U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Friday called GOP nominee Donald Trump “the ultimate racist bully,” telling supporters in Madison to vote early and volunteer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“Every ugly, racist, sexist, coarse, prude, hateful thing that Donald Trump has said is officially part of the DNA of the Republican party,” she said at the Overture Center.

And she said U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., is the “ultimate Tea Party radical,” calling on attendees to vote for his Democratic challenger Russ Feingold, whom she called “a champion of justice.”

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“Hillary and Russ are tough, smart, experienced leaders who will fight for their values,” Warren said. “Now it is time for us to fight for Hillary and Russ.”

Trump, she said, has taken over the Republican Party, and the state’s top Republican officials have refused to stand up to him despite a flurry of offensive comments.

If they can’t stand up to him during the campaign, she said, they won’t be able to fight him in Washington.

“Speaker Ryan and Senator Johnson are like puppies on a leash sticking right there with Donald Trump,” Warren said.

Warren spoke prior to the release of a video recording showing Trump speaking in a vulgar way about women and boasting about sexually assault. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and other top Republican leaders have denounced the comments.

Trump, along with his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, were scheduled to appear at an annual Republican event in Elkhorn today, though they both cancelled that stop.

 

Dan Chinitz/The Badger Herald

Feingold, who’s looking to reclaim his seat in the Senate, said the only way Democratic priorities like immigration reform, climate change and addressing health care costs can happen is if Clinton is elected president.

Another priority, eliminating student loan debt, could be alleviated through a Warren bill that would let people renegotiate the interest rates on their student loans, he said.

Feingold noted the average student loan debt for University of Wisconsin graduates is now $28,000, contrasting the roughly $11,000 in-state tuition rate for UW students today with the $600 he paid while he was at UW.

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Johnson, he said, hasn’t made any efforts toward making college affordable and has described student loans as free money.

“This is completely out of control,” Feingold said. “I think it is a denial of the American dream to have to start your life thinking about debt instead of having a career.”