U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was recently confronted with a simple question, and her reaction speaks volumes.
WRKO radio host Jeff Kuhner caught up with Warren the other day and recorded his brief encounter, during which he asked the Massachusetts senator an easy question.
“You often say, and I agree with you, that the 99 percent are getting shafted by the 1 percent,” Kuhner told Warren as she shook her head in agreement. “Let me ask you this. A lot of people, especially my listeners, say you live in Cambridge. You have a $2 million mansion, plus you’re a multi-millionaire yourself. So how can you rail against the 1 percent, when you are and live like the 1 percent?”
The senator launched into a oral history of her family and the “opportunities” that landed her in the upper-upper class.
“I wasn’t born in Cambridge,” Warren said, “I was born into a family where my daddy worked one job after another and ended up as a janitor.”
Her mother worked for minimum wage, and her brothers were in the military, and she wanted to be a school teacher and didn’t even have money to pay for the college application, she said. Eventually she graduated from a “commuter college that cost $50 a semester” to become a special needs teacher. After that, she was a mom and attended a state law school, Warren said, avoiding Kuhner’s original question.
“But you are part of the 1 percent?” the radio host persisted. “You are a multi-millionare and have a mansion in Cambridge, do you not? It’s worth north of $2 million.”
“I had opportunities because America invested in kids like me,” Warren said. “And that’s the reason I’m in public office, so I can make sure the next kid …”
“Ya, I know,” Kuhner cut her off. “But you are part of the 1 percent and you’re railing on the 1 percent. You don’t see the hypocrisy there?”
“This is whether you believe in opportunity or not, and I believe in opportunity,” Warren said as her handler suddenly remembered the senator had a pressing engagement.
“You mean the $350,000 for one course?” Kuhner shot back as Warren dashed down the hallway. “Is that what you mean by opportunity, senator?”
Kuhner’s parting shot refers to the big money Warren raked in as a Native American faculty member at Harvard.
The exorbitant salary is often cited in response to Warren’s hypocritical criticism about the high cost of higher education in America.
Folks online seemed to enjoy watching Warren squirm.
“I love this! Thank you for calling her out on it,” Rick Scherer posted. “College is too expensive … bu she gets paid 350k to teach one class!”
“She was willing to answer the questions but the minute she was confronted with something she didn’t like she couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” Susan Woods wrote.
“So you pulled up the boot straps and got out on your own and became part of the 1%,” Richard Rizza pointed out. “Why can’t everyone else do the same? Why do they need so much help, when you were able to do it?”