Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) publicly defended Ann Coulter’s right to speak on Monday, saying the conservative author should be permitted to address students at the University of California, Berkeley.
“You know, look, Ann Coulter has gotten a bigger platform because someone tried to deny her a chance to speak,” Warren told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “My view is, let her speak and just don’t show up. If you don’t like it, don’t show up.”
Warren says opposition just gives Ann Coulter a bigger platform: "My view is, let her speak and just don't show up" https://t.co/Gg5gtkaEaf
— CNN (@CNN) April 25, 2017
The senator’s comments came after UC-Berkeley cancelled Coulter’s appearance last week, citing security concerns. The school’s administrators feared Coulter’s presence on campus would incite more violent riots.
“Given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience, and bystanders could be adequately protected — at any of the campus venues,” the university said in a statement.
Warren, however, isn’t the only liberal defending the “In Trump We Trust” author. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) stuck up for Coulter last week, too, saying, “I don’t like this. I don’t like it.”
“Obviously,” he explained, “Ann Coulter’s outrageous — to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two-cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.”
Sanders, a self-identified socialist, went on to say that those who try to silence the voices of political opponents are exhibiting “intellectual weakness.”
“If you can’t ask Ann Coulter in a polite way questions which expose the weakness of her arguments, if all you can do is boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming, what does that tell the world?” the lawmaker asked.
“What are you afraid of — her ideas? Ask her the hard questions. Confront her intellectually,” he continued. “Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way.”
On Monday, the group that invited Coulter to speak, the Berkeley College Republicans, filed a federal lawsuit against UC-Berkeley, accusing the college of trying “to restrict conservative speech” on its campus.
Our lawsuit against Berkeley was just filed. Demands appropriate & safe venue for my speech THIS THURSDAY + damages https://t.co/I9fvYdDwBU— Ann Coulter (@Ann Coulter) 1493055922.0
“This case arises from efforts by one of California’s leading public universities, UC-Berkeley — once known as the 'birthplace of the Free Speech Movement' — to restrict and stifle speech of conservative students whose voices fall beyond the campus political orthodoxy,” the lawsuit reads.
Coulter’s speech has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 2. The conservative firebrand, however, still plans to deliver her address on the original date — Thursday, April 27.
I'm speaking at Berkeley on April 27th, as I was invited to do and have a contract to do. https://t.co/thkiODIsSi— Ann Coulter (@Ann Coulter) 1492732615.0