SALEM — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came to Salem Monday to declare her endorsement of Congressman John Tierney in the Democratic primary, saying they were partners in fighting for consumer rights and the middle class even before she was elected.
“To get something done in Washington, you’ve got to have partners, and I’ve got John Tierney,” Warren told a crowd of supporters in Salem’s Derby Square. Tierney is a principled, hard worker who is “always there for working families,” she said.
Tierney, a Salem native, is being challenged by two other North Shore Democrats, Seth Moulton and Marisa DeFranco, in the primary. There are also two political unknowns, John Devine and John Gutta, who say they are running. In November, the primary winner will face Republican Richard Tisei, whom Tierney defeated in 2012 by a razor-thin margin.
“We want everybody to succeed ... not just wealthy corporations and individuals,” said Tierney, arguing that congressional Republicans are more concerned with “feathering the nests of big corporations and people who already have a lot.”
Tierney and Warren cited efforts to protect Social Security, “rein in big banks,” address credit fairness and promote college affordability as projects they’ve collaborated on in the past. They co-sponsored bills in the Senate and House to allow people to refinance student loans at today’s lower interest rates — an example of that partnership. Warren’s bill failed in the Senate last week after Republicans blocked the legislation.
They spoke briefly with reporters after the event on a wide range of subjects, including the ongoing turmoil in Iraq and President Obama’s decision not to send American troops there. Both Tierney and Warren support Obama’s decision and said they are hesitant to consider sending troops back into a murky, volatile environment.
“I think the president has to keep all of his options open. ... I think he’s absolutely right: no boots on the ground,” Tierney said. “We should be hesitant to do other things unless and until we’re absolutely certain that there’s a government there that’s going to work inclusively and bring people together politically.”
“I’m very skeptical of military [involvement],” Warren added. “We tried it and saw what happened.”
Tierney noted that 4,400 American soldiers have died and thousands more have been injured in the decade since the United States first entered Iraq, but the situation has still deteriorated.
Carrie Rankin, Moulton’s communications director, said that Monday’s endorsement wasn’t a surprise, just one incumbent politician supporting another.
“We have great respect for Sen. Warren’s work on behalf of Massachusetts families, but ... Washington officials usually support other Washington officials. The nine elected and former elected officials who today endorsed Seth Moulton’s campaign understand that we can’t expect a different outcome from Washington if we keep sending the same people down there,” Rankin said.
DeFranco’s campaign didn’t have a comment available by press time.
In related news, Tisei’s campaign announced that he was endorsed by former Republican Gov. William Weld on Monday.
You can reach John Castelluccio at 978-338-2527, email@example.com or via Twitter at @SNjcastelluccio.