Is Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren part of the “1 percent”? The multimillionaire claimed on Thursday night’s “The Last Word” on MSNBC that she’s not, but her financial disclosure forms say otherwise.
Last fall, Warren gave a speech that was captured on video and went viral on YouTube because it seemed to illustrate what the entire Occupy Wall Street movement represented. In it, she made a case that individual wealth is partly due to the help of government. (RELATED: Full coverage of Elizabeth Warren)
That brand of populism has become one of the central planks of her latest Senate campaign, and she told Lawrence O’Donnell Thursday that rules covering a “wealthy individual” wouldn’t affect her because she’s “not one of them”:
O’DONNELL: I got to tell you, having worked in the Senate and seen a lot of the financial disclosure forms, I would tweak it beyond that. I would say if you’re in the Congress, while you’re in the Congress, you simply cannot own stocks. Why own stocks? There are plenty of other things to do with your wealth, if you have wealth, when you go into the Congress.
WARREN: You know, I’m with you on this. Either don’t own it or put it in a blind trust, you know, where someone else manages it and you literally can’t see what’s in there. I realize there are some wealthy individuals — I’m not one of them but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios. But you’re exactly right. I don’t understand how people can be out there in the House, in the Senate, they get inside information and they`re making critical decisions. We need to feel like they’re making those decisions on our behalf, not as an investor who would do better if the law goes this way instead of that way. I agree.
“She earned more than $429,000 from Harvard last year alone for a total of about $700,000, and lives in a house worth $5 million,” the story said. “She also has a portfolio of investments in stocks and bonds worth as as much as $8 million, according to the form, which lists value ranges for each investment. The bulk of it is in funds managed by TIAA-CREF.”
If Warren were to be elected to Congress, she would rank among the 25 wealthiest members of Congress, based on Roll Call’s 2011 “The 50 Richest Members of Congress” list. The House and Senate have a combined total of 535 members.