Massachusetts Sen. and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren brought her campaign to Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
In front of a capacity crowd in Downtown Salt Lake City, Warren rallied supporters with a message of red meat for politically famished Utah Democrats.
“I stand with Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante,” said Warren to one of two overflow areas set up because of the beyond-capacity crowd. “Dream big! Fight hard! Let’s win!” she exclaimed to raucous cheers.
The line of eager Democrats waiting to get into The Depot wrapped around the block and several hundred supporters were turned away because there wasn’t enough room inside. Campaign sources estimated the crowd size at approximately 2,000.
Once she hit the main stage, she delivered a stemwinder of a stump speech, hammering big money in politics, fighting corruption and making fundamental changes to the nation’s politics.
“We need big systemic changes in Washington, and I gotta plan,” she said. “When you see a government that works that works for people with money because they can afford lobbyists, but not anybody else, that’s corruption pure and simple and you need to call it out.”
Warren also whipped up the crowd with an attack on big money, pledging to re-write the rules of the economy with her proposed “wealth tax.”
“I am proposing that if you have over $50 million, you pay 2-cents on every dollar above that. This proposal is not punitive. I recognize that if you’re rich, you either had a great idea. How about you put some of that
Earlier on Wednesday Salt Lake City Police responded to reports of a suspicious package outside of the venue but determined there was no threat.
Earlier in the day, Warren visited Wasatch National Forest where she discussed her pledge to reinstate the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments on the first day of her presidency if she is elected.
“We need to make public lands part of the fight against climate change,” said Warren after a short guided hike. “This forest is one of our great national treasures and we shouldn’t be selling it off for pennies on the dollar. We need to protect it.”
Warren has also promised to implement a moratorium on any new mining and drilling leases on public lands if she is elected in 2020.
Utah’s move to a presidential primary on Super Tuesday has raised the state’s electoral profile significantly, which is likely the main reason Warren is campaigning in Utah with more than a year to go before any actual vote. Utah joins at least 13 other states, including California, holding votes that day.
Utah has 35 delegates up for grabs during their presidential primary, which is just a fraction of the more than 1,400 to be awarded on Super Tuesday. Those delegates will be awarded to candidates on a proportional basis if they can get at least 15% of the vote.
So far, there are 18 Democrats running for the party’s 2020 nomination. Warren is the third Democrat to campaign in Utah during the 2020 cycle. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro visitied Utah in February while Maryland Congressman John Mullaney stumped here in January of 2018.
Outgoing Utah GOP chairman Rob Anderson said Warren’s trip to Utah should get the attention of Republicans in Utah, because Warren wouldn’t be campaigning her if she didn’t see some sort of political opportunity.
“While Republicans outnumber Democrats 3 to 1 among registered voters, we cannot take for granted the growing number of unaffiliated voters,” he said. “While, historically, the unaffiliated voter has trended toward Republican candidates, it’s imperative that we revisit our messaging and GOTV efforts. We cannot rest on our laurels and expect to hold onto our super majority. A unified party which successfully reaches out to the next generation of voters to communicate conservatism is where we need to focus our effort and energy.”
The Republican National Committee ripped Warren’s visit to Utah in a statement.
“Even Elizabeth Warren knows her platform of government-run healthcare, free college and the Green New Deal are too costly and unrealistic, which is why she keeps proposing new tax hikes to try and offset their trillions of dollars cost,” said spokesperson Christiana Purves in an email statement. “But Utah families aren’t interested in more taxes or government-takeover policies that would destroy our booming economy – just like they aren’t interested in Warren’s mediocre Presidential bid.”
Warren is currently polling around 5th place in the crowded Democratic presidential field, consistently pulling around 7 or 8 percent. She trails frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.