At a conference in Washington, D.C. Thursday, Elizabeth Warren eviscerated Donald Trump with a torrent of criticisms, calling him a "thin-skinned racist bully," "oh-so-fragile" and "a shame to this great country." She focused on Trump's universally-criticized remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, and accused Trump of believing that "[his] own bigotry compromises the judge's neutrality." The Massachusetts senator has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Trump from within the Democratic Party during the 2016 campaign and is frequently mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Hillary Clinton, the party's presumptive nominee.
"Understand what this is: Trump is criticizing Judge Curiel for following the law instead of bending it to suit the financial interests of one wealthy and oh-so-fragile defendant," Warren said. "Like all federal judges, Judge Curiel is bound by the federal code of judicial ethics not to respond to these attacks. Trump is picking on someone who is ethically bound not to defend himself — exactly what you'd expect from a thin-skinned, racist bully."
Curiel is the judge in a lawsuit against one of Trump's businesses, Trump University. After Curiel issued a decision unfavorable to the Donald, Trump said that Curiel couldn't possibly rule fairly on a case involving one of Trump's businesses, because Curiel's "Mexican heritage" created "an inherent conflict of interest." The comment attracted almost universal scorn from Democrats and Republicans alike, with Trump supporter Paul Ryan calling it the "textbook definition of a racist comment."
Warren noted that Curiel — who was born in Indiana, not Mexico — had waged a protracted campaign against Mexican drug cartels during his time as a federal prosecutor. He was targeted for assassination during this case, in fact, and spent a year in protective custody; former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently called Curiel "an American hero."
"That's what kind of a man Judge Curiel is," Warren continued. "What kind of a man is Donald Trump? Donald Trump says, 'Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself.' No, Donald, you should be ashamed of yourself. Ashamed. Ashamed for using the megaphone of a presidential campaign to attack a judge's character and integrity just because you think you have some God-given right to steal people's money and get away with it. You shame yourself and you shame this great country."
Warren has made a name for herself championing progressive economic policies, but as it turns out, she's also one of the Democrats' most effective anti-Trump rhetoricians. She's criticized him extensively on Twitter, calling him a "loser" who "lied his way through the primaries," and when Trump responded by calling her "goofy," Warren made fun of his comeback.
"Donald Trump says ... that what judge Curial is doing is 'a total disgrace,'" Warren said in her speech Thursday. "No, Donald. What you are doing is a total disgrace. Race-baiting a judge who spent years defending America from the terror of murderers and drug traffickers simply because long ago, his family came to America from somewhere else? You, Donald Trump, are a 'total disgrace."