Coming off her calls to break up Amazon, Facebook and Google, Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took the stage at South by Southwest Saturday afternoon to continue her message targeting big corporations.
Warren, who rose to national prominence during her Senate election campaign in 2012 by calling for stricter corporate and financial industry regulations, spoke before a capacity ACL Live theater with Time editor-at-large Anand Giridharadas.
Her message has expanded since the 2007-2008 recession to include tech behemoths like Amazon, which she said collect user data and serve as the platform for an online marketplace, and have an unfair advantage in drowning out competition.
"My view of this is it's a little like baseball," Warren said. "You can be an umpire, a platform, or you you get on with teams — that's fine — but you can't be an umpire and on one of the teams that's in the game."
Warren called on her Democratic challengers to focus their primary campaign efforts at a local level because they will have time for big-donor fundraising during the general election.
"Our one potential comparative advantage between now and the general election as Democrats is that we have a chance to build a grassroots army," Warren said. "The very fact that we can do that means we have a chance right now to make this face-to-face, person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor, community-to-community all across this country."
Warren said billionaires and corporate executives have armies of lobbyists that can make their voices heard on Capitol Hill, a process which she said discounts the majority of Americans who agree on progressive economic issues.
"You may have different amounts of money in a democracy, but you should not have a different voice in Washington. Every person should have the same voice," Warren said.
Warren, who was born in Oklahoma and whose three older brothers still live there, said she has seen one of her brothers come around on Democratic economic issues like equal pay for women after his daughter reached adulthood. She hoped to use that method to reach other conservative voters.
"If we frame broadly and then try to pound him with it, I'd have never got him," Warren said. "But if I start personal the part that matters and feels really tangible ... then he started to come in."
In a poll released Saturday conducted by CNN, the Des Moines Register and Mediacom, Warren was a distant third in Iowa, home of the nation's first nominating contest early next year.