I’m here tonight to talk to … people who work their hearts out but are up against a hard truth: The game is rigged against them,” said Warren, making her case that re-electing President Obama will restore the American Dream.

“Their fight is my fight, and it is Barack Obama’s fight,” she said before an overflow crowd at the Time Warner Cable Arena just before the headliner, former President Bill Clinton. “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged.”

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and among the Democratic Party’s most liberal candidates this election cycle, put the blame squarely on Mitt Romney and some of the country’s other most successful business people and job creators.

“Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies,” she said. “Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs … still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors and acting like we should thank them.”

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She said Romney wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires but “hammer” middle-class families “hanging on by their fingernails” with a new tax hike.

"The middle class is being kicked, squeezed and hammered," she said.

Warren also said Romney and GOP vice presidential candidate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan would “pulverize financial reform, voucher-ize Medicare and vaporize ObamaCare.”

She is in a tossup race with GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who in 2010 won the open seat of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, in one of the county’s most heavily Democratic states.

An averaging of polls by the website RealClearPolitics has Brown ahead by less than 1 percentage point.

The race, which could give Republicans control of the Senate should Brown win, has been among the hardest hitting this election cycle.

Warren for weeks faced questions about her American Indian heritage and whether she used that for to her professional advantage.

On Wednesday night, Warren also delivered her own version of growing up in American, saying that her family, like others across the country, lived on the “ragged edge of the middle class,” more so after her father suffered a heart attack.

“After he had a heart attack, my mom worked the phones at Sears so we could hang on to our house,” Warren said.

Warren closed by saying the economic conditions of today are similar to those about a century ago “when corrosive greed threatened our economy and our way of life” and that President Roosevelt and “other progressives” brought the country back from the brink.