by Justine McDaniel
September 9, 2016
Before a cheering crowd in Philadelphia on Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) campaigned alongside a would-be colleague, Senate candidate Katie McGinty.
Also promoting Hillary Clinton, who was not present but whose campaign coordinated the event, Warren said McGinty would fight for the average citizen, work against Wall Street, protect women's rights, and support affordable higher education.
"The game is rigged, the GOP rigged it, and that's why Katie McGinty and Hillary Clinton and I are going to work to unrig it," Warren said.
Slamming incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey from nearly every angle, Warren brought McGinty into her own fold, repeating that "Hillary and Katie and I will fight" for various democratic priorities.
She also echoed the McGinty campaign in linking Toomey to Donald Trump.
"Trump calls women fat pigs and bimbos, and Toomey sticks with Trump," Warren said. "They share the same ugly agenda."
The Toomey campaign Friday continued to sidestep questions about Trump, saying only that: “Pat Toomey took on his own party” regarding the Wall Street bailouts and gun control, while “McGinty couldn’t even name one policy she disagreed with Hillary Clinton on.”
The crowd, a mix of Penn students and the public, filled the roughly 800 seats at Harrison Auditorium at Penn Museum.
Lucy Ma, an 18-year-old Penn freshman from Seattle, said she likes Warren's support for women's rights and sensible gun legislation. She was already planning to vote for McGinty, but said Friday she wanted to learn more about how McGinty's views line up with Warren's.
"I'm not as familiar with Katie McGinty, so I'm really interested in hearing what Elizabeth Warren has to say about Katie," Ma said.
She and the two friends she came with will be first-time voters in November, and said they were particularly excited to be casting those ballots for women.
"If we follow two terms of a black president with a female president ... it says a lot about what this country is capable of," said Jordan Andrews, 18, who is from Michigan but registered to vote in Pennsylvania when she came to Penn.
Warren brought some star power to McGinty's campaign and highlighted the Pennsylvania race as key to helping Democrats regain a majority in the Senate.
Warren, a proudly wonky professor who focuses on law and economics - and who once taught at Penn - focused much of her speech Friday on education, slamming Toomey for voting against a student loan refinancing bill.
Toomey and the GOP, she said, think "it's more important to protect tax loopholes for the rich and the powerful who have already made it big than it is to build opportunities for everyone else."
In a response, the Toomey campaign said he has "worked across the aisle to keep student loan rates low."
The appearance with Warren came as Toomey has begun attacking McGinty for backing measures he says would hurt the middle class.
Toomey references McGinty's support of a bill that would use a 0.2 percent payroll tax to fund paid family leave, and an interview in which McGinty said it "makes sense" to raise the cap on income taxed for Social Security.
On Friday, McGinty called her opponent "out of touch" and pledged to raise the minimum wage and fight for equal pay.
It's "not about your pedigree but about your grit and perseverance," McGinty said, adding that Toomey and Trump would "tilt that playing field even worse against good, hard-working people."
On Sept. 16, Vermont Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is slated to stump for McGinty in Pittsburgh.
Outside the event, the Philadelphia GOP held a news conference calling on McGinty to pledge not to increase taxes.
The McGinty campaign has said she does not support raising middle-class taxes, but when asked this week, the candidate herself was less direct.
"I don't have any interest in tax increases on middle class families," she said.
Read more here.