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Elizabeth Warren Scorches Bloomberg's Red Lining Defense

"What the mayor is really saying is that this crisis could have been averted if the banks had just been able to discriminate against black and brown people more," says Elizabeth Warren.
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Now that former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is polling well in national polls, opposition is dropping on him everywhere. His stop-and-frisk policies (and his defense of it), and a new video in which he blames people of color for the financial crisis are the two worst.

There have been some efforts to mitigate the impact, but it's still pretty bad, as Lawrence shows when he played the video for Senator Warren. In it, Bloomberg says this:

Redlining if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, "People in these neighborhoods are poor. They're not going to be able to pay off their mortgages. Tell your salesmen don't go into those areas." And then Congress got involved -- local elected officials as well -- and said, "That's not fair, these people should be able to get credit." Once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn't as good as you would like.

Elizabeth Warren eviscerated that. "What the mayor is really saying is that this crisis could have been averted if the banks had just been able to discriminate against black and brown people more," she said. "Let's be clear, that would not have averted the crisis."

She added, "Anybody who thinks that the banks should have been allowed to be more racist should not be the leader of our party."

Oh yes, indeed.

Lawrence then read what the Bloomberg campaign was saying about it specifically, which wasn't much beyond saying that "something bad -- the financial crisis -- followed something good, which is the fight against red lining he was part of as mayor," and also he has a PLAN for how to counteract the effects of red lining.

"He can try to scrub that video any way he wants," Warren countered. "It clearly says that redlining was what helped protect the banks. The banks could make bigger profits."

And the reason they went along with redlining was so they could make even MORE money by carving up all the risky debt no matter what neighborhood it came from and sell it for the big bucks as a security with no underlying collateral.

She wasn't finished with Bloomberg or her thoughts on his candidacy, stating outright that he is trying to buy an election because it's the only way he could possibly get elected.

"When you can reach in your own pocket and throw a few hundred million on the table and start buying your way to a nomination, it's a different perspective than if you are doing it from the grass-roots up," she said. "I believe in grass-roots funding."

After a plug for her website and donations, they turned to the question of whether a candidate's past should define their present.

"Part of your credibility or lack of credibility is your record," she said. "Everybody brings their record along with them."

She continued, "Somebody who thinks that redlining was a good deal for the banks, to me just kind of has the wrong perspective on the whole deal. Understand this about redlining. What happened in America was that the federal government subsidized the purchase of housing because it helps build wealth. They did it for decades for white people. They discriminated against black people. It helped create a racial wealth gap that persists until this day."

The next debate should be fascinating.

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