Republican Senator Scott Brown's no vote Monday on President Obama's millionaire tax increase known as the "Buffett rule" prompted Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday to frame the race around competing visions for the United States.
"This is a big conversation about what side are you on," Warren said outside of Local 369's , before going in to meet with union members and leaders from the Massachuetts AFL-CIO's Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol County central labor councils.
"I'm the daughter of a maintenance man who ended up as a professor at a fancy law school," said Warren, a faculty member at Harvard University. "That's why America is great."
Robert Rizzi, president of the Norfolk County Labor Council, similarly framed the contest for former Senator Ted Kennedy's seat as a choice between supporting workers and overall quality of life and diminishing communities by attacking unions.
"We all do better when we all do better," Rizzi said.
The United States did better during the decades following World War II, Warren said, because, in part, it invested in a "pipeline of ideas" and in unions. "We got richer together," she said.
But in recent years that investment has been downgraded, Warren said, with America putting far less by percentage of Gross Domestic Product into research and development than China and Europe.
"We have cut back on our investment in ourselves," she said. "What kind of people are we, and what kind of a country are we trying to build?"