Rep. Andy Levin endorses Warren for president

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News
Rep. Andy Levin and Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren picked up her first endorsement from Michigan's congressional delegation Tuesday ahead of her appearance on the debate stage in Detroit. 

Freshman Rep. Andy Levin, who represents part of Macomb County, on Tuesday became the first Michigan lawmaker in Congress to back one of the 25 Democratic presidential candidates. 

"I’m just for her. I’ve been following this, and I just feel like she is the person who can beat Donald Trump and can take our country in a new direction of more broadly shared prosperity and justice," Levin said in an interview. 

"We have to win Macomb County and have to have someone with an economic message that's both inspiring and practical. She’s rolled out wave after wave of bright and interesting, right-on economic policies.

"I’m going for the kitchen-table stuff — trade, wages, good jobs, education, health care. I think she’s the whole package and I’m really excited to support her."

Levin said he didn't intend to endorse a presidential candidate so early in the 2020 race when the field still has 25 candidates, but "since I decided and felt real about it, I thought let’s share it with people."

Levin said he's followed Warren since she was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School during his second year of studies there.  

In talking to his constituents, Levin said he's been impressed by the range of Democrats from across the spectrum "who don’t fit in little boxes" who like Warren — something he attributes to her modest roots and ability to connect with voters. 

"This girl from the Plains, of modest background, connects with people beyond political labels, and I think she’s going to be a terrific candidate," Levin said.

"Also, she is not going to let Donald Trump push her around. She did not let corporate America push her around when she created the idea for the consumer protection agency that she wasn’t allowed to head."  

Levin praised Warren's agenda for "economic patriotism," including her trade policy plan released Monday that, as she says, puts "the interests of American workers and families ahead of the interests of multinational corporations."

Warren most recently visited Michigan last week to address the NAACP convention in Detroit, saying the national economy is stacked against the working class, particularly voters of color.

Candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the criminal justice system

Levin's endorsement was among four from House members announced by Warren's campaign Tuesday ahead of the first night of debates in Detroit, where Warren will be matched up for the first time against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a fellow progressive member of the Senate. 

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts addresses the crowd at the NAACP convention in Detroit last week.

“We are grateful to have the support of incredible leaders who are on the frontlines of the fight to make our country work for every person, not just the wealthy and well-connected,” Warren senior adviser and political director Rebecca Pearcey said in a statement.

“This campaign is about calling out what’s broken, laying out serious plans to fix it, and building a grassroots movement to get it done. With these partners, we will win in 2020 and make the big, structural change Americans are counting on.”