TODAY   |  November 07, 2012

Elizabeth Warren: This is a win for the middle class

In one of the most hotly contested Congressional races, Democrat Elizabeth Warren won the Massachusetts Senate seat held by Republican senator Scott Brown, becoming the first woman to be elected to the Senate from that state. The senator-elect speaks with TODAY’s Matt Lauer about her victory.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> elizabeth warren is now the senator-elect from massachusetts after defeating incumbent republican scott brown . senator-elect warren, good to see you, good morning to you and congratulations.

>> thank you. good morning to you.

>> you've become the first woman to be elected to the senate from massachusetts . you will hold a seat that was held for nearly 50 years by ted kennedy . at some point last night, as your victory was announced, you guaranteed that democrats would hold the senate. just talk to me about the significance of your win.

>> well, this is a win for america's middle class . this is a win for every family that really has been hammered and chipped and squeezed for a generation now. i got in this race because those families need someone else in the senate to fight for them, and that's what i'm going to do.

>> you are going to washington, and it is incredibly divided.

>> yeah.

>> it has been for a very long time but some people think it's as bad now as it ever has been. are you going to washington are you in the mood to compromise?

>> you know, i think the key is we're in the immediate to work, and we've got to work on behalf of the people who sent us there, and i think they sent a pretty clear message last night. the message is they are tired of this. they have to see our country come together, and we've got to be looking at things not for special interests , not for the big guys but for america's working families .

>> with all due respect, let me go back at that. are you in the mood to compromise, and can you tell me one specific area where you will be willing to compromise with republicans for the good of your constituents.

>> sure. and that's on the deficit. you know, i look at that deficit, $16 trillion. we've got to find a way to bring that deficit down, and that means that we've got to both cut our spending, and we've got to raise some more revenue, and i think there's lots of room for compromise in there.

>> let's talk about spending. i mean, your race, boy, was it expensiv expensive.

>> no kidding.

>> estimates of $66 million. if this continues, senator-elect warren, can anything good come out of this, a system where such vast amounts of money are required and in some cases trump basic ideas?

>> you know, i think that where we are on money is terrible. i want to say one other part about it because i think it's important about this race. we had literally tens of thousands of donors. you know that more than half our contributions were $25 or less. 80% were $50 or less. so some of these races at least were not just about big money interest, they were also about a lot of folks who said this matters to me and i'm going to be part of this.

>> massachusetts senator-elect, elizabeth warren . good luck to you and congratulations.