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Politics

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren combine for energetic attack on Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), right, rally together in Cincinnati on Monday.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton already had Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement. On Monday, Clinton sought to channel some of Warren’s energy.

The first combined campaign appearance of the party’s presumptive presidential nominee and one of its most ardent progressive voices at this city’s restored Art Deco train station proved electric, producing a deafening roar as they took the stage before a capacity crowd of more than 2,000. Clinton lauded the “terrific” and “formidable” Warren for articulating what’s at stake in the campaign against Donald Trump.

“She exposes him for what he is — temperamentally unfit and unqualified to be president of the United States,” Clinton said. “And I must say, I do just love to see how she gets under Donald Trump’s thin skin.”

Whether Warren, considered a vice-presidential contender, ends up on the ticket or not, she has mastered one aspect of the job: attack dog.

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She eviscerated Trump as a “thin-skinned bully who’s driven by greed and hate,” and even went after his most famous accessory.

“You want to see goofy? Look at him in that hat,” she said, pushing back on Trump’s Twitter habit of describing her as “goofy.”

Warren said Trump’s response to the economic tumult triggered by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union — he suggested it would benefit Trump enterprises such as his golf course in Scotland — was consistent with a career of exploiting poor and working-class Americans for personal gain.

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“What kind of a man roots for people to lose their jobs, to lose their homes, to lose their life’s savings?” she said. “I will tell you what kind of a man — a small, insecure money-grubber who fights for no one but himself.”

Warren provided an invaluable boost to Clinton’s campaign with a full-throated endorsement just days after Clinton secured the Democratic nomination, within hours of President Obama doing the same though Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had not yet — and still has not — officially exited the race.

Democrats say party unity is far less of a concern for them than it is for Republicans, as some GOP elected officials offer only pro-forma statements of support for Trump. But it was clear Monday that they still see work to do.

Speaking before Warren and Clinton, Ohio state Rep. Alicia Reece, a member of the Democratic National Committee’s platform drafting panel, warned that Trump’s only path to the White House was to stoke division.

“It’s time for the Democratic Party to unite!” she said.

Michelle Robenalt of Cincinnati waited in line for more than an hour on a steamy Monday morning — to see Warren, not Clinton, she said.

A Sanders supporter “from the beginning,” Robenalt said Warren’s voice carried weight with her and could help move her closer to Clinton.

“I would never vote for Trump,” she said, noting she and her husband had been active volunteers and supporters of President Obama’s two campaigns. “I will vote for the Democratic candidate. It’s more how hard will I work and spend time and money behind her versus what I would have been willing to do for Bernie.”

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Voter attitudes like Robenalt’s made Warren’s enthusiastic embrace of Clinton, the former senator and secretary of State, all the more important.

“Hillary has brains, she has guts, she has thick skin and steady hands. But most of all, she has a good heart. And that’s what America needs, and that’s why I’m with her,” Warren said.

Clinton reveled in the endorsement and the Massachusetts senator’s tenacity. The two women do not have a close personal relationship, but Clinton said she expected to team up with Warren quickly after taking office to tackle challenges like student debt.

“We’ll take the day off for the inauguration, and then the Senate, the Congress, the White House, we’re going to get to work,” she said, turning toward Warren.

Trump’s campaign issued a statement calling Warren, whom the billionaire has mocked as “Pocahontas” because the senator once claimed to have Native American roots, a “sell-out.”

Scott Brown, the former Republican senator whom Warren defeated in 2012, said after the event that it was clear to him that Clinton still had “a Bernie Sanders problem,” bringing Sanders supporters into the fold.

“It was uncomfortable to watch, quite frankly,” Brown said of the rally to reporters.

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michael.memoli@latimes.com

For more 2016 campaign coverage, follow @mikememoli on Twitter

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